weeks 2 through 5

so the bad news is that i evidently can't get up the motivation to blog weekly about my getting in shape progress. but the good news is that i very much can, and am, getting the motivation to exercise regularly. i finished week 5 of the C25k program last night.

when last i reported, i had finished week #1 which consisted of 60 seconds jogging alternating with 90 seconds walking for 20 minutes. it was really hard and not super enjoyable. last night i ran 20 minutes straight and loved almost every minute of it. holy wowzy. i am straight up hooked on the sweet sweet endorphins. it's the equivalent of 2/3 of $7 bottle of pink wine.

last time i also gave my stats and times and paces. i have thought about this a lot and i think i am going to stop with that. i decided that for right now i dont care how fast or how far i am running. i just care that i am running. if i get to a point where i can maintain consistent discipline with running and it stops being a physical challenge, then i can start trying to reach numerical goals. right now my only goals are: run and run hard enough to make it hurt a little bit.

i will keep telling you my weight loss stats though since that's neither here nor there as far as how i run (though it is VERY here, in terms of "up in here" on my person). i lost another 3 lbs. for a total of 7 since i started 5 weeks ago. shmeh. i watch the biggest loser and those numbers would get me booted off lickety split, but i am not quite at that level yet so i am trying to adjust expectation, so i am happy with my 7. plus i bet i would be at negative 10 if it werent for HSD2.0 and raechels culinary excellence (which i BEGGED her not to go light on for my sake when she sweetly offered).

up through last saturday i was on the running 3x per week plan. then i decided i needed a new swimsuit for summer, so on sunday night i took a rest day and went to target. approximately 13 minutes, 5 large-sized mom swimsuits (spanx makes swimwear, you guys), and a permanent hatred of lycra later, i was storming out empty-handed, shaking my head and deciding that my rest day was cancelled.

i am now running every night.

let me interject something here. the swimsuit debacle was great motivation that night. but mirror-revulsion will only get you so far. i calmed down, tried on a few of my more flattering maternity swimsuits (no shame in that game), and thought seriously about the daily running thing. two big factors in deciding that i should do this were: most importantly, i have never suffered from any kind of chronic athletic injury. years of playing volleyball and training daily never gave me tendon, joint or bone issues. i have been very lucky in this, and if running ended this streak then, doy, i would talk to my doctor and change my habits. dont you DARE go and do this and hurt yourself and try to sue me. talk to your doctor before engaging in sexual activity. if you experience an erection lasting longer than 4 hours, seek medical attention immediately.

the second reason is this: one of the most detested traits that i have in myself is a black or white, all or nothing mentality. if there is any wiggle room to be found in something that i don't really want to do, i will wiggle my way right out of doing it at all. this was starting up with the rest days. i would take more than i needed between runs and i was starting to fall behind. i would make bargain with myself concerning when and how long i would take off in between workouts. i am working on this character defect in myself overall and trying to do better with balance, but until then, with regard to exercise at least, i am going 100% rather than risk slipping back to 0%. i am just going to not allow myself any wiggle room (except for the wiggle from my jiggle which will be gone in a few months i hope). i cant juggle and find loopholes in my rest days if i don't have any. run every day. its that simple.

some notes from the past 4 weeks:

-my health & fitness junkie mom read the post recapping my first week and decided to make my mothers day gift some money to put towards a double jogging stroller so that we could get out as a family. we found a really awesomely reviewed one that also happened to be the cheapest one and were able to get it for free thanks to my mom's gift. we are LOVING it. the kids cant get enough of riding around in it and having jesse with me has really inspired me and made it so much more fun.

in long sleeves during the freakish may cold snap (my coworker called it "blackberry winter." love it!). the hand-holding was utterly spontaneous. too bad they dont seem to like each other or the stroller. ha!

-since jesse has some distance running experience, he was able to give me some pointers after our run together. i had been sprinting like a psycho on the jog intervals and completely destroying myself and then barely being able to move during my walking ones and subsequent running periods. jesse said i need to aim to keep a steady pace the entire time. now that i am doing longer, uninterrupted runs this is really coming into play. my run pace is slower but there is a lot less sprint/death-crawl variation going on and more overall briskness. also having jesse there makes me happier and more likely to try to impress him and make him proud so i run harder.

he wanted to run during one of my walk intervals so i chased him down to get a pic of the goodness. please imagine observing this scene from a passing car. i was sprinting after him with my phone held aloft. i'm the coolest.

-due to the glory of georgian summers, i am now running at about 9 pm to escape the heat and the evil sun's rays. this means safety first! so i wear my camping headlamp on the flashing light setting and run around town like a deranged short-circuiting coal-miner. again, this is preferable to feeling like a fatty-fat the other 23.5 hours of the day. i am looking into a flourescent, reflective safety vest too. what if i just wore the vest and my sports bra? or just put reflective tape on my mammarials? would that be so awesome? i'd always have my highbeams on.

-you know what a lot of bugs like when it gets dark? LIGHT! and now that i have this handy-dandy one strapped to my head i am meeting lots of new thoraxed friends. i got a nice bug in the mouth on sunday night and narrowly avoided the bastard child of a moth and a pterodactyl reigning fury on my brow last night. if that beast had touched me it might have been the end for me. i also got the joy of watching a frog spring across the street. i LOL'd.

