so, it’s been a while.  ever have one of those periods where you feel as if all your creative energy has been zapped?  i’ve felt like the wind has been sucked out of my creative sails. and while summer is ALWAYS welcomed with open arms, i also blame our loosy-goosey lifestyle for my absence here and my lack of creativity.  with everyone home 24/7, every ounce of energy in my body was spent meeting kids’ needs and keeping our house afloat. there just wasn’t room for much else.  and i don’t want you to think i’m complaining, truly i’m not.  i know it’s a season of life, and it will pass much more quickly than i’d like. BUT. it’s draining. i am tired. of cleaning up spills for the millionth time and picking up toys just to have them thrown around 4 seconds later, and laundry and dishes that i just can’t seem to stay caught up with.

summer was fun and great and beautiful and there was so much togetherness. but it was also overwhelming and intense and and there was so. much. togetherness. we did some wonderful things, but i kind of felt like I had to referee my way through the days (just being real here).  why did I not get a whistle in june?!? and please tell me i’m not the only one who would have benefitted from one!?!

we are back in the swing of things with school, and as my days feel a bit lighter (with b in 1st and c in pre-k), so do i.  i’m all for the ease of summertime, but really, i love some structure to our days.  i think the kids and i all thrive on some sort of routine, rhythm, and predictability.  and as we’re completing our fifth week of that, i feel myself coming back to earth.  and to this place.  and that feels good.

here a few shots from sweet summertime.  


a few things…

a few very random ramblings…

h&m has home items, say what!?!?!  it’s a small but good collection, and the price point is super affordable.  it leans clean and modern, which is right up my alley, and at these prices, you can afford to change that pillow cover out after your kid gets their chocolate slobber all over it {not that i know from experience}.  i’ve already thrown a few things into my online basket to use as christmas and hostess gifts for the upcoming holiday season.

i have really been feeling the need to change things up around here to cozy things up for fall – i have been known to move things around in our house so much that jared asks if everything is new  {i’d say that’s a successful rearrangement}.  i’m not really into throwing up leaf garlands everywhere {no offense if that’s your thing};  browns and oranges have never been my happy colors.  in search of some inspiration, i’ve been following this fall homes tour, and have pulled some good ideas to use at case de brooner.  it starts with the white buffalo styling co., and each post leads you to a new blog.  i like the eclectic nature of her {wbsc} home, and it’s fun to see how each person interprets fall style.  highly recommend if you’re in a styling rut.

ok, if you’re not watching this is us, i don’t know if we can be friends.  i’m kidding, i’m kidding.  but, it is so. good.  jared and i were bummed when parenthood ended a while back, and i feel like this show has filled that spot for us.  it has heart, and the main characters are in their 36th year, which hits preeeeeeetty close to home.

lastly, my computer has just returned from the computer hospital, where she really needed to go long ago.  i have been pretty terrible about maintenance, and she was getting slowwwwww.  {couldn’t possibly be the 16 jillion pictures i have on here.  whoops.}  anyhow, i was finally able to download about a jillion more pictures from our good camera.  it’s crazy how much these little people have changed in a year – yeah, i said she needed help a long time ago.  i blame just coming out from under a rock after having our third child…again, a year ago.  a little throwback thursday, if you will…







life {lately}

whew – it has been so long since i’ve visited this space.  it is really a hectic season of our lives, but in the best way.  the kids are running on all cylinders at. all. times.  if they’re both awake, time to myself is non-existent, and since beckett is no longer napping, that mean’s i’m ‘on’ from 7 in the morning to sometimes 9 at night.  we have the kind of kids who are super-social and want us to play with them all the time, which is awesome – but doesn’t leave much time for anything else.  i’m trying to let them be when they play (nicely) together, or each by themselves, but to be honest, that doesn’t happen very often.  i feel like we’re still in straight-up survival mode.

school started friday for beckett, so i’m looking forward to the structure and routine that it creates.  he goes from 8 -12 on monday, wednesday, and friday, and he really loved it last year, so i’m really hoping he has a similar experience this year.  we did meet-the-teacher last tuesday, and i think he was a little confused why we were in a different room with a different teacher.  i had tried to prep him for it, but he was a bit perplexed.  he seemed to have a great day yesterday, and all he can talk about is how many race cars are in his new classroom, so he’s gonna be just fine.  i just got him signed up for soccer so i’m reeeealllly excited to see how that goes.  i can actually remember my brother playing soccer at this age, and it was basically a herd of kids chasing a ball – i expect the same for beckett’s time this fall.  beckett is in school, signed up for soccer, and is going to be 4 in 10 days.  i mean, seriously, how did this happen?

