Wednesday, November 30, 2016

holidays and stuff.

I'm finishing up my last bit of Christmas shopping (!!!) and enjoying a house full of absolute silence - I mean, I can even hear the clock.  This is noteworthy.  Both the silence and the Christmas shopping part.  I like to be mostly finished by the time December rolls around - there is much more room for enjoying our family traditions without being distracted.

We enjoyed such a fun Thanksgiving at our house this year!  It was simple, but with so many people we love and doing what we love most - laughing and eating and shopping.  We had background noise of football and kids screaming and laughing (and sometimes really screaming..AHEM, Luca..) and scoured the web for deals and possible shopping strategies. It was just perfect.  We LOVED having our precious friends and their family here to join us this year.

definitely not the most flattering game, but so, so funny.

We have since transformed from pumpkin spice everything to CHRISTMAS!  I can't believe Christmas and the end of the year is so near.

Christmas seems a little more special this year (not that I don't love it every year) - we are in our beautiful new home with all of our fun family traditions, and this year we have a big surprise up our sleeves for the kiddos.  I can't wait to reveal and see their surprised little faces!

I have a to do list about a mile long, which only keeps growing.  We are in the crazy season of parties and performances and the obvious holiday chaos.  I have done good to limit myself to productive hours in the day so I can enjoy the rest.  This has been a delicate balance with the addition of moving on top of all of this!  I want my children to remember the carefully planned cookie making, the story reading, and the Christmas movie bingeing.  

With that, I'm off to enjoy coffee and the aforementioned cookie planning, because - priorities.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

post election

Basically, I'm positive that the recipe for the election hangover today is friends, family, chips & salsa, and probably cookies.  Possibly wine and corny jokes, too.  I can't get over the hateful nature of everything on social media, and I hope that we can all see this as an opportunity to come together as a nation that, at its core, loves people, opportunity, and equality.  We can't count on a leader to fix the problems, but we can all begin in our relationships.  And let us all sing HALLELUJAH! that the horrific commercials are over.


In other news from my happy little corner of the world - my house looks like an episode of hoarders, the bags beneath my eyes have crossed into oversized luggage territory, and there is not enough coffee in the world to make me not feel tired at this point.  We close on our old house tomorrow morning, which will be a tremendous weight lifted.

Our moving was put on pause briefly, while we tended to real life things - Luca's birthday, family in town, and then Halloween. 

Oh, and also this little project that began under the influence of wine and friends, where we just, you know, USED POWER TOOLS and stuff to build a bench in the kitchen.  Someone honestly should have been filming.  There were times where it was not funny in the slightest, but now I look back at some of the way it all unfolded and just laugh my head off at the most random times.

It was well worth the stress and disapproving looks of the men at Lowe's.  Now we just need a table.  And how precious is my grandma with her frappucino?!

 It is SO special that my grandma got to come and stay with us.  She is 85 years old and still experiencing things for the first time - like handing out candy on Halloween.  


It's so funny to think of the turn our lives took this year.  Four months ago, we were not even considering moving.  It was on the list of long term goals, but not in the foreseeable future. And then we fell in love, made our lives absolutely crazy in what is probably the worst time of the year for us, and somehow we survived.

I am so thankful.  Tired and busy, but thankful.


It seems the years pass and my blogging frequency declines in a predictable manner.  And really, as the years have passed, I have acquired more little people, less time, and more activities that vie for my attention.

I'm reaching this point in what may have been considered a blogging identity crisis in combination with the lack of time, and I'm realizing that despite what the world may deem boring and plain - I miss the simple moments of documenting my day to day.

I know there have been undocumented periods with promises of regularly blogging.  This has been my longest blogging hiatus in eight years.  I'm going with the notion of forcing something until it becomes a habit.

My life has been far from boring since the last time, I stared at this blank page.  We sold our house, bought a new one, planned a vacation, took various trips, and my baby turned two.

I'm dumping family pictures off here with the promise that I'll be back...this week.  I know that soon these days that seem long will become the shortened years, and the little things will get washed away in a blur of motion.  I want to lock those little things away in the safest place - to relive on a later day when they have been forgotten or dulled by the passing of time.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Brinley Claire

Sunday, April 3rd.

One of those days that will be stamped with SPECIAL and filed under Favorite Days of Life.

Months of anticipation transformed themselves into anxious moments; watching the minutes tick by and dutifully tracking contractions.  I feel incredibly thankful to have been the trusted keeper of minutes and ultimately to have been a part of the most incredible experience.

I've been here before, on the other (more painful) side.  Just short of 18 months ago, the roles were reversed.  I kept track of the time, made time pass with nervous laughter, and I was the one bringing life into this world.  It was interesting to note the things that changed when I switched roles in the delivery room, and even more interesting-- the things that didn't. 

