Our First Christmas

1 01 2019

One of the super fun parts of having a baby is getting to see everything in a new light. The little tot is experiencing the world for the very first time, and we get to witness that. For the first couple weeks especially, one of us could be heard exclaiming, “Aw, it’s his first time ________________!”

Some of these things were memorable enough to land in his baby book, like his first outfit, his first bath, his first (intentional) smile, his first hike.

baby's first bath

First time in the tub – not sure about all this splish-splash business…

baby visiting Natural Bridges, Gifford Pinchot

First family photo while on our first walk in the woods!

baby's first hike to Falls Creek Falls, WA

Snuggling with Auntie Em on his first hike to overlook his first waterfall! It was a big day.

Some were not so note-worthy, though at the time, equally exciting. His first diaper blowout, his first solid 6 hours of sleep, his first trip to the grocery store, his first selfie, his first time spitting up down the front of Momma’s shirt…twice in a row.

baby sleeping at Mexican restaurant

First time to Momma’s favorite Mexican restaurant…only 5 days old! Momma was hungry…

baby's selfie with mom

First selfie with Momma – obviously not impressed…

stroller ride on the waterfront, Hood River OR

First stroller cruise on the waterfront in Hood River – slept through the whole thing.

Just as everything is brand new for him, the whole parenting thing is brand new for J and I. We often look at each other with matching “what now??” expressions on our faces, usually followed by a Google search of whatever just happened. But so far, we have successfully kept everyone alive and even feel like we’re starting to get the hang of it. (Well, most days, anyway…)

That said, I was not prepared for the delight that was Baby’s First Christmas. We did just fine at Baby’s First Halloween – he wore a pumpkin onesie and hat to his doctor’s appointment! Baby’s First Thanksgiving was wonderful with the visit of Auntie Em and all our favorite holiday foods. But nothing spectacular or earth-shattering made these holidays any more exciting than they ever were, so I assumed we would glide right past Christmas with the same ease and normalcy. Oh how wrong I was.

baby pumpkin costume

I’m sorry I didn’t get you a lion tamer costume complete with a real lion – but you make a super cute pumpkin!

siblings together for Thanksgiving, Bingen WA

Yay for stretchy pants on Thanksgiving!! Little Z’s just mad he can’t eat any of it.

Something about the magic of Christmas for our little family just caught me by surprise. It didn’t happen during our hunt for a Christmas tree (“He hates the snow hitting his face!! HURRY!!”)…

Christmas tree hunt, Trout Lake WA

What is this cold wet stuff hitting me in the face?! Make it stop!!!!

It didn’t happen during the Christmas parade or our quick visit with Santa (“Whoa, not impressed, hurry before he screams!”)…

baby's first Santa, Hood River OR

Really guys? I just want some milk and a nap.

It didn’t even happen when we attempted to make Christmas cookies (“Just smear some icing on and eat it, I gotta feed the baby!”) or at the several Christmas parties we attended (“Who wants to hold the little elf?!”)………

baby in Christmas lights

Ho Ho Ho, let’s party!

I don’t know what changed, but tears filled my eyes as we snuggled together Christmas Eve in front of the stove in our matching jammies. Just the four of us, with some hot cocoa and Bing Crosby, everything seemed utterly perfect.

family matching Christmas pajamas

Yes, Grammy even sent pj’s for Simba. ❤

baby and his dog, best friends

Brothers and best friends.

Even though Z isn’t old enough to be all excited (or even really know what’s going on), our lives have changed so drastically since his arrival. We’re wearing matching pajamas, for one thing. Packages kept arriving full of baby items from the grandparents. The focus has shifted and J and I had several conversations regarding the traditions we want to start/keep/ditch for our own little family. And Z was just so enamored with the Christmas lights!

baby and Christmas lights

JUST.SO.SHINY.

Christmas morning was relaxed and quiet, with a few small gifts exchanged and stockings emptied. The magic from the night before seemed to have dissipated a bit in the morning sunlight. Maybe I was still a bit hormonal, or maybe there really was a little magic in the air. Whatever it was, I hope it comes back every year.

