Saturday, July 4, 2015

Moving In & Moving Forward

The last five weeks have been a total whirlwind! Let's recap in bullet points, shall we?


  • We packed up our house, sent our stuff to storage, and said goodbye to Florida for the first time ever.
  • I drove by myself with both girls, across the state, only to have Emmalyn projectile vomit all over herself. Exorcist style. Yup. That was fun. Needless to say, we lost a very loyal car seat that day.
  • This mama traded in her beloved SUV for her dream car: A Minivan.
  • Note: The above car purchase was not due to the vomiting ;-)
  • We vacationed in Hilton Head Island, and added an extra night because, well, we deserved it!
  • Because our house wasn't ready yet, but The Hubs had to report to his next duty station, we parked ourselves in a little bungalow for three weeks. We lived out of two suitcases and a duffel bag of toys. Lord only knows how we did it! All I have to say is, thank goodness for Netflix!
  • Emmalyn went to Vacation Bible School for the first time and loved it. Surprisingly enough, the Catholic church camp dug back into their Old Testament roots and she learned about Judaism, much to my parents and my amusement.
  • Blake and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary! My in-laws happened to be in town so we actually got to go out to dinner sans kiddos.
  • We FINALLY got to move into our new house! Have you ever rented a home "sight unseen"? Welp, we just did! You can imagine our nerves the first time we set foot in our new place! But we quickly breathed a sigh of relief when we saw that God was with us, and we made the right decision.
  • We had quite a scare when we thought the movers lost an entire crate of our stuff, including our desktop computer with My Life on it! 
  • I signed Emmalyn up for Pre-Kindergarten. Holy goodness gracious! I can't believe it!
  • Unpacking with two littles in quite interesting. And s l o w. And requires a lot of patience.
  • Thank goodness for an amazing sister-in-law, who will unpack your e n t i r e kitchen and you don't have to worry about a thing. I seriously don't know what I would have done without her! Oh, I know: I'd still be standing in the middle, wondering where all my shit goes.
  • Also, Military Wives are the bomb dot com. No joke. Those ladies step up and make you feel like you're right at home. They take your kids and feed them while you unpack, and they pour you a glass of wine and tell you deployment will suck, but you'll be all right.





...and breathe!

So what have I learned? 

I've learned that all you need is family by your side. I've learned that adventures are fun, but settling down is necessary, too. And I've learned that it's actually quite possible to survive on two suitcases and one duffel bag of toys for a family of four. 

So why the eff am I unpacking a gazillion boxes?!?!!


loyally,
katie


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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Life Lately

To say that life has been crazy around these parts lately, would be an understatement. So much has been happening, that I don't even know where to begin.

No, I'm not pregnant.

But my baby did turn ONE YEAR OLD!

I cannot believe it. It's silly to think that we may or may not have once been disappointed when we found out she was a girl. We had our hearts and hopes set on having a boy. But now? I cannot imagine life without her. Not! One! Single! Bit! Every piece of Adelaide was meant to be in our lives. It has been a blessing from God to watch her grow over the past year. And I cannot believe that we are still going strong on our one-boob nursing journey! It's incredible to think that I have kept a small human alive with one single boob!

(Okay, I'll change the subject...)

I have loved watching Emmalyn step up as Big Sister. Although, I must admit, it's quite exhausting shouting, "Put her down!" and "Stop licking your sister!" ump-teen times a day!

At four-and-a-half, Emmalyn lives up to her "in-utero" nickname of Diva Muffin. That girl has more sass than Liberace had sequins! She keeps me on my toes--that's for sure. But she's also quite entertaining, with her endless imagination, and her love for making up songs and dances.

Probably the biggest news in our neck of the woods is that WE ARE MOVING! This Florida Girl is spreading her wings and seeing what else the great U.S. of A. has to offer! Blake and I have moved three times in our five years of marriage, but this is the first time either of us has moved out of Florida. I'm very excited, but tremendously sad to be leaving my friends here.

Blake and I have spent many nights pondering if we're doing the right thing. It seriously breaks my heart, taking Emmy away from her sweet little friends. She has made some of the most amazing friendships at such a young age. But then I think about how some of my closest friends live in New York, Louisiana, and Florida. We may not see each other in person as often as we'd wish, but when we do, it's like we never skipped a beat. And with the amazingly crazy invention of FaceTime, we're only a click away.

