this old house

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errr or not really old at all. We purchased our first home five days before our wedding. At the time, it was a patch of dirt in what would eventually be a 100ish home neighborhood. As first time home buyers, we had the perfect opportunity with this gem. We didn’t build from scratch ourselves but instead had our hand held buy the builder and picked all the finishes, floor plan and wall colors from a few options. We lived in this space for five years, made two job changes, brought a dog baby home to it and later our real baby made a home there.

And then, it was time to go.

It took a while but once I finally accepted that I was doing the adult thing by moving (the Seattle area market was crazy this summer) and the for-sale sign went up, it was suddenly easy to let go. I would return home after a potential buyer showing and my house would smell like someone else. Like when you step into an elevator after an exceptionally potent man has just left.  People had been poking around, viewing all my belongings and judging my decorating choices (I’ve seen enough home shows to know they ALWAYS comment on the paint color. amIright?). I was disconnected almost immediately. As we packed, I happily watched furniture walk out the door to new homes and car fulls of stuff go to GoodWill.

It wasn’t until we had everything out and I was deep cleaning that my emotions finally took me down. Actually, it was M’s room that got me. And stupidly enough, it was a tiny coffee stain that literally brought me to my knees. On the shelf next to her changing table, there was a tiny ring from my coffee cup practically burt into the wood. Instantly, the routine I had for almost two years flooded over me. Wake, Shower, Coffee, Get Baby, Place Coffee on Shelf, Change Baby. I just laid on the floor and finally let myself feel the change.

The thing is, it was like pulling off a bandaid. We have taken our new place from house to home in a matter of four months and are still charging ahead. I haven’t looked back once or really even thought about the house we sold. I am certain that the same powerful feelings will imbed themselves in these new walls, that there will be coffee rings to cry over when we leave this place and that I never NEVER want to see that brown shag carpet again (WHAT was I thinking?).

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Side note: I know people move ALL the time and I’ve talked about this a few too many times already. Last one. Promise.

Builder: Pulte Homes

Design Direction: Laurie Schwartz

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Friday Fun

Climbing M

Lately, M has decided that she should climb everything. EVERYTHING.

Not to worry, she gets a stern talking to about this table standing every time it happens. It is, by far, the discussion I have most in the day. But this one was just too funny. What’s going on here? “Mom, I’m packing my tiny suitcase and leaving unless you let me dangerously stand on this table”……..

Enjoy! Melissa

Decorating For SC

Favorite Christmas

Normally, I enforce the ‘one holiday at a time’ rule in our house. No decorating for Christmas until after Thanksgiving. Some of you may say bah humbug to that but I’m really not scroogy. It’s just that I love Thanksgiving (or not so much the actual day, more like I love the food) and I don’t want to breeze over it. I respect the person who tackles that Thanksgiving meal more then they’ll ever know and plan to NEVER let that duty fall in my lap (unless for some reason everyone would like cold, mistimed food and possible food poisoning…then OK) so lets raise our glasses to them and let Thanksgiving have it’s moment.

This year is different though. The season is shorter and we are heading out of town for a while to celebrate with family. So, this Sunday, it’s decorating day in my house. The lights are going up outside soon and we’ll be all ready to swing into full Christmas mode when we arrive home from our vaca. I thought I would share with you the things I’m most excited to be spending time with for the next month.

1. I bought this awesome print from Hen & Co this year and I am so excited to add it to my wall for the season. I’m finding that being able to change out prints seasonally is my favorite part of having gone through the pain of hanging a collage wall in my family room.  This little deer may sneak up a few days early as I’m being really impatient about getting to hang with him.

2. I’m a little (or a lot) crazy and insist that my Christmas tree only have matching ornaments. No mismatched pickles with sunglasses or dancing elephants on our tree. So, to allow for the fun ornaments, we have a small table top tree in our kitchen that gets all the mis-matchers. (I’m feeling like it sounds like the land of misfit toys, but I swear it’s not.) This year, we are adding our initials to the tree for a little sparkle.

3. In keeping with my crazy, I make a quick trip to Crate and Barrel every holiday season and pick up one or two new silver or gold ornaments for our big tree. These year, I’m into these! Clearly I’m into the silver and gold holiday theme but I think I would like to mix it up next year. What colors do you decorate with? Let me know if you have any recommendations!

4. Costco for the win on this one. I go every year and pick up a fresh garland for our mantel. Something about the fire underneath (burning with care obviously) and the stockings hanging just so make my house feel so cozy during the holidays. This year, I’ll also be stringing a paper garland from our pop-up-shop around the fresh garland for a pop of color.  (Reminder: Only 3 days left before the shop closes!!)

5. Most of the year I’m not a huge fan of personalized items. I just really don’t need to see my name everywhere but these stockings are so traditional that I have to do it. We each have one and Santa fills them along with a pair of pajamas on the side every Christmas Eve. (Thanks SC!)

