the city makes me ashamed of my kids

The city makes me ashamed of my kids. Probably not intentionally, and probably not anyone in particular, but they do it every time. And it’s the kind of shame I’m ashamed to feel. With each pregnancy, I’ve been thrilled, ecstatic, and proud to be called into parenting. I hold my protruding belly with pride. I waddle with satisfaction. I own my 40+ lbs of gut and rear. Knowing my calling is great and my time is being well spent. Since Graham was born, I haven’t woken up a day and thought “what am I doing with my life?!” But today, as I shuffled my 8 month pregnant self out the door of the loft, and maneuvered the stroller with my 16 month old toddler onto the elevator and out to the street, everything felt different. I get the “oh, poor thing” glances from every encounter on the sidewalk. Single women walk past me in their designer jeans and leather bags. I’m suddenly very aware of my ill-fitting maternity pants and my second hand purse, filled to the brim with diapers, toys and Kleenexes. My hair isn’t washed and my makeup is probably smudged. My preparation for going out was washing the smear of snot off my shirt. Then there is the difficult task of getting the stroller into the restaurant, and with men’s new found lack of chivalry, no one offers to hold the door. This resulted in me propping the door open with my ever growing rear end, whilst trying to manipulate the stroller past by belly into the door opening.  Every patron who was once enjoying their lunch, stopped to stare at me.  Still, mind you, no one offers to help. I feel like our very presence is a nuisance. Everyone panics that I may sit next to them. Graham might scream or spill his drink or throw his plate of food on the ground. He may choke or throw up, and more likely both.  He may uncontrollably whine until he forces me to leave. The fears start welling up inside me, and I questioned my decision of leaving the confines of our one bedroom sanctuary. After ordering, I chose a safe seat outside on the sidewalk patio. Easy exit and easy clean up. Graham was completely enamored by the cars, trucks, and buses whirring by on the street. He points and gawks, but hardly made a sound. Eyes wide and ears listening to every horn “beep beep” ing. A woman walks past and comments on how quiet he is. I’m not sure if she is complimenting us, or if this is a slam about how I’m obviously not interacting with him enough, or that he isn’t talking enough for his age, or that he seems to have autism.  I’m terrified of seeing someone I know from high school or college. I’m sure they would think “what a flop… a kid at her age and another on the way. What is she doing with her life? Just popping out babies?”  You see, our generation was told that being married before you are 30 is absurd, having babies before you’re 35 is insane, and doing both before 25 is just plain dumb. I’m feeling smaller and less meaningful with every bite. But Graham was perfect. My pants didn’t reveal my crack at any time. And my healthy growing girl was kicking happily inside me.  And I remembered being the girl with the designer jeans and the perfect strappy sandals. I wore those things to try and attract the perfect husband. And I remember looking at the mom with the stroller and the diaper bag and yearning to be her someday, hoping it would be sooner rather than later. And now I found my perfect husband, and he didn’t choose me because of anything I wore. He is my best friend. And I have my healthy and wild toddler who runs to me when he falls down and points to everything he’s seeing to make sure I see it too. And I’m being the most feminine I can be by carrying this child within my womb. And I’m reminded of the overabundance of blessing in my life. And that my shame should never be present, because I should be radiating with joy and love.  So, the city makes me ashamed. But it also made me grateful. My life is not what I thought it would be. It’s better. And I may not have a proper education, but I am seeing the world through a one year olds eyes everyday. I’ve forgotten how beautiful and inviting that world is. And I may never get hit on by a random guy again, but I have the most handsome man come home to me every night, and he kisses me with all he is. I own this life. It is a gift from God and I wouldn’t change one stretch mark if I could.

 

resolutions update 2012

so, it’s august [barely..] and i figured i should update on my new years resolutions. here we go:

1) design & build our own house

  • status: coming along quite nicely. there have definitely been some “hmm. what was i thinking” moments, but overall, everything is perfect, if not better than what i had ever imagined. my wonderful, amazing husband has been working non-stop, every night and saturday to keep this project moving, and on schedule. we are a few weeks behind because of rain, but nothing we can’t work through. can’t wait to invite all our friends and family over for a HUGE “thank you” dinner/party. everyone has been helping out so much and we could NOT have done this with out you. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.
  • the guys working on the house

    the house being framed

2) be the best mom & wife i can possibly be

  • status: i hope so. i have learned to organize my life so i can maintain it. the house stays fairly clean [considering the size], groceries are bought [lugging a little one is tough, but he loves the store], laundry clean [many loads] and baking and cooking are happening regularly. i am down to 2 days a week working, which is perfect. and most importantly, i get to spend loads of time with my little man. we have had a great summer, swimming, playing, watching daddy work at the house and getting to see lots and lots of friends and family.
  • hangin with dad at the “house”

    he loves bath time

    getting ready for his big boy food

    this is Porter’s life now. and she loves it. despite her facial expression

    Graham meeting Sky for the first time 

     

3) learn to play the fiddle, violin, the banjo, or all three.

  • status: fail. miserable fail. but the above two items have taken up most of my free time, if not all. so i’ll cut myself a little slack. i did bring my dad’s guitar home with me, so maybe i can learn a few more chords on that?

4) plan a wedding [dallas and colleen's weeding, to be exact]

  • status: fail. turns out they did a wonderful job on their own. dallas did a great job getting things ready before colleen came home from honduras, and she and her beautiful sister and mom did a WONDERFUL job at the rest. we did attend the wedding though, and it was gorgeous. so, so blessed to be a part of our dear friends big day. congrats you two!

    the glowing bride

     

couples first dance

before Dallas & Colleen’s wedding

5) lose the baby weight

  • status: i’m 4 lbs away from original weight [i weighed myself the day i found out i was pregnant] and i think that’s pretty darn good. they say it takes 9 months to gain and 9 months to lose. i was determined that wouldn’t be the case for me, but turns out, it probably is. still, i gained 50 and lost 46. pretty proud of that.

6) start mountain biking again

  • status: fail. but only because it’s impossible to do things like this with a baby. i didn’t realize. unless i want to pay for a babysitter every time i want to go on a quick ride, it doesn’t get to happen. walks and runs are about it for us. but we are hoping to get me a bike and graham a trailer this fall! so only a partial fail. right?

so that’s it. i’m proud of my accomplishments and still would love to do the other things on my list… someday. thanks for keeping up with our family and my life. i love you all! enjoy the rest of your 2012!!!

for you, friend

i promised a friend i would update my blog with pics of the house and our sweet baby Graham. oddly enough, she doesn’t have facebook, where i generally update on all these areas of my life. so if this is redundant to some of you, i’m sorry. but she is just that important to me. and i can’t blame her for not having facebook. i pray about my wasted time and how i can better serve the men in my life. i know i waste many hours a week watching peoples lives, as if it’s some reality t.v. show, on facebook. so props to you for staying strong! : ]

here’s a few things that have been going on in our lives

mother’s day

i’m a bit behind on this, but it didn’t hit me until tuesday.  my mother’s day was amazing. my sweet, SWEET husband woke up with graham in the morning, fed him his first bottle of the day, made me my favorite breakfast [roll-ups!!! YUM] and showered me with beautiful gifts.

stunning earrings from Anthropologie

moth orchid

he also made me a card with adorable cow clip art on it. [ i'm shattering his "man's man" facade right now. sorry honey.] i just had to share this, because i have the most amazing husband and son in the world. i LOVE my family.

now on to the reason for the post.

on tuesday, i woke up and did all of my motherly duties.  i fed the baby, did the laundry, washed and dried bottles and clothes and baby, grocery shopped, worked a few hours, and came home. then i made homemade cinnamon rolls from scratch, using my mom’s recipe. i wore an apron, like my mom does. i sang, like my mom does. i talked to graham like my mom used to talk to me. and it hit me- i wanted to be just like my mom. since i was a little girl, that’s all i’ve ever wanted to be. when i started getting older, people started telling me i needed to want a career, because people fought hard for women’s rights and equality. i started to say i wanted to be other things, like an artist, or a writer, or a fashion designer, or an interior designer. and yes, those are all passions of mine and i love to be creative, but it’s not who i am. i realize i want to be my mom, because i want my kids to have the same life i had growing up. she was unbelievable.  she managed to keep everything clean & organized, keep fresh food and baked goods flowing, grow a garden, volunteer at the nursing home, help out at church, spend time with friends, and most importantly, spend time with us. i’m overwhelmed trying to keep up with her sometimes, but i’m fulfilled with this life. i don’t need a career. i know so many women who love their career and families, and they do an amazing job of juggling both. but for me, my life is completely absorbed in home.  in every essence of the word. so i guess i just wanted to say, “thanks, Mom” for being the example you were. for being a woman i could look up to and desire to be someday. for training me up in the way that i should go. for teaching me how to read, how to measure flour, how to do laundry, and how to love Jesus. you are, and always will be, my best friend and my inspiration. i love you! [happy mother's day, a few days late]

