Wednesday, August 27, 2014

kenzie's nursery

I finally finished kenzie's room a few days ago, making it the first room in our new place that is completely done.  Which we are choosing to celebrate rather than dwell on the fact that we have been living here for almost three months.  
Although kenz had a room at our old apartment, it was part nursery and part guest room.  That worked great, and I wouldn't be surprised if her current room turned into that sometime in the future.  In fact, david and I almost impulsively purchased a bunk bed a few weeks ago to put in her room.  Because bunk beds! Every guest's dream accommodations! 
I figured I better snap a few photos while things are looking all clean and put together because kenz isn't quite mobile enough to mess up her room.  The days are numbered, I am sure.  
We didn't paint because we would have to paint the walls back to this color whenever we move.  In other words, lazy.  But I kind of like the white walls and how much of a bright space this room is turning out to be.  I'll let you know where items are from below each photo because that seems to be the thing to do in these tour posts.  But I'm warning you, it is basically ikea.

The dresser is from ikea (I told you!) that david and I stained and painted the knobs.  The polka dot changing pad was made by my mom (this will also be a theme).  The artwork I either drew, painted, or made out of cards.  The fur rug in front of the crib is ikea.  I had to stop myself from buying ten of these.  Thank goodness for a husband with some senses.  Her curtains are from Target Threshold collection.  Actually, one panel is from a thrift store and the other is from target. WIN.

This globe is one I mounted onto a small stack of books as a gift for david back in our dating years.  My dad did all the work and I took all the credit. ching!

Her crib is ikea that I painted white, the name bunting is a product of my mama, and the chevron hamper is walmart. I know, I was surprised too!  TANGENT: is it ever okay to use bumpers in a crib or is that always a death trap?  because our most recent problem is kenz getting her chubby legs wedged in between her crib spokes.  It is the saddest and most hilarious thing to walk in on.

This canvas was made by my mom (all of a sudden I feel like I should mention this post is not being sponsored by my mom, although, that is a thought...mother? ).

What? Is that my eleven month child peacefully reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar to herself in her reading chair?  hahaha NO.  She is entirely posed for this photo and two seconds after this reached her arms waayyy forward and almost fell off the front of the chair.  Mom points.  Also, this chair is primarily used for me to nurse kenz to sleep at night, so just picture that.  Why I don't have an adult sized rocker is sort of beyond me.  Kenzie's little reclining chair was given to us from friends.  Ohh and the fantastic measuring board was a Christmas gift from my aunt.  And the bookshelf is a five dollar yard sale find. FIVE DOLLARS FOOLS.

So there it is!  Kenzie's very own room, soon to be guest room, soon to be shared by her eleven other siblings.  Sorry, kid, you can only be spoiled for so long.

Monday, August 18, 2014

a morning in dillsburg

We spent Saturday morning exploring a little town close we have driven through tons of times but never really stopped to walk around.  We were pretty much blown away by how much we enjoyed it.  
We started things off at a local coffee shop called square bean and then wandered down to sweet things bakery where we ate THEE MOST delicious cinnamon roll ever.  And we have eaten a lot of cinnamon rolls in our day.  Seriously, if you are local, please just do me the favor and go eat one right now.  We even went back inside to tell the baker that it was the best we have ever had, and as we were walking away I said to david, "some people are just so dang gifted."  But anyways, is that enough about the cinnamon roll?  or would you like more?
We then wandered through the farmers market and picked up some vegetables, meat and eggs.  There is just something about farmers, man.  City folk's just don't get it. (please tell me you get that reference.  k good. we can be friends.)  ONE DAY we will have our own chickens and goats (so many goats) and a big fat garden, but until then we are happy to do a small part in helping others get the chance to live that dream.
So all this to say, WELL DONE, DILLSBURG.  I should have known we would love a town that has an annual pickle drop on New Years Eve.  We both agreed that this would be our new Saturday morning tradition.  Plus, kenz and I wore matching polka dots, which was almost as great as the cinnamon roll.  If only david would join in next time ;)

Friday, August 15, 2014

Being There Fully

in a world full of dark and devastating things, I often have to whisper to myself: me and mine. Meaning, God has given me responsibility to care and nurture me and my own family.  I cannot control this world and the evil in it.  I can pray and trust and hope, but ultimately, my efforts and energy needs to be poured into my own.  Not in an ignorant or selfish way, but in way that teaches my own children that they can be carriers of peace and change in the world.  I want them to know, even at this young of an age, that what they care about matters and that they have positive things to add to our family and to the world.

an excerpt from a book my own mother lent to me, Surrendering to Motherhood by Iris Krasnow:

"Life is Now, that's that.  You cannot control the evil in this world. All you can control is the tiny universe occupied by your family, and Being There and Loving Them Fully can in turn help them love themselves...It's about an emotional and spiritual shift, of succumbing to Being Where You Are When You Are, and Being There as much as possible.  It's about crouching on the floor and getting delirious over the praying mantis your son just caught instead of perusing a fax while he is yelling for your attention and you distractedly say over your shoulder: 'Oh, honey, isn't that a pretty bug.' It's about being attuned enough to notice when your kid's eyes shine so you can make your eyes shine back."

