I'm pretty sure anyone who has ever been on facebook has seen one of those posts that starts with "you know you grew up in the 60/70/80/90's if..." Then it is always filled with childhood nostalgia. The comments are then always filled with people talking down on "parents today" and the way we are raising our young. 

Without fail, one of the things on the list will talk of the lack of it was a good thing. And someone will always comment that they survived. This one always makes my eyes roll straight out of my head because, well, seatbelts save lives. And just because you survived doesn't mean that there weren't plenty of others that didn't. I still remember being in maybe third grade and a good friend was in a bad car accident. Only two people were wearing seatbelts in their van on the way to school. Two died. My friend was severely injured. Like I said, seatbelts save lives folks. 

Another thing that always makes the list is drinking out of a hose. First, I never realized this was a rite of passage in childhood. I don't necessarily remember doing it. But given that a good amount of my childhood was spent in my backyard, I am sure I did. But honestly, who are the people these days not letting their kids drink from hoses?! There will always be people on the fringe that disagree with things, yet I still don't think many find this controversial. My kids drink pool water, for goodness sake. And the youngest will drop to the ground and lick dropped food and drink off of it. Obviously a hose is the least of my worries. Like literally the least. 

So there you have it. Seatbelts are a necessity. They save lives and aren't something to joke about. But drinking out of garden hoses, have at it. Just remember, I don't think many really care about that one. So yeah. 

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New Glasses

I got some new glasses a week ago. Riveting, I know. I never really liked my old pair, so I was happy to upgrade to a new pair. I also asked about lasik. Unfortunately, these messed up eyes of mine would be quite expensive to get lasik on. I have some pretty messed up eyes. You know those "free" glasses you see advertised everywhere online? I've tried to do those before and they come out to a couple hundred dollars because of my complicated prescription. Apparently it's the same with lasik. Complicated prescription means a much more complicated lasik procedure and a lot more money. Like each eye costing several thousand dollars. So I shelved that idea. Instead, I decided to upgrade to the most thin lenses I could get. I mean, one may as well treat themselves when they get bad news, right? Haha! Honestly, I don't think I really can see much of a difference in the lens size between these ones and my last pair. I always have to pay extra for thin lenses anyway because otherwise the bottle caps wouldn't fit in frames...even thinner ones still stick out, but it is what it is. 

I also got more contacts. Even though they make my eyes super dry by the end of the day, they really are great for wearing in the rain and while swimming. And when I want to wear makeup because without them in I can't see my face to put on makeup. I told you my eyes are bad! I thought my eyes didn't agree with my contact when the dry eyes came on. Turns out it happens the older you get. Like really?! I'm not even halfway through my lifespan yet. I shouldn't have aging eyes this quickly! Of course, talking to other people, it is par for the course. 

Now you know way more than you ever wanted to know about my eyes, all because I wanted to show off my new glasses. Oh, and I totally skipped the funny story about picking out glasses. I went in and asked about clear glasses. They had a whopping total of three pairs. One was super thin and seemed like they would break instantly...and let's be honest, I've lost count how many times my glasses have been thrown off my face by my kids. The others just weren't the right style. I actually was considering one of them, but when I sent Ian pictures of me in various pairs, he said my smile was biggest in the pair I went with. So there you have it, the super scientific way I pick out frames. But also, these glasses are about as opposite as you can get from clear. Oh well.

Also, anyone with a bad prescription knows how much it sucks picking out glasses when you can't even see yourself in a mirror. Well, this time I spoke up and they went and got me a pair of contacts to wear so I could actually see. I wish I had spoke up much sooner because picking out glasses has always sucked for this very reason. And now the problem is solved...boom!

