Y’all, I’m taking a break from the blog. I don’t like to have it hovering with a post here, and a post there, and right now I just don’t have the bandwidth to post regularly here! But, I’m still way active on Instagram, so follow over there. Having two littles and some side gigs going on means that my time is precious, and that sometimes I have to leave something on the backburner even though I love it. It’s just a season, and I’ll be back! Thank you for understanding.
Hi! Happy Friday! This Friday Favorites is brought to you by the fact that I still have not hung a single thing on our walls. Like, not one. Actually, no, last week I hung out our paper towel holder because paper towel on the counter makes me crazy. But since then, not a single thing. Why, guys? Why is this so hard?! Could it be because we’ve lived in four houses in the past year? (*laugh crying*) I think I have anxiety about not liking where I hang things, which is sensible since you obviously can’t move something after it’s hung up.
This post was actually meant to go up a week ago, and I’m writing this in advance, but I bet even though five days have passed, I still have not hung anything.
Mayyyyybe something will happen this weekend. If not, next week is the week, guys! I solemnly swear I will hang up one thing. Anyways. Here are some things that inspire me, or some things that eventually I can picture having in the house!
(P.S. I swear I’ll get back to beef posts eventually, but right now I’m enjoying things being light around here, those beef posts can take a long time to research and put together!)
Favorite Curtain Idea: Basketweave curtains. We have a *lot* of windows in this house, and while I don’t think they all need curtains since they all have really nice wood plantation blinds, there’s a lot of unalleviated brown and so I’d like to break it up a bit with something, and I don’t have enough curtains to go around. I like the idea of making something like this that look like curtains but aren’t! While silk (dupioni is my favorite fabric of all time) would be the most perfect, it’s silk. I have two children. I live in a ranch house. Wildly impractical, and I think I’d go crazy! I think a heavy jersey would be beautiful (and then I don’t have to sew it, haha), so maybe I’ll start slowly accumulating enough!
Favorite “Big Art” Idea: Engineering Prints + Bulldog Clips. We have engineering prints to go above our bed, but four moves later they’re looking a little rough, and I love how these ones look! I love the idea of being able to change out the picture every few months until we decide on something permanent. Major bummer, though–I submitted my order on OfficeDepot.com yesterday for two large prints, and they just called and said they won’t do them because “engineering prints are not suitable for pictures.” Ugh. So, Staples it is, hopefully. I’ve never had trouble ordering them before! The blog poster used Kinko’s, but you have to pick it up in the store and the closest store is 3 hours away. #ruralprobs. Who wants to pick up one of these and mail it to me?
Favorite Yes-It’s-Mass-Produced-But-I-Don’t-Care: Hobby Lobby Steer Pictures. I have my eye on some really beautiful cow photographs/art that I want to save up for, but I have a major weakness for cow pictures and we don’t have any! I found these while I was looking for a knob for Wacey’s dresser during a sale, and they were both 50% off! Wacey came in while I was looking and asked if the longhorn one could go in his room, so I added it to the cart! It’ll get hung up by the time you go to Kindergarten, I promise.
Favorite Fluffy: Tufted Ottoman. We need an ottoman. I like this ottoman.
Favorite Cozy: Pendleton Blanket. For years, I have wanted a Pendleton blanket to go on our bed. I still don’t 100% know which one I want, but this one is in the running! I’d like something that will go with my ideal room color (Revere Pewter duh) and the color we’re stuck with for the foreseeable future (tan–we aren’t allowed to paint this house. Please do not get me started. To be fair, it’s an okay tan. But it’s still tan. For the record, we do not need any more brown in the state of New Mexico). Our bed is black, our bedding is white (our walls are tan….) and this blanket would look spiffy on the foot of our bed! Also in the running: this black and white one, and this less neutral one.
