January 31, 2010

Funny Girl

scarf was in the way
(my scarf got in the way)

(also, this is a SOOC "straight out of camera" shot, no editing, and I love it.)

I like to take pictures of my shoes.

shoes in the snow

Today I'm driving away, kind of far, and leaving Ivy with Daddy for the longest time I've ever left her. I'll be back before bedtime, and I'm going to lunch and a play with old (and forever) friends so it's really such a treat.

I'm nervous as I type this, but also equally excited... it's a strange push and pull and twist and release.

But I get to wear my new shoes!

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January 29, 2010

Wherever you go, there you are.

morning light
One of my favorite morning photos, from Cupcake '10

Links for your weekend aka "working it..."

[my other day job(s)]

At NWIparent

At RealMomsGuide

(And I'm realizing some of these links aren't working at the moment... please try again if not!)

Also I write a few times a week at my Real Moms Guide blog here about life with a one-year-old.

Looking to for more exposure online? Get published at Real Moms Guide by submitting your stories.

Have a lovely weekend, friends!

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January 28, 2010

In Living.


Ivy had the sniffles

and so she rode around on my back in the mei tai for the day. Her face nuzzled behind me while I washed dishes and wrote stuff.

Ever notice that in the absence of it, a tiny bit of color pops and makes its small self known.

It's in the color of an eye, the streak in my hair.

A brilliant thought, little hand holding big hand, whatever makes you feel, and alive.


You Capture: color

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January 27, 2010

Breastfeeding anywhere and everywhere: What is there to see?

Nursing Ivy at a party

Yes, I'm passionate about it.

I enjoy breastfeeding my children!

And I do it for longer than "the norm" for most Americans.

I do not, however, blur my passion with judgment- for the Moms that choose not to breastfeed or not to nurse as long as me and my baby or whatever else might be used to put a wall between us Mothers with differing methods of mothering.

Nursing Ivy in the Ergo

Maybe that's why I take it to heart when I know others are thinking negatively of Moms like me, that choose to nurse our babies whenever they are hungry or need comfort, even if that is in the presence of strangers, family, or friends.

And in the same breath, the confusion I've struggled with myself, the wondering why I don't share the same convictions as many Christians that breastfeeding in public, uncovered, can cause a man to stumble, and so it is our duty to cover up.

Breastfeeding Grayson

I guess I can not, and will not get past the fact that it's natural and God-made ... why should it be covered up- when does it become that person's responsibility to "take every thought captive" (2 Cor. 10:4-5) ? (thank you, Sherri for reminding me of this)

I find it insulting that I even need to bring up the fact that it is not a topless x-rated event when I am nursing my child. WHAT IS THERE TO SEE?

I think it's beautiful. If you don't, then I just wonder what issues are going on in your heart that causes you to see ugly or offense, that you can not just turn away but instead must cast a judgment of that Mother nurturing her baby.

I am breastfeeding my children [in public] in all of the photos on this post.

I don't want to come across as un-ladylike, defiant, or disrespectful regarding my feelings about the importance of positive breastfeeding awareness in any way, ever, to anyone.

I just hope my intentions are always realized at face value, because I truly do mean to be doing the best for my children, and myself, an encourager to everyone, and always want to be known as loving to others.

I am closing comments on this post because I'd like to continue the pleasant and friendly, open discussion in the comments at my Real Moms Guide post Breast versus... breast? To cover up or not.

[P.S. I am nursing Ivy while writing this post. Uncovered.]

photo credits: 1st photo taken by Beth Fletcher, last photo by Mishelle Lane

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January 26, 2010

Gifted: Modern Day Warrior Quilt

reading blanket

Back in the day, before I was a blogger, I was very involved in online support groups as we searched for answers and healing for Noah's epilepsy.

In one of those groups I met Cris, and she would be the one person that tipped it all for me... she set my life on a different course. She planted a seed in me, to trust my instincts and start asking more questions. Do some research. Read Evidence of Harm. No one had ever told me these things before. That it was OK to stand up and be that mama bear protecting her cubs even if it was in the face of authority and *gasp* doctors.

And my eyes were opened. And from then on... everything changed.

I honestly credit Cris for Ivy's homebirth. Without her prompting so many years ago, I don't think I would have gone the way I have today. And I am so thankful for her.

Postmarked the day before Ivy was born, Cris sent a package, a quilt with two letters. One for me and one for Ivy.

I will never forget the fat, round tears that fell from my eyes as I read her words. I will hold these letters dear to my heart forever.

With her permission, I wanted to share her letter to Ivy:

Dear Baby Ivy,

Welcome to the world, little one! I can't wait to see a picture of you and your brothers all together.

Speaking of brothers... I am sure they will be protective of you, just try to take it all in stride- it's their job afterall!

Please don't ever underestimate how tough your mama is, either. She is fierce in her love for you all- somewhat of a modern day warrior woman. She and your dad will always do right by you, never doubt that!

