checking in! hi everyone!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

there's just so much i want to talk about but i can't shove it all into one post so... piecemeal, piecemeal.  we have to start somewhere.

so... hi guys!  i feel like i took an unintended two-ish week break but life was crazy, so it was to be expected.  doesn't stop the blog posts from bumping around my head wanting to be put on paper (in the blogger post screen, as it were) so i hope to be churning them out with some regularity for the rest of the summer.  summer!  it is summer.  we haven't really had, enjoyed, relished ours yet but august... august is our month, people.  august will not be spent unpacking but at the lake, the beach, eating ice cream, sitting on our deck, what have you.  (brief interruption: parker is currently at the stool--pictured above--where he spots his water gun.  i hear him whisper in this devious way, "whim."  then, he fills it up, and goes after william to shoot him.  chaos ensues.)

we went to ikea today.  that's kind of a no-brainer after moving in.  where else can you get like dish towels, toilet brushes, swedish meatballs, and a shelving system in one fell swoop?  speaking of, if you spent over $100 there, you got your meal for free today.  how awesome is that?  "fill up kids!  lindsey, open your purse and shove that plate of swedish meatballs in it!  i don't care if it's messy, dammit!  william, grab some rolls and lingonberry jam while you're over there!"  but really, we got some good necessities without going crazy.  i always wince a little at our ikea total but i'm happy to report, this one did not make me wince.  (i almost got this kitchen island, having had my eye on it online for awhile, but seeing it in person it didn't do it for me.  any tips on functional stainless steel non-permanent kitchen islands?  particularly ones you can sit at?  and that don't cost a fortune?)

let's carry on... moving feels really big.  it's just such a thing, you know.  it's emotionally and physically exhausting.  the first day i had these moments of utter joy interrupted by what are we doing?!  i think that must be how it is.  or, just me?  and the more time passes, the more content i am in this new place.  parker had been acting out and asking for our old house, crying when i would explain that we had a new home, but now that his things have made their way into this house, he seems to have picked up right where we left off.  it must be so confusing to a little kid.

speaking of that little kid, he turns three (!!) this wednesday.  i think we'll have a very small something, but perhaps a bigger party and housewarming combined later on this summer when we're a bit more settled.  i hardly have a thing for him, not that he really needs anything or cares one way or another, but i did get him this book which is completely awesome (thanks for the tip, sara!) and i got myself these shoes...... having absolutely nothing to do with his birthday.  (the sale price!  can't be beat especially when one needs new sneakers anyhow.  wanted them in green but blasted 8.5 is too popular a size...)

william and lindsey really like it here and lindsey is off at a pool with neighbors as we speak.  she has girls her age right across the street.  you likely have no idea what a big deal this is and how she's never had this ever.  our old neighborhood was boy-dominated and bless her, she took it so in stride.  i wouldn't have been so gracious.  i think she'll be much happier here.

well, it smells as though i have a dirty diaper to attend to and this little man is also asking to go for a walk so... signing off now.  but really glad to be here "chatting" with you all.  thanks for all the love you've shown me - with the pregnancy, moving, and everything in between.  you guys are awesome.

just beachy.

Monday, July 14, 2014

it's 10:30 pm and i'm about to go to bed but i wanted to check in here first and say hello!

today was another beach day in stone harbor and... like a rookie... i got burned.  like, what, is this my first time at the beach?  i barely applied sunscreen all day long and if you were short a pan and stove in your kitchen (unlikely but let's just pretend for the sake of my story) you could probably fry an egg on my kneecap right now.  yepppp.  my dad a moment ago: "are you limping?"  no, dad, that's just me being an idiot and, well, yes, sort of a limp too.

it was just one of those days where it was sooort of cloudy and we weren't committed to staying long but then the few hours turned into all day and... moral of the story: just slap on some sunscreen.

i did however apply it to parker so i'm not a total loser.

it's been fun here.  we've played hard, slept hard.  parker's slept the hardest.  that boy's needed it.  and i swear, he's turning into a three-year old overnight.  i think, when i have a real moment to sit, i'm going to have a big post entitled how do you discipline your toddler please tell me now.  yes.  i can feel that one simmering on the back burner.

but for now... it's bedtime.


