at 29, getting a new washer and dryer is THE coolest.
apparently it's pretty cool when you're three, too. 

Yesterday I turned 29. This seems both impossible and totally reasonable at the same time. It seems impossible because I still feel like I should at least be in college or maybe even a senior in high school, yet here I am with two babies. Strike that. I have a three year old. Impossible.

However, it also seems totally possible because my body feels like I've given birth twice, I can't bench press what I used to  anything, and life before Brent seems to be getting foggier and foggier.

But, if I really am 29 you would think that I would know what the heck hairstyle I want or that I would remember to bring the clothes in off the line before I go to bed and it is going to rain [umm, this may have happened last night. And they may still be hanging on the line because I don't want to deal with them <<< again, is this how a 29 year old acts?]

I recently read somewhere that life moves in mph as fast as your age. So, at age five, you're cruising along at 5 miles per hour. At 18, you've picked up the pace a bit but it's still relatively slow. Here I am, a steady 29 miles per hour. That's pretty fast. Those of you going 60+ mph, is it exhilarating or terrifying?

I know that 29 is the age that everyone says they are for the rest of their life as long as they can pull it off. But I think 30 will be good too. And 43. And 58. Different, but good. I think we should wear our ages well. Does that mean I'll stop wearing cover up or stop cringing every time I pluck a gray hair? No. But I want to continue to embrace all the ages I've been.

I want to always remember the feel of the spring air cutting through my hair and my hands as I rode my bike down the bumpy brick street at age 7.

I want to always remember climbing into that lilac bush, and sitting cross-legged while pouring over the pages of a book at age 11.

I want to always remember the sound of the basketball hitting the pavement then my rough, raw hands, then the backboard as I shot free throw after free throw as the sun set in the sky at age 15.

I want to always remember the anticipation of my first kiss and the warmth of his arms around my waist  at age 18.

I want to always remember the buzz of studying for hours in a cramped space in the basement of the library, then stretching out into the Iowa sun, laughing with other girls who were becoming women at age 21.

I want to always remember the exhilaration and fear of teaching and learning with my first year of students at age 22.

I want to always remember the simple beauty of that one bedroom apartment with my new husband, trying out new recipes and snuggling on the couch at age 23.

I want to always remember the shock and beauty and grace of becoming a new parent, quiet midnight feedings and not so quiet ones, dancing in the living room and crashing in exhaustion at night at age 27.

And I want to always remember that things seem less stressful and more stunning in hindsight, and how perfectly unfigured out life still is and how fun it is to dream about the unfilled in parts at age 29.
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discovering my identity between cardigans and diapers

Three years ago I decided to hang up my cardigans for awhile in order to stay home full time with Blythe. The decision did not come easily. It felt like a loss. But I knew, for me, it was the right decision for that time.

And I foolishly thought because it was the right decision that it would be the easy one. 

It wasn't. That first fall when I sat with my 4 month old and watched the yellow school bus roll down the street, tears jetted down my cheeks, splashing onto Blythe's happy face. I held her tightly, whispering to myself that she was enough. But all day I thought about my other kids, the ones in the plastic chairs and their fresh new-first-day-of-school clothes. I thought about them walking into "my" classroom where someone else was in front of them putting on the big first-day show and dance.

I didn't allow myself much grace to grow into this new role. I thought it would come easily and naturally and that teaching would seem like such a secondary thing. But my days were long. And lonely. And tedious. I would have ideas for something to teach and I'd get excited and think I needed to go write it down...and then I'd realize I wouldn't be back in the classroom for awhile.

I foolishly thought I hadn't wrapped up my identity in what I did for a living. 
But I had.
"I'm Kelsey. I'm a teacher."

That first year when I met someone new I would say, "I'm a stay at home mom now, but I used to teach High School English." I'd almost shout it at them in hopes they would look past the stay-at-home-ness of me. If they just knew what I was capable of! I would think. I can do more than change diapers and sing lullabies and nurse. I can freakin' mold minds and get kids excited about reading and poetry! 

The truth is, I didn't feel like I was enough without teaching.

Years ago when I mentioned wanting to stay home with my kids in the future, a colleague nearly shook me and said, "You're too good of a teacher to waste yourself on being home." I told myself it was a lie and went on. But those words buried deep in my bones.

And I foolishly felt like I was wasting myself because I just had too much to offer outside of my home. 

It took a long time, but slowly I learned something that changed everything:
I am not what I do. Or don't do. 

I know, right? It's so simple. And I've heard that a million times and thought I believed it. But when it came time to really believe it, I didn't. My identity was so wrapped up in teaching. And in being good at teaching.

