Month: July 2014

I spoke

too soon.


What costs

-7 pounds of human flesh

-the last day and a half of summer break

-a princess tea party you’ve been anticipating all summer, among other get-togethers planned with friends and family

-a night and a half of sleep?

Answer: something even probiotics, EO’s; activated charcoal; cleanses; local honey; vigorous hand-scrubbing and laundrying; and homemade chicken soup (made with homemade chicken stock) can’t defeat.

Yes, Mama’s down for the count starting early yesterday morning.  As of this morning, MG is on her fourth round.  We are taking her into the doctor today.  So discouraged, tired, weak.  Please pray for us.



Surviving the Puke Virus

Oh law, y’all, it has been a week.

I’ll spare you the gritty details (literally and figuratively) and say it was a 9 day entanglement we just narrowly emerged from.

Some things we learned?

-if MG ever says her tummy hurts and that she just wants to lay down, you have a thirty minute or less window before IT comes

-MG has really, really good aim.  I’m seriously impressed with her

-Bea eats right through a stomach bug.  It doesn’t even slow her down

-I had an intense fear of the v-word prior to this week.  Perhaps this is survivor’s benefits speaking, but I’m feeling pretty invincible right now.

Yesterday was our first full “good” day and I had to snap some pictures of the girls in their new dresses I made from them out of the Disney Princess fabric I found at our local Hobby Lobby.

MG was, predictably, beside herself.



Daily Rhythms: A Day in the Life

I thought it would be fun to take an entire day’s worth of occurrences and record them both in picture and written form.  On a whim last week I chose Tuesday, July 15, 2014.

Although a summer Wednesday looks very different from a school year Wednesday, this Wednesday was a very common one for us.

6:40am: Begin to hear rumblings from Bea.  N graciously gets up with her around 6:50am to let me sleep in a little after a late night.

7:08am:  I am up for good and can’t afford to sleep in much more anyway as I have a full day ahead and I remember N has to leave soon.

Breakfast: for me it’s a fried egg, rice chex & pb.  I have a serious debate with myself over whether or not to have coffee (just the decaf as I don’t do caffeine anymore but I still wonder if I will be able to enjoy and drink it all before it turns cold).

Bea is miserable.  Teeth?

7:34am: empty dishwasher, hear scuffle and simultaneous screams from next room.  Bea has bitten MG.  MG claims it’s because she was trying to keep Bea from destroying one of my artworks that is on the floor (waiting to be hung).  I half believe her, half don’t.  The only time Bea has bitten her has been when she has deserved it.

8:00am: Dress both girls and put Bea down for a nap.  MG immediately puts on her dress up clothes on top of what I have picked out for her.

Turn on a show for MG (veggie tales) and begin to clean up the kitchen.  Wipe counters, sweep floors.  Prefer this

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because of the way it smells, although I have been known to use something much less frou frou (like vinegar and water).

Decide to do the coffee after all, check email, make packing list, scroll through IG and Pinterest.  Read up on decorating trends for 2014.  Decided I really, really need some macrame in my life.

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9:30am: Wake Bea up, change her, bring the girls downstairs.  Put MG to work prepping snack cups, half-heartedly watch Bea rip into a clean cabinet, make plans to meet up with some friends at Taylor Lake in about an hour, gather sand/water toys


Try this technique for cutting grapes in Bea’s snack cup.  Works like a charm

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10am: Load up stroller, toys, and girls, and drive to the indoor track.

After much debate, MG has decided to bring her stroller (vs. bike) and circles the track while I run.

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11:15am: Drive down to the lakefront.  It is a breezy 70 degrees so we didn’t bring swim gear.  We are the first ones to arrive and MG plops down and begins to dig.  Bea just wants to explore.

