Monday, June 29, 2015

Meal Planning Mondays: baby, it's hot outside.





Happy Monday, Mother Truckers.

If you can't face the reality of your laundry situation, sleep on it another day.

As in literally. Sleep on it. Maybe you'll feel more hopeful come Tuesday. My husband especially appreciates my domesticity-dodge technique. He'll collapse on top of the pile next to me and sigh, then I'll shuffle around, find a pair of my undies somewhere wedged in the load, dangle it near his face and ask if that makes everything all better in my Marilyn Monroe voice. Mister Prrrrresident. This is marital bliss.

{He actually folded and put away every last bit of that laundry for me yesterday. Yessir!}

{and NO. Those are NOT sheets hanging as curtains in my bedroom. 
They are...um...der...organic cotton art displays.}



Speaking of laundry...Need some tested and approved meal ideas?

{huh? what just happened?}



It's grill season! For Father's Day, we went down to Lowe's and picked out a new grill with Tyler. He kindly perused the aisles and compared features and pointed to the one he preferred. It was all so ho-hummingly cordial that I had no choice but to put two solid hands on my hips and huff:

"Um, helloooOOoo, we are getting you a GRILL for FATHER'S DAY?!?! We are like the quintessential family Father's Day television commercial right now...I've even brought this golf polo and a visor for you to put on for pictures....aren't you PUMPED about this? You seem so...ordinary right now."

"Well, were you exactly THRILLED the last time I bought you a stove for the kitchen?"

Hmm. Touche.

Fine, he's onto me. Cooking duties largely fall on him for the summer. Mr. Grillmaster Haack. HAPPY FATHER'S DAY TO MEEEEEEEE! I'll have even more time to nap on top of my laundry pile!!!!

Happy wife, happy life. Poor man.


Links:











Friday, June 26, 2015

An update and a baby shower!



As sisters, we recently had the lovely honor of hosting a baby shower for Mallory and little miss baby T (name still TBA upon arrival of this unBELIEVABLY already-adorable-i-can-just-feel-it little GIRL who I can't wait to nuzzle on). As an extremely estrogen biased parent myself, I couldn't help but squeal with giddy at the prospect of even more little ladies running all over the place. We've got a fully stocked cousin supply ready and waiting. Let the female drama continue!

The shower was lovely and Mallory was an adorable expectant Mama, of course. It has been a tough road. The loss of Mikey is still something that is very fresh and painful. Of course, this really isn't my story to tell so I'm not going to presume to be giving a complete picture of my sister or his family's grief. It is all deeply personal and I could never do justice to the depth and scope of what these past few months have been like for them. However, a frequent question I get from sweet friends and loved ones has to do Mallory and how she is doing, so I'll share a little bit today.

The shower was held four months to the day since Mikey's passing (we didn't intentionally plan that). We knew it was going to be a bittersweet time for Mallory, as the unavoidable reality of many transpiring life events are sure to be. 


I know, speaking only for myself, that there are days that my bones literally feel heavy thinking about her and processing this new reality. Is it even possible for your bones to feel? It comes at random moments. The sadness, the weight, the regret. Wishing I could go back and fix it all. Wishing she didn't feel so sad. Wishing he was here too.

Young people with big dreams and so much love just shouldn't have this happen. Kids! They are kids. Isn't there some cosmic law against this kind of total crap?

All I can do, all I can ever do, is offer up hope and prayers. God, You make good on this. 

PLEASE make good on this. 

{OR ELSE. Or else you don't EVEN KNOW the can of whoopA I'll be bringing with me up there someday. Sista is gonna shut the heavens DOWN. ain't NOBODY gonna put mallory in an existential corner!}

I have about 3 minutes to finish this post before lightning strikes, so I better be quick...moving on...

Despite the obvious angst and sadness, I am tremendously hopeful.


