life in the time of corona

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21 March 2020

1. Last week (feels like last year!) when hanging in the dirt pile next to the gym parking lot didn't feel as luxurious as it does now. I debated keeping any mention of Covid-19 slash Coronavirus out of the title but hopefully I'll see this post title in years to come and have a greater appreciation for everything I took for granted beforehand? Maybe not! I don't know.

2. Hope you're doing as well as can be expected - I'm sure this is looking so different for everyone and I feel lucky we're all able to be at home for the time being and the minor disappointments and inconveniences far outweigh the risks we pose and assume by simply going on living our regular day to day life. Simon has been home as he'd already taken the time off for the kids spring break (this week! and now alllllll the weeks until August and also until we get our distance learning directions from their school - out of sight out of mind is my philosophy for now) which has been so nice and made a huge difference. We're not sure what the weeks will look like moving forward but we're taking things one day at a time! There are lots of great book recommendations for 4th/5th graders over on my ig and I've been told that Audible for kids is free to stream at the moment!

3. We were going a little stir crazy until yesterday when we were gifted with the most gorgeous weather and things felt a lot less hopeless and my gratitude was at an all time high. We woke up to a 40 degree temperature drop but I know it will warm up again and the sunshine will continue to be a literal light in our (totally fine! just a little different now!) lives. Last year I was reluctant to buy a blow up pool for our yard (but I did and it was thee best purchase) and this year I can't wait until we can pull it out again. We might even add a slide.

4. I hit the 3rd trimester milestone somewhere in the thick of all of this and aside from occasional sciatic and insomnia I feel mostly fine. I have a laundry list of house projects I'd like to get done before June but know the majority of them will have to wait which is perfectly fine. The Lovely War and In Five Years have been keeping me company when I can't sleep and I've also started Grace Based Parenting which so far? Pretty good.

5. There were some new things listed over in my Kidizen shop if you'd like to take a peek - the in between weather makes me want to summer-fy every dresser and closet in the house but then I check my March madness self - soon enough! Soon enough.

6. Last day that my favorite machine washable summer kid shoes and are on sale and Old Navy is running a really great 50% off everything sale (couldn't resist this for the little boys and these for the older boys).

7. Again, hope everyone is doing well! I'd love to hear how you're coping/passing the time!

love from the Camp!

Paris in February

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12 March 2020

Alright! Because if anything deserves a dedicated blog post in an era where lots of people consider blogs all but dead (minus me! not me! dedicated blog reader to the bitter but hopefully never end) it's a trip to Paris so here we are and here we go. 

+ I spent a spring semester (aka very frigid few months) at my college's campus in Austria and was able to travel around Europe on the weekends quite a bit for for some reason did not make it to Paris and SO it was such a blast getting to experience it for the first time with the girls. And now I want to go back with Simon when it's just a teeny tiny bit warmer. 

+ I will say that the forecast called for it to rain the entire time and I came prepared with thre perfectly compact umbrellas with loads of 5 star Amazon reviews and used them: ZERO times so if you're in a similar predicament - I wouldn't stress. But, if you're about to travel somewhere where the sun is supposed to shine the entire time -- maybe stress. Kidding. I'm kidding. But, I was anticipating terrible weather and only one day was truly windy and frigid and cold but the magic of being in Paris made up for it, truthfully. 

+ We stayed at the Hotel Le Lapin Blanc which was adorable and very accommodating when our flight landed an hour early and we found ourselves on the streets of Paris a little too long before sunrise and the girls all but fast asleep (because they weren't able to sleep on the flight, I couldn't blame them but uh - wish they did) and they let us nap in an empty room free of charge until we felt rested and more importantly safe to roam about. We were a few blocks from Notre-Dame which was obviously under loads of construction but was still a sight to see and a fun, "first" of the trip. I was initially told we couldn't go inside but then right before we left to come back home - was told oh! actually you could go inside so I'm bummed we didn't. 