Here's to continuing our adventures!

loyally,
katie

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Friday, May 1, 2015

Cleaning All The Nasties



I don’t know about you, but it seems like my kitchen is always A National Disaster. A certain four year-old offspring of mine likes to have separate bowls, plates, and silverware for every single food item she’s eating. Does that sound familiar to anyone? So for every meal she has, she leaves behind three bowls and three spoons. (Multiply this by number of meals.) Then, because the baby no longer wants to be in the high-chair, I toss the tray somewhere in the vicinity of the sink. But of course it’s not a clean tray. Oh no. It’s a banana-smeared tray. Yum...

Next thing I know, I am rushing out the door to make it on time for Emmalyn’s school drop-off and take Adelaide to her baby play-group. When I bring Emmalyn home from school, she wants to eat another lunch (even though she just ate lunch at school), which consists of yet another three bowls and three spoons. I toss those into the sink so I can quickly nurse and lay the baby down for her nap, before I lose my window of opportunity.

Y’all know how the rest of the day goes: you’re counting down the minutes until it’s five o’clock somewhere, just trying to stay afloat until the sweet little cherubs are confined to their beds--I mean, until they are snug-as-a-bug-in-a-rug. Now is your opportunity to clean. 

You’re famished and exhausted, and Oh look! It’s day-old banana, glued onto the highchair. Fan-freakin-tastic! Moms and dads know day-old stuck-on banana is the absolute worst! And don’t even get me started on blackberries. It’s like a straight-up massacre took place in the middle of my dining room!

But, wait! 

I have been touched by an angel. And that angel is called: Norwex. 

The Norwex Antibac EnviroCloth, to be exact.

Never judge a book by it’s cover, folks. This plain and ordinary-looking cloth has some super-human powers. I, myself, was totally skeptical, but my sweet friend Tiffany let me borrow The Cloth for a week.

My microwave had been speckled (okay, smothered) with spaghetti sauce for a long time. I’m embarrassed to say exactly how long, so I’ll just say “far too long”. I was told all I had to do was wet The Cloth and wipe. That’s it. 

I thought, that’s it? Really? No magical spray?

So I gave it a shot, and guess what?! All it took was one--I repeat: ONE, swipe of The Cloth, and the spaghetti sauce was gone. I was completely floored, and in utter shock!

My cleaning routine has been dramatically shortened, thanks to this little wonder. I use The Cloth for basically everything: kitchen cabinets, granite countertops, the floor, sink, refrigerator, the bathroom sinks, counters, and yes--even the toilet! 

Do you want to know what the second best part about the cloth is? (The first is that I didn’t have to use any elbow grease.) The second best part is that there are absolutely NO CHEMICALS in the cloth. Zip. Nada. Zilch! Absolutely NO NASTIES! (Okay, so maybe that might be the first best thing about it, depending on your perspective.) And if you personally know me, you know I hate toxic-filled cleaning products and do not allow them in my home.

OH! The third best thing, in my opinion, is my hands have never been softer! I actually had a small patch of eczema on my finger, and while using the EnviroCloth over the span of a couple of days, it had completely cleared up! I kid you not...

It’s magic, I tell ‘ya!

I'm also the proud owner of the Dust Mitt (way better than anything else I've ever tried!), the Polishing Antibac Cloth which leaves my windows and mirrors streak-free (again, by using only water--no inhaling toxic sprays!), and the Microfiber Antibac Body Cloth, which I use to remove my makeup in a breeze. I love that I'm not wasting cotton balls or daily cleansing cloths, or allowing chemicals to seep in to my face! (Note: my complexion has never been smoother or softer.)

I could sit here and bore you with the science behind it all. But I won’t. I’ll just quickly say that Norwex's Antibac EnviroCloth is a combination of polyester and polyamide that’s 1/200th the size of a strand of human hair! When used wet, the micro silver antibacterial agent (a.k.a. The Secret Ingredient) works to self-purify against, and inhibit mold, fungi, and bacterial odor. 

In other words: It’s the Bomb-Dot-Com for cleaning dust, dirt, and grease. But most importantly, Day-Old-Stuck-on-Banana & Spaghetti-in-the-Microwave-for-Far-Too-Long.

Now if only it could fold my laundry...

loyally,
katie


// // //

P.S. I am not a sponsored affiliate for Norwex. I simply wanted to share this amazing find with other moms and dads who share my passion in NOT wanting to spend so much time and hard work getting a clean house! 

