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fitness, for funsies, in photos, us

Two peas in a WOD

Shannon and I recently had the opportunity to pretend to be fitness models for an afternoon when the lovely Andrea asked us (and a handful of other women) to model the spring line for Thick 2 Thin Apparel. It was a really fun experience, but holy fuck. I never realized how time consuming modeling can be, or how awkward having your photo taken can be, especially when it’s in a room full of people you don’t know and under really bright lights. “Act natural.” What does that even mean? I have no idea. #NOPRESSURE

All of us shot a bunch of photos individually, each modeling a few different different tanks in the spring T2T collection. Then a few of us modeled T2T’s “partner” tank pairs. Shannon and I got to “model” these fun “TWO PEAS IN A WOD” tanks. Two peas in a WOD! HA! Because get it?! *blank stare* Here are our favorites.

Two peas in a WOD // Kelsey, EspeciallyTwo peas in a WOD // Kelsey, EspeciallyTwo peas in a WOD // Kelsey, EspeciallyTwo peas in a WOD // Kelsey, EspeciallyTwo peas in a WOD // Kelsey, EspeciallyTwo peas in a WOD // Kelsey, EspeciallyTwo peas in a WOD // Kelsey, EspeciallyTwo peas in a WOD // Kelsey, Especially

So yeah. That’s our impression of modeling, which mostly just looks like goofing around and being awkward. That’s fine, though. It’s fitting, really, since that’s basically all we do all the time anyway: goof around and be awkward. HA!

Thanks again to Andrea for inviting us to be part of her company’s catalog and to Chris for taking our pitchurs. WE HAD SO MUCH FUN!

Thick 2 Thin is an athletic apparel + lifestyle company designed for The Every Woman. Driven by a passion for fitness and the belief that every body – no matter how tall or short, fast or slow, thick or thin – deserves comfortable and functional athletic apparel that helps them feel as good as they look, From Thick to Thin is dedicated to changing public perception and portrayal of the concept of “the female athlete” from exclusivity to inclusivity.

Visit the Thick 2 Thin shop and use the code vakm15 for 10% off your order!

Photography by Christopher Robbins Photography.

for funsies, in photos, kelsey, lol, summer, the weekend

The Monday dump

Kelsey, Especially

Okayfine, “The Monday Dump” isn’t a real thing except that I guess it probably is somewhere (or a lot of somewheres) out there, but it just isn’t a regular thing, at least not here. Whatevs. Today I’m doing The Monday Dump, a phrase I made up to describe the process wherein I overload you with a bunch of random words and photos from the weekend because I’m out of storage on my phone and need room ASAP because: GYM SELFIES LATER (duh). HERE GOES!

Notably this weekend:

  • I did not lose my phone anywhere, let alone in a National Park. Not once, not never. This = SCORE.
  • I was attacked by a swarm of mosquitoes who left a string of bites in the shape of the Little Dipper on my ass. This = WEIRD (and annoying but also hilarious).
  • The pool in our neighborhood finally opened, which happened to be an entire week late and just in time for the first two 90+ degree days of the year. This = YAY.

Notably right now:

  • I am literally sweating to death and wish I was back in the pool. Or even outside, which is probably cooler than the inside of my office building even though it’s pushing 90 degrees out there and it’s not even 11 am.

Kelsey, Especially

So yeah. It’s mid-Monday morning and I’m sitting at work, which usually isn’t notable at all except that today I’m sitting at work in a building with no working AC in a city whose temperature had already hit 80 degrees before the sun was all the way up this morning, and I feel like that’s pretty fucking notable, especially if I end up in the hospital or worse before the day is over.

Kelsey, Especially

I almost wore a sleeveless dress today but considering 364 days a year it’s like the Arctic-fucking-tundra in my building, I decided against that. So instead I’m wearing my usual: tight AF black skinny pants from Gap and a sleeveless frilly blouse thingy. Thank god for no sleeves, but holy hell these pants are hot, and in a more than “damn those make your butt look good” kind of way today. And the sweat that’s pouring down my back and congregating on my ass and the back of my thighs is not only gross but also grossly inconvenient in at least two ways: (1) it’s irritating the Little Dipper bug bite-scape on my rear end, and (2) it’s making going to the bathroom a HUGE chore because have you ever tried pulling off-and-on tight cotton pants when your legs are soaking wet (Also, when do legs sweat? Never. Right. EXCEPT FOR WHEN YOU’RE IN HELL, which is exactly where I’m at right now because not only am I at WORK…ON A MONDAY…but I’m at work on a Monday when the AC is broken. FML for real.)?

