Wednesday, December 17, 2014

let's begin with the birthday girl.

dear london rae haack,

{miss 7 year-old}

you know, there was some level of awareness in me that expected my oldest child to grow up. but, now, when faced with my second hooligan also following suit? this is just insulting. beyond betrayal. i mean, seriously, knock it off already. 

ok ok ok, i get it. you are your own person and you need to spread your wings and fly and grow older and wiser every day and blah blah blllah.

it's just that from the very beginning you were so, sooo squishy and cuddly and oh my gosh beyond words yummy. now?! well, just look at you. you're morphing at this incessantly fast rate into this capable, tall, gracious, lovely, oh my gosh beyond beautiful big girl. it's really starting to freak me out because i am beginning to believe that one day you really are going to be able to of live and thrive without the constant protection and care and companionship of your mama. i keep having visions of this grown, vivacious, functioning adult who is living life to the fullest, charting her course and making her mark on the world and WHAT.EVER.  it is, quite frankly, terrifying.

fortunately, you still love to cuddle. but I usually have to bribe you with a good back scratch. let's continue that forever, shall we?

i comforted myself with the fact that you requested a baby doll for your birthday. thank heavens, you're still little in that sense. i combed the aisle of the store looking for the one you had pointed out. she came with a flower headband and a little puppy in the box. it was a good pick.

as i placed her in the cart i was reminded of another doll you loved, a couple years ago. you picked it up with grandma while out shopping one day. it was from some sort of odd, temporary kiosk vendor in a largely defunct shopping mall that only has one store still worth visiting. A vendor which quickly went out of business and for good reason because let me tell you, it was officially the WORLD'S MOST UNBELIEVABLY HIDEOUS DOLL. grandma could barely speak, she was laughing so hard, when she returned home with you and tried to privately explain why you entered carrying this bizarre satanic-spawn-of-chucky-mating-with-annabelle-from-The-Conjuring in your arms.

i'm not kidding. it was cross-eyed and had missing feet, the batting spilling out from the legs which were poorly stuffed and glued shut. and its hair?! oh my gosh. picture a large sos scrubbing sponge mangled on top of its head.

"i tried to get her to pick something else. she just LOVES it. i kept trying not to let her see me laugh. she genuinely wanted this doll. i had to let her get it."

it was true. you proved the sincerity of your affection by gently combing her hair and carrying her all throughout the house constantly with you. you'd feed her and sing to her and dress and re-dress her rumpled limbs. you'd happily take her for walks in your doll stroller, proudly waving hello and scaring both the small children and adults passing by.

 that poor, hideous doll couldn't have asked for a better mama.

{oh happy day! seven is heaven!}

this story is just a small example of the sort of heart you have, lundy girl. you are inherently pure, and sweet, and full of such amazing kindness and warmth. love comes easily and deeply to you. what a gift you have. you are sensitive and introspective and wildly, off the charts imaginative. i still catch you venturing into your beloved lundyland, something i hope never ends with growing age.

you are also a goofball. 

you make us laugh a lot. sometimes you're pleased to be providing a giggle for the group, and other times it provokes a pretty decent level of your signature london rage when we laugh at your shenanigans. did i mention you are beyond dramatic... derrr...passionate.... too?  

you love nothing more than belting out any and every song playing on the radio. it doesn't matter one iota to you who is around or that you don't actually know the lyrics. like, at all. One your favorites is Kelly Clarkson. Oh boy, when she comes on the radio, you crank. it. up.

Clarkson lyrics:

what doesn't kill you makes you stronger
stand a little taller
doesn't mean i'm lonely when 
i'm alone 

Translated lundy lyrics: 

what doesn't mill a cat go longerrrr
can a mitten smallerrrrr
doesn't mean i'm mone mone
when i'm all goneeee

you are the best, kid.

i've relished every second of this privilege, being your mama.

i look forward to many, many, many more years ahead of complaining and whining about how fast you grow. 

i love you, i love you, i love you.

happy birthday!



Sunday, December 14, 2014

Meal Planning Mondays: rae's getting her groove back.

Why hello!!! Yes, hello

It's Rae coming at you live! from my house where something BIG, something MAGICAL, something WONDERFUL JUST HAPPENED.

We ate dinner. 

As a family.

Around an actual table.

In our house!!

And all food was PREPARED AND COOKED by meeeee!!!

Guys, it felt pretty amaze, I'm not gonna lie. So amazing in fact that I thought I should get online and gush about it and post with my intermittent Meal Planning Monday links. It has been THREE SOLID MONTHS since I have fed my family. I'm totally not even kidding for one second here. THREE MONTHS. Of TAKE-OUT. 

I don't care what restaurant, what store, what ethnic flavor, WHAT.EVER it is...there is just nothing that compares to that which is made in your own little kitchen. Moral of the story is sigh, I'm feeling really happy right now. The remodel has been a stressful bugger. I was a hot mess of fancy problems and disproportional anxiety the entire time. And by 'fancy problems', I mean the sort of obnoxious first-world problems one doesn't really have the right to complain about, but does anyways. I am grateful for my fancy problems. Chances are, you have plenty of them too, right? Praise our lucky stars.

{Mallory came to visit! Yay!}

{She brought her boyfriend through town with her. We enjoyed taking them out to dinner and asking all sorts of fantastically probing questions while Tyler simultaneously provided a generous level of eyebrow raised stink-eye. hiiii mikey.}

Back to our remodeling fancy problems. I have to say, eliminating all modern conveniences in one's life is a FABULOUS way to give kids perspective. Forget Christmas presents and Santa and that whole bunch of nonsense.  We are working at this completely backwards.

Instead, try this. Simply remove every possible electronic and gas powered device in your life starting October 1st of every year and then ceremoniously re-introduce it back on Christmas morning. Done and done! No gifts necessary, people.

I'm telling you, when our refrigerator was finally delivered {and plugged into a random side bedroom} you should have seen their reactions. It was a big Haack family chorus of shouting and praising and singing Hosannas all the way. I'm still on a high. Refrigerators are awesome! Do you have one in your house too?! 

I'm very excited for the Christmas season. December has been on the up and up for sure.

{And to the rather unexpected surge of readers who have reached out regarding my Dad, thank you so much for your outpouring of support - it meant the world, sincerely!}

I'm so excited to share the details of the house in the New Year, friends. The rest of December will be dedicated to all things Haack ladies, and the spectacularly funny stuff that comes from their little mouths. Buckle your seatbelts, because a whole week of "ism's" is coming up soon.




Meal links:

*Our Nonna makes the most spectacular Crab Bisque every Christmas.
 It's the perfect holiday splurge (I'm not a huge sea-food lover, but give me a bowl of this with crusty bread any day, it's dddddelicious. The prepared crab meat from Costco works great with this recipe, I have never gone through the hassle or sheer TERROR of beginning with whole crabs!?)

*Another good one for the holidays: Focaccia Bread with Carmelized Onions

*Every holiday season, I make incessant amounts of Hershey's peanut butter kiss cookies, only I use Hershey's HUGS instead. I know it isn't the fanciest of culinary Christmas delights, but it just isn't Christmas until I've passed out from eating too many warm from the oven. Besides, they are so easy to make and look especially festive when you use the striped Hugs. Make sure to send some over to the neighbors.

*Do we need a vegetable up in here? I feel like we need a vegetable. Ok, here you go.