Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Dear Matilda-

Your 3rd birthday has come and gone, and a day doesn't pass by that I catch a glimpse of the baby you were and a flash of the little girl you are becoming. The baby features are waning, and the little girl personality is exploding.

You prefer to do pretty much anything and everything by 'your own self', but still prefer to never be too far from you daddy or I's side. You choose playing with us vs. by yourself 99% of the time (sometimes to our dinner's detriment), but that is because one of your favorite activities continues to be reading books.

And while you are working really hard at your letters (you have M and K down pat, thanks to your BFF Kayla), you aren't quite reading by yourself yet. :) You continue to get smarter--your song portfolio growing, you ability to throw out sassy quips rising, and your ability to 'make a deal' and negotiate is both astounding and frightening all at the same time.

You still approach the world with a cautious confidence. Soaking, watching, learning first. And then jumping in once you know you can do it. Grandma and Grandpa got a scooter for you for your birthday, and this is the first time that you've really worked at something you weren't great at, and tried little by little to get better--instead of waiting until perfection struck.

Your cousins are some of your favorite people in the world, even though we don't see them all that much, your adoration is always full. In fact the other night, you said you 'had brothers. cousin brothers.' And so they are.

The world is your oyster, my dear. And your sweet yet sassy personality will light in on fire. It melts our hearts to watch you become such a polite, and thoughtful little girl. Oh sure, there is a LOT of hitting/pushing/yelling at Bea (which drives me bananas). But for each of those--there is a moment where you ask why a person is crying. When you give up your toy for Bea because she is crying. Or when you come running to me to let me know that Bea needs me.

You hold your friends dear. 
I hope you can do this for the rest of your life, because good friends are worth holding on as tight as possible for. Quality over quantity. Pick the people that make you feel good, that make you a better person, and who you can have a good time with. 

Happy Happy my sweet Tillie Mae.

We love you very much, and cannot wait to see what the next year holds for you. If any of our other parent friends can predict the future--it should be a wild ride. Word on the street is that '3' is quite the rollarcoaster compared to 2.

Whatever it holds, we will be on the ride with you--enjoying the ups, and attempting to hang on for the downs. Because with a smile like this--how could we bear to miss a thing?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Things We Miss

We have officially been in the house for a little over a week and while we are loving the bigger space, the muted noises (thank you carpet), and a kitchen that allows us to prep and also interact with the girls while they are playing there are definitely things we miss about the old house:

1) Ease of Cleaning
Holy smokes. If you want to sweep the bathroom upstairs, you have to go downstairs and get teh broom, which for some reason feels so much more difficult than taking two steps in the little house.  It feels like we need a toilet brush for every level. And we might just be vacuuming the rest of our lives.  I am sure some of you would suggest a cleaner, but let me just stop right there and say that is definitely not in the cards (or budget) at this point.

2) Grass
This is temporary. We will have grass, again, someday, at the new house. But for right now, it is a massive dirt pile. And Bea only wants to eat dirt. So there is that.

3) Our nice, cool bedroom
Oh man, how do I miss this. For some reason, the one thing that isn't quite working the way we want is our HVAC and cooling the upstairs--specifically our bedroom, which is specifically the room I prefer to be cold all year long. So every night I go to bed complaining it is so hot. Our little house bedroom was wear a sweatshirt and socks to bed cold, and I loved it. Something tells me I will never need to sleep in a sweatshirt ever again.

4) Living RIGHT next to some of our favorite people
One would think that being two doors down instead of 1 door down wouldn't make a big difference, but it does! We don't see our friends, the Teskey's, nearly as much as we used to, and Matilda just points to their house and says "where is Elena". I am still mourning the loss of our 'tunnel in between the houses" idea.

5) Girls "sharing a room"
Don't be confused--the girls did not EVER share a sleeping space. But essentially Bea just slept in teh basement (#secondborn) but all of her stuff like clothes, diapers, etc were in Tillie's room. It was so easy. Now we put Bea to bed, and then I realize I need something from the changing table for Matilda. And for some reason, I am feeling to stubborn to buy duplicates of everything.

Other than that, we are loving the new digs (minus a few moments where Matilda has said she doesn't want to go to the big house, she wants to go to her little house). Will post pictures soon!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

The 9 Stages of Moving

After almost a full week of moving, I can reliably report to you that these 9 stages of moving have been confirmed, and are now a scientific phenomenon that one should warn friends about before they decide to move into their new homes.

Don't get me wrong, we love our new house and are feeling quite blessed that we are finally here, but I was unprepared for the intense ride of

1) Excitement

You spend the bulk of your time perusing Pinterest and Houzz dreaming of how amazing your new house is going to look once you get moved in, when in reality you should be spending it with your friends the U-Haul Box and the Packing tape and actually PREPPING for said move.

