Sunday, March 18, 2018

2018 Word of the Year: Hygge

It's mid-March, and I'm just now writing about my word of the year.  Is that telling of how chaotic this year has been or what?!  I love choosing a word for the year.  It seems far more meaningful than a resolution.  It's more intentional, more easily adapted into my every day life.  So my word:


I know.  So very trendy of me.  Except it's not.  Because hygge totally speaks to my heart.  It was one of those things that once I really read about the whole concept, it's just so me!  Fun fact:  I have a heavily Danish heritage.  It's always been part of me.  I prefer winter to summer.  I love all things cozy & warm.  The things that bring me the most joy in life are all utterly and completely hygee.  Now I just simply have a name for everything that I have been feeling since birth practically!

So hygee.  If you are completely unaware, it's a Danish word for a feeling or moment.  There is no english translation, but when talking about hygge people will often refer to coziness & warmth.  Togetherness.  Slowness.  Warmth.  Comfort.  It feels as if this word was made for ME!  Particularly while building & decorating our new home, I wanted to be intentional with our space.  With our time.  I want to incorporate more hygge into my life.

If you are interested in reading more about hygge, I highly recommend The Little Book of Hygge.  It's a short sweet read (even for those of you who don't really love to read).  And I have also heard wonderful things about Hygge, but I haven't read it yet myself.  So tell me, what is your word for the year?  Have you found yourself still focusing on it now, three months into the year?

Friday, March 2, 2018

My BFF & Four Boys

A couple of weeks ago, Conor had a week long business trip to Europe.  And I always, always (always!) fly my mom in for these longer trips.  Well this time...she couldn't come.  And I was freaking out.  So Conor surprised me, and booked my best friend a ticket to come and help out that week!  I don't get to see her nearly as often as I would like, so this was so incredibly special.  She has a nearly one year old boy herself, so while we knew that week would bring a bit of chaos, we were both thrilled to be together!

In full honesty, it was not a good week for my boys.  They often seem to struggle more when Conor is away, but this was way worse than the usual.  And while I obviously would love for my best friend to see me shine as a mother.  To see me at my best, most patient self.  To see that I'm handling three young boys like a boss.  Well that wasn't exactly the glimpse into my life that she got.  But she's my best friend!  So she is the one who can see me struggle without judgement.  To witness the more raw & vulnerable side of me.  To be the one to remind me that I am far too hard on myself as mother.  Really she's the best!

And goodness was she such a help!  For still wrangling one of her own, she did far more than I ever expected.  It was such a delight to walk out of the boys' bedrooms after putting them to bed at night and to come into a clean kitchen.  Complete with Liam's lunchbox washed and ready to be filled for another day.  There were lots of little things like that, which helped the week go by more smoothly.  Like her attempt to shovel the two feet of snow we got one weekend, only to find two neighbors to snow blow it instead (because Lord knows I wouldn't be asking strangers for help!).  Or how she often stayed behind with the younger boys, so I could have solo drives for Kindergarten drop offs & pick ups, which is really just one big ol' gift all on its own!

There were coffee runs & middays mimosas (it was a vacation of sorts!).  Late night Olympic viewing.  One night we quickly tossed back a bottle of wine and shared our favorite youtube videos.  We reminisced.  Really, it was just like the college days.  Dinner, drinks, go snuggle with some boys.  It was the best!

I may have been completely worn out by the end of it all.  Completely beaten day by the rough week. But it was still such a special & memorable time.  And who knows when we will get a week straight together again!  Miss you Amanda!