6. I LOVE TO WRAP PRESENTS! I think it goes with my love for paper products but something about a well wrapped gift makes it that much better. Last year, I made salt dough gift tags  that could be used for ornaments (clearly not on your big tree, only on your misfits tree) as well. If you are looking for a fun punch on your gifts this year, I really recommend these.

 

Enjoy!

Melissa

 

Dear Summer || I Love You

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I keep hearing the F word being thrown around all over the place. Fall…. People are pining away for the leaves to turn color, to sip on some hot cider and for chilly blanket loving nights. I have to admit, that for the first time in a long time, I feel like Seattle got a real dose of summer this year. We had months of basking in the warm ball in the sky we don’t often see and I won’t been sad this time around when fall really does arrive. {Some years, I feel robbed. Like I went from spring to fall and summer was about two weeks of bliss that slipped away.} But, I’m just not ready YET.

WHAT am I going to do with a toddler when we can’t just throw on some shoes in a cranky moment and take a slow walk around the neighborhood? I really, truly have no idea. Last fall and winter, she was so young that we spent our days indoors or running from the car to the shelter of a mall just to stretch our legs. Not going to cut it this year. Help!

So, for now, we are trying to squeeze in all the outdoor summer activities we can while they are available to us. We’ve been to aquarium, we hit the ‘beach’ about once a week, take walks through as many parks as we can find and have slowed our neighborhood strolls to a leisurely pace. Yesterday, I watched as my shadow made it down the sidewalk with a little hand-holding shadow next to it. It was one of those moments that you know won’t happen in any other season. Maybe never again since momma hand-holding doesn’t seem to be ‘in’ for the older kids these day. I’m just soakin’ it in!

Dear Summer. You are my favorite. Don’t leave yet.

Enjoy! Melissa

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Behind The Scenes || The Bus

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M is in a phase where constant energy, attention and play is required. So, she finds it really frustrating when I try to cook a meal. Why can’t she be held right next to the hot stove? Silly mom, right? And last night, when Ky could see that his dinner was in danger due to our ‘pick up the tot, cook as quickly as possible’ dance, his imagination kicked in and she got a full dose of daddy attention. They rode this ‘bus’ through our small kitchen and living room while they both laughed and provided me with not only my hands to cook but also a fun soundtrack of playfulness to listen to. M hopped on at the ‘bus stop’ in the kitchen and ended at the well known station, ‘front door’.

Then, when she went to bed, we melted into the sofa and watched a movie together. Because, who needs to go to the gym when you drive the Tot Bus?

Enjoy! Melissa

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4 Years

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Just a little #TBT to feast your eyes on this morning! Today is my anniversary and well, I’ll look at pictures of my family and feel proud if I want to!

To some who have been married 30, 40, 50 years, a 4 year anniversary probably seems like it should slip by with unnoticed ease. But, to me, I think this is the most momentous anniversary we have yet to celebrate  We have been married for one full year with a baby included in our clan. That my friends, is reason to give each other an extra kiss, high five, whatever today.

My man is the most caring, hard working and loving husband I know, {pat on back to me….good job showing up to that dirty house in college and positioning yourself right where that tall handsome guy would have to talk to you. Probably, the best decision ever made after 9PM in college.} and this year, he showed everyone that he is also an amazing father.

So today, we are going to celebrate us in us style. I already got a text this morning that let me know my favorite coffee was pre-paid for at my favorite coffee stand whenever I was ready for it {coffee = the way to my heart} and we are going to cook a huge feast filled with our favorite foods tonight after M goes to bed.

So, cheers, Happy Thursday and more importantly Happy Anniversary hubs! I couldn’t love anyone more!

Enjoy! Melissa

Children’s Museum Day

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The rain has returned here in the great northwest. For a few weeks it was down right hot. Now, now it’s a mildly tolerable temperature with rain. It seems like mother nature taunts us like this every year so it’s nothing new. Just normal that we have returned to indoor activities. {And now that I’ve updated on our riveting weather status…..}

So, last week, in search of a fun indoor activity, Lacie of Leather & Lace  and I took our little girls to the Seattle Children’s Museum. Not only did we set out to conquer a museum which sounded like a feat in itself  but we also set out in one car. Just so you know why you should think that is so great…..I haven’t driven with a friend and their little in a year. It’s just so much work to muscle around the car seats, strollers, etc. We always just meet at our destination. But, we were being frugal {cheap} this day so I made Lacie my honorary husband and she showed me how to move the car seats around and off we went. Getting to actually talk in the car was such a bonus to this trip! It’s the small things right?

Any who, the girls just barely squeaked into the age where they would appreciate this place. It was full of pretend, hands on activity. Under this very mobile age, this place would have been a nightmare but as is, they had a blast.