You pat yourselves on the back for 'getting ahead of things' by gather boxes, and making a giant list of everything you need to do, because just getting it out on paper is progress, right?

2) Denial

Classic warning signs of this stage include creating excuses for why it's okay to break your 'i'll pack one box every day' rule---5 days in a row. You tell yourself that you will just pack 5 on the weekend, but then the weekend comes and one kid gets strep throat and the other really doesn't care that you had plans to pack a box, because the only thing that will stop this tantrum is a trip to the park.

 You deny that the move is getting closer, and start to make excuses about why you don't need to start packing yet:  Our home is so tiny. How long can it really take? I think we could easily pack this sucker up in about 2 days. 3 days tops.  We can absolutely knock that out. No problem.

3) Overwhelmed 

One morning, (probably about 72 hours before you are set to move), you will wake up and reality hits you. Holy Shit. How are you possibly going to get everything packed and in a box before we close on the new house? You completely abandon your plan to have your little house completely spotless BEFORE the move, and accept that you will now be cleaning your little house, moving into the big house all at the same time.

4) Exhaustion

You are in the thick of the move. Schlepping boxes. Telling your crabby husband where his box is supposed to go. You become delirious with each trip up the steps.  You probably haven't eaten for a solid 48 hours. And if one more person asks you where you want a specific box your head might literally spin off.

You lift one box that you know you really need to unpack (like pots and pans--things you need for survival--or at the very minimum your children's survival), realize it is heavy. Look around for someone, anyone, who you can have take it instead of you. Those people do not exist. So instead, you pick a different box.

One filled with matress pad covers, and pillow shams. Stuff that you probably could light on fire and wouldn't miss. But you know what: those pans were too damn heavy, and that is why we put a microwave into this house.

5) Surge-of-Optimism

You start to rally! And as an added bonus your Houzz visions of grandeur come back to life. We can TOTALLY get through all of this. Let's just take our time and make sure it all goes into the perfect spot. After all, the better organized we are when we start out in the new home, the better off we will be forever.

You can start to see it all come together, and are drifting off with daydreams of Christmas carols being sung around the new piano, with stockings hung on the new mantle. This year's Christmas is going to be off the hook.

6) The Rat-Race stage

You are never going to be done moving. Ever. Where do these boxes keep coming from? It's like they are bunnies, or mice. Every where you turn they seem to multiply. You swore you just broke that box down. Where did this one even come in?

What am I supposed to do with this box filled with a: bike helmet, cookbook, yoga mat, heater, and a bath mat? Who PACKED THIS BOX? Which room do I even take this to to unpack it??

7) Anger
It's unclear if this stage develops because you haven't eaten for days because your refrigerator consists of condiments and beer, or because you are truly just mentally and physically done. But at some point hate-rage toward the new home, and its contents resembling a big house with shitty furnishings and not the beautiful scene from Houzz you had envisioned will set in.

This stage also typically involves an IKEA run.

you think..oh yeah---you know what we need? Hooks. And Shelves. And organizing stuff. That will help make it all better. And in the end you leave with a bunch of shit from ikea that generates MORE boxes, MORE do-it-yourself nonsense, and a moment where you briefly question your marriage. But hey, at least you got a soft serve ice cream cone for $.99 out of it.

8) Desparation

You look at your kitchen counter, and you see a basket full of pens, a tape measure, some random organizing baskets from Ikea, three bottles of half-drunk energy drinks, a drying rack that you have had for 3 years, never used, but don't have the heart to throw it because it is brand new, ear phones, a bottle of tums, and mail that keeps piling up.

And it hits you--you don't give a flying crap where any of this stuff goes as long as it is out of sight and technically put away. We have to start a junk drawer at some point, right? All homes have those, right? Then take all of this crap off of my kitchen counter right now, and put it there. Anywhere.

9) Acceptance

At this point, you have reconciled your dream of what the house was goign to look like with what you know the house to currently  look like. And you resign yourself to have patience. To live in the house a little bit, before you start drilling holes like crazy. And that you may just not have a couch, or kitchen chairs before you host your daughters 3-year birthday party.

You accept that this is the new home, and try to buck the waves of sentiment that sweep over you as you do the final wipe down of the old house. You ready yourself to make memories in the new house, and have accepted that you may be doing that among boxes for longer than you wanted, and amid empty walls for longer than you imagined. You shut down your Houzz account, delete your 'New Home" pinterest board, and get back to real life.

And for us, that life involves a whole lot of bins yet to be unpacked, a new floor that has already been scratched by moving a couch, and a whole lot of fun yet to be had. It's been quite the ride, but we are so excited that we are on it, and ready to make this house a home!