chloe hit the 18 month milestone on august 1 and is a little chatterbox.  she is picking up new words every day.  she says yes the most clearly, and recently said ‘take a bath’ – her first real phrase.  she is obsessed with dogs of any kind and loves to see them in person (though sometimes she’s a little skittish at first – funny since we have a 95 lb moose that lives with us), in pictures, and drawings.  she is pretty great with animal sounds and identifying different animals in pictures.  she gets particularly excited when she sees a cat, dog or monkey.  she also loves the monkeys at the zoo, and gets super excited if they’re running around.  chloe is basically running around too.  she and beckett love to race, and they’ll line up against our dining chairs, and she’ll say ‘go!’ and take off.  beckett loves to race anything and is trying to turn everything (from running to eating) into a competition .  is this a dude-thing?  i don’t get it.

we are entering a busy few months with three weddings, a family reunion, school activities and soccer, but i hope to visit here a little more often.  it sure feels good to write.


































dear {chloe}

dear chloe –

it was this day, febuary first one year ago, that you were laid into my arms.  a few days overdue, you had to be evicted.  i was induced  on a friday morning.  we got there at 7, they got the pitocin running at about 8, and at 11.44 you were here.  it was pretty fast, and fairly easy (i say that now, as a year has passed), and our lives would never ever be the same.  if i had to think of one word for you, it would be joy.  you radiate it.


you are literally a ray of sunshine, sweet child.  you’ve got a smile for anyone who asks for it (except for picture-taking), and your eyes shine all the time.  you have the happiest little soul in your teeny body, and i know an amazing woman will grow out of it.  you are smart, strong, persistent, joyful, easy-going, and sweet as can be.  i did some ugly crying last night over you turning one – not because i don’t want to see you grow up, just because it feels like it’s going much too fast.  i’d like to freeze time for a while. right. now.  i am truly in awe of how much can happen in a year – you’ve gone from squishy newborn to a little person in what seems like no time at all.  i’m so excited to see what the next year will bring and who you will be 12 months from today.

love you, sweet girl.

– mama







p.s.  parents of small children.  do yourself a favor and blow up some balloons this weekend.  they have entertained us for hours the last few days!

chloe {11 months}

chloe girl, you’re going to be a year old in a week, so i figure i’d better document your 11th month quick!

at 11 months, you are saying ‘uh-oh’ in context, mostly when you throw food on the floor for miller.  i think the two of you have a little deal going on.  he is a huge fan, and totally knows what ‘all done’ means.  if he’s not already camped out under your highchair, he’ll come running when he hears me say it.  you really like kiwi, cheese, apples, tortillas, and ham, and you babble constantly as you eat.

at christmastime, you really loved the tree (i mean, who doesn’t), and as i would carry you down the stairs, you would point and say ‘ta’.  and on the subject of stairs, you love them.  mainly love to go up and i have been trying to teach you to come down on your belly, feet first.  still working on that one.  you also love animals and carry them around.  you know what an elephant and monkey say if we ask you…most of the time.

around the middle of december you started to test out standing on your own, cruising around with one hand, and by the beginning of january, you were taking a few steps.  at first, by accident, and then we could see you start to figure it out.

my prediction is that you are going to be super social (wonder where you would’ve gotten that??) and athletic.  you are much less content to sit up in your crib and play.  beckett would sit up there after his nap for up to an hour babbling and playing, but you are ready to get back to the party.  you seem to be quite coordinated and have a little ornery streak, just like beckett.  you love to crawl on top of our little art table in the basement, using a stool to help you get up.  you’ve even screeched a bit to get our attention as you do it.  once you make it up, you’re so proud of yourself and just laugh.  honestly, we can’t help but laugh too.  memaw has said i’m getting paid back – apparently i was a little climber too.  dang it.



{you love this mirrored chest…and the baby that seems to always be inside it}

{like, really love it}IMG_2415


and a happy new year {to you}

for our wild and crazy new years eve, we set up a little ‘photo booth’ in our basement {all the credit for this idea goes to jared}, got dressed up, and acted pretty dang silly.  i drew some ‘fireworks’ on the chalkboard wall in the basement, threw the camera on a tripod and used our handy-dandy remote control.  it was fun, and i am so happy to have these pictures.  i think they’ll be really fun to look back on years from now.  happy 2014 to each of you.  i think it’s gonna be a good year.  