And now we head off into 2019 with a whole lineup of adventures in store. First up: figuring out how to function as a human and return to work with a baby who can’t sleep through the night yet!

Here’s hoping for another wonderful year! ❤

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And Then There Were Three

7 12 2018

Every year around this time, I get nostalgic and reflective on the past year and like to think back over the changes that have happened. I don’t know…maybe all the family time puts me in a sentimental mood. This year, stopping to reflect has been easier than usual, as I had, arguably, one of the largest changes yet lying in my lap: I had a baby!

I gotta say, it was no easy feat. It felt like I was pregnant for YEARS. I ended one school year pregnant, survived a hot summer pregnant, started another school year still pregnant. I traveled pregnant, went hiking pregnant, walked a 5K pregnant, camped pregnant, marched a picket line pregnant, and squished into a swim suit pregnant. I finally went on maternity leave and my mom arrived from Texas, but that sweet baby was just too happy in his little womb-home. Giant and miserable and bursting out of even my largest maternity clothes, my doctor finally scheduled my induction at 41 weeks…and my water broke the night before we were to check into the hospital. My baby laughed in the face of my relief and still put me through 45 hours of labor before making his appearance – 8 days late.

pregnant profile

Whoa baby!

My long labor meant about a day and a half on the epidural, which equaled a day and a half without real food. No one warned me about that. The combo of drugs and IV fluids caused my legs to swell from the thighs down, turning them into mega tree trunks that devoured my knees and ankles and scared the bageebees out of me the first time I saw them. No one warned me about that. And after my labor progressed slower than a turtle crawling through molasses in winter time, my doctor declared it time to push – and I pushed for TWO WHOLE HOURS before she said he just wasn’t coming out and prepped me for my C-section. Which meant my body needed to heal from both types of labor afterward. NO ONE WARNED ME ABOUT THAT!!

new baby born

Poor child was battered and bruised from his fight into this world

But appear he finally did. I vaguely heard the doctor saying she was ready to pull him out, and despite warnings that he might not cry due to the trauma of his labor, his scream sliced through the medicated fog shrouding my brain. I immediately started sobbing. Thankfully, the drugs kept me from actually moving, but in that moment, I was flooded with so many emotions at once, I thought it would surely knock me off the table. (Instead, I fell asleep…) And people did try to tell me about that. How the first cry would be emotional and the first sight of him would be love at first sight, etc etc etc. And it kind of was, though I had to emerge from the morphine haze a bit before I could register what was happening. I didn’t have any idea what to expect regarding the C-section….I had never entertained the possibility that I would need one.

But thanks to modern medicine, I was fine, and baby was fine, and the weird shape to his head went away in just a few days. He latched right away and nursed like a champ from the get-go…once I was coherent enough to nurse. As I watched in amazement at this ancient, instinctual act that I was now capable of, I realized the time had come: we had to pick a name!

He stores up his sass in those cheeks

My whole pregnancy was filled with the Great Name Debate. J loved to scour the internet for Worst Names Ever, and I quickly created the hashtag #NOTYARGLE to add to my request for name suggestions. All our friends and family were in on the search, and even when we narrowed the list to actual possibilities, J and I decided to keep them a secret. We had two names that finally passed, and decided to choose which would be the first name and which would be the middle name once we met him in person. Although I had grown really attached to calling him Smudge, I knew we made a good decision when I saw it written on our door by the nurse: Zane Elliott. Perfect.

baby in a bear suit

I shall call him Squishy and he shall be mine. He shall be my Squishy. ❤

Now I have this bundle of chubby cheeks and double chins to spend my days with. He is a fascinating creature, I must say. Every day he’s learned to do something new. Every day is a new experience for him. He makes funny faces and has no control of his flailing limbs and pees on me when I change his diaper. (I’m getting faster!!) Its an indescribable experience that leaves me exhausted and elated and constantly in awe of new life.

