Tagged: life

Oct 26

My sous chef.

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I love to bake cookies. And, as it turns out, so does Lilah. Since I quit my job, I’ve been able to do considerably more cooking and baking. Dinner, snacks, desserts, pies, whatever. And Lilah loves to help me. Especially when I let her lick the beaters. But who wouldn’t, really? My brother and I always had to share the beaters, so I think Lilah is pretty fortunate to have them all to herself. I keep warning her that someday she’s going to have to share with Graham and to enjoy it while she can.

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And yes, I am aware there is a chance she could get sick from eating the cookie dough. I’m a life-is-too-short-to-skip-the-cookie-dough-due-to-salmonella-fears kind of girl.

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And another thing we’ve have been enjoying are the fallen leaves. I know, this stuff is old news, but at our house, we just finally have a tree big enough to produce a decent pile of leaves! Bring on the rake!

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Any time the weather is warm enough, I take the kids out to play in them. Dang Kansas wind is slowly carrying them away though.

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I am loving the relationship that is developing between Lilah and Graham. She is more and more interested in him, and him in her. He generally is looking at her like she is nuts (because she is) and she generally is looking at him trying to get him to laugh.

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I get asked all the time what I think of being a stay-at-home mom. For the record: I love it. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to do it. These little ones are growing and changing so fast, and I am so happy to share it with them. Nobody can raise and shape your children as well as you can. And I know that I will never look back and regret the decision.

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Aug 26

Even straighter.

About a year ago, I wrote that I was “getting my priorities straight.” Well, here I am, taking that one step further. Yesterday was my first day as a professional mommy. I’m out of the office and back in the house for 24 hours, 7 days a week of motherhood bliss.

Okay, who I am I kidding? Bliss? Pish. I know it’s gonna be tough. I know there will be days where I will be calling the agency and begging to come back. I’m quite positive that I will long for adult conversation and advertising talk. And I’m sure that I will want to throw my kids at their dad when he walks in from work and jump in the car, head to the liqour store and never come back. But, the thing is, I think it’s going to be better than dropping them at daycare every day and missing so much. Like today when I got to listen to Lilah sneak in to sing Graham to sleep. Or when Graham sat up on his own today for a full 15 seconds – and then Lilah had to show me she could do it, too.
So, it’s a temporary tradeoff. I’ll go back to work, someday. Fingers crossed, I make it past next week :)
Some random photos from the last month or so:
Digging potatoes with Brady’s family in Clay Center. Lilah was pretty excited to get dirty and play with her cousins. As you can see, the adults did all the hard work. Me, I took pictures and held Graham.

My family’s vacation to Beaver Lake – in Arkansas. We have friends that have a home there that we borrow and the whole trip is fabulous. We swam, boated, grilled, floated, took walks, toured a local hatchery and ate incredibly well. Tried some new recipes, including my families new favorite, Jalapeño Poppers. (Please note: I am not a fan of these, but everybody else who eats them is.)
Lilah’s first French braid. As a child, my mother did this to my hair A LOT. And one day on vacation, while my mom had Lilah, I was surprised and delighted to come back and see this. I love it and have been trying to master it myself. Would be much easier if she wasn’t so wiggly.

And, also on vacation – my favorite picture of Lilah and my dad. It just captures everything – she absolutely adores him. So much so that she would rather chill on a picnic table with him than go play on the beach with her cousins.
This little guy is growing up so much lately. So close to being able to sit up on his own. Plus two teeth now. And the jolliest little fart ever.

Check out those baby blues on my favorite little girl:

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Aug 04

Going green. (A new reason to potty train.)

Everybody’s doing it, right? A few months ago, we started seriously recycling. We switched waste companies and started getting curbside recycling. In Wichita, you can now get a huge container that you can throw ALL your recyclables into. EVERYTHING. Paper. All plastics. Aluminum. Cardboard. Chipboard. Glass, etc. No sorting. No hauling it to your nearest recycle bin. It feels great and is super-easy. It has really cut down on our amount of waste. If there were no diapers in it, we’d hardly have any trash each week. (But we’re working very dilligently to reduce the amount diapers that go into it!!! See photo below!)