Sunday, August 10, 2014

that time we went to our community pool party

Over the weekend, our new community had a pool party that all residents were invited to.  It is one of those situations that is just a recipe for awkward stranger interactions, but also free pizza, so it was sort of a draw and we ended up going.  In case you were curious, though, here was our pros vs. cons list of attending:

+free pizza, chips, beer, ice cream
+contests and prizes (I can get very into these)
+the pool turned on their spray water fountains (what ultimately won me over)
+david excels in awkward conversations
+we have a baby, which always makes things less awkward

+you can never be sure what demographic a community pool party will, old folks, crazy children whose parents seem to disappear?  (spoiler: it was all of those)
+I do not excel in awkward conversations.  In fact, I usually somehow only make them worse.

So, the pros outweighed the cons and there we were eating cheap pizza and drinking boxed wine out of plastic cups and definitely feeling like we made the right decision.  And the people watching.  My goodness.  

If you are ever wondering, here are the types of people that will show up to a community pool party:

+the free loaders: the folks that come because FREE FOOD AND PRIZES (us, obviously).
+the older folks: dressed to the nines, stuck mainly to the boxed wine, very exclusive group and obviously this is the major event of the week.
+the singles: mostly in their 40's, doing damage to the beer cooler, small talk about careers and cars and divorces.
+the wild children:  no parents in sight, wreaking havoc on the pizza table and dessert table.

We mainly hung out with the wild children because they were actually swimming.  Why so many people show up to a pool party without intentions to swim in the pool is beyond me.  And by the end of the evening we both admitted that it was sort of a fun way to spend an evening.  So there.  I wouldn't go around calling myself a community pool party advocate, but, you know, it was better than expected. 


Wednesday, August 6, 2014


I debated whether or not this deserved an entire post of its own, but then I thought, who am I kidding? OF COURSE IT DOES.  Because look, guys.  I mean, if that doesn't slay you dead right there at your computer, you obviously don't have a heart.  Her hair is  d e f i n i t e l y  not long enough for these quite yet, but I had to give it my best effort.  

Right after I took a photo of them (ookkaayyy, seventeen photos. jeesh.) kenz and I went to david's office to have lunch with him.  He noticed right away and immediately pull them out, mumbling that her hair was too short or something like that.  I asked him later why he didn't like them, and he thought for a moment and then said, "it's because it takes her from being a baby to a GIRL. and I just don't feel ready for a girl yet."  I gently reminded him of the purple tutu hanging in her closet and the pink teapot (of which we know EVERY SINGLE BLESSED SONG it sings), but for some reason, pigtails are what took it over the edge for him.  

So, the pigtails are retired for the time being.  BUT THEY WILL BE BACK.  In all of their girly glory.  Yup, I was right.  This did deserve an entire post.  


Sunday, August 3, 2014

my dear family comes to town

My family came into town last week and stayed through the weekend.  They came in mom, younger sister, and baby arriving Tuesday by car, my older sister and baby arriving by plane the next morning, and finally, as the grand finale, my dad flying in on Friday morning.  

It was such a wonderful feeling, packing our new home full of the people I love most in this world.  And it was packed full: three babies and all of their stuff (just how do babies require so much stuff?! I am still trying to figure that one out), and air mattresses and luggage and clothing...but it felt so good to see belongings of my family strewn about my home.  

My mom, in all of her crafty and determined glory, helped me start and finish one project after another that I had been trying to get around to in our new home.  I am convinced that one of her greatest gifts is turning a house into a home, if you know what i mean.  And my dad, with power drill in hand, he just got stuff done.  He hung this heavy-as-bricks shelf in our bathroom that I had totally given up hope on, and it was like, nothing to him and his handy-man skills.  And all my sisters had to do was sit in the living room with their lovely babies and I just loved them all the more for it.  They really have made the most beautiful children.  

Sadly, Kenz got sick in the midst of it all...high fever, completely lethargic, slept for ever.  She even pulled a 14 hour night! (and boy was I ever ready for her to wake up and eat, if you nursing mamas catch my drift).  She is still just the sweetest little thing even when she is sick.  So snuggly.   And thankfully, she is on the mend.  She tried to steal my apple from me this morning, so it looks like our favorite kenz-monster is coming back to us.