holding me

reading books together

huber house hardware

so tyler and i finally got our final budget put together and our application in at the bank.  hopefully we an get  a loan and start building this spring.  our next large task is getting our house approved by our home owner’s association in our neighborhood.  they aren’t incredibly picky, but they do require A LOT!  here’s a picture of the exterior materials board we had to put together.  

we also just finished a little project.  we decided to make our own bath hardware.  i’m STOKED about this. it looks straight from restoration hardware.  and it cost $121. for everything. and about 1 hour of labor.

toilet paper holders

hand towel bars

bath hardware for two bathrooms

we’re pretty proud of how this turned out. makes me even more excited to see the whole house come together!

baby Graham

he has arrived!!! our little bundle of joy has made his tough journey into the world and blessed us with his perfect little presence.  we could not be happier. seriously.  before i go on, i must share a picture.

Graham Gordon

the name was chosen long before he was even a glimpse.  we fell in love with it while we still lived in tennessee, and fortunately, it stuck.  his middle name is that of my dear father-in-law, who passed away suddenly this summer. he was absolutely ecstatic to find out about his first grandchild.  it seemed perfect that his name was included.  he would have been honored, and he would have cried when he met him. i know this.

being a mother has taken it’s toll on me- mostly my emotions.  i cry over literally nothing. i sobbed when the pediatrician told me i wasn’t feeding him enough.  i cried when he puked all over tyler, after we tried to feed him more than we already were.  3 times.  i cry when i look at him, when i hold him, when he smiles, when he wimpers.  i cry when i think about all the babies who aren’t loved and i can’t imagine how someone could NOT love their baby.  until i was a mother, i never understood the deep, inexplicable love you immediately have for this little one.  i also never understood how much they change your entire life.  people always say that, and you spend 9 months worrying if you will miss your old life.  if you will miss date nights with your husband, or cuddling, or being able to leave the house at the drop of a hat.  and i’m sure i will want a date night, and cuddling will never quite be the same, and i will be flustered and frustrated for the next 20 years with how long it takes to get everyone out the door.  but i don’t miss my old life. not for a second.  once this happens, it’s impossible to look back. i can’t even remember what it was like to not have him in our lives.  he has brought with him stress and anxiety, but mostly, pure simple joy.  unrequited love.  i can’t imagine not being a mother. this is what i was made to do.  when God fearfully and wonderfully made me, He made me to do this.  and i can’t wait to see what He made Graham to be.

also amazing is the love i now have for my husband. watching him take care of Graham is quite possibly the sweetest [and sexiest] thing ever.  there is something incredibly manly about it.  he’s so comfortable with it.  he doesn’t get anxiety like i do.  he’s been a wonderful father and i can’t imagine doing this with out him.  i am so blessed. truly. and i can’t wait to see their father/son relationship grow. oh, the things they will do together… : /

we have amazing family and friends who are helping us through these first weeks and lifting us up in prayer.  thank you.  we love each of you and can’t wait to introduce Graham to everyone we know!

love love love

new year, new me

my awesome sister-in-law has inspired me to write down my new years resolutions.  i am aware this is 12 days overdue, but better late than never, eh?  so here’s my list, in order of importance:

  • design & build our own house- we’ve been working on it for the past year, so i’m not sure this counts, but i want to be finished and moved in by December.  this will be my very first SOLO project as a designer, and i’m anxious to see my abilities.  i know i have good taste [i know, conceited right?! but it's true] , but i’m not sure how to pull everything together and make those decisions for my own home.  where i will live. day after day.  will i get bored? most certainly.  will i hate certain things? of course.  will i make a few blunders? obviously. but i hope to have a warm, cozy, home that is inspired by and inspires our family.  here’s a little taste of the selectionss we’ve made so far:
  • raw concrete floors [yup]
  • huge custom shag rug for our dropped living space- there will be a one step drop down into the living area. i love this.
  • custom cabinets in this greyed/brown wood- kitchen & baths designed and ordered by none other than WHS
  • vintage vein cut 9″x2″ travertine backsplash tile for the kitchen- going all the way to the ceiling. yummy

