Tuesday, April 30, 2013

If You Can't Say Anything Nice...

{disclosure: this photo has nothing to do with anything.}

Sunday morning Peyton came to me with a request.

"How about we agree to say nothing but kind words to one another for the entire day?"

(Novel, I know. This idea that married people might actually speak lovingly to one another for a whole day. pfff.)

After giving a few suspicious looks I responded with a hug and a sure, while we both acknowledged that this would be a mental exercise of the best sort.

And oh how it was. There were a few near slips, caught by the other with a warning that this was entering unkind territory. There were a few borderline statements made under the guise of being "the truth." There was probably even extra road rage from the internalization. But overall, if any of these lapses were called out it just became more amusing that we were doing this pitiful exercise and tension decreased.

Should we get gold medals? Umm... of course! I think that's only fair. I'd even take a bronze. I'm pretty sure that's why I agreed to this whole cockimamy idea anyway.

And as for future plans, I think we might have to ease into making it a habit. Don't want to be too hasty you know.

I'm thinking that Peyton's final proclamation - "I wouldn't lie to you, especially on the day I'm trying to be kind!" - showed that we really just need baby steps here.


Monday, April 29, 2013

Blog Every Day in May: A Challenge from Jenni of SOML

Remember back in high school when there was such a thing as free-writing? A prompt was given, you had twenty minutes, a pen, some paper, and your thoughts? Away you'd go at capturing important things in life, freeing the chains that bind your mind. Or something like that. I actually tried to free the chains, which just led to answering questions and then doubting my resolve behind saying that apples are my favorite fruit or that I'd most like to travel to Australia. Something about nailing these items down on paper made me feel like I'd inscribed them in stone, and I am far too finicky to have a favorite of almost anything. So basically, I hated it. And still do. Prompts are not my friend. 
All of this to say- the lovely Jenni from Story of My Life has come up with a blogger challenge: post every single day in the month of May! This challenge is complete with prompts and questions and things to talk about each and every day. All of my absolute favorite things. 
But I'm overcoming my fears and giving it a go friends. Looking those prompts in the face and saying, "HA! I will nail down the color that I like on my nails best and will NOT feel any regrets in doing so!" (Especially since I've learned you have twenty nails in all that can totally rock a rainbow... Gah. I kid! This too makes me quiver.) Jumping in and dusting off this here old brain! Learning how to make decisions that can easily be changed and in the grand scheme of things mean nothing, but mean EVERYTHING when I'm putting them down!
And I'm not knocking this, I'm really not. I think it's a fantastic idea that just scares me a tad too much. So I'm joining in and would love for you to as well! Check out Jenni's post if you're wanting to get in on what all the cool kids are doing. You'll get to meet other writers and bloggers. Plus there's a linkup every day to share our posts with one another. Let's carpe the freakin' diem out of those prompts, how 'bout it??


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Weekly Photos - 48 Weeks

Our baby is growing up. 

About to be one, growing up. 

True to current form, I am sitting here procrastinating instead of making his birthday invitations. Considering it's in two and a half weeks I should probably get on that. But instead, I'm searching through photos and grasping at straws trying to catalogue every last yummy morsel of babyhood. He has a bit more in him, but he's changing fast.

He's standing. 
Like legit, two feet balance, holding-himself-up-for-at-least-twenty-seconds standing. One day he caught the wave for a second or two and literally the next he was exponentially better.

He's crawling. 
No more free swiffer at this abode. Knees and hands, baby, knees and hands. He's my little robot. The crawling of course leads to sitting up and pulling up and rolling around. Basically there are no movements that he hasn't mastered.

He's playing peek-a-boo! 
There's been a love of "where's the baby?!" for the past few weeks, but now he's covering his OWN face. No doubt that this kid's a genius. Pulls the cover up, hears our sheer confusion, and snaps it down just for a quick peek-and-giggle then whips it back up again. He's gotten to doing it with anything he can get his hands on- towel, blankie, my scarf. Early addict on our hands.

His seventh tooth sprouted this week; his feet have got the whole left-right-left-right thing down (as long as there are hands to hold); his belly craves avocado, whole banana, and the bland mush they call cereal; his hands smack out a rhythm on any surface he can get and reach up high over his head when they're happy.

