23 December 2014

A year in fiveish paragraphs

and thats a wrap for 2014. Holy shmoly.

We started the year by spending three months in Mahwah, New Jersey. We have some marvelous friends from Mahwah that own and operate a maple farm near Cooperstown, New York. Ches spent those months tapping maple trees, and I spent them annoying Nancy by laying around her house nauseous. We loved spending that time there, and feel so blessed to know such amazing people.

Chesley spent over three hundred hours of this year about ten feet off the ground in a BELL 47 helicopter. He dominated that sweet corn. He has loved flying everyday just as much as he always thought he would, and being paid to fly rather than having it the other way around has made for one happy man.

I spent the year growing a human. I finally got a piano of my own, and we were able to move from our apartment into a house (can I get a HUZZAH!) ?? The highlight of my year has been all of the visitors we've had. My mom basically waited on me for three weeks, and it was heaven. She was here a full week before the baby was born, and ten days after. My dad even got to come for a couple of days at the end of my mother's visit, which was a huge deal. My mother in law came for about five days while Ches went on a hunting trip, and we got to have the ENTIRE Lewis clan out for Thanksgiving. The house was bursting at the seams, and it was absolutely perfect.

Maverik grew from a baby faced toddler into a little boy this year. I can't believe how much he's changed. He has an incredible vocabulary for a two year old, and will talk your ear off. Some of his favorite things to say are from movies. He loves to say, "curse you tiny toilet!" and "I had a dream once" (even in a little tiny deep voice). You totally get points if you know those movies. He also totally rules at being a big brother.

Piper managed to break free of the womb on October 15th, and had one happy momma. She was about 10 pounds, and was between 21 and 22 inches long. She has been such a dreamy baby, and we can't wait to see her personality come out.

Have great holidays and stuff!...or we hope you did since we got our cards out late, and some of you may be reading this after the fact.


The Lewis's

16 December 2014

Taking Stock

working: to stay on top of laundry. Babies  get some sort of body juice on themselves or a parent about hourly. 

cooking: chocolate chip cookies (surprised?) and biscuits. My aunt gave me a buttermilk buscuit recipe that rules, and when paired with raspberry butter it is truly impossible to get enough. Bring on the crisco.

reading: emails from my baby bro on his mission. He's the boy version of me. I'm hairy, but handsome as a man. I miss him, but what he's doing is so important and he's so good at it.

listening to: Winter Moon. I reeeeally enjoy Mindy Gledhill. 

wasting time: I never do this, but if I did it would be reading blogs and stalking people on facebook. But I don't....

looking forward to: CHRISTMAS!!!! Which entails family, food, presents, lights, snow (hopefully), and just good old fashioned joy from celebrating Jesus. He's kind of important. 

making: cinnamon ornaments for my tree. They smell sooooooo good. Sniffing a tree was never so pleasurable.

falling asleep to: man cuddles. Having a husband is great for a lot of reasons, but falling asleep next to one is the greatest...when they shower.

appreciating: the fact that Mav is fiercely in love with his baby sister. I have great hopes that they will be close as older people. I get in deep doo-doo when I don't allow him to give her enough kisses. Oops. My bad for wanting there to be at least some facial surface area free of brother saliva.

craving: Sugar. I'm an insatiable sweet monster. It's ridiculous. My sister and I have talked seriously about finding an addiction aid program that would take us.

smelling: more poopy diapers than any human should. M has started to fill his diaper a few times a day to try and keep up with his sister. 

excited: about seeing family. My family (including my husband's family) never gets old. They are the greatest in every way. So much fun and so many laughs are headed my way.

wearing: yoga pants (always) and one of C's shirts (also always). Somehow I feel most comfortable wearing at least one item of men's clothing.

experiencing: being a mom of two. It's actually less difficult than I thought simply because of how well Mav is taking it all, but it's still a challenge. The fact that the cold weather makes outings difficult or impossible has set cabin fever in early this year too. Thank goodness for amazing friends and an awesome community!

completely stole this idea from my darling cousin kayla.

