November 21st, 2013

i’m fortunate enough to have a father who is handy in the yard and insists his skill set is always more in-demand than hired help. case in point, last week, he started building a deck on the back of my house. not only is his hobby saving me a ton of money, this deck will be something i will love that much before because it’s being built with love (& some occasional cursing).

the girls i’ve been nannying for the better part of the last five years are still one the greatest diversions i’ve been afforded. last weekend, i was their chauffeur & cheap entertainment for 72 hours. i introduced the littlest tot (now an 8th grader) to my love, the Hallmark channel. i assumed she’d settle in for one Christmas movie & then blow me off, but turns out, my love for the cheesiest holiday movies was infectious. 4 movies later, she finally moved on. but not before i kept a long running tradition alive by baking up some orange cinnamon rolls & chocolate chip pancakes.

mama j & i first saw wicked up in Chicago about 4 years ago. when tickets went on sale for the Indy tour, we jumped on the chance to attend. when a song gives you chills, you know it’s good, & i had chills during at least 5 of ‘em. 

on Sunday, storms moved through my beloved state. last i heard, they’ve settled for 26— 26 tornadoes in a state plopped in the middle of the country. the Starbucks right up the road from my parent’s house was hit, but that hasn’t stopped Starbucks from providing coffee for customers. we were warned the storms would hit, but nothing can ever prepare you for the destruction. when a break arrived in the path, i drove downtown for dinner & was greeted by the most beautiful light. ah, indianapolis. you really do feel like home.

the past three days have been a bit of a blur. my alarm on Monday went off at 4:45 am to get in a work out before heading up north to a farm tour; however, on my way to meet my team, we got word the tour was cancelled due to said storms. a shortened day in the office meant loads of laundry, cleaning of the house, and grading for more hours than i’d like to count that evening. tuesday was for being a shy girl in front of pro athletes & the Selena concert with my favorite long-haired beauty. yesterday was for a Fuel Up to Play 60 presentation downtown & a long drive up north to Attica, IN where i witnessed a Family Fitness Night that completely blew me away.

luckily, yesterday morning, i didn’t have to be in the office until 11 am (!!!). 

right now, life feels good, really good. 

"i do know how lucky i am" was the statement that exited my mouth last night, and it’s true, 6 months ago, i was a different person, & it feels nice knowing there’s room to grow, challenges to overcome, an acceptance of the past that has to happen in order to proceed, & a promise to live more in the present that must be followed. 

(feel free to follow along on instagram as my posts here seem to be hit & miss these days!)

January 27th, 2013

the thing about staying with three girls young ladies between the ages of 12 & 17 is that baking becomes an essential to my low-key sanity.

they request delicious baked goods from the likes of Magnolia Bakery’s cookbook on Thursday nights…

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& they request Flapjacks from Williams Sonoma on Sunday mornings.

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trust me, i’m not complaining (you see that Wolf oven, right?),

all the baking acts as a true test of my willpower-

& even more reason why the youngest tells me, besides the usual “you’re Khloe because of her attitude & Kourtney because of her looks,” that I’m their favorite babysitter.

(Source: instagram.com)

November 18th, 2012

nannying three very energetic girls is always an educational experience.

today’s lesson?

waking up at 8 a.m. on Sunday is not always for caffeine & a old-fashioned newspaper on the couch,

it’s also for no make-up & an early morning run [of the bagel & coffee variety].

over the last two weekends, the girls have also taught me the following life lessons:

  • every girl needs a hair donut
  • j.crew makes adorable cashmere sweaters w/ elbow patches
  • nordstrom is not only my former place of employment, it’s also a favorite saturday afternoon hang out
  • fro yo on a friday night is totally justifiable
  • just because a boy is cute doesn’t mean he’s dating material- especially if there’s no spark
  • playing in the orchestra is seriously impressive
  • leggings can be worn as pants if paired with a boyfriend sweater & slouchy motorcycle boots
  • sleeping in until 11 a.m. is still something teenagers do
  • capri suns > pop
  • drinking starbucks is not limited to adult consumption
  • ordering pizza from a local establishment where a crush happens to work is the way to go… carbs & creeping on a crush? so necessary.
  • not having an instagram account is like being a girl & not utilizing a hair donut
  • being called a hipster can, in fact, make you feel cool
  • radio disney plays some pretty decent tunes
  • pizza for breakfast? duh.
  • abcfamily = the new nickelodeon
  • holey jeans? hip for 28 year olds & 14 year olds alike
  • it is totally possible to be in charge of carpooling & not be driving a mini-van
April 23rd, 2012

things that happened post-work that i shouldn’t be proud of yet i kind of am:

  • made it home in record time thanks to the father of the three daughters’ Mercedes that i am claiming as my own until the 1st of May
  • allowed the girls to pick up boxes of Eggos at the grocery store
  • smirked as the youngest girl struggled to carry a 24 pack of grape Propel water through the crowded aisles
  • slipped on red & white polka dot pajama pants while still wearing a blue & white striped button-down
  • ate a bowl of [3 different types of] cereal for dinner while standing at the counter
  • convinced the twelve year old that Jessica Simpson is set to have a 23 pound baby any day now. in my defense, Mrs. Ex-Lachey has been pregnant for about 6 years.
  • sit quietly while the boundary babies (you know? the oldest & youngest) argued about how much pasta to cook
  • joined in on watching Secret Life of an American Teenager
  • naively took part in the following conversation: 
Brooke, guess what I learned how to do today?
"um… i have no idea, what?"
Pop, Lock & Drop it!
"where did you learn that?"
i watched it on You Tube!
  • witnessed the youngest demonstrate how to “pop, lock, & drop it”
  • condoned the ingesting of Fruit Loops for dessert
April 23rd, 2012

this weekend was for the following:

  • arriving at my temporary home. i will be here until 1st of May. eek.
  • being welcomed by the youngest girl saying, “Brooke, after school today i bought you a red velvet cupcake when we stopped by the bakery.” (um, she’s my favorite).
  • quickly adapting to being a chauffeur 
  • making the decision not to run an 8k on Saturday morning. 
  • baking Orange Cinnamon rolls. (side story: when i lived in california, my bff across the street always had these in her fridge. it was one of the many things i looked forward to when we had slumber parties.)
  • finally finishing the Hunger Games trilogy while said rolls baked up (my reaction to the series: meh.)
  • watching some classic ABC Family movies while six high school juniors prepped for prom night
  • mid-day workout
  • becoming the best Annie Leibovitz i could muster as i picked up photographer duties pre-prom
  • mentally judging & selecting my picks for best dressed prom go-er of the evening. (she was wearing this.)
  • hanging out while the middle daughter baked chocolate chip cookies from Magnolia Bakery’s cook book
  • miraculously sleeping for nine hours straight…minus the 4 a.m. panic when the girls had yet returned from prom
  • waking up to a house full of 8 girls. (phew!)
  • whipping up more than two dozen pancakes, slicing & dicing a bowl full of fresh fruit & choosing to include the plate of baked cookies on the spread, too!
  • teaching the youngest a couple rules of simple baking
  • painting nails
  • reading a few magazines
  • making lunches
  • prepping for the busy week to come. oh man, will it be busy!

(picture taken a year or so ago while i was still in Manhattan, KS. a calm Sunday morning spent with the printed word, a cup of coffee & a dog who never gave up craving attention.)

January 8th, 2012

i thought you said you were going to make brownies,” the youngest one remarked.

thank you for reminding me,” i replied as i quickly grabbed my diet hot chocolate & headed straight to the kitchen.

brownies are the last thing i should be eating as this five-day nanny stint comes to a close, yet i feel like baking some sweet treats is the least i can do for three young ladies who have been the best behaved munchkins in all the land.

between all the running around, the movie theatre meet-ups, the take out pick-ups, the early morning wake-ups, the multiple coffee pot fill-ups, the few & far between sisterhood fighting break-ups, & the multiple personality switch-ups, these girls have been fabulous to watch.

my job, here with them, is easy- as long as i wake up on time, entertain them throughout the day, occasionally feed them, & make sure the house is standing in one piece, i’m good.

i’m reminded of this ease of living as i think about going back to work tomorrow afternoon. 

(it’s the oddness of hours, the uncertainty of a growing future, & the constant thought sitting in the back of my mind that i am not actually utilizing my degree ((mainly those two letters that casually sit behind my signature)))

the thing is, when i’m here, surrounded by three brilliant & creative minds, my other life doesn’t matter, nor should it. 

when i’m here, all that matters is that they’re safe, that i check the locks before bed-time, that i am the first to exit into the garage in case a hairy scary man is lurking, that i have the pantry stocked with propel waters, goldfish crackers, oreo cookies & dark chocolate covered acai berries, & that i drive carefully, no matter the destination.

though i did recently question whether or not i’ll be asked back due to a recent trip to the grocery store where i looked at the girls & said, “can we just check out what y’all are holding right now? do you really think your mother would approve of your not so healthy choices?”.

that was when they quickly replied with the best answer possible, “that’s why you’re here! she’ll never know.

