Thursday, January 28, 2016

Early Retirement

Well, tomorrow is a very big day.  My last day with Oracle, and the beginning of my stay-at-home adventure with two of the cutest girls that ever walked this earth.  I am so excited to have this opportunity, and I've been looking forward to it for a while.  It honestly feels a bit frivolous to be giving up my salary in order to play more with my babies, but I also know I would regret it with my whole heart if I didn't do it.

Growing up, being a stay-at-home-mom was not on my list of things to do.  I didn't think I'd like it one bit.  When I had Lyla all that changed, and I have a distinct memory from right after I had her.  We were still in our pajamas and I was just staring at her, and I thought I could do this.  I could do only this every day and be happy forever.  It's hard to believe that it's been almost exactly four years since that moment, but in those four years our family has worked hard to get where we are.  We've made goals and decisions carefully, and I'm so grateful that we've been able to get to this place.

As with every chapter that closes in my life, the decision is bittersweet.  As this day has approached I've had flashbacks to every part of my working life.  I've basically worked since I was 12 years old - from babysitting to life-guarding to retail to banking.  I've been involved with Oracle in one way or another since 2006.  An entire decade.  That blows my mind a little bit.  I look back at my career and I can't help but feel that I was so fortunate all along the way.  I encountered some very amazing people and had even more amazing leadership (mostly :).  I was given freedom and room to grow and opportunities that I probably didn't even deserve.  I got to travel to insanely beautiful locations and attend the funnest events, and when the babies came I was given the chance to slow down and be home more.  I had the most wonderful coworkers and it's hard to believe this entire group of people that were part of my daily existence will not be any longer.

Mostly I have so much appreciation for my husband that is so willing and honored to work hard for our family, to support all of us on his own.  He's put up with countless tears from me - sad tears that our babies are growing too fast and I can't make it slow down.  Angry tears when I have work calling and babies screaming and no one to help.  And every other kind of tear in between.  He's so supportive of this decision and I couldn't love him more for it.

I'm so very excited to grasp onto these extra hours of my babies' lives.  I'm not naive enough to think the transition will be easy, but I can't say I'm dreading all those princess dress-up, nail painting tea parties in my near future.  ;)

- K

Here's how I imagine my days will surely look from here on out...  :)

there's bound to be plenty of helping out around the house ;)

and feeding the dog entire boxes of bones

dressing up might happen occasionally

and just as many snuggles as I can fit in

and as many snuggles as Kev can fit in

the house will always be perfectly tidy

i definitely won't be doing anything completely stupid just for a hearty sis laugh

there will be plenty of hugging it out

and silly little girl stories

and probably too much fabulous for anyone to handle

not to mention plenty of "moo boots"

I'm sure we'll be doing plenty of this
and probably very little of this ;)

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Kissin' Cousins

Last weekend my cousins made a pit stop in Shakopee, MN to visit us on their Midwest tour..  My cousin, Natalie, brought her daughter, Viviana, and my cousin Bridgit brought her fiance, Luke.  I grew up in California with Bridgit and Natalie, and then we visited them about every 2 years after we moved to Colorado.  I have so many memories from my childhood with them, and every time we get together it's like no time has passed.  The way family should be.

The last time we were in California Lyla was 5 months old and we were celebrating Natalie's baby shower.  She had Viviana a month later, and we've never had a chance to get the girls together.  Lyla was bursting at the seams to meet her little cousin, so we let her stay up late when they took the "scenic" route and showed up about 3 hours later than planned.  ;)  Those girls hit it off immediately, they were two little peas in a pod.

We went sledding with the girls in the backyard, went out for donuts, headed to the Mall of America for lunch at the newly refurbished Rainforest Cafe and sightseeing, which just turned into shopping at the Rainforest Cafe store and "linner".  It happened to be the grand opening of the new location, and you could say there was a wait.  But the girls were mesmerized by the place, so it was totally worth it.

