Life on Cottage Hill: PAGES

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

learning as we go.

5 things I've learned lately:

1. Homemade, lavish weeknight meals (or weekend for that matter) are not necessary. The idea of cooking a full-on dinner every night was invented back when women we're necessarily welcomed with open arms into the work world and somehow those expectations of "dinner on the table by 6" have never gone away. Well, we've been living off of quick, easy, but healthy stuff for a few weeks straight now with very few complaints. I've learned that we can either make a more substantial dinner, eat it, clean it up OR we can actually spend quality time with Jackson and Audrey who we so miss while away working all day. But we literally cannot fit both in on most nights because of our schedules. I choose the latter any day. Their faces are much more welcoming than a hot stove anyway. 

2. I am also learning a lot about what I need to be happy. It sounds so simple and silly and like I should have known this by now, but I think it changes with each life stage and for me right now I am realizing what must be true for me to feel fulfilled and right now I have it all. What a blessing! (For the record, I certainly wouldn't turn away more sleep right now, but thankfully caffeine seems to be readily available wherever I am throughout the day. I have no idea what I would do without you, coffee)

3. That I have the most adorable children ever. Okay, so I already knew this, but how is it possible that they get cuter every day? I mean, honestly, they are the best. They are all that is right with this world... and that is so, so much. 

4. That the endless opportunities are incredibly exiting but can also be somewhat overwhelming. I'm realizing again and again that I have this one life to live and I have a more opportunities to seize than time to do it. I am learning that in those times when the choices overwhelm me because I want to choose them ALL that I need to give it up to The Lord to guide me. That is so hard to do, but it is the only way. 

5. That I am capable of so much more than I can even imagine. It's true. There's something to be said for taking it easy sometimes and not over-doing it, but there's also something (a lot) to be said for superior work ethic, intense focus and self-drive that will inevitably take you places. The key is balance. And for me that line of balance is drawn between when I'm at home with my kids (sit back, relax, live in the moment with them) and when I'm at work (drive hard, full force ahead). So far, it's working, although not without the occasional burn out sessions when I crave time to recharge. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

pouty peanut.

The Peanut has developed a sassy side as evidenced by her pouty face. I don't think anyone has ever done "pouty" as cutely as the peanut does. 

The tantrum sessions are short-lived typically, but secretly I love that she has developed this sassy side, a lady should always have a little bit of a diva inside of her to keep things interesting. PS: I think Peanut has tripled in size over the past couple of weeks, she suddenly looks so grown up. Mama dislike. 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

"going to work"

Ever since I went back to work post maternity leave months ago, Jackson has been so confused on where we're really going and what we're really doing when we tell him that mommy and daddy are "going to work" each day. He has had endless questions about it and on Saturday he finally got a glimpse into Daddy's world at work during Honda's family day. Dan was able to give us a complete tour of the Honda plant where "Daddy works on cars" and our little engineer in training had endless questions, as always, but his favorite part was when he got to "drive" the cars which were on display. His vehicle of choice? The mini van. What? I'm confused too, apparently he didn't get the "anti-mini van" memo, but whatever makes our little man happy. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

my little gentleman.

Jackson is absolutely a 2 year old little boy who tests boundaries, runs and jumps more than he walks and periodically spends quality time with the time-out step, but more often than not he is a total gentleman. He is so loving and affectionate with us- especially Audrey- and melts my heart multiple times throughout the week. 

The other night he and Dan went to play at the park while Audrey and I finished making dinner, when they came home Jackson was clearly trying to hide something behind his back when walking into the house. When he saw me he had the most proud smile on his face and said, "I have something to show you," and then presented me with a flower he had picked for me at the park. It was so sweet (and really quite funny because the way he said it came out with a slight Russian accent if that makes any sense at all? If not, trust me it was funny). 

Last night we were on our way to dinner and Audrey was babbling in the backseat and laughing at herself which Jackson found amusing, he looked at her laughing and said "Oh, Audrey, I love you." It was so natural and nonchalant. When we arrived to the restaurant I asked him if he wanted to sit on the side of the table with mommy or daddy. He replied with "mommy" but then changed his mind and said "daddy." I asked him if he was sure he wanted to sit with stinky daddy and he very seriously looked at me and said, "no mommy, he is a nice daddy."

