Monday, February 29, 2016

There's no place like home

We just got back from a nine day (plus an unexpected two days -- thanks, snowstorm!) stay in Michigan.  I took a break from blogging while out of town because I needed to.  Life was hitting us hard and heavy prior to leaving and my increasingly declining moods indicated I needed some time to sign off, refresh, and soak in all the time I could with the people who I've missed so dearly over the past couple years.

The trip was everything we needed, wanted, and more.  We caught up with many loved ones over dinners and lunches and made sure to carve out some time spent with just the 4 of us.  And it felt like home.  With so much time having passed and so much change having occurred since we were last in town, I didn't really know what to expect.  Would it be weird being a mom around my childhood friends?  Would relationships be different?  Would we have been forgotten?  A near three year chunk is in no way a lifetime, but it's just enough time to question if we would still be a part of that community we left as newlyweds.  Thankfully and unsurprisingly, Detroit delivered.  The love we were showered with almost made me uncomfortable and left me feeling like I couldn't say "thank you" enough.

And introducing Ella and Archer to everyone?  Forget about it.  To see your loved ones gush over your children is a precious site and one I didn't take for granted.  You get to witness the joy that only tiny humans are capable of spreading and it kinda makes you fall in love with your kiddos all over again.

To be a part of a community - a village - is a priceless gift.  I once ached to get away from it (because - yeah - the village can get annoying) but now it's something I long to go back to.  I'm not sure if we'll  ever find a similar community elsewhere and I'm not sure I want to.  Its one-of-kindness is what makes it so great.  We're now separated once again by a timezone or two, but I know that the wonderful, full of Midwestern generosity village that is Southeastern Michigan hasn't changed a bit.  It's only doubled in size and grown in love and for that I'm counting down the days until we get to go back.

Monday, February 15, 2016

From the weekend

My littlest love
It was a low key weekend and a modest Valentine's.  Those all too familiar low moods have been sneaking up on me once again, (more on that in days to come) and I haven't been feeling up to much. Tim made a delicious Greek style dinner (my favorite), we drank too much wine, and had our fill of dessert.  Any Valentine's that includes gluten-free tiramisu is a good one in my book.

Friday, February 12, 2016

My funny Valentine

It was a typical day in the college life for both Tim and me.  The weather was hot and the plan was to get coffee.  We had just gotten back from (I think) playing volleyball, and I wanted to change and run up to my apartment to grab a couple things.  At the college I attended there was a strict no opposite sex in the apartment rule, so Tim waited at the bottom of the stairs while I ran upstairs.  I don't remember clearly all that went wrong but for whatever reason the intended 2 minute trip turned into a 10 minute ordeal.  I was trying to check my account balance (yay college life) when I realized my phone wasn't working, and after I had been scurrying around for a bit I started to worry that Tim had been waiting for a while, and I didn't have a quick way to let him know I was sorry for taking so long.

I got myself together and rushed out the door-- I'm not sure why I was in such a hurry. I started to apologize as I got half way down the stairs.  I remember I met him at the bottom and told him I was ready to go.  I was flustered, I can get that way if I know people are waiting on me. It just freaks me out.  I remember how Tim was looking at me - past the needless chaos and disarray -- when he said  you are beautiful.  I was so taken back that the moment has been cemented into memory.  We hadn't been together for all that long, but I remember thinking this is a quality I want in someone - the ability to see me at my not so best and still think I'm pretty great.

The hilarious part about all this is that that moment was nothing.  I had maybe kept him waiting for a couple minutes longer than I wanted and was nervous about it 'cause I wanted to impress him.  But in reality, my hair was done, I'm pretty sure I was in a dress.  Looking back, the scene was blown out of my proportion in my head due to my flustered state.

Since that moment, Tim has seen me birth two children, battle a bout of depression and a (continual) bout of anxiety, lose my temper, and try to fit into pre-pregnancy sized pants, and he's never let up on the "you are beautiful's".  It doesn't matter if we're having a conversation about insurance coverage for mental health or student loan debt or the possibility of a big move, Tim is there calm, collected, always seeing the good in things and always seeing the good in me, even when I may not see it in myself.

