7QT // 62nd edition

10 November 2017

10 November 2017
It seems...frivolous, self-indulgent, and rather silly to write a quick takes post in times like these (how many more times am I going to need to write that?), but I need something to distract myself and I haven't blogged about books and clothing and toddler antics for awhile so here we go. Linking up with Kelly.

1.
Crazy children update first!
 

These two.
Every day with two children is an adventure. Will I want to pull out my hair by 8:03 a.m.? Will I dissolve into giggles watching them interact? Will I have to fight them to eat food that yesterday they gobbled down easily? It's a party, let me tell you.

Kate is growing up a lot lately, able to be very helpful when she wants to be, and I love shamelessly making her fetch and carry things for me. No shame in my parenting game, most especially because she loves doing it. She's slowly losing her nap and I am weeping tears of sadness in anticipation of when it's gone forever.

Cora is a non-stop ball of energy and destruction all wrapped up in a tiny body that can't do everything she wants it to do, so that's really fun. She crawls and climbs and gets into everything, mostly cords and plugs and dust bunnies and her new favorite, chewing on the shoes we leave by the front door. Almost 11 months old and already more of a troublemaker than Kate was at 18 months. It's gon be wild, y'all.

2.
Book updates! I've been doing a lot of reading lately while David's home because he's been reading too, and it's nice after a break of a month or so.
Amazon links below are affiliate. If you click through and make any purchase, I get a tiny percentage. Thank you!

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green: A+. Highly recommend. I have never been so immersed in a character's brain, and simultaneously wanted to escape it but had to keep reading it before, and it's quite an experience. Short summary, a girl with OCD tries to find a fugitive millionaire for the reward money. But it's SO much more than that - as is every John Green novel.

Caliban's War by James S. A. Corey: A+++. GUYS. I'm a huge sci-fi and space nerd, if you haven't gathered that already, and this space adventure series is the perfect blend of every aspect of that. I didn't think this one, since it is book 2 in the series, could be any better than the first one, and somehow it was. Great, fast-paced read although it is long. I can't wait to get my hands on book 3. Leviathan Wakes is book 1, if you wanna start it.

Still Life by Louise Penny: I've been searching for a good mystery series for awhile, and after hearing Christy talk over how many of these she's loved, I finally got my hands on the first one. (Our public library needs to get more copies because the hold list for one copy was 20 people long!) It was everything I want in a mystery series: bold and somewhat indiscernable detective, fascinating characters, crime without being gory, etc. I have the second one sitting on my nightstand right now, and can't wait to get into it.

The Good People by Hannah Kent: B-. I adored Hannah Kent's first novel, Burial Rites (my all-time most recommended book, I'm pretty sure). Because of that, I had super high hopes for this one, her second book, about the faery culture in early nineteenth-century Ireland. I loved the first half of the book, but it lost steam in the second half and just didn't mesh well so I can't give it a glowing review.

Currently reading Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty, which I anticipate I'll speed through like all of her previous ones.

3.

A very awesome problem to have, but since I lost all that weight (I'm at 35 lbs down right now, hoping to go a little farther and tone up a bit but I digress) I've grown the opposite direction of almost all my winter clothes. So I've been doing some shopping!

These jeans from Gap are my new favorite. I already detailed them on my Instagram stories a few weeks ago, but I purchased a second pair since then and I love them equally as much so I still need to share the love. They're $50 right now plus an additional 20% off with code CHEERS right now. I also got these amazing sweatpants from H&M, which are super comfy. Still rocking my amazing Lucky boots (50% off on their website today!).

4.
David and I are still trying to decide where to go for vacation next year. I keep waffling between a relaxing all-inclusive vacation on the beach, or a trip to Ireland/France/Scotland with b&b stays and a different feel altogether.

Or alternately, a train trip to Chicago for an extended weekend with play tickets and fancy dinners.
Or a secluded mountain cabin for a week somewhere in Wyoming.
Or...you get the picture.

If you've got an eye for great deals or something comes across your view that you think we should do, feel free to send it my way. I'm obviously open to pretty much anything.

5. 

