Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Our TN house - main living area

FINALLY after living here for basically forever (if you count since September as "forever")... our home is "done".  Of course, there are curtains to be hung and frames to be filled, but you are asking an awful lot if you want those done these days.

Our new home is a split level - so you go in the door and are greeted with stairs.  We went from a one story home to a two... and ugh.  It is a pain.

Anyway - our main living area is upstairs...

Our stairwell gallery is hands down my favorite in the entire house.

***I used wall mount squares for the letters, numbers and canvas.  SUPER easy and convenient.  Not sure what the wall will look like when taken down, but we will cross that road later.

Our living room.  Half filled frames, blankets thrown half-hearted over peeling couches and a city landscape (that my husband HATES... men don't get it).  This house came painted and I LOVE it after an all yellow house in Georgia.

Grace's play room - aka the breakfast nook.  Didn't originally intend for this to be a toy room... but it works, really well.  Minus the dog having easy access to EVERYTHING he is not supposed to have.

The kitchen.  Thankfully just a bit bigger than the one we had in our last house.  I mean you can't go wrong with more counter space.  Like seriously.

And last but not least - our dining room.  A room we don't use nearly enough.  This room houses my favorite piece of furniture we own, the buffet from my mom's side of the family.

(That window did not have a shade when we moved in, it's on my list of things to replace... there is zero privacy right now...).

So that's the main part of the house...

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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Hey, it's okay.

Another Tuesday spent watching my crazy gang do basically everything but what they are told.  I spend way too much time yelling "no"... and heaven forbid you walk past my house when I'm trying to nurse... because that is when my toddler and puppy like to act up.. when I'm pinned down.  The mom life is SO fun y'all.

So to celebrate another Tuesday in the life of this stay-at-home mom... a "hey it's okay" sharing session.

Hey it's okay...

.that we spend more time at home than doing anything else these days.  1. it's too hot outside to move.  2. it takes so much willpower to get myself and two kids dressed, ready and out the door.  How mom's with more than two kids do it I shall never know.

.that we finally entertained some new friends this last weekend.  Rob invited one of his buddies from work and his wife and son over for some amazing-ness off the grill.  I've missed entertaining and it was super nice to be able to chat with a lady that can carry on a conversation and doesn't ask me "what's dat" or to refill her juice a million times.

.to be using a beach tote as a diaper bag.  It looks legit - not beachy.  Also... cleaning out the diaper bag is the absolute worst thing ever.  So many crumbs and other unknown things.

.that it took my husband getting a sports car and power washer to start really washing our vehicles.

.to be 150% over the puppy phase.  Like do you have to chew on everything and my toddler too?!  WHY?!

.to be super excited for our July 4th plans.  Who doesn't love July 4th?

.to have bought my girls like 5 outfits each for July 4th weekend.  Last year Gray wore a patriotic outfit every single day of our vacation to Tampa.  That's a win in my book.  Can never have enough patriotic gear.

..to be thankful as hell my girls are both sleepers... Grace has been sleeping through the night for almost her entire life and Brooke is already giving me a 5 to 8 hour stretch.  Hallelujah and knocking on all kinds of wood over here.

.to be pale.

And that's all I've got.

Don't forget to link up with Amber at Airing My Laundry!

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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Living Fearless.

June 2010 will always go down as an important month in getting me where I am today.  It was the month I left the Kansas City suburb I still call home for a bustling east coast town in Maryland.  It was the month I jumped head first into my new life as a wife to an American soldier.  It was the month my midwestern mindset was shattered into a million pieces as everything I knew was left in the rear view mirror.  It was the month I stumbled into life and started living fearlessly.

For years my life goals were simple and fairly in line with just about everyone else I grew up with.  Four years of school after high school, get a degree, start a career, get married, have kids and raise them near my family.

I graduated in 2008 from high school, started school at the local community college that fall, and by winter break I was dating Rob.  He was still in training and our love story started over quick visits home and a long distance relationship.  We got married in March of 2010 and lived apart until I walked the stage for my Associate's Degree two months later.