Friday, July 11, 2014

we're officially out of our home.  it's the strangest thing.  there's so much emotion that goes into actually listing your house.  the should we or shouldn't we's?  and then when you actually get an offer, if you're anything like me, you really start wondering, "was this a good idea?!" because suddenly it's becoming real, and final... if you accept the offer and everything works out, anyway.  and then if, like us, you don't find anything for a few weeks even after you've accepted an offer, you really start questioning your decision and are unable to get excited about anything because... there's no home to get excited about!  well, it's all very strange.  

so, our house is no longer our house though i find myself referring to it as such still and catching myself because there's other people and other people's things there now.  if i let myself really sit in those feelings, and the fact that i may never lay eyes on those rooms anymore, i'll get really sad.  just before we closed, i ran upstairs to both check on any forgotten item and to have a moment, and my eyes just filled up with tears.  meanwhile, the new owner is right behind me (i didn't realize that!) already moving things in and doing a final walk-through, and i had to immediately regain composure because... who wants to be sitting there crying in front of a perfect stranger?  anyway, it was a short moment, it had to be, because off we went to the closing while parker and william watched cars in the parking lot the entire time and our realtor had to leave to go pick lindsey up from camp because her arranged ride fell through and... you get it.  hectic.  not really a moment to feel, to eat, to sleep.  am i even making sense now?

when we began this move, everything was so organized.  all credit to steve, whose praises i can't sing loudly or longly enough.  he has more fortitude than anyone i've ever known.  by far (by faaaaar) the majority of this move fell on his shoulders and he did it with the most gracious attitude i've ever seen.  in, most often, 90 degree heat too.  i never could have done it.  i am really not sure how he did (well, with a lot of help from william who was never far and was always willing.  thank god for that boy.).  so far, we haven't even hired movers (moving is already so dang expensive!) but before all is said and done, we might.  our stuff remains in storage until we have our new house to move it into.  anyway, where was i?  oh yeah.  the beginning of moves.  there's such rhyme and reason, a place for everything.  and then, at the end, it's so crazy and willy-nilly that things just begin being thrown into boxes that make no sense and that you may very well never unearth again.  is that always the way?  it felt like such a fiasco at the end, literally until the minute we left the house for the last time.  no time for sentimentality!  just keep packing!

i'm glad to say the process selling our house went quite well and it's a really lovely couple we handed the keys over to.  we also left them some local beer and wine, a card, and a pretty plant... all in the hopes that if we're desperate, maybe they'll open the doors to us once again so we can see the changes they made, see our old rooms.  i've always loved the thought of having a good relationship with your new owners so you can go back in your old home, so that they feel free to ask you questions they might have about the house.  it's how it should be.  and, on the other side of things, there's some settlement/title issues to work out, none of which i really understand the importance of (or why it has to be so complicated!), but it's delaying us getting into our new home a bit.  things are really good between us and the seller though, so we're grateful.  and hopeful--that we'll be in there soon.

and hopeful too, that when all is said and done, we'll still have some summer left to just relax and enjoy some days at lake winnipesaukee.  can't tell you how much i want to lay eyes on that place.

as for us now?  i'm in new jersey with parker, and steve's on his way to minnesota with william, lindsey, and jordan--driving!  we're going to be together in a week and i miss my people already.  last night i sat down to dinner at my mom and dad's house--some incredible chicken dish and a big salad--and relished in a home cooked meal by someone other than me, and the order all around, followed by a full night's sleep... and, what i'm saying is, i'm going to enjoy my time this week.  before the second phase of chaos starts: moving IN.

oh, and amidst all this, we know what we're having!  could that be any more of a little addendum after all of this nonsense?  last week there was a crazy day (crazy is becoming a bit of a theme here, yes?) of uhaul and storage and company (steve's parents, who just left a few days ago!) while i'm checking the time like, "oh, steve!  ultrasound time!"  so... yes!  we know what sort of little person we'll be welcoming to the family in december but since this post is about anything other than having a baby, i really need to do justice with a post of its own.  poor baby (i promise, i do think about you all the time!).

and thanks to all of you for all the love and congratulations both here and on instagram!  we're feeling it over here!!

alright.  i better just sign out now.  no more of this saga.  the adventure continues!  hope you all are well and having fabulous summers full of fun and watermelon.

some more news...