P.P.S. If you want to fill your brain with more knowledge about Norwex and how it can seriously change your life, or at the very least, the way you clean your life, you may click HERE.  And if you would like to purchase any Norwex products, please consider doing so through my lovely friend, Tiffany, by clicking HERE.


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Monday, March 2, 2015

Military Wife Life


I don’t talk about my life as a military wife that often. I’m not really sure why, either. I think maybe it has to do with that fact that it’s always changing and uncertain. 

But the one question I’ve been getting a lot lately is: Do you know when and where you’ll be moving? 

The answer to that, simply, is: No. 

And the follow-up question is usually: How can you do that--not know where you’re going?

Trust me, I surprise myself on that one, too. By nature (or maybe nurture?) I am A Planner. I am A List Maker, and am truly obsessed with planning every little detail. So naturally, one would think not knowing where we are moving to in roughly three months would drive me insane. But it doesn’t. 

I am living this life for the adventure God has planned for my little family and me. We have some guesstimates of where we may be living next: Hawaii, San Diego, Virginia, South Carolina, Guam, Washington, Japan... but most likely we will not find out until about a month before we are set to leave. That's right, folks... I said ONE MONTH before we are set to leave. We’ve already begun taking necessary precautions on the chance we get shipped overseas, such as getting the girls their first passports, and quarantining our dog (which is really just making sure he stays in the house and backyard).

Another question I get asked quite often is: Where do you want to go? 

And my answer is: Far Away. 

It’s true. I do. (Sorry Mom & Dad!) I don’t like the thought of being far away from family (even though we are already an eight hour drive away), but the way I see it is: 

Why the heck not?! 

We have this whole world surrounding us and I don’t want to live my life never seeing it. Life is too short to stay in your comfort zone!

When I think about it too deeply, I tend to get very misty-eyed over the thought of Emmalyn leaving her friends. She has made some of the greatest friends at school over the past two years and I’m going to be so sad to pull her away from them. I’m sad for her, but I’m also sad for me, because I’ve made some pretty stellar friendships as well. It really does put knots in my stomach when I think about not seeing them on a regular basis. 

But that’s military life.

And there are so many more pros to the cons. So all I can say is, thank goodness for Facebook, FaceTime, and airplanes! 

loyally,
katie


Have you ever made a really big jump in your life, moving far away? If so, how did you deal?



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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A Jew During Lent





Being Jewish during Lent means I automatically get to pick up a Get-Out-of-Jail-Free-Card and Pass Go—straight on to the pink Peeps. But my daughters are Catholic, and it's vital to our family to instill in them the importance of the Lenten season.

Growing up, watching my Catholic friends and relatives (yes, we're a mixed bunch!), I always got the impression that Lent meant only giving something up (i.e., chocolate or fast food) just to witness them gobble down a half-pound chocolate bunny and drive through McDonald's after Mass. Sometimes for fun, I would join in with my friends to see what I could give up for forty days, too. It was like a fun little game for me.

As I got older I began to learn that you're not limited to only picking something to give up for Lent, but rather you can choose to add something significant to your life—such as waking up earlier to go to the gym every morning, or finding a new program to volunteer for, or reading the Bible before bed every night.

A couple of years ago, around this time, someone asked me what I was giving up for Lent to which I laughed and facetiously replied, “I'm Jewish—I get to do whatever I want!” ;) I continued on to say that Lent wasn't just about giving something up for the sake of “It's Lent—quick! I've gotta give something up!” but can also be a time to switch gears and refocus on becoming a-better-version-of-yourself.

At the time, the thought of giving up fast food or chocolate seemed insignificant in comparison to adding something meaningful to your life; but really, don't both ends of “giving up something” and “adding something” guide you in becoming your better self? I can take it a step further, too, and add that if we are becoming better people ourselves, we are also helping to serve others. If I'm working towards becoming a-better-version-of-myself, in turn, I'm also becoming a better wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, and citizen.

And isn't that the whole point of humanity anyway?

My youngest isn’t even nine months, so she really does get a Free Pass, and since my oldest is only four, I don't think I want to take the route of “giving something up,” but rather enlighten her character by adding something meaningful to her life. At her age, I feel it needs to be somewhat tangible since feelings can sometimes be hard to grasp and measure when you're in preschool.

Not to get all preachy, but the last thing I want is for my daughters to grow up thinking Easter is about The Bunny and baskets. (Even though those are fun, too!) I don't want materialistic things to trump the true meaning of Easter. But I digress. This post isn't about The Resurrection, per say, but about the practice of Lent.

