A couple quick pictures of the cousins baking cookies with grandma.
Lily 2 1/2. Anders 4. Mattias 22mths.
A couple quick pictures of the cousins baking cookies with grandma.
Posted by The G Fam at 1:07 PM
I have been devoting my creative energy to my new blog http://www.bartblogger.wordpress.com/ lately and neglecting this little space of the Internet. So here I am flaunting pictures of Lil and her Chripsmas (that's how we say Christmas in 2-year-old) fun!
Posted by The G Fam at 1:54 PM
New blog people https://bartblogger.wordpress.com/
The family blog will always be a staple. This is just an additional little creative outlet.
Posted by The G Fam at 1:35 PM
Almost down the home stretch. After 2 weeks of pure chaos, I am on the precipice of a much anticipated 4 day weekend. Weekend. It could be just about the sweetest word ever whispered upon the lips of a weary worker.
You know what? God is good. He is faithful to me. He has totally provided for our family. The transition from working at home into a typical workplace has been relatively painless. I am not quietly sobbing tears at my desk. I am not muttering curses under my breath (well usually not!). For the most part working in a team is very natural for me. My new company stretches my creativity and challenges me in ways that I could only dream possible.
Three cheers for the weekend! It's finally time to eat some Turkey, unpack more boxes and cuddle my kid!
Posted by The G Fam at 10:25 PM
We are here. The disarray of our new house makes me want to hyperventilate but I am too tired to do anything about it. A couple of life lessons learned in this move:
1. Stop accumulating misc.crap. It's seriously lame moving boxes of junk from one place to the next.
2. 2-year-olds adjust way quicker to their surroundings than their elders. They are ready to run around the house naked and switch on the gas stove within the first 24 hrs. of residence.
3. Heating a 70 year old house is a daunting task. No central heat means getting really creative with warmth. Never pictured myself using a wood burning fireplace on a daily basis.
4. Old oak floors don't show dirt. I have not even touched my broom yet and they look pretty darn great. Just don't wear your bright white socks in my house.
I would just like to throw it out there that I am in denial that I will be returning back to an office setting for the first time in 2.5 years on Monday morning. Excited about trading in my ratty lululemons for some sleek threads. Not super excited about waking up in the wee hours of the morning just to share my air with passengers on cramped public transit. Thrilled that Lil will be able to spend lots of one-on-one time with her dad over the next couple of years. Bummed that I couldn't be there every moment too... but I will deal. The fact that I have a free lunch at a swanky restaurant my first day on the job helps with the pain, just a little bit.
On with the next life Chapter... stay tuned.
We got it! We got the house that we were hoping for in the town of Lafayette. It's quirky but it's cool.
The house was built in the 1940's, so it has a lot of the original features-but it also has an awesome remodeled kitchen. The best part about the place is it's walking distance to everything-including public transportation that will take me to work.
Because we live by the seat of our pants, we decided that we're moving in one week. So I guess that means packing this weekend! Life moves vey quickly.
Posted by The G Fam at 9:11 AM
So the Title pretty much sums up the last few days. We have been furiously looking for a new home. Between nutty landlords, tiny spaces and indecision this process has proved to be taxing. Craig and his list have become my best friend.
Because by nature I tend to be high energy (and maybe a tiny bit intense), I am losing sleep over the big hunt. I wake up in the early hours of dawn eyes wide awake with my mind racing over which house we will be living in. We just sent in a rental app for a quirky, old house that has sort of a hippy living vibe in a quaint little town last night. But we still have a couple more options in the works.
I know that we will be taken care of, I just get jittery (as though I am constantly hopped up on caffeine and uppers) throughout the process.
Posted by The G Fam at 8:44 AM
Posted by The G Fam at 7:05 PM
Lil has gotten pretty decent with her 'words,' but she still finds the word 'coloring' a little tricky. Check it out....
Here is a big fat re-cap of all of the fun we had in October! Daily Princess Costumes, Multiple Pumpkin Patches, Cousins from Canada. Does it get better than that?
I am back! After a brief October hiatus, I am ready to share my thoughts, kid pics and bizarre tidbits of info.
The other day I had a close friend email me and ask 'so, you have not updated the blog for a long time? What's actually going on?' Ahh... this sweet friend knows me so well. There has actually been a lot going on in our lives during the month of October and quite frankly I do not usually share the inner workings of my personal life via social media.