Thursday, July 3, 2014

hunt baby number six (!!) is coming early december.

a little crazy, a lot exciting... 
baby, we can't wait to meet you!

taking stock / 02

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Making: absolutely nothing besides messes; moves are very messy... 
Cooking: chicken fajitas the other night and--tooting my own horn--they were delicious.  I followed Steve's recipe so I guess he should get some credit.  Creole and lots of lime, chicken, peppers, onions...
Drinking: seltzer, and it's very refreshing
Reading: this book to Parker, it was a lucky library pick and we loved it; and this book for myself
Wanting: to have this move behind us.  It'll be so nice when it is.  
Looking: at empty rooms, empty closets, boxes...
Playing: I can't say I'm doing a whole lot of playing.  How boring!  What I would like to be playing is episode after episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians but that ain't happening either.
Eating: plums!  (see above!)
Wishing: for everything LemLem which I can't actually afford (especially this tunic)
Enjoying: this playlist
Loving: bedtime, it's such a welcome relief to crawl into bed each night.  I really love my sleep.
Hoping: that the next few weeks go smoothly!
Needing: nothing, actually.  That's a good answer, right?
Smelling: Gracie who's sitting underneath me; she smells extra "dog-like" today.
Feeling: happy and tired
Wearing: an Old Navy vintage tee; I baaaaasically wear one every day.
Following: or how about not following... the World Cup 
Noticing: how I've been texting too much lately.  There's just a lot going on!  Excuses, excuses.
Bookmarking: this recipe.


Monday, June 30, 2014

it's been busy around these parts lately.  that's to be expected.  summer being here and all, but add in a move and the craziness is ramped up a bit.  it's all good stuff, fun stuff, but i'm definitely seeing the parts of life that are neglected.  namely, this space, the grocery shopping, and, you know, the basic shower.  (just kidding, i've mostly got that under control.  make up + hair maintenance, on the other hand, not so much.)  in fact, as soon as i sign off here, the kitchen is begging to be cleaned and the groceries replenished.  we're out of milk and eggs, among many other things.  but you know things are desperate when the milk and eggs are gone.

my parents were just up.  only for a few days but, as is always the case, it was so nice to see them.  we took them out to dinner--a combination of things needing celebrating: an anniversary (44 years for them, right mom?) and mother's and father's day.  dinner was so nice.  the four of us rarely are together without lots of family around, so to get dressed up a bit and treat them to a delicious meal and some cold white wine was really nice.  

rooms are slowly being emptied here, and a few things moved over to the new house (we close in about a week and a half!) which is exciting and odd and a little sad too.  deciding, "what do i absolutely need for the next two weeks and what can be put in storage" is always a funny thing.  i think i've figured it out and, if not, there's always target.  steve's parents come tomorrow, and the day after they leave, we close and then i will go to new jersey while steve drives to minnesota (24 hours and he's doing it without stopping--except for the necessities, you know.  there are reasons, namely jordan who can't stop work until noon on one day and they're making a 5:00 wedding the following day).   and since parker would probably implode if he had to do that in 24 hours, he and i will be in new jersey for a bit.  is this all very crazy?  yes, we think so too.  if you think of it, do say a few good words for our honda and its 230k miles--that it gets there, i mean.  what's a few more miles when you're already at 230k?

nathaniel just left for hong kong, well, a few days ago and he's there now.  we're checking our emails and facebook trying to get a glimpse of him in hong kong but pictures aren't his top priority so, nothing yet.  nathaniel, if you're reading this, take some pictures of yourself!!!  and then, post them!  jordan is working constantly--he's always been a seriously motivated worker--and making good money.  he'll take some time with his cousins in minnesota this coming month though.  william is off with friends right now, and was at a sleepover last night, and lindsey just got back from a short camping trip with her friends.  parker, well he's sleeping right now.  all that to say hunts are here, there, and everywhere.  it's a wonder we keep track of anyone.