-lady gaga, usher and the black eyed peas are sometimes the only thing that pull me through. its crazy how a song can pump you up so much on a physical level. last night i was thrilled because at the beginning of AC/DC's "thunderstruck" he says something about stuck in the middle of the train tracks right as i was jogging over our town's railroad tracks, and then during "boom boom pow" later on our town was shooting of fireworks for memorial day. thank you, world, for letting my running songs be your soundtrack for a moment.

horrid phone pic. this was taken at 6:30 am (no makeup, no sleep: no judgement) before we left for TN. it was the inaugural run with the double stroller and an ersatz "before" pic for me even though i was already 2 or 3 weeks in. note: i do not normally touch the stroller in any way because i am a wimp and will never push these lardies myself. it was staged so i wouldnt be all alone in the photo.

what are yalls extra most favorite songs for getting your sweat on? i need more of these gems!


mothers' day '10 & '11

when jesse brought me breakfast in bed on mother's day this year i thought something seemed familiar about the card he included on the tray. i was pretty sure he had given me the anniversary version of the same card (boy meets girl, falls for her marries her...without the having kids part). i remembered the vertically folding aspect for sure. it was adorable that i now had the entire set. he admitted he didnt do it intentionally.

then the other day i was cleaning and wondered how my new card had gotten all the way into the bottom of my nightstand under loads of detritus. i pulled it out and what do you know! it was the one from before. i read it and realized it wasnt a different version at all that i had been thinking of before.

he go me the exact same mothers day card 2 years in a row. i think this is 100% sweet and 0% lame or lazy or uncaring. it shows me that he really meant it both times. consistency is a virtue.
and i guess since i have done more than twice the mothering this past year than i did the year before, he had even more to say since he filled up the entire back of the card with his own words (not pictured...just for me) and he did a lot of vigorous underlining.

this little incident totally reminds me of my favorite line in my favorite shakespeare sonnet (i say that like i know more than one...nope, sure don't) that is quoted in my favorite movie (besides star wars), sense and sensibility:

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

there have been many "alterations" in me in the past few years, and i love, am humbled by, and honored with this love of jesse's that has not altered one bit upon finding them in me. i hope we can always look on tempests together and never be shaken, that our love, for each other and our savior, will be our ever-fixed mark.

thanks, billy shakes, i hope jesse is wearing his getting-busy doublet today.



i have an advanced degree in the art of worrying. i can do all sorts of elite mental gymnastics to rationalize my way to any horrible conclusion. home alone? well there is certainly a roving band of 9 murderers outside my house waiting for the night that i forget to hide a butcher knife under jesse's pillow. see a laughing pair of teenage boys drive past me while i am jogging? they are definitely making vicious fun of how slow and cellulite-y i am and probably thinking of beating me up just for funsies. feeding the horses that live on our street apples? one is probably rabid and is going to bite judah's face off with his big evil horsey teeth if i don't speak up and warn jesse to keep his distance.

jesse says i am a bet-hedger. if i worry about it before hand and something bad happens at least i will have the consolation prize of, "oh, well i knew it." and if it doesn't happen, then i am wrong, but yay! no calamity has struck. the best example of this is that ever since i was 16 when i get into my car alone at night i just say, "i know you're back there, and i am not afraid of you, and you better get the hell out before make you regret it!" that way if there was a kidnapper waiting for me he would be so freaked out at my mind powers and threats that he would flee, and if not, well, no one needs to know that i was talking smack all by my lonesome! except now you all do.

it's a gift. (no it's not. it's insane and fearful and sinful and NOT how am supposed to live. much prayer has gone into this issue for me and god has helped me over much of it, so now i can at least laugh about how ridiculous it is even if it's still my tendancy).

this is all to say that when i was pregnant with layla i worried a lot that i just wouldn't or couldn't love her as much as i did judah. everybody with more than one kid told me that it doesn't make sense, but your heart just instantly doubles to fit this new baby inside of it, and how even though you haven't known and loved your younger ones for as long, every bit of that same intense love that you have grown for months and years with your older kid(s) springs up so fast once a new one is in your arms.

but i still worried. i mean i thought i never wanted a girl at all. if there was going to be a freakish exception to "mothers love all their children" it would of course be me. i worried about birth defects, cosmetic imperfections, fussiness, neediness, anything and everything that i was afraid would stop me from loving her enough. granted, she was perfectly healthy and is the easiest baby ever so who knows how i might have handled those issues (see? i am doing it again...hedging for the next kid).

the point is (cripes, just spit it out!) everyone was right. i should have spent all that mental energy one something better like world peace or mahjong because my heart knew what to do with this new little addition.

i really don't think i could possibly love her more. every nerve in my being starts buzzing with joy when i really think about this little goober-bomb and what she means to me. i never had anything to worry about.

9 expressions captured in a period of 10 seconds:

this video almost made my milk come back to life when jesse sent it to me:



my first's second

dear judah,

today you are two! 730 days ago we were in the hospital working hard to get you into our arms. then we blinked and now you are a running, jumping, galloping, will-exerting, boundary-testing, nonstop-chatting little tyrant of our hearts.

man, what an awesome year it has been for you. right after your first birthday you started to be able to follow simple commands ("judah, stomp it out!") and say a few words (da-da, car, ball) and today you give us commands non-stop and can communicate almost anything you need us to know. this explosion in our two-way communication has been the greatest unfolding in our parenting lives. it has added such a fun and heart-warming new element to being your parents.

