It’s been a while since I’ve shared a life or family update post, and while nothing really “big” is going on, I wanted to pause for a minute this week and try to capture this moment in time.
Most people won’t care about this post, but my mom will, and I will, down the road.
Part of the reason I started this blog (and newsletter, lest we forget) was to force myself to practice writing and sharing. I wanted to build the muscle of processing and documenting.
I, of course, want to bring value through my (albeit, small) platform, be it in the form of helpful advice or even just entertainment. But in some ways, I’ve learned, the most value of all is found in the solidarity and comfort that comes when you realize that someone else feels similarly about something trivial. The “oh really? same” moments. So sometimes I just go ahead and share the boring stuff that means a lot to me. More often than not, there are one or two people out there who know exactly what I’m talking about. And that’s what it’s all about, right?
So today’s post is just that: sort of boring, kind of a hodgepodge of life updates and musings.
Charlotte + Emmie
The girls are so fun and special right now. Each day brings some new mischief, antic, or catastrophic mess around the house, always accompanied by the sounds of Char’s shrieks of delight and Emmie’s squeaky giggle.
I want to remember everything: every little turn of phrase they come up with, every ridiculous request, and every random hug they shower on me throughout the day.
I never want to forget how Emmie’s soft arms feel when she wraps them around my neck, how she always, always smells like heaven no matter how dirty she gets outside. I love watching her wheels turn as she figures out how to communicate what she needs. Emmie is obsessed with animals, timid around strangers, and very, very attached to Charlotte. She is WAY too smart for her own good, and I can tell we are in for a wild ride.
I wonder if Char and I will always have the connection that we do now, where she looks right in my eyes and smiles, and it’s weird because it’s my smile. Char is curious about everything and growing into a compassionate, thoughtful little girl. She is as strong-willed as they come, constantly yammering on about how she thinks the day should go. We are working on manners, flexibility, and gratitude.
Watching Emmie and Charlotte become friends has been the highlight of my life. I am trying VERY hard not to force it, at least in any way that they’d detect. They spend most of the day in a rhythm of playing together, wondering off on their own, and then finding the other again. I love listening to their chatter, the special language they’ve developed between themselves, a secret code that I’ll spend the rest of my life trying to interpret.
What our weeks are like
Tyler is still working from home and likely will be for at least a few more months, and this has been SO nice. He’s really done such an amazing job balancing everything–we bug him all the time, lol.
But the very best part is that he doesn’t have to rush out the door in the mornings to drive up to Irvine. This means that he takes care of the girls in the morning while I write in bed (crucial to my mental wellbeing). AND we are both *usually* able to get a workout in before he has to start his work day around 9am. It’s heavenly.
After Tyler starts work, I take the girls out for a walk around the neighborhood and a nice long stop at the park. Then, it’s time for lunch and nap.
I’ve been using naptime to work on blog stuff. Emmie goes down at 12pm, and Char goes down at 1pm. After Emmie goes to sleep, we’ve trained Char to play quietly by herself before it’s her turn to nap, too. I usually save the playdoh for this hour, so it’s a special treat for her to do by herself without Emmie bugging her. Char naps most days, but she knows that at the very least she needs to have down time in her room if she isn’t sleepy (she is usually compliant about this). After nap, we either head out for errands or a walk around La Jolla, etc.
On Wednesdays, we do ballet. Charlotte has her class first and Emmie just started a little class that begins right after hers. It’s the highlight of our week. I grew up dancing, so I have to actively force myself to not take the whole thing way too seriously.
Char has gymnastics on Thursday afternoons at the Y, and now that the weather is getting a little nicer, we will probably start taking her swimming there once or twice a week again too.
We spend the weekends exploring San Diego. We usually head out right away on Saturday mornings to grab a coffee and find a fun park or area to walk around. We just got a bike rack for Tyler’s new truck, so we’ll do lots of family rides this spring and summer, I’m sure.
We try to make it to church on Sundays in Encinitas and spend the rest of the day getting our lives together before the week begins again.
After spending a whirlwind summer and fall renovating every inch of our new house, we’ve been recovering all winter. Tyler was so burnt out by the whole ordeal that if I even so much as ask his opinion on a piece of wall art he just shakes his head and says, “whatever you think honey,” lol.
The interior of the house is–thank goodness–completely done now (check out our kitchen before/after here). Our goal for this year now is to finish up the landscaping.
In the backyard, we need to figure out what we want to do in the blank area next to the turf (by the way, we’ve been SO happy with it). We wanted to put rocks/gravel on the ground and then a couple of huge planter boxes for veggies/herbs, but we’re not necessarily married to that anymore. We’ve talked a little bit about planting a tree, building a little playhouse for the girls, maybe a swing.
And then for the front yard, we want to keep it as simple as possible. We need to plant something under the front window–I’m thinking a few floribunda bushes? There’s one area of grass that’s totally dead next to the driveway. We’ve talked about installing some pavers there.
Our big goal is to add a second story down the road so we can grow into the house and stay here as long as possible. I think. We’ve obviously made impulsive real estate decisions in the past, so never say never, but we are very happy in this house and neighborhood. We’d love to make it work for a long time. We would likely convert our current master bedroom downstairs to a guest room. Then we’d add a bigger master suite with a walk-in closet and large bathroom upstairs. And maybe one extra bedroom/office space up there as well. These are all just dreams at this point, obviously.