I also even started collecting plastic bags to recycle (Not throught the same service.) – Dillon’s takes all kinds of plastic bags, plastic packing, etc. Not just your grocery bags (cause now everybody uses those canvas bags anyways, right?), but all plastic. I’ve been really amazed at how much this has added up in just the few weeks I’ve been collecting. Seems like everything comes in a plastic bag.

If you’re interested, Waste Connnections is who offers the recycling service. As a bonus, you get rewards for how much you throw away – they weigh your bin each week and then you get “points” for how much you’ve collected overtime that can be redeemed online. (We have over 1600 points already! Pretty sure those are going to a target gift card soon…)

Anyways, the whole point of this post came from this letter I got in the mail today. It was one of those fabulous credit offers where they say you have some crazy amount of credit line available to you and they’ll give it to you at some insane pseudo-low rate. I get a ton of these, don’t you? What a waste of paper and postage and stuff! I was about to toss it into the recycling bin when I read this at the bottom of it:

You can choose to stop receiving “prescreened” offers of credit from this and other companies by calling toll-free 1.866.567.8688.

Sweet! Five minutes later, Brady and I were both opted-out for the next five years! Even better than recycling! Let’s call it pre-cycling! (The process online was super-simple. It recongnized our home phone number and had all our info already. All I need was SS#’s.) Okay, no excuse, go do it now, if you haven’t already!

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Jul 08

Happy birthday to me.

Tomorrow is my 27th birthday. I think the older you get, the faster time flies by. Especially when you start watching your own kids grow. 
Anyways, I always try to stay positive when my birthday comes around. I’ve got a lot to be thankful for, so why should another year make me sad? I decided to compile a list of 27 things that make me happy:

1. Catching a great smile from my kids on camera. Sadly, this doesn’t happen often enough.

2. The song Sideways, by Dierks Bentley + the fact that Lilah calls it by name within the first few beats.
3. The BBQ grill. It can make anything taste good. And how fun is it to hang out on the deck while your man is cooking you dinner?
4. Diet coke.
5. My big, gigantic king-size bed. I love being a grown-up and having such a great place to rest.
6. The three days in July each year when I get to be three years younger than my husband.
7. Etsy.com
8. Jumping in my car and being just minutes away from the home I grew up in. Feels so right.
9. Lynchberg Lemonade. 
10. The notes my husband leaves me on the counter in the morning before I even wake up. Simple and sweet.
11. Lakes. Swimming, boating, skiing, floating, etc. Such a great way to spend some downtime. Water is so soothing.
12. The fact that my husband and I share a dream of living on a lake someday.
13. Stationary. Love the tradition of handwriting notes on beautiful paper. Makes me sad that it is a lost art.
14. Medium-sized styrofoam Sonic cups. Perfect for a wide range of drinks (see #4 and #9). They don’t sweat all over the table + they keep my drink super cold.
15. Sunflower seeds – a lifelong weakness. When we were kids, my brother used to tell me that I’d never find a husband because of all the sunflower seed chewing/spitting I used to do. Good thing he was wrong! 
16. Dropping my kiddos off to daycare at their Aunt Jenny’s. They love it and I know she loves them. What a blessing. (Hope she feels the same way!)
17. My Mac. When it’s behaving.
18. A good sunburn. I know that one’s kinda weird, but I just love the way you feel after a day in the sun. Isn’t there a vitamin you get from the sun? Vitamin K or something? Maybe they named that after me :)
19. Fabric stores. I love all the colors and textures in rows and piles. I could shop all day. Usually buy some just for the hell of it. Leaving me with stacks of fabric at home and no time to do anything with it.
20. The feeling after a good workout. Or even a not-so-good workout. When have you ever left the gym and thought “man, I wish I hadn’t done that”?
21. The blue eyes that my husband has, and my children have inherited. (It’s why I married him.)
22. The hot dog dance. If you know what this is, you would get along with my daughter. And when Lilah’s happy, I’m happy.
23. A Lot Like Love. Or any good romantic film. But this one in particular always leaves me with a smile.
24. The way that Graham’s smile gradually appears on his face. I love the transition. Seems so honest.
25. Bud Lime
26. Traditions. For instance, my family’s annual trip to Beaver Lake. Bunco on the second Tuesday of every month. Grey’s Anatomy every Thursday night with my friend, Linds. Burger Binge at work every Wednesday at lunch. There is something about that predictability and commitment that feels so reassuring. 
27. And of course, this blog! A great place for me to air my thoughts and feel like somebody’s listening. Thanks!
Hope something on that list left you with a smile! 
Here’s to 27 more years.

