Thursday, March 19, 2020

Choose Grace

Today I popped into my school to prepare for the extended flexible learning that’s starting. While other teachers had done some precautionary packing prior to the start of Spring Break, I had to run back into the eerily quiet, regularly bustling building. Most of my teaching materials are online anyways, but I’ve been on maternity leave since January 8th and wasn't planning to be back yet, so there were a few books and binders I needed to grab to make sure I can make it though. Potentially through the rest of the year. And when I got there, I was caught so off guard.


My room was completely empty. So were nearly all of the other rooms I saw. Desks and chairs littered the hallways. I had to search to find my bookshelves near some lockers. Books were in boxes, but pens and sticky notes still scattered the top of my desk like remnants that weren't intended to be left behind. It was weird. It left me in a bad head space. Emotions and worries started to bubble up. But then a sweet conversation with my janitor, who was there doing the deep cleaning, made my mind shift.

As we venture into this new "normal" for as long as we have to, I am realizing that I must again and again choose grace. Grace for myself as a teacher, and the expectations I have for my Gifted and AP kiddos (especially with a 3 yr old and 2 month old at home with me). Grace for my students, many of whom are now babysitting their siblings on top of their own high school studies- proms, graduations, so many things up in the air. Grace for the parents of these students, who are likely trying to help their kids navigate this new world while dealing with their own work, or lack of it. And I sure hope they'll give us teachers grace too.


Grace for my own babies, as they have absolutely no idea what's going on or why we're stressed or we can't do certain things we used to outside of our house. Grace for my husband, as we enter this season of both of us working from home, caring for two little ones, and not really seeing any other adults but one another. 

This is what so many of us, really all of us have to choose in this moment. Grace for our government leaders who are making choices they never dreamt they'd be making. Grace for bosses and administrators who are doing their best to keep things afloat while caring deeply about our health and safety. Grace for people who have breakdowns or need support with tough job situations. And honestly, grace for ourselves. Our world has changed A TON in about a week, and we're all having to let go of selfish desires, to do lists, and our plans- all for the greater good. It is challenging and yet, oddly purifying. We will make it through, and in the end, I certainly believe we will come out stronger and more appreciative of all we typically take for granted. There is little we can control right now, but we do get to control how we choose to deal with our current challenges.

Choose grace.

Currently,
Kelsie


Tuesday, March 10, 2020

February Recap

February has come and gone, and March is already moving right along! I've only got about a month left of maternity leave- it is certainly flying by and I'm nervous to see what working full time with two kiddos looks like. Here's what we were up to this February, complete with Addie's updates, blogging recaps, and some fun photos!


Addie's Two Month Update

Addie Jo is growing like a weed! Our official doctor's appointment was today, and she's already 12 pounds 3 ounces. She feels long to me at 22 inches, as she is already busting out of her Newborn Sleepsack with all of the kicking she loves to do. Although she's mean mugging in in most of these photos, she has been gracing us with some adorable smiles and the occasional sleepy giggle.


Addie is in size one diapers and wearing 0-3 months clothes. I think she'll be moving on to 3-6 month clothes before long. This month she celebrated her first Valentine’s Day, slept through the night, went on lots of walks, and celebrated her big brother’s birthday. She loves snoozing on Daddy’s chest, riding in her car seat, and playing with E! ๐ŸŽ€ We love our Addie so much!

There is Still Good

This month I wrote a blog post sharing about my crazy experience at Target and how it made me remember and be thankful that there are still good people in this world. Check it out here.


Free Mama Moments

Because when your kids both nap at the same time, and give you a minute to sit on your bed and soak up the silence, you document the moment. Gosh they're both so great. But, I've certainly been grateful for the breaks my amazing mama has given me so I can run, shower, and get things done!



I'm loving these new hipster hoop earrings from Giving Tree Gallery! They're lightweight, stylish, and they go with everything- whether my hair is up or down. Silver is my jam, and these are so fun!  Check out their website for beautiful handcrafted jewelry and home decor.

THREE Rex Birthday Party 

We had a great time celebrating Eli's Third Birthday with a fun THREE Rex Party. We weren't sure we were going to do a big birthday party for Eli this year (especially with a six week old, but we went for it and we are SO glad that we did!)  You can check out all of the fun details and photos here.



Otherwise, this month was all about getting into our groove with our little lady and soaking up sweet time with E. I'll be back to work on April 14th to finish out the school year, but I'm certainly in no hurry for that time to be here. I'm looking forward to a great rest of maternity leave, and of this month- which will include Spring Break time with Daddy. Happy March!

Currently,
Kelsie

Thursday, March 5, 2020

THREE Rex Birthday Party

We've been blessed with another whole year of Eli! Although we considered skipping a birthday party this year with the birth of our sweet Addie in January, we decided we really wanted to give our sweet boy a chance to be celebrated, especially since he has been navigating his new role as big brother so well. We had such a great time with his ONEsie First Birthday Party and Taco TWOsday Party that I wanted to find another fun theme. And since he's obsessed with dinosaurs right now (and was one for Halloween), a THREE Rex party was the perfect fit! Here are all of the details in case you'd like to throw your own!


Decor and Theme Apparel 

I love to find fun decor that is not only cute but also cost efficient. Eli loves dinosaurs so much that he has dinosaur bedding, so I switched out his sheets and hung up his dino sheet as a backdrop. His were from Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and are discontinued now, but you can find a bunch of ideas here.


With his sheets as inspiration, I went with green, blue, and silver as his main colors, with a gold accent. I purchased his THREE Rex balloon set on Amazon: it came with the big number three, the rex balloons, and a dino balloon. The three and the dino balloon can be filled with helium, but considering that the helium shortage meant spending $26 on helium to fill them, we just inflated them and hung them or set them on the floor. I spent less than $10 on all of them. I also picked up balloons, streamers, and dino plates from our local Dollar Tree.


I made a simple twine banner for downstairs, designed and printed off some fun things on Canva, and did a birthday party online evite for invitations. I also printed off these dinosaur footprints, had E color them, and then cut them out and put them around the house! I love these fun, free ways to accent the theme.


I was going to put Eli in his Halloween dino costume, but it was actually quite warm on the day of his birthday and the costume was fleece, so instead he wore a little dino t-shirt I found on clearance at Carter's a long time ago. You can find a bunch of similar options here for your little dino. We didn't ask people to dress in theme, but some did if they had dinosaur options!


Food and Drinks 

After some research getting ideas online, I decided to play up the dino theme and have some fun with our food and drinks. We had Dino Nuggets of course, along with Pepperoni and Three Meat Pizza Rolls for our "carnivores". For our "herbivores", we had a large veggie tray. We also had "Dinosaur Bone" pretzels. I made "Lava Juice", which was really just Crystal Light Fruit Punch (which was quite delicious). Here's my document if you're interested in printing the little place card labels.


The real show stealer for the "sweetivores" were the amazing desserts from Hailey the Cake Lady. She not only made delicious Oreo cupcakes and the cutest dinosaur cookies, but she made the most incredible dinosaur cake! That dinosaur on top was actually edible and made out of fondant. Such talent! The top layer of the cake was the most delicious strawberry cake ever, and the lower layer was vanilla. If you're local to Kansas City, definitely use her for a delicious, affordable option for all of your dessert needs! Here's her Facebook page!




Activities 

Although we didn't attempt many crazy activities this time around (I mean, we did have a six week old), we had a few fun things for people to do. We had some printed dinosaur coloring sheets and crayons for the kiddos, along with a "what's your dinosaur name" sheet. We also had some dino hats out (from Dollar Tree) for people to wear and take photos with our backdrop. Of course, blowing out the candles on his cake was a highlight. It was probably my favorite part of the night- he was all smiley and so adorable!



Although I missed some days, I did manage to keep up with most of Eli's third year, so I put together another One Second Everyday video, and then Airplayed it and looped it downstairs on the TV along with his first and second year videos. Pretty crazy to see a second of nearly every day since he was born!


I also printed off and filled out another time capsule sheet, and made lists of Eli's stats and favorite things to toss in as well. All in all, it was an amazing time celebrating our not-so-little guy with friends and family who love him (and us) so well. We're excited to see what year four brings.


Happy Party Planning!

Currently,
Kelsie

Friday, February 28, 2020

There is Still Good

Yesterday was one heck of a day. Lots going on that is simply out of my control, lots of unknown ahead. In an attempt for some sort of productive normalcy, I packed up both kids and headed off to run errands at Target- our favorite little escape from the house. Plus, I have gift cards so that helps me feel like I'm being resourceful.

We checked off our shopping list, Eli holding on to the back of the shopping cart and Addie snoozing peacefully in her car seat in the cart. Those things take up basically the entire cart, so I was shoving all of my items around her seat and beneath the cart- moms, you know what I'm saying. 

We got to the check out area and all of the self checkouts were taken. Say what you want about them, but we usually use them because Eli loves scanning the items, and I like being able to see totals for what I'm buying. As luck would have it, they were full, so we were ushered over to a lady working the checkout and returns side. As she scanned the items, I started to worry about how late we were going to be home for Eli's nap. I vaguely remember her saying the total as I had her scan my Target Wallet and started handing over gift cards. It seemed a little high, but we were under a time crunch. 


We got back to the car and I got the bags into the trunk, buckled Eli in, and snapped Addie in. Two kid probs. I then decided to open up my wallet and check the receipt, only to see that I had been charged an extra $20 because she had rung up my trash bags three times. Annoyed, I got all of my bags, Addie, and Eli back out and into a cart, and went in to get my money back. 

The cashier (a new one this time) was kind, but had some computer problems as she tried to get me my merchandise card. Now we were really going to be late for Eli's nap time- sigh. I quickly grabbed the card and shoved it in my wallet, then threw it into the cart next to Addie and pushed the kids back out to our car.