This cutie, although being totally messed up sleep-wise from Daylight Savings Time ending, has developed a ton of great facial expressions. This is her concerned look, wondering why on earth Kitty was galloping around our front lawn and throwing leaves around. She also has a fantastic pouty face when she doesn't get her way, but I haven't captured a photo of that...yet.

6.
Some great reads from around the internet.

Why Catholics Should Be Aware of (and Denounce) the White Supremacy Ideology of the Alt-Right by Haley at Carrots for Michaelmas.

Thriving, Surviving, and Tithing by Jenny at Mama Needs Coffee.

Harvey Weinstein and the Economics of Consent by Brit Marling at the Atlantic.

7.
I need to finish painting and staining our new nightstands this weekend, as well as fold a bunch of laundry and get some photos printed. It's cold and gloomy so the walk I wanted to do tomorrow morning might not happen, especially since it's supposed to rain/sleet, but oh well. With David's cancer and low energy levels because of it, we've been taking it easy for awhile and it's kind of nice but I'm itching to do more (as is he, even more than me I think!). We're going to the Nebraska football game next weekend at Penn State, as long as David feels up for it, so I also need to prep for that. Probably by doing more laundry.

What are you up to this weekend? Head to Kelly's for more quick takers!
HG

Whew.

31 October 2017

31 October 2017
It's been a whirlwind around here, as you can probably imagine since my last post. Blogging is usually the first thing to go, and that pattern seems to be the case here too.

So, if you missed it: David has cancer. Chronic myeloid leukemia, to be specific. All things considered, he is honestly doing *really* great. I feel a little weird writing too much about it, because it's his battle and he's not a big share-er of things on social media...but I also want to be able to look back on this time and have a little bit written about it, so that tightrope line is what I'm walking with this post.

He's been home from the hospital for just a week now, and for someone who only got out of the hospital a week ago, he's doing great. He's up walking, not even nauseous enough from the chemo to need his anti-nausea meds, but really pretty tired most of the time. All things to be expected, for sure. We're trying to adjust to him being here all the time, which is a weird sentence to write because duh, he lives here, but it throws us girls off our usual routine and that is always stressful, no matter the reason.

We have had family visiting off and on for a few weeks, and so today was our first day with just us 4 home. My work has been really slow this month, which is a blessing and a curse at the same time. Good because I can concentrate on keeping up the house/feeding us/cleaning more than normal (those are all things I basically do not do from Monday-Friday if I'm working my full 40 hours, in case you've ever wondered), and keeping up with insurance calls/doctor visits/etc. etc. It's also a bit of a bummer because we need the money, but next month should be a little more normal and I think that will be good timing.

