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

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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?

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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

Life with Two Tiny Humans

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The last time I shared a post, the boys were 3 months old, and so much has changed since then as we approach their first birthday. I have missed writing here and sharing about our life, so I have given the blog a new look and will be sharing as much as possible about what’s going on here. I will, of course, be more focused on motherhood, but I will still share about cooking and food, secondhand finds, home renovations and decor, and our adventures. For any of you that are new here, allow me to fill you in a bit.

After a long struggle with infertility, the combination of an amazing doctor and his team of nurses along with tremendous support from family and friends, we hit the baby jackpot and became pregnant with twins. Our boys are the greatest gift imaginable and our lives are forever changed. Giovanni is spunky and curious, while Dominic is sweet and soulful, and their love for each other is clear. Dominic was born with Down Syndrome, so not only are we new to parenthood and twin life, but we are also a part of this wonderful Down Syndrome community.

Back when I was writing more regularly, we were in the first home we purchased, enjoying Taco Tuesdays, I worked full time, and my adventures involved lattes and concerts. Nowadays, we are in our forever home, and as a full time stay at home mom, I cook more often than Tuesdays and it’s not usually tacos, and our adventures are leisurely walks and sometimes include farm animals. Life has evolved into something new and it’s pretty amazing.

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I do hope that you’re along for this new ride with me and my tribe.

xo

 

Enough.

Some days you feel like a rockstar, like someone is setting them up so you can knock them down. You get through your to do list with ample time and make plenty of time for smiles and laughter. 

Some days you are chasing an impossible schedule, can’t remember what you need to do and just feel like a failure. 

I am enjoying one of the latter today. I have chosen to be 5 minutes late to work so I can snuggle my babies for one more moment and write this post. Make time for what you love, right? 

You are always enough. Take it easy on yourself, I know I am.

xo

Life in Photos: Long Overdue

I haven’t done a Life in Photos post for a long time. We have been so busy and it has been so hard to carve out a little time to write, but one thing I can do, is share some photos.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetI have been sprucing up my home studio. We recently moved a bookshelf in there and I rearranged some books and supplies. I love the way it came out. I am thinking about adding some contact paper to the shelf backings to brighten this up.

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Another common occurrence in our home is soup. I recently made creamy asparagus soup and it was delicious. You should give it a try…hop over to My San Francisco Kitchen for the recipe.
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I also made this scarf! This fabric was in the clearance bin at the fabric store, and it was love at first sight. I have been wearing it constantly, just ask my husband and co-workers.

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Lastly, I have been reading Grace Coddington’s memoir, and I adore her. She tells it like it is, has amazing style and is a creative genius. As a fashion lover, reading about her incredible life experiences is so inspiring. Shout out to Keely for the great recommendation! And side note, how cozy does my bedroom look here? I love you, Fall.

xo