Monday, July 27, 2009

Home is where your KitchenAid Stand Mixer is

We’re almost completely unpacked and settled into our new home. The past week has been one of the most exhausting times of my life, including the week before my inorganic chemistry final and the week after Ava was born. My “muscles” are screaming and my whole body is begging for a visit to the chiropractor. Without the help of some of the best friends and family anyone could have we would still be working. I won’t pretend we haven’t had some tense, tearful, fitful and tantrumish moments (and I’m not just talking about Ava), but overall the experience has been a positive one. Here are just a few of the things I am so thankful for, in no particular order:
*Adorable Laura Ashley paint colors that turned a drab apartment into home
*Family and friends who kept, entertained, and loved on Ms. Ava
*A great grandmother who sponsored moving costs and the first month rent and deposit
*Sweet friends who let us use their fancy U-Haul boxes and threw us a pizza-themed goodbye dinner
*Starbucks coffee (to all of you Pikes Place haters I say grrr)
*Cloudy days
*A mom who kept Ava and me company on the way to Norman and scrubbed our old house clean, according to her own lofty standards
*Josh’s Velociraptor toes that make any bed anywhere feel like home
*Precious friends who helped us pack boxes even through they had their own moving business to attend to, and cried tears for us when ours were all gone
*Clean McDonalds bathrooms along I-35 West
*A dad who drove his own truck hauling the trailer he provided when he had 1000 other things to do
*Gilmore Girls DVDs
*A father-in-law who dug in the stifling blue storage bin for various essentials
*Lapboards for appliqué work on the road
*A friend who loaded the heaviest of things, drove his own truck to Norman hauling a U-Haul trailer, unloaded the heaviest of things and stayed in a box-cramped apartment with us until it felt like home
*A baby girl who declared our new home “a castle”
*Gavin Degraw’s Exclusive Live Session available on iTunes and highly recommended…wow, it’s good to the last drop
*A mother-in-law who ripped curtains from her own window to make our new place feel more homey
*In The Raw sushi at 9:00 pm
*Frida, my pink KitchenAid Stand Mixer, who makes every kitchen look like a page out of the Williams-Sonoma catalog
*New friends who sacrificed Bar Prep time to hang out with us
*DVR, where The Wonder Pets, My Friends Tigger and Pooh, and Little Einsteins are always available
*An apartment where all bills are included
*That the Official Lockett Holiday season kicks off in only three months (10/31 – Halloween, 11/2 – Josh’s birthday, 11/15 – my birthday, 11/last Thursday – Thanksgiving, 12/25 - Christmas, 12/31- New Years Eve, 1/1 – our anniversary, 1/22 – Ava’s birthday, 2/14 – Valentines Day----thus, Official Lockett Holiday Season )
*Friends who call and check on us in the midst of their own crazy lives
*Anna Karenina on audiobook
*The fact that law school is only three years long
What are you thankful for today? Please comment below and add to my thankful list or create your own thankful post!
***Pictures to come as soon as we get back to OK. We're in TX for a few days while Josh attends a Chelsea Football Club game and I see the eye doctor.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Click you heels together three times...

and repeat after me, "There's no place like home."

Most of you know that The Wizard of Oz is my favorite movie ever. As we transition from our roomy 3 bedroom/2.5 bathroom house into an on-campus apartment that screams for IKEA-sized furniture, Glenda's words keep echoing through my head. You'll see our new place later in this post, and unfortunately it's taking a little more than clicking heels to make it feel like home. We're positive and happy about the move though, it's going to be worth it! Norman already feels like home to us, it's absolutely charming. Before we get to all that though...

Ava is such a lucky little lady to have a Beene Beene and a Baba who sew pretty dresses. Thanks to Baba for this snazzy number!

When Ava was 5 months old we first had dinner with the Broaddus family. We've been close friends ever since. They will move to Houston around the same time we move to Norman, so we were excited to find some time to hang out.

Hugging her friend

Have you seen the Disney movie Enchanted? After dinner with Patrick and Courtney we headed to Barnes & Noble to browse. Ava brought a book to Courtney and as she started to read random children from around the store started gathering around her. It was so cute and reminded me of the princess in Enchanted, when the animals flock to her side, completely captivated. The little blond boy just climbed into her lap. Patrick, this magical lady needs kiddos soon.

