July 11, 2015

Crosbi Says...

Just popping in for a quick update. Life has been cray-zee. I have said yes to too many of the good things, but I'm not completely certain they're the best things. Being an adult is for the birds sometimes. But we're all still alive and kicking and trying to enjoy this summer amidst the craziness. We just got back from a beach trip to see my mom in North Carolina and now we're anxiously waiting to move into our home. We're less than a month out and couldn't be more excited. Life is good. It's messy and hard at times, but we're healthy. We have a roof over our heads and family and friends that love us. It's all so good.

You know what else makes life so good? Conversations with my daughter. Man, she's the best.

When she's not making up songs to sing (her lyrics are very much inspired by One Direction). She's saying things like...

"If I see a bug, I'm going to get my shoe and dead it."

Me: Crosbi, where's your dad? (Knowing he's in the other room).
Crosbi: "He's probably in a meeting."

"In the new house, I think God and Jesus are going to give us a dog and a cat."

Crosbi's preschool just started show and tell on Tuesdays. Crosbi tells me she loves bringing her toys to "Show Hotel."

Speaking of hotels, we're currently living in an apartment, but we have stayed in a few hotels this summer. A couple of weeks ago, Crosbi let me know that she told her friends at school we live in an apartment, and sometimes a hotel. Her sweet teachers probably think things have gone from bad to worse over here. Too funny.

This might be my favorite age yet.

May 15, 2015

Here + There

It's been ages since I've written. I thought it was time I pop in and give a little update on what we've been up to lately.

The first question we get asked these days is "how is the house coming along?" I kinda love that question. This has been such a fun time of dreaming about our future in our home in the country. It has been all kinds of stressful, but it has been really great too. I'm not the most creative person. I don't draw or paint in my spare time. When it comes to fashion, I stick with the basics. Nine times out of ten you'll find me in jeans and a v-neck tee. And flip-flops of course.

But my creativity kicks in when it comes to my home and I've wrestled with that a bit. I have a pretty specific vision in my head for how everything will come together and it's hard to not think about what others will think. I'm constantly thinking about how I'll respond when someone says, "Why did you pick those counter tops? I wouldn't have chosen that paint color. You really spent too much money on this. I would have invested more in that." It can be kind of crippling. But I'm learning as I go and I know that there will be things we wish we would have done differently. There will be things we'll want to change the day we move in, and that's okay. That's the great thing. It's a blank canvas and we can make changes as our seasons in life change. Will Crosbi's room always include shades of pink? Probably not. Will styles and trends change? Always. For me, I'm letting my creativity be influenced by the season we're currently in and I'm 100% okay with that.

But where are the photos?! Here's a sneak peek.

The first floor is framed! Actually, this was taken several days ago and now the second floor is going up and our garage is completely framed out. Our house looks bigger than it actually is because we're on a hill. Our future neighbor asked if it was going to be three floors. Definitely not. About 2-3 feet of the concrete that is visible will be covered by our yard once the dirt is spread out. 

As much as I'm excited about the house, my eyes go right through the house to those trees. TREES! Our last home didn't have a single tree. I'm counting down the days until I'm sitting on our back patio, watching the sun go down behind all those shades of green.

In the meantime, we're plugging away in our apartment. We are beyond blessed to have the temporary living space we have, but we miss so many things about having a home. I miss grilling so badly I can barely stand it. Even though I don't cook anything on a grill, (that's Todd's domain) it has been such a big part of our lives to eat outside to the smell of a bbq. I miss watching Crosbi play in the yard and ride her tricycle up and down the street. That isn't really possible in our current setup. So to make up for that, we try to spend as much time out of the house as we can.

We took a last minute trip to Atlanta to check out Shake Shack and visit Ikea and other great outlet stores (hello Pottery Barn and Williams Sonoma Outlets!). We've hit local festivals and just this past weekend we took Crosbi camping for the first time.

Crosbi had her last day of preschool this week and yesterday Todd and I celebrated ten years of marriage. It's amazing to both of us the life we've lived the past ten years, but I think I would be okay if the next ten are at a much slower pace.

Crosbi is still making us laugh daily. She's currently obsessed with One Direction. It's pretty amazing, actually. She can hear a song and tell you when each band member is singing by name. "That's Harry! That's Zayn!" I love it because I was the same way (oh that's Justin, and that's JC! - you NSync fans will know what I'm talking about). And this isn't by video. She does this by ear, listening in the car. She knows every single word to 17 of their songs. I just counted. We joke and roll our eyes, but it's pretty much the best thing ever.