{haaaaaaaaapy new year!}


chloe {10 months}

chloe – there is a person in your little body, and she’s starting to emerge!  we swear you’re saying ‘baby’ – more like ‘day-dee’ – and really like pictures of babies and the two little dolls we have.  there is really something to girls and babies – i’ve been pretty amazed at that.  you will sometimes ‘moo’ if we ask what a cow says and ‘ppppppttthhh’ if we ask what an elephant says.  you’re playing peek-a-boo, signing  for milk and more, know where your nose is, and trying to put shoes and socks on your feet.  you are standing more and more, and i feel like those first steps are coming.  you continue to be a great little eater, and we can just hand you a banana (or whatever), and you’ll eat it like a big kid.  my dear, at long last, you have given us the gift of sleeeeeeeep!!  it only took 10 months to get here, but it is oh so glorious.  i feel like we’ve crossed to the other side.  hallelujah!


{still sporting this face…mostly when she’s happy, if you can believe it}IMG_1240





{these two are interacting so much and are so good to each other most of the time}IMG_1733

{sure wish she wasn’t holding a pair of socks, but whatever, it’s real life}IMG_1738


family pictures {october 2013}

we had pictures taken the second week of october, and our holiday cards were printed and on my doorstep on halloween.  this has not happened in the history of ever, and i still waited until mid-december to finally get them out.  i had the very best intentions…really.  the amazingly talented, uber-sweet, and all around great person, meredith gutshall, took these, and i could not be happier.  now i need to get my act together and plaster my walls with these babies.  thanks, miss meredith, for these treasures.

















chloe {9 months}

chlo-girl, you are so so social and the just the happiest baby around.  you are crawling so fast, clapping, waving bye-bye, giving kisses and trying to share your food.  you had your first ear infection right at 9 months – boo!  my poor mom was up all night with you while we were at a wedding in st louis (talk about some mommy/daughter guilt for that one).  beckett did you one better and got a double ear infection a few days later.  let me tell you, it was not super fun around here that week.  yikes.  i weighed you at the dr’s office that first week of oct when we were there, and you were 19 lb, 12 oz.  when we finally got your official 9 month check-up on november 25 (way closer to 10 months), you were 20 lb, 8 oz. (85%) and 29 1/4 in tall (95%)  i recently found beckett’s stats from around 9 months, and he was 20lb 2 oz, so you guys are right about the same size at this age.

in the last month, you’ve gotten five new teeth (a third tooth on the bottom and four up top) and have another on the way.  you are sprouting those and hair like crazy.  your hair is looking a touch darker, but that’s probably just because it’s getting more dense.  i am also sprouting crazy hair too, where it fell out after you were born.  i just cut some bangs to try to blend it all in.  that may have been a mistake.  they’re sure going to take some getting used to anyway.  you are pulling up on everything and occasionally letting go, leaving you standing for a second.

as for sleeping, i’m still up once a night typically, though we’re trying hard to nix that nighttime feeding without letting you cry for hours…because i’m pretty sure you would.  you are a persistent little thing, which will be great for you in the long run, but is kind of annoying right now.  i’ve kind of decided to just wean you all-together at a year, and hopefully that will work out.  when you do wake up and cry, you rock yourself.  it’s kind of cute – the rocking, not the crying.  i’m nursing you four times a day and you are eating meals like a champ, preferably feeding yourself pretty exclusively with your right hand.  maybe you’re a righty?  beckett was definitely favoring his left by this age.




{face of the month}IMG_0820










fueling {your fire}

you guys!!  thank you for all your amazing comments on here, facebook, and instagram.  sounds like that last post struck a chord with you all, and it was really encouraging for me to hear your feedback.  while i know i’m not doing this alone, it’s great to hear that you all are facing the same things.  i keep thinking that women (and men) have been raising babies for millions of years, so why do i feel so much like i’m drowning?  the truth is that they were probably overwhelmed too, they just didn’t have this little thing called social media to publicize it.  sadly, i think beckett has started to pick up on my ‘funk’ and is developing one of his own.  that’s where i draw the line, and i need to get things turned around stat.

so i’m making a plan.  i’m figuring out what i need to fill my tank and get some fire back, and i think those things are rest, creative time, and church.  i’m telling you so you can hold me accountable.

  • rest – i am really struggling with getting a sufficient amount of sleep (chloe has been a sleep-hater lately – dang!), so i’m going to pick 3 nights a week, and go to bed early.  that starts tonight.
  • creative time – jared has agreed to keep the kids occupied for a few hours on saturday mornings so i can get my hands ‘dirty’ again – taking pictures, sewing, painting, whatever.  this stuff really makes me feel so good – and productive!  bonus is that i’ll have more to share with you here!
  • church – it has been far too long since we were regular church-goers, and i want to change that.  i think it’ll help get our week started on the right note.

will you make a plan too?  no need to tell me what yours is (or do!  i’d really love to hear!), but let’s start taking care of ourselves, friends.

in other news, beckett and chloe were a quarterback (james franklin to be exact) and his trusty football for halloween.   it was pretty cute.