Favorite DIY: Ladder hanging rack. One intentional reason I don’t go to hanging things right away is that I want to see what we need, how the house functions, and how we live in it. One thing that I absolutely need is a hanging rack in the laundry area. When you walk in from the porch (the door we use the most), to the left is a hallway to the mudroom/pantry, and the washer and dryer are right there, too. I want to find a short wooden ladder, and put it on hinges so I can fold it down when I’m doing wash, and fold it back up so it’s not constantly in the way in such a small space. I’d hang it overhead like this, but we have high ceilings and I’m 5’3″ and pretty much everyone we know is…not. It would be like Gandalf in Bilbo’s house. Anyways, I’m going to check at my favorite junk store in town whenever we’re there next to see if there’s a ladder calling my name. I’m painting it pink, ps.
Favorite (ish) Paint Color: Blue Gray Mint something. I have two chairs from Ikea in the dining room where the boys’ boosters are. They are both unstained pine. They are both disgusting since we’ve had them for years and the boys eat things like blackberries. I need to paint them. I have paint indecision. I have narrowed it down to two colors: this one, and a navy. I like this one better, but I already have navy. We shall see.
Here it is! Follow me on Instagram to stay updated, aka I’m using Insta to hold myself accountable. I’m really getting the itch to get things done, so maybe my frustration at bare (tan) walls will finally boil over and I’ll get going? Pray for me.
Happy Friday, I hope you have so much fun stuff planned–for the second weekend in a row, we do! Who are we?!
Hi! It’s Monday!
Before I get going, I want to extend sympathy to those of you who are battling the absolute horrendous heat! I feel for you. If you want to come visit, our high this week is 76 degrees. Wacey has bunk beds.
Anyways, how was your weekend? Ours was pretttty darn good. We took the boys to the ranch rodeo in town on Saturday afternoon, and gosh ranch rodeos are one of my favorite things. I miss when Bert used to ranch rodeo all summer, hopefully next summer he can get a team together and they can enter some! Wacey spent the whole time eating, commentating, and being reallllly into the broncs, Lord help us. Buster spent the whole time throwing things down the bleachers and trying to escape and smiling at random people. Yesterday we started slow, drove around, checked water, found a broken water line, came home, and then Bert and Wacey went out to fix it while I stayed home and did chores during Buster’s nap. It was a pretty big leak but they got it sorted and all is well in the world.
I even had time to tidy up and throw a load or two in the wash so we’re not waking up to absolute mayhem tomorrow which is so sweet. Basically, it was a great, fun, low-key weekend and ohhhh boy I needed it.
I’m in that busy, full, Groundhog Day-esque season in my mamahood journey, and it’s been hard to not feel frustrated with how little I actually accomplish some days. The boys are also at two notoriously ah…trying ages. Wacey is just shy of 3 1/2, so he knows everything, has lots of big feelings, and some of those big feelings are not-so-nice ones directed at his brother and us. Buster is almost 16 months, so he’s big and mobile and has very little sense but a lot of curiosity, and a very good idea about how to antagonize his brother.
Do not get me wrong. I have two amazing children. Even on their worst days, I still feel lucky to be their mama, and their worst days really aren’t all that bad. They’re filled with a lot of tears but a lot of laughter and sweet moments, too. But the gratitude has been a little lost in the fights and the crying and the protests and the repetition lately. My own heart has been struggling a little bit, and I really didn’t like how I was mothering, or wife-ing, or being.
So, I took a step back.
It’s still hard, guys. I still lose my cool, I still wish for more hours in the day, I still wish I had more help so I was able to chase my own dreams a little harder. But I know this is just a season, a really short one, and before too long my biggest kid is not going to be happy to sit by the pens, playing in the dirt with a stick while we work cattle. He’s not going to look up at me and my camera and say “Hi, mom mom!” He’s not going to ask me to “carry you?” or get a huge kick helping make a “butter sammich.”
So, I’m going to take more pictures, soak up more moments, and breathe a little deeper because even though it’s hard and the days feel soooooo long sometimes, in my heart and in my brain I know these days are fleeting.
You know, though: I kind of hate when people say that, because sometimes it feels like people are covering up how hard parenthood can be and are saying that it’s all fine because your kids aren’t babies forever and that their parenthood journey is always serene and beautiful and full of grace. Trite laid right on top of photoshop sandwiched between two big slices of “ha, nope!”