Kelsey, Especially

Speaking of going to the bathroom. I’ve been trying to keep cool by not moving as much as possible, but the only real way to keep myself cool is to drink a gallon of water every 15 minutes and that requires moving to walk to get the water from the cooler in the kitchen and moving to walk to the bathroom to pee it all out, so not moving isn’t really working out. In fact, today life isn’t really working out.

Kelsey, Especially

Currently, I’m sitting at my desk wearing flip-flops to help keep myself cool, which is way against the dress code and NOT allowed, but I’m pretty sure making employees work in a building that has no working AC when it’s already in the mid-80s outside is way against at least four laws and the code of basic human rights so write me up, I don’t care.

Kelsey, Especially

Also, apparently the parking garage under our building was (is?) flooded? The first floor of my work is being renovated into some snazzy, high-end conference/meeting space that we can rent out and become rich off of (and by “we” I mean the four people running this joint, none of whom are me), and the construction crew hit a pipe over the weekend, which caused said pipe to explode and flood the fuck out of the parking garage. WTF? I mean, not that it directly affects me because I’m just a lowly worker minion and am not even allowed to park in the garage in the building that I work (I was assigned a spot in a parking garage five blocks away), but still. WHY IS WORK OPEN IF THE BUILDING’S AIR IS ON FIRE AND THE PARKING GARAGE IS NOW A SWIMMING POOL?

Kelsey, Especially

Word around the hallways is that the AC won’t be fixed until noon (at the earliest), which is basically the time I’m off work for the day anyway so that doesn’t help. Blah. Word around the hallways is that the parking garage won’t be cleaned all-the-way out untilI have no idea when and don’t care anyway because it doesn’t affect me, not even in a positive way by getting me out of work. Stupid. Except I do have my workout clothes with me. Maybe I can put them on and head down to the parking garage to take a dip and cool off. I’m pretty sure the wifi signal works down there, so I could even bring my phone and work from it. WIN-FUCKING-WIN.

…or they could just let us all go home.

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All photos taken using my iPhone 5.

in photos, kelsey, lol, memories, storytime, summer

The 66.6-mile pre-birthday trip (hike) from hell (but also: LOL)

Shenandoah // Kelsey, Especially

So first thing’s first. This post is long. I debated not posting it at all, or separating it into two posts, but then I was like “FUCK IT” because (1) I’m and grown up, and (2) this is my blog, so (3) I can do whatever I want here. Anyway. This post is long. But it’s Friday, so you have like, three days to read it. Or not. But if not, just know you’re missing out on a great story. Or at the very least, a great opportunity to make lots of fun of me. If that doesn’t entice you to stick around and read this, I truly, truly don’t know what will. Maybe cupcakes? JK because no. They’re all mine.

Shenandoah // Kelsey, EspeciallyNothing more patriotic than those Ol’ Glory sunglasses. Or hikes. Or selfies.

Last Sunday we took a family-ish hike in Shenandoah National Forest. I say “family-ish” because RJ was working and couldn’t come and because Briseis was playing her butt off in a soccer tournament all of Memorial Day weekend and no time for anything but that. So yeah. Family-ish. Hike. Shenandoah. It was a semi-impromptu trip that was more of a back-up plan than a main plan, to be used only if nothing else better came along. And with dreaming up a Memorial Day weekend camping trip about 8 months too late, spending all of our savings that we’d set aside for a beach trip on unexpected car expenses, and a neighborhood pool that was supposed to open the 23rd but is closed indefinitely thanks to stupid underground drainage leaks, it turns out that nothing else better came along. So off to Shenandoah we went.

The kids were pretty psyched about the trip going into it. They spent the whole week talking about how we were all going to “go for a hike” even though they had (and still have) no real concept of what a hike is. We tried explaining that the “just walking” we did that was “taking for long” and “forever” was the hike, but they were unimpressed by that answer. Luckily, they were impressed by the actual hike, even though they would tell you they weren’t if you asked them. The entire day was really a comedy of errors, another “I couldn’t make this up if I tried” kind of day, starting with Madden’s insistence to wear this outfit on our hike in 80+ degree weather. It consisted of his “exercise shorts” (which you can’t see (obvs)), a pajama shirt, a “cape” (my pink “exercise shirt), and his “winter hat.” Don’t worry (or perhaps worry even more), every item of clothing you see in that photo below came off prior to the hike starting.

Shenandoah // Kelsey, Especially

Okay. Here’s the thing. For like, two entire days beforehand, Shannon spent a whole grip of time researching different kid-friendly trails that Madden and Emma would be able to handle in terms of terrain and time. We settled on a 2-ish mile trail that led down to some falls and looped back around to the starting point. We knew the length of the trail was on the longer side for two little ones, but we mentally prepped for this from the jump and figured that we’d stave off tantrums and complaints by (1) starting early, and (2) taking mini breaks every 1/4 mile or so. I have full faith that this plan would’ve worked flawlessly had the chain of events I’m about to detail not happened.

Sunday morning. 8:00 am. The four of us hit the road. Emma serenades (I use that term very loosely) us with the same six songs – in English and white-kid-toddler-Spanish – for a solid 45 minutes of our 90 minute trip.

9:32 am. Drive into the Park. Head toward the visitor center to pee. Pee. Take a photo of nature because (1) obligatory, and (2) Instagram. Ferry the kids back to the car. Buckle ’em in. Meet Shannon at the back of the car to look at the map to see where we needed to go. Put whatever’s in my hands on roof of car. Study map.

“Oh, SHIT,” Shannon says. “We came in the wrong entrance. The trail we picked is all the way near the other entrance.”

“NBD. Let’s just drive to that.”

“…it’s at the complete opposite end of the Park.”

“Okay?”

“IT’S 80 FUCKING MILES AWAY, KELSEY.”

In my head: “OMG you have to be kidding me, how did you fuck that up? YOU SAID YOU KNEW WHERE WE WERE GOING! YOU SAID YOU KNEW FOR SURE WHICH ENTRANCE WE WENT IN!” Out loud: “Meh. Don’t worry about it. We can still drive there!”

Yay! Fun! (UGH.)

*bickerBickerBICKER*

We both knew the kids wouldn’t last another 90 minutes in the car so we decide to find a new trail. Problem is, there’s no cell data where we’re at so we aren’t able to properly research how kid-friendly any of the other trails are. We cast aside our dreams of showing the kids something cool (like waterfalls) and start using trail distance as our only discriminating criterion. We settle on a trail that’s only 1.3 miles from start to finish. It’s another 10 miles from where we’re at, which is still the visitor center, which is 5 miles into the park from the gate. Back in the car I realize I don’t have enough gas to make it to the start of the trail and back out of the park. Turn around. Head back the way we came to get gas at the gas station just outside the entrance gate to the park.

Shenandoah // Kelsey, Especially

Pull up to the pump. Turn off the car. Pop open the door to the gas lid door thingy. Reach for my phone, which lives inside a case that also houses my license, my military ID and my main credit/debit card.

“Where’s my phone?” I ask out loud but mostly to myself.

“Want me to call it?”

“…”

“Well do you?”

“OMG.”

“What?”

“OMG.”

“Kelsey, WHAT?!”

“I left it on top of the car when we were looking for a new trail at the visitor center. FUCK.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yeah. FUCK. fuckFuckFUCKmylifeisover. Whatever. Oh well. Let’s just get gas and go back to the visitor center and if we can’t find it then I guess I’ll go get a new one when we get home.” (Because I’m rich and have a lot of money to waste on buying a new phone when my other one was (is? (it hasn’t been proven totally lost yet…right?) totally fine.)

I was surprisingly calm about everything that was happening, which was shocking even to me. I guess I just know by now that this type of shit is just my luck. I NEVER EVER take my phone out of the car “just because” like that, and I NEVER EVER set it anywhere except for like, four designated places, the top of the car not being (and never having been) one of them.

Shenandoah // Kelsey, Especially

Gas pumped. Pull up to the main entrance gate. The same person who let us on 20 minutes ago is still there. Luckily she remembers us and doesn’t ask for ID, which she’s supposed to do when I flash my military National Parks pass. Gun it (but not really (because: cyclists (LOTS of ’em))) for the visitor center.

