Saturday, January 31, 2015


I wrote this post pre-move. I FINALLY finished a book with these pictures and the intended party has received it. I'll just go with these words instead of typing up new ones:

I was a Brownie for a time when I was little. I don't remember much about it. I can remember some of the crafts, a square seat cushion we made, and the uniform. Really, the only thing that sticks out is the song, "Make new friends, but keep the old; one is silver and the other's gold."

That's been in my head lately.

The boys and I have been talking a lot about the move, obviously. I've tried to ease their my heartache by reminding them, "We never would've met ___________ if we didn't move all the time." Felix replied a few weeks ago, "Yeah...but I'm ready to stop with the friends we have. Can't they just be enough and we stay here?"

Oh, Buddy.

We have some amazing friends all over the country. True, true friends. The kind we can pick right up where we left off, no matter how long it's been. That's a salve that keeps me from going completely basket case sad these days, but I know in my heart of hearts relationships change when you aren't just a few exits down the interstate. I had the thought while editing these pictures...nobody makes Felix smile the way Emily does.

Sometimes you make friends who change you. I'm thankful I have several who have done that throughout my life. Kristine has been that for me for the last eighteen months. She has changed my perspective on things. She cracks me up and lets me vent and offers good advice and counsels me with good godly wisdom. She's as skinny as Olive Oil, but will down cupcakes and sugardy coffee with me. She gets the chaos and complexity of having four kids. She gets me.

I want to curl up with Felix and have a good sob. I don't want to make new friends either. I mean, really, who wants silver when they already have gold?

The irony is that the person who introduced Kristine and I, Sarah? She and I had a sad send off at eleven years old. I remember crying as our car pulled out of the neighborhood and my big sister saying, "It's okay, you'll make new friends." I didn't want new friends then either. Little did I know that that friend I made at ten would wind up giving me an adult best friend twenty years later. And now Sarah and I live in the same state and will hopefully have a grand reunion one day soon.


This may possibly be my favorite shoot ever. It went just exactly how I pictured it in my head(though shorts and Ts would've been preferred to the FRIGID cold). I missed the focus on a few, but the relationships are there. I'll take a blurry picture if I can hear the laughter. I'll be okay with a soft focus if the love is visible. These kids know how to have fun. Even when it's bitterly cold and a  mom with a camera is present. :D

I vote for wedding shots or at LEAST engagement shots to be taken at this very spot in due time. Amongst the crowd of 'em, surely we've got a match in there somewhere!

 Could there be a more maternal move than this?

 All  better. 

 This kid...

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

--Sean said tonight, "Everybody here is so friendly." Um, no. I had a woman be so unfriendly, I thought surely she must hate North Face. Or redheads. Or women? Maybe all humans. The kicker, we were talking about THE SAME WOMAN. It hurts, y'know. I(emphasis added) am the friendly one. I(emphasis added) am the one that thrives on meaningless small talk. I(emphasis added) am the one concerned with making relationships with every store clerk in this county.

--It might have something to do with my voice. Sean called on his way home and thought he'd gotten the wrong number. He said, and I quote, "I thought I'd gotten a trailer park wench." I have a touch of bronchitis; his cracking me up does not help.

--He is altogether charming. Even when he's being an ass, it's hard to not love the guy. Yesterday, he worked all day, came home and made dinner(I was dying, due to the aforementioned bronchitis/death hack). I was already singing his praises when he then decided to take over bedtime duty. He does this thing where he chases Jude around the crib with a stuffed pig, snorting. Jude cackles hysterically and then promptly drifts off. I've tried the same move and Jude stares at me like the woman who hates North Face.

--We have officially lived here a month. It hasn't gotten old yet. We still have a few boxes scattered about. We haven't found a church. And we still have no friends. I tear up almost daily. ;) No, really...

--We are going car shopping soon. It's been a long, long time since we've done that. It's been quite some time since we've had a car payment, too. I'm looking forward to none of the above.