I’m even starting to get used to the more undignified aspects of new motherhood, like noticing my entire left side is soaked from leaking breast milk…while standing in line at the grocery store. Or opening the door for a friend who stopped by and realizing I haven’t showered in, well, I don’t even remember. Or finding myself smelling the mystery spot on my shirt to try to decipher it’s possible origin. Or making up song lyrics and wild dance moves to try to placate my screaming cherub at 2 am. And my favorite: changing a diaper only to have liquids start shooting out of one place or another…and catching them in my hand to try to keep the changing pad cover clean because I JUST washed it. Again.

new fatherhood

“Dad Talks” – deep discussions of the mysteries of the universe.

Despite the challenges, my heart bursts to pieces as I watch JBoo cuddling our tiny creation, explaining the world to him, or introducing him to Bob Marley songs. I never doubted for a second he would be a wonderful father, but seeing it in action really gives me all the feels. This new journey has already proven to be quite…an adventure. And its barely begun!!





Earliest Adventures

1 08 2018

I have to admit, I have become very lax in several areas of my life. Blogging for instance. Regular, vigorous exercise. Staying up past 9pm.

But the one that really gets me is the distinct lack of hiking and playing in the woods. I mean, c’mon, it’s my favorite thing, and I’ve lamented on multiple occasions about how great it feels when I get back to nature.

Though it was a pretty tough school year for me, and J and I had a ton of things going on, there is another huge game-changer that made an appearance in early March: a little hazy smudge on a grainy sonogram. We still affectionately refer to him as Smudge.

first sonogram

The doctor says its a baby, so I believe him. Welcome to the party, Smudge!!

So the school year (finally!) ended and my schedule cleared. But instead of mapping out backpacking trips and listing new trails to explore, I was organizing my baby registry and assembling furniture. I sorted through teeny tiny clothes and researched different diapering techniques. I sat on the phone with the insurance company discussing what they would cover and signed up for child birthing classes. And of course, I usually took a nap after each of these activities. But I really, really did want to get outside! I want Smudge to get that fresh mountain air and all the forest goodness as soon as he possibly can!

Memorial Day weekend, several of my besties drove up from Bend to hang out. One is a recent transplant from Texas, so I thought it would be fun to take her and her husband out into the wilds of Washington to demonstrate why I love it so much here. J said he knew of a secret waterfall that was a pretty short hike, so off we went. The hike turned out to be quite treacherously steep, but we somehow survived and the waterfall was definitely worth it.

secret waterfalls of the PNW, Washington Gifford Pinchot NF

Smudge has the best aunties in the world ❤

The last week of June, my parents and Hopey came to visit. My mom just couldn’t take it anymore! I could not WAIT to have my mom’s help getting set up for Baby Smudge and to get some quality time with the family. They decided to road trip the 2500 miles up here, and Hope declared everything was the biggest adventure she had ever had in her life! So, I decided to take them on an adventure of our own! Loaded with snacks and adventurous attitudes, we hiked the mile and a half or so back to Falls Creek Falls in the Gifford Pinchot. It was beautiful and exciting and so very fun. We had a few more adventures out in the woods, exploring the Ice Caves and Natural Bridges near Trout Lake. I’m fairly certain Smudge loved every step, every deep inhale. Gimme more, More, MORE!!

Falls Creek Falls trail, Washington, Gifford Pinchot

Chasing waterfalls

So after all my family goodness, we switched gears and drove down to California to see J’s family. We stopped along the way near the border of Oregon and California to camp one night, at a beautiful little spot with almost no one else around. We were next to a peaceful reservoir full of birds under the shade of big Ponderosas. It was a delightful night and I realized how much I missed camping, even if we were just car camping.

Topsy Campground, Keno Oregon

Edgar, the body pillow, joined us to help me sleep. He’s so sweet. Thankfully, we managed to find room in the tent for J, too.

Then I realized that if I’m truly going to raise a boy of the Pacific Northwest, there’s one more thing he needs to experience. It’s something I’ve not been able to fully embrace and in fact, I can barely do at all: swim in the frigid waters of a glacier-fed body of water.

The weather the last couple weeks seems to have been on my side in this decision, because temperatures have soared well into the 90s and even over 100 degrees several days in a row. By Saturday, I was ready to pack my bags and my dog and move to Antarctica. I DON’T LIKE THE HEAT. It’s uncomfortable enough to be 8 months pregnant, but now I’m also sticky, stinky, and grumpy. So when J suggested a hike and a swimming hole on Sunday, I couldn’t get in the truck fast enough! I even shimmied into my Easter-egg bathing suit that I look SUPER CUTE in and prepped Smudge for the exciting adventure ahead.

