Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Mommy Math

Two baby monitors going. Two babies sleeping. One mom blogging.

Yesterday, my little-but-all-grown-up sister visited with her 13 month old. She asked how I do it with two when she struggles with one.

First, I don’t “do it.” I merely wake up and they’re here, and fall I asleep and they’re here. And I try ----oooh how I try---- to fill the huge in-between with a mix of love, meals, diaper changes, happy moments, teaching moments, and laundry. Ooooh the laundry! That laundry that hides in our one spare room both done and undone day in and day out. We stay in. We go out. It’s nearly always a we and seldom an I.

So if it appears as if I’m “doing it,” I have no idea if I’ve succeeded or failed. Kept it together enough or hidden too much. Eh, and honestly, I gave up caring (all that much) about it. Two under two is not just a description, this thing is a lifestyle. Care too much and miss out on all the good parts.

Sometime during Macy’s short reign as the one and only and June’s debut which made two, the following thought planted and rooted deep. As a stay at home mom, I may loaf at 2pm, but I also feed a little at 2am. When Netflix is babysitting at 10am, it’s because I was still hopping between kiddos until 10pm the night before. During the 9-to-5ers lunch hour, I’m lucky to get a 5 minute uninterrupted bite to eat.

It’s salaried hours without the salary. No paycheck but still paid in ways much more treasured.

Not a me versus anyone thing. Just a little mommy math that has subtracted the guilt from the downtime and added much more joy to the go time.

So sis, you are/are not “doing it” just like the rest of us. The hard parts become easier and the easy will often roll into new challenges. No need for downtime guilt. You’re on your feet more than you’re off. You’re doing great. That cute neicey poo of mine was a happy, well loved, and well taken care of little thing yesterday---pretty much the best kind of employee review we’ll ever receive from our demanding underage bosses.

*Hearing cries in the monitor* 

And now it’s go time. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Not Near Deserving

Just over a week ago, Kendall and I celebrated our 3 year wedding anniversary.

Four years of being together. Three homes we've shared. One little baby of our own.
(And this is where my eyes start to well up---just a bit---as I type)

To some this is common. To me it's a personal miracle. Sometimes we get to enjoy blessings we don't get near to deserving. Kendall and Little Miss have been two of those blessings for me. Most people love their families. But, I truly love my family.

As I wipe my now soggy eyelashes and trickles on my cheeks, I'm so itching to share how we celebrated our three year feat. After moving to small town in the heart of Oregon's wine country (we're still stone cold sober but enjoying the lovely charm that high class tourism brings to these parts), we've fallen in love with exploring the other tiny towns that freckle our countryside.

One such town (quite far away but similar to our stomping grounds) was recommended to us by my parents-in-law. Kendall took off work so we could flee to the darling city of Vernonia, population 2,100. Before embarking, that amazing hubster of mine surprised me with fancy flowers and a sappy card, even after we had agreed that we would not put each other through the angst of coming up with anniversary gifts (Now the second holiday we've promised no gifts that The Hubbs has violated. I no longer trust him). The supposedly to-die-for Mediterranean restaurant was our draw. Unfortunately, we have a terrible streak of arriving at closed restaurants and this was no exception. So, we settled for Mexican food and had fun raiding one of the thrift shops.

Yes, I scored big. As I made my way up to the counter to pay for 2 like-new baby bibs (you know, the good kind with the plastic on the back), the angel of a check-out lady informed me that each grocery bag full of of baby clothes was only $2 (you pick what goes in a bag). So, for $4, we made out like bandits with all kinds of good stuff for Squishy and my niece who's making her arrival in October.

That's right. 12 sleepers. 9 pairs of pants. 6 onesies. 4 shirts. 2 bibs. 1 jacket. ONLY FOUR BUCKS. Happy anniversary to me! :)

After exploring Vernonia (can't say it took too long), we headed to the coast to enjoy the rest of our day. We landed in Seaside and toted Squishy along in her stroller. For our third time of being in Seaside together, we faced the usual dilemma of where to eat dinner. And for the third time, we found tasty solace at Pig n'Pancake. Yup, we're classy like that. Even though there are beautiful anniversary-worthy, candlelit restaurants, we just knew they couldn't whip up waffles and omelettes like our usual dive. And, Squishy got to enjoy the magic of a high chair for the first time. She loved it. Win win.

Three years down and eternity to go! :)

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Oh, the Struggle is Real

So, here I sit as that sweet babe of mine naps, doing the thing I've been dying to do- blog. We just got home from our first time attending a "mommy group." I loved it. I needed that. I met some fellow moms right in the thick of things- teething and diapers and sleep schedules oooh my.

After moving when Squishy was only a month old, unpacking, adjusting, surviving the newborn phase and settling into my new stay-at-home-home position, I'm finding it time to branch out. Even stay-at-home-mommers need to connect with people, feed their brain, and get out of their comfort zone....at least that's how I've been feeling.

And, it was just as I was contently coming home from my new little group, all settled into my new experience in mommyhood, I remembered I needed to make that call. See, on my way to that haven of a group, one of my past beloved dental offices had left a voicemail needing a fill-in dental hygienist for a couple weeks. Kendall and I have decided over and over again that at least right now, we believe me being with Squishy during the day is best for our little family.

Yet, I hesitated.

I waited.

I mulled over the pros and cons and logistics of donning the scrubs and heading back to work to scale those teeth.

And, then I called the hubs for moral support to make sure I wasn't crazy for still thinking I should turn down the job offer before making that call. That call that consists of a thanks but no thanks, I'm sorry that I can't help right now, I miss working with you too, yes- I'm sure and so sorry. Sigh.

