Daily Reads


Fill in the blank Friday

I'm home alone on a Friday night. This seems like the right thing to do:

1.   My most favorite "little thing" is     curling up for a nap with Ella. It's not that I love her the most. It's that she is the world's best cuddler. (I should clarify; naps used to be a "little thing" to me, but now naps are pretty much the most awesome indulgence I can think of. Like, right up there with jewelery and massages and sleeping through the night.)   

2.   I'd give anything to   keep Michael safe/happy/healthy      .

3.  I can't believe    how fast the last year has gone by. I feel like I've been living in a time warp. It's crazy    .

4. The one thing I'd like to achieve today is    paint my nails with my new sparkly polish. It's the last thing on my list after all the other things I needed to get done, but it's the one I'm most excited about and I think I'm going to get to it    .

5.  The last thing I wanted to do today was    make Mikey cry it out when he was falling asleep for his nap. But I did it and we both survived. :(

6.  If I were writing my own blank today, it would say:   The best thing about today is that it was Tim's last day of work before the holidays. We get him all to ourselves for almost two weeks!! 

7.  My favorite candle scent is    an evergreen candle I got from Williams Sonoma last year. Dee-lish  .


Miracles are my fave

I am a long time fan of You Are My Fave. The author, Melanie, is the kind of likable, down-to-earth, personable blogger who instantly makes you feel like an old fried. Her honesty extends even to the most personal and painful parts of life, including her struggles with infertility, which she documented at YAMF and Babble for the last year or so.

I've been reading along, and praying for her and her husband for a while now and - Praise God! - they recently shared some very happy news. Melanie calls it a miracle and I believe that is true. 

That's not the only miracle I have witnessed lately. My brother and his wife are expecting again!! After a long year of pain, loss, and heartache, God has provided a new source of hope and joy. We are beyond excited for them. I find myself thanking God and begging for his protection over this baby over and over again every day. 

Our God is so good. He hears our cries and gives us the desires of our hearts. 
Psalm 37:4


7 Months Old

Today Michael is seven months old. I just can't believe it. All of the cliches apply. 

"The days are long but the months are short." 
"They grow up fast." 
"He'll be walking before you know it."
"You'll wonder where the time goes."

All true. No wonder everyone says this stuff.

Lately I feel like he's changing faster than ever. I picked him up a few days ago and he just felt big. He wears 9 month clothes now. He went from crawling, to speed crawling, to pulling up to standing at the couch in a matter of days. He follows Ella around like it's his job and imitates her whines by making soft little squeaky sounds. 

His personality has become much more apparent lately. Monday he babbled "mamamama" and I thought, that's cute but it's probably just an accident. Tuesday morning he overheard me telling Tim about it and piped right up, "mamama" with a huge grin. He regularly laughs and "jokes" with us, and when things are too serious he will smile or cough or start laughing to make us laugh. He loves Ella, baths, his rubber ducky, walks in his stroller, zippers, and he is rigorously exploring every part of the house we will let him explore.

One of my favorite developments is his sleep. He still sleeps for about 12 hours at night and we are back to waking only twice (occasionally once) to eat during that time. He naps well - usually two naps a day, one for about an hour, the other for up to two hours. He has also finally embraced the carseat and will go to sleep even on short drives in the car. 

He's still nursing and he eats lots of foods too. His favorites are oatmeal with fruit mixed in, bananas, rice cereal with applejuice, cantaloupe, and sweet potatoes. He tolerates lots of others too: green beans, avocado, carrots, squash, peaches, prunes, and berries. 

He only fusses when he needs food or sleep or hugs from Mom and Dad. Or if his gums hurt. Still no teeth - the bottom two are just below the skin and we expect them any day now. He is more smiley than ever. He flirts with ladies everywhere - at church, the grocery store, in the toddler music class we attend. He wakes up happy and full of energy, gives big sloppy kisses, and squeals with excitement when Tim plays peek-a-boo with him.

