Monday, October 28, 2019

We Don't Know

"Doesn't it make you want another one?" she asked me as I cradled my friend's newborn son in my arms at a sip and see. She didn't know.

"Baby fever is strong now, isn't it?" another asked. "Time for another."

She didn't know either. Didn't know that I was more than ready for another. That I had been trying for the last three months. Didn't know that I had literally thought I could possibly be pregnant just moments before, then took a bathroom break only to find my dreaded monthly friend had come to visit- stomping on my dreams and hopes once again. Didn't know that I was currently putting on a good face while crying inside.

She didn't know that the previous month when my period started I had been out of town visiting a friend who told me she was pregnant earlier that day. I'd clumsily stumbled down the hall to the guest bath in the middle of the night, only to see that it would be another month of waiting (at least). I had remained strong, and was truly so excited for her, but when I got home after the trip and told my husband the tears just started flowing.

She didn't know that the month before that I had started my period the day of another friend's baby shower, a shower where someone else had jokingly asked me if I was pregnant when I got a little emotional, and I responded that I was positive I wasn't. But oh, how I wanted to be.

I'm not even going to pretend to feel the pain of those dealing with months, and years, and decades of infertility or trouble getting pregnant. My four months trying to get pregnant with our second child totally pale in comparison to those sweet ladies, and I'm certainly not trying to say my experience is equal to theirs. My heart breaks for them in their struggles, and in the seemingly innocent words that people say to them, not knowing how they stab like daggers into the heart of a longing, hurting woman.

I will say that those months of negative pregnancy tests and unwanted periods still hurt. But they also gave me a fresh perspective and extra compassion for those amazing, strong ladies who keep marching on each and every day, loving their husbands and their families well in the midst of such a personal struggle that is often kept secret.

After getting pregnant the first month of trying for our first, I had such a skewed view of how it all worked. I am so so grateful for the sweet little one that grows inside of me right now (and I certainly believe in the perfect timing of someone much greater than me). But I think I appreciate it even more now that I know how it can go. That sometimes there is a longing that isn't met for a very long time (or hasn't been met at all yet). That sometimes people are fighting battles every day that go unspoken. Yes, it is wonderful to be in a position to share these struggles out loud with close friends and family, and I truly believe that sharing our struggles has a purpose and can offer some healing and support. But not every situation should be public, and we should be very careful sharing our words when we simply don't know the situations that people are in.

We don't know what troubles people are going through, even when they're putting on a happy face. We don't know the pain that some are feeling, which we may be opening up again with our words. We don't know the longings of those who are in a season of waiting, whatever that may be for.

And so, we should think more carefully about what we say and ask, how we approach topics (especially pregnancy or children), and how we choose to share our experiences- even with the best intentions. Because we just don't know.


Thursday, October 17, 2019

8 Signs You Need A Kitchen Remodel

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

Thinking about whether you need a new kitchen? From lack of space to outdated design to wear and tear, here are eight signs you need a kitchen remodel.

1. Lack of Storage in Your Kitchen

Is your kitchen suffering from a lack of storage? Are your cabinets and drawers full to the brim with pots, pans, dishes, plates, and cutlery? Have you resorted to storing your kitchenware in other areas of the house? Are your countertops cramped and cluttered with appliances and utensils?

If this is the case with your kitchen, a remodel can give you much more storage space. By being inventive with hooks, shelves, racks, and cabinets, a kitchen remodel can provide you with ample storage for all your kitchen necessities.

2. Lack of Space in Your Kitchen

Do you often find yourself trying to find enough counter space when cooking? Or maybe your kitchen is cramped and constricted, and just not big enough for all the family to sit in there altogether at once. Perhaps your surfaces are cluttered with appliances and kitchenware, meaning you have little space left for cooking and entertaining.

A kitchen remodel can give you more kitchen space. Whether by redesigning and optimising the layout for more space, or making more space by increasing storage, a carefully designed kitchen will give you more space to do the things you really want to do in your kitchen.

3. Your Kitchen Has a Poor Layout

A poor kitchen layout is impractical for your needs and can make cooking and entertaining difficult and even hazardous. Do you bump into people when cooking and find yourself going back and forth multiple times? Maybe your oven is too far away from the counters, or the stove is too far away from the fridge. Or perhaps you like to dine or entertain in your kitchen, but it is not connected to a dining or entertainment space. (That's our problem!)

If this is the case, you need to rethink your kitchen’s layout to really optimize the space. Think about how you use your kitchen and carefully design the layout for your needs. You want to create a layout that flows and allows you to move freely, where everything is easily accessible. Square footage and size of the kitchen is often not the issue here, and you’ll be surprised at how much better you can use your kitchen space when its layout has been carefully considered and designed with function in mind.

4. Your Kitchen is Difficult to Clean

If you have a high-maintenance kitchen that is difficult to clean and keep clean, no matter how often you clean it, you could benefit from a remodel. If muck, dirt, and grime are building up on your surfaces and, as a result, are getting harder to keep clean and shiny, a new kitchen can make your kitchen easier to clean. Newer cabinets and worktops, modern appliances, and quality flooring are all easier to clean than faded flooring, dilapidated surfaces, and tiles with deep grouting.

5. Your Kitchen Has an Outdated Design

An outdated and old-fashioned kitchen makes your entire home seem older. If it’s been a while since you updated your kitchen’s design, it may be time for a remodel. What’s more, if you’re thinking about selling your home, an outdated kitchen could bring down your home’s value as kitchens are one of the key areas buyers look at in prospective homes.

Give your kitchen a facelift by modernizing it with contemporary styles using quality finishes, new cabinets and worktops, updated flooring, recent appliances, and a fresh backsplash. This will help refresh and rejuvenate your kitchen and bring it back up to date. (Here's some inspiration!)


6. Your Kitchen is Looking Worse For Wear

Is your kitchen looking a bit weathered? Has it seen better days? It’s natural for your kitchen to experience wear and tear over time, but if your kitchen shows serious signs of aging such as broken cabinet doors, cracked tiles, worn flooring, faded and discoloured finishes, outdated appliances, mould, and leaks, you need a remodel and your kitchen is in desperate need for some TLC.

Further, if these defects are ignored, they can turn into more serious issues down the line that will be more expensive to rectify. For example, mold can be dangerous to your health, and leaks are a sign of larger plumbing issues. If these are not resolved, your kitchen risks falling apart.

7. Your Kitchen Doesn’t Suit Your Lifestyle

Circumstances and lifestyles change, and a kitchen should reflect this and adapt to the way you live. Maybe you enjoy cooking but there is not enough room to cook. Maybe you are starting to cook with a friend or roommate, so you need two places to cook instead of one. Or perhaps you enjoy entertaining, and the kitchen is too far away from guests or there is not enough room for guests.

Your needs change - if you are expecting kids then you’ll need more space. In contrast, if your kids are leaving home you can tailor your kitchen space for entertaining instead. You should update your kitchen along with your lifestyle. If your kitchen no longer meets your needs or supports your lifestyle, you need a remodel. 

8. You Don’t Enjoy Being in Your Kitchen

Your kitchen should be an inviting and warming space. It is one of the most important rooms in the house, so you should enjoy spending time in it. If you no longer want to cook in there, tend to keep guests out of it, and generally don’t enjoy being in your kitchen (maybe because of lack of space)-  if it’s falling apart, or it’s unattractive and uninviting, it’s time for a remodel to create an amazing space that you enjoy spending time in, want to show off to all your guests, and can’t keep out of.

This post was written by Optiplan Kitchens, one of the UK’s leading kitchen manufacturers and retailers, selling high-quality, handmade, bespoke kitchens with over 30 years’ experience. Thanks to them for sharing! 

Sunday, October 6, 2019

25 Week Bumpdate

Hey there, friends! It's been a little while since my last "bumpdate", and now I'm already six months into this pregnancy. Say what?! Pretty crazy to think that Baby K number two will be here in less than four months. Some days I can barely wait to meet him or her, and other days I'm freaking out about being a mama of two! Eli was a pretty easy baby, but knowing that I have to survive the newborn days while also wrangling an almost three year old is kind of intimidating (give me ALL the tips)! Anyways, here are all the updates on how I'm feeling, complete with plenty of bump pics!

