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Long.Time.No.See

Hello Friends…whoever you may be.

it’s certainly been a long while since I’ve been here….

I’m not really sure what to write or update you with. Life has been crazy and hectic and beautiful and scary and everything in between in the 3 months we’ve lived here. I’ve met SOOOO many amazing and kind Lawrencians. I mean….I can’t even tell you how many new and beautiful people I’ve met.

The few friends I have here have gone above and beyond to include me and introduce me and welcome me.

The new friends I’ve made have done the same…

it’s amazing and humbling.

it’s also been overwhelming.

I’ve got new neighbor friends, new country friends, story time friends, friend-of-friends friends, store owner friends, Bunko friends…I don’t know how any of the groups of people I meet know each other and none of their names or incomes or what street they live on matter to me (these things were all very important where I had previously lived)…and it’s SO refreshing.

Every person I’ve met I have made it a point to receive with an open heart. It’s been beautiful!

I would tell you it’s been a much harder adjustment for me than expected. I thought it would be so easy living “in the country, but only a few miles from town,” but it’s quite lonely. No one stops by to see me on their way to Target or dinner or just because. I’m usually the one dropping in on people when I’m bored or lonely…and that’s pretty often.

That’s not to say I’m lonely, I’m not…just still adjusting.

For instance, our home is so beautiful and the land is so gorgeous that I still find myself in awe. Is this really ours? Each time I pull down our hill and see the white fence around the 5 acre horse pasture, I gasp!!!! Then I pull up on The Right Turn Ranch sign and just smile.

THIS IS OURS!!!

Only, it doesn’t really feel like it yet!

It’s so stunning here and so serene and so peaceful it feels like I’m at a resort in the woods. And, for that reason, it feels like I’m on a really long vacation and that, at any minute, I should be catching a flight back to Colorado.

Sure, I see my couches and our family pictures on the wall….but….I’m not quite sure this is home just yet.

I’m sure this is all *normal* and as we hang the pictures on the wall in the Family Room this weekend of our family (starting with our Engagement Pictures…up to Lowe & Reeve with me this week) it will feel more like a *home*.

These things just take time I guess.

Kirk has adjusted quite well. From the cowboy hat on his head to Dickie’s he wears to mow the yard in….he has found his calling.

I’m still working on being out in the country, that’s been the hard part, but I do sure love me some Lawrence.

Here is a picture of Cheyenne’s Blue Eye…not sure how that ties in to this post, but it’s somewhat unique and odd for a horse I’m told. She doesn’t trust us yet…she’s better every day and we’ve seen the horses galloping quite a lot lately. The previous owners told us they didn’t do this and we take it as a sign they like us (or that the 200+ pounds we’ve helped them shed has allowed them to run more easily).

Chey's Eye

and the deer up by Deer Creek (named fittingly). This is the bottom of the hill we have to drive down. It’s always intimidating to first-time visitors, but it ain’t no mountain and I’ve driven many of those in my day so it’s nothing to me.

Deer-1

I’m going to try to post more this week. It’s been a little crazy with school being out for the summer and we just spent 2 nights at my parents house.

I hope you are all having a great summer and ready for some POOL action.

 

What life is like

I don’t know what I expected life to be like out here in the woods, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t at all in my mind what it’s turned out to be.

It’s slow. And calm. And peaceful. And VERY humbling.

We are still living out of boxes going on 36 days and I’ll be okay if I never eat out again, but our perspectives have completely changed. I’m reminded constantly why we made this huge change in our lives.

From Reeve excited to put on him mud-covered boots to feed the horses to the cobwebs covering the barn and even the not-perfect house.

I won’t lie…that part has been the hardest for me. I seem to cross one thing off my list of what I want to do to this house and three more get added. New carpet, built-ins, appliances. There is always something and that’s been really hard for me, someone who likes things nice and neat and doesn’t like to wait.

But there is a lesson in all of this, I know.

My home isn’t perfect (like the one in Coloardo) and it certainly has some quirks, but I’m reminded daily that I don’t want perfect anymore. I don’t want to live my life trying to find the *perfect* picture of the *perfect* curtain. I would tell Reeve, if he were to ask, that *perfect* is boring!

I’m reminded with each sunrise, each thunderstorm, each foggy morning, each time I hear frogs croaking in the pond, each time I make a right turn into our gate….we didn’t buy this house for the house, we bought it for the land.

And I couldn’t not be more happy that we did. I see our family changing. I see myself changing so much. I like what I see.

Here we are are sitting on our white porch swing under our wraparound porch listening to blues music and the rain pattering on the roof as we hear thunder and horses whinneying…we will call this “Front Porch Session.” I see many of these in our future. 

This Cree that runs at the edge of our land is called Deer Creek and has become our daily excuse to get out of the house. Here are my boys watching for tadpoles.

  Showing an old friend’s daughter our new life.

  I saw this tree root when we first moved in and just knew it would make for a perfect Gnome Home. Reeve saw it and gasped! He covered his mouth and insisted we whisper. I made up this great story about how he trusted our family enough to be seen and how we needed to buy him some furniture. He hasn’t told us his name yet, but we can’t wait until he does!  And here is his food. I put some sprinkles in this tic tac container and Reeve just thought it was the coolest thing!
  The clouds! I love how daunting and ominous they are. You can see the grass is greening! That’s Cody, the male horse. Every time we come up to the fence he thinks we have food. Lowe doesn’t know what to think of the horses just yet.  This is the very front of our land (the creek is just behind me). I still can’t believe this beautiful land is ours.
  My dad gave us this horse swing and Reeve named him Trigger. In this picture, Reeve had just sat down and said to me, “I need to think. We need to do some chores, let’s pick up sticks for the firepit.” I can see the changes in him daily. As responsibility grows, he seems to flourish and love having “jobs” to do.

Two of our daily visitors. We now have 3 deer, 4 fat squirrels, 2 geese, a ton of HUGE bullfrogs, 20 turkey, an owl and who knows what else.

Reeve and “the girl next door” who walks down our long drive nearly daily now that we’ve met her and whom he works so hard to try to impress. She’s 7 and he’s as tall as she is. She’s also darling and has the cutest smile. She adores Lowe and is very polite, yet stern to Reeve when he says things to her like, “just so you know, I’m not wearing any underwear.”

Walking up our drive with Hannah on a sunny day to Deer Creek. He ripped his shirt off and kept talking about how Vitamin D gives you energy.   Taking the flag down so it doesn’t blow away after spreading corn from the yellow bucket on the lawn for the animals to come visit. He still looks like a baby with these pajamas on.  I call this a Traffic Jam these days! Life sure has changed.
  From inside my car. I hadn’t realized how much I missed living where it rains, thunders and lightnings. You wouldn’t believe how one rain can make things blossom and bloom.

Sitting at the Creek again looking for tadpoles.   I find myself taking anywhere from 10-20 pictures daily of just something new we discover right here in our own yard. With this slower pace sure comes an appreciation for nature. You actually NOTICE things here.

When your world moves too fast and you lose yourself in the chaos, introduce yourself to each color of the sunset. Reacquaint yourself with the earth beneath your feet. Thank the air that surrounds you with every breath you take. Find yourself in appreciation of life.

Christy Ann Martine

I pinch myself most mornings as we bounce up the gravel road in my truck. I give thanks at each meal that we aren’t looking at our neighbors eating out the back window also.

For every thing I miss about Denver, I find 2 new things here that I love.

 

The North Bedroom (Reeve)

To say that I am slightly obsessed with making Reeve’s room perfect would possibly be an understatement. In my mind, this transition from living on a cul de sac with over 20 kids to a Ranch with no neighbors will go much smoother if his room is everything he wants…and more!