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11:30am: Friends begin to arrive and MG is regretting not having her swimsuit.  I am able to mostly convince her that it is too cold.  Bea just wants to explore

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12pm: Bea sits for 20 seconds to eat SOMEONElse’s lunch.  I decide it is probably time to leave

12:15pm: Come home, wash feet and hands, make lunch.  Cashews, gf pretzels, cherries, cheese sticks, and garden fresh zucchni for the girls.  I get a half-hamburger (leftovers), apple, and grapes added to my plate.

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We keep the windows open and give the AC a break


N lets me know he is on the way home.  I send him this MG lunch snippet:

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1:00pm: I put MG to work cleaning up.  She sweeps, I vacuum.  Then she wants to vacuum too.


1:12pm: The doorbell rings.  It is the fireplace guy, coming to give us an estimate for a fireplace makeover.

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1:17pm: The doorbell rings again, it is a bike seat and helmets (amazon delivery) for our bikes!  (too bad we found all these things two days later at Essex/Bargain Hunt for much cheaper)

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1:20pm: After showing the fireplace guy around, I excuse myself and put the girls down for a nap.

1:24pm: N arrives home (he had spent the day with an old friend building us a chicken coop!!!!)

….and we listen to the fireplace estimate.  Dang, more than we thought.  Curse home renos everywhere.

1:33pm: MG comes down in her “dress-ups” and is very happy to see Daddy.  She asks him to read her a story.  He promises her he will come up when he is done with the estimate.

2:05pm: The guy leaves and N goes upstairs, as promised.  I type out this blogpost, do some calisthenics like planks and sit-ups (while watching a reality show).

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3:57pm: All is quiet upstairs and I find MG asleep in her nap room, dressed like this.  I begin the process of waking her up.  One of her high heels falls on the stairs as I carry her down to my bed.  I shower, hoping the noise will keep her awake.


It doesn’t.

4:20pm: I lay down next to her on the bed and rub her back while finishing this book.  As I am turning the final pages I realize it’s going to be a while before I read a book this satisfyingly good.

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4:40pm: N comes up to see about the girls.  MG is finally awake and Bea is beginning to stir.  He takes over while I wrap this present for baby Grey (Baby Grey Delphine Powell was born very prematurely to some dear friends of ours from college).  She is a miracle and so far, doing amazingly well!  The original shower was planned to be in MI but after Grey made her early arrival they changed it to Louisville to be near her parents.  We made plans to attend on our way back from a visit to my grandparents but while we were down there, MG picked up a bug that was making the rounds and we scurried back home before infecting anyone else)

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4:47pm: N takes the girls over to visit with the neighbors while I heat up dinner (burgers again)

He calls me to ask if I care if they ride the horses.


6:00pm: They come back and we sit down to eat.  MG spies her new helmet and insists on wearing it until bedtime


6:40pm: We drive over to the library to pick up a book on hold (me) and drop off some books before we leave for our trip.  MG still has her helmet on.

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7:15pm: We are back home to bathe and jammy the girls.  N reads stories to MG while I nurse and cuddle Bea. I try to rock her to sleep.  She isn’t having it.

7:30pm: I put the day’s diapers in the wash

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7:37pm: I begin working my way through the packing list, including a bag of toys and a bag of snacks for the car.

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9:45pm: We both collapse into bed and I start this novel.

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…and that’s a wrap.



Eight the Great

Today marks eight great years since our wedding.

One year ago today we found out N was going to be offered a new job…the one he eventually accepted and led us to sell our house and move here.  It has been quite the tumultuous (see this, this, and this to give you an idea) year…but I hesitate to say, one of our best?

Maybe a little change is good for us every once in a while.

One of our married friends who has a few years on us (and ironically owner of the house where we were engaged) likes to say, when referring to their marriage, that they are “stitched together”.  I like that image.

Each large purchase, job change, relationship spark, new hobby, shared interest, deep conversation, good meal, tropical vacation, every victory, failure, birth, death, all the good and all the bad in the past eight years have stitched the lining of our hearts together.  The longer and more tightly bound we are, the harder it is to pull us apart.

Year eight’s stitch I imagine to be from a heavier-gauge, thick, white embroidery thread.  A little bit of tension to it but ultimately very strong.

