12/ 09/ 2019
Moving is hard.
It was a lot harder than I thought it would be.
We brought each of our babies home to that house on Yale. We spent five Valentine’s eating grocery store sushi on the living room floor, trying to keep our voices down as we laughed about eating grocery store sushi while the kids slept in the room next door.
We ate our first meal – Reese’s Cup cereal – sitting under the doorway to the kitchen. The travertine was cold on my legs. I wiped up milk as soon as it spilled, wanting to keep the floors as clean as possible.
We were home.
Two weeks later, I did the dishes while you pounded nails into the wall. Elton blasted from the speakers and your lungs. “DON’T LET THE SUUUUN GO DOWN ON MEEE.” I couldn’t help but laugh. It was such a simple thing. Blasting music and intentionally ruining pristine walls to hang our thrifted artwork. These small actions felt so big because doing them meant we weren’t shuffling around the right basement apartment of that pink quadplex. Blasting music and making holes could only mean one thing.
We were home.
December 2013. December 2014. December 2015. August 2018.
The first night we brought each baby home we slept restlessly with the lights on to keep a close watch. It didn’t matter if it was our first or fourth. That first night was always exciting and stressful. We walked crying babies in circles around the living room, warmed bottles in the microwave, and changed diapers at the foot of our bed. We scrubbed dried yogurt and chiseled dried macaroni off the kitchen floors. We woke up more than once with elbows in our backs, hands over our faces and children sprawled like starfish across our bed.
We were home.
I lost and found myself multiple times in those walls. I discovered new hobbies and fell in love with old ones. I often worried I was losing myself in motherhood. Losing my identity, my spunk, my drive. But time and time again I realized I never lost myself. Brissa was always there, she just changed a little. With each year and each child and each trial, I discovered new things about myself. I was stronger than I thought, braver than I dreamed, and more capable than I imagined. Motherhood wasn’t stealing my identity, it was helping me discover strengths I didn’t know I had. Motherhood reminded me of the woman I was and the woman I wanted to be.
I was home.
Life has a way of going on no matter how badly you wish time would freeze. We grew in size, in age, and in number. But most importantly, our hearts grew in a way that told us our time at that little house on Yale was coming to a close. That’s truly been the hardest part of all. One day we just knew (without a real reason other than the feeling in our hearts) we had grown as much as we could within those walls and it was time to go.
You know when you meet someone and from the beginning you know it was meant to be? That’s how this house has been. We needed each other. We were waiting for each other. It was always supposed to be us and it was always supposed to be here. While the number outside is different, I know somethings will stay the same. We’ll spend our Valentine’s eating strip mall sushi on the living room floor, trying our best to keep our voices down as we laugh about how we graduated from grocery store sushi to strip mall sushi while the kids sleep in the room next door.
We are home.
04/ 28/ 2019
There’s so many things I want to say and write to remember that it’s overwhelming at times. Right now, life is good. Don’t get me wrong, it’s hard. Like, so hard in the depression department, but I feel loved and heard and seen and it’s helping me along.
Cory and I went to Seattle a few weeks ago and it was the best four days ever. We got to hang out on the Amazon campus, eat their food, talk to their peeps and sneak peeks in their employee kitchen cupboards (they like hot chocolate but not as much as they like black tea).
I need to download all of our footage so I can make a little video to remember all the bits of goodness from that week, but for now, I’ll leave you with this. Proof we were MFEO and proof we are truly natural models blessed from above with the gift of ALWAYS being ready for the shot.
Also, can I get an AMEN for my Amazon raincoat? I almost bought an olive green one, but my heart is technicolor and if there’s one thing I’ve learned from almost thirty years of living, it’s that life is better when I push everything else (mostly neutral colors I’m “supposed” to love) out the door and follow my Lisa Frank heart.
I stood out like a sore thumb, but YOU KNOW WHAT??!?!?!!!! all we had to do was message each Uber/Lyft driver “yellow coat” and they knew right where to find us. So, HAH!
This is the part where I “have” (?) to tell you my raincoat link is an affiliate link. Which means I get like seven pennies* if you decide to buy my coat using my link so we can be twins. Use it or don’t, it’s up to you. I will tell you that while the coat protected me from rain, it made me a little sweaty while I was hiking up Capital Hill to get a mediocre burger from Dick’s. That’s the last time my sweaty bangs and I trust Macklemore’s opinion on burgers.
