Monday, August 21, 2017

Jack and The Beanstalk - A Lesson in Parenting

With so many eyes pointing to the sky today -- Hello Solar Eclipse 2017 -- I thought I'd share a brief story of why my eyes have been pointing to the sky this summer. A lesson in parenting -- when Jack and The Beanstalk Summer Camp teaches me more ...

 Whew! Any mama's out there struggling near the end of summer to keep their kiddos away from the TV and out of the snack bowl?! I feel like we've reached our max capacity of snacking consumption and allotted screen time by 11am towards the final days of summer!  I started to see this pattern spiral as we were continuing to settle into the new house (95% complete by the way -- promise to update you soon!). So, I knew I need to make some plans and shake it up. 

Enter ~ theater camp at The Walden Theater. Mister Bennett is our intellect.  He is so thoughtful and meticulous. Loves to fully understand. Has an imagination like you wouldn't believe. And has always had a knack for make believe/re-creating/and performing. He loves to learn all of the words to a book or song and share them with whomever will listen (as long as he is in charge of how it's done). And love to play pretend (as long as you follow the rules). So, when I found a preschool theater camp in our area, I knew this was the perfect week for our mister B. 
We arrived on the first day with all of the essentials ~ a packed lunch, an extra drink, a nap mat for rest time, a laundry bin that would act as his cubby for the week to house his props and what not, and last but not least, a good attitude ready to take on the day!
 As the week went on we learned more about the camp and the idea of "Process Drama" and how this camp was teaching him to further explore his imagination the world of pretend. It was so fun and sometimes hard to hear him come home every day and tell me both good and bad what he had learned and how camp had gone.
It was hard for me to hear "bad" because this was summer! Summer CAMP! And supposed to be so much fun. And in some of his stories it was - he LOVED it. And in others ... it was not ... not what he thought, not what he loved, etc. And as a parent that's a weird spot with how to handle the situation. So finally, on Friday - his last day of camp the last hour was devoted specifically for sharing with families. We got to peak inside and see all of the things they had been doing all week.
 And he was so proud to show us! When I dropped him off that morning he couldn't wait to get inside and kept asking when we would be back to see the show.
 We all filed in to find our seats and then it began. The teachers led the introductions and the class ...

And we watched our little guy both participate ... and do some other things too! HAHA!
 And at the end of it all ... we gave him his "after performance bouquet" and a big kiss.
His cheering section is pretty amazing :)
Which leads me to this. This weird parenting revelation I had during his week away at summer camp. As Bennett continues to try new things and explore the outside world (both with and without me) I learn so much about myself. And mostly, I learn that being a parent is hard. When he comes home and tells me the low points of his day my heart breaks thinking how if I was there I could have changed the situation. And I realize me physically being somewhere will never solve ANYTHING - nor is it realistic. Letting go and teaching him at home, how to act when I am not around is hard on a momma's heart. And likewise, when he comes home and tells me the high points of his day, I also feel a tinge of guilt that I wasn't there to experience it and someone else was in my place. I have so much to learn, but more than anything I am forever grateful God has chosen me to be this little man's teacher and student. I am so grateful we get to do it together.

I think about the years to come -- and the idea that Kindergarten is so closely peering around the corner -- the idea that he will spend all day with a teacher I barely know and will forever now only offer me few details about his day moving forward. It's so easy to be afraid and sad as a parent. Wanting to protect every inch of our children. But I am working to fight fear with truth. Ever so thankful that the God who upholds his little life when he is inside our home, is the same God that cares for him when he's away from me at school or play. :)  It's hard. It's so very hard. But that truth is a bright spot and I am so thankful He holds him in hand.

I have so much to learn. So much growth is to come. But I am glad He is there to walk it with me. And this summer ... oddly enough I'm thankful Jack and The Beanstalk and all it taught me. Both to step away from the snack jar and also to remember to pray.

So as you look to the sky today to watch the beauty of His work unfold, or if you're struggling with your babies going back to school. Remember to pray. He is working and we must fight fear with truth.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Barbecue Stain

There was a time in my life I'm certain where I could hear a Tim McGraw song and not squeal like a twelve year old girl ... but ever since Hubs and I saw him and Kenny Chesney at an outdoor concert in Cincinatti, OH those days are long gone. The man literally is aging in reverse and is one of the only male humans that can wear the tightest black t-shirt on the plane with legit intentions to display "man-cleavage" because apparently that's a thing now ... and I don't bat an eye thinking that's the slightest bit odd. Holy Mackerel. 