Finally we loaded down my Toyota Corolla with all of my worldly possessions and drove into my new life as a wife to my husband.  We'd only ever dated long distance and now all of a sudden I was leaving home, moving over 1,000 miles away and the only person I knew was my husband.  Can you hear that ideal list of life goals blowing up?

Back then I didn't see my decision as a giant adventure or a chance to live fearlessly.  Lets be honest... I was terrified.  Looking back at my 20 year old self, I am proud of that choice.  I grew up.  I faced life.  And I've learned so very much in the years since.

Being a part of the military world is an adventure in and of itself.  But nothing can truly prepare you for it.  Each day presents itself as a great list of unknowns.  We could get orders tomorrow to move to another country.  My husband could find out he is deploying for months on end to a war zone.  The travel distance between here and home could grow immensely.  My family may never get to experience certain milestones with my kids.  The hardest moments of my life will probably be mastered without my village.  I may know no one in my new city when I need someone the most.

But at the end of the day... you put all of that aside.  You live fearlessly.  Tomorrow will come.  Challenges may present themselves, but we will cross that road when we get there.  Together.  Because after all, I wouldn't be where I am if it weren't for love.  Something I never could have experienced had I not been willing to live fearlessly.

How are you living fearlessly?

Share your story using the hashtag #LivingFearless and be entered to win a grand prize get away from Protection 1.  For more information click here.

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Monday, June 13, 2016

Drafts for days.

I've currently got five different half-written posts sitting as drafts... while I know what I want to write.. NOTHING is coming out cohesive and post worthy.  Why?  Because my mind is mush these days.

Y'all, I can't even tell the difference between loose and lose.  I am LOSING it.  (Did I use that correctly?)

All of my time is spent with a two year old and two month old... plus the dog.  My conversations with my husband are brief and to the point because by the end of the day we are both basically done and over it.  Minus the occasional phone call home... I don't have long drawn out conversations about life.

Is this what being an adult is like?

Because it sucks.

Five other things...

// We traded in my SUV for a brand spanking new Ford Mustang.  Not really super spacious for a family of four... but the girls carseats do in fact fit, contrary to popular opinion.  My husband is SO happy and in my mind it is worth it.  He is using it to drive back and forth to work and the truck is our family wheels.. and you know what?  It works just fine for us.

// My heart was broken to hear about the shooting in Orlando.  So many innocent lives lost.  Five seconds later it was made political.  We didn't even have time as a nation to mourn.  Left, right, middle of the ground... innocent American lives were lost... and that sucks.  Terrorists suck.

// Grace's vocabulary is FINALLY growing.  We still aren't saying sentences really but she's putting two words together and can actually have some conversations where both sides understand what is being said.  It's tons of fun to answer "what's dat" about 100 times a day... but totally worth it.

// This heat is smothering.  I hate summer.  I hate sweating.  I love being able to be outdoors and be able to breathe.  This crappy 90 plus degree weather Tennessee has going on right now is a no-go.  Bring back the low 80s please and thank you.

// This last weekend was simple, and I enjoyed every last second of it.  Cleaning, laundry, tea parties with my girls, filling up the baby pool to attempt to cool off, running errands and watching Rob ride WITH Grace around the block (1/2 a mile) in her power wheels.  Sometimes the quiet weekends are filled with tons of special moments you just have to look for.

Really hoping my blogging groove comes back.  Maybe mama just needs a long winter nap.  In the middle of summer.  One can certainly dream...

Until the next publish...

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Thursday, June 9, 2016

Brooklyn | Two months

Somehow another month (and an extra week now...) have come and gone.  I now have a two month old in the house.  Which just seems crazy.  Wasn't I just pregnant?  Wasn't she just born?

Who has the tips and tricks for making time slow down?  Especially since we are 99% certain this is our last baby.

Your two month quirks...

.You weighed 13 pounds, 1 ounce at your two month check up last Wednesday.  Which is the 86th percentile.

