A beautiful mess // house updates

Oh hey little, old blog of mine. Remember me? Apologies for the neglect.

Isn’t it funny how things change in life? I have always been somewhat of a planner. I like things orderly and I really like when things go according to my plan. Having children has forced me to lighten up a bit though. Now, having 4 kids, I have learned it’s a whole lot easier to laugh when things don’t go according to your plan instead of getting all worked up about it. There are still (many) times when I feel challenged to let things go, it is a nature that doesn’t just come naturally to me, I work really hard to be easy-going. Sometimes I find myself trying to calm myself down, and talk myself through a situation. God totally throws some hard balls my way and likes to remind me that His plans for my family are far better than any of my own plans.IMG_1572

{one of our updates was to paint all the oak built-ins in our living room navy and update the hardware}

The “plan” for this blog after Lucy was born was to never miss a beat, and just keep on posting somewhat regularly. I had seen so many women that I admire on the blogosphere do it before. So I prepped by finishing up posts ahead of time, and making lots of lists.  But as it turns out in life, and specifically in life with 4 little children, you can kiss any kind of “plan” goodbye. It seemed like one thing went wrong after another after we moved that prevented me from blogging. Not to mention just being at home with the 3 boys and an infant who nurses like it’s her last meal on earth every 2 hours. The days seemed to vanish away before they even started. Always so much to do, so many things to cross off our never-ending lists. For whatever reason the jump from 3 to 4 kids was SO HARD. And y’all moms that told me anything after 3 was no big deal are CRAZY. I was not prepared for this. I feel like I sort of… sometimes had it together when it was just the three boys, but now, HA, now I am the mom that forgets everything–including picking up other people’s kids from school (am I right Nicole! :/ ) 

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{my plate wall in progress in our kitchen}

Just a few things were keeping me busy in the past few months….

After Lucy was born we were showing our house, selling our house, packing up our house, moving into our new house. When we went through the house it seemed that all the paint colors were neutral, we had a few things in mind that we wanted to update but not much right away. Wrong-o! After moving in, of course that was not the case. All the walls seemed to be different shades of yellow or tan that just made everything look dirty. Every room needs at minimal, a few coats of paint.  Every light fixture replaced. Every outlet plate changed from yellow to white. All these little things really are little things, but when you have a family to take care of, they become big things that take up so much of your time. So little by little we are trying to make this home our own, without sacrificing our family time.  So far we have redone the entire kitchen, living room, 1 bathroom, dining room and Lucy’s bedroom. Luckily, we have  an incredible painter who has been helping us and she has been so flexible with our craziness at home.

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{this is the chandler of my dreams and I can’t believe it’s hanging in our kitchen. Ralph really enjoys replacing light fixtures…he will tell you he doesn’t, but he really does. }

Oh! Did I mention after we moved in we had NO internet for 4 months? Because that was a really fun time. I know it sounds a little snoody, and I do realize we are blessed to have been used to that luxury, but it was really hard.  First of all Ralph works from home and needs high speed internet. Also we don’t have cable, so Netflix is my lifeline with the kids somedays. There was no “hey kids, go watch TV for a 2 minutes so I can pee alone!” or, “How about you guys go turn on Curious George so I can brush my teeth today.” Our new house didn’t have any internet (besides Dish which was out of the question because it’s too slow to run Netflix and Ralph’s meetings), so we payed Charter to dig lines to our house. After that 4 month fiasco, I was so excited to get back to blogging. I was so ready and had so many ideas stored up that I just couldn’t wait to crack open my laptop and let the creativity flow. Plus I needed an outlet of my own. Something that didn’t involve, nursing, or diapers, or homework, or anything child related.  I opened up my laptop and started finishing up Lucy’s birth story. About 2 minutes in, I spilt my entire glass of water on my Macbook. I lost not only my new-er laptop, but everything…including Lucille’s birth story and lot’s of pictures that I hadn’t printed yet. I was heart broken and so bitter about it all. IMG_1568

{a little fall decorating–side note I have no idea how to decorate a mantel because I have never had one. Now I have 2 and I’m so clueless!}

