our anniversary is on earth day (4-22)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Yesterday was a normal Tuesday. We went to work, took the kids to school, ran errands at lunch, made dinner...but it was also a special day, remembering our wedding day 8 years ago. I emailed my friend Leanne yesterday, and was like, "8 years is long but also not," and was like, "Exactly...like, whoa, almost a decade, but whoa, you still have (Lord willing) 50 more years to go!"

I like being at this stage of our marriage/adulthood where we can enjoy any old activity, so long as we're together. And ha! That we did (as I posted on instagram last night), since we attended an urban planning lecture last night (this, if you're interested...now that we're staying in Memphis, I'm excited to dig our heels in even more and see what we can do to help improve our city). Not a super romantic date, I know, but we are planning some other fun/out-of-the-ordinary stuff for the weekend.

Um, child bride alert, as you can see! If you're good at math (I just turned 30 two weeks ago), you'll realize that we got married two weeks after my 22nd birthday. Eeee! Wouldn't change a thing though. Everyone makes their own decisions, obviously, but I love that I've shared my entire adulthood with Jonathan. Learned how to do stuff alongside him. Struggled. Paid bills. Saved. Traveled. Worked terrible jobs. Made big decisions. Worked some great jobs. (Almost) got one of us through professional school.

We've developed who we are as adults together, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I like to think one of the strengths of our relationship is that we give each other room to think through things...form opinions...and then love to come together to discuss and either agree, or support each other in our differences.

I love this man and the family/life we've made together. Everything is of course not always perfect (not even close), but I think it's a good sign when I'm only excited about all of the adventures that await us.

* Can we talk real quick about how nice it is to not care about weddings anymore? I don't mean this in a snotty way....I just mean, we had our wonderful / fairy tale / beautiful / fun wedding day, but it's now far enough in the past that I couldn't really care less about any decisions we made about anything for it. I love weddings and looking at beautiful images of them, but the trends are like, three cycles ago by this point so who cares. I'm just glad to be married!

Anniversary posts of yore: 
7th anniversary // 6th year // 5th year post // 4th year post // 3 year (none, whoops) // 2nd year post // 1st year post


Monday, April 21, 2014

We had a fantastic Easter and wonderful three-day weekend as a family celebrating Christ's resurrection. With residency looming, I am trying to be super cognizant of the blessing that is having Daddy home with us multiple days in a row. It's so nice. Being together as a family is really my very favorite thing, as cliche as it sounds.

Friday we took a picnic to the park. You should've seen Juliette's face light up when I said the word "park." She was so excited. We played for a while and then spread out on the grass to eat our lunch. Across the field, we saw our across-the-street neighbors with our former next-door neighbors having a little picnic of their own. It was so good to see everyone, with 8 kids between us in varied ages (my two being the youngest), all out enjoying the lovely weather. Molly was toddling around, and Jules was playing with some of the other kids' toys (can't remember what...balls or rings or something). Anyway, she was on a play-mission and happened to be walking over their picnic blanket...in her current walking path, she looked down slightly at the box of cupcakes on the blanket, but tromped right over them anyway! Oh brother, I was mortified! To be fair, it just looked like a bright green box from the outside (you couldn't see the cupcakes), but oh, those poor two squashed strawberry ones! That girl, my lands. So sorry, sweet Louise, that your birthday picnic cupcakes were a little smushed (to say the least).

Thursday night, one of my favorite parenting moments ever occurred. It was 5:45 PM, and just one of those horrible times you hear about..."the witching hour" and all of that. This may sound a little wacky, but through the power of positive thinking / being oblivious, in my mind we've largely avoided too much chaos and meltdowns during this time of day (or maybe because of our schedules? I don't know). But this was not one of those days. They were both crying, crying, crying, about everything. This doesn't happen too often, but when it does, Jonathan and I just grit our teeth and try to get through it. We finally decided to just go ahead and put Molly in her high chair and just let her sit there and cry, so at least she'd be contained while we finished up fixing dinner. Jules was wandering around crying after a little potty accident (while in time-out, of course), just crying. We were both head down, trying to finish up dinner and we look over to the sweetest sight--they had just found each other. Juliette had wandered over to Molly and they were hugging it out, just crying and hugging. When they finally pulled away and looked at each other, they both immediately smiled and started laughing. Jonathan and I just laughed and tried to memorize the sight...this miracle of comfort they found in each other. I hope it is the first of many times this happens in their lives! Though, I never would've thought to try it at 13 mos and 2.5!

Easter photos were next to impossible. They were never still, never looking at the camera, never smiling at the same time. This is the best we got, with them looking in the same general direction, and I'm so glad it was with my pretty mommy/their Grammy, and their sweet cousin Jane. Can you hardly stand the matching smocked dresses, because I can't!

It's sort of late, but don't forget my craft night, TONIGHT at Langford Market in Cooper-Young, if you're local! 7 PM!


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Here I go again, doing a demonstration of something that's more akin to common sense. Apologies but we're going for it anyway.

I've sprinkled this blog with these over the years (here / here wow, old), and thought maybe it was time to resurrect. This is one of my favorite tricks for house plants and old / pretty cups.

