Auld “Lange” Syne

There’s nothing like adding a new member to your family to make a year memorable. Add in a trip to the beach with a four-year-old and an infant, starting a rigorous new Bible study, selling our first home, moving, and starting the building process…2015 held so many treasured, blessed, exhausting moments. If I’m being honest, I had to look at pictures just to remember what we did this year! The lack of sleep is getting to me, people! Fortuntely, my 8-month-old has FINALLY started sleeping through the night. Most of the time. (cue the Hallelujah chorus) I can’t wait to see what 2016 has in store but I’d like to catch my breath first. That’s how life works, right?!

I’m not usually one to make resolutions. They’re either unattainable, unmet or uninspired. I remember a particular year in middle school that one of my resolutions was to “wear crazy eyeshadow colors. like yellow.” Yikes! Thankfully, that never happened!

This year, in an effort to simplify my life and streamline my thoughts, actions, belongings, & body (HA!)–I figured some goals should be set in place. All too often, I muddle through the day as a stay at home mom. I feel overwhelmed and underwhelmed all at the same time. If I’m being honest, some days I wake up looking forward to bedtime. When bedtime rolls around, I feel disappointed that I didn’t accomplish more than keeping everyone fed and safe. I know being home with my babies is my greatest ministry right now. There truly is no where else I’d rather be and I’m beyond thankful. I think it’s important; however, to acknowledge these feelings and have a game plan for combating them.

Putting those goals here for all to see should hold me accountable! I know I won’t be able to accomplish everything on this list; however, it is a reflection of the person I’d like to be. And in keeping with the goal of giving myself grace, I’m going to try not to stress over the things that aren’t crossed off my list!

 

Mom/Wife Goals

  • Cook more often
  • Ask for help before losing my mind
  • Plan more dates
  • Actually play with my kids
  • Give and receive grace
  • Let go of guilt (particularly mom guilt)
  • Laugh! Stop being so serious 24/7

Family Goals

  • Take more pictures of the four of us
  • Learn & memorize scripture
  • Eat healthier
  • Be more active
  • Simplify our belongings–only keep things we love and use regularly

Personal Goals

  • Give myself permission to say “no” to things that I don’t want to do and “yes” to things that I do want (sounds simple, yes?)
  • Create–just for the love of it
  • Daily quiet time
  • Stop being ruled by a fear of failure
  • Exercise 3x/week even if it’s just 20 minutes of stretching/yoga
  • Utilize a daily schedule to make better use of my time and energy
  • Designate time to spend by myself recharging

 

For someone that doesn’t usually participate in New Year’s Resolutions, that sure looks like a lot! I think it will be interesting to review these at the end of 2016 to see what I accomplished. What are your goals for 2016? I’d love for you to leave them in the comments!

 

 

and then there were four

Pictures are incredibly important to me. I love capturing all of the little moments that make up our life. With that being said, I find it ironic that we’ve never had professional portraits taken! I knew that when Ruby Kate joined our family I wanted lifestyle family portraits done in our home. I was a bit nervous at the aspect of being in front of the camera {especially three days after giving birth!} but our sweet photographer, Karen, made all of us feel totally comfortable! Remi has been the sweetest big brother and I think it definitely shows in these photos. I had the hardest time choosing my “favorites” to share–they’re all so special to me! I know I will forever treasure these sweet moments of us learning to become a family of four.

RubyKate-2RubyKate-5RubyKate-6RubyKate-10RubyKate-20RubyKate-12RubyKate-23RubyKate-25RubyKate-29RubyKate-31RubyKate-35RubyKate-37RubyKate-39RubyKate-41RubyKate-45RubyKate-50RubyKate-52RubyKate-59RubyKate-60RubyKate-68RubyKate-72RubyKate-79RubyKate-80RubyKate-85

a reminder to live

 

 

Photo May 02, 7 45 31 PM

This boy loves his Poppa and riding through the pastures in Daddy’s truck.

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He loves making wishes.

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And picnics with his Jon Jon and SuSu.

PicMonkey Collage

He loves sitting on the counter and prolonging bedtime.

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And hanging out in the shop. (pre-haircut!)

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And hanging on Mommy’s legs.

 

 

He just loves life.

This boy of mine reminds me to live–to see things for more than they are. The way his eyes light up at the simplest things reminds me to slow down. All too often I’m reminded that tomorrow is not promised to us. We can make great big plans for the future but, friends, we’ve got to relish today. We’ve got to live more abundantly. Don’t let the enemy creep in and tell you that you’ll have more, do more, be happier down the road. Cling to the truth that He has lavished His grace upon us. Now is the time to allow yourself to really live! Start today.