despite my efforts to stop it, you are obsessed with buzz lightyear and lightning mcqueen. you have tiny little figurines of both thanks to some of your extended family members and you really cant stand to go anywhere without them. this fills up both of your hands and drives me nuts. i am trying to keep them localized for bedtime only but it's very hard to resist when you chirp, "way-uh buzz go?" or lamentably wail, "white-neeeeeeeeeg."

your little sponge brain blows my mind. we took you to a braves game in april and tried to teach you the tomahawk chop. you did pretty well. not being huge baseball fans, that was the last you heard about the bravos. until a week ago when we were leaving for tennessee and i got a little hyper and started stomping around our house yelling and clapping "let's go braves! let's go braves!" for no real reason. my jaw hit the ground when you watched me do this and then said "chop chop," while doing the motion. somehow you remembered that the braves that i was yelling about were the same ones that you do the chop for. so cool! hooray retention!

another really cool moment was in february wen you had your galoshes (puddle jumpers as we call them) on outside after a rain had come through. you were about 20 months old. you started jumping in puddles and saying, "i elmo. i elmo" i could not figure out why you were elmo all of a sudden and then i remembered an episode of sesame street you had watched the week before where elmo goes splashing in the rain. thats a few leaps of knowledge and memory and application right there.

probably the coolest thing for me this year has been you finally losing some of your emotional daddy-only tether and wanting me more and more. it got pretty bad right before layla was born. we would both be in your room putting on your jammies and getting ready for bed and you would look up at me, pat me on the shoulder and say, "bye bye ma-ma," with a little wave. dismissing me. it was 40% hilarious and 60% heart-breaking.

but something changed in the ensuing months. maybe it was layla coming in to the picture or maybe it was me being home more , or maybe it's just phases that kids go through, but whatever it is, i love it! now if you get a bump or a bruise or are feeling yucky, you tend to ask for me first, and lately you instruct me, "mama kiss it." you run to me right when i get home whispering, "mama, mama!" right before you body slam me with a hug which you have always done with your dad. i love hearing you in the other room say, "way-uh mama go?"

you have been 100% the most amazing big brother to layla. we were a little worried about you being so young (17 months!) when she arrived and not understanding how fragile she would be and how gently you would need to treat her (dont stomp the baby!), but boy did you surprise us there. your two reactions to her presence those first 3 months were: ignoring her or giving her hugs and kisses. best options ever!

you love to "help yay-yuh" by giving her a binky or her paci (even if it may have been you who took it from her to begin with). i hear you in the back seat saying, "hi yay-yuh! hi yah-tuh!" over and over again like a little conversation. you love to reach in and hold her hand while yall ride. now that she is starting to crawl and babble you are paying slightly more attention to her, "haha! yah-yuh tawkin'!" or when she starts grabbing one of your toys, you are learning about sharing and taking turns very well. and you probably get away with some big brotherly bullying because layla is so laid back and doesnt tattle on you.

you have become very attached to and in love with your 2 grandfathers. you fell asleep on the way up to tennessee and in the middle of REM yelled out "pop-pop!" and then fell immediately back to sleep. and any time we drive on a gravel road, you get really excited and start yelling for "grandaddy!" because the dukes live off a gravel road and you think we're going to see them. you love your grandmas too and they are the ones that do most of the work when you stay with them and who take care of you the best, but all versions of daddy, grand or regular, have your little heart for now.

toddler tantrums started full force this year too. i have got to say, they are mostly just hilarious to us. you are SOOOOO dramatic. you like to get a running start and throw yourself to the floor wailing when something doesn't go your way. there is also a version where you totally fake cry by tilting your head waaaaay back, closing your eyes and opening your mouth so wide to yell/cry. its so fake and SO over the top. but you ruin it by stopping to peek out and see if it is working on us. you do time out like a champ and go whenever we tell you to (though as of today you have to stay in it for 2 minutes per offense rather than just 1 minute). you also obey very well when i start counting to 3. sometimes i will tell you to do something and you will do it without me having to get serious and count and you will look at me and go, "oooonnnnneeee.....twoooooo," and it cracks me up because i didnt have to use that method but you know i would have if you hadn't been listening.

you also are great at apologizing. if you throw something at someone, or hit or push you must always go back and say sorry. we ask you to give a hug and a kiss to your victim as well. but for some reason you always add a little wave-like rubbing motion as if you are rubbing away the boo-boo that you caused. so you say, "sawy mommy," while waving at my arm where you pushed me. its very adorable if completely perfunctory.

we are still really slacking on your potty training. you do great at my parents house because they are vigilant about giving you chances to use the potty, but we are too lazy i guess. i was giving you a chance after your nap last week to use your potty because that is when we have the most success with #2's. but you only went #1 so i let you go around without a diaper until the #2 arrived. i thought certainly you;d know there wasn't a diaper and you would tell me before the poop came (plus i was asking you every 2 minutes). well i turned around to do some quick cutting for a sewing project and you walked up to me in the kitchen wearing all suddenly brown socks! i followed your little footprints of horror backward to 2 big judah-patties right on the carpet (steam cleaners are coming in june). it was amazingly gross. so maybe if you cant grasp "pooping on the carpet is no good" right now, you dont fully understand the why's of potty training in general.

speaking of why's, at about 22 months you started dropping that question on us all the time, even though i wasnt expected it until a few more years. i dont think you even really know that you are asking for an explanation, but you do the ask-why-over-and-over-again-after-i-answer-each-one like 4 and 5 year olds tend to do oh-so-annoyingly. one day you "why'd" me all the way back to the issue of slavery. when you dropped "wwwwwooooooohhhhiee?" on me for why slavery existed i knew i was being played.

you are so amazingly cool and cute and sweet and inquisitive and feisty and wild and loving. i wouldnt change a single thing about you. except maybe your vicious summer foot odor.

note his left hand

left AND right hand (lightning and chick hicks). i LOVE his sassy pointing.

happy birthday, my boy!


