Thursday, July 30, 2015

What is the Cost of a Memory?

On Sunday after church, Preston and I decided to take a spontaneous trip to the Long Island Sound and escape our chaotic house that is slowly becoming a home. We already know that "spontaneity" and "baby" are not an easy combo. We mixed it anyway. As we began the hour long drive in the late afternoon, I began to question our decision.  Baby girl had already begun to fuss and it looked like we would hit traffic. We hadn't had dinner yet, and I don't do hungry very well. I shared my concerns with Preston, and he responded with one simple question: "What is the cost of a memory?"

At day's end, this was our price:

  • Two hours squished in a messy truck
  • A tired, inconsolable baby--for two hours, squished in a messy truck
  • Dog poop on my white pants (apparently the dog didn't register "an hour-long drive in the truck")
  • Preston caught wearing dress socks and Chacos (not pictured)
  • Sonny Boy's epic, embarrassing asthma attack at the beach
  • Grumbling tummies until 8:00 p.m.

And this was our purchase:

  • Baby's first trip to the ocean
  • Photos (you take a picture, and suddenly something is an event, right?)
  • Sunset, misted over by a thin layer of clouds
  • A warm, sticky breeze that said, "Welcome to your new home" as we tried to really believe it
  • The ocean smell that wakes up your spirit and says, "Adventure!" (apparently this was a talkative place)
  • Helpful strangers becoming fast friends, eager to meet a beautiful baby
  • Sand on our toes
  • Stained white pants and a vow to clean out the truck
  • Our beach fix, meaning we don't have to go back for awhile

Okay. Now I'm just getting snarky. Enjoy the memories "en photo".

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Our Stroller Never Faileth

Hi. So we have a baby and a lot has happened since I wrote last and yada yada and all that jazz.

Moving on. I want to write about our stroller--our fraying, rickety, used and abused stroller. Every time I push that thing I want to curse it and be ashamed of it and put it on a pedestal with a big bow to display to the world, all at the same time.

That stroller provides me a constant reminder of my good and selfless husband. Mushy, gushy, I know.

Here's why: Late last summer, as we entered the new school year and began preparing for the birth of our baby whose gender was still unknown, a friend of a friend's friend (you get the idea) was preparing to move to Europe and trying to sell a bunch of stuff.  She posted to a local online cork board her desperation to sell quite a few baby items, and I responded with tentative interest.  I told her we didn't even know our baby's gender and weren't sure what we would be needing.  She mentioned that she had a few boxes of used boy clothes, a car seat, and a jogging stroller that needed some fixing up but that was in good condition otherwise.  Since none of it was selling, she asked if I'd be willing to take the lot for $25.  I agreed to look at it, and we arranged a drop-off at my house.

I ended up not being home for that drop-off, and my husband intercepted the items instead.

When I got home later that night, he mentioned that instead of $25, he'd paid the lady $40 for her things.  She had seemed so desperate as they spoke--she and her husband were moving to Europe for his job and had no money and no room to take anything and she was so stressed--and at first it had looked like a lot of stuff.  I scanned the small pile and realized immediately that we had paid $40 for junk.  The car seat was disgusting.  The stroller was covered in cobwebs with one wheel detached.  And the boy clothing was wrinkled and stained and just thrown into boxes.  I stared, wishing I had been home in time to tell her no thank you, there is a reason that stuff won't sell.

Preston then realized that, as far as our interests were concerned, he'd made a mistake.  He felt terrible, frustrated that he hadn't noticed the condition of the items.  I, too, wanted to be angry that he hadn't noticed.  I wanted to be angry at the lady for actually accepting that money.  I wanted to tell him to start paying more attention.  Yet, in a moment, I realized that he had, in fact, been paying attention to the most important thing: a scared, anxious woman seeking any form of security.

We learned a couple of weeks later that we were expecting a girl.  The boy clothes and car seat, after a washing, were sent to the Goodwill.

But we kept the stroller, hoping something could come of our purchase.

Preston spent an afternoon working on the wheels, trying to get the thing to steer straight, while I scrubbed the seat and attachments thoroughly.  After a lot of trial and error, we pushed the stroller down the driveway, and then did a happy dance--it had rolled straight, all wheels attached.

Now, months later, as I push my new little daughter along in a stroller that wiggles and whines in protest, and my cheeks begin to flush, I shake my head and laugh.

I have one caring husband.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Maternity Photo Session with Kim Davis Photography

Preston and I recently enjoyed an early morning photo session with our good friend, Kim, with Kim Davis Photography.  We got to celebrate this little babe and the sacred, reverent, and magical process that pregnancy is.  Some of our favorites are below.



