Big Decisions, Big Changes

Toward the end of last year we were faced with a big decision to make, one that would impact our family in a huge way. At this point, there is no direction to go but forward, so I feel comfortable sharing about it here. We are moving to California.

My husband was given a relocation request and offered a new territory; however, this offer was all or nothing. If we didn’t choose to move, he would be out of a job, and I’m a full time stay at home, so you could imagine how we felt.

We have lived in Washington for 11 years, we bought our forever home about 3 years ago, assuming that we would take our time renovating and making it into our dream home. We love living here, have made friends that are family, and my dad moved here to be closer to us, so to even consider a move is a gut wrenching decision. Our boys have seen the same doctors since birth and Dominic has seen the same therapists since he was 6 months old, and the thought of having to change things for them literally brought me to tears. We have a community here, one that we love and feel privileged in which to belong.

With all of that said, it’s March and the wheels are turning, this move is happening. I know, how did we get here? How could we leave all of this? I wondered what the answer was, I struggled to understand why this had to be so hard. We weighed the pros and cons, I cried (a lot), I wrote (a lot), I talked to family and friends, we researched, we talked about it (a lot), I cried some more, and then after all of that, we followed our gut. A couple of other job opportunities for my husband have come up, but nothing paid enough. We considered me going back to work and him staying home but I wouldn’t be able to match his pay, we looked into both of us working and putting the boys into daycare, and we even thought about me working part time while my husband was available to watch them, ultimately having little time together or as a family. What it all comes down to is our values and how we want to raise our boys.

As hard as this move already is and will be, as hard as being away from my dad will be, as hard as this whole transition will be, in my heart I know that moving the boys to daycare or having to struggle financially will be harder. My husband and I always wanted me to stay home with the boys and that window of time is closing in faster than I’m ready for, so it’s now or never. If you know about our infertility struggles, you know that it’s unlikely I will get to become a mom again. And before we know it, they will be off to kindergarten and these precious years will be over. We will be on to a new season of life, and I’m sure it will be wonderful, but this is where we are now, and we feel like we have made the best decision for us.

This new territory means a raise for my husband, which will allow us to save some money. And the biggest plus of moving back to southern California is that we will have tremendous support and a wonderful social life. We have family and friends, and the boys will get to spend more time with their cousins. I’m thinking of this as a beautiful adventure. There will be difficult moments, moments when I feel like I’ve made the wrong decision, but I know that we made this decision as a couple and that we support each other 100%. If there is love and respect, it’ll all be okay. Besides, time flies, we will be home before we know it.

xo

Advertisements

Less is More?

How many of you have been down the “less is more” road? I have read quite a bit about minimalism, and how it can positively impact other aspects of life. For example, if you have fewer plates and cups, you will have less dishes to do. If you have a capsule wardrobe, you will love everything you wear and get dressed with ease. If you have less knick knacks, cleaning is simpler. This all sounds pretty good, right? I’m sold but not so great at execution. Have any of you embraced a minimalistic lifestyle?

I have been trying to simplify our lives as a whole. I want to cook with real foods, raise boys that would prefer playing outside to sitting in front of a screen, and to focus on our well being, not on what we don’t have. Yet, I still find myself buying food that is more convenient than whole, using TV as a crutch and wishing I had things that we don’t.

Here is what I have done so far and how I feel about it…

I have purged my closet multiple times and am left with the bare minimum, which I like a lot. I definitely see holes in my wardrobe, and I will fill them in over time.

I have pared down items in my kitchen, and it definitely helps. I know what kitchen gadgets I have, and there is nothing hiding in the dark corners of my cabinets. I cut down my mugs in half, and it’s fine. Who knew?!

About 1/8 of the boys’ toys got donated or shared with friends, and I wish I could do more but am having a hard time. We keep a large stash of toys in our guest room, and every so often I swap them out to keep things new and fresh for the boys. And what you see in the photo above is about half of the toys they have in their main play area, which is in what used to be our dining room.

I cleared our ottoman and found so many things in there that we didn’t need to keep. Now, it houses a small bin with diapers and wipes, a tray in case we need it to hold drinks, a current book and magazine, and a lint roller for the couch because we have dogs that shed. I can see everything now, and I can get to items so we can actually use them.