.You are 23.5 inches tall - which is the 84th percentile.

.You are still in size 1 diapers but the next box will probably be size 2.

.You are wearing size 0/3 month, 3 month and 3/6 month clothing.  Mama just took down your 0/3 month wardrobe last night... so here's to getting bigger and fresh outfits to rotate through!

.You are still sleeping in your rock and play next to our bed.  But since you are sleeping in one long 5-7 hour stretch you may be headed to your crib soon.

.You put up with a lot when it comes to sleeping during the day.  Somehow you still manage to get in 1 to 2 really good 2 to 3 hour naps.  Praise the Lord.

.You are the happiest baby ever.  I thought your sister was a happy baby.  But you may have her beat.  The only time you cry is when you are hungry.  Mama is lucky both her girls are happy little people.

.You still let mama have it when I don't get the boob out fast enough.  We don't play with food in this household.

.You coo a lot, especially when someone is talking to you.

.You LOVE attention.  Sometimes you will cry until someone comes in your view and then you are happy as a clam just having someone next to you.

.You and your sister keep having these sweet little moments where I will catch you two just staring at each other.  I can't wait to watch your relationship blossom even more.  You already think she is pretty funny.

.You are developing your breastfed baby rolls and they are quite impressive if you ask me.  I'm proud.

Brooklyn - thank you for being such an easy going sweet girl.  Between your older sister, the dog and you - you without a doubt keep me sane.  Thank you for your smiles when chaos breaks lose and for overall making mama's heart swell with even more love then it was already capable of.

To read about Grace at two months, click here.

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Monday, June 6, 2016

Moving to a bigger house; What I wish we would have done differently

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of CORT for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

We moved six hours north from Georgia to Tennessee last fall.  We have been in our current house for almost 9 months and we finally have a complete house.  Decorated, unpacked, the works.  We went from a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom house - to a 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom house with a bonus room.  It has been quite the transition... and I've learned a few things along the way.

1. Keep hardware for things you take apart, WITH the thing you took apart.  We have replaced almost all of the hardware to go with the crib that was in Grace's room at the old house and now Brooke's room here.  I have not a clue where the original nuts and bolts went.

2. Purge pre-move.  My husband packed almost our entire house as we got the final word from the Army and had a deadline of moving out just two weeks later.  We decided to move ourselves instead of having the Army do it.  So the weight was good, but the extra stuff not needed here in TN, was not fun to move up the fifty million steps our current home has.

3. Sell furniture you want to replace before you move it to another state.  In our case, I REALLY wanted to replace our old dressers that are literally falling apart.  My husband wanted to move them with us for the extra weight on the truck that translates into money later.  Here we are, 9 months later and these atrocious dressers are still housing our clothing.  Had I gotten rid of them before we moved, we would have been forced to replace them sooner.  See what I did there?

4. Don't let the boxes sit.  It was challenging to actually get all of our boxes unpacked (which is a stretch as Rob still has most of his garage stuff in boxes...) as I was in my first trimester when we first got here and literally wiped out from doing nothing.  As a result, we weren't really moved in for almost six months.  SIX MONTHS.  That's insane.  I sat up our entire house in Georgia in one week.  Just do it and you'll feel SO much better.  (And maybe try not to move while pregnant...)

5. Consider renting furniture for your transition period.  Because we went from a 3 bed/2 bath to a 4 bed/3 bath with an extra living area, we had entire rooms empty when we first moved here.  EMPTY.

CORT Furniture Rental a Berkshire Hathaway Company, is a furniture rental company that easily could have helped us fill those rooms for as low as $119 a month*.  When you rent furniture, it is there when you need it and gone when you finally figure out what to do with that extra square footage.  It's less hassle and can help a home really feel like home.

I mean, who doesn't crave convenience when moving?  That is what CORT is all about.

Now that we are finally settled - I know it is just a matter of time before we are counting down the days to our next duty station.  That is the life we live after all.

