Tuesday, September 30, 2014

9/12 (a year of dates)

You guys? I'm going to be honest here for a second. September has been a rough month in our household. I think just trying to get back into real life after being gone every weekend in August and dealing with a sick husband and sick baby and swabbing my throat with clove oil every five minutes to keep myself from getting sick has just finally caught up with us. Evan and I have struggled to get on the same page this month and football has started and we're taking a class on Wednesday nights which leaves us literally one night a week to spend together and we have every Saturday booked with at least one photoshoot for the next few weeks and life is busy and I sound like I'm whining so I will stop there. It's just hard sometimes to really connect when you're trying to connect around all these different activities you've signed yourselves up for and sometimes you can really feel like you've been pushed into the backseat or maybe even the trunk space of life when it comes to your marriage. And maybe it took two really big fights to really see the toll the not putting each other first, before anything else, has taken on our marriage this month. We're not signing ourselves up for counseling or anything but we've cried and we've yelled and I've maybe sent some pretty passive aggressive texts in Evan's general direction.

And so we needed a casual and laid-back date night to just regroup and talk and laugh and just let go of all of the things we've been holding on to. So, we went for sushi at our favorite restaurant. I put on red lipstick and wore my favorite heels. I busted out one of my favorite shirts that everyone asks about because everyone thinks that those are drumsticks but really they're birds (same thing basically). We ate sushi and dated each other and then we went for beers at our favorite brewery and talked and it felt like I had been holding my breath for weeks and weeks and weeks and it felt like I finally stopped holding my breath and relaxed and things started to be normal again.

I could probably just write this blog and pretend like everything is rainbows and unicorns over here. But, if there's one thing that I'm a big, huge proponent of, it's a healthy marriage. I believe in never talking trash about Evan. Even when I'm furious at him. Even when it would be easy to put the blame on him and complain to my friends. I have just vowed to never involve other people in our problems. I've vowed to love him unconditionally and that means even when he's being a butthead. He might be a butthead but he's my butthead and I'll love him through it.

After our date I really feel like we're starting fresh for the month of October. I love doing life with this guy. Even through the crappy months and the stressful months and the months when I look back and see only a handful of good days. I know what comes after those months and I know how good this life is and that makes the bad months seem not so bad.

Friday, September 26, 2014


Basically inspired myself for our family photo this month. High five, self! After this little impromptu photoshoot that Maddox and I did one day while he was jumping on the couch and yelling at everyone walking by, I wanted to capture that + us.

Because a home isn't the walls that make up this house. It's not making sure that those darn pillows are all facing the same way because they're flowers and it doesn't make sense when they're upsi e down. It's not about that crooked lamp shade and how it just is that way and will never be straight and I've come to accept that. It's not about the walls and the windows and the doors, the house with the four bedrooms just waiting to be filled with all the future babies. It's about being here together. Together, that's what it's about. Because I would have my home on the other side of town or in another state or in a building with lots of other people. I would have my home in Africa or Mexico or China if it meant that these guys came with me and we were together.

And if the way that Evan and I are looking at Maddox isn't just the sweetest thing ever, I don't know what is. This is definitely one of my favorites this year, if not the favorite.


Maddox Currently

Currently, Maddox is 18-months-old and he...

Loves airplanes. My bff's fiance is a pilot and for a while every time we heard or saw an airplane flying overhead we would say, "There's Uncle Logan!" And now Maddox points to the sky every time he hears an airplane. And he can point it out faster than I can. And also if we ask him where Uncle Logan is, he points directly to the sky. Even if Uncle Logan is sitting right next to him.

Leads me everywhere. Lately Maddox has been in a big hand-holding mood. He loves to hold hands and walk down the stairs or wander all over the house. If I'm sitting on the couch he will come grab my hand and lead me to whatever it is he wants. He also likes to hold both mine and Evan's hands so that we "One! Two! Three! Wheeeee!" him but if he also has to hold his blanket or sippy cup, he will hold both our hands with one of his hands. It's freaking adorable.

Runs to the door when Evan comes home. The second Maddox hears the garage door opening he runs to the door and yells and screams and stomps his feet and when he sees Evan get out of the car it's all over. It's seriously the cutest, most welcoming thing and I'm pretty sure there wouldn't be a better way to be welcomed home.

Loves "All About that Bass." That song is his all time favorite song. Hands down. Ever. Which is good because I also love that song and we have spent many hours dancing around the house with that one on repeat and also as loud as possible. The best part about this song is how Maddox dances to it: He waves one arm back and forth, back and forth and then he gets right down to his typical dance style of bopping his head and bending his knees. Even if I just say, "Hey, Mad, I'm all about that bass, bout that bass, no treble." He will start waving his arm. The other day the song came on while we were driving and I looked in my mirror to see that little arm waving around back there. It kills me every time.