Don't be fooled, she's plotting.

Parenting fact #78:
If you buy something sinful (like frosted animal cookies with sprinkles) in hopes of keeping it a secret to enjoy when moving stress is beating you down, your child WILL find it and expose the weakness to your spouse. Said child will also Bogart the cookies so you have none left when the stress knot at the base of your neck starts to throb.

As promised, here are the pictures of our apartment. After three days of intense TLC things are looking much better. Married graduate student housing sounds scary, but we're working hard to make it feel like home. Our housing contract states that "painting is not allowed. You will be charged if housekeeping must return walls to original color." I interpret this rule to mean, "if you paint your apartment, make sure to paint it back." So we left Ava with my parents for three days and traveled to Norman to paint. We also had the furniture removed since we have our own. It will look even better once we move our own stuff in.

Showing my love in the kitchen

Splotchy painted feet after day one

Celebrating one day of painting down and the first night in our new home.

We spent two nights in our new apartment while we painted. Thanks to the Wilsons for letting us borrow their step ladder. It helped us reach high spots to paint and served as our entertainment center when we were too tired to paint anymore.

If you walk out our door and to the left 10 steps this is the view to the left. See the building next to the green "tent" playground cover? That's the childcare center where Ava and I will go each day. A beautiful little walk under a big pine tree will take us to school each morning. The law school is just about a block farther. Can't beat the price OR location of our new home!

If you walk out our door and to the left 10 steps this is the view straight out.

If you walk out our door and to the left 10 steps this is the view to the right.

Our bedroom before

Our bedroom after
(the second picture looks a little green, but the walls are actually blue)

Ava's bedroom before

Ava's bedroom after

Bathroom before
(excuse my awkward mirror angle)

Bathroom after

Know the best part about having one bathroom?
Only one potty to clean!!!

Kitchen before

Kitchen after
(I plan to change the handles on the cabinets soon.)

(first door on the left is our bedroom, second on left is Ava's bedroom, straight ahead is the bathroom, door to the right of bathroom is our pantry)

Living room before

Living room after

Dining room before

Dining room after

Entrance to the kitchen before

Entrance to the kitchen after

Josh and I have never been away from our Ava for more than one night. We were so happy to have her back in our arms late Thursday evening. To celebrate our little reunion we headed to Cafe Cappuccino for brunch on Friday morning. What says welcome back better than pancakes as big as your face?

We plan to move everything up to Norman on Tuesday.
This move is not the easy choice for us, but Josh and I truly believe that it is the right one for our family.
And really, as long as the three of us are together nothing else matters.

Believe it or not, this picture wasn't posed at all.
Apple Wheat pancakes inspire angelic behavior:)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

You're doing fine Oklahoma, Oklahoma OK!

We were so excited to have Cam back from the mountains. He came to have dinner and catch up with his main squeeze...sorry Michelle, his second-main squeeze;)

I don't know who is having more fun here.

Ava's not so sure about this view.

Sewing has been my favorite passtime this summer (it has now taken a backseat to packing, ick). This is an apron I made for a sweet teacher friend.

When I was pregnant with Ava I received the most wonderful gift from Robyn Farmer. We had seen Hooter Hiders for sale in some fancy baby boutiques for bazillions of dollars. Robyn went home and sewed together her own version of the H.H.'s. I was so lucky to be the recipient of one. I like her version even better because the fabric was so soft and it didn't have the awkward metal ribbing to make the neck rigid (which is supposed to let the mom see baby, but also allows anyone near the H.H. to see baby too...thus defeating the purpose). I used my Homemade H.H. every single day for 18 months. It was laundered a million times, spit up on, pooped on, and held up beautifully. My mom started thinking of ways to make the H.H.H. even more functional. She added a little more fabric all the way around and an adjustable neck strap. Oh, and she calls her version a Nursing Drape...if you know my mom you know the modesty that demands this more clinical christening, but I digress. When I started sewing a few weeks ago, of course I began with the H.H.H./ N.D. I'm calling my version of these creations Nurz (a variation of Ava's request to "nur"). Anyway, my first few creations have been given as gifts to sweet new mamas. However, I'm hoping to be able to sell some as well. If you'd be interested in purchasing a Nurz from me for $30 please email ( or call (979)204-9607. The ones pictured below are available now, or I can customize if you have specific colors or themes you'd prefer. The names of the Nurz are written in blue.