We hiked a section of the Salt Creek trail first, and I was a little put off on my body’s response. True, I’ll admit I nap more often than workout these days, and my body has been doing other things recently, like growing a tiny human. But hiking is just walking with a back-pack on! I can do that! But the amount of room Smudge is now taking up constricts my breathing a bit more than I would like and I have 25 extra pounds sticking out in front of me, throwing my center of gravity off. J was super patient with my many rest stops, and he even brought snacks! So by the end of the hike, I was filthy, super sweaty, and oh-so ready for that swimming hole.

We drove to the next spot and parked. J turned to me with a warning: this would be off-trail bush-whacking, and the way down might be a little steep. Did I still want to go? HECK YES – the best spots are always secret and hard to get to! So we grabbed our towels and headed down the slope through forest, prickly wild roses, various bushes and other undergrowth, and finally reached the water we had been listening to for most of the descent. There was a little sandy bank on the other side where we dumped our things, stripped off our outer clothes and dove in!

secret swimming hole, Gifford Pinchot NF Washingtion

Ok, so by “dove in” I really mean we waded in to get our ankles wet then raced back out as fast as our numb feet would take us….

Brrrrrr – even on a hot day that water is too cold. I can only stand it for a few minutes. I thought about sitting down in the stream but never worked up the courage. But I’m convinced Smudge will be able to handle the freezing waters, just like he’s going to be a champ at hiking through the woods and scaling mountains. Right?

I’m convinced we have no choice but to raise a nature-loving, tree-hugging, mountain-climbing, adventure-seeking little explorer, just like his daddy. Hopefully, we’re off to a good start!!





Just A-hiking in the Woods

27 07 2017

It’s no secret how much I love to hike. Outdoor adventures are the usual topic of this blog. And with school out, I have all sorts of time to head out into the woods!

The last month has seen more outdoor time than the previous 6 months combined. Oh, how lovely it’s been! The fresh air, the blood pumping through my legs, the quality time with my wiggly mutt…so good! Here’s a quick peek at some of our recent adventures.

Wyeth

Right before school let out, Simba and I needed some nature time, and J was busy working. We set out with a map and a few suggestions from our housemate to see what we could find. Our first attempt was to climb to Indian Point from the Herman Creek trailhead, but the overflowing parking lot sent us high-tailing to our second choice: Wyeth. Both are right down the Gorge, meaning everything would be gorgeous. We poked around the awesome creek that – of course – tumbled in several rapids and mini waterfalls. Ferns, moss, towering cliffs, swaying trees – a typical gorge hike. We really live in the coolest place.

Emerald Falls, Wyeth Trailhead Oregon Columbia Gorge hikes

Simba “swimming” at Emerald Falls – next time we’re climbing UP STREAM!

Green Point Ridge trail Columbia Gorge hikes Oregon

Lunch break about 3 miles up the trail. Shared a few nibbles with this handsome mutt.

The trail, which is actually called the Green Point Ridge trail, traverses the cliffs and flattens out pretty nicely after the initial climb. It was nice and peaceful once we tuned out the road noise below, and the lack of fellow hikers was a real plus. And since it parallels the Columbia River, the views are outstanding no matter where we looked. So awesome.

Trapper Creek Wilderness

J has been working his rear off this summer, so I’m really thankful I can tag along with him. Its perfect: he gets work done, I get to hike in the woods, and I squeeze in time with my Boo. All the things I want! A couple weeks ago, J invited me along for a trip to the Trapper Creek Wilderness, one of my favorite places. This particular area is unique in that it has old growth forest untouched by the logging industry. Most of the northwest has been logged at some point or another, but not here! The result is gorgeous, old growth forest, complete with monster-huge trees, lack of dense undergrowth, more diverse species of plants and trees, and the presence of old, gnarly snags that provide habitat for cool wildlife. If you’ve never hiked through an old growth forest, I suggest dropping everything and finding one immediately. Go!

