Deep in the Heart of Taxes

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Ever candid.

Nothing screams success quite like eating leftover chocolate cake with your child's (dirty) plastic fork while watching someone else do your taxes. Your naked toddler is getting her loaded-diaper groove on to "Blank Space" in the corner (Who put baby in the corner?), and your husband is slowly shaking his head with each number crunch...

If there's one thing this Professional Writing major enjoys, it's a good numbers game. I speak the language of 20-percent-off sales and Hobby Lobby coupons and marked-down prices in the clearance aisle of Target. See? Numbers... ish.

But taxes? Oy to the veh.

April 14 has been the same in our household the last few years. The day of intaxication. I do my part (gathering all the necessary documents that have come in the mail the last few weeks). And Grahm does his part (everything else). Yeah, we're those people. The ones who literally wait until the very last possible minute. (In case of fire, you should probably call someone else.)

As I watched that handsome guy I married stare at his computer and mutter amusing political quips about Obama (cause everything's his fault, duh), I stewed on how grateful I am to have someone who a) knows his way around Turbo Tax and b) doesn't treat me like the IR-No. 

Maybe I've been eating too much of this yummy chocolate cake, but I think there's a tendency in all of us to view our relationships like paying taxes. There's a sense of obligation, entitlement, and return. We feel like we've been serving and serving our spouses and our friends and our children. Our money has been continuously taken out of our checks. Day in and day out, we've poured our time, our energy, and slivers of our souls into people. And by golly, they better pay us back. A big ass return check better be in the mail.

I wonder what it would look like if we loved people without wanting or expecting a return check? What if we abandoned our agendas and our tit-for-tat perspectives and just got on our knees to wash one another's feet? Tonight (and every night) I'm thankful for a husband who gives me a better picture of what a servant really should be,* even through something as dreary as paying Uncle Sam for his math-incompetent wife.

Loving me can be pretty darn taxing (ba dum tshhhh).

*Gal 5:13-14 and 1 Peter 4:10-11

Going (back) UP on a Monday

Monday, April 13, 2015

Testing, testing... is this thing on?

In an unlikely turn of events, blogging has managed to seduce me back to her quirky world of open letters, hodgepodge tutorials, GIFs, and house tours that make you want to set your furniture on fire for the chance to buy something more Pinterest-board worthy. (Oh, just me?) Instead of running away as a sane person probably should, I found myself flocking to her temptation like that girl unable to resist a Saturday-morning trip to the donut shop. What can I say? I love a good apple fritter.

Recently Roached, like my pre-stretchmark self, is still a whisper of the past.
This little space now has a new name, because I am not who I was when I began this documenting adventure in our 400-square-foot apartment so long ago. I am no longer a newlywed, learning the nuances of sharing a bed with (gasp!) a boy or attempting dinner for (gasp!) a hungry boy. Though "she burned meals" and "he stole the cubbies" will probably be intricately carved on our headstones when we're pushing up daisies, I wanted the chance to begin anew. A fresh page for our bustlin' and ever hustlin' family of three. Plus, my buggy last name is already part of our Wifi name (Roach Motel), so I feel fairly certain I've fully covered all of my insect obligations for this lifetime.

Nestfull Blog.
We are a nest full of many things. A nest full of laughter. Chipotle bowls. Sticky floors. DIY attempts. Unfolded laundry. Panera runs. Grace upon grace upon grace. Baby giggles. Naps. Netflix binges. Meal planning and meal burning. Aggressive cuddling. And an hourly need for Jesus.

I don't pretend to know a lot. And I won't pretend to say anything that hasn't already been said by every other mommy blogger on the stratosphere. But maybe, in my own fart-joke, slap-yo-mamma kind of way, I can make you laugh as you read about our journey through parenting our red-headed wild child, home ownership, marriage, and every frozen pizza in between. So stick around, and I promise to blog as infrequently as I darn well please.

I was all, "Babe, can you take pictures of me?"
And he was all, "Only if you do that melodramatic half-smirk thing."

Happy to oblige.

a new job

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

I have a new boss, a new little lady that I'll be answering to every day. 
She's a bit demanding at times. I mean, she eats a lot. She needs my help getting anywhere. She even needs me to wipe her fanny... but she sure looks cute in a headband. And her snuggles are like a warm slice of heaven that I can't seem to get enough of.

I'm officially a stay-at-home mom now, which (unless you have a really weird relationship with your boss) you probably guessed.

Since Grahm and I made this decision last week, it's amazing how much my eyes have been opened to the negativity surrounding it. It's obviously not something that our culture necessary applauds. What? You want to stay home all day and change diapers? You want to give up adult interactions? You want to abandon your career for something so seemingly trivial? What a waste.

