September 22, 2015

a camping adventure


Back in the day (also known as "before children"), Jeremy and I would venture out on little camping trips. It's been a really long time since we've been, but we both still love that adventure. And we want to share it with the kiddos. But we also kind of want to make sure they're ready for what camping actually means. We're a backpack/tent/sleeping bag kind of camping family. In the woods. With no bathroom access.

So. With that said, we thought camping out in the backyard would be a great test run for this whole family camping thing. And no worries, we'll be buying a new tent before all of us go on an adventure together. Five of us in a two person tent sounds, well, miserable. Ha!

Saturday night was our first practice run. Jeremy was going to camp out in the yard with the two older boys. And me? I was going to camp out in our king-sized bed by myself. Win-win, right? Except see, there was this football game on Saturday night that didn't start until 8:15. Which is already a little past someone's bedtime. By the time the first quarter was over, Sawyer was passed out in my lap on the couch. So Jeremy took him to his bed to sleep. And then by the time half time was starting, Cayden had passed out on the couch. But we'd already taken time to set up the tent, so Jeremy decided to take Cayden outside to sleep.

And all would have been fine! Cayden woke up for a split second, looked around, and fell right back to sleep. Jeremy had his phone so that he could still watch the game, but also be outside for Cayden. Except Cayden started waking up about every 15 minutes, sitting up, looking around and then laying back down. By a little after midnight everyone was back inside in their own beds, sleeping soundly.

I think we need a few more test runs before we venture out to a remote location. But the camping that was had, was awesome. And a little humid from what I hear. So maybe cooler weather should make its way here too first?

September 17, 2015



Since Cayden has gone back to school this fall, the younger two Allens are bonding in a way they haven't been able to before. Is there fighting? Sure. But the sweet moments mostly outweigh the ugly ones. Sawyer's really getting to shine as a big brother and teach Graham lots of cool things. I'm sure there are a few things being taught that we could do without, but hey, that's how life goes, right?

Graham was too young to interact with Sawyer last year when Cayden was in school. And now that Sawyer is in school three days a week, Graham definitely misses his brothers when they're gone. But that also gives me time to bond with the youngest dude too. So really? No complaints!

September 16, 2015

a little taste of fall


The air has started to cool, the leaves have started to fall and the kids are covered in mosquito bites. Ah, fall, how we love you! We've never lived in a home with mature trees; our previous two homes were new builds. At first I was a little worried about buying an older home, but the longer we're here, the better it's getting. I actually saw a chipmunk scurry across our back patio this morning! It's the little things, people!

Anyway, with mature trees come lots of leaves. And while the amount of leaves in our back yard pales in comparison to many others, it's more than we've ever had. The boys loved scooping them into piles and sliding into them. Or just throwing them in the air. They even enjoyed using the rake and trying to put them in piles. We'll just keep making that a fun thing for them and they won't even know they're doing a job for us. Win-win!

We're already looking forward to the cooler evenings. The back yard even came with a fire pit, so we'll be putting it to good use this weekend to make some smores. The memories this yard is going to give us is awesome. So very awesome.

September 11, 2015

mr. independent


While Graham most definitely still relies on us for most things, he definitely has that third kid independence streak. He sees his brother do things and naturally, he can do them too. And for the most part, he can. Except jumping jacks. That? Is hilarious to watch him try. He also can't quite clear the threshold when walking out the front door. He thinks he can. And that is how you get a nice big abrasion on your forehead. I mean, concrete and foreheads are meant to be best friends, right?

September 10, 2015

the cove: laundry room


How's that for a before shot? (You're welcome for the photoshopped clean litter box!) And it's not even a true before shot. The true one would have shown the terrible square light as proven by the ceiling paint. And there were all sorts of nails and screws in the wall. And gouges. Those are shown here by all the lovely white spots. But I'm just so glad to have a before shot of some kind because this transformation makes me all sorts of giddy!

Also, you may (or may not?) be wondering why "the cove" usage. Our address has the word Cove in it and we love referring to our home as The Cove. I think it works. Or not. Oh, and photographing a laundry room with no natural light and is basically a walk-thru from the garage? Is challenging.


We went with a rich dark color (Sherwin Williams Riverway). We weren't concerned with the dark color in the small space because of our washer and dryer being white. And those popping against the dark color is perfect! We drew inspiration on our table/shelves from here and adjusted measurements and shelves to work the way we needed them to. Because we have a few cats, we needed to stack the washer and dryer to make room for litter boxes. I'm pretty sure I would stack them even if we didn't need to do that. This set up works well, gives us storage, a work space and something pretty to look at!

On the wall opposite our pretty shelves we hung up a utility clip rack. We couldn't find anything in a store that wasn't white or plastic. Or ugly for that matter. And that just wasn't going to cut it in this space! So we bought a 1x3 board, stained it the same color as our shelves, attached these awesome utility clips and hung it up on the wall. Functional can be pretty!


And we have eventual plans to install a barn door in the hallway. We removed the door that was originally there. With the door to the garage being in this space, it was entirely too many doors in a small area. We'll build the door ourselves and stain it to match all the other wood. And it'll give that hallway a great feature too! And please just ignore the light fixture in the hall. There's another one around the corner that needs to go too. All in good time...

September 9, 2015

sawyer: first day of 4k


Two kiddos officially back in school! Leaving me at home with one kiddo three days a week and wondering what I did with my time back in the spring. I'm guessing (hoping!) the house will maybe be a little cleaner on a weekly basis now? Or something?

When we went for meet the teacher last week, our normally outgoing little guy got a little (ok, a lot!) shy and hid behind our legs. Refused to talk to his teacher or his friends from last school year. So to say that I had a little bit of anxiety about how first day drop-off would go might have been a bit of an understatement. But you know what? Sawyer rocked it just like he did on his first day last year!

As we were getting him ready for school this morning, I went digging to find a pair of sneakers that fit. I think our middle child is going to be our beast child. At 4, he's currently wearing the sneakers that Cayden wore in kindergarten. Little dude's got some big 'ol feet. But no worries. We still call him our nugget. And he still gladly responds to the nickname.

P.S. That nose crinkle in the last photo? Heart melted all over the place...
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