Friday, October 3, 2014

Why Hellllooooo there Mr. Wyatt

The first moments with your new baby---well, they're incredible. No matter how you labor, no matter how you birth, each one is just so special. Each time a new baby comes into the world it's pure magic and I don't know how else to say it without sounding like a complete loon. But it's magic.

My sister-in-law Lyryn really wanted a birth-day video when her 3rd little guy was born after seeing me do one for my sister when Deacon arrived. Thanks to a scheduled c-section and a little schedule-adjusting with my husband, I was able to make it work for me to attend.

We had no idea if they'd let me into the operating room until that morning, when the anesthesiologist on-duty had to make that call. But thanks to a little favor from God (I'm certain...Lyryn had been praying lots after all...), she was totally cool with allowing me in to capture some of those usually-unseen moments.

I got to suit up like a marshmallow man. It was amazing. Also, those suits are not breathable, and I may or may not have had pit-stains on my shirt. But it was well worth it.

While my main goal was to get video clips to mash-up into a little video keepsake for them, I managed to sneak in a few photos here and there. Not much, but some. And Wyatt James at 7lbs 10oz is one hunk of a little baby man, with a pouty lip that will certainly get him anything he wants for the rest of his life. He shares a birthday with his Api, Declan & Lyryn's dad (who passed away last year), who would have been 70 yesterday.

Basically, we're all in love.

And if you managed to not see this yet, between facebook and instagram, here's the video. My goal with this was to tell a little story of that morning Wyatt was born. To give you the feel of the day, the excitement, the nerves, and to really just remind us all that every birth is perfect and beautiful in it's own way.

Because, squishy, beautiful baby at the end. The ultimate prize, am I right?

Wyatt James from MeMo Lifestyle Videography on Vimeo.

Hope you have a happy weekend, my friends.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Two pictures in sunny San Diego

This past weekend I got the chance to visit my little brother in San Diego allllll byyyyy myselfffffff. Yes, that must be exaggerated. Because, a trip alone to the grocery store is a treat when you're a mom--so four days in Southern California?


I've visited there before with my whole crew (and mom and dad) in tow. We did more the touristy thing that time. This time, I wanted to just do what my brother does. I wanted to eat at some of the yummiest places, I wanted to hike, I wanted to go dunk myself in the ocean because it's both scary and exhilarating all at once. I wanted to just spend time with Wit and enjoy being brother/sister and not me being mom-distracted-by-two-kids and him being uncle-getting-climbed-on. 

Life has changed so much for us both over the last half a decade (and more), and honestly? I'll kinda treasure the time spent with him. Bunking with him and his 2 other roommates for a few days, staying up wayyyy past my bedtime, meeting more people than I'd imagined, attending parties, going to his church with him, and really getting a feel for his life there. It was really good.

Can you believe that I had no little rascals tugging at my leg the entire time, and I lugged my big camera across the country, to one of the most beautiful areas of the country nonetheless, and I only took two pictures

I have no excuse. None at all, really.

But thanks, iPhone:

You wanna know the best part? Knowing that I didn't have to worry about the homefront. That my super capable husband was home, holding down the fort. He not only managed to work from home some days, but he did some boss pony-tails on our girls (come on...learning how to do hair is hard!), dressed them pretty darn cute and took them on more outings than I even do alone.

They didn't really miss me a bit. And thanks to facetime I didn't really have a chance to miss them much either. I was greeted at the airport with some beautiful flowers, my crazy-cute family, and I came home to a super clean house. 

I mean, what more could a girl ask?

You'll see me back again, San Diego.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

To marry him.

It was dinner prepping time and not long before Declan would be home. All the toys that exploded from the living room that day started migrating to the kitchen. The girls had gotten play-doh out, 10 million little lalaloopsy toys, and Emeline was whizzing by me every 10 seconds on the razor scooter. Yes, in the kitchen. I'm a real stiff on my rules around here. Shake it Off by T-Swift was playing on repeat on Spotify from my laptop. Spontaneous dance parties were breaking out, as the girls were taking turns "being on stage" (cough, standing on a rubbermaid) and showing off their dance moves.