Trapper Creek trail, Trapper Creek Wilderness WA GPNF

Simba, charged and ready to go!

Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Trapper Creek Wilderness WA

Don’t forget to pause and look up. The colors of the forest get me every time.

Trapper Creek Wilderness, Gifford Pinchot National Forest

Dropped off trail to take a break by this babbling brook. Cold, refreshing, lovely.

saprophytes Trapper Creek in GP Forest WA

Saprophytic plants – just a sample of the awesome flora to be found. These little guys don’t produce chlorophyll!

trail work, Trapper Creek Wilderness WA

My local ranger hard at work fixing some trail tread. ❤

Gifford Pinchot NF, Trapper Creek Wilderness hiking

And of course, #SelfiesWithSimba – the best hiking buddy around!

Cascade Creek

For the 4th of July, we knew we had to get out of town. Far, far out of town. Simba is terrified of fire works and its hard to watch him panic every time one goes off. We headed into the woods with the truck loaded with camping gear and found an awesome spot on the banks of Cascade Creek, right by its joining with the White Salmon River. Since the actual holiday was during the week, we lucked out and had the whole place to ourselves! We didn’t do much actual hiking, but we did a lot of unplugged, kicked-back relaxing and it was amazing. I didn’t take many photos, since I really did turn my phone off, leave it in the truck, and enjoyed time in the woods undisturbed. Glorious.

Cascade Creek, Gifford Pinchot NF WA

Glamping!! Who wouldn’t want a campsite where someone left a giant “Race Base” sign?! (Don’t leave your crap in the forest. K thanks.)

camping in the GP, WA

I can’t help it. Our selfie game is just so ON POINT.
#SelfiesWithSimba is now a thing.

Wyeth (full circle)

And then with JBoo in tow, we hiked Wyeth again. Not quite as far, but more playing in the creek. The hiking experience is totally different for me if I’m with someone, compared to being alone. After all this time, J is still my favorite hiking companion. ❤

Emerald Falls, Wyeth, hiking in the Columbia Gorge

Emerald Falls….again

Wyeth trailhead, Columbia Gorge

He wasn’t even working this time!!

And after a nice long hike, Simba likes to partake in post-hike snuggle time. He’s such a cuddlebug. I love it.

snuggle puddle

I apparently make a pretty good pillow.

This turned into a longer post than I intended…thanks for coming along for the ride! Our other big hike is getting a post all of its own, and of course Simba and I have daily expeditions exploring the neighborhood. More big adventures are in the works, stay tuned!!

Anyone else out enjoying the great outdoors? Suggestions for other places in PNW I should explore? Tell me all about it!!





Just Another Monday Evening

25 07 2017

Mondays get such a bad rap.

Please don’t do that in public…

Every once in a while, Monday tries to redeem itself. Today began as most of my other summer Mondays began: rather insignificantly. I slept in a bit, had a bowl of cereal, took the mutts for a stroll. But then my Monday stopped its ordinary trajectory as I packed a small suitcase and a bag for Simba, loaded the new RAV, and headed south. J had an overnight trip for work, so I hit the road for Bend.

I made it to Casa de Davis, home to my friends MAsh who happen to be traipsing around Peru for the summer. I got Simba settled in and made my way across the west side of town to a little restaurant patio in the Northwest Crossing neighborhood. Several of my gal pals gathered with me for awesome food, drinks, and catching up.

friends for dinner, Washington Dining and Cocktails, Bend OR

You’re right, Monday, these ladies DO make everything better!!

We all used to work together for a tech company in downtown Bend but have since found other pursuits. Strangely enough, the CEO of our previous company was sitting at the table right next to us! He very kindly sent us a round and stopped by our table to say hello. I haven’t lived in Bend for 6 some-odd years and I still bump into old acquaintances every time I visit!