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|| They were so interested in the fish tank. What? We could have taken them to PetSmart for the day? But this was more fun! ||

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|| Funny M! She was so into the grocery shopping experience. I was trying to explain her food choices to her but she just wanted to push the cart and bash into things. Whatever floats your boat! ||

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|| We got to check out the Three Little Bears house. We tried to test out all the chairs but they only wanted papa bears chair. Seemed most comfy! ||

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|| For our valant efforts, Lacie and I rewarded ourselves with dessert for lunch. Let me just tell you that the Skillet Counter’s Pie in a Bowl is to die for. Their description is:

bittersweet chocolate pudding, pie crust, sea salt,
cocoa nibs

Drool over that one for a while! It was as good as it sounds. And, don’t judge. After running after two little ones in a land of pretend wonder all day, you are allowed as many extra calories as you would like. My rules!  ||

Needless to say, it was a good day!

Enjoy! Melissa

Memorial Day Weekend

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Happy Tuesday after Memorial Day Weekend! Isn’t there just something about a long weekend that makes Tuesday feel so refreshed and special? It’s like after all your running around, you actually got a moment to rest and breathe.

So, thank you Memorial Day Weekend for a little time to spend with my family, just spending!

We did our share of running around. We ran a 5K together, quickly made an Ikea stop, sold my little car and updated to a mom vehicle, ate some yummy food truck goodness, attended one of M’s best little friends birthday parties, ran errands and watched 3 whole movies. I would say that’s a total success for a stay-cation. More on some of this later but for now, I’m still basking in the moments we got to play together.

And, check out this saucer swing. Amazing, right? M didn’t know what hit her with this crazy contraption and, I couldn’t let her have all the fun so I jumped on too.

Enjoy! Melissa

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Flowers, Carts and Packs || Pikes Place

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Ms M and I ventured out to Pikes Place Market for some flowers a few days ago. It was a mix of an amazing adventure and a poor decision on my part. Every time we head to a crowded location I debate which carrying system will be the best for M. Pack or stroller. {Riveting, huh?} This time, I went with stroller thinking that my hands would end up too full of M supplies and market goods if she was in the pack. And really, it was probably the worst/ best decision.

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I was able to hide my amazing Beechers Mac & Cheese and two giant bouquets of flowers in the stroller and still somehow maneuver it through the crowd with only a little staring at my craziness.

However, M was also able to grab the handle of the stroller and throw the stroller to the ground sending puddles of water and flower bits all over the floor of the nice little coffee shop we were in. {Nice, right?} So, I immediately scrambled to pack up all of our goods and head back up to the car. Flowers, mac & cheese and giant diaper bag were left behind and back to the market we went with M in her Bjorn. {I’m hearing that Young Gunz song, “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop…” in my head right now. What? I just referenced Young Gunz while blabbing about a Baby Bjorn….I know. I know.}

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So, I guess I did the market twice that day! And both times, it was amazingly stimulating. We saw hordes of tourists lined up and taking photos outside the original Starbucks, fish flying through the air, abundant flowers, fresh veggies lining the market edges and we took home some colorful french macarons. Yumm!

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I’m pretty sure my girl had something similar to the time of her life. So much color and excitement to keep her little eyes on and it was fun to show her the beauty of Seattle in one hurried trip. I can’t wait for her to be old enough to walk through and help me pick out fresh dinner supplies and blooms for our house. Wait, never mind, I’m going to leave her one forever and have harried debates over pack or stroller. It’s worth it!

Enjoy! Melissa

Behind the Scenes || The Tale of A Bird

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This guy almost gave me a heart attack at the ripe old age of 28 and well, I just can’t help but tell you about it.

The dramatic tale goes as follows; As usual, M and I casually strolled into the garage getting ready to load up and head out of the house for a few hours. For some reason, I had left the windows down in my car so I tossed my bag through the passenger side window and BOOM….something came dive bombing back at me heading straight toward my face. I screamed like a little girl and ducked in my dark garage. I couldn’t figure it out. Was my car upset and spitting my goods back out at me? Was there a bat in my car for some reason?

When I finally got the lights flipped on, I could see this little guy sitting on a shelf, all puffed up and upset that I had disturbed him and evicted him from his new car home. So, I kindly opened the garage door and requested that he leave.

The little bastard {excuse my language} wouldn’t get out. I grabbed the only lengthy item near me, a flag, and started to gently shoo him. Nothing. He just stayed put and puffed and looked at me like the crazy lady that I was waiving my flag around with a baby in my arms, now late for where I was going. All he did was relocate to a different section of the garage.

So, after almost 30 min of jumping up and down, M laughing at me and the bird taunting me and my flag, I left him. I continued on my day while he turned my garage into a bird sanctuary.

Damn thing! Of all the pets I would take in, a bird is just not one of them. Haven’t you seen these things poop aimlessly? No thanks!

Anyway, long story {still long} made shorter, I eventually got him out hours and hours later in the evening. And it took so much coaxing. What was his deal? He just wanted to be a bird squatter? Is it possible to be a homeless bird? Ugh!

So, that was your random story for Tuesday morning.

Enjoy! Melissa

Note || I’m writing as I watch the devastation in Oklahoma on the news. I am not ignoring it. I feel the pain and see the tragedy. I just know that I don’t have powerful enough words to help those people in any way. However, what I do hope is to uplift with my stupid story. That I can do.