A few weeks ago hubby and I hit the road for a much needed weekend getaway to see the Tim and Faith, Soul to Soul tour in our old stompin' grounds ... Nashville, TN! Sigh, I miss it there. The city, the people, the music, our friends, my routine, the excitement, the cranes, heck even the traffic, ha! But, either way I'm thankful it's so close and such a great getaway!

Our annual family reunion unfortunately happened to be on the same weekend as the concert (we bought the tickets forever ago -- when we had no idea we wouldn't be living in Nashville at the time) ... so the littles packed up and head to Cincinatti with my parents for the weekend. We had an unexpected date night Friday (we left Saturday am) - WAHOO!

We were having unseasonably AMAZING weather so Hubs and I hit up a great little patio here in town and had the BEST night. 

Then Saturday we hit the road - with nothing but Tim and Faith on the radio and tons of laughter in the air (that sounds so ridiculously cheesy, but really ....).

 One of my long time pals is the PR director for 21C Hotels so she hooked us up with a sweet room down on Broadway - thanks Holz - you're the BEST. And if anyone happens to go there and stay ... take my word for it and order the fried chicken bucket to your room. HOLY YUM.
 We changed up and headed out to go Honky Tonkin -- with one of our first stops naturally being the sushi car at Acme -- because duh it's so great.
 Then we hit up lots of our favorite staples - Tooties, Rippy's ... you know all the usuals :) and headed over to Bridgestone!
 Hubs was super excited because they sell Tin Man Brewing inside the arena ... it's the latest acquisition Falls City Brewing  has made (and the acquisition that has completely stolen my husband - whew! Hello giant workload!). But I'm super proud of him and the growth of this little beer brand!
 And then this happened and we were all smiling and singing the rest of the night.

I mentioned earlier we purchased our tickets FOREVER ago. They were running a special through our credit card and we had no idea where the seats were - they were just relatively cheap and we were down. And then near the end of the show - HOLY SMOKES they walked right in front of our seats! I was all fan girl Snapchatting -- but here are some screenshots.

 And just like that it was time to come home and snuggle these sweet kiddos. I love weekend getaways with my boyfriend, but coming back to these little things sure is sweet too!

All of that to say ... if you exist out there and don't sing along to "I had a barbecue stain on my white t-shirt" we cannot be friends :) 

Friday, August 4, 2017

The Sounds of Summer

Is there anyone out there that isn't staring at the calendar going "HOW IS ALREADY AUGUST?!?" We have been SO BUSY this summer and it's not slowing down anytime soon (insert sweaty distressed face emoji here).

We're getting settled in the new digs and sprinkling A LOT of life in between. Next week life should "sort of" getting back to normal so I hope to knock out a lot of "what we've been up to posts" ... like our first dinner in the new house...
Our recent (and most favorite) house guests....
Walking the new "hood"
And all of that fun stuff! In the meantime (while Lainey snoozes in the back of the car and brother is at summer camp) 
I wanted to pop in and say, Hey! We're here. We miss ya. And we're excited to get back our normally scheduled programming real soon.
Happy Friday friends!!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Moving Mania

It's's almost the weekend...AND I SLEPT IN MY BED LAST NIGHT!!! My real honest to goodness, haven't seen it in 6 months, bed!
We're all moved in (and living out of boxes) but IN THE HOUSE!! 

We've been working this week and next to get everything in order and hope to do some room by room tours as they come together.  
Hopefully I'll show my face around here a bit more once my office gets hooked up -- but for now I've got some shiplap to stare at, walls to decorate (with some help from my little people) and pillows to fluff! Toodle-looh!


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Chinese leftovers for lunch ... at 10am

It's official. We have a move in date. I repeat, WE HAVE A MOVE IN DATE. And I'm so stinking excited!!! I've known it was on the horizon for a little bit now, and there was even possibility it would be this weekend. But, it's scheduled and the movers are on the calendar ... Wednesday, July 19! And therefore I can focus on NOTHING but that thought. Which include all things life ... like getting the dog food, preparing summer camp lunches ... all the things I'm responsible for have completely gone by the wayside.  It's been a long time, and I can't believe it's finally coming to an end.