We are going to keep it simple this year, for the most part.
We originally had been planning a big Europe trip for this spring and summer, to try to take advantage of Emmie’s “lap infant” status before she turned two. But a few months ago, while wrangling her on a very short flight to Sacramento, the thought dawned on me that she is anything but a lap infant. A 12 hour flight with her on our laps sounds absolutely horrendous. We’d have to pay for an extra seat for her, if we have any chance of surviving the flight, lol.
And then at that point, we thought, may as well just wait until she is a little older and easier to manage, behaviorally speaking. She’s just begun her journey into the “terrible two’s,” and we realized that we’d much rather wait until she is older to do a big trip. And that gives us more time to save up for a fun Europe trip anyway.
Now our goal is to go next summer, when Emmie is almost three and Char is almost four, and it honestly sounds SO much more fun to me. We have some friends who are planning the same, so we may rendezvous in Tuscany and then hop around a little before/after. TBD, though. Plenty of time to figure out what we want to do.
Cabo was kind of our big family trip this year. Otherwise, we are going to San Luis Obispo in July, to make our rounds with some dear friends who live in our beloved college town and to see Kane Brown perform at the mid state fair (!!!!). We’ll go to Lodi, where Tyler’s family lives, a few times, I’m sure. And I’ve been incepting Tyler about a NYC trip for my 30th since I turned 27, so we’ll see what he decides to do.
OH, and we are taking the girls to Disneyland next month!! We are so excited, it’s almost all we talk about each night during our “obsess over the offspring” session before we fall asleep. I think they are just going to lose their minds.
We just enrolled both girls in preschool for the fall! Char is going a little late, and Emmie is going a little early, but oh well. They will both just be going two mornings a week to the preschool across the road from our neighborhood. We can see it from our backyard–isn’t that adorable?!
Char is going to LOVE it. I even told the director that if they have any openings pop up this spring, we’d be happy to have her start straight away. I’m glad we didn’t have to deal with the COVID/mask saga in schools this past year, but she is definitely itching to be in a classroom.
Emmie is going to HATE it. At first, anyway. She has never lasted more than 15 minutes in the church nursery, so I already know what kind of dramatics are in store. Bless her soul, though, she was a COVID baby and has spent nearly every waking moment of her life in the same room as me. I think it will be really, really good for her to have some structured time outside of the home. She absolutely loves other toddlers, so I think as soon as she realizes that she’ll be able to throw down with some new little friends on a regular basis, she’ll be ok.
I myself am very excited. As a stay at home mom, the past 3 years have been one long marathon of being in charge almost all of the time. And while Tyler has been SO helpful, the constant running to-do list and grind of the “two under three” lifestyle has started to wear on me.
Don’t get me wrong: it is a huge blessing that I’ve been at home with them during these early years. But I am excited for a bit of a break in my week. I plan to spend all (or most) of the 8 hours right here, typing at my computer, doing more of the same but for longer spurts of time.
This is something that Tyler and I talk about all of the time, but we are in no way even remotely close to making a decision about.
When we first got married, we wanted to have 3 or 4 kids. We both grew up in big families and pictured the same for ourselves. After having Charlotte and Emmie, though, the family feels so complete to me (right now, anyway).
I had a very hard time in the newborn stage. Breastfeeding, while rewarding, was incredibly stressful with both girls. On top of that, I do not function well under the duress of sleep deprivation and postpartum hormones. Looking back, I definitely dealt with postpartum anxiety, and I am just not quite ready to consider taking it all on again. I honestly love our little unit just as we are.
BUT, I’ve changed my mind about things before, so I could be singing a totally different tune a year or two from now. I love the idea of having a bunch of grown kids and a ton of grandkids, etc. It would be so fun to have a huge circus one day. SO, who knows.
Tyler feels similarly to me, so for now we are just kind of kicking the can, if you will. We always say, “we are done, for now.” We’ll revisit in a few years. And adoption isn’t off the table either. Lots to think/pray about. But for now, we are so happy and having so much fun with the girls. They are just an absolute hoot.
(And please hear me when I say that I KNOW how blessed we are to even be talking about wanting to try for another baby, knowing the journey that many families have to go on. I do not take this granted for a second).
This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot the past couple of years.
I worked in recruiting before I had Charlotte, and it was a very fun and lucrative job that I’d recommend to anyone who, like me, didn’t know what to do after college. BUT, I have known that I didn’t want to work for someone else long term. I kind of knew all along that I’d end up forging my own path, somehow. And as long as I can remember, I have LOVED to write.
My goal with the blog and newsletter has basically been to write, write, write. Put words on paper and put them in front of people, even if the words are just about a fun restaurant or a new bronzer. Write and post, write and post, repeat.
Eventually, I would like to write a book–or books, I should say. Right now, I am not entirely sure what kind or what about, but it’s something I’m working towards each day. That’s scary to say out loud, but, you know, manifesting and all that.
Okay, that’s all I can think of for now. And to the three of you who made it to the end of this, thank you for being here! I am so thankful to have a handful of people who care enough to read the words I put together.
If you have any specific requests for me–be it for the blog, newsletter, or even Instagram–I would LOVE to hear them.