We've been shown an insane amount of generosity from every corner of our lives since the diagnosis. It's been overwhelming in the best way possible: meals brought to us, prayers said for us, cards and well-wishes from all over the globe. It's incredible, really, and hard to express the thanks we feel in just words.

~~~~~~~~~~~

In non-cancer news, we've had a great fall. I keep meaning to update on all the house projects and things we've done, but as it's been go-go-go I haven't yet. This winter! I will take a bunch of crappy photos of stuff and regale you with it all. Gotta keep it all documented for posterity's sake.


I do not have high hopes that a 10 month post will be written about Cora, but I did take the photos so I'll probably squeeze those in with her 11 month ones. Sorry to disappoint everyone, I know you're probably all depressed because of it.

A short update on her: she is crawling everywhere SOOOO fast, loves getting into every single thing she can possibly get to, still sweet and a little clingy, but otherwise basically the happiest baby on the block. She eats big people food like a person twice her size, cut her first tooth 3 days ago (beating Kate on alllll the milestones), and I'm guessing she'll be walking in the next few weeks. YIKES. Lots of changes for a cutie this size but we love her.


She fell asleep sitting up, I'm pretty sure, and then just doubled over. Flex-i-ble.


We carved photos! Guesses on which is mine and which is David's? :)


Target trips these days leave little room for actual purchases. That is another double-edged sword: good for my bank account, difficult for when we actually need to buy stuff. 


Seriously, can she GET any cuter?


This spitfire is another story altogether. We're nearing a calmer part of the threenager behavior, but entered into an all-new negotiating phase and it is exhausting. She's definitely inherited her father's penchant for arguing and negotiation.

For example:
Me: Kate, 5 more minutes until dinner time.
Kate: No, Mama, 10 more minutes!
Me: No, I said 5 minutes.
Kate: 7 more minutes?
Me: FIVE MINUTES.
Kate: 3 minutes?
Me: *silently rages because toddlers*

As you can tell, she needs a little practice with some numbers being smaller or larger than her intended target, but the natural gift is all there. She's got a great career as an attorney in her future, if she wants.

On the other hand, she has been extra sweet and cuddly with David's health stuff, and always tries to be very helpful, so I can see the light at the end of the tunnel with the tantrums and stuff. It's a very faint light, but it's there.


Don't you worry, as soon as naps end (not wanting that to come quicker), I'll be taking an insane amount of photos of these two cuties in their Halloween costumes. And I'll be making an effort to take more sibling photos - I seem to have lots of photos of them separately but not many together. Whoops.

Thanks for sticking with that randomly-conglomerated photo dump. I'll be doing more of those in the next few weeks interspersed with home improvement progress stuff so you don't get too overwhelmed.

Keep us in your prayers, and thanks to everyone who's reached out already. <3
HG

An update on David

20 October 2017

20 October 2017
Hi all,

For anyone who follows me on some other form of social media, this is just a reiteration of news previously shared, but if you don't I figured I'd share here and hopefully look back on this post in a few years with a lighter heart.

For a few months now, David has been experiencing some pretty bad headaches. They started off infrequently around the beginning of August, but there was no pattern to them. He'd get them in the morning, or later at night, and they were exacerbated by movement occasionally but not light sensitive or anything. He is basically superhuman when it comes to his pain management, and really hates going to the doctor for anything that isn't horrible. So we waited. He was also occasionally lightheaded, especially in the mornings, but just shrugged it off as a part of the headaches.

About a month ago, he finally went to the doctor to see what was up. Since it was just one spot on the back of his skull that hurt, they diagnosed him as maybe having mastoiditis (which is basically just an ear infection but in the bone in your head instead of your ear). They started him on antibiotics, which helped get rid of some of his headaches, but then he got a whole bunch of other symptoms. Originally we thought they were just side effects from the antibiotics but he was feeling lightheaded almost every morning, was waking up with night sweats, had a decreased appetite, random swelling in his feet and ankles, sleeping poorly, and just generally feeling icky and fatigued.

He had a follow-up appointment for the antibiotics this Monday afternoon at 4:00. Being typical David, he stopped to run an errand for me on his way, and even though he had felt really light-headed that morning (laying on the floor in the bathroom for an hour before he got up), he had gone to work all day because he had a work conference scheduled that week he'd been super excited to go on.

While he was at his appointment, he fainted twice. They took him to the ER in an ambulance and diagnosed him with leukemia (CML) after a few blood tests.

