One of the things we were most looking forward to on our trip out to California, was the opportunity to catch up with a few of Jeremy’s oldest and dearest friends, Andre and Tim, their beautiful wives Kristen and Sara and all their kiddos.
Kristen was kind enough to invite us out to her parents’ amazing home for the afternoon before Dakota’s graduation. We got to sit in the sun, eat delicious food (including her Dad’s homemade mango ice cream), watch the kids play in the pool and just catch up.
Also there was Jeremy’s “sister” Rumi, who flew out from Spokane to see Dakota graduate. Rumi and Jeremy are not related, but he calls her his sister because she spent a few years living with Jeremy’s family many years ago and they have been extremely close ever since.
I adore Rumi. And even though I know Jeremy is technically an only child, I could not have picked a better sister for him if I had to. It was so good to spend a few days catching up with her. I can’t believe it’s been 10 years (and 4.5 kids) since we have last seen each other (when she read at our wedding). Too, too long.
It was so great to see everyone again. We had a lot of laughs in a few short hours and Quinn loved to play with and watch all the older kids.
In moments like this, it always makes me a little sad that Jeremy and I have moved so much throughout the years. It’s been difficult to lay down roots when we pack up and leave every 1-5 years. It’s hard to have all of our family and friends spread all over the country, watch everyone’s life unfold over Facebook and Instagram, and try to catch up in an afternoon during a random visit every few years.
But even so, it’s good to know they are out there. And no matter what part of the country we go to, we have so many awesome people we love willing to go out of their way to make time to see us.
Can we talk about something important here for once?
Well, nursery design.
Today marked the official end of my 30 week procrastination streak. I finally broke down and bought something for the baby. A few things, actually, and it felt really good.
By 30 weeks into my pregnancy with Quinn, I pretty much had her entire nursery finished, with the exception of one, very difficult to apply, tree wall decal that Quinn quickly ripped down as soon as she was old enough to stand in her crib. Never doing that again.
If you are interested at all in Quinn’s nursery, you can see it here. It pretty much looks exactly the same now except there is a toddler bed where the crib was, a 4 cubby, birch, Expedit Ikea bookcase where the changing table was and a framed My Morning Jacket concert poster on the wall where the tree decal was destroyed. Oh, and about 200 more books.
This time, I have only gotten as far as a Pinterest board. I am quickly learning, things just don’t pan out the same way with a 2nd pregnancy. But, that doesn’t mean I haven’t spent plenty of time thinking about a logical solution to turning our smallish guest room with a queen sized bed into a more spacious nursery with a guest room option.
After doing some measuring, I quickly realized there was no way we could fit the crib in the room with the queen sized bed. But, I still wanted a place for out of town guests to stay if needed and was thinking a day bed might work. Luckily, my very generous parents were kind enough to buy us a pop-up trundle bed frame to replace the queen sized bed in the room. This was their baby gift to us since we really didn’t need anything baby-related this time around. Thanks Mom and Dad!
The trundle set will serve as a day bed in the nursery. And when we have visitors, we can pull it out to make a king sized bed, or two twins, and the baby can sleep with us in our room. Eventually, these beds could be used for one or both girls. A good solution. We just need to buy two mattresses, bedding and a couple of storage bags for our queen bed while it sits in our basement. Eventually, when we move to a different house, we will use the queen again in a guest room.
Next, I needed to figure out what colors would work with the beige walls that I am waaaay too lazy to paint. I’m not one for themes really, but I definitely needed something to liven up the wall color a bit without going overboard. And while I am not really going for any specific color, I kept finding myself drawn to red and turquoise. I figured if I found a good rug, or one big piece with a fun pattern, I could decorate around it. And it has to be something a baby can grow into.
Originally I wasn’t interested in a chevron rug. I’m a little “chevroned out”. But once I found this 5’x8’ rug on Overstock for only $100, I knew it would be perfect for a kid’s room. So inexpensive! And look at all the color possibilities!
Next, I looked at a few switch plate covers but I have loved this one from Anthropologie for years. I almost got it when I was pregnant with Quinn but bought a different one instead. This time, it will go in Baby Sister’s room.
And this red star, paper lantern will hang in the new nursery above the window.
That’s all I’ve got for now, but it’s a start. Eventually, I need to get one more crib sheet, and have narrowed it down to these two which I will purchase in the next few weeks. I need something a bit more neutral to balance out the rug and nicknacks that will eventually infiltrate the room.
Also, I have an old Crate and Barrel gift card somewhere, so I may pick up these curtain panels.
And I am definitely getting this because, um, it’s just adorable. Every baby needs a piggy (owl) bank.
After that, I just need to pick up some cheap Ikea frames to frame a few prints and I think that’s it. Now, if I can just get motivated to pack up the guest room before the trundle bed gets here in the next few days. But that’s doubtful.
I also happened to pick up a few other baby-related items yesterday. I ordered a new Diaper Champ because we couldn’t stand to use the old one anymore after we got Quinn out of diapers. Totally wasteful, but we just couldn’t scrub it anymore.
I also took the time to check to make sure my old Medela pump was still working. It was and I ordered all new parts for it (tubing, bottles, horns, etc). I even called my insurance company to see how much I would get reimbursed for the new parts or if I got a whole new pump all together (up to $50 for parts, 100% for a new pump! Thank you Mr. President!).
It feels good to finally check a few things off of my to-do list and give this little nugget the attention she deserves. Decorating Quinn’s nursery was one of my favorite parts of her pregnancy. And while I’ve been happily avoiding it this time around, I am finally starting to get excited to make it all come together. I know at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if she has a complete nursery to come home to, but it makes me feel better to know that I made a special place for her to be welcomed into the world.
Of course, we didn’t travel across the country this past week to go to Disneyland, see the ocean or eat at In-N-Out Burger, although, those are all good reasons. The main reason was to celebrate Dakota’s high school graduation.
It was quite an event. First, we met up with him on Thursday to see him get his cap and gown photos taken. Then, there were events at the church Friday night and Saturday morning, a luncheon for him on Saturday afternoon, class night Saturday night and finally, the graduation ceremony on Sunday afternoon.
It was a busy weekend. I can’t imagine how exhausted all the graduates must have been. I do have to say, I was impressed by how laid-back every event seemed to be. They really let them have a lot of fun, unlike my public school graduation, exactly 20 years ago tomorrow, were you couldn’t even toss your cap up in the air at the end.
It was fun and a little emotional to watch Dakota take part in all the activities. I’ve known him since he was a little bit older than Quinn is now. I can’t believe how quickly the time has gone.
I know he is not technically my son. It’s been difficult to live across the country from him all these years and watch him grow up from a distance. I’ve always known that we would probably never have the type of relationship I hoped we would have simply because we don’t know each other like we should. But nevertheless, I love and adore him. And I am so, so proud of him. And to see the love and adoration in Jeremy and Quinn’s eyes while they watched him get his diploma, it just made me so happy.
Congratulations, Dakota. We love you.
* Thank you Julio Munoz for some of these great photos!