And, yes, I DID walk up to a drive-in burger joint and order my meal looking like that. Despite what you might think, it wasn’t the strange looks I got traipsing around Seattle looking like the tambourine player in an 80s hair band that inspired me to grow out my bangs this summer. It was all the natural hairspray (some people call it sweat) I created with my own body that made my realize bangs + summer = forehead sweat. And LISTEN TO ME PEOPLE, forehead sweat is up there with underboob and pregnant underbelly sweat as the worst of all the sweats. Truuuuust me.
P.S. I don’t know if you know this about me, but making those 2×2 zoom in collages of friends/family/myself is one of my favorite things in the world. Like, truly. So many hours of genuine ROFL laughter because of those gems. Good times, man.
02/ 07/ 2019
What’s the word on getting a cup of hot chocolate big enough to allow an adult human to sit inside it. I’m just so dang cold. I understand that swimming in a cup of cocoa would get sticky over time, but it sounds so luxurious. Bobbing around with the marshmallows and just loooving life.
How long do we have to wait for robot maids to be a common thing? I just want Rosie from the Jetsons to come clean my house, make my meals and bring me food when I’m not feeling well. But Jude did just bring me a bag of Wheat Thins, so I’m almost there.
LOL to my face recognition software for not recognizing me with bangs. Like, new face, who dis?
Baking in a tent is the most addicting and inspiring show. I have it in my heart that I can be a world class baker. I just need to bake. I’d also like to have Ruby’s hair please and thank you! Also, does anyone else’s heart break when Paul and Mary just tear into those desserts and mash them with their forks and then leave them for dead? So much deliciousness wasted!
As much as I love Wheat Thins, I could really go for some Triscuits and a block of cheddar cheese. Think if I say Wheat Thins one more time they’ll sponsor this post?
There, aren’t you glad you didn’t ask what I was thinking?
I know I am.
02/ 05/ 2019
As I drove home from a meeting with some ladies from church, I yelled,
I know many a man who isn’t a fan of the front fringe,
but man alive, do my sisters love a good eyebrow curtain.
Viva le bangs!
Viva le sisterhood!
Viva le Seinfeld!
(Unrelated but still true.)
02/ 04/ 2019
After her bath on Friday, I watched Millie as she kicked and cooed on the changing table. She kept looking at me and smiling. I counted her thigh rolls and tickled her belly as I slathered her in baby lotion. Before I did the last button on her onesie, I realized something. On the 26th of this month, she’ll be six months old. She was only a few weeks away from being halfway through her first year.
It hit me like a brick. Like a big weight on my chest. It hit me so hard because I know the next six months goes by so much faster than the first six months and the first six already go by so fast.
When Millie was born, Cory’s mom bought her an adorable pair of gray footie pajamas with cream bumble bees. I held it up in shock that a 3-6 month size was so big. “Oh lands, she’s never going to fit into this!” The first time I went to put it on her I was sure she would be swimming in it – she wasn’t. It fit like a custom piece and broke my heart.
A few weeks ago Cory picked Jude up and held her like a baby. He cradled her head in the crook of his arm and swayed her back and forth. Her legs stretched out long and straight and I looked down as I cradled Millie in my arms and started to cry. It wasn’t long ago that Jude was the baby in my arms and it won’t be long before Millie is the kid in Cory’s.
I’m so grateful for the chances I have had to carry these babies in my heart, in my body and in my arms. I love watching them grow and develop personalities and quirks. I love raising them and teaching them and helping them become good people. I love everything about motherhood. I just wish it didn’t have to fly by so quickly. They’re only this little for a fraction of time. It’s like I blinked and went from a newlywed to a mother of four overnight. I’m too scared to blink again because I know another five years will have gone by and we’ll be on the brink of braces and puberty and angst.
So I’m trying to slow down and soak it all in. I hold Millie a little longer after she’s fallen asleep. I study her face and memorize her breathing. I listen and look at my kids when they talk. I don’t want to forget the way their faces light up when they tell a story. Or the way they hold their hands when emphasizing a point. I watch them while they eat breakfast and notice how they sit: flat on their bottom, perched on their knees, or atop crossed ankles. I can’t make time stop. I can’t force it to slow down, and as much as I wish I could, I know I wouldn’t. It’s good for them to grow. It’s good for me to grow. So instead of freezing time and mourning the past, I’m going to do everything I can in my power to enjoy the present. To commit these days and these moments to memory, to write them in my heart and etch them in my mind.