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Little Moments Not To Be Forgotten

It's been a while since I've done one of these posts, and I'm sad because they are actually among my favorite. Capturing the everyday of our lives and my kids childhoods is what I really enjoy doing. Because, so often, it's the little things we remember and the little things that truly make us smile.

car wash // bike ride // fro yo // reading
big boy showers // frisbee // painting snails // joy

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A New Master Bathroom

Remember back when I posted about us redoing our master bathroom? Yeah, it's been so long that I really didn't either. You guys, it's finally DONE. It took exactly 90 days, start to finish. Demo began on January 16th and everything was finished on April 16th. I thought that was kind of fun when I realized this. It's also kind of torturous that it happened in Ian's busy season when, you know, life isn't stressful for us or anything.

This reno took much longer than Ian or I expected. There were times I was annoyed. Times I was done being stuck at home with workers. Times I just didn't want to have to make my bed and try to keep Callum from getting all up in the workers business. But, it is finally over. And I must say, it looks more amazing that I would have imagined when we first began. Of course, that could be because the scale of this remodel took a much larger turn once demo started and we discovered a few extra room to expand in to, messed up floor joists, blotched up plumbing and electrical. You get the picture. But now for the real pictures.

Here's a before, so you can remember what we were working with. I know it looks straight out of the 90's, but it was actually done only 3 years block wall and all. And that bathroom was horribly lit, had no ventilation and the slate was impossible to clean. All it had going for it was the amazingly large shower, which I did enjoy.

And here's an after of the same view. Nice and bright. New, larger window...that isn't glued shut and stuccoed over. There are nice, bright led lights in there too. 

Another before shot. The WHOLE BATHROOM was slate. It also had a 3 foot long vanity, which was pretty dang small for Ian and I to share. We were hoping to go up to 4 feet, but actually were able to go all the way up to 5 feet.

And the same view of the new bathroom. Since we ended up having to redo everything, we were able to start with a clean slate and position the bathroom any way we wanted. I really, really wanted the window to be visible and not blocked, so that was what we had to work with. We stood in that little space many times with the contractor trying to figure how we wanted to lay things out. It felt so confusing and daunting when there were no walls or anything to figure out a scale of things with. In the end, it worked out great.

And now some more pictures of the bathroom. We picked everything out ourselves, which at times felt daunting, wondering if it would all go together in the end. We wanted something that went with the house (built in 1939) and wasn't a big fad that would quickly date itself. 

The shower glass has some sort of magic on it that frees itself of water spots. We've already used it and it totally dried clear. Talk about amazing! 

Also, the tile guys totally knocked my socks off with their attention to detail. Look how beautifully they lined up our tile in the floating drain with the rest of the shower floor. And they lined up the rest of the bathroom floor with the shower! The subway tile also seamlessly lines up around the whole bathroom, shower included. 

The quartz slab we chose for our countertop was also used for the shampoo nook in the shower and the shower ledge. That was something the counter/tile guys suggested and it turned out really nice. Also, I should mention, up until this point in life, I thought mostly all shower heads were the same. Um, no. This huge bad boy is life changing. I literally feel like I am at a spa, or a fancy hotel or something with that amazing thing. 

So there you have it, our shiny new bathroom. So light and bright. Oh, and the fan has a bluetooth speaker in it, which is totally awesome. I can now shower in peace, not hearing the fighting of the children in the other room. Talk about a win!

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A Little Mom & Isla Pampering

I've never been exactly what you would call a girly girl. Or more, many of the things that seem to just come natural for so many girls never came natural for me. I was never super into clothes, makeup scared me and I perfected the top knot in junior high and rocked it even when it wasn't in style. As I've gotten older, I have become more girly, but still feared having a daughter. I feared not being girly enough for her and not being able to help her with the things she needed and wanted help with. It turns out that so far (yeah, I know she's only six!) it hasn't been too bad. She doesn't care for perfection and more just enjoys trying all the girly things. 

Over the weekend, I bought some skin items and they came with a free sample of a face mask, so I asked Isla if she wanted to do it with me. She was more than down. In fact, she wanted to even apply it herself. It was fun not just spending time with her, but also getting to use mine and Ian's almost done bathroom...gosh that has been a long process! Besides the fact that I thought it would only take a couple weeks to complete, I thought for sure it would be done last week. Well, here's to hoping it actually is done this week!!! I digress. 

