Friday, January 10, 2014

16 months.





Tomorrow you are 16 months old. Not really a huge milestone, but a certain marking of the rapid passage of time, nonetheless. I realized yesterday that you are now at nearly the exact same age Meredith was when we moved to California. Not really all that interesting, except that your sister seemed so old to me then. Not you, you are my little baby. Except, HA!

Except for your lack of words and endless babbling, there is nothing baby-like about you. Oh, wait, you also don't sleep through the night. Ok, so you still have some baby qualities, but as much as I think of you as little you are a increasingly my big boy on the go. You run, run, run everywhere you go. Your every move seems to be in an effort to show off your strength. You are forever picking up and handling things I think are far beyond your strength abilities.

You are a daredevil. You climb without fear and depth perception. Constantly falling, hitting your head and hopping right back up as if nothing happened. Those things people warn you about, safety-wise, baffled me with your sister. Now, I'm like, "Oh. I get it." You grab at the stove. Poke your fingers in sockets. Linger dangerously near edges.

One of your only words is "Hi!" and just like your sister, you use it generously, endearing strangers to you immediately with the high-pitched, cheerful way to exclaim it. While you don't have many words, you manage to communicate effectively. You grunt and screech and gesture wildly for food, to be picked up, to go outside, to breastfeed again.

Almost daily, I am thankful that you're a cuddler. Two cuddly kids. How can one mom be so lucky? You give the best hugs. Tight and bursting with love. Everytime you wrap your arms around my neck I can't help but think of the little ditty,
"I love you a a bushel and a peck, 
A bushel and a peck, and a hug around the neck."

Earlier this week as we flew home, we sat in front of a tween-age boy who was flying solo. He spoke with his mom on the phone before take-off, repeatedly telling her he loved her. My heart hopes so much our bond is always as strong as it is now. It can tiresome having a mama's boy. Always leaning over to pick up a rather hefty little man, always being touched and needed. Except, it's also an honor. A privilege. My little buddy, I'm so glad you're mine. 

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Best of 2013



My three month long absence here feels like it deserves some sort of explanation. The short of it: I have two kids. That's not really a great excuse, but it's all I've got.

I somehow managed to put this (not so) little video together, though. And while the pictures aren't all of the greatest quality, they capture our year. It was a fun year full of adventuring and memory making. It was also a year that stretched me as I adjusted to life with two busy children and holding down the fort as Chris travelled more and worked some longer hours. The negative things try so hard to buzz more loudly in my ear than the good, so making this video is always the most perfect reminder. I have a life that is good.

This one is especially long (you can see some of what we've been doing since September), so if you make it all the way though, thank you.

Happy New Year!

Monday, September 23, 2013

adventures.

People are always telling us that they can't believe how much we do. How many adventures we've had since living here in California. It always surprises me because it doesn't feel that out of the ordinary to me.

For starters, when Chris is home and providing parental backup, I think it's more fun and often more manageable to be out of the house. Everyone is happier and occupied without TV and boredom snacks. Chris is the opposite of a homebody so over the course of our relationship, I've gotten used to being out and about with him.

Mostly I think it takes a willingness to be spontaneous. The vast majority of our fun outings happen when we're leaving church and trying to think of what to do or once we're already in the car and need to pick a destination. What I love about kids is that it doesn't take much to make them happy.  This Sunday, all we needed was the beach toys and blanket I always keep in the trunk, a few snacks and little brother's extra onesie. With those things, and the perfect beach spot, we had the most relaxing afternoon. The beach is my happy place. Isn't it everyone's? I love the mountains, too, but I think with little kids the beach is the best. I'm not sure I've ever seen Meredith as happy as she was this Sunday- chasing waves, gathering rocks, rolling in the sand and even eating it in imitation of Mattias.

Seeing my kids happy. Watching the tightness in Chris's shoulders lighten. Sitting in front of a huge ocean with powerful, crashing waves. The sight of the Golden Gate Bridge. It gave me peace and perspective. Getting out of the house can be stressful as can be long car drives, but being out in nature, soaking up God's creation, with the ones I love most, truly can't be beat.

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Neither can the post-beach exhaustion:
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Saturday, September 21, 2013

a new bike.

For weeks now, Meredith has been asking for a princess bike. A big girl bike.

Christmas, I told her. Our garage is full of well-loved, oft played-with wheeled objects. Push cars, a Cozy Coupe, a tricycle, a scooter. There are plenty of other options until Christmas.

But then we drove by a garage sale and there was a princess bike just sitting there. A princess bike for only five dollars and it needed a home.

So our little princess got her princess bike and now she hardly seems little at all.


Thursday, September 19, 2013

salsa.

Earlier this week I realized I had been neglecting my tomato plants. As I waded through the thick leaves of my out of control plants, there were lots of tomatoes on the verge of overripening. The next day I decided I'd try my hand at salsa. I used this recipe and it was surprisingly easy. I'd say the hardest part was just chopping everything up! I love how it turned out. Very tasty with the perfect amount of kick. I edited the recipe by only using two and half green peppers and three jalapenos. I also didn't use as many of the seeds as she suggested.  Let me know if you try it making it.

I never thought I'd be into canning. I'm not sure canning two things (jam and now, salsa) makes me "into canning," but I do think I'll be doing it more. It feels so satisfying to open up a jar of something, knowing what exactly went into it and that it was made with your own hands. The process is intimidating and can feel a little frazzling right at the end, but honestly, it's not has hard as it sounds. And the worst that can happen it that you expose your family members botulism. No biggie.