Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Happy Weekend.

We had an unplanned staycation weekend this last weekend. It was phenominal. Once we realized that we didn't have any plans, we decided to hold off on any projects and take a somewhat staycation break. (I used to misunderstand staycations, until I had one. No chores/jobs, just play at home-solid good time!) The weather was incredible, which only furthered our relaxation. The highlights included: first baby pool fill of the year, eating/playing/lounging/everything outside, no need to potty train Fern because she already potty trained herself, a family hike. 

It took me a day to realize why this weekend meant so much to me. It was simple, it was slow, it was just us. During my run on Monday, I kept thinking about how much I really enjoyed being constantly together with my little family. I love my family all the time and we spend most of our time together, so that's not what shocked me. What stayed with me into Monday was that we did nothing special, but it felt special and redeeming. Then, it struck me: this is the happiest home that I've ever lived in. I am grateful. 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

This Week's Menu

I've never loved cooking more than I do right now. I'm truly loving it and I have no idea why. Part of it might be the progress I've made in counseling the past months about my food issues and shame and all that negative stuff. I hope to post more about that soon. Still, every week I have fun cooking for my family, and every week I hope to post my menu for the week here on the blog. However, I've missed some weeks. With the weather warming, it seems that I'm like most people and like my evenings out of doors. I'm able to post this week, so here is how we're eating (and hopefully most dinners will be eaten outside as well):

Campsite cooking is the dreamiest

Leftovers, mac & cheese
Turkey lettuce pita pockets, black-eyed pea salad
Potato corn chowder
Tilapia tacos, grilled corn
Veggie night: black eyed peas, sweet potatoes, lemon broccoli, fruit
Tomato pasta

Saturday, April 26, 2014

2 Year Old Flower Crowns

Fern, April 2014

Burl, April 2012

Thursday, April 24, 2014

S&J by Homeland

A beautifully styled event + stunning videography = four and half minutes you'll want to keep on repeat. 

from Homeland on Vimeo.

I adore any Homeland video that Molly composes, and isn't this one dreamy?
She's available for weddings, contact her if you're up looking for someone creative.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Kumbaya Glamping

My uncle laughs when I talk to him about my camping trips. "Who have you become? I don't even know this Meg," he teases me. Granted, we're more glamping than camping, but we're still eating/sleeping/playing outside. He acts like it's a new Meg, but I think it's always been there

Last week we camped in our favorite spot in Campground C of Fall Creek Falls, right by most of the trails and where deer pass by frequently. We're ridiculous when we camp. It's almost sickening how kumbaya we get. I just made dinner on fire/we hiked down a waterfall/our kids play so well with sticks and dirt. It's normal camping stuff, but for us, we are just amazed. Like I said, it's almost sickening how surprisingly giddy we get. Here's the love in pictures:

The mornings are a little painful to get out of the sleeping bag, but they redeem themselves with their slowness. One morning, Burl woke up and the first thing he said was, "That's a good song those birds are singing for us." See. All the love. All the kumbaya. 


One thing I realized during this trip, and this is suppose to be genuine over cheesy, is that camping gives a chance for our kids to impress us. How they adapt and play and try new things is very impressive. I know a lot of families take their babies camping, but when I do it, I'm blown away at Burl and Fern. Two and four years old and they just get in their sleeping bags, ask for a song, then go to sleep. They climb down and back up a waterfall with us. They entertain themselves with ease and joy. Boom. Adaptable toddlers for the win. 

As soon as we got back home, I started planning dates and meals for our next trip. I hope it's another bombastic glamping trip. And I hope there's double servings of kumbaya.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Rig It First

My Aunt Margaret is a real live decorator with great style. She's been helpful when I've had to make a few big changes in my house-mainly paint colors and what to do with the den. Instead of stepping in and giving me rules and guidelines to follow, she helps me visualize what I want. She did this with paint colors and the den, but she does it with little things as well. 