I've realized more and more just showing up and trying is all our kids want. Isla doesn't care if I don't do something perfect. But she enjoys being pampered and pampering me back. She enjoys playing beauty spa, thanks to the Fancy Nancy books. But even with all her girly tendencies, she still does not enjoy her hair being done. She only likes wearing it down and even managing to brush it daily is a challenge. So, I still am extremely rusty in the girly hair styles. 

But we are making memories, learning this girly stuff together. 

On a side note, I actually bit the bullet a few months ago and bought a makeup system (or is a kit? or...?) that I actually have been sticking to...when I wear makeup, that is. But I like actually knowing what I am doing for a change and not feeling quite so intimidated by it all.

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Bathroom Wall Sconce Ideas

from top left:

I'm going to be honest for a minute. I know there are people that love the details. They love searching for the perfect item. They love comparing them. They love picking them out. I am not one of those people. That is one of the reasons things like our bathroom remodel stress me out. There are just so many decisions to make. The shower head, the drawer pulls, the vanity lighting...not to forget the tile, the window, the glass options for the shower, the toilet, the countertop, the vanity, and on and on and on. Just SO MANY DECISIONS. And since they all cost money, each decision feels like such a burden. I always feel like they end up not being a huge deal in the end. But I don't want to regret any decision I make. Yet I also don't want to spend hours scowering the internet for the perfect piece either.

My strategy was to find something I like on Pinterest, do a quick google search of that item, find a couple comparable options and pick one. Wall sconces for either side of our mirror were a little bit more difficult though. Partially because there are so many options out there and partially because it was the only thing Ian and I didn't see completely eye to eye on. It's actually amazing that in the whole bathroom remodel, this was the only decision we both couldn't completely agree on! But, he couldn't come up with a better option, so I ordered the ones I wanted.

Also, am I the only person that won't order something without a good return policy? There are just so many what if's when ordering so many things online from so many places and hoping they all go together. I actually found some other lights I liked that I didn't end up ordering because in the reviews people talked of the finish not looking the same as online and they didn't have a good return policy and I didn't want to be stuck with something that didn't go with the rest of the bathroom.

Besides a good return policy, I quickly realized how the prices of lights were all over the place. From uber cheap (less than $20 a light), to hundreds a light. I quickly decided to set a price of how much I wanted to spend, so I could easily rule out things because of their ridiculous price tag. This also kept be from falling in love with something far too expensive, then talking myself into it not being that expensive ;)

Anyway, after combing through the internet and looking at more vanity lighting than my brain can comprehend, I thought I would share some of the great ones I found. Also, many of them come from staple home stores like Lowes, Pottery Barn and West Elm. But I found that, of course, none of the ones I liked were available in stores. That would have been just too easy!

Our bathroom really is coming together. It's fun seeing all the little, and big, decisions we made come together to make our bathroom. It should all be done within a week, and then I'll be sharing it with you all.

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From One Train Lover To Another

It really doesn't feel like that long ago that I was building fancy train tracks, chasing trains around town and visiting the train station for my train obsessed Connor. Thomas was his favorite thing to watch there for a while. He went through a phase where he carried one train engine with him everywhere he went. He even slept with it at night! Alas, now he is a smart mouthed second grader, who thinks most of what his mom does is wrong. 

But now Callum is getting into trains. It's fun watching the same trains Connor played with getting pulled back out and played with again. And I'm back at that phase where I wonder if I should kragle (a little lego movie reference for you non lego movie watching folks) a train track together because it gets pulled apart approximately 2 seconds after I put it together. Well, actually it usually is being pulled apart while I am putting it together still. And that is always followed up with an, "Uh-oh, broken" in the most adorable toddler voice. I totally remember thinking about gluing a track together when Connor was little. I have since thought to myself, had I done it then, it would have worked out well then and now! But I have also wondered if I would have held on to something that wouldn't have been so easy to store. So many thoughts for a train track, right?!

