Welcome to the adult’s table

I’m 30 years old today. When did that happen? But more importantly, when did my life do a complete 180 from constantly having to fight one up hill battle after another to finally giving me some grace? The beginning of the year…yes, that seems to have been the turning point.

We still have another half of the year to go, but this one has already been one of the best years to date. Am I distressed that the dirty thirty is upon me? Not a chance. In these 30 years I have lived a crazy beautiful life. I survived childhood – a miracle in itself. I graduated cum laude with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Interior Design from a school that tired it’s hardest to break me. I met an Australian ballroom dancer and married him on a whim…(6 yrs ago this month). I lived in a handful of States and two different countries. I’ve stood by hospital beds, caskets, and grave sites. I’ve had the same best friend for half of my life. I grew two beings beneath my heart and taught my mind how to ignore the pain of labor. I’m debt-free and (I can’t believe I’m going to type these words) financially secure. We are about to become business partners in the studio we met in. Within the next few days we will be breaking ground on our brand new home we are due to close on Oct 31st (my favorite holiday). I spend my days teaching my littles, building new friendships, exploring our new area, and filling our bellies with wholesome food. There is not a second that I am not grateful for the life I am living, the people who helped get us here, and the courage to follow dreams.

I have accomplished more by 30 than I ever dreamed I would – I only hope the next 30 years are filled with the same vigor, dream chasing, good fortune, and love as the first.

home is where they are

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We’ll be leaving our home, if all goes as planned, almost 2 years exactly to the day we moved in.  What a beautiful life we’ve lived inside the walls of our very first home.  And while we’ve said all along how we would love to just scoop this home up and take it to Atlanta with us, we’ve realized we are slowly outgrowing it.  It took only one week from the day it hit the market until we were under contract – and not surprisingly so because it’s a perfect home.  I’ve been day dreaming about putting together a little welcome basket with a hand written note…introducing them to the neighbors, telling them to keep an eye out for the morning deer, and begging that they spare the lives of the groundhog family in the back yard.  In true Kroezen fashion, we have no clue where we will be living in 16 days.

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of exhaustion, frustration, and bliss.  We’ve had our share of costly mishaps from nails in the tire to another alternator failing (what is going on with that?).  And a whole other list of woes that in the grand scheme of things just doesn’t seem all that bad.  And while I do still go to bed happy no matter what the day brings, I’m ready for things to settle down.  The girls are feeling the effects of stress in the house.  Tanami has developed a small tic with her neck and a shoulder shrug.  We noticed it first right after Violet was born, and since then it’s prominent more so during stressful periods – which is often with how crazy life has been the last 4 months.  I noticed I expected so much out of her from the moment Violet was born….but she’s only (newly) 3 years old – sometimes Mat has to remind me of that.  She’s only THREE.  With all of these things happening lately, she hears so much “No”, “not now”, “in a minute”, etc.  Now that there is a bit of a lull between crazy times, I’m going to really practice the art of saying YES.   I’m really going to focus on saying yes to her requests unless there is a real reason to say no.  “No” just seems to be a knee-jerk response sometimes….and why?  Why can’t she paint?  Why can’t I lie down with her until she falls asleep?  Do I really need to take care of business while she is awake?  Parenting is such a constant balancing act – and my attention has too often been on the wrong plate.  It’s time to re-prioritze.

 

someday it will all be worth it

We’ve all said it for one reason or another.  Sometimes we say it just to make ourselves feel better….we don’t really know whether or not we will ever actually make it to someday.  I’ve learned that I will ALWAYS make it to someday.

With the student loan off our shoulders we were able to focus on the dream that has been on the back burner for a while – owning a dance studio.  We’ve been talking about it for years.  Many a car ride has been spent just talking about the things we would or wouldn’t do when it came to a studio.  What we wanted it to look like.  Where we wanted it to be.  We’d look for studios for sale….we’d talk about how important it is to respect the instructors who work with you, and ways to make them more successful – how we would never want to manage by instilling fear like studios we’ve been a part of in the past.  Finally the time had come to get serious about our plans.  We threw around a lot of different ideas from moving to Colorado and starting from scratch, to staying in my grandparent’s old home and starting a studio in Katy.  When we called to ask a dear friend for advice, she brought up the idea of partnering in her studio.

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Interestingly, a week before this phone call, I had given Mat a key chain for his birthday.  I’d made it by hand, and it had the coordinates to the dance studio we met in on it.  It’s this studio, the same studio we met for the very first time with a, “May I have this dance?” that is going to ultimately become ours someday.  It all went very, very quickly.  The house went on the market on Monday, and we’ve already had 7 showings with 2 more scheduled tomorrow.  We’ll be relocating to Atlanta as soon as the house sells….and within the year we will be buying into the business as a partner with the same woman responsible for getting Mat over to the States to begin with.  The studio is gorgeous, the area is hip, and our partner is someone we trust and have a long standing relationship with.  Mat will go in as a manager and then transition into ownership.  It will give us time to adjust, learn the ropes, and make sure this is the right decision before risking anything.  I don’t really know that things could have possibly happened in a better way.

There were so many times when one of us would struggle with the way we were having to live in order to achieve our goal of paying off the student loan.  We would have to remind ourselves over and over that someday, it would all be worth it.  We never really imagined we’d be moving on to achieving our next goal quite so quickly.  It’s left me wondering…I have a husband, a home, 2 children, and soon a business…no debt but a mortgage (we will not be getting ourselves into any debt in purchasing this business)…what kind of dream can follow up paying off a massive student loan and becoming a business owner?!  For once I think it will be okay to just be happy with where we are in life and sit back and just LIVE for a while.  Just take it in and be grateful that for the first time in ages I will want for nothing.

happy birthday to my big girl!

