burden or blessing?

This post isn’t anything exciting—it’s just something I needed to write for me.

As I type this, I’m waiting for my Advil to kick in, then I’m going to bed. I always say the Devil works harder on Thursdays. I have a great time at Bible study and fellowshipping with my ladies, but the start and end of the day is usually hectic—even more so when Mr. Remi decides he doesn’t need a nap. That kid is something else. I don’t know what to do with him. The past two days he has been a straight running NUT! I’m exhausted just keeping up with him. For starters he has been talking…a lot. That in itself has me all emotional. He’s not just saying the usual bites, milk, daddy, mickey, ball, etc…he’s actually carrying on conversations. With himself mostly. Yesterday, he spilled water on the couch and said “Uh-oh, made a mess!” Um, What? Or later when his recording of Mickey Mouse stopped playing he said  “Fix it” and started trying to press buttons. Then, instead of cuddling on the couch with me like normal, he flopped on the ground, yanked the blanket off of me and said “Let go!” No, not my baby! He’s 19 months old. He is supposed to still cuddle and let me love on him. Or better yet, how about how he was being sweet {so I thought} and rubbing my arm then plucked an arm hair and said “Eww, gross!” Where has the time gone? I talk a big game about soaking it all in and writing down all of the sweet/funny things that he does, but am I really in the moment?

When J is out of town, Remi and I get a lot of alone time. It’s me doing all of the diaper changing, bathing, cooking, and sacrificing hot showers for myself. As a mother, I sometimes wish I had help. As a wife, I sometimes wish Jarrett could spend more time at home. But you know what? I am so blessed. God has given my husband an innate desire to provide for his family. He does that to the fullest extent and then some. So what it all boils down to is this: will I view these things as a burden or a blessing? Will I whine and complain about how wild Remington is or will I thank God for his creative mind? Will I grumble about not having a 50/50 workload as a parent or will I make the most out of the time together with my child? I know one day it won’t be just the two of us. Will I be fully submerged in this moment, today? The one where he decides he’s sat on the potty long enough…I hurry to his room to get a diaper only to come back to a tiny little turd and puddle of pee on the bathroom rug. Lovely. Guess what? I didn’t get mad. I laughed. I couldn’t help but laugh. It was just cute because Remington was so concerned. He says “uh-oh” about everything and that was definitely one of those moments.

oven mitt

Yes, I really caught him putting on an oven mitt when he heard the oven timer go off. I have no doubt that he would have attempted to open the oven. I can’t let this child leave my sight!

Motherhood is not glamorous. It’s real, it’s messy, and it’s one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever received. I’m having a hard time explaining my thoughts, so I’ll leave you with these wise words from a dear friend:

You will never have this day with your children again. Tomorrow they will be a little older than they were today. This day is a gift. Breathe and notice. Smell and touch them. Study their faces and expressions. Pay attention. Relish the charms of the present. Enjoy today.

–Paige Mayes

xoxo,

Kelsey

Target and tractors

Wow! I haven’t been keeping my house spotless since the last post, but it’s amazing what changes I’ve noticed in my attitude since I’ve started doing a little bit at a time to help prevent that overwhelmed feeling. Just the simple act of picking up and doing chores throughout the day instead of all at once has decreased the workload and feeling of dread. This means I can focus on more important things: DIY projects and redecorating! Priorities, people!! ;)

Nothing too exciting going on around here lately. I did get a wild hair and decide to take the coffee table out of the living room. It’s just a temporary thing and I’m honestly not sure why I did it. I just love how big our living room feels without it in there. Basically, more room for activities! Duh.

I'm loving my new pillows (thanks Mom!) and my freshly painted mirror.

I’m loving my new pillows (thanks Mom!) and my freshly painted mirror.

Yesterday J and I ran some errands while Remi got his smarts on at MDO. We went out to check the deer feeders and drive around the pasture. I hadn’t really seen all of the land J grew up on and since we will be building a house out there one day I wanted to take it all in. Since I was a little girl I’ve always wanted a house on a hill with a wrap-around porch. I have no idea where I got that picture in my head, but it’s never left. Don’t get me wrong, I love living in town close to Target, TJ Maxx and our church; but there’s just something so refreshing and simplistic about life in the country. Maybe it reminds me of visiting my grandparent’s farm as a little girl. I was always so intrigued with the whole farm lifestyle—living off the land just as God intended. I want my children to grow up with animals. I want them to be able to run around outside and not be 5 feet from the road. I want them to eat home-grown tomatoes, learn to drive a tractor, and see the night stars from the country. It will be a lifestyle adjustment for me, but I want those things to be second nature to them. I’m trying to be positive about the future although it will be hard for me to leave “home”. I just keep telling myself a twenty minute drive is not that bad. We won’t be moving for 5-10 years, so no need to get all stressed out now. More time to plan my dream home!

The view from my future wrap-around-porch ;) beautiful, huh?!

The view from my future wrap-around-porch ;) beautiful, huh?!

