Happy birthday to my love

09/28/2011 at 9:26 pm | Posted in Love | 5 Comments
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Happy birthday to the man of my dreams.

The teller of stories, the assembler of toys, the tickler supreme.
The chicken nugget chef, the bottle-clad dad, the king of midnight feedings.
The dropper-offer, the picker-upper.
The maker of ponytails, pb & j’s, Lite Brite masterpieces, Dora hair-dos.
The creator of happy memories, living-room football plays, baby speak.

A whistle always on his lips. So much love in his heart.
The fisherman, the IT geek, the devoted father, the caring husband.
The nurturer, the peaceful soul, the hippie.

Happy birthday to the man of my dreams.



09/16/2011 at 1:55 pm | Posted in Everything else | 3 Comments
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Getting older, staying classy.

And always silly.

Because you’re never too old for the silly.

Big Girl O

07/19/2011 at 9:46 am | Posted in family | 4 Comments
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Two years ago yesterday, I got a call at four in the morning to come to the hospital and meet my niece. She took my breath away, all tiny and squishy.

We’ve been calling her Baby O ever since.

But now that she’s a walking, talking, tinkling-in-the-potty two-year-old, it’s time to drop the “Baby” part.

Happy birthday, O. We love you, sweet girl!

Party like a three-year-old

02/10/2011 at 3:25 pm | Posted in DIY, Small Fry | 14 Comments
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Cupcakes. Ice cream. A candy bar stocked with all sorts of sweet treats.

You can definitely tell that a pregnant lady planned Small Fry’s 3rd birthday party.

We had a ball! Besides all of the eating, there were friends, family, laughter, gifts and love all around. Our girl was queen for a day. And she soaked up every minute.

I tried to get a little crafty this year. You know, cutting out triangles and other really tough stuff.

1. To make the banners, I cut out a cardboard triangle template, then traced it onto some of my favorite scrapbook paper (that sits unused in the corner of our bedroom, waiting for me to finish Small Fry’s 1 year album. ha.). I made two sizes of triangles (for four banners), to take advantage of every possible bit of paper. Then I punched holes in the top corners of each triangle and threaded ribbon through. Voila! (Which is French for: easy!)

2. I used the leftover scraps of paper to make little flags for the cupcakes. This took place at 10:00 on the night before the party, so I got extra lazy. I just folded the little scraps in half lengthwise and cut as many triangles as would fit (so, unfolded, they’d be diamond-shaped). Then, I wrapped them around toothpicks and used a glue stick to fasten.

3-4. The candy bar! I thought it would be fun to have each little party guest make his or her own favor bag. Almost all of the bulk candy (no chocolate, peanuts, etc.) and clear cellophane bags came from Target. I also set out the same brown and white polka dot ribbon used in the banners to tie each bag. And, much to my surprise, disaster didn’t ensue! Each little person patiently eyed the bowls of candy SITTING OUT IN THE OPEN, and as they left the party, carefully assembled a bag to take home. The grown-ups seemed to enjoy these treats too. And, yes. I’m still eating the leftovers.

1. Happy day! Look at this beautiful banner that Laura sewed for us! I can’t tell you how much I love this thing. It was difficult not to wrap myself in it to snuggle in bed at night. It is that cute. And so lovingly made. The colors, the little flower and felt button details, the cheery message. I just love it. We’ll whip it out for many an occasion to come. Laura is gearing up to give one of these away during her first blog giveaway, so stay tuned!

2-3. The party girl, sort of wearing her hat and snapping away with her brand-new Dora camera whilst wearing her new Dora bracelet.

4. Miniature ice cream cups! With little wooden spoons!  Heaven.

And here are a few shots of Small Fry enjoying her special day.

Happy #3, little girl.


02/07/2011 at 4:43 pm | Posted in Motherhood, Small Fry | 8 Comments
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Dear Small Fry,

I can hardly believe that you are three years old today. Really — it’s stunning. I remember exactly how it felt to hold you for the first time, swaddled tight and red-faced. I remember the feeling of awe.

And I am still in awe.

You are my smart, funny, beautiful girl. And as you grow, you become smarter, funnier and more beautiful. Every day it’s something new. You know how to keep your dad and me on our toes!

I love that you give big bear hugs and kisses right on the lips. That when you get excited, you jump up and down. That your favorite food is still cheese. That you think farts are as funny as I do. And that you like to snuggle in bed at night. I also especially love your newest thing, which is to tell me you want to whisper something in my ear. When I lean in, you push my hair aside and whisper “Guess what? I love you.”

