Tag Archives: family

Breaking From Tradition

I proposed something earth shattering today.  I proposed to my parents and my sister, that we open our Christmas presents on Christmas morning, instead of Christmas Eve night.

Growing up, my family always went to an early evening Christmas Eve church service, came home, and – oh my!  Santa came while we were at church!  We would open the presents then, and then the stockings Christmas morning.  Maybe it’s a cultural thing?  Any Swedes/ Germans/ Dutch that can confirm?

My husband grew up with the Christmas morning kerfuffle that I see in every movie and coffee commercial.  Kinda nice.

So, our kids are now 4 and 2 and we’re spending Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with my parents.  I proposed leaving cookies for the big S and going with the Christmas morning production.  

Not sure how the deviation from tradition will go over.  It is at my parents house.  However, I am currently the only provider of the grand children.  So, I’m pretty confident I’ll have some say in the process.  I just hope they embrace the plan.  

Any advice on breaking from tradition with your own family?


You Know What’s Really Great?


I know you can’t choose your family, but if I did have that chance, I can’t imagine I’d change a thing.

Mad skillz right here. Not mine…

Well, it’s been a heck of a few weeks. How are you doing? We made it through the move and here we are in our Northern California rented abode.  It’s not a house I would buy, style-wise, but it’s pretty new, in a great neighborhood and has just enough space. Plus Husband’s commute is only 10 minutes to his dream job and my freelance work lets me pad down the hall to the kitchen to work.  No complaints, we’re in a good place. Bonus, my sister is coming up for a week (a week!) to visit.  It will be awesome. She is bringing me shoes and her mad cooking skillz.  Seriously, she should have her own show, or at least a blog.

On another note, baby bean is going to be born the first week of August. Evidently in our small town the hospital policy is that once you have one c-section, future deliveries need to be too because they don’t have the staff immediately available to handle an emergency during a VBAC if one should arise. No problem, I was leaning that way anyway. My new doctor kinda scared the bah – jeezes out of me with the 1 in 100 scenario though. Seriously, he went on and on to what could happen to that 1%, to the point that I was in tears and he evidently sucks at reading body language.

I have a crock pot now. I’m convinced that if I use it even twice a week it will solve all my problems.  Or at least have a hot dinner. I’m embarrassed by how many salads and frozen dinners we’ve had since we moved up here. I can’t seem to get my act together.  Luckily the toddler loves frozen peas, toast, chicken, chicken, pasta, applesauce, yogurt and green olives.  Staples in every home right?

Have you seen the show on AMC “Breaking Bad”?  It’s awesome, yo.  And it’s On Demand, which is my new best friend.  I’m also on NetFlix and need to beef up my queue because I know I’ll be watching a few movies when the bean is born and I’m recovering.  Anything new out I should keep an eye out for?  I like dark comedies, thrillers and I’m a sucker for a romantic comedy if it doesn’t have Meg Ryan in it. Nothing against Meg, but I’ve seen them all enough thank you.

So, in short: New house is good,  favorite (only) sister is coming for a long visit, and I’ll be having a new baby at the beginning of August, which brings the tally to two under two. Help. I have a crock pot that I expect to magically make us dinner and I’m planning on watching a lot of tv and lounging around while the rest of the family takes care of the kids.

That’s been my life for the past two weeks, hope yours is less chaotic but lots of fun!

It’s done. We’re moving to the boonies.

I’m okay with it. The closer job didn’t pan out in the end so it was not worth the agony that Husband was putting himself through anyway. There is a teeny tiny part of me that is a little sad about it, but I had already accepted the boonies as the way it was going to be, so I’m not let down. Just one year, no problemo.

I see it as a little bit of a challenge, an adventure! Hopefully the neighborhoods are full of families and block parties and the college kids don’t out number us. Did I say this is a huge college town?

I already know there is an excellent thai restaurant, fabulous parks with trails and a pool and open space. The downtown is quaint with lots of boutiques and when I need to get my Target/ Trader Joes/ BB&B hit, they are there, just 10 minutes away. Everything is 10 minutes away! The convenience! We’ll ride bikes everywhere and the kids will be super healthy and fit from all the fresh air.

Now if I can just remember how to make friends instead of ‘network’. Ugh. Hi. My name is Katie and I’m out of my element.

Move to the boonies, or stay in civilization? Random Tuesday Thoughts

This is the third week in a row where all I can manage is a RTT post.

I’ve started freelancing part time, which is awesome, but also not awesome.  I like the idea of being able to keep my hand in the game while I’m on maternity leave, have a little flexibility with my time and bring in some moolah.  The not awesome is that sometimes the laziness kicks in.  Maybe it’s not even laziness, I would just rather be doing something else.  Trying that new ginger cake recipe. Going to the park with the toddler. Going for a walk with the dog, toddler and husband.

The latest addition to this saga is Husband’s job opportunities.  It’s tough here in the Bay Area, as it is elsewhere, and as you may know, we both came here jobless, but with leads. We are still at my parents house, as we planned to do for a few months, before the baby is born.  The best option so far is a great career step for him doing what he loves, but it is in the boonies.  It is in a small college town 3 hours away from my parents.  It is small, people.  I am not a small, rural town kind of gal.  If he goes this route, I’ve been promised that he will pursue a transfer in a year.  I can freelance anywhere and as he has the best opportunity to be gainfully employed for the foreseeable future,  it’s kinda up to him.  There is a small, small chance of something else, only an hour from my parents, who are the reason we moved back to California, but will be more of a job and less of a career move, and it will not require moving to the boonies but actually staying in civilization.