Saturday was full of clock watching, some walking, some sushi, some pampering, and even some crying.  We analyzed the numbers in the possible birth dates for the 12th time in the last two weeks - something Meredith and I discovered we had in common. This would soon come up again as we guessed the exact minute that she would make her big debut.  Jimmy made everyone pancakes for dinner, and shortly after, a basketball game became background noise as contraction intensity was calculated.

Those early contractions filled my home with anxious and excited energy superior to that of Christmas morning.  I was far more anxious than I imagined (I tucked that away only for me to know).  We left for the hospital shortly before midnight - my mind raced in a thousand different directions.

Looking back, it seems like it was days and mere minutes all at once.  It was hard to watch my sister in pain, it was hard hearing the lack of progress at certain points, and it was hard being unable to do anything about it.

And despite that fact that parts were hard to watch, it was all sorts of beautiful.  My sister's husband was amazing - so involved and so supportive. We had Sam Smith Radio playing - the perfect soundtrack for the intensity, the anticipation, and the love and the laughter.  I will forever associate Sam Smith, Adele, and the like to my niece's sweet birthday.  There were jokes and laughter, snacks and coffee runs, and a whole lot of monitor watching woven right into all of the minutes.

As most normal people got ready to begin their Sunday, we had surpassed the 24 hours mark of being wide-eyed and wondering.  We were getting our breakfast and hoping for a positive progress report soon.

Beyond 9 am on Sunday, the news got better and better each time we received it.  The exhaustion transformed into energy; worried faces into smiles.

At 2:08 pm, my sister gave one last rock star push and sweet Brinley Claire showed her precious face.  A moment I will never, ever forget - her first breath, her perfect, tiny face, the way she stared at her mama for hours.

So many tears - I don't have words to adequately describe standing by Meredith's side as she fell in love at first sight.  It was all so surreal, so breathtaking.

Life is so, so precious.

Thursday, April 14, 2016


I'm wondering what sort of notarized official document needs to happen to divorce my house from the germs, because holy heck.  I am DONE.

Monday showed up with a delightful gift of strep for the second time in three weeks (Ruby).

Tuesday showed itself the door after leaving Luca with a faucet nose and a cough to match.

Wednesday was the day that I completely lost my mind with the sudden onset of drama - our poor little Dexter Dog has joined the germ party and has somehow picked up giardia.  It remains a mystery how he would have gotten this, but I can assure you from watching him, it's nothing anyone ever wants to have or to clean.  I spent yesterday juggling a sick baby, sick dog, and the complete routine of disinfecting the house (Jimmy did the yard).

And by golly, how could Thursday be left out of these shenanigans?!

Midnight brought puking from Luca.  Hours and hours and hours of puking.  Enough towels, bedding, and clothing for five loads of laundry.  And he isn't done.  I have literally never seen so much vomit, and you know how it is with a baby that has absolutely no concept of puking into something -- chasing the heaves with a cupped towel in hopes of saving everything around you.  Everything is calculated - how quickly can I move him away from all bedding, all carpet?  Analyzing every breath, in case its the onset of more throwing up.  He has had four baths at this point.  And that's been the minimum that I could get away with.

We have moved into painful territory in terms of the amount of Sesame Street that we have watched.

My couches are housing just about every towel and linen that I own.  Sadly, the washer is still running, and the laundry is not caught up.

I have not slept in two days.

And the puke.  Oh, the puke.

And if you could imagine the way a conversation (and by conversation, I mean 893 discussions) with a very busy boy about how we have to stay still on the pile of towels - you can imagine the resulting gray hairs.

Waving the white flag here.  Friday, you know what to do.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

one day

The smell of browned butter and the resulting cookies lingers in my kitchen.  There is an accompanying (but not complimentary) smell of chlorine-drenched pool towels.  The rain has slowed, but the smell is in my nostrils, like a permanent reminder that Spring is somewhere around here.

My house has signs of Tuesday all over it.  The aforementioned towels and other swim paraphernalia, the day's dishes, a load of laundry waiting to be escorted off to its proper place.  Baby toys strewn all over every square inch of the living room.  The Hobby Lobby evidence is positively incriminating, lying all over the counter.  I have a lengthy list of to dos and should be doings, but there's this overwhelming draw to just be.  Jimmy is gone, and so of course the opportunities are endless - Last night's Dancing with the Stars, more sewing, rekindled knitting romance, or maybe even a book.  Plus, those cookies that miraculously made it to the cookie phase of their delicious little lives.

My kids are fresh out of the baths and sound asleep just feet from me.  Aside from the thoughts of FREEDOM! my mind feels neatly compartmentalized and my heart feels full.  This is not always the case - for so much of the last seventeen months (without mentioning names, ahem.) I have been such a hot mess.  I forget the craziest things, remember the stupid things, and feel like I can pull myself to some semblance of presentable just in time to make myself five minutes late to wherever I am going.  And if I achieved anything further than clothes on my body, then you can be certain there are 29 shirts on the floor of my closet, makeup littering my bathroom counter, and what may look like a burglary through the rest of my home.