 How I'm Feeling

Second trimester isn't called the honeymoon stage for nothing! I've been over my puking and nausea days for a while now, and I'm not big enough to be miserable at this point. I found fairly early on that I couldn't really run much anymore, which has been weird for me because this is the first time in three years that I haven't been knee deep in training for the KC Half Marathon. I've continued working out at 9Round, which has been good to keep me sane and feeling like I'm not totally blowing up like a blimp! I do feel like I'm maybe carrying slightly different this time, which has me a little self-conscious, but time will tell! My body is growing a human, so I have to give myself a little grace that I'm not in my typical "running shape".

19 Weeks

What's New This Month

Baby K is taking after their big brother, and seems to be moving and grooving quite a bit these days. The little nugget was even flipping around quite a bit during our ultrasound (where we didn't find out the gender again- surprises are fun!) I sure do love the baby kicks, and Aaron has even been able to feel them lately from the outside. Eli has put his hand on my belly and says, "Hi Baby" a lot, which just makes my heart burst. I definitely feel like I look more pregnant these days, but after finally saying something to my students (and being less concerned about wearing flowy clothes), I'm just embracing the bump lately!

20 Weeks

What I'm Wearing

I'm still able to wear many of my pre-pregnancy tops, but I am definitely thankful for the shift to cooler weather lately because I was SO ready for my trusty Motherhood Maternity leggings to come back out of hiding. My Nike running shorts were starting to feel pretty tight in the belly, which makes sense considering that I'm six weeks ahead of where I was this time of the year when I was pregnant with E. I am probably going to rely more on maternity tops here soon as winter approaches, but for now I'm just wearing what feels comfy and doesn't look super tight. Flowy and long shirts are kind of my jam for the fall anyways, so I'm happy to still be able to wear a few of my favorite tops at least once or twice before I make the swap to full maternity.

22 Weeks

 How I'm Sleeping

I'm sleeping okay these days. Ever since our upgraded modern farmhouse bedroom was finally finished, we've been sleeping in a King bed- which has been life-changing. I'm sure Aaron appreciates all of the extra space that is helping soak up the C-shaped pillow I've borrowed and am trying out this time around. I'm not waking up every single night to pee, but I know those days are close again. Just trying to soak up my days of sleeping decently while I can!

23 Weeks

What I'm Nervous About

I've got my gestational diabetes test scheduled within the next two weeks, so I'm a little nervous about that. Even though I've done this all and birthed a baby once before, I'm still not the biggest fan of needles or thinking about having to have blood drawn. I know I can do it, but it's always a bit of a mental battle- though it has improved since having Eli. I'm also a bit nervous about getting Eli switched over to his big boy bed (which I mentioned in my Sixth House-iversary post). I think he will do alright, but he is such a good, consistent sleeper in his crib that I'm a little nervous about giving him free range of a room with a bigger bed. Of course, there are also a bit of the nerves involved with not only bringing another child into this world, but also loving them as much as I love E, without neglecting him. I've heard you just "grow another heart", so I'm hoping that's true!

24 Weeks

 What I'm Looking Forward To

I'm really excited about getting Eli's big boy room all jazzed up and flipped, moving him over, and then truly settling in to nesting for Baby K's arrival. (Follow along on Facebook so you don't miss out on the final product!) It's nice to have the nursery already done, and I feel like I don't have as much to prepare for this time around as far as things that we need, so that's nice.

I'm also realizing more and more that this baby will come shortly into the start of the second semester of school, and just barely after the holidays. I have a feeling it will fly and be here before we know it. I'm just looking forward to soaking up the sweet parts of pregnancy, and loving my little man's last go around as an only child this holiday season. Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are all such sweet times with a little one, and Eli is going to be SO much fun this year! Time truly flies, and my little man is getting so big. It's crazy to think we'll have another little nugget soon! Love to you all!


Are you following along on Instagram? It's where I share extra little photos and fun updates from daily life (like this pic). Don't miss out!