Monday, September 23, 2013

walk the walk

^^ These cuties were all born within 4 months of each other! BF4L ;) ^^
^^ Dancing queens! ^^
^^ The "stroller mafia", as we were called crossing the finish line! ^^
^^ I am just in heaven with this 7 months stage! He has been so sweet & happy these last few weeks - that perfect & adorable personality really starting to show through! ^^
^^ She loves her cousin! - Such a good sharer! ^^

Fit One 5k?! CHECK! On Saturday morning we loaded up the babes and headed down to the Capitol building to walk the walk! This was previously kown as the Women's Fitness Walk/Celebration, and Ashley and I did it almost every September growing up! They just changed the name this year and we bumped ourselves over to the family wave where wheels were allowed. Before taking off, there was lots of music and dancing as we waited and then counted down to the start of every wave's take off. I tell 'ya, these girls are the cutest! Watching them interact with each other was a blast! Uriah loves watching big kids play and he was one lucky dude to be surrounded by such beauties all day! Our wave took off last and we enjoyed the walk up Vista Ave with a view of the city, running and weaving our way through the crowd trying to find empty spaces we could all fit! We were called out at the finish line by the announcer as the "stroller mafia" - may have made us a little proud ;) We sat and enjoyed our finish line food while listening to the dj and announcer on stage, before loading up in buses that took us back downtown. I'm happy Ashley and her friends chose to drive up to Boise to do the walk and I'm so grateful she invited me to join in! Can't wait to be spending more time with those sweet girls AND their gorgeous mommas the next 6 weeks in Pocatello!

Friday, September 20, 2013

taking stock 001

Stolen from this blog who stole it from this blog...

Making: memories. 
Cooking: whatever awaits me in my refrigerator. we're leaving in a week and i'm attempting to throw out as little as possible when we do. scrambled eggs for dinner, anyone?
Drinking: chocolate milk, with cookie pieces at the bottom, of course. 
Reading: blogs on blogs on blogs.
Wanting: more time in boise, more time with my husband, more time with a seven month old... more time.
Looking: at pictures of my boys playing in the yard, completely unaware that they are stealing my heart right from my chest. 
Playing: peek-a-boo and patty cake. on the regular.
Wasting: thoughts on comparison.
Sewing: not a thing. though my wish list is a mile long.
Wishing: my husband and babies would be able to know my nana. i think they would really like her. you couldn't help but to. 
Enjoying: having to put a sweater on before going outside. fall, i have been longing for you.
Waiting: for stephen to come biking up our road. uriah in my arms, kicking in excitement, smile on his face... it's the best part of our every day.
Liking: the idea of an easy rotation in pocatello with my family. i'm picturing it quite perfectly...
Wondering: what uriah must think of all this. 
Loving: the deep inhale of breath of excitement that comes just before a big open mouthed smile or giggle. it is amazing how wonderful this world is when seen through the eyes of a baby. 
Hoping: for contentment in the stroller during our saturday morning 5k. i know there's lots of noise and people, sweetie, but momma can't carry you so far.  
Marveling: at this life. i mean, wow. you did good, God. you did good. 
Needing: coffee. warm. preferably pumpkin. 
Smelling: my husband. his t-shirt that fits just perfectly as a night shirt always has just the right amount of stephen scent clinging to the collar. 
Wearing: my hair in a bun. always.
Following: kelle hampton on instagram. her family is beautiful and her view of life is inspiring. 
Noticing: that things aren't always what they seem. 
Knowing: that everything happens for a reason ^^
Thinking: that i've been up for too long to still be in my pajamas, but it's only eight am and technically still pajama time... to change or not to change. 
Feeling: slow.
Bookmarking: baby boy winter coats and swim suits for momma. my mind is in two places at once. 
Opening: a book, to find a note to my sister from her high school boyfriend. thanks for the laugh, alex.
Giggling: over corny pick up lines from my husband. man, do i adore him or what?
Feeling: optimistic. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