Let me tell you what: it’s not always fine, and most days around here involve at least one wreck. Buster has scratches on his face because I can’t get between him and Wacey fast enough, but he’s learned to retaliate by hitting Wacey square in the nose which is just peachy. We have wash that hasn’t been put up, not a single thing is hung on the walls, and 5/7 days a week I don’t change out of workout clothes because why? My temper can be short. I do my dream-chasing and working in the margins of my day, and I hate that I don’t have a better version of myself to devote to those things. I am not my best self right now, not even close, and that’s showing in my mothering and wife-ing. But, guys, it’s okay. I know this. Every day is a new day, and every day has so many fun things in between the trainwrecks, and we have plenty of Neosporin. It won’t be like this forever. There is grace in these days of raising young children (for the Bible tells me so), and it’s fine that we’re a little bit of a mess. It’s getting better. Every single day. In large part because I know that there are seasons when things feel hard and when I’m not my best self because I’m human, and even in my hardest seasons I’m still so, so lucky. I have so much gratitude, but I’m also really tired. Right? Is that a thing?
It won’t be like this forever.
Parenthood is so bittersweet.
Maybe that’s why everything in my house is so sticky.
Happy 4th! Or rather, happy Day After The 4th! Or rather rather, “It Can Now Be Fall.”
Oh come on, you knew that was coming.
We had a blast yesterday! I was going to start this post by saying “OMG I’m the worst blogger/mama/documenter of our lives because I’m terrible about taking pictures,” but you know what? I took some! I didn’t take enough, and we never got one of us all together (#2019 goals) but I did get some and I even brought my real camera!
We have never done much for the 4th, but I’m trying to change that because it’s such a fun holiday! Neither one of us grew up with families that really went nutso for it (which is totally fine), but I kind of want to be nutso? Can I be a First Generation 4th of July Nutso?
I hope to maybe someday work up to that level. If you’re reading this and we’re friends, let’s go nutso together next year.
Yesterday was pretty low-key, but for us it was practically the Royal Wedding because Bert took most of the day off and even came to town! Bert left the ranch, guys!
We took the boys to lunch where they behaved like angels and Wacey ate food. I am not kidding. Wacey ate restaurant food and enjoyed it, which is a big deal since he’s currently in a Picky 3-Year-Old phase, and Buster didn’t even throw much on the floor. Basically, it was magical. Bert was even on board for swinging past Starbucks, bless him, so we got to chat on the way home with two sleepy babes in the backseat and a coffee in my hand and oh, my stars.
After lunch, coffee, and a leisurely drive home, we camped out for naps and rest time, and then turned right back around and went to the rodeo (after turning off some water, feeding some horses, you know, the usual stuff that always happens when you’re going anywhere with a rancher). It’s such a treat to live close enough to town now that we can take a break in the middle of the day and go home if we want!
We got to the rodeo early enough to get a great parking space (is there anyone else who gets so much satisfaction out of this? You know, close but not too closer so you’re not having to hike to get there but you can still get out easily when it’s over?) and get a good place to sit (another love language of mine).
The rodeo was pretty good, and the fireworks afterwards were great. I love a good firework show, and I love that in small towns we don’t have to fight crowds of thousands of people to see one! Wacey absolutely loved it, Buster got scared and held on to me for dear life (which, let’s get real, I will take any day because baby snuggles) but still watched the show, so maybe next year?
So, we’ll count this as a success, and I’m already scoping shirts for next year.
Happy Mondayest Thursday, it’s pouring rain here (Hallelujah!) and I’m going to go finish the pan of 4th of July Rice Krispies because ‘Merica.
We’ve got a new buddy!
This is Poke, like Cowpoke, and he’s so freakin’ cute!
He was mostly a surprise that Bert showed up with yesterday evening, but not completely a surprise because I knew he was hoping to find a decent pup in the next while since one of his working dogs died last week, and his remaining working dog doesn’t love to work alone. A family friend who lives down the road had a litter recently, and gave Bert a pup to replace the dog he buried last week.
(He actually tried to give Bert two, but we currently have a One Puppy at a Time rule.)