If you need to catch up, here ya go:
And here we are today with the final installment before the big reveal once we're all moved in!!  Back to the slacking at life thing for a minute though ... My poor family. I gave up on the grocery store, cooking and really all things domestic a little over a month ago ... I blame it on the fact that we haven't had a working stove in well over two months, but I think we all know that really isn't the honest reason :) Therefore, I'm eating Chinese leftovers at 10am. Sigh. We are getting to the point though where even takeout doesn't taste that good anymore.  And we're all really craving some back-to-normalcy and a lot of that is my fault.

It's kind of like that point in your first couple of weeks at home with a new baby ... everyone you know is bringing you food and goodies and the first couple of weeks you're like GIVE ME ALL THE THINGS. And then you hit that point where you really just can't continue to eat cheesy noodles for every meal; and it's totally time to get your booty back in gear. We're pretty much there (and have been there for a little too long), but in a different sense. But the end is in sight ... ONE WEEK AWAY! And that means Lainey will actually have a bed again and no longer has to sleep with Maggie in the dog bed!

(Guys, I'm TOTALLY kidding!)

I'm so excited, so overwhelmed and working my tail off to get all of my ducks in a row. When we moved from Nashville we were still in transition back here in Kentucky (ahem, we still are) so we didn't have a "home" per say to put all of our belongings inside. And therefore, EVERYTHING we owned was placed in the garage of our new house. No climate control, no order, just literally unloaded off the truck into a heaping pile of mayhem. So I'm currently trying to wrap my head around having to orchestrate the unload of the garage into the house and all of that hooplah.

Amidst the madness, I'm working on securing furniture plans for each room. This couch will go there, that chest goes to that bedroom etc. And - hoping to narrow down some furniture purchases as well. I've been eyeing these couches for the new great room. And I think I'm going to pull the trigger this week. I couldn't decide for the longest time whether or not I wanted to choose a new fabric and have them made - or if I wanted the ones they have in stock (pictured below) and call it a day. And I think I've finally decided we're going to go with the in stock sofas and call it a day. YippEEE! So, I've got the chair dilemma to solve, but couches - check yes.
Other happenings include, choosing the stain for the refurbed floors. I had the hardest time for a couple of reasons. One, my cabinet color combo made it a bit more challenging to match. With the dark island and side bar, I knew I didn't want to compete too much with the floors. Also, when we moved into our home in Nashville I LOVED our floors. They were dark, rich and beautiful when we moved in. Fast forward to two months of living in our house and OH. MY. DIRTY! I literally couldn't keep those things clean to save my life. Every spec of dirt and dust  (hello crumbs with two toddlers) showed up constantly and it was always a hassle. So, I knew without a shadow of a doubt I wanted to go lighter this time around. And I was trying to force myself outside my comfort zone so I told the flooring guy - all grey all the way.

We started on the top right of the picture below -- and if you look REALLY close you can see a white wash stain. He was telling me all about how great it is, and how much I'd love it and he put it on the floor and I just kind of stood there. Until I realized he was finished and I audibly laughed out loud. Uhm no. While I agree, I think that would look cool on certain spaces and floors, when I said I wanted to go lighter I didn't mean THAT light. I was cordial, but wow really missed the mark.
Second we tried gray (top middle of the above photo) and I took a deep breath - whew that maybe we would accomplish what we'd come to do. Third we tried ebony (bottom right) and I loved it, but had to tell myself "REMEMBER KATIE, you're going for something DIFFERENT"- so I nixed it. Fourth we tried walnut (bottom left above photo) and it was just entirely too warm and drastically clashed with the cabinets. So, while pretty, it didn't work in the space and we nixed it. At that point we were basically left with gray and I liked it but I felt it was missing something - so we cured it with both a water based poly (bottom half of the top middle stain) and an oil base (bottom half of the top middle stain above photo) and decided the oil base pulled too much amber and we lost some of the gray. But, I was still not 100% sold. I wanted a little more of the grain, so we added 50% of the ebony I originally liked (but nixed for some change) and 50% gray and made our own color (top left above photo) and whew it certainly popped the grain! But, once again it was coming through too warm and it got tossed out as well.  ~ is anyone able to follow this story?!