When I take a break from blogging it's usually because I am concentrating on 'life' stuff and unable to share openly. I am not one of those people that announces to the world over facebook updates like 'I just got in the biggest fight of my life and now my husband is leaving me.' THAT DEFINITELY DID NOT HAPPEN- just an example of the types of updates I have actually read. I think that when people update in this manner they are either 1. lonely 2. a bit narcissistic 3. just really, really open with their personal stuff.
Onto, my update.
As many of you know I have been hunting for a job for about three months. When Ben decided that he wanted to pursue law school, I said 'cool, let's figure out how to pay the bills.' I have been blessed to be able to work for myself through http://www.twistconsulting.com/ over the last couple of years, but it made me quake in my pants to think that I would be soley responsible for my family's livelihood based off of being self-employed. So, I am basically a wuss and decided to figure out another work situation. I have been praying over the last several months very specifically about what I wanted 1. A job that was fun (I can't be bored out of my mind). 2. A job that will adequately take care of our finances. 3. A job with a decent work/life balance (so I can still see my kid every so often. )
I am thrilled to say that we have been completely taken care of and I just landed my dream job that perfectly meets my criteria. Starting mid-November I will be commuting into San Francisco and working for a multi-national cosmetics company doing their marketing. I couldn't be happier! There have been many ups and downs in this process but I feel immensely blessed and totally provided for.
Next on the agenda.... looking for a new house! We need to be closer to a BART station (that's the subway system to those of you Canadian readers) so that I don't have to spend all of my days commuting.
My mind is still back on the lush, tropical beaches of Kauai, but my body is sitting here at my kitchen table.
I guess that's what a good vacation is supposed to do? Rest and relax your mind so that you still feel like you are on island time. We even did an impromptu family swim today at lunchtime to keep the Aloha spirit going back at home.
Here is a brief rundown on how the week went:
- Awesome rental house.
- Way too many mosquitoes
- Amazing jutting, green, mountain backdrop by a pristine beach.
- Naked kids everywhere.
- A husband making a serious beachwear fashion statement.
- Passion fruit we picked ripe off the trees.
- An 8 mile hike along the Nepali Coast through muck, jungle and rivers in an attempt to reach the most surreal, prehistoric-like waterfall setting that I have ever experienced. Totally worth the next-day sore legs.
Most of my readers are also friends on Facebook, so I am only going to post a couple of my fav Hawaii shots.
Posted by The G Fam at 9:06 AM
Posted by The G Fam at 7:17 PM
I must have honed in on some type of self-discovery current that is zinging through the Bay Area.
Just this morning at a mothers group that I attend, the speaker's topic was centered around figuring out how to be the best version of you, in order to be the best parent that you can be. Bingo.
The speaker took it a step further and said that if the best version of you means hiring a babysitter once a week so that you have time to allow yourself to think... then do that. Go for a run. Take a pottery class. The options are endless and completely a personal preference. If that means working or volunteering part-time, full-time, whatever it might be- do that. Children sense when you are unsatisfied and miserable. It's your job to exemplify what a centered person looks like and acts like.
I also figured I might as well throw in another topic while I am on this introspective rant.
Guess what else is vital to having a healthy family and child? If you are married you have to make time to connect with your spouse. I am not just talking sex either (even though most men will tell you they really don't require anything else). Why do we hear stories about empty nesters splitting after 30 years of blissful marriage? Because the children become the only thing they have in common and once the kids take off there is nothing left in the relationship. They are strangers to each other.
I do not ever wish to be sitting across from Ben, strumming my fingers on the kitchen table, wondering what I ever saw in saw in him. Pay a babysitter people. Cut the umbilical cord and dare to do fun activities with your spouse. If you are on a tight budget you can even have a date night at the gym and stick the kids in childcare. If you are nervous about finding a responsible sitter start talking to friends and relatives for recommendations. Heck, if you live in the Bay Area you can even message me if you need a few references. Maybe if you bring me copious amounts of sweet treats I might even watch your rugrat for you.
Ok. My tirade is done. I will lay this topic to rest for the time being.
The Gratitude Project Continued:
51. Compelling public speakers.
52. Tiny toilets.
53. Green apples.
54. Talented graphic designers.
55. Discovering new boots purchased months earlier in my closet.
56. A husband who laughs in his sleep.
57. Second interviews.
58. The fit of Lululemon pants.
59. Hair dye and bleach.
60. Naps in the middle of the day.
This may offend some of you, but it's simply my opinion.
It irritates me when a woman's entire identity is wrapped up in being a mother.
Now hear me out... I am not knocking motherhood by any means. I absolutely believe that being a mother
(or a father) is a selfless and rewarding undertaking. Caring for Lil has been (for the most part) a huge blessing.. but that is not all of 'who' I am.