--I've noticed a recent trend on social media. Maybe it's always been and I'm late to the game. Pictures of women fawning over their husbands and then pontificating about how righteous they are because they love their husbands. I just have to say, not everyone is the next THING. You want to be a good wife? Love your husband! We don't need to know that your kid "caught you getting handsy in the pantry and just happened to take a photo of mommy and daddy, hee hee." I don't buy it. Kids might think it's cute to see ma and pa embrace, but not cute enough to grab a phone and take a picture so mom will have it available for her Twitter account. I have those pictures. But they're staged and my kids had to be bribed to take them. Not everyone will get 10,000 followers and be the next what the crap is that lady's name, Church Lady, makes big bucks selling Jesus? Can't think of it, but fill in the blank with any big name with bad hair. What's wrong with being normal? Don't seek out fulfillment from strangers on Facebook, just LOVE YOUR HUSBAND. Why should anybody else care? Want people to notice you? Do your thing and let people notice. Don't force them to notice by posting about how awesome you are on every outlet, every day. It used to be moms using their kids as pawns for more likes; now people are using their husbands. Hey, if your hubby is kickin' it on Instagram & Facebooking with the rest of 'em, go for it. If he finds online validation flattering and it builds him up as a man, awesome. After typing all of that, I've probably done it myself or could have something perceived as such. Just a pet peeve of mine. Would it help if I mention I cuss at my husband from time to time? I love him, but then there's reality...sometimes cuss words are necessary. I'll shut up now and probably come back to delete this eventually. Feel free to cast stones at me for my lack of _______ or too much ______. This wasn't aimed at anyone I know, btw. It was a random picture on Instagram that got me calling, "BS!"

--I'm a guilt tipper. I love going above and beyond when someone is awesome. I tip well even for mediocrity. I tip the minimum when I feel like someone is supposed to be tipped even if they suck at their job. We had two delivery guys set up our washer and dryer. It was a free delivery and the W/D already cost a fortune. Sean got everything rearranged to make the set up easier for the delivery men. Still, I insisted we tip. So we bummed cash off Simon because we never have any and off they went with a nice tip in their pocket. The first dryer run, the laundry room turns into a sauna. Sean had to pull the whole thing out and figure out what was up because it all looked right. Delivery men had only set the hose in the holes, not actually attached them. It looked right, but they knew it wasn't right. It took all of two extra minutes to cinch down the clamps. I thought I'd receive vindication with the phone survey that called after the fact. It was automated and my "3-just okay," got a, "We're glad you had a great experience with our delivery team!" Huh? Next time we have the tip/don't tip debate, Sean may win.

--He's a turkey.
--So are his big brothers. 

--I'm grasping at straws to post anything these days. Ten on Tuesday is about all I can muster...

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Equal parts awesome and aggravating:

two year olds
Country living
Clean eating
church shopping
building furniture
home improvement projects

And that's all I've got.

Friday, January 09, 2015

Lately, we...

We went to an ugly sweater party and said good-bye to our church family. I just gotta say, now that I know what the Church is supposed to be and exactly how it's supposed to function, I won't settle. I miss these people already and I'm so sad for the friendships and relationships and could've beens. 
We packed. The greatest woman in the history of womanhood watched allfourofmychildrentheentireday. 

Felix dressed in all clean clothes, even socks, and brushed his hair and teeth without being asked or threatened. That's big. That's real big.
 We were able to oversee and help out and chat it up with Gary. When I got home from dropping off the kidlets, he was listening to the same sermon I'd been listening to in the car. When it was over, I turned down the radio and asked him to tell me his story. It was such a great way to spend a move. He made something as lame as packing boxes a true joy. 
 We stayed in TLF on WPAFB where Sean relocated my brand new hair dryer and it got left behind. He complained about the fact that I left it resting in the sink. It wasn't plugged in, geez. And now look who's out $40 for a new hairdryer. :)

Loading day was met with much enthusiasm. Enthusiasm by Jude, not by anyone else. 
 We decided to end our time in Dayton with an exclamation mark. AFTER our final walk through with our homeowner, we went for Steak & Shake + Scene 75 for the big kids and dads; cupcakes and coffee for the moms and two little kids. 

 And a 12 person selfie to round out the night. I'm so glad we chose to say our goodbyes in a public place. I don't think my ticker could've taken it any other way. 

We drove and puked(see previous post) and celebrated graduations and birthdays, we fell headlong into Christmas prep. With a few coffee outings sprinkled in, of course. 

