House Tour #1

I knew that if I didn’t post pictures now, pre-move in, I wouldn’t feel ready to post any for months (aka, until everything gets put away!).

The view out our front door

The view from the front door looking in. Notice the soft gray with the white trim! Definitely love this color.

View from the opposite direction, looking back at the front door from the patio door. The door on the right leads to the 2 car garage

The kitchen to the left of the dining. You can see our first round of groceries out on the counter!

I’ve already started lining the shelves with “happy” paper!

Looking out the kitchen window into the backyard

In order: the garage back door, the patio door, and the kitchen window

The backyard. Luckily, we have a gardener to mow the lawn!

More backyard. Notice the fence– freshly stained!

The side yard. Luckily, there is a padlock on the gate– wouldn’t want the kiddos running out onto the driveway!

The bathroom tucked under the stairs

Going up the stairs to the left of the front door

The stairs looking down

The view from the stairs. Disregard the UGLY curtains in the master on the left. I took them down– the housekeeper put them back up

The master bedroom and closet. It’s not a walk in, but it’s nearly 4 feet deep! The blue is part of my new color scheme that matches my new light gray/white duvet cover

The view out of our master window

Walking out the master, back towards the stairs. The door on the left is yet ANOTHER linen closet (YAY FOR LOTS OF STORAGE!). The open door is the boys’ room.

Lest you think I’m crazy for taking a picture of one of the toilets, these are NAME BRAND toilets. In fact, most of the fixtures are “Kohler”. We need to document this, because this will be the nicest throne we’ve ever sat on.

The boys room, painted the same gray as downstairs. This is actually going to be more of an office/toy room, I think…

The view from the boys’ room down into the yard!



Mother’s Day Weekend 2012

This is my second real Mother’s Day, even though I also celebrated one in 2010 since I was pregnant with Gregory at the time. We didn’t have much planned– I’ve been so busy getting things ready for our move this weekend (!!!) that the days have flown by.

The whole weekend was rather nice. Jesse has this wonderful habit of waking up with the kids every weekend and letting me sleep. I didn’t wake up until 11am on Saturday, and when we both woke up with sore throats on Sunday, Jesse stayed home from church and let me sleep in until nearly noon! Moral of the story: sleep=awesome.

We lazed around all day on Saturday, then got “gussied up” and went to our school’s benefit auction. I went a bit late in order to put G to bed (Janelle “sleep-sat” him thereafter), but it was really easy since the auction was literally a 2 minute drive away. Small town living– LOVE IT. It was a fun evening filled with desserts and coffee (as a teacher, my ticket was paid for!), hanging out with Tess who helped me change Anthony’s diapers and kept me company while I nursed in the foyer, and listening to Jesse’s 5 minute speech/introduction to the school’s promo video. So proud of that guy 🙂

As I already mentioned, Sunday morning consisted of me sleeping in, yet again, and Jesse getting up with the kids. Right around the time I rolled out of bed at noon, Brooke texted us saying that the family brunch for my Mother in Law was ready to go. We gathered the kids in quick fashion (aka, it took an hour) and made it to Paso for a lovely breakfast cooked by Brooke! We lounged around with the family, opened a few presents, and even took a nap on the couch (Jesse).

My gorgeous Mother in Law, sporting her new hat!

Sunday evening I finished round 2 of painting our apartment with Janelle and Rachel as my sidekicks. It’s looking so gorgeous….I can’t WAIT to show pictures! All in good time….I still have about 30 minutes worth of edging to do. But I got to meet the owner on Friday evening, which was great because he did a walk through of the apartment with me, asking what type of blinds I wanted, which walls I wanted him to paint, showing me the brand new stain he’d put on the kitchen cupboards and the backyard fence, etc. It was nice to put a face with the word, “landlord”.

Back to Mother’s Day festivities: even though Jesse didn’t have any physical gift for me, he did tell me that he’s arranged for us to go beachfront horseback riding in June once the Dr. gives the “okay”! This is a big step in our relationship– normally, Jesse overthinks the whole “gift giving” side of things and becomes paralyzed. I’m pretty used to either telling him exactly what I want with giant hints, or we go shopping together and he buys me something that I pick out 🙂 He blew away all of my expectations this year by arranging something ahead of time! Again, did I mention that I’m proud of him? 🙂

Lest you think that you might get through one blog post without having to deal with my crazy postpartum sentimentality, I thought I’d throw in a little something about Motherhood. I love it. These boys are crazy, but in such a good way. Every night I fall asleep, wondering if there’s any way I could love them more! And then the next day comes, and, somehow, I fall even more in love. I cannot begin to describe how mushy it makes my heart to see G grow into such a caring older brother who runs to Anthony’s side when he starts crying. I love all his crazy antics, the way he reads his books and says his letters, his adorable chubby cheeks and his HUGE blue eyes and curly blond hair……..and then there’s Anthony, the newest love of my life, who is so cuddly, so tolerant, so serious, and already so handsome! Maybe it’s his full head of hair, but I can totally see what he’s going to look like as a teenager, and we’re going to have to institute a no-dating policy early, I’m sure. In fact, even though they look so wildly different, both of our boys are abnormally good looking, I must say 😉

Overall, it’s a huge challenge, but Motherhood truly is the greatest gig ever.