I still can’t believe that you know so many words, much less speak in complete sentences. You can do so many things by yourself, and just today, you buttoned your coat quicker than I could fasten mine!

We are so blessed that God chose us to be your parents.

Happy birthday, my sweet girl.

I love you,

Thoughts on turning 35

09/16/2010 at 8:44 am | Posted in family, Love | 33 Comments
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Holy crap. That is all.

No, I’m kidding.

But really. 35? It got here way too quickly.

I remember my 12th birthday so vividly that it’s impossible to believe that my daughter is closer to that age than I am.

I am 35 today.

It just feels weird. Probably because on most days I still feel like a kid playing the part of a grown-up. But I’m proud of all that I’ve accomplished, especially becoming a mother.

And I’m happy.

So I’ll count my blessings today and hug my family extra tight.

And relish in their love.

Because, really, how can a birthday not be awesome when it starts with a gift like this?

On my dad's birthday

08/30/2010 at 5:12 pm | Posted in family, Love | 3 Comments
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I love everything about this photo.

My arm around my dad’s neck. The Big Bird sheets. The Raggedy Ann jammies. The green floral wallpaper. My bowl cut.

Most of all? My dad’s patient smile.

He read to us every night, and we loved every minute of it. And until we got too big, he used to carry us up the stairs, one daughter on each hip, and toss us gently into our beds. It’s a tradition I can’t wait to continue when Small Fry gets her big-girl bed.

I couldn’t have gotten luckier in the dad department. And it’s a whole new level of awesome watching Small Fry bond with her smitten Papa.

Happy birthday, Dad! Love you.

Me and Dolly P

06/06/2010 at 11:19 pm | Posted in family, Friends, just plain fun, Love, snap happy | 4 Comments
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My new haircut and I had a fabulous weekend. I like this new ‘do so much, I’ve given her a name: Dolly P.

Because she’s short and sassy. And if she had an accent, it would definitely be southern.

Marc and I only had one (very special) activity in the books, but this was one of those weekends that just unfolded event after fun event so unexpectedly I could hardly keep up. Which, for an over-planner like myself, is a real treat.

Spontaneity is definitely underrated.

Dolly P, Small Fry and I started with a dip in the neighborhood pool Friday evening, undoing all of my stylist’s hair-dryer and flat-iron heroics. Marc joined us after work, and we wound the week down with take-out and hockey. Nice.

On Saturday, I came this close (::holding index finger and thumb in a near-pinch::) to meeting Clinton Kelly. He is fabulous, and he knows it. More on that SOON.

That afternoon we hit the pool again, because it’s like 150 degrees here already. Then, Saturday evening? MORE spontaneity. We grilled hot dogs with the Deputy and Cotty (Small Fry’s version of Scotty is just so much more fun to say).

Then Sunday, we went out on the boat with them. With hardly any advance planning. As my Nana would say, EGAD. It’s like some magical force unraveled all of my type A-ness for the weekend and I just rolled with the punches. Perhaps Dolly P is to credit? Hmmmm.

Here we are chillin’ (literally) in the lake. Dolly P looks more like Eddie Munster in this shot, but I still love her.

Our captain:

And his first mate, who scored big points with Small Fry by blasting her jam on the boat:

All the single ladies, all the single ladies … now put your hands up!

Small Fry tuckered out on the ride back to the dock. While Dolly P threw a party on my head.

Of course, there is something to be said for planned events.

My favorite part of the weekend was Laura’s birthday celebration. She and her family have been in Maine for a week, and I’ve been about to die without hearing her voice every day. I just love when our family gathers. It’s a whirlwind of hugs, food, drink, loud conversation, laughter, more food, more hugs, then BLAM. It’s over. I had to catch my breath on the car ride home.

Here’s my sister-in-law-in-law, as I like to call Becky, with Baby O. Doesn’t this shot just make you smile?

Baby O belts out the BEST belly laughs when she’s “chasing” Small Fry:

Small Fry in one of her favorite places in all the world: Nonna’s lap.

I missed these faces.

Happy birthday, Laura!*

*Expect to see A LOT of me this week. Just saying.

June fifth

06/05/2010 at 9:44 am | Posted in Belly to Butterfly, family, Love | 3 Comments
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Happy birthday, sis!

We’ve traveled quite a path together, from our “how fast can you dress your Cabbage Patch Kid” contests to sharing the joys and pitfalls of new motherhood.

I’m SO proud of you. The woman you’ve become, the beautiful mother you are.

And especially grateful for your presence in my life.


I love you. Happy number 33.

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