 

 

anniversary trip

On May 1st, Jarrett and I celebrated four years of marriage. We rarely get to spend an entire 24 hours together–with or without Remi, so a quick trip to Dallas for the two of us felt a little indulgent. We scheduled the trip around a class I was attending on Thursday and it worked out perfectly! Here’s a quick recap of our trip:

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and we’re off!

 

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driving into Dallas

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Our hotel was gorgeous! Jarrett did a great job finding us a place to stay. It’s been around since the 1920’s and features a gorgeous art deco style. I loved it so much. If you’re looking for a place to stay in Uptown Dallas, you won’t be disappointed with Le Meridian Stoneleigh.

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view of the courtyard from our room

PicMonkey Collage

original switchgear display in the lobby

After check in, we hung out for a while and had a drink at the Stoneleigh P across the street. Trust me when I say it is in no way affiliated with the Stoneleigh hotel. It’s an old dive bar with a casual vibe. Classy digs, dive bar across the street–best of both worlds, right?

Jarrett’s brother and his wife know we’re sushi lovers. They told us about a restaurant in Plano called Osaka that we knew we had to try!

the best miso soup I've ever had!

the best miso soup I’ve ever had!

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After we had our fill of sushi, we decided to try our hand at cooking our own food in the hot pot. Let’s just say I’m sure the outcome is usually very delicious but I was a bit turned off by the whole shrimp and fish balls. I think Jarrett’s face describes our hot pot experience best…

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No trip to Dallas is complete without a trip to HomeGoods. My momma taught me well. Jarrett can’t deny he loves HomeGoods {not}…I went in for the sneak attack with this picture.

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We hit the Stoneleigh P one last time then called it a night.

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on the porch at the Stoneleigh P

Getting ready the next morning was…interesting. I have the hardest time condensing my makeup to fit into a travel size bag. I’ve gotten used to having so many different products at an arm’s reach that paring it down to the basics just feels weird!

PicMonkey Collage.3

serious tile envy. loved the chunky window sills too.

We had an early lunch at the Dallas Farmer’s Market. Jarrett had BBQ from the Pecan Lodge and I had some yummy Mexican food.

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Next up, exploring Dallas and a little bit of shopping before my class.

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I found a new favorite store. I still love you, Anthro, but the Gypsy Wagon is pretty dang awesome.

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fringe-y mocc heaven

fringe-y mocc heaven

Then, it was time to head back downtown for my class. Hello, tornado warning. We could hardly see in front of us. Between the crazy weather and parking garage I think I had a mini panic attack. I hate parking garages as it is but then Jarrett had to parallel park. I couldn’t open my door so I crawled through the driver’s side and Jarrett gave me a piggy back ride to the elevator since the ground was flooded and I was wearing cork wedges. Obviously didn’t check the weather before getting dressed {and curling my hair that morning}!

pretending not to freak out

this is my “I hate parking garages” awkward pose

The class was given by two amazing makeup artists, Amber Dean and Steffanie Strazzere, as part of their “No Filter Makeup Tour”. It’s still so surreal to me that I had the opportunity to meet and learn from these ladies that have inspired me for so long. They were totally down to earth and just all around awesome. Such a cool experience!

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After class was over and the tornado/monsoon weather died down {so we thought}, we headed for one last pit stop in Deep Ellum–burgers at Twisted Root.

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Jarrett has permanent food envy--mine was better!

Jarrett has permanent food envy–mine was better!

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The sky was so pretty on the way out of Dallas. Of course, I had to drive through blinding rain the majority of the time. I think I prayed the whole way home. It was so terrifying to hardly be able to see the tail lights in front of me. The only moments of visual clarity were when the whole sky lit up with lightening.  We made it safe and sound FINALLY.

Overall, it was a fun trip. I think we needed it more than we realized. Thankful for four years of living, loving and learning together.

 

And a HUGE thank you to our parents for dividing up the task blessing of keeping Remington! ;)

why I blog

Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.

Barbara Kingsolver

 

I started this blog in January of 2013. As a stay-at-home-mom, blogging was an outlet for me. It gave me a place to share my thoughts, triumphs and fears. Blogging meant I didn’t have to carry on a one-sided conversation with a toddler or bombard my husband as soon as he walked in the door. Writing has always been a cathartic process for me. Just the act of typing out all of the craziness in my head gave some validity to what I was thinking or feeling at the time.

print by Pen and Paint

print by Pen and Paint

I love the fact that a blog can be used to document life. What first started as blogging to get out of my own head or provide clarity to a situation became blogging to share our every day moments with friends and family that we didn’t get to see as often as we’d like. Like the scrapbook that I {bought supplies for} and never made, this blog contains snippets of our life–pictures, embellishments, and scraps of the things we’ve done, seen, wished for and loved. I write down things that I never want to forget. I hope that one day Remi will be able to read some of these posts and have an idea of what our life was like when he was young(er) and know how loved he is.

always w i s h

always w i s h

I know blogging doesn’t make sense to a lot of people and that’s ok. If you like reading the rambling thoughts of a young wife and momma and seeing pictures of a cute, shaggy haired boy, then rock on. If not, that’s cool too. As I blog a little and learn a lot, I’m finding it’s all about what works for you and your family. Just don’t forget to make memories along the way.