This attitude is even dominant with stay-at-home moms themselves, who constantly talk about how difficult, exhausting, and lonely it is to raise children "for a living." And I get that. I've only been with Sawyer for 6 weeks, and I already understand the hardships of the job. No one is denying the challenges. In fact, I think there is something to be said of being honest about them: "Hey I don't have it all together. My house is a wreck. I don't get to shower until my husband gets home, and that's if I get one. When Sawyer cries, I don't always know what to do. And sometimes my greatest accomplishment of the day is brushing my teeth and taking a nap with my daughter." 

There's power in dropping the pretenses.
But sometimes I wonder if, in the desire to be transparent, we aren't focusing on the wrong things. 

I think of my own mother who stayed at home with three little ones, three and under. I have no idea how that worked. Can you imagine what a trip to the grocery store would have been like? Remaining sane, let alone happy, sounds like a challenge. But she didn't complain about how hard it was... she just did it, and she was truly overjoyed to do so. Even today she tells me those were the best years of her life.

Being a stay-at-home mom is not something I have to do, it's something I get to do. I already know it's going to be hard, so why let that be my only focus each day? It'll be difficult, but it'll be worth it and I want to focus on the "worth it" part of motherhood. I want to enjoy the days I'm blessed to spend snuggling with my sweet baby girl, not concentrate on the challenges.

There are enough stay-at-home moms complaining; the world doesn't need another one.

the nursery

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Sawyer is officially a month old, and I'm just now posting pictures of the nursery. Mom of the year over here. I know y'all have been on the edge of your pantaloons to see it. (Ha.) Let's just pretend the lighting is good in these photos cause Sawyer unfortunately doesn't nap at ideal picture-taking opportunities. Silly little lady.

I've grown to love this little space--my daughter's room--still a weird but wonderful thing for me to say. It's loud. Colorful. And unmistakingly a girl's room, which I will probably regret when we have a boy next... but whaddya gonna do. 

This room has already seen tears, contractions, laughter, lullabies, feedings, and poop. Lots and lots of poop... I'm excited to see what other dandy things her nursery has in store. 

I could not have done this without my amazingly crafty mamma. She sewed the crib skirt and those fabulous curtains for the bay window. She also helped me make the flower mobile. Seriously, she has more talent in her left nostril than I will ever have. WeShe should start an Etsy shop or something... 

So here ya have it. More pictures of Sawyer's nursery than you ever wanted to see... 
Bookcase: Land of Nod
Crib: Jenny Lind via Target
Rocker: Layla Grayce (no longer available)
End Table: Kirklands
Ottoman: Rug USA
Elephant Hamper: Home Decorators
Crib Skirt: Land of Nod
Changing pad Cover: Land of Nod
Chandelier: Ikea
Throw pillows: Home Goods
Pallet Art: DIY
Headband Holder: DIY
Floral Curtains: DIY (Thanks, Mommy!)
Crib Skirt: DIY (Thanks again, Mommy!)
Felt Floral Mobile: DIY

25 Things I've Learned in 25 Years

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

It's my birthday. I'm a quarter century old, or a fourth of the way closer to dead. Yikes. Seems like yesterday I was making highly questionable makeup choices, playing Liesl as a true "16 going on 17"-year-old, and bee-bopping to Hanson. Now I can rent cars, worry about cellulite, and buy anti-wrinkle cream like a champ.
Over the past five birthdays (I'll let you figure out which one is my 21st), I've had a lot of fun. I'm a big fan of birthdays, after all. I also feel like I've learned a thing or two over the years. I decided to share this wisdom with you today as my little birthday gift to you. You can decide whether or not you want to trust the girl who clearly has a serious problem deciding what color her hair should be...

Here are 25 things I've learned in the past 25 years:

1. You will always always regret eating Taco Bell.
2. Self-confidence is one of the most attractive qualities in a person.
3. You can never have enough mascara.
4. Very few things in life are worth staying mad about.
5. Money hanging up in your closest is so much better than money in the bank.
6. A loyal friend is worth her weight in jelly-filled donuts.
7. There's nothing that a hot shower and a long nap can't cure.
8. Life is too short not to snuggle every night.
9. Your mamma is the best friend you'll ever have.
10. Running a marathon is the most addicting natural high.
11. No one is as perfect as their Facebook and Instagram pictures make them seem.
12. Buy the expensive jeans. Your thunder thighs will thank you later.
13. "Don't Stop Believing" is the best feel-good song there is.
14. Family is more important than your right butt cheek.
15. Your bathroom should be cleaned every week. Every week, people.
16. Essie nail polish always beats OPI.
17. Be with people who make you laugh. Every day. All day.
18. Marriage is the most beautiful, rewarding kind of work.
19. Just because you have an opinion doesn't mean you need to share it.
20. Being short is fun unless you start gaining weight, cause everyone's gonna notice.
21. The best feeling in the world is taking off your bra after a long day. #unchained
22. You can make your own sunshine.
23. "Jesus said all will be will, so all will be well."
24. If you can, wrap it in bacon.
25. Spoil your spouse. He deserves it.