The Year End

Greetings friends and family!


2017 is coming to a close and we are so thankful for all the blessings we have been showered with this year, and what a year it has been! We had some amazing adventures camping at in Washington at Fort Flagler and Mount Rainier, and in Oregon at Mt Hood. Between camping and various trips to Chelan with extended family, we had a whirlwind of a summer. When we were home we kept busy with house projects, hiking, and homeschooling the kids.


Chis has had a very full year. He continues his job as a mechanical engineer at Belshaw Adamatic Bakery Group here in Auburn. He is the head of the research and design department. The way I always describe his job to people goes something like this, “You know those big machines at Krispie Kreme that make and ice the donuts? He makes those.” That is quite a layman term for what he does though as he has been busy traveling all over the country (and out of the country!) seeing to the running of a new industrial oven that his company just patented, his name is on the patent and everything!

While tackling these very long works hours Chris has also started his MBA in Business Finance at Washington State University. Is he a glutton for punishment? Yes. Just kidding :). It was actually a joint decision that we made, well aware it was going to be a stressful, exhausting, but advantageous endeavor. It surely has been all of those things so far, but there is no time like the present. He has jumped right in, securing straight A’s no less!

With the extra workload and school , Chris simply didn’t have time to continue Brock Soccer which we were both very sad about. We are in the process of trying to rearrange the program to fit our new demands but as on now we have taken a break. To help reduce stress and keep active, Chris has been biking to work in the summers and swimming the winter which is a solace to losing his soccer outlet. Despite all these challenges Chris doesn’t miss a beat with the kids and I. He is the stellar father and husband he always has been and we are so grateful for him.


5.5 years old

Our little man is not so little any more. He is growing with leaps and strides. At five, he is taller than my waist and is always asking for “more meat please mom!” This December marks one year of his riding a pedal bike- with no training wheels! Caidoc is constantly on the move. Is he’s not biking, he’s climbing his favorite tree with an apple in his pocket to eat at the top- “To to like Johnny Appleseed mom!” , swimming at the pool, playing dress up, or wrestling with Chris. Despite his unending energy, is favorite thing to do is sit and play with his Legos.

Homeschooling Caidoc is such an awesome experience. He is incredibly bright (of course I might be bias… but probably not). He does 1st grade math and can already read, although he’s not very interested in reading as much as math- he is his father’s son! He is also taking a music class and a sign language class with his sister. He has a natural ability for sign language which is so fun! He particularly like these classes because they are held at “the farm” my parents house, which is holds the wonders of Calvin and Hobbs, an epic tree house, and copious uncles and aunts who willingly play tag with him for hours. We are so grateful to have Caidoc in our lives. He is such a blessing and a wonderful son!


3.5 years old

How our little Princess has grown! Her vocabulary is huge, with her most recently word being “flabbergasted” which she can use correctly in context, usually referring to how she thinks someone will react when they “see her fancy outfit”. Azelie wore her Maid Marian Halloween costume for about two weeks before I could convince her it need to be cleaned. I’ve come to embrace the fact that she would rather wear dresses than sweatpants, due to her necessity to “twirl”. She is gaining an interest in Caidoc’s Legos, but still prefers Playmobile because she likes to act out stories whereas her brother rather just build vehicles. Zelie certainly is becoming quite her own person which is such a joy to watch. She frequently tells us tales of her “brother she had before Caidoc” a boy named “Clork” who apparently lives with her big sister “Merida” in her house, the location of which seems to change based on weather.

Azelie is in a music class and sign language class with Caidoc, but is also taking ballet, which she likes as long as she can dance with a doll. Her current aspiration in life is to become a “ballerina with a bow”. Her imagination is second to none. We recently had to remove the mirror from her room since we kept finding her perfecting her dramatic fake crying which we were only alerted to by the deafening decibel she had achieved. We love our vibrant, beautiful, hilarious little girl.



Well, after summarizing Chris’s and the kid’s year, there isn’t much to say. My days revolve around supporting and raising those three people, something I wouldn’t trade for the world. I am really loving homeschooling the kids, despite how trying it can be sometimes. Our house has gotten some upgrades in the way of a heat pump, repaired deck, new deck roofing, and more- home ownership is quite a challenge and a gift. I don’t find much time to blog these days, I usually want to spend my free time exercising, prepping food, or reading. Last year I joined a Pilates, yoga, and barre studio which I just love. The community of women is just wonderful and I go to classes several times a week. Most of my time is spent planning for trips, holidays, schooling, freezer meals, field trips, hikes, house projects, well, you get the idea! This year has been such a busy and exciting one. With the kids getting older, our scope for adventure has widened. I remember the days when taking both the kids to the library was exhausting but these days Caidoc and Azelie and I can go for a three mile hike and I don’t have to carry anyone! Watching the kids mature is such a bittersweet experience- mostly sweet. I cannot believe how blessed I am with such an amazing family!


We wish you all a happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year! Thank you for being in our lives. Cheers!

The Brock Family

A Champagne Taste on a Beer Budget

My parents would tease me in high school that I had a “champagne taste on a beer budget”, embarrassingly, it’s true annnnd not much has changed. Luckily, I’ve learned to take the good with the bad. There is nothing wrong with liking nice things, but living beyond your means is not something to aspire to. My mom helped me learn that doing things cheaply does not have mean depravation, but rather an opportunity to take pride in exercising self control, creativity, and financial awareness.

So, whats my “Champagne”? I really like fancy bath products! Lotions, washes, scrubs, soap, etc. The market for these products is vast, but my taste usually falls in the “organic, raw, natural” category. So, places like LUSH and Burt’s Bee’s are my Achilles heel. Last year I went to LUSH with my sisters and mom (super fun girls trip!) and got their Cup O’Coffee scrub. I got the smallest container but for my budget, it was still a steep price. I made that jar last as long as I possibly could! Haha! I’ve experimented making my own scrubs had have had good success (Pinterest is a God send, am I right!? ). Recently I found a knock off recipe for the Cup O’Coffee scrub and I was so excited! I whipped it up as soon as I could, which of course was the next day because, Mom Life.

I had some mixing help 🙂 Those chubby little hands and arms just make me swoon!

The only thing I added that wasn’t in the recipe was this Indian Healing Clay. Now, many DIYs can actually end up costing as much as the product you are trying to reproduce, so it’s import to asses ingredients, making substitutions if necessary and better yet, not paying for them at all! One of my not-so-secret ways of obtaining ingredients for projects is by asking for them as gifts (the Indian Healing Clay was given to me by my brother). It does mean that you have to be patient in your planning for your DIY. Budgeting out all the ingredients is also an option, I usually don’t do this just because I see fancy bath products as a luxury, and not something I should be regularly budgeting for. I digress..

Here is the recipe! I really thought it made a wonderful replica of the Cup O’ Coffee Scrub. I melted the coconut oil in order to get it to mix, and I used honey instead of agave. It did make my face a little oilier than the LUSH product, but I usually use a face wash after an exfoliant so it worked just great for me. Good luck!



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