12 December 2014

and then there were four

I have missed this space. A remarkable amount.

There have simply been too many other things going on for me to get here.

Things like having a baby, readjusting to life with two children, and helping a toddler adjust to sharing mama.

He's doing fabulously by the way.

I think the perfect way to jump back in is to show you what my life looks like now.

Disclaimer: It just so happens that cameras are only pulled out for the cute parts. In reality there are plenty of messy, dramatic, tearful, boring, ineedadietcokethisinstant kind of moments. But these...these are how I get up and keeping doing it every day.

12 September 2014

Some things about being back

Coming back to MN after dark, to a new house stacked with boxes, with a husband working at the opposite end of the state will make you want to cry a little. Or just make a u-turn for the airport to return to somewhere that doesn't make you feel sticky when you step outside.

It only take about 24 hours to get over the aforementioned wallowing , and the purchase of nutty bars, swiss rolls, and toffee ice cream bars definitely have a strong hand in that rebound.

Your toddler will feel like life is taking place in a magical new world because he has grass right outside his front door instead of a prison-like hallway. He also appreciates the newfound strength he has to crush rocks (dirt clods) with his bare hands, so don't worry about the dirt patches on the lawn. They are aiding in the construction of confidence.

Having wonderful friends is dee bayst. I know you don't want to seem moochy and needy, but lady, you're 8 months pregnant, and frankly, need all of the help anyone at all anywhere is willing to give you. Let them bring you dinner and unpack your kitchen. You will be so grateful.

Sleeping with a man in your bed isn't nearly as hard as you thought. Turns out your pregnant body didn't HAVE to take up all of that other space after all. 

Don't rake the entire yard at once. It will send you into contractions. Do half one day, and the other half on some other day.

Don't feel guilty about laying in bed for an hour after M wakes up. He got out of bed himself, and started playing with his toys himself. He's happy. You need rest. You can pick up every single toy he owns in about five minutes. Its okay if they get strewn about.

Those yoga pants that you stole from your mom? They fall down a lot. Try to only wear them at home.

Minnesota, its good to see ya.

18 August 2014

Embarrassing mix-ups, and, oh how I love it when its not me.

Remember those times that I missed the obvious? Remember how I mixed up 'pubic', and 'cuticle'?


I'm still occasionally discovering new embarrassingly obvious facts that I've managed to never understand, but it would simply be selfish to talk more about myself.

I want to make you all feel a little less embarrassed about something outrageous that you've said or mixed up by relating a mix up that someone distantly connected with me made a while back.

In saying that we are distantly connected, I mean the far off connection one has with someone who gave birth to and/or raised them. But, I digress.

The aforementioned, unidentified person to whom I refer has had very serious back and neck problems from birth. During a surgical procedure her doctor, who was unaware of these conditions, positioned her neck in such a way that caused a lot of pain and problems when she awoke from the surgery.

While having a consultation for a follow-up procedure she made sure to mention to the doctor (who happens to be one of the most stoic, refined, and conservative people I've ever met), that she has genital fusion in her neck, so they would need to be a bit more careful.


Unsure looks, and and awkward silence were finally broken by my father another distant acquaintance mentioning to the doctor that she must mean congenital fusion.

Genital versus congenital. With the possibility of fusion going on here, I feel like we would need to be pretty sure about which we were speaking.

Thank goodness it was quickly cleared up, or the doctor may have thought he had a medical phenomenon on his hands.

Is it naughty that I find so much comfort in the fact that my blunders are less hilarious than these? I mean, we have also had to make sure she is very conscious of using the words 'sacrum' and 'scrotum' in the correct context.

Very confusing. Also, I hope I still have a family now.

15 July 2014

Bedtime Conversations: On Skype

Me: Heeeeey! I can see your face for the first time in daaaays.

C: (not looking at me) Hey beautiful girl.

