Decking the halls (or something like that)

12/04/2012 at 4:54 pm | Posted in family, just plain fun, snap happy | 2 Comments

Before we had kids I used to go bonkers with Christmas decorations, inside the house and out. Confession: I’ve always wanted to be *that* house. The one with so many lights that people drive miles to see but the neighbors hate. Someday, friends. Someday.

But after Lily was born it was all I could do to hang three stockings on the mantel. And every year since then, I’ve given myself a break on decorating.

Tree, stockings, basket to collect cards. Check, check and check.

This year is no exception. Although I’m going to try a couple of (small) Pinterest projects for our living room. That post may or may not come later. Wish me luck.

We decorated our tree Sunday, and Sophie loved the ball ornaments. Mostly because ball is one of her favorite words. And she loves to fling them around the room.

We only had one glass ornament casualty. Not bad.

And the girls had to try on the stockings. Because they’re supposed to go on your feet Mommy! Of course.

Little sister see, little sister do.

After Sophie went down for nap, we let Lily tear into the big box of ornaments. She decorated about half the tree all by herself. And she only took five ornaments up to her room to keep them away from Sophie even though she wanted to hide about 20. Progress.

Of course there would be no smiling for the camera, but this one actually turned out to be one of my favorite Christmas shots ever. This girl.

{Linking up with Mandy over at The Haps.}

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I got a little trigger-happy during Thanksgiving, so …

11/25/2012 at 11:38 pm | Posted in family, just plain fun, Love | 1 Comment

Mighty baby

11/21/2012 at 11:16 am | Posted in family | 2 Comments

Mister Monroe is off the charts! And not just in cuteness.

When Laura texted me after his 8-week doctor visit this week, I laughed out loud. This sweet little guy tips the scales at nearly 16 pounds! Go Monroe! (And momma!!)

I seriously can’t get enough of the cheeks. And the arm rolls. And the dimple in his right cheek that pops up when he smiles.

Also? His hair is starting to come in all swirly.

So in love with my nephew I can’t stand it.

P.S. So is Sophie … see her in the top of the frame, getting ready to tackle-hug her cousin?

The house of sick

10/03/2012 at 4:07 pm | Posted in family, snap happy | 1 Comment

In the last six days, Sophie contracted a stomach virus that kept her up all night puking, Lily came down with walking pneumonia, and I picked up Sophie’s bug.

And in the middle of all this chaos, Marc turned 37. Bless him.

I haven’t left the house much in that time span, and you guys, I am READY to re-engage with humankind. Mommy is starting to go a little (a lot) nuts. I still have a bit of nausea, but after living with it during my entire pregnancy with Sophie, it’s like second nature. Stay horizontal as much as possible, eat small meals, drink plenty of water. I’m getting there.

There’s lots of exciting stuff coming up around these parts … the State Fair (of course), Sophie’s 17-month-day and a fun new blog partnership I can’t wait to tell you about.

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a few photos from life before we became the house of sick:

Hope you and yours are nice and healthy!

Family photos! And no one's crying or grimacing!

09/27/2012 at 9:47 am | Posted in family, Friends | 10 Comments

I haven’t stopped staring at these photos since my friend Ann sent them to me a couple of days ago. I may have taken breaks to eat and sleep and work, but mostly, just staring.

Aren’t they beautiful? Just look at the girls. And even though Sophie wouldn’t smile if all the yogurt puffs in the world depended on it, these shots capture her little (big) personality so perfectly.

Now. To decide which ones to hang. All of them? Too much?

THANK YOU, Ann!! You are so very talented. We’re happy to be your guinea pigs anytime.

Mighty Monroe

09/21/2012 at 2:03 pm | Posted in Bloggy, family | 2 Comments

I am so completely smitten with my new nephew that I find it only fitting to send us off into the weekend with a few more Monroe photos. I can’t go three days without snuggling this guy. And my sister? Amazing and beautiful. And totally rocking the boy-diaper-change routine.

Happy weekend to you!

Don’t forget: our Great Lovey Giveaway with North American Bear Company ends at midnight! THREE winners will receive the lovey of your choice.

And for my local readers, you will LOVE the giveaway coming up next week. Here’s a hint.

Eeeeeeeeeee! See you next week!!

Little Mister Monroe

09/14/2012 at 1:19 pm | Posted in family, Love | 6 Comments

I have a nephew! Isn’t he beautiful?

Laura gave birth to Monroe Albert (named for our dad) yesterday morning. He was 7 pounds and 6 ounces and I don’t know how many inches long.

He is a total dreamboat. I could have held him all day.

And I can’t tell you how much I am IN AWE of my sister, who was informed (at 5+ cm dilated) that she would not be able to have an epidural because of a low blood platelet count or something like that. I just can’t even imagine how it would feel to have the tables turned on you so dramatically at the very last minute. She is a warrior, indeed.

Here are the beaming new parents, with lovely little Monroe:

And here I am, one smitten auntie:

Congratulations to my little sis and her sweet family! We’re over the moon!