HSD 2.0

i am so intimidated by the thought of writing a recap from our weekend with the myerseses. i imagine this is what the apostle luke felt like when he had to sit down and try to describe what it was like the day the church received the holy spirit and started talking in bonkers languages and having jesus inside of them all the time. ok, did i go to far just then? so maybe it wasn't that amazing, but it was close.

if i sit here and try to do a narrative thread from the whole weekend, this sucker will top out around a million words. so i think i will go with bullet points of goodness and facts and anecdotes. it would just be easier if yall all just came with me next time to be a part of the goodness yourselves. here is raechel's synopsis of the weekend to fill in some of my blanks.

-when we first got there raechel and the kids were running some errands so she just texted us to "go on in." have i been there before? yes. but all of the friends-in-real-life-ness had sort of run out in the 8 weeks since i was there last and i was kind of back to being superfan lady in disbelief that i get to know "finding my feet" as i tend to call her when she's not around. so it was kind of bizarre to be in their house by ourselves. dont worry, we checked their underpants drawers and their bathroom cabinets and everything is kosher. nothing freaky weird. jokes. we mostly just lugged in our travelling circus of gear and bags and children and then rubbed our faces all over their lush new carpet.

the carpet was divine. and these guys are buddies. judah kept asking as we drove off toward home, "where ah-ver go?"

-jesse and ryan got along smashingly. when ryan got home from work that first day i was all, "jesse! your blind date is here! please dont mess this up for me!" so nervy for him. but within hours they were nerding it up about apple products and trying to work a power play against the wives lobbying for playstations in the home (denied x2).

-we started the whole IRL (in real life) friendship under a banner of "sewing buddies!" those proverbial training wheels are now all but off and the friendship stands on its own. we know this because we got almost NO sewing done and just had sleepover style funsies. jesse and ryan stripped us of the H in Hardcore Sewing Delight and threatened to take away the S too because we mostly just had delight. but we did learn some cool new techniques (and i learned a few ones that apparently i should have known all along) so that counts for something. the entirety of what i made over 3 days (despite having a list of to-dos that had 8 projects listed) is as follows:

she accomplished her first forward and backward crawling movements on the glory of the myers' new carpet. that stuff inspires greatness.

one oliver + s pattern bubble dress that gave us the business much more than we expected from a pattern ranked only 2 out of 4 scissors on the difficulty level. and one pair of matching bloomers that made us 15 minutes late to church because i HADTOFINISH. i nearly stroked out a few times in that time trial when my bobbin ran out or got tangled. so not worth it because i think layla stayed in her carseat under a hideous blanket most of the time anyway.

jazz hands

and one snappy toddler top that i am in love with. (my in-progress busted quilt makes a GREAT backdrop for pictures). i made some matching bloomers for this shirt after we got home but they weren't finished when i took this pic, so pretend you dont see the diaper (at least it's not a denim diaper). and yes she is sitting up with much aplomb of late. though she did fall back and crack her head on the coffee table that this quilt is draped over while i was taking this.

-oh the food. birthday french toast was served on layla's .5 birthday. she was a little bitter to not be able to eat any so she slammed her hand down on my plate and dumped my entire glorious meal in my lap. there was also chicken bacon kabob-ery that we have already made again since being home, a yummy pork chop salad, and the caesar salad sammies of wonder. we went out to PF Changs for an AWESOME double date on our last night and had takeout BBQ pork stuffed baked potatoes (i was a skeptic, but SO good) for lunch one day. i am still recovering numerically from raechel and ryan's cooking skills but oh. so. worth. it.

-raechel is one of those people who doesn't laugh often. it took me a while to realize this because we are having so much fun and you feel like she is laughing because she really is full of joy. but it hit me back in march: she doesn't actually laugh laugh that much; instead she labels something, "funNY!" or "that's so funny!" it's really is hilarious once you notice it and makes the occasions whena true LOL escapes her extra special.

-the kids got along great for the most part despite the varied developmental stages they are all in. judah was somehow offensive to sweet hazel. i dont think he ever actually hurt her or stole something from her (could be wrong) but she would tend to burst into tears around him for no apparent reason. i choose to believe it was bieber-fever type of crying. it was great to see this little lady in full form since she had a cold last time. she is so stinking sweet and adorable you guys. she is just getting her walking legs under her and actually took a few steps toward me when we first got there. be still my heart for that fuzzy little blonde koala.

blondies in the bath

-this yoube video was watched about 12 times that weekend (there is some colorful language, so feel free to avoid if necessary, we didn't mind because honey badger don't care). we have a sneaking suspicion that ryan is the actual voice behind this character because he can imitate him PERFECTLY. so many jokes were made about the scraps, larva, and cobra meat. the honey badger is now our official HSD mascot.