Me: (waving my hand in front of the camera) Hello? Should I let you go? Is there something going on in there?

C: Oh, sorry. Its just that I haven't seen t.v. in forever!

Me: Excuse me? You haven't seen what in forever (I helped him by circling my face with my finger)? Want to try that again?

Boy, you're lucky I love ya! Its mostly just because you are so scrumptious to look at.


03 July 2014

Into the West*

Traveling with M was a completely different experience this time than it was when we flew to New Jersey in January.

January: we dropped curb side at the airport very early in the morning, and I went through security by myself with bags and toddler.

June: We parked the car, C walked with us into the airport to help me get bags through check-in, and then he stood in the security line with us. Does getting through security give anyone else unnecessary levels of palm-sweaty anxiety? At the end of the line we learned that you can get a gate pass that will allow you to go through security and stay with loved ones at the gate until they board the plane. Whaaaaaaat? If you knew about this I am mentally glove slapping you for not sharing. They are ladies gloves, and not harmful, but I hope you're feeling repentant.

January: M was still a lap child. This is a good idea for only one reason. It saves money. Even six months ago he was active and mobile enough that keeping him on my lap for five hours of flight time ended up being a challenge.

June: We had our own seats. This made a huuuuuuge difference. I had my own space, and he had his. He got to sit by the window, have his own snack tray to drive cars on, and poke the woman in front of him (thank goodness she was very nice). I got to read a bit, talk to the person on my other side, and even snuck a snack for myself in there. When he fell asleep I was able to just lay his head on my lap, and not worry about his knees or feet bothering our neighbors while I tried to hold him. I could travel with him this way any time.

(C's aunt makes these double sided puzzles, and M is crazy about them. Flipzles. Awesome.)

January: We had a 30 minute layover that barely left us enough time to change a diaper, and rush to our next flight. M didn't have any time to stretch his legs or get a break from me.

June: We had a four hour layover. I was dreading this to begin with, but it ended up being really great for us. We found an empty terminal where M played with his toys and watched the airplanes out the window for about an hour. We walked on the moving sidewalks. We sat down and ate some dinner. We got close to our terminal and pulled out his books. Then it was time to get on our plane. He zonked during take off, and I had to wake him when we landed.

Now we are here enjoying family, having a yard, cooling off in the evening, and playing in the irrigation. Consistently spending more than just and hour or two out of the house every day has made one little boy so happy.

However, there is a man in the mid-west being very much missed.


*This song will be played at my funeral. One of you make arrangements accordingly.

03 June 2014


I disappeared for a while because well, stuff has been happening.

Stuff like long morning walks, trips to the park, picnics, reading piles and piles of books.

The kind of stuff that stitches my life together in a very happy even if predictable way.

My fetus has grown, and is making a nice appearance. I seem to have borrowed more maternity clothes than I realized last time around because I am rotating the same six things through my wardrobe, aaaaand some of those aren't going to last when I get gihungous.

I am making a mid-week and mid-year resolution to take more pictures. I've really halted my record keeping in general, and this includes my picture taking. There are a couple of grandmothers living in the west who could file some serious complaints about this.

M is ta-ha-ha-halking like a crazy little man. I can't keep track of where or how quickly he picks up his words. His three syllable words are dee bayst. Bumblebee has been my standing favorite for a little while.

Isn't life the greatest?

24 April 2014

Whining STINKS

It's raaaaaaaaaaaning, which means we don't get to go outside today, but it also means that things will grow and get green and beautiful and lurvley. It also means I could eat something with 'sprinkles' in order to add theme to my day.

Our apartment is partially underground (We just cant completely give up hobbit living), so the windows are right at ground level outside. This morning we came in from an early appointment, and there was the reddest, most gorgeous, most delightful little cardinal right next to window. M was fascinated. He called to it through the window to come back for several minutes after it had flown away.

