Thursday, August 28, 2014

Happy 2nd Birthday!


Darling Girl,

Happy 2 years! This letter to you is two weeks late - we had a very busy birthday week followed by another busy week for our family. We had the best time celebrating you, starting the Sunday before your special day with a trip to the party supply store - we picked out pink plates and purple napkins and lavender sugar sprinkles for your cupcakes and ordered 12 pink and purple balloons, one of which we brought home early to tie to your chair in the dining room. All week we practiced singing the happy birthday song, and kept asking you "How old will you be Brighton? Two!"

On your special day, I woke up early and watched you sleep. I couldn't help myself. When you sleep you still look so small and so much like my baby. I love that your cheeks still have a tiny ounce of baby fat and your toes and hands are still so small.

(I think) you are about 25 pounds and 35 inches long - your 2 year appointment is in a few weeks so we'll make sure to record those stats in your baby book. You wear 2T shorts, shirts and dresses, but can fit into 3T pants - you are still so tall for your age. Your hair is now a light sandy brown with blonde streaks in the front and you are so, so, so tan! All that sun has turned you into a little "Coppertone" baby. We can put your hair in a cute little top knot or long pigtails or even in a tiny braid. You look so grown up with your hair pulled back. Your eyes are still a green hazel with blue specks. Your "eye" teeth have finally made an appearance which was a rough two weeks for all of us!

We eat dinner together every night at the dining room table, saying our prayers first, with music in the background. We try to feed you whatever we cook for the night, unless it's something really spicy. Sometimes you eat as much as a teenage boy, other days you act like you're not hungry at all. We just try to make it work and get some good calories into you! You still sleep like a teenager too - you love to stay up late and sleep in every morning if we let you. You have also started to sleep longer stretches in the afternoon which makes us all very happy! You love to sleep with your two favorite blankies, a few stuffed animals and a large knitted blanket to cover up your legs.

You can now jump, run fast, skip and balance better than I can! Your vocabulary has skyrocketed! You have full conversations with us, telling us what you see, what you want to do and what you like. You know a ton of songs like "Ba-Ba Black Sheep", "Itsy Bitsy Spider", "Twinkle, Twinkle", "Jesus Loves Me", "C is for Cookie" plus every single song from the movie Frozen. Your version of "Let It Go" is the most entertaining thing ever. You even do the arm motions Elsa does in the movie. You can count up to 20 and backwards from 10. My new favorite phrases you say is, "right there" but it sounds like "ight dare" with a little "w" sound thrown in and "change diaper" but it sounds like "change diapurr". Listening to you talk is my favorite thing. Potty training hasn't begun yet but you at least tell us when you need a clean diaper.

Your cuddles, hugs and kisses are amazing - you freely give affection out to your family and friends. My favorite is your greetings when you have not seen us for a few hours - you run, calling our name, arms open wide and leap into our arms. For all the affection you give, you still have your moments of frustration and tantrums are becoming more common. That comes with the age and we are working hard to help you manage your frustration, sadness and big emotions. Some days are easier than others and your daddy and I hope to make you proud with the way we are teaching you manners, respect and kindness. Raising you is the best work I have ever done, the hardest, but the best.

This past year was a learning year for us both - your newfound independence was really tough on your parents. There were days that you were so frustrated with the restrictions and rules around you. Other days you shined. I have a phase that I say to you whenever you're mad or sad, "Being little is hard." It is - you want freedom and you want to explore and experience everything and we try hard to find the balance between letting you be young and curious and keeping your environment safe and helping you understand what behaviors we expect. But it was also a good year - one where we watched you flourish at your new pre-school under the love and care of two wonderful women and 10 other toddlers, where we watched your personality emerge and you turned into a silly, smart and quite funny little girl, where we witnessed you become a friend to others, a caregiver to others who were sad or small, and a protector when needed. We are so proud of the child you are and we know there is so much good ahead of you.

Brighton Love, your little life is a testament to the goodness of God, the love and light that is meant to be in the world. You're our miracle girl, the apple of our eye. Happy 2nd Birthday precious one, may this next year of your life be the best yet!

We love you!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I'm still alive...

It's been an insane 2 weeks: life, family drama, so much work, and Brighton turned 2. 

Updates to come promise, promise! Hope you all are doing fantastic. 

Love,
Kara

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The New House; Dining & Living Room Reveal

Cause I know you love a good before and after...

BEFORE
Before
Before
Before 

AFTER

Refinished hardwood floors and crown molding
This used to be the original dining room space - we plan to build floor to ceiling book shelves around the small window with a bench underneath. 
From the edge of the couch to the other wall to the right was a long wall separating these spaces!

This was the original spot for the den (a small wall separated it from the kitchen - and also a long wall to the left separated it from the original living and dining spaces)

The sunroom is behind those curtains
That big cabinet is our pantry and the pocket door leads to the expanded laundry room.
View from the dining into the kitchen
That black blob is my dog Bella. 

And now for my favorite details:

Gallery wall feature Naptime Diaries and Skoope Home prints, plus some family photos. 

Edison bulb light fixture (Matt made it!)

My blue door with the big "M" plus the comfiest chair ever - it was the previous owners and they let me buy it for $1. 

So it's still a work in progress: we have built in bookcases to install, pictures to hang in the living room; I need to find a narrow buffet table for the dining room and also find a two arm chairs for the table. But so far, I love this space. It's so open, airy and light and feels so cozy too. 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Beach Week


I'm on vacation this week! No posts scheduled, but hopefully this adorable photo of Brighton from last summer will tide you over (she grew up so fast!!! Sob!!!)



Have a great week!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Real life

So I posted all those "after" kitchen photos this week, but I have a confession:

My kitchen does not normally look that clean and staged. 
I moved all the things I didn't want you to see to the dining room table, or shoved them in drawers.
I furiously cleaned the floors and counters and loaded the dishwasher.

This is what my kitchen normally looks like (and this is a really good day):



Paperwork, my laptop, keys, and typically a sippy cup or a wrapper of some sorts are normally on the island. Brighton's latest artwork is always on the fridge, we have a huge bulletin board where we keep important papers, our receipts and meal ideas and the sink always has a few dirty dishes. 

As much as I'd like my house to look like the cover of a magazine, that's not real life. Also, I don't normally have fresh flowers in the house - these were for my mom's birthday dinner and she forgot to take them with her!

Keep it real peeps. Happy weekend!