Archives for October 2013

OOTD {Week 9}

Happy Friday Friends! Today, I am linking up with OT&ET to keep me writing and reflecting. We have very little planned this weeeknd and I couldn’t be happier. I am thinking the chilly temps call for banana bread and soup on the stove and just some quiet time in at home.

Loving that the next two weekends will have a babysitter on Saturday night and get a chance to be adults. These past few weeks we haven’t had a lot of adult time and I think we need it.  Not to mention I am looking forward to a good meal or two and hopefully meeting one of my best friend’s new addition!

Listening to Cate and Brady bicker. They never really fight but when they do it usually results with both of them in tears. Brady is so so patient with Cate but there are days when he just wants her to leave him alone which I totally get. And when she doesn’t he usually pushes her away and then they both end up crying- him because he feels bad and wants to be left alone and her because “Bwady push me” with full water works. Today, the whole car ride to school, Cate kept repeating that he pushed her and Brady kept telling her that he needs to leave her alone. This is just the beginning I am guessing…

Worrying about what to do with Brady next year and knowing we will be faced with the same decision with Cate in two years.  With an October and September birthday respectively, we are not only faced with our kids being the oldest kids in their class but daycare becomes a big decision. Repeat preschool in the daycare we are currently in, move him to a parochial full day junior kindergarten for a year, or hire a nanny and a part time program… ack! The possibilities are endless and even with a spreadsheet detailing pros and cons of each I am convinced I will make the wrong decision.

Reading all the things in life right now.  Every single group, meeting, person I know has me reading something and yet I find myself craving some personal reading for fun.  For school I am reading Choke by Sian Beilock and Give and Take by Adam Grant. I have to tell you that Give and Take is really interesting to read.  You will silently add a label to every single person you talk to after reading it.  What I am dying to read is Allegiant by Veronica Roth. This is the final book in a trilogy that I am obsessed with. It will have to wait until I get these other two done for work.

Singing Christmas tunes in my head. Did you know that Christmas is only nine weeks away from this past Wednesday. It is and I know I need to respect the turkey but I love me some Christmas music and I can’t wait that is all we hear on the radio.

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Have a great weekend! Hope you stay warm!

 

Gallery Wall {Room by Room Series}

Remeber this post about sharing with you pieces of  our home that I am falling in love with?  Well, I’m back with my first post since then about something so simple but so special to me.

This fall has been a big week in terms of getting things done around our house.  I should have quite a few others projects to share with you in the next month or two.  I am not a quick decision maker but I knew when we bought this traditional Georgian that I wanted a gallery wall on the stairs.  Up and down. Up and down. Every time we go up and down I want to see things that make me smile and family pictures do that. Remember?

Here is the final product.

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So simple.  So me.  I love it. What do you think? Here are the details.

Wall Color: Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter

Light Fixture: Ballard Orb Chandelier

Frames: Etsy Once Upon a Time

Images: Lewis Sisters Photography

Brady {Four Years}

kids 136copy2.jpglargethumbDear Brady (aka B-man, Brade, Bubba or Buddy),

I can honestly tell you that this has been to date the hardest letter I have ever had to write to you.  I open it up and close it every day some days writing nothing and other days writing so much that I end up deleting for fear of overkill.  Today, four years ago you entered this world as our first child and you have blossomed in to a little boy.  I knew nothing about being a mom and four years later you are still teach me something every day about my responsibility to you.  I catch myself for a split second every time I tell someone what an amazing kid you are because of course everyone thinks their kid is amazing.  But then, I still say it, because you truly are a remarkable little boy.  I ask myself and my people what I did to get such an amazing little boy as my son?

I can honestly tell you there is nothing I would change about you. I love your shy smile when you aren’t completely comfortable with a new person.   I love your deep belly laughs when I tickle your back.  I love the pure patience you show when interacting with your sister and letting her chase you even though it isn’t much of a contest.   I love your silliness when we talk about words like “booty”.  I love your curiosity about Chicago sports, specifically the penalty box and “the beast”.  I love the fact that you require snuggles when you wake up from a nap.  And I love that most nights for the past few months, the pitter patter of your feet come in our room at some point because you just want to sleep close to us.  I love how soundly you sleep when we are close by.

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I can honestly tell you there is no place and no time I would rather be than here with you now. I don’t wish you were still a baby and I don’t want you to get older.  I am truly living in these moments with you and loving you.  Your love for superheroes reminds me that magic exists and heroes are real.  Your imagination gives me hope that there is still an innocence to being little.  And your need for us to still push you on the swing or tuck you in reminds me that you are indeed still so little even though you want to be so big.kids 037copy.jpglargethumbThis past year was a big one. We bit the bullet last November and potty trained you. You did not look back. One weekend later and we ended up being naps and night trained as well. In your true spirit, you blew us away with your ease in doing things.  That’s you nature bud. You are just an easy going, mellow kid who wants to be loved. You continue to be so mild mannered that some days I wonder where that came from.  Maybe from your paw-paw? Not your daddy and I.   You do big kid things like go with your buddy places without us.  ut yet you are tenative to try anything new.   You are an old soul in your ways that you respond yet you are such a little boy in others. Your physical stature leads most to believe you are school age but we know you are right where you are supposed to be.  You are so kind to others that at times it takes my breath away.

This morning when you woke up you asked me, “Mom even though I am big, could you still stay until I fall asleep?”   And the answer is yes, buddy. Always. I will always be here.

Happy Birthday little man!

I love you to the moon and back.

Mama

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all images via the Lewis Sisters Photography, Bloomington, IL 

 

4

kids 136copy2.jpglargethumbDear Brady (aka B-man, Brade, or Buddy),

I can honestly tell you that this has been to date the hardest letter I have ever had to write to you.  I open it up and close it every day some days writing nothing and other days writing so much that I end up deleting for fear of overkill.  Today, four years ago you entered this world as our first child and you have blossomed in to a little boy.  I knew nothing about being a mom and four years later you are still teach me something every day about my responsibility to you.  I catch myself for a split second every time I tell someone what an amazing kid you are because of course everyone thinks their kid is amazing.  But then, I still say it, because you truly are a remarkable little boy.  I ask myself and my people what I did to get such an amazing little boy as my son?

I can honestly tell you there is nothing I would change about you. I love your shy smile when you aren’t completely comfortable with a new person.   I love your deep belly laughs when I tickle your back.  I love the pure patience you show when interacting with your sister and letting her chase you even though it isn’t much of a contest.   I love your silliness when we talk about words like “booty”.  I love your curiosity about Chicago sports, specifically the penalty box and “the beast”.  I love the fact that you require snuggles when you wake up from a nap.  And I love that most nights for the past few months, the pitter patter of your feet come in our room at some point because you just want to sleep close to us.  I love how soundly you sleep when we are close by.

kids 041copy2.jpglargethumb

I can honestly tell you there is no place and no time I would rather be than here with you now. I don’t wish you were still a baby and I don’t want you to get older.  I am truly living in these moments with you and loving you.  Your love for superheroes reminds me that magic exists and heroes are real.  Your imagination gives me hope that there is still an innocence to being little.  And your need for us to still push you on the swing or tuck you in reminds me that you are indeed still so little even though you want to be so big.kids 037copy.jpglargethumbThis past year was a big one. We bit the bullet last November and potty trained you. You did not look back. One weekend later and we ended up being naps and night trained as well. In your true spirit, you blew us away with your ease in doing things.  That’s you nature bud. You are just an easy going, mellow kid who wants to be loved. You continue to be so mild mannered that some days I wonder where that came from.  Maybe from your paw-paw? Not your daddy and I.   You do big kid things like go with your buddy places without us.  ut yet you are tenative to try anything new.   You are an old soul in your ways that you respond yet you are such a little boy in others. Your physical stature leads most to believe you are school age but we know you are right where you are supposed to be.  You are so kind to others that at times it takes my breath away.

This morning when you woke up you asked me, “Mom even though I am big, could you still stay until I fall asleep?”   And the answer is yes, buddy. Always. I will always be here.

Happy Birthday little man!

I love you to the moon and back.