 (All of my Christmas pictures are on my big camera.)
We decided to hit the road early and get to our new house. 

 But first, coffee. 
We were chauffeured by this hottie right to the Jamestown ferry.

We spent much, much monies at Target for necessities(WHY are air mattresses so expensive?!? They're glorified pool floats!), & made our way home. 
 We met a neighbor within 24 hours and saw dozens of waterfowl. Within 48, we saw our (yes, I've claimed them. I haven't chosen names for them yet, but soon. Once we get to know them better) pair of bald eagles. Apparently they nest somewhere near our house. 

 We decided to carry on the previous owner's measuring. They marked up the side of the pantry door, so we're going for the innards of the pantry. 

We let the kids' write their own name. I thought it would be fun to see how their writing changes as they grow. 
We painted the entire first floor except for the powder room. I had no idea I'd married such a picky Picasso. 
 We thought perhaps the eggplant colored wall could stay. In the end, no. Eggplant does not compliment anything. It doesn't belong on walls or clothes or shoes or cars. It doesn't belong anywhere...except on eggplant.
 As the movers started slowing down on move in day, we kept saying, "Just put it in the garage." 
We've had much fun cooking and baking in my new kitchen. After the galley kitchen in Dayton, I find myself giddy with space. 
 Another color that doesn't belong on walls? Hunter Green. 

 We've been to Lowe's every single day since we moved here. Luckily, it's <5 miles from our house. It was exciting the first day or two, now I just glaze over and wonder how any woman could ever find joy in such a place. I mean, really. 
We were all still in our pajamas at an embarrassing hour when another neighbor came by. They were the sweetest! I finally returned their sweets bucket with some sweets of my own. We sat and chatted for over an hour. I'm in love. They remind me SO MUCH of our neighbors in Texas. Surrogate grandparents, for sure. Pat and Pete. He knows how to do stained glass and said he'll teach us. They only live here six months out of the year, so I've got plans...

 We've enjoyed settling in, slow going as it seems.

 We've enjoyed hanging out with my brother. He's helped paint and helped fix a plumbing issue. He's joined us for dinner and we've had a time of reconnecting that's been awesome. 

 We've eaten every meal together. Three times a day at the dining room table, all six of us for I don't even know how many days now. It's been good. 

 We've run laps and laps through the house and up and down the stairs. 
We've made awesome discoveries while unpacking.
 We've realized our kids mimic our "Lowe's face." Ok, it's my Lowe's face. I'm pretty sure Sean actually likes Lowes. And I'm mostly joking. I do kinda like Lowes. I mean, I'd rather spend hundreds of dollars on camera equipment or boots or frames or furniture. Instead, we get lightbulbs and plumbing fixtures and wall brackets and lumber and saws. 

 We've spent a good bit of time staring out this window. The eagles seems to fly around dusk, so I try to stay alert as the sun goes down. 
 We've found lots of studs...
 We've hung shelves.
 We've hung pictures. 
 We've made a list of continuing DIY projects. That coffee table was a freebie from our neighbor in OH. It has beautiful scrollwork on the sides, but the stain is blah. 
 We've met at the view time and time again. I really don't think it'll ever get old. 
 We haven't decided how we want to use this space: breakfast nook or gathering place? It doesn't make any sense to have a breakfast bar, breakfast nook, and dining room all in the same area. The previous owner had two love seats and a coffee table here and it looked like a little coffee shop. I want that, but I don't want kids thinking they can eat(climb or jump or wrestle or wipe their faces) on my sofas...
 We've learned that not all projects are successful, but when they are: holla!! Sean made me a 7 foot desk/crafting table. We bought some giant shutters at a church sale in MD. They never served a purpose. I was going to Craigslist them a thousand times and just never did. Sean bought a piece of birch, screwed it to the top of the shutter, stained it, added legs and now I have an awesome table.
 We're starting to think this room will be the one that never gets done. It's a giant bonus room over the garage. It functions as a family room and (will function as a) school room. Sean has installed shelves, and is building another table for a pretty school desk. 
 We are still swimming in a sea small pond of cardboard, but the end is in sight. I may do a whole house post once it's finished, or...if you want to know what our abode looks like, ya may just have to come visit. :)