I don't know what has clicked into place, and I most certainly don't have it all figured out.  I mean, listen, my 17 month old sleeps in his infant seat because he absolutely will not stand for anything else.  You'd make money betting on me washing the same load of clothes more than once. Sometimes more than twice.  And sometimes I do my best impression of a monstery ogre just to get everyone out the door.

I don't have it all together, but I have this realization that life is such a short phase. With every passing day, I grow more aware of the things that really, truly matter. My grandpa turned 90 last week.  Ninety.  And while he remembers impressive bits from long ago, I know that so many things have slipped through the cracks.  Things that once brought smiles to his face, things that irritated the life out of him, and things he thought he may never forget.

One day, I won't sweep the floor 3 times a day.
I won't have tiny little people animatedly eating at my table.

One day, I won't be combing through closets with a flashlight to lay out the next day's clothes.
They'll have their own fashion opinion and the ability to form fashion conscience decisions without me.

One day, I won't rock a baby to sleep.  38 times before 10 pm.
He'll walk down the hall and crawl into bed himself and I'll see him in the morning.

One day, I won't spend every night fishing trains from beneath couches, placing Barbies in their homes, and neatly stacking books.
Our living room will be rid of toys.

One day, I'll have myself together and arrive at places early.
Because I won't have three people that need me to fetch snacks and search for shoes and brush unruly hairs into place.

One day, we won't be 30 minutes late for bedtime.
They won't ask me for one more book.

One day, I won't be driving the mom shuttle to school and ballet and swimming.
They'll drive themselves.

One day, Jimmy and I won't remember how we once mastered the art of rolling dice like quiet ninjas in a heated game of Yahtzee.
We won't have a precious, sleeping baby in our room.

One day, I won't be the center of their world.
They'll find other people to love and places to be.

One day, I won't have such a difficult decision with how to spend my free time, because I'll have enough of it and my babies will have grown.

So for now, I think there are cookies that need to be had, blessings to be counted, and laundry that can wait until tomorrow.

I'm thankful for the symbolic workload today, even when it's tedious and overwhelming.  There are blessings everywhere, neatly woven in the chaos.

Monday, March 7, 2016

it's March.

First of all - the nose situation is a chapter slammed shut.  My biopsy results showed a benign mass of tissue and my nose is nearly pain-free now.  I'm so thankful to move on from a very scary situation.


Secondly, we are days from meeting my precious niece - my sister asked me to take a few maternity photos.  She makes it look so good, she almost makes me want to be pregnant again.

gorgeous mama.


In other news, it's March now.  MARCH!  We are making plans for summer - girls trips and recitals and family get togethers.  Spring Break is upon us, and the end of the school year is in sight.  Hard to believe, since Christmas was basically yesterday.

I closed out February with a much needed girl's getaway with some precious friends.  Look, I know Disney Junior believes it's where the magic begins, but it's not.  The magic begins at the rental car place when you place yourself into a car a fraction the size of your family car, and wouldn't you know it, this one has ZERO cheerios flying around. Also not seen in tiny car: shoes without their mates, coloring books, tiaras, and naked barbies.  It was the first time I left Luca and I figured it might be the last (have we discussed the fact that he is 16 months old and still doesn't sleep?  Probably not, I'm too tired to get into it.)  He did sleep on his best behavior (which is still waking up several times - he just controlled the screaming part of it), so I think I might get to get away again sometime in the future!

The magic continued with Starbucks, an entire car ride without the word MOM! and then a weekend full of laughter and food and relaxation.  We hardly knew how to be without tiny people needing us.  There was some part of it that was very surreal - like a junior high style sleepover (there was Fuller House, Backstreet Boys, and hair dying involved, afterall!) but not.  I am so very thankful for these precious people to laugh with, cry with, and celebrate the little things along with the big ones with. 

Jimmy went golfing when I got home - we attempted a walk and then Eisley threw a fit over her bike after we made the long trek to the sidewalk in front of our next door neighbors.  

That's where the magic ended.


we take suckers with our haircuts around here - I have lost count on his haircuts now!  

Luca is practically climbing the curtains these days, and I think my poor heart has its work cut out.  This kid - yikes!  He is a busy little monkey, and I constantly feel as if I have no idea what I'm doing with this mom thing.


Things for the mind vault:

Eisley's obsession with the word "properette" which is actually the word proper.

Ruby's toothless smile - she is finally getting one of her top front teeth in, and I know she is going to look so different; just like she did when her tiny little baby teeth came in.
The way Jimmy and I stay up late to play yahtzee - being quiet with dice is a fun challenge.

My quiet mornings with Luca.  Luca loves Elmo - obsessed, really - and I can get quite a few things done while he eats breakfast and watches.  The mornings with the two of us feel slow and perfect. 

The way Luca fits perfectly into my lap, asking for books.

The sound of my girls singing in the car.

The way Ruby sometimes offers a compromise and does a little curtsy while speaking.



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