I could go on and on. There just aren't words to describe this little miracle in our midst, or how much joy he has brought to our lives. He is a blessing beyond my wildest dreams, and yet I feel that I've known him my whole life.

Happy seven months, Michael. I love you more than you can imagine.


I'm all worked up over the prospect of Christmas this year (yaaay!) with our Mikey (YAAAAAYYY!!!!)

I know, I know. He's 7 months old. 
He won't remember a bit of it. But that doesn't stop me from walking him down the Christmas aisles at Target showing him Santas and Rudolphs and Frostys and singing all the songs to go along.

While it's true that he would be just as happy to sit and play with the zippers on my jacket, I'm dying from the fun of hunting for gifts for him. It really brings back memories of the toys I loved as a kid. And if I was shopping for me as a kid, this would be the ultimate: a Whatnot - a custom made Muppet! They're pricey, but come on. A custom made Muppet!! Think of the puppet shows, musicals, and videos you could make!! Sigh. The Muppet part of my brain never grew up :)


Life in Instagram

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Giving thanks

In the days since my last post (the one where I sort of whined about all the baby stuff all over my living room - {embarrassing}) we've been through a minor upheaval. Two days before Halloween we had a massive snowstorm which produced beautiful Christmas photos (yaay!) and also destroyed the electrical system and countless trees and homes in New England (very, very sad). For eight days we slept in our cold, dark house, whatever hotel room we could get, guest rooms of friends, and spent most of our days either in the truck or roaming the mall. On Sunday, we flew to Chicago. The power was still out, Tim had a conference and I was not about to take care of Mikey alone.

As you can imagine, the situation has caused some stress and short tempers (mostly mine). Constant moving, keeping track of baby and dog, spending all our time either in the truck or small hotel rooms, crowds, long lines, nowhere to do laundry or dishes, wrestling an increasingly active and opinionated baby, etc. I have a bad habit of getting caught up in how things 'should' be. And, when you get right down to it, I'm spoiled.

Not coincidentally, on November 1st my sweet sister posted a Facebook status titled '30 Days of Thankfulness' with a post every day naming something she is thankful for. Then another friend did the same. Then several more. And I realized that my loving God was reminding me of how much I have, and gently telling me to stop the complaining and give thanks instead. So I stopped and counted my many rich blessings. And then I felt shallow because my God blesses me with such extravagance and I still find reasons to complain.

It couldn't have come at a better time. In the midst of my ungratefulness my God knew I needed help and He sent it. One more thing to be thankful for.

{If I get home Wednesday and the power still isn't on, please refer me to this post when I've finished pitching my fit.}

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Location:N Michigan Ave,Chicago,United States


Hello, little blog. It's been a while. Rather than kill myself with the pressure of catching up on posts I should have written over the last two months, I've decided to jump right in as if there was never a break. 

Little man is in the very early stages of crawling. He scoots a few paces, then does a belly flop, gets up and repeats until he reaches whatever he is tracking. (Usually, poor old Ella.) It's not pretty, but he sure gets around. And when I start clapping and cheering he grins like a champion and crawls with such gusto you'd think he was in competition for a gold medal. It's the most precious thing I have ever seen. Needless to say, I do a LOT of clapping and cheering. 

So, the baby-proofing has begun. (Where did I get off thinking I wouldn't be "one of those parents who lets kid stuff take over the whole house"?) I just spent the morning removing the coffee table and most of the attractive/interesting objects from my living room in order to make his play space even bigger and safer. Old art books and framed photos have been replaced with puzzles, board books and assorted teething toys. My beloved once cream-colored carpet (what was I thinking??) is covered with a huge old quilt. It protects the baby from rug burn, protects the carpet from further stains, but I have a big ugly quilt on my floor 24/7. Where once there was a table for drinks, snacks, and reading material now there is a scattering of plastic animals and brightly colored rings. And we're not finished yet. We're going to enclose the whole mess with one of those gigantic fences. 

