Wednesday, July 25, 2012

On being a ‘Home Engineer’

It’s been two years now since I officially became a stay at home mom.  I remember the night Vaughn and I had the conversation and made the final decision about it like it was yesterday.  I still have that gut feeling that this is where and what I’m supposed to be doing.  Now, don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t come with ease.  I remember leaving and calling myself a ‘Home Engineer,” and not a stay at home mom.  I was worried people would judge this decision I felt so strongly about.  Yes, I left an amazing job where I was in charge of a great deal, I felt important, knew a lot of people, etc etc.  However, that wasn’t me, not what I thought was fulfilling in my life.  “Home Engineer’ felt like I could still give a title to someone and it’ll be cute/funny and it’ll take the edge off of the fact that I was giving all of it up to be home with my babies.  In a working world where there were many career driven mothers, it was difficult to try to explain myself and the reasons.  It was my gut feeling telling me I needed to be home, what other reason did I need to give?

Now being out of the 9-5 world for two years I’ve finally come a place where I am comfortable with what I’m doing and how I’m doing it.  It’s not all play dates and fun nor is it all housework and errands, but a what I believe to be something that’s well balanced, for all involved (kids and me).  I wouldn’t say I’m a typical stay at home mom, I still work and work several ‘out of the house’ jobs at that.  Trying to describe what I do to someone is extremely difficult.  It seems that moms we can only lump ourselves as either/or- working or not working.  But I do both, part time working, full on mom, and I love it.  I’m so thankful that I can work a few hours a week and pay for things on my own but yet, spend my days with our girls.  The further I get from working a ‘9-5’ the more I know that I’ll more than likely never go back, even when the kids are grown and gone.  Don’t get me wrong, Vaughn Granger will not let me sit around eating bon bons; I will work, just not in the capacity that most of corporate America does. 

Callie and Chloe changed my life forever, they showed me what was truly important and worth scarifying.  Do I miss lunch dates, and being able to have adult conversations with my favorite Chamber Chicks, you have no idea.  However, their little cuddles and sweet baby faces don’t last long and I’m willing to sacrifice it all to see it each and every day.



Vaughn was headed out of town for work, so me and the girls went to Clemson with my parents.  I LOVE when we get a chance to visit, wish it happened more often.


We got there Saturday and went shopping downtown. Has anyone been in Tickled Orange?  If not, it’s a MUST, one of my favorite stores anywhere.  That night we headed to Mellow Mushroom to have dinner with my cousin Kate and her two little ones!  William is four months older than Callie and Chloe is four months older than Jordan, so they all play SO well together.  We ate outside which worked great with the rowdy crew, they got to run around and the adults could catch up. 




The next day me and the girls headed out to run around campus while mom and dad did some work on the apartment.  I love seeing the girls enjoying a place I hold so dear to my heart


Seriously, can’t get better than this!


Hoping we can get up that way for a game this fall, not to attend the game but to tailgate-last year was a disaster trying to do that.  Go Tigers!

Monday, July 16, 2012


We headed up to Chicago for my cousin Matt’s wedding.  I had never been and since the wedding was the weekend before my birthday I asked that this be my “present.”  This weekend was also pretty special for the Rowland family, it was the first time we had all gotten together with everyone for a celebration since Stevie’s funeral.  Needless to say, it was going to be a very special weekend and one I was really looking forward to!  We left SUPER early Friday morning (ie, got to Chicago at 7:30am) and hit the ground running.  I had my first experience on the L, thanks to my navigator V!


We headed to the hotel to drop off our bags and then would head out for breakfast.  While checking in we ran into a cousins and aunts/uncles, and proceeded to take up the entire lobby catching up!  We got a group together, headed to breakfast, then V and I decided to check out The Magnificent Mile which was a block from our hotel. 


John Hancock Building


After some retail therapy, thankful that my husband likes shopping sometimes, we met up with more family and ate some Chicago style pizza at Pizzeria Uno.


It was delicious!  One slice and you were pretty full




That night we headed to the rehearsal dinner at Sunda.  The drinks were flowing, the food was out of this world, and the company was great!  I grabbed a quick photo of the Rowland men

Keith (uncle), Nathan (cousin), Ben (cousin), Matt (cousin), Dad! (Kenny)


Sweet Katie kept Vaughn and I entertained throughout the dinner.  We might have left the girls at home this trip, but Katie quickly became our adopted child for the weekend events :)


After dinner we headed to Dana Hotel Sky Bar for more fun with the bride and groom-to-be.  It was an incredibly LONG day, but when you only have a few hours in a new city and with family members you don’t see often, you gotta get it in when you can I say!

The next day we woke up at 6:00am (7:00am Columbia time) and laughed, the girls have sleep trained up well.  We rolled back over and slept some more, it was wonderful!  A few text messages went out and breakfast was planned at the Grand Luxe CafĂ©.  It quickly became apparent that any form of eating decently healthy on this trip was just not going to happen.  Since time was limited, and I wanted to see the entire city, we decided to go on a river architectural cruise.  I’m so glad we did it, loved getting a view of the city we wouldn’t have been able to get otherwise.