+ We did go to the Shrine of the Miraculous Medal which I highly recommend doing if you're in Paris and have the time. The Sisters are the absolutely sweetest and I felt like we bought a lot of the gift shop's inventory but now wish we would've bought double for gifts and for ... ourselves. Next time! Next time. I do wish I would've prepared Phoebe for seeing the incorrupt body of Saint Catherine Laboure but I was so focused on getting there before it closed for the evening that I did ... not. She took it in stride and left the question peppering for after we left, thankfully. 

+ Lauren arranged a brilliant kid-friendly scavenger hunt at the Louvre on our first day which was perfect for the girls. They were in separate groups (according to age) and while it's impossible to see the entire thing in one afternoon - I felt like we got a really great interactive trip that ended with seeing the Mona Lisa and the girls getting a little gift/memento which is obviously their love language. This was the "roughest" day on the jet lag front as they were fading fast around 5pm so we got some food at a deli down the street, had a little picnic in our room, and called it a night. 

+ I'm not going to turn this into a retroactive itinerary of our trip, worry not.

+ We also enjoyed seeing Monet's Water Lilies, a tour of the Royal Apartments at Versailles, a golf cart excursions of the grounds of Versailles (I wouldn't mind spending a day on foot in the gardens but this was our one truly cold and bitterly windy day and we were pressed for time so, golf cart it was!), going to not-the-the-top of the Eiffel Tower which was perfectly fine with the girls thanks to the wind, and multiple dining establishments. The girls were also treated to macaron making lessons which was definitely very high on their highlight list!

+ We went to Mass at the Basilique de Sacre Coeur where Phoebe almost received her First Communion from a well-meaning French speaking (duh) priest but I intervened like the buzzkill that I am. We wandered around MontMartre (photos with pink building above - and where I fully expected Belle to come waltzing and singing around the bend!) and ate our favorite meal of the trip: a Nutella and strawberry crepe from a street vendor (and we ate a LOT of good food!). The girls still talk about it. I still think about it. No words will do it justice so I'll stop but it was so good.

+ As much as I missed Simon and the boys I kept thinking what great ages the girls were for the trip since Phoebe is very firmly out of nap/stroller age, Julia will have vivid memories of our time together (Phoebe's will be murkier but thankfully I have 9238472347 phone photos to crystalize the memories), and they're still young enough that even the snacks and little bottles of water on the flights excited them to no end. Simon and I have tried very hard to impress upon the girls that a trip to Paris is an enormous privilege (and one we owe to Lauren for the invite) at any age but especially at their age and we hope that they'll understand that to a greater degree as they get older.

+ Overall, it was the most wonderful 5/6 days (4 days in Paris and 2 days of travel) that I'll never forget. We can't wait to find out if it was a full on girls trip or if we had a little brother tagging along for the ride ... soon enough!!

+ Oh! I do have to add that we used Land Sky See to book our flights and saved almost $1000 in doing so. I have no affiliation with them but they came highly recommended by Lauren and I'm SO glad we went that route! 

in like a lamb

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06 March 2020

1. Greetings from one of the most gorgeous first weeks of March I've ever experienced here in Kansas. Not that I have many Kansas springs under my belt but this one is far and away been the most beautiful in terms of weather. Am I expecting a lion-like exit? Absolutely. But, if we coast right on into summer floating around the 50s and 60s .. I will not complain. At all. Hopefully your weather has been equally cooperative because it does a sun-starved human a whole lot of good.

2. The rug for the boys room came (pictured above) and it's a little lighter than I anticipated but overall I'm pleased and honestly I am not sure the boys even noticed the switch which is ... not surprising. I'm in the middle of painting a small hallway with chalkboard paint (as a sort of gallery to hang all of the kids artwork and hopefully redirect Abe's enthusiasm for drawing on white walls ...) and I'm one week in and maybe halfway finished. I blame Clement's penchant for getting into everything at the moment and Simon blames the tiny roller I've been using. We can both be right just this once, I suppose.