What tips would you include for moving?

*$119/mo military pricing is only available on military packages.  Customer must present valid Military I.D. before delivery.
Visit Sponsors Site

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Thursday, June 2, 2016

Visitors & Shenanigans; Memorial Day weekend

This last weekend was a doozy I am still trying to recover from.  We were fortunate enough to host our beloved friends from Fort Gordon for the weekend.  Nick, Abby, their sweet boy and Rob's godson, Logan and their two dogs.  We were BUSY.  And I definitely feel like we are all still recovering days later...

They got here Friday morning and right away we headed out for lunch at a local Mexican restaurant.  Which funny enough is the first time Rob and I have had Mexican food here in Clarksville.  This mama was not a Mexican food lover during her pregnancy.  As in, I cried when my MIL said she was going to make tacos for dinner while we were visiting over Christmas.  Yes, hormones are freaking awesome, I KNOW.

ANYWAY. After lunch Abby, Brooke and I left the older kids, dogs and husbands at home to go to Target, the post office and grocery store.  It is so very sad that these days I am VERY excited to leave the house without 1/2 of my entourage and to go somewhere as simple as the post office.  This is my life now folks.  We picked up some grub for Rob to cook and headed home to fire up the grill.  Everyone fell asleep early, as you do when your day starts at 4 am (Nick, Abby and Logan) or because you are old (Rob).

Saturday morning we all got up, ready and out the door in time for lunch.  After grabbing pizza at Pie Five we headed to Kentucky for the Spring into Summer festival Oak Grove was hosting.  It was a mostly free festival that had our kids been older we probably would have stayed at all night.  Instead we spent a few hours browsing the booths, feeding animals, riding ponies, eating deep fried oreos and sweating - a lot.  The men checked into the beer garden section and were perfectly content.  We ended up leaving around 5 as the evening crowd was rolling in for the Rodney Atkins concert and firework show.

After a quick stop at Publix for the necessities - we got back to the house to fire up the grill for round two.  This time the baby pool came out and Logan, Grace and Diesel thoroughly enjoyed the freezing cold water.  Until Grace's teeth were chattering and she called it quits in time to sit down for dinner.  The rest of the evening was spent listening to my husband sing french songs and laughing a lot.

Sunday we decided to go to Nashville for a few hours.  We ate at the most amazing BBQ place called Edley's BBQ.  I'm from Kansas and a bit of a BBQ snob, but I thought the food was actually pretty good.  We followed up lunch with a scorching walk down Broadway.  I figured on a Sunday afternoon the crowd would not be as thick.  But no.  It's memorial day weekend and basically every bachelorette in town was out.  So after a quick walk up and back down we stopped to watch the river flow before hightailing it back to the vehicles to cool some very warm babies off.  90 degrees at the end of May just ain't right.

The men decided to go get food for dinner.  Which quite literally meant they got meat.  Oh and ping pong balls and solo cups.  So after digging through my cabinets and coming up with 2 boxes of macaroni and cheese, a can of green beans and two half full bags of french fries we had a feast to go with our chicken wings and bacon wrapped stuffed chicken breasts (yes my husband can cook the hell out of any type of meat and I am very very very thankful).  That was followed up by some beer pong.  Which was the husbands drinking and Abby and I kicking butts.  Beer pong is definitely different when your one arm is wrapped around a sleeping two month old and you nurse one beer for the entire duration of your beer pong career.

Eventually though all good things come to an end and Monday rolled around.  We decided to go on one last adventure down by the river to Liberty Park Grill right on the Cumberland River.  We sat outside in the shade and enjoyed one last meal together.  On a whim we rounded out our trip with a stop at Coldstone.  A tradition to say the least.

The Army is a great life that helps you cross paths with amazing people.  Nick and Abby will become Brooke's Godparents sometime this year if that tells you just how strong the friendship has become between the four of us.  Nobody knows where the end of the year or the next few years will take us, but no matter the distance... I am certain this family will always be a part of our life.

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