Back at the visitor center. 1,000% more people are there now than 20 minutes ago, which inexplicably but also naturally seems like it doesn’t bode well for the fate of my phone. We park in the same spot. I look around the parking spot and underneath every nearby car. People give me the stank eye. Shannon walks out to the middle of the main road on her phone, calling mine and listening for basically nothing since my phone is on vibrate (like always) and good luck hearing that in the middle of a fucking road directly in front of a heavily populated parking lot that is extra heavily populated with extra loud motorcycles. No dice.

The kids start screaming from the car. I chalk it up to them wanting to get the damn show on the road. They’re crying now.

“THERE’S A WASP IN THE CAR, MOMMY!”

FUCK. 

The kids are basically trapped because Madden can’t undo the buckles of his carseat himself and even if he could the stupid child safety locks mean that the backdoors don’t open from the inside. Ever.

Emma’s unbuckled and out of her booster seat and frantically trying to help Madden unbuckle himself while also trying to open the door while also yelling while Madden is crying.

After stepping on a hornet hive on my 8th birthday and being stung approximately 1,384,489 times on the surface of my skin and in my mouth and throat, I don’t do things that go “bzzzzz” and sting. The kids are still screaming. I’m torn between saving myself from my irrational-but-not-really fear of stinging things, and saving my children from my childhood fate of perma (mentally) scarring wasp/bee/hornet stings.

Nearly paralyzed by fear-slash-not knowing what to do, I look like I’m doing a weird pee-pee dance around my car. I instinctively start pressing my car FOB on my keychain, accidentally repeatedly locking the doors instead of unlocking them.

The kids are (obvs) still crying. I’m yelling (reassuring phrases (to the kids (duh))). People are staring. Shannon is still on her phone in the middle of the fucking road, making a phantom phone call to my phantom phone, completely oblivious to what’s going on (which is that the universe is in the middle of attacking my entire life on the day before my birthday by first trying to exterminate my children by way of killer wasps). Happy fucking birthday. My life sucks.

I finally get the doors unlocked and yank the kids out of the car, dropping an entire container of snacks that spill out all over the ground in the process. The wasp, which at some point was joined by his asshole brethren and magically multiplied into three, flew away. Shannon comes back over. We hold our hands up and shrug our shoulders at each other. I use her phone to call my credit card company. Then the four of us head inside the visitor center to report my phone, IDs and credit card – so, basically my entire life – as lost.

Shenandoah // Kelsey, Especially

Back in the car. The kids are irritated, sweaty and restless. I’m hungry. It’s hot. Five more miles and we’ll be at our trail. Not the original trail we’d picked but the “it’ll do” trail we settled on right before I drove out of the visitor center parking an hour ago with my phone on the car.

At the trail. There’s one parking spot left at the very end of the teeny parking lot. JK. That’s not a parking spot, just extra room between two cars but not so much extra room that my car can fit there. FML. Put the car in reverse and start backing up right as another SUV pulls into the trail head parking lot. Jesus Christ. Day = still sucking.

Wait for other car to reverse. Navigate an 87-point turn and finally turn my car around. Start creeping toward the single makeshift parking spot available. SUV that pulled in behind me as I was reversing ganks it. DICK. Whip my car into the actual smallest space left and turn that final strip of concrete into a parking spot. No matter that me parking there completely blocks the start of the trail from view from any angle or position. Glare at every occupant in the other SUV, even the baby. IDGAF.

Shenandoah // Kelsey, Especially

Pop the trunk. Set the kids inside. Give them food. Watch Emma play with RJ’s old Army binoculars. Slather everyone in bug repellent and sunscreen, because we’re the only people on the planet who went hiking in basically our swimsuits (or shorts/spandex and tanks) instead of boots, cargo pants, a turtleneck and multi-purpose khaki vest boasting 137 zippers and compartments. Rush the kids to finish eating because for some reason I’m in an extreme hurry to get this crap over with so I can go spend a bunch of money that I don’t have on a new phone. Hit the trail.

