Friday, February 17, 2017

weekend: I'm jet-planing back home

hooray!
hurrah!
yippee!

image courtesy of vogue

my brother and sister-in-law are back from their vacation in hawaii which means it's time for me to hug and kiss my nieces and nephews and return to san francisco -- but first, one more movie and pizza night. 

the parent-child reunion is quite sweet to witness and I'm looking forward to a reunion of my own, with mr. brooks. I've missed him terribly. while I've been away (11 days total) and we've had to rely on phone calls and text for keeping in touch, I've been reminded how funny he is, and that I can fall in love with him again -- anytime, and almost without realizing it. (isn't that delightful?) 

monday is a holiday for me -- mr. brooks has to work -- and I figure I'll spend my time washing baby clothes and picking up stuff from the office that shipped while I was away, like my fawn design backpack. baby still has 2 months before he's due but I figure that time will fly by and I should make the most of my time while I have the time. there still remains much to do, and I'm growing a tad anxious. albeit, if baby showed up tomorrow, we'd be fine to make it work with what we've got. 

happy long weekend to you, lovies,
kcb + baby

Thursday, February 16, 2017

thursday things I love--

images courtesy 1, 2

it's still winter here in moses lake.
the smell of banana bread baking.
hilarious. and slightly creepy.
watching my nieces and nephews dance it out to kidz bop.
putting together my baby registries -- 1 and 2. totally surreal.
peeking at my baby nephew as he sleeps.

things I love.
happy thursday!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

the list diaries. chapter 008 -- things I like to eat.

images courtesy of ohhappyday and gthegent

the list diaries.
chapter 008.

I love food and I love to eat. as my appetite has fluctuated during this pregnancy, I've come to learn there are staples to my diet -- foods I love more than others and, simply, can't live without.

  • ice cream, particularly breyer's strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla
  • a juicy cheeseburger on a hearty bun, topped with lettuce and mustard, pickles and onion; salty fries on the side
  • fried eggs from the cast iron skillet on my own stovetop and toast -- one of my favourite dinners; I like my eggs for breakfast, not dinner
  • a toasted turkey sandwich with mustard, pepperoncinis, crispy romaine, tomatoes, and havarti cheese with applesauce or cottage cheese on the side
  • green curry with beef from our favourite local thai restaurant -- for takeout, please
  • one of my husband's signature grilled cheese sandwiches
  • steamed broccoli with salt, pepper, and some butter
  • a bowl of homemade granola or kashi's heart to heart honey toasted oat cereal and the milk that's leftover
  • steamed milk with a hint of vanilla and cinnamon sprinkled on top
  • oven-roasted yukon gold potatoes with salt, pepper, and olive oil

unlike other women, I haven't experienced any weird or odd food cravings (mr. brooks hasn't had to make any middle-of-the-night-runs to in-n-out or 7-eleven) or aversions. my diet has remained mostly the same as it was before becoming pregnant, the only difference is sometimes I can eat a little more than I could (or should) before. occasionally I'll crave more salt or a super sweet treat, like a cupcake with a mound of frosting on top, or I'll give in to that tiny bag of cheetos and eat a handful, tossing the rest in the garbage. 

eating is as fun as it was before I was pregnant -- the major difference being that I like eating at home with mr. brooks rather than go out. home food tastes the best, lately, and it's more comfortable for this growing belly. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

love day. heart day.

it's valentine's day. love day. heart day. find someone to love. anyone. a girl friend. a boy friend. a pet. a sibling. your barista. your bus driver. the dog walker. share some love. we all need it -- for ourselves and for each other. 


my love to you, dear lovely readers,
kcb

images courtesy of 1, 2, 3

postscript to baby brooks -- I love you more and more everyday and imagine that love will continue to grow as you do. let's snuggle. let's hold hands. let's dance and let's hug, all the time. truly, I cannot wait to meet you in two months and start our life together -- as mother and son. 

Monday, February 13, 2017

valentine's day -- don't be a hater.

as a new couple celebrating valentine's day, I had expectations of grand love displays and a romantic dinner and a card with bold proclamations of love. that's not what I got. at my apartment, I set up a display of chocolates and candles on heart-shaped plates, and a photo of me in a heart-shaped frame for my valentine. my efforts fell flat. 

it took about a year for me and mr. brooks to find our common love language. and while it kinda stung that my initial effort fell flat, I love where we are now. we do valentine's day our own way -- there's no jewelry involved and no fancy dinner by candlelight, and sometimes I buy my own flowers. we celebrate the holiday by spending time loving each other, eating something tasty, and reminiscing about our early days. for us, that's the perfect valentine's night.