3. Kate wrote the most fun baby naming post for us and gave us a lot of food for thought. We're still not nearly decided on names but Simon says we still have a long way to go which is sadly very true.

4. It's rare for me because I love the show so much but I couldn't get through the WTA episode of the Bachelor this week. Luckily, Lauren provided the most entertaining recap imaginable and I'm allll ready for the finale on Monday + Tuesday. Lucky us.

5. I finished Before We Were Yours (ill-fitting title and cover, in my unprofessional opinion) and if I were to ever organize slash facilitate a book club this would be high on my list of books to read. It was really tough to read but also one of those books I couldn't put down. I don't know if I can read about the true atrocities behind the Tennessee Children's Home Society because reading the fictitious tales was difficult enough but we'll see. In the mean time I'm on the hunt for something new to read if you've got any suggestions!

6. While Easter is definitely not quite around the corner I'm still scoping out Easter garb for the kids and was surprised by this cute selection. Paired with this or this? Very cute. I'm rarely let down by the boys dressier clothing selection here but am looking for a suit for Sebastian's First Communion and might just let that double as as Easter outfit. I just might.

7. If I wasn't at the mercy of maternity (or at least bump friendly) maternity clothes I would have a hard time passing up this dress especially being half off at the moment.  This one might work for maternity ... I love the navy/pink combo. I haven't tried it yet but I'm a big fan of the sneaker/dress trend and love the look of these dupes (instead of their pricier partner) and just might have to jump on the bandwagon sooner rather than later.

Have a wonderful and hopefully sunny weekend!!

rug roundup {blue edition}

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28 February 2020

I'm still waiting for our Paris pics to put up a dedicated Paris post but in the mean time I've been taking stock of the super unnecessary things I'd like to do around the house before the baby comes. I've got some painting (of the room not artistic variety) on the horizon but there are also a few rugs that I'd like to replace after playing 100 rounds of musical rugs around the house. First up? The boys room. 

I'm in the market to replace this one (or maybe just move it to a less traffic heavy part of the house). I think something a little darker that shows less um - dirt - would work better in their blue room.  I love the look of both this one and this one but it goes without saying that do NOT love those prices - especially for a kids room. Or any room, honestly. I used to have great luck searching vintage rugs here but was shocked to see how much pricier they are today than they were a few years ago so  I quickly abandoned that idea. If you've ever purchased an area rug you know that the options are endless and downright overwhelming so only let myself look at a couple thousand before narrowing it down to these few. I love this collection of rugs but didn't see the exact color I was hoping but found quite a few that I loved and listed here ...

1. blue shag rug with tassels - I don't think a shag rug is super practical for the boys room but I do love the look and feel of shag rugs in the right spaces (which might be zero with little kids, honestly). I'm not an expert but it feels like an easy way to warm up a room, right? Right. 

2. vintage castle medallion - I toyed with going a more charcoal/black route since the boys bunk bed is black but since I found so many great blue options I decided against it but this was my top charcoal choice. 

3. persian medallion - I wanted something a little darker but kept this one bookmarked for maybe another room/area because it's a really pretty neutral pattern (apparently blue is the new green in interiors? don't quote me on that but I still really love green ... ). 

4. blue withering medallion with fringe - This is the one I ended up ordering after "trying" it in their room with the handy virtual tool. I think the shade of the blue will work perfectly with the blue walls and black bed. I still have a very colorful rug over on Abe's side of the room and I think this complements it well. I hope.

5. beige worn medallion (also super cool blue version) - the mom in me knows this would've hidden dirt the best but didn't think it was quite right for their room. Another one to keep in mind for another time though ...

6. dark blue coventry - this was a VERYclosesecond choice and I'm still hoping I made the right decision. I think I might go with the blue version (that totally looks green) for Clement's room though.  It seems to strike the classic/modern balance well, in my expert opinion.