To say we were shocked was (and honestly, still is) an understatement. He was doing fine except for some headaches, for the most part. During the months he had the headaches (and what we know now was when he first got the cancer), he built our shutters, hung up a bunch of stuff in the garage, installed outlets in the basement, painted the whole basement with me, you name it and he had still done it.

There's a whole 'nother post in there about how amazing he is and how sacrificial he is, truly to the bone, but I'll skip that for now.

We have begun cancer treatment at UNMC, where he is getting fantastic care. There have been ups and downs, primarily downs since the news, but I'm trying to remain optimistic and hopeful and praying as much as I can. Both of the girls are doing fine - Kitty just thinks Dada is at the hospital and the doctors are making him feel better, and of course Cora doesn't know what's going on. Because he's a pretty private guy (especially when it comes to social media) I haven't been telling a lot of people the details because I know he wouldn't want them shared. So this will maybe be the only post I write on it, at least for awhile.

If you want to do something for us, we are requesting prayers. I've decided to ask for prayers specifically to St. Kateri Tekakwitha and St. Jane de Chantal, our two girls' patrons, for intercession. We're also praying the St. Jude novena which starts today, so you can sign up here for a FB group set up by a kind friend for it or here to get the prayers sent to your inbox every morning.

I can't describe the outpouring of love and support we've been shown already and how much it has filled my heart with gratitude for the community and family we're blessed with. I want to thank everyone who has already reached out and tell you how much it means to me. We are feeling very loved and supported and that has meant the world.

Keep us in your prayers as you can.
love,
the Gokies


David Leo, 324 months

09 October 2017

09 October 2017

David turned 324 months old today, aka 27, so here's a post to celebrate him! He's growing SO big and has been doing all sorts of new tricks that documenting them all was vital for his birthday. ;)

Height: 6'1"
Weight: undisclosed via privacy request of the man in question (I'm assuming)
Nicknames: Dada, Dad, DAVID (when Kitty gets very upset that someone isn't listening to her, she reminds us all that she knows our real names and shouts them vehemently), Daaaaaaa (Cora)
Firsts this month: turning 27 I mean 324 months, having a real bummer of an infection that's taken a few weeks to kick, going to a pumpkin patch as an adult!

Other things to note:
He's still as selfless and as fun as ever, keeping this family trucking along with house projects, doing all the dishes, handling bathtime and screaming children during the witching hour, and generally being a rockstar. This couple weeks of sickness has thrown our routine out the window, but we're extra grateful it hasn't been anything too serious.

For his birthday he requested nothing too elaborate, so we celebrated with his family this weekend in Columbus and will celebrate both tonight and Wednesday (tonight our immediate fam, Wednesday with my side) with his favorite foods: Raising Cane's, cake, and a birthday reward venti caramel frappucino. (Bonus tip: you don't even have to load any money onto a reward account to get a birthday freebie -- David never has his Starbucks app loaded and he gets one every year! Yay for free things!)

He's been extra helpful on the weekends, taking the girls so I can go try to frantically copyedit a manuscript for hours on end. We're kind of itching to start a new house project since the outside is basically done (until we landscape next spring), so we'll see what that ends up being. He's been wanting to get the garage finished and organized, since we'll use it for projects during the winter, so that might be next.

All in all we are lucky to have such a loving, caring, hard-working, goofy man around to balance out all the female craziness going on in our house (currently outnumbered 4-to-1), and we're grateful for every minute we have with him.

We love you, Dada/David! Happy birthday!!!
love,
Hannah, Kateri, and Cora

currently

25 September 2017

25 September 2017


The rain is falling down, the windows are open with cool air (finally!) coming in through them, both girls are asleep, and I'm settling in for a little bit of blogging and some work to do.

drinking: Diet Coke. Since it's zero points for WW, I've developed a serious addiction...which I should probably cut once I'm to my goal weight, but for now it's basically giving me life and I'm going to stick with it.

listening to: Up and Vanished -- I took a break for awhile because I got distracted by other podcasts but via the prompting of Caitlin I'm back on it. If you've got any humor/comedy podcasts I should listen to, hit me up -- they're my fave.

eating: nothing right now, but I had leftover tuna noodle casserole for lunch and we're planning on pulled pork sandwiches for dinner.

