7.27.2014

seven

seven years ago today i gained a new identity.  i became 'mommy'.  though she wouldn't call me that for nearly another 12 months, my whole life changed that day and nothing has ever been the same.  i would not say that most of motherhood has come easily to me.  i have so much respect for the role of 'mom' that i often truly feel overwhelmed often by the gravity of the responsibility of it all.  i question my choices, i make mistakes, i ask for forgiveness.  we have fun, we laugh hard, we hold hands. 

and she is the one who started all of this, my lily margaret.  seven years of all of this.  seven years of both of us learning more about ourselves, each other, our world.  i haven't ever met a child like lily.  she is equal parts artist and perfectionist.  her exacting standards for herself are impressive and impossible.  her ideas are inventive.  her friendships are enviable.  her energy is endless.  her art is stunningly original.  her compassion is inspiring.  her love is my muse. 

i am so thankful for my birthday girl.  i love you lily.

seven

seven years ago today i gained a new identity.  i became 'mommy'.  though she wouldn't call me that for nearly another 12 months, my whole life changed that day and nothing has ever been the same.  i would not say that most of motherhood has come easily to me.  i have so much respect for the role of 'mom' that i often truly feel overwhelmed often by the gravity of the responsibility of it all.  i question my choices, i make mistakes, i ask for forgiveness.  we have fun, we laugh hard, we hold hands. 

and she is the one who started all of this, my lily margaret.  seven years of all of this.  seven years of both of us learning more about ourselves, each other, our world.  i haven't ever met a child like lily.  she is equal parts artist and perfectionist.  her exacting standards for herself are impressive and impossible.  her ideas are inventive.  her friendships are enviable.  her energy is endless.  her art is stunningly original.  her compassion is inspiring.  her love is my muse. 

i am so thankful for my birthday girl.  i love you lily.

7.18.2014

review: west elm rochester sleeper sofa

spoiler alert: its terrible.

the rochester sleeper sofa we waited on since may arrived today not only missing a cushion, but the 'bed' pulls out to a mattress that is 10" shorter than a queen. the bed is advertised as a queen pull out. ummmmmm its not. and on top of that the mechanics inside are a HOT MESS and you basically feel like you are going to fall through it and it sways back and forth when you touch it.

the local manager wanted them to send me a new one but i don't want a sofa of this quality. its TERRIBLE.  so they are picking it up today (thankfully) for a full return.  i'm incredibly disappointed as combining our offices and the guest room was one major pain point of downsizing and we still don't have a solution.

so anyway that's my review. stay away. FAR away.

7.11.2014

you are

i learned to love music with a hairbrush in my hand, dancing on the couch, singing at the top of my lungs to my mom's lionel richie albums on the record player.

for the past 10 years my mom and i have called each other every single time our favorite 'you are' is playing anywhere.  i seriously stop in my tracks when it comes over the speakers in the grocery store and dial her up.  it will forever make me think of her hip-shaking side-step dance that she does to pretty much any song written before 1985.

she was a die hard commodores fan long before he was 'lionel' and i may have an
unnatural love for his crooning due to early life indoctrination.  so when my sister called to say his 'greatest hits' tour was coming to austin we immediately bought tickets and surprised her for mother's day.  for the past week my car has been a non stop playing ground for all things lionel- brick house, easy like sunday morning, dancing on the ceiling.  non. stop.
 
the long awaited concert was last night and it did not disappoint.  lionel was f
unny, charming, adorable, and very very sweaty. (hey, its texas in july, what did he expect??)  when about 2 bars of 'you are' played over the speakers i literally screamed and jumped out of my seat and we hugged and swayed and laughed and just drank in the moment.  it was amazing.  and will probably be one of my favorite nights with my sister and my mom that i ever have.

just as i was about to post on facebook about my moment, i had a sharp twinge in my heart.  one of my best friends was mourning 19 years without her mother yesterday.  i was not only overwhelmed in the hilarious wonderfulness of the lionel concert, but by how blessed i am not only to have my mom with me to sing and dance to 'you are' but for every step along the way for the past 36 years.  

i love you mom.




 

5.26.2014

i should rename the blog 'adventures in downsizing'.  our big move is this week! we are reducing our living space by 1100 square feet and have been busy selling furniture and things that (thankfully) just won't fit in the new house.

people's reactions are pretty polarizing.  they either respond positively with something along the lines of "oh wow, that will be so freeing" or they respond on the negative with "are you serious??"  well, YES we are serious!  i know this will not be without its challenges, but we are definitely up for it.

this is of course not to say we won't miss our (not so) little piece of paradise.  i have moments when i want to sit down and have a really long hard cry about leaving but honestly, i just don't have time.  moving 5 people is a full time job.  and i have a full time job already.  and did i mention school's out for summer already??

so we have 6 more days here in our 'country' abode and as we head back to civilization, i'll take lots of pictures of the new space once its up and running.  i'm truly thrilled about our new neighborhood and the people we are going to be living life with at our new address.