In fact, I must say that Mallory hasn't had much need of her overly protective, sacrilegious, God-threatening big sisters anyways. She is such a fierce little fighter, that one. I know she doesn't always feel that way, but I am consistently amazed at her strength and clarity throughout this process.

She's the cutest little pregnant student in her nursing scrubs, immersed in attending school full-time and working part-time. I know it is hard for her. So hard. To keep going. But she does. The days are filled with work and school, and the nights usually bring the most tears. I'm especially comforted to see how she even remains self-aware and responsible enough to maintain regular chats with a beloved therapist in her schedule. She's both heartbroken and determined, struggling and succeeding. She's just a kid, but also like some 100 year-old wise sage. Wow. Never underestimate a short, bubbly blonde girl, is what I'm sayin'. Honestly, could the world get a better future nurse than this girl?! Could a soon-to-be-born daughter ever hope for a better example of strength than this in her mama?!

She is also a fairly private kind of person. Mikey was her supreme confidant, so naturally I think there is this rather devastating, compounded sort of isolation to her sadness. One of the unexpected gifts she has given a few of us is a little window into her heart as she keeps a journal during this journey. She has a private blog that she will record stories and memories and thoughts about her relationship with Mikey. It is a treasure, but it also kinda destroys me every time I read it. All of the pictures, the stories, the details of their world. Reading of their youth-filled romance, I can relate. I can attest to how real and worthwhile it can be, even if you are so very young.

What a sweetheart he was. What a beautiful love they shared, and still share. Being allowed inside of her thoughtful and articulate mind has been enormously helpful to me, because I see so clearly that this girl has got what it takes. She is going to be okay. Better than okay. 



"I never thought I would be setting up the crib by myself....Well to be honest I never thought I would be setting up a crib at all...That was Mikey's job. But I saw the crib and it was so much more than that. It represented all the struggles I have to still face being a "single mom" (really a widow....not single). It was like if I could just set up this crib by myself it was some kind of manifestation that I could do all the other things for the baby by myself too. So it took me longer than it would've taken Mikey but I did it. I built it. and it is beautiful."

I had to peel myself off to the floor after reading that paragraph. But gosh. Mal. I am so, so proud of you. You can do this. 

.......................................................................................................................



{Getting ready for the shower...}


For Mallory's birthday in March, she came to visit me for a few days. Meanwhile, Sarah packed up newly born baby Winnie and mister Sawyer, and drove to NV from San Francisco to tirelessly work with Larissa to surprise her with a newly decorated bedroom/baby nursery retreat.  Because obviously, moving back in with your parents just one month after being married, pregnant, and widowed....wasn't exactly the highlight of Mallory's future plans. 

Sarah insisted that the least we could do was create a little piece of tranquility for her in her old bedroom. A space she could retreat to often and feel comfortable. Because when life gives you lemons, head to Home Goods. Isn't that the saying? Sarah and Larissa painted and shopped and busted it out in 3 days.





{fist pump, ladies. nicely done.}


.....................................................................................................

Let's now finish with pictures from the shower, shall we?!!


It was a day that was really about the celebration of life. 

Welcoming New life. New hopes. New joys.




{cake from Isabel's DELICIOUS bakery: THANKS ISABELS!!}


{lovely guests, which included Mikey and Mallory's friends and family}






{This quilt was sewn and gifted to Mallory from our unBUHlievably talented seamstress friend Christi, who had taken one of Mallory's favorite t-shirts which belonged to Mikey and created this masterpiece for Mallory's bed.}








{Pretty details for little Miss T}








{Mallory and Kate, best buds. Honestly, praise Zeus for Kate. Homegirl manages to keep us all laughing no matter what the circumstance. Every person needs a funny Kate in their lives, really.}


It was a fun celebration, and especially nice to see Mama and soon-to-be-baby enjoying time with loved ones. 

So folks, I think that's a wrap!


{sisters}


Love you, Mal. 
{And please, for the love, no more building cribs by yourself.}