When I ask him what he wants, all he says at this point is that he wants it black!

Probably not gonna happen.

His room now is dark blue, almost navy, and I’d love to do something similar just to make it feel like the room he already has and because the dark walls help darken his room at night, but I’m kind of over it.

His new room is pretty dang cool! It has vaulted ceilings and is very long. There is a large walk in closet with built-in organizers. It has a space where we are going to add a floating desk. His Brimnes Ikea Bed & Headboard fits perfectly under one wall.

and

It has a Hidey Hole. A Batcave…a “not-so-secret room”

Reeve's Bedroom

I know…MORE wallpaper. I can’t even….but see that brown door? It has a room about 10 feet square that will hold all of his Batman toys. Out of sigh. Away. No one else can see them

He is so excited about this….

Okay, so, his headboard and bedframe are white and will butt up against that same wall. Here is my question?

Paint it black or funky navy blue? Or do I leave it gray-ish and paint that tall wall with the door on it black/blue? I am hoping to put the Mini Batman Decals in the composite below on that wall.

Remember, we are doing a Batman-inspired room…..

Boys Bedroom 1

The other end of his room (upper right picture) will hold some of the white Ikea Kallax Storage Units (see the white unit on bottom left picture).

I’ve also ordered a few of these prints from MiniLearners on Etsy and will hang them too. They are so cute, like $6 and will fit perfectly in some of the Ikea frames I am not using right now.

Boys Will Be BOysSo what are your thoughts? I can’t do an all-white/gray room and really want to add a few splashes or black or dark blue like in the background of the composite I’ve created.

I’d love to hear your ideas.

Teddy & Popsicle

After a treacherous 11 hour drive back from Kansas in the ice, sleet, rain and snow, we immediately walked in the door and got the boys ready for Bedtime.

But Lo and Behold….we left a very important family member behind.

Teddy!

About 6 months ago, Reeve was invited to a birthday party at Build A Bear where he chose a Darth Vader (they didn’t have Batman costumes at the time) bear. And he fell in love. There is no other way to put it. He let the bear wear the costume for a day or two and then, once removed, he realized how soft and cuddly Teddy was. And Teddy became his Comfort Item.

What’s strange about this is that he hadn’t had a “Comfort Item” thus far. For 3 years of his life I guess I was that to him….but this bear. Well, Teddy does something for him that I can’t, or WON’T, do. Teddy sleeps with him at night!

So, when we realized Teddy was back in the basement at my brother’s house we knew we quickly needed to come up with An Adventure For Teddy.

Teddy flew to the North Pole to go pick up Reeve’s Elf on the Shelf, Popsicle. GENIUS!

Except…Reeve wasn’t buying it.

“Teddy isn’t real, Mom” and “Popsicle is just a doll.”

After much convincing we somehow managed to get Reeve to fall asleep with a teddy bear of Lowe’s that felt similar. It wasn’t easy. He cried and kept saying, “It’s dark outside, Teddy will be scared…the creatures will eat him.” He was so afraid for him. It broke my heart!

The next morning Reeve wanted to know where Teddy was first thing. We told him he was still at the North Pole and that he would be back when Santa was done with him. He seemed okay with that.

That next afternoon we decided to go see The Good Dinosaur. In the car Reeve said, “Mommy, Teddy doesn’t even know where we live.”

Quick thinker that I am explained how Teddy, like Hannah, has a chip in her neck with our address on it that can be scanned if he ever gets lost, but it wasn’t something he needed to worry about b/c Teddy knows our address. Reeve said, “Teddy’s chip is in his heart that I kissed, Mommy.”

Yes!!!

Whew….another bullet dodged.

And then the movie starts. It was the saddest movie for kids I’ve ever seen. The daddy dinosaur gets swept away in a flood and Reeve was crying and shaking and asking if I was ever going to die. We finally calmed him down from daddy dino dying when baby dinosaur gets swept away in a flood too!

What the hell, Disney?!?!