Here's the little stinker hard at work. 
We couldn't love him any more. 
More posts and pics to come soon.


Where I've been

It's been almost three weeks since my last post, and they have been long on fun 
(family, vacation to the Cape, sun, food, playing, relaxing, the beach, Mikey) 
and short on sleep (teething, sleep-training, Mikey). 
Here are some of the pictures I took along the way (using instagram - I'm hooked!) 
Enjoy! xoxo
We rented a great little cottage in Wellfleet. 
It was a short hike from our house to the beach.
The view at the end of the hike.
 Dad snapping some pictures.
Michael loved spending time with his Gigi...
and Papa.
He learned so much in one week - reaching and grasping,
rolling, scooting...
and a little move we call 'the scorpion'.
We did all our favorite things, like picnic at the pond...
going into town to shop...
cooking lobsters for dinner...
and spending time at the beach.
It was so amazing seeing everything through Michael's eyes
(he loved watching the water with his Dad)
And Tim and I even got away on our first date in months while my parents watched Michael - thank you Mom and Dad!

My favorite times were the long conversations over meals, lazy mornings drinking coffee and playing with Michael, movie nights, walks in the neighborhood - and there are no pictures of these, unfortunately. But it was a wonderful trip - such a blessing for all us to have that time with my parents! We love you guys!!



Hello and happy Friday! I'm in an extra good mood this Friday because my parents are on their way here to spend a week with us! At the Cape!! 
Summertime at the beach with family. Three of my favorite things - my head may explode with happiness. So before we take off, here are a few faves from the last week. 

One stylish (and fearless!) mom shares her photos of traveling around Europe with her three kids. Tim and I are already wondering how soon we can whisk Michael off to the old country - these gorgeous photos make me want to go sooner than later!

Walnut iPad case from substrata spotted on design*sponge.
Kind of pricey, and heavy I'm sure, 
but that wood is just gorgeous!
Such a refreshing change from all of our shiny black gadgets.

Turkish bath towels from ashblue
I'd love to have the orange one.
And finally, an inspired nursery for a little cowboy.
Have a great weekend! xoxo


Virtual roadtrip: American West

I'm craving a roadtrip out west with my man. 
Maybe another time - when we don't have a three month old. 
all images via we heart it


3 months old

It's been three amazing months with you, sweet Michael. We love your little spirit, your smile, your voice, your hugs and kisses. We can't imagine a more precious gift from God and we love you more every day. xoxo
3 months
Ella was feeling left out, so she got in on the photo session.
She doesn't know it yet, but he's got his eye on her. 
She's in big trouble once he gets a little more mobile.


3 months ago

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Hello and happy Friday!! Just a few of my favorite things spotted this week:

What to wear in Paris. In my experience, these suggestions are right on. (Jordan should know - she and her family are currently living in Paris for a year! Read about her life abroad here.)
image via oh happy day

Cute prints for the nursery.
(And how amazing would it be if they worked?!)

Simple, stylish wooden toys. No batteries required.

- with fingerprints!!

I got on instagram this week. What a cool app! 
As you can see, Michael and I are having fun with it.

Have a beautiful weekend!! xoxo


The juggle

I once heard a quote that really stuck with me: You can have it all. You just can't have it all at once. Long before I had a child, or much of anything else to juggle, I knew that this little adage was true for me.

Well, Joanna over at A Cup of Jo is up to her usual genius and running a fascinating feature this week. She has several guest bloggers - all mothers who blog and work outside the home (some also run their own businesses!) - writing about how they manage to balance home/work/children/marriage. The purpose for the series is to get women talking in a way that is helpful to each other rather than critical of each other. And for me, at least, the series has done just that. It has reinforced my belief that staying home with Michael full time is the right decision for our family right now and inspired admiration for all of the other families out there who are making it work in their own way. Definitely worth reading!!

Homes I love

Midcentury gorgeousness in San Diego. 
See the full tour here.