Thursday, July 31, 2014

It's Only an Apron

I'm not much of a domestic goddess. I can't DIY worth anything and I don't really bake. I hate ironing, I don't do it unless I absolutely have to. I have found that most wrinkled clothing can be thrown into the dryer on the "Wrinkle Release" setting and come out looking pretty close to acceptable for wearing in public, and that's good enough for me.  I don't have a great attention to detail and when it comes to cooking, I kinda "eyeball" the ingredients and toss them into the pot all willy-nilly. I can't even count how many times a day my internal dialogue ends with a "Eh, close enough."

However, I do love to make mashed potatoes from scratch. But the mixing part is a tad messy. And I usually get mashed potatoes all over my shirt. Which is why a few years back when my sister asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I asked her for an apron. I had never had an apron before, and Jaclyn is always the best at finding really cute things on Etsy.

So, she came through and gave me such a cute apron for my birthday that year. It hangs on the back of my pantry door and I use it in the following circumstances:

1. Making mashed potatoes
2. Making something that involves flour
3. Cooking when I'm already dressed for an event and don't want to ruin my outfit

Love the apron. Love it. Very useful.

However, every time I put it on and turn on my handmixer.... I suddenly become hyper-aware of how housewife-y I have become. "I'm standing, barefoot in my kitchen, with a toddler tugging on my leg, and I'm making mashed potatoes. And I'll be 30 in two weeks."

All this to say... most of the time I still feel like a kid playing house... but every once in awhile I put on the apron.

The apron makes me feel like Betty Crocker. That's all I'm saying. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Blog is Growing Up

I started this blog in 2007. I had been married not even 3 months and titled it "Jen the Newlywed". Well, that was quite some time ago.

In just a few weeks, I will turn 30.

And at the end of this year, Grant and I will have been married for 8 years.


Which means I'm thinking I'm not really a newlywed anymore. So, I've moved the blog. I brought all my old posts with me (because I couldn't bear to part with them) (it would be like throwing away a journal) but I renamed it and freshened the place up a little bit.

Why "So Many Words" for the blog name? Well, duh. I can't stop talking. There's just so many words around here. Not much will change. It was just time to move things up. Thanks for "moving" over here with me.

Keep reading.

Monday, July 28, 2014

At Least Someone is Sleeping

Oh, friends.

What a fun and exciting and eventful few weeks it has been. Since I last wrote, Ellie has turned 2, we hosted her 2nd birthday party, Ellie and I drove to and from McKinney, Texas to visit friends, and Ellie is now on Day 2 of a crazy little virus. 

I can hardly form words or type sentences since I only got about 2.5 hours of sleep last night, so instead, I'll just share pictures:

Here's my sweet, sick little girl with her daddy last night:

Go away, fever!

I honestly can not believe we are already at the end of July. The only good thing about this year going by so fast is the fact that the cooler weather will be here soon.

Cause, you know what 2 year olds like to do? Play outside.

And you want to know something about being outside in Houston in July?

It's 786 degrees Fahrenheit. 

I told Ellie we can play outside in late October. She doesn't seem to think that that is a fair compromise. 


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Night Before She Turns Two

I just put my one year old Ellie girl to bed. Tomorrow morning, when she wakes up, she will by my two year old Ellie girl. TWO. How did we get here?

I'm not going to lie, I've been an emotional mess tonight. It started during bath time, and then got worse during PJ time and then really culminated during books and prayers. I was full on crying.

And I'm happy. Of course I'm happy. She has been so much fun recently and I know the fun will continue to increase, as will the cuteness. But TWO is such a big girl. Two is not a baby.

Two will bring more words, more opinions, and more questions. Two will bring dressing herself. Two will bring potty training (LORD, HELP ME JESUS). I can not imagine sticking that little bitty girl on a potty. SHE WILL FALL IN. I just can't even. Two will bring more foods to try and love (Name it and claim it, people.) Two will be goodbye to the pacifier, which we should have done long ago, but it never leaves her bed so she's never using it throughout the day or in public. And also, I'm not ready yet. Two will maybe bring a big girl bed. Two will get rid of the high chair. It's all her sweet little baby things.

I know I'm making this super sappy and dramatic when it doesn't need to be. This is exciting! A celebration! Tomorrow she will wake up to find a play kitchen in our living room. I can't wait to see her face. She has no concept of what her birthday means so she is going to wake up thinking it's a normal day and it's just going to be all kinds of epic.

And oh, do I love her. I miss her when she's not with me.

She loves to sing. She requests specific songs for me to sing or to play on my iPhone. She loves to dance and will ask for music to dance to. "Dancin? I dancin? Songs, Mommy? Songs? I dancin?"

She loves to learn. She can count to ten and she knows all of her colors. She knows all the animal sounds. She loves to repeat things.... even things you don't want her to repeat. Oops.