And those same hands gave his first wave today. A little opening and closing of a chubby fist with a big smile to match. He's getting it and the kid simply knows.

Then there's the 'tude. The toddler 'tude. He's got his game down. You'd think we cut off a toe when we take away the pen that he found or the enchanting bottle of deadly pills that he wants to shake. Or when we put him somewhere he doesn't want to be-- ie, on his back in a basket. He knows what he wants, and he knows how to get it.

He loves the cat, and the dogs, and the dogs' water bowl, and the boxes seemingly breeding throughout the house, and basically anything he can get his hands on that's not a toy. He's curious and soaking it in and really starting to get that he's actually one of us.

He's just simply amazing. This whole thing is simply amazing. 

**We missed about seven weeks of these during the whole moving process. I might find some and fill them in later, but for the sweet sake of straw-grasping I seized the now.**

***For past weekly photos, click here for posts and here for just pictures.***


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Breed the Good

There's so much swarming around in my head right now. Posts have been flying in and out over the past few weeks-- on moving, on selling, on babies turning into trouble-making toddlers, on finding ways to procrastinate from unpacking-- and then Monday happened.

I'm a runner. I haven't run in the past two years or so, but it's an ingrained part of who I am. I miss it, I crave it, but my body doesn't always like to do it. And it especially doesn't like to jump right in when it needs gradual increases in mileage. I, on the other hand, have no patience for such things and, ankles and knees be damned, will just run. Hence the two year break. My body and I are working on negotiations at the moment.

Anyway, I'm a runner. I finished a marathon at a snail's pace back in 2007 and have run numerous small races since. I love races. I mean, love, love them. If you haven't attended one, do it. It is the epitome of positivity. The runners, the fans, the cheers and high fives all take me to a place of such euphoria. Whether I run or not, I get that high. It's a display of the human spirit, of what unites us, and how persevering can get you places. People cheering others on, runners raising money to help the sick, volunteers handing out hundreds of waters to help fulfill dreams. Words can't do the beauty involved justice.

For someone to try to poison such a joyous event, a coming together of passion and focus and positivity and humans from all walks of life, is simply disgusting. I'm sure anyone who has been on social media has seen the abundance of pictures and quotes on the runner's spirit. And they are just so true. If this person, or people, think their actions will somehow quash this power, they are wrong. Runners overcome. They dig deep. They support one another and figure out ways to make it happen. They've hit a target that not only won't be tainted, they will be burgeoned by the cowardless actions and regroup stronger.

In all the sadness and fear and wondering "why?" I'm choosing to see the good. The countless people who came out to help-- from donating blood to running into the carnage rather than away to hosting people at their homes to buying someone pizza from across the country. There is so much good in this world.

I think there will always be evil happenings. But I also hope that the good only grows stronger, because to me that's the only option. Don't let the evil win. Don't walk around in fear, don't close yourself off thinking people are bad, don't give up your passions and love because of someone's scare tactics. That's what they want. And while building the good higher, into the light, might add fuel, it also will breed more good.

My thoughts and love go out to all those affected in Boston. You are all so loved. 


Thursday, April 11, 2013

His First Nursery

Peyton came upon me in Declan's room a few weeks ago, not packing as would be useful for the then impending move, but reorganizing and cleaning what already was. What seemed silly to him- spending time "doing" what will then just be undone-- actually had a purpose: document our nursery.

A year ago I wrote this post, talking about how unprepared we were for Dex's arrival and how I hoped to reveal the project that held Peyton's sweat and tears elbow grease (Peyton informed me that he didn't cry even ONCE) for the week before in the coming days. Then some time passed, I had a baby, and the room was never perfect. So I never shared it. Because, you know, I had a baby.

But here I am, packing up my little man's first nursery, and needing to remember it. To encapsulate it for the years ahead when I can't believe he ever inhabited such a place of sugar and innocence. And that means taking it in its unfinished, imperfect self. This room holds our memories- the countless "boos" (oh yeah, he's saying his first word. and it's, ahem..."book". my little smarty pants.), the lullabies hanging sweetly in the air, the smells of sweet baby skin and cuddles of a boy who keeps on growing. It's sacred ground and thus needs to be honored. 