These are the days, covered in mashed potato kisses and formula burps.
These are our days.
02/ 01/ 2019
Isn’t there a saying about not making big decisions (or any decisions, really) when you’re feeling rash? It’s the cousin of the rule that one should never grocery shop when hungry and the bff of Billy Joel’s advice to never argue with a crazy mind. Here, let’s ask google.
Eh. Not quite what I was looking for, but the idea is the same. You should never, ever, ever make a decision when you’re not quite yourself. Wait! I just remembered. You should never make a decision when you’re drunk. That’s it. But I’ve never been drunk and I wasn’t drunk this morning, but boy howdy did I make a decision.
Do you ever wake up feeling impulsive? Do you ever have this overwhelming urge to do something crazy? Something that doesn’t seem big to others but is big to you? Something you’ve talked about and mulled over and discussed with others then talked yourself out of? That was me today. I don’t know if it’s cabin fever from being trapped in the house all week with a sick baby, a sick husband and a choir of coughing children, but I woke up today and felt like I was on a TV-Y7 version of Snapped.
After some quick googling, watching half a YouTube video and spam texting my sister with no replies, I decided to throw caution to the wind and listen to the adrenaline-hyped butterflies in my stomach. I was going to stop talking about doing something and actually do it.
I blasted Woman by Ke$ha, brushed out a triangle at the top of my head and grabbed my scissors. I trust your intelligence enough to know where this is going, but just in case you got hung up on the triangle hair bit, let me tell you.
They’re choppy and crooked and I am 100% going to my stylist tomorrow so she can even me out and add some layers, but I am living for the front fringe. I was worried I’d regret cutting them, but with each snip I felt more alive. I realize I could have just scheduled an appointment and got them done “right” the first time, but I think deep down I knew I needed them to happen this way. If my bangs weren’t born from impulse, I don’t think they’d have been born at all. (It’s totally normal to talk about hair like a child, right?)
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who helped me along this journey.
HAPPY FRIDAY, FAM.
01/ 31/ 2019
I feel like this “find something good and write every day” project has turned into the Millie show, but who am I to deny my brand?
I don’t want to jinx myself, but Millie can officially handle drinking from a bottle again! All she needed was a full belly and more sleep than she knew what to do with. She’s holding on to her cough, but her smiles are back and it’s just so good. Man, I love that rascal so much.
Today I taught Jude, Ezra and Zeke colors in Spanish and they ran around the house finding items in the colors I called out. Then they decided to build a sheriff town with their “sticky blocks.” Which I know sounds adorable, but it gets even better after I tell you they all used their best southern accents when describing “Sheriffsville.”
I think I might be getting sick, but honestly, that means I’ll just get to binge Great News all day while the kids add on to Sheriffsville and build a couple of mansions for Jude’s Calico Critters. I never thought I’d say this, but bring on the cold, mother nature! Bring. It. On.
01/ 30/ 2019
It’s day five of this nasty virus and Millie is still sick, still sad, and still smiling.
I took her to the doctor again today because she wasn’t improving. She is so congested and has so much mucus that she chokes every time I try to feed her. The doctor was surprised her RSV test came back negative because just by looking at her, he knew that’s what she had.
When I mentioned the struggle at every feeding, he suggested spoon-feeding her by using a medicine dropper. PRAISE BE MEDICAL SCHOOL AND GENIUS DOCTORS. It took nearly an hour, but that little nugget ate three ounces at once for the first time in days.
It was somewhere between the 23rd and 27th dropper full of formula that I realized how grateful I was to be feeding her this way. Yes it took forever, but I talked and she cooed and we smiled at each other and she ATE! It felt like a miracle. Using that little 2mL medicine dropper that literally lets down one drop at a time saved the day. My baby girl is now sleeping soundly with a full belly.
Funny, isn’t it? How quickly we realize we rely on the constants in our life when they stop coming so easily. Millie guzzles five ounces like it’s nothing and now I’m thrilled if she can handle two ounces in at a time. I’m so grateful for the chance I had to sit on the floor and feed her one dropper at a time. I’m grateful because it reminded me to focus more on the steady things in my life and appreciate them for the daily miracles they are.