Shenandoah // Kelsey, Especially

Walk three steps before having to chide Madden to “STOP TOUCHING ALL OF THE LEAVES!” Meanwhile, Emma stops to look at every flower. She picks only the best ones and adds them to an ever-growing bouquet. Madden tries to “get die” (kill) all of the bugs by literally stomping on them. More chiding to “LEAVE THE NATURE ALONE, SON!”

Shenandoah // Kelsey, Especially

Make it 30 more minutes before the kids start complaining. Genuinely shocked that they lasted so long. Turn around and head back to the car. Emma wants ice cream. Madden wants to not leave and protests by sitting down in the middle of the trail and pouting. Keep walking. Emma keeps stopping to pick all of the wildflowers. Madden eventually follows suit.

Shenandoah // Kelsey, Especially

Finally back at the car. Finally back in the car. Start heading home. Madden’s passed out within minutes. Emma keeps asking for ice cream. Put the windows down. Tell her I can’t hear her because the wind is too loud. Oops. She pretends to nap so she doesn’t have to nap “for real” when we get home. Whatever. It’s quiet. I’ll take it.

Shenandoah // Kelsey, Especially

1:45 pm. Back home – six hours later. Shannon makes a round of daiquiris. I start booking an appointment at the Apple store to get a new phone later in the afternoon.

EUREKA!

Furiously typing away at keyboard while ignoring strange looks from Shannon.

“FIND MY iPHONE!”

“Huh?”

“FIND MY iPHONE! The app! I can use the “find my iPhone” app to track my phone and see if it’s even in the forest, and if it is, where exactly it’s at. If it hasn’t been run over by another car or eaten by deer.”

BOOM. MAGIC! There it is. OMGhowisitstillthere?! Immediately begin to feel all of the feelings. 😁🎉💥💃🎩🙌🙅😭

Shenandoah // Kelsey, Especially

Call RJ at work.

“You need to come home right now. We have to go back to the forest. No time to explain. Text me when you’re on your way.” Click.

Continue sipping daiquiris. Zoom all the way in on the “Find my iPhone” map. No road-name detail. Pull up Google Maps. Zoom in. Zoom out. Zoom back in. Squint a bunch. Locate EXACTLY where my phone is, which, naturally, is on the side of the road that hugs THE PRECIPICE OF THE PLANET .

RJ’s home. Yay.

Microwave some leftover pizza. Throw it on “the Mickey plate.” Hop in the car.

“Why is Shannon driving your car?”

“Because I technically don’t have a license right now.” OBVIOUSLY.

Unstoppable laughter that’s equal parts pity and equal parts whatever is opposite of pity from RJ.

Shenandoah // Kelsey, Especially

90 (more) minutes and (another) half a tank of gas later we’re back at Shenandoah. Pull up to the Ranger booth at the gate. Flash free military pass which requires military ID to be shown with it. Get asked for ID.

“You see, what had happened was…”

Proceed to tell the Park Ranger “the story” while waving around distance calculations on old envelopes and the iPad, which has the map of where my phone may or may not be. Not sure if she all-the-way-believes us. Who cares? She lets us in.

1.48 miles into the park is where my phone should be. Drive exactly 1.48 miles in at approximately 3 MPH because if we drove any faster that would somehow make the laws of distance and the chances of my phone being where the iPad said it was change for the worse. Drive past the 1.48 mile mark to the first pull-off we see. Track back – on foot – to the 1.48 mile mark, trying (1) to not get hit by oncoming traffic, and (2) to not fall off the edge of the earth. Weird that they don’t have sidewalks (or wide shoulders) lining the roadways in National Parks. #poorplanning (JK (kind of (but not really)).)

Shenandoah // Kelsey, Especially

So yeah. It’s hard to see but that photo up there is a spoiler alert: I found my phone (!! (check my right hand (your left)))! AND ALL MY CARDS – both IDs and my credit card, which I’d already cancelled by that point but whatever. At least I don’t have to go through the hassle of getting a new license and a new military ID. And at least I didn’t have to spend a bunch of doll hairs (toddler speak for “dollars” (duh)) on a new phone. And at least my phone wasn’t hurt at all. No scratches or cracks, and it works just fine.

It’s a solid 5 days later and I still seriously can’t believe that I found my phone and all my cards, that my phone was totally fine, and mostly I can’t believe that my phone stayed put on the top of my car for OVER THREE MILES before falling off. Like, wut? And second-mostly I can’t believe that the EXACT distance from our house to the spot I lost my phone is 66.6 miles. Coincidence? I THINK NOT.