In the kitchen, last fall I really embraced baking bread from scratch and I’m so glad I did. Bread has simple ingredients, doesn’t take that much effort and is so good.

Meal planning and cooking a few things ahead of time helps keep food real and nutritious. It’s the nights when we have no plan that I end up pulling ravioli out of the freezer. I have tried various methods of meal planning and haven’t quite settled on one yet. Thoughts?

Next up…

My nightstand should only contain a few items but houses far more. The top drawer of my nightstand has everything from jewelry to a flashlight. I’d love to be able to put a book in my top drawer and keep the surface clear. As for the bottom cabinet…does anyone else keep perfume they don’t wear? Why? Why do I have multiple bottles?

I’d like to ditch the old, tattered linens, and eventually buy a set of nice sheets for each bed in the house.

Since it’s now the colder season, crockpot cooking is the way to go, so I’d like to do a slow cooker recipe a week. I even have a pressure cooker, which is fantastic for beans, rice and a. ton of other things. Nutritious foods don’t have to be difficult, but you do have to plan a little.

Purging is good for the soul, and it feels great to drop unneeded items for donation. I hope to think more about what I bring into our home, and to live with less, appreciating what we have. I have read about classes and programs to streamline the process, but I’m okay taking my time to do this. And at the end of the day, it’s all about making my boys the best people possible, making sure they appreciate what they have, and for that I will stay the course no matter how long it takes.

XO

Nearly Three Months In…


Here we are, nearly three months in to being a family of four. We have had a blast and feel so lucky to be parents to these handsome boys.

My thoughts about being a mom to twin boys? I have heard people say things like, “twice blessed”, “twice as much love”, “double the love”, but for us, it’s all we know. Since we struggled for so long, I am just tremendously happy and humbled to be a mom.

Just like with one baby, we have some nights in which sleep is a distant memory. We have days when you look at them and wonder where the time went and how the heck they got so big. Unlike singleton mamas, there are days when I wish I had four arms, so I could snuggle and comfort them both at the same time. That is probably the hardest thing. I’m rarely alone with the boys because I have an amazing support system, but when I am and they are both fussy, it’s hard to know that I can’t make them both feel better. But, this comes with the territory, and it’s just one more thing to figure out and overcome. You just try things and figure out what works. Isn’t that motherhood, in a nutshell?

At this point, I’m easing back into work, struggling to get my body (or something close to it) back, and loving being a mama. Life is settling, getting out is easier, and I care again about things like socializing and washing my hair. It sounds crazy, but I swear to you that I was averaging a shower every other day and washing my hair three times a week. For those that know me, you understand how crazy that is. I normally wash my hair everyday, even though I know it’s not the healthiest for my hair. Anyway, I care again!

Things I am looking forward to, and my mini Summer Bucket List…

Getting out in the sunshine a few times a week! With the babies, the days fly by, and I can’t tell you how many times I have had the best intentions to get out for a walk, only to realize that my day was gone.

Reading for pleasure!  I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t reading about baby development or sleep training.

Cooking a meal once a week! I’ve been doing a lot of sandwiches, pasta, and finishing up our freezer meals. As y’all know, I love to cook and I miss it.

Going to a family friendly outdoor concert! My husband and I are big fans of going to outdoor concerts and we love music. In fact, Saturday mornings are my favorite because we bathe the boys, listen to music and eat breakfast together. We are introducing the boys to our favorites. Anyhow, a family friendly, daytime outdoor concert would be amazing.

Hiking! It’s one of the reasons we love living here, but we haven’t been able to get out lately.

Camping! I know this one is a bit more ambitious, but I really feel like it’s a possibility toward the end of the summer. Let’s talk about that again toward the end of the summer.

Tackle a home renovation project! An extremely cheap home renovation project. Being home just motivates me more, and unfortunately we have no money to put into the house right now. Maybe we will find something we can afford to tackle, and I can share all the details with you.

