Tuesday, July 11, 2017

a coffee date [three]

Happy Tuesday to you! Today I thought it would be fun to pretend we're having a coffee or some tea together. If we were, here's what I'd share with you . . .

What I'm reading
 Welcome to Rosie Hopkins' Sweet Shop of Deams" by Jeny Colgan and "Bringing up Boys" by Dr. James Dobson. Obviously both are very different kinds of reads, but so far both are really good. I've just started the Sweet Shop and it's simple and entertaining, we'll see how the rest of it goes. I've known about this book of Dr. Dobson's since I was in middle school, and even though I have two boys still hadn't read it until recently. Emerson has been challenging me in all of the ways, for what seems forever, so this book seemed like a good one to finally ready. So far, it's really good. If you're not a boy mama, there's one called, "Bringing up Girls" for ya :)

Something I'm contemplating
I shared on Instagram a few weeks ago the troubles with my hair. After it driving me nuts I went to a salon here and had a very experienced lady fix it for me. It's way better, but she did leave length to it, so there's still a hole in my hair. I know, it sounds crazy, and impossible, but it's the truth. At first, I was happy she left it long, but now I'm really thinking about just chopping it so it's the same length, and so that there's not a hole in my hair. It's ridiculous. I can't even leave my hair down it looks that bad. It's way way better than what it was before, but still, it's bad. I've had short hair before and I'm thinking I might need to bite the bullet and get the rest cut. It really just drives me bonkers that I can't leave it down if I want to. Though, now I feel like I have to wait at least a month or two since I just got it trimmed a bit - I mean, I get my hair done twice a year, so to go three times in three months is a lot for me. But - I mean. I just don't know. I had gone in thinking I'd chop it to the short length, but the hair dresser talked me into keeping it longer and just doctoring it up. I'm just not crazy about it. So there's that. 

this is still basically what it looks like ... 

to one of my shorter days - but it's all the same length! 
also, look at that cute little baby face Oliver! 

Good. Gracious. 

Green tea with coconut. And oh my goodness. I'm not usually a huge fan of green tea, but this one is so good! I saw it at Target the other week and on a whim thought I'd give it a try. It's so good, I'm glad I got it.  
What I'm wearing
All of the skirts all of the time. I have decided this summer that I absolutely hate wearing shorts - so I won't wear them any more. I mean, why wear something you hate and feel ugh in? I want to feel good in what I'm wearing, cause don't you just feel so much better when you like what you're wearing? I think so. So it's bye-bye to shorts for me [unless I'm painting or something random like that]. Anyways, it's been glorious and freeing since I've made this decision. It's also made me realize that no shops really sell the type of skirt I like the best, so I'm going to start making my skirts. I've found the perfect pattern and know where the fabric I need is - I just have to go buy it. I can't wait to get it so I can get started! 

Something I'm wanting
A nice little backpack to replace the bag[s] I've been using. With two boys, I need both hands, and since Oliver is out of the baby phase I don't feel like lugging the big ol' diaper bag around any more. But I still really like the whole backpack concept. I feel like this one would hold all of the snacks, a diaper clutch, and my little things quite well and is still cute. I just saw that it's a Prime Deal today - my birthday is next week - would it be bad if I bought this for myself today?! 


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

a wrong address

About a week ago Landon came inside whit the mail and a confused look on his face. Two of the items were not for us, nor a next door neighbor, but for some one who lived on the street over. When we finished dinner we went on a little walk to take the mail to its proper home. As I walked up to the door I noticed little trucks and cars scattered around the front porch and thought they must have a little boy. The man who opened the door was surprised to see us there, but stepped outside and was followed by two little boys, who happened to be the ages of Emerson and Oliver. His wife came out shortly after and we had a chance to introduce ourselves and chat for a little bit. Before we left they invited us to a little neighborhood get together for July 4th that they had also invited a few others in the neighborhood with young children to.

So yesterday afternoon I fixed a little dessert and after I fed the boys dinner at home we went over to meet some neighbors. As the evening kept getting later, more and more people arrived. We have seen lots of young families as we go on walks and such, but there were so many more than we had realized. I'm not even sure how many kids there were, but it was neat to see them all together running around in the backyard and later on, chasing after the parachute fireworks. We were able to meet a lot of our neighbors, though sadly I don't remember even half of their names. Oh well, I'm sure they'll be forgiving if I ask their name again when we see them out and about.

It took a while for Emerson to warm up to all of the kids playing, but after a while he was running around with them, chasing after the parachutes, and digging in the dirt pile with the rest of them. There was just something about last night that made it the perfect summer night. The weather was warm, the sun was setting, food was abundant, and conversation was flowing. We met new people and Emerson played his little heart out. Before he had really warmed up to the other kids, Oliver would go to where Emerson was, take his hand, and they would walk hand in hand to the lot over that is under construction. Oliver loves rocks and just wanted to play in the messy lot. My heart melted a thousand time over watching them walk off together while holding hands. Too sweet! Seeing Emerson run around, a smile spread across his face, eyes twinkling with wonder and delight, it was good. Really really good.

I'm thankful for our new home and the neighborhood we live in. Hopefully we will only see more and more of our neighbors and build stronger relationships with them. I'm thankful we got someone else's mail by mistake because it lead to a wonderful summer night.

Oliver wasn't crazy about the fireworks, and man were they everywhere! The boys stayed up way past their bed time, but it was fun. For a night. I hope Emerson remembers this when he grows up, because it's the stuff summer nights and the 4th of July are made of.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

how to drive me bonkers

So, everyone has their quarks and things that they just can't stand, right? Right. Apparently lately I've been on edge a little more than usual, that or I'm just noticing these things more. But I thought I'd put them in a list because, why not? Now you'll all know a little more about me and things that drive me bonkers! 

Funny Pictures Of The Day – 37 Pics
this. found here

- when people sit on pillows. Pillows are not for sitting [or stepping on little boys of mine] on, they are for laying your head on! Don't sit on the pillows! 

- wearing shoes inside the house. Do you know all of the places your shoes have stepped?! And then to bring those inside the house with you? Please just take off your shoes. But also, on that same note, if you were to ever come to my house and you didn't take your shoes off, I'm not bold or brave enough to ask you to take them off. I would just see the germs crawling all over the floor and try not to focus on that. haha. 

- the sound of people chewing on a banana [or maybe this just applies to my husband, because I don't really hear other people eat bananas]. But oh my goodness I cannot stand it. I started playing music during meal times to help drown out the sound of chewing on bananas [at breakfast] and chewing in general, but if there's no background noise. ugh. shivers. 

- having my routine interrupted. I thrive on routine, which can be bad when there's a change to it. One of my favorite times of the day is the early morning when I wake up before everyone one else and have my quiet time and coffee. But lately someone else has been getting up earlier than normal so he can head to the office and get more work done. It is throwing for such a loop, it's not even funny. And it's not like I can say, "stay in bed!" because this is his house too... but it has made me realize how much I value that morning time. So much so that I think the only solution might be for me to get up even earlier just so I can have it. I know. It's bad. 

- cashiers who only put one or two things in a bag. I mean, really?! stuff some more stuff in there. 

- sleeping without washing my feet at night. I always shower at night, but on the rare occasion I don't, I have to at least wash my feet. It's weird. I know. 

- when the lights are left on in a room and no one is in there. What's so hard about turning lights off when you walk out of a room?

And we'll just stop there and call it good. Now you know a little more about me and some of the things that make me tick. It's cool if you think I'm crazy and don't want to be friends any more ;) 

Have a happy Thursday! 


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

strawberry fields

One day, not too long after moving here I thought it would be fun to take the boys strawberry picking.  I've picked blueberries before and loved it, and I figured the boys would enjoy picking some strawberries because they'd get to be outside and they'd be getting they could enjoy eating later. 

Boy was I wrong. haha. After about two minutes of strawberry picking Emerson kept asking if we were done, saying we had a lot of strawberries and that he was ready to go play and see the goats that were on the farm.

Oliver just wanted me to hold him and cried if I wasn't. Have you ever tried picking strawberries while holding a fussy toddler? Yeah. Super fun.

But we were at the farm, and I was determined to get enough strawberries to make it worth our while.  So we went down one row of berries and up the next and then we were done. Even that was too much for the boys. But we got our berries and then we went and saw the goats and the ducks.

It was a neat little farm, it's just a family who farms at the edge of town here and they open their fields to anyone who wants to pick berries. We went at the very end of the season, so our selection wasn't as great as I'm sure if we had gone earlier. But it was still "fun" and it was, if nothing else, something to do that would take time and hopefully wear the boys out for naps. Which it did, thank goodness.

Not that I think they would enjoy it any more, but I'm going to be on the look out for a blueberry patch because I think that's even more fun! And hopefully the boys would be more open to blueberry picking. Or at least not whine and cry so much while doing so.

Despite it being hot and full of fussy/complaining little people, it was nice to be outside and to enjoy the fresh air.

When I got home and had washed and cut the berries, Emerson was very proud to tell Landon that he had picked the berries. Um, yeah. Maybe 21 of them. haha.

The one thing Emerson did try to pick really hard while we were there, was a frog we saw hopping through the berry bushes. He really wanted to catch it and bring it home with him. Oh geeze. Thankfully the frog was much to fast for him and he couldn't even touch it.

Maybe when we go again next summer the boys won't cry about berry picking as much? We shall see. Because one thing is for sure, we will be going again :)

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Oliver is two

Oliver celebrated his second birthday nearly two weeks ago now, so I thought I'd get his little birthday letter up. Maybe this letter will inspire me to get Emerson's fourth birthday letter up [since you know, he turned for in January!]. But today is all about Oliver . . .


Today you are two years old! It's a little crazy to think it has been a whole two years since you came into this world, where has the time gone? But at the same time, it seems like you have been with us for so much longer. It's amazing how time works like that.

You are a blessing and a joy and I love spending my days with you. It seems as though just recently your little personality has just popped. You've always shown us who you are, but in the last month or so you're a whole new little boy. Maybe it's due to the fact that you are growing into more of a little boy than you are a baby, or being in a new house in a new place is good for you, or you're feeling better all of the time these days. Whatever it may be, I love it!

Your favorite things include: snacks [all the live long day], watching shows - especially Paw Patrol, Daniel Tiger, and Curious George, being outside, coloring [crayons/paint/chalk... doesn't matter], reading books, playing with toys - especially farm animals and Paw Patrol pups, your blankie and paci [you drag that thing around all day every day and hate parting with it, your paci is mostly just in bed now. mostly . . . we're working on it . . . ], cuddling with mama, looking out the window, spotting turkeys or bunnies in our yard, and stickers.

Right now you are a boy of very few words. Your limited vocabulary includes: Ma [how you say mama], Da Da, ba ba [bubble], pa-pa [for Paw Patrol], Daa Daa [for Daniel Tiger], eesh [please], Rubble [again, you're pretty smitten with that Paw Patrol ;], baba [balloon], don [done], and those are the main ones in rotation right now. When you see a picture of Peppa Pig you snort to let me know that's what you want - the book, picture, box, or show if we happen to have the DVD at home. You said "breakfast" the other morning when I told you breakfast was ready, when opening one of your birthday presents you said, "a present!" You have said a few other words and phrases here and there, but these ones are pretty much all your words right now. No one else would understand you, but you say: "here I am!" and "there he is!" - we play peek a boo a lot. I pray for your words to start flowing from your lips and I know that they will, soon, and then I will be trying to remember what the days were like before you talked non-stop ;) For having such a limited vocabulary though, you sure know how to get your point across and let us know what you want [most of the time - especially when you aren't bucked in your seat at the table]. You will either walk to where/what you want and get it yourself, point to it if you can't reach it so I can get it for you, or you take me by my hand and walk me to where/what you want and then put my hand right on it or point and "uh uh" if you can't reach it. When we are playing you do the same, if I'm playing with something the wrong way or playing with the wrong toy, you'll take my hand and put it on the thing you want me to have. You have a few signs up your sleeve: more, please, sorry, bird, drink, food, airplane, all done, and help. Your face is so expressive and you use your hands to gesture a lot too, like raising them in the air for "where" or clasping them together to pray, or covering your eyes to play peek-a-boo.