So here it is, pulled carpet and all, for your viewing (and my remembering) pleasure. 


Let's start with some "before" shots.

Pretty glorious, no? I still can't believe how long we lived with that room like that. In my defense, it always begged to be a nursery, but since there was nothing to nurse, we kept it as-is. Just made the following transformation that much sweeter.

We toiled and painted and cleaned and shopped, shopped, shopped, until we created a haven for our boy.  

{we added some cheerful yellow into white ikea shelves}

{diy dream sign}
{yellow bins: ikea}
{bedding: annette tatum little house collection // white w/ green skirt: serena & lily}
{sailboat mobile: spectacular gift from fab.com... we luuurve it}
{curtains: ikea}
{letters: anthropologie // diy banner made for baltimore baby shower}

{dresser: originally peyton's grandfather's (shown in 3rd "before" pic above). p used it as a child so we continued the tradition and updated with paint}

{rocking chair: thrifted. i love the fanciful curves and old wood}
{gift from my sweet cousins natalie and don}
{rabbit music box given to peyton to announce our first pregnancy}

It feels good to remember that we didn't ALWAYS live out of boxes.

**Just realized I still haven't said what the project Peyton did was. whoooops
I'll try to be back with that one soon!**

>> Linking up with Liz Marie's Inspire Me Please Linky Party!! <<


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Stuff and Stuff

The other day I wished someone a good weekend. Then I hung up the phone and heard Peyton chime up: "Christina. It's eight a.m... on Tuesday morning."

Proof that the past few weeks have been a mind-melding whirlwind of activity.

Landscaping, painting, window washing, pressure washing, packing*- all after two weeks of SXSW and company. We're ALIVE, and to top that off I'm typing in the slick new abode, but we aren't even close to the end.

*Full disclosure: All of these have occurred, even if they were not occurring through our personal hands. We called brother and said screw you DIYness.*

About three weeks ago we almost lost this house (which of course took me back to this post's title.)

Three days before closing our lender pulled out. Luckily we have an amazing realtor and local lender who joined forces and made it happen, held the deal together, and got funding in about 2.5 weeks. But along the way were a few bumps, such as tax documents needing to be sent over but the fraudulent one someone filed for Peyton being sent instead, thus resulting in HOURS communicating with the IRS on the phone and in person. Or the fact that our new house's mail carrier who had been working on our street for 10+ years was rerouted 2 days after we met her, thus causing all our mail to be returned to sender instead of held in her safety. Domino effect to when the underwriters wanted our new credit card info but we couldn't supply it because we didn't think it had been sent and found all of the above info out.

I'm not complaining though, really. By the end it was comical and I'm documenting it so down the road we can relive the joy of what was looking so easy. (I think any time I encounter the thought "this is SO easy" there need to be red blinkers and screaming sounds warning me to STOP THOSE THOUGHTS.)

And then there's the issue of stuff.

{exhibit a} 

We "moved" on Sunday. Why the ""? Because it is ne-ver-en-ding. There is still stuff oozing out of the cracks. Stuff that just keeps needing to be packed up and shuttled over. Small stuff and big stuff and stuff we don't need and stuff we can't get rid of.

Our old house is being held hostage by said stuff for a little longer, giving us another week of prep time before listing. Then I like to think the stress will be over, but even while typing this laugh at myself. All that STUFF that we moved over here?? Still needs to be taken out of its disorganized box and put away into an unknown spot. We have less storage, and my mind can't fathom picking and choosing through what we need and don't yet again. So forgive us if you visit two years from now and are sitting on unpacked boxes. That simply means the stuff won.

{exhibit b... along with a kitchen sneak peek}
So this was just my wordy heads up that we are alive and well. Declan has made it through masterfully- overcoming missed naps, possible feedings (whoooops), and lack of parental guidance. The dogs come today, we slept here last night, and it has and will all get done. I've missed the internet and my blogs and my time a lot, but right now the stuff must be conquered.

Dang stuff. If only I could find that book on minimalism* in all this stuff...

*Disclosure: I sat trying to remember this word for about five minutes before looking it up. Either that says I am so not ready, or far overdue. hmm...*

Happy weekend folks! ;)