Pokey is half Black Mouth Cur, half Kelpie/McNab/Collie, and oh my gosh you guys he’s so sweet. He loves Buster so much and trooped around with us while we took care of horses and picked up hay this morning. He’s still a little wary of us–and I absolutely don’t blame him, we’re kind of a rowdy bunch–but he’s settling in and is currently passed out on the porch so I’d say things are fine.
He will be a working dog eventually, and does sleep in the barn, but for now he’s a squishy, floppy-eared little puppy that gets to play with us and ride around with Bert. I can’t get over his rolls and puppy-dog eyes and I’m 100% happy to hold him while we’re in the truck since he gets carsick still and holding him helps and also I don’t have to open gates.
Happy Monday! Happy pre-Fourth! We’re rolling off of a great weekend full of an amazing first birthday party for the sweetest little girl, the most peaceful, idyllic ride home with a Starbucks and a podcast (it’s the little things, y’all) and of course a new pup and a lazy day at home. We’re ready for this week of BBQ and rodeo and (hopefully, fire ban and weather permitting) some fireworks!
Also: I’m writing this on Sunday and scheduling this post. I feel like a boss because two weeks ago writing one blog post felt impossible, not to mention actually getting one done and scheduling it. Again, we’re focusing on the little things around here!
God bless America, and I hope you don’t get BBQ on your white t-shirt.
Happy Friday! It’s one of our favorite days of the week (duh, #basic, whatever). Even though neither one of us has a traditional job with a traditional workweek, everything just seems lighter on a Friday.
Plus, not to be a summer humbug or anything, but every Friday that goes by is another week closer to not being hot and worrying about rattlesnakes. Fine, just label this Take 1 from Confessions of a Summer Humbug.
I’m so grateful to be getting back into the swing of things, so here’s a sort-of-celebratory Friday Favorites post! These are all things that I’m currently loving.
Favorite Face: Beautycounter Cleansing Milk. I love this, truly, which is sort of a big deal because I was a little sad when I got it because I usually order their Nourishing Cream Cleanser, and this doesn’t smell nearly as good (my one criticism of this product!). But, good golly it works. It gets my skin clean without drying it out–the first cleanser I’ve ever tried to do so! I’m trying to simplify my skincare both in terms of products and ingredients, and this is a permanent part of my lineup. At least until I have another baby and my skin changes completely again.
Favorite Drinker: Yeti Rambler. Bert got me one of these for Mother’s Day customized with our brand (as I’m sure you know since I hardly hide my love for it on Insta), but I really do love it. It’s huge, but not too too, and fits in a cupholder. You put ice in this baby and hours and hours later, it’s still there. Icy-cold water is one of my love languages, and so I want like, five more of these.
Favorite Thing: Yeti Tundra 45. I got Bert this bad boy for Father’s Day (one of those “I want one so I’m getting you one so I can use it” sort of affairs) because, well, all the other kids have one, and please see all comments above re: Rambler except for the cupholder part. Keeps things cold for literally days. Expensive as hell, worth every penny. I want another to keep in my car for when I go to town. Specifically a pink one. Or one of the new ones with wheels.
Favorite #NerdAlert: North Point Media’s There & Back Again Podcast. I love podcasts. I love book series. So you can imagine how I feel about a podcast that talks about one of my favorite series of books! I love learning more about Tolkien and the universe he created and all of the nerdy things that go along with that. I’m not a mega-super-nerd, but I love stories, and I’m re-reading the LOTR series to follow along with this podcast so you decide. He also has one for Harry Potter, and the Outlander series, ps.
Favorite Summery Pasta Salad: Herby Couscous salad. So, couscous is a pasta, in case you are like me and have been going through life believing it was a rice. It is not. Thus, this is a pasta salad and it is delicious. Bright and fresh and would be so good with herbs from your garden if you are not like me and have a garden. Worth mentioning though is that Bert didn’t love it. Like at all. So, it’s not on the dinner menu but it’s delicious cold so it’s perfect for lunch! Which is what it’s supposed to be for, so…
Favorite Worky-Outy-Thing: Nike Dri-Fit Sports Bra. So, disclaimer, I didn’t actually buy this. I was given a pile of them by my beloved best friend who is a collegiate athletic trainer and gets tons of team gear and passes some of it on to me because she’s amazing and one person can’t possibly wear 1000 sports bras. I love these. They are so soft–with other sports bras, I’ve had problems with chafing underneath my arms and on my sides, but not with these–and their length is perfect. Also they are constructed in such a way that Sports Bra Uniboob isn’t as pronounced, and they come in both normal colors and crazy colors depending on how much hoo-rah you need to get your workout done. Verdict: I’d actually buy these, and probably will if I ever run out.