-i went garage sailing (see what i did there?) with raechel. if you read her blog you know that she is a garage sale maven. seriously? she once found a brand new $175 video baby monitor and got it for $2, and a kate spade diaper bag for $15. we only went for a few minutes because wicked rain was coming but i got 4 pillows to use in sewing projects, 4 cafeteria style trays for my kids and a pair of froggie rain boots for $6 total. i also may have been an accomplice in encouraging raechel to get a really awesome but totally not-her style antique rocker that we now regret. we also got to hear the lady who sold it to her tell us, "let me tell ya!" about 8 times as she was recommending a wood-staining product to paint the chair with.

the chair is awesome, but even with raechel's upholstery skills and a new coat of gel stain (let me tell ya!) it still doesnt really match the rest of their house's style. that little door behind judah is oliver and hazel's club house. also judah's makeshift bedroom for the weekend.

-raechel has taken the word "tender" and made it her own. she uses it the same way i would use the word "sweet." obviously tender is much more strong and schmoopy-mushy of a word so i just thought at first that she was, well, tender, like that and was a little confused at how everything could be so touching to her. but it turns out she is being funny by sort of overusing it for things that are only slightly sweet. am i making any sense? do you have to just be there? here's one awesome example: we were hanging out talking to their awesome babysitters after our night out and jesse was playing with a candle beside his chair. like sort of shaping it and melting the wax with his hands. raechel said, "i love how you have been tenderizing that candle all this time." so funny because he was being tender with it by lovingly stroking it but also actually tenderizing it by making it softer. or when judah did something mean to me and then was forced to come back and say "sawy mommy" and clearly did not mean it one bit, that would get an, "aw, that was tender." tender: not a creepy word when you know its creepy and use it for humor.

trying to be demure and normal after our nerd-pun picture

-our PF Chang's dinner out was just peachy to the max. we were SO hungry and in need of some time away from the kids. juggling 4 kids under 5 while trying to have adult fun and playtime is exhausting. especially when two of the kids are not in their home turf. we had a hilariously awful waiter and deliciously wonderful food. VIP duck and too-spicy lamb along with the requisite chicken lettuce wraps were on the docket. we foolishly passed on the great wall of chocolate dessert and then spent 30 minutes driving around afterward with raechel and me DEMANDING chocolate cake from the boys when we realized that krispy kreme wasnt open at 10:30pm on a sunday night. we were straight slap happy in the backseat despite only having water and coke to drink all night. we were drunk on HSD.

-we went to see one of the fantastic babysitting duo's dance recitals. she is 17 and is going to be on so you think you can dance one day; mark my words. we got there late because we are dummies who were lost in the cold trying to find the auditorium, and had to be escorted in in between songs. i tell you this: that theater was darker than glenn beck's black heart (i dont even know what that means. i have no care or knowledge about politics whatsoever but i think i heard tiny fey make fun of him once, so that's good enough for me). i am confident i got to second base with raechels poor sister a few times as i was groping around for guidance. raechels ADORABLE 4 year old niece was also in attendance and it was an added activity for me to feverishly download kid apps on my phone to keep her from rushing the stage and performing with the other girls. i almost had a heart attack as i was installing "ant smasher" and some kid behind me screamed out of the blue, "she's squashing bugs!" little backseat driver was peeping over my shoulder. also raechel scammed me into buying her ticket. but she made up for it by filling my belly repeatedly with cheese and bread.

on a walk to look at ryans new office space in downtown pleasantville, aka franklin. judah is saying, "let me tell ya!" oliver is not so sure.

-speaking of bugs, franklin, TN was under the dominion of a cicada plague. their 13 and 7 year life cycles happened to land on the same year this spring and these things all came to life for one brief season of power. the locust horde was everywhere and their songs, husks and exoskeletons trapped in olivers bug-catcher were 10% fascinating and 90% gag-inducing. luckily judah got ahold of the bug cage and toddler shook the trapped beast into a stupor for a few hours so i dint have to hear his thorax thrashing against the plastic.

-i got to try out raechel's new sewing machine and it is a dreamboat. it sews like sweet sweet butter. my machine sounds like a mac truck while hers is a prius. a prius that is more powerful, intelligent and versatile than a mac truck. and that sews it's own buttons. and her sewing room was rearranged since the last time i was there and was even more drooltastic. oh to have such a space. i will just claim that that is the reason why her stuff is so prime and well-executed all. the. time.

this was during hour #5 of getting the pattern cut out and organized. NOT FUN.

-while garage sailing raechel's mom and sis crossed paths with us. i was wearing a shirt i got at target a few days after returning from HSD1.0. i bought it because it looked like a shirt raechel had worn while i was there. i am shameless. she is like my oprah: just tell me your favorite things and i will go try to copy them for myself. raechel's mom goes, "oh raechel has a shirt like that too!" and i had to so lamely/proudly say, "yeah i know, i bought this one to copy her." oh my gosh. i'm sure her mom was like, "raechel, is this friendship wise?" after i left. red flag!

fort building

-i was immediately forgotten as oliver's old pal keight, who had given him an amazing waldo book on my last visit when jesse strolled in with his ipad and where's waldo app. are you kidding me? i cant compete with this. oliver was jonesing for some ipad action since theirs had been given to raechel's mom for mothers day and a new one hadnt yet been purchased. it became almost comical, oliver's addiction to this device. he would go missing all of a sudden and we would find him in our room engrossed in the technology. it was almost outside of his control. they would set boundaries and tell him we wanted to hang out with him in real life and that he couldnt play with it anymore, but seemingly within minutes he would be back on it, always sliding and tapping with his middle finger rather than his index. adorable! it was like it had a gravitational pull on him that he couldn't fight for very long.

appleholics anonymous, class of 2027

-if he couldnt have the ipad, the iphone would serve as a substitute. after immediately falling in love with jesse (he even called him "other dad" at one point. the kid's heart is HUGE!) on the first day, their little oliver-and-uncle-jesse vibe grew. they were playing some rough-housing game, boys versus dads, and jesse had his phone in his pocket. well oliver attacked and jesse caught him and rolled him to the floor. somewhere in that maneuver, jesse's phone must have fallen out of his pocket because ryan said that literally, oliver came out of the roll with the phone magically in hand, unlocked and an app opening up. all one seamless transition back to his beloved. freaking hilarious.

roughing it up.