Says "mmmmm!" about everything. I pull out some raw chicken: "MMMM!" Maddox throws pieces of torn up paper in a pot and stirs them around with a spatula while I cook (real) dinner: "MMMM!" Maddox finds something he shouldn't have like a rogue cheerio under the couch or on the floor or something that isn't food at all but he's still putting it in his mouth: "MMMM!" The first bite of dinner that he eats: "MMMM!" After every bite of candy (especially cinnamon bears!!): "MMMM!"

Knows the number "one." We started asking Maddox how old he is and taught him how to hold one finger up. We also taught him that he only needs to put ONE of whatever he is eating in his mouth. As he is eating most finger food he pops one into his mouth and then holds up his finger and says some form of "one" which mostly sounds like "nine" which is how he basically says no. So, he's either got this number down or he's scolding me.

Knows his name. One day I asked Maddox what he name was. I always wonder how babies brains work, you know? Like, I call him Maddox all the live long day and he answers to it. Does he know it's his name? Does he know what a "name" is? So I said, "What's your name?" And he said, "Ma-i-sh," which is basically his name. Then I asked him again a few hours later and he said, "Jee-shush." So, we're working on it.

Knows what sound a...gorilla makes! So fun! He beats on his chest and (sometimes) says, "AHHH!" He opens and closes his mouth like a fish but he thinks he's making fish lips. Blows air through his lips like a horse. Basically mocks every animal noise I make but only remembers a few. He also likes to read animal books and point to all the animals and bark. Working on every animal not sounding like a dog.

Signs: "Best friends." [Cutest story ever: One morning Evan brought him into bed with us when he woke up and I went to the bathroom at the same time. When I came back in the room he was saying, "Mama! Mama!" and signing "best friends" at me. And heart is now melted.] "Dad." Sometimes he says "da" but usually he just signs it.

New words: "Zeezee (Icky)." He also shakes his head no, scrunches up his face and makes an "ack!" noise along with it.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Our fall mantle

For basically my whole entire childhood I wanted to be an interior designer. I wanted to decorate houses and pick out furniture and put everything together and make it look amazing because I watched too much HGTV with my mom. Anyway. I don't do that. I actually have no idea what I'm doing and I am actually the very worst person in the whole entire world at picking paint colors, oh my gosh.

We have a fireplace in one of our rooms and it's pretty neglected. It usually gets the leftover art or the pieces I couldn't find a spot for on my walls (I rearrange everything like every five minutes). It's never put together--it's sort of a mash up of things and it's sort of always my least favorite thing to look at. And people post pictures of their fireplaces with the most beautiful and put-together mantles and I have vowed to be better and more like those people with their put-together mantles.

Mantles are so much fun because they can be 3D and you can layer the heck out of them. And that's just what I did. So, here's my current mantle. I absolutely love it.


Wood "Marry Me" lyrics sign: I stained a piece of plywood I found in my garage (Jacobean by Minwax) and painted the lyrics with white acrylic paint. Really, really working on not being a perfectionist and being okay with it even though I can see all the mistakes and imperfections.

Wood slice string art: I found this wood slice at Hob Lob and although I had planned on making this on a square or rectangle piece of wood, I absolutely love it on the slice. I didn't stain the wood because I didn't feel like sanding it first and I didn't want all the wood to be matchy-matchy.

Glass bottles: My dad gave these to me. I'm not 100 percent but I'm fairly certain he found them in the ground when his crew dug up a road. They're super old and foggy and I've washed them 901 times to clean them up and because of that I've never really known what to do with them. I mean, I don't have a lot of places for dirty-looking bottles to hang out. These four are my favorite and I think they fit in perfectly here.

Red and white porcelain creamer: I have a matching cream and sugar set from my Mema. Looking at these pictures, I'll probably bring the sugar container out from my bathroom jewelry station and set it up here instead.

Acorns: I saw a super cute acorn garland DIY on the pin so I asked my dad to save me some acorns from his tree. He basically almost died because he has three hundred squirrel families living in his neighborhood who feast off of his acorn tree and he basically acted like I had asked him to starve the things. First of all, I wanted like 15 acorns. He gave me like 75. So, his own fault. I never got around to making the garland and instead glitter painted a handful of them and stuck them in the apothecary jar.

Heart garland: I made this, too. I cute some hearts out of maroon, red, purle and tan felt and then sewed them all together. It's supposed to be a Valentine's decoration but conveniently the colors are perfect for fall.

Wood letterpress "C":  Joann's, last year.

