Friday, April 29, 2011

18 months!

Well helloooooo!!

Oh my dear eight readers, I am so sorry for my super blogger slackerness. As usual there is no good excuse, just lots of crummy ones.

I have been thinking about writing this 18 month update on Emily for weeks. Seeing as how she is now almost 19 months! I am really overwhelmed writing this, because there is just so much to say about her. I don't know if I will even get to all the important stuff-it's hard to remember it all. Particularly when it's been a week of preschool, severe weather, and a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese. Need I say more, really??

Here goes. My girl at 18 months...

Get a load of her on St. Paddy's day! We were actually in Knoxville this day, and my nephew's birthday is on the 17th. I included this picture here because it is a good intro to Emily's complete obsession with sugar. And the happy birthday song. Anytime someone brings up a birthday she sings, "To you, to you" and then follows it right up with "Cupcake, cupcake, cupcaaaaake!" Lucky for her we've been to a lot of birthday parties this month. She is definitely her mother's daughter in this category. She would live on chips and cupcakes (and apple juice) if I would let her. I was so proud of myself for Drew's healthy eating habits, and now I realize it had nothing to do with me. And in true female form she loves and adores chocolate. And popsicles...

She has more words than I could ever remember to make a list of. This has been so super fun for me. And I am still surprised and delighted every time she says something new. A couple of weeks ago she said her first three word sentence "I throw cup". Have I mentioned she has a bit of a temper?? I find it hilarious this is the first sentence she ever put together. So fitting.

This little drawer trick has started causing quite the trouble. Not only does she "help" me anytime I'm on the computer, she also unloads the silverware drawer periodically onto the floor. For a while I let her do it because it kept her busy. However, we've since had talks about how we don't throw silverware. So now the throwing is accompanied by that defiant look. It's a good time. The silverware trick earned her her first trip to time-out, which I'm pretty sure she thinks is a little bit fun. When her time is up and I go over to her, she hops up and grins at me. Sweet mercy, am I in for it or what?? Various other offenses include hitting Drew and screaming for no good reason. Perhaps we have a rebel in the making...

Her very girly side is starting to come out. We had a play date with some new friends. They have a son Drew's age (who is actually in my class at school) and a daughter Emily's age. She had all sorts of Jewelry and tutus and purses. Emily was in hog heaven. And I sort of felt like a bad mom because of our lack of girly things. While we were there we inherited a pair of silver sparkle shoes, and ya'll? The girl is smitten. This has led to a complete obsession with shoes. She loves them. And anytime she puts some on she says, "Drew-Drew"-meaning she wants to show Drew. She does this with her clothes and her shoes. I'm having to do a little training for the boy about an enthusiastic response. You can hear her question, "Do you think I'm beautiful?" I'm hoping and praying I can make her believe the yes. And convince her brother about how important it is for him to build her up.

I will say she has a pretty great brother. She knows it, too. She already copies everything he says and does and wants to be just like him. I love this so much. Well, except for when he tries to get her to say "booty". Because that is so hilarious, you know. She watches everyone and everything around her and doesn't miss a thing. It is amazing to think about all that is going on in her mind that she doesn't have words for. She loves to watch me get ready (standing in a drawer, of course, because, where else??) and when I put on my eye make-up she says, "Eyes, eyes" and will keep on until I put some on her eyes! I think I may need a few actual make-up lessons before she learns anything else from me!!!

I can't believe in less than six months she will be two years old. The last six months threatened to get lost, but I have tried so hard to soak up every fun and special moment with her. She is sweet and funny and such a blast. I love watching her grow, but I wish she'd stop doing it so fast!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

What I Learned from my Curtains

We moved into this house almost six years ago. It has been over six years since we saw it for the first time. The real estate market was definitely a seller's market back then-we were buying in January and houses were flying off the "shelves". Before we looked at our house, we looked at another house down the street. The seller had definitely set the "trap". Candles burning, beautiful paint colors, everything coordinating. It was beautiful. And at the very tippy top of our price range. Just after seeing that house we looked here. Quite a different story. A bachelor lived here. In what is now the dining room there was a gun safe. Upstairs there was a lovely oil painting...of some guys on a dock...with a bucket of Corona. His spacious bathtub was filled up with dirty laundry, and in the hallway, visible as you first walked in the door, a velvet-y sad clown painting. A sad clown!!! But the family room was by far the worst. Dark navy curtains. An animal head. A place for the BIGGEST dog you've ever seen. But, as we looked around, we realized the floor plan was the exact same. It was the same house! This house was just dressed more for a day at the lake than a nice dinner out. Throw in a huge deck, fenced in backyard, and woods behind the house and we were sold. And not for a price too far out of reach.

I moved in with the other house always in my head. That dressed up fancy, beautiful, smell good house. It was a trap alright.

I have spent a lot of time thinking about what might be instead of appreciating what is. (How obvious is it that this pertains to the rest of my life??) There is nothing wrong with dreaming a little. But sitting in a room and being bitter over the horrible navy curtains? Really not helpful. I decorated (and I use the term loosely) my family room based on my fantasy curtains. My decor did not match the room. But, it went perfectly with the room in my head. Curtains (or "drapes" as the more sophisticated set refers to them) are very expensive. And we have lots of windows. And we always had other priorities. But I still kept living in the room of my mind instead of giving into what actually was.

Recently, when I was in Knoxville, I was invited to visit my Grandmother's house and claim anything I wanted. My sweet Ga-Ga is in a nursing home. She won't be going back to her house. It is still shocking and sad to think about. She deserves (and will be getting) her very own post. But, while I was there, swimming in such fond nostalgia, I came across one throw pillow. One throw pillow that changed everything.

I immediately loved it. And at first, I thought, "This doesn't match my family room." Suddenly, and I can't really even explain it, a whole vision for the room appeared in my head and ,get this, it included the curtains! I took out all of the things that existed coherently only in my mind and replaced them with things that bring the room together. It's pretty remarkable. I was blessed enough to get some great pieces of milk glass (also from Ga-Ga) and found a perfect piece of fabric for $7. Seven dollars is what it cost to let my family room finally be who it is meant to be.

It sounds dramatic, I know. But it kind of was dramatic for me. In my eyes, it's beautiful, and truth be told, I've never felt that way about anything in my home. I think my family room is beautiful. Skanky old couch and all.

All around me is the call to embrace what IS. Not what I wish was, or not what so-and-so has. If I embrace my life as it unfolds, letting go of the choke hold I've had on it always, if I just stop. And breathe. And watch...