Twenty minutes later, we were home and unloaded. I read Eli a couple of books and then he was down for his nap. Addie was snoozing in the car seat, and I had just been cleared at my six week appointment, so I decided it was the day to run my first mile postpartum down on the treadmill. Woof. Wasn't going to be easy. 

While I was running and attempting to catch up on This is Us, I kept getting a missed call from St. Joseph. I'd been getting a lot of random spammy calls lately, so I didn't answer. (Plus, I was out of breath and in no shape to talk.) I even answered once, and before they could speak, I yelled at the stranger to, "Stop calling me," which is both humorous and embarrassing now. Remember- spammy calls all day. Finally, I finished my mile and looked at the voicemail they'd left me. A woman had found my wallet in the cart at Target and grabbed it to give it back to me since I hadn't answered. I didn't even know it was missing. 

I quickly called her back, apologized, and thanked her profusely. Apparently she'd found my phone number by calling the number on my MSTA card and letting them know that she had found my wallet. They gave her my number- and boy am I glad they did. She gave me her address to come pick it up.

After Aaron got home and I took a quick shower, I drove to her house to get my wallet- not a single thing missing or disturbed. I felt like a crazy person with major mom brain, a little embarrassed, and annoyed at my failure to pay attention to the details. But mainly, I felt grateful. Thankful that there are still good people in this world. Grateful for Pauline and her kindness. Grateful that I didn't have to go through the trouble of replacing ids and credit cards and the huge headache that could have been. 

There is still good. Even when things aren't always easy, and when we are inundated with the bad- day in and day out- there is still good. Maybe you needed that reminder today. I know I did. 

Currently,
Kelsie

Sunday, February 9, 2020

January Recap

And just like that, February is here! I know that I've seen a million memes floating around about how the month of January seemed like an entire year, but since I'm home on maternity leave I feel like I have a different concept of time right now. It seems like it was a slow month, but at the same it seems like time is flying when I look at my kiddos (plural- what!?!). Here's what we were up to this January! 


My Word of the Year

Because our baby girl decided to come ten days early, I didn't have much time to blog this month. Other than Addie's Birth Story, my only other January post was sharing my word of the year for 2020. I chose this word for a variety of reasons, and I'm already having to put my money where my mouth is in so many ways. I'm excited to see all that this year brings!




I've found that I really enjoy having a "word of the year" to tie back to: it grounds me, gives me a way to track my goals, and can encompass a variety of my resolutions or hopes. In 2018, I chose cultivate, which ended up being way more applicable than I would've ever guessed. Last year, I chose listen, which was also very very fitting- although admittedly I didn't master it and am still a work in progress. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ It definitely tied in a TON to all that we had going with @thebrimkc . And now, in 2020, we look ahead to a year brimming with lots of unknown possibilities and hopes. Which leads to my word for this year: one that certainly is relevant and challenging in so many ways. Click @currentlykelsie and the #linkinbio๐Ÿ‘† to check it out. What’s your word of the year? ๐ŸŽ‰ #livinglifefull
A post shared by Kelsie Kleinmeyer | Blogger (@currentlykelsie) on

Addie's One Month Recap

In case you missed it, our Addie girl joined the world on January 9th, 2020, and I can hardly believe she is already a month old! (You can read her birth story here!) She is the sweetest gift and biggest blessing, and we are settling in to our life as a family of four. Addie was 7 lbs 14 oz and was 21 inches long at birth, but she has already been growing at a steady pace, weighing in at 9 lbs 14 oz! Pretty crazy, as Eli was always on the smaller size and this little lady sure isn't wasting any time. Girl can eat!


We did put Addie in her crib on the first night home, just like we did with Eli, so that has been going fairly well. At this point, it's up for grabs as to how well she'll do each night. We had a night where she decided not to sleep from 10:30pm to 3:00 am, which was miserable. I think she was overtired, but it also put me into gear a bit as far as being a bit more consistent with swaddling, naps, and working to establish some routines as she ages a bit. Last night she went from 9:45 pm- 12:30 am, and then again from 1:30- 6:00 am, which gave me my longest stretch so far!


Addie has been to church and a few different restaurants, the doctor's office, and to visit friends and family. She seems to enjoy napping, whether it's on her lounger, in her crib, or in the car. Thankfully she is riding well in the car (and almost always falling asleep). She seems to be settling into a loose Babywise 3 hour eat, wake, sleep cycle, which Mama is happy about! She has taken bottles fine so far, which I'm hoping continues, as a fluid transition from nursing to pumped bottle-feeding to a pacifier is key for us, especially since I will have to go back to work in mid-April to finish out the school year.