-jesse and ryan took the boys to the mall in nashville to get them a new ipad on saturday (their first bromantical outing!). they took the double stroller and judah quickly fell asleep in it. while they were walking around the mall oliver was walking in between them and was holding ryan's hand. naturally, he reached up and grabbed jesse' too at some point (LOVE that kid) and then he wanted to do the 1, 2, 3 fly! thing that kids do when holding 2 peoples hands. so we have two grown men holding the hand of one adorable 4 year old flying him around the mall while pushing a 1 year old in the stroller. you can imagine how classic this looked to strangers. the bromance never felt or looked so real. so precious--nay, tender.

-we had some stupendous talks after the kids were in bed each night and on our night out (THANK YOU audrey for being amazing and handling them like a pro. and possibly lizzie who came over after they were all asleep but is also awesome). there isnt a lot better than sharing a meal with friends and talking about jesus (hello lord's supper!). does that sound cheesy or lame? well it's not. it's encouraging and edifying and wonderful. to find people who you can laugh with about ipads, stich selection and honey badgers is awesome. but to share something eternal and soul-shaping makes it so much more real (and tender!). to talk about where jesus is taking us and how he has loved us through things is such a worship experience for me. our bellies and hearts were filled to bursting from a weekend spent with this amazing family. even if our sewing loot bags werent.

LOVE this pic. i had on NO makeup, no shower and was wearing jesse's clothes. that is why i stole oliver into my lap in case you were wondering why ryan is childless. O-man makes an adorable shame-smock. ryan and i are not related nor is raechel actually a model in case this pic led to you believe otherwise. layla really does have side chest-pudge though and judah is that much of a tough guy. hazel's dress of perfection was made by raechel while jesse and i napped one afternoon (embarrassing!)

i know i am leaving out 50 billionity tings about how awesome the weekend was and how bad we want to live nearer this family and hang out with them all the time, but the more i try to explain the more incoherent i become. it's so overwhelming to have to try to get it all out and remembered for posterity. all i can seem to convey is tiny bits of the grandness of it all. "thanks for the scraps, stupid!" maybe HSD13.0 will be a festival of epic proportions and you can all come play and join in for yourselves. as long as your bring me meat and cheese and bread offerings.


walk on

we got snuck up on by judah's birthday video this year. so instead of drowning in a stress vortex trying to finish the big huge all-encompassing video for the whole year in time for his party today, i gave myself a few extra days to work on it non-frenzied before his actual birthday on wednesday, and instead asked jesse to make a sweet little quickie one showing how far we've come these past 2 years to tide us over.

we adore this song. i remember being pregnant very early on, before we knew that judah was a boy and hearing this song on the coffeehouse channel in our car. i started crying so hard just imagining what it would be like to raise a kid from umbilical cord to independence. i immediately came home and downloaded the song and played it for jesse and told him this would be the soundtrack to our raising little kids.

so there probably will be a 15 minute long video that only me and my mom will watch and which we be fun and games and will include everyone who loves judah, but for now i will just watch this on repeat and marvel at my little man and our love for him.

you and me: walk on, walk on, walk on, cause you can't go back now.


quilt progress?

when last (and first) i mentioned it, the quilt i am making for layla was just 5 separate blocks. very shortly after that (because making and attaching blocks was actually way more fun than i expected), it was a 4x4 block quilt top:

love and love and love it!

seems like i was almost done, right? ugh. no. you have to actually quilt it now. this means putting the padding in between my top above and a backing fabric and attaching it all together by running stitches all over the place. there are hundreds of books and blogs devoted to this portion of making a quilt that i wanted to so cavalierly overlook. apparently all i had done was the easy and fun part. now was the trial by fire.

i failed. i failed so hard, yall.

this is actually technically a quilt. there is padding sandwiched between backing fabric and my pretty top. all it technically needs is binding trim all around the edges.

oh but it's so bad you guys. i have not the patience for the diligent and perfectionist pinning that assembling a quilt requires. after an hour of crab walking all over this thing taped to my kitchen floor i was starting to wonder how grannies turn these mothers out without keeling over. so i sort of rushed it so i could just move to the next phase and start sewing it all together (classic me). since my top and bottom layers weren't evenly smoothed and pinned as such i got nasty gathering and bunching (even my walking foot couldn't save me).


no ma'am!

and let's flip over to the back. i adore the fabric i picked and think it's just right for layla because it's pink yet has lots of the slate color to de-girly it a tad and it has flowers but also plain tiny dots in beige.

if you stand this far away it's not atrocious

some of my quilting line junctions are even nice-looking

but then you spot things like this:
oh, the shame. there was much gnashing of teeth and tearing of tunics when i saw this. i could have maybe overlooked the front bunching because of all the colors and patterns distracting from it. but like gandalf told the balrog, i must tell this epic nastiness: "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!"

