Nature, nurture

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Turtles are amazing, let’s just start with that.

They are prehistoric, eat literally anything, are loved by all, and are so so sweet (except those snappers, but there always has to be an exception).

While mucking out our flower beds recently Elizabeth discovered a box turtle meandering around our side yard.  I did my best to prevent any additional pokes (photos), and we watched this sweet turtle make a bee line straight for the worst spot aesthetically  in the flower bed, where she burrowed into the leaf litter and pine straw.

I was ecstatic!  Our visually unappealing flower beds were home to an endangered species, that’s quite humbling!  We halted our measures to beautify our temporary home and did some research on box turtles.

The first thing we learned was that they’re endangered.

Second was that the worst thing one can do to a box turtle is to relocate it.  Simple enough for us – just don’t move it.

The third was that they eat everything: live bugs, fruit and other organic matter, you name it.

The fourth was that they lay numerous nests of eggs in groups of about 5 eggs.

Fifth was that they are pretty much stationary in terms of home turf; they don’t relocate.

That was all I needed to know to call it quits on our curb appeal project.  In an attempt to keep the turtles home as natural as it was before she was discovered, I returned most of the leaf litter I had removed.

Since then we will check on her every once in awhile and our days are always brightened so much when we see her.  If there was a way I could ensure this little turtle’s health and longevity, I would.

I wish I could speak turtle and let her know how much she is loved by the Butlers.

The best revenge is bettering yourself

It has been so long since my last post.  Hello long lost friends! ❤

I have spent such wonderful time with my husband, daughters, extended family, and amazing tribe.  My husband and I didn’t realize just how much we needed a little break from our sweet girls until we had it.  Thank goodness (well, thank the Marine Corps) for fleet week, am I right ladies?!

Lately our technology has been off.  We’ve been watching TV less, using our computers less, and communicating face to face instead of via texts and it has been such a relief!

We’ve been focusing on ourselves lately in every way possible.  Caught up on some much needed medical appointments, filing paperwork that’s needed filing, explored places we’ve been meaning to explore, and caught up on monotonous things.

One thing that we’ve been unable to control is other’s actions.  We focus on positives but sometimes another’s actions are so blatantly in-your-face that it’s impossible not to see.

I’m sorry that it’s difficult for some people to live their lives without constant comparison, or “keeping up with the Jones'” and I’m made somewhat uncomfortable by the constant reminder of being checked in on.  

I can’t control whatever extents people go to in order to compare themselves: checking my LinkedIn, driving by my house, etc. I can simply sympathize the insecurity at their core.

Anyway, tonight’s toast is this: Here’s to you and to letting you know that I do not think of you and will pray that you find the strength to feel the same and move on.

I pray for you, and I don’t mean that as an insult as so many do, I actually want you to be confident in yourself and not need to check on me or compare yourself to me.  We’re separate individuals with completely different journeys.

I hope everybody loved their Independence holiday as much as we did!  More posts to come as we settle back in from our crazy start to the summer.

Photographs

Today I received the lens mentioned mentioned in this post.  It is an exciting lens for me and though I’m the most amateur of amateurs when it comes to photography I am aware (hopeful? haha!) that practice makes perfect, and eventually my photos will be straight up awesome.

This new lens is a 40mm macro lens so these photos were mainly me practicing with the lighting (as always) and aperture.  Any constructive criticism is welcome, you’d be doing me a favor! 🙂

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I always have qualms about sharing things because I’m such a private person so I really hope you enjoy what I have to share now and in the future.

Thanks for stopping by! ❤

ps. feel free to follow my (admittedly, kind of obnoxious) instagram at k_forty

Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms!  I hope your day involved minimal (or no) diaper changes, no chores, and sweet appreciation.

Yesterday was my second official Mother’s Day and it was so nice.

We began the day slowly, and went to our second annual Mother’s Day brunch at the O’club.  As usual, Elizabeth loved the muffins, fruit and milk she had.  Her and Alodia’s good behavior was noticed by and commented on by many which is always so so rewarding to hear, especially from strangers as their compliments have no obligation to them whatsoever.  Right?