Once I broke through that, and embraced my role as a stay at home mom, the same thing happened. My identity was wrapped up in motherhood. And in being good at motherhood.

But finally in the past year I feel like I've broken through all of that [though I know it's not for good, because I'm trying not to be foolish anymore]. I feel like I've finally realized my identity is not at all wrapped up in what I do. That's just my role. And roles are constantly changing. If I am my role, I lose me. 

My identity is in Christ. This does not change with what I do, or even with whether or not I'm good at what I do. It simply is. And will always be.

And most importantly I am realizing that this identity is eternal. In heaven I will not be a teacher or wife or mother. And though it is nearly impossible for me to wrap my mind around this next fact-- I won't care that I am not a mother, wife, or teacher. All I will want is Jesus.

Staying home was the right decision for me. But it required some growing pains-- some letting go and some grace for myself. There are still times I struggle with "not contributing" and "not using my degree" and lots of other "nots." But these days I'm just trying to bring a little more of heaven to earth by being lost in Christ. And when I do that, when I make that decision every day, I love getting to do what I get to do.

Being a teacher will never be enough.
Blythe and Becks will never be enough. 
But Christ? He will always be enough. 
And in Him, I am enough too. 

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11 months of Becks

I know I'm a week late for this one, but I did it! I managed to get all of Becks' monthly updates in! [I know I'll do a one year post]. I'm so dang proud of me. I wasn't sure this was feasible :) You're welcome, second child. 
Also, I couldn't decide on the best picture so you get several. 

Weight: Still somewhere in 16/17 lb range

Clothes and Diapers: 9 month, 9-12, and some 12 month. It's probably time to put the 9 month stuff away. All my 12 month stuff is summer, and it's just about time to get those out! Yay! Size 3 diapers. Still Luvs. 

Eating: She's become a little bit pickier, but not much. LOVES MEAT. Hamburger, chicken, sausage, turkey. You name it. Also, the more flavor something has the more she likes it. And we are DONE NURSING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I nursed her for about a week just in the morning, and she didn't seem to mind. So One day I just stopped. And. It. Is. Awesome. It took her two or three weeks, but she is finally liking regular milk a little more, and loves water. She really weaned perfectly. Never threw a fit about it and never acted like she wanted to nurse after we stopped. It's really so great to be DONE. 

Sleeping: Still taking two naps and her afternoon nap seems to be stretching out a bit which is glorious. Goes to bed for night between 7-7:30 and usually sleeps until 7:30 or 8 in morning. 

Accomplishments/ things to note:

/ I really thought she was gonna have another front tooth to report this month. She's been working on it and I swore I saw it poking through one day and now it's gone. She's been a little fussy here and there but tylenol seems to help, so I think it will be soon. 
/ first pigtails!!!
/ she can do "SOOO big!" with her arms in the air. 
/ she pulls herself up to her knees and occasionally she has pulled up to standing in her crib. Absolutely not even close to walking. 
/ she is saying a few more words- the funniest thing:  Blythe loves to dress up like Elsa and sing "Let It Go." She loves it so much, it happens about 80 times a day. Now, when she puts on the dress and starts getting ready for her "performance", Becks starts saying "GO!" Seriously. It happens. I'm not making this up. 
/ She continues to observe everything and be the happy, content, sweet baby we have grown to adore. 1 year...here we come! 

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an Oklahoma Easter

When Blythe was just barely one, we loaded the car and headed to Oklahoma for Easter with Brent's brother, Scot, and his family. We decided a repeat was necessary this year. We had a great time with Scot, Rian, and their three kids, as always. This is mainly a boring post with some pictures. So enjoy. 

Blythe was super excited to get to eat at McDonalds. She now knows there are at least three in the world.

Do you spot Brent? :) 

Poor Kylee and Myka picked up those cards at least 20 times while we were there since they were Blythe's favorite toy. 

It was pretty chilly while we were there, but the kids insisted they get the pool open and ready [it was 80s plus after we left...of course]

Becks' first Easter. In the dress from Great Grandma Hazel that Blythe wore on her first Easter [well, technically her second...her first is still a blur to me. She was about 2 weeks old]

The best picture we got of the four of us. It was nasty that morning--windy, spitting rain, and super chilly.  

We did a little egg hunt on Saturday. Blythe was into it. 

There were even a few eggs with Puffs in them for Becksy

"Hey, Mom, is it okay if I stick my finger in here?"

I want this coat in my size. 

she wasn't cold...she was posing

Easter has always been my favorite holiday. There is something so fresh and inviting about a holiday in which we celebrate a Savior who has conquered death and the grave. I hope your weekend was fun, but more than that I hope it was a great reminder of the risen Lord who calls us to live and love and serve like him.

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