Now, I’ll leave you with a picture of the cutest kid ever. I’m only a tiny bit biased.

Chef Remi

Be blessed y’all,

Kelsey

Monday morning with the Langes

Sometimes I wonder how I ever get anything done with a toddler. Let’s be real honest: most days I don’t! I’m feeling refreshed and productive today. Read: I’ve consumed large amounts of coffee and Remington is being semi-calm so I’ve been able to get things done. I get so frustrated with myself sometimes. It seems like my house has to be a DISASTER before I get on the ball and start cleaning. Ugh! I can’t function in a house like that so I have no idea why I let it get that bad. Procrastination to the extreme! I decided I needed to do something that would make the mess a little more manageable so I printed off this little schedule & hung it on my fridge. You can get a copy for yourself here. I was tempted to keep it hidden from Jarrett so he wouldn’t hold me accountable if I was totally slacking off, but I didn’t. That’s exactly what I need–accountability! Here’s hoping the schedule alone will be motivation enough!cleaningsched

I actually started on the laundry first thing this morning rather than waiting until the end of the night when I’m too tired to stay up and put it in the dryer/hang it up. Disgusting fact about me: one time I washed a load of laundry like three times before I finally got it in the dryer. In my defense, we hadn’t been home much that week and I totally kept forgetting that I had it in there. Gross, I know. Luckily, there’s an app solution for that.laundry

Gotta have coffee to get the job done. I pretty much always drink my coffee out of a straw and Tervis tumbler unless I’m feeling fancy, then I use my favorite Crate & Barrel mugs. My awesome cousin Whitney bought them for us as a wedding gift.

camotervis

My hardworking husband came in this morning after working all night and has been watching Lion King 2 with Remi.rafikki

We watch Lion King about 5 times a week. Remington loves it. It’s my go-to when he’s acting a fool & needs some calming down.

I got up from working on a project to get a refill on my coffee and found this little booger in my chair. He is such a little monkey! I don’t know what I’m going to do now that he insists on climbing into the chairs. He discovers new things every day and I have a feeling we’re going to have a lot of mini heart attacks thanks to his adventurous streak. remi

I hope everyone has a Happy Monday!

Until next time,

Kelsey

why God gave me a son

I’ll never forget the day Jarrett and I went to find out the gender of our sweet baby. It was January 11, 2011. I remember being cold and thinking that despite my barely-there baby bump {is she pregnant or just chunky?} I was looking pretty cute. I was around 17 weeks pregnant and was fairly certain I was having a girl. I guess I’d entertained the fact that I MIGHT have a boy, but I definitely didn’t know what to do with one so I just had pink on the brain. We were practically giddy in the waiting room. I don’t remember how long we waited or even walking back to the room. Jarrett held my hand and we watched our little baby on the screen. We saw fingers and toes, a sweet little yawn and…wait a minute…that can NOT be a penis!! The lady announced that baby Lange was indeed a boy. OMG. Why hadn’t I thought this could be possible? We don’t even have any boy names picked out that I like! How am I going to potty train a boy? So many thoughts were rushing through my head, but I was ecstatic. Jarrett was over the moon. I felt different—a little relieved and a little confused.

Fast-forward to 2013. I’m a mom to a BOY. Life could not be more perfect. Sure, there are days when I think how fun it would be to dress a little girl, fix her hair, paint her nails. But, I’m loving life as a boy mom with each day that passes. I get head butts and “squeezes” {because R seems to think he might melt if he gives me a kiss or a hug}. God has revealed something to me recently and I think it is so cool. God gave me a son because I wasn’t ready to be a mother to a daughter. I don’t take my role as a mother to Remington lightly. I don’t mean to undermine the male gender whatsoever. However, I do think a daughter needs a mother with a tender heart. Given today’s society—so obsessed with beauty and fame—it’s CRUCIAL for young girls to be taught what’s truly important. You see, I’ve never really been comfortable in my own skin. When I was young I hated my red hair, chubby cheeks, and freckles. When I was in middle school/high school I hated that I was “developed”. I always wanted to look like, talk like, act like, BE like someone else. Why did I not realize that God created me this way? Why did I not realize that God’s creations are always PERFECT in his eyes? I’m learning to be ok with who I am. I never realized that I was basically saying my Creator “messed up” when he made me. I’m grateful that I’m learning to love what’s on the inside. One day, if I do have a daughter, I pray that she won’t have to struggle through my insecurities. I pray that she will know her worth in God’s eyes. No, I wasn’t ready to have a daughter. I needed to have a son first. I needed to pray over this little boy—to pray for his future wife. I needed to come to terms with myself as a woman before I could teach a little girl how to love herself. I needed this little boy to love me so much—to build up my confidence. This child has made me feel worthy—in ways that no one else can. I’m so blessed to be a mother. I feel so honored that God chose Jarrett and I to be Remi’s parents.  My heart is full tonight because I’ve witnessed first hand that God has a plan for all of us. It may not come the way we think it should. It may seem crazy to some. But for me, it makes perfect sense. I know why God gave me a son, and for all of His blessings I am thankful.

cookies.