so this is my best buddy for the next few nights:
ye olde seam ripper. good thing i know myself enough to have bought the full-sized ripper for extra-dumb sewers. and a sarcastic goodie good that i triple quilted this thing....3 times the fun!!! at least my burn is healing nicely.


we are in the process of making judah's 2nd bday video for his impending party and celebration. so of course i had to go back and watch the 1st bday edition about 5 times. i have always been bummed that it wouldn't work right on youtube when i first posted about it last summer.

well i remembered that vimeo is cooler than youtube in things of this nature and finally got the whole shebang uploaded in one piece and with all the music intact. here it is if anyone missed out.

it's pretty long. but so was labor. at least the sounds and visuals of the video won't leave you scarred for life.


sleep tight?

trying to get everything and everyone unpacked, washed and back in the georgia home-turf groove after an awesome weekend in tennessee with the myers.

a fun little kink in this process has been a BED BUG scare. cue total revulsion and judgement. go ahead. you know you are feeling both. even though all the experts say it has nothing to do with hygiene.

on friday morning before we set out for a run, i started scratching at a bite on my ribcage. since i dont go bear-middie much these days years, i started wondering how a mosquito got up there. upon close inspection it didnt look like a skeeter bite after all. but that was all the thought i gave it. i am plump and juicy and full of meat and cheese-powered blood. my milkshake brings all the bugs from the yard.

but while we were in TN jesse was scratching like a mad man. he rarely gets bitten because of his impenetrable outer layer of man-fuzz. but he had little red bumps all over him. i noticed that they looked like my one ribcage bite.

then i started thinking what these could be. we have kicked the cats outside full time rather than pay the money to give them monthly flea prevention so fleas are unlikely. then i remembered that jesse went out of town for a conference while we were at home braving a tornado and he had stayed in a hotel. hotels are where bedbugs come from!!!

all the dateline specials and buzz-worthy bedbug outbreak headlines started whizzing through my brain. we hopped on the internet and did a little research. all signs pointed to bedbuggery (and much dry-heaving on my part).

it was triply bad because, for one, we were imagining these evil mites having their way with our empty house: going room to room like goldilocks in everyone's bed, drinking the good beer (PBR), and calling all their dropout buddies to come over for a house party. and two, on top of that we were thinking we were now acting as carrier monkeys and transmitting these foul beasts to raechel and ryan. if you've seen her blog, you will know that their house is 100% loveliness and cleanliness and all things art-of-homemaking. the last thing i need is an internet scandal because i sullied the good name, smooth skin and fine linens of Finding My Feet and family. i just don't even need that, yall.

we called our pest control service and got a quote. $700 PER ROOM! holy die a thousand deaths. this pestilential horde was going to bring shame, itching, and bankruptcy on our home. i looked up other methods of eradication and found out that they are A: not advisable since these critters need PROFESSIONAL attention (don't we all?) and B: also pretty redick in the price-age. pillows and mattresses in hypoallergenic bags that would kill the pests eventually (they only need to eat once every YEAR!), all suitcases stored in -5*C freezers for two weeks after any trip, vacuuming daily, spraying lots of various chemicals anywhere and everywhere for months. so fun! imagine may 2012 when we finally get to open our plastic goodie bags of bug corpses...that we have been sleeping on for a year! the fun never ends.

i did go ahead and order some diatomaceous earth powder because it is earth and human-friendly and has rave reviews for getting rid of pests and being good just to have around your house. but i held off on all other bed bug accoutrement. we itched and squirmed just thinking about this issue. every hair or lose thread that brushed against us turned into a hysterical itching fit and at least 2 IQ points lost. just writing this is making me itch.

so when we got home, all suitcases (since one of the bags was likely the conveyance for BUG X who hitched from jesse's hotel) and clothes and pillows stayed by the door until they could go into the washer and hot dyer (or freezer!). we put the kids to bed (they have never had any bites on them thankfully) and went in to inspect our bed hand in hand.

it was terrifying. peeling back the duvet cover, the duvet, the sheet (fun fact: we only use a fitted and the comforter. i hate flat sheets), the feather-topper, and the mattress cover. every layer was nerve-wracking; certainly disgust and infestation were about to rear their nasty heads and mouthparts in what was previously our "happy place" (like, we had JUST discussed how much we love our room and bed).

but we never found anything. no feces or husks (i just died inside typing that repugnant phrase) and definitely no bugs anywhere. i almost stroked out when i saw some crumbs from a granola bar (yes, we are lards who snack in bed de temp en temps). we went ahead and washed EVERYTHING in hot water and dried the junk out of them on the dryer's hottest setting, "fluff/exoskeleton melt." i vacuumed the mattress and used the neglected hose attachment to get all around the frame and headboard and under the baseboards.

where most people still would have been pretty squirmy and itchy being in the alleged bed of infestation, we slept great on our super clean setup. we are parents of 2 under 2 (for the next 8 days!) so i guess it would take more than even bloodsuckers make us lose sleep when its up for grabs.

so do we have bed bugs? i don't know. the bites arent really explainable by anything else but we cant find ANY evidence of anything on anything in our house. unsettling to say the least. but i will take a mystery that we never know the answer to over a concrete infiltration any day. anybody out there know anything more about this plague? are all the bugs hiding somewhere else? can you come scratch my back?

UPDATE from Jesse at 4 pm: The exterminator just came by to check our room out. Despite looking EVERYWHERE and finding other interesting and embarrassing things, thankfully they found no trace of the little buggers anywhere. So it's either super early in the infestation or we ran into a pack of very frisky mosquitoes. Here's hoping for frisk.


happy one...

