family life

Loving Lately 💨

Loving Lately: The Winds of Change

So, I took some more time off. I put the blog on autopilot, and continued to ponder the future of Sadie’s Nest.

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I’ve been really busy. We finally bought the camper… The kids have been sick…

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I had some great advice. A family member told me that if I enjoy blogging, I should keep doing it until I don’t, if that ever happens.

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Many of you were lovingly supportive, my loyal companions.

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So I’ve decided to continue my blogging adventure…

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Just keep it a little more laid back for the summer.

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I rewrote my about page (for the umpteenth time… what am I about anyway?).

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Thank you for continuing this journey with me! (And as usual thank you Pinterest for these images.)

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Love, Sadie

 

 

Identity Crisis -of Sorts

It’s in those times, when you’re ready to do a full-on overhaul; because nothing you’ve done seems right, when you have to ask yourself the hard questions: “Who am I? …Do I even have a style?” It’s as if all the sudden, or actually maybe it’s been progressively happening for a while… anyway it is in this moment… that I admit I can’t stand the color of my kitchen!

Oh sure, like half of America, I’ve been watching Fixer Upper. And I’ve convinced myself that unless Chip and JoJo Gaines come and do a complete renovation; tear down walls, access all natural light and put up as much shiplap as we can find, my home will never be complete. Of course, without any real experience taking care of animals, I consider myself to be a farm girl. So naturally I have a tendency to think my home should resemble a farmhouse… But in reality I’m far more traditional (and my backyard is more pool than lawn). I do appreciate country decor; primitive, traditional and inspired by folk art. I really love English Cottage. I can be carried away by the contrasting elegant and rural touches of French Country… the idea of a beautiful chandelier with tear drop glass prisms over a rustic farm table. Swoon. I’ve been known to walk out of Pier I with curtains replicating fabrics straight out of Bombay. I love my traditional Irish plaid wool blanket we brought home from the Emerald Isle (it’s my favorite throw for the back of our rocker)! Maybe my “look” is considered eclectic? But I don’t want to be eclectic! What does that really mean anyway? Hodgepodge-esque? (Which is even more upsetting when you add in that on any given day I’m really inclined to feel like I live in a toy store!)

Thankfully, before I got too crazy, my mother talked me out of painting all of the refurbished brick in my living room around the fireplace. It seemed far less permanent to paint the walls a trendy light blue/gray. So in true DIY form I put down drop cloths and rolled out a color coating adjacent to the brick, and fortunately I only covered 1 and half walls before I came to my senses and realized I hated it. It’s sooo bad. Ugh! But I really like the black cast-iron-ish paint we put over the out-dated brass fireplace frame. And I love the darker stain I put on the mantle. Baby steps. Slowly I’m figuring it out, I’m thinking I am Country Cottage (it makes sense in my head)… and soon I will tackle that kitchen. 

A Day in the Life

Owen had left for work. Breakfast had been made, and put away. My oldest son was dressed, groomed and sent to school. Diapers had been changed. The little ones were settled in front of Disney Junior. It was a good time to steal a moment for myself.

“What is that?” I asked myself, staring into the bathroom sink. All I could see against the peach porcelain bowl was little flecks of white and brown. “Is that toilet paper? Oh my gosh, is that poop?” My four year old daughter had been the last one to use the bathroom. “Naomi, come here!” I yelled across the house. “Naomi, did you put your poopy toilet paper in the sink?”

“Yes.”

“Why?”

“I was trying to rinse it off.”

“Why?” I asked again.

“I don’t have an answer for that.” she said. That’s her new go-to line.

“Okay, we don’t put our dirty toilet paper in the sink. It’s very yucky. After we are done, we flush it all down the toilet… Let’s get you cleaned up.” I took her to the kitchen sink to wash her up. After I felt she was sanitized, I headed back to the sanctioned off bathroom. As I was cleaning up the sink (with slight disgust mind you), I found myself in the rare position of thanking God that I actually saw the poop-stained shreds of toilet paper. At least I knew that I needed to disinfect the bathroom, and scrub Naomi. Then I had the terrifying thought of “what happens that I don’t know about?” …which I quickly dismissed… Because there are some things I’m better off not dwelling on.