So that's it. I got the books for free when my city's old library decluttered in preparation for the new library. The mirror was a thrift store find from two years ago that I spray painted white (yes, I do paint evRYthing). The picture is old, old, old of Evan and I from the very first time we ever took family pictures of ourselves. I should probably update it since it's not just the two of us anymore, so I'll add that to my list. Our fireplace was red brick when we moved in (if you'd like to see a super embarrassing old blog that I halfway want to delete because of the horribleness of it but that contains pictures of the before fireplace and the horrible 1999-esque room that we thankfully painted white, click here, but you've been dutifully warned) and I hated it like it personally did something to offend me. Everyone gave us the side eye when we said we were going to paint it but it's such an improvement. Also unrelated to the mantle, we ripped down all of that horrendous wood trim you can see in that old blog post. (This poor room, man.) We just have the normal trim in the room now (windows, doors, fireplace) and it's on our to-do list to paint white. I'm thinking of painting the actual mantle high-gloss black. But I'll get back to you on that.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

I was eighteen and naive and I thought I would marry him. He slipped a promise ring on my finger during our anniversary dinner and he told me he wished that it was an engagement ring instead. I sat in our hotel in Denver and instant messaged him and wondered how I would get through the next four years of college without him. And so I didn't. I stayed instead of leaving, which was a very big sacrifice because it ended a few of my friendships because when you're not married or not old enough, choosing a boy first is a big deal to your girlfriends. But I maybe selfishly did that and when I turned twenty one and a few months later he slipped an actual engagement ring on my finger as we overlooked the city in the place where we spent one of our very first dates. And I think back to all of the memories that eight years together holds for us. The laughs over the things that we've said and our inside jokes like, "I was going to say choice but I said turn, so 'turce.'" and the TV shows we quote instead of using actual words and how he sits through hours of girly girl TV shows like Grey's Anatomy and Pretty Little Liars and loves them just as much as I do and the fights we've had where there isn't anything to do but go to bed angry and maybe go to bed angry again the next night and then making up when he makes me laugh when I just don't want to. There are hundreds of thousands of things packed into those eight years that make this life so sweet. And even when I suggest something like restaining all of our floors a darker color or repainting our bedroom for the 54th time or selling all of our furniture and starting over and he just rolls his eyes at me because he hasn't yet learned to just smile and nod and agree with all of my wild and crazy ideas, I still love him and I am thankful that he's here to ground me and when I'm crying over the very stupidest thing that is beyond my control and makes me sound like the most entitled selfish brat he's still holding me tight and whispering the sweetest words in my ear to make everything better and everything okay. So in eight more years I know that I will have filled up many more journals with our stories and laughs and I will have written him a thousand more love notes and we will still be fighting over things that probably don't even matter and that will be forgotten by this time next week, but I'll still be madly in love and I'll still remember our humble beginnings as two smitten teenagers who had no idea about the real world of dating and love and marriage but jumped head first into a love that would last a lifetime.

Friday, September 12, 2014


I met Evan before my senior year of highschool. I thought he was the most annoying and he had different thoughts about me. I was dating his best friend and he wanted to date his best friends girlfriend but instead he was dating some other girl. 

And then we got together and then we got married and now we have forever. I think about how silly it is that two people can find each other and fall in love in this sea-of-people-world that we live in. It doesn't seem possible but it happens and it happened to us.

We celebrated this guy and how he is the best ever yesterday because he finally turned the same age as me. Slacker. [I hateeee that I am older and sometimes we pretend that he is older for fun.] We didn't do anything big or crazy this year but spend the day together and cook a big fancy delicious dinner and I got him a giant bottle of one of his favorite [gross] dark beers and I even remembered to put a glass in the freezer so that it would be good and cold for him. Sometimes I am thoughtful. And to further prove my thoughtfulness, I changed all diapers AND let Evan listen to ESPN radio in the car. hashtag wife of the year.

Happy birthday my love. You're my favorite slash the best slash I still love the shit out of that shirt on you.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


Maddox threw a sippy cup at my face tonight.

This happened within minutes of me misjudging the distance from me to the wall and accidentally kicking the wall as I walked into the bathroom. You know when you accidentally run into something and it knocks the wind right out of you and it feels like your heart stops for a second or two and all you can feel is the excruciating pain in your [body part]? THAT.

And then that again a few minutes later when the rouge sippy cup hit me in the eye.

I know for a fact that there was no maliciousness involved in the throwing of the cup. I was just too close and that kid has an arm on him. I always say that I want him to be a baseball player. This is just that coming to fruition in the form of hard plastic being flung at my face at warp speed.

I cannot emphasize enough how sweet this boy is. He has his moments where he comes at my face with his teeth baring and his hands wrapped around most of my hair and I'm simultaneously trying to get away from the teeth and also trying to pry myself free and it's not working because he is strong and fast and that's a dangerous combo when it comes to biting. I don't want him to be a biter because I was a biter and after I bit all my cousins they took turns throwing hay bales on top of me and locking me in closets and collectively taking karma into their own hands. And I do not want that for him.