I booked the flight for M and I to get to Utah this summer. After C worked a few 14ish hour days this week it made me very grateful that I have the option of going to family while he works that many hours every day for months. How stellar is modern transportation and communication?!

M is growing and learning in a manner and at a rate that seems out of control to me. It is so fun to watch and gets me good and tired by bed time. Seriously, kids are a wonder to behold.

I have made real dinner like, three days in a row. That gives me a pass tonight right? Yusssssssss.


18 April 2014

The only reason I would want to live through the 80's as an adult

I was thinking the other day about how so many of the women I know within a few years of my age are pregnant.

And hey, in case my attempt at clever announcements were missed, I'm pregnant too!

I thought about how insane it is that so many of us are experiencing it at once, and how young we all are, and how we half-way feel like the phase of life we are going through should still somehow be beyond us.

Then I thought about how social media has tremendously changed this experience for women.

I mean, I went to school with a graduating class of over 400, so I am pretty sure there were some other women pregnant around the same time as my mom. But my mom didn't post pregnancy announcements on facebook for all of her old middle school acquaintances to be able to see. She just showed up at her 10 year reunion with four kids, and said, "As you can see, I've been busy!"

I am kind of jealous of that privacy. I am jealous that the moms of the generations before us got to feel a little more one in a million about being pregnant instead of feeling like, "How do I announce this in a new and creative way as to not get totally lost in the crowd of (wonderful and hopefully ecstatic) other people making the exact same announcement?"

Part of me wishes I was living this life 20 years ago when I only called my mom and my closest friends, and family found out through the grape-vine. But I don't.

I am not sad or upset that anyone else is pregnant; please don't misunderstand. I am simply trying to learn to still make this a precious and personal experience. I know, posting announcement to social media was absolutely my decision. I didn't have to, and I may choose not to in the future.

There are great things about it too. Being able to reach out to other moms online when I've felt clueless has been a big comfort.

I don't think there is any way for this post to not sound a little selfish, but I am a little selfish.

The end

11 April 2014

Here's the thing

Blogging seems scary now.

I've started to feel like there are expectations I can't meet. 

Then I ask myself from where these expectations are coming, and I have absolutely no answer to that. 

That ongoing and important topic of women comparing the messiness of their every day lives to the perfect photo-op moments that make it on to other womens' blogs has an effect here I am sure. 

I mean, I use vscocam, and damn if some of those filters don't do magic 

Sorry mom. I said damn, which I never say, and will refrain from saying again.

But really, life his more like this:

You see it?

Yeah. This is real.

Real life is seems like I am out of focus devouring bites of toast in a hospital gown while my boys are stunning and wonderful, and seem to be so much more than I deserve. 

I mean look at that man. You can tell how I end up with a busy uterus. Sorry. Too much? 

I'm afraid that sometimes I blog to meet these superfluous expectations, and forget to do it because I love to express myself, and it makes me happy. Dumb.

Double dumb.

Here is to fuzzy backgrounds and eating food in as unladylike a manner as is necessary. 

15 March 2014

The kind of things I shouldn't say

Being a mom has been hard lately. Lately being for the last eight weeks or so. Winter makes a mother's confidence shrivel to a fraction of itself. I have found myself wishing that I could just let someone else take care of M for a while. I'm not a bad mom. I'm a tired mom. All moms want to ship their children to the other side of the country at least pretty often.

I'm failing at liking my body today. I'll try again tomorrow.

Dishes have been sitting in the sink for at least 24 hours.

It took me two weeks to put two letters in the mail. It took me five minutes.

I let my not-quite-two year old watch about an hour of television every day. I don't count the hours that shows may be on for me. He doesn't really pay attention to Say Yes To The Dress.

And you know what, I still think my life is pretty good, that I'm a pretty good mom, and that there is something sexy about me. I do have a child, and we know how those come about: by being sexy.

08 February 2014

a how to, including a very funny man with a side sweep hairdo

I am not a stranger to what I call self issues. I doubt and compare myself, and can remember doing it for as long as I can remember being self aware.

