Dear Myles (18 months)

Myles, 18 months // Life In Beta

Today, Myles, you turn 18 months old. I look at you and can’t believe I’ve been a mother for a year and a half now. I’m constantly trying to savor every moment of your fleeting baby and toddlerhood. I’m proud and excited to see the little boy you’re going to grow into, but at the same time, I’m mourning the little baby I knew. Parenthood, I’m learning, is simultaneously rewarding and heartbreaking.

People comment about your beautiful head of hair all the time. You’re sometimes mistaken for a little girl, with your beautiful curls, but we don’t have the heart to cut them off. Your smiles melt hearts and your laughter is infectious. It’s pretty hard to discipline you sometimes because your mischievous grin kills me.

Myles, 18 months // Life In Beta

You’re still a man of very few words, Myles. We’re anxious for you to talk. Your big brother was an early-talker, so everyone had the same expectation for you. I don’t mind that your words are pretty much limited to “Mama”, “Dada”, “kitty” and “ball”. I know you’ll talk our ears off when you’re good and ready, and I’m very excited for the stories you’re going to tell us!

Despite not having many words at your disposal, you always manage to get your point across. You climb up on any toy that will hold you, and you wave your arms dramatically and babble at the top of your lungs, as if you’re on a soapbox addressing your constituents. You’re incredibly funny and delight in making people laugh. If you stumble and someone smiles or giggles, you get up and purposely perform more fake trips and falls to entertain the room.

Myles, 18 months // Life In Beta

You still love to cuddle right now, though sometimes you’re too busy to sit that still. (I’m trying to enjoy this while it lasts; I know it won’t be much longer till you won’t want to cuddle your old momma any more…) You adore the cat (he has mixed feelings about you) and like to climb on and generally harass the dog. Your favorite show is Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and you get really excited, clapping and squealing whenever it comes on television. You have a lot of favorite toys, but your most favorites right now are probably a stuffed “Lady” dog (from Lady and the Tramp) that Pappy gave you and your ride-on Mickey Mouse fire truck. You also love to stack blocks and march around the house in mommy and daddy’s shoes. You’re really good at pointing out your nose, eyes, ears, hair, and belly. Your favorite food is still broccoli — if I can get you to eat nothing else, broccoli is always a safe bet! (I hope you always stay that way, loving vegetables the way you do now!)

This month, as you turn a year and a half old, we’re moving out of your first childhood home — the home you were born in. It could never have been our “forever” home, and I knew that, but it’s still heartbreaking to close the door on the place where you were born and grew from an infant to a busy toddler. I have lots of photos I’ll save for you, and someday when you’re grown up, I hope we can stop by that house and ask whomever is living there if we could peek into their living room. (Imagine how surprised they’ll be when we tell them you were born in a swimming pool in the corner of their living room!)

Myles, 18 months // Life In Beta

Your mom is a terribly, terribly sentimental woman, Myles. (I’m sorry.) But hopefully the positive side of that is that you’ll never have any doubt how very much I love you. Part of me wishes I could just freeze time because how could I ever love you and enjoy your companionship any more than I do RIGHT NOW? But then I think: I felt that same way 6 months ago, a year ago, and on the day you were born. Every day I love you to the moon and back, and as you grow up, I hope we’ll always be close and the best of friends, mother and son.

(Just don’t hurry with that whole growing up thing TOO fast. Your poor momma’s heart can’t take any rush.)

Where We’re At: The In-Between

I’m always cautious to wish away time. All too often, we (myself included) get caught up in thinking about what comes NEXT instead of appreciating NOW.

However, I can honestly with all my heart say I’m ready for October to be OVER.

Don't hurry, don't worry. // Life In Beta

We’re currently in limbo between the old house and the new house. We’re staying in the new house; all of our furniture and the “necessities” (clothes, kitchen stuff, etc.) are there, but half of it is still in boxes and hard to find. Then there’s the old house whose contents need sorted into keep/sell/donate/toss designations. (I have too much stuff.) It’s all a GOOD thing, but it’s also stressful in the in-between, and unfortunately the result is that I haven’t had much brain-power left to devote to blogging (or freelance, or fun…)

In other news…

The drama of the new hot water tank continues.

The short version is this: We needed a hot water tank and decided to replace both it and the holding tank (we have well water) at the same time. A job that was supposed to take one day took three because with it being an old house with old plumbing, some things needed some creative retrofitting. Then the replacement hot water tank had a bad part that was causing the “hot” water to be only barely lukewarm. The plumber had to order a replacement part, and once installed he discovered the replacement part was ALSO defective. We’re now on the replacement-for-the-replacement part, and FINALLY things appear to be working properly. I hope.

Myles thinks wood floors are the beesknees.

Seriously. This kid cracks me up.

Watching his delight at being able to slip and slide all over the floor simultaneously gives me grey hairs AND takes me back to being a kid, loving to do the same exact thing. (And no doubt giving my mother grey hairs in the process as well.)

Living in the “country” is a change.

We’re really only a few miles off a main street with every store imaginable, but it feels like we’re a world away. I’m used to living in the city with lots more traffic and street lights. Nights at the new house are DARK and QUIET. Now that it’s too cold for crickets at night, it’s really REALLY quiet. It doesn’t give me the creeps, but it is an adjustment.

It’s also an adjustment to not have a Dollar General two blocks down the road whenever I need something randomly (ya know – milk, bread, toilet paper, cleaning supplies). The new house is close to lots of stores, but not walking-distance or late-night-on-a-whim distance. I actually have to plan my shopping trips a little more (or be willing to pay exorbitant prices at the closest convenience store – pfft). But that’s not really a bad thing either. Just different.

I’m running on fumes.

That’s probably the toughest part right now. I’m living off coffee (mmm… coffee…) and just trying to get by. I’m seriously considering hibernating the first two weeks of November to catch up.

Busy with New Beginnings

It’s very difficult right now to sit down and write a coherent blog post. I have lots of notes in my planner. Lots of ideas for posts to write, DIY projects to do and photograph so I can make tutorials, lots of things I want to review and share with you … the list goes on and on. But right now, my brain is on overload and this blog is being temporarily neglected. (Sorry.)

Living Your Dream // Life In Beta

There are such huge shifts taking place in my life. Ever since Myles was born, really, I’ve been in transition. It suddenly became very important to me to begin making a lot of my dreams happen. The next two months begin the journey toward finally living the life I’ve always wanted: living in the country, having a “homestead” (even if it is tiny), living more self-sufficiently, and simplifying life in general. I’m really (really, really!) excited to share all of it with you. (This blog is called Life in BETA, after all — constantly evolving and improving!) I’m just not there yet.

This weekend I’ll be doing my best to finish a lot of the painting at the new house. I wanted everything done and pristine, but it’s just not going to happen. Instead, I’m just making sure all the trim is painted and all the walls that will have major pieces of furniture or appliances blocking them are done. Everything else will have to wait because we’re going to be moving the first weekend in October.

We’re downsizing quite a lot in our move, and I am having a very hard time visualizing where things are going to go, so I decided the best way to do it would be to move all the necessities then go back to the old house and pick and choose the other things to keep. Then we’re going to have a big household sale at the old house. Hopefully that will get rid of everything!

I’m hoping to avoid having to get a storage unit, but I’m a horrible, sentimental keeper-of-stuff. I guess we’ll see how it goes…

Life is going to be very busy in the next year or so. The house needs work and I have so many plans. My heart is happy and I’m excited to start it all, but this final month of transition is going to be crazy! Bring it on.

Currently… (Home Progress Edition)

It’s been a crazy week, friends — but pretty much all GOOD-crazy!

First, I’m waiting to hear from the title company any time now because we’re closing on our old house in Nashville today (over a week early)! It’s going to involve a lot of running around today to get the papers signed and notarized and FedExed back, but then it is DONE. It’s a huge weight off my shoulders to have that house sold.

Second, our new house here (the one we’re remodeling) is coming along BEAUTIFULLY. We hired a contractor to install our wood laminate flooring, remove an old (unused) wood stove chimney, and do some plumbing for us. The flooring is down (the trim just needs to be added) and the difference is amazing

Living Room - Before // Life In Beta

Living Room After (So far) // Life In Beta

Obviously there’s still work to be done (the trim and door need to be painted) but overall I can’t get over the difference a little paint and flooring as made! It’s so much brighter and more “fresh” feeling. I can’t wait to take some good photos in natural lighting so you can really see what I mean! (This room gets amazing natural light through the big east-facing windows, and I love it!)

Currently…

WATCHING // I haven’t watched it in several seasons, but this year I’ve found myself sucked back into Dancing with the Stars. There are so many talented dancers on there this season! Randy Couture was my immediate favorite for me. I had goosebumps when he danced! I wasn’t expecting him to be nearly so light on his feet. Sadie Robertson is probably my favorite out of the ladies. I’m also loving Tommy Chong and of course Alfonso Ribeiro.

READING // I started reading  The Natural Homestead last night. It was part of the Healthy Living Bundle that I picked up a week or two ago when it was on sale. There were SO many good books in that bundle — I’m going to have lots to keep me busy reading!

WORKING ON // Apart from the obvious (home remodel), we’re also starting to work on selling some things at our house so we can downsize and move. We have to be moved out of our current place by the end of October! (Eeek!)

PLANNING // I’m still daydreaming about my hobby farm/homestead/whatever you want to call it. My plans for a chicken coop are falling into place — I’m starting to compute measurements and draw plans. I really can’t wait! I’m hoping to get my chicks early in the spring (April -ish) and have the coop ready by the time they’re 8 weeks old. So I need to be ready!

LOOKING FORWARD TO // … Time with friends! I get to spend time with my friend Melanie this weekend. She’s been such a huge blessing helping with the new house — she’s a superwoman when it comes to painting! I’m looking forward to lunch and some more painting and laughter with her on Saturday. Our friends Erica and Alan also found a new house and will be moving up from Pittsburgh in a few weeks! I am SO looking forward to having them close by! That also means Amelia will be here, so Myles will have lots of play dates starting soon! So much to look forward to…

Erin Condren Life Planner Review

My Erin Condren 2014-15 Planner // Life In Beta

You guys– I’ve been wanting to share this with you for SO LONG, but as excited as I’ve been, I thought I ought to use my new planner for a couple months first to give a fair review. Suffice to say: I am just as in love with my Erin Condren Life Planner now as I was on day one!

I am a paper-planner-person. I love technology and I DO use my phone for some reminders and calendar events, but for day-to-day tasks and reminders, I still prefer a paper planner. There’s just SOMETHING about being able to see everything spread in front of me in a week-long spread that I can scribble all over that helps me make sense of my time management. I don’t get that same satisfaction or peace from viewing it on my tiny phone screen in the Calendar app, or even on my bigger laptop screen. So if you’re a paper-planner-person like me, you’re going to love the Life Planner!

My EC Planner, Closeup // Life In Beta

(Imagine glowing light and angels singing here.)

NOTE: I am receiving no compensation for this review, and all the opinions are my own. However, you can get a $10 off coupon code if you use my referrer link (and I’ll earn $10 as well–thanks for supporting this blog!) .

Erin Condren Life Planner - Week Spread // Life In Beta

This thing has become my BEST FRIEND over the last few months. It’s the perfect balance of prettiness and functionality. Let me give you a quick tour…

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