Tuesday, August 16, 2011

My Little Ode to Cedar Street

When does a house become a home? At first it feels like you are living in someone else’s place and then sooner or later, all of the sudden with a rush of joy, you just realize that it feels like home to you.  When does that magical transformation take place?  Is it when you first realize that your stuff has a place in the closets? Is it when all of the boxes are empty and put out for recycling?  Is it when your pictures are hung on the wall? Or when the wall’s paint colors finally reflect your preferences? 

Or is it after you prepare your first few actual meals in the kitchen? Or maybe the sense of being home follows entertaining and welcoming friends to your new place? Is it when you begin to remember favorite moments that took place in this fresh space? Or is it when you walk through the door and see the faces you love happy to see you? Or is it all of the above?  The intangible transformation is so difficult to pinpoint...but when a house becomes a home there is no mistaking it.

We put our little house on the market last week.  I’m excited for what is ahead, but am feeling a bit nostalgic as I think about leaving these walls behind someday in the near future.  When I bought this place, I was a single girl who never imagined owning her own place.  It was not in my plan, but I’m so thankful that I took that step and obeyed the nudge to buy it seven years ago.  I have loved making it my own, decorating, painting, re-arranging, dreaming, fixing, planting, scrubbing and relaxing.  It has been my haven every day for all of those years.  

In recent years, I have enjoyed sharing it with Joe and Lily and in his own way, Luke too.  I have marked these rooms with laughter and tears, love and disappointment.  I feel very different as a person today from who I was when I moved in.  I know that transformational growth has taken place within my heart and I cannot help but feel excited and ready for the next part of my journey... and its new setting. 

I spent some time last week taking some photographs of practically every inch of this place.  I wanted to always be able to remember where we started when we were first married, and also so Lily could look back and see herself living in her first home, knowing she will not remember these sweet days. 

 As I was looking at my photos (I took a LOT) I realized that some of the simplest ones, are some of my favorites because they hold memories and glimpses of the full life I have been so lucky to live within these walls. Those simple images hold within them so many rich memories...

In looking around our house, it seems strange to have all of the personal items that make a place feel like ‘home’ gone for the real estate showings.  It strikes me as ironic that in order for someone to walk into your home and feel like it could be theirs, it has to completely not look like your home any more.  So that is where I have been for the past couple of weeks...working on turning our home back into a house.  It has been a sad but necessary transition. 

As with all changes and when leaving something behind, there is always the hope of what is to come and we are excited to see what happens with this adventure.  We wonder where we will be led from here.. and which one of the thousands of houses currently for sale in our city is just waiting to become our home.

Some might say that I get too emotionally attached to a house, but I cannot help myself.  A person's home is such a deep reflection of who they are and I will even go so far as to say that a house can almost even become a part of the family...opening its arms and welcoming you in to share life for awhile before you must continue on your journey.  That may sound crazy to some of you, but it is truly how I feel about this little place...like it has been a part of my family for the past seven years...and now it is almost time to leave. 

So no matter where we end up, I will always love this cozy little place...this place I've been blessed to call home.

Monday, August 8, 2011

A good one

Legends say that hummingbirds float free of time, 
carrying our hopes for love, joy and celebration.  The
hummingbird's delicate grace reminds us that 
life is rich, beauty is everywhere, every personal
connection has meaning and that laughter is
life's sweetest creation.
Every time I see this on the back of one of their cards, it makes me smile, so I thought I'd post it in case it does the same for you. Have a wonderful week everyone!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I'm Three Months Old Today!

Hello World!
I am officially three months old today!  I am becoming more and more active by the minute and am also sleeping more too.  I've started taking morning and afternoon naps pretty much every day and am working on sleeping longer at night too.  I can now grab things and enjoy trying to put them in my mouth sometimes.  I can kick my legs like crazy and am just on the verge of laughing.  My mom says my smiles are the best, but I didn't feel much like smiling today during her photo shoot.  I can hold my head up on my own and I enjoy looking around and blowing spit bubbles with my drool.  I enjoy "talking" and playing in my little gym.  I'm growing bigger and stronger each day and lucky for mom and dad, I still love being swaddled.  Can't believe I am already three months old!

...During today's photo shoot I especially enjoyed grabbing my dress and wiggling around.  It's fun to give mom a challenge with her camera!

A Week in the Life- Saturday

8:25am:  After about 30 minutes of fussing and dozing, Lily finally decides she is ready to start her day.

9:10am:  Busy with tummy time...

...oh how I adore her sweet whispy hair!  I'm so happy I got this shot of it!


10am:  Lily is down for her morning nap after some time outside and a short visit with our elderly neighbors.  This is a photo of our empty breakfast plates.  In my eagerness to enjoy the delicious cinnamon twist from Fluffy Fresh Donuts that Joe got for me, I completely forgot to document! So use your imagination...it was sooooo tasty!