let's eat

Shall we?! Welcome to our dining room and kitchen! These rooms are honestly, and sadly, my least favorite rooms in the house. I don't have enough counter space or a dishwasher, both of which I would give up chocolate for (for like, a day). And that awful chandelier is not my taste. But you should have seen it before we moved in! The gray wall at the back of the breakfast nook was green plaid wallpaper and the floor was an old dirty linoleum. So, it could be worse. And I've tried my best to make it home - plastering the fridge with pictures, hanging cards from friends and family (Actually, friend, singular (Erica!) and my mom. What can I say? They have good taste in cards!), and decorating the shelves with wedding memorabilia. So that is where I make the food and that is where we eat it. I guess there's not much else to say! Hope you enjoyed the mini home tour!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

a weekend with Stephen

Is now few and far between. But, boy do we try and take advantage of every minute with that tall drink of water! (If I do say so myself...!) Saturday morning we drove out to Table Rock and walked the trail up to the view point. Wow, right?! It was a beautiful blue, clear morning and you could see for miles... The dry hills behind Boise on one side and the thousands of trees that cover the city on the other. Uriah loves being outside, so we think he enjoyed taking it all in ;) In such wonderful company, under such a beautiful sky, with such an incredible view of God's artwork, you can't help but feel overwhelmed with love and gratefulness. I thanked God profusely on the top of that hill - for one more day, for his beautiful masterpiece, for my family, for this incredible life I have been so blessed with... It was the perfect way to start our weekend!
Though Stephen didn't have to work, he always has to study. So, after our morning adventure we got coffee on our way home, put the little one down for a nap, and as I snuggled up in bed with Pinterest, Stephen got cozy with Qbank. After lunch and playtime we set off for the Hyde Park street fair. We live just a few blocks away from the little shopping/dining district and all weekend there was extra vendors on the streets selling goodies and clothes, concerts in the main square, so many people and pups, and activities going on at Camelsback Park. Uriah was tired and didn't quite know what to think of all the noise and commotion, so it was a quick trip through the park, but I loved the people watching and the snow cone we walked away with :)
On Sunday morning we walked through downtown to a new church (Again! This is the third one we've tried since moving here!), Revolution 22. And, though I've said this before, I think we found our new church home! (Unfortunately, just in time for us to leave for 14 weeks...) It's a small church, which makes it easier for the introverts in Stephen and I to get involved, and we really enjoyed the Pastor's message. We loved our church in Seattle, so we've had a hard time finding something here that compares. But, a couple of weeks ago we ran into an old acquaintance from Corvallis that had attended the same church as us while living there in college. We asked where he was going now and thought that since we both enjoyed Doxology in Corvallis, we might like this one as well. And we were right! So, thanks, Noah!
Straight out of church we walked to a coffee shop for caffeine and brunch, before walking to the zoo in the middle of Julia Daivs Park, just a couple blocks over from our church and a 20 minute walk from our house. We went to the Seattle zoo when Uriah was still just a little babe and he slept through the whole thing. This time, though we were still mostly going for my benefit, he was awake and got to enjoy some of it! He loved the monkey's we saw right when we walked in. He was "ooing" and "cooing" and staring at them in total interest! It was way cute :) They had a beautiful leopard, lions, and tiger (the big cats are always my favorite!). Uriah was ready to leave by the time we made our way back to the entrance and we wandered through town on our way home, Uriah passed out in the stroller. I'm excited to take him next spring when he can last longer and play and know some of the animals by name. I think we'll be regular attendees (If I have a say in it!)
Salmon and strawberry salad were on the menu Sunday night and after we put Uriah to bed Stephen and I enjoyed a beer on our porch as we talked, talked, talked into the evening. It was a little like we were dating again and I deeply enjoyed that alone time with him waiting for the storm to roll in.
A weekend with Stephen is a little slice of Heaven for Uriah and I. Thanks for loving us so!