She makes me crazy, but she's made me grow up. She's brought to my life a level of discipline and responsibility that I've never had before. She's ridded me of my selfishness (mostly) (I still have my moments) and taught me what it means to put another's needs before your own. She puts everything in perspective... cause when my day is going badly and I feel miserable, I just look at her and feel immensely and overwhelmingly blessed. So blessed that I feel like I could never, ever deserve this kind of gift. And I stop whatever I'm doing in that very moment and I thank Jesus for her.

One of the things that I've always prayed for Ellie is that she would be a delight to all who come to know her. I pray that she would bring happiness and joy to people. And so far, I feel like my prayers have been answered exceedingly and abundantly. She IS joy. She is so full of light and love and I pray so fiercely that that never, ever goes away.

Today is July 15, 2014. I wrote a blog on July 15, 2012... titled "The Last Day Without Her". I wrote it the day we went to the hospital, knowing she would be born the very next day. And I read it now and I weep... because I really just had no idea. I had no earthly idea.

Ellie, a few minutes old, July 16, 2012
Her first birthday party

Swimming in June
Playing with friends in July!
Happy Birthday, my sweet Ellie girl. I love you to the moon and back.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Chairs

The dining room is the very first room you see when you walk into my home.

And it's fine. It's pretty. But it's really boring. And there's a lack of color and I just have never loved it.

About a year ago I finally painted the white walls green and that really made a difference. But the white(ish) carpet and the white(ish) chair cushions still left me wanting more.

So, I went to JoAnn's, picked out a fabric, borrowed a staple gun from a girlfriend and called my mom. Cause she's done this before. And I rarely can take on a household project without my mom there to help guide the way.

This project was relatively easy once I mastered the art of using a power drill. I unscrewed and screwed the cushions from the chairs while my mom stapled the fabric onto the seat cushions.

Et, voila!

Before (white), after (green and blue)

It really brightened up the room and gave it a more modern feel. At some point, I will probably refinish the dining room furniture, but that is a bigger fish to fry. A fish that I have no time or patience for right now.

I have some leftover fabric and am trying to decide what I want to make with it.... table runner? Pillows? The possibilities are endless!


Monday, July 7, 2014

And These Are a Few of My Current Favorite Things

It's a hot, rainy summer night, so I thought I'd take this opportunity to sit down and write something. However, my creative juices just aren't flowing at the end of this very long day, so instead I'll just share a list of some things I'm loving right now!

1. My new pillows and curtains! I found the curtains from the Threshold line at Target, and the pillows were a combination of Target and TJ Maxx. 

2. The Flip Belt. Like I've mentioned before, I have been running lately. And I hate running with stuff in my hands or in my pockets. This black, elastic belt is not cumbersome at all and can hold your phone and your ID or whatever you need, plus I can still plug my headphones in! Plus, there is the added bonus of not feeling like you're wearing a fanny pack. 

3. Lately, when Ellie is told to do something that she finds undesirable, she will comply but will also say "Ohhhhhhhhh, Gosh!" while doing it. Cracks me up every time. 

4. This video: IT. IS. AMAZING.

5. Chasing God by Angie Smith. I CAN NOT RECOMMEND THIS BOOK ENOUGH. Full of truth and humor and encouragement. My kind of book!

And that's all she wrote for tonight, folks :)

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The 6th of July

Well, it's 2 days after the 4th of July and people still insist on blowing up fireworks in residential neighborhoods. I AM JUST THRILLED ABOUT THIS.

If I really wanted to, I could spend this entire blog post sharing my opinions about people choosing to celebrate the 4th of July on the 6th of July at 9 o'clock in the evening. However, I'm pretty sure you could guess what my feelings are on that particular subject. So I'm going to spare you from the complaining and the venting and just tell you that these people need to shut it down, pronto. The mamas on this block are about to come out with an attitude.

Honestly, we had a wonderful, restful, fun 4 day weekend. Grant's company generously gave their employees Thursday AND Friday off. We usually travel on long weekends so it was a nice break to spend several days at home. Thursday we went to a fantastic party at our friends' house and Ellie slept in a pack and play and we stayed out waaaaay past our bedtime. But it was awesome. Friday was the 4th and we spent a lot of the day getting projects done around the house. Ellie spent her time feeding her babies.

On Friday night, we met up with my parents who were keeping our niece and nephew and headed up to the club to enjoy their Independence Day festivities. Unfortunately, that fun was short lived as a there was a big storm a'brewin' and we had to call it a night pretty early. That didn't stop Ellie from playing some excellent golf shots.

We still had a blast! Saturday Grant spent his day fishing off the coast with my brother-in-law, Jeremy, while Ellie and I enjoyed a pool party and some BBQ with some friends. It was really quite a rainy holiday weekend around here but we have been able to enjoy some outside time in between the squalls.

We had a great morning at church and also took a family trip to Whole Foods this afternoon to pick up some yummy goodness. Grant cooked himself a kabob on the grill and a turkey burger for me. And now I'm sitting here watching a show about antiques while I breathe deeply and try not to go outside and go all Angry-Mom on these neighborhood hooligans who feel that this is a good time and place to explode some artillery shells. Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale.