Friday, June 29, 2012

Interiors: That Suit You

Do you prefer color...

or black and white?

Would you like to do out in the open...

or should you stick to out of sight?

What suits you?


Design, by Kristyn

(kitchens, kitchen, kitchens

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Like Mother: Like Daughter

My Mommy and Me
Me and My Mommy's Leg!
Me and You!

Dear Hensley,

Hi little gal. I got some photos from my mama of me as a baby girl. Everyone asks your dad and I "who you look like." Most think you look more like your dad, and I'd agree. However, you do look a bit like me as a wee one. I guess that's what happens when genes collide, right? You look a bit like both of us! I'll post photos of your dad as a baby boy soon!

You are 16 months old today. Tegegne is your best friend. He loves you so much. You even let him be rough and tumble on occasion. Your dad is pretty fond of you as well. And so is Grandpa Ben. Those boys, what have you done to them? You're also my little buddy and I totally love relaxing with you. You're now saying "Up Peese," you rub my belly and say ba-bee, you dance with or without music. We love you, kid.



Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Person: A-Lity

Are you a day dreamer? Or does daydreaming frighten you because it often sends security right out the door? Or maybe you need to understand everything before a grand idea can come about. Does daydreaming seem like a waste of time because you are motivated by productivity and success?

Michael learned quickly that I love change, daydream often, get carried away, and get reeled back in (by him!), and we continue on. I am an adventurer. Motivated by the need to be happy and plan enjoyable activities, to contribute to the world, and to avoid suffering and pain. 

Do you feel like you know yourself and the personalities of those around you? It was so good for me to realize that just because I constantly want to plan enjoyable activities, doesn't mean everyone else wants to attend them! It is quite good to have peaceful evenings at home.

Being married, I find it so helpful when I consider Michael's personality along with my own as we do life together. Then there is our children's personalities. We are really seeing Tegegne's come forth lately! Michael noted that it's so interesting that we do not know the genes or personalities of his birth parents. He realized this as he sees Hensley do things just as he did at her age. 

I must take time to stop and think. 


(These thoughts were empowered by the Enneagram. photo.) 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Dear Tegegne: Hi Kid!

Dear Tegegne,

Hi there. I'll start by saying what Olivia's mom says, "You wear me out, but I love you." You are so thoughtful, intuitive, funny, and wild, strong-willed, and full of life! Friends say you are mellowing out a bit. You can entertain yourself, and I appreciate that. If I don't stick to my effective "timeout" 1-2-3 counting, I'll find myself in a discussion with you that is not necessary. I must remember, even though I count a lot, that it's still the most effective way of discipline. 

You and Ababayeh rode bikes along all of Cliff Drive the other night. He was so proud of you. Many hours have been spent in your sandbox already. You love that thing. I don't record our conversations that often, but like most kids your age you say lots of funny things. 

Here's a bit from this morning:

T: "Penguins make a circle so they can get cool! They just come together..."

T: "Mom, what if I had a "deck" on my back? 
M: "A duck?"
T: "No, a deck! Like Ababayeh is going to build in the back yard."
M: "Oh, well I guess people would walk on your back."
T: "But not without asking first, right?"

T: "If you were a chocolate mommy, Fields would be chocolate, right?"

M: "Tegegne, what is the rule with Hensley on the stairs?"
T: "Not to touch her...but I was just helping her. She was in danger."

T: "I can't wait to go to the swimming pool and meet Ababayeh there!"

We love you son,


Monday, June 25, 2012

Words: From the Heart

Words That Come From the Heart

Words that do not become flesh in us remain "just words."  They have no power to affect our lives.  If someone says,  "I love you," without any deep emotion, the words do more harm than good.  But if these same words are spoken from the heart, they can create new life.

It is important that we keep in touch with the source of our words.  Our great temptation is to become "pleasers," people who say the right words to please others but whose words have no roots in their interior lives.  We have to keep making sure our words are rooted in our hearts.  The best way to do that is in prayerful silence.

- Henri J. M. Nouwen

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Interiors: That Suit You

Would you rather have many...

or few?

Something orderly?

Or a random spew?

What suits you?


Design, by Kristyn

(images here and here.)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tag Team: Back Again

Not many things in life are more satisfying, more rich, more trying and tough, more full of hope and life than the sweet sweet bond of marriage. 

God is doing a good work in Michael and I, showing us that life together can be way good when we tap into the rich source of life in Jesus. I'd say getting through tough times isn't easy, but afterwards there is a new perspective, a deeper understanding, and enduring love. 