Occasionally as a seamstress, the thread tension on my machine will go awry and create a mess of gathered fabric that I will have to meticulously remove with a seam ripper and start over.  However, if I am trying to create ruffles or smocking or a gathered edge, I intentionally adjust the tension to create these intricate details.

I’d like to think of year eight as the beginning of an intricate, beautiful creation.  Something we have yet to fully see but instead are just starting to grasp.  I think we will rest in that vision for a while, seeing what the Creator is going to make out of us in this time, in this place, in this year.


A Revist and a Wait

Yesterday I visited my OB, fulfilling my health protocol of one visit per year.

Seeing as it had been a lengthy sabbatical,  the last time I saw her was at my 5-week check up following Bea’s birth.  And still a year later, that office and it’s bridge-way connection to the hospital where Bea was born is a magnet of memories.

Co-mingling are the strange feelings that overcome me when I revisit our old hometown.  The route is completely routine and strangely more familiar than my current treads.  It is a mixture of sadness, relief, joy and apprehension.  I wonder if these will eventually fade and at times I am hopeful they don’t.  It is nice, I reason, to pilgrimage when the desire strikes.

The hospital parking garage is an old, familiar friend.  I wind upwards, wondering if a lucky parking spot is awaiting me at the top.  Curiously, no matter how high you climb, the deluge of parked cars never seems to thin.  So I begin stalking the 3rd floor exit, waiting for someone to vacate.

My time spent in this wait most definitely reminds me of MG.  She faithfully accompanied me to all of my appointments, even the ones that seemed to pile on top of each other at the end of the pregnancy.  We would count the floors as we climbed the garage tower.  1….2….3…I prayed for a parking spot near the door, one that wouldn’t require me to lug my expectant belly and toddler companion through a long trek of stairs and distance.

Just like in those desperate times, an open spot suddenly appeared a very short distance from the entrance to the skyway.  Bless.

As we would walk hand-in-hand, MG would recite our routine: “first I’ll play with the baby {they have a children’s area with toys and two very ugly, but sanity-saving baby dolls}, then we will listen to the heartbeat {Bea’s}, then I’ll eat a sucker {while we wait for the doctor to finish the exam}, then I will pick out a sticker, then we will go home.”

Walking over the bridge by myself, I suddenly missed her attentive commentary.

I passed through the elevator and into the office.  Nothing has changed in my absence, at least not in the physical sense.  I wondered if MG would still think the lines on the wall looked like snakes and the window sills like benches.

I couldn’t help but notice there was another little girl in the play area with the dolls.  She had them by their plush toes and was banging their bobbly heads together.  Probably for the best MG wasn’t there.

I filled out some forms as if I were a new patient (it had been a year, afterall); carefully marking in the dates and details of my pregnancies, smiling with pride as I filled in the girls’ hefty birth weights.

Not too long after, the nurse called me back.  It had been an entire year since I had seen her but in those last days she had become a friend by sheer proximity.  I wondered if she felt towards me the gravity of emotion that I felt towards her.

The doctor came in and routinely rubbed her hands with the waterless soap hanging from a container on the wall.  The smell of it is a memory napalm to me.  I am instantly transported back to room 305, leaning over a plastic bassinet, my hospital-issued gown tented over me as it is today, my deflated belly leaning with me, just a few beats behind.

I absently press my stomach as she shakes my hand.  It is still a mystery to me that something with bones and muscle and flesh can be stretched so far and then knit itself back together.  I am proud of its accomplishments over the past four years, pushing itself to its absolute limit two separate times and then coming back down according to my pleas.  There is no little one fluttering around in there today.  It is at rest for now.

The exam is quick and she asks me about my future pregnancy plans.  It tumbles out easily.  After what we have been through together I feel I can be completely candid with her.