You love one on one play or reading books. You pour over and study the pictures. Animals are your favorite to look at, especially farm animals, and you'll choose most any animal book you see. Lift the flap books are one of your favorites, and you love to play "where is _____ ?" when we read together. Doreen Cronin's books are your absolute favorite, I can't even tell you how many times we've read "Dooby Dooby Moo" or her others. When we play you love to put a toy in my hand and move it how you want it to go and die laughing when I make the toys interact with each other. Even though you prefer playing with me, or sometimes Emerson [though right now you two still haven't mastered the playing together nicely most of the time skill], you are really good at independent play. I've caught you stilling in your bedroom playing with your horses or pups or cars or building towers. You take your horses for gallops around your room by crawling around on the floor, a horse in each hand. You love to play, I love to watch you play. Emerson never played like you do and has only to play like that recently, but you play and it's the sweetest.

Outside is one of  your favorite places to be, but when you're ready to come inside, you're ready to come inside. We've even been at the park before and you've walked over to the car because you're done playing and ready to cool down, have a snack, and a drink. You love bubbles and drawing with chalk [or drawing in general ;] and would do that all day if you could. We were gifted with a bubble machine in May and a certain little boy broke it [ahem... ] so you got a replacement as one of your birthday gifts, it broke just shy of you having it for a week [ahem ...]. I'm really tempted to get you another one, a more durable looking one, but they take tons of batteries and if you break it that's $10 gone so for now we're sticking with bubbles wands, which you love just as much. It's all good.

Since your days as a brand new babe, you've been a pretty good sleeper and I just pray that continues! Right now you go down to bed between 7 and 7:30 and I usually don't get you up until 8 in the morning. You usually wake up before then, but play quietly in your bed. I'm not sure when it started, but now there are a few toys and books in your bed and you play and read before you fall asleep and once you wake up. I'm not sure what your sleep will look like once you're not in your crib any more - but hopefully that day won't come too soon.

You are one picky eater and it drives me bonkers! I never know what to feed you. I give you what I fix for dinner or lunch, but a lot of the time you end up eating plain bread and applesauce. Though you like Mexican rice and jambalaya so, I don't even know. I'm trying to figure out at what point you get what you get and that's it. The few times I've done that you've just marched into the pantry and helped yourself to the box of Cheerios, so yeah. Help! Also, please just eat what I fix, it would make my life so much easier. You love to snack and it seems as though you snack all the live long day [maybe that's why you don't eat well at meals?]. But if I don't give you snacks you get mad and then you still don't eat your meal. I just don't know. [This is where I welcome all of the feeding toddlers tips and tricks and advice. For the real.] For breakfast every morning you eat a big bowl of steel cut oats. They must be steel cut with brown sugar. Any other way and it's not going to fly. haha.

because at GeGe's house you can eat your oatmeal however you want . . .

For the most part you like your big brother, but your relationship is special. Sometimes you love him and he cracks you up and you play sweetly together, but more often than not you're hollering because he's making you angry or taking your toy or something. I just pray that you'll be the best of friends when you get a little bigger.

