Cha cha cha changes. (A New Blog!)

May 5th, 2014

A few years ago I wrote a guest post on a friend’s blog about Ashlyn.

 

It sparked a little idea in my head to change my blog name.

 

And then life happened.

 

And I was overwhelmed at all that would be required to make the switch.

 

 

So it remained on the back burner.

 

 

And then Russians hacked this blog with questionable ads.

 

So I took it as a sign from the heavens that it was time.

 

My grandmother also told me it was time, too.

 

“Honey, thank you for such a sweet story about Holland’s birth.  But why are you selling Viagra?”

 

I’m blaming Putin.

 

 

Anyhow.

 

I’m so excited.

 

As I close a blogger chapter here.

 

And start a new one here.

More excited than she is about sweet potato puffs.

 

And thankful to my friend Katy for understanding my little vision.

 

 

Screen Shot 2014-05-05 at 11.37.06 AM

And creating this most beautiful new design.

 

Without me even having to say much.

 

She is brilliant.

 

 

If you subscribe to this blog and want to continue receiving posts, you need to hop on over to our new blog and resubscribe.

 

I’m sorry.

 

Blame Vladamir.

 

 

When God is doing one thing, He’s doing a million.

My Baby Girl and I

March 25th, 2014

I had lunch with a new friend last week.

Who happens to be a photographer.

She snapped these pictures of Holland and I.

And they are such treasures to me.

Processed with VSCOcam with m3 preset

Had I known she was going to share her skills, I probably would have brushed my hair a little more.

Or at all.

Worn earrings.

And not dressed my baby like a boy.

But such is life right now.

Processed with VSCOcam with x1 preset

Not much time to primp.

Or worry about what my kids are wearing.

I’m lucky they are dressed.

But, really?

All that doesn’t matter.

I just want to remember being with her.

In God’s glorious creation.

The way she makes me smile.

A few frozen minutes that seem to float in time.

A tiny part of a season that passes all too quickly.

Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset

I am so thankful for these moments captured.

And for friends that take the time to capture them.

Our babies are our best gifts.

Photographs with our babies are a close second.

6 Months.

March 11th, 2014

She laughs when I yawn.

So she’s laughing lots lately.

Our baby has decided she’s a night owl.

I know it passes fast.

And she nurses and falls right back to sleep.

So I cherish it.

And yawn a lot.

A funny, little personality is starting to emerge.

photo 3

She makes this silly grin quite often.

Dave says Kayla used to do the same but I don’t remember.

Because I’m up at 10 PM, 12 AM, 2 AM and 4 AM.

She is rolling much more quickly now.

And just starting the pre-crawl booty rock.

I think she’s going to be fast once she takes off.

I’m hoping that skill takes a few months to perfect.

Because I’m too busy yawning to chase after a baby that moves.

She had her 6 month check up yesterday.

photo 1

50% in weight and 85% in height.

Tall and lean.

All that power rolling has thinned her out a bit.

photo 2

And this is my favorite picture of her so far.

I love her smile.

She’s such a happy, easy baby.

She’s social and friendly and a big, giant flirt.

Taking her new world in.

All day and all night.

Happy 6 months, little girl.

I love you.

Yawn.

Bringing Back the Rainbow Chart. And Are Terrible 6′s a Thing?

February 25th, 2014

I know my girls will read this one day.

So I want to be gentle.

But, Ashlyn Grace.

2014 has been a sassy year for you so far.

And it’s time to regulate.

Discipline is a tricky thing.

Personal to each family.

No one has all the answers.

photo 1

But this system worked well for Kayla years ago.

And we started back up again today.

And we’ve had the smoothest morning in months.

I will speak for my children.

They like structure and organization.

They like goals.

They like clear rules and consequences.

They like reasonable rewards for doing good.

This discipline system incorporates all of these things.

And makes me sane.

So I thought I’d share it.

And include a printable so you can roll with it, too.

It’s pretty simple, really.

Kids start on green each morning.

Each child has their name written on a separate magnet.

Break a family rule?

Have child move their magnet to yellow.

Break another family rule?

Move to red.

Choose from consequence jar.

