Monday, November 21, 2022

More Trips! Writing from the Road

I seem to be traveling non-stop at a time that I really just want to hole up in my house and organize all the closets. We're currently on a road trip to Boulder to visit my sister and family for Thanksgiving (and my parents, who are joining us tomorrow), and since power outtages, flights, and road trips seem to be the only times I can manage a blog post, I thought I'd give it a go. We don't have a phone signal on this part of the drive, but really that's even better- no distractions. Just me and this digital notepad. Plus a James, three increasingly large and gangly human children, and a bulldog. Road trips are the best.
Speaking of, I feel like some of my readers may understand the SUPERHUMAN effort I put into not yelling and/or setting the car on fire when we stopped every hour so someone could go to the bathroom (James/Mr. Hydration even though today is a NO WORKOUT DAY and you can just drink a normal amount of water like a normal person) or get a snack or third lunch sandwich (LANDON). I am a person who wants to get in the car and drive from point A to point B with as few stops as possible. I want to beat the google maps ETA you get at the start of your journey (don't even ASK how far off we are from our original ETA now, I can't talk about it). I don't care how awesome the thing is on the side of the road- if it's not my destination I DO NOT WANT TO SEE IT. It used to make me crazy when my dad would pull over to rest stops on family car trips and get out a football and want to play. NO. WE'LL PLAY WHEN WE GET THERE, EVERYONE GET BACK IN THE BUS.

I now recognize my urge to stab the football as a sign of my then undiagnosed anxiety and I recognize the face-melting rage I feel when we stop YET AGAIN on trips now as my diagnosed anxiety and I can smile and say "oh that looks like a good gas station" like a normal adult person thanks to Prozac, therapy, and loving my family, but omg I should get a medal for how easy I make it look. We are on hour 9 and we have stopped 8 times. Wtf.

It's completely different from a road trip where you're supposed to stop. Like driving around Iceland. This is a drive through the ugliest parts of Texas and New Mexico until finally, at hour 9 you get to something pretty in the southern part of Colorado. The only goal is to get to Tia's house in Boulder where there is lasagna and wine and tiny cousins. I feel like Maggie understands.

Somewhere in northwest Texas we confiscated all devices and made everyone do math problems I wrote on legal pads. Obviously this increased our childrens' love for us. As we crossed into New Mexico Landon was drawing a hippo over his last math problem and declared himself "master of maths" and that his brain was full and every problem we gave him was kicking other important information out. Claire alternated between wailing wildly at the unfairness of life/math and then cackling in glee whenever she got a problem right. Cora just quietly and doggedly answered all problems with zero drama and zero mistakes. This exercise really summarized each child in their stage of life right now. The teen, the tween, and the emotionally stable 9-year-old.