Just because I'm not Catholic, doesn't mean I can't participate in Easter-y things. Sure, there are definitely rituals reserved for Catholics, and I'm always respectful of that (i.e., not taking Communion), but there's a lot every individual can learn about the ritual of sacrificing for Lent. I have realized that giving up something often results in a person practicing self-denial and “suffering,” reminding him or her what God was willing to give up on his or her behalf. 

As an outlier throughout the Lenten season, and someone who can only partially participate, I personally take away the message that this is a time to turn down self-gratification, and reflect and ponder on sacrifices I can make as an individual, as well as healthy habits I can choose to do to help me become a-better-version-of-myself.  

loyally,
katie


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Sunday, February 1, 2015

I Challenge You


ATTENTION: If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you.

I've been thinking a lot lately about the latter statement. It applies to a couple different situations in my life.

The first one being: I like friends who challenge me to become a better person. I don't want superficial friendships, where my conversations are merely floating on the surface. I want to sink deeper. I don't want friends who only tell me things like, "That's a cute outfit." Sure, it's nice to be complimented, and I'm not asking my friends to stop being sincere in that sense, but I want more.

If you are my friend, whether old or new, I want you to challenge me. I want you to help me be a better person. I love having conversations with people where I stop to say, "Wow! That's so interesting... I never thought of it that way before... Thank you for teaching me that... Thank you for sharing your knowledge with me... What a gift..."

I have come to realize that sometimes I may come across as--I dunno--strong? (...overpowering, maybe??) in conversations, but that's because I like to challenge my friends, too. Not in a Ichallengeyoutoadeathmatch sort of way, but in a I challenge you to be a better YOU sort of way.

(I'm sorry I'm not sorry.)

I've also come to realize that some people just aren't ready to be challenged and make life changes; and try as you may, there's just nothing you can do about it. Man, this really saddens me. When I see people slipping down a path that is dark and scary, I become anxious, and my passion rises.

I have been in a dark place. I know that you don't initially think it's a dark place, because you can only see one step in front of you. But then things start to unravel. And that's when it's harder to get out.

It's like running in the mud. On the surface you see a shallow puddle and think, "This will be easy to cross. I don't need any help." But as soon as your feet hit the mud, you start sinking. You realize that it is a lot harder than you ever could have imagined, and you wish you would have come prepared. You wish you had a plan. You wish you had a support-system in place. You wish you had the right equipment and gear to help you through the tough spots.

Are you going through a rough time in your life? Do you want to know why things aren't getting better? It's because you are not making changes in your life. You're only planning to get through a puddle, while you should be preparing for a mud run.

Yes, it is hard to make changes. There's no doubt about that. But if you want to have a better quality of life, you have to take the first step. It's scary. I know. I know... But I promise you it's worth it. I cross my heart to you that it's so worth it.

I challenge you to make the changes you need.

loyally,
katie


What is something you want to change in the near future? Do you know what changes you need to make to get there? Do you have a support system in place?

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

I Have a Favorite Child

I have a favorite child. There! I said it!

If you don't have any kids, or you have an only, you may be saying to yourself right now: How on earth could she say such a thing? She's a terrible mom...

But, if you have multiple little ones running around 24/7/365, then you may be singing: Yes! Yes, me too! I'm not the only one! Finally, someone said it out loud. I'm not crazy...

Do you want to know who my favorite child is?

My eight month-old.

Why?

Because she doesn't sass me. She doesn't leave a mess all over the floor for me to trip over. She doesn't scream in my face when I tell her she cannot have eleventy more crackers. She doesn't throw herself on the floor when I tell her she cannot watch four more hours of Sheriff Callie. She doesn't say things like, It's all your fault! or I don't want to brush my teeth--stop touching me! or my favorite, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

Nope. My eight month-old doesn't do any of that.

Instead, she's sweet and smiley and cuddly and laughs at all my jokes and animal noises. And she doesn't run away when I sit her down on the floor.

But. Then comes nighttime, when my eight month-old is tired and fussy and plays The Don'tYouDareTakeMeOffTheBoobOrIWillScreamEvenLouder Game. Oh you know it? It's a Classic.

That's when I pass her off to Daddy and climb in bed with my SassyPants (a.k.a. my four year-old) and read books to her. That's when she gives me butterfly and Eskimo kisses and says things like, Today was the best day ever! or Daddy and I are getting married 'cuz we're in love! or my favorite, I love you the biggest much of all, Momma!

And that's when my four year-old is my favorite child.


loyally,
katie

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