Monday, September 30, 2013


We had a lovely fall weekend over here, complete with a rainy, cozy day to be inside on Saturday, and a gorgeous day to be outside on Sunday.  I love the changes that happen in the fall - every day is a different story, a different opportunity to find good and make the best of its short-lived splendor.  

My little ladybug is growing and changing with the season, too!  I can feel her kicks from outside my belly and last night, I realized my belly button has made it's outie appearance as well!  October is here tomorrow and we anticipate lots to look forward to for our family in the next few months.  

I took a similar belly shot when I was pregnant with Cruz, although I was about ready to pop!  Feeling nostalgic remembering this time of year with him and so thankful I get to do it all over again.  So many similarities with this pregnancy, so much fun to relive them. 

Here's to a great week, everyone.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in...

I feel like my mind is a pinball machine right now, bouncing from one idea to the next all while trying to stay in the moment and live deeply in this season.  I'm all over the place - from the minute I wake up I'm racing the clock, measuring accomplishment by my to-do list, and blurring the day into a series of tasks to "get through."  There is always so much to do, and I'm continually wrestling with my desire to get it all done while not missing a beat with what truly matters.  Soon, I start to look at it all and feel like I'm not doing any of it well.  And that's when I need to readjust.  Re-balance the scales a bit and sort my big rocks from the little ones. 

Ann Voskamp writes about time in her novel, One Thousand Gifts.  She says: "time is a relentless river.  It rages on, a respecter of no one.  And this, this is the only way to slow time - When I fully enter its swift current, enter into the current moment with the weight of all my attention.  I can slow the torrent by being all here.  Weigh down this moment in time with attention full, and the whole of time's river slows, slows, slows."

As I age, I'm realizing the hard truth that there is never enough time.  Okay, maybe when I retire there will be.  And instead of allowing time to chase me every day until I'm ready to keel over from exhaustion, it's really about diving into time's current and riding its waves.  Go head-to-head with its power and push back with my power of attention.  Because it's not the race that matters, but what you notice along the way.  

I believe it's nearly impossible to live this way all the time, but I'm finding the importance of attempting to live deep in some way every day.  These moments - spending some time writing with the windows open and noticing how beautiful the day is, pushing bedtime back a half hour to make room for a walk around the neighborhood, or stopping to treat myself to a pumpkin spice latte before work, call us to be more aware, help us stay motivated, and keep us happy.

Monday night, Beau was at a conference in Omaha and I was holding down the fort with Cruz at home.  It has been beautiful here lately and I know our days of being outside are numbered.  Our bags from Kansas City were still where we had left them on the kitchen floor, I had no pants clean for the following day, and there was a weird funk lingering from our fridge.  I didn't feel like making dinner and was tempted to pop in a movie and corral Cruz into an early bedtime so I could wallow in my lack of accomplishment for the day.  But then I decided otherwise.  I compromised on the dinner thing and picked up a $5 pizza from Little Caesar's.  Packed my fancy picnic set, threw in a honeycrisp apple, and Cruz and I headed to Prairie Lakes Park.  We found a quiet little spot, just the two of us, spread out our blanket, and stayed until dark.  We ate pizza by the slice, held hands as we walked along the paved trails, and threw rocks in the lake as the sun chased the clock for us.  It was nice to get out of the house, nice to breathe in the fresh fall air, and nice to curl up in bed tired and fulfilled.  There's no regret when you take the time to open your eyes and give special moments the attention they deserve.  Voskamp says it best when she says, "Life is dessert --- too brief to hurry.  



More gifts this week...

21. a morning at Panera, all to myself.  my first pumpkin spiced latte of the season and cheesecake cream cheese on a french toast bagel.
22. listening to Cruz sing in his little red wagon all the way to the park, completely oblivious to the world around him.  I want to live, and sing, like him. 
23. baby girl kicks during Chicka Chicka Boom Boom at bedtime.  
24. the way his hug feels when I pick him up from daycare.
25. the crunch of a honeycrisp apple 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


This weekend, my growing baby bump was reunited with Kansas City.  Beau and I did a little 'babymoon' trip to KC when I was 24 weeks pregnant with Cruz and it just so happens I hit 23 weeks this weekend as we revisited this lovely little city.  It wasn't planned this way, as the real reason we were headed south was for a Mumford and Sons concert previously scheduled for June; however, after a cancelled show which was later rescheduled, we saw it as a timely coincidence and a great excuse to have a little weekend away for the two (or three) of us.  It was funny how much I recalled about our first trip here --- the long, uphill walk from the plaza to our hotel, a belly picture or two by one of the many pretty fountains, and lots and lots of delicious food.  We even found the exact location I stopped for a quick belly picture and decided to compare the bumps of then and now.  