images courtesy of 1, 2

of all the holidays celebrated in the united states, valentine's day gets hit the hardest. people love to bash it, hate on it, and toss it aside as if it's worse than tax day -- really guys, how can it be worse than tax day? (tax day's saving grace is celebrating one of my brother's; it's his birthday.) that makes me sad. 

sure, perhaps companies and retailers have preyed on the holiday and taken advantage of the believers and the love-sayers turning it into a drawn out ooey gooey love mess. and maybe the aisles decked out in red and the jewelry commercials on tv are annoying and seem to show up earlier every year, but if you're not into valentine's day, pay no mind and ignore it. carry on your way. don't make it miserable for the people who enjoy a day dedicated to love and find happiness in the chocolates and flowers and lingerie and dinners by candlelight. 

many folks say that love should be celebrated all year long, and not just one day of the year. I agree. but is there really so much harm in there being an additional day each year that is dedicated to love? why trash talk another opportunity to tell the ones you love how much they mean to you? maybe chocolates and flowers and lingerie aren't your love language. maybe candlelight dinners and jewelry don't mean love to you. that's fine. love comes in many languages and styles. when you find yours, latch on and don't let go. and if your love language is celebrating valentine's day and you love flirting with the chocolates and flowers and cards and jewelry, then enjoy it, and nevermind those that bash the beautiful love holiday.


yours truly,
kcb

Friday, February 10, 2017

weekend: partly sunny with toddlers and little ones

image courtesy of blog.anthropologie

I've traded the rainy san francisco weather for temperatures in the mid-20's, snow, and freezing rain while co-babysitting my 5 nieces and nephews so their parents, my brother and his wife, can have a much-deserved vacation in hawaii (yes, co-babysitting with my mom because it takes more than one to take care of these kiddos). 

we're kicking off the weekend with movie (the incredibles) and pizza night, and a game of fetching socks with the littlest one (he puts a sock in his mouth like a puppy, I snatch and toss it, he retrieves it, returns it to me, and then we do it again; it's quite hilarious). saturday will start with waffles smothered in whipped cream and strawberry  jam and will evolve into a day of playing and baking. if the kids are lucky, perhaps we'll load up the minivan for a daytime adventure to walmart and fill a cart with valentines. 

while I'm away, mr. brooks and suzy are left to take care of each other. it's pretty sweet picturing them hanging out together, watching a show, falling asleep, and chatting. I wonder what they chat about.

happy weekend lovelies.
kcb + baby

Friday, February 3, 2017

in other news, it's the weekend!

hooray!
hurrah!
yippee!

it's been another full week. thursday felt like friday; wednesday was a late social night (double-date with friends over vietnamese takeout); thursday I wanted to cry after work I was so tired.

luckily, the weekend is now upon us and I can get some rest. tonight we're going out to look at a gliding rocking chair and then home for popcorn and a show, perhaps the crown. tomorrow is a read-a-thon at my stepdaughter's school -- husband and I are judges. after that I'm meeting up with my friend that is pregnant with twins for a late lunch and, from that point on and through sunday, will be downtime for rest, reading, and writing (I'm currently working on a whole version of my miscarriage story to share with publications for [gulp] print -- the story in separate parts 1, 2, 3, and 4).

images courtesy of 1, 2

a few amusing bits from this week:

  • my black maternity jeans are ripping in an unfortunate place. so sad! wearing them with tunics and minidresses is the only solution to continuing their life until my due date because there is no sense in buying another pair.
  • I signed up for a free trial of diapers from the honest company and they were delivered today. they are newborn size and absolutely adorable. next week my lenny lemons order comes in and I can't wait to see those sweet outfits. truthfully I wasn't going to buy baby brooks any new clothes this early on but I couldn't resist when I saw this onesie, this outfit, and this play suit. cute, right?
  • friends are letting us borrow their moses rocking bassinet and it's now in our living room. suzy keeps sniffing and hiding underneath it. I wonder what she'll think when there's a baby in there making sounds she's not accustomed to hearing. I've also started filling my amazon.com cart with motherly things, like nipple cream, a nursing pillow, and our stroller choice. this is getting real.
  • a moment ago I typed "pooportunity" in a work email. surely this is a sign of early onset mom brain. and the fact that the trial bunch of diapers are right next to me.

on that note, friends, I'll sign off. best wishes for the weekend ahead!

love,
kcb + baby

Thursday, February 2, 2017

thursday things I love--

images 1, 2, 3

this litter box -- wow, and their corresponding instagram feed is adorable
double dating with friends -- birthing and mothering were the hot 
topics over vietnamese takeout
can't wait to make this cake with my sweeties in moses lake next week
cute alphabet prints -- fun to think about teaching baby Brooks
finding love within this new body
pretty underthings -- for any day of the week
the mormon tabernacle choir: his voice as the sound

things I love.
happy thursday!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

framed life.