& that’s the beauty of it all.

when i’m here, i can step away from my life, if only for a few days, & they can do the same.

it’s a trust in one another & it’s a pretty luxurious escape…

…full of late-night laughter & surprise adventures & varied entertainment & before bed-time thick, decadent, triple chocolate ghiradelli brownies & whatever other secret behaviors occur along the way…

after all, she’ll never know.

(photo taken during last friday’s after-school pick-up rotation)

January 5th, 2012

today was/is for the following:

  • a 5:45 a.m. alarm buzzing underneath my pillow
  • waking 2/3 of the girls from their sleepy dreams
  • making a pot of coffee & fancying up a to-go cup while it brewed
  • helping with last minute put-together-lunches preparation
  • dropping said girls off at school by 6:20 a.m.
  • downing three cups of said coffee 
  • dropping off the third sister by 8 a.m. at her respective school
  • running back to my house & getting in a much-needed cardio sesh
  • showering
  • throwing my second-day-hair up in a messy high pony
  • shuffling into some sequin jack purcells
  • debuting my new handbag for those who care myself to enjoy
  • running a few errands…(cough-costco addiction-cough cough)
  • picking up sister #2, then sister #3, then sister #1 from respective schools
  • driving thru mackey’s for a 32 ounce diet coke
  • stopping in at their house for a quick after-school snack
  • taking sister #1 to speech/debate, sister #3 to hip-hop, sister #2 to violin
  • picking up sister #1, then #2, then #3
  • dinner time! figuring out what’s for dinner!
  • jumping into my flannel jammies
  • bonding over the return of Grey’s Anatomy
  • making a stiff drink diet hot chocolate
  • heading up to my nanny quarters
  • crawling into my king-sized bed
  • reading a chapter or two or three of Mockingjay
  • turning out the lights
  • dreaming sweet, sweet dreams.
January 4th, 2012

in approximately twenty minutes, my five-day stint as brooke the nanny commences;

therefore, this afternoon is for:

  • naturally curly hair
  • a bright peacock print Yarnz scarf
  • a slouchy Vince sweater
  • a K-State (represent!) Alumni t-shirt
  • skinny Gap cords
  • oh, so comfortable tall, brown Uggs
  • a shiny silver ring from DanniJo (gifted from Bro #1) 

let the exhaustion fun begin!

October 3rd, 2011

monday confession.

in my defense, i had been helping out with some greatest common factor math problems, & kind of escaped into her closet…just to peek around… math or fashion? math or fashion? math or fashion? …& i think this was my reward?

B: Oh My Gosh, this is so precious! Do you wear this alot?

Girl: No, not really. 

B: You don’t wear it in the fall & winter with black tights & boots & a cute little top?

Girl: No, not really.

B: Why not? It’d look real good with those hipster boots you own.

Girl: I’m not really into all those fancy things.

B: *dumbfounded* oh, but it’s in your closet…next to the Juicy Couture collection…

Girl: Do you want it? You can have it.

B: *sizing it up to my clearly no longer a small child waist* No, that’s ok…

Girl: you can have it, really. i wore it once & it was super uncomfortable.

B: *moving on* …what about this J.Crew CrewCuts one?*

*for the record: i didn’t take either skirt. i may love clothes, but even i draw the line when it comes to taking designer duds from a small child who doesn’t understand the value of such beautiful, expensive goods.

May 30th, 2010

nanny diaries: days 7 and 8.

it’s been an overall fun week.

however, this weekend arrived and all hell broke loose.

pity arguments, fights over t.v. stations and radio stations, battles over the front seat, etc.

today, i awoke before the girls to find some me time…

with a little help from pillsbury, orange cinnamon rolls were made…per request from the girlies…

unlike the rest of the city, we chose to avoid any race-day activity.

we chose sun over cars…and we weren’t the only ones…


the sun drained the girls’ energy, which allotted me a little more time to veg.

the dog and i bonded.. kind of.

so, my week of nanny-ing has come to a close.

i’ll be sleeping well tonight.

this “parenting” stuff is hard work.

the separating of fights, the numerous hours spent playing, the crazy amounts of sugar i have eaten, the early mornings, the fixing of meals, the straightening of hair, the picking out of outfits, the lunch-making, muffin-baking, grocery shopping, trampoline jumping, chalk drawing, marker doodling, chauffeuring and answering… it was a lot.

i need a diet coke.

Hi! I'm Brooke. Indianapolis is my home & I welcome you to my little nook. I'm a twenty-something girl who was born in the land of corn (Okl.), attended undergrad in the true Sea of Red (Neb.), & eventually found her way back home again after picking up a couple letters behind her name (Kan.) while clinging to an adorable Maltipoo named Bentley. Thank you for stopping by & please feel free to leave a comment (or ask a question) under the "Be Kind" tab at the top... xo, B