Monday, October 27, 2014


Yesterday was October 26th. And this is the day 7yrs ago when we lost our sweet warrior, Duncan Rann Arthur. This year hit us hard. Scott and I both admitted yesterday to feeling particularly emotional and melancholy. Perhaps it is because we are further away from Duncan, unable to visit his grave in Columbus or his magical tree at the Park of Roses. Perhaps it is because the older boys, Jackson and Sullivan, were more involved and aware yesterday than in previous years (they both really took interest in going through pictures and Duncan's memorabilia), like we were sort of experiencing the loss through them. Perhaps is it because I am pregnant. And at about that same spot in the pregnancy when we learned of Duncan's heart condition.

In any case, the day was exactly what it needed to be for each of us. We shared. We teared up. We remembered. We told stories. We were taken back to that time, thankful to all the people who loved us alongside the sadness and thankful to Duncan for the lessons he taught us and the ways we have been transformed as a result.

That. Was. Yesterday.

And today. Today was about revealing a whole new chapter of our family existence. Today was about life. And newness. And what lies ahead. At 19 weeks, today was when we had the anatomy ultra sound for baby.

So I went to bed last night in one place. And I woke up this morning in another. 

Kinda strange, actually, to feel that polar. And there was a thin thread of sadness and anxiousness that connected the two... one which left us slightly panicky, despite the enthusiasm and excitement, during the technician's examination of the four chambers of the heart, the measurements of the skull, the extra notation about the nose and back-of-neck due to the fact that I am over 35, the pinpointing of the kidneys, bowel, spine, femur... Once you know all the ways a baby can be unhealthy, it's hard to assume that the one growing inside of you is perfectly healthy. 

But that is what happened today. Once I got all my goop off, the doc entered the room with the immediate news that ours was a very boring, normal ultra sound and that baby was healthy and growing perfectly. Sweet relief! Boring! We like boring! Scott's body language let out a breath... his lungs did, but so did his whole entire body.

And now for the part we have all been waiting for: WHAT WAS BETWEEN THE LEGS???

Will Scott drink from a glass of blue milk or pink milk??

Take a moment to watch the gender reveal clip below to get your answer:

Well, sheesh. We had this cute little moment (filmed) with Jackson, Sullivan, and Anderson looking on to discover which glass Daddy would drink from. But it's not uploading right. Trust me, it's cute.










Friday, October 17, 2014

Excited and Frightened...

I am both wildly excited and wildly frightened by the POTENTIAL (**we do not know gender yet**) prospect of giving birth to a baby girl.

Why am I processing about this?

Well, cuz, with an offspring track record such as mine (boy after boy after boy), the most predictable question I get asked on the playground, in the grocery store, on the soccer field, in the gymnastics waiting area, on walks... is, "So, are you so hoping it's a girl?"

And I should probably skip the real answer and just simply say, "yes, of course!" which is sorta kinda true. But the more accurate answer takes longer. And even though asker really didn't plan to get an earful, I proceed anyway in explaining that my feelings on the gender topic are mixed.

1) First off, easy - in life right at the moment - is good. Hard is harder and badder. So when I think about what I know -  it's how to be a mother to a boy. I know how to talk to a boy, how to discipline a boy, how to rough house with a boy, how to host boy playdates... And then when I think about what the rest of lil Arthurs know - it's how to include boy Arthur siblings. Jackson, Sullivan, and Anderson have only known brothers. They get how to be a sibling to a brother. They breathe, speak, eat, dream "BOY."

So no matter how you look at it, adding a girl life into this crazy Arthur household is going to require "more" than what we know how to be right now. And more = harder. And, as aforementioned, harder = badder. :) Truly, not really, but that's how it seems as our bustling family is already rather FULL.

2) I do not wish, in any way, to pass the buck on raising well-adjusted offspring, because - after all - I am around the lil dudes the majority of the time during the day. BUT - I have always held the belief that it is the same-gendered parent who best is able to model for the kiddo what it means to be an awesome adult male/female. For my boys, Scott is sorta THE MAN responsible for teaching them all the ins and outs of being THE MAN.

I feel like an insecure 3rd grader when I begin thinking about how intimidating it is to be THE WOMAN responsible for modeling how to be a healthy, balanced, mature WOMAN for my daughter.  Basically, I don't want to be looked up to. :) It feels scary and overwhelming. I'm sure I'd get over myself and return to my 35-yr-old emotional self (instead of the third grade emotional self I seem to be sporting surrounding this topic now), but if I'm being honest with myself, I am just plain paralyzed by the pressure.

3) I really thought there was a 3 or else I wouldn't have numbered in the first place. If it comes to me, I'll get back to ya.