The quilt is hand made, but it is not meant to be set on a shelf. Have picnics on it, use it as a cape (I put a sprinkle of super powers in it) use it! Love it and wear it out. I loved making it for you.

Cris & Mariah Kelly

Modern day warrior quilt

We use this quilt as a quiet time blanket. I spread it out on my bedroom floor and Ivy knows to sit right down on it. She'll run to her favorite books and we read together. Yesterday she discovered a finger puppet and tried to put it on my toe.

We sat on that blanket for the longest time just staring out the window at the snow. I stole kisses on Ivy's cheeks and I felt very, very blessed. Warm tears singed my eyes and I said a lot of thank yous. I have no wants, I have everything I need.

I hope to be a Cris to others as I live my life.

You do know, no matter how you tell your story, you have the power to be that someone, right? :)

[P.S. my Mom just pointed out that in these photos Ivy just happens to be sitting right where she was born, on my bedroom floor.]

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January 24, 2010

The one about Ivy's clothes.

little misha
[Misha Lulu dress (ebay), Livie & Luca boots]

So, she's my little ragamuffin. And I love love love dressing a girl.

Where do I begin?

I enjoy finding unique mis-matchy outfits and shabby/chic/boutique-ish things you just don't see everywhere.

[Misha Lulu tunic & pants (My Little Darlings boutique)]

I fell in love with the designer Misha Lulu and pretty much Ivy's whole wardrobe is made up of Misha with bits and pieces here and there. (Ivy's first Misha dress, lookhowsmallshewas!)

[Halabaloo dress, thrifted.]

My secret? I like resale shops (we have Once Upon A Child nearby), etsy, & ebay and when I'm in the mood I scope them out for my favorite boutique brands and styles.
Also, Misha Lulu has a surplus store with samples and such at awesome prices.

I sign up for special offers/newsletters at the places I like to shop- sometimes stores will have discounts only subscribers will know about (for example, Livie & Luca had a 40% off sale recently, My Little Darlings Boutique offers discounts on future purchases.)

I invest in pieces I can mix & match and since I love putting Ivy in full tunics and dresses, she can wear those for a longer time (the dress can eventually become a top.)

[Misha Lulu dress & pants (My Little Darlings Boutique), Livie & Luca shoes.]

Also, good quality and handmade tends to last longer. It's tempting to buy the latest trends at Target but I personally do not think their prices are all that, and after a couple washings, it's evident the "discount" items are not worth it. I try to stay away from that section of Target altogether (because lets face it- something here and there ADDS UP), but sometimes I'll buy the basics like plain tees & leggings to go with her nicer pieces.

I am much more happy with a few great outfits rather than drawers full of junk clothes.

I've knit her a few sweaters and jumpers and hope to get even more adventurous with what I make next. I'm feeling a knitting spurt coming on soon.

calling all angels

Oh, and her coat. It's so funny how often
I have to tell the story- as her red polka dot coat has lots of people commenting online and in real life.

On the first real cold day last year, I realized I had no coat for her (I'm so used to hand-me-downs with the boys!) so I bundled her up in sweaters and headed to Marshall's by our house (literally like a minute away.) I found that coat with matching hat (by Penelope Mack) for $16!

So, I'll probably regret this because I don't need to add any more items to her closet right now, but, where are your favorite places to shop?

[Disclosure jargon: In case you were wondering, I purchased every thing Ivy is wearing, finding each website on my own, and no portion of this post has been sponsored.]

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January 23, 2010


on the phone

old telephone

Links for your weekend aka
"working it..."

[my other day job(s)]

At NWIparent:
Revisiting the "list"

Over at Real Moms Guide:

Check out the Babywearing Moms group. Have a babywearing question? I'm always available to chat.

Also, some articles I've written this week

Oh, and I totally did not forget about my promise to share (my completely unsponsored, unpaid post) about Ivy's clothes. Coming Monday!

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January 22, 2010

Pink flowers for Ellie, Love Gray.


Grayson insisted on taking his Ellie pink flowers.

gray & ellie

You can even keep on your pink pants, Mommy. (My pajama pants.) (I was tempted.)

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January 21, 2010

On separation anxiety


I always thought when the mama bird nudges her children to the edge of the nest, watching them spread their feathers,

that it was for their own good. Part of growing up. Acquiring new skills, strengths, the use of their wings.

But I'm finding

that I think the one learning the [hard] lesson is

(whispers) the parent.

My skin doesn't fit, doesn't feel right when they're not with me.

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January 20, 2010

Gifted: Felt Flower Necklace

birthday necklace from Katie

A birthday gift handmade by Katie. She doesn't even have an etsy shop! Don't you think she should have an etsy shop????!!!!

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January 18, 2010

How now.


Through the silver fog today on a drive, Gray asked what kind of animals were out in the field ahead. Those are big brown cows, I tell him.

"OH! I thought that's
where my chocolate rice milk comes from."

Do you ever have those moments as a Mom where you think Oh, my GOD. This is
my child. I am so thankful.

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January 17, 2