Part of me wants to yell, “take the soul sucking, better paying, closer to my family, job”, but my heart knows that he’d be happier in the boonies at his dream job.  So, can I do it for a year?  Absolutely.  It’s just a year.  I can do anything for a year.  Right?  A final decision will be made by the end of the week.

On with the random.

We don’t know if this baby will be a boy or a girl but we think girl, and she will be born in early August.

We have our list of girl names but it is so hard to come up with boy names right now.

Husband got me a beautiful bouquet of iris and tulips for mom’s day over the weekend.

Staying in my old high school bedroom has brought back a ton of memories.   Good and less good.

It’s teacher appreciation week. Go hug your teacher.  (Hi sis!)

Where can I find cute, inexpensive maternity jeans?  Ugh.  I’m not spending $100 on a pair of jeans I’ll just wear for a few more months but I’d really like a pair that fit right.  I hate my old pair from my last pregnancy.  I looked fat, not pregnant.

The toddler has a huge vocabulary now, dominated by the word “more”.  Usually referring to whatever food he is eating.

Sigh.  Husband asks, what’s on your mind?

Me: nothing, everything.

Going back to Cali

Good morning.  We made a a huge family decision in December.  We are moving back to California.  That’s right.  After 6 very good years in Atlanta we decided we needed to move back to California to be closer to family.  While Atlanta has been very good to us (although certain parts were weird) it came down to family.  Now that we have a toddler and are expecting a new baby in August, the following things hit us squarely in the forehead:

  • we would like our kids to know their grandparents better
  • we would like our parents to know our kids
  • we are tired of Atlanta
  • we love the Bay Area
  • we have itchy feet (not the athletes foot kind, the other kind)

So, we made plans and we are jumping in 1 week.  Why jumping you ask?  Because neither of the grown-ups in our family have a job planned out there, we are selling all of our furniture except for the baby’s, and we are staying with my PARENTS for 2-3 months until one of us gets a job.  And since I’m actually looking pregnant now, it will likely be my husband since I have never heard of a woman getting hired when she is visibily pregnant. (Thanks for the insights Brooke!)


I may or may not have mention previously that Husband and my DAD are driving both our cars cross country over 5 days and pulling 1 trailer with boxes of the random stuff I can not part with right now.  I will be taking the toddler on the plane with me on a hopefully not unpleasant flight.  I’m sure the stories from my husband after that trip will yield at least 10, maybe 11 juicy posts. Certainly a picture.  Oh, and they are taking the DOG.

Stream of consciousness from fantastic pesto to a trip down memory lane

At least I thought I made fantastic pesto.  Fresh basil, a little parsley, a little salt, garlic, a little pepper, a little cheese, swirl it up, add a little olive oil… taste, taste, taste… hmmm, a little salty but it will be fine on the pasta with all the veggies.  Cook pasta, blanch asparagus, sautee ‘shrooms, done done done…. throw it together, add on the pesto… oh my god.  It got saltier.  How does that happen?  I think it was the cheese.

So what did we do? We picked out the veggies and then had toast.  Yes, that’s right.  toast.  Someone needs to go the grocery store.  That would be me.  In the division of labor at our house, I do the groceries, except for the random occassional needing of one item.   I find some chores horrible, some less horrible, and some I don’t mind.  I don’t mind cooking but I hate the idea of mowing our lawn (front and back!); I don’t like cleaning, but I’d rather vacuum than do the dishes each night.  I don’t even want to consider doing anything with a weed wacker in the back yard where it gets a little hairy by the creek, but the grocery shopping doesn’t bother me.

This has made me think of my mom.  She did all the chores in the house, my dad the chores outside the house. Except for some gardening. Mom loves gardening.  She was a new mom in the second half of the 70’s with 2 little girls.  She stayed home with us until we went to school, and then was there for us when we did go to school but came home at 3.  I asked her about it last time we were together and she said she wouldn’t have had it any other way.  They didn’t have tons of money, but my dad worked and it paid enough that if they watched their funds she could stay home with us.  And she did.  I have a lot of great memories as a kid, playing with mom or just being out with her.  She’d let me help in the kitchen, using ‘help’ pretty loosely here. I think that’s my word, not hers, any way.  She’d do puzzles and take us to the park.  I remember coming home after school and we’d sit at the kitchen table and talk about the day for a little bit, have a snack, and then off to do homework.

sigh.  those were the days

sigh. those were the days

I have good memories of my dad too, but they are fewer from that age.  I think that’s just a by-product of him being at work all day and coming home in the evenings, at 6 on the dot.  But we all spent a lot of time as a family on the weekends.  Until I became a teenager and it wasn’t cool.  But even then, we’d still do family outings.  My parents knew it was important that we spent time together as a family.  They must have seen my sister and I growing up, too fast I’m sure, and wanting to spend time, and instill as much goodness and make as many memories as possible.  All of this makes me think of my new family.  Husband (10 years!) and the bundle (7 months!).  Time goes so quick doesn’t it.  All we have are choices.  Each choice leads us to something new.  It’s exciting isn’t it?