Favorite Yes I’m Shocked Too: Frankincense Essential Oil. So, I am not a woo-woo crystals type of gal, and I’m very wary of things claiming to be toxic or not toxic or green or more natural, etc. since a lot of the time those claims aren’t true. I did order a starter kit from Young Living, though, mostly out of curiosity and because they were on sale. and my good friend made a small commish. I’m sort of hooked, and want to try more. No, I don’t think they are a substitute for modern medicine, and yes, I think lots of people overstate their use and/or efficacy. But let me tell you what–this little oil has made a huge difference in my skin. I will keep buying it because, like I said before, I’m trying to simplify my skincare. I mix a drop or two with jojoba oil to use as a moisturizer, and apply neat on blemishes. My skin has never been so luminous, less flaky (to be fair I know this is in part due to the new cleanser, but this is also making a huge difference!), and it actually works to help heal zits. So, while I’m not totally jumping in the essential oils deep end, I’m sticking a toe in the kiddie pool and so far, I’m liking it.
Favorite Car Snacky Snack: Rx Bars. One thing I am sure about, though, is that there is so much sugar in so many foods! I really noticed it in Canada, where I’d have something that they have here, but it was so much less sweet (and typically much tastier), so I’m sort of on a mission to remove as much excess sugar from our diets. If I’m eating sugar, I don’t want it to be in a granola bar, or in yogurt, or in peanut butter. I want it to be in ice cream and cookies and cakes and candy and sugar straight out of the jar, you know the little lumps of brown sugar? #ragingsweettooth. Anyways. I love Rx bars and have added them to my monthly subscribe & save order. I picked one up for the first time in the airport a few weeks ago, and I’m hooked! My favorite flavor, of course, is one of the sweeter ones (Mixed Berry), but it has no added sugar, and that’s what I’m focusing on (first–baby steps!). I’m looking forward to trying more of their flavors because I love to keep bars on hand since we are often eating snack in the car (a habit that I hate but that is nearly impossible when everything is at least an hour’s drive). I also love that if things are frantic at home and I can tell hangry is right around the corner, I can grab one and be a better human.
Favorite Kid Thing: Joey. So, last time they were here, my in-laws brought this for Wace. It’s basically a magnetic paper doll, and while I thought it was cool I wasn’t sure if it was something he’d be super into for more than a day or two. Friends, I was so wrong. He loves it, and we’ve taken to having some one-on-one time each evening before bed playing with Joe–he’s made bedtime so much easier because Wace really looks forward to it and I enjoy that time so much with him, since most of the day is spent trying to keep him and Buster for assaulting each other. We put on each outfit, talk to Joey about it a little, and it’s adorable and is great for those fine-motor skills and imagination muscles. When we’ve done each one, we put everything away, Wacey covers Joe with his “blanket” (an infant washcloth), and–I kid you not–gives him a kiss after tucking him in. It’s adorable. They don’t have very many of these, but I think we definitely need to get him another one–Julia looks like a nice gal, and I think we can always use another feminine influencel around this tiny frathouse.
Favorite Tiny-Bit-Shocked-That-Something-So-Cheap-Is-This-Awesome: Kroser Laptop Backpack. Before I went to Vancouver, I decided I needed a better carry-on situation for all of my things. I don’t have a satchel big enough for my gargantuan laptop (I’m a 17″ type of gal) and I wanted to minimize the hot mess-ness that is inevitably Cassidy in the Airport. So, All Paths Lead to Amazon and I found this guy for less than $40 and I love it. It has pockets for everything, and my megatron laptop fits in the compartment even if I keep it in the sleeve. It has a charger thingy that I bet is real cool but I need to figure out how to use it, and a couple of pockets in the front that make you look real slick when you need to produce your travel documents or credit card in a hurry. Now, it’s a straight-up backpack. It’s not beautiful, but it’s not ugly, and does the job perfectly. Of course, if it were made of hair-on hide it would be perfect, but this is a solid 9/10 and makes running to the next gate so much easier. Just hike that baby up and go.