Not in the too long future, I was attempting to give my three year old a dose of antibiotic medicine. He and my husband had recently taken a week-night trip to urgent care. Mostly because my husband had been miserable with what turned out to be a pretty severe sinus infection. My son, wasn’t in as bad shape so the prescription wasn’t necessary at the time, just a back-up in case his condition worsened. We had been giving him saline solution drops in his nose, and some cough medicine before bed. But now his mucus was darkening. Just to let you know Elijah, my three year old, has an uncanny self-imposed gag reflex. He can actually get himself to puking before he has ever even taken a bite of something he thinks is going to taste gross. The remedy to this usually is to have a drink of water on stand-by and have him well prepped ahead of time.

“It doesn’t taste bad. Stop that. You have water right here. It’s going to be fine. It’s going to make you feel better. Stop doing that. You haven’t even tasted it yet. It might taste good!” Medicine attempt failed. Puke everywhere. After a brief pause of disbelief, I say “That’s it. Everyone upstairs! I’m throwing you all in the tub!”

“Mom, you can’t th-wo kids.” he said.

“You’re right Elijah. I didn’t mean I was going to really throw you. I just mean I’m giving you all a bath.” The baby too, all three of them. Just on principle.

And it wasn’t even lunch time yet.

Elijah’s Birthday Extravaganza!

Everyone wanted a horse themed party this summer (well two kids anyway). So how do you plan two parties back-to-back with the same theme and keep them completely different? It ended up being a lot easier than I thought. Elijah, who turned three, wasn’t able to take riding lessons this year. For a couple of the lessons he sat and watched enviously as his older siblings and cousins got to ride around on horseback. I know, I feel like a terrible mother. But what are you supposed to do when you have no baby sitter? I’ll tell you what I did. I rented a horse and pony to come to our house for his birthday party so he could have his very own horse ride.

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Look at that face, worth every bit of it!

And you have to let the other kids ride too…

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The package also came complete with petting zoo,IMG_9829IMG_9779IMG_9780IMG_9785
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And face painting!


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I got to feed the horse one of our apples!

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Aren’t horses beautiful?

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And so are little cowgirls!

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I honestly was so busy with the party that I almost had forgotten to take pictures of the food!

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Beef brisket, scalloped potatoes, rolls, chips,

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the family baked beans (I think they make an appearance at almost every gathering),

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and corn on the cob grilled in the husk,

Where is one to get something to drink in these parts?

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At the waterin’ hole of course! (And there was pop on ice.)

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We had “haystacks” at the last party, so this time we had “Barn Muck,” peanut butter and chocolate. Yummy!

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And no birthday party is to be without cake!

I missed the whole part with swimming in the pool, but it was there. Then we had what turned out to be one of my favorite parts of the day. (I’ve shared my love of party photo ops before.) I don’t think I’ve laughed that hard in a long time. I never knew one could have so much fun turning dollar store mustaches into all sorts of facial hair… (I’d really like to do a whole post on this, and I would like to apologize in advance for the onslaught of pictures coming your way.)

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Overall the party was a huge success because the birthday boy was happy! He told me so! “Me excited about my birthday. Me like my presents!”

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Happy Birthday Elijah/Cowboy/Power Ranger/Spiderman! We love you so much!

Entertaining the Kids with English Chocolate Crisps

By now we have established that I am a stay at home mom of four. So it fair to presume that most of my entertaining is for my children. Keeping them active in the kitchen is important to me. (Okay, to be completely honest sometimes I want them away from the kitchen). But mostly I want to teach them about food and preparing it. I want them to see ingredients and learn where they come from. I often talk to them about eating organic and try to explain (age appropriate) reasons why. For convenience sake we do buy packaged food (I don’t know the first thing about making chocolate), but we try to make good choices.

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The Barefoot Contessa cookbook, Make It Ahead, has a great recipe to try with your children. There is no baking involved (only melting some chocolate on the stove top, done by mom). There are only for ingredients: milk chocolate, bittersweet chocolate (I used semi-sweet, pictured), cornflakes and cranberries, and the whole process is basically stirring and dropping spoonfuls of the mix onto paper. Perfect for my two and four year old!

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They like being a part of the creating process and they l-o-v-e taking ownership of the final product! Such an accomplishment! Since there were no eggs involved, eating the batter was an option… and that’s always a good reward along the way.

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The result was quality time with mom, happy kids and fun treats to eat. I encourage you to spend some time with the kids in your life, “it’s the best investment you’ll ever make!”