Sigh. It’s so hard to get G to look at the camera these days! What happened to my little boy who loved to ham it up for the camera? 🙂

The best family pic we could come up with!

Saturday Afternoon

Today, instead of offering Gregory food when he woke up in a bad mood (the sins of the parents….), I decided to branch out a bit. What better to cure the “after-nap crankies” than a little fun with water in the sunshine?

Pot of water, cups and a spoon…MAGIC!


Since Jesse and I were the Student Council advisors this semester, we chaperoned the high school’s “Spring Formal/Prom” this last Saturday.

Funny enough, the venue, a beachside restaurant with windows that overlooked the surf, was the same exact location of my senior prom, exactly 9 years ago.

So it brought up some interesting thoughts/comparisons. We may have been attending the same location, but I couldn’t be in a more different place.

See, 9 years ago, I was going through a bit of a rough time. I’d just turned 17 and gone through a tough breakup of sorts, so I was desperate for attention. I deliberately led on a guy I knew had liked me for years, getting him to ask me to the prom, even though I was sort of interested in different guy, the same one who was DJ-ing the dance (he waived his normal $200 fee…wonder why?). Then, I left this date at the dance and got a ride home with the DJ. We started dating 3 days later.

Doesn’t sound like me?

Well, sadly, it was.

Yup, go ahead and say it. I was a bitch.

This “relationship” with said DJ lasted until the day after graduation– a grand total of 4 weeks. During that short time, I acted completely out of character, staying out late, ditching class, partying, even allowing my new “boyfriend” to drive me home while he was drunk. Although I had already been accepted into Torrey and Biola, I had decided I was no longer going to go.

Did I mention I was in a bit of a rough place?

Luckily, I had a very special friend by the name of JESSE CONE. He came home from college, found out who I was dating along with the shallow nature of our relationship, and confronted me. I’ll never forget the awkward showdown moment at the graduation reception– my DJ boyfriend, shaking hands with Jesse. Each knew who the other was, and you could have cut the tension with a knife.

Never in a MILLION years would I have dreamt that 9 years later I would be attending the same exact location, chaperoning with my HUSBAND and infant baby while my toddler rested peacefully at home, teaching at the very school I graduated from. As someone not-so-wise said when I started my relationship with Jesse, “Oh, she can’t be with him! She’s supposed to marry some rich lawyer, since it’s obvious that she needs that kind of lifestyle”. They couldn’t have been more wrong, that’s to be sure 🙂 I was floundering BIG TIME, headed down a very dangerous road, and God sent the one person in my life who could talk some sense into me.

The last 8.5 years of being with Jesse (has it already been that long?) have done more to change me than I ever thought possible. God is so good!

Some of our students, welcoming Anthony to the prom. My mom drove down with us and watched Anthony while I chaperoned with Jesse and the Bartels.

6 Months

This student of mine is amazing. Just 6 months ago (when we started lessons– he was my very first student in CA!), he couldn’t even read music, much less play anything. Last Wednesday, he performed in his first talent show. He’s come a LONG way, don’t you think? The song is called, “Malaguena”.

1 Month appt.

I cannot BELIEVE that Anthony is already a month old!

Also, as far as unbelievable things go…the kid, who I will now refer to as “El Chubbo”, weighed in at 11 lbs. 5 oz.! That’s over 3 lbs. of weight gained since his birth at 8lbs. 2 oz.! Makes sense, seeing as he is nursing every 1-2 hrs., nonstop 🙂

ALSO, thanks to all of your great advice, I have not lost any weight in 2 weeks! Hopefully we can keep this trend going– no weight loss on my end, LOTS of weight gain for El Chubbo!

Anyone who thinks that I am overly excited has never gone through the exhausting trial of having a “failure to thrive” baby. Some people get used to hearing, “90th percentile”– I will NEVER be able to take that for granted. I cannot even explain how elated I felt when the nurse said that. It was like I had just got an entire semester of A+ s. That one moment made all the 4am wakeup calls worth it!

We have two issues to contend with– he has a little bit of jaundice left in his eyes, so we are going to get his blood drawn, just to cover our bases (apparently there is a thing called “breast milk induced jaundice”?). He also has a diaper rash from HELL, which turned out to be a yeast infection. We have to go pick up a prescription for some medicated cream. Poor guy, it looks like he birthed an acid bomb down there… 😦

Anyways, here are pictures of the whole family on this momentous day!


Me in the bathroom, ALL ALONE! A rare occurrence nowadays, since Gregory has mini-panic attacks whenever I leave the room without him 😦

Gregory’s favorite Contraband Drawer…the batteries…

A Gregory and Dadda wrestling match

From Conception to Birth

I don’t think it’s possible to watch this video without shedding a tear or two. Just saying.


Master Bedroom Picture Project

I’ve been on a project spree lately, in case you can’t tell. I already mentioned that when we move, we will be overhauling the color scheme/decor that we previously had in our master bedroom.

Part of what we needed was some sort of decoration or art work to go above our headboard. I looked around for things that would work in our color scheme, but I didn’t like it or it was more than I wanted to spend.

I’ve always really wanted large photo canvases of our wedding pictures, but they’re really expensive– about $80/each for an 8×10. So, I decided to do the cheap version for now, before deciding to make that kind of investment. These 11×14 were $15/each through our photographer, and they turned out beautifully. The canvases were $5/each on sale at Michaels. I glued the back of them onto the canvas using photo-safe Mod-Podge, and voila!

My mom’s gonna be upset that you can see her mismatched dining room chairs in the background. Don’t worry, she’s working on replacing them ASAP 🙂

I even helped Janelle with her own 8×10 from school! These smaller canvases were even cheaper– about $1.50/each

Important News!

I can’t believe that I’ve failed to mention this for the past 2 days! On Wednesday, Jesse and I signed a lease and put down our deposit on a lovely little townhouse here in Atascadero!

Our lease is a year long, which means that we will be waiting at least that long until we buy a house. After we’ve completed a year lease, we can rent month to month without any penalty or increase in rent. This works out well, since there are really only 2 times (ideally) for us to move– Christmas break and summer break. Although we’ve been advised that housing prices are 3-5% lower during the winter time (same with rentals– the rental agency we’re going through won’t even let us give a 30 day notice in the months of Nov- Jan., since no one wants to move then), summer works out better in a whole lot of ways. One big reason– Jesse and I don’t handle the inter-marital stress of moving all too well 🙂 Having 3 months to move in without the pressures of working is ideal with two young kids.

Anyways, on to the townhome! It’s really true that God couldn’t have designed a better place on so many levels. It’s got 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms (ideally, I’d have liked a 3rd bedroom as an office, but it wasn’t as high as other things on my list of priorities). It has a pretty little yard. It has a 2 car garage! It has washer and dryer connections– a must with babies.

Financially speaking, it’s less $/month than what we were paying at our old apartment complex in Texas! Blows a huge hole in the theory that our living expenses would have to go up by moving to CA, that’s for sure. Some of this has to do with the fact that it’s not part of a giant complex with a pool and a gym (there are only 3 units total), but, to be honest, we rarely used either unless it was during the summer, and my parents have a giant pool less than 5 minutes away. And gym memberships around here are pretty cheap (my father in law pays $10/month for his).

Not only is the rent lower, but it also includes over $100/month’s worth of utilities! Including a gardener! So we’ll never have to mow our lawn 🙂 I won’t have to worry about our water bill when I do cloth diapers, so it will literally be free for us to diaper our kids.

Best part, however, is, once again, the proximity. I have to admit, I’ve fallen head over heels in love with the Central Coast’s obsession with hardly having to drive anywhere. Long commutes are the minority here, for some reason (gas prices?). A long commute for us is 15-30 minutes, but that’s better than average in LA or Dallas, for instance.

Anyways, the proximity. We will be, once again, within walking distance of the school! There’s a little back path that goes up over a hill and pops out right at the public high school across the street from where we work. In “Biola Terms”, it’s the distance from Hart Hall to the Sutherland Belltower (why do I like using Biola distances? I’m not sure– probably because college was the last time Jesse and I used walking as our primary mode of transportation).

The arrow is where the townhome is. The school is right where the small “Atascadero” is.

Yay for only needing 1 car! Jesse can walk to school and I can have the car every day. No 2nd mode of transportation needed! Also, going back and forth to nurse the babies? Easy. Walking to school to have lunch with Jesse? Easy.

We move on May 18th, 2 weeks before school gets out (yikes!). Please, say a prayer of thanksgiving for us, as we couldn’t have found a better situation for this waiting period!

Our driveway, front door and garage. The upstairs window is the master bedroom. You can’t tell here, but the townhouse is on a little hill with a great view!

Part of our lovely backyard! I can’t wait to have a garden! Best part is that the kitchen window overlooks it, so I can get work done while the boys play 🙂

Nightstands, Part 2

Here they are, hardware on!

As you can see, with the help of a power drill we added a 3rd hole/knob to the top row

I’m working on “mod-podging” all of the drawers with scrapbook paper