So I'm trying to teach him manners and to be nice and to not hit or throw and to play nice and be kind. There is a giant list that I have made up in my mind and I repeat all the live long day because of the short-term memories that toddlers seem to have when it comes to anything that doesn't involve cookies. But above all I'm teaching him to love.

Throwing a sippy cup at my face isn't love.

As I sat there in stunned silence for a second, I had to react. Through my tears (it freaking hurt, man.) I explained that that wasn't very nice and that really hurt mama...as the child was squirming out of my arms and screaming at me, turning his body into a limp noodle.

Parenting isn't the easiest thing I've ever done, I'd say. There are times when reasoning with a tiny human who doesn't understand words and who can't talk back and who is only signing "more please" a hundred thousand times isn't on the top of the things I want to do at that moment. In fact, after hearing his whine and the temper tantrums he now throws when I ask him to say please or when I tell him no (slapping his hands on the floor and putting his forehead on the ground), it would just be easier to give in.

But I'm choosing love.

I'm choosing love when it would be easier to choose anger or judgement or retribution. I'm choosing love when it would be easier to give in because there is no such thing as reasoning or explaining why. I'm choosing love when it comes to co-parenting because Evan and I disagree about spankings. I'm choosing love when it comes to everything about this baby boy because I want him to always choose love even when it's not the easiest or the funnest or the coolest option. I want him to always choose love because I can guarantee that it's the best option.

And so that's what I'm doing. When I run into the wall and when sippy cups are thrown at my face and all I want to do is scream profanities at the top of my lungs for a good, straight five minutes, I'm going to choose love and forgiveness (also forgiving myself for being a klutz and also thinking I can walk through the house in the dark).

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Farewell, Simon

Today was the worst day. I'm going to be real dramatic here. It wasn't really the worst day. But it was kind of the worst day. Almost the worst day. It felt like the worst day.

Let me start at the beginning.

The worst day was actually the week after our anniversary. We came home from Evan's family reunion, pulled in our driveway to empty our car, turned the car back on to put it in the garage and dot dot dot nothing. And I mean nothing. Except for all the lights and radio. Which isn't good because that means that the battery is working.

My dad came over and told me the battery cable was super corroded and needed to be replaced and probably wasn't getting enough juice from the battery to the engine blah blah blah car terms. So, the following day my brother towed my car from my house to the dealership where I purchased it. And then they told me that the battery and its cables were fine. And that actually it was the engine. You know, the heart of the car. Done. Donezo.

And this story could be five hundred miles long with the headache that ensued from the middle of July until literally today where we had to fight tooth and nail to get anyone from the dealership to pay attention to us or to respect us or help us figure out a solution.

We had two solutions and I hated both of them: Fix my car (whose name is Simon by the way and shall henceforth be called that) OR buy a new car. Lame and lamer. Because both options put us into a car loan (because wouldn't you know it, brand new engines are not cheap) and we need a car loan like we need another hole in our head (our one collective head that we have for the sake of that metaphor). [Now I'm doubting the chance of that being a metaphor. Let's pretend it is for a hot minute.]

Today we had to make a decision. Because are you aware of how annoying and embarrassing it is to borrow a car from your family for an extended period of time? Let me enlighten you: Very. We are a one-car family. It's been fine. We have a system. Except for there is no system when your one car decides to die a death at the worst possible time (which is always because there's no opportune time for car problems).

So today we made the decision to sell our car back to the dealership and buy a new car. And I cried.

Because Simon was my very first car that I picked out. He was really my third car but my parents picked out both of my previous two cars (I was very, very attached to the first one and they ripped it out of my hands and sold it and bought a new one while I was at work one day. Parents, never do that to your children.). And I picked him out. I test drove all the cars and found one that would be reliable and that was cute and that fit me.

I bought him and I made the payments and I took him on roadtrips and he was faithful and reliable. He drove me as a single 19-year-old girl who had no freaking clue what the heck was going on in the world into a 22-year-old engaged girl. He drove me to my wedding on the last day of my engagement and he drove Evan and I, a newly married couple, away from our wedding. He drove us to the hospital on March 22 as the last day as two and brought home the three of us five days later. He took us camping and put up with my driving and my inability to listen to music at any volume other than blaring. He proudly drove Evan around with that pink Hawaiian sticker that 19-year-old Larissa plastered on the back window (his tramp stamp I liked to call it) even though it mortified Evan.

He was a good car.

And today he gets to be somebody else's good car.

But he was my good car first and I will always adore Simon. Probably more than any other car I will ever own. Because sometimes I attach myself to inanimate objects and inappropriate amount. And I guess this is just one of those times.