Monday, February 5, 2018

Kane: 5 Months Old

Another month with this cutie, and goodness, it was a good one!  I always feel as though babies "wake up" to the world around the 4 month mark, and from then on, it's constant learning & exploring.  Kane now loves watching his brothers more than ever before.  He tracks them all over the room with his eyes, moving his body around to always have them in sight.  I'm amazed at how much distance he can already travel, even though crawling is still far off.  He can roll both ways now and will often roll & roll.  Definitely my most active baby.  A somewhat scary thought.  His legs & arms are constantly moving, especially during diaper changes when he loves to just pound his legs down on the table over & over.  He's also officially sitting now, although not for extended periods of time.  He gets anxious to start grabbing for toys and will easily tumble himself over.  But his strength is showing and improving.

blanket: Little Unicorn

This month brought the fascination with everything that is not a toy.  Or at least not his toy.  And he most definitely knows the difference.  He knows what his brothers have, and he wants it!  Everything goes in the mouth.  Everything.  Still no teeth, but plenty of drool.  He grabs at everything, including my dinner plate, coffee, wine.  I'm planning on introducing solids sometime next month, with the baby led weaning approach (you can read old posts about this here, here, and here).  It will be casual, no big deal.  Kane nurses far less than his brothers ever did.  It could possibly be due to being busier and on the go more often.  But often I'm realizing I should probably feed him long before he ever seems to need it.  But obviously, at well over 17 lbs, he is getting plenty of milk!

In exciting news, he seems to be my first babe to bounce back from that awful 4 month sleep regression.  Right now, he starts the night off with a good 4-5 hour stretch.  After that he is often up a handful of times.  This may not sound all that amazing to some, but anything is an improvement over waking every 2 hours or less!  I'm hoping this will continue to be the new norm!  We've also settled into a good nap routine.  On a typical day, he takes three solid naps now.  Sometimes the car.  Sometimes the sling.  Sometimes his bed.  But he's flexible and can really fall asleep anywhere.  Probably another perk of being the third child.

The sling is still his most favorite place to be.  He's still ticklish. Unsure about being tossed in the air. Loves books (mostly to chew).  Has the sweetest coo & google, although he's a rather quiet little guy.  Eye color is still undetermined.  Currently they are almost hazel in the middle & gray on the outside.  Completely intriguing!  Kane is super easy going and just happy to be around everyone else.  He has truly just been the sweetest addition to our family!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

House Update

So much house news to share & report on!  First up, selling our old house...  So we listed in November, giving ourselves plenty of time to sell.  Our house received tons of attention, which meant a ridiculous amount of showings.  As in 31 showings.  Keeping a house show ready all the time: hard.  Getting three kids out of the house for multiple showings at random times, including naptime: super hard.  Thankfully, I could always sneak over to our neighbors to nap Finn there (as well as spy on potential buyers).  But all of it was just exhausting.  We were pumped that people were excited about our house, but then always disappointed that no offers would follow.  Not one.  Not even a low ball.  

But finally after that 31st showing, one came through.  It was good not great, but we were anxious to be done showing our house.  And we really wanted to be under contract before Christmas.  So papers were signed, champagne was poured.  Except, three days later... the buyer bailed.  They claimed "financing issues", but I don't know that I believe it.  We were devastated.  And little stressed.  So back on the market the house went.  And then miraculously, only three days later, we had an offer for full asking price!!!  Boom!  

They wanted to close as soon as possible, so we needed to find a rental starting in January.  Conor managed all that, and found a furnished place for us up in the mountains, just minutes from the house we're building.  While I feel like we're paying an astronomical price, having a furnished place has made the whole moving process that much easier.  I have loved being up in the mountains, adjusting to life up here already.  And I get to drive by our new place whenever I want now.  We survived our first major storm.  Experiencing some of the worst driving conditions I've ever been in (even having lived in the PNW).  They weren't lying about the snowdrifts that did reach 4-5 feet high.  It's all an adventure that I'm loving.

So back to the sale of our house.  Our initial close date was January 12th.  Which has been bumped twice now.  Currently it's at February 2nd.  Our buyer is getting a VA loan and coming across all sorts of issues in underwriting.  It's been extremely stressful for Conor & I.  We're trying not to worry, and really hoping & praying the sale goes through.  The silver lining is that we have had plenty of time to slowly pack and get out of our old house.  It's taken far longer than we expected.  We did lots late in the evenings while the boys were sleeping, because during the day I'm pretty much a baby holder and worthless.  Our final goodbye to old house has yet to happen, but I know I'll be all sorts of emotional about it.

