Leif and I drove up to Oregon on Christmas eve to surprise his mom:) The drive went surprisingly well! Riley played and slept most of the time. I've been so excited about this trip and wanted to blog about it, but since my mother in law reads my blog that wasn't possible. We've been having a lot of fun up here and its great that Riley is able to spend time with her grandparents and aunts. Here are some pictures from the last few days:
At Silvercreek Falls
Hanging out at the rest stop
Us at Ventis.
I'll post more later, most likely when we're back in California:) So thankful we're here!
How cute is Riley? I can't believe she's turning 13 months tomorrow and in 8 short weeks she's going to be a big sister:)!
HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVE!
I am thankful that we'll be spending most of our Christmas Eve in the car together:) I'm looking forward to taking photos, playing with Riley, eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, listening to lots of music and having wonderful discussions with my husband. I really do enjoy long car rides with my family.
I love scones. I think they're wonderful topped with devonshire cream and jelly. I found an amazing recipe for simple cream scones that I thought I'd share... Especially since I haven't posted any recipes in awhile:)
2 Cups of flour
1/3 Cup of sugar
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/3 Cup of cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 Large egg beaten
1 Teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 cup of Whipping Cream or Milk
Oven should be set to 375. You should line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut the butter into small pieces, then blend into flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives. Blend until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs.
In another bowl combine whipping cream, beaten egg and vanilla. Add this to the flour mixture. Stir until combined. Do not overmix.
Knead dough on a floured surface. You can either roll or pat the dough into a circle. Then using a cookie cutter, cut the dough.
Melt some butter and brush bottoms and tops of scones with butter, then brush the tops with cream.
If you know Leif and I, you know that our favorite place to shop is J. Crew. The day Riley could fit into their childrens clothes was an exciting day for us. Monterey doesn't have many of our favorite shops but thankfully there is a J. Crew! Sadly it only carries womens clothing... So we drive the 45 minutes to Gilroy to go to the outlet. Its always worth the drive. The last few times we've gone I asked Leif if I could buy Riley some of the kid jewelry, but he told me I was ridiculous, you don't put jewelry on a baby. We went to the J. Crew outlet last night for fun & while Leif was paying I went outside with Riley so she could run around. When we got home Leif showed me the necklace and two bracelets he bought for Riley. I was just like "Seriously?" He told me they were just so pretty and she'd look cute in them. This morning he showed her and she was so happy! She loves wearing my necklaces and was excited to have her own. The bracelets amazed her and anytime they fell off she'd try to put them back on right away. Usually she couldn't so she'd hand them to daddy to put back on and bounce because she was so excited.
I was tagged by Karly as a TAM, also known as a Truly Authentic Mom. Normally when I get tagged I don't participate because I forget... But today I'm going to just sit down and do it because one, I like Karly and two, Riley is napping
. I guess I'm suppose to list 5 things that I think make me a TAM. Here is my list:
1. I'm pretty laid back when it comes to being a mom. I think I surprise myself sometimes... A lot of things that would scare a first time mom, don't seem to bother me. A lot of it has to do with how calm and relaxed my husband is, and his experience with children. Plus, I really want to enjoy every moment with Riley, without being worried the whole time.
2. I don't get a shower in everyday. I think that makes me a authentic mom:) It used to be because I was sleeping most of the day with Riley when she was a newborn. But now its because I'm busy doing things through out the day. Plus I'm learning its better for my skin and hair anyways.
3. While I'm not the mom that looks down on other women who don't breastfeed... I am, I'll admit, the mom who is a bit snobby when it comes to where I buy my childs clothes. I refuse to shop at places like Gymboree & the Childrens Place. I dislike them very much. And really, I'm not half as bad as my husband. We're more than excited to be able to buy boy clothes as well. We've already started in fact:)
4. I prefer hanging out with my friends who aren't parents because then we have conversations about other things besides babies and kids. Its hard when you're with another mom to talk about something other than your children. I don't really like telling people about Riley's latest accomplishments over and over. I feel like I'm being annoying and bragging too much.
5. Riley has more books than she does toys. We don't really like to buy her toys, and she prefers books anyways. If she could she'd have me read to her all day. When we do buy her a toy its a puzzle, or a wooden toy. Yes, she is that kid that will have mostly wooden toys.