Parenthood has tried us the most, and brought us deep joy. Tonight we had a few simple moments that made us glad. Tegegne has a new favorite song, "You Make Beautiful Things" and he was singing it with all his heart in the back seat. And he then said, "God made us out of the dust!" On the way home from visiting a friend, Hensley was crying a sleepy cry. Often we are not excited to hear this, but tonight Michael pointed out the sweet sound of life coming through her little cry. We were comparing it to the first time we heard her cry. Pulled in the drive and did the usual, one-to-one carry the kids to bed routine, but again Michael pointed out how sweet it was. Sweet to have our children rest in our arms and trust us to carry them to their cozy beds and wish them a good night. 

Doing these things together, with Michael, makes all the difference. 

Tag team, back again.



P.S. (There ya go, Jacob and Nickie, a line item or two for your "pro's" list!) 

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Week: In Photos

The grip!
The stare!
The elephants!
The excitement!
The pool!
The Key!
The Tail!
The New Tree!
The trains!
The Dinosaur!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Bicycle Basket: Stay-Cation

Hi there. Good morning. Ours started out quite lovely with a surprise trip to Soho Bakery from Ababayeh (If you're new here, "Ababayeh" means "Daddy" in Amharic, our son Tegegne's native language). Michael has the week off and it's been a true stay-cation. We love having him home!

Monday we enjoyed the zoo. Love that African Sky Safari. Tuesday we hit up Jarboe Pool. Wednesday we visited the model train exhibit in Union Station, then took the Skywalk to Crown Center where we checked out the Dino Exhibit, shopped at Halls, and ate D'Bronx Pizza on the Crown Center Plaza. Last night we went back to the Y for pool time and Zumba. 

Michael and Adam worked on plumbing our 1st floor bathroom last night, so I must continue to design that space! That and our back deck are the next projects underway! 

Kansas City-ians...Do yourself a favor and go to Soho Bakery! Just East of Broadway on 8th Street. Robin the owner, also owns the Filling Station. Her vision for Soho Bakery is awesome. Open M-F, 7am-2pm. They have delicious pastries and coffee (au lait for me!), pizza of the day, soup, and quiche for lunch. 

If I was to sum up this week with one word it would be enjoy. We are truly enjoying each other.

Hope you can take time to kick back and enjoy your fam as well. 



Monday, June 11, 2012

Tunes: We're Enjoying These

We've been enjoying these Pandora Stations lately.

1. Basia Bulat Radio. Love her. That's her in the photo.
2. Paolo Nutini Radio. Soul influenced songwriter from Scotland. Similar to Amos Lee and Ray LaMontagne.
2. Bon Iver Radio. So many good songs come through this station. We can listen for hours.
3. 80s Dance Parties. Last night all four of us were dancing our booties off to these 80's tunes. 
4. Hawaiian Radio. This Hawaiian music turns our back yard into a tropical oasis. It's really nice back yard dinner music! 

(photo of Basia Bulat.)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Daydream Friday: Celebrating!

Kirsten Lewis Photo.
Happy Weekend! Michael had his last day of school yesterday and we are celebrating all weekend! Well, we kind of started celebrating last night. Backyard BBQ with 80's dance music (which had all 4 of us dancing our booties off!), put the kids to bed and headed to Neighbor Larry's for a fruit pickin' date (apricots and raspberries...yum!). Toured a neighbors well-designed home and another neighbors pre-estate sale. 

Tonight we'll go to an outdoor theatre for this show.

Tomorrow we'll have a yard sale (with mostly kids toys which we were overloaded with), go to the neighborhood grill-out, and go to this movie. And did I mention that we'll have a sitter tonight and another one all day tomorrow? And tomorrow's sitter is a good friend and doing it for free!

Here are some other things you may enjoy to kick off your weekend...

1. This photographer is awesome. I love her style AND she is coming to Kansas City to do an advanced workshop for photographers!

2. Wouldn't you love a sweet outdoor spot like this

3. Have a friend that is having a baby? If so, I hope you know about this! It's a super duper kind way to bless families with new little ones. 

4. Have kids? We are going to make something like this for an outdoor place to play! 

5. This looks like an interesting and yummy thing to throw on the grill! 

Sheep: And A Psalm


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Hensley Ruth: 15 Months

Starter: Enthralled by edamame!
You obviously enjoyed the main course! (Chili. Since 9 months's been your fave!)

Hensley Ruth,

You eat and sleep so well and laugh, dance, and cry some in between. You are more recently becoming outgoing and it is so much fun to watch. At First Fridays you danced the night away and at least 10 people (we do not know!) got you and your bro on video. Your dad and I did not, unfortunately.  

Your 15 month check up went well. You're in the 10th percentile for height (29 inches) and weight (19 lb, 6 oz), but are growing at a good rate. Your favorite words are shoe, wow, bubby (diaper), bubba (Tegegne), daddy, and mommy. You are repeating us more and have even said some French words which made your daddy well pleased. Your entering toddlerhood, but luckily it's not the teens and you still snuggle with me.

We love you so much!

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