parker is strategically, any chance he gets, shutting off the wi-fi on my phone.  and so, a mere four days into a new month, i get texts from verizon: "you've used 75% of your data plan ending A WHOLE MONTH AWAY" which is fun.  parker, dear child, please stop doing that.  

we went to the beach last night with some drinks and small bites and it was nice and cool and the sun was going down.  we met my sister and her family there.  did you know the beach in the late evening is one of the best places to bring a kid?  they love it, they run around, they can't get lost, and they get nice and tired out in time for bed.  a win all around.  

so, i think i've covered all of it.  terribly interesting!  aren't you glad you checked my blog this morning?

hope you guys are having really good summers and that the weather is beautiful wherever you are.

now i'm going to clean the kitchen...


Thursday, June 26, 2014

steve and i have talked about potentially moving (a close-by town; no job changes, etc.!) since we have been married.  we have weighed the pros and cons and deliberated about the kids and schools  and finances and the real estate market and when the right time was... and we just never took the plunge for one reason or another.  until this last spring.  we finally decided to, and had a spring full of open houses and texts and emails with our realtor, and showings and cleaning our own house for those, and really talking to the kids to make sure they were on board, and checking for new houses on the web every fifteen seconds, and putting offers on houses to only have them fall through because more offers came in that weren't contingent, and then an offer on our own house, and then selling it and deciding on a closing date whether or not we had something to move into, and having a back up plan of a friends' home in case we didn't find anything.  and, if you've moved, you get it.  a lot of ups and downs, moments of laying awake in the middle of the night wondering if you're doing the right thing or if it's all a big mistake, and then the moment when it's too late to turn back, the offer has been made and accepted and then you really worry if you should be doing this.  

it was a stress-filled spring.

i mostly kept my head on straight, remembering that a house is just a house and all these people that have made it a home were coming with me to the next one.  but there were some moments where i walked around and thought, "i'm really going to miss these walls."  this is the house i began babysitting for the hunt kids, where the hunt kids became my kids.  where we were married by the justice of the peace a few days before our wedding, where we said goodbye to our first yellow lab.  where we have had wicked fights, and learned to be married, and learned to make up.  where i really learned to cook for the first time and where we celebrated christmas.  where i found out i was pregnant for the first time, and then that i wasn't a few days later, and then where i found out i was pregnant again, and where we brought parker home.  this one time i began packing up parker's room and i was listening to music at the same time.  van morrison's queen of the slipstream came on and i just lost it.  i haven't cried about the move since.  i know i will cry when i drive away from this house for the last time though.  we all will.

after a lot of searching (every sunday for weeks was spent going to open houses) we finally came upon one that seemed like a big secret that no one else had discovered yet.  it was beautiful, a lot smaller than our house (by almost half, but downsizing was a part of our goal.), and seemed nearly perfect all around.  steve and i went to lunch afterwards and weighed the pros and cons.  do we or don't we?  is it more than we want to spend?  can we?  is it a good investment?  mind you, we were coming upon our own closing date in a short four weeks and the market wasn't showing us a lot of new houses in our price range.  after sleeping on it, we decided to go ahead, make our offer, and hope everything worked out.  that was a few weeks ago.  so far, it looks like it is working out.  i'm afraid to jinx it until we hand over the keys to this house and walk away from it for the last time.  but, i'm whispering when i say this, we're really happy.  we're really tired, but we're really happy.

i'd be remiss to not mention steve and how incredibly motivated he is.  let's just say if you're moving, he is the guy you want on your team.  the man does not stop.  he works from morning to night taking breaks only when i force a plate of food and a glass of water in front of his face.  he is the hardest working person i know (and william, bless him, is right by his side most of the time) and i couldn't be more impressed.  he is the man.  now i just need some of his non-procrastinating ways to rub off on me...