Consequences are written on large popsicle sticks that we keep in a mason jar.

Obviously, these will be different for each family and each child even.

No iPad time for that day.

Early bedtime.

Time out in room for 30 minutes.

Your choice.

The thought of no iPad for a day sends Ashlyn into a frantic tizzy.

So that’s her button.

So her jar has about 10 of those.

That’s another great thing.

You can choose the amount something appears which will increase the probability it is picked.

Same goes with rewards.

Catch them being kind and nice?

Have them move their button to blue.

Catch them again in the same day?

Move to purple.

Chose a reward.

photo 2

These are also written on popsicle sticks and kept in a separate mason jar.

Be sure not to mix them up.

Because that’s future therapy for sure.

You don’t have to go crazy.

Extra book at bedtime.

Extended bedtime.

A movie on Netflix.

Special dessert or treat.

You know what your kids love.

And hear me out.

The goal is not to create greedy, performance-based robots.

The goal is that my girls grow to understand and live out the verse at the top.

I want our home to be one of love.

Joy.

Peace.

Patience.

Kindness.

Goodness.

Gentleness.

Self-control.

And when it’s not, I want to take action to fix it.

I recognize that they are little humans.

And have bad days just like adults.

So grace abounds.

Much grace.

For them and for me.

Every day is a fresh start.

photo 3

And this little bugger was up all night.

So she’s on red today.

Thursday.

February 6th, 2014

It’s raining.

It’s pouring.

Our dog is snoring.

I feel like he can rest a little easier now that his fur has grown back a bit.

He’s no longer pink.

And doesn’t need sunscreen during walks.

Dave is speaking to me again.

This is all good news.

photo 1

Kayla is kind of serious about this violin business.

I love that we might have a band geek.

I pray for a band geek.

Band geeks stay out of trouble.

Unrelated.

I’m just wondering if the Superbowl could have been any more boring?

At the last minute Dave put together a friendly survey.

We had a variety of predictions to make.

photo 3

Over little details of the game.

I’ve NEVER heard a group of people cheer so loudly over a coin toss.

Or gasp in disgust when the national anthem presenter didn’t wear gloves.

Or be so concerned over the Red Hot Chili Peppers attire.

“YES THEY HAVE NO SHIRTS!!!!!!!!!!!”

photo 5

Jumping up and down and screaming like we were in Sochi or something.

Anyhow.

Yesterday was a marathon of hectic.

Minimum day.

Speech and debate class for the girls.

We crashed a homeschool class.

photo 2

Cochlear mapping for Ashlyn up at UCSF.

During commute hour.

With my baby on the floor of the sound booth during testing.

Evening service.

Today I’m choosing to be less crazy.

The girls are off to school.

After Ashlyn’s Missing Lion King Umbrella Crisis of 2014.

She settled for a Dry Bar one.

She doesn’t know that one day she will love the Dry Bar way more than Mufasa.

I’m getting a haircut this afternoon.

And my mom is cooking dinner for us.

Thanks, mom.

Thursday night family dinners are pretty much the best.

I’m Fitness Palling again.

Which makes me want to murder everyone.

But I went bathing suit shopping yesterday.

And that also made me want to murder everyone.

So.

To prevent deaths.

Egg white breakfast sandwiches and iced green tea for days.

photo 4

And just in case you were wondering?

She’s not interested in making any Fitness Pals.

And don’t touch her chips.

Stay dry, folks.

I missed these puddles.

Things I Want to Remember About a January That Felt Like September.

January 28th, 2014

Our winter has been more of a summer.

And I love summer.

So no complaints here.

Hope started a junior high Sunday school class.

photo 4 copy 2

And it has my heart.

Dave and I met in junior high youth group.

After he hit me in the face with a dodgeball.

God is good at bringing us full circle.

photo 1

We watched the Niners win some.

And lose some.

photo 3 copy 3

And we’re officially Denver fans next week.

Kayla’s just happy to root for horses.

photo 2

We tried pear/mango/papaya.

She agrees with me that papaya tastes like the smell of feet.

We like sweet potatoes with cinnamon better.

photo 2 copy 2

And we feed ourselves, I guess?

