Friday, November 21, 2014

family crepe date

Some weeks make you feel like you are stuck in the cylinder of a vacuum - constantly swirling around surrounded by noise and dirt and no way to get out. This week was one of those. Looking at these images now I feel like that day was years ago, surely not just this past weekend. Not just this past Sunday. 
You see last Sunday was all about "love and light" as Mrs. Biermann often says on Bravo. Sunday was for hugs and hot steaming cups of tea and Nutella and holding hands and leaves, glorious, golden and fiery red leaves. Once we got out of the car, unpacked the double stroller, got everyone's hats on, walked to the cafe, then turned around once we realized Teddy needed to nurse, then got everyone back out of the car, dressed, in the stroller and in the cafe. Whew!! Wears me out just reading that but hey such is life with two under two and as soon as we all started shoveling mouthfuls of steaming hot crepes in our mouths I realized that it's still so good. But the struggle is real y'all, so very real. 
With our bellies satisfied and our hands warmed we headed back out. Julianna's is located within the Inman Park neighborhood of Atlanta and what a lovely neighborhood it is. It was nearing the afternoon by the time we stepped out and it practically felt like dusk outside. The air was still and brimming with fall goodness. Hefty piles of leaves crunched under our feet and Birdie slowed us down to a crawl by stopping to pick up practically every single one. Every now and again an icy breeze would blow forewarning us of the coming week and nip you right around your ears. Chimneys atop charming old homes puffed up clouds of smoke and you could almost hear the logs crackling inside making me miss our fireplace at the cabin something fierce. 
Birdie's indiscernible narration of our walk made it ever more exciting as everything from a leaf blower to graffiti elicited excited "woooo's" from her. We walked past an ice cream shop we bookmarked for a visit next time and daydreamed about living in such a neighborhood one day. Kids whizzed past us on their scooters and bits and pieces of conversation landed around us from bikers and couples on walks. As we made our way back to the car the sky got darker and threatened rain. We were all getting cold at this point and yet I didn't want this walk to end. In fact I didn't want the day to end. It was everything I love about this season rolled into one. 
Sometimes I love those last few days of fall even more than the start of fall itself. The buzz of Christmas is in the air and you could practically see the sparkle. The trees are weighed down with leaves at their peak of gorgeous color, the sky is darker, the air smells of smoke and the quickly dropping temperatures bring out all the knits we own. Whispers of snow and Santa and jingle bells abound but they're only whispers still because fall deserves to go out gracefully. And my does she ever.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

miniature soccer

hat - target, sweater - j.crew, dress - ace & jig, tights - kate spade, shoes - madewell

Having your toddler around while taking outfit pictures makes for some extra special images... Taking these with two kids is even trickier than with one but hey we figure it out. Sometimes it means playing a little soccer to keep one of them entertained. Speaking of which does anyone else's kid become obsessed with a new object every week? Birdie picked up this soccer ball at Target the other day and they have been inseparable. All day long I hear "baaaaaal!! baaaalllll!" It's as adorable as it sounds. 
Also I have to sing the praises of this Ace & Jig dress. I've been wearing it constantly. I've layered it with tees underneath or sweaters and cardigans on top. The fabric is both luxurious but also soft and comfortable. My dream is to replace all my dresses with these darling creations! Even papa bear said the other day that I never wear dresses but I wear this one all the time so I must really like it! And I do, I really do! 

Friday, November 14, 2014

a week's worth of odds + ends

^ Birdie's first donut! ^
^ added a book about christmas to Birdie's collection ^
Last weekend was so wonderful that when monday turned out to be a MONDAY it hit us extra hard. Actually the whole week ended up being pretty hectic and terrible. It was one of those weeks where thursday felt like friday and you wanted/needed it to be friday so badly. We had way too many doctors appointments, too many trips to the pharmacy and too many phone calls with customer service reps. Like I said, one of those weeks. 
In light of that I need something good today, something positive. Often when I'm feeling run down and blue there's nothing like a gratitude list to remind me of just how good I really have it. And so even though I'm exhausted, annoyed, frustrated and tired (there's exhausted and tired, those are two different things right?) here's what I'm oh so grateful for (it is the month for gratitude after all!):
  • the promise of holidays and family and good food
  • the start of christmas shopping (confession: I already bought wrapping paper at Target...)
  • all the take-out options close to our house because lord knows I'm not cooking right now (especially the thai place, mango and sticky rice is my love language)
  • speaking of love languages I am so thankful to papa bear for taking Birdie to work with him this week so that I could take Teddy to his doctor's appointment. Taking two kids to a doctor's office together is like being inside Dante's fifth circle - not recommended. 
  • peppermint EVERYTHING!!
  • a yummy sweaty toddler after a nap
  • people who go above and beyond to help you and especially people who will call you sweetie or honey while doing it
  • the leaves finally changing color around here and it looks glorious!!
  • daniel tiger
  • slippers. I held off for a while but now I'm all in and wondering why I was against keeping my feet warm and cozy??
  • the people in my life who know how to listen, truly listen. No advice, no suggestions, no empty sympathy but pure acceptance and selflessness. When you've had a crappy time all you really need is to be able to vent and have a shoulder to cry on. 
  • cooler temperatures meaning I can finally pull out my warm coats, hats and scarves!!
  • earth's best microwavable kids meals so that I can be lazy when it comes to my child's meals but not feel totally horrible. Only slightly. 
  • Taylor Swift's new album. On repeat. 
  • finally being allowed to take baths again
  • date night tonight (FINALLY!!)
There! I already feel better! Wanna join in? Share one thing you're grateful for this week and I promise you've feel a smidge less crappy! 

