Moving gives you insight…

About how crazy you are. 

(This post was written right after Easter. I have no idea why I haven’t put it up yet, but I still wanted to share these thoughts with you.)

IMG_2533 Food intolerances. They change your life. They change the way you always ate and thought about food. They make you paranoid. I was the mom putting gummy bears and apple juice in her kid’s Easter basket, and just one thing of chocolate (peanut butter cups from WholeFoods). And when you move to a new place, it just gets worse.

I annoy my husband fairly frequently about food allergies. Especially when I do things like try to find out about gluten-free options at a food truck. It was laughable really… But after spending my entire life as far back as I can remember being sick all the time, and finally starting to actually feel better (not to mention Eden’s story) excuse me if I’m a bit paranoid.

How we eat breakfast when we have no furniture yet...

How we eat breakfast when we have no furniture yet…

In Colorado though, it had become normal. All of our friends knew about our issues, and while I did talk about it far more than necessary, they all understood. They lovingly protected my daughter, making sure their kids didn’t share their snacks, or checking that she had the right sippy cup. We were shown such love in such an unlooked for place through the community we were surrounded by. Our friends went out of their way to cook things we could eat, and make treats just for us. And I cannot possibly explain to all of you how much that has meant to me over the past year and a half, as we have learned about the food intolerances Eden and I have. We knew what restaurants to go to, and what to order, without having to ask and check ingredients or ask for allergy pamphlets. No, we aren’t going to die if we eat the wrong thing (I feel truly blessed that we don’t suffer from anaphylactic reactions!) but it definitely won’t be pleasant, and I would really like to just avoid that all together.

Not to mention the fact that some things we are still trying to figure out. Just how bad is my intolerance to gluten? Milk? Will Eden ever grow out of this? There is still a lot of learning we have to do concerning all of this. But it had at least become normal. And then, obviously, we moved. Just to help me realize exactly how crazy I can be about all of this. I already felt like I was a bit of a drama queen about food insensitivities, talking about it all of the time. And frequently apologizing because I was afraid I was coming on too strong about it, all of the time…

Ha! I didn’t really grasp the fact that we were going to have to start at square one once we moved. Now we are finding new restaurants and people we have just met are graciously inviting us into their homes for an Easter get-together and dinner (!!!) and this is what I am obligated to bring up very early on. Every time. I mean, my gracious, I was just in line with a lady chatting as we ordered our breakfast from this adorable little diner, and it came up. She asked such a simple question, if we had tried their cookies yet (which were out as samples). And then she heard probably more than she bargained for about having a kid with milk allergies. But then we swapped information and last week we went to a local farmers market to visit with her family and some of their friends.

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So in this weird way, it is definitely opening our lives up to others, and we are once again being shown love in unlooked for places. As I mentioned, we were invited to an Easter celebration at someone’s house after visiting a church for the first time here. And we were so welcomed and so well loved. But since there was food being served, I had to perform my typical paranoid ingredient checking to find out if there was anything for Eden to eat (I had brought back up snacks, just in case). And they had an Easter egg hunt for the kids, which was so fun! Eden was adorable :) and she had her own special eggs haha!

But this is a very humbling realization. Because relationships are so frequently built around a meal. You open up your home to show people love and to welcome them to a new community. You feed them a meal to show that you care when they are sick, have a new baby, or have lost a loved one. This is so often how cultures across the world and throughout history have shown others love. Through food. And I have felt more loved by people caring enough for our family to help us through this and just listen to our story. Just last night we had dinner with a couple that we met at church on Sunday. They were so sweet and so welcoming! But when she invited us to dinner the other night, I explained to her our food issues, and asked if it would be easier to do something different, maybe just coffee. Instead, she told me about a recipe she just made last week for a gluten free family and said asked if we could bring a salad :)

Outfit she picked out to wear, including the shoes. I added the bow :)

 

Okay, I know I’m rambling a little bit here, so I’ll wrap this up. I just want to tell all of you thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for how you have loved our family. I never in a million years would have pictured me being this crazy mom, but here I am. And for making us dinner. Or for simply listening to me whine. This certainly hasn’t been the easiest thing but you have made it a little easier. If you know someone who has food allergies in their family, don’t be afraid to try to love them in this way. Invite them over for dinner, and welcome them into your home. Even just the invitation will be welcome. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about their story, you will only get to know them a little better!

Please Excuse the Hiatus, Blame the Moving!

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Well, we did it! We moved to California! And in the craziest way possible… We tend to like to do moves as quickly and cheaply as possible. And when I say quick, I mean Jd accepted the job on a Friday, and we had movers come the following Friday!!! Not only that, but we moved out here without a place to live, and parked the moving van in the hotel parking lot while we found an apartment. But that’s how we do it, yo.

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Three days after arriving, we had ourselves an apartment. And let me tell you, its pretty great… It’s a third floor walk-up, but we actually volunteered to live on the third floor. We thought about it a lot and realized that one of the main complaints about apartment living is the noisy upstairs neighbors. So we decided to mitigate this by actually being the noisy upstairs neighbors. It has a great layout too, nice and open. And coming in at 1052 sqft of space, we are actually living pretty large! We definitely downsized from the house we had in Colorado, but it was refreshing to get rid of all of that stuff!