What four month old does that?

photo 5

We spent Saturday mornings watching America’s Funniest Home Videos.

Also, I felt the need to throw in a “before” pic.

Because we also got an accidental summer cut.

photo 2 copy

I’m still getting the hang of the goldendoodle fur.

And waited too long to call the groomer.

He had legit dreads.

One Love, Linc.

photo 5 copy

We’ve been up to our ears in schoolwork.

Researching.

Writing.

Memorizing.

Ashlyn had a presentation on snow last week.

She was able to read the whole thing.

After we practiced the word “temperature” a few times.

And was upset the snowflake I helped her make did not have six sides.

“But that’s fiction, mom!  We said right here it has six sides and this only has four sides.”

“It’s not supposed to be FICTIONNNNN!”

I’m so proud of her.

And want to run and hide from her all at the same time.

photo 3 copy

Kayla has a presentation next month on a topic of her choice.

She went to the SPCA with her dad yesterday.

I was a little worried they’d come home with a friend for Rastafari.

But they stayed on task.

Research only.

I’m proud of them, too.

swimming

We spent time swimming in Nan and Pop’s pool.

photo 2 copy 4

Often.

photo 3 copy 2

We had play dates at the park.

photo 5 copy 2

And know how to take selfless, apparently.

photo 4 copy

We’ve been practicing our jumping.

Well, or just drooling on our seat.

photo 2 copy 3

We found our toes.

And clothing has been pretty optional.

For the baby, obviously.

I still can’t believe she’s nakie in the middle of winter.

photo 5 copy 3

We’ve spent time on the coast.

Adventures on the Pacifica pier.

We saw a sea lion.

photo 4 copy 3

We’ve witnessed some glorious sunsets.

January, you’ve been full and fun and different this year.

Thanks for the sunshine.

Four Months.

January 16th, 2014

Our baby girl turned four months on the 9th.

I get that time flies extra fast in motherhood land.

But this is kind of ridiculous.

She’s still a peach.

A giant peach.

photo 1

At her recent check up we learned that she’s doubled her birth weight.

16 pounds of chunky monkey.

That’s what we call her.

Which will probably have to change before junior high.

Ho Jo is another nickname that’s likely to stick.

That’s a little cuter, I think.

She’s still sleeping in our room but is close to outgrowing her bassinet.

And I don’t really have a plan for that yet.

So I’m hoping she takes a little growth break.

Is that such a thing?

We just started solids on Tuesday.

Which probably won’t help with the break.

Brown rice cereal?

Not a fan.

We added apples and strawberries.

And a feeding assistant.

Fan.

photo 3

She spends her days being rotated around various locations in the house.

The activity mat station.

She likes to look at herself in the mirror.

The Rock and Play station.

Where Lincoln steals her toys.

And the Bumbo station.

Although her ever growing thighs are about to make that last one obsolete.

holland

She’s just starting to roll.

But gets stuck on her tummy so she doesn’t travel very far.

She loves her big sisters and her puppy.

She is smiley and drooly and cooing like crazy.

They are the sweetest sounds in the world.

She’s also a Niner fan.

I think it’s just the bright colors and fast motion.

But her dad is pretending it’s more.

Kayla has zero interest in the old pigskin.

Ashlyn minimal.

She’s mainly concerned with the opponent.

And says that Satan likes them.

I’m not making that up.

Anyhow.

photo 4

Littlest sister may be his golden ticket.

Or we can just pretend.

Also, of note.

It’s 72 degrees here today.

Crystal clear, bright shiny skies.

In January.

Happy first third of your first year, Holland Joy.

You bring us sunshine.

Smelling the Lavender. And Living Quietly.

January 13th, 2014

In July of 2001, Dave and I traveled to Europe with friends.

It was such a glorious experience.

One I remember so fondly.

I was a self-proclaimed scrapbooking psychopath.

photo 2

Abnormally delighted to find acid-free paper made out of real pressed lavender in the south of France.

I was already thrilled about seeing the lavender fields and my excitement quickly escalated upon purchase of the paper.

I couldn’t wait to take the perfect pictures and come home and have them printed.