What I'm talking about is rigging things to test them out. For example, before I chose a height for some side tables a few years ago, she was stacked random things and put a huge tray on the top to help me test different heights. Instead of staring at a random spot and using to a measuring tape, she actually made a table to visualize it. It's a simple idea that has helped me with several things. I'm trying to get some more side tables made, so I recently used the same trick again.

I pulled the same trick again with curtains, because I have trouble with window treatments. A desire for beautiful materials + a fear of spending money = a paralyzed Meg. I rigged the curtains with clothespins and took some pictures. Looking at the length of the curtains and the pattern on my wall helped chip away at the fear I have at stepping towards an actual decision. 

Very rarely can I make a decorating decision all in my head. Before I spend time and money on a change in my home, rigging the look first has helped me move forward.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Egg Hunt Party

Over the weekend, a couple friends of mine and I put together an Egg Hunt. We hid over 400 eggs (baby zone, big kid zone, and nut free zone) and served lemonade, mint tea, and bottled water. We asked everyone to bring their own picnic to eat after the hunt. Also, I created a photo booth on our garage door with newspaper and construction paper. A few families took advantage of it, which is always good for laughs. We had perfect weather, a huge crowd, and a fun time:

Shout out to my co-hosts who put up with my "we're not having this at a public park" rule and for letting our boys fight until someone gets hurt. Our common mom-of-fighting-boys rule: You can fight, but you will get hurt.

This was the easiest party that I ever threw! Happy Egg Hunting, Friends!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Greatest Evil & Injustice

I have a hard time around religious holidays, because I imagine that everyone else is having meaningful reflection and I'm not doing it right. Around Easter, I mainly feel anxiety between Palm Sunday and Easter because I know that Jesus' death is coming and I wish there was another way. Like watching the end of a movie I've seen several times, I still hope for the ending to be painless. 

For the past few days, I've tried to let go of doing religious holidays the right way and the pressure I put on myself. To be honest, Easter is anything but the good stuff that I can do, right?

Instead, it's about what Jesus did when he died on the cross. I found something that tied it together for me this week. I came across my friend's notes from this year's women's retreat and it was perfectly fitting for me to think about this week. Here is a paraphrase of Nancy Guthrie's talk:

If God can use the greatest evil, injustice, and suffering that has ever occurred, which was Christ being put to death on a cross, to bring about the absolute greatest good, our salvation, then we can be confident the he can and will use the evil, injustice, and suffering in our lives to bring about good for us.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Free Ben & Jerry's

Lauren said that just buying a pint of ice cream would be easier than going downtown with four toddlers, finding a parking space, and standing in line for Ben & Jerry's Free Scoop Day. She was so right, but we wouldn't have our crazy story to tell and a semi-fun adventure for the kids. 

We found parking spaces, loaded three kids on my two kid stroller, carried the fourth kid, stood in line, saw a crowd of hipsters, talked to street people, and eventually climbed the three stairs with the stroller to enter Ben & Jerry's. The line went quickly and we were trying to keep the pace. Then, the "I want red ice cream," "but they only have strawberry, is that ok?" deal that I made with one of my kids went south. Everyone had their cones and we were about to leave. I told my child to get off the rigged up stroller to walk down the three steps so I could push the stroller down-that's when my child spotted it: Actual Red Ice Cream that another kid had that I didn't see and didn't get for my child. My child threw an enormous fit because of my ice cream oversight. The child did what I call The Starfish Meltdown. Still sitting on the footstool part of the stroller, my child spread each limb out like a starfish, mouth wide open, and was wailing in despair. That's when Lauren and I lost it in fits of laughter. Strangers stepped in and offered help and I was handing our cones to complete strangers in effort to get the stroller and us down the three stairs and out of the store. Just get us out of the store. Somewhere between the laughter, the help, and a few threats of stop-crying-right-now-or-your-cone-is-going-in-the-trash-can-right-there-see-it-?, we made it out of the crowds. 


We set up camp at a faux creek and let the kids play and eat. That's basically the end of the drama. Basically. 

The End.