reading: I'm in between books right now, but I just finished (Amazon affiliate links ahead) Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey, which was amazingggggg - if you're in the mood for a good, realistic, captivating sci-fi novel, I highly recommend. The next one in the series, Caliban's War, just came off the hold list at the library so I'll probably go pick that up this week. I'm 5 books ahead of schedule to hit 30 books this year, so I'm hoping to exceed that by a lot.

loving: the La La Land soundtrack for motivated background music.

working on: a couple house projects including new shutters and a painted basement, which I will take photos of and share later this week. The rain is lovely but not so good for photos, even with my new phone.

wearing: I got to wear jeans this morning without sweating!!!

making: been making small progress on my knitted blanket, which I've been working on for over a year now. I'm convinced I'll still be knitting it in my 80s.

watching: I'm on my fall rewatch of Gilmore Girls, which Kate always interprets as "Gilmore Girlfriends"-- she always wants to know what I'm doing before she falls asleep for naptime, and she verifies it when she wakes up again too.

wondering: where we should go for vacation, as I've officially reached my goal weight to reward ourselves with an anniversary trip next spring/summer! YAY. I'm stoked but totally overwhelmed with the options. Switzerland? A train trip through the Canadian Rockies? an all inclusive in Jamaica? I just can't even think about all the trips without my brain hurting. You should see my internet history. (Using Jenna's recommended Scott's Cheap Flights to tempt me about twice a day!)

What's happening in your neck of the woods?
HG

Cora, 9 months

19 September 2017

19 September 2017




Oh my dear sweet Cora, how are you already 9 months old? I can't believe you have been outside my tummy longer than you were inside. Life wouldn't be the same without you.

I have no idea on stats but here are my guesses, since we haven't had her 9 month appointment yet as per usj, and I probably won't remember to come back in and edit them...oh well...

Weight: my guess 23 lbs

Height: I'm guessing her height has stalled out because she can still fit in most of the pants and onesies that she's been in for awhile.

Firsts this month: waving, doing "so big!", pulling herself up slightly on furniture, transitioning from sitting to crawling and back again, basically being a big mobile girl!

Nicknames: I have taken to calling her Bubbie, and no I don't know why but it's my favorite nickname for her. <3

Other things to note:
+ Girlfriend just went from nursing 4 times a day to just 3 -- in the morning when she wakes up, around lunchtime, and once before bed. I'm trying to wean her by the time we leave for a Husker game weekend at the end of November and since it's almost October (eek) time is running out! She's pretty okay with it because she eats SO MUCH FOOD and is basically a bottomless pit of real-people food.
+ Honestly, I cannot describe to you how much this baby eats. She would sit in her high chair and eat 24/7 if I let her or if she didn't occasionally get tired and need to nap. It's amazing how much food she can put away.
+ We're officially off of purees too (unless there's one hiding in the cabinet that I haven't found) and down to only big people stuff! Her favorites are pizza crust, grapes, cheese, and the occasional puffs snack.
+ Her naps have been meh since we went down to 3 feeds. I was nursing her right before sleeping and we're trying to transition out of that, and it's not been easy...haha. She slept for an hour this morning, when she'd usually sleep for 1.5 or 2, and yesterday wasn't much better. Hopefully she'll ease herself into longer naps again soon. She's crankyyyy when she's tired (much more than Kate ever was while tired as a babe).
+ I guess I didn't mention in my last post that she is officially sleeping through the night! I feel like that was longer ago than just one month but apparently I'm wrong. She sleeps through the night, and I honestly feel like the amount of sleep I am getting is the same because I'm staying up later...oh well. I think she's a happier baby because of it.
+ She and Kate have started to take baths together, and it is officially my favorite part of the day. Mostly because I know where they are and they're contained and usually playing happily together.


We <3 you Cora Jane Gokie!
HG

7QT #61 // IKEA, paint colors, & books

08 September 2017

08 September 2017
Two posts in two days?! Hannah must have something REALLY important to talk about! Umm...nope. Just another random post. But linking up with Kelly nonetheless for quick takes.

1.

My sister Lucy left for Colorado early this morning, to move there, not just for like, vacation, so we met halfway between Lincoln and Omaha for dinner last night to say goodbye. Kitty and Cora were well-behaved the whole time, the weather was lovely, and I had some delicious brisket.

I'm not sure why I'm telling you this, but it's nice to remind myself that evenings like this still exist, even in this climate - both weather and political.

2. 
That being said, if you'd like to read the most insightful article I've read on Donald Trump thus far (oh gosh, it's only been 7 months since he was elected, good heavens), click right on over here to Ta-Nehisi Coates's most recent Atlantic article, The First White President.

3.
Lighter subjects, Hannah! IKEA toy storage!