Anyways, it was so wonderful to have my family visit for a bit.  I've said this before, but there is just something about having family out in Pennsylvania that makes this place feel more like home.  It's like they leave little bits and pieces of themselves in the form of memories around our apartment, and it leaves me feeling like yes.  this is right.  this is home.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

ten months

mckenzie is ten months old today!  all of a sudden she is looking all grown up.  Here are the updates...

+she has OPINIONS.  "I want to play with your necklace and DON'T YOU DARE TAKE IT AWAY FROM ME."  She will let you know what she wants, likes, doesn't like, etc etc and all of the above.

+With this new found angst, I am learning to choose my battles: you want to put mama's dirty keys in your mouth? sure fine, because it will make you happy for 10 minutes.  you want to drink mama's scolding hot coffee? well, I'll fight that battle. 

+She is eating a tiny bit, which is entirely exclusive to the following things: wheat thins, ice cream, panera baguettes, apples (but only a whole one), oatmeal (but only from mama's bowl), chips, watermelon, and baby puffs.  Oh, and breast milk hashtag ALWAYSANDFOREVER.  The universe is laughing at the me of 10 months ago who swore I would only feed my child whole organic foods.

+daddy is her new favorite.  she loves loves loves him.  He can make her laugh the hardest just by smiling and making noises in her direction.  She has started to cry a little bit when he leaves for work in the mornings.  She always goes right down for her naps when he puts her in bed (thanks, kid).  Oftentimes, when david gets back from work, he will scoop her up and take her back into the bedroom to hang out with him while he changes out of his work clothes.  I can't say exactly what goes on back there, but all I know is there are tons of giggles and bursts of laughter and screams and shrieks, and I just love their relationship so so much.

+she has started dancing to music.  I'll put a song on and she will look up from whatever she is doing, listen for a moment, and then start bouncing her whole body.  I DIE.

+sometimes she pants like a dog.  we have no idea where she got that from, but we all think it is hilarious.

+and kissy faces.  she has learned the most delicious kissy face and it makes me want to have twelve thousand more children (not pregnant).

obviously we think our kid is the bees knees.  we love celebrating all of her little milestones and teaching her to love life.

Monday, July 21, 2014

anniversary trip to shenandoah

This past weekend we took a little trip to shenandoah national park for our anniversary.  It was significant in a lot of ways...shenandoah is probably our favorite spot we have been to together since being married.  also, hiking has been such an enjoyable thing to do together over the past few years.  David and I actually don't have a lot in common when it comes to hobbies and downtime (which we have actually learned to love and appreciate), but hiking is one thing that we have both grown to love.  Personally, I have never loved anything that makes me sweat (because why? am I right?) but hiking seems to be the exception.  There is just something about getting out into nature and exploring new parts of the world untainted by man.  

But anyways, our trip.  We took our little sidekick along and she did pretty well with all the hiking and napping on the go.  She did pull two long nights with lots of waking up and finally suckering her mama into sleeping in the second bed with her, but besides that, she was a trooper.  While having a baby along for our vacations changes a lot (and we did have a few moments of missing what things used to look like), it was fun to share this adventure with kenz.  We really really hope she grows to like hiking (or else!).

Here are some photos from our time in shenandoah with a few captions...

beautiful views from the tops of these mountains...don't worry, we held on tight to that little girl

that face.  what a goob.

mountains for days...

black bear!!! We saw THREE bears during our time in the park, we couldn't believe our luck!  We saw two big males and this little cub (not sure where the mama bear was...we kept looking over our shoulders!)  The first bear we saw was standing right in the middle of our trail about 25 yards in front of us.  We rounded a corner and BOOM, there it was, just staring at us.  David said I turned sheet-white and immediately turned around.  It is an amazing experience seeing a bear in the wild, but also very unnerving.  We did a little research on them, though, and they are surprisingly docile and timid for how big and scary they look.  Definitely a highlight of our trip!

We stayed in a lodge at the highest point in the park, and this was the view from our room!  After kenz would go to bed at night we would sit outside on our porch with a big blanket around us and just talk until it got dark.  

Dusk from our porch

This girl loved rolling around on our bed.  This was after a llooonnngg night with her, but I had already forgiven her ;)

The fog over the valley in the morning was amazing

David took this photo right before we took a break for me to feed kenz.  Just after we sat down I glanced up into the woods and there was a huge black bear just sauntering by...yikes! 

Working on her waving... and you guys.  hiking with an almost 20 lb. baby is a whole new level of workout.  

Last hike of the trip.  This was the point when kenz was like, "but seriously another overlook? don't you people get tired of this?" and we were like, "JUST SMILE FOR THE CAMERA CHILD."

waiting for breakfast at the lodge and an older couple offered to take a family photo for us.  Love a little stranger kindness.

baby girl was such a trooper with naps on the go.

the morning fog from our porch

love this little family of mine and the adventures we have together.  Such a sweet memory and celebration of our marriage.  We will be back, shenandoah.  you can never keep us away for too long...