Tuesday, May 3, 2016

double

For the fourth anniversary of my 24th birthday (when all your friends tell everyone they know that it's your 24th, YES. Keep them.), I got my nose double pierced. I've wanted to do it for seventeen-years but never had the courage to. So, here's a quick back story on my 4A24B (LOLOLOL): Evan had to go on a leadership retreat for the church so I knew I had to do something fun for myself or I'd sit at home and cry. So, since I've wanted my nose pierced again forevs, I decided to just do it. In the secret because ME. My 4A24B. I called and made an appointment. I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN from the moment I spoke to the homie on the phone that this was a bad idea. A BAD IDEA. I REPEAT. BAD IDEA. But I'm like NO. It's MY BIRTHDAY. YOU DO YOU, L.

Here's our FIRST convo:

"What time works for you?" -him
"Anytime!" -me
"Are you an anytime girl? I like an anytime girl."-him
*laughs uncomfortably*-me
"Sorry I'm so playful right now. I have to do a serious piercing in a minute."-him 

FIRST INSTINCT TO GTFO. But I didn't. Because sometimes when I set my mind to something, nothing will deter me from getting it done. Apparently even weirdo piercing men.

So today. I started with getting my birthday drink from Starbs, obvi, a giant coffee the size of two of my heads. And I also got Maddox a drink because I'm considerate like that but also my ulterior motive was to distract him so that he'd chill out and behave since I have three thousand people who daily offer to watch Maddox when I need it, but obviously not when I'm getting my nose double pierced. And then my first mistake: I took my giant (technical size term: two adult heads) drink into the store. And he was like, "I'm nervous about them." Like, I'm not gonna spill my giant coffee that I got for free, homie. (But then I almost did and that would have been not hilarious today but maybe tomorrow when I stopped crying about it.) And actually, the first thing he said to me was, "I remember you." And I was like, "Nope." Because I've never met this man in my life. Ever. Never.

So. All I want is for him to PLEASE put another hole in my nose. Instead he takes exactly ONE FULL HOUR to do so. Here are the things that happened in that hour:

1. He called Maddox a girl so rapid-fire I could not correct him. "She's so cute!" "She's a little model." "She's so loud!" "She's going to spill her drink!" No. SHE IS NOT A SHE.

2. Right after five-hundred "she's," he said, "I have really good intuition. When I guess what color would look good on your face, that's me honing my intuition." BUT COULDN'T USE HIS INTUITION ON MY S-O-N. Boy. She's a he. Boy.

3. Took me to the piercing room and kept complimenting my nose. JUST SHOVE A RING THROUGH IT I DON'T EVEN CARE AT THIS POINT.

4. Lined it up for 45-minutes.

5. A lady came in who got one of those weird headache piercings and she cried because her headaches were gone and she got her life back but sadly she lost a ball from the hoop. (You have to have the ball on the hoop or the headaches come back, guys.)

6. The man said to the lady, "This is Maddox; (you guys, Maddox for a girl?! COME ON USE YOUR quote unquote INTUITION, MY FRIEND), she's so cute!" Lady responds, "Hi, Madison!"

7. I can't.

8. After they discuss him being a girl for a few minutes, Maddox eventually says, "I a girl. I not a boy anymore." OH MY GOSH WHAT HAVE I DONE?!

9. We finally get to the piercing stage.

10. Maddox is playing a game on my phone. The man says, "Now, that's not going to ring or make ANY noise while I'm doing this, is it?" I turn it on airplane. FOUR POINT ONE SECONDS LATER, no less than 15-phones in the establishment all start ringing and vibrating at once. As if I'm a distraction. JUST PLEASE. And then five hundred people walk in to buy all his weird flag/curtain crap. And ask to watch my nose piercing but then leave when they realize I'm not getting naked. I'M SERIOUS.