More photos coming soon …

Blessed

07/17/2012 at 8:14 pm | Posted in baby sunshine, family | 6 Comments

Sophie still smells like church.

On Sunday morning after the priest anointed her with water poured from a shell we found at the beach, she looked up at him in confusion and then grabbed a wad of her hair as if to say dude that’s mine. With a chuckle, he rubbed oil onto her head and then draped the sweetest little white bib on her chest and declared her to be baptized.

The ceremony, which took place at a special little church in the mountains that has a deep history in our family, was beautiful.

Lily was baptized there, as well as Laura and me. My grandparents were married there, and we said goodbye to my dear grandfather about 10 years ago in that tiny, lovely space.

I glanced over at the pew he always sat in and remembered watching his gentle hands hold the hymnal. I smiled at Nana playing the organ beside the altar. I felt the love of our family and friends gathered around us. I remember the priest saying words like “grace” and “light.”

I will never forget Sophie’s sweet face in those precious moments.

And of course, the hair:

Here she is with her godmothers. How lucky we are to have these two in our lives!

Lily and Olive found treasures outside the church after mass while all the grown-ups milled about and snapped photos.

Back at the farm, Sophie’s second “baptism” took place, a special induction into the family tribe. My dad gave her the name Agaliha, which is Cherokee for “sunshine.”

Here Lily is, feeding Gretchen the goat and delighting in all the natural wonder of that beautiful space nestled deep in a valley dotted with the prettiest purple wildflowers. The lightening bugs put on quite a show that night, as we sat rocking on the porch staring out into nothing.

And Miss Sophie? She was unstoppable. Wobbling over to see this animal and that. Crouching down to dig in the dirt. Climbing the gate to the cow pasture. And, thanks to Auntie Julie, taking her first ride on a bike.

My heart fills a little bit more each time we gather in the mountains, and Sunday was no exception.

So very blessed.

On mother-daughter bonding and inexpensive Scandinavian homegoods

06/12/2012 at 3:03 pm | Posted in family | 1 Comment
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Most every time Laura, Mom and I are together, we’re busy wrangling/chasing kids, shouting over top of the chaos or shoving food into our mouth parts so that we can get back to the wrangling/chasing.

So this past Saturday was a real treat.

For Mother’s Day, Laura and I gave Mom a ladies’ lunch out. Well, as we sat at the table during brunch that morning talking about it, our little lunch turned into a road trip to IKEA. The prospect of time away together plus awesome deals on beautiful furniture and homegoods had each of us so excited that we never noticed all the men had left the table.

We made plans to hit the road early and not rush back home. A leisurely day of shopping and eating and talking, just the three of us? Too good to be true.

As for the IKEA tally, Laura hit the jackpot on a bunch of stuff for the new nursery and Olive’s big-girl room, I finally found the finishing touches for Sophie’s room (post coming soon!) and Mom amazingly spent less than $10. It was an IKEA miracle.

Not to mention free frozen yogurt, bacon-cheddar mac and cheese, and laughing til our cheeks hurt. Perfection.

Here comes the flower girl

05/29/2012 at 2:55 pm | Posted in family, Small Fry | 4 Comments
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Before I dig into this post, I need to start by saying that the bride and groom have asked for privacy, so you won’t see their photos or read their names here. What you will see, though, are a zillion more pictures of Little Miss Flower Girl in all her glory.

Sound okay? Great.

Here’s one more shot from the rehearsal dinner because I just can’t resist sharing it. I took it with my phone using Instagram and my favorite filter, Amaro. Doesn’t she look divine? Also: note the sparkly lip gloss. A flower girl must-have, Lily tells me.

And here’s my view from our hotel room bed after the rehearsal festivities. Marc stayed downstairs for a little while to hang out with his cousins while Lily and I hit the sack. Tuckered little girl. (And big girl.)

Wedding day! Lily and I had a ball with the bride in the hours leading up to the wedding. We took pictures, ate chocolate and did lots of hugging … and a little bit of happy-crying. Here we are just before leaving for the wedding:

Lily was dressed in head-to-toe Gap. I found her dress, shoes and hair flower at separate times, all part of separate collections. Because I like to make things difficult for myself. Really, I just got lucky. Everything was on sale and everything matched.

Peep toes!

Unwrapping a photo-bribery Starburst candy:

Lily LOVED her little basket of flower petals. In fact, during the photos after the wedding, she was so determined to keep them from fluttering out of her basket in the breeze that she rammed her hand in there and WOULD NOT BUDGE. Seriously. In every photo with the flower girl, one of her little hands is clutching the basket by its handle while the other one is stiff-arming those petals into place.

Silly Lily lives up to her nickname in this shot (and isn’t Marc handsome?):

After lots of dancing and waaaay too much sugar:

We had such a wonderful weekend. Sophie stayed behind with my folks, and we sure did miss her. But it was such a treat to spend special time with Lily and Marc. Brought back memories of our days as a little threesome.

And, for the record, after refusing to walk down the aisle alone during the rehearsal, Lily sailed down by herself during the wedding. Like a boss.

Hope your long holiday weekend was lots of fun. I’m ready for another one!

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