Time with these 3 awesome women would have been enough for me to call Monday my favorite day. Bend, however, had more in store for me. It had apparently teamed up with Monday to really knock my socks off. They really succeeded…

Back at MAsh’s house, I decided to take Simba for a nice long walk. Being in the PNW, I still had daylight despite the hour approaching 9. We walked through the neighborhood and down to the Old Mill District. Trying to keep Simba out of trouble, I didn’t notice the impressive show in the sky right away. I actually noticed the people first – everyone had turned towards the setting sun and everyone was taking pictures. Everyone. Children, dog walkers, cyclists, staff from the restaurants – EVERYONE. I finally realized why.

central Oregon summer sunset Bend OR

Yep, ok, I’ll stop and look, too.

The scene was quite incredible. The fiery colors in the sky were breathtaking, framed by the Three Sisters mountains and reflected in the waters of the Deschutes River. Ducks paddled and dove in the river, though there was an interesting hush over everything. The typical bustle and noise of the Old Mill was still for a moment while we all took in the amazing sight.

sunset over Old Mill, Bend OR

Bend, I really don’t need that much convincing to want to come back….

Continuing on our way, Simba and I finished our walk, circling by way of the Colorado bridge and admiring the changes since our last visit. This tunnel, for instance, didn’t exist when this area was my old haunt:

tunnel under the Colorado bridge, Bend OR

So many colors! (Yes, this is my favorite shirt…)

For such a quick trip, I’m heading home in a reflective, grateful state of mind. Grateful for the amazing people I have in my life, grateful for living in such a cool place, grateful for the ability to travel around, grateful for the mutt snoring on the floor next to me that accompanies me on these adventures.

Touche, Monday – I hereby declare you my favorite.

Let me just leave you with a picture of a snoring Simba. 😀

Boy, o boy, I wonder what adventures await us on Tuesday!





All Grown Up

20 07 2017

Omg, adulting is so hard. And dumb. Paying bills and planning meals and vacuuming and keeping up with laundry. Making (and actually going to) doctor appointments. Wearing pants.

Being on summer vacation gives me a chance to float around in a weird in-between place. I still have to do those unfun things, but I can also sleep until 9 and have the occasional day of lounging in my skivvies while the boys are at work. It’s pretty fabulous. But then I decided to do the most adulty thing I’ve done in quite a while:

I BOUGHT A NEW CAR! ALL BY MYSELF! ALL OF MY VERY OWN! YAAAY!

2015 Toyota Rav4 XLE buying a car

TA-DA! Simba demonstrates how to be appropriately excited. 

The last time I went car shopping was 9 years ago and my dad co-signed my loaned because I was barely out of college and my credit sucked. We went to a dealership, looked around, picked out a little Mazda 3, and off we went.

This time, I took time, LOTS of time. I researched different vehicles and crunched numbers to figure out how much I could pay. I poured over consumer reports and built spreadsheets and dug around Craigslist. So much time. Yuck. JBoo made me. (Thanks honey.)

But the effort was worth it. Though I don’t like research, I’m good at it, and I figured out exactly what I wanted and how much I would pay for it. We test drove a couple choices, narrowed it down to the Toyota RAV4, and I built a list of available vehicles for sale. My research gave me specific qualifiers: it had to be all wheel drive, it had to be the XLE model, and it could under no circumstances be white. *shudder*

J was very supportive through the whole process, especially when we got to the dealership and I realized I made a little whoopsy. I hadn’t checked for all wheel drive when making my final list. And naturally the top 3 on my list were NOT all wheel drive. My brain nearly imploded. But we figured it out and I drove home my beautiful new Toyota that day!! The process was brutal, and of course weird things kept happening.  My dad was still on the title of my Mazda.We bought the car in Washington but we’re Oregon residents. Though my car was correctly registered in Washington, the title had never been transferred there from Oregon, and I had not yet registered it back in Oregon so…..it was all sorts of goofy. But everything worked out and it’s now sitting in the driveway.

And I just love it. I guess not all adulting is bad. I do feel awfully grown up…and super fancy.  I happy-danced all the way home.

😀

new car buying experience

YAY! OMG GREATEST DAY EVAAAHHHHHH!





Housewifing

13 07 2017

I am on summer vacation. Officially. We went all the way through June 23rd, then I had a week of professional development classes, and now I’m done.