Monday, September 16, 2013

why I chose to be a stay-at-home mom

Recently (and by recently I mean quite awhile ago), a friend asked me why I chose to be a stay-at-home mom, and, why I was so enthusiastic about it. She said ever since I met her (just after Stephen and I were married) I was looking forward to being a mom. And she was right. I was excited and eager and incredibly impatient to have babies. And, might I add, completely unaware of what being a stay-at-home mom actually entailed. (You mean it's not what the movies make it look like?!) 

So, why did I want to do this? Well, partly because I just assumed I would. Growing up, my mom was a stay-at-home mom and I loved it. Loved it! She was always around to teach us, play with us, care for us... And as far as I know, she loved it, too. (You did love it, right, mom? I mean, I know I was a bit of a hellion, but I'm pretty sure you'd still say it was all worth it.) My mom is my best friend, my biggest fan, my hero... I've always wanted to be like her. So, I grew up assuming I'd be a stay-at-home mom, too. 
Partly, also, because Stephen wanted me to be a stay-at-home mom. Not in the demanding "you're less worthy than me and it's your job to stay home to cook and clean way", but in the "I loved having a stay-at-home mom to spend time with me and I want that same experience for our kids way". Sherri was a stay-at-home mom while the boys were young and I know (as with my own experience) that her love, attention, and time transformed Stephen to the man he is today. I loved that Stephen wanted me to play such an important role in our kids lives! And I love that he supported me so much in my desire to be a stay-at-home mom, that he is pursuing a career that will allow me to do so. And, along with that, I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom so I could be a stay-at-home wife. Stephen is working so hard for our family pulling long days and long weeks, I wanted to, and really it's the least I could do, to pack his lunches, make him dinner, and clean the house so he doesn't have to work when he gets home from work. (Now, I am the first to admit I am no Martha Stuart, but I think he appreciates the effort.)
Partly, too, because I hate working. I love the getting dressed up and having something to do part, but I really hate the talking to people part. Though every test I've taken calls me an extrovert, I'd really prefer to be in a room of five people that I already know. Or, sitting in bed by myself watching an episode of Friends. 
But, mostly, because I figured if someone had to be with my kids all day, it should probably be me. I mean, I made them. They're kind of my responsibility, aren't they? If someone was going to be there when they sat up for the first time, or took their first step, or said their first word, it should probably be me. If someone was going to be there when they got a raging fever, or wanted to be cuddled all day, it should probably be me. If someone was going to be there when they ate their first food, or laughed for the first time, or rolled off the bed (it happens), it should probably be me. And not just because it's my responsibility as their mother, but because I wanted to be around for all of that. And I knew (and certainly know now) that most days aren't filled with "firsts". Most days are filled with ordinary tasks and nothing but. But! When one of those firsts does roll around, I wanted to be the one to share it with my child. I wanted to be the one to teach them their ABC's and 123's. I wanted to be the one to teach them to crawl and walk and talk. I wanted to be the one to take them to the zoo for the first time and push them on the swings at the park. I wanted to be the one to comfort them in pain and sing them to sleep at night. I am their mother and they are mine
Now, side note. I am saying "they" and "them" as if I have a plethora of children I keep hidden in the closet. I have just the one babe, but these were my thoughts and feelings pre children days. These were the reasons I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom to this child and the ones to come. 
My friend also asked me if I get judged for my decision to stay home? If I'm made to feel guilty or lazy? To that I'd have to say no. I'm lucky enough that the majority of my friends and family are in the same boat as I am, or support me in my boat. But there are certainly naysayers, and to them I say... Well I'd like to say a lot of things but this quote from The Matt Walsh Blog will do perfectly... "Parenting is the easiest thing in the world to have an opinion about, but the hardest thing in the world to do." (Click the link and read the blog post. You will love it!) Everyone has an opinion about how you raise your kids, whether you're a working mom or a stay-at-home mom... Even fellow parents judge! (Actually, they're probably the worst at it.) I know many people see us stay-at-home moms as lazy, and, truthfully, somedays I am. Somedays I don't take a shower or get out of my sweats or leave the house, simply because I don't want to. Simply because I am happy and cozy at home and have no need to do so. Other days, however, I don't take a shower or take off my sweats or leave the house because my child is teething and crying and fussing and clinging and there is no possible way to physically do any of those things. Though on those days, I would like nothing more. "Being lazy" leads people to think that we stay-at-home moms get nothing done. Again, sometimes I don't get anything done because that is just the kind of day the doctor ordered. Other days I get nothing done by Uriah's choice, not mine. But most days, all days, my "nothing" looks a lot like this... 
