Tuesday, July 28, 2015

11 months

here is a quick photo dump of adele's 11 month photo shoot. i pared down significantly, but she's just so cute i couldn't cut out any more of them!

our sweet girl is growing like a weed. she's eating a lot more foods now, and likes getting into and onto as many things as she can. she loves standing, but hasn't tried the whole walking thing yet. we think it's because she's a pretty fast crawler, and doesn't want to be slowed down. we're probably wrong, but that's our assessment.

she puts everything in her mouth, and gets rather upset when i take something back out of her mouth. you know, like candle wax - that stuff is yummy.

she also enjoys putting small things into bowls, cups, or buckets, and shaking them around. she loves music, and usually dances when she hears anything with a beat.

and she is a definite daddy's girl. daddy makes her light up when he walks into the room. unless she's hungry, she usually prefers him.

she's a pretty big fan of her big brother too. he can distract her like no one else. when she sees keane in the morning she smiles and gets super excited and starts "talking" and moving her arms around. it's very sweet.

anyway, here's our 11 month nugget:

as you can see adele did not want to leave her sticker on her shirt. and this time around keane was helping me get her to smile, so he had to get his picture taken at the end - and he wanted a sticker too. 

in the last photo he had just said to her "i love you baby sister." so of course, that one is my favorite of the two of them. 


Monday, July 27, 2015

adventures in parenting: potty-training

i'm not sure why i'm writing this one now, honestly. keane is not potty-trained yet. we started potty-training in earnest on friday. overall he has done fairly well with the whole thing, but he still doesn't get the whole - "i tell mommy or daddy when i have to go potty" thing. we put him on the potty every half hour or so, and he usually goes. but he's not the one that initiates the conversation.

a couple rounds into it on friday he didn't want to try sitting on the potty. he was mad that i paused a show he was watching so he could try to go, and he sat on the potty for about 5 seconds. maybe 15 or 20 minutes later i took adele upstairs to put her down for her morning nap. when i came back downstairs keane was in the kitchen along with a rather large puddle...

his underwear and shorts [the shorts he insisted on wearing. i was going to have him run around in his undies] didn't appear very wet though.

upon further investigation i discovered that he must have done his best to get his undies and shorts out of the way so he could pee in the doorway of the pantry. because clearly that is a better spot than the potty.

i'm not sure why i didn't realize that before.

saturday night he came out of his room when he wasn't supposed to, and after using "poopy" as an excuse to sit on the potty [which he did not do, but peed instead and insisted he was all done] he was taken back to his room. not three minutes later he came out of his room again insisting now that he did have to go stinky poopy.

i made a deal with him that if he didn't actually go we would have to close his door the whole way for the rest of the night instead of leaving it open how we usually do. i also told him it was the very last time he was getting out of his bed.

he agreed to my terms, though he didn't like the idea of leaving his door closed. and lo and behold he actually pooped on the potty. [and then he kept saying "i did have to go poopy!"]

of course yesterday he pooped in his undies about 5 minutes after sitting on the potty. then last night he tried the same tactics coming out of his room to "go poopy", and ended up sitting on the potty for about 20 minutes without pooping. and i ended up going to bed about an hour later than i wanted to after his stalling.

i keep reminding him of daniel tiger's potty song - "if you have to go potty, stop and go right away. flush, and wash, and be on your way." he likes the second sentence, but the first one escapes him when he'd rather eat, or watch a show, or build with his legos, or run laps inside the house, or basically anything that he deems enjoyable.

this morning was the real kicker though. i had already decided i was going to go ahead and go to the gym and the grocery store because peter's coaching season officially starts today, and we needed food. and frankly, i needed a break and a run. as i'm getting ready for the gym the timer goes off. he didn't want to sit on the potty. again. but he sat there for about a minute, maybe two, and then said he didn't have to go.

i'm pretty sure i set the timer for 10 minutes. i continued getting ready for the gym [as adele rapidly got angry with me because she really just wanted to go to sleep], and a few minutes later keane comes running into the room.

i asked if he had to go potty, and he nodded yes.

as i got him on the potty i discovered that he had already peed in his undies some. but his legs were also wet. and then i found the trail. the trail of pee from right next to the dining room table the whole way into our room.

then i put a pull-up on him.

i'm not 100% sure he's ready for this whole thing. or maybe i'm just not ready to be constantly crawling on my hands and knees across the width of two rooms trying to dab urine out of the carpet.

i don't know if it's normal to hate potty-training. i don't know if it's normal to cry, and feel like a terrible parent in the midst of it. i don't know. i kind of hope it is, because otherwise i'll feel even crappier than i do now.

it has been a rough few days. after i told peter about our adventure with the carpet cleaner this morning we decided that it's probably best to not put a ton of pressure on the situation. i don't know if that's actually best or not, but we'll keep plugging away when we're at home, and keep asking when we go out somewhere, but not push it.

because i like my sanity to stay intact. and it has been avoiding me lately.

ah, parenting. sigh.


Sunday, July 26, 2015

progress in the process

you know that song from "finding nemo?" the one that dory sings? "just keep swimming. just keep swimming. just keep swimming, swimming, swimming." [you're quite welcome for getting it stuck in your head, btw] that's what i'm concentrating on right now.

just keep on making progress.

that probably sounds a little grim, but it's not. you see, we're in the middle of redoing our kitchen. originally we were just going to paint over everything that was there before, and take down a few cabinets - replacing them with open shelving. now the project has... changed. and grown just a tad.

ok. so, it all started with our bathroom remodel. [disclaimer: my detail-orientedness will make this a longer explanation than it needs to be. all of you big picture people may want to skim and/or skip ahead to the photos below...]

anyway, we had a drop-down area above both our sinks and our shower. meaning: there was a piece of drywall enclosing about eight inches or so down from the ceiling. over the sinks it was no big deal, but over the shower it made it feel a bit cocoon-like. we thought it was odd, but asked our contractor to tile it so it didn't get nasty from being so close to the shower itself. he also planned to put in a light and fan combination directly over the shower because there was neither there before.

well, when he opened up the drop-down to install the light/fan he found out there was basically one wire running through it, and that was it. so his electrician rewired that one wire [easy-peasy], and they took out the rest, and raised the ceiling over the shower so it's nice and spacious now.

see how the tile goes all the way up to the ceiling?
now imagine if the ceiling was about 8 inches shorter.
bad, right?
very bad.

all that to say, we had the same drop-down things above all of our countertops in the kitchen. and once our contractor found out there was no reason for them in the bathroom peter started wondering about the ones in the kitchen. he opened up a vent, and looked as best he could. then he analyzed the duct work. then he cut a hole in the drop-down. you know where this is going, don't you?

peter took out the drop-downs. completely. and when he did he discovered that whoever wired this house decided to run all the wires through the drop-downs instead of doing it properly. basically, s/he was one lazy son of a gun. so peter has to run the wires differently. and move around some of the duct work.

on the plus side a college student that we know from church came and did a ton of painting while we were gone on our trip to the beach, so while we will still have more painting to do, it looks much better now than it did before.

the photos are dark because i took them early this morning, and there was almost zero natural light. this is where we're at now:

we have a bit left to do.
just a bit.

peter is going to re-wire, and finish adjusting the duct work. then he'll drywall in all the open spaces. we also need to scrape off the popcorn ceiling to make it all match [plus, popcorn ceilings are awful.]

then of course, we'll have to paint the new stuff. and i'm planning on making the sink wall a focal wall using a stencil [too hard to explain the whole thing without pictures]. then we'll build and paint and install the open shelving, and put the cabinets back up on the other side.

oh, but first we have to take care of the countertops. we decided last night to go ahead and replace the countertops while we're doing the rest of it because they were going to need to be replaced in a few years anyway, and color-wise they don't really work. [plus, they're ugly.]

so we'll probably try to do the counters before we do the stenciling/painting/shelving so we don't have to redo that.

and you know, all the little things - touch up and seal the cabinets, put up new moldings, and quite probably - paint the floor. [that last one may not be such a little thing.]

just a bit.
left. to. do.

so. remember that whole "just keep swimming" thing? yes. we'll just keep swimming. we'll just keep plugging along, making progress. because if we make progress, we're not stuck. 

we'll keep moving things along the continuum. 

eventually i'll have a microwave again. and brand new countertops. and a fantastic kitchen that is not covered in drywall dust.

and yes, this whole post should have a giant #firstworldproblems attached to it. i am aware of this. 

and i'm grateful for the process. [or at least i'm trying to be.]