11. He then asks me what my husband does. I say, "He's the college pastor at our church." IN AN ESTABLISHMENT WITH TONS OF WEIRD FLAGS AND INCENSE AND DRUGS. He proceeds to tell me a story where he went to a dinner party and the hosts wouldn't stop smiling so he farted. THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ANYTHING but I laugh hysterically/awkwardly because I don't know what else to do and I don't want to die today. It's my birthday.

12. He proceeds to cuss a lot because he thinks it's funny that I'm involved in church.

13. CUTE.

14. No-more-headaches-lady basically babysits Maddox while all of this is happening. He is saying, "I the HULK!!!!" "I play Alex's drums at church!" Plenty of boy things. She keeps complimenting Madison on how cute she is. EYE ROLL.

15. The man makes me lay down to pierce my nose and tells me to relax. I have never been so nervous/stiff/stressed out in my life. I could not be more rigid if I was three-days dead.

16. HE FINALLY PIERCES MY NOSE.

17. He makes me lay there for another 100-minutes to calm down. Tells me to breathe and then hands me a weird stick. QUESTION MARK, WHY. And then tells me it is my birthday wish stick and to make a wish and when I'm ready to break the stick. He's still holding on to it. I'm like, a wishbone? Nah, I'm all set. But it's weird so I do it. Immediately. I'm so stressed out I can't even think of half of a wish. I'm literally thinking, "PLEASE GOD LET ME NOT DIE TODAY AND GET ME THE HECK OUT OF HERE." And I break the stick. With his end, he starts TAPPING ME ON THE FOREHEAD. WHAT. THE. WHAT. As like, I don't know, some kind of voodoo. And then rubbing my temple! And then tapping the top of my head! I AM NOT RELAXED BECAUSE THAT IS A SHARP STICK!

18. He shows me my piercing and says some rude thing about how I can see my piercing but not God. What? I don't know. Leave me alone.

19. He finally lets me sit up. BUT THEN I HAVE TO SIT THERE BECAUSE HE MADE ME LAY DOWN AND NOW I'M GONNA PASS OUT.

20. He starts up a flip-phone from the year 100. He SHAKES IT AS IT TURNS ON. As if it's an etch-a-sketch. IT IS NOT. IT IS A FLIP PHONE. Half the first-world population under 15 doesn't even know what that is. Get rid of it. He takes a picture of me. Because congrats on taking 400-days to put a new hole in my nose. Then takes one of Maddox and I. Calling him a her 4524 more times.

21. Teaches me how to clean it. I don't listen because Maddox is telling me he has to pee and I'm concerned I'm about to get peed on.

22. He hugs me over the counter. What? We don't need to touch. You just intimately had your hands in my nose and I think that was enough for me.

23. I RUN AWAY. NEVER TO RETURN.

You have to write these things down or they technically didn't happen.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

dear maddox//three years

Dear Maddox,

Happy, happy birthday, my sweet baby love. Today you are three. Today you have lived on this earth for one thousand and ninety five days, each one more perfect and precious than the last. As we have neared closer to your birthday, I have wondered just how we've gotten here so fast already; yet I've given so much thanks for everything about you. I couldn't have imagined how much you would grow up in these past few weeks before three and even though you don't age all at once when you land on your birthday, I feel that in some ways you've done just that. But maybe that's just God's way of saying that three is going to be okay. It will be more than okay, I am sure of it; but we'll give my fragile mama heart a little break today.



I hold great hopes for you, sweet boy. I know that today you are three but you're teetering on the edge of your childhood, about to embark on your greatest adventure. I want you to be brave, be kind, be thankful, be adventurous, be courageous, be compassionate. Be all of the things that will propel you into a life worth living. Here you are at three, which sounded so old and independent when you were freshly born. I must have thought the number wrong, because the days before three are nothing like I expected. You're still asking me to cuddle you and rock you good night and rub your back and sing your song to you. Sometimes you crawl into my lap and say, "Mama? I need you." and every time that you do, my heart could not possibly hold any more love for you, but it does anyway and I marvel at the fact that my body carried something so wonderful and so precious and still holds half of my heart, while the other half beats outside my body.