Any fun rugs you've come across? I debated getting this one because every time I see it online I pause for a moment of admiration but I think sticking to blue was the right choice - I hope!

back in action

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24 February 2020

1. The girls and I are back from our epic Paris trip and when we get the better photos back (our fearless leader Lauren had the bright idea to hire a photographer and her photos will surely trump all of my phone pics!) I'll have to throw a little recap/takeaway at you. It felt wildly imprudent (it actually was totally fine!) to leave 5 kids (and a husband!) behind for 5 days but Simon wouldn't take no for an answer and the girls and I had the most wonderful time and I'm so glad I didn't listen to myself. However, my mom asked Phoebe what she thought of France and Phoebe replied that there were a lot of smokers and statues of naked people (true and true) .. so hopefully she gleaned some slightly shinier memories too!

2. The day after we came back we got our third snow dump of the season which, as always: was pretty but I still didn't like it. At all. I'm back to staring at the 10 day forecast and holding tight to those ~50 degree days even if they never come into fruition. I've started to make sure the kids all have swimsuits that fit for the summer which might be a smart move but also might be a stupidly hopeful one to worry about in February - laughlaugh.

3. I flew through Jessica Simpson's book on the flight and while it won't be everyone's cup of tea I found it completely fascinating and as the young kids say these days, "I'm a stan" of hers now. I'm having trouble getting through Unfollow maybe because the shock factor was kind of taken away after reading Educated? I don't know - it's a really well written book but feels just familiar enough that the intrigue is missing (for me!) a bit at the moment. I picked up Before We Were Yours and it looks really good but I'll admit the jet lag is still taking it's toll and I've been falling asleep really early this week.

4. I watched lots of the Love Is Blind episodes on our flight home and didn't love it but also couldn't look away? Wow. If I can convince Simon to finish up the season with me - I might have to do just that. Otherwise, I might be okay leaving well enough alone. Maybe not though! It was compelling at some points .... I guess :) And I'm officially split between team Madison and team Hannah Ann as we head into the final month of the Bachelor. Hannah Ann has really grown on me but I really love Madison too. It seems like there is a bit of a push to make Kelsey the next bachelorette which is crazy to think how far she's come since champagne gate.

5. How amazing is this artistic flower series? I could scroll through again and again and again!!

6. I got a few emails that the link to the amazing Old Navy pants was broken - I'm so sorry! I'll admit I ordered them and despite being 25 weeks pregnant I can tell that they run big (or they will on my non-pregnant self) and to definitely size down! They are a really substantial material though and can definitely be dressed way up or down. I really love them.

7. I wore my new boots all over Paris with virtually no break-in time and thankfully have nothing but glowing reports to give. The girls boots worked out perfectly - kept their feet both dry and comfy which was greatly appreciated. I'm still living in my Amazon shirts and as much as I can't wait for the weather to warm up - I'll miss them when it's too hot to wear them. I'm having fun browsing floral dresses for Easter (this one! So pretty!) but will realistically wear something I already own - although it's always fun to look!

Hope you have a wonderful last week of February and smooth start to Lent!

quick + clean

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13 February 2020

Other than Bosco insisting we needed to buy a new toilet and a riding lawn mower (no and ... would be nice but, no) taking all the boys to Lowes went surprisingly well. Color me pleasantly surprised.

1. Alright, we're plowing through February (someone actually ordered class Valentines before they were mostly sold out on Amazon, learned that lesson the hard way in years past) and while March might be my least favorite month (it feels like it should be nearing spring but it's still pretty darn cold and it feels almost as long as January, in my pessimistic opinion) I won't mind when she comes round the calendar mountain this year. Simon remarked that while winter isn't nearly as fun as summer - it hasn't been a terrible winter on the weather front I had to (begrudgingly) agree. Will I always spend the first paragraph of every blog post talking about the weather? I hope not. I'll stop. Now.