It makes me cringe when women refer to themselves as 'yummy mummys.' Why should being a mother have anything to do with your looks, desirability, or (more cringing) your 'yumminess?' Another example of this is referring to time away from your child as 'mommy time' or a 'mommy date.' Do you somehow lose your name or forget who you are once someone has lived in your uterus?
There are many successful people that also happen to be mothers. One of my favorites is Heidi Klum. At any given time this woman is popping out a child (she currently has four) all the while modeling and running a television empire. When it's time for Heidi to walk down the Victoria's Secret runway does she say 'it's time for mommy modeling?' Probably not. Being a mother is a facet of who she is- it's not her complete identity.
When toys are strewn around the floor and Elmo is singing in the background, it can be difficult to remember that this current reality is not 'who' you are. I believe that it is important to make sure that there is something in your daily (even weekly) life that is a reminder of your multi-faceted unique identity. Because if you don't know who you are now once those tiny children are grown you will be middle aged and staring down the precipice of a major identity crisis.
My name is Sarah, (and in completely random order) I am a blogger, cardio kick boxer, marketing communications specialist, Jesus follower, aspiring budget fashionista and also Lily's mother. Being a mother is a vital ingredient which makes up the whole- not entirety of the whole.
Gratitude Project Continued:
41. Swedish Fish. Of the candy variety not the stinky ones from the sea.
42. Fluffy Books.
43. Hard wood floors. So much easier to clean than carpet.
44. Baby pools.
45. New to me hand-me-downs from a sweet little cousin.
47. Great-Grandparents that are involved and excited to be with great-grandchildren.
48. Large families.
49. Interviews in a bleeding economy.
50. Peace during times of potential turmoil.
Posted by The G Fam at 8:42 AM
And the Snorer saga continues... after nearly 9 months of griping, blogging and yelling out curses into the night, I broke down and emailed my landlord. Because my landlord is considerate and amazing, she is sending a team over to my house to install soundboard in our bedroom.
Do you hear that? That's right, it's the sounds of sweet silence.
I shall rest easy knowing that I will no longer need to restrain myself from pounding on walls or appearing at my neighbor's doorstep in maniacal hysterics at 2am.
In a perfect world this would be everyone's reality. Silence to all Snorers!!
Gratitude Project Cont.
21. Nachos on the patio at COA.
22. Weather so hot it makes you feel like you are being torched with a hair dryer (I think this is a good thing).
23. Grandparents that give parents a babysitting break.
24. Compassionate people.
26. Chubby toddler legs.
27. Runners/Exercise endorphin rush. God's natural anti-depressant.
29. Showers hot enough to peel off your skin.
30. SNORE FREE nights.
Posted by The G Fam at 5:19 PM
Lily recently decided that she is a 'princess.' On certain mornings she will wake up and tell me that she wants to be princess for that particular day. Being a princess usually involves wearing a dress, adorning her feet with her Disney princess slippers and carrying around her magic wand. The funny thing is that the only real exposure that she has had to the whole concept of being a princess is from a book we occasionally read before bed. I guess it made a big impression?
It's uplifting to keep things in perspective. While doing some blog creeping I noticed a few fellow bloggers doing a Gratitude Project. I have decided to join in for the next month- until September 30th to list all of the things that I am thankful for.
1. A patient & kind husband.
2. A daughter I adore.
3. A sunny rental home at a killer price.
3. Coming home to find the dishwasher already emptied.
4. Dishwashing machines in general .
5. The couple of hours of peace each day once the kid is safely tucked away in her bed.
7. Nail Polish. It makes my toes so much prettier.
8. Flowers that have grown under my care.
9. Warm summer days walking alone with my daughter to the park.
10. Go Diego, Go. He occasionally helps with childcare when I am ready to pull my hair out by the roots.
Posted by The G Fam at 9:54 AM
I have not been a conscientious blogger this summer. I treat this little blog like Lil's online baby book (because I cannot get myself organized enough to make an actual baby book), and I have neglected to share a few milestones.
1. Tantrums. Oh Yes, tantrums in the 'twos' are so cliche. What can I say? The kid is dramatic. All 32lbs of her will go limp as she throws herself to the stone, cold ground. She will do this maneuver anywhere she does not wish to leave. So this happens at the park, at stores, even in the middle of the street next to our house. People say to just ignore kids when they have tantrums, but I feel like walking away will give her what she wants- to stay where she is at. I usually end up hoisting her writhing little body over my shoulder and pretend not to notice as she hollers at the top of her lungs. I have had old ladies make comments like, 'oh, looks like somebody is tired!' while Lil is screaming bloody murder. Nope, she's not tired. She is two.