  • be the best mom & wife i can possibly be. learn to juggle all the house work, make time for baking, cooking, laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping [which i'm starting to coupon. yes. that's right,] work, and spending oodles of time with my little munchkin.
  • learn how to play the fiddle, the violin, the banjo, or all three. ok, so probably just one of them. and if i had my choice, it would be the fiddle.  if anyone knows how to play any of these instruments or has one that i could purchase/have for cheap, let me know! i need lessons too. i’m serious about this. 
  • plan a wedding!!!! i’ve been commissioned to help with our very dear friend’s wedding- the uniting of mr. Dallas & miss Colleen!!!! she will be in Honduras until late June and they want to have the wedding in August. so a lot has to be done in a short amount of time. i’ve always dreamed of being a wedding planner [on the side of course] and i can’t wait to do this.  i’m honored.
  • lose the baby weight. i am DETERMINED- this 45 extra lbs has to go.  i’ve been tortured by the scale since i found out i was pregnant. tell me all you want about how it’s healthy, how it’s for the baby, how it’s fine… but it doesn’t feel fine.  i never imagined i would weigh the same as my husband. it actually never even crossed my mind.  i will shed these lbs like it’s nobodies business. after all, i got a jogging stroller for a reason. press on!
  • start mountain biking again.  i missed an entire summer of this amazing sport. i absolutely loved it when i got to do it the summer before.  i cannot express the freedom and pure joy i feel when i’m riding. the downhill is absolutely terrifying, but invigorating. i’m not very good, nor hardcore, but doing something i love is important to me. plus, it will help with the above resolution. 2 birds with one stone!

so, there’s my list.  what’s yours? i encourage you to write them down, if you don’t have a blog or don’t feel like sharing.  happy new year to everyone and thanks for reading.  i look forward to sharing 2012 with all of you!!

30 weeks

so i’ve hit 30 weeks. it’s a pretty crazy milestone for a pregnant woman- and a pretty uncomfortable one at that.  the greatest thing is everyone continually reminding me that i have 10 more weeks to go. YIPPEE! here are a few things i’m getting tired of [sorry for the graphic nature]:

  • my boobs sitting directly on top of my gut.  it’s uncomfortable to say the least and makes a women feel less than her best.
  • the constant body aches and back pains
  • the gas. i’m bloated. always. it’s relentless.
  • living in a climate where it is necessary to wear socks and boots since October.  november is getting to be quite the struggle and i’m having a hard time imagining january.  i love everything about the mountains, don’t get me wrong, but it’s turned out to be quite the daunting task- my wonderful, amazing, loving husband has been more than helpful in this area.
as much as my body is going through, and as resentful as you might think i am with this little one causing my strife… i’m not.  i love this little boy so much i can hardly stand it.  a few things i’m overjoyed and OVER anxious about:
  • getting to meet the little thing i can see moving around in my stomach.  i feel his elbows, his feet, his little rump, his head and even his hiccups !!!
  • getting to share him with the world.  i know that he is made for something great and that God has great things in store for him.
  • finally being able to look into his eyes and touch and hold him.  it’s like we know each other so well, but we haven’t met.
  • getting to see Tyler’s face when he sees him for the first time.  i know it will be love at first sight- he will be the greatest daddy.
  • getting to call him by name- Wendell is great and all, but i’m getting tired of faking it. : ]
  • watching him grow up, every day.
  • teaching him and watching him learn.
  • i cannot wait to have him dedicated at church!  i’ve been thinking about his “simba” moment since i knew i was pregnant
  • getting to see what he looks like. it’s incredible how anxious i am for this.
  • sharing him with our families.  he’s the first grand child on Tyler’s side, and the 3rd boy on my side. everyone is pretty excited about this, including my 3 year old nephew, who never fails to ask how big he’s getting.
so my CAN’T WAIT list totally outweighs my UGH list.  overall, i feel pretty darn ecstatic about this new adventure and blessed beyond reason.  here are a few picture updates of the nursery and my baby shower. it was so great and people were incredibly generous.  i couldn’t believe it.  thanks to everyone who has helped us start this chapter.

some of the girls

opening gifts

my wonderful Mama who put on the shower for me

with our new lambie bedding

precious!