On to the new house, the exciting stuff!  It's coming along so incredibly fast!  We are currently set to close on February 22nd; we're under the 30 day mark!!!  Our cabinets were delivered today, and they've finished painting.   All decisions are final, except I still need to choose mirrors for all the bathrooms.  I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but our home is mostly white, with black accents throughout.  I'm excited to add my own pops of color here & there.  The exterior has a modern farmhouse feel that I have fallen in love with.  The boys are excited, but I can also see that they have been a bit emotional about it all.  Half of their toys & belongings are boxed up in storage.  We're spending time between two houses right now, so there hasn't been a great sense of home.  Finn asks to go "home" a lot, and I'm never quite sure where he means.  He's also asked me "where home is?".  Sweet sweet boy.  And Liam's Kindergarten teacher mentioned that Liam has talked about moving at school.   She has noticed his big feelings too.  So really, we're all anxious to make that final move into the new house.  To meet neighbors (hopefully new friends!) & truly settle down.

For now, I try to be patient.  I trust that everything will fall into place.  And I enjoy the crazy mountain views.  Still cannot believe this is where I live!

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Shop Small: Golden Apple Studio

I'm excited to share this adorable shop, Golden Apple Studio, with you all today!  I've been a little obsessed since I first discovered them on Instagram, which is really where all my shopping habits start!  I love that Instagram has become such a wonderful community for creatives, creators, shops, locals.  
Golden Apple Studio caught my eye with their beautiful wood products.  I love the clean, minimalist look of wood.  Way back in November, I decided that Santa would be bringing Kane a play gym for Christmas.  Being the third boy in our family, he really didn't need much.  And while I like to keep our baby gear pretty minimal, I knew a play gym is something that we would truly use.  And one, such as those from Golden Apple Studio, would even be a pretty little piece in our house!

The wood is pine, with hand painted accents.  The accessories are solid wood shapes & merino wool. A truly high quality product.  One of the best parts is that is comes assembled (amen!), and it easily folds away.  But let's be honest, we never fold it away because it's so beautiful!  Plus it gets tons of use!  Kane truly loves it!

The shop owner, Bailey, is just the sweetest.  I love putting faces to to small shops, seeing those that you are supporting.  I really can't say enough wonderful things about Golden Apple Studio.  So please go check out the shop.  Look around!  Aside from play gyms, they have plenty of other beautiful wood products.  I'm especially crushing on this toy camera.

As always, please share your favorite small shops with me!  When I'm looking for something, I'll often ask for recommendation on my Instagram stories.  Recently, I was looking for knee high socks, and got the best rec for Magnolia Kids!  Can't wait to get an order placed there!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Spokane: So Hip, So Trendy

Utah has seriously been lacking in the snow department, so thank goodness we had a trip up to Washington just after Christmas!  It was a winter wonderland up there, with my parent's lake house accumulating somewhere between 2-3 feet of snow during our stay!  We always go visit my family just after the holidays, and stay through New Years.  My parents wait for my arrival to celebrate Christmas, so all the festivities really continue on for another week!

You all know how much I just adore Spokane.  How I miss it terribly.  Want to move back.  Visit every chance I get.  Want to grow old there.  I could go on & on about how amazing it is.  And then... oh then... Spokane decided to get super trendy and just start winning over more hearts.  They put a brand spanking new skating rink in the riverfront park downtown.  It's a "ribbon" with inclines, declines, a little skating pond.  Hot cocoa, beers, really everything you could ever want in skating rink.  Instagram loves it!  Watch our Central Park ice rink, Spokane is coming for ya!  So of course, our first night in town we checked out the city's newest feature with cousins.

After celebrating "Christmas" the next day, we were off the lake house for a week!  It's always one of my favorite places!  So cozy.  Perfect for relaxing.  Except I was getting over one helluva cold, and my cough was so severe that I bruised a rib.  Or cracked one.  Or just did something terribly awful to my rib.  So I was in quite a bit of pain for our visit.  That meant lots of couching laying, napping with the baby, and reading.  I finished January's book club book before January even started (The Memory of Us.... soooooo good!)!  Still it was a lovely time full of family, good eats, and always cocktails.  Eventually I left the house for some New Year's Eve drinks with just my mom.  We arrived at the bar (1 of 4 in the one stop light town) to a bottle of champagne ready of us thanks to my Conor & my dad.  It was wonderful having a little time with Nana to myself!  The rest of the evening was rather quiet, and I hit the sheets long before midnight.

