Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Little Pip-speaks: Volume 17

This girl is so many things...spunky, creative, sweet, goofy, thoughtful...It's hard to even put it into words. But hearing her words gives a little glimpse into the fantastic mix that is our Piper Jane.

Pip-speak #1: 
Piper {finding a J.Crew catalog in the mail}: We got a girl book. It's for you, Mama. It's all about bathing suits. 

Pip-speak #2:
Piper: I heard some thunder....Was it your tummy?

Pip-speak #3:
Piper: Do worms have belly buttons?

Pip-speak #4:
Piper: Mama, can you pause my show? I just need to give Daddy a hug real quick and then I'll come back and watch. 

Pip-speak #5:
Piper {packing a bag of toys to bring to church}: I'm bringing my baby because I'm a mother. OH! And I need my phone because I'm a mother. Mothers need phones. 

Pip-speak #6:
Piper {listening to me sing in the car}: Can you sing that song again but this time turn your voice up?

Pip-speak #7:
Mama: Those are some dirty socks. 
Piper: Those are some dirty socks.....Haha. I followed you with the same words!

P.s. Also sharing on Thrive Moms today...talking all about the questions this little lady asks...and a few she inspires me to ask myself.
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Friday, May 22, 2015

S'more Life Lately

Friday before a long weekend...That has to be just about the best kind of day there is. I'm so looking forward to three days off. The weather is supposed to be beautiful, we've got the perfect balance of no real obligations + fun plans with friends, we might tackle a few of the to-do's we have and I might even squeeze in some naps. I think it's going to be alllll-riiiiight. 

But before we get to the maxing and relaxing, I wanted to share some of the other "-ing's" we've been up to lately: 

Making: Quilts! I've got 3.5 of 4 panels done...I'm making pretty quick work of them this time around. I have been spending a lot of naptimes, and evenings working on them, but I'm excited that they're coming together pretty well. After the back panel of Fin's is complete, all that's left is finding someone to do the quilting part for me (because there's no way I'm running two twins sized quilts through my regular machine. My crazy has limits). 
Cooking: Pizza waffles. Have you tried these? The girls love to make them, and we all love to eat them. I serve them with broccoli for extra good-mom points. ;)

Drinking: Diet A&W root's so very yum.
Wanting: To put a little Kraken in that root beer. How much longer until that's allowed again?
Reading: Instagram captions. That's about the extent of my reading these days. I'm not even good at keeping up with blogs these days (how very ironic of a blogger.

Though this post by my friend Kristi still cracks me up.
So I gave her my #astoundedbylife emoji impression.

Looking: For a good name for baby #3. I thought boys' names were easier, but it turns out I only thought that because I didn't actually have to pick one. Any suggestions?
Playing: Outside again, yay! The girls are loving the water table, and their new swingset. I'm so excited for long sunny evenings spent out on the deck.

Wasting: Precious sleep time watching silly TV or perusing social media. Go to bed, Courtney! (I'll never learn...)

Wishing: I had more patience. Or more energy. Actually...both. I know when I'm worn out (which is often) I get a lot snappier with my family, and I hate that. But it would also be so nice if two little ladies maybe learned to do things the first time I ask, vs the seventieth. Or maybe I'd settle for just the third time?
Enjoying: Getting cute picture messages from my mom when she watches the kids. I know it's hard work for her to take care of them two days a week, but I just love that they have time together. The girls love her so much you can't even believe it, and I'm constantly amazed (and inspired and blessed) by how well she loves them. 

Waiting: For festival season to begin. I'm already excited about food trucks and hot air balloons- but they're not until August- so we'll have to line up some delicious summer fun soon.
Liking: Carpooling to work with Dustin. It's a solid half hour each way (at least) so we get some good quality chats in. A rare treat that I should always remember to be thankful for, when two kids tend to monopolize our attention at home.
Wondering: How our girls are going to do with sharing a room. I'm not exactly sure how we'll handle the transition. Piper might have the new room to herself for a little while, but I'd like to move Fin before the baby comes so she doesn't think her brother kicked her out. 

Loving: How curly Fin's hair is. I'm obsessed. And jealous.
Hoping: We get to go on a vacation without the kids before this baby comes. Come September, we're going to be in it real deep (again, some more), so one last relaxing hurrah would be awe-some.
Marveling: That there's an actual, real live person inside of me. He's wiggling around constantly, which is funny and strange, and just downright marvelous when you really think about it.
Needing: Naps. Every day preferably, but alas, it is not meant to be.

