seven years

tonight we celebrated seven years of marriage. i really regret this blog post already because i need to go way back and find some photos of the early years together, but oh man where would i even find those. even a wedding photo would suffice and it is only downstairs, but with celebrating comes drinks and well i've had a few and just too damn tired to walk downstairs. anyway, i won't begin to ramble as i have the potential to do so right now. 

okay, okay, where to begin ... arick and i met in college in a short story writing class. he was late to class the first day. i sat there and he walked in wearing a brown abercrombie hoodie and distressed jeans. we didn't speak the first day of class, but i knew i would marry him someday and even told my roommate that very thing when i got home. oh, man i had it BAD. like crying myself to sleep at night because i wasn't sure he felt the same way, bad. this was ten years ago. i can't believe it. we were married in the woods on august 31, 2007 and i was six weeks pregnant with eleanor. so much has happened between then and now. marriage is tough. SO tough. life is general is pretty tough and i think we can all agree that sometimes we just do not know which road to take or what the right thing to do is and what does right even mean. i am rambling, i know. one thing is for sure. i love him with all of my heart and i will love him for as long as we both shall live. 

my parents came over and sat with the kids so we could go out. we went for sushi and then to a favorite bourbon bar for after dinner drinks. now he is downstairs and i am upstairs which is pretty typical for us. we love spending time together, but we are also very much loners. always in our own corners, doing our own thing. a perfect match in that regard. i am so happy that we are together, raising babies. some people think being married with children is boring and mundane, but you know, i can't think of anything else id rather be doing. i love my life more than i could ever express here on this blog. some days i watch him playing and laughing with my babies and i could burst. how lucky am i? do i deserve this? this pure goodness. people talk about the good ol days. these are my good ol days. i am IN it. i love and i am loved. i am grateful. 

these photos are not great, but i wanted to remember tonight exactly like it was, so one day i can look back and say oh my gosh look how young we were and i can't believe you still own that bow tie. 

and this .... well it was just our song. laying in bed together in his apartment. mattress on the floor, incense burning ... so good. 


Oh, Eleanor.

so eleanor has been a trip as of late. she is at the age where one fart can send her into a never ending, rolling on the floor, giggle fit. she can come up with the most outlandish ideas and games for us to play. her imagination has no limits. for an entire day last week she pretended like she was a twenty year old superstar who was renting a room in our house. the girl is completely dramatic and insane and feisty and clever and witty and squeezable and adorable and sweet. she keeps us on our toes, for sure. she can certainly be a handful, but we wouldn't change her for the world. here are some photos i took of her this week. 
she wore her helmet for five straight hours today and has been wearing this phish t-shirt since she was two. she also has peanut butter on her face. 

i stumbled upon this a few days ago and nearly lost it. i love that she spelled everything correctly except for laugh. 

she has been all about the selfies lately. "okay, now let's do a funny face. okay, now let's act mad. okay, now let's stick our tongues out" it could go on forever if i let it. 

i made chocolate chip cookies earlier this week and when i asked her how many cookies she has had she stuck up three chocolatey fingers. 


a wonderful wednesday

today was just a really good day. we met a friend of mine and her adorable baby boy at the children's museum here in dayton. it is all hands on which makes it great for our little crawlers to get down and play. i do not get many great photos there because we go often and are just too busy playing and chasing babes. on the way home i grabbed some wendy's for dinner, which i never ever do, but it sounded good to me. and it was! arick left for trivia night once we got home, so the kids and i enjoyed some quiet time outside. wolfgang is all about the yard now. he is a little explorer out there ... crawling in and out of the teepee, investigating the swing set and his favorite ... playing in the sand box. it was a super hot day and we were all sticky and sweaty and just plain gross. everyone was in need of a good bath. once we were all squeaky clean we began our evening routine ... picked up our toys, put the dishes away, swept up crumbs, folded blankets, wiped down the counter tops, locked the doors, grabbed our bedtime book and jump in eleanor's bed for story time. i love this part of the day so much even though it is the most hectic and sometimes stressful. finally, i tucked them in, kissed their cheeks, said "i love you" and "good night." now here i am enjoying some time for myself and feeling ever so grateful for the day and for my babies. 


a rainy day walk

it rained all day here in dayton. after spending the entire morning playing board games, eleanor suggested we go for a walk. at first i was hesitant because it had been raining pretty steadily for hours on end and i knew if we went outside for more than a second we would be soaked and probably muddy, too. i decided that being wet and muddy is okay and for a six year old, being wet and muddy is fun ... so we grabbed the umbrella and out we went. we had the best time. eleanor jumped in every puddle and after a few minutes we ditched the umbrella and embraced the tiny drops of water falling on our heads. along the way eleanor gathered freshly fallen acorns and asked me questions about what it takes to become a super star. we talked about our plans to bake cookies soon and what she is going to be for halloween this year. she is growing up so quickly. it seems like not so long ago i was carrying her on my hip. i know she's had a rough time adjusting to having a baby in the house.  it was just her for nearly six years. it was a huge adjustment for us, so i can only imagine it hasn't been easy on her. it was super rough at first and i could tell there were times when she felt really lonely, but things are going better now. i think she has finally accepted him and is so so protective. they have even begun playing with one another and it is the sweetest sight. she has been so brave and patience and kind. i know the importance of carving out special time to be with her and only her and i think even if it is just going for a rainy day walk or letting her tag along with me to the grocery store ... anything to make her feel important and special because, gosh, she IS important and special. eleanor isobel, my darling girl. 