We took our newborn photos a couple of weeks ago, and I'm excited to have them soon! Addie watched the Chiefs win the Superbowl, hung out with her Grandmas, met lots of family, and witnessed her first two Missouri snow storms in her short month of life. She's getting lots of good sibling time in with Big Brother Eli, who refers to her as "my baby". She's not a huge fan of the bathtub, but is warming up to it. Mommy and Daddy are looking forward to our Valentine's Date out, but we sure do love our sweet little lady!


Otherwise, this month was all about settling into life as a mama of two (more thoughts on that later). I only worked for three days before having Addie, so it's weird that I haven't worked much of my full time job at all since December 20th. That being said, I'll be back to work on April 13th to finish out the school year, but I'm certainly in no hurry for that time to be here. I'm looking forward to a great rest of maternity leave, and of this month- which started off with our Kansas City Chiefs winning the SuperBowl, so it's already off to a fabulous start! Happy February!

Currently,
Kelsie


Saturday, February 1, 2020

How to Pick the Best Flooring for Your Home

This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Currently, Kelsie.

If you're super indecisive, like me, you'll already give a lot of consideration into almost everything in life- especially home projects. There is so much to choose- paint colors (which I may have had lots of personal struggles with), wall decor, curtains and more. If you're doing a bigger home renovation project, one thing you may overlook would be flooring. Flooring makes a big difference in how a room looks and feels, which can make or break the atmosphere of the house at large. That's why it’s important to do some research around the right types of flooring for your home. Here are a few things to think about when choosing floors that you'll love! 

 Floating Timber

In industry terms, floating floors are a system of flooring that can be installed directly over an existing floor. This will lift the height of your floor, but it makes installation super easy and carefree. Don’t go prying up old floorboards or getting the jackhammer into the tiles just yet: consider slapping these down right over the surface of your current floor instead!

Another reason these floors are a great choice is that they look beautiful. They tend to retain heat rather than lose it, which is friendly for your feet, making them great for winter or those places that get a little chilly.

Timbers are relatively easy to keep clean, requiring little more than the occasional sweep and light mopping, but they’ll show dust if you choose a range that has dark tones. If you damage your floor, it's relatively easy to replace the damaged units by prying them up and swapping them for new ones – keep a few handy just in case. 

Tiles

If you enjoy a cool, hard surface underfoot or you live in a fairly hot climate, tiles are a great option for you! They expel heat really quickly, meaning your floor will remain nice and cool to the touch at most times of the year. On the flipside, you may want to steer clear of these bad boys if you live in a chilly climate: they’ll really make your toes curl if you have to get up in the dead of night in the middle of winter to use the bathroom!

Another reason that tiles are a strong fan favorite is that they’re easy to maintain and are highly durable. A quick vacuum and mop and your tiles will shine like new. Just make sure you opt for a more neutral color on the grey-white spectrum with low-key patterns or veins, because flat dark colors generally show up more dust and aren’t all that pleasing to the eye.

Finally, tiles are reasonably priced and won’t lead to a budget blowout should you choose to invest in them. One last piece of advice: it’s better to install tiles in homes where the walls are soft and insulated because tiles and hard walls together may create an echo chamber that will annoy the heck out of you!

Vinyl Planks or Rolls

Vinyl planks are a softer surface than tiles, meaning they’ll be kinder on your feet and back. Due to this feature, they're also warmer than tiles, but not as warm as floorboards. Their cool surface makes them highly suitable for a variety of climates. Thanks to modern flooring technologies, vinyl planks are now available in a huge range of colors, designs, and types, including waterproof planks.

Waterproof planks are amazing because they mean you can extend the floor from living spaces into laundries and kitchens (although I'd advise against venturing into the bathroom!) creating a look of uniformity throughout most of your home.

If vinyl planks are too expensive for you, or you’re operating on a budget, you can always opt for vinyl on a roll. This is the more cost-effective option, and you can install it yourself with a little hard work and a competent DIY approach, meaning you’ll also save money on installation costs. And who doesn't love that? 

Vinyl planks look fantastic in the right indoor environment, but vinyl on a roll is a little uninspiring. It isn’t the most visually pleasing option on the market, so you may want to save it for projects where you’re limited by a budget, like fitting out a rental property. Otherwise, think about relegating it to playrooms and basements where kids can play on it to their heart's’ content.


Carpet

There is nothing better than sinking your feet into a nice, lush carpet on a cold winter’s night. And honestly, our house could probably use an overall on carpet when we can budget for it. Carpet's main attraction is that it's the softest and most comfortable surface to have under your feet, and it’ll keep your toesies nice and toasty throughout the year.

However, you should keep in mind that carpets are notorious for harbouring microscopic bugs and nasties that can cause allergens, they’re vulnerable to stains and marks, and it’s much harder to clean them should you happen to spill something on them or if you have a messy pet or child.

Carpets come in a range of qualities and designs, which can drive up prices depending on the type that you’re after. This means you’ll want to ask yourself if it’s worth investing in upmarket carpets such as Godfrey Hirst, Quest Carpets, Victoria Carpets, and more.

Finally…

At the end of the day, you’ll probably want to pick a combination of floors to suit the variety of rooms in your home. This is because the flooring that suits one space, such as the bedroom, may not necessarily suit another, such as the bathroom. We love tile in the bathroom and carpet in our bedrooms.

As you hunt down the right floors for your home renovation project, keep in mind your budget, the style that you’re after, as well as useability and durability: you don’t want to pick a floor that is impractical and clashes with the overall design of the rest of your home. Good luck in finding the right floors for your renos!

Currently,
Kelsie



Friday, January 24, 2020

Addie's Birth Story

In case you haven't heard, Baby K is here and SHE is named Addie Jo Kleinmeyer. We were thrilled to welcome Addie at 6:56 am on Thursday, January 9th. Both of our babies were ten days early and born on Thursdays, so apparently that's when my body likes to go into labor. Addie is the sweetest little girl and a precious gift, and we were honestly so shocked and delighted that she was a girl! (We didn't find out gender ahead of time.) I loved recording Eli's Birth Story, so here's the story of how our Addie girl came into the world!


On Wednesday, January 8th, I felt a few contractions here and there at school. Since I'd already done this whole thing once, I knew they weren't close enough together to be worried about, but I also knew they were actually contractions and not just Braxton Hicks. I had a doctor's appointment the next day, so I figured I could get checked there. (I hadn't been checked at all at this point, so I didn't know if I was dilated or effaced at all- but I did feel a lot more pressure.) Ironically enough, I remember thinking to myself as I left school that day that I may not be back for a long time. Maybe it was because I was mentally thinking that Eli was born ten days early, so if this baby came at the same time it would be the next day! 

That afternoon, I drove out to meet Aaron on our property at The Brim for a tour, with a mild contraction along the way. I remember joking with him that I was doing my best to just keep this baby in. After the tour, I picked up Eli and told my mom that I had been having some contractions here and there. She told me that she didn't have any plans all weekend, which ended up being a good thing!


I went home and worked on dinner, but felt myself having to stop here or there to breathe through contractions. Again, they weren't super consistent, about 25 minutes apart or so, so I didn't worry. But I did have a feeling that maybe this was actually "it". Aaron told me to go sit down because I was doing too much, but even while I sat on the couch I would randomly have contractions. Eli saw me breathing and was worried about me, but we just told him that our baby was getting ready to come!

Aaron and I climbed into Eli's big boy bed to put him to bed together that night, and though neither of us said it, there was an unspoken confidence that this would be our last night as a family of three. We soaked up the sweet time reading through Pete the Cat, and I handed off the book for Daddy to read a couple of times as I worked through some contractions. I attempted to "sleep" at about 9:40 pm, but woke up around 11:10 with random contractions- apparently I love going into labor in the middle of the night! I glanced at my watch here and there, and when Aaron heard me rolling over to my hands and knees and breathing through contractions at around 12:15 am, he asked if I was timing.

He got up and turned on the lights and started timing. I now know that I had back labor, which I didn't realize at the time, because when a contraction would end it seemed like it never actually ended. There was always this dull constant pain that I felt which made it seem like my contractions were constant. (I definitely don't recommend back labor- it is more common when babies are in a weird position, and Addie was head down but of sideways which was triggering the pain).

Aaron timed until about 1:15, and then told me he was going to call his brother to come to our house and be with Eli, who was sleeping. I was a little worried that this wasn't going to be "for real", and we would be bugging everyone for no reason, but a few more contractions in and I was pretty confident this baby was coming. Aaron also called my mom, who had been a huge help during Eli's 17 hrs of labor, and she headed our way to follow us to the hospital. I labored at home a little longer, and we pulled up the hospital about 2:00 am.


They got me up to labor and delivery and I was at about a 4, which I was honestly a little disappointed in. But I also knew that labor went quicker the second time around, and I was grateful I made it in time for a possible epidural. Since I was only at 38 weeks and 3 days, I had to "progress" in labor or they wouldn't be able to admit me, and they also couldn't induce me since I wasn't 39 weeks yet. I had a little PTSD from Eli's labor experience (going to the hospital, making no progress, going home, laboring until an 8, and coming back), so I was worried I would have to go home again, but thankfully I made progress and made it to a 7 very quickly.

Then it was time for the epidural. It took a few tries (and breathing through a few contractions) to make it work, but thankfully both Aaron and the nurse advocated for me (she said she shouldn't still be hearing me contract), so we had the anesthesiologist come back and she put something through that made me go numb a little more quickly and thoroughly. The back labor still wasn't completely gone, but I definitely didn't feel my contractions anymore, which was a relief and huge blessing. They moved me around a few times, broke my water when I was at a 9, and waited for me to reach a 10. I was able to rest a little, but it was all going so much more quickly than it did with Eli that I honestly couldn't believe I was as far along as I was.

