30.

A lot of women struggle with turning 30. It’s the end of your 20’s. The wrinkles start. The hips are bigger, especially if you’ve had children, and your metabolism slows down tremendously. There’s also other things that happen…like weird dark hairs that grow into your chin that you have to pluck out. Or bleach. Or both. Things are not hopelessly saggy, like you can still rock it if you need to, but when the bra comes off, there is a definite drop that wasn’t there before. You know what I mean. Cellulite creeps in. It’s hard to stay toned, like you actually have to watch what you eat and work out. Not to mention the gray hairs and wrinkles that are starting to form.

Sounds dreadful, right? But 30. Thirty it is. I’ve arrived. I’m a wife. I’m a mom. I’m a bonafide adult. I’m 30. I have cellulite. And some to spare if you’d like some for yourself. I’ve nursed two kids for over a year, so things are not perking up like they used to be. I have gray hair that I dye. I have wrinkles and think it’s flattering when I get ID’d at the store to purchase wine.

Nothing pleases me more than going to bed at 10:00 at night, and I love, love, love to have hot coffee in the morning without interruption. I hate small talk. I know the kind of people I want in my life as friends. I don’t want to walk with you through your journey to “finding yourself.” I did that in college/early motherhood and I’m done now. I’m saving the rest of that energy for my kids when they will need it. I know the kind of mother I want to be to my children. I am starting to realize that my body is pretty awesome looking for a 30 year old mother of 2 who has been pregnant 5 times. I eat dinner before 6:00 every evening. And yes, I get annoyed if there are people out and loud after 11. I want to stay in and watch TV with my husband. I avoid crowds like the plague. I don’t know where to shop because I’m too old for Forever 21, but too cheap for Anthropologie. The last movie I went to see in theaters was the Minions, and this weekend, my husband and I went wine tasting and to a garden resort to stay with the rest of the geriatrics because those are our people now.

To me, 30 brings confidence. I am grabbing 30 and running with it, wildly and freely, in a way 20 cannot ever catch up with.

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Fall Things

My last posts have been kind of heavy and have caused some controversy, SO….let me just say, I’m sorry if I offend anyone with what I write on here. But at the same time I’m not. This is my little internet space to express my thoughts, and to honestly keep it real. There is too much out there that is fake or “just the highlights” that it can be a little discouraging when you look at your own life and realize you’re not “keeping up with the Jones'” as much as you hoped (and no, I’m not referring to my sister and her family 😉 ). When I started this blog, it was a place for me to be real, to not sugar coat things, and to celebrate both the highs and the lows. Right now, my family is in a bit of a valley, but that’s okay. They happen, it’s a part of life, and I think the valleys only add to the highlights in the end.

So, just know going forward that I normally filter myself quite a bit in my every day life, but this is my one space that I simply don’t. And, right now, I’ve seen far more good come from it than bad, so my blog will continue.

However, because my last posts have been a little gloomy, I thought I’d reassure my readers that we are in fact enjoying many aspects of life. And we are especially soaking up this Fall season. Isn’t Fall just the best? We’ve been lucky to participate in so many Fallish activities this year and I thought I’d share some photos with you all.

Apple Picking

Judah and I got to sneak away and do some apple picking at our favorite little orchard. Judah ate about ten apples while we were there, and we ended up leaving with five gallons. It was the perfect amount for canning a few quarts of apple sauce, making a couple pies, whipping up some apple cinnamon french toast, and of course eating the extras with peanut butter and honey.

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We’ve also managed to enjoy some time with friends. Though Fall is often busy, we’ve been lucky enough to snag a few moments with some of the people (both big and small) that we love so much. Needless to say, the imaginations have been running wild and always…safety first 😉

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The weather has been so nice here this season. We have been able to still reap some warmth from the summer sun, but our mornings usually start out nice and brisk and our evenings end with a great chill in the air. It’s wonderful to still be able to play outdoors and not feel like we’re melting into a puddle.

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Who doesn’t love a fresh Fall haircut? I’m practicing my hand at the DIY haircut and was pretty proud of myself for pulling off a semi-decent at home do for my kiddo.