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It’s also a rule of mine to try a recipe as it is written for the first time, before I tweak it. And these cookies were delicious. But I think next time we will make them a little more kid-friendly and fun (and subsequently less healthy) by substituting the cranberries with mini-marshmallows!

Another Family #Dudeperfect Video

Hey #dudeperfect, if you’re listening… this #dad of the year would love to meet you!

The Perfect Weekend

I imagined it all going very differently. It was going to be an outdoor wedding. My husband was the best man for his long time dear friend. We rented a house on a lake with my husband’s sister and her family for the weekend. The kids were all packed, from swimsuits to wedding guest attire. I could just envision myself writing stories while the kids played on the beach. At its peak, we would dance on a floor under a grand white tent in the woods. My sister-in-law was stopping at the grocery store to have the house stocked with muffins, pizzas, fruits, veggies, sodas, etc. upon our arrival. It was going to be perfect.

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There was a minor set back the night before we were leaving my 9 year old came down with a 104.3˚ fever. Alternating Tylenol and Motrin, we had the fever was in control, and by morning at medicine time he was a steady 98.7˚. Hoping for a fluke, some kind of fast and furious 24 hour bug, we decided to take our chances and head out for the 4 hour journey north. The car ride was as expected; hungry kids, potty breaks, diaper changes, music and movies. I forgot my laptop! Oh well, no work this weekend, all play. Pulling up to the rental was exciting, choosing our beds, checking out the scenery and the kids greeting their older cousin.

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We opted out of attending the rehearsal dinner with my husband. We’re kind of a distraction, a traveling circus if you will. Besides, since the fever, Isaiah could use another night of recovery. Everything was under control as my husband left to fulfill his Best Man obligations. Pizza was in the oven, the kids just started a movie and my sister-in-law had gotten the baby to sleep. I got this.

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I’m not sure what went wrong first. I guess it started with the baby waking up as soon as everyone left the house. He was starting to have some sort of reaction, and the preexisting rash on his face was getting inflamed and starting to ooze. All of the sudden the house felt cold and damp. I started coming down with an upper respiratory thing. Isaiah’s fever was back and his nose was bleeding. Elijah began a cough. By the time Owen got home I was spent. Things seemed to go downhill from there. Needless to say, there wasn’t much sleeping. By breakfast Naomi had an upset stomach so badly that she had two clothing changes. I was completely overwhelmed, and missing the wedding was inevitable. Owen of course had a commitment, but I would have to take one for the team.

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Maybe it was because Elijah was licking up his spilled water off of the basement carpet? Maybe it was because Noah was in a constant state of scratching and my arm was exhausted before we even had lunch? Perhaps it was because Naomi was out of clean clothes? I felt like the walls were caving in. (Although that could have been the sinus pressure in my head.) I needed to get some fresh air and a moment to myself. I decided to walk down to the lake and take in some of the calm. Naturally as soon as I got to the dock, the next door neighbor needed to cut his grass with a jet powered lawn mower.

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My precious niece opted to stay with me and the kids in lieu of attending the wedding. And I am forever grateful, because it was her optimism and suggestion of duct tape and one of her shirts that kept me going when I realized Owen had taken the diapers to the ceremony. At this point things were so ridiculous; all I could do was laugh. So much for the perfect weekend! Hey man, sometimes that’s how the cookie crumbles. Of course, I’m home and reasonable now, so I can say that.


Congratulations Lee & Amy! Wish I could have seen it in person!

i want

i want a calgon take me away bath moment. except I don’t want artificial bubbles. and i want it in a porcelain tub with iron clawed feet. i’d like it to be on a carrera marble floor bathroom, the kind i pinterest. i want freshly cut hydrangeas of purple pink and blue around the room and a large picture window overlooking a sand and grass landscape that fades into the ocean. i want to live the instagram life of @helloemilie for a day, maybe three, because it looks like the best beach version of an anthropology catalog. i want david chang to make me noodles for dinner. and then i want a chocolat chaud from le notre in paris. when i come home i want my freshly bathed kids to give me a hug and a kiss before they go to bed on a night that they sleep through ’til morning. when i wake up i want a leprechaun sized barista living in my kitchen cupboard. thank you

Born on the 4th of July

My grandma was born on the 4th of July. There was a time in her early life when I believe she thought all of the hoopla was all a part of her celebration. And although I am largely patriotic and enjoy all of the red, white and blue, I can’t have a fourth of July without thinking about my grandma.