please send us your good vibes, that all continues moving smoothly as we near our move out date.  i'm well aware that things can simply fall through and after all this working and hoping and praying, it'd be pretty sad for that to happen.  we're ready for our next adventure and to make another house a home.  

givewaway: spa-n-a-box! :: GIVEAWAY CLOSED

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

today's giveaway is for a spa-n-a-box (over $1000 value!) from stellar goods.  yes, not even kidding.  you thought it was gonna be some huge to-do to get that backyard hot tub you've always wanted?!  well, think again.  cause... spa-n-a-box!!!!!  

here's the deets: 
// plugs into any 110v standard household outlet
// great for those who rent or may move every few years; take it with you!
// comes in two boxes delivered to your front door; easy peasy!
// heats up to 104 degrees f (just like the big ones do!)
// easy set up with no tools required
// currently is the best selling portable spa on the market
// family business!

enter below to win!  closes sunday.  open to continental u.s. addresses only.

Hannah is the winner.  Congrats Hannah!

this post is sponsored by

the hundred event.

Monday, June 23, 2014

well what do we have here????

bridget is running a blogging conference?  i know, i know.  i was the last person who thought i would be in this position or, really, even be in attendance at one.  but it's true.  i'm heading up a blogging conference!  i'd be lying through my teeth if i claimed to be the one making it happen or even the brain-child of this event.  no way.  it was actually lauren's idea, and i was both nervous and thrilled when she asked me if i'd be willing to climb aboard.  she's probably regretting that fact by now but too late!  we're live!  

(just kidding.  she's amazing, and the whole process has been really fun.)

also helping things run smoothly are megan from megan k. graham and grace from camp patton.  basically three really fun girls in the blogging world--so, you can imagine, putting this together has been really great.  i'm really excited to introduce the hundred event to you and i really hope you might come along.  it's august 8-10 in dallas and, in a nutshell, it's a weekend-long conference designed with the blogger, small shop owner, writer in mind.  brand new or well-established, i think there'll be something for everyone.  it's staying small--one hundred to be exact!--so we're hoping it'll also be a time to get to know people, make connections, and bounce a lot of ideas off of one another.  blogging, for me anyway, has been an incredible experience and something that's really fun to talk about with other people who are in the same "world" if you will, so i hope you'll come and have a great time.  plus, good food, drink, and some partying!  

more detail is over at the website, so without further adieu, here it is!  

i really hope to see you there!

and a huge thank you to joules clothing for sponsoring our weekend!

logo & blog design by kelly christine studio

5 tips to being a super mom or at least a mildly efficient one some of the time

Saturday, June 21, 2014

{an oldie but goodie}

since being a mom of a little one, there's a few things that have been clutch for me.  this website has come in handy more times than i care to count (speedy shipping!) and... a few more things.  but, let's be clear: i still have a heck of a lot to learn (or, at the very least, a heck of a long way to go in terms of consistency.).  but, nevertheless, here's a few of my tried and trues:

number one: don't run out of diapers.  easy right?  wrong.  so wrong.  i order diapers in bulk, always, so it's easy to keep assuming, "oh there's more in the upstairs closet" until... there's not.  when will i realize they're not the loaves and fishes?  there is an end to them.  and how about a blowout in the last diaper in the house?  that's actually a sort of scary place to be and i'm not even kidding.  you ever put a kid with a blowout in a car seat?  he ain't happy about it.  and good chance that car seat is gonna take a beating and then need washing and then guess who's not going any place at all until that car seat dries (and mine is this crazy squishy material that dries approximately 8 days after i wash it, no biggie!)??  me.  that's who.  well, me and parker.  i'm pretty lucky though, i've only been out a few times and my local grocery store is not far, praise be.  but, yeah, keep ordering and then order some more.  (not to mention, there's a million other things here--clothes, shoes, sunscreen, etc.--and seriously, the shipping is fast which is awesome.  plus, you don't have to go anywhere.)