Have a great weekend folks!!


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

on balance

For the sake of full disclosure and so that you are not led to believe that parenting two under two has been nothing but sunshine and rainbows, I want to tell you that it has been by far the hardest thing I have ever done and is testing me more than I thought humanly possible. I have felt every emotion on the spectrum this past month and become acutely aware of my limitations as a mother and human being. The reason I don't talk about it too much is mainly because I find that if I complain too much it just ends up putting me in a funky mood and also because often I feel like complaining about your kids or parenting is somewhat frowned upon.
So much of what I see online seems to suggest that if motherhood doesn't leave you feeling blissful and entirely fulfilled you are somehow "doing it wrong." If you don't gush about how wonderful, angelic, magical, brilliant your children are 24/7 you must hate them. If you're not constantly floating on cloud nine, because a house full of babies is just heavenly, you must be in the wrong business. Do I have days when I feel that way? Absolutely. Is every day like that? Not even close. I never know if this makes sense or not but my children bring me a kind of joy I never even knew existed while at the same time bringing me to me knees constantly. I'll be honest with you, sometimes when I'm driving in the car with them and they are both quiet I will daydream about a running off to some exotic locale with my husband where we can, if even for a little while, pretend that it's just the two of us again. I will daydream of a situation where I am not changing diapers back to back, running from room to room as I attempt to put two babies to sleep (each of them alternately waking the other one up every five minutes), doing two loads of laundry a day and living in the same pair of pajama pants all week long. Sometimes even that daydream alone seems restorative.
Here's the reason I'm sharing this though. I truly believe that feeling this way is not only ok it's normal. Something I learned while in therapy years ago was that not acknowledging or even, yes, embracing our negative feelings will somehow or other end up having unhealthy consequences on our wellbeing. As human beings we come equipped to feel and experience an entire spectrum of feelings going from the absolute worst to euphoria. Forcing yourself to live within half of that spectrum is unnatural and possibly damaging.
I grew up feeling like negative emotions such as anger, frustration or scorn were bad and must be controlled if not eradicated. This led to me walking around with such an enormous amount of resentment and unresolved feelings that by the time I hit my late teens I was an anxious basket case. It was thanks to therapy that I learned that before we can get to "I love you" or "I forgive you" or "I'm happy" sometimes we need to experience and then unpack "I hate you" or "I'm so angry" or "I'm depressed." Pretending as if the latter does not exist doesn't make those feelings go away it just channels it somewhere else until it ultimately boils over and comes out regardless. There are so many physical ailments that will shockingly disappear after therapy. I've seen it happen time after time. Because unless dealt with, that anger never goes away. Instead it becomes a headache that you can't get rid of, digestive issues, sleep problems or just feeling unwell all the time.
So what I'm saying is that it's ok as parents to feel frustrated, disappointed or just downright angry. This is a hard job, if not the most difficult job any of us will experience in our lifetime. These little cherubs can make you feel things you never thought you could - both good and bad. And I think it's so important to have at least one person in your life who can be a lifeline for you when you are feeling really tested. Someone who you feel safe with and can be vulnerable with and share not just the highlights, because it's when you allow yourself to feel whatever emotion it is that is pumping through your soul at the moment that you can begin to move on and towards a healthier and more positive emotion.
Sometimes by the end of the day I find myself wondering why we did this. Are we completely nuts? Or I feel like I simply can't do this. It's too hard. It's too much. I'm not doing a good job. I'll share this with papa bear while scarfing down yet another box of takeout and I'll find myself letting go of those feelings and instead realizing just how precious my two little tyrants are and just how much they love me. How much I love them. I will realize that's it's always going to be hard in different ways and I'll begin to recalibrate and focus on the smiles, the giggles, the hugs and cuddles and all the yumminess that comes from a life with two babies. The messes, tears and tantrums will all be forgotten and I will be overcome with peace and gratitude. Until next morning... when I'll probably be pulling my hair out by ten o'clock. And round and round we go!!