At that point I was just about ready to commit to the gray, when our flooring guy suggested we add 50% true black and 50% gray to a mix - and we would be able to pop more of the grain, but still keep the stain cool and expose the gray I wanted -- see stain bottom left in picture below. And he was right. It kept it on the "cooler" side and the grains were certainly more pronounced and I thought maybe we'd nailed it. But this thought in my head kept creeping up that the finish was pretty dark and was I going to be super disappointed after the first snacks were dolled out on move in day?! So you know what I did, I made a game time decision, trusted my guy and went back to our original gray stain (top left picture below)
I'm nervous about it. But the decision is made. The floors are being poly coated as we speak and I get to see them tomorrow! Fingers crossed I'm not super disappointed when I get there. I've been going to the house every day to peek in the windows - but I can't get a real feel for what's there without actually being in the space. And I'm nervous because in the window they look really brown and not grey. AHHHHH! Lol :) so these are the obvious reasons why I can't grocery shop right now :)
However, my builder did send me a picture of the stained banisters (old stain is still on the steps and floor in these pics) and I'm super happy with those, so that makes me feel a lot better!

And aside from my crazy house projects, I may bite off an ever bigger project all my own if I can get the courage to actually pull the trigger. I've been thinking about it a lot. Talking about it with my family a lot. Praying about it a lot. Drawing, googling, and planning about it a lot. But will I ever share with you about it a lot?! HA! I don't know ... that depends on if I do it or not ... but either way it involves a really cool space, a really fun idea, and a potentially really fun venture on the horizon that involves this really cool space.
So, let me get my ducks in a row, get moved in ... think on this space for a while longer and I'll get back to you. I've got a soggy egg roll to finish and that's enough for me right now :) Have a great week gang!

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Friday, July 7, 2017

Star Spangled Summer

Whew! Anyone else out there still feeling post Holiday weekend blues even though it's already Friday?! July 4th weekend felt like FOREVER long (and let's be honest ... it was) but seriously I cannot get back in the swing of things. The whole, what day is it, I slept until when, and we went out with who last night phase of summer is in full effect and I'm reminiscing hard on such a great holiday weekend with my peoples.

I think the holiday felt so long because our holiday weekend actually kicked off last Wednesday with little Bennett's Birthday and his fun Pizza Party. He picked out cupcakes for all of his school pals ... but hilariously the only photos I received from summer camp that day were of his little sister :)

 We picked up the littles, headed to the party and had the best night. Thursday we were all feeling the post birthday blues and spent a low key morning watching a movie and reading books.
Once we got our act in gear we headed to  Bennett's four year old well check at the Pediatrician. He had to get the rest of his boosters (OUCH!) and some blood work and once the scariness of getting the actual shots wore off ... he was great when he actually got them. And best news, he's done with shots until he's 11! Yippie! And he got a baby Yoda doll for being such an excellent patient!

Friday we headed to see our cousins play softball and hang. We were supposed to head to the lake, but changed our minds at the last minute and decided to skip out on the lake this year and just have a fun weekend at home.

 Friday night mommy and daddy had a MUCH needed date night with a yummy dinner at Varanese and made the impromptu decision to hit up a friend's party and stay out way passed our bed time :)

Saturday morning we were as productive as possible, wrapping up house stuff, hanging with the kids, etc. Saturday night we headed to cheer on our boys in purple and pulled out the W over Canada and once again stayed out way passed our bed times!

 Look at that sky!!

 Sunday morning we were up and at em' with a fun church service and some cousin action. After church we had some more pizza and some more birthday cake (it was really for Aunt Rebecca, but don't tell Bennett) ...
 And then we hit up the playground and splash park! Full heart!
Look at these sweet littles!

We came home and kicked off the fireworks and played in the yard all night long.

Monday hubs headed into the office for a few hours, so the kiddos and I killed some time by meeting up with friends at the pool. Hubs joined us later and we had a blast! After the pool (tired, sticky, and sweaty) we attended a cookout ... I'm sure everyone was grateful we didn't shower (insert sarcasm font) before coming. And once again, stayed out way passed our bed time.

 Tuesday we had big plans to make it another pool day, but it was overcast and yucky here in Louisville .. so instead we hit up Jeffersonville, IN and their fun 4th of July Parade and had a yummy lunch at the Red Yeti. Followed by some ice cream and walking the Big Four Bridge

After our legs were tired we headed home to rest before a big Independence Day cookout at PaPaw and GoGo's complete with fireworks, dirt pudding and all the family love.

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