 

getting there

pretty happy with how it's all fitting in

we can’t wait to meet our Baby H and introduce him to all of you, but hope he waits another 10 weeks to make his arrival!  thanks for all the support and prayers.  we are so blessed.

 

baby on board

so i started this post a long time ago- approximately 4 months ago.  well, started is a dramatization… i wrote the header.  planning to tell all my DIE HARD readers about my pregnancy obviously went by the wayside, and now we’re only 3 months away from having a little boy.

25 weeks along

YIPPEE!!! my life is about to dramatically change and i could not be more excited about it.  my husband and i are overjoyed with the idea of adding a 3rd party to our little family [or 4th if you count our precious pooch, Porter.]

[the porter girl. my most favorite beast in all the animal kingdom]

i must admit, i’m a little worried about her, as she’s been the love of my life since we got her 3 years ago. almost to the day actually.  but i’m sure she’ll adjust and love our little bundle of blue just as much as we do.

so being an interior designer, i’ve been getting comments like “oh, i can’t wait to see your nursery!”  ”oh i’m sure you’re going to decorate it SOO cute” and “you’re nursery will be the greatest i’m sure, with all your creative genius”  [ok, so maybe no one has called me a creative genius, but you get the idea] sadly, i will not be decorating a beautiful nursery.  i won’t get my creative juices flowing for this one.

BACKGROUND: we care take for some very great people who are allowing us to stay here, with a baby, and a dog who sheds 19 lbs of fur/week.  this house is large and the next room from ours is down a long and dark hallway. a nursery is out of the question, and a baby who needs to be fed many times through out the night isn’t going to be residing down a long and dark hallway.

SOLUTION: large master closet=nursery.  you will find i’ve made it cozy and efficient.

here you’ll see the changing table [Gulliver from IKEA] i thought this was perfect- simple, clean, plenty of space for all the baby essentials, open for easy access, and super reasonable!

i’ve also finished my little dresser, which was originally going to be our changing table, until i realized it was about 6″ too short.  it makes the perfect little armoir for Baby H’s little onsies, socks, and clothes.  plus, it’s adorable.

changing table & dresser

inside our closet, we have another closet, which made for the perfect crib room- this way the door can be closed, and Tyler can get up and ready for work with out waking Baby H, who will be sleeping in until 8 or 9 every morning [yes, i've decided this will be his sleeping pattern, do not burst my bubble]  the bedding i chose, after months of research, is from pottery barn.

little lamb bedding

i loved the idea of the lion and the lambs- the lion represents our heavenly Father, who will be watching over our precious little lamb. i couldn’t help but imagine Aslan. the crib was a gift from the family i used to babysit for. i love that we got a free crib AND that it’s being re-used.  it’s beautiful and perfect.

crib room

i can’t wait to start seeing the “nursery” come together more.  i think we’ve got a pretty good start so far!

ye old barn door

i’ve been spending hours at the drafting table [yes, literally, i'm hand drawing our house plans.]  we’re building a small, moderately efficient home in the harsh mountains of colorado.  we’re really trying to get the most out of our space, and with views being a major factor in our layout, we’ve ended up with an entry that plops you smack dab into our mudroom.  for those of you who don’t have a mudroom, or have never even heard of a mudroom, alas, an explanation.  when you live in the mountains, you spend a vast majority of your time outdoors, and 70% of our year is covered in snow.  which makes for a lot of mud = a room dedicated to muddy, wet, gross gear is absolutely essential.

problem: our guests will enter where our gear resides.  solution:  ???  BARN DOORS!  i’ve always loved them, wanted them, and now i feel they are a necessity to my some day home.  while i keep a tidy home, i know how things can get away from you, and as we want a family someday, well… we all know how that goes.   i’ve posted a picture of the entry/mudroom solution- barn doors covering a closet holding shoes/boots/coats/snowpants/bike gear/etc. which can be moved to cover open shelves on either side of it.  so instead of walking into our mess, you’ll be blown away by the awesomeness of our barn doors, an unbelievable bench and off the chain piece of bfrancesi artwork hanging in the entry.

 

mudroom/entry

now for the fun part

 

exterior functionality

 

 

applied in an office setting

 

awesome stainless hardware

classic

aaaaaaaaaaaand my personal favorite [i know, i may have overdone the examples, but i couldn't help myself]……..

 

pure awesomeness