"Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."

Monday, April 28, 2014

Sailing along on Saturday

It was a gorgeous weekend here in Carolina and were sure to make the most of it.  We headed out to Jordan Lake to enjoy the 70 degrees and blue skies on the water.

Look at that sky!  We also noticed something else soon after got on the water...

Sailboats!  It's not unusual to see a few but there were a couple dozen.  We think they were racing or something (we know nothing about sailing-- including how and what they do to enjoy the sport/hobby) because they were all turning around in the same place and there was a little power boat near the turn-around point as if they were judging(?) it.

But as I said, we don't sail, so we moved along after watching them a few minutes.

Jordan lake is a man-made lake large enough to have several little coves that we like to tuck into and drop anchor.

I mostly lay on the front of the deck and keep an eye on BabyCakes' bobber, but the others like to fish.  I know how to fish, I just prefer to not handle these suckers:


It got a little warm being in the sun a few hours so the kids ended up sitting on a little ledge on the back of the boat and splashing in the water.  They had a blast.  :)

(BabyCakes curling her tongue-- they think it's funny and weird that they can do it and I can't)

I was content to just enjoy the view and soak in the day.

I know every day of their youth won't be this sunny.

Egg Hunting and Cross Dressing

This Easter we had Aunt Sally with us as a special treat!  We went to the zoo on Good Friday and Saturday night we got her sick.  :(  J and I were sick with a wicked virus earlier in the week and I guess it hung around long enough to hit her as well.  Unfortunately she was up sick half the night before Easter, so we were happy to have a low-key holiday so she could rest and recuperate.

The kids couldn't wait for the egg hunt so we did one first thing in the morning. (And another... and another...)

Aunt Sally was sleeping in BabyCakes' room so we borrowed some of BigBoy's clothes for the occasion.  :) Oh and I'd like to add that hair and how it is to be arranged or not arranged is a major thing in our house right now.  Most of the time it is hanging in her face like she LOVES, and if I do happen to get it out of her face for a while, it doesn't last long before it is back its shaggy state!  


The kids were running around like there was a golden ticket to be found.

It was nice for them to discover their new yard this way.

BabyCakes beat BigBoy by one egg, but in his defense, her father may have helped her out a bit.

It had to be better than last year's egg hunt! ;)

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

My sister is in town right now, but I will be sure and update y'all this week.
For now, Happy Easter from me, J, BigBoy, BabyCakes, and Baby Honey (who is rapidly expanding my maternity pants these days-- I feel like my belly is massive already! :) ). 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Here we are

Yesterday I didn't include a photo of our new house, so today I did a quick drive-by pic out the window of the Jeep (you can see the Jeep's reflection in the glass front door).
It might look bluish in the photo but it is a light gray with blue shutters and a blue front door (the door is open so you don't see it).
One day I hope to paint the shutters black and the front door red!
The yard is pretty small as we are in a cul de sac again, but the back yard is mostly just wooded and I really like that view.

This is the view from the bench at the playground in the neighborhood.  It is nice now but should be really pretty once all the trees fill in. The kids are loving the playground and it is a short walk from our house.

As a side note for the ones that have experienced this season in NC and VA, the pollen has started!!!
Thank goodness my hard-working man has cleaned up the garage already so I can keep the top down and park the jeep inside!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

A moving experience

First of all, this post is being done exclusively from my phone because my feet are just enjoying the ottoman way too much.
I have a lot to write but here's my tired version:
February and March were VERY busy for us. 
We listed and then said goodbye to the green house after an eventful 6 years.
(That jeep in the driveway will get a farewell soon, too :( )

We moved all of our belongings into storage and ourselves into a hotel... For two weeks.

(The kids actually really enjoyed the hotel. I just thought this pic of BabyCakes was funny because it looks like she is sipping her morning coffee.)

Then we moved in to our new house in a new community after an epic 7 hour wait for our closing to occur.

But it all happened.  Looking back it seems like a lot to fit in to two months, but at the time it seemed to crawl by.  

April has finally kicked Winter to the curb and everything feels especially new in our life this Spring: new home, new people to meet, new schools to look forward to, new Chinese restaurants to try, and even a new baby nursery to prepare. :)

Yes, lots of NEW is going on around here, but if we are lucky many of the old friends we have from the green house will remain in our lives too. We now live 15-20 minutes away and as my friends in Tennessee, California, Florida, Texas and even North Dakota will tell you, it takes a lot more than that to get rid of me!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


I can't claim this I idea as my own because I read about it and immediately loved it.  I created email accounts for my children and plan to email them pics, snippits of our daily lives, stories, etc., over the years.  One day when they are much much older (18 maybe? Older?) I will give them their email addresses and passwords. Until then the login information will be kept in a safe place so that even if something were to happen to me, it could still be found.  I'm sharing this with you because I think it is a beautiful idea and it might inspire someone else to do the same.  Of course, all families are different and what works for one, does not work for another.  Hopefully this will work for ours.