Ok, I realize that I’ve actually been free for almost 2 weeks now, but there’s been so much happening! Mostly in my brain, but STILL! It took me at least 2 days to stop waking up at 5:30am. It took a full week to turn my brain off from teacher mode and to stop trying to lesson plan. It was just such a difficult thing for my poor, exhausted, brain fragments to accept.

No, I don’t have to plan anything.
No, I don’t have to prepare anything.
No, I don’t have to pack anything else.
No, I don’t have to decorate anything. Or clean anything. Or call anyone. Or email anyone. Or post anything to parents.

I’m….actually….DONE.

You can imagine the difficulties after being in warp speed for the last 10 months. Especially because I deep-down, truly miss my crazy, hilarious, bright, amazing kiddos……

So we went camping for the 4th of July, to a beautiful spot on the forest where Simba and I roamed free and no fireworks could be heard. (Simba can’t handle the festivities.)

camping Trapper Creek WA

The best mutt in the world

Then we road-tripped to Seattle for a cousin’s gorgeous wedding and a weekend of family.

wedding weekend Seattle WA July 2017

My handsome JBoo

J accompanied me to Portland for a day of car shopping and indecision and test driving. I’ve let my mind start wandering back to things like knitting and painting and blog posts.

And…I’ve been housewiving. According to both Google and Webster, this is not yet a word. But it best describes my new activities. I have been making my best attempts at performing the duties I believe to fall under the job description of a housewife.

I’m quite terrible, but I’m practicing, hoping to get better.

Fact of the matter is, while I’ve been working on my teaching gig this last year, I’ve been an awful wife. I mean the worst. J barely even saw me as I worked 12 and 13 and 14 hour days. House responsibilities fell to him, as did the dog, and dinners, and pretty much everything else. He kept me alive by grocery shopping and cooking and rubbing my back at night. This man made my coffee every single morning and poured it into my to-go mug so I could be human by the time my kids arrived. Even on the weekends I was typically unavailable, mentally if not physically. He even helped grade papers on several occasions! (And the award for best husband of the decade goes toooooooooo…..!)

best husband ever 2017

He so deserves this!

So now I’m trying to give back to my darling husband and use my free time to balance out the relationship. I’m working to deep clean our little house and organize and purge. I meal plan and grocery shop and even baked cupcakes! Simba has been getting an average of 3-4 walks a day and I’ve waged war on the dog hair like my life depends on it.

But yall, this is hard! My mother stayed at home for a few years when I was in high school and I thought she must have had so much fun gardening and playing with the chickens and canning and sewing…. I somehow missed the work behind it all. How we always had a spotless house and clean laundry and delicious food and handmade pjs. For some unbelievable reason, I called her last week to whine about how I didn’t want to vacuum again, and I really wanted someone to come over and play with me. Being the best mother ever, she just laughed and asked if I had swept or dusted the bookcase or washed the curtains. Well, no, actually, I hadn’t even thought of half that list. Ashamed and knowing she taught me better, I hung up and scrubbed my kitchen spotless. And she kept the same standards whether she worked, went back to school, or stayed home – how the hell did she do it??

But it’s so hard not to get distracted! I tried dusting the bookcase and ended up snuggled on the couch reading for 2 hours. I took out the trash and spent a good half hour trimming and arranging my flower boxes outside. I popped onto my laptop to find a recipe for dinner and lost 3 hours to the black hole of the Internet.

The struggle is real.

Then J comes home and a few times, I have had dinner ready. And he exclaims over how spoiled he is and how happy Simba is to have me back home and what an incredible job I did on the house. I kiss his head and clean up the dishes and high-five myself for finding such a gem, even if he is prone to little white lies.

I’m doing my best to swat away the guilt that descends on days like yesterday, where I did nothing more than knit in front of the TV all day long, and made a pathetic excuse for dinner. I have to remember that I am basically in a state of recovery, and a day of nothing is fine – healthy even – and gives me the extra boost to be productive the next day. (And Simba’s sweater is almost done!)

So, I’m back at it today, attacking the tumbleweeds of dog hair and compiling a grocery list. But if anyone does want to come by and distract me, I’d love the company!!

🙂

 








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