Favorite Apparel: Embroidered Tunic. I don’t need to say much about this top except that it’s beautiful, makes me feel like a million bucks, and is currently sold out but that’s okay because this little boutique has the most amazing things at really surprising prices. Get thee over there, fellow embroidery lover!
Favorite upgrade: Adirondack chairs. We finally got a couple of new (plastic) Adirondack chairs to replace our grody ones on the front porch and they are wonderful. They are super comfy, and look nice. Granted, they’re not the solid-wood versions. But, I don’t want the wood versions. I want the plastic versions so that when they inevitable become pulled over by a child, they just cause said child to be pissed off instead of injured. Now, you might be saying “But Cassidy, a child couldn’t pull over a wooden Adirondack chair,” to which I’d say “But Gentle Reader, Buster weighs over 30 pounds and has the most shocking strength you’ve ever seen. He’s like a tiny, less tan Hulk. I promise you he will get it done.” To which you’d say “Touche.” Because it’s true. Anyways, I digress. These chairs are fab, the mini version are great too, and we are getting two more because no one wants to sit in the sad old ones anymore and now they look even sadder. Someday we’ll get wooden ones. That decade is not this decade.
Happy Friday, team! I hope your week was great and that you have some amazing things planned for the pre-Fourth weekend. We have an exciting weekend full of a birthday party or two, caking cattle and checking water, and (God willing) a little hanging of things on the walls because our house is still bare and it makes me feel like I live in a tan mental institution. In the best sense, of course.
God Bless America, and Amazon Prime.
Do you remember going with your parents on “Take Your Kid to Work Day,” or when you had a day off from school? I grew up in the city–Denver–and remember those days so well! I remember camping out under the conference room table at my mom’s office, eating snacks, or playing dolls and listening to CCR with my dad in his office while he worked.
When we bring our kids to work, they may not get fun snacks in a conference room table fort, or get to have their own desk to “work” on, but they have a ball and we’re lucky that on a ranch, there’s a whole lot of “Take Your Kid to Work Days!”
A couple of weekends ago, we preg-checked our fall-calving cows (to see who was pregnant and who was not) and it was so fun. I didn’t really help, to be sure–the boys and I showed up late (but can you blame us, the vet was there at 6:15!) and mostly just went because we just love working cattle. The boss’ whole family was there, too, with some of the neighbors and the owners, so we had 70+ years between the oldest (the owner) and the youngest (Buster).
The kids were pushing the cows from the tub to the chute, the neighbors were pushing the cows up the alley to the tub, the vet was doing his thing, Bert was running the chute, the owner and his wife were vaccinating and taking care of the records, the boss was checking teeth*, and his wife was making sure the kids were actually helping, and taking over when they needed a hand. I was taking pictures, offering encouragement and bad jokes, and we were all holding Buster, haha.
The kids only hit each other in the face with the flags a couple of times, one of the girls got peed on by a cow but only a little bit, the owner’s wife made the most delicious snickerdoodles, and Buster didn’t eat too much dirt or dirt-like substances, so we’ll count it as a major success.
Afterwards, everyone got wet (or downright soaked) putting horses in trailers and packing up supplies, but we were so grateful for the rain that not a soul complained, and it made lunch together a little festive. I love that we get to spend time together, and that it’s always a family affair when it comes to this ranching gig.
Except when it’s reaaaaalllll hot outside. Then I’m busy. With something inside. I won’t always have the excuse of “it’s too hot for the baby!” but you’d better bet I’m going to use it while I can.
*as cattle get older, their teeth can get worn down or fall out altogether, and that can make it hard for them to eat, so we check teeth to make sure they are living their best life. Plus, our country is so rocky that their teeth can wear down faster!