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My grandmother was a renaissance woman. And in memory of her this time of year, here’s a little about grandma… Early on in her life, there was no father figure around. And my great-grandmother (GG) took it upon herself to raise and provide for her three children. As soon as my grandmother was able, she also took on the responsibility to help, and she pretty much worked ever since. She wasn’t the type of grandma you imagine standing over the stove, stirring her secret sauce. In fact, she had a reputation for burning everything and GG did most of the cooking. My grandma was different, and perfect. At a young age she would collect left over cobs of corn from a mill to bring food home to her mother and siblings. She worked in a potato chip factory, in Detroit, MI. And she recalled that every once in a while a potato would come down the line at Lay’s that had missed the process, baked and seasoned; she shared, it was a real treat. Later she took a job at Vernor’s in Detroit. Eventually they had enough money and she and GG bought their own house. They were proud to have owned the deed to their own home, and by the time my grandpa came around, she was quite self sufficient.

Aunt Becky (my mother's sister), Grandma and my mother.

Aunt Becky (my mother’s sister), Grandma and my mother.

She gave great beauty tips: Never pull on the skin under your eye, it will give you wrinkles; Brush your hair upside down (over your head) to make your hair grow thick and longer; Tap your nails to make them stronger; Use caution ever putting oil on your face, it makes your pores big… but sometimes you should use a little vitamin E on it. She had great skin. She wore scarves in her hair, which she always died dark brown. She loved to be comfortable. She would cut, move, and tape any shoe, seat belt or shirt to be worn with more ease. She always carried breath mints and gum; which she chewed half of a piece at a time.

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When she was upset she would say “Oh beans,” and if she heard something shocking she would say “Good night;” except ‘good’ had two syllables. When she laughed hard she would throw her head back. She was adorable.

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My Grandma, kneeling with her girls along with my grandfather. ‘GG’ in the upper right.

She had an amazing garden. It was huge and productive. She canned her own green beans, tomatoes, along with other vegetables and the best grape jelly that I’m sorry you never got to taste. She could eat an onion like an apple. She was into trying to eat your vitamins through food, and taking vitamins… before it was a fad. She had a subscription to Prevention magazine. If she were around today I’m sure she’d be an advocate for eating organic and avoiding GMO’s.

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My grandma started every day with black coffee and fell asleep every night listening to tapes of someone reading Bible scriptures. She was extremely devoted to God, and His son, her personal Lord and Savior, Jesus. She sang hymns around the house. She had a big heart, and when her sister was unable to care for her children my grandma raised two nieces and a nephew as well as her own.

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Every year on the 4th of July we would celebrate her birthday, and as a child I would ask “How old are you grandma?” And every year her response was the same, “Twenty-nine.”

Grandma on the right, eating cake.

Grandma on the right, eating cake.

She would have been 29 today. 😉

Have a happy and safe 4th of July!

Burnt Popcorn

My Grandma Curtis was a real pioneer. She was not a pioneer in the prairie way, it was more of an unconventional progressive way. My great-grandfather, whom I never met, was not around. My great-grandmother was a hard working self sufficient mother of three and, as the story goes, better off without him. (However, they never got a divorce or married another, and I believe she truly loved my great-grandfather). Now, my grandma got her can do spirit from her mother I’m sure. And she worked very hard to provide for herself and eventually her mother. For, she said, “their hearts beat as one.”

All of this independence and achievement, however, left very little time in the kitchen. She wasn’t the type of grandma to have freshly baked cookies in the oven or to pass on her secret recipe on how to make- anything. Regardless, I have very fond memories of sitting at her kitchen table and talking with her (mostly about Jesus) over perfectly sweet homemade grape jelly and burnt toast. Actually, she was notorious, in our family, for burning everything she cooked. Whether it was toast, popcorn or pecan pie, grandma had a way of slightly blackening everything. And perhaps it truly is my love for my grandmother and the precious time she spent with me, but I liked it!

In fact, even now, I prefer my popcorn burnt. I know most people think it’s gross. Yes, it stinks up the whole house. (Ideally, I should do it on a beautiful day so I can open the windows.) But, I can’t help it. It’s right up there with the crispy cheese corner of lasagna and the sticky charred sauce on BBQ grilled chicken.