2. Words. Lil talks a lot- just not always in clear English. She has her own dialect that I need to decipher for the untrained ear.' Diggle-diggle' means she wants to color. This bizarre little 'gunk-gunk' noise that she makes in the back of her throat means that she is thirsty. But there are real words and phrases too. ' I did it!' being a popular one. ' I here!' is another one that she proclaims whenever we visit a new location. This one was screamed multiple times while on a crowded airplane. Everyone knew she was 'here.'
3. Back to Basics. I really thought we had the whole potty training thing nailed a couple of weeks ago, but apparently my child has lost interest in the whole process. She knows how to go on the toilet, but sometimes Lil would rather be lazy and relieve herself somewhere more convenient such as my bed, the couch or the kitchen. You really want to visit my house now, right?
It's coming. We asked for it and it's coming. I would like to say that our lives are neat and tidy like a little gift all wrapped up in a bright red bow, but for now chaos is going to be the new status quo.
Starting tomorrow, Ben begins his first foray into the world of full-time work and part-time law school. Which means that I will be a single mom three days a week, a part-time work from home consultant and on a continual search for full-time work in a wrecked economy. Lil will still be her normal, dramatic two-year old self, begging for salty chips and another episode of Go, Diego Go. Our desire is to have this situation be our reality for a limited time. But I suppose that these sort of things are not always up to us.
Pray for rest & a clear mind for Ben. Pray for wisdom, creativity and sanity for me. Pray that Lil will never have the desire to poo on our couch ever again.
Posted by The G Fam at 11:00 PM
There is a tiny town hidden in the cedars of the Sierra Nevada called Twain Harte. The town is a summer haven for retirees and toddlers alike with hot days spent sipping strawberry milkshakes lakeside. We decided to grab one of our favorite families, the Booths, and head on up (or I should say east) to Twain Harte. We went swimming, read books, covered our bodies in sand (Lily), ate at some of the slowest restaurants on the planet and perfected our Uno game. Love summer in the mountains!
Posted by The G Fam at 9:26 AM
You know that saying, 'sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me,' ? I think whoever said that was never a seven year old girl being belittled by her older brother.
My heart broke today when I overheard a little boy say to his sister "You're fat." She turned to me and said, "that's my brother and he always tells me I am fat and stupid." Images flash before my eyes of this little girl spending years in therapy, having an unhealthy relationship with food and a battered self- image.
I asked the kids how old they were and they responded by saying seven and ten. Since the kids' mother was lounging on a blanket clear across the park, I looked at the little girl and said,"that's not nice of him.You are not fat or stupid. You are beautiful and smart."
I turned to my own sweet girl and hugged her. I told her she is perfect just the way that God made her.
The fierce lioness in me makes me want to shelter my child and protect her from harm. Today I learned firsthand that harm can come in forms other than just physical pain. Physical pain is quickly forgotten the moment a wound stops throbbing. Emotional pain is deep-seated and gnaws away at us until we feel broken.
Give me sticks and stones any day. Words hurt.
Posted by The G Fam at 2:23 PM
As you all know, about a month ago we were struggling with a rather repulsive habit of Lil's. Let's just say the the 'painting' went on for about a week and then she decided that it was time to be toilet trained. I guess the 'artistic endeavors' were Lil's way of saying "Hey guys, I am ready to ditch the diaper." I have not changed a single nasty diaper in the last several weeks.
Now we have another issue to deal with. There has been a lot of nudity around our house- and it's not me and Ben stripping down. Lil has been spending most of her time at home in the nude. As soon as she wakes up in the morning, the kid insists on ripping off all of her clothes. Because it is the summer I have not been putting up much of a protest. I guess if she is still doing this at 15, we will have a bigger problem on our hands.
Hey! Thanks for taking the time to stop at our neglected blog.
My lack of presence on this blog is mostly due to the fact that when I am on the computer these days it's because I am working for a client. Hence the lack of time for fun, little, fluffy posts riddled with pics of my not-so small baby girl.
Here is a montage of Lil's first 4th of July in her new country! It was steaming hot, so after about an hour of sweating it out at the local parade we headed over to her Grandparent's for a pool party. For those of you that know my parents you may be asking yourselves 'did they get a pool?' As you can see from the last pic at the bottom, Ben and I took the liberties of installing a first-class pool in my parent's yard. This sucker is about 8ft wide and has drink holders for its more adult swimmers.