5.16.2014

reno

i've been watching hgtv long enough that i've convinced myself i can throw around phrases like 'reno' and 'demo' when referring to the house and sound legit, but let's be honest.  i probably sound like a crazy person.

here is a mini before/after of some of the drywall changes happening this week and after today there will be no more tile or carpet in the house (save the girls' bedrooms since they loooooove carpet and it does make a small room feel much more cozy).

i wish i'd taken 'real' before pictures with a camera that doesn't also make phone calls, but this will have to do!

arches in entry way surrounding a skylight removed, including inset wall arch
(subtopic: architects of the 90s.  wtf)

before/after of the arch madness

5.13.2014

dear annie,

when i tell you pacifiers are not allowed outside your room, please don't think you're fooling me when you walk around with your hands covering the bottom half of your face.  or when you hold your blanket lovey in a ball with something clearly inside.  or when you have a suspicious lump in your leggings.

signed,
not born yesterday

4.30.2014

moving on up

i had planned to post a LINK to our home for sale here to boost the possibility of a quick sale, but the austin market didn't need me to help find a buyer one bit.  if you live elsewhere in the world it might not be on your radar, but with our small town having on average 150 new people moving to it on the daily, the real estate market is insanity.

we started to feel the tug to move last summer.  despite having just put in an amazing pool of our design and loving having friends over to enjoy it almost daily, we still felt living in our current home left us with a feeling of lacking community.  those in big cities might not really understand how much of a difference 5-10 miles can make in austin (and especially southwest austin) but the stronger the tug felt and the closer we came to the prime selling season we felt it was time to leave.

every person that saw our listing asked me why in the world we were leaving this paradise and to that i really don't have an answer that has satisfied many of the inquirers.  i don't need an answer for anyone else and kevin and i are thankful to be 100% on the same page as far as leaving is concerned.  for some reason 'being closer to family' and 'closer to downtown' or 'we miss living in community' doesn't seem to convince anyone else we should be leaving.  i am going to miss this house.  i will likely never live in another one like it and i will miss just a million things about it.  in the end, it is just a house.

so where are we going?  well we aren't leaving austin (never, silly).  we are simply moving about 8 miles away, still in southwest austin in a neighborhood where my sister's family and several friends live. after much gnashing of teeth and worry and prayers for peace, i resigned to needing to get an apartment for the summer while we continued to home search (which in austin is more like stalking then pouncing and hoping your offer beats the other 5-10 they get the day the house hits the market).

and then our offer was chosen.  the first offer we put in on any home was selected.  for a house on my sister's street.  5 houses away from a family member!  that was one of those days when you don't have to convince me that God delights in the details of our lives.

wanting this to be a smooth transition for my girls, i already signed them up to be on the new neighborhood's swim team.  we are just two days into practice and standing yesterday watching the girls chatting with other 5-6 year old neighbors made me so happy.  i was able to talk to no less than 5 amazing women that i am thrilled to have in closer proximity of my life.  annie was able to play with her little cousins on the playground during practice.

sometimes it seems to good to be true.  i know its going to be a painful transition in some ways (goodbye yard, pool, and about 1200 sq feet!!!) but we are hoping the reward far outweighs those growing pains.  we are looking forward to our move in less than 6 weeks!

3.17.2014

taps microphone

is this thing still on???  

i find it fitting that my last post over 6 months ago was about deciding to do a hybrid homeschool because that illustrates basically what life has been since september.  family, school, church, work.  repeat.

i wouldn't change a single thing about it.  it has been so rewarding to be an active part of lily's kindergarten year and we have decided to hang in there for another year.  so we will have 1st grade for lily and eve will be in kinder!  i can hardly believe it.  it will be a whole new challenge to homeschool two at the same time, so don't expect me to be on here any more frequently :)

in the absence of posting here i have a myriad of thoughts and half written posts swimming around in my head but just lack the time to pound them out on the keyboard.  i do miss writing and the record that the blog provides through the years.

i photographed a wedding saturday about an hour and a half away from home at a ranch, about 25 minutes down country roads from the nearest highway.  at 11pm on a country road, nearly half an hour from the nearest light post, do you know how dark it is? 

dark.  i mean creepy sea of black, can't see anything very far ahead even with your brights on, and did i mention it was foggy?  it was. 

i am now and have always been terrified of the dark.  there is something so all encompassing about darkness that i can't get over.  i know intellectually that i'm fine and i'm safe, but that means next to nothing when everything around me is black.  i freak.

the morning after that drive i sat in church hearing the song lyrics 'your name is a light in the darkness, oh your name is a word of truth.' and despite having heard about 'the light' my entire life, it really washed over me how hopeless darkness feels.  how lonely.  scary.  uncertain.  and it just takes one light (or if you're me, the brights and interior lights) to break through all of it and change the whole game. 

i'm thankful today and always for the light.  and i hope to pop in here more often than i have been.