Writing a post once a week! It would be really lovely to write a little something once a week, to carve out that time for me and you. I’d also love to see how this blog evolves. Like parenting, I’m not making any plans, just trying to go with the flow and listen to my heart.

With that said, it feels great to be back here and to write a little something.

Have a great rest of your week!

xo

 

Currently.

READING…The Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg. This book is full of family stories and recipes. It will tug at your heart strings and make you hungry. I cannot wait to try some of these recipes and visit the author’s restaurant, Delancey.

LISTENING…to the Black Keys, Gotta Get Away and Milky Chance, Stolen Dance. I couldn’t pick just one this go around.

EATING…my veggies! After a long of stretch of not eating very well, I’m back on the veggie train. For this week’s dinners, I’m most excited for my lentil quinoa bowl. I’ll let you know how that recipe goes–I’m winging it as per usual.

IMG_2148

DRINKING…Rose outdoors, every chance I get. I hear pink is the new white, but my girls and I have been loving the pink wine for quite some time now. There is nothing more delicious on a sunny afternoon. For an inexpensive bottle, try La Vielle Ferme Rose, but I also tried and loved our local JM Cellars Mourvedre Rose.

SUCCEEDING…in my post-it project. I know, whaaaa? Check out Why and How to Do a Life Audit here. This is helping me to make small changes for a better everyday, and it’s helping me to prioritize my goals, both big and small.

FAILING…at hanging my outdoor lights. It’s officially FAILED. Summer is basically over and with our random rain storms, it’s not in the cards this year. That’s okay though. We have them and will be ready next summer. Glass half full, right?

IMG_2169

LOVING…all of the renovations at home. With the help of some amazing folks, our home is looking better every day. Check out the laundry room here and the master bathroom here. I’m even planting a shade garden. I got a ton of great plants, including this fern, and they were all gifted by my bestie’s mom. How amazing is that?!

WAITING…to see my family! September is officially the month of family for us. Dad was just here, we’re off to see my mom, step-dad, sis and her bf soon, and then my hubby’s family will be here at the end of the month. SO.MUCH.LOVE.

IMG_2192

WEARING…eye shadow today. My girl brought me the most gorgeous eye shadow palette from her London travels. I rarely wear eye shadow, but these neutrals make it tempting to do everyday.

Happy Hump Day!

xo

Currently.

READING…The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri I know…stiiiiiiiillll? I have been extremely busy and not reading as much as I normally do. I promise that The Lowland will not be on the next Currently post.

LISTENING…Jack White, Lazaretto. HE.IS.THE.MAN.

EATING…tomatoes from my garden like crazy. My Sun Gold cherry tomato plant has been extremely fruitful, so I have roasted tomatoes, made one pan pasta, eaten them raw, and added them to salads. Thank goodness we heart tomatoes.

DRINKING…actually this should read, “WISH I WERE DRINKING” the delicious raspberry jalapeno margarita I had this weekend. I also wish I had a recipe for it. It was the perfect combination of sweet and spicy. Maybe give this strawberry jalapeno margarita recipe a try.

Raspberry Jalapeno Margarita

SUCCEEDING…in getting organized at home! I am using my clipboard calendar to get on track with home projects and am feeling great about it. I’ll share more later this week.

20140331-143031.jpg

FAILING…at hanging my outdoor lights. Don’t fret, they will be up soon!

LOVING…being home. I just got back from a quick weekend trip, and although it was a ridiculously good time, I love being home with my hubby and pets. Being home with the ones you love really is the best thing in the entire world.

WAITING…for my Dad to come for a visit. His visit is one of my favorite parts of summer, so we are really looking forward to having him here.

WEARING…new shorts today! I am loving my brand new Target clearance rack shorts. I am 100% on board with the printed short trend. They are comfy and so easy to wear, all while being fashionable. Also, I spent a whopping $14 on these beauties.

Printed Shorts

Happy Monday!

xo

Currently.

READING…The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri I have read amazing reviews, and so far am really enjoying this tale of two brothers.

LISTENING…Eldridge Gravy and the Court Supreme My husband’s friend is in this amazing funk band. The music is so perfect for summertime, and they just make you want to move. If you live in the area, go to a show!