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We also celebrated our favorite man’s 30th birthday!! We have a tradition, stollen by Kelle Hampton, where Judah gets a set amount of money and can choose whatever he wants to gift his dad with each year. I love the idea of giving him the choice to decide what he thinks Kyle will enjoy most. Right now it’s pretty toy oriented, but it’s fun to see the extra thought he puts into things as the years progress. This year’s loot included two light sabres, a monster truck, and play dough.

We also had our annual visit to the pumpkin patch this past weekend. And…as I was going through my photos I realized I didn’t take any of Judah actually in the pumpkin patch…woops! But, we did leave with four killer pumpkins which are sitting outside our front door.

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We’ve also gotten Judah’s “big boy room” finished and are almost done with baby girl’s nursery, which will be coming up in a future post.

I hope you and your families are enjoying this Fall season! After all, it’s the start of the most wonderful time of the year 🙂

Judah Is 3!

Hard to believe this kiddo turned three earlier this month.

We were able to celebrate with a few close friends, and the day was really special. It has been ridiculously hot outside, so some type of water feature was a must. When Kyle and I asked Judah what he wanted to do for his party this year, he said “cars.” After a quick peruse of the ‘ol Pinterest, we settled on creating a “car wash” that could be used for the rest of the season. It was great fun, and surprisingly easy to assemble. You can find the directions to the model we used here.

We are about to hunker down for the next couple of days, so my next posts will probably be photo heavy, unless something drastic happens and I need to vent 😉 Kyle is recovering from a small surgery and I am taking the opportunity to try some hard core potty training with Judah while we wait for our main squeeze to recoup. So, if you come to our house, Judah will be naked, chances are high that there will be pee on the floor, but my gosh, this boy is getting potty trained. And if he doesn’t, he most likely be the kindergartener wearing a pull-up to class, because after this attempt, I’m just throwing in my towel. Just don’t draw attention to it…his parents are sensitive about it.

For now, I will leave you with some photos from this three year old’s festivities. I apologize for the photo quality, or lack thereof. I have better pictures from his actual day turning three on my camera, but I’m feeling way too lazy to get up and upload them, so you’re stuck with my crappy phone pictures. But, you’ll get the drift.

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Busted getting his 1,000th sucker of the day...

Busted getting his 1,000th sucker of the day…

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Enjoying some ice cream sundaes!

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Minions bike!

I mean, if he's not the cutest little construction worker you've ever seen.

I mean, if he’s not the cutest little construction worker you’ve ever seen.

Happy birthday, kiddo. We love you to pieces.

Judah is 2!

This month has been nothing short of crazy. Our family has been overstretched and haven’t had as much time to enjoy each other as we had hoped. However, despite the craziness of July, it did start off with a pretty wonderful and significant event. Judah turned TWO on the sixth. It boggles my mind to think that he’s already two. Bye-bye baby, hello full-on toddler.

Fresh outta the oven two years ago! Still seems like yesterday...

Fresh outta the oven two years ago! Still seems like yesterday…

Prior to the big day, we’d been having some difficulty (ongoing) with Judah’s bedtime, so we opted to give him a toddler bed. He has loved it so far and here are a few photos of him checking out his mattress without those crib walls.

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The next morning started off with some presents at home with Kyle and I and his Neena, who came in from New York to celebrate.

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This photo kills me. He's totally giving me the stink eye and I can just hear him saying, "mom, stop taking all these pictures!"

This photo kills me. He’s totally giving me the stink eye and I can just hear him saying, “mom, stop taking all these pictures!”

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This little guy is into all things transportation. Trains, planes, cars, trucks, anything with wheels, he digs it. Can I get an amen for matchbox cars being a whopping 94 cents??

Later on that afternoon, we went to a local park and celebrated with some of Judah’s favorite people.

Judah's party theme was "Thomas the Train." Eat your heart out Pinterest Supermoms...I totally box cake rocked these birthday cupcakes.