Of course, coming in at 2:00 am and being close to a ten just after 6:00 am meant that my normal doctor who delivered Eli wasn't there. They had to call in the doctor who was on call for me, but it was time to push just before 7:00 am. I only pushed for 18 minutes (which would have been even shorter if they weren't waiting for the doctor to be in the room), and then little miss Addie was here at 6:56 am!

Aaron and I had both secretly wanted a girl, but we just wouldn't say it. Because of that, along with the fact that I had PUPPS (which is 70/30 odds in favor of having a boy), I was completely convinced that we were going to have a boy. We had to come up with a new boy name, since Eli was our no-brainer boy name the first time around, so we had worked extra hard to have a boy option that we figured we would be using. I completely understand why people find out if they're having a boy or girl beforehand, and think everyone needs to do what's right for them, but wow is it fun to find out in the delivery room! With Addie being born at 6:56, and shift change happening at 7:00, there were a whole host of people in the room who were cheering and crying right alongside us as Aaron called out, "It's a Girl!" We have a video of that moment and I'll cherish it forever.



My eyes were closed so I didn't know until he said it, but I honestly was so surprised and thrilled. We just kept saying we couldn't believe we had a sweet little girl, Addie Jo, and that she was here in less than 7 hours of labor. Eli was a 4:08 pm birth, so this time it was crazy to have it all done and over with before breakfast time (and I joked that I didn't even have to miss a meal)!

Once again, we had incredible nurses, like Lola (pictured here), Jen, Meg, Mackenzie, Erika, and several others who loved on me, Aaron, and Addie so well. Gosh, what a blessing nurses are to care for you so kindly at your worst and most vulnerable, just acting like it's no big deal when they deal with some pretty gross and hard stuff.


Once we moved up to the mom and baby floor, we got to hang out a little bit and then Eli finally got to come meet his baby sister (which, for the record, he totally called with unwavering confidence the entire pregnancy). He was a little worried about the hospital (where he kept telling everyone that he didn't have a boo boo), and he didn't like the looks of my IV. But he warmed up a bit when he got to sit on the bed with Mama and we told him that Addie was his baby sister and she was finally here.



Our family made their way through throughout the day, and we loved getting to surprise them when they came in by introducing them to our baby girl- what a sweet surprise for us all. We ended up having typical Missouri weather, with Addie born on a 65 degree day, and then freezing rain moving in the next day, and 3.5 inches of snow the next day, so that meant fewer visitors getting out in the nasty weather. We had to stay a little later because of it, but it was sweet to have the extra time just Aaron, Addie, and I in the hospital together (with the help of the nurses and the nursery) before heading home to our new reality as a family of four.



All in all, I am so grateful for another incredible birth experience, where I was able to make it a good chunk of the way on my own without medication, go into spontaneous labor ten days early (again), get an epidural for relief, and see my baby on my chest just seconds after she was born. That moment is inexpressibly wonderful.

Welcome to world, sweet Addie! You are prized and precious. We love you so much, no matter what, and we always will.

Currently,
Kelsie



For more pregnancy and motherhood posts, click here
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Monday, January 6, 2020

My Word for 2020

Ever since 2018, I've been choosing a "word of the year". Although I'm not always into doing what is trendy, I've found that I really enjoy having a word to tie back to: it grounds me, gives me a way to track my goals, and can encompass a variety of my resolutions or hopes. In 2018, I chose cultivate, which ended up being way more applicable than I would've ever guessed. Last year, I chose listen, which was also very very fitting- although admittedly I didn't master it and am still a work in progress. It definitely tied in a TON to all that we had going with The Brim. And now, in 2020, we look ahead to a year brimming with lots of unknown possibilities and hopes. Which leads to my word for this year: trust.


In the noun form, trust is defined as a "firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something." As a verb, it is to "believe in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of".

Trust. Believe. Have faith. Have confidence.

This is something I could stand to do in a lot of areas in 2020. I've found myself to be a lot more of a worrier than I thought. I'm the type of person who can read an email and instantly go to the worst case scenario, already freaking out about how to handle it before it even escalates to the problem that I'm imagining in my mind. I often dream up situations that may not even come to fruition, and yet I worry about and try to plan for them. I question myself, question my successes, question my dreams. I wholeheartedly fear failure, and I worry about the unknown, though I have zero control over it.

It's a type of mild, self-diagnosed anxiety, honestly. So this year, I'm going to strive to choose trust over worry. To trust that I am doing the right things at the right time (after I've thought them through and made a decision). To trust that things will work out. To trust myself and my gut as a parent. Trust that things will look up at some point, even when they are hard or dark in the moment.


To trust in the Lord, and in his plans for our family. To trust that they are to help me and not to harm me, to give me a future and a hope if only I am willing to follow.

To trust my husband, and that he always has the best intentions at heart, even when it doesn't feel that way in an emotional moment.

To trust that I will bring this new little life into the world and that our family will make it through the newborn fog with a toddler.

To trust that stepping out in faith will be worth it.