Things you don't like include going grocery shopping or to any store for that matter. Our shopping trips are always very loud and wild adventures and we get the attention of everyone in the store thanks to you and your brother. Bath time is iffy for you - you mostly hate them and scream in protest [have you ever tried to bathe a screaming toddler? It's not fun] for the most part you hate them, but the last week or so you've been happy to take one and have even played in the water. Let's hope that continues. You hate having your diaper changed - there are more important things you have to do, you know. And not getting what you want makes you so angry. Oh man. But in general, you are a very happy and chill little guy.

We're having to wait to take you in for your two year well check because of new job/changing insurance reasons, and I hate that so I don't know your stats or anything like that. But we went to the doctor for other reasons about a month before your birthday and you were about 21 pounds, your height I'm not sure about. I suppose I could measure you myself, but I just haven't. haha. You are healthy and growing though so we are thankful for that. You've had another rough year health wise, in and out of the doctor more than I care for, but you have been in good health since our move and I'm praying it continues. Maybe you were just allergic to Illinois or our house there? Hopefully Kansas is good to you health wise.

Speaking of moving... You moved! We moved about one month before your birthday from Champaign, Illinois to a Little Town in Kansas. We had a crazy few weeks before the move and of course the week of the move was nuts too, but you did really well. Adjusting was a bit hard at first, though I think that was mostly because I was busy unpacking and your GeGe and Poppy tried to keep you entertained - you just missed me and our usually daily happenings. You love having a bedroom of your own now and you love running around our new home. Hopefully it's the last time we move.

Oliver, you are such a blessing and a joy. I love your sweet little personality so much and am just so very thankful for you. I want to remember everything about you at this age and sometimes wish you didn't have to grow up - but you do and I know that will be good too. My prayer for you is that you will love Jesus and seek after him all of your days, that you are a God-fearing man, and that you are filled with generosity, wisdom, and courage. I love you so much.


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

coffee date

Let's pretend for a minute or more that we're having coffee together, because who doesn't like a good little coffee date? I think today I'd pick an iced coffee, I hear there's a new coconut drink at Starbucks, so that might be my pick. Anyhow, if we were having coffee today I'd probably tell you . . . 

I think Emerson is trying to kill me. The boy does.not.listen. He doesn't listen. No amounts of time-out, spankings, taking his favorite toy or book away, or reward stick charts work. Nothing. I mean, the kid laughs when I spank him. He laughs. He plays when he's in time-out and says that he doesn't want a sticker. Oh my goodness. We manage though the days, but come nap and night time it's a whole other story. Then it's just me trying not to curse or hurt him. It's not healthy. He thinks it's great fun to get out of his bed and leave his room - over and over and over again. I can't even tell you how many times I've put him back in bed. Sheesh. This morning when I got out of the bathroom, he was in our bedroom! Landon didn't even know it and as soon as I opened the door, Emerson saw me and bolted for his room. Only to emerge a few minutes later. I love him, but he makes me crazy. Four is not better than three. What do I do?!?! 

Finding a balance and routine is hard. I'm trying to keep up with everything that needs to be done, but it seems like now more than ever before there is so much to do. The laundry [more of it - how?!], ironing which I now have to do because Landon has a real job and no time for ironing his own clothes, meals, cleaning, spending quality time with the boys, sorting out bills and insurance that seem never ending, assembling furniture, making returns to various stores, getting the boys to bed at a decent hour, blogging - something I love to do and enjoy - is something I can't do as much because there are all these other things piling up. And Landon is working all the time so everything falls on me. It's hard. 

Our backyard makes me happy. We have a really nice shaded area and Oliver got some fun outdoor toys for his birthday so we don't even have to go to the park for fun play time. The boys love playing outside and I love the wind and the shade so we can without feeling gross after two minutes of being outside. Also, I saw a deer the other night in our yard, so there's that. 