Smelling: Grass clippings, firepits, suntan lotion....the very first smells of Summer. So excited.
Wearing: Anything that fits. I got bigger faster this time around (and let's be real...also just bigger, regardless of speed), so I'm finding my options a bit more limited than I remember with the girls. I'm trying not to dwell on it, but I don't exactly look forward to getting dressed every morning.
Following: The Bachelorette. Yep, it's time for another season, and another betting pool. It's not even really optional at this point (as if I object...)
Noticing: How many more words Fin has these days. She's talking up a storm- even if we can only understand half of it at times. It's so crazy to watch her turn into a little human all her own...I'm excited to hear all of the crazy things she has to share with us as she gets bigger. 

Knowing: I have the best husband ever. It's a really good feeling to know that. :)
Thinking: about getting Piper's haircut. I've done it myself a couple times, but my skills are limited, so I think she might be due for a professional trim. It's long and shaggy (and so tragically thin, sorry about that, Pips!) but she almost never wants ponytails, so right now it's just straggly and in her face all the time. I'm thinking a nice short bob for the summer might be perfect.

Bookmarking: Nothing. I haven't even tried to read a book in months. Sorry book club!
Opening: At first I thought this said "ogling". I know this is my list, so I should be familiar with the words (or, you know, at least be able to read), but I thought that was such a funny prompt. I haven't really been ogling much lately...except maybe some donuts. 
Giggling: at Fashiondads. Kills me.
Feeling: Different from moment to moment, but trying to move through the overwhelmed times and dwell in the grateful times.

P.S. Our last round of -ing things, and some from a while back.

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Monday, May 18, 2015

Home Sweet Home

Exactly one year ago, we were moving into our brand new (to us) house:
A photo posted by Courtney Bowden (@bowdenisms) on
It's hard to believe it's been a year- in that weird "seems like it's been a day, and seems like it's been a lifetime" way. Is that how everything is when you're an adult? Time goes so incredibly fast, so I blink and we hit milestones that don't seem possible.

One year is also a bit of a strange marker with a house...because in one sense, it's a ton of time to settle in, and on the other hand, I still feel like we just got here, so of course we still have moving boxes I haven't sifted through. That's perfectly reasonable, right? I'm not sure I had a goal for what our house would look like one year in...Maybe more organized (ok...definitely more organized) and maybe more tailored to our taste...But decorating and renovating is a slow process (at least it is when you're also trying to keep up with a never ending stream of regular life tasks). I was actually going to shoot another video tour as a 12 month update, but the place was such a hot hot mess, that it passed #showyourreal territory, into #showyou'regross. It's not actually dirty, per se, but we (constantly) have about seven projects in the works, so every room has some pile/stash/obstacle/safety hazard that we're "working on". We're making some big updates (new shared bedroom for the girls!) and some small ones (hanging pictures...still...forever...) so I'm hoping to share those soon. Mostly because I'm hoping to be done with them soon. (Side note- I wish I could transfer the sense of crazy urgency that pregnancy nesting provides, onto someone who's not pregnant, therefore has the energy/physical ability to actually get all these goals done. Dustin humors me, and works harder than anyone should really ever be expected to, but that doesn't mean he fully understands why we need a new laundry room door RIGHT NOW, whereas that mandate seems perfectly logical to me.)

So I could easily go on and on about all the things I want to do/fix/change, but there will always be those things. The point is, we've been here for a year. We've had a wild, wonderful, FULL year together in our home, and it is so much more than I could have ever imagined. So I thought it would be fun to highlight just a few of the nearly infinite reasons I just adore this house...

Our deck and backyard which has allowed us to host playdates, cookouts, bouncehouse parties, late night card games, first birthday parties...If a more perfect backyard exists...I've never seen it.

Seriously...I even like it in the winter...which is saying something.

Ok. One more. But c'mon...
The spot in front of the piano which has become our default "stand here and take a picture to commemorate this semi-milestone" location. I think it's because it gets good light, allows me to get far enough away to capture their (non)poses, and it's not usually as messy as the rest of the house. But regardless, I just love thinking about how many pictures we'll have in this spot over the years as the kids grow.

First day of "school" // Snow Day // Easter

Our bedroom which is unnecessarily huge, and always the last priority on the to-do list. But the big windows let in the sunrise so it's the perfect spot for early morning family hangouts when two little girls come bounding in at dawn. 

The "master" bathtub that I've never set foot in, but has been home to weekly (at least...semi-weekly if we're really on the ball) water parties for two.

My kitchen- the giant table, the bay windows, the layout that allows me to work and prep while keeping an eye on two little munchkins, sharing secrets and laughs. I love how many new friends we've already gotten to have gather around this table, and I'm hopeful for many new faces to join us...

The breakfast bar, where some of us clean up old messes, while the others make new ones. Every day starts here, and even if just for a few minutes during the crazy rush, we're all together...and covered in syrup.