October 27th is when either I will process more about this journey or consider it a closed subject. Cuz that's when we find out this little bambino's gender! YIPPEE! Suspense will be over. I must say, I DO love the suspense. Best part. Besides the birth.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Before/After Shots


BEFORE: Standing in front foyer looking into formal living
AFTER: new flooring, new paint, banisters painted



BEFORE: Foyer straight ahead to stairway                             
AFTER - huge diff :)


BEFORE: Standing in formal living looking onto former formal dining

AFTER: new built-ins, new flooring, new paint, new fan


BEFORE: Doorway from dining to kitchen                          
AFTER: New tile, new paint on cabinets, 
new appliances
BEFORE: Kitchen to eat in
IN PROGRESS: wall dividing eat-in kitchen from family room GONE!
AFTER: Wall out and chandelier up!

BEFORE: Kitchen 
AFTER: New paint/fridge

BEFORE: Eat in                      
AFTER: (sorry bout lighting) - shows expanded eat in area


BEFORE: Main floor study                         
      IN PROGRESS: Repurposing study as laundry room; built in new entrance from garage into laundry room... 
IN PROGRESS: Cubbies getting started, floors in
               AFTER: Cubbies!               
  AFTER: Door in!

BEFORE: study
AFTER: Laundry room (sorry bout lighting! it's really bright in there!)


BEFORE: Family room               
AFTER: new floors, new paint, new shelves to right of fireplace
BEFORE: Family room doorway leading to back yard                       
BEFORE: mini bar in family room              

AFTER: Wall gone and bar height counter added

Monday, October 6, 2014

BELATED: First days of school...

Sullivan DAY ONE

Jackson DAY ONE

Anderson DAY ONE

A Revival in the West

So we are here. Home. In Colorado. And have been for 4 months. But I don't count two of those, because we were in a rental condo furnished with grandma couches and trinkets without our stuff while our real house was being worked on and THAT didn't feel like home. In fact, I don't remember big chunks of that. Think I've blocked it out.

Home feels more and more like home, speaking both about the physical house AND the city/neighborhood. Right now we have visitors who are helping me grow a pair and get nails in the walls to hang stuff (why is it that that process scares me so? perhaps it's because i've never had FRESHLY PAINTED, blemish-free surfaces and they seem so easy to screw up). Prior to this, the place was was looking a little bare and impersonal. So THAT makes it more homified. Said visitors are also working with me on refining my decorating scheme: tilting couches just so, buying accent tables that are just right, matching colors for shelf knickknacks with just the right hugh. Thank you, Aunt Vianne and Uncle Jim.

Now, on to the reason for the out-of-the-blueness of this post (given that the last one was a million years ago). Even though in the depths of my brain I KNEW I had cousins in Colorado (TWO!!!), it took us landing on Colorado soil to actually saturate that knowledge and get excited about it. I HAVE FAMILY IN COLORADO! Cousin Ben and cousin Katie (both my dad's brother Tommy's kids) both live within an hour of me... married, kids... doing life kinda the same as how we're doing life. I finally set up a time to visit Ben and his family during the time they had their parents, Uncle Tommy and Aunt Pat (from TX) visiting. I WAS WITH MY PEOPLE. I HAVE PEOPLE. Can't express how unexpectedly comforting it was to be amongst blood relatives... albeit ones I hadn't shared life with in several years (annual family reunions came to a halt awhile back), but ones with whom it didn't take long to get reacquainted.

So Aunt Pat, who is a dear, dear aunt and lady says to me, "I really wish you would keep up with your blog. It was a way for me to stay connected with you family." I didn't make any promises, but I at least agreed with her that it did provide connection with distant friends and family. And that I am a fair-weather Facebook updater... MUCH prefer the therapeutic writing of the blog.

Here goes, Aunt Pat! Here goes, everybody.

I know I've relaunched before (pretty much every time we move). But here's to hoping it sticks.

By the way, I'm pregnant. 4 months pregnant. Due March 23, 2015. So, expect the posts to disappear again then. And then reappear when we move again. And then disappear after we have another baby. SIKE!!! (But there does seem to be a pattern of relocating and getting knocked up). We are ALL in agreement (even sweet 7-yr-old Jackson, who reminds us of our over-commitment: "I can't BELIEVE we're going to have another baby in this family... it's awesome because I get a new brother/sister but it is not awesome because it's going to mean even MORE work for me." Tell me about it, brotha) that this completes our family. And we will make SURE of that, if you know what I mean. Scott says he is skipping the V procedure and going straight for castration...

And I will leave you with that thought. :)

 At the Denver Zoo yesterday. Weather: Perfecto!

Just in case there's an audience of folks DYING to know what I look like right now