Truly, truly a trip to (from? (to and from (and back again))) hell.

Shenandoah // Kelsey, Especially

Okay. Story time’s over. Here’s a fun selfie-ish. We tried for a group selfie at the end of our first trip o’ the day to Shenandoah (when we still had the kids with us). This is the best we (I) could do. Whatever. Madden looks like an angel (BECAUSE HE IS), so it works. And really, I’m just glad that whole mess of a day is gone forever. But also, LOL a little (okay, a lottle) bit at that day, right?!

get planty, in photos

Let’s try this again: backyard gardening round 3

Backyard garden, round 3 // Kelsey, Especially

↑ This year’s loot included flowers for the front yard because apparently we’re trying to get fancy this time around.

Every year that we’ve lived in our house I’ve planted a small veggie garden out back. Yay! And every year that we’ve lived in our house the small veggie garden I’ve planted out back has gone off the deep end before the end of July – so far that means two unsuccessful years. Boo! Hopefully with this year’s planting, the third time will be the charm. *Holds breath!*

Kelsey, Especially

Two Fridays ago Shannon and I took Briseis to the nursery to pick out this year’s crop. For the past two years we’ve gotten a little ahead of ourselves with trying to plant all of the things, which has never worked out mostly because we don’t actually eat all of the things (picky eaters unite!) but also because we don’t have all of the time to dedicate to growing all of the things. So this year we slowed our roll and planted only four different things out back: strawbrrries, spinach, green beans and cucumber. Yum, yum, yum and meh.

Backyard garden, round 3 // Kelsey, Especially Backyard garden, round 3 // Kelsey, Especially

Last year I bought the wrong variety of bean and it ended tragically for the rest of our garden. Instead of buying bush beans for our small planter-box garden, I accidentally bought vine beans, a mistake I didn’t realize I made until the vines had already grown out of control and suffocated everything else in our planter box, which kind of happened overnight. Oops! This year I made sure to get the right kind and am totally stoked because if this year’s crop of green beans turns out anything like our first crop of green beans in 2013, we’ll be eating fresh green beans with dinner at least twice a week. YAY!

Spinach is always a hit with the kids and we adults are partial to it too so bringing it back this year was a no-brainer. We went with starter plants again this time around; we’ve had really good success with them in the past so no reason to switch shit up. Same with the strawbrrries. We’ve always bought them as starter plants and they’ve done just fine so we went with strawbrrry starter plants again this year. The green beans and cucumbers we bought as seedlings in little packets. We planted everything two weekends ago and have already harvested a bit of spinach. Fingers crossed we start seeing green bean and cucumber sprouts soon!

Backyard garden, round 3 // Kelsey, EspeciallyBackyard garden, round 3 // Kelsey, Especially

We’re also trying our hand at growing flowers out front this year. Our front yard is really plain and boring but because (1) we don’t own, (2) the yard is tiny (we live in a townhouse) and (3) the yard is more weeds than grass, we’ve been really apprehensive about putting any money into it. But this year we said, “FUCK IT!” and planted some shit because apparently we think we’re both talented gardenistas and fancy pants kind of people. Both are untrue but what the hell? YOLO. Also, did you really expect me to say “no” to those hot pink leaves?

Backyard garden, round 3 // Kelsey, Especially

None of us in the house are botanical or gardening experts, which made finding a few plants/flowers that don’t need a lot of sun a bit of a challenge. Our front yard doesn’t get any sun until the late afternoon/early evening and the space we had to plant flowers wasn’t very big so we had to be careful to find things that do well in shade and that don’t take up a bunch of room. Still not entirely sure if our choices were the right fit for the space, but so far, so good. Unless the wilting from “transplant shock” isn’t actually from transplant shock is actually because we suck at keeping things other than little humans alive. I guess only time will tell. But whatever. We only spent $115 bucks on all of it, and while $115 bucks isn’t exactly chump change, when you isolate that amount of money and apply it to yard and garden stuff specifically, it’s really not all that much money. And besides, Shannon, Briseis and I had fun picking out what to get. YOU CAN’T STOP OUR FUN!