Photo May 05, 6 43 10 PM

xo, Kelsey

warmer weather

So far we’ve had one good summery day and I can already tell how these next 5 months {that’s the length of a Texas summer, right?} are going to. Let’s just say I think Remi’s summer theme song is “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problem“. I love being at my mom’s house when everyone is lounging around with no place in particular to be.

This is my perfect day:

Lunch al fresco is a must. Remi said the crawfish were “delicious” but “too ‘picy”.al fresco

toes in waterSometimes you just need to dip your toes in the water…or go skinny dipping. Whatever floats your bottom boat.

skinny dippin

I love that this little stinker isn’t scared of the water. He loves to blow bubbles, go under water, and play in the bubbler. He constantly asks “did you saw that?!” when trying something new.

SWIMSURFBOARDHe also showed us his “surfboard” tricks. I wish I had gotten them on video. My little entertainer.

stuffsThese are all of Remi’s “stuffs”. You know–the really important things–sunglasses, a harmonica, and my old cell phone. Sounds like a party.

cookie doughA batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies is always necessary. I sure am glad Momma passed on her penchant for baking to my younger sister. Those girls can cook! The dough will always be my favorite part.

swing

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Swinging with SuSu. If he would have been still for a few more minutes I bet he would have fallen asleep. Can’t slow down at SuSu and Jon Jon’s house! Too much to do!

chalk canNothing like a good ol’ rusty can for holding chalk! We love chalking in Mom’s long driveway. Somehow Remi always ends up wearing more chalk than the concrete. Mom traces him and the dogs so many times that it looks like a crime scene. Watching Remi play hopscotch is HILARIOUS.

summer

klovej

We always have to see what my step dad, Jon is doing in the shop. Remi likes to find everything with wheels and ask for a ride. Creepers, dollies, rolling chairs, bikes–you name it, Remi rides it.

camaro

shop

Hanging in the shop leads to finding priceless old treasures like this photo of my Jon and his snowman on the front of the locomotive many moons ago. Gotta love those railroad men.

SNOWMAN

When the weather turns warmer, the days seem to move a little slower. Sunshine lingers. Moods are happier. Everything is green–my favorite color. Spring and Summer seem to bring about an annual change in my heart. It’s a joyful time of year with so much to celebrate. I’m currently making preparations for Remi’s THIRD birthday. The fact that he’s turning three doesn’t make me sad…yet. I love who he’s becoming. His humor and sweet personality are definitely worth celebrating! Another exciting {for me} aspect is the party planning and prep. Bring on the glue gun! :) Birthdays and general happiness aside, vacation makes summer even more awesome. I can’t count the number of times I’ve thought about our vacation in the past few weeks. At times, our beach trip seems so far away so for now, I’ll cherish these simple moments right here in East Texas.

 

What are your favorite warm weather activities?

xo, Kelsey

Easter pictures {part two}

Technically, these are really our Easter pictures, taken on Easter Sunday. The other pictures I posted {mainly of Remi} were from a few days before Easter. We had a great Easter and I’m so glad Jarrett got to be home! We were able to celebrate by going to church as a family {woohoo!} and then had lunch at my mom’s house. The Easter Bunny still visits and fills our old baskets. :) Remi had lots of fun checking out his new goodies, hunting eggs and dying them too!

Tip: click on a picture to view it larger and scroll through.

I love that all families celebrate differently. What are your Easter traditions?

xo, Kelsey

Easter pictures

After waking up at 5:30am for a 7:15am wedding hair and makeup sesh, I’m feeling a little like a crazy lady staying up til 1am to post these pictures. They were too cute not to share! We’ve had lots of fun talking about Easter this year. Remi loves to refer to all of us as cottontails. “This is Mommy Cottontail and Daddy Cottontail…” :) We’ve been learning about Jesus and the Gospel at home and at Mother’s Day Out.  I love to hear him talk about Jesus. Sweet childlike faith.