I contemplated just throwing in the towel and shutting down my blog. When would I really ever have time anyways? How could I possibly just jump back in to blogging after skipping so many planned posts? Who would even want to read anything I wrote anymore because my life is such a mess? I can barley keep it together on a day to day basis with everyone’s school schedules and who needs to be here, when, where. I am no super mom. Moms aren’t going to be inspired by my mess. That night I was headed over to a girls movie night with some friends and we watched “Mom’s night out”. The movie incorporated our MOPS theme from last year in it which was, A beautiful mess. When I got home I couldn’t stop thinking about that message. I spent all night going through all my old posts, one by one. Starting from the beginning, where my pictures were terribly lit and I had no idea how to work my camera. I worked my way through recipes with typos, birthday posts, photograph improvements, and all the way to sweet Lucy’s birth announcement. My heart was so full of all the special moments I had shared and I simply couldn’t imagine never writing again. My life really is a huge mess and rarely do I have it all together. But it’s my mess. And it’s a beautiful mess. So here we go. Although I missed sharing a lot of big moments and tasty new recipes, I am jumping right back in (with a new Macbook in hand!) See ya when I see ya :)

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{this artwork hanger from IKEA is the best ever}

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Lucille Estelle Holzmann

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Ralph and I, along with big brothers, Jack, Remy & Liam, are thrilled to introduce to you: Lucille Estelle Holzmann.

Born Thursday, May 1st at 8:36 a.m., 8lbs 8oz, 20 inches long. Lucy is named after her late great grandmother Lucille Holzmann, and her great grandmother Marjean Estelle; a name we have had picked out for over 6 years, and weren’t sure that we would ever get to use it.

Lucy is perfection and we are still in awe that we get to call her our daughter. Feeling extremely blessed.

Stay tuned for her birth story.

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False labor Friday

I am growing the most stubborn baby of all time in my belly you guys. This past week has been a whirlwind. Every day I feel like I am going into labor. What I mean by that is I am literally having consistent contractions every day. Even though this is my 4th labor, this feels so new to me. With my 3 boys, except for a few Braxton hicks, I didn’t’ start contracting until actual labor. Now I am keeping track of contractions all day long, thinking that this might be the real thing.

Friday my contractions kept getting closer and closer together until they were just 7 minutes apart. I decided to call my midwife and she told me that we better get the boys settled and head in. So we got everything ready to go, the boys packed, house cleaned, car seat installed, and then dropped off the boys by Nana & Papa.

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We got to the hospital, checked in and the nurse immediately hooked me up to the fetal monitors. She confirmed that I was in fact having real contractions and the baby was doing great. Next the midwife came in to check my cervix. I was only dilated to 2. After contracting from 12pm-7pm this was so discouraging to me that I hadn’t made any progress, especially because I have been dilated 1-1 ½ for the past two weeks already. My midwife told me to take a tub to try and relax, and that if this was real labor the contractions would keep getting worse and I would continue to dilate. I took an hour bath, we went for a long walk around the hospital, and then she came back to check me again. Contractions never ceased, but this time I was only dilated to barely 1 cm. I actually “undilated”. Even though I was super bummed, I accepted the fact that I wasn’t in real labor and for whatever reason I just wasn’t going to meet my sweet baby that night.

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I left the hospital feeling so down on myself (but first I took a selfie ^). This was my 4th baby, I should have known this wasn’t the real thing. Although the nurses and midwife reassured me that I did the right thing by coming in,  I still felt like such a wussy. Plus it was so much work getting everything ready at home and the exhaustion of all the emotions we felt thinking we were going to meet our baby tonight; only to be sent home to wait to do it all over again. All I can think is that I have one stubborn, sassy, little baby in my belly and my excitement is growing by the minute to meet this little bugger! In God’s time little one. Off to rest and hydrate and the next hospital adventure we go on, I will be ready!

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38 weeks and counting…

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Now that I am in the final days of pregnancy, dilated, having contractions, and baby could come any day now, my thoughts are consumed with visions of what the baby is going to look like and if it’s going to be a boy or a girl. Also my midwife says baby is already about 8 or 9 lbs so hopefully he/she comes soon! I spent pretty much my whole pregnancy thinking it was a boy; for no particular reason really, just that boys are all I know and have, so I assumed this would be another sweet little boy.

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Then there was about a week a month or so back that I thought it MAYBE, might, possibly, be a girl. I even bought a couple girl outfits; of course I didn’t take the tags off or anything crazy like that, but I couldn’t’ help myself. And now I am back to being 99% sure that this little babe is a boy again. I haven’t had any dreams or anything but I do have a strong sense that our boys will be gaining another brother. Since I am not sleeping much, I am now lying awake second guessing our baby boy name choice that we have had picked out this entire pregnancy.flower crown maternity flower crown maternity (9) flower crown maternity (8)

Bump position: Extremely high the entire pregnancy until I dropped last week. My poor ribs have to get popped back into place by my chiropractor every week. So that’s really fun and not painful at all.