images courtesy of artifact uprising

these are the frames I've been looking for!

they're sleek, modern, come in a variety of sizes, and from what I can tell, perfect. we haven't hung anything on our walls since moving back in and even before that, our photo and art collection was growing on the floor rather than spreading out on the walls. we've talked about a wall hanging plan but it hasn't come to fruition. and with the chance of us moving again in 6 months or so, framing and hanging artwork and photos has been pushed to the back burner.

but now with baby Brooks well on his way, our walls feel too empty. I want to fill them with our wedding pictures baby-related prints, like these sweet alphabet posters, to homey-ize our place.

Monday, January 30, 2017

my saturday: kale soup, baby travel systems, and chick-fil-a

images courtesy of 1, 2

instead of protests and writing letters to my state representatives, husband and I shopped for carseats and strollers. does that make me any less American than those at the front lines? I don't think so. for me it's a matter of priority. and with baby Brooks coming in April, baby stuff trumps everything else. besides, my Facebook feed needs a mood boost -- too many sad stories and tragic outcomes already from the executive order. thus, I'm writing about my perfectly mundane saturday as I prepare for the biggest change my life has ever seen. there is a certain joy found in the mundane, in the simple, and we thrive in it, independently and as a couple. this is something I find beautiful about us.

on saturday, we woke around 7.30a. husband left for a walk/jog/stairs and I stayed back to make breakfast casserole -- an easy dish that has quickly become a family favourite. and I was simply in the mood to cook. when he got back, we headed off for the great land of babies 'r us. we are truly keeping to a simple plan for baby Brooks but being in that baby land made me want all kinds of unnecessary stuff. you should have seen the dinosaur onesies and the baby bathtubs! I was good -- we came away with ideas only and strollers to research. 

our adventure moved on to a booth at chik-fil-a, where the research on strollers and travel systems (a stroller and car seat combined) continued. we hit up a target nearby and after being disappointed in their baby stuff selection, moved on to the tv department. we are not getting a new tv. but husband deserves his own treat, and staring at huge tvs seems to do the trick. 

heading toward home, we made one more stop at a boutique shop and tested out another stroller brand before going to the grocery store. my list was simple: kale, chicken broth, yogurt, ice cream, milk, eggs, beets, flour, white cannellini beans, and grapefruit juice. finally, once home, I hopped back into the kitchen and whipped up our favourite kale soup*. it simmered all evening while we watched a show and reveled in how much we love our cozy apartment. 

it was a good saturday. 

--------------------------

*kale soup recipe
a tube of mild italian sausage
as much kale as you can stuff in your stockpot
3-5 cans of white cannellini beans
a carton or two of low sodium chicken broth
a yellow onion, chopped
vegetable or olive oil

brown the sausage in a frying pan. in the stockpot, saute the yellow onion in oil. when the onion is tender, add the browned sausage. stir and let them cook together for a few minutes. then add the cans of beans, with their juice. add the kale in batches. add the chicken stock. add salt and pepper to taste. let it come to a boil and then turn down to low/simmer and let it cook down for at least an hour. check on it regularly for taste. depending on how soupy you want it, you may want to add a bit more stock.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

thursday things I love--

images 1, 2, 3

transitioning into the mothering state of mind
friends who sweetly exclaim how tiny I am at this stage 
of my pregnancy, because I feel huge
staying informed on the first 100 days
loving my pregnant shape but also missing my old body

things I love.
happy thursday!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

the list diaries. chapter 007 -- mothering on the brain

images courtesy of motherly and hatch newsletters

the list diaries.
chapter 007.

since the moment I thought I might be pregnant, back in August while at the lakehouse on family vacation, this baby has been on my mind day and night. and now that I'm two days into my 3rd trimester, baby brain has skyrocketed and the pressure of how quickly these last weeks will go is beginning to set in. not only are there a number of things to buy (even with our plan of keeping it simple), the list of to-dos is quite lengthy -- and no doubt I'm forgetting a few things. 


things to buy:

  • the first round of newborn diapers
  • a rocking chair or glider -- a comfortable seat for nursing and napping
  • a car seat 
  • a stroller
  • a diaper bag, or determine which bag in my current collection could serve as a non-traditional diaper bag

things to do:
  • decide my birth plan 
  • build my hospital go bags, one to keep at the office and one for home
  • write a labour plan for the office, just in case my water breaks at work 
  • start attending breathing and labour prep classes
  • hire my maternity leave sub at work -- can't abandon my team!
  • plan out and complete as much work in advance as I can, particularly related to my ongoing branding and culture projects
  • decide what my returning-from-leave work situation looks like
  • line up someone to care for Suzy while we're at the hospital
  • draft out an approved visitor list, and the timeframe

amid those lists, I'm still a wife and a stepmom. the duties and responsibilities that come with those roles cannot suffer just because I'm pregnant. however, my most important to do right now is to continue building a safe place for baby boy Brooks to grow so that when it comes time for him to show his face to the world, he'll be ready. #icantwaitforapril

Thursday, January 19, 2017

thursday things I love--

images courtesy of 1, 2, 3

this puffer coat -- why am I not wearing this right now?
notebooks for handwritten notes and lists.
homemade grilled cheese sandwiches.
buying a few outfits for my baby boy.
the warby parker home try-on program.
this non-wire bra -- it's pretty in its simplicity and looks comfy.
rain rain rain -- filling this state's reservoirs and building the snow pack.
imagining my niece clara as sunny in lemony snickett's a series of unfortunate events.
amason: california dreamin' (her voice is intoxicating.)

things I love.
happy thursday!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

the list diaries: chapter 006 -- my mom's amazing life.

mom and me on my wedding day, October 12, 2013; photo by TRR Photo

the list diaries.
chapter 006.

that's my mom. my incredible, spirited, young-in-heart, cute and beautiful, creative mom. and someday I want to be like her and be able to enjoy my later life like she is. this is my someday list -- in part.


  • all children must be grown and living away from home. they are welcome to return at anytime with their own families but this part of my life is for me and mr. brooks.
  • land. countryside land. with hills. if there's a small body of water -- even better. and some woods. so owls can nest and bunnies can flee.
  • pets. perhaps a couple dogs, a few cats, a jersey cow or two, maybe a few goats, a burrow, an alpaca, chickens, and a few ducks.
  • a large kitchen to continue perfecting my family recipes and discover new dishes to try out. a wide expanse of cupboards to hold my dishes collection. and a massive farm table to host dinner parties to taste the classic family recipes and try the new dishes. and a deep farm sink. 
  • a cattle company to rent the hillsides when the months are warmer. bulls, calves, and lady cows roaming the property is something I cannot live without.
  • time for creative activities, like writing and reading and dreaming up new gardens by the wood-burning stove.
  • plots sectioned off across the property for gardens -- fruit, floral, and vegetable. and lots of bird feeders. and a wall of windows to watch the birds peck and flutter.
  • time with mr. brooks to take summer walks down to the local ice cream dairy. or ride our bikes along the path parallel to to the train tracks. 
  • the simple life, an opportunity to enjoy where I am, and how I arrived there. the chance to look back at my accomplishments and just sit back in the rocking chair on the front porch and snap peas.

my mom has the best life. she often refers to it as mundane but every time I'm home and get a peek into her world, I find it the most satisfying definition of simple. maybe that's the-country-mouse-living-in-the-city talking. regardless, it's pretty special. 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

thursday things I love--

images courtesy of 1, 2

the milk after all the apple jacks are gone.
asos -- how easy and affordable they make it 
for us pregnant women to get dressed and look chic.
when my husband talks about our baby boy.
rainy days and rubber boots.
reading books to my baby boy while he's in utero.
this sofa, and a space large enough to cozy it into.
craving funfetti cake and making it myself.
BØRNS: 10,000 emerald pools.

things I love.
happy thursday!

Friday, January 6, 2017

back-to-life weekend

image courtesy of gthegent.com

anyone else feeling a tinge of sadness now that the holidays are behind us? even with all the hustle and bustle and cramming and busy-ness and travel, the holiday season is my favourite time of year; and the first week of january is one of the most difficult. it's been a long week, in spite of having monday off, and i'm looking forward to a quiet weekend.

hooray!
hurrah!
yippee!

it won't be too quiet, though. we're going to keep the purge momentum going by digging deep into the stuff in our storage units -- what can we throw away? what do we keep? going through boxes of stuff from my adolescent life while home on the farm in ohio was one of my jobs and it was a blast. i came across memories so old i didn't even know they existed. 

we're also "moving" into our friends' home in bernal heights to house- and dogsit while she heads out to india for a wedding. her house is spacious, brand new, modern, and clutter-free; her goldendoodle momoe is snuggly and chill and just the kind of dog you want to share a house with. she travels so much for work that i wonder if we moved in permanently if she'd even notice. i mean, we're going to need a bigger place once baby boy comes along and momoe already loves me. 

happy weekend to you and yours, and hopefully we can pull ourselves out of the post-holiday blues.

love truly,
kcb and baby

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