Our monstrous sectional (1/8 pictured here). We watch, we read, we fight over our favorite spot (well, some of us do), we fall asleep watching reality TV (well, one of us does). It's big, and cozy, and awesome.

Ok...cheating: the backyard again. And more specifically, the swingset the neighbors gave us. When we toured this house, I knew I wanted it the minute I stepped into the kitchen, and imagined the view I'd have while washing dishes. Not a glamorous thought, maybe, but I stood there, and just knew that this could and should be our house. I pictured looking out those windows, and seeing our kids running, and playing; free to have fun, but still safely in my line of sight. This year Fin is old enough to navigate the three deck steps to the yard solo, and Piper has even mastered opening/closing the screendoor without mashing anyone's fingers, so they're pretty much free-range chicks. (Though we still bail on the dishes to play with them instead).

Our neighborhood. But mostly: our neighbors. We hit the jackpot with these people, truly. We're surrounded on all sides by fun, friendly, families, who we hang out with regularly, borrow things from without shame, and just adore sharing little day-to-day moments with. The suburbs really are a special kind of life, and these people are a huge part of why.

I could go on and on...There are a zillion more teeny (and not so teeny) things I'm thankful for around this house, even if I don't have the words or photos to capture it. A house is just a house, but this house has already been the frame around so many of our moments as a family. I am beyond thankful for the memories and blessings we've experienced in it this year.

And looking forward to many, many more.

P.S. You can check out our last house-iversary, our most recent tour, or see all our Home-y posts.

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Monday, May 11, 2015

Happy- and other emotions- Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day! Or day after, anyway. But really...shouldn't moms get more than one day? I mean, maybe that's a selfish request on my part at this point, but really, one day doesn't seem like enough to celebrate the women that brought us into the world and/or raised us into at least mostly functional adults. Maybe next year we can extend it to a long weekend?

This was my third Mother's Day as an actual mother myself (forth if you count the year I was pregnant with Piper...which I totally count), and it was kind of a mixed bag this time around. Don't get me wrong- it was a lovely day, filled with lovely people, and lovely things. But I've been struggling recently with parts of motherhood, and parenthood (they're related, yet slightly different) and p.s. I'm pregnant, so I might be a wee bit more emotional than usual...So it was indeed a lovely day, it was just also filled with swirly thoughts that I haven't quite worked through yet.

I saw a pie-chart online last week, detailing what moms really want for Mother's Day, and though I'm pretty certain the "facts" were made up, I was still struck by the idea that the largest chunk of the pie was "The Day Off From Parenting". In all honesty, I totally agreed, but I also felt a twinge of guilt about it. I'm pretty sure I'm supposed to want to spend the special day with my beloved offspring, cherishing each other, and basking in mutual gratefulness for 24 hours. turns out...I'm pretty tired, and a day sans-kids, doesn't sound half bad. (plus, toddlers are pretty bad at basking. And not super good with gratefulness, either).

I struggle with this a lot- because I do feel so so so very grateful for the children I've been given. I desperately wanted each of them, and I uniquely and passionately love each of them. They are the best things to ever happen to me, (well...maybe tied with Dustin. He's kind of a stud) and I never want to take that for granted. But...we're also in a hard stage right now. The little-kid years are intense, to say the least, and this phase of child-rearing is filled with a lot of thankless tasks, exhausting duties, and seemingly endless needs.

So I'm working on reconciling the two halves of me:
The half who misses my kids tremendously when I'm away from them; and the half who maaaaaybe threatened to make Fin walk home from a restaurant last week because I just. couldn't. deal. with. the. whining.
The half who can't get over the heartbreaking cuteness of the two little blonde firecrackers who really do say and do the darnedest things; and the half who can't get over the twinges of jealousy of co-workers' happy hour festivities, or childless friends' spur of the moment vacations.
The half who wanted...who wants this life; and the half who is looking forward to getting to what's next...soon, please.

I'm sure I've written about this one hundred times, and I'll likely write one hundred more if it helps make sense of my conflicted mind and torn heart. Thanks to all of those who are wading through it with me, and who understand that I can love my people with an intensity beyond all explanation, while still holding the occasional fantasy about running away to live on an island where no one knows me as mama. Both sides are very real, and very flawed, and

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Thursday, April 30, 2015


A few weeks ago I greeted a coworker good morning and asked him how he was doing; typical routine for us. We don't work on anything together, but his cube is directly behind mine so we're loosely connected, thus we exchange pleasantries at least at 9 and 5 every day. He's taken an interest in my fledgling "online career", so at least once a week he greets me with "Good morning, Bowdenisms! How is it going?" Anyway, on this particular day, I asked how he was and he responded: "Awesome. It's Thursday!"