number two: a diaper station.  this was huuuuge for me.  i think my sister meghan told me this one and it was like a lightbulb moment and i hadn't even given birth yet.  on each floor, there's a diapering station.  preferably one in a cute wicker or wire basket (i have one similar to this one!).  at least ten diapers stacked neatly, wipes, a changing pad (though, i'll readily admit, sometimes i skip the changing pad which is wrong) and some diaper cream/spray.  keep it stocked at all times, everyone knows where it is, all is well.  (and when they're old enough that you can actually send them to fetch the diaper and wipes?!  well it's both adorable and very handy.)

number three: go to sleep.  i'm terrible at this.  i won't pretend that i don't stay up late and then regret my late nights almost every single morning of my life.  occasionally i wise up and go to bed early and wake up refreshed and like myself and everyone else so much better but usually... no.  i get sucked in to some crappy television show and, well, tired bridget wins again.  but it's actually a lose.  a huge one that i pay for all day.

number four: baby carrier!  baby carrier!  baby carrier!  can i say that three more times?!  parker lived in one allowing me to be hands-free and, quite often, with some semblance of a meal on the table for the family.  we both loved it.  i got to have him close and he got to be close.  it was a win-win-win-win.  this is the one we have.

number five: utilize your crockpot, folks.  i mean it.  i've sung the praises of my crock pot time and time again (here's one!) but really, it can't be sung enough.  no more handling raw meat, no more "dammit, it's five o'clock and the chicken is still a rock in the freezer."  the reasons are plentiful.  the possibilities are endless.  a crockpot is a cook's best friend.  and especially a busy cook.

thanks to huggies for sponsoring!  head over here for $12 off any box of diapers on the page for first-time purchasers.  $12!  that's like 40 free diapers, friends.  use code WOWHUGGIES at checkout!

any tips for me?  i'll take whatcha' got.  namely... when can i hope to not be buying diapers anymore??

travel series, no 2.: ashley's guide to davis, california.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Ashley is a long-time blog friend.  I followed her before she and Aron added two kids to their family and before their move straight across the country.  Her blog is an incredible resource for travel, both with and without kids (I took some of her advice for this NYC trip!).  But you'll find a lot more than just travel there.  Ashley's here today to introduce us to Davis, California.  Thanks Ashley! 

I'm Ashley and I write Hither & Thither, a travel and lifestyle blog, from our home in Davis. My husband and I moved here—to his childhood hometown and the place where we first met and fell in love during college—two years ago with our then one-year-old son Hudson. We had spent the previous five years in New York City and were so worried about moving to a (relatively) small town, worried that we'd miss the pace of the city. But we love Davis. We've since had a daughter (Skyler is four months old!) and it's an ideal place for young families. I chronicle much of our life—and write generally on topics ranging from food and family and fashion and wanderlust—on Hither & Thither. You can also find me, @AshleyMuirBruhn on Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.

Some things Ashley and her family love to do in Davis:
Davis is such a small town (particularly as compared to the other places we've lived, like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York), so it's hard not to think of the entire place as one's neighborhood. I love that we can walk downtown, bike anywhere, and that we will usually run into friends or acquaintances (or family, because now my parents live here, too!) when we’re out. There are hundreds of miles of bike paths. One of my favorite routes is the Arboretum loop on campus. It hosts a wonderful collection of native plants—and even has a redwood grove.

Click to read more!!

graduation day (times two).

Thursday, June 19, 2014

yesterday was such a whirlwind.  running to one school, running to the next, a quick stop to the grocery store for lunch-fixings, sitting in hot auditoriums for graduation ceremonies, parker catching short naps on the go, rushing here, rushing there, curling hair and painting nails... and on top of it all, a day of milestones!  graduation ceremonies and some teary eyes.


it was crazy but it was good.  william graduated from 8th and lindsey from 6th.  (remember when they were this big?)  it was emotional.  i cried when the 8th grade processed in.  the music and everything did it to me and william!  he's enormous.  i look up to him now (literally.  he's taller than i am.).  it just felt like one of those big moments.  i remember them well from my own life and i can't believe i'm here watching these two go through these milestones themselves.  how did we get here so fast?

i am really, really proud of them both.  they are really good kids, sweet kids who make good decisions and i'm so glad i get to be here for them.

we love you william and lindsey!


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