2. Let's move onto the next most exciting thing: a pregnancy update. Cackle. 23 weeks and starting to feel a lot larger than I should. Phoebe remarks almost daily with wide eyes how big the baby is (aka - how big I am) and even Clement has stopped to stare at his growing sibling when I go to get him out of his crib. I'm really excited for the weather to warm up so I can take daily walks outside although the treadmill is a decent substitute and I'm eternally grateful for the gym childcare that makes said substitute possible. Simon and I are at a name standstill while he says we still have lots of time left (agreed) but that we could reduce 50% off the discussion but just finding out the gender. Ha. Ha. Ha. I do spend many a late night/early morning perusing my favorite name site just for fun ...

3. I started Unfollow yesterday and it has a lot of Educated undertones (not a complaint) so I'm glad I read some books in between the two because they are both a little heavy. Having worked ever so briefly in Topeka, it's really interesting to read and revisit certain spots in my cobwebbed memory. I'm really hoping to find some good books (this one caught my eye!) to read on our upcoming trip but am super tempted to read Jessica's literary debut too. SUPER tempted.

4. While it would be easy to hop on the, "worst season ever" bandwagon that seems to have permeated Bachelor nation - I have to admit that I'm dying to know how the seasons turns out. Lauren made me laugh out loud multiple times with her recap - as usual! Simon and I started the Jack Ryan series on Amazon and he's loving it but it's a little too violent for me so I watch with one eye half open.

5. While I'm at a standstill on buying maternity clothing (I don't need anything at all and I mostly live in leggings anyway!) but my eye has wandered over to the non-maternity sections of splendor and this Loft top stopped me in my scroll and it IS 40% off at the moment. Tempting! Old Navy is starting to roll out their spring things and these pants look like a more comfy version of some Madewell/Everlane wide leg pants to me! And I couldn't resist this gingham suit for the girls bc I'm a sucker for gingham and the bottoms would look great with their navy rash guard - win/win.

6. My "hack" for finding lined ankle rain boots for the girls was putting these soles in these boots. Are they fully lined? No - but they are significantly more comfortable and have passed the initial rainy day tests so hopefully they work well on rainy travel days. I even "made" a pair for myself with the women's version of the boots and can vouch for the comfort. Okay - I promise not to type about boots again (until the fall) - AFTER I'm finished with take numero seven!

7. Happy to report my year(s) long search for black boots has come to a close and I settled on the pair I think I tried on at the very beginning. I just kept comparing every pair to this one and ultimately like the angle at the top - which is really how one should pick out a pair of boots (they are comfortable and fit really well but - details!). These were a superclose second but ultimately returned them after debating the differences (the penny boots are just a bit more comfortable) for far longer than I should.

Alright! Have a great weekend and wonderful Valentines Day! I'll report back when we return from our trip!!

on the eve of February

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31 January 2020

the kids were confused why they had school when it "snowed" ... also Bosco and I have varying levels of love/hate for said snow

1. 89 cheers for the last day of January. I think February is happy to have its moment in the spotlight because it's going to be almost 70 (!!!!!!) on Sunday - a miraculous temperature I haven't been stalking for the last 8 days, definitely not. Are we looking ahead at the snow in the forecast on Tuesday? Also definitely not. I don't think I look at the weather app at all during the warmer months but it feels like I check it hourly during these colder months as if it's going to suddenly change for the less sad.

2. The girls and I do have a once in a life time type of trip planned with Lauren in a couple of weeks so this winter might go down as one of the better (best?) ones to date! I'll keep you overly posted. The weather looks similarish to here so I'm over thinking shoes and coats and clothing and will probably still pack all of the wrong things. When I'm old and grown I'm going to invent a normal colored lined kids ankle rain boot that isn't super heavy with non-slip bottoms  (these look close-ish but the price tag does not). Mark my typed words.

3. I finished The Dream Daughter this week and I can't remember the last time I stayed up so stupidly late to finish a book. So many herky jerky twists and turns (the good kind) and while I don't think I ever would've picked it out on my own - I'm glad I read it. You know I'm always looking for new meal ideas and Emily's brand new cookbook is an answer to meal prayers + the proceeds go to thee most wonderful cause! Win/win/WIN.