For the first time in five years I am not pregnant, nor do I have a baby nourishing off of me, nor do I desperately desire either of those things.  And I am pretty happy to be in that place for a while.  She gives me a knowing smile.  She has a 3 year old and a toddler of her own.  I tell people it’s because I have my hands full, as she expects, and that is part of it.  But another large part of it, that I am afraid to speak aloud, is that I am not in a hurry to usher in the end of possibly the dearest and most lucid time in my life I have ever experienced.  As long as I keep that door closed, I can relish that my days of cradling a baby are possibly not over, be that truth or not.

I leave, but somewhat reluctantly.  My heart physically hurts when I think about the last time I was here.  My happy, little toddler who had me by the hand and heart, My expectant belly full of promise fulfilled.  It was such a fleeting time in my life and surely one of the sweetest.

I don’t know when or even IF I will be back.  At some point I will most likely have to move my OB visits to my hometown.  I can’t tell if this will be a relief because I will be able to close this childbirth chapter and force my emotions to move along, or if it will come with much dread and heel-dragging, reluctant to say a final goodbye to a place rampant with memory.

My heart is a tangle of emotions.  It feels as if the good as well as the bad have encircled themselves upon it in a hard knot.  I don’t even know where to begin in order to sort them out.  For now, I think I will wait until next July, when my next appointment is due.  I am sure by then I will have a bit of clarity; when the nearness of Bea’s birth is not such a raw spot in my heart and the newness of my current home is not so strange.  Yes, I think I will give myself until then to sort it all out.


Vacation 2014, part II

As promised, here is the video from our recent trip to Rosemary beach.

Rosemary Beach 2014 from Kate on Vimeo.

A few notes: MG is STILL obsessed with Sleeping Beauty.  Granny brought a Disney princess crown for her and she wore it nearly the entire time, as evidenced by the video.  When we went outlet shopping, we also took her to the Disney store and let her pick something out.  She chose a Sleeping Beauty nightgown.  Then we saw the Princess Sophia “dress-ups” were on major clearance and since she’s been very much into dress up lately, we had to have it.  (she’s never seen princess sophia but she knows who she is.  She has worn her dress-up every waking moment inside the house since our return.  I have a rule that she can’t leave the house in it…although she has tried).  Then, they got us again with $10 Sleeping Beauty dolls.  So she walked out with three things.  And it was pretty magical.


Vacation 2014

It is hard to believe but our summer break is now (more than) halfway over.  Too many fun things coupled with deceptively cool weather has lulled us into the lazy, carefree summer rhythm.

One of the highlights of this summer will be the family vacation we just returned from.  My immediate family attempts to congregate in a new location every summer and this year we chose Rosemary Beach outside of Panama City, FL.  As far as vacations go, this had to have been one of my favorites.  Easy beach access, sugar white sand, huge pool, beautiful (and beautifully decorated) beach house, bike rentals, too many good food options, frozen yogurt/sno-cones nearly every evening, and outlet shopping (always a family vacation must).  Plus, Rosemary beach and neighboring Alys Beach have lots of visual appeal with their spendy homes and amenities.  Of the two, Rosemary is the well-established, classic choice while Alys is her tonier, new-money sister.  We enjoyed several nights just walking and biking through the sidewalks, gawking at what we could peep at from the lit interiors.

As hoped, by the end we were so relaxed we were nearly catatonic.  I guess not cooking, mowing, cleaning, laundrying, and erranding will do that to you after a week.   In their favor, the girls vacationed well.  The flights (and 5 hours layovers!!!!)  both went as smoothly as possible.  MG could have spent nearly every hour digging in the sand and we learned that after Bea got over her desire to eat and drink it, she enjoyed floating in the water.  While down there, we also ran (literally, ran) into some good friends and caught up with them with the roar of the ocean in the background.   Our evenings were spent walking or biking, followed by book discussions and family Jeopardy.  It’s the same old, comfortable family vacation routine we’ve fallen into, but we have no desire to change it.

I’m working on a vacation video (which always seem to capture the feelings better than words and pictures), but in the mean time, here are a few teaser pics:

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