A child who sleeps 12 hours every night. I can't believe that once she woke up every two hours to be fed. I also can't believe that I'll be doing that again in about 9 weeks. Its amazing that just within a year her sleeping patterns have changed so drastically. I remember when we were waking up with Riley constantly to feed her, I kept reminding myself that it was only for a few weeks... It helped me get through those late night feedings and actually enjoy them:) :: A husband who makes sure I take time for myself. Its easy to lose yourself amongst cleaning the house, laundry, cooking meals, tending to a baby and running errands. Leif is always trying to find ways to help me get a break. Even if it means he has to watch Riley after work while I go to the gym or lay down. Never does he complain about working all day, instead he thanks me for keeping the house clean and taking care of our daughter, then offers to help me out. How did I get so lucky? :: Riley and me time. I love spending my days with Riley. I'll be honest, in the beginning I didn't enjoy it as much because she slept most of the time and I just felt bored. Now, I never get bored. There's always something for us to do. We run errands in the morning, then we play and have an early lunch, naptime=cleaning time for mommy, and then we head out to the park with snacks. Nothing is better than having your child play with you and every once in awhile look up at you and smile. I love those moments. Or when we're shopping and she just reaches up to hug me. Part of me wishes it would only be the two of us for a little bit longer, but then the other part of me is so excited to spend my days with two children. I'm thankful that I'm able to stay at home with Riley... I wish that Leif was able to experience what I get to everyday. :: My own washer and dryer. When we lived in an apartment, doing laundry was always difficult. It took me weeks to get around to doing it because it required I go back and forth between our apartment, and the laundry room a few times through out the day. Maybe I'm just lazy? It became even more difficult when Riley became mobile because I couldn't just leave her by herself, and taking her with me wouldn't really work. Now laundry gets done almost every other day, plus I don't have to use $5 to do it:) I'm so grateful that we have a washer and dryer in our house. It makes getting things done a lot easier. :: The 15th of every month. I look forward to this day every month because it means I'm going to get sunflowers from my husband. He's never forgotten. Sometimes he hasn't been able to make it to the store in time so I get my flowers the next day, but he always remembers. Its important to him that I know how much I mean to him, and this is one of the ways he shows me. Its nice to be loved.
Our living room happens to also be the tv room, playroom and library... So really its a family room until people come over, then it turns into the living room. I love having everything in one room. Yes, someday I'd like to have separate rooms for our books, our tv, and the millions of toys. But right now, it works so well.
For the majority of the day Riley is in the family room playing and reading. I join her when chores have been done around the house. I never get tired of playing games on the rug with her or eating our lunch together while I read to her. After dinner I love sitting on the couch next to Leif while he plays wii, and Riley is on the rug playing with her toys. I like that because everything is in one room, we're almost forced to be together constantly. I look forward to our evenings together in the family room. I cherish these times and hope that these nights will be around for at least a few more years. I never get tired of Riley sitting between us so we can read to her, or watching Leif and Riley dance together. Even if we're not really interacting, I enjoy that we're together.
I realized today that this room has been a blessing to me. I've spent many days and nights with my husband, daughter and friends in this room. I've had amazing story times, conversations and spur of the moment dance parties with just Leif and I. I am thankful for this part of my house.
I remember when I first had Riley people constantly told me that every few weeks she would be a different baby. Her sleeping patterns would change. Her eating habits would be different. Her personality would start to be more obvious. I thought the big changes would only happen within the first year. But no, the big changes are still happening...like the fact that Riley has started to throw tantrums. Riley the baby never got that upset, never really cried over things. Riley the toddler, on the other hand, gets very upset. One minute she's happy and the next, angry. You tell her no, she can't play with the tv. She throws herself down and acts like the world has just ended. You take something away and she'll start screaming and rolling around on the floor. If you eat without sharing with her, she'll freak out, and force tears so you feel bad for her.
I hear this is normal though... At least all the mommies I know have told me so. Maybe they're trying to make me feel better, and I just have an awful child? ;) I kid. Thankfully she's so cute and funny. It makes dealing with the tantrums a lot easier. And I love the hugs and kisses I get after she's done. I like to think of them as apologies haha! She's a stubborn little girl but mommy is a lot more stubborn and will win most of these battles.
With hot chocolate, tea and a movie:) It was a nice end to the weekend. We watched The Class. It was a french movie Leif had been trying to get us to watch for a few weeks now. Last night seemed like the perfect night for it... I definitely recommend this movie! &Hot chocolate and tea
I love when it rains here in Monterey. Its different than when it rains in Southern California. I wish I could describe it... It just feels more natural here than it does in So Cal. And I think its a lot prettier!
Well, Leif and I spent part of this rainy day on the couch watching Singing in the Rain. I've been wanting to watch it for a few weeks but kept putting it off. It was such a good way to spend the morning. The day had started out a bit hectic, so this was a good way to relax and spend time together. I had to resist singing all the songs cause Leif finds it a little annoying:) I enjoyed it even nonetheless though! Musicals are one of my favorite things, and I never get tired of watching Gene Kelly dance.