As you know, we stopped at IKEA in Colorado for some toy storage options. Since we moved here, all of Kate's toys in the basement have just been in random baskets and tubs on the floor against one wall in the basement. It was time for an update.

We got a Kallax and an Ivar (not totally assembled above) for book storage, and two Trofast thingys for regular toys. I'm hoping it will encourage organization and maybe allow us to rotate toys in and out more easily. All of the above will be wall-mounted, once I decide which piece goes where, and should hopefully be done this weekend. Yay!

4.
I painted the wall behind the toy storage a lovely mint -- Behr Glass Tile. So. Pretty. Of course that meant we needed to change the color of the rest of the basement, which I absolutely detest because it's like the worst cream that has pink/orange undertones and it just disgusts me.

So! Here are our options. Thoughts?



Of course the pictures with my crappy old iPhone don't do them justice, but the left one is a more green undertone and the right one is a blue undertone. We don't have an issue with needing our basement to feel bigger, because right now it's basically empty of furniture minus my one wall that has my desk stuff on it, a table I'm trying to sell on Craigslist, and one couch. I was originally leaning to the one on the right, but I'm growing the other direction, mostly because I think it will feel cozier overall, and complements our carpet a little better.

But I'd love your opinions!

5. 
Need some new jams?

A new Aly & AJ song (yes, that Aly & AJ)! A new Justin Bieber song! and of course, the newest Taylor Swift!


We've been listening to Tswizzle on repeat in celebration of Kate being done with pullups at night. Yay!

6.
John and Hank Green are going on tour for John's new book, Turtles All the Way Down, and although they are going all over they are not coming really anywhere near where I could go. I'm trying to convince my brother to go (he's in Spokane) but if you're near them, you should go! I think they'll be recording a live episode of Dear Hank and John at each place plus all tickets give you a signed copy of his book so like, win win!

7.
Speaking of books, I'm still working my way through the Dark Tower series. And kind of reaching a rut in it -- although I did read about 100 pages last night before bed, so maybe I'm on an uptick? We'll see.

I just added these to my to-list read (from various sources, including the Malcolm Gladwell podcast, NPR, and a blog post somewhere that I can't remember, sorry if it was you!). Affiliate links ahead!

Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey
Legacy of Ashes by Tim Weiner
Breaking Night by Liz Murray
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Lab Girl by Hope Jahren

Apparently most of what's appealed to me lately is non-fiction/memoir/sci-fi. Anybody got anything else to put on my ever-growing-but-never-shrinking Goodreads list?

Happy Friday, everyone! Head to Kelly's for more -- and wish me luck on my first fantasy football weekend. I have literally no clue what I'm doing. :)
HG


CO over Labor Day

07 September 2017

07 September 2017

We were #blessed enough to drop Kate off with my parents over Labor Day weekend and then drive 7 hours to Colorado to spend some fantastic catch-up time with our college friends who live there, Caitlin and John, and another couple from Lincoln, Mikayla and Brendon, and their little baby Lucy. It was rather impromptu, super relaxing, and involved the only three things I really wanted to do: a trip to IKEA, a visit to a brewery, and a hike. Oh, and adult conversations without a toddler interrupting us every 2.2 seconds.

Cora was as well-behaved as a baby can be, with two days of 7+ hours in the car within a 4 day period. The way up was great -- she slept or was mostly quiet most of the time. Of course the next couple days she woke up at her normal time (aka early for Colorado time) and had some scattered naps, so she wasn't an angel, but one kid is a breeze in comparison to 2.




IKEA was our first stop. It was a dreamland as per usual, with me wanting to purchase almost everything they have in stock. What can I say, I'm a millenial, and they have some killer minimalist furniture at a decent price. They were unfortunately out of stock on the nightstands I wanted, but we got everything else (toy storage furniture) and Cora chilled in the sling when she got fussy and it was grand. Minus the Denver traffic after.




We spent Saturday hanging out, and mainly watching Cora's new trick which involves us saying "sooooo big!" and her thrusting her hands as fast as she can into the air. You can see her demonstrating it above although it's lots harder to do when you're laying on the ground than it is when you're sitting. Baby problems, am I right?


Lunch was at Breckenridge Brewery, which was super amazing and delicious although I had a cold so I didn't have any beer. Although let's be honest, I'm not really a beer person. We annoyed our waiter by all showing up in Husker gear except for Caitlin (haha), and funnily enough he also worked at Husker bar in Denver as his second job so he gave us some grief. #worthit


Later that night we went to Mass, and then afterwards watched the Huskers marginally squeeze out a win against Arkansas State (ughhh) and I had a Denver Beer Co beer, this Princess Yum Yum, which maybe is the all-time best name for a beer. And I actually liked it!



