Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Best Week Ever

Remember when that was a show on VH1?  Remember when there were things you would actually watch on VH1?  I barely do, but sometime during the day yesterday the graphics and tagline of that show kept running through my head.  I LOVE the week between Christmas and New Year's.  Ever since a huge case of mine disappeared in December of 2011 and I got to take that whole week off work and JP was in school so he was home and Claire was about 18 months and just old enough to really start playing with Landon, and JP and I got to do things like sit together on the couch and talk and snuggle and just BE in the daylight while the kids were AWAKE and a whole new world felt like it was opening up before us.

Fast-forward 3 years later and I've never again worked on this most wonderful of weeks.  It was this week that we hiked all of Austin in 2011, played in a castle and everyone else in 2012, and dragged an infant to all the parks and tourist attractions in Fort Worth in 2013.  Both JP and I always managed to be off, which takes being home with the kids for 9 days from potentially yelly and cabin-fever-inducing to free-wheeling and awesome.  Errands can be run, workouts can happen, and dinner can easily be made, and in the middle there is tons of playing and giggling and adventures and walks and games and sometimes just he and I standing together in a room smiling while we listen to the kids laugh and make up games in another.  It is the best week.

I found a new yoga studio- it's on the 2nd story of a building on the Trinity River and it's so peaceful to watch the water flow past and know those same droplets will end up in Lake Livingston and could flow right by my parents' house.  I've gone every day since we got back on the 27th.  Also, in a fit of reorganizing and redecorating inspired by the new kitchen, I've been to Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Homegoods, and Ross about 4 times and have updated the living room area.  I still need a chair for the corner and I'm not completely certain about my bargain side table, but I do love the updated look.

New art, mantle decor, and chest of drawers

Which table do we like better?

the bar stools are here!

As we settle in to the new kitchen, I realized we didn't have a good junk drawer or space to put all the things you inevitably set down on the kitchen counter when you walk in the door, so I moved the skinny chest of drawers to a new space and it now holds all the desk supplies, mailing supplies, thank you notes, and other odds and ends.  The bowl on top is for JP's wallet and keys and it's been working so well.  It was that move that inspired the rest of the shopping that brought me my beautiful new silver chest in the living room (housing art supplies and extra copies of photos and frames).  Homegoods is the best.

Relocated hutch on right; filled with all the things that I forgot we used to keep in an extra kitchen drawer

New chest! I love it, and I love that party and art supplies now have a home; 
still in search of a new non-wicker patterned chair.

We've been to the zoo, JP has gone to swim practice every morning, the kids spend a lot of time pushing a squealing Corabunny around the house on her new ride-on-toy, and we're going to belatedly do sugar cookies tomorrow.

 Once again the only people at the zoo

I've had many moments in the past few weeks where I've been deeply sad at getting increasingly close to not having a baby in the house anymore.  That this was our last Christmas with a baby.  That footie pj's and joyous baby claps and those soft heavy sighs a baby makes when they rest their head on your shoulder just before bed... that all of that was going to be a memory.  I've never felt this way before and the toddler years are my very favorite, so I know I have much to look forward to, but I just couldn't shake it.  I genuinely want to freeze Cora or at least reallly slow her down and I feel a little overwhelmed at times just how quickly her babyhood is flying by.  I think it's having the big kids around- the more trying aspects of having a baby are so diluted by having other kids to focus on and the awesome aspects seem magnified a hundred fold when you have three other people in the house so delighted by them.  And because we have big kids, we are out doing fun things all the time that you would never do if you just had a 13-month-old in December (like going to the zoo in 35-degree weather), but the big kids had a blast and Cora has fun and we're out of the house and it would really be best if she could just stay our walking, babbling, clapping 1-year-old mascot forever.  Pretty please.

But then yesterday I was watching her really play with Landon and Claire.  L&C had built a fort with their PBK chairs and new sleeping bags and Cora's slide was the exit ramp and Cora was going down it and screaming in joy and then crawling into their tent and sitting up, looking SO proud to be part of this very official Big Kid Game, and I remembered that this is fun too.  That 18 months is my favorite, as is 2 and 3, and all the kid years we've seen so far.  That for over an hour JP and I did our own thing while occasionally popping a head in the other room to make sure Cora hadn't wandered off, but no, there she was, in the middle of it all and having a glorious time.

Three kids is a party.  Mildly chaotic, but truly so much fun to be part of.  Especially when you can opt for a supervisory part while you lounge on the couch reading a book about romantic time traveling Druid Scottish Highlanders from the 16th century.

Alright time to google a fake New Year's Eve countdown for the kids before JP and I can light some candles, pop the champagne, and get on with our own fancy NYE Quartino night- the meat and cheese and dark chocolate desserts await!  Wishing you all a fun and safe farewell to 2014 and a fabulous 2015!


  1. Lovely post, LL. I hope all of these will make their way into a book for your family-- what a gift for the kids someday!

    Please fill us in on what is going on on the wall next to the two side tables you are debating. Looks interesting. Love the look you've developed throughout. Your hard work has paid off! Happy New Year to you!

    Lisa M.

  2. I just got a corner chair at Cost Plus. It's technically a dining chair but just the right size. I desperately needed color in a very brown room.

  3. Love your bar stools!! Everything looks amazing. Happy New Year!

  4. I vote for the taller side table with the red tag on it. Also, is the time traveling 16th century Highlander Druid one of Karen Marie Moning's? If so, I love those books!

  5. I also like the taller, silver end table. Seems to go well with the other side tables and new art supply cabinet! Looks like you've had a very relaxing, fun Christmas and New Year! Your family always just makes me smile! All the best in the New Year! =)