In other forms of special family time, James and I FINALLY bought each other bike last weekend! After approximately 12 years of jokingly giving each other bikes for Christmas and then never actually buying them, we went to Academy and we bought bikes! We were inspired by the birthday girl and her new bike, and also the gorgeous lake and miles of bike trails we live mere steps away from. I was so excited.
As we climbed on, James and I realized that though we've been together for 22.5 years, we've never seen each other on a bike. Luckily, it really is like they say - just like riding a bike.
As we told the kids to helmet-up and join us on a family bike ride, Landon groaned a loud, "We do way too many things as a family mom." I thanked him for the sweet compliment and off we went, some of us more excited than others, but all of us having an excellent time eventually.
The lake is really so beautiful.
And our five bikes hung side by side in the garage makes my whole heart happy.
Prior to that adventure, my parents were here for 2 days, only 1.5 of which we had electricity for. We ate pizza by LED lantern light, walked to the lake in the morning, grilled out lunch and dinner, went to Cora's soccer game where Maggie parked herself in front of my dad who will never refuse a dog pat, and then my mom and I attended the Lakewood home tour while my dad did a house project and James took the kids to buy Cora's bike.
Landon and my dad also played putt putt in our little golf green while a giant digger looked on.
We celebrated this sweet 9 year old with her favorite dinner (hamburgers, hot dogs, and mac and cheese, plus vegetables on the side for balance) and ice cream cake. I can't believe our youngest is a year away from 10- that just seems impossible, but we sure do adore this sweet sporty super smart third baby of ours!
On Monday I flew to DC, then flew straight to Houston from there on Wednesday, and got home Thursday afternoon. I presented at a big public-facing CLE in Houston (I was the elusive ethics credit section, so obviously I was the favorite) and leaned into the office's holiday decor.
Also happening this past week: contractors, electricians, painters, pool construction, and pantry organization. My home is not quite a haven at the moment, but it will be!
The painters were there when I got home on Thursday and I was a little scared to see the results since I hadn't been there to get them started, but everything was exactly right, the colors were gorgeous, and I love everything. The house as designed was incredibly beautiful, but VERY white and gray. Now we have some colored vanities and cabinets (slate blue! hale navy! ocean teal! black raspberry! lush green!) and it feels so much more "us" already. We've also switched out nearly every light fixture, with a few to go, and are in the process of switching out drapes.
I'm completely obsessed with these new ones in my study. Blessings to James for being neither surprised nor resistant when I suggested we install the rods and hang them at 9:51 pm on Friday night.
This room was solid charcoal gray when we moved in - walls, ceiling, curtains, light plates, everything.
Now we have green and white and lush fabrics and I'm so in love.
We had furniture deliveries on Friday, including these side table dressers for our master bedroom that I am completely obsessed with. They weigh about 1,000 lbs each and are perhaps my favorite of all the pieces we picked out for the house.
Landon's room is done, Claire just has shelves, and Cora has a desk. We have more deliveries this week and the next, but I think our couches won't be here until March. But it's okay, I celebrate the arrival of each item as they come.
Last Friday we also had The Container Store at the house to organize our pantry! And it was awesome! As I've written in the past, I am all about relying on experts and I turned the pantry fully over to them. And it took 3 people 7 hours and a lot of bags of stuff to get to this:
It brings me great joy.
Our weekend was crazy. Landon had a swim meet on Friday and Saturday. I had calls and a business development lunch and a million house appointments on Friday, so I just attended finals on Saturday. And it was amazing! Landon went a personal best- shattering his season goal by more than a second in the 100 fly, and his relays broke TWO school records! The 200 medley and 400 free relays are made up of him and 3 seniors and we are so excited for them going into Districts, Regionals, and State in February!
Straight from the swim meet (which was 45 minutes away) we ran two errands (including running to Target because Claire realized she didn't own any pants and the Colorado trip was coming in hot - or cold, as it is), swung by the house to scavenge for lunch in the fridge, grab the Amazon box of Cora's birthday party decorations, and race to the gym to host her party!
Two of her besties drove over from Fort Worth and one spent the night, so we hosted our first sleepover at the new house. They slept on Cora's mattress on the floor and I donated our new master bedroom chairs to the game room so they could sit in them to watch movies.
On Sunday we were supposed to pack, but got distracted by house projects, organizing needs, and a surprise ER trip when we realized Claire's toe that had an ingrown toe nail removed a week ago was not healing properly and might actually be infected (yes, yes it was). She spent the rest of the day with her foot up and a Milo applied to her lap for comfort.
I found this on her door when I went by on the way to Cora's room later that day.
We packed about 9 pm. Luckily we're not skiing or doing anything else with critical items, so I let everyone pack their own bags and we'll see what we see when we get there. Most important was Maggie and her accessories and some things I'm giving to my sister (like our childhood twin bedframes I've been carting around for 12 years). I'm sure there are some jackets in the back too. We have 2.5 hours left and if we could keep it to one more stop I would really appreciate it.


  1. I love seeing all the new house things! Where is that great cabinet from - black with the rounded top and the glass doors??

    1. Anthropologie! It weighs a million pounds and is absolutely gorgeous in person.

  2. Your blue vanity is so pretty! And those green built ins are gorgeous.

    I am also 100% team "just drive straight through, don't stop if you can avoid it" so I can relate to your face-melting rage. I hope the rest of your drive went smoothly :) Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. Oh, I hope you didn't have to stop anymore. That has to be frustrating.
    House is getting so pretty, thanks for sharing. I'm burning with envy at that pantry!! #goals Also, I love the stage where the kids pack their own luggage! It's a game changer. Happy Thanksgiving to y'all.

  4. It depends in the trip how often we stop. We do a 16 hour drive in less time than Google predicts by only stopping three times. But last summer we split a 12 hour drive over two days and stopped more on the way home. Since we basically planned for stops, we were all cool with that. But unplanned - that would frustrate me!

  5. I just love your sense of style for your house! That stuff does not come naturally to me and I wish it did. Also can't believe your little family is growing up so fast!

  6. I feel you on the road trip stopping! I try to calculate in like an hour or half an hour for stops just so I feel accomplished. Usually I to try to avoid the stops at all costs and beat the GPS but if not I am usually within the window I gave myself unless there's traffic and then I am not happy...

  7. Long time reader. How is Cora NINE?! In my mind she is still four!