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While we were at the O’club I realized just how beautiful the garden (seen behind us, to the right) is at this time and I’m dying to go back to get some pictures of the girls and the garden alone.

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We wandered around back and visited the New River allowing Elizabeth to blow off some steam from staying put in a high chair for an hour at breakfast.

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Alodia, as per usual, was a champ at people watching, sucking her thumbs, and giving random smiles and furrowed brows to strangers and friends alike.

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We spent the afternoon with a friend and her family whose husband is deployed.  Her son is one of Elizabeth’s bffs and they had a blast together playing in a pool and eating freezie pops.

We ended our evening with take out dinner and watching the sunset with our lovely neighbors across the street.  This is becoming my absolute favorite time of day because it is so breath taking.  I instagram many sunsets, k_forty is my user. 🙂

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I received a new SD card with a significantly higher capacity for my phone, a new lens for my camera, a couple items of clothes, and the sweetest hand made card! ❤

These two precious girls were the best results of a collaboration.  Ever. 😛

What is your most favorite Mother’s Day tradition?

Touch

This chapter was interesting to me as my husband and I have recently begun working with the book The Five Love Languages (more about that later).  Touch is something I have personally become more aware of since bringing that book home.

When Will and I began dating we would hold hands in the car every moment possible.  We would cuddle watching movies rather than sprawl out on opposite sides of the sofa.  Sometimes we don’t even share the same blanket!

This chapter was about rekindling the physical aspect of your relationship with your spouse.  Becky Thompson is very specific about it being “all encompassing” in the physical world: holding hands, hugging, cuddling, etc.

Of course when one touches a loved one they experience an increase of oxytocin which is the happy hormone.  This really, truly, simple task makes everybody happy and calm, which in turn makes the relationship happier, right?  So simple. 🙂

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The last time

Alodia turned 6 months old  a couple weeks ago.  My little baby is closer to one than she is to her birth day.  Will and I have always said “we love having nothing to do with each other” meaning that we love being together and having nothing to do.  Lately, as a family, we have been so busy simply spending time together not doing anything of importance and it has been really nice.  Setting aside empty spots in schedules for the entire family is something we plan to do for as long as we can because someday Elizabeth and Alodia will have other priorities.  We need to cherish every moment we’re able to.

Alodia began crawling in her 5th month.  She is pulling up on things, even standing on one foot, and walking along the coffee table and other furniture.  She has her two bottom front teeth, naps in her crib in her own room, rides in a convertible car seat, and absolutely adores her older sister.  She has light brown hair and hazel eyes.  She’s going to be the wild one, we can feel it.

I saw a poem on facebook not too long ago that really resonated with me.  I’ve kept it in the back of my mind, unable yet unwilling, to shake it from my memory:

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We will do everything we can to ensure these girls receive the most positive roots possible.  This poem really forces me to be aware of every little thing I might take for granted. ❤

Almost two

Now that spring has arrived and it’s in the 70’s I’ve finally begun to accept that Elizabeth is turning two.  She’s almost two years old, guys!  Two!  She’s the most kind, understanding, docile, and eager toddler I’ve come across.  She’s genuinely a great little girl.  Her temper tantrums make other kid’s good days look bad.  Elizabeth is simply perfect.

Not only that, but Alodia is turning 6 months old this week.  The majority of people say she looks just like Will, but I’ve begun to receive “she looks just like you” comments recently.  Her fist half-year is almost complete.  She’s about to begin sleeping in her own room, eating solid food and she’s SO motivated about it.

I’m in complete denial about these precious little girls growing up, but in all reality toddlers are more fun than babies anyway.

I would have a photo of A from our first beach day of 2017 but she was napping in the carrier while Elizabeth and I walked up and down the beach collecting sea shells, rocks, fist fulls of sand, and shark teeth. So you’ll just have to accept photos of E instead. 🙂

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