It's been a lifetime of seconds since you were born. And another lifetime will pass between this moment and your birthday. You will grow older and I'll cry a little and take five thousand pictures to remember these moments forever. Your forever uncut, unkempt, unruly hair. The way you call a "hood" a "hook" and the "TV" the "TP" and it's a "basketball hoot" and you still can't say your "c's" or your "k's" and sometimes you call us "Dan" and "Mamba." I'll take everything, even when you repeat the cuss words we let slip or ask me why that man is in the woman's bathroom. I'll take the tiny bite marks in all the apples in the fridge and the sharing of three cuties between you and I when we watch TV. I'll take the hardened chunk of playdoh that will never come out of the carpet and the blue stripe of chalk on my livingroom wall. I'll take toys on the floor and the books spread out in your room and the mountains of laundry and your itty bitty washcloths in every load and your socks in every corner of the house except for a complete set anywhere and half-full glasses of water in every room and calls from your room every night for one more kiss and one more story and the need to tell me one more question, as you say.



I can't remember not being a mom, the moments before my heart was split in two and fused to yours. I can't remember the moments before you, even though they're right there but I can't completely remember them. You consume me and nothing is a match for my love for you. Sometimes I feel like my heart can't contain this kind of love because until you have your own child, you can't possibly know. And it surprises me every single day and I think that tomorrow or next week or next time you throw a temper tantrum I won't be surprised by this kind of far-reaching love that seeps into every fiber of my being and covers even the deepest, darkest parts of life. But I am. Every single time it surprises me and awakens me.

These are the moments that I know I'll miss this the most, this sacred ground we stand on. These moments are fleeting and I'll hold onto them tightly as I gently release you into three and then four and on and on until I'm only left with the memories of these best years, where my heart has burst a thousand times over.

I will forever be turned inside out, because you are my son.

I love you. I love you. I love you.

mama

Friday, February 19, 2016

...

I remember once, six-months-old, bawling in the shower because six-months felt like such a lifetime to me. It felt like the newborn days had left in a fury and I was left grasping at the smoke. And I remember, vividly, when Evan told me, "He's this much closer to saying I love you. And giving hugs and kisses." And it was true but I didn't believe it. Because good things do come with age. Like he's now a month and a week from being three and he has the curliest head of hair and says the funniest things and has full-on conversations with us about his life that he is living because he really is a tiny human and not just a baby anymore. And even though I sometimes wonder how we got here so fast, because I can still remember the exact moment of standing in my hospital room, the overflow one, with the window that looked out onto the roof, standing there in front of that little window and cradling his body in the very first onesie we ever bought him, the one we bought to bring him home in, the white and yellow one with giraffes and zebras on it that said "best friends," I remember that so vividly it could have happened an hour ago. It does feel like three years happened in an hour and I'm not sure how we stuffed a lifetime of memories in an hour, in three years, but we've done it and I'm thankful for it. I wouldn't change a thing except to ask time to slow down and give us more time before we hit three, before we hit four, before we lose these toddler years. I love them so. I love him so.


Friday, January 8, 2016

Things Maddox says v.4

"If you hit me again, you will go to jail."-Evan
"No! It's rough in there."-Maddox

"What's your name?"-me
"Maddox Oliver Took."-Maddox
"What's mom's name?"-me
"Moms Oliver Took."-Maddox

"You have glitter everywhere."-me (that's from when I thought he was napping but he was actually dumping my nail glitter all over my room)
"On mine booty?"-Maddox

"I love you."-me
"I love you, too. I love you more."-Maddox

"I need a helmet. For Christmas."-Maddox

"Maddox, do you like football? Can you give me a play-by-play?"-me
"Yeah. Put it in the hole."-Maddox