I have anxiety problems. I'm afraid someone will break in when Landon is away traveling. I'm afraid something will happen to the boys if I go away [like if I were to agree to go away for a night or weekend or even a dinner date]. Even if the boys would be with loved and trusted people. I worry something would happen me if I were to leave them. Not that I have opportunity to leave them, but Landon's mentioned it several times and I just can't. I get all worried and anxious. He laughs and tells me it'll all be fine, and I know it will be. But that doesn't change or take away my anxiety. 

Oliver turned two on Saturday. I've been working on a little two year post for him for about a week now. My biggest hold up is the pictures. Apparently the storage on my computer is full [again] and I have to clear some space off so I can upload new pictures. But I have such a hard time deleting copious amounts of pictures from my computer even if they are backed up else where. 

My computer is pretty great, except the fact that it has no storage. I mean, I just deleted tons of pictures and other stuff and haven't added very much to it at all since doing so, and it's already full. It's just frustrating. The computer still works for the most part so I don't really need a new one. It would just be really nice to have one with a lot more storage than my current one has. Is that a good enough reason to justify getting a new laptop? Please say yes :) 

The longer I sit and stare at our bare walls and such, the more I know what I want to go on them - now it's just a matter of finding those things. There's also this bookshelf that I no longer need to use for all of my books and it has become our catch all place and it's driving me bonkers. We're waiting for one final piece of furniture to arrive and when it does I'll be able to move a lot of the catch all stuff to the other piece and it won't look nearly as cluttered and it will actually be organized and have purpose in it's new home. But in the mean time the clutter is making me crazy. 

Have you ever tried eMeals? I've looked at it before and have always loved the idea of it. Someone else planning my meals? And a grocery list and recipes are included? Sign me up! But some of us in this house are picky eaters [not to mention names] and from the sample menus I've seen it doesn't look like it would work for our family. But oh my goodness, I just want to sign up, and cook that meal for dinner and not have to think about it. And if someone doesn't like it, tough beans baby. But of course I can't do that. How do I make my picky eaters not picky anymore?! Help me. 

Thanks for a coffee date and letting me spill my guts to you. 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

home decor inspiration

So we have this house, the unpacking is done. The settling in is happening. The living is being done on the daily. We are loving our new home and are already making life happen in a few days we even get to celebrate our first birthday in our new home! I can't wait - but actually I can because I really feel like Oliver's second birthday has snuck up on me and how in the world is he going to be two on Saturday?! Also, nothing is really ready for his birthday and I'm really tempted to go the easy route this year and order him a cake. Which of course I can't bring myself to do because I've never done that before so I feel like he'd be gipped and also he can't have dairy which all store bought cakes have. So there's that. I'll get my grocery shopping game on tomorrow and grab the necessities for his special day and then I'll get working ;)

Anyhow, as I said, we are settling in and enjoying our new home. But there is one thing that is still missing and that is the actual decor part. The walls are bare and there are no sweet little decor items out and about to help bring warmth and personality to our home. I have an idea for what I'm wanting but it's so hard to find it and then of course I think I'm just scared to take the plunge, buy the things and hang them up. Where do you even begin? It doesn't help that I'm used to having bare walls and little decor since our last house was exactly that way, but I have an itch to decorate these walls and make it pretty in here. All advice is welcome :)

In my thinking and looking at what I'm wanting done I've found a few bits of inspiration so I thought I'd share them here.

I couldn't resist the fall decor at Hobby Lobby any longer.:

My gallery wall in our kitchen. I'm @colewifey on IG . Come follow me and see how I continue to decorate our new home:

Rustic Glam Gallery Wall by Ellery Designs:

We crashed a friends house and built her a wide plank wall for under $100 and got it done in a few hours! Here's the tutorial and video to create your own!:

Lots of fun ideas and thoughts are floating round my head right now. Hopefully I'll be able to pull them off and make them look just as I hope! :) What tips or tricks do you have when it comes to decorating your house?