More crying. More shaking. Reeve wants to leave. “This is the worst movie ever, Mom!”

Then, with big tears in his eyes, he looks at me and says, “Does my heart have a chip in it, Mommy, if I ever get lost?”

Kirk looked at me and our mouths agape we snuggled him and explained how it’s okay to feel sad and scared and that’s what makes movies good.

I’m really proud of Reeve. He’s pretty dang smart, but I was so happy to see the empathy and to witness him connecting the dots about loss and family.

It’s a lot for a little mind to have to take in and I’m glad we haven’t had to deal with death in our family. Reeve is a sweet, sweet boy who is ready for Teddy to come home!

Thankfully Aunt Connie popped him in the mail and he was only gone for 4 nights.

I planned an elaborate arrival (not really…but pretty good considering Lowe won’t let me put him down these days).

I pretended the doorbell rang and this was waiting for him.

IMG_5812

He was mildly excited to say the least. The Lego Christmas Tree was more exciting to him than anything. Go figure…

Anyway, Teddy is back and Popsicle is in his *spot* (our Elf is too lazy to move every night) and the Lego tree is up (the actual Christmas tree is lazy too) and we are good to go. Everyone is home and safe and right where they should be.

Holy Cow! Er….horses?!?!

We did it!

After nearly 2 years of looking for land or a house we can remodel in Kansas, we FOUND THE ONE and made an offer on it!

We first found the 13-acre property over Halloween and went back over Thanksgiving to meet with the owners and decide if this is what we really want to do.

I’m pretty much freaking out and even though we have a LONG way to go until it’s Ours, I feel like we can finally say that we are on the road to making this dream happen.

While I can’t share too much at this point about the house, I can tell you that it’s STUNNING! The house…the land…the hills…the barns…the property…the patios…the red front door….the TWO WILD MUSTANGS!

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Did you read that right? You did!  The house comes with 2 Wild Mustangs, Cheyenne & Cody!  What are we thinking? We don’t know a damn thing about horses, but we can’t imagine leaving them as the entire property was built for these babies.

The owners were precious. Sadly, they are aging and the husband is having a hard time walking, let alone caring for the 13 acres and 2 horses. When we first walked into the house and met the owners, I asked immediately “Tell me the story of your home.”

How I long for a home with a Story and not just  out of a box like we have now.

We sat in front of the 2-story limestone fireplace with the heat from the REAL fire warming us and settled in for a story that made us all cry.

While watching a documentary called America’s Vanishing Wild Horses, he felt compelled to make it his Life’s Dream to rescue 2 Mustangs. As his voice quivered and his eyes teared, he said, “I said to myself ‘no living creature was meant to live like that.” He went on to tell us how he chose the horses from a property in Wyoming where the Kevin Costner movie “Dances With Wolves” was filmed. He was warned that they were “too horses”….too ugly, too expensive, too wild. He got the 2 horses at just 6 months old and now, 18 years later, is having to leave them behind.

We hope he feels comfortable enough in our ability to love and care for them that he lets us have his home.

She walked me room-to-room showing me things I never would’ve noticed and I too fell in love as Kirk already had.

When we first viewed the property last month, I was so not interested in it based on the pictures online that I didn’t even go with Kirk and our realtor to see it. I flat out refused. An hour or so after Kirk got there he called me and said, “you HAVE to come see this place.”

As I drove down the long hill to the property and was met by the 2 galloping horses, I knew what had happened. Kirk had found his Mistress. There will never be words to describe the smile on his face when I stepped out of the car. He was done for.

Sure, the house is outdated and needs some serious work to make it “ours,” but it’s GORGEOUS! With a wrap-around porch and windows in every room, it’s like something out of Country Living magazine. No, it’s like the COVER of Country Living Magazine.

So, here I sit, days after we return awaiting a counter-offer from the owners both terrified and excited.

I can’t wait to share this journey, this dream with you.

Please come along with us…