And I just loved that response."It's Thursday!" was served up as the obvious explanation for why he would be awesome. As if there was no way one could not be awesome on a Thursday. I chuckled at his enthusiastic sincerity, and we chatted for a minute about how, actually, Thursday is pretty awesome, and then debated which day of the week is the best. People like to say Saturday, because obviously, but I actually almost prefer Friday. (He agreed). Don't get me wrong, I like the freedom of Saturday and sleeping in and having nothing to do all day (wait, that's not really what my Saturday looks like, but it's a fun idea anyway) but I really do love a Friday. Friday's filled with hope and optimism...typically there's a ton of time to get things done (don't you feel like Friday is the only day you can catch up at work?) and even if you aren't productive, it's ok! You have the entire weekend ahead of you! You can even waste all of Friday night and it's not a big deal because you still have Saturday coming.

But I probably don't have to convince you to love Friday. I mean, TGIF is a thing for a reason (and it's not just awesome 90's TV). But Thursday is probably underrated. It has a little bit of that Friday vibe- all you have to do is make it through this one, then you're practically done. Like the rounding up model of the work week- Wednesday is halfway, so it's almost Thursday and Thursday's like, basically the end of the week, because Friday barely even counts. You're done! Yay for Thursdays! (I mean, aren't you at least a little bit likely to be a little looser on Thursdays? Eat some junk, stay up later than you should...All you have to do is muscle through one more day and you're home free. Why not live a little?!)

So I figured in the spirit of the awesome that is Thursday, I just downed a quick list of all the things that are awesome right now:
  • Driving without car seats in my car (I took them out a few days ago for an work carpool/roadtrip). I'm still going the same old places, but I feel so freeeeeeeeee!
  • Zebra striped ice cream (For real guys. It's just so stinkin' good. I don't even get paid to say that...though they are a client of mine. Sweet gig, literally).
  • The fact that our kids are too young for soccer, so I don't have to stand out in the wind and mud twice a week. I can't wait to choose nice, civilized, indoor hobbies for our kids. Wink.
  • Fin grabbing my hand to drag me to play, saying "'mon! 'mere!" (come on! come here!)
  • These faces:

Angels, I tell you. 
  • Having my coworkers fawn over the girls during Take Your Kids to Work Day. We do tend to think have exceptionally lovely kids but it's extra fun to have other people think so too. (Plus they're usually on their best behavior in unfamiliar situations like that, so I get to pretend they are always sweet little cherubs.)
  • Dresses. It's finally warm enough to bare some leg, which it saves my pregnant self from having to fight with the demons of fashion (aka "pants" and "buttons"). Bring on all the dresses!
  • A church small group full of people who think so differently than me, and love so well.
  • Fancy drinks with fancy stirrers
  • Getting 2 or 3 dinners a week courtesy of my mother. She's always popping by with a casserole, or sending leftovers our way (immediately after feeding us at our "weekly family dinner"). It's an embarrassment of riches, really. An embarrassment that I lap up gratefully. 
  • A forgotten station on Pandora that resurfaces and reminds me of my eternal love for Justin Timberlake. Jam.
  • Hopes of bounce house weather this weekend
  • Oh, and this guy (and the little guy of course):

Taken two Thursdays ago, after our big doctor's appointment.

Yep. Thursdays, and life...are pretty awesome indeed. 
What's making you thankful it's Thursday this week?
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Friday, April 24, 2015

Little Pip-speaks: Volume 16

Pip-speak #1: 
Piper {regarding shoes}: Daddy, if it's too squeezy that means it's on the wrong foot. 

Pip-speak #2: 
Piper {describing a beach ball with a picture of a dog wearing a scuba tank}: This is a doggy swimming and he has a sack on his back to carry his baby! 

Pip-speak #3: 
Piper: I get furries between my toes every day. I look forward to it.

Pip-speak #4:
Piper {seeing an okapi at the zoo}: He looks like a zebra....He looks like zebra ice cream!

Pip-speak #5:
Piper {relaxing in a deck chair}: Glorioso!

Pip-speak #6:
Piper: Mommy! I need you! I can't sleep. My feet are stinky! 
(and the next night:)
Piper: Daddy! I can't sleep. My hands smell like crayons. 

Pip-speak #7: 
Piper: That's cookie dough, Fin. It's cookie dough ice cream, so it's got cookie dough in it. 
Daddy: You're pretty smart, you know that? 
Piper: I know about ice cream.... 

Pip-speak #8: 
Piper {presumably trying to compliment me on my dress}: Mama, you look prettier than I thought you would! 

Bonus Mommy & Daddy-speak:
Daddy {picking a tiny sock up off the counter}: I think this is the monkey's sock. 
Mommy: I thought so! 
(our life is strange).

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015


Can you believe it?!
And yes...we're very excited!
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