20140715-155820-57500300.jpg

EATING…cheese and fruit plates for dinner. It has been pretty hot here, and because it never gets hot here, most of us do not have an air conditioner, so definitely no central air. For the last couple weeks I have come home to an 85 degree house. Would you want to turn on the stove or the oven? I think not. I have been improvising for dinners with simple cheese and fruit plates. It’s light, delicious and requires minimal effort…cheese and fruit FTW.

20140715-115713-43033936.jpg 20140715-115714-43034298.jpg

DRINKING…iced Americanos in the AM. I try to keep my coffee buying habits under control, but there’s something about the heat and the sunshine that makes me want to enjoy an iced coffee. My order…a 12 oz iced Americano with light cream and a pump of almond syrup. I’d love to experiment with making my own syrups. Check out these recipes here.

SUCCEEDING…in clearing out some room in my linen closet to make way for some of my closet overflow. I realized that with the linen closet just outside the master, I had some valuable real estate there and I wasn’t using it properly. It was home to guest bath towels, and poorly organized linens. I moved all of the guest towels and a ton of travel size toiletries to…wait for it…the guest bath. Why hadn’t I thought of that before? Anyway, I have freed up some space and made finding clothes and putting laundry away much easier for myself. And I would imagine that guests will like having all of these things at their fingertips, in case they forgot something.

20140715-131928-47968914.jpg

FAILING…at working out. So, this was my failing last month too. I have a couple good days here and there and bam, the lazy monster takes over. I could blame it on the heat, I suppose. Nah, I’m lazy. We have been going for a bike ride once a week, and I have consistently done yoga once a week. So, let’s call this, slowly improving?

LOVING…the weather! The PNW is just gorgeous right now. You cannot beat these summer days. I’m eating it up, wearing my summer clothes, opening windows and getting outside as much as possible. You have to cherish the sunny days here.

WAITING…for my first girl trip in many, many years. Me and a bestie have a trip planned to visit a girlfriend who just moved out of state, and I can’t wait. I never do this sort of thing, so it feels extra special.

WEARING…my gardening gloves! I have been picking green beans and zucchini from my garden and pulling weeds in the backyard, so we can make the backyard beautiful.

20140715-115715-43035344.jpg

That’s it for me. Make a today a great one!

xo

 

Currently.

READING…#GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso, founder and CEO of Nasty Gal. Her story is unlike any other I’ve heard. Former anarchist and dumpster diver turned fashion mogul. If you want to feel empowered and have a good chuckle, you’ll enjoy it.

20140612-130037-46837179.jpg

LISTENING…Lana del Ray West Coast

EATING…gelato. I.CAN’T.STOP.

20140612-130417-47057917.jpg

DRINKING…my morning smoothies. My favorite right now is a mixture of coconut water, frozen strawberries, frozen mango, fresh blueberries, fresh cucumber and fresh spinach. If you don’t like putting your thinking cap on first thing in the AM, use a recipe, like one of these.

SUCCEEDING…in checking things off the old Summer Bucket List. I have already eaten outside three times, gone on a bike ride, made progress on the backyard benches, bought a Groupon for paddleboarding, read lots, and sketched an idea for a summer romper. I absolutely love this.

FAILING…at working out. I don’t know what my deal is. I need to get up earlier and just get it done. That’s my plan, get up earlier.

LOVING…my friends. I have had the pleasure of seeing my favorite girls this week, and I’m reminded of how amazing my girlfriends are. They are strong, funny, smart and loving human beings, and I am just head over heels for them. I feel very lucky to have them in my life.

WAITING…patiently for the best outdoor movie night EVER. They are playing The Sandlot this summer, and I have already marked my calendar with a giant heart because it will make the best date night. For those of you who don’t know, Benny “the Jet” Rodriguez was my childhood crush and my husband is his twin, only better. Not to mention, The Sandlot is a stellar movie. Can’t wait!

20140612-131430-47670879.jpg

WEARING…coconut oil, all day, everyday. I love it as a moisturizer for my face and body, especially during these warmer months. It is light and leaves a lovely sheen.

That’s it for me. Happy Thursday!

xo