Backyard garden, round 3 // Kelsey, EspeciallyBackyard garden, round 3 // Kelsey, Especially Backyard garden, round 3 // Kelsey, Especially Backyard garden, round 3 // Kelsey, EspeciallyBackyard garden, round 3 // Kelsey, EspeciallyBackyard garden, round 3 // Kelsey, EspeciallyBackyard garden, round 3 // Kelsey, Especially

We’re hoping to start seeing sprouts out back soon, and as long as the flowers in the front make it through this summer, I’m happy.

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Related: Building our backyard raised garden bed; our 2013 garden; and our 2014 garden

holidays, in photos

The Rainbow Park 2015 (AKA: Easter 2015)

I’m not big into holidays – especially religious ones – because I don’t do the Jesus thing, but Shannon and RJ are big into holidays. Shannon because she does do the Jesus thing and RJ because he loves making a big deal over all the holidays for the kids’ sake. So although I’m not a fan of them, holidays usually end up happening at our place. Just without any real participation from me aside from the photo-taking, and without all the boring and frustrating forced all-day-long-you-can’t-do-any-damn-thing-else family togetherness and church. For holidays we lead a mostly normal day, with our own little unique family twist thrown in for good measure. Christmas is usually marked by some sort of active outdoor play. Thanksgiving is marked by homemade pizzas and tacos. And for Easter we trek out to “The Rainbow Park.”

We’ve gone every year on Easter since I was pregnant with Madden, and the kids LOVE it. This year, the weather was pretty decent. It was a bit windy, which made it kind of chilly, but for the most part it was a gorgeous day. Not as gorgeous as last year, when the grass was all-the-way green and the cherry blossoms were already blooming, but pretty damn nice nonetheless.

The kids lasted for over 90 minutes, which I’m fairly certain is a record. Emma spent at least 45 of the 90 minutes on the tire swing (seriously, no exaggeration), while Briseis and Madden spent the entirety of our trip racing each other from end to end and pretty much bouncing around the entire 2-acre playground. Halfway through we enjoyed an Easter feast of goldfish, pretzels and apples because eff all that stress that comes along with fancy meal-cooking. Also: #SNACKS

Easter is the one day a year that we for sure visit The Rainbow Park, but we visit a few other times throughout the rest of the year, too. Even so, I think we’ve only done the carousel once or twice before. This year, all three kids were old enough to be interested in it, so obvs we had to take a spin around. Madden and Emma were beside themselves.

After The Rainbow Park all the kids took a looooong nap. Shannon and I ran some errands and worked on some homework, and when everyone was awake, we gave the kids their new outfits. I absolutely will NOT buy my kids ridiculous Easter outfits to wear to a once-a-year church service that we will never attend, but I will always gift them something practical that they can use and that they will love, hence regular fucking clothes for Easter.

“Close your eyes, reach out your hands,” is the prompt in our house for “You’re about to get some cool shit.” 

“1-2-3, open your eyes!”

(They don’t look particularly thrilled here, but both Madden and Emma loved their new clothes so much that they slept in them that night, and Briseis kept prancing and twirling around and dramatically gushing over how byuuuuuutiful her new dress is.)

While the kids changed (right there on the table, PS), RJ headed to the school playground at the top of the neighborhood to hide the eggs. It was a gorgeous day out and other families were playing at each of the school’s few playgrounds, so RJ hid all of the eggs in and around the baseball field. He read the kids his list of egg hunt rules, the number one being “HAVE FUN,” to which Madden had the most adorable reaction ever (!), and then sent the kids off on their way.

Briseis has long been a pro at Easter egg hunting, but this was the first year that Emma and Madden were able to find most of their eggs on their own. I think Emma ended up with the most eggs overall, but Madden ended up with the most golden eggs overall, which means he was the Big Super Special Winner (his own self-given title) of the Easter egg hunt.

After the egg hunt we took a shit ton of timer-cam family pho’os. There seriously are like, 20 of them. These were the best ones.

And, of course, Madden’s priceless face upon learning he not only found THE MOST golden eggs (which means he ‘won’ the big ticket prize) but was allowed to hang out in the front seat!

I’m still not a fan of celebrating Easter, but the kids had a lot of fun hunting for eggs and it was the first family-oriented holiday that Shannon and I have had the chance to spend together, so I guess it was worth it.

(Oh hey, Bri!)