"Mamas, I want to tell you the truth. And here it is: You will not get anything done when you are home with a baby. And anyone who told you otherwise is not being very forthcoming (or perhaps they just have a lousy memory). You might get yourself fed. You might get yourself dressed (then again, you might not). You might take a walk (it makes baby happy). You might have a short phone conversation or start a load of laundry, neither of which you will finish. This is your new mom normal.
So what are you doing all day? Not much that can be measured, really. You’re simply responding appropriately and with patience (through fatigue), to smiles, to tears, to hunger cues, and to drowsiness, teaching your baby how to navigate this complex and (to a baby) highly emotional and raw world. You are keeping your baby clean, which on some days involves more costume changes (for both of you) than any non-mother can begin to fathom. You are teaching a tiny, helpless person all about the world—at least the important parts, like how we treat each other and what it means to be connected to a family. You are creating a foundation of love and trust between you and your baby, one that will help you set your parenting compass, inform your future interactions, and provide a basis for the way your child relates to the larger world.  You may be breastfeeding your baby—another time consuming task that reaches forward through time to heal and protect your child, and simultaneously reduces your risk of disease. Oh, and you’re becoming a mother. It started the day your baby was conceived, and it continues beyond birth. Your baby is stretching and growing into this new body, and you are too.
But that’s about it, really. That’s your day.
Our culture doesn’t have a good way to measure what you are accomplishing. Your baby will grow and meet milestones: check. But to the untrained eye most of this work, at the end of the day, will look like nothing.
But we know better"
Brilliant, right?! (It's an excerpt from an article my mother sent me from the Mama Blog.)
So, that's what I do and that's why I do it. 
It's 11 am and I have already changed three poopy diapers and one outfit, I have fed my child three times, and right now he is upstairs in his crib not sleeping like he should be, but fussing and crying and probably sitting up holding the rails of his crib like I've put him in jail. But, when it's time for him to get up, despite the fact that I've left him in solitude, he will smile his huge opened mouth smile and reach for me like I am the finish line of a marathon. And I will melt into a thousand tiny pieces. (And immediately forget how annoying he was earlier.) (I know, I just called my own kid annoying, I'm a terrible mother. I love him and he's perfect and adorable but oh my gosh you haven't heard him scream!) That smile is the reason I chose, and continue to choose, to be a stay-at-home mom. That smile is only going to reside in my house for 18 years (that's only 940 Saturdays!). I want to spend as much time as I absolutely can with that smile. 

Disclaimer: I do not think working moms are bad moms. For a very brief time in my life I actually wanted to be one. I was going to live in New York City and wear a lot of black and nothing but six inch heels and not have kids until my 30's. (For those of you who know me well and have always known me as a baby obsessive mother want to be, I said it was a very brief time in my life.) Some moms have to work, which I understand perfectly! And I think if you just want to work, you should! I also think (though this could certainly open a can of worms and a whole other blog post) that no parent of yours, spouse, church, friends, judge-y old women in the grocery store should make you feel like you have to stay at home. I think we are lucky enough to choose the job (and yes, I am including stay-at-home mom here because it IS a job, a 24 hour one, thank you very much) we want and find as a best fit for ourselves, our children and our family and those listed above should support that decision. (That can has now been closed.) 

Sunday, September 15, 2013


The other night was one of those perfect nights. Stephen got home from a busy day before Uriah's bed time for the first time in a few days. I had done a little experimenting in the kitchen and had a successful, warm and yummy dinner wafting through the house when he got home. The weather was superb and the park was calling our names. Ah... perfection!