This time of day can be a little stressful for me, admittedly. I really don't prefer to trip on toys in the kitchen while I'm making dinner.  It's the one place I feel like, keep your toys awayyyyy, and yet, it never, ever happens. The house is a mess, a complete mess, and everyone is getting hungry. My hands are always covered in raw chicken or something disgusting the exact moment someone always needs you this instant

But for some reason, this day, albeit chaotic and messy and loud--felt different. Lucy and Emeline were both playing independently for the most part. They were getting along, and in between dance sessions, there wasn't fighting. There was playing, a little giggling here and there, some sweet sister chatter, sometimes explosive laughter. I remember having a little moment, the kind where you 'check-in' and feel fully present, the kind where I thought, Ok, here it is. This messy, hard but good, not-perfect life, we're living it. I felt gratitude wash over me in a way that felt like slipping into a warm, cozy bed. 

A few minutes later, out of nowhere and in between dance-breaks--Emeline says, "Mommy--I want to marry my Daddy...'cuz he's the BEST".

I looked at her, in all her 4-year-old beautiful innocence and I didn't have the heart to tell her anything except that marrying him is a great choice, because, you're right--he is the best.

I was unloading the dishwasher at this point, putting sippy cups together, something that could drive you to insanity--and I got a huge, massive lump in my throat replaying that over in my head. I want to marry my daddy. And I felt tears building up in my eyes. And you guys, I am not a crier. I'm really not. It takes a lot to break down this stoney heart. But that got me so hard, right there in my now-swelling-heart. 

I thought, Wow. Isn't that the ultimate compliment? She wants to marry her daddy.  

Because to her, in her 4 year old mind, he is the picture of perfect love to her. He is the picture of protection and endless hugs and exactly what it means to be accepted fully as you are. That concept wrecked me. It absolutely wrecked me because it holds so much meaning.  Since we often project our views of our earthly father onto our heavenly Father God. I thought, wow

I want her to always want to marry her 'daddy'. Someone just like him, that values and loves her all the time. That lifts her up and encourages her. That tells her she is strong and can do anything she wants. 

It is the ultimate compliment. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Accepting Fall.

You won't hear me shouting from the rooftops about my love for pumpkin spice lattes (I don't actually like them), wearing jeans (my legs would rather breathe, or, be wearing spandex), or the changing leaves (that means they're about to fall off and die, people)--but it's the day. The first day of Fall. 

If we differ in this area, we can still be friends--I promise. I still pretend to like all the changes for my kids, after all. I try to be a good mom, anyway.

So we do the whole shebang. Visit the orchards, do the hayrides, pet all the stinky animals, and of course, pick pumpkins and stuff.

apple cider donuts, silly-gourd-smiles, and boots, oh my.

I guess it's Fall after all. :)

Thursday, September 18, 2014


We live in a time and age where we feel like we can see it all. Thanks to instagram and blogs and what people are tweeting about you formulate a story about their life, and start believing it. You see pretty, well put-together-pictures and you think it's a pretty, well put-together life. Or whatever. 

And blah blah blah. It's talked about again and again and again in blog post after blog post that comparison is the thief of joy. Don't compare your behind-the-scenes with other people's highlight reel. This is part of their life, not their whole life. Don't beat a dead horse, Katie. And don't worry, I won't.

To be honest? I am not a huge comparer. I'm not. Seeing pretty stuff and neat homes, and well-laid-out-pictures on instagram doesn't make me think you have it all together. Even if you do. I just assume you're like me and a (not so) secret-hot-mess. I pretty much assume that your mornings can be chaotic and stressful, and that maybe you, too leave your house looking like a robber ravaged through everything, and come home scratching your head like, 'crap-did we do this?'. I assume that your kids are hard to wrangle come teeth-brushing-time, and that every day is a struggle for you to make healthy food choices and get your butt to the gym. I assume that we all have our issues. And that's cool, because, we're human! Gosh, we are so human. And my human can be kinda....ugly. Impatient. Exhausted. My human can yell. Oh, my humanness made me eat chick-fil-a yesterday. 