These are all raw images from a little Easter photo shoot my mom and sister did yesterday with Remi. It’s so much fun to see how he’s changed since last year’s spring pictures. Enjoy!

easterflowers

eggeasterpeekabooprofilecotton candyeastercottoncandyplaideasterbook2bunnyfacebunnyfacecollageeaster baskethugs

 

Obviously, we love a good outfit change…or maybe Mom and I have both enjoyed shopping for Remi clothes a little too much lately! AND we believe in cotton candy bribery. Whatever it takes, y’all. Those bunny faces are cracking me UP! I love this sweet picture of Remi with his Aunt AA. I hope each and every one of you has a blessed Easter.

xo, Kelsey

 

 

There in the ground His body lay
 Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave he rose again!
And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine –
Bought with the precious blood of Christ!
 
In Christ Alone // Natalie Grant

december highlights

Christmas time is hands down my favorite time of year. I start getting excited for Christmas about mid-November and never look back! As a tribute to my favorite month, I thought I’d do a whole post over my favorite December moments. Go ahead and prepare yourself for photo overload!

We kicked off the Christmas season with a quick trip to Van, Texas to eat at one of our favorite little diners–The Dinner Bell–along with a visit to Santa Land. We love going around Christmas time to see all of the decorations inside and outside of the restaurant. Remington loved the decorations, but I’m not sure what he thought about the pictures we were taking! Just a little family dysFUNction. :)

dinner bell pic

yes, we really sent these out on our Christmas cards! ;)

yes, we really sent these out on our Christmas cards! ;)

These pictures are technically from our late Thanksgiving lunch but we wore our Christmas shirts and I couldn’t resist posting! I seriously cannot stop laughing at the second one..we’ll call it the leaf photo fail. Enjoy a good laugh at our expense!

me, Momma, & Alexa

me, Momma, & Alexa

straight from the "awkward family photos" archives..

straight from the “awkward family photos” archives..

sweet cheeks before his big boy hair cut

sweet cheeks before his big boy hair cut

One of my favorite pictures from this year! Classis Home Alone face.  Love this sweet, silly boy!

not surprised that this was my most liked photo on instagram this year

not surprised that this was my most liked photo on instagram this year

After Jarrett’s buddy, Cash, passed away we felt bad for Mayleigh being outside by herself all day. She became an inside dog and we haven’t looked back! She has been so great with Remington and it’s been fun to see how well they play together! Miss Mayleigh is very tolerant of Remi.

remi and mayleigh

Jarrett and I had a little getaway to Shreveport which was so nice! We rarely have time alone together where we’re just able enjoy each other and not have a never ending to-do list. We did a some shopping, eating, and hanging out and vowed to plan a little getaway more often.

getaway

This was our first year to do our little version of “Elf on the Shelf.” We loved having our elf visit from the North Pole. Remington kept telling us what a silly elf “Ninnymuggins” was.

ninnymuggins

I’m starting to notice a pattern with all of these quick trips! Another quickie to Dallas with Momma. Mom and I never get to shop together, much less spend the whole day alone. I loved it! Mom is always so organized with her Christmas lists so I had to get a pic of her checking it twice!

checking it twice

The yummiest Christmas Eve brunch & gift exchange at my in-laws house. Love this tradition!

christmas eve brunch

these two

2 and 92

90 years difference between these two!

funny boy

feeding reindeer

putting out reindeer food before bedtime!

Christmas morning was spent at my parent’s house. Remi’s reaction to all of his presents was one of my favorite things ever, but nothing could top him singing “Happy Birthday, Jesus” and playing his little guitar!

santa goodies

Remi said this was the "best, best present evahhh!"

Remi said this was the “best, best present evahhh!”

Late Christmas lunch at Nanny’s. We got to meet our sweet cousin, Amelia, for the first time. Remi is wearing boots and no pants in this picture…typical!

sweeties

Christmas isn’t over until the rest of our family comes into town. Some crashed at our place and some at my mom’s, but I’m so glad we got to spend time all of them! Thanks guys, for spoiling Remi! We’re definitely going to miss y’all!

The Dobson family + Remi

more presents for Remi (!!!)

This picture is one of my favorites. My little younger cousin, Logan is a Marine. So proud of him! We’ve always told Remi that his little green Army men are called “Logan,” so to see him realize he was seeing the real life Logan was the sweetest thing ever!

sweet hugs

doesn’t this melt your heart?!

Remi found a new BFF

Remi found a new BFF

sweet family

sweet family

I got to try out some of my new Christmas makeup on the girls before they left town today. Had so much fun with them and I even woke up extra early…just for you Court!! :)

courtney

we're obsessed with Rose Gold pigment!!

we’re obsessed with Rose Gold pigment!!

Finally, Christmas with Auntie LoLo! Now to figure out where to put all of Remi’s new toys!

lolo christmas

I hope all of you had a blessed Christmas season. I am looking forward to what 2014 holds for The Langes and for all of you!

xo,

Kelsey