01/ 29/ 2019
Millie is sick. Like so sadly sick. Her little eyes are red and her cough is scratchy and her appetite is small. I took her to Instacare late Sunday night because I was getting flashbacks to when three-month old Ezra was hospitalized with RSV. Thankfully both her flu and RSV tests came back negative. Unfortunately that means she’s stuck with a nasty virus and no answers or help other than snuggles, Tylenol and Frida: The Boogie Sucker.
Because of her nasty cold, the kids and I have spent a lot of time snuggled on the couch today. I don’t say snuggled to sound cute, I literally mean snug as a bug in a rug. I sit in the middle with Mills on my lap and the boys sit on either side of me wigging in to get as much space as possible while claiming I’m taking up too much room. It’s cozy and warm and great.
Along with all the blanket nesting we’re doing, we’re also watching our fair share of Baking in a Tent. For those of you not in the know, that’s what we call The Great British Baking Show. You see, I can’t really watch my shows with the kids around. The last thing I want to do is explain why one man is dating thirty women. (I’ve only seen one episode of The Bachelor and remain uncommitted unless social interaction is involved, but you get the idea). Similarly, I don’t really want to spend an undisclosed amount of time watching Blues Clues or Story Bots or PJ Masks. Clever as their theme songs may be.
Baking in a tent is the best compromise. It’s appropriate and clean and exciting for all parties involved. The other day Jude looked at me and said, “I wish I could be…”
before she finished, I smiled and thought, ‘Oh my goodness!!! I’m such a good mom! Watching this show has made her want to be a star baker! AH! My daughter! THE BAKER!!!!’
“one of those people who tastes all that food. What are they called?”
“Yeah, I wish I could be a judge, mama.”
‘My daughter! THE JUDGE!!!’
Oh to be so young and already have life figured out.
In other news, watching this show makes me think I can bake the perfect macaron. I mean, if Glenn can do it, so can I. Right? He just makes it look so easy!
01/ 28/ 2019
During the last few weeks of December I felt the need to document the good parts of everyday. I had the idea to make videos or write posts to help me remember to look for the good. While I’ve been filming little bits of my days, I’ve mostly been documenting quick highlights in my bullet journal. (Yeah, I’m back on the bujo train and while it’s WORK, I loooooove it.)
Today as I went through the tutorial for my writing software (!!!) I got overwhelmed. I let the tabs and features and layout get the better of me. I’m really excited to understand and use my software, but I should probably take it in doses instead of a giant binge that tears me down. Instead of crying, I took a breath and leaned back. All I really need to write is a blank screen or page or napkin or scrap paper or margin or hand. It doesn’t matter where I write as long as I do it.
That being said, I think I’m going to try to combine my desire to look for and take the best bits of each day with my want to write more. I guess that means I’m going to write a lil’ sumthin-sumthin here every day.
Oh lands, I wish you could see me now.
Whhhy does committing to and declaring a goal raise my stress levels so much?
It’s my fear of failure. Thhhaaat’s why. Because if I tell you (hi mom) that I’m going to write every day and then I don’t write every day you will know I didn’t do something I said I would do and therefore I failed.
Why do our brains do that? Why do they make failure out to be the worst thing in the world? How many things haven’t I tried for fear of failure? I hope not many, but I honestly don’t know. I’m not afraid to try things as much as I’m afraid of people knowing I’m going to try things. Which is also confusing because generally speaking, I love you but I literally do. not. care. what you think of me. I realize that sounds contradictory to what I’m saying, but hear me out! If I’m the only person who knows I tried something and failed, then it’s a lot easier to pretend like it never happened. I think admitting failure to others is really what gets me. Because in admitting failure to others, I’m forced to acknowledge it myself.
Since this year is all about taking the best, I’m going to share. Failure or not, the fact I’m writing again is tops in my book. There are so many nit-picky things that almost held me back. Not starting on January 01 was one of the biggest. lol. There are so many things we allow in our lives to keep us from going where we want to. I want writing to be fun for me again. I want it to be a flash from my half&half past, where I couldn’t wait to get on my laptop and write.
I really want to say I’m doing the dang thing but I’m still haunted from those Bachelorette promos from Becca’s season.
Here’s to 12-month periods instead of calendar years and showing that calendar who’s really the boss.
Hint: it’s me
(awww crap, it’s happening.)