Get you a pretty teacup or coffee mug, put some rocks in the bottom, sprinkle in some dirt, and plant your succulent plant of choice (avg $2 at Home Depot or Lowe's).

C'est tout (that's it)!

I'll actually be at Wish/Langford Market in Cooper-Young this coming Monday night to host a little "craft night" and make some of these in honor of Earth Day Eve! Also they're running a cool promo where a portion of sales from 5-7 PM that night will go to benefit the Overton Park Conservancy.

 Pretty fun! If you're in Memphis, I hope you can make it.

on weaning and stovetop popcorn

Monday, April 14, 2014

I weaned Molly this past week. It was a hard decision. Around her birthday, we'd gotten to the golden stage of only nursing first thing in the morning and before bedtime. No more pumping. No more bottles. It was ideal. These were the some of the sweetest times of the day for me. And my snuggly girl loved it too--never showed any disinterest.

The tip of the weaning iceberg was our Nashville trip when she cut four teeth and eeeeowww. Biting. My poor little gal had a tough couple of days (we both did).

But real talk for a minute: the main reason I decided to wean was that I'm ready to have my body back. I think my body just holds on to the extra while I'm nursing, and I'm ready to get rid of it. I've realized that most of the time I feel like I'm dressing to hide in my clothes. That is dumb (and I know more of an attitude problem than anything). I don't want to be living in this waiting-to-feel-like-myself limbo anymore. It was a bit of a struggle feeling like vanity was beating down maternal instinct but ultimately, I just decided it was okay to stop.

I am so thankful for these past 13 months nursing my Molly. I realize this is not everyone's experience with nursing, and I'm glad to have been able to enjoy it so much. There are times (mornings especially) when I miss it so much my heart aches a little. On the other hand, Molly has done great with the transition, which has made it much easier. She's been content with a little bottle of thawed frozen milk at bedtime (3-4 oz), and a sippy cup of whole cow's milk in the mornings with breakfast.

In the meantime...who loves popcorn?

There's one hundred million of these popcorn instructions on the internet already, I know. Juuuuust in case you hadn't seen one of them, here you go.

We started making our popcorn on the stovetop about a year ago and have never looked back to the bagged stuff. Then my friend Lauren wrote a great post highlighting some of the health benefits of homemade popcorn, and that made us feel even better about things (always nice).

We try different variations depending on which one of us is making it and what our mood is, but here's the general concept:

- Get out your medium saucepan with lid and put it over high heat.

- Cover the bottom of the pot with some kind of oil. Tonight, I used a spoonful of coconut oil and let it melt in the pan, and then added a tablespoon of (real) butter or so. Sometimes we do olive oil or canola oil if that's all we have...just need some oil.

- Pour in 1/3 cup popcorn kernels (we use generic Kroger brand at this point) and kinda shimmy them so they cover the bottom. You could sprinkle on something like garlic salt on at this point if you like.

- Put the lid on and let it start popping over the high heat. You need to be pretty vigilant to make sure it doesn't burn. This amount of kernels fills up the pot to the top of the lid of my 2 quart pot.

- Remove immediately once it's done and transfer to a large bowl. Here's where we add salt to taste, sometimes a little black pepper, and sometimes shred parmesan or asiago cheese over it with my microplane zester. yum. I have yet to make kettle corn-type popcorn this way, but I know you could very easily. I just never want to give up my savory snack by the time it's ready!

Does everyone already make their popcorn like this? If you do...isn't it GOOD?

Ffffriday / packing away winter

Friday, April 11, 2014

Wrapping up a fun birthday week over here, and settling into my thirties...aaahhhhhh. Crazy to say that.

We are staring two days of gorgeous weekend weather in the face and I can't wait. Besides being outside a lot (with our new double jogger that we just bought through facebook!), I have a major date with the kids' clothes. I feel like we are swimming in little girls' clothes and something has to be done. Unfortunately, you can't organize the kids' clothes while they're napping. I can't envision it working well while they're awake either, so I may have to ship them off with their daddy for an hour or two while I can pack away the winter things and get out the spring stuff for little sissy (and their little cousin!). The natural shopper in me loves "having" to acquire new clothes for Juliette every season, but there is a twinge of sadness coming across things she'll never wear again. On the bright side, I think the girls' ages/sizes have finally caught up where Molly will be able to wear most of Jules' things from here on out (I hope, majorly hope). She's a little smaller in general, so I think it'll work. Maybe. The different-seasons birthdays were tricky there for a minute. Yay for cute clothes redux.

Related, but I am loving so much of what Tea Collection has put out for this spring! Their clothes are really great quality and the few pieces we've had have withstood tough days at school and on the playground (since I've put them on the girls every time they're clean!). I'm an absolute sucker for one-pieces/bubbles, isn't this ridiculous?

I also love this, and this for my oldest. (Can't resist also mentioning that one of the founders of Tea Collection went to my high school. Turkeys, represent!)

Not a giant golf fan, but there's nothing like watching the last round of the Masters on Sunday afternoon after a good nap. Looking forward to it. Happy weekend!
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