24 weeks with Cruz...

23 weeks with Baby Girl... 

It was a great weekend and it will be fun to tell the kiddos that they both visited Kansas City in utero!  

More on KC (and all that was my Mumford and Sons experience) later...

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Our Babymoon

When our plans to attend a Mumford and Sons concert last June were derailed when one of their band members had emergency surgery to remove a blood clot, I was sad and disappointed.  At that time, there were no plans for a reschedule date and my dreams of seeing my favorite band live were crushed.  Very soon after, however, the band announced they would end their tour in Bonner Springs in September, honoring all tickets purchased for the June show.  It seemed so far away then, but we looked forward to a little fall getaway, cozy sweaters and blankets at an outdoor concert, and an end of a tour from a band I hope doesn't stay away too long. 

Beau and I dropped off an excited little boy at his Papa and Grandma's house Friday morning and headed south for our little "babymoon" getaway.  It was only our second time to Kansas City, the timing quite ironic as we took a similar trip when I was about the same weeks pregnant with Cruz.  We saw a Royals game that year, had some barbecue, and spent some time exploring the plaza and downtown areas.  I remember waddling uphill to our hotel, buying a few cute things for a little baby boy, and sneaking in a few naps - a must on any babymoon agenda.  Our getaway was similar this time - only my sights were set on pink and we had some excellent direction from one smart, stylish tour guide.  

It just so happens that my sweet friend, Amanda, resides in Kansas City and scored some tickets to see Mumford with her husband, Andrew.  We met for some pre-concert dinner at Gram and Dun on the plaza and cozied up with them at the concert.  Amanda is due with her baby boy any day now and she was quite the sport on her feet during the entirety of the show.  It was so wonderful to see them and we sure appreciated every suggestion they offered for what to see, eat, and do in their city on our weekend away (more on Oklahoma Joe's later)...

I'm not going to try to describe our concert experience Friday night, other than to say that if you have a chance to see them live, don't pass it up.  It was one of the most captivating performances I have ever and I'm sure will ever see.  The night was perfectly crisp and the full moon in the sky provided a fitting spotlight for a band that is just meant to do their thing outside.  The soft white lights strewn in the sky across the stage, the sepia-toned jumbo-trons that captured the personalities of the lively band, and the unique way Marcus Mumford holds his guitar while singing and playing the kick drum had me standing in awe the entire night.  If it's possible for a band to sound better live, it was Mumford.  And because their music, their lyrics, and their effortless sound speaks freaking poetry to me, I told Beau that having seen them live, I now picture them as caged birds when I listen to their CDs.  They truly came alive on that stage - whether it was their a capella version of Timshel and Reminder as the four of them gathered around a single microphone, or tossing a set of drums off the set during a crazy version of Dust Bowl Dance, every song was a single experience and had me ready to light the world on fire by the end of the night.  

Our Friday night ended with cozy pjs and room service in our hotel room, a perfect night cap before sinking in our king-sized bed and looking forward to sleeping in on our Saturday morning, a very rare occurrence around our house.


Saturday was beautiful outside.  We took our time in the morning, visited some cute shops in Brookside, and got to Oklahoma Joe's promptly at 11 to devour what many have suggested to be the best barbecue in the Midwest.  This place is exactly what we hoped it would be - a small little joint inside a gas station, with a steady line of people all the way out the door.  Beau had the brisket and ribs and I tried their signature Z-Man with fries.  It was as good as everyone said it would be and even my tough-to-please husband was licking his chops and studying the rib rub by the end of the meal.



We spent most of the afternoon on the plaza, buying way too much kids' clothes at Baby Gap and H&M, touching every single beautiful thing at Anthropologie, and stopping for some cocktails at one of the many fine outdoor seating areas.  There was a huge art festival going on in the streets, so there was plenty to do and see throughout our day.  By late afternoon, however, we were ready for a slower speed, comfy clothes, and a laid back night of good food and good company.  We took one more suggestion of Amanda's and searched out Lulu's for some Thai food.  We were the only ones who requested to sit outside and we enjoyed having the little outdoor patio to ourselves as we tried spring rolls, basil fried rice, peanut noodles, and bubble tea.  The food was delicious and the Italian bistro music created a fun and unique atmosphere for the two of us and our night away.