I'm often a safe person, taking the seemingly secure and risk-free option that seems to make the most sense. And yet, I've been called to take more risks lately. To consider leaping and trusting that a safety net will appear. To step outside of my comfort zone when something wonderful could be waiting on the horizon.



"Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit."
Jeremiah 17:7-8

"When I am afraid, I put my trust in you." 
Psalm 56:3

We've got lots of big dreams and big goals on the horizon, and 2020 will prove to be a year of leaping and trusting. I am hoping and praying that I will do just what these verses say. That I will continue to trust even if the timeline changes or it seems like a long road lies ahead. That I will remain rooted and planted in a firm foundation, that I will not fear when the heat or drought comes, that I will not be anxious, that I will continue to bear fruit even in the less fruitful seasons. I look forward to 2020 with eager anticipation, striving to choose to trust rather than worry or fear this year, and in the years to come. 

Happy New Year to you all! 

Currently,
Kelsie



Monday, December 30, 2019

2019: A Year in Review

As I reflect on 2019, and all that happened, I am truly blown away. Looking back at the word I chose for the year (listen), I certainly could have done a better job in some areas, but I believe that both Aaron and I have done our best to listen and trust in a variety of ways for the last 365 days. It has been a year of growth, of dreaming, of watching things unfold, and of taking huge leaps. It has been a year that stripped away all "control" that I thought I had, teaching me how much better it was that I wasn't the one deciding how it would all unfold. Some of you may stop by this corner of the web more often than others, so whether you're new here or read regularly, here's a recap of the year: complete with highlights, posts, big news, and fun photos and videos. Here's to you, 2019.


January

In January, this blog marked its fourth birthday! Wow! I didn't post as much this year, as we were just a little busy with several things, but I still love showing up in this space and I'm so thankful for those who faithfully read, comment, encourage, or even email about a post. In January, I sought to start the year strong by listening, we set off on a trip to Austin that would change our lives forever, and I learned a little more about saying no to working on weekends and yes to loving on my sweet boys.



February 

Between January and February, we had a TON of snow days. So many that I was ready for them to end because it meant we had to go to school until May 30th! I shared my Three Days in Austin Travel Guide,  and the big excitement for the month was throwing Eli his second birthday party: a Taco TWOsday party. Boy did we have fun with the fiesta theme and all the yummy food and pinata fun that came along with it. I wrote him a birthday letter, and loved making his one second everyday video of his 2nd year (you can view it below)! It's crazy how fast time has gone and how big he is now. He will be three in a couple of months and I simply can't believe it.


Two special guests at Eli's birthday party were actually our architect (the one we randomly met in Austin) and his fiancee'. They are the sweetest, and they flew in to design the chapel over Eli's bday weekend - I felt some mama guilt, but it was so worth it! We also started trying for a baby in February, and I shared in this post about how I nearly ruined Valentine's Day.

March

March came and I went on my first mom trip away to visit my sweet friend in Wisconsin. I thought I may have been pregnant at the time (like she was!) but I wasn't. I shared my travel must haves (including my new luggage that I'm still obsessed with). Aaron and I also got the pleasure of meeting and interviewing Clint Harp, and we learned a lot about marriage and about running a business while also being married!




April

April came and brought along Easter, Spring fun, and family adventures as we looked towards the summer. We started to do more work on our land, and I shared one of my favorite pieces of the year, One Fork at a Time on the blog. I also wrote a little reflection on marriage and how it looked these days in my post With This Ring. This was a month full of baby showers, and it was another month where I thought I may be pregnant but wasn't.



May

In May, I finished up my 8th year of teaching, and Aaron finished his 6th! I had many of my kiddos three years in a row at school, so it was weird saying goodbye for the summer and knowing I wouldn't see them in the fall. I woke up on May 9th and took what I thought was a pale-lined positive pregnancy test. That day on the blog, I shared No Matter What about unconditional love and my son. The next morning I took another test to confirm things- one that said "pregnant" just seconds after I took it in my school's faculty bathroom! We went to a wedding the next day, secretly basking in the fact that we were having another baby! 



I wrapped up the month by writing a post about The Edge Pieces, which was hinting at all that was going on with The Brim- about six months before we finally "went live". We had a great Mother's Day with our little secret, sister Angie graduated from Mizzou, and then went on a short vacation with Aaron's family to Branson- where we told them the happy news (just shortly after we had told my parents). 



June

In June, we finally started our summer vacation! I was able to share our Tuscan Villa Styled Shoot photos after the shoot was published on Confetti Daydreams (my friend Lacey of Lacey Rene Studios is SO talented.) We were also able to join my family for a trip out to Colorado for some fly-fishing, beautiful mountain views, and Eli's personal favorite: a ride on the Georgetown Loop! 




I got to help Lacey with a couple of weddings, which proved to be not only fun, but awesome experience for our new adventure in the world of weddings! I also took on the role as wedding coordinator at our church. Speaking of weddings, Aaron and I celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary on June 15th. 