"That's very funny but very gross."-Maddox

"It's time to nap."-me
"I need to dance first."-Maddox

"Do you want to eat this snow?"-me
"No. It's not food."-Maddox

"Please leave that light on so I can see."-me
"It's too late to say sorry."-Maddox

"Birds poop, too."-Maddox

"Maddox, you're not big enough to push the button."-me
"I are big. Yook!"-Maddox 

"Hey mom? What color is your hair?"-Maddox

"Can you help me carry this stuff in?"-me
"It's tired in here."-Maddox 

"What does a raccoon say?"-me
"Put your fingers to your mouf and say, 'meeeememeememe.'"-Maddox

"Let's try this table. *Leans on the table.* Yep."-Maddox

"Jingle balls. Jingle balls. Jingle balls. Jingle all da way."-Maddox

"Yook! More ickasuls!"-Maddox 
translation: icicles 

"My hands are fingered."-Maddox

"I just bein Justin Beiber."-Maddox

"What's Justin Beibers doin?"-Maddox

"Do chickens live in eggs?"-Maddox
"No, chickens don't live in eggs."-me
"YEAH! DO!"-Maddox 
"Oh! Okay!"-me
"Chickens like livin in eggs."-Maddox 


an update

Well. Things sure got quiet around here, but for a very good reason, this I promise you. Evan and I have decided to begin our adoption journey! It's something that's obviously been on our hearts for many years but only a serious conversation for the past few months. Evan went out of town and into the mountains without any phone service this past summer and I stayed home and didn't sleep because that's what I do when I'm alone. So, I didn't sleep and instead I researched everything adoption and pre-applied to a bunch of different agencies and was pre-approved through a couple. We narrowed it down to our top two agencies and finally picked an agency a few weeks ago. They're a Christian organization and the director of intake has e-mailed me at least once a week with such encouragement and kindness and I couldn't help but choose them.

The cost of an adoption is around $40,000 give or take $5 grand PLUS outside expenses like airfair and the paperwork once your child is home, etc. It's crazy and we know it but we're not going to let that number that seems so huge (and at times, unattainable) get in the way of bringing home a baby to our forever family. My adoptive mama friend told me to break everything up into smaller, more manageable chunks. My new BFF, the director of intake, told me that before we fully submit our application, that we should have six to ten thousand dollars ready to go so we're not slowed down by not having the money ready to go. There are lots of loans and grants and help but we're hoping to fundraise most of it through t-shirts, a YouCaring page, prints and now some embroidery hoops! We have lots of friends who have offered to sell products for us as well or donate a portion of the proceeds of their business to us and we are so thankful and blessed to have such generous supporters. We know that it will take a village and we know that adoption is big on so many people's hearts, even those that haven't been called to adopt themselves.

So, you can follow along on that journey at our new adoption blog where I've got links to everything and Evan and I will update that frequently so you can always know where in the process we are. We're so excited to finally begin this journey and over the past week since we've announced it, we've raised a couple thousand dollars (Evan would know the exact amount but I'm still in awe of the $1,000 check we got from one of our dear friends BEFORE we even announced!) and God has been moving. We covet your prayers and love to talk about this. So, questions, comments, anything, please shoot us an e-mail at youandusforever[at]gmail[dot]com. Thanks for being a part of our story. It's gonna be a good one.


Friday, December 25, 2015

Monday, November 30, 2015

11/12

Hi, hello. Neglecting this little blog corner over here in lieu of Big Things happening in my life. Such as: taking the entire month of December off (except for 2 shoots that were planned months ago) to celebrate a wonderful, busy year AND new and exciting things coming in 2016 AND just to be with my two favorite guys without worrying about the amount of photos to edit. Yay. I can hardly wait. Today is the last day in November and even though I'll have to work a little tiny bit in December, I am throwing myself a party tomorrow that will consist of sitting in front of the fireplace and reading the day away.