Mama

kids 124copy.jpglargethumb

 

 all images via the Lewis Sisters Photography, Bloomington, IL 

 

Yours and Mine

This is our life

These are our days

This is us trying to find our way

Tthis is the love

This is the dream

This is us learning how to be who we are, who we are

Cause this is our life

I am currently flying at 35,000 feet after a series of delays on my return flight to Chicago.  The air is choppy and we are bouncing all over the place.  The sun is out which I haven’t seen since I left my home Thursday night.  The frustration of not leaving D.C. on time today has made me twitchy because I am impatient and there is nothing I want more than to tuck my babies in to bed tonight.  I know my husband’s tank is empty because every time before this trip, I have been the one home by myself.  It is exhausting and rewarding but it makes you appreciate marriage and co-parenting so much more.

I spent the past almost 48 hours snuggling a newborn and the quiet time with her gave me a lot of time to just be and talk with my sister in law instead of the chaos that I call my life right now.  I swear there is some secret society you join when you have a kid.  My SIL and I laughed until I cried about things, talked about tough stuff and spent the day just being together.   I even bought a rug.    I can honestly say I love her ,more than before and the mother she has become.  And she and my brother are pros at parenting.

This is our life

These are our friends

This is our family that grows and dance

This is our chance

This is our time

This is us making things to somehow leave behind

Wwhat will we leave behind to show

That this is our life

I kept laughing at my brother as he talked to his daughter about her body parts in the bath, told her sarcastically bad jokes when she was fussy and brushed her hair with the smallest brush I have ever seen before bedtime. But honestly, he is good. Damn good at being a dad and that makes me smile.  I knew he would be.  He has always had this ease with babies and a quiet calm that is soothing to anyone around him.

My SIL is a mom now. She’s in the club. And there is a softness to her that I don’t think was as obvious before.  Her voice instantly calms her daughter and she is gentle and loving and so easily a mom.

It’s really easy when you are holding a newborn to send a text and tell your husband you want another one.  (Not that I did that…okay maybe I did.)  But, as I am flying high in the sky and looking down I am thinking about how blessed I already I am and content I am in our life.  My family and the life we are creating and living.  I have two kids that I am totally completely in love with.  And a husband that I love more every single day.  I am looking forward to what the future holds.  Disney. Sports. Friends. School.   As our extended family grows, I am acutely aware at the immediate family that is mine.  And I feel so lucky.

Cause i am so thankful

For each moment that we share

Right here is everything i need

I love our life and I love you so much honey

Thank you for loving me

Oh, this is our life

Straight or a mess

These are our memories in progress

This is our work

This is our hope

This is us learning how to cope

And laugh and cry

Cause it’s all yours and mine

This is our life

Lyrics by Mary Beth Maziarz “This Our Life” whcih was our wedding song.

OOTD {Week 8}

Happy Friday Friends!  Yesterday was my Friday. We have a four day weekend for our seniors to visit colleges! How nice is that? So, I hopped a flight last night to Washington, D.C. to visit my brother and sister in law and their new addition Reese. Yes, I am leaving my kids for two nights alone. For the first time ever since they were born.  And I cried when my car service showed up to take me to the airport.  I cried until Brady hugged me for the fourth time and told me he was going to miss me and I was worried he was going to start crying so I pulled it together. I know my kids are in good hands and my sweet husband called me on Facetime right before I got on the plane.

This week was pretty mild again. The temperatures were in the low 70’s every single day and the sunshine was abundant.  This is making dressing tricky.  With the mornings being down right chilly but afternoons being warm I found myself wearing these in between pieces this week.

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I am looking forward to snuggling my niece the next two days and then still having two days with my own two kids! Happy Weekend Friends!

Buds

I’m going to tell you a story about a boy and girl. This boy and this girl met when they were twelve weeks old. They were loved and cared for by a woman who loved them like their own. The took music class together when they were not even a year. Their mamas became fast friends and even share a birthday.

B&B

They separated for awhile at the age of one only to be reunited some six months later at daycare.  They have slept next to each other on cots, played with each for hours on end, chased each other on the playground and had their fair share of tiffs.  They love each other unconditionally like siblings do. They don’t know anything else. They have been together forever. When one is crying the other is quick to console. When one is silly the other follows suit.

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She’s fearless.  He’s timid.

He’s mellow and overly sensitive.  She is full of personality and quick to console.

Today with their friends they celebrated their fourth birthdays together.

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And I stood with her mama and we wondered what the future holds… to Brady and Brooklym Happy Birthday Buds! The best is yet to come but my has it been fun to watch you grow!