I have doubted my intellect, my sense of humor, my coolness (coolness is SO lame Steve Carell sums it up bestly), my attractiveness, my style, my ability to interact with people in general....and it could go on.

I still struggle with self issues, I alwaaaaays will, but I have made some pretty large strides in learning to love myself despite my square feet, non-dainty nose, and lack of conversational skill. I think some of this simply comes with maturity (snort. since I have that and stuff.), but some of it has had to be very deliberate. Otherwise I would get into a really icky spiral of self dislike.

So, here is a way I am learning to deliberately deal with my self issues:

I listen to the people that love me. When my husband gives me a compliment, I am trying to learn to take it as true rather than thinking he says what he knows would make me happy if it were true. (The woman's mind is such a webby, messy place)This applies to looks, tastes, and intellect. He also thinks I am very funny. Bless him.

When my well meaning, but creepy 17 year old brother tells my my hair looks sexy a certain way, I let myself feel pretty, and punch him while telling him you never say that to your sister. Ya idiot.

When my mom says,"you look cute, as usual,"....I don't really believe her because I usually haven't showered within the last day, and know she says it because I am a reflection of her genetics, and she wants to be hopeful. Still working on believing the mom :)

Point: The people who live outside of your head perceive you in a completely different manner than you perceive yourself, and if you let yourself learn their way of perception, you start to see the light a little bit more.

Here's to our lovers and loved ones. Trust their eyes, not yours.

21 January 2014

Businessy stuff

Relocation seems to have infused itself into the blood of our life. We have been married four years, and lived in six places. Its insane. It is also fun. It is also not fun. We seem to always stay somewhere just long enough to get attached, and then leave. At least we have been some amazing friends this way, and I am awesome at putting things in boxes.

So basically we are in the same family as Marry Poppins and Nanny McPhee...just with dwellings instead of children.

Our lives are currently split between Mahwah, New Jersey, and a little farm somewhere close to Cooperstown in upstate New York. We still have our apartment and things in Minnesota, and will return there come spring. 

We are here just to experience something fun and different. Chesley's flight job practically transforms into a janitorial job in the winter. The weather just isn't conducive to flying or crop dusting (surprise), so he ends up sweeping the hangar floor, or wiping down helicopters over and over and over. He has the wax on, wax off thing mastered, so we are here on the east coast giving maple syrup production a go.

Our dear family friends that are having us here own a maple farm in New York. They always need winter help tapping trees, and Ches has wanted to come out and work for them since he was a teenager. He is spending his days in the snowy maple woods in order to bring certified organic syrupy goodness to the people of the earth. He loves it. He was meant to be an outdoorsman.

M and I stay in New Jersey. They have been wonderful enough to open their home to us for the months we will be here. Their home is big and beautiful and chuck full of toys, so Mav is in heaven. I have read three books in two weeks, so I can't say that I am suffering very much. Ches comes home on the weekends, and there is much rejoicing.

That is all.

06 January 2014

As we go galavanting

I don't think I have ever made an actual list of goals at the turn of the year.

I want to be accountable. I want to be reminded. I want to accomplish the crap out of some stuff, so

10 things I most hope to accomplish in 2014:

1. Learn at least one new moderately difficult piano piece. Fingers remember thy practice!

2. Make more fresh veggies. Twice a week would be WAY more than currently.

3. Sing somewhere other than in my shower, or over my dirty dishes. In front of some people.

4. Go into New York for a day trip by myself at least once (we will be living close for a few months. I should tell you guys about this soon).

5. Try macaroons

6. Eliminate fat talk from my conversation, and my thoughts...no matter how thin my mother gets.

7. Love my husband better.

8. Read a new book every month. I shall post a list soon.

9. Keep to a budget, which includes ONLY buying things at the grocery store that are on the LIST.

10. Have more creative play for M, otherwise, I shall never remember to teach him his colors or his body parts.