Thanks, Kim, for capturing the beauty of budding parenthood.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Quarter of a Century

Last Saturday I turned 25 years old.  Admittedly, every time someone reminds me that I've achieved "a quarter of a century," all I really hear in my head are the voices of a young Rupert Grint and Daniel Radcliffe, discussing Harry becoming the youngest Seeker in "...a century.  According to McGonagall."  I want to finish everyone's sentences for them with just that.

Harry Potter movie quotes aside, age 25 has been pretty good.  Preston drove us south, past acres of gorgeous farmland that made my heart leap, for a day of adventure at Brown County State Park and a pleasant evening around Nashville, IN.  We stopped at the General Store for some fried biscuits rolled in cinnamon and sugar and smothered in apple butter.  Who needs birthday cake when you can eat ten fried biscuits?  Oh man.  Have mercy.

I took ample pictures of the vistas and scenic winding roads (what is it about winding roads shadowed by autumn leaves?) all through the state park, mostly for my mom and her friend, Kenna. (Enjoy the views, ladies.)  The day saw rain and clouds, which only added to drama of the autumn landscape.  Preston and I ended our adventure feeling invigorated--both of us miss the mountains very much, and getting up into these hills settled our longing a bit.  If you ever visit the area, I highly recommend a jaunt through Brown County.  Especially on a birthday.



Making it to 25 has been a blast.  With a birthday in October, each year is destined to just keep getting better.  October is the greatest.  So are birthdays.  Thanks for all the love, friends.  Have a good one.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Sonny Boy Turns 1 (sort of)

Well hey.  It's been awhile, yeah?  Quite a bit has changed since last I wrote, the most significant being the size of my belly.  A little someone is on their way to join the husband, the pooch, and me at the end of January.  As a result, I spent the entire summer and then some on the couch wanting KFC and Ginger Ale. (Neither of which helped that sensation we erroneously call "morning" sickness.  I'm bitter about that little nickname.)

But, before I attempt any sort of major "catch-up" from the summer's events, we need to celebrate Sonny Boy.  August 24th marked our first full year together.  The title of this post is misleading, I know.  He is not in fact one year old.  More like four or something.  But we have had him for a good year (and then some since, of course, I'm very behind in all of this documenting stuff).

So I made some homemade dog treats shaped like bones, his name etched in each one, and bought him a special party hat just for dogs, and we decorated the house with squirrels and cats and invited all of his little neighborhood friends over to celebrate this pooch we love so much.

Yep, totally lying.  Again, this living for two thing has really put me under, so no homemade dog treats or friends over even for our special guy.  Instead he got a can of wet dog food hastily grabbed from the store and a candle that he had to watch melt into that wet dog food while I attempted to remember how to use my DSLR to capture pics of him wearing a homemade (at least something was) party hat that was slightly too snug around the neck.  We ended up with blurry pictures and a drooling, anxious dog.

But enough excuses.  Here are some pics of our little guy being such a good sport.

^^I'm sure I'm biased, but isn't that face--so exasperated with his silly humans--just adorable?  As we bustle about the house, Preston and I hear one another saying constantly from the other room, "You are just the cutest dog."  He really is.

My favorite thing right now is watching him grin foolishly after a great game with his rope or after a long walk.  He'll sit and stare at us with those big brown eyes and just pant and smile as if he's got it all.  And he pretty much does.  See below for some tidbits about this special pooch.

Sonny Boy Quick Facts:

Favorite words:  "walk," "ride," "treat," "go," "toy," "up," "Preston," "want to cuddle?"

Favorite habits: cuddling on our decorative pillows, watching for Preston to get home, eating grass, chasing squirrels, running with the kids in the 'hood, playing tug-of-war, licking his paws clean (which drives us crazy)

[Kelsi's] Favorite new trick: When he nudges my leg letting me know he needs to go out to the potty, I say, "Go find Preston!"  Works like a charm.  ;)

Friday, June 20, 2014

Southern Beauty

The husband and I went for a Sunday stroll around the university lake a bit ago.  We are soaking up this southern summer as much as possible.  We had a lovely night, one that lacked only the fireflies, which I'm yearning to see.

Southern charm is infectious.  It permeates nearly everything--architecture, foliage, food preparation, store checkout lines.  The element it eludes is the driving manners--they are dismal.  But these homes and the fried chicken encourage us to overlook the rude driving.

^^I could not get the expanse of these trees within the scope of my lens.  I'm dying to climb up and swing my legs while eating a  peanut butter sandwich and chatting with Forrest Gump.

^^Among all the beautiful plantation-style homes we saw, this quaint, manicured cottage-style was Preston's favorite.

Have a happy weekend, friends.