Heart rate: 160’s up until the last couple weeks…it’s mid 140’s now.

Skin changes: DRASTIC. My skin was so horrendous this pregnancy….just hoping the scars go away afterwards and it goes back to normal.

Nausea: For the first 6 months it was terrible and even now every so often the mornings still get me.

Cravings: A lot of sweets. A lot of salads. Kind of all over the place.

Sleep: Nope.

Stretch marks: Oh yeah. Not any new ones with this pregnancy so far though.

Belly button in or out: All the way out now.

Wedding rings on or off: I couldn’t wear my ring for quite a while and then one day I put it back on, big mistake. Currently my ring is swollen onto my finger. I am hoping I can pry it off before labor because it’s painful. I just hate to be without my wedding ring.

Total weight gain: 30 lbs so far…and enjoyed every single one of those calories consumed thank you very much!

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Thanks to my friend Shelley for snapping these last minute maternity shots for us! The boys were a last minute addition in a couple photos, so don’t mind their mis-matched sweat pants :)

Photos by Shelley Cullen Photography

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Cold bean & rice veggie salad

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Spring is here…..well sort of. We had a few really nice days here in Wisconsin and now it seems to be hanging in the 40’s to low 50’s with sunshine. I think that it’s still way too chilly to be spring but I’ll take it. We have been outside as much as possible and beyond that it’s been a bit busy over here, so I apologize for the lack of posts. We are getting ready to move and have a baby (any day now!) so there is quite a bit to do if you can imagine .

My “free-time” has been spent packing and still nesting like crazy. Even in these last weeks of pregnancy, with my body aching and so sore, all I want to do is scrub something, anything! Everything that can be washed in the house has been washed. I went through a tub of Oxy Clean in the last couple weeks and an entire can of carpet cleaner (because I was scrubbing my vehicle mats so much, trying to get every little spot out) just to give you an idea. I just can’t stop! My whites are whiter than they have ever been and my rugs look brand new. Also, I just impulsively bought a wet/dry vacuum to better clean the floors with. Well it wasn’t super impulsive because it is the same one we got my sister-in-law for her birthday and she sold me on it. No more getting down on my hands and knees to clean the floor AND getting an even better clean?! Sold. The vacuum should come today and I am already giddy about cleaning my floors. I have been watching You Tube videos of all the infomercials about it, so excited! So if you need something cleaned bring it over, seriously. I am searching for things to clean around the house at this point. And before this post gets any lamer lets move on to this delicious, fresh salad.rice and bean salad

I came up with this concoction after buying a huge bag of mixed beans from Costco and not really wanting to make bean soup like I normally do with them. I threw some things together and then found the recipe for the dressing, which is the best part of the salad. It’s tangy, refreshing, and a tad bit sweet. The longer you let the salad sit in the fridge the more flavor the rice and beans will soak up. And the nice part about this salad is the versatility. You can pretty much toss in whatever veggies, grains, nuts, and cheeses that your little heart desires and it will still turn out great. I am going to make this again soon and add some red cabbage and sliced carrots for a little more crunch. Oh and I didn’t put this in the recipe but I threw mine on top of a bed of mixed greens with a squeeze of lemon over it and it was divine. This makes for a perfect, protein & nutrient- packed, lunch that will last you a good week in the fridge.

Cold bean & rice veggie salad
 

Ingredients
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice
  • 3-4 cups cooked beans ( I used a variety of pinto, kidney, black, yellow split peas, lima, and lentils) OR 2-3 cans of precooked beans, rinsed
  • 1 bag frozen yellow corn, thawed
  • 3-4 green onions, sliced
  • 1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • ⅓ cup chopped cilantro
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • feta cheese

Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl combine: cooked rice and beans, corn, onions, tomatoes and cilantro.
  2. In another smaller mixing bowl, whisk together oils, vinegar, sugar, garlic, salt, cumin, chili powder, and pepper.
  3. Taste and season accordingly.
  4. Pour dressing mixture over rice and beans and toss to coat.
  5. Store in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving for best results.
  6. Add feta or any other cheese right before serving.

Happy day to you!

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