Being a stay-at-home mom has always been a dream of mine. Truth be told, 99% of the time it suits me just fine, and I still do have the blessing of working a couple times a month while Hubs watches Squishy. And, maaaan, I am blessed that Hubs is so hardworking and fortunate enough to have a job that can support our family. I realize a lot aren't that lucky.

But the struggle is real. Working vs. not working.
How much to work?
Or not to work?
And for how long?
And why?
And what reasons do I give people to justify my decision?
But does my decision really need to be justified?
Because every family and mommy is different :)

Anyway, Squishy is awake and duty calls :) Possibly the best duty there is :)

Thanks for reading :)

Love, Kristen :)

Monday, December 8, 2014

Kendall the Nephite

I knew one day it would happen. Some day, some way somebody from church would need/ask me to do something that I would be COMPLETELY CLUELESS how to do. It happened. While it's the first, I'm not betting anything it will be the last.

Our ward Christmas party was this past weekend had the theme "Christmas in the Americas." Last year, I think the theme (we hadn't moved here yet) was something like "Christmas in Bethlehem" and was such a hit that they kept things pretty similar. This included a very well put together Christmas play/production in which Kendall was asked to participate. The play basically included scenes and prophets from the Book of Mormon that prophesied of Jesus's birth. Kendall was asked to be Nephi (as in the one in 3rd Nephi.....or at least not the one in 1st Nephi....but I digress).

Great! I can't act, so I thought I was off the hook :) That's when I realized that husband of mine would need some sort of costume. Now, I can't work a sewing machine by myself if my life depended on it, and I'm not one of those creative sorts. Therefore, you can understand my sense of panic. All I can say is that I'm so grateful for Google and those creative people out there who take pity on the rest of us and post their genius ideas. I found this video (I'm passing it on because I would imagine a lot of you will someday need a Biblical or Book of Mormonical costume, and this saved my skin) that taught me how to make a no-sew Biblical tunic. Seriously, it's as easy as this lady makes it look....thought it took me a bit longer because I don't cut straight lines nearly as fast and fearlessly as this woman.

Anyway, as you can see in Kendall's costume, I added a felt sash thing, a yellow waist tie, and yellow headband to make it a little bit more Nephite-ish (though as Kendall insists, who really knows what they wore anyway, right?). Good luck in your future church costume making endeavors!

PS- Apparently, the tunic was so comfy Kendall wore it pretty much all day...hence this picture I took upon returning home from being gone several hours. hehe

Candice and Bryce (Part 2): The Reception

Instead of cramming a bajilliooon gorgeous pics of Candice and Bryce's big day in one post, I thought it much more appropriate to dedicate one whole page to their STUNNING reception. My mom was the brains behind this whole thing. I don't know how she does it. However, I think she is quite relieved that she has two out of three daughter weddings behind her. Just one more to go, Mom! :) xoxoxo

The Spread :)

Kendall dubbing himself king of the clean up (or set up?) crew with one of the punch pedestals as his crown

Bryce from wee one til now

The decor before the party

Gift Table

Messy Eaters :)

Bouquet Toss!

Tiff caught the bouquet :) Here she is being a saint as she passes out a flower from the bouquet to each of the little girls who had also tried to catch it but whose arms were just a little too short :) Isn't she so sweet? :)

Bryce's brother caught the guarder and my sis caught the bouquet.... :)

One of Bryce's sisters who was one of their photographers

Another of Bryce's sisters who was also one of the photographers. They both do really great work! :) 

The happy couple exiting the reception. They eventually came back home from their honeymoon but this pic still makes me a little sad. I hated to see 'em go!
The damage

Possibly my favorite pic and favorite Candice expression :)

Candice and Bryce: The Temple/Wedding

Why yes, this post is quite overdue...but better late than never :) This year, on Friday, July 25th, my beautiful, baby sister Candice married her night in shining armor, Mr. Bryce Franzen. It was a wonderful, nearly surreal experience witnessing Candice and Bryce be married for time and all eternity in the Portland Oregon Temple. I love them both so much and am so happy they found each other. One benefit to posting this late is that I've been privilege to see them just as smiley and content several months later as they were in these pics on their wedding day :) 

Coming out of the temple as the new Mr. and Mrs. 

Candid Glamour Shot


Me, Uncle Dale, cousin John, Tiffany

Cute 2nd Cousins: Mackenzie, Gabby, Krista


One of Bryce's sisters (one of his TRIPLET siblings...did you know he's a TRIPLET? Pretty cool, eh?) was on a mission and couldn't attend the wedding. Absent but not forgotten :)

My AWESOME Uncle Dale

Us! :)

Tiffany, Mom (Isn't she pretty?), Me

The VERY happy couple. I think this pic captures the two of them best :)

Bryce's mom!

My family likes selfies :)

Bryce's friend/groomsman, Julie (my cousin!), Isaac (Julie's husband)

Aunt Nancy and her cousin (who's also my dad's cousin), Kris

Uncle Bob, Aunt Susan, Cousin Sabrina

The Wedding Party

Told ya we like selfies :)

Tiffany and Aunt Wendy

Tiffany, Me, Kendra, Aunt Wendy

Kissy kissy, smoochy smoochy :)

The cool people :)

The Blushing Bride

I just LOVE that guy :)

Kendall pointing out that this was our baby's first wedding. The very beginnings of a baby bump at about 12 weeks pregnant :)

A tush shot :) hehe