4. Did you see that the Crown will "end" in 2003? Selfishly, I'm not pleased but I can't complain because the next two seasons are sure to be just as great as the first three. However, I was looking forward to seeing how the recent split would be played out ... I'll survive. I think. I did enjoy the special ABC aired on Wednesday night on Harry and Meghan - I'll take what I can get.

5. I'm not sure where I've been but I only recently discovered this gorgeous shop. Julia and Sebastian are starting to grow out of the kid-kid (technical name) sizes and I feel completely lost as we (slowly!) approach the tween years style but am hoping I can sneak a few seasons of this goodness in before they officially grow out of their sizes!

6. This is a strong statement but this might be my best Amazon purchase to date. Clement is completely obsessed with it and we try to reserve it to keep him happy in the car and at Mass and it works like an absolute charm. I even bought an extra + the keychain version because I'm so amazed at his undying love for the seemingly simple toy. And now I'm wondering what other Fat Brain toys he might love ...

7. I've been looking for a moto jacket and was thrilled to see this one at Nordstrom Rack earlier this week. I won't be able to zip it up until the fall but still! It's very cute. I also love these shorts (they look much shorter on the model than they are IRL) and was happy to see them on sale to size up for the postpartum months of summer delight. LOFT is having an extra 50% off all sale styles sale (say that 3x fast) and this adorable top caught my eye along with this cardigan. The Zella pocket leggings have ruined me and now I must have pockets on all of my leggings and I've been very pleasantly surprised by these. They'll be great for the warmer weather with the calf ventilation too. ha Ha HA.

Have a phenomenal weekend! Go Chiefs!!

and so this is still January

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20 January 2020

1. Even though last week seemed to fly by it still feels like we should be a teeny bit closer to February than we are which feels about right for January, you know? You do. The appropriately awful January weather is upon us and I find myself checking the 10 day forecast before I do anything else in the morning with the hope that we'll have another 60 degree miracle. No such luck, yet.

2. I hit the 20 week mark this weekend and had the big ultrasound this morning. Simon and the girls really wanted to find out the gender but I held strong (although Julia confesses she peeked). We'll find out in a very short and painless ~4.5 months ... patience, young + old grasshoppers. I had been feeling decent so eased up on my nausea medicine but have paid the price this week and am back to praising the wonders of western medicine. This is the latest I've felt this crummy (which is not to complain! I have it very easy compared to so many!!) and I'm going to blame my age ha.

3. I read the super sweet, In The Moonlight this past week and recommend if you're looking for something relatively light and zippy. I just started The Dream Daughter as part of Abbie's February book club and it's feeling less light but already very engaging and I'm super intrigued thus far. I also started watching the Netflix Documentary, "Cheer" and ... can't stop. Even Simon looks up from his book and admits it's really interesting. I'd recommend it but I think everyone has already watched it!

4. Kidizen very kindly made me my own link to the clothes I'm selling - lots have already sold but there are lots left and more to be listed! Hopefully that's less confusing that what I tried to explain last week. My apologies!!

5. As our Lego collection grows (and grows!!) I'm starting to think beyond the big plastic bin the boys lug all over the house. I really do love how much (especially Bosco) enjoys building, "machines" but think I'd love them more with a setup like this ... isn't it lovely? It is.

6. I've been struggling on the dinner front lately. I made two meals I was sure would be hits with mostly everyone but they were not (to put it politely) so if you have any great dinner ideas you'd like to share - I'm all ears/eyes. I think I've linked these before but they're worth a relink - if you have Reeses lovers in your house - these are sure to be a huge hit.

7. The LOFT sale caught my eye (is it just me or do the January sales feel even better than the ~black Friday stuff?) esp these sunglasses, this dress, and this sweater (use code: FLASH for 50% off). And J.Crew seems to really be cleaning house with their markdowns and I'm not complaining. And finally I'm wondering if these boots will be the boots to end my black boot search? I'm hoping!!

Have a wonderful rest of the week!!


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