today // this side of the blue

autumn is coming! autumn is coming! today i woke up feeling giddy about boots and knit caps and big sweaters. my little family is quite unusual because most people explore the outdoors and take long walks in the summer ... well, for us, summer means mostly staying indoors in our pjs. come october you can find us out almost daily going for a hike or grabbing lunch. we love the crisp, clean, cool air that autumn and winter bring. during summer eleanor only lasts about five minutes outside before she runs inside saying, "im too hot!" during winter i have to drag her in by her ears, practically. i am looking forward to driving through deep snow. all of us together ... sitting quietly in the car, listening to music, feeling alive and loved.

school starts soon for us. we just received boxes upon boxes of material for the year in the mail. it felt like christmas to me! eleanor didn't wanna go anywhere near the stuff, but that's okay because once we get started again i know she will be more interested. that girl sure does have a love for learning which makes teaching a whole lot easier for me. i am hoping her brother will be the same. time will tell. he will be one soon and i cannot believe it. he has brought us so much joy. oh my gosh, we just couldn't live without him.

p.s. i want to take a moment to thank anyone out there who takes the time to read this blog of mine. i know i do not have a whole lot to say and contribute, really, but i do enjoy writing here. my days are spent kissing boo boos and cleaning up messes, so it feels good to have something that is just mine ... and for someone else to actually care enough to read what i have to say ... well, that is really nice, so thank you.

p.s.s. i spent my early twenties memorizing every word to joanna newsom's album the milk eyed mender and wanted to share one of her songs here. the sprout and the bean is one of my favorites. if anyone else out there is familiar with this album, im sure you love it, too. it's just one of those things.


a journal of letters

every year on eleanor's birthday and some years on her half birthday, i write her a letter. in this letter i tell her how she is doing at the time, what she is involved in, her favorite song, her favorite activity, her strengths and her struggles. i also tell her things like how much she weighs and how tall she is.

 most of all i remind her how important she is to me. i tell her that she is the light in my life. i tell her that she will be my little girl forever and always. as she grows into a woman i will tell her that it is okay to make mistakes and to feel afraid of life. i will tell her that sometimes we do not have all the answers and that is okay. i will tell her that as long as she does her best to shine light into this world that is all that matters. i will tell her to never feel alone because i am always here.

i am believing that when she turns thirty or so i will hand her this journal(s) of letters and she will read each and every one and keep them safe with her. i am hoping they will give her a feeling of security and something to reach out to when she is feeling lonely or blue. something she can simply read to get a glimpse of her five year old self. maybe she will have a little girl and will want to compare favorites. if her daughter is anything like she is, i know she would enjoy that. so much of our day to day with our little ones gets forgotten and not because we do not cherish each moment, but because life is busy and we just can't remember every detail. this is a way for me to remember every single thing and share it with her someday.


hold your head high

so it has been one of those days around here. for me, not for anyone else. my babes are happy and currently sitting in a big pile of photos. eleanor just asked, "mom, is this a photo of you doing a canon ball?" yes, yes, it is. i just woke up feeling kind of gassy and blah. you know those days? all i wanna do is be a teenager for a day. eat junk food and watch TV. i just feel so uninspired. im seeing everyone else's great photos on instagram and i can't take a decent photo today to save my soul. i took wolfgang outside for a bit and it started to rain and i could feel autumn in the air. i could feel it in my lungs. i wanted to start sobbing right then and there. not like in a bad way, just a release, you know. so instead of doing that ... i scooped that baby up and came inside. no way, kristen, save that shit for later. i put on the heartless bastards and i sang out. i sang out for all those dark days past and those dark days to come. let me rephrase that ... i sang out for all those real days and im still singing. "hold your head high, just as high as you can ... things will work out soon, things will come round again."  i suggest you listen to this song, learn the words and sing out, too.

 this is my ninth birthday. loving life and 90210 more. 


seaside // a song

it is 9:00pm on a tuesday and i am sitting in a hotel room on chincoteague island. wolfgang just fell asleep and his sister is with my parents getting ice cream. we will be home in a few days and back to our routine. soon home school will begin again and autumn will slowly ease in. the nostalgia that autumn brings is intoxicating. i am reminded of this song ... it is fitting for now because we are spending our days by the seaside. it also brings back a feeling of youth and excitement for arick and i listened to it often many years ago ... sitting on the floor of his apartment bedroom ... newly in like with one another. i am in awe that i can listen to one song and be taken back to a moment where i felt giddy and smitten by another human. a human i now spend my days with. forever and always. 
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