Judah’s party theme was “Thomas the Train.” Eat your heart out Pinterest Supermoms…I totally box cake rocked these birthday cupcakes.

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He thinks he's old enough to drive now. If only he could figure out those shades...

He thinks he’s old enough to drive now. If only he could figure out those shades…

After all that partying we headed home for a birthday dinner of Thai take out…birthday boy’s choice. And I’m 100% serious. This is one sophisticated two year old.

Judah, I cannot believe you are two. You are an absolute joy and I will never be able to put into words how deeply I love you. You are the best little boy a mommy could as for.

Thank you to the friends and family who called, sent cards, gifts, or partied with us and were able to make Judah’s day so special. We love you all! Over and out 😉

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27 Things.

Well, tomorrow I turn the big 2-7. I thought it would be kind of fun to share 27 things about myself. Some of you may already know these facts, some might surprise you, and probably most of it is really just pointless information. But, either way, I’m writing them down.

1. I grew up being called “Fred.” In fact, I think until I graduated college, my sister called me “Fred” more than than she used my real name. It started when I was three and just stuck.

2. I am a Christian. I have debated discussing this on my blog because though I’m proud of the fact that I follow Christ and that I love him, I’m not always so proud of the things my fellow Christians do. This being a public blog, I didn’t want to turn people off because of that. But ultimately, that’s completely contradictory to my faith.

3.  I am a writer. But no, really, not just for this blog. I write for this company and am able to do so from home, which is amazing. If you’re a small business owner or entrepreneur, check it out. Seriously.

4. I’m a mother. I’ve had the privilege of carrying three different babies throughout my life. You can read about my unborn kiddos here and here and my little man Judah, here. Nothing gives me more joy than being the mother to this little boy.

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5. I love to cook. Cooking comfort food is especially my thing. I love to make stuff like a good beef stew, chicken pot pie, or a big pot of jambalaya. But…

6. I hate to bake. I love to eat sweets, but I do not have the patience for baking.

7. The beach is my favorite spot. I could go to the beach every day of the year. The smell of the saltwater and the feel of the sand, the sounds of the waves crashing to the shore, mmm. I could just soak that up forever.

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8. I am originally from New York state.  Everyone thinks when I say I’m from New York I mean NYC. Not the case. The town I grew up in was actually so rural, there is not even one traffic light. Its claim to fame is a Subway, a Chinese restaurant, and a college, which practically everyone who lives in the town works in or attends. Just to give you an even better idea for how small it is, I graduated with a class of 35. I went to private school, but the average size of the public schools in the area were around 60-65.

9. I’ve lived on both coasts. Thanks to my upbringing, I’ve officially lived life on the east coast, the midwest where I attended college, and now, on the west coast in Oregon.

10. I’m an over-analyzer. But seriously, about everything. I often will think and re-think, and try to guess what problems or future problems might arise because of my actions, plans I might make, or things that may happen. It’s exhausting, really, but mostly exhausting for my poor husband who has to listen as I verbally process it all.

11. I am a verbal processor, and in other cases a written one. This blog is a prime example. Basically, it’s me processing through something and sharing with the internet. Lucky you!

12. I have two tattoos. One is on my left ribcage that says, “my beloved” in Hebrew. Yes, I know Posh spice has that and I also know it’s a little cliche to have the Hebrew tattoo, but whatever. I love it and it means a lot to me. I got it the first year I was married and it’s a reminder to me of how much my husband loves me, and how much God loves me, and has created me as his “beloved.” Tattoo number two is on my right inner elbow/forearm. It is a section of a Josh Garrels lullaby that he wrote for his child. I used to play it over and over for Judah while I held him and danced trying to keep him calm throughout his colicky stage. The lyrics state, “Love I never knew filled my heart when I held you.” It is the best way to describe becoming a mother. It’s a love never experienced before and that time with Judah was both stretching and one I will hold dear forever. And, despite my family’s distaste for tattoos of all shapes and sizes (yes mom, I see that eye roll) I cannot promise those two will be my last.