...half birthday, Layla! You are 6 months old today! Hazel let you borrow her one year birthday crown so for now the units represented on it are halves.

As of this afternoon, you've been out for 2 seasons or 13 payperiods or 2 trimesters or a trip halfway around the sun! The backside of le soleil is even better, miss sweetness. Can't wait to spend many circumnavigations, half and whole, with you, layla boo!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Franklin,United States


busy bees + 2 goobs

updated etsy, getting tons of orders sewn, and working late tonight so that i can take tomorrow off work and head to tennessee for HSD2.0*! remember when i left for the first round? it was just me and layla. well, after meeting him, i was pretty sure raechel's hubs, ryan, and jesse would really hit it off. so we're are going full dukesforce and including the boys this go-round! OMGeepers, what if they hate each other? won't my face be red? except i will be in sewing heaven with raechel, sooo...they'll just have to work around it, because momma ain't going home early for nothin'!

*hardcore sewing delight version 2.

excitement doesn't cover it. raechel was tragically comatose the first time i was there and had to resort to cracknaps just to get through. this time we are all in full health with double daddy day care, and even got 2 amazing babysitters (raechel says she wants to be them when she grows up...and they are high school seniors. so yeah, theyre kind of stratospherical) to watch the kids one night for an all adult double date! giddy squeals.

we have many great stitch-capades (ouch. sorry) planned and raechel will show off even more of her stoooooopid chef skills. you can sneak a peek at her weekend menu here (no i did not go out and get that exact same clipfolio today with my target giftgard. i am not a huge poser) drool much?

i realized that i am horrendous and never wrote my full account of the glory of HSD1. even though she was so miserably sick, raechel was so stellar and i liked her even more than i had hoped. which is saying a LOT. but, all i ever did was tease with this post with some highlights and then leave the world hanging. i WILL make up for it this time. don't stop believing!

let's hope these 3 goober bombs behave. so help me, if they embarrass me in front of raechel...it will probably be pretty funny.

she is so goob-tastically sublime.


bug n' boo

you send him off to grandma's and you risk him coming home in this number. one of my brother's old wardrobe all-stars. my mom said, "he wanted to wear it! i asked him, 'choo-chooor regular shirt?' and he said 'choo-choo!'" gee, ya think? its a tad short. he looks like he should be drifting down the mississip' with big jim.

captions: cheesy yellow jacket; "my parents' school is better than yours!"; no pressure, layla.

a natural progression: 1-why did you give me this?, 2-what is this?, 3-must swing this alarmingly fast near your face.

he makes me feel like that too, lay.



the past few months i have had a ton of random sewing orders and projects. from etsy, to orders for friends, to my own stuff for fun and around the house, the projects were coming fast. i almost always take pictures of the things i make but sometimes they don't feel grand enough for their own post. so they have all piled up and are driving me insane on my memory card. therefore, here they come in one big horn-of-plenty post.

a batch of jewelry rolls for wedding bridesmaids' gifts. loved my customer's fabric choices.

3 custom key chains for my mom to giver some of her former students who are graduating high school this year. they are going to virginia tech, GEORGIA TECH (to play vball, woot!), and UGA (i am contractually obligated to say "booo!" but i love their colors and this fob even still). i have 3 more to make for tulane, upenn and the university of south carolina. loving these college-colored projects

remember when my ironing board need a makeover back in this post? i said my ironing board was so yucky and just had to make a new cover for it so bad. well since then i have worked a little harder and my definition of "so yucky" has clearly changed. i

wow. poor elephant friends. decided to upgrade to a full sized ironing board too. since this one has been too small for many of my ironing needs lately.

used some really old ikea fabric that i hadn't had a chance to use yet, and...hooray! the colors make ironing much more cheerful. i love the adjustable height of the big board too because i can lower it and just spin from my sewing machine to press my projects without missing a beat or burning a single calorie!

got a unique request for a huge key chain. 12" long (double the normal length), with a stiletto heel icon, and a quote from a brad paisley song. quite the combo. this customer KNEW what she wanted and was really sweet working with me.

i made a dozen burp cloths for my friend bird's mom to give her other daughter (bird's sis) who is expecting any minute now. it was tricky because they dont know the gender. i was told to go with a jungle-ish theme. loved how they turned out.

had to put in one in honor of the baby's auntie bird!

more bridesmaids gift. my first 100% matching set!

some throw pillows for lena for graduation. her entire apartment is ALL neutrals. so i was having a meltdown under the pressure of essentially starting their color scheme for them from scratch. jesse took this pic so you cant tell the grey circles on is a smaller rectangle shaped pillow. these were done in 30 minutes using raechel's awesome tutorial.

after i made this boppy cover, i wanted to give a bigger-sized font a whirl. so i tried the larger letters out on layla's boppy. LOVE how it turned out. though i should have picked a more contrasting fabric b/c the letters are kind of hard to read. luckily i know her name.

so i was ready to do the big letters on all the boppy orders. here's one i made for the niece of one of my old teammates. love it. love her little name!

i have made a bunch of these bowtie + suspender onesies for some friends lately. here is one in an entire little gift set that my friend kristen ordered for a shower gift. so fun! (the bib was using another raechel tutorial)

glad to get those off my chest and onto a digital server.

***updated. yes, i am taking orders for just about anything you can think of that you've ever seen me make. i dont put a lot of this stuff in my etsy store because A: i am lazy and B: that's about it. just email me if you're interested!***