Bluebird Nurz - a sweet print for a baby boy or girl.

Sweet blue birds on the front, small-print green floral on the back (I also have a version with red and tiny white polka dots on the back)

Black and White Damask Nurz - a dressy fabric, ideal for church or another more formal occasion.

This Nurz is the same fabric front and back.

Pink Blossom Nurz- a stylish choice, very Anthropologie-ish

Vines with pink blossoms on the front, small-print pink floral on the back

Bright Flowers Nurz- would make any stylish young mama smile.

Bright floral on the front, coordinating stripes on the back

Blue Paisley Nurz- great for any mommy with a baby boy.

Paisley on the front, blue small-print floral on the back

Summer brings out the little homemaker in me. I made some chocolate desserts for our trip to Lake Travis for the 4th of July.
Paula Deen's Chocolate Chip Pound Cake and Kahlua Bread pudding...yum.

We had a blast with our sweet family. Here are Becca , Ava, and some water balloons in her little pool.

Swimming with Pops

Laughing with Baba in the pool

Enjoying time with Uncle Brandon and Uncle Gary

Walking with Pops and Uncle Nate to see fireworks.

Cory teases Ava about her pouty shy face.

Aunt Sarah, Ava, and Uncle Brandon play opossum.

Two pools? Double the fun!

Ava, Aunt Sarah, Auntie M and Becca soaked up some rays.

On Sunday we celebrated Aiden and Brayden's second birthday at McDonalds. None of the kiddos were enthused about this picture, they were ready to play.

Way up high.

It was a day to celebrate Holly and E.J. too. They not only survived parenting twins for two years, but made it look good!

No fear of the big slide

Silly girls

Ready to dig in

Serving up cake to the birthday twins.

Smiley Ava with Uncle Nate

From the party we headed to Frost. Ava loves her time spent with Beene Beene. We are not usually allowed in the Beene Palace, Ava closes the door and demands to have her great-grandomother all to herself. I sneaked in and captured this sweet shot.

We received word that our apartment in Norman was ready so we headed north on I-35 to claim our territory Sooner-style.
An angel of mercy pushed our paperwork through superfast.
Thanks a million Karla!

Our friendly neighborhood apartment manager hands over the keys.

This is all you'll see of our new place until I have "after" pictures to post along with the "before" shots. I'm afraid some of you who love us dearly would try to talk us out of it. However, I have no doubt that we can make our new apartment feel like home. Isn't the lowercase "d" so cute?

Sweet friends took us to a great Thai restaurant for dinner, AND let us crash at their house last minute.

Visible from most everywhere in town

I think I was the most excited about finding this farmers market. I have visions of:

* Ava and I pulling a wagon full of veggies and fruit to take home and cook for a study-weary Josh
*sipping hot cider when the first cool front blows through and picking out acorn squash for my favorite bisque (recipe to come when the weather gets cooler)
*choosing our pumpkins for carving in October
*meeting new friends who also support local growers.

Shiny happy people holding hands

Picture-perfect peaches, no pesky pesticides or preservatives

Josh bought some tomatoes from two shrewd businesswomen.

It wouldn't be a Lockett trip to Norman without some rain.

Happy temperatures mid-July! It's not always this cool of course, but we'll take what we can get.

We stumbled across this little gem on our way out of town.

The pizza was divine.

I kept myself very busy on our ride to Oklahoma and back.

It's hanging in a place of honor above our sink, and it will not be used...ever.

I had one of those teacher-mommy moments at home with Ava on Saturday. Usually we put water in her play sink and she splashes and plays for hours. The only downside to this is that the second her shirt gets any water on it she takes it off and refuses to redress. I decided to try and use rice instead of water. I remember having loads of fun with my little kiddos in toddler classrooms with rice. Except at the childcare center we have custodians, you cannot imagine the mess.

Rice in the sink, on the counter, and on the floor near the play kitchen.

I followed the rice trail that led out of the real kitchen.
Rice in the living room.

Rice in the hall.

And this is what I found.
With rice.
And water from her sink.
Oh, this girl.

Josh and I are planning to paint our new place this week and start moving as soon as possible. We hope to get settled in before Josh starts orientation mid-August. We've had some nibbles on our house, so keep those prayers coming!