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Jun 24

Goals.

It’s good to have goals, right? And to be accountable. So that is what I am doing. I’m giving myself some goals to drop some LB’s. And by telling you, I’m making myself accountable. So, here we go.

Goal: Drop weight by 17 pounds
Method: Eat healthier + be more active.
Reward: Milestone rewards!
Deadline: Vegas, baby! (A group of friends and I are planning a girls getaway to Vegas in September)

With each milestone, I will reward myself with some of the stuff that I’ve been wanting, but never buying because it’s a little too self-absorbent.

FIVE: this beautiful bracelet.

TEN: an embroidered pillow that I’ve been eying at Target. I’d better act fast, cause this may not last long on their site!

FOURTEEN: Now, a dishtowel may not seem that exciting, but I am in love with this one. All the beautiful stitching just makes me melt. And I’m not the type who would buy it and never use it. I actually think it would look even better with a little wear. So, really, I’d be doing it a favor, right?

SEVENTEEN (the end!!!): this magnificant piece of equipment!

I have been wanting a new camera for a while, but always felt guilty for spending the money. I’ve read a lot about this particular camera and even hope to take a online photography class taught by one of my favorite bloggers, Karen Russell. I’m not so sure that the class will work out, cause her courses fill up within minutes after she opens them. But, a girl can try, right? I guess if I can’t get in her class I’ll have to find a different one – cause I definitely will need help learning how to work this thing!

THE KEEP-IT-OFF-REWARD: now, everybody knows that keeping weight off is almost as difficult as losing it. For this reason, I am giving myself incentive to prevent that. At six months, if I haven’t gained more that 2-3 pounds (we gotta be realistic, the holidays are in that window of time :) , then I am buying some big, new, fabulous lamps. Again, something I have been wanting for a while, but never indulgent enough to buy. Don’t have these picked out yet, but they may look something like this.

Okay, so there you have it. Now I’ve put it out there. There’s no turning back. I’m really hoping this rewards system is the ticket to geting me to the end! So, next time I’m craving a chocolate Reeses Peanut Butter Cup Blizzard, I can just think of all my “prizes”.

I’ve never really lost any serious weight in my life – besides the lbs. I naturally dropped after having babies. Other than that, never more that five or so pounds. So, if anybody has any tips, please share! I’ve also been considering setting up rewards for working out. That is actually the hardest part of this commitment. I always have about twenty things to do, so getting the gym to the top of my priority list is always a challenge.

Wish me luck!

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Mar 24

On my fridge.

Randy Rogers tickets! I am super excited for the upcoming concert. Not sure if my excitement stems from the great music, or the idea of a night out!?! I’ve got over nine months of pent up energy here, ya know! Anyways, if you haven’t heard of the Randy Rogers Band, and you have any appreciation for country music, you will surely enjoy these guys. And I’m no talking about radio-country. Randy is red dirt country (although I have heard them on the radio more and more recently.) Hope you all can come out to support!!

On one of the nice days lately, we got out the sidewalk chalk. Aside from her thinking that the best place to draw is on Daddy’s truck (timeout!!), I am certain that there is a budding young artist inside her :)

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