The next morning we went for a hike and I think David realized how out of shape he is. Although, how in-shape can you feel with a 22+ lb baby strapped to your back? I felt pretty good which was nice in comparison to past vacations where I felt crazy out of shape during hikes.


We even took a sweaty baby family photo (minus Kate!).



We went out to a delicious Mexican place for lunch that I didn't take any photos of, and then had dinner al fresca (?) in between naps, games of pitch, and a fierce competition of The Resistance. It was awesome.



Cora was considerably less happy driving home, mostly because she couldn't get to sleep which is bizarre and then was just too tired and also tired of being in the car. But we survived AND got that cute photo of her in the front seat while I made a coffee pit-stop so win-win!

A huge thank you to John & Caitlin for opening up their home to us and dealing with a crying baby way too early in the morning and feeding us tons and just all-in-all being fantastic hosts.

It was an amazing weekend and I want to go back, like, immediately. Although let me catch up on laundry first, please.
HG

The privilege of motherhood

29 August 2017

29 August 2017

Parenting two kiddos is a journey and a challenge and a blessing, all in one, pretty much every single day.

Sometimes I watch them, when they're sleeping or playing nicely together, and my heart bursts with the love I feel for them. My heart aches when they're gone, and the love I have for them eclipses pretty much everything else.

Other days the screaming hasn't stopped since 7:46 a.m. and my head is pounding from the headache their screaming has caused, and the minutes slowly drag until 5:30 when David pulls in the driveway and I practically sprint out the door for an escape because I just can't take another minute of it. Or I collapse on the couch, defeated by the 39th request to do something or to move Cora away from the cords on the ground and I just think to myself, "I can't handle another minute of this" so I hide in the bathroom and scroll on Instagram to remind me that I'm an adult who has more varied interests than making another pb&j or wiping butts all day long.

Can you tell which of the two is my favorite?

I treasure the moments when it's quiet in here, when the two girls are occupied with whatever holds their attention for a minute or two. I'm holding on to the hope that a sweet child will re-emerge from the hormonal raging monster that is currently the 3 year old, and the teething pain will ease for the 8 month old so my still-sweet babe can smile at me for more than a minute at a time.

But really, my life is so much more fruitful and privileged than I can even comprehend.

I complain to myself about having to get up off the couch to tend to a child -- and I think of those who don't have children. I refill a water bottle for the thousandth time -- and I think of those suffering the floods in Texas. I coax a baby back to sleep who really doesn't want to -- and I ache for babes with no beds to call their own. I wipe another butt -- and I thank God for the blessing of modern toilets. I read another book for the millionth time in a row -- and I think of those who can't afford books or toys like we can.

This dichotomy of modern living has been haunting me for awhile. How do I manage to stay thankful and optimistic when all I can think about is those who have less than me? How can I complain about my small difficulties when they are pebbles in comparison to some? I try to lift all my confusion up to Jesus and ask Him to help me pray for those who need it, help me remain grateful, help me let go so I can help others in the small ways I can.

I'm not writing this all as a plea for sympathy - but rather as a reminder to myself that everything is temporary, kid phases will pass, and I really can handle the small trials I'm sent. No matter how many times during the day I say "I can't do this anymore" and wish for just one minute alone to regroup, God didn't send me these two beautiful hooligans on a whim.

Every moment is a chance for me to better myself, to grow into the person and mother I was called to be, and yeah - life isn't all roses & daisies, you moron. (That's me talking to me, if you're curious.) Sometimes life is hard. So it is.

"Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer." Romans 12:12.

That's all any of us can do.
HG

End of summer feels

24 August 2017

24 August 2017
Although this summer has seemed like an endless wave of heat and wishing it to be over, it's kind of surprising me that we're already at back-to-school time. This is our last year with just us, because Kitty will be starting preschool next fall (AHHHHHH) so I'm going to really try to enjoy it while I can. Right now the thought of having to drop her off and pick her up every single day, at the same time, sounds like a major cramp on my loose and free schedule, but c'est la vie.