She loves playing rester-not (restaurant) and has really started getting into Disney princesses and My Little Pony. She knows what she likes for sure. My little girl isn't so little anymore.

So that's where we've been! It's very likely we'll be moved in the next time I find time to post, but only time will tell.


March 16, 2015

Old House

We moved out of our house just a little over two weeks ago and in some ways it already feels like a lifetime ago. We've been going non-stop since we said goodbye to our house and we really haven't had the chance to think about everything that's happening. We're currently navigating apartment life while we wait for our new home to be built. Apartment living with children is not for the faint of heart. It's been a bit of an adjustment, but we're making the best of it. Once the pool opens this summer, we'll be smooth sailing I'm sure.

Because we've been so busy, I haven't really stopped to think about our "old house" as Crosbi calls it. We packed and got out so quickly that it sort of felt more like a dream than reality. The other day in the car Crosbi said she wanted to go to her "old house" and I was reminded that it really was a special place for us. Todd and I bought that house when we were 24 and 25 years old. We didn't have a clue what we were doing. We spent over seven years there. We both started our careers, brought home a baby, and practically grew up in that home. We have so many memories with friends and family. There were marks on the carpet from the Super Bowl parties we hosted every year. There's a small stain from when one of my best friends jumped up and down (while holding a cup of coffee!) after hearing I was pregnant. I smiled every time I saw it. There was a mark in the bathroom from when my sisters were experimenting with hair color. It's the little things that make a home.

But I'm also at such peace about our future. When our buyers had their final walk-through, their realtor told ours that the husband and wife both had tears in their eyes as they walked through what is now their home. Hearing that, I knew our season in that house was officially over. It belonged to them, the new owners, to make their own memories. I pray the memories they make are as sweet as ours.

I didn't post many photos of our home. I did a post on Crosbi's bedroom and our bonus room makeover, but I'm not one to do a "house tour." However, I do want to remember our old house. The photos our realtor had taken make me smile. I'm sure I'll come back here many times to relive old memories. These photos were taken when our home was at its best, but I can still picture the dirty laundry and dishes in the sink. The puzzle pieces in the floor and crayons on the kitchen table. We were really blessed by our first home.

I'm more than excited to start creating a home in the country, but I know now more than ever that it's not the size or style. It's not the furniture or the accessories. It's the love and memories that fill a house that make it a home.

Goodbye old house. You sure were good to us.


February 21, 2015

Life Lately :: January & February

I'm not sure I'll do a "thankful" post each month. It was such good accountability to blog more and looking back on those posts sure does cure the blues on a rough day, but the next few months are going to be pretty crazy, so I think I'll stick to doing recaps here and there.

I just had all of our (mine and Todd's) Instagram photos from 2014 printed in a photo album. Can't wait to get my hands on it. I love posting my photos here, but I really like having a book to flip through. When I was little, I practically had my grandmother's photo albums memorized. I knew which photos would be coming up next. I spent so many hours flipping through them and I want Crosbi to be able to do the same.

But, I'm still proud of this little blog. The other night I had a hard time falling asleep, so I pulled up Crosbi's birth story. Todd's version too. Yes, we could have written those things in private journals, but it's not as easy to pull out a journal at 3am in the dark when you're in need of reading material.

I'm rambling. Basically I'm trying to say I'm still going to blog as often as I can because even if I write for an audience of one, I love having this little time capsule.

And while I'm not off to the best start for 2015, here's what we've been up to lately:

Crosbi is quite the performer. She loves to sing. I will barely have the car started before she's asking for her favorite songs, and listening to Spotify or Pandora is a constant in our home. Her current favorites are Taylor Swift, Francesca Battestelli, Jamie Grace, For King and Country, and "the girl and the boy" also known as Love & The Outcome. I envisioned her having a love for music when I was pregnant, but to see her fully embrace music has been such a gift. And I'm telling you, if you want to start conversations about faith, God and Jesus, play Christian music in your home. She is already asking us things like, "Why did Jesus die? What does she mean He's holding us? Is God singing with her?"

Because Todd and I both work in the music industry, she does have a bit of an advantage. Todd jokes that she's not going to know what to do when we take her to a show where she can't watch from backstage!

It feels odd to post photos of us outdoors. The past two months have been so strange with sickness and bad weather. My mom visited in January and she just happened to time it to arrive between two weeks of sickness. First the flu, then the stomach bug. And with the weather we've had this month, I think I can count three solid weeks in the past two months where we didn't leave the house. Spring, we're ready for you! But we're thankful for those rare moments that we were able to get out and enjoy the sunshine.