Happy early Valentine's to my favorite, forever, and only Valentine.  Your "you look beautiful's" get me every time.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Galentines and Valentines

I'm a total sucker for Valentine's Day, like in the really cheesy, loves the gigantic hearts of chocolates way.  I love the sea of pink in the stores and the cutesy displays only Target can seem to pull off.  I love to send my bffs Valentine's and now that we have kids I think it will be so fun to shower them with their own sort of love come February 14th.  I know true love reveals itself more through a 3AM feeding than a giant stuffed bear that says I love you, but I think the day is a fun excuse to go total Hallmark.

So in the spirit of Vday, I thought I'd get a little sentimental and gushy and share a favorite memory from a Galentine and, of course, my Valentine.  (Buckle up, it's going to be a painfully cheesy ride.)

First off, Galentine.

When I was in my sophomore year of college, one of my best friends - Beth - came out to California to visit. It's basically the best kind of excited you can be - being reunited with your best friend.  We had the perfect mix of plans and no plans for her time spent in SoCal.  Coming from the Midwest, part of the plan was to spend some time at the beach.  Obviously.  We (let's be honest) Beth figured out the bus schedule and away we went.  We made it to - for you San Diegans - La Jolla Village Drive when I said I think this is where we get off...  Beth was hesitant, and I was insistent.  If you're from San Diego you know the UTC Mall is about 5 miles away from the actual beach. Immediately, I knew I got this wrong.  So we started walking.  We took our beach totes and sunscreen and began our trek.  Pre-iPhone times, we didn't have access to Google maps, so we stopped at a hotel, a Von's and called my roommate all in an effort to find our way to the beach.  We walked along a freeway where a taxi passed us and promptly pulled over asking if we needed a ride. In retrospect, I'm not sure if it was the best idea to take him up on his offer, but we did.  It was this super nice cab driver who I'm pretty sure was Jamaican (excellent) who got us to the beach.

The overcast skies didn't stop us, we took some time there and began the long trek back home.  A few buses later, we made it back with a sunburn and tired feet.

This is the kind of day I can have only with Beth.  To some, this might sound like a nightmare, a case of a no good horrible very bad day.  And while, yes I was cranky at points because I was essentially hiking to the beach in flip flops, we saw it as another Beth/Kaitlin adventure.  It's one of my favorite memories to date and one of my all time favorites spent with my Galentine.

One of my deepest wishes for my kids is they find this kind of friend - a Thelma to their Louise.  The kind of friend who will fight for you and will sit silently with you during times of grieving (and vice versa, of course).  The kind of friend you can jump in the car with, grab a ton of junk food and be guaranteed a good time.

Happy Galentines to the ladies out there.  I hope you have all sorts of lady power fun.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016


I had a little fun with the camera and the kiddos recently.  Archer was looking too cute with his dribble bib and Ella was lovin' on Archer.  Breaking out the camera was a must.  Here's a fun middle of the week photo shoot turned post:

Monday, February 1, 2016

From the weekend

I'm beginning to notice a trend here in the Lochner Household.  One day will be full of smooth-sailing happenings - both kids are happy, content, the toddler gets dressed without protest, the infant naps well, we can go out for nearly an entire day and there is so little child-induced commotion that the day almost feels magical.  It's just us soaking in our family of four-ness and loving being with each other.

And there's the other half of the weekend.  The day when Ella insists that her right shoe goes on her left foot, when Archer naps for 5 minute intervals and becomes increasingly fussy because he's just tired, when we feel the need to applaud ourselves for getting to Mass bathed, fed, and in one piece.

This weekend was no exception.  We got up Saturday, went out for coffee and then into Portland for some shopping.  Archer slept and when he was awake he was content.  And Ella?  She was a dream. We don't have a double stroller yet, so she walked everywhere.  She waited patiently when Tim tried on clothes, she waited with Tim while I tried on clothes.  We stayed out for lunch, she missed her nap, and she still managed to stop folks with her cute, little vibe.  It was the best day, one of my favorites as a family of 4.

And Sunday?  Well.  We woke up late, barely made it to Mass on time with brushed hair.  When we sat down, Archer promptly started crying for food and Ella started fussing for water.  The people in front of us looked less than pleased we sat behind them (ugh).  This was also the day where Ella demanded "sauce" (applesauce) for every meal.  Archer was unsettled for a good part of the day and required more than one wardrobe change.

Good days and bad days.  We all have 'em.  I'm especially thankful for the good ones, because it reminds me it's more than possible to do things and go out with kids.  The bad ones?  Well.  We get through them, laughing.

I hope you had a great weekend.