I'm going to try to take advantage of this during the fall and do some more impromptu and fun things with the two girls. Honestly most of our "free" time right now just is me working at the computer...which isn't all that fun for her, although it is a continual lesson in independent play. We need to work on a few social skills, so I'm hoping to make a regular occurrence at our library's story time, and hopefully take advantage of the less populated zoo during school times. It'll hopefully be a nice change from our normal outings: Costco, Target, Walgreens drive through, library visits for 10 minutes at a time. #glamorous

I'm sure that will just mean more late nights and work for me on the weekend, but if this is the only year we have to really do it up, I'm going to try to do it up! Wish me luck.

Anyway, this summer has been great. I haven't posted photos for awhile, so here goes.


First off, the eclipse!
Can you stand how much this cutie above just ECLIPSES all other pictures with how adorable it is?! Couldn't resist a pun there, because this is my new favorite picture of her. She was just so happy to be included.

We traveled to Lincoln (a 45 minute drive) to see the totality, and it was honestly 100% worth it. I kind of thought it might be overhyped, but it was an emotional experience to see it. I hope I never forget it. 


Eclipse cupcakes!

Not an amazing photo, but a picture of the eclipse nonetheless!
Kate had a little difficulty following the directions but she mostly just played while it was going on, so I'd call it a win. We went to watch it at my uncle's party, and it was awesome to experience it and hear the collective gasp when we reached totality.


Naps have become a little sporadic for this one. I'm clinging to them as long as I possibly can, because most days she's tired and really needs one to survive the day. Other days she just plays in her room quietly for a couple hours until I give in and let her up. Some days she doesn't fall asleep for a long time, like the day above, so I had to go in and wake her up. Still so cute sleeping!

We're also still in the throes of threenager behavior, which means I constantly have to go shut myself in the bathroom and take some deep breaths when things get out of hand, and/or make David take over when he gets home so I don't pull my hair out. It's hard to remember there's a sweet girlie underneath when she's screaming for the 10th minute in a row, but moments like this or cuddles on the couch help a little.


Cora had her first experience with grass and she was NOT a fan. So funny that I had to take a picture before picking her up. I think Kate loved grass (?) so it's extra funny in the difference between them. We'll give it a try later when she has pants on to see if that was really the issue.



On days where I just can't stand being inside with them another minute, we take a long walk in the double stroller after naptime. It's a hefty workout (oh my gosh, I haven't even attempted to run with it yet in our only-hills-neighborhood) and it keeps them mostly quiet for at least half an hour, and for that reason alone it was worth the money.

I'm thinking we may need to buy the snack tray soon. It's finally become nice enough out that it's not unbearably hot, and I might try to make it a habit to walk every day after naptime this fall before the snow hits. Aka prime snack time for two little girls!

We've got some more house projects in the works, including a new toy organization system, finishing up staining the flower boxes in front of the house, and I'm trying to convince David to paint the basement. (Really tired of the pinkish orange tan we've got going on right now.) I might just tackle it myself if he refuses to help. We're headed to Denver to see friends in a couple weeks and an IKEA trip is included there, and luckily football season is right around the corner too, so fall is really here!

How was your summer?
HG

My Sunday Best: flouncy dress edition

20 August 2017

20 August 2017
Cora and I both wore our flounciest dresses to Mass this morning so I felt the need to document! So we're linking up with Rosie and her My Sunday Best series.





Outfit details, because I know you just HAVE to know.
Dress: old from Gap
Belt that you can't see: old from Target
Shoes: American Eagle that I painted for a wedding
Sling: Wildbird Dove (seriously still so in love with this sling, I'll never go back!)

Cora's dress is one Kate used to wear, a gift from my mom so probably from Younkers or Dillards if I had to guess. I'm too lazy to go check and see what brand it is.

Although we looked real cute, we showed up late (super unusual for us, I must just not have been checking the time), Kate spent most of Mass either crying or whining about Jesus-only-knows-what or reading her allotted one book VERY loudly, and Cora regaled everyone with her high-pitched screams when she wasn't chewing on my fingers, prompting the couple in front of us to turn around and comment that she'd have a great singing voice one day.

Needless to say, I need a nap.

Luckily the rest of our day should be relatively low key. David's sleeping on the couch at the moment while Cora naps and Kate reads every book she can get her hands on out loud. I think I'm going to go buy some paint samples for our new toy storage organization (coming very soon!) because if David's involved, it'll be 4 weeks later and we still won't have anything picked so I'm just going to go for it.

How's your Sunday going? Head to Rosie's for more Sunday shenanigans!
HG


follow me on Instagram

social media