Friday, July 24, 2015

sweat, tears, or the sea

{found via pinterest from pretty little things}

we visited peter's cousin in florida for a few days last weekend, and in those days our kids experienced the ocean for the first time.

friday we took a quick trip to the beach, and saturday we took them out on chris' boat. even though keane was apprehensive at first and adele hated her life jacket they both got used to it fairly quickly, and ended up loving it.

and as they enjoyed the wind and the spray from the ocean on their little faces i thought to myself: remember this. impress it upon your mind. 

impress upon your mind the ocean today: the navy blue inkiness in the depths and the deep aqua green on the sandbar. it almost looks fake - like mouthwash, so pefectly green-blue. impress upon your mind the green-black of the trees in the distance. remember your kids' faces the day they first saw the ocean. remember their delight as their toes touched the water for the first time.

remember how keane insisted upon getting in the water in his soccer shorts even though we weren't planning on swimming that first day. remember how adele's little face lit up when she felt the water and the sand on her toes. remember the comfort keane found when telling him i wouldn't let him go despite the fact that he had on a life jacket.

remember keane lying down on the floor of the boat, and holding on to the captain's chair so he wouldn't have to sit down, or  let me hold him. so he could "do it myself."

remember adele falling asleep while holding a cracker on her daddy's lap, and sleeping through the majority of our drive back to the dock. remember keane sitting between my feet, and slowly sliding against my leg as he fell asleep.

remember sitting in the surf with keane and watching the little fish as the waves washed over our bodies and legs. remember writing numbers in the sand to remind him what they looked like, and his insistence that we also write "papa". remember daddy burying him in the sand - complete with a fish tail. remember taking a walk looking for seashells, and then after he had a bunch, putting them all back.

remember adele's delight with all of it - the sand, the sea, the beach toys. remember the look of joy on her face when she started getting sand everywhere, and how she squirmed to get down when i picked her up. remember how she splashed in the water when she could, and didn't seem very intimidated by the waves.

remember the moment of abandoning my own cares about getting sand everywhere, and simply embracing it. enjoying it with my kids. all of it. even if it meant getting sand on every inch of me, and bringing back with me what felt like a whole beach.

there is something about ocean air that gets inside of you and makes you breathe a little deeper. something about it that fills you up more. there is something about the sea that speaks to your soul. it proclaims God to me. it reminds me of who he is. it reminds me of the grace that washes over me. the grace that keeps coming time and time and tide again.

i've been thinking about a lot lately. we have a lot of things on our plate right now, and our "break" from coaching will be officially over as of monday. and even though our trip stretched us a bit too thin, in some ways, and even though we're still recovering; i needed a breath of ocean air.

it wasn't exactly a break, but it was a reminder. and for that i am thankful.

which cure do you need today? sweat, tears, or the sea?


Monday, July 13, 2015


my daughter is awake. it makes no difference that it's a solid 30 minutes too early for breakfast. it makes no difference that she slept an hour later than normal yesterday. she's awake. 

in moments like these i try to pause. try to be mindful. try to calculate my reaction instead of giving in to the rashness of frustration. i'm still pretty bad at it, but i'm learning. slowly.

i'm learning to pause. to take deep breaths. to look at whatever situation i'm in and try to be thankful for the good, and breathe through the bad. i'm trying to recognize the brevity of these days. these days when i have a baby and a toddler. these days when keane wants nothing more than to hold his baby sister, and take care of her. [granted he also wants to test both the boundaries and her strength by pushing her over, tackling her, and the like.]

i'm learning to pause. i'm learning to watch him for a moment when he asks to go outside and play in the rain. i'm learning to watch him open up his little mouth and try to catch the raindrops on his tongue. 

i'm learning to pause. i'm learning to watch her go after a toy again and again and again no matter how many times i move it.

i'm learning to pause. i'm learning to watch them together. i'm learning to watch her excitement build as she sees her big brother and the hugs and kisses and love they share with each other at this early stage.

i'm learning to pause and enjoy the sweet snuggles of my kids even if they come at inopportune moments.

i know i cannot pause the whole day away. i cannot stop completely very often. just pause. just for a moment. 

just drink it in. 

it's tough to do. tough to be present. tough to pause and notice. it's difficult to be mindful, but it makes such a huge difference.

the older i get [or maybe it's the older my kids get] i realize that we're not getting this time back. if i don't pause and enjoy it then it will simply pass me by. 

no, we cannot in good conscience live only in the moment. but living in the moment is different than living for the moment; and living for the moment is much different than being mindful and present in a moment.