Hi Katie! Hi Jacob!

I don't know how old you are as you read this, but right now you are 4 and 7 and a half.  (I'm 32 and one day I/you will see that number as young as well.)  
I've never been great at making photo albums or scrapbooks, and I hope you won't hold that against me too much one day.  
The reason is simple:  I want to be in the moment with you and your father as much as possible.  If I can document something that happens within a day or so with a photo, blog post, or email, I can remain more present, in my opinion.  Some times I enjoy taking photos and other times it feels as though it is taking away from the memory I'm building, rather than enhancing it.  
I don't enjoy combing through old photos and picking and choosing which ones "matter" enough to make it to a scrapbook.  Those are wonderful to have but I'm sorry, they probably aren't coming from me any time soon.

I hope to use these email accounts as a means for communicating with you in ways you and I can't both fully appreciate at this moment.  I want to be able to be sentimental and personal with you without posting it on my blog, and hand-writing it just isn't realistic at this time.
I also want you to know things about me as a person.  I want to share who I am at this age and in my past.  I want you to know the things that are important to me, important to you, and important to our family as the years progress.  I want to tell you stories about your extended family as I think of them.
My messages will not always be eloquent, photos not always beautiful, and words not always easy to hear -- but just like me, they will always be here.

I love you,


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Small Stories

When I first started this blaaahg, BigBoy was three and a half.
He was sweet and affectionate.  Strong-willed and whiny at times, yes, but he had the biggest heart in the tiniest body.

Now, four year later at seven and a half, he's pretty much the same... well, he talks a LOT more!

Let me document a little "2nd Grade BigBoy" for posterity:

It's a small story, but it had a big impact. (On me, anyway...)

Yesterday I decided to try something different than the usual "How was your day?" after I picked him up from school.  Instead I asked some cheesy questions like "Was there anything that was confusing today?", "Did you do anything that made you proud?", and the like.
He said "Brayden did something that made me really proud!  He won at a Math game."
He proceeded to tell me that the rest of the class cheered for his final competitor, Austin, and he was the only classmate to cheer for Brayden.
I said, "You were the only one that thought Brayden would win?" He replied, "Oh no, Austin is the smartest kid in class; I thought Austin would win.  I cheered for Brayden because he needed someone to cheer for him."
He said it was "amazing" when Brayden won, and everyone was really surprised.  (Then I used the opportunity to explain to BigBoy what an "underdog" is.)

This anecdote was BigBoy's proudest and most memorable part of his day.  He recounted it with joy and pride in his friend/classmate.
Never did he complain about not winning (and it wasn't until today -- a day later -- that he casually mentioned that he also made it pretty far in the game, and that was only upon my reopening of the subject).
Never did he speak of the runner-up or his supporters in a taunting or derisive manner.

On a fairly regular basis, I tell my son that I am proud of him.  Not because he follows my rules or the school rules, and not because he is sweet and affectionate.  I tell him I am proud of the person he is in this world.

Sometimes it's the smallest people who have the biggest impact.

Decorating Dreams

When I redecorate my home one day in the future, this is my inspiration:

To me, the reclaimed creek bed in the forest invokes a sense of tranquility, joyfulness, and hope.

The cool blues and greens with gold tones and pops of red represent what I want my house to convey:

You are welcome here.  Be at peace.  Feel and give joy and love freely and find beauty around you.
What lies in the light beyond the trees?  Seek out your path and find out for yourself.

(Also, it doesn't hurt that I love these colors and they will be great against a neutral backdrop with lots of whites and rich wood tones.)

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Snow Day in the Cul-de-sac

This was a crazy week.  Tuesday we were out of school due to the threat of a "Winter Storm" (4-6 inches of snow).
That turned out to be an overcast day with an inch and a half of snow after sunset.
Wednesday we woke up to this:

Considered a dusting in many parts of the country, but it was enough for our poor Carolina-snow-starved children to enjoy!

The boys and girls next door came out to play as well and we tried out a couple yards and streets for some sledding.