13. My favorite drink is a margarita. I enjoy wine and beer, but if I could have a margarita every day, I definitely would. Maybe when I’m old and retired I’ll indulge that.

14. I’d buy fresh flowers every week….if I could. Sometimes I think rich people can really indulge in some silly things, but something I would do if I could throw $10-$15 in the trash every week would be buying fresh flowers, just like these found at our local farmer’s market.

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15. My middle name is Ruth. This is also my great grandmother’s name, my grandmother’s middle name, my mom’s middle name, and if someday I am blessed with a little girl, it will be her’s too. I love that it’s been passed down through the family and that I have the privilege of having it.

16. I can fold myself into a pretzel. Yep, totally can. And I checked a few months ago, and I still got it!

17. Reading puts me to sleep. Except when it comes to The Great Gatsby and The Hunger Games Trilogy. Otherwise, don’t even bother.

18. I love Bette Davis movies. I adore that actress. My mom introduced me to her movies when I was just a little girl. I love her sassy characters and overly dramatic plot lines. Not to mention, she is beautiful and looks just like my Grandma Lewis.

19. I was blonde. I had blonde hair as a kid and until I was about 16. I started dying it dark brown my senior year of high school and now it naturally settles at a light brown.

20. I have a love/hate relationship with “selfies.” Let me explain this. I can appreciate taking a picture of yourself, or an “artistic self-portrait” (it’s really a selfie, come on) if you will. But, let’s just get to the bottom of it. I despise when people post a “selfie” and then use some cryptic quote or caption at the bottom. Just be honest with it and say, “Instagram followers: I am ROCKIN’ this outfit today and I thought you should see it!” or “Hey-o, I actually showered, put makeup on, and did my hair and I’m feelin’ pretty good! Let me share that with you, and please tell me I look good back!” We all know certain “selfies” are fishing for complements…aka those ones you post when you’re not wearing makeup and you have to specifically point that out to get tons of likes and “oh, you’re so beautiful, I never would have known!” Or those ones where you’re gazing off into the distance, looking pensive and oh so “hipster.” Also, taking a “selfie” to make fun of a “selfie” is still technically a “selfie.” Just saying. But in all honesty, I never can tell when people aren’t wearing any makeup, cause they are usually just naturally beautiful, I can appreciate your awesome hipster outfit and pensive looks, and an laugh at your sarcastic duck face and appreciate that. So go on with your selfie taking selves, just be honest about it, that’s all.

21. I have been to five countries. Canada, Mexico, The Czech Republic, Australia, and Honduras.

22. I hate birds. To me, they are super creepy and diseasey. And I have this irrational fear that they’re just going to rise up and start pecking people. Isn’t that a movie? Though, I do appreciate their chirping on a nice summer day.

23.  My favorite holiday is Christmas. Come on, who’s isn’t? Well, it’s probably at least in the top three if not number one.

24. I’m horrible at bowling. I think my “high score” was an 80 once?

25. I’m an introvert. I’m terribly awkward and horrible at making eye-contact. I’d rather crawl into a hole by myself than be in front of a large group of people, or be the center of attention. There is no way I would ever say anything I write in my blog out loud. Unless I know you really well, and unless I’ve had a margarita…or two. Good thing there are blogs, otherwise I’d explode.

26. I’m a closet cusser. I know my sister also shares this gene. I’m never bothered when other people say cuss words, unless it’s around my kiddo, then watch it. Otherwise, it’s just language to me. And sometimes, when I’m really upset, or I hit the stupid pole in our apartment parking space for the tenth time that month, or I bite my lip when eating, there is just nothing else to say but a cuss word. Am I right?

27. I’m a terrible parker. As stated, I’ve hit a few things now and again when parking. It’s pretty much a miracle any time I’m actually between the lines.

So, now that you know 27 pointless facts about me, don’t  you just feel like we could be besties?? And, so you’re warned, I will be publishing a blog about 30 things I’d like to do before I’m 30. So be prepared for that in the near future.

Have a fabulous week everyone, we’re off to the beach this weekend to celebrate yours truly and my glorious arrival into this world with friends, and I cannot wait!