On the blog, I wrote The View from the Valley, a reflection about viewing the ups and downs of life from a different lens. We enjoyed lots of pool time and settled in to the sweet simplicity of summertime as teachers. I had a surprise early 30th Birthday surprise with the sweetest friends.


July

In July, we enjoyed a free visit to the zoo, had a wonderful Fourth of July (Eli loved the poppers and getting involved with the fireworks this year), and soaked up all of the moments with Puddle Jumper pool time, sunny days, and train rides. Aaron and I jetted off to England and Scotland for an EF Tour (minus Eli), and we announced our pregnancy at Stonehenge! It was quite the adventure getting there (yikes), but it was the most amazing trip once we were there!




I read a bunch of great books, and turned the big 3-0 on July 28th! I wrote a blog post reflecting on the decade, saying goodbye to my 20s and my first 30 years. I also did an entire wedding, rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, and reception at our church- it was for the sweetest couple and was so fun running the whole shabang. 

August

August started out with a bang when Aaron threw me a surprise 30th Birthday Party at Tribe Collective in the KC River Market. What started as a fun "girls' afternoon" celebrating my belated birthday with coffee and an escape room led to going for a bite to eat- where 32 of my favorite people happened to be waiting. Aaron really pulled off a great one for me, and I felt so loved and special. 


It was back to reality for us both as school started, but I knew that getting through this semester put me right at the end of my pregnancy, with lots of time with BOTH of our babies starting sometime in January. I shared my 18 week "bumpdate" on the blog, and kicked off my 9th year of teaching. We also jumped into the start of our parking lot and irrigation with things at The Brim.



September

In September, I wasn't training for the Kansas City Half Marathon for the first time in three years, which felt kind of weird. We settled into school, and I shared our big England and Scotland Travel Recap with all the details on our crazy delay (along with gorgeous photos of our adventures). I also got to share my thoughts about what I really need and want as a second time mama in a blog post called And the Kitchen Sink.


We enjoyed a wedding and a couple of birthday parties, along with a football game at my school with E. As a family, we celebrated our SIXTH house-iversary, where I shared more about our new deck project!


October

October came and I shared my 25 week bumpdate! We celebrated sweet Grandma Alice's (or "Gigi" to Eli) 80th Birthday, I helped with another beautiful wedding, and I struggled a bit with my mama guilt while at work each day. On the blog, I also shared something a bit heavier in We Don't Know, a post about the things we say when we don't know what people are going through: including some of my own experiences prior to getting pregnant with our second child.



After surviving conferences, Aaron and I were able to jet off on a little "babymoon" getaway to San Antonio, which was super fun minus the delay that left me sleeping on the floor of the Houston airport overnight. We had an amazing Halloween with our little dino, who just continues to get more and more fun.

November

In November, we celebrated Aaron's 29th birthday, and we hosted a special "preview night" kickoff with some of our closest friends and family out at The Brim. It was amazing and emotional to have so many folks out there to hear the story from us on our land and to watch us leap head first into our dream.


 We took family photos with the talented Kaylee of Kaylee Hoeflicker Photography, and then spent most of our month taking people up to the land and sharing our story with them. The blog was all about finally opening up and sharing all that had happened over the course of the last two years. If you'd like to read it, here are part one, part two, and part three of the story. It is truly incredible, and we are thrilled to continue to watch this big journey unfold! Definitely take a read if you haven't yet, and if you're looking for an affordable wedding venue in KC that cares about your marriage too, be sure to take a look: thebrimkc.com



To round out the month, I hit 30 weeks in my pregnancy, went to a ton of baby showers and sprinkles for other friends having little nuggets soon, and we ended the month with a rainy, chilly, 51st annual Thanksgiving Day family football game and good time with our sweet families.


December

And here it is, the last couple of days of December, and of the entire decade! I can hardly believe it! On the blog, I shared a quick 2019 Holiday Home Tour, along with my 36 week bumpdate (gosh that went fast). We had two snow days, battled Eli's constipation woes, and enjoyed some fun Christmas parties with friends. We also had the pleasure of taking a bunch of really amazing couples out for tours of The Brim, and had probably my favorite Christmas ever with a joyful and wonder-filled Eli.







We don't go back to school until January 6th, and with this baby due on January 19th, I have numbered days ahead of me at school this semester. Time will tell if I'll be early like I was with Eli (10 days), on time, or late. Depending on when baby comes, I'll have to go back for the last month or so of school, which will be brutal but then it will be summer! Time will also tell if we'll have a girl or boy- it could be really any day now which is crazy!


Cheers to 2020, a new decade, a new baby, weddings, and everything else that it will bring! I pray that it finds you healthy, happy, and oh so loved. Thanks for sticking around this year and loving on us through all of the ups and downs. We hope you'll join us next year for all of our new adventures! 

Currently,
Kelsie