After that we left bedtime to a babysitter and headed out on the town, just us adults.  We went to dinner at Chino Latino - our favorite spot to take out-of-towners, followed by dancing.  It was a blast -  I didn't even want to leave at our predetermined time of midnight.  And if you know me, you know I do not like staying up until midnight, let alone after when I know all that's waiting for me is a 6am wake up call from two energetic little girls.  :)

It was such a fun time!  Can't wait for our next rendezvous!!

- K

Monday, January 11, 2016

Slam Fest

There's a little thing here at the Chapman household that we like to call a a slam fest.  It begins with Dad coming in the door and Lyla running up to him, screaming "let's do SLAMS!!!"  Sis gets wide eyed and starts whispering "shh! shh!"  Then we all run upstairs and the game begins.

I'm the protector - grabbing the girls and protecting them from Dad and his bed slams.  We run down the hall, hiding in the girls' rooms.  Lyla screaming the whole time, Evie saying "Un!" "Ide!", because who has time for those first consonants?  Dad inevitably sneaks up and grabs a girl, running down the hall to our room, everyone screaming and giggling the whole way.  The girls get slammed on the bed and the game starts all over again - me grabbing the girls back to "protect" them and unning back to our iding place.  ;)

It's one of the funnest things we do around here, and probably the girls' favorite time in the day.  Here are some super blurry photos of our little game.  Have I mentioned how much I love this little family of mine?  :)

- K

Thursday, January 7, 2016


Christmas and the week after were so laid back and quiet - it was exactly what I needed.  I even ordered our entire Christmas dinner from Whole Foods and let a plant die.  I'm talking pure laziness.  My dad, stepmom and sister came into town Christmas evening, so we had a nice quiet Christmas Eve and morning - just the four of us.

The night before Christmas Eve we went to a Christmas party where Santa showed up towards the end.  When he made his entrance Lyla was off playing with some friends.  A minute later she appeared, ran right up to the front of the crowd and grabbed his hand and attention to let him know how good she's been and that she'd like a pink puppy.  Ryan's coworkers that were in attendance were shocked that his daughter would be the one up front garnering all the attention.  ;)

We spent Christmas Eve in our traditional way - church followed by one present for the kids, bagels and lox, and champagne.  Sis enjoyed some sparkling cider, but Lyla has a new aversion to carbonated drinks, so flat out refused the bubbly.  A fun new tradition was Lyla's 3am wake up call after running downstairs, turning on all the lights, dumping out stockings and eating chocolate on her own.  So fun.

Christmas morning was completely amazing.  I made my homemade pumpkin cinnamon rolls the night before while Ryan built the girls' doll house, so we stuck those in the oven, poured some coffee and ripped into some presents.  It wasn't as neat and orderly as Ryan likes to have presents opened, but the girls were too cute helping each other open packages and just so excited about each and every gift.  We all got some great presents, but hands down my favorite was the fact that I had to do no work.  We didn't even get dressed that day, and everyone got a nap.  After the girls went to bed I headed to the airport to pick up our visitors.

The next few days were so much fun.  We got our first major snowfall and the girls bundled up several times to go play in the snow.  There were donuts, a Vikings game, ice skating, a trip to the gun range, very little cooking, and a whole lot of playing.

It was an amazing holiday and necessary break.  Here are some photos of all the fun!

- K

Because Tim doesn't get nearly enough face time around here.  :)

Fun with Auntie Kate.

Prepped and ready for the last outdoors game at TCF Field for the Vikings!
Grandma and the girls explored Gander Mountain.  The girls wanted to bring these guys home.
And these guys.
And this tent.

Where did this tall kid come from?  And who took my baby??
Lyla had a hard time in those skates - couldn't even keep her feet under her - but she was the cutest little motivational speaker.  She'd take a break and say "I'm doing great!" and "I can do this!" and "This is the best day ever!!"

This was Evie's favorite activity of all time.  Dad would get going fast then hold her down on the ice like she was skating on her own.  Not to mention she was killing it in those shimmery tights and that fur coat.  :)

Love her!

Lyla eventually ditched the skates and had a lot more success in her boots. :)
Sis had no interest in leaving when family skating time ended.