my yoga teacher often reminds us to breathe. to pay attention to our breath. to pause and to notice. and i realize that most of the time i don't read myself, and the cues i'm getting from my own body. what am i tensing up? my face? my neck? what is causing the tension? am i breathing shallowly instead of deeply? 

i often feel so much better when i listen to my own body. when i take a second to pause and to notice.

dreaming is important - it is important to think about and plan for the future. it is important to have goals to work toward. but we can't get lost in what is next. we cannot get lost in the not yet. it makes the here and now much less enjoyable. it lets the here and now pass us by without utilizing it. 

i often think back to my childhood and realize how much of the time i was just waiting for the next thing. and once i got toward the end of college and got engaged i realized that the rest of life is not scripted. it seemed like my whole life was planned out to that point, and after that i felt a little lost for a while. i had worked to get to that point. i had checked all of the boxes. i had done all that i had set out to do. i had constantly looked to the next thing instead of pausing to enjoy where i was.

i think that's what i love about soccer, about running, about yoga. i'm forced to be where i am. i'm forced to pay attention and notice. i have to be all there. the unimportant melts away. the weight of the world disappears from my shoulders, and it's just me and what i'm doing. it's both my escape and my way to process certain things by not thinking about them at all. it's the way i simultaneously get away and stay in the moment.

so today i will try to practice that before, during, and after my run. i will practice pausing and just enjoying where i am and what i'm doing. i will try to breathe deeply and drink it in. 

what helps you pause?


Thursday, July 2, 2015

the truth of the matter

{found via pinterest from attic treasures}

honest to goodness i've been struggling a bit lately with the purpose of my little blog. and, really what the purpose of my life is. and how those two things overlap and intersect. granted that probably sounds a little strange, but it's true nonetheless.

because the purpose of my life, and therefore how i try to live my life, should inform the purpose of everything i do.

when i started blogging i simply wanted an online place to catalog my thoughts, and to share photos and stories with family and friends living in a different part of the country or world. plus, i enjoy writing. and the more i think about it, the more i want to keep some sort of space for such things. a space for free-writing while being open to feedback. i enjoy writing for the sake of it, for the art of it, for the thought behind it, and for what it shows me about myself.

but i also want to do something that matters. right now there are a few people who enjoy my little musings [and plenty who do not], but no one would really miss it much if my posts didn't pop up every now and then.

the truth of the matter is that i want to put something out there that is consistent, and helpful, and that people care about. to that end i've been thinking through a whole bunch of stuff lately, and will hopefully be sharing it with you soon. we're just not quite there yet.

but i know that lately i've been thinking about big things differently than i have before. i've been thinking about this culture that we live in, and how we live in it.

i've been thinking about my relationship with money, and my relationship with stuff, and how my relationship with God should impact them both.

my thoughts get torn in two many times a day because i don't need for anything, but my wants often skyrocket through the roof. study after study after study has shown that stuff doesn't really make us happy. we all know this intellectually, but we still want more of it; because even though we know it we think maybe we're wrong. or maybe it's that we want to be wrong.

i believe in God. i believe that Jesus sacrificed himself for me and redeemed me; yet somehow, despite this belief, i pick apart his word, and chop it into pieces, and keep only what i like. his word outlines a way for me to live differently, but too often i don't. i live the same as everyone around me, and slap a little Jesus on top for good measure. i give him my leftovers instead of my first-fruits.

even as i write this i'm making excuses in my own head about how to get around some of this. because the truth of the matter is that it's hard to live differently. even if it's better than chasing happiness like everyone else around us. it's hard. chasing the fleeting god of our culture is much easier than living the way we're called to live.

i don't think that there is anything wrong with happiness. i do think happiness becomes a problem when we place it on God's throne, and let its pursuit supersede our maker.

the truth of the matter is that i need more grace than i think exists, and yet somehow it's poured out on me again and again and again.

i have such a short memory. i forget far too easily.
and yet, there is grace.


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

10 months

this is just a quick post to say that last week adele turned 10 months old. she's still a tiny little nugget so it doesn't quite seem possible, but her crawling and pulling up on everything remind us of how old she actually is.

i forgot to take her pictures until last night, and she figured out how to get the sticker off of her pajamas so it turned into an exciting photo shoot. 

there's a lot more i've been thinking about lately, but i'll save that for another post [or probably multiple posts, actually].

here's a smile for your tuesday!