I’d mat them on top of my photo-safe lavender card stock and into my scrapbook using my tape roller.

Psychopath.

Anyway.

As we were driving through the French countryside, we saw it.

The sea of purple.

I yelled for Dave to pull over and we took our pictures.

And then we were on our way.

Au revoir, south of France.

photo 3

Here’s the deal.

I don’t remember the smell of the lavender.

Or feeling the breeze carrying the scent.

I don’t remember the real life beauty of acres and acres of purple.

I don’t recall Dave’s reaction as we saw it.

Did he even care?

Probably not.

But I don’t remember.

All I could think about was that stupid paper.

I wanted to be home.

Picking up pictures at Costco.

And I was in FRANCE.

photo 1 copy

The best worst part of the story?

If you flip through my Europe scrapbook?

There are zero lavender pages.

No pressed paper.

No purple pictures.

And honestly?

I can’t remember why.

I don’t know what happened to them.

My scrap psychosis probably doubted the acid-free international standards.

Sometimes we lose so much in our quest for the perfect capture.

And then we have nothing left to show for it.

photo 4

I’ve seen five million articles on this topic of being present.

I’ve only read a handful.

I GET it.

As a mom.

As a wife.

As a friend.

As a Christ follower.

As a human.

I’ve been warned of and understand the danger of living such a staged life, one forgets to ad lib.

And honestly, I feel I accurately represent who we are on various social media outlets.

If you know us, I would hope that what you read and see does not contradict what you know to be true.

And if you meet us, I don’t think you’d be surprised.

Here’s the rub.

It’s not so much that I change or manipulate who I am.

Who WE are.

It’s my pre-occupation with capturing it.

And displaying it for others to see.

Taking 100 pictures and deleting 99 to be left with the one perfect shot.

Spending wasteful minutes cropping out ratty hair, parts of a messy kitchen and a blurry background dog.

Choosing the perfect filter.

From a separate app because the Instagram filters aren’t good enough.

Maintaining a certain level of “quality” to the photos in my Instagram feed.

To what I post on Facebook.

My worth has become wrapped up in the response of strangers.

When it should be wrapped up in the response of my Savior.

And my husband.

And my little girls.

And my family.

And friends.

And frankly?

It’s just not a good use of my time.

I’m still fleshing out what this all means.

But I guess I just want to be quieter.

And simpler.

Because it’s become too much.

And overwhelming.

And I feel annoying.

I want to be a mom for the sake of being a mom.

Not to capture moments for others to see.

I want to serve my family and my home and my church.

For the sake of serving my family and my home and my church.

Not to show how I serve.

I want to count on my memory more than my social media feeds.

I want to write more.

Here.

Post and caption less.

Elsewhere.

photo 1

I want to tell our family stories.

And not worry about who’s reading.

Or what response I’ll get.

I want to read your stories.

Have real conversations.

Not flick my index finger up my phone screen and feel caught up.

We have so many exciting things going on in our family.

In our growing church.

If it doesn’t look pretty in an Instagram square, it’s still worth capturing.

If it can’t be said in a clever Facebook status, it’s still worth saying.

I want to stop and smell the lavender for a season.

I don’t want to miss the breeze.

10 on 10. December.

December 11th, 2013

10 photos on the 10th day of the month.

photo 1

photo 2

photo 3

photo 4

photo 5

photo 2 copy

photo 3 copy

photo 4 copy

photo 5 copy

photo 1 copy

ten on ten button

Pintertest Kitchen 27: Sweet and Sour Chicken

December 4th, 2013

This will be short and sweet.

And sour.

chicken

We love sweet and sour chicken.

Well.

I won’t lie.

Dave and I do.

My children have questionable eating habits.

Kayla will not touch chicken unless it is pink slime and breaded.

But eats her weight in raw oysters and vegetables.

And Ashlyn survives off apples and rice only burritos from Chipotle.

It’s just a long and complicated story.

And I don’t care enough to fight them about it.

All that being said.

When I saw this pinned I had to try.

And I’m glad I did.

Make this chicken.

Adults and normal children will love it.

Pinterest win.

Original recipe here.

Screen Shot 2013-04-03 at 9.24.26 PM