Oh goodness I love him so much. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012


This afternoon we went to the annual church picnic where Dan grew up worshiping and where he went to grade school. It is also where we were married. Jackson, Audrey and I took a break from the festival outside for a few minutes so I could introduce them to the place where mommy and daddy became one. They then played on the very steps where we took our vows more than 4 years ago, the steps where we dreamed of the very marriage and family that we have today. We are so blessed. 

audrey danielle: NINE months

Friday, August 10, 2012

friday nights.

Jackson is becoming an expert with the weekend countdown. Every day he reminds me how many days left until the weekend, when he 'can play with mommy and daddy all day.' It pretty much breaks my heart every time he does this, normally during our morning drive to nanna's house or while laying in bed the night before nanny Amy comes. I know he loves his time with them, but nothing ever compares to time at home when we're together as a family. I totally get it, I'm with you, buddy and if my heart wasn't so confident that we're doing what is best for you right now I'd turn the car around every morning, that would definitely be the easy thing to do, but the easy way usually isn't the best way. 

This day, this Friday, was so many things that I've been needing. It's like every part of it was designed to refresh my spirit. From the cool weather to the opportunity to work from home to our evening outside just being home, being together. It was so needed.

The start to this week was rough, really rough. And I know that a lot of other people in the world have it a thousand times harder than I most likely ever will, but it's reality that whatever we're going through at the time surmounts all else. And while I am not a proponent of feeling sorry for yourself, I do think that there are times when you just need to cut yourself a break for a day or two when you're in a rut before snapping yourself out of it and making solutions happen. I think it helps us slow down enough to really understand what the core issue is, allowing us to then stand back up even stronger than before. 

My rut began when I threw my back out on vacation last week. It sounds like a spoiled girl problem on the surface to whine about how I had to lay in my bed with ocean views while healing my back, but it was deeper than that. I ended up feeling left out, feeling like I was failing as a mom when I couldn't take care of my babies on my own for a few days, like somehow it was my fault I couldn't join in on all of the festivities, like I was ruining the fun for others and then you add in the pain itself which was unbearable at times, causing many tear-filled phone calls home to Dan. So, to say I was happy to be home where I could heal in the comfort of home where I had my best friend taking care of me was a huge deal, it was so good for my heart.

Tonight was such a good reminder of how good it feels to be completely in tune with what means most. Just the four of us completely at peace, completely happy. 
And this little peanut, well, she is 9 months old as of today. 9 months. That's almost scary enough to make me want to have another baby right now (but not quite). I love her face, I love those big eyes and chubby cheeks, I love her husky laugh and the way she babbles. I love how at ease she is going through life but still has enough sass to prove a point when she needs to. I love her, every chubby inch of her. 

And this little man. He is the best. He hadn't really been himself for the past week. I think it worried him seeing me so clearly in pain, I think it was really uncomfortable for him to have so many other people stepping in to help take care of him when he wasn't used to that, I think he missed his daddy a lot while away and I think all of this combined with being totally out of routine was just all too much at once. But the past two days he has been back to his old self, his funny, witty, adorable old self and I'm so happy for that. 

We had a little family adventure planned for tomorrow but decided to ditch it for now and instead continue to soak up how good it feels to be at home together. I can't think of anywhere else I'd rather be and anyone else I'd rather be with. 

Monday, August 6, 2012


We are home from our Destin vacation- and I am so thankful for that so many reasons, but mostly because I threw out my back mid-way through the trip which was really, really painful and frustrating to miss out on all the fun, but also because we missed Dan so much. The babies were such good sports and made flying alone with 2 kids that young a total breeze, but I will never go on a family vacation again without our entire family in tact. It really just never felt completely right without Dan. 

I'm living primarily on a heating pad at the moment and hope to get some answers and relief at the Doctor tomorrow, but in the meantime, here are some more photos of the first few days of our trip when I was still able to move like a normal person. 


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