I tried going and finding a picture of Connor with his beloved koko train he always had with him, but couldn't find one. In the process, I came across these adorable pictures though. I still have those overalls and I am pretty sure we still have a train hat around here somewhere. I am thinking I will definitely need to recreate those pictures with Callum. Also seeing pictures of cute little innocent Connor, who was always my little buddy has my mama emotions all over the place now! 

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A Surprise Visitor

On Sunday, while we were working in the backyard, someone came to our gate and yelled for us. Ian walked to the fence and asked if he could help the guy and he responded, "I grew up in this house, can I at least see the backyard?" Ian opened the gate and the nicest man came into our backyard.

He moved into the house when he was 8 years old and lived here until he went to college. He lived here in the 50's and 60's. He even went to the same elementary school our kids go to! He was tearing up in the backyard telling us some of his memories and I decided to do something way out of character for me. I invited him in to the house. You may be thinking, "that isn't a big deal Jessica." But it was for me because the house was a bit of a mess. Dirty dishes in the sink and on the counter. Stuff at the bottom of the stairs that I had carried down earlier in the day to move to the garage. A roll of paper towels that Isla decided to unroll all over the house. You know, the usual! But it was so worth it for me to swallow my pride and watch this guy's eyes light up. Not just his eyes, but his stories. He is a pianist and he showed us where his piano sat at which window he looked out at...practicing all those years before heading off to music school in New York City. He told us which room was his, it's Callum's room now. He told us that the weird random cut out in our hall wall was where their telephone was. He was excited to see the coat closet was still a coat closet. He really was the sweetest man.

As we were walking him out the front door, our neighbors were outside and he quickly ran across the street to talk to them and was promptly ushered in their house. Apparently his good friend grew up there and I am guessing since the people that currently live there, her grandparents built the house, I am guessing that "friend" was either her dad or an uncle.

One of the things I truly love about living in an old house, besides all the quirks and character, is the fact that there is a history to the house. Getting a glimpse into a bit of the history of a past occupant was truly a treat for me.

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Easter 2018

And just like that, another Easter has come and gone. I am sort of sad we had to go back to school, rather than get the week off...or at least a day off to recover from the sugar high! Alas, spring break was last week, so back to the grind we are.

We actually did pretty much all our Easter festivities on Saturday this year, which was nice because it made Sunday a nice, chill family day. Saturday started out with an epic Easter egg hunt and my friend's mom's house (though I would count her mom as one of my friends too!). There had to be 40 kids there, plus all the parents. They only live a few blocks from us, so I walked with the kids and Callum fell asleep on the way there and slept through the whole egg hunt.

Isla was the first kid out the door when the big kids got to go hunt. Connor found one of the two prized golden eggs, which was drama all of its own because Isla tried taking it from him and when I put a stop to that, went into a full on meltdown. Thankfully she eventually recovered, but it was like, "gosh child!" Callum woke at the end of the festivities, when another toddler when into full on meltdown and the mom walked him into the room Callum was sleeping in. But, then Callum got to play with some playdough before we hit the road.

^^ Trina reading the Easter story to the kids

^^ My friend Mallory trying to keep the big kids inside, so the littles could have a go at the egg hunt.

^^ Of course my child was first out the door! 

^^ Filling up on some fennel during the egg hunt.

Then we went home and ate lunch and relaxed for a bit before round two. We met my brother and dad at church for an early Saturday service. Then we headed over to Ian's parents house for another egg hunt and dinner.

It really was nice getting everything in on Saturday because Sunday became a nice family day. My dad, brother and I went to breakfast. Then we hung out for a bit before my dad had to head back to LA. We did yard work, while the kids played in the yard...and attempted to swim before they realized we weren't lying when we said it would be freezing. Followed up by dinner and me going grocery shopping at a literally empty grocery store...that was super nice! Then bedtime and back to the grind.

It was a good weekend. No, a great weekend.

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