>> 12.22.2014

This week totally snuck up on me! How are you doing? Breathe.

I was out grocery shopping over the weekend and totally didn’t consider it was the last weekend before Christmas. The highways were clogged. Parking lots bursting. People were so crabby, too. I hate that part of the holiday -- and I’m one of those last-minute people. Thankfully, we avoided most of it and went out early Sunday morning to finish up our shopping and preparations in peace and quiet.

Back up. We also went to the mall Friday afternoon (3:30 PM -- right when Stephen got home from school) to get Ada’s annual photo with Santa. Here are the last three years. (And if you’re curious about that quote on the first photo, check out the Santa post from 2012.)

Saturday. Sometimes you just need Cupcake prosecco. AmIright?

A lot of it. (Here’s looking at you, 2015!)

I spent a good portion of Sunday cleaning our house, which felt very cathartic. I’ve been wrapped up in myself for what seems like eons now, and our house was starting to look like one of those mild cases on Hoarders. No joke. We have four bedrooms now, and two of them were full of . . . stuff. Stuff we don’t need. Stuff that we won’t need for (well over) 9 months. Stuff that we had forgotten about. (Oh, hello, favorite socks!).

It’s looking and feeling wonderful. Just in time for our guests!

And random: I never followed up on rehabbing our Craigslist couch with the Leather Honey. It looks BEAUTIFUL. The finish not only cleaned away all the dirt and grime, but it also made it shiny. Best of all, it’s been standing up quite well to Ada’s jumping!

Here’s where you can get the leather cleaner and the leather conditioner. The products are 100% non-toxic and natural -- no animal products, silicone, toxins, solvents, or other harmful chemicals, etc. Find out more on Leather Honey’s website. (Disclosure: They had sent me some product to try, but this post is not sponsored -- my opinions are my own.)

Just FYI: Starting in January, I’m going to attempt blogging just on (never)homemaker and see how it goes. I’m not totally certain I’ll be merging the blogs in full, but if you guys seem to like the new approach, etc., I’ll eventually be migrating the content so it lives on just one site. Thanks in advance for your support with this move, and if you have suggestions or thoughts -- I’d love to hear them.

In case you missed Friday’s post, here’s 4 Things About Me.

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Four Things

>> 12.19.2014

I saw this questionnaire on Jen’s blog, so I thought it’d be a fun way to end a Friday.

Four names that people call me, other than my real name:
  • Ash
  • Mama
  • Mommy
  • Sandra (long story)
Four jobs I have had:
  • Marketing Manager at a mapping company
  • Communications Specialist at a software company
  • Professional Writing Tutor at a community college
  • Assistant to Dean + facilities manager (?) at a university library

Four movies I’ve watched more than once:
  • Forrest Gump
  • American Beauty
  • Eternal Sunshine
  • Clueless
  • OK, guys. There are so many more...
Four books I’d recommend:

I spend most of my time writing and editing my own work. By the end of the day, I’m done with words. When I have free time lately, I’ve been trying to re-learn violin. Or go for a slow jog and listen to Serial. Could you suggest some books for me to get into over the holiday?

Four places I have been:
  • Red Rock River Canyon 
  • Stowe, VT
  • Alcatraz Island
  • Coastal Maine

Four places I’d rather be right now:
  • Eataly for lunch
  • Somewhere mild to go for a jog without layers
  • Mirbeau for a nice spa soak
  • Wellsboro
Four things I don’t eat:
  • Meat
  • Blue cheese
  • Vanilla desserts
  • Whole milk
Four of my favorite foods:
  • Pizza
  • Chocolate + peanut butter
  • Caprese salad
  • Avocados

Four TV shows that I watch:
  • Master Chef + Jr.
  • Downton Abbey
  • Documentaries on anything
  • Just started American Horror Story

Four things I am looking forward to this year:
  • A big snowstorm.
  • A family vacation somewhere new. 
  • Working on our house.
  • A positive pregnancy test. Please!

Four things I’m always saying:
  • “Honestly, actually, etc."
  • “It’s just . . .” 
  • “Don’t put that in your mouth!” 
  • “I’m going to bake some cookies really fast...” 

Like what you just read? Browse more of our posts + recipes on Pinterest. Chat with us on Twitter or Facebook. And you can always email us with your questions and comments.


The Way Back

>> 12.17.2014

My concept of time since Ada was born has become so different. I can now measure years by how many inches she has grown. I can see time in this way. It’s kind of awesome. Kind of overwhelming. Kind of just weird because time feels like it moves so slowly.

And at other times, ridiculously fast.

We had a moment today where both of us were in tears. Whenever Ada returns home from preschool, there’s this transition. She acts tough and doesn’t listen when I pick her up. It takes her a good half hour to turn back into my loving kid who isn’t all big and independent and in this world all on her own. Today, however, it took longer and she was actually just crabby for a while.

You know the kind of crabby. Where basically dropping a plastic straw on the floor results in an epic meltdown. Today, she was trying to change her shirt and had trouble. Tears. Screaming. Kicking when I tried to help. Etc. I tried distracting and moving onto other things. And when that didn’t work, I got out these Christmas pajamas I ordered for the whole family to match (another story -- soon!). Ada loved the idea, so she slipped hers on and told me to do the same. We climbed upstairs to the hallway mirror and . . . tears. All over again.

I said: “Oh, baby, baby. It’s OK.” 

I rocked her with a little shushing sound. And here I go tearing up again for what happened next. She roared I'm NOT A BABY ANYMORE, MAMA!!!” And in that moment, that truth sunk down to the bottom of my soul. I’m being dramatic, but it felt pretty major. Obviously I’ve known she’s a "big girl" for a while. I’d try sneaking in some of the cradling and kissing and hugging, understanding full well we’ve move onto a new type of parent-child relationship where the affection and love is just as needed as ever . . . but definitely different.

Hearing Ada declare to me with such fervor she’s not a baby made it all connect in a new way. Blame it on the hormones or the TTC limbo or finally packing away the crib that we had been storing in the spare room. Whatever it is, I was just . . . so sad standing there holding her at the top of the stairs. I thought back to all those times I resented having to rock and shush her to sleep. Sigh.

But I tried not to wallow for long. Ada also got her first school photos today. Since I’m an amateur photographer, we’ve never really had photos of Ada taken by anyone but, well, me. When I opened up the packet, my heart screamed with joy. The photos are basic and, you know, corny. But they’re my new treasures.

Especially this one:

Yup. That’s a corduroy cat skort (skirt + shorts). I found it at a children’s thrift shop and -- even though other parents dressed their kids way, way up -- I knew it’d be perfect. I mean. I am so happy I’ll be looking back on these photos in 50 years and see those cats. Meow.

One last reminder on the gift lists.

Two shopping days left for shipment before the holiday!

Like what you just read? Browse more of our posts + recipes on Pinterest. Chat with us on Twitter or Facebook. And you can always email us with your questions and comments.

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