There was a layer of ice that helped with the sledding, but BabyCakes ended up whacking her face on the icy road on one trip down, resulting in blood and tears.  She ended up with a busted lip and some scrapes on her chin, but she immediately wanted to get back to sledding after we checked it out.
(As a side note, we ended up being out of school for the rest of the week due to icy roads in the county. We now have 4 Saturday make-up days as a result!  Year-round school has it's costs sometimes. :/)

It was only in the high 20's or 30's so we were able to play a good bit before heading in for cocoa. (Thanks, Melissa!)

Even Kelly got in on the action. :)

 Like I said, we were all a little starved for snow so it was easy to have fun -- even if there was grass poking through!

Of course BigBoy got in on the action!  How does this pretzel position not hurt?!

My memories of childhood snow-day sledding with the Cole's are some of my most treasured, so I am glad my kids are growing up with a few of their own!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Some words on my mind lately...

“Be bold. Be confident. Be alive. A gallery of possibilities awaits you when you make change your friend.” ~Bob Bone

Hopefully I will get a real post up soon. 
In the meantime, y'all have a good weekend!

Friday, January 10, 2014

A message to my email subscribers...

As soon as I hit the "Publish" button, my posts are emailed... typos and all!  I usually reread my post quickly before it is sent out, but others it just doesn't happen.  I'm able to go back and fix mistakes in blogger so that they show up online, but your emailed version stays nice and flawed (like me).

Thanks for hanging in there with me. Flas and all.  ;)


Happy Rainy Friday

Here I am one week later and I still don't know what to type.
It's raining outside and one week since my last post.

There's been life.  Lots of life inside our walls.
But there's been life inside your walls too, so I struggle with what to share.

I wish our home looked like this right now:

But rain can be wonderful, too.  
After all, rain on a cold day is beautiful snow!  
Rain washes away the pollen in the Spring.  It cools the hottest summer days.  It sustains life on our planet.

Rain destroys your hair makes life interesting.

Maybe one day soon I will have something beautiful to share, but for now I'm okay with interesting.

Friday, January 3, 2014

I'm back. Yes, really it's true this time.

When I started this blaaahg back in early 2010, I was a new stay-at-home-mom of 2. 
I often felt isolated and worried.  Worried that I was doing the wrong thing in so many different areas.  
I was an insecure mother and an insecure woman.

But things changed.  I tried some new things and stayed firm on others. 
I did a lot of things that weren't comfortable.  
I made more friends-- more real friends.
I decided that I wasn't going to live my life being so scared all the time.  
Lots of big and little changes have brought me to where I am today. 

Now, this isn't my diary (although it is at times very personal) so I won't go on and on about those changes.  I just wanted to mention that as much growth as this baby has seen, I've seen in myself as a person.  (BARF, right?)

I don't know exactly what I'm going to do this year (beyond my usual duties), but here is what I want right now from a return to Just A Curl:

1. I want better focus. Facebook: you can be great fun and awesome to hang out with at times, but for a variety of reasons, "I'm just not that into you."   Everything with FB was quick and easy so blogging was feeling like a chore -- and I hate that.  It's like exercise: it feels like a pain as you get dressed and head out, but half way through your workout you feel great and are so glad you did it.  
Blogging helps me focus.  I get out my camera and take decent photos of the things that matter to me.  iPhone shots can be great, but I was relying too heavily on them.

2. I want to remember our stories better.  Or period!  I want to remember Katie when her desk contained no computers or homework or even pencils.  Crayons, stickers, coloring books, and paper are the tools of her 4-year-old trade.  

3. I want goals and expectations I SET FOR MYSELF to be right in front of my face.  Not in the back of my mind, not in a private journal I rarely look at, but in a semi-public place.  This is a place where my friends and family will know what is important to me.  The best way for me to teach my children that they can achieve goals is to show them how in practice, right?  They see the bad (excessive chocolate eating on my part over the holidays comes to mind), so why not let them see the good?  I don't want to settle.  I would rather have goals and dreams change than them languish and die.

4. I want to own up to the things I like and that are important to me.  I want the courage to make this blaaaahg more than just a baby brag book of sorts.  When asked, kids will never hesitate to tell you what their favorite things are.   Sometimes for me that means trying to help kids that are falling between the cracks, and others that is "Why can't I find a pair of tall gray boots that don't have that scrunched look?!?!" 
(A very big issue of mine this Fall! ;) Seriously, I looked everywhere. )

So in summary, I want to be a better focused, goal-oriented-yet-fun-loving me, always present in the life I will sometimes photograph and occasionally blaaaahg about.  (Remember, things you see and read, though true, are never really the whole story -- more like peeking through a keyhole.)

Hopefully y'all can get on board with that, because I love people and I love sharing my life with those great people.

But in the end, if you're "just not that into me," I'm sure there's someone on Facebook you can catch up with.  ;)