We also have something super exciting to share and are planning on announcing that around Christmastime. No hints will be given because it's new and exciting and we took a little video last week and rearranged our home to use our favorite wall as background for the video. So, the couch ended up in the dining room for a moment and I hung up these pictures last minute and we've decided they'll stay there forever.

Also, no I will not cut my child's hair. Stop asking.


Monday, November 2, 2015

10/12 [round two]

We made it to the pumpkin patch by the skin of our teeth this year. We went the day before Halloween and it was perfect and cloudy until we put the car in park in the parking lot and then suddenly the heavens opened and it poured for five minutes while we debated if we should just forget it or if we should wait it out. We waited it out and I'm so glad we did because I love the pumpkin patch (even if we don't get any pumpkins because they're so expensive there). AND. Because of the rain, everyone cleared out and we were the only people in the entire pumpkin area for a good 15-minutes (most of which was spent trying to get Maddox to take a picture of Evan and I but he only managed to get the ground or the sky, no in-between). So, winning all around. Also, if someone could explain why my two-year-old looks like a teenager in this picture, I'll pay you. I can't figure it out but I'm like if you don't start to slow down this whole growing up thing, we're going to put you in timeout for life. I think that should do it. Also, I found that skirt at Old Navy for $6 and so I'm incredibly proud of it.


Monday, October 26, 2015

our park

I love our park. I love that this October has been so nice so late so that we can go to the park and play for hours on end and then my child is exhausted and sleeps all.night.long and I got my daily dose of vitamin D and didn't melt in the heat. I love it. I also love this cute boy and his adorable beanie and how much joy this plastic equipment brings him. I also love that we live directly across the street so that when an older child shows up who's sole mission is to teach my child how to climb on the tube slide and to walk on the rails and to sprint across the park and get him to follow her, we can easily walk home and scout their departure so that we can come back to the peace and quiet that we prefer.










Sunday, October 18, 2015

Things Maddox Says V.3

Less than a month and I have a whole handful of goodies from this little love. He talks nonstop and if you don't respond immediately, he'll just continue to say or ask over and over and over and over and over until you acknowledge him. But. He's SO funny. Evan and I are constantly dying over the little things he says and I'm cherishing these moments that he still says "mine" instead of "my" ("mine shoes," for example) because pretty soon it won't be as cute and he'll have to talk properly and I'll miss these baby words. But until then, here are some goodies as of late.

"How many times did you go to the church today?"-Evan
"Too much."-Maddox

"Where mine timeout at?"-Maddox
(we updated him to a big boy bed and that was the first thing out of his mouth when he saw that his crib was gone. someone probably spent a little too much time in timeout.)

"We do not do that! Go put yourself in timeout!"-Evan
"No, thank you."-Maddox
(update: Evan couldn't stop laughing and therefore no timeout was had.)

"Mom go Guacamole?"-Maddox
"No, I'm not going to Guatemala. Do you want me to go to Guatemala?"-me
"Yeah. I stay at Grandma's house."-Maddox

"I hurt mine ankle. I need to go to docker's office."-Maddox

"Did you tell daddy that we shared a pizza today?"-me
"You did? What kind of pizza?"-Evan
"No type."-Maddox

"Maddox, say, 'Racoon.'"-Evan
"Racktoon."-Maddox

"I go in bathtub, get mine booty wet."-Maddox

"Hi Grandpa, Grandma and Bay. Doin? Makin soup? See you later."-Maddox, pretending to talk on the phone.

"Where's Grandma?"-Evan
"In Afrita."-Maddox

"What's dat?"-Maddox
"A triangle."-me
"Oh. I yuv dat triangle."-Maddox

"Dis piggy went market. Dis piggy wee wee wee wee. Dis piggy eat roast beef. Dis piggy eat dirt. Dis piggy eat dirt too." -Maddox

"Ockapus."-Maddox

"I'm cleanin up dis wall. Some poop and some cheese on it."-Maddox

Also noteworthy: Says "veggies" sounds like "butt cheese."