11am:  Sweet Lily is awake!  We entered her room to find her nearly escaped from her Miracle Blanket! You can tell she was enjoying the challenge!

11:05am:  As we have said before, Lily loves to be on her changing table and kicking her legs and moving her arms.  We enjoy turning on some music for her to listen to and have started to dangle this fun pink bird that has a little chime inside of it for her to kick.  Lily LOVES it!

...in action...

11:20am:  It was time to go and help Dad in the kitchen....

...meanwhile, I worked on changing Lily's bed and getting her room picked up...

11:45:  This shot is difficult to discern, but you can see the red lights on the monitor...those indicate sound and what you can't hear is that I'm listening to Joe talk with Lily in her room.  Love.

11:55am:  Bumbo Seat time! Our friends Shannon and Reagan loaned us a little tray that fits over Lily's bumbo seat.  This was the first time we tried it out...

It is so cute!

We don't think Lily knew what to do with her toys so reachable in her bumbo!

12:45pm:  Lily is now sleeping with a full belly.  This is my lunch and Joe made his weekly trip to Werners, a local German grocery store that grills brats on Saturdays.  Its a very popular local hangout.

1pm:  While Lily napped, I updated her little sleeping log...

read a little bit of my book...

2:20pm:  Lily wakes up, somewhat fussy...we were hoping she would nap a little bit longer.  We are having friends over later and Joe and I still have a TON to do to get ready!

2:30pm:  Joe works on soothing Lily back to sleep...

I baked a cake for dessert later...

3:05pm:  Naptime is officially over.  This moment right here is always my favorite part of naptime.  I LOVE her smiles when she wakes up.  They are the best!

3:45:  With a little food in her belly, we set out to keep Lily entertained while we finish preparing for our guests.

4:05pm:  She loves her swing!

4:07pm:  Joe is working on his special watermelon beverage for the gathering...it is really hard not to just gobble up the watermelon ourselves!

The finished product!  Inside is some delicious watermelon juice!  How fun is that?!  It was Joe's first time making this and it turned out great and was a big hit!

5:05pm:  I try re-creating our self-portrait.  Lily was feeling a bit shy...

its fun to see how well she can hold her head up now...

the tinest grin...sweet girl.

6:15pm:  Lily has been fed and is down for the evening.  Our friends have arrived and their two adorable girls are playing the Ladybug game.  Kind of an icebreaker for them if you will...

More rounds of the Ladybug Game...

A lovely gift from Kaya.  Totally brightened up our kitchen!

7:40pm:  Our taco salad buffet!  So yummy!

8:30pm:  After dessert, lots of dancing and twirling and laughing, two very cute "cheetas" came to play.  One was a baby cheeta and one was a mama cheeta...not sure who was who, but they were both SUPER cute!  *Note:  if this photo had volume, it would be loud!  (But still adorable!)  *Another note:  Lily slept through the entire evening which Joe and I both decided was a miracle!  This was the loudest our home had been since Lily arrived! So much fun!  We love these friends!

8:40pm:  More cheeta action.  Joe and I both viewed this as an underscore about why we need to have a bigger house!  These two little gals were just doing what little gals do, I just felt bad that we hardly had any space for them to do it in!  There was a lot of laughter tonight!

9:30pm:  Friends have gone home and these are the dishes to be washed, but to do so would require emptying out the clean dishes from the dishwasher and for some reason, we are worried about waking up Lily even though she has slept through all of the noise of the evening.  Perhaps it is just an excuse to leave them rinsed off in the sink for tomorrow....which we happily do.

9:45pm:  We turn in and finish watching The Adjustment Bureau.  
The End.

The Day in Numbers:
Number of diapers: 14
Number of naps taken: 2 
Number of times Lily woke up during her naps: 3
Number of pages read: 20
Number of cakes baked: 1
Number of friends over: 5 (8 total counting our family) *Note:  Our pal Harold was under the weather and could not come over, we missed you Harold!!
Number of times Joe and I thought Lily would wake up during the evening: about 50
Number of photos:123

Observations from the day:
It is so much easier to get things done when Joe is home to help with Lily!
We have wonderful friends
Little kids are very active and hilarious!
I'm glad we are working on moving 
Taco salads are delicious

Gratitude for the day:
Listening and watching Joe with Lily
Friends who you can be real with
warm donuts from Fluffy Fresh!
a really good book you don't want to put down

My Shot of the Day: (it was a tie)

This concludes my 'Week in the Life' series.  The dates covered were Sunday July 24, 2011 through Saturday July 30, 2011, while Lily was two months old.