But I have to be honest.

The last few days I have been beating myself up. I am not a huge negative-self-talker. I tend to be like, Ok-Katie. Look how far you've come. You've done good. Keep going.  But the last few days have been different and I'm not ok with it. I feel vulnerable sharing--I do. But in all my humanness I'm going to anyway.

Lately I've been comparing myself. Feeling down about where I'm at and measuring myself to where others have gotten in a quicker amount of time. Standing there doing Body Pump at the gym and thinking, oh my god, look at my thighs.  Comparison completely stole my contentment the last few days. It took over my mind and I absolutely hated it

The worst part is, I am so self-aware about this stuff. If it ever crept up in the past I can tell myself to shake it off and move on fast. I tell myself it's silly. I tell myself that I am strong. I tell myself to snap the freak out of it, because, my gosh, THIS IS NOT A REAL ISSUE. But it overtook my thoughts before bed last night and it kept taunting me. I got fed up, and so I prayed and told God that this is not who I am, and please take these feelings away, because, frankly, it's gross.  

This morning I woke up a little bit early. I came downstairs, brewed my coffee, and read a little bit. Of course, without fail, my Jesus Calling cracks me over the head again with this one:

You inhabit a fallen, disjointed world, where things are constantly unraveling around the edges. Only a vibrant relationship with me can keep you from coming unraveled too.

I'm tightening up ship today. I'm not going to let my mind unravel to the point of comparing myself against others. The only person it's hurting is me--and it hurts my focus. It's a waste of energy, time, and it's a disservice to all the hard work I've put in over the years. 

The buck stops here, because this is not who I am.



I know this is a vulnerable discussion--but do you ever find yourself comparing to others? what's your tactic to stay grounded?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The way it begins

I start to feel myself returning to the world again. I hear the little sound of chattering happening over the monitor. I peek open one eye and see that the bathroom light is on. It mentally gives me a gauge for what time it is.

Declan must be showering and getting ready. Ok, it's roughly 6:30-6:45am, I tell my sleepy-self. Almost time to start the clock on this day officially

I hear the chattering again. My brain finally returns to me when I realize that chatterbox is Lucy waking up Emeline, again. I jump up faster than I know is possible and dash toward their door to save Em from yet another rude awakening. 

I literally run into Declan with arms-full-of-Lucy in the hallway. He already saved the day. He throws the chatterbox back in bed with me to cuddle and Emeline still gets to sleep in peace. I breathe a little sigh of relief. 

She presses her little smooshy face against mine and we whisper chat about her sleep. She tells me she tried to wake up her sissy. We talk about the day ahead, and that it's a school day, and I wonder what you'll have for snack today? She tells me she's going to play with the yellow playdoh, and paint a picture using 'on-nange' (orange), and she'll give it to me, even though I tried to persuade her to give it to daddy for his office. (I already have 4 purple paintings from last week.)

A delicious-smelling-freshly-showered man leans over the bed and kisses us both goodbye. He talks to Lucy for a few seconds about the exciting day of preschool coming, she tells him she loves him in her cute Lucy voice. I tell him to drive safe, I always say that. 

We finally decide it's time to go downstairs--but the chill in the air means that it's a robe-day, so we both go on the hunt. She decides to barrel into her room looking, but I intervene (wrangle-the-lion) just in time to save Emeline's slumber once again. We still didn't find the robe. But I found mine.

We make it downstairs without disturbing the big girl.

I click the coffee machine on. 