Saturday night found us back in our hotel room, a six-pack of beer for Beau and chocolate for me.  We watched football, vegged on our big bed, and enjoyed a rare date night in, just the two of us, with cozy socks and lots of laughs.

We had a great little weekend and we drove back home on Sunday feeling renewed and ready to soak in the next season of fall with our little boy who's about to turn three.  Just a few more months of just us before life will surely change in January.  As Beau or Ned Stark from Game of Thrones likes to say, "Winter is coming," and our winter is sure going to be a memorable one.                        

Friday, September 20, 2013

Cruz Confessionals Part 3

I saw this in my drafts and completely forgot about it!  Another Cruz Confessional, even though I think he's changed even since then.

It's a long one this time!  Around minute five or so, he starts telling some great stories of swords and pirates and treasure hunts...and he may have picked out a name for the baby in there, too.  

Happy Friday, everyone!  

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

22 Weeks...

The setting for my belly picture this week included a perfectly crisp fall Saturday morning, some new maternity pajamas, my favorite pair of muks, and a bowl of homemade apple cinnamon oatmeal.  I love quiet slow mornings like this one, time for me to soak up the magnitude of this little girl practicing her ballet moves inside me!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Super Duper Wonderful

Friday night, I was giving Cruz a bath, discussing our night.  I told him about the seasons and how fall was one of my most favorite seasons of all for reasons like yummy food, soft clothes, and walks in the leaves.  I told him all this after a late afternoon hike through one of our favorite fall places, Hartman Reserve, a yummy dinner of grilled burgers and fresh tomato pie, and the slow, casual pace of a weekend ahead.  I said I loved all of it, and he smiled and replied:

"Me too, Mommy, it's super duper wonferful."

That it is, sweet boy.

My work week ended a little early on Friday and much to my delight, Beau's did, too.  We changed from work clothes into fall clothes - no easy feat for me with this growing belly - and we went to pick up Cruz together, a favorite occurrence of mine.  He was so excited to see us and even more so when we explained that instead of heading home, we were heading out on a little excursion.  I told him we were going to be explorers, and we escaped to the woods just on the edge of our city and caught our first few glimpses of fall.


Hartman Reserve serves as a bit of a time stamp for me, as it's been a place we've explored every fall since I was very pregnant with Cruz.  It dances this time of year and allows the perfect quick escape I so often crave.  My senses come alive at this place --- the deep, fresh air in my lungs, the intoxicating smell of woods, and the sounds of leaves crunching under our feet as we trudge through the wooded paths.  I remember discovering this place when I was about due with Cruz, too pregnant to go far from home, but desiring to get outside and breathe in the fresh fall air.  I remember taking Cruz out just after turning a year old, how proud Beau was to carry him on his shoulders and how Cruz kept leaning over, grabbing Beau's face and telling him, "hi."  I remember going to Hartman on Cruz's 2nd birthday, watching his little feet try to stay on the wooden boards in his light blue birthday shirt.  Every year, he's a little bigger, a little more daring, and a little more imaginative as we explore our own little Walden Pond.  And as we trudged through the trails, discovered walking sticks, and assured Cruz that Daddy was just joking about the bears, I couldn't help but smile to think that next fall we'd have a baby along for the ride.  I'm seeing moby wraps, knitted blankies, and fall colored tights in my future...:) 

I also realized how much faster he's getting!  He wouldn't stop for pictures, so I captured the pretties instead.

More gifts from this weekend...

11. the satisfaction of using up our garden produce.  there's something really fulfilling about making your own food
12. windows open on a friday night and the sounds of high school football being played in our backyard
13. post-bath neighborhood walks outside.  pajamas, socks on bare feet, and rediscovering favorite thick blankets from the closet
14. homemade oatmeal with fresh, honeycrisp apples
15. a new pair of maternity pajamas that fit just right
16. fall craft shopping with a friend
17. eight pints of freshly canned salsa
18. popcorn for supper on a sunday night
19. a bears win and a happy husband
20. the warmth of a favorite pair of leggings on a rainy sunday afternoon.   


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