Friday, October 9, 2015

Can we celebrate the fact that today is Friday, I have two engagement shoots this weekend and breakfast + photos with one of my dear, dear friends who is basically sunshine in a human? And let's throw in a good helping of I'm finally feeling human again after the flu + the world's worst sinus infection. And that I didn't think Maddox could get any cuter but then you slip a beanie on his cute head and yep. He can. Hip, hip, FRIYAY!









Wednesday, September 23, 2015

jars of carrots

This weekend while Evan and I were in Red Lodge, we ate at one of my favorite restaurants, Mas Taco. They give you a tiny slice of pickled carrot with your entree, like a garish I suppose, but I obviously eat it because pickled anything (besides beets and eggs of course) is my love language. And then Evan gave me his because he is kind and I also ate his slice of pickled carrot. And then I had the idea yesterday that I should pickle my own carrots. Because I had a bag of fresh carrots from my parents' garden and what else was I going to do with them? So, I borrowed my mom's canner, looked up a few recipes and got to it. I was intending on making six jars but then let the vinegar brine boil just a little too long and came up about 1/2 a jar short and because I'm not super great at math, decided to not cut down the brine recipe and just forget the last jar. I also shoved half a jalapeno (or some spicier equivalent) in two of the jars but I'll let those marinate for a few weeks before I open them up for a taste test.

Just having the jars on the counter makes me feel like my cute little mama in all her canning glory. Even though I'll never be as good as she is with her muscle memory for everything and her rows of canned everything you could possibly think of (rosemary lemon dilly beans. horseradish dilly beans. cinnamon spiced pears. spicy tomato soup. tomatoes with peppers and onions. raspberry jalapeno jelly. strawberry rhubarb jam. etc. etc. etc.) and her ability to make 30 different things in an entire weekend and fill up the little room in their basement with 500 jars of goodness and then share everything with me who didn't lift even a finger to help.  So. I'm moving in that direction, only much slower. At about the pace of a sloth. With the equivalent napping schedule as that of a sloth. I'll get there some day. Until then. Cheers to my pickled carrot success.




Monday, September 21, 2015

9/12 [round two]

We went to the mountains this weekend because we didn't have a wedding. Today, Monday, when I still have three weddings to edit and another coming up this weekend, I'm like perhaps I should have hunkered down and stared at the computer instead of driving into the mountains where there is no service and I can ignore everything in blissed out ignorance for a few hours and pretend like we really do live in a state with no electricity or telephones or e-mail.

But instead, I took a nap today. I laid down with my sweet curly haired boy and we slept for a few hours and I finished a book and started a new book and wrote a little bit. And I still have three weddings to edit and another coming up this weekend and I'll still have that tomorrow but I'll still be glad I took a weekend and then another day for myself.


best

I have found the real definition of best friend:

Someone you can live with and not be annoyed by the fact that they leave globs of toothpaste in the sink after brushing their teeth and they bring some kind of stomach virus into the house so that everyone under the roof acquires the virus and their shoes are everywhere except for the closet and when they make the bed, they don't fold the comforter and sheet down in that way that you like but instead tuck everything under the pillows. But they also wake up at your son's first cry and play with him for an hour or three so you can get an hour or three extra minutes of sleep. They also wake up early to surprise you by cleaning and organizing the house that you've neglected because you have three weddings to edit and threw up for two days straight thanks to that pesky virus and you're also having a going away party for one of your girlfriends. They bring you dinner and take you to brunch and arrive with blessed surprise latte's at all hours of the day. You can spend minutes that turn to hours that turn to days on days with them and the annoyances don't add up like little ticks in your mind until you need a free minute or you'll scream.

That's how you know you've found your best friend, your soul mate, your love. So stop looking, be content and take adventures and forget the people who aren't this and never will be.


Friday, September 18, 2015

Mine

This one is week and one day from being two-and-a-half and I can't stop staring at these pictures. He's perfect.