I don't think I've mentioned it here, but I'm doing contract work for my friends at Sony / Provident Label Group. It's so fun to be back with them for a little while. But what's the first thing they do? Send me to Seattle on a trip for an album release. I'm definitely rusty at traveling solo these days. It's hard to believe how much I was on the road just a few short years ago. While it was a bit lonelier than I remember, it was good to catch up with old friends. Plus, it was Seattle. No complaints there! I'm a fan of that city.

The rest of our time has been filled with fun preschool parties, snow days, and lots of time playing inside. We've been in the South too long. This cold weather stuff just isn't in our blood anymore! It's been fun to see snow, but I'm ready for typical Tennessee weather.

So that's January and February in a nutshell! We close on our current house in a little over a week. Lots of adventures to come. So glad I have this little piece of the internet to remember it all.


February 4, 2015

We're Moving!

The big news, the exciting adventure that I hinted about last year? This is it. We put our house on the market. It sold in less than 24 hours, and we're moving to the country!

I've had lots of thoughts swirling in my head about this post. Mainly because this is our family's scrapbook so I want to record everything, and also because friends and family who live out of state read this and I want to fill in all the details (because sometimes my parents don't relay all of the correct info). Ha!

About a year ago, Todd and I both started to feel like a busy suburban neighborhood wasn't working for our family. Between trips back to Missouri and long talks about our childhood, we knew we wanted Crosbi to have a childhood very similar to the ones we had. We were also starting to feel the walls closing in a bit. We would be in Missouri, and I would sneak out on my parents' back deck and it was like the weight of the world fell from my shoulders. I breathed deeply. I listened to the wind blowing and birds chirping. And the silence. Ahhh, the silence. Those feelings and sounds are part of my DNA. Which means they are also part of Crosbi's.

The struggle was that to afford the land we wanted, we would have to move out of our county. We live in a very affluent county with access to the best schools in not only the state, but the country. But the decision was actually quite simple. Crosbi's future isn't determined by the school she goes to. Just like it wasn't for me or Todd.

Anyone who knows me knows that I grew up in rural Missouri. I'm the daughter of a small jewelry repair shop owner and a truck driver. Money was never going to be my ticket to a bright future. When I was ten years old, I remember holding an Alan Jackson cassette in my hand and thinking, "I want to work for his record label one day." I turned the cassette over and saw that he was with Sony Nashville and I decided then and there that I would be an employee of Sony Music.

The laughs followed. The sarcastic "good luck with that" was a phrase I heard often. I didn't know anyone from Ozark who ended up working for a record label. People from Ozark tend to stay in Ozark.

But God, who planted the dream in my heart, would see it to fruition. I not only have been (and still am!) an employee of Sony, I even got to work on an Alan Jackson (hymns) record. God is good. I didn't go to a fancy high school. But I had a dream and I had the drive. No school district can give that to my daughter.

The other thing that became really important to us was that Crosbi have ample opportunity during her school years. One of my favorite bloggers, Laura Tremaine of Hollywood Housewife took the words out my mouth with this post about growing up in rural Oklahoma (she has worked in film/TV and is now married to a famous Hollywood producer):

"I was really into choir when I was in high school. One of the benefits of being in a small town is that even with my mediocre talent, I was able to participate in all kinds of activities that would have been impossible in a larger, more competitive school. With zero training, I was on my school's pom squad and part of a very active show choir, and these are my favorite memories of the teenage years."

I mean, she's practically describing my life. I was on the pom squad, the marching band, and student council. Any group or activity I wanted to join had space for me and I never once took lessons or had special training outside of school. Same for Todd. He was captain of our football team, homecoming king, played baseball, basketball, and was named "Mr. P.E." I don't say all of this to brag. We are nothing but two average kids from the Ozarks, but attending a small school opened so many doors for us and we both look back at high school as some of the best memories of our lives. We wouldn't trade our experiences for anything. We only hope Crosbi's memories will be the same.

So there you have it. We're moving to the country. We close on our house in just a few short weeks and we'll begin building sometime in April with hopes to be moved in by fall. We're already dreaming of tree houses, tire swings, a fire pit, and the big garden we'll plant next spring. The school district might not be the "best" to some, but it's the best for us and the dreams we have for our family. Plus, lower taxes!

Everything has fallen into place so quickly and carefully that we are confident in our decision and we're giddy about the future.

I hope to post a lot about this new journey in the coming months. I hope you'll join me and follow along!

Until then, I'll be singing...I'm from the country and I like it that way...