Leif pointed out last night that I've been negative lately and its discouraging him. At first I got really upset, because normally I'm not a negative person. Plus no one likes to hear that they're discouraging their husband. I didn't want to believe that I was that kind of wife. No! We argued about it for awhile, and eventually I had to agree with him. I'm not sure I agreed with him outloud though, :) I've had a terrible attitude lately and when I thought I was being honest with Leif about things bothering me, I was just complaining. Awful.
I hate hearing things like that. Its hard to hear that you've been putting someone down, even if it wasn't directly, when you should be building them up. I always want to build my husband up, encourage him, support him, love him. I didn't think that my complaining was going to affect Leif in any way but it did. And in a bigger way than I thought. I'm thankful he talked to me though and was willing to listen. I don't enjoy arguing with my husband, but I think the discussion we had last night was important and needed. I spent a lot of the morning praying, asking God to change my heart and outlook. I think theres going to be some changes made:)
This is my theme song for this time in our life. It has been since we got married. "I got a man to stick it out And make a home from a rented house And we'll collect the moments one by one I guess that's how the future's done"
I'm happy its Thursday because that means I get to make a list of things I'm thankful for. This week has been hard and stressful for me. I've been complaining a lot, feeling sorry for myself, and just ungrateful. I won't go into detail because really it doesn't matter:) What matters is today is a new day and God is always good.
Today I am grateful for: ::The friends I've made here in Monterey::
I'm grateful for the friends that stop by when I'm sick. I'm grateful for the friends that watch Riley for me when I need to go to the doctor or I just need a night out with Leif. I'm grateful for the friends who drop in unexpectedly. I'm grateful for friends that I meet at the park weekly and have Breakfast Club with. I'm grateful for friends that have dinner parties with us. I'm so grateful for each and every person I've met since living here in Monterey.
Riley decided that she wanted to dress up in her scarf and mittens... But really just one mitten so she could hold her sippy cup and eat cereal. Every time her mitten falls off she screams a bit and hands it to me, holding out her hand saying "ya ya ya". It makes me laugh, seriously how fun is she?
Now she's off to my room to find her favorite necklace to wear. :) Little girls are fun.
"The Lord will indeed give what is good, and our land will yield its harvest" -Psalm 85:12
I'm learning to be content with where God has me, has our family. For the past few weeks I've been struggling with the idea of being far from family and friends who are like family. I hate the idea of grandparents not seeing Riley grow, only seeing her every few months. I'm jealous of families that live close to their parents and brothers and sisters. I want that for our family so badly.
But, this is what God wants for us right now. Most days I fight Him about it, question our being in Monterey. What was once excitement is now anger and some disappointment. I really don't understand why we're here and not somewhere else. And when I mean somewhere else I mean near family. God knows though, has His reasons for bringing us here and that comforts me. That brings me peace and joy.
I was talking to a friend yesterday and we were talking about where we'd like to be. Where we see ourselves in a few years. She said she wanted to leave Southern California and doesn't know what she'd do if God wants her to remain there. That made me stop and panic in a way. I don't want God to keep us here for very long! But then I remembered why we came here in the first place: We wanted to follow where God lead us, no matter where that was. We were excited about that... Where has that excitement gone? Why aren't we content simply knowing that God has us here for a reason and will bless us while we're here?
I've found a new excitement for Monterey and whats in store for our family. I know my God is good. Always.
Last night Riley was having some trouble sleeping so I went in there and held her for a bit. I love moments like those... When all she needs is simply for me to hold her. There's nothing better than having your child wrap their arms around you and rest their head on your shoulder. I wanted that moment to last forever, just the two of us in her room. We're in the process of re-training her to sleep through the night, thanks to sickness and some teething things have been thrown off. Again. While I knew I should put her right back in her crib, I didn't. I sang to her and rocked her. The older she gets the more rare these nighttime moments together become. And its even more rare that she prefers me instead of Leif to comfort her. I was cherishing the few minutes I held her and loving that she wanted me to hold her.
The whole time I held her I just thanked God for giving me this opportunity to be a mother and to raise a child. Its amazing how a little person can change your life and bless it over and over. Having Riley has made me closer to God, my husband, friends and family. I have a new appreciation for so many things and I look at things differently than before. It blows my mind! I love it:) God is so good!
We like to take photos, listen to lots and lots of music, watch movies and go antique shopping. We recycle and so should you. Leif collects shoes and records, and Margaret collects the fortunes that come in fortune cookies. Riley doesn't bother with collecting, she's too busy being an explorer. Beck is the lover of the family unless you take away his favorite toy or don't feed him hotdogs fast enough. We dance in our car and sing duets. We enjoy reading about design and fashion. We plan on starting a band when we're older, and becoming artists.