A special little girl turned 3 years old on Saturday.  We had an early morning family cuddle in bed before starting the day with brunch with our favorites.

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Tanami helped to make her birthday cake the day before

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brunch with grandma, uncles anthony and justin, violet, mommy & daddy

so proud of this rainbow sprinkle cake!

so proud of this rainbow sprinkle cake!

make a wish!

make a wish!

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yum!

yum!

My spoiled girl opened her gifts, and then it was off to Lucky Ladd’s farm…

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see ya later, two.

see ya later, two.

The world sure knew what it was doing when it put this spunky little girl into our lives.  Couldn’t ask for better.  Happy Birthday, baby.  Mommy loves you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

catching up…again

It’s been a whirlwind month.  Our tiniest little had a lip-tie revision about a month ago.  I had no idea what a lip-tie was, or that it could be causing her nightly colic and distress (and we were ALL distressed).

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lip tie

We made the agonizing decision to have her lip tie revised (cut) at Vandy.  From the very first time she nursed after we did so, I could tell it was worth the little bit of pain she was in.  She never had another night of colic.  She now nurses beautifully, she very rarely spits up, and there is no sign of colic, reflux, or anything of the sort.  For 10 days afterwards, we had to flip her lip up and expose the wound….she did not love that, and it broke my heart, but so did her screaming crying for hours at night.  Glad we are all past that now.

A few days after the surgery, the girls and I hopped on a plane to TX.  We spent a week with my Sister and her family.  Sorry for the quality of photos, I have misplaced (I think accidentally thrown away) my camera card!

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TX wild flowers were picked in abundance.  Long walks in the setting sun were taken.  A chilly trip to the beach, a first-time meeting of cousins, family dinners…

 

 

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Sand Castles with cousins

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First time her toes have touched the ocean

 

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How Violet spends time at the beach

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cousins

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Where she hung out most of the time…

Then the real reason for the trip got underway.  We headed over to meet my parents who drove down from TN a week after us at my grandparent’s house.  We were there to clean things out, have an estate sale, and get the property ready to be leased.  I counted 27 oil sites – either already producing or currently being drilled, on a 10 mile stretch of road leading to my grandparent’s.  They are in a huge oil boom there at the moment.  Anyhow, after finding a 4ft snake skin in the bathroom, we opted to stay in a hotel.  Yikes.  (But kudos to that snake, because there was not a sign of a mouse anywhere).

It’s heartbreaking….watching the house full of things that you’ve known your whole life being ravaged by complete strangers.  The amount of work the sale took was completely and utterly exhausting.  I can’t even convey in words in this blog how much it took out of me.  Physically + emotionally draining.  We worked for 3 days trying to prepare a house that had not been lived in for almost 3 years for an Estate sale.  We didn’t have a single thing priced come the start of the sale.  People rushed in grabbing this and that….making piles of things that have so many memories attached to them.  And just as we had thought, we were not able to get it all done in the week that my parents had allowed themselves.  So there is still more work to return to do.  There is an idea floating around of moving there ourselves for a while, but we’ll see.  The house is so stunning….most people commented on how they had no idea there was such a beautiful house out there.  It’s set off the road down a gravel drive and hidden by a mess of trees.  All of the wood work inside my grandpa did himself.  I can’t believe I didn’t take a single photo of the house the way it was before everyone picked it apart.  But, it hasn’t changed in 30 years, so all the other photos pretty much have the same items in them!

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Granny’s curlers. They occupied me for many hours as a kid – of course I brought them back with me.

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I used to jump off the arm of that couch

Oh how I do love this house…excuse the mess…it’s while the sale was going on.
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bar/bookcase – all hand built by paw paw.

We went through carefully choosing the things we wanted to load into a uhaul to bring home….the ones that had too many memories to place a price tag on.  I inherited my first set of china and the antique cabinet to put it in.  Various kitchen items…bowls and glasses I’d always used.  A vintage record console…and oh it sounds so good.  Boxes and boxes of things I’m slowly opening and finding homes for within my own home.  Funny, I thought having these things would make me happy….but sometimes they just make me miss my grandparents so much more.

The drive home was llloonnnggg and exhausting.  I did, however, learn the fine art of breastfeeding in the extended cab of a truck leaned over a carseat with my bum in the air, boobs hanging out, and a mother who scares the crap out of me when she drives.  We made it home, somehow.

We’re back to normal now.  The demon that had replaced my sweet little girl during our trip has given her back to me.  Though she has regressed a bit from her completely night potty trained status.  Sigh.  All is fine so long as I wake her to go at 3am.  Feed one, pee one, and jump back in bed.

We made it home in time to take the girls to the Zoo for an Easter egg hunt.  Tanami LOVED it.

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Then we headed over to the farm to spend Easter Sunday with my Mom.  Tanami had another Easter egg hunt then, too.  Now all she wants to do is look for eggs!

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We’ve been busy over here, and it’s not stopping any time soon!  We’re preparing for Tanami’s 3rd birthday Saturday, working to get the ball rolling on a FB page helping people with their debt (we had to set it up for our story with CBS in Atlanta), and some other major undertakings that are a bit hush hush right now.  If you have a FB, head over to https://www.facebook.com/kroezendebt and “like” our page!