my favorite things

these are a few of my favorite (tangible, material) things:

::my white couch::
everyone thinks i’m crazy for having a white couch with kids. actually, i think its the most practical of all colors because it’s slipcovered. whatever the stain, i can throw the cover into the washer with some bleach, and, voila! out comes a bright and clean couch cover! that and the fact that i tend to have a hard time committing to colors (although i am getting much better), and white will always go with everything, every season, decoration, pillow… everything. have i convinced you yet?
::my big family size shower::
this was something my parents had and i knew i had to have it when we were building our house. my girls have their own bathroom with a tub, but they’ve only bathed in it a handful of times. we always take showers together, partly for the convenience of it, mostly for the fun. it’ll be a sad day when any of the kids are too old for this!
::my moby wrap::
as much as i love the baby bjorn, this wrap is so much better at the newborn stage. everytime i have used it, silas stops fussing and almost always falls asleep. i can wear it for hours at a time. its taken me a bit to figure out how to wrap what seems like 10 yards of fabric around my body, but i’m getting better!
::rainbow sandals::
the factory where these sandals are made is in san clemente, where we used to live. i’ve had these for at least 9 years, and sean’s had multiple pairs over the years. by far the very most comfortable flip flops ever!
::my dutch door::
its brown on the outside and white on the inside. everyday the top half is swung open to let the breeze pass through our house, yet keep the kids in.

::snuggle nest::
we bought this when we had lily. we like to sleep with our kids when they’re teeny tiny, and this was such a perfect solution. it lays between sean and i and has hard sides, a little light, and a sleep positioner. this is great for the groggy nights when it seems too difficult to even get out of bed to lay the baby back down in the bassinet. and whenever the babe is fussy or lost the pacifier, i can just lay a hand on him, and go back to sleep.
::burt’s bees chapstick and mac lipliner::
sorry no pic. i love the slightly stinging feeling the minty chapstick gives my lips, and the lipliner has been the perfect color for me for the last 10 years (or maybe i’m still totally out of style). i’ve had the same stick of liner for at least 5 years, and i use it every day, so it lasts a really long time. my make up routine is pretty simple: chapstick and lipliner, and if you’re lucky, maybe a little mascara.

thank you again to my sister-in-law michelle for giving me a wonderful pedicure. these are like little $20 refreshing treats when you go to the salon. one of my absolute favorite indulgences! i almost always get a french manicure, or pedicure? if not that, then i go for hot pink.
::my sister’s cookies::
oh how i miss you j! and those cookies too! i always think of how you sent me to slo with a bag when i was prego with gracie. sean and i (ok, mostly just me) would eat those cookies for bfast, lunch, and dinner. with oatmeal, chocolate, white chocolate, and butterscotch chips, sooooo good! i am slowly learning to perfect how to make these, although i’ve learned that even if they’re not quite right, they’re still delicious! i’ve almost figured out how to explain that they’re healthy: milk chocolate (dairy), oatmeal, and more dairy with the glass of milk you must have with each cookie.

no pic again, but really, no single picture could contain the entire wonderfulness of the store. when i check out of there, they always ask if i found everything alright. “yes”, i say, “and so much more!” its amazing how you can find so much of what you never knew you needed!

this stuff just makes me smile! such a beautiful color, and so milky too! i’d love to have more of the vintage stuff, but i’ll take the reproduction stuff any day.
what are some of your favorite things?


falling back in love with my family

my vacation last week was awesome! when we got back someone (jeannett, i think?) asked if it was the kind of vacation where at the end you’re ready to be home. my answer was no. it wasn’t. we could have stayed there, easily, another week – if it weren’t for the renters coming in after us, oh and reality… work for sean, commitments, etc. but it was wonderful to be gone and have so much time as a family.

we started the weekend by leaving saturday around noon with our friends, the ernstrom’s, who came along for the first few days. the trip took longer than the usual 3-3 1/2 hours because of potty breaks and nursing stops.
it was 105 in fresno!

here’s an idea of how hot it was: gracie needed to pee, of course when no rest stop in sight, so we pull off to the side of the road and have her squat. by the time she was back in the car, the puddle was no more! then we had to stop in fresno with a fussy baby. we went in a babies r’ us for the air conditioning and kid friendly environment. then back on the road to bass lake for another hour.

our friends and sean’s business partner, the theule’s, and my brother and his family joined us up there for a few days, too. we had a great time with good friends and family. cousins in the “hot pool”
lily, annika, kaycie, and gracie
cousin emilie holding silas
this is the island in front of my parents’ house on labor day – nutty! there had to be at least 100 people on the usually vacant island!
gracie and cousin josie
sean getting some air!
chad, julianne, and kyle theule
cousin noah taking gracie on a canoe ride to the island
after our friends left we had some great family time. all week sean was super dad, doing all the things i would normally ask him to do, but doing them before i could even ask! it was so nice!snuggle time – silas slept most of this vacation, i think because of the heat

my parent’s were very helpful, too. they had to work a couple of the days, but were home a lot with us. we had a good balance of family alone time and time relaxing with my parents. my mom and i got a few hours to work on their plans for a loft above our garage – i can’t wait for the day they get started on that project! sean did end up having to work at least a full day, but i can’t really complain too much!
this time was so good for us to reconnect. i was able to sit back (in the shade with silas) and watch sean love on his girls. they wanted to swim with him so much. gracie got so brave that week and started jumping off the dock by herself, with no one to catch her, and swam back to shore (with water wings on). i was so proud of her for being so independent with that. she usually is much more timid to do stuff like that. lily also loved the water wings, and she’d just dive into the water over and over, especially in the hot tub.

we went on a great hike as a family. lily and silas slept most of the hike, so it was a great time to connect with grace. look closely – all of the orange spots are clusters of ladybugs!

we saw a huge colony of ladybugs. gracie was in heaven!
we left saturday morning and stopped at lake san antonio for the church campout. so much fun! we only stayed until about 9:30 at night (no room for camping stuff in our car!), then headed home. we definitely plan to go for the entire campout next year, it was great! we finished off our vacation on sunday by unpacking, settling back into routine, and prepping for the week ahead of us. getting back to reality can be so hard, but the memories of our time together last week are sooo good! i really was able to cherish my family and fall back in love with them. i have been refreshed and look forward to the days ahead of me.
ps – as reminded by denise in her comment, my dad, brother, sean and chad all played a little game with airsoft guns. sean hit my dad between the eyes, leaving an open wound, then he got my brother in the mouth and broke his teeth! oops! next time, i vote for mandatory face masks.