It feels like an eternity for it to heat up, so I start pouring milk for the girls and putting together a hodge-podge of breakfast items on their plate. Some egg bake, a little greek yogurt, grapes. I don't put huge portions on their plates--I figure they'll eat about a quarter of it anyway. I am usually right.

I have to chase Lucy down once already when I realize she got halfway up the steps proclaiming, "I wake sissy up NOW!" No. no. god, please no. Let her sleep. Dealing with one kid at a time in the morning is a rare, beautiful thing. 

Finally, finally---my coffee is brewing. I pour in a little almond milk, sprinkle a little cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice on top, and I eat a few of the leftover grapes hanging around.

Lucy refuses to sit at the kitchen table today. It would cause a big, huge fight to get her there--she prefers the island, sitting on a rickety, old stool that she always gets stuck on. She's watching the pbs kids app on the iPad, since she's alone, she feels like hot stuff having control over it, since normally Emeline takes the reign on that. So I let her be.

I open up my laptop. Sip in some liquid crack, cough, coffee, I mean. Stuff a piece of egg-bake in my mouth. I look up and I see a raggedy-bed-headed Emeline trickling down the steps, in her oversized hand-me-down nightgown she's obsessed with, holding tight to her rapunzel pillow. 

Good morning, baby

I see her eyes begin to well up with tears the second her feet hit the kitchen floor.

I walk over and kneel down in front of her to give her a big morning hug and find out what's making her sad, thinking maybe a bad dream lingered, you know, something serious.

I don't want Lucy to have the iPad....I....I....I want it.

Within 5 minutes they forget about the whole thing and run off to play tea party, with real water, and real spills.

They only eat a quarter of their breakfast as I expected.

So begins another beautiful, messy, crazy day. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Those September Days

September brings new, fresh starts. It's back to ballet for this beautiful girl. Ballet is something I don't push on her, at all. It's not like I was some ballerina and had great dance experience as a kid, heck, I didn't do much of any extracurricular activities (by my own choice, I was painfully shy). Honestly, if she decided tomorrow that she hated it, I'd be out of there. But she seems to love it so we roll with it. 

I'm flexible about extra stuff. Now's the time to dip her toes in and find her 'thing' and if her 'thing' isn't any of this, then fine by me. Just be yourself, girlfriend. For now, you rock the heck out of that leotard and bun, that's all I know.

I also have no idea where you get that hip-pop and modeling sass from.  

(See last year's 1st Day of Ballet pics here)


In other September News....

Both of these ladies started preschool again. Well, it's a first for Lucy---and it's Emeline's last year before (gulp.lumpythroat) Kindergarten. If you remember, Emeline started preschool when she was 2, and while it was 'first-kid-hard' to send her off that day, it ended up being so amazing for her. We really wanted to have that same experience for Lucy. Lucy, while a little on the younger side in her class, was so ready. Besides, it's only 2 days a week for 2 hours. It's like slowing dipping their toes in, and I'm ok with that.

The girl was so pumped up about doing all the preschool things, she talked about it for weeks. I seriously had to laugh when I went to pick them both up the first day and Lucy had THREE purple paintings all wet and hanging there for me to take home. Of course she would gravitate to purple paint, because, uh, I hate taking the paint out in my house. And purple is her favorite color. She was probably in heaven.

They both had an awesome first day, as I figured, and were both begging this morning to go back to school. (They don't have school on Friday.) 

But, is there anything better than seeing your kiddo's happy and more-than-willing to say BYE to their momma without it being a huge thing? I mean, I joked with the other moms like, "throw me a bone, kid--at least say you'll miss me, shed a tiny tear"-but when it comes down to it? I am proud that they're brave and willing to take on new environments and experiences like it's no big thing.  It's easier on all of us. They're braver than I ever was and I have a feeling they will continue to shock and surprise me as they grow. 

I love learning from these little ladies of mine. They go confidently wherever they go--as they should, really. 

Fresh-Start-September has been good so far. 

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