Towards the end of our stay, I was finally feeling good enough to venture down to the lake with the boys.  It was frozen over (although barely, so we stayed close to shore).  The trees all perfectly coated with snow making for quite the breathtaking landscape.  Also breathtaking because it was damn cold.    Regardless, Kane snoozed away.  He seems to take his best naps outside, no matter the temperatures.  The older boys had their very first ice fishing experience (mine too!)!  We found a small hole left behind from previous fisherman, so it was easy to break in.  Conor grabbed a pole & power bait from the boat house upon the boys insistence, and in less than a minute we had a bite.  A KOKANEE!!!!!  He was huge!   Too huge to fit through our little hole.  Womp womp.  However, I see far more ice fishing during future lake house visits.  

Another truly lovely visit with my family. A week wasn't enough; I could have stayed far longer.  I love watching my boys with their grandparents.  The huge smiles all around.  The helping hands.  More & more I treasure the photos I take, knowing that my boys will have them to look back on.  What I really need to get better about it is video!  Not just 15 second clips, but full home videos.  Perhaps a goal for the new year!  A huge thanks to my parents for always welcoming our little circus. The lake house feels at its best when it's just bursting with family!

Monday, January 8, 2018

Kane: 4 Months Old

I did a little poll to see who people thought Kane looked more like, Liam or Finn, and it was 50/50.  I continue to see both boys in him, perhaps a tad more of Liam currently, with Finn's cheeks.  We've hit that stage (that all my kiddos have) where they have a brief run with red hair.  I imagine Kane's will eventually turn blond, just like his brothers'.  His eyes continue to amaze, so so large (quite similar to mine as a baby) and so dark!  I'm sticking with a blue/gray for now.  They make him appear to be surprised nearly all the time, which I kinda love about him.

His personality traits are staying true to the previous months.  He is still ever so ticklish!  Startles easily (a surprise pounce from one of our cats can send him into tears).  He doesn't like to hear Finn or Liam cry.  And he loves eye contact!  While in the sling, he desperately searches for any & all strangers to start smiling at.  He continues to be our worst sleeper, which is really just terrible now that the 4 months sleep regression is here.  He wakes all through the night.  Rarely ever doing more than a 2 hour stretch. We cosleep, snuggling all night long, and nursing constantly.  With this being my third baby it is merely the norm, albeit still makes for a very sleepy mama.

This month he started rolling from my tummy to back!  All the time for a good 2 week stretch, and now he's over it.  Instead he prefers to stay on his tummy, and attempt to wriggle around; he can make a full circle!  Constantly watching his big brothers and trying to see what they are doing.  Also searching for that eye contact.  He can monkey sit for short periods, so I expect legit sitting is not too far away!  This month also brought on the teething.  So.  Much.  Drool.  He soaks through bibs, always needing a dry one.  By far our drooliest baby.  And everything goes in his mouth.  He's ferocious with his teethers, which are in a constant rotation.  The boy loves variety.  I have never owned so many teethers for one child.  But they seem to keep him happy (and drooling).  Also included in this month was his first flight!  He was a champ just like his brothers, sleeping most of the time.  I cannot wait for all our travels & adventures together!

His smile is contagious & he brings so much joy to our family.  There has been something so special about number three!  I love seeing his relationship with every member of our family, and how he has changed (for the better) the group dynamic.  We're all so happy he's here!  I know big changes are ahead in the coming months once Kane is mobile, but we look forward to all those milestones.  He have his 4 month check up at the end of the week, and I cannot wait to see those stats.  I imagine he is going to be right between where Liam & Finn were at this age.  Definitely a big boy, who is already crazy heavy!  Now send me all the coffee as I endure the next 1.5 years of sleepless nights!

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