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OOTD {Week 7}

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Summer seems to be lingering farther in to fall than it usually does so that means that I am secretly thrilled to still be wearing sandals and dresses and short sleeves! Another five day week in the books and we have a BUSY weekend ahead of us filled with birthday parties, block parties and of course some football! Linking up with OT &ET this week.

learning how to be okay with change. Sometimes, I get so disappointed when something doesn’t go exactly how I want it to and I get insecure and self-conscious wondering if I am good enough and worthy enough and if I did something wrong to deserve change I am not particularly fond of happening. But I am learning that is how I grow and stretch and get to know who I am even more.

growing more confident in me. I have struggled with this for so so long. There you heard me say it. I may come off confident and sure of myself but down deep I struggle with who I am at my core and how much I care about how others do things, what others think of me and being accpeted.  I am finally realizing that as long as I am okay with who I am and that my family loves me that is enough.  At the end of every day, I ask myself am I okay with who I was today and are the people I love.  And as long as that answer is yes or maybe, then I am okay.

buying so much stuff right now! I just ordered a gallery grouping of frames from Etsy that will reside on the wall up our stairs. Our dining room table is in progress. We are waiting on swatches for our dining room chairs. And on top of it, we are buying a new bed. Glenn is a get things done kind of guy and he has had enough of our partially finished house. So, I am taking this attitude on decorating and making some decisions. We have so much we want to do but I keep thinking we can’t have nice things and that holds me back. I am even more excited to tackle the kids’ rooms this spring. I should probably get some pictures of the house up huh since I keep telling you about it.

loving all the new tv that is on. I am really not that in to tv but I have to tell you Homeland, Top Chef and the Amazing Race back all in one week is pretty darn great in my book. Add that to our HBO shows that come back in the winter and we are set.

wishing I could find a way to have a date once a month with each of my kids. Tonight, I took Brady to get his haircut while Cate was in the bath and my heart melted when he told me in the car that he liked me and walking in when he announced sometimes it is nice to not have Cate come with us to the haircut place. I think this is my almost 4 year old reminding his mama that he needs alone time with me. And so does Cate. So, I am going to try to sneak away on date with each of them this month. Maybe for ice cream or a to get a new toy or maybe just an errand. Regardless, I want to have time alone with each of my kids and I think that I can make it happen.

Why I’ll Never Apologize for Taking Family Pictures

kids 037copy.jpglargethumbSaturday morning we woke up to crisp air, brilliant sunshine and the bluest of skies.  We were moving slower than we usually do after spending Friday night with good friends, beer, and food which equaled late bedtimes and extra morning snuggles in bed before we emerged to face the day.

To be honest, I could have stayed in bed all morning.  But I woke up with a sense of urgency and purpose.  We needed to move because we were taking family pictures.  Family pictures.  Those two words, I think, make most people groan, including my own family members.  (Cough, cough Glenn).

Maybe my view on family pictures is extreme. Maybe it is crazy.  But to this day, I will never ever apologize for making my family take these precious pictures.  Family pictures are my snapshot of our life. Personality and people at a moment, one single moment in this wild ride that we call life. I take pictures with my iPhone or my DSLR when I can but family pictures when someone else is intentionally capturing my family is something I will never ever apologize for. Myabe it’s because I am usually the one snapping pictures and rareley end up in them.kids 071copy.jpglargethumbWhen I am sad or frustrated they are the pick me up I need. When I walk through the halls of our home and see family pictures I remember the day, the moments and the stories that come with it.  If I had my dream, I would love to have someone come in our home and take pictures. I would love to have someone capture the daily moments from an entire day that mean so much and together tell a story that I otherwise couldn’t tell.  The little ones. The big ones. And all the ones in between.

This past week my friend’s mother died after quick, cruel battle with cancer. And my colleague got a diagnosis of leukemia.  Two kicks in the a** in one week.  Guess what?   The pictures she has of her mom are her memories.  What she will have to show her own kids.  What she will have to remember her.   And they tell a story.  The pictures are what he probably has hanging in his hospital room as he awaits the treatment and long term news that will shape his family’s future.

So, today I wait for the family pictures we had taken on Saturday. And I stare at the ones I took in August of my two gorgeous kids.  And I think about the story behind each image.  And I never will say I am sorry for having my family take them.

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