This week has been kind of..whatever..so I haven’t felt like posting. No one likes a Debbie Downer. Today was pretty good, though. The little bambino was sick, but hubby stayed home with him so I could have some “me” time and go to Bible study. SO, SO thankful for that man and all he does for me. To show my appreciation I baked him and his coworker some chocolate chip cookies for the road tonight. They’re pretty delicious. I’ve eaten like two five. But I’m watching a workout video right now so…that’s gotta count for something. Here’s to finding the motivation to do anything other than sit on the couch. Eh, maybe tomorrow. ;)

Until next time,

Kelsey

Go make these cookies. Your husband will thank you.

quick and cheap homemade laundry detergent

I know everyone and their mom has their own version of homemade laundry detergent, but I want to share with you the kind that I tried. I first made this detergent back in September and wasn’t sure if I was going to like it. I’m totally a Tide brat but I figured I’d give it a whirl if it could save us some cash. It is a dry detergent and is safe in High Efficiency machines also. It’s a low suds soap, but remember: bubbles do not equal cleaner clothes. I made a half batch at first so I could test it out and see how it did. It lasted over four months, our clothes came out clean, and the smell was nice. Can’t argue with that.

a few of the ingredients you'll need

a few of the ingredients you’ll need

Homemade Laundry Detergent

1 box Super Washing Soda

1 box Borax

3 bars Fels Naptha laundry soap, grated**

2 cups Baking Soda

1 container OxyClean (I used the Sun brand from Family Dollar)

1-2 containers Purex crystals (just choose your favorite scent)

Combine all ingredients. Use two tablespoons per load of laundry. I have a small scoop that I use. It probably is a bit more than two tablespoons, but my husband’s clothes are pretty dirty after work so I don’t mind.

**Note about the grated Fels Naptha: you don’t HAVE to grate it. You can also microwave it or throw it into a food processor, but I highly suggest grating. The first time I made this I thought I’d take the easy way out and pop it in the microwave. I cut it up into 1″ pieces and microwaved until it puffed up, then crumbled it up after it had cooled. Seemed like a good method aside from the chemical smell. I figured it would fade in a few hours. I was wrong. The strong fumes lasted and lasted. I tried to air out the house but it was like the smell had absorbed into my microwave. It lingered in there for weeks despite my efforts to steam it out with vinegar. Also, if you decide to use a food processor, make sure it’s one you truly don’t care about/don’t use/is about to bite the dust and you’re gunning for a new one. Or maybe I’m the only person that asks for (and gets excited about) a food processor? Anyways, the second time I made this detergent I grated the soap. It really didn’t take that long and I only complained a tiny bit! ;)

the finished product

the finished product

laundry rules

pitcher

Since my laundry sign is vintage-inspired, I thought this metal pitcher would be a cute container to hold the detergent. The remainder of the detergent goes into various other containers because I have yet to find something that will hold the rest. It makes quite a bit!

Happy Laundering!

Kelsey

broccoli and chocolate

Does anyone else remember the song Broccoli and Chocolate by Mary Kate and Ashley? Ok, I’m pretty sure it was written by someone else, but I definitely remember watching them sing it on one of their VHS tapes. Yeah, I watched all of their movies and wanted to be just like them. Now, not so much. I prefer to smile with my teeth and brush my hair once in a while, but I still think they’re kinda cool if you’re into that hippie-boho-chic thing. I wanted to post the video on here, but unfortunately YouTube is lame and I couldn’t find it! I always think of that song whenever I hear the word broccoli. It’s inevitable. I made broccoli cheese soup the other night for dinner and couldn’t stop singing that song over and over. Weird, I know. What’s worse is that I only remember like two lines of the song so I’m sure you can imagine how that went. All I can say is it’s probably a good thing that Remi was the only one home with me. He never questions my craziness. So without further ado, here’s the recipe!

broccoli cheese

Broccoli Cheese soup adapted from Cooking on Clover Lane (love her recipes!)

1 box of vegetable broth
1 cup of water
1 small container of half and half (about 1 cup)
1 cup cheddar cheese
1/2 cup flour (I meant to use Whole Wheat, but accidentally used white..still came out fine)
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
4 cups broccoli florets (I used a bag of frozen)
1 package chopped, cooked ham
  1. In a large pot over medium high heat combine all ingredients but broccoli and ham.
  2. WHISK together to break up lumps.
  3. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low.
  4. Stir in the broccoli and ham and simmer for 15-20 minutes until broccoli is tender.
  5. I prefer to leave the broccoli whole rather than mash it up. Totally up to you!
  6. Serve with extra cheese and crusty bread! Enjoy!

This recipe was so easy and was a big hit at my house. In my opinion, the vegetable broth was a little strong in flavor at first just because I’m not used to it. The soup was definitely good, but it was WAY better the next day for lunch. If you have the time, I definitely suggest making this the night before you need it and reheating it. So yummy! I’d love to hear from you if you decide to make this!

Until next time,

Kelsey

 

 

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