Mom and Dad


Keith and Linda


Vaughn and Me


After the tour, and still super full from breakfast, we wanted to do some walking.  I have always wanted to see The Bean, or Cloud Gate at Millennium Park so we took this opportunity to do it.


hate that his eyes are closed… boo


Inside the bean, looking up


The one thing on Vaughn’s list to see/do was visit the Big Star, a restaurant he and his buddies came across while on a bachelors trip and now one of his favorite bars.  It required up to take the L, but I loved walking around seeing more of Chicago



Having drinks at the Big Star!


passed this on the way back to the hotel to get ready for the wedding


After a quick power nap, and boy did we need it, we got ready for the wedding.  It was only two blocks from the hotel, awesome, at the Newberry Library.  Matt and Lisa’s original plan was to have it outside in a garden across the street, but the weather had different ideas so it was moved to the library's foyer.  The wedding was stunning, I cried most of the way through it, I’m a sap when it comes to weddings and family, I blame my kids.  (side note: I can no longer attend a wedding and not picture one of our girls.  Not sure I’ll be able to hold myself together when I see Vaughn walking one of them down the aisle and ‘giving’ them away.)


Katie served as a flower girl, and she loved her “wedding dress”

IMG_0609 copy

Security was super tight, Jackson took his role very seriously


Aunt Ellen, Dad and Uncle Keith


After a cocktail hour it was time to eat and celebrate with newlyweds (who I FAILED to get a picture of, how terrible!)  But I did have this sweet girl with me


Vaughn and I joked that we had never had so much fun in a library before


Then, at around 11:30, a Southern Mac and Cheese truck pulled up.  Seriously.  You could get whatever type of mac and cheese you wanted, and it was amazing- and I’m pretty sure it was great even if I hadn’t had a multitude of drinks


Best Papa around


I did grab this shot of the best man, groom, and mom while grabbing mac and cheese


After saying our goodbyes until next times, we headed back to the hotel.  The night flew by, as do most fun events, and it was one for the books.  I hated leaving everyone, but I was so thankful I got to go and be a part of it.  I was also thankful I got spend time with our  family for a happy occasion, that alone brings tears to my eyes, it was much needed.  Missing everyone like crazy and already looking forward to Rowland Beach week, where we’ll all be back together again!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

June from my phone

June was jam packed with fun, and it all started with a trip to Sunset Beach for Rowland Beach Week!


While we were there Chloe had a terrible case of diaper rash.  She was on some serious antibiotics for an ear infection/running nose.  That meant naked baby on the beach!


Chloe never took to a paci, the only thing she loves is her llama, and she really really loves it


Callie loves picking me flowers, of the lantana sort


Chloe list of medeications only increased when we got back from the beach…. no one told me that kids medications could add up so quicklyIMG_3674

more ‘airing’ out time


The girls love talking to ‘Siri” but she doesn’t always like them back


love these two


Doc rarely gets to lay in our bed, but when he does he takes full advantage of the situation


she gets her sleeping looks from her momma, sad but true


I got the opportunity to take this sweet boys pictures, he’s born the be a gamecock with his Uncle being Grayson Greiner and all


during bath one night, I saw Callie in Chloe like I had never seen before, it took me by surprise!


We are working on this girl actually posing for a picture without her tilting her head


Callie went to VBS and Chloe and I got some special 1 on 1 time together


We’ve really enjoyed the pool lately!


yeah, she’s trouble


We started celebrating fathers day by decorating the chalkboard, Mac was excited about her picture of her daddy :)


She also said these things about her daddy, and drew a picture of her, Chloe and V


Father’s Day ESPN time


We took a trip to the Zoo, said hello to the gorilla


the elephants


the girls are also learning/practicing sharing


our cucumber plant is still going like crazy!


we love bubbles, and go through a tub of them a month it seems


Chloe is really wanting to put her own clothes on now, and though she hasn’t figured out that shirts go over the head and not by the feet, she keeps trying!  Usually big sister comes into help too


Pool Popsicles


Did you know that these will grow if you place them in water after you’ve used them?


Callie has finally learned how to write her own name, we’re working on the ‘balloon’ A, but I love it for now!


We love our Levi visits!


Chloe’s favorite game at mexican “Choot Em Chlo!”


This picture doesn’t help the fact that I want another baby….. 


I was in a sewing mood one night and I remembered this cute idea I saw on Pinterest.


at first Mac didn’t love it, but I think she saw my sad face and changed her mind. She ended up wearing it all day and loved it!


before the heat wave hit Columbia, we spent as much time outside as we could.  Having two little ones stuck inside for a couple of days is no fun


With a dog and two messy kids, theres no shortage of things to vacuum up


90% of the time we have cereal for breakfast.  Chloe has yet to have milk in her bowl.  My attempt at letting her be a big girl back fired, she hated it!


Doc got a new little pool to help keep him cool during these really hot days


she loves her “appa juce”


We started getting into the 4thof July spirit with some painting


Jill and I decided one night to go see Magic Mike, yup


We are 1/3 of our way through summer and were enjoying our days more and more