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(How we eat breakfast on move-in day!)

We gave away multiple carloads of random stuff before we ever left Colorado, and even got rid of a decent amount of furniture, namely our couch (which was huge and would have dominated any apartment livingroom). That’s how to do a move for sure, purge purge purge. And we still have some stuff to get rid of here… Most of what we gave up in moving to a smaller space is storage, so I’m having to get pretty creative with where everything is going. I didn’t want to move across the country to an “itty bitty living space” (bonus points if you can name that movie!) just to fill our new apartment with loads of stuff and be cluttered from day one!

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One of the saddest things we had to get rid of was Jd’s charcoal grill. I gave it to him for a wedding/Christmas gift right after we got married, but CA doesn’t allow charcoal grills at apartment complexes. So that got tossed on move-in day. :(

After moving in (with the help of movers) the first order of business was couch shopping! And I love what we came home with. I had done lots of prior research knowing that we would be getting rid of our couch and saw lots of great reviews of the Ikea Karlstad couch. My favorite bloggers over at YHL brought home “Karl” a few years ago, and it has held up quite nicely to a munchkin and a chihuahua so we thought we would give it a try.

that just might be amazing… Don’t worry, I’ll be sure to share all the details!

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After some debate, we decided to go with the Karlstad in Isunda Gray. It is a very light gray color, that almost looks like a pale denim. But it looks fantastic in our new place! I love how light it feels instead of being dark and heavy. Now to decorate the rest of the room… I have visions of a large navy all-natural fiber rug with some type of geometric pattern. And for the curtains, I have an idea that would be super awesome…. Don’t worry, I’ll be sure to share all of the details! Your clue is: stencils.

So ya’ want to sew?

Okay, so those of you who follow me on Facebook may have noticed my recent desire to learn how to sew. I even signed up for a free Craftsy online sewing class! There’s just one problem.

I don’t own a sewing machine…

Well, my very helpful and thrifty seester went on Craigslist for me today and found a basic 10 stitch Brother sewing machine! And it looks perfect. And, even better, within my price range! In fact, I’m “sew” excited about it, that I’m already writing this post (see what I did there?!) And I have no idea if I will even end up with it, haha!

But before I get too ahead of myself, I’m wondering what have been some of your favorite basic sewing projects? (Psst, this is where reader participation comes in!) So, I’m calling all seamstresses! You know who you are! What is your favorite basic sewing project? And just for fun, what is your most impressive to date? I would love for you to send in pictures!

Any favorite inspiration websites or bloggers? My favorite Sherry from YHL made her daughter a fun looking quilt! How fun does that look?! Maybe I should make Eden a quilt… If we weren’t moving soon, I would consider curtains… Maybe some placemats, or a table runner?

What is your favorite beginner machine? What did you start on? Was it your grandmothers vintage Singer? Or a new basic Brother? I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions!

I’ll keep you posted as to whether or not I actually score a sewing machine, and if I do, the projects I embark on.

Be honest, did you name your sewing machine? I need to come up with a good one…

Operatastic Mommy Break

This weekend the Opera Theatre of the Rockies performed the French opera, “Lakme”, and my friend Karin, was one of the singers. I have been wanting to go see her perform for a while now, and this seemed like a great opportunity!

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It’s been so long since I have been able to add anything to my Playbill binder!!! Yes, I have a Playbill binder. Isn’t it great?!

My hubby was nice enough yesterday to, instead of coming with me to the opera, and yawning the whole time, stay home to watch Eden. Opera really isn’t his thing… but it was right up my alley, and I was wanting a mommy break.

So yesterday afternoon, I went solo to the Opera. This was actually my first opera, and I was pleasantly surprised to find out that subtitles have become pretty standard at the performances (which helps tremendously, seeing as the entire performance is sung… in French.) Also, it is rather helpful to read the synopsis before the production to understand what is actually happening.

The singing was fantastic! The lead soprano, Brittany, had an incredible voice. I thoroughly enjoyed her performance of the famous aria, “The Bell Song” as well as the “Flower duet”.

And for being my first opera, it was really fun! Again, the subtitles (well, supertitles; they were projected onto a dropdown screen) helped a lot. The music was wonderful, the orchestra fantastic, and of course Karin was pretty amazing! Karin had a very fun role in this opera, and she was fantastic! It was really neat to get to see a friend perform something like this, and she has an incredible singing voice. I truly enjoyed getting to see her.

And one of the truly fun parts of the production was the dancers from the Natyasangam Dance Academy. It is a dance academy that teaches traditional Indian dances. They did an amazing job bringing the authentic dancing and attire to life.

IMG_2818Doesn’t everyone wear fancy hats to the Opera? Oh, no, apparently not. We should definitely bring that back! Who doesn’t love an excuse to look fancy and wear a great hat?!

All in all, it was a great time away from the baby, and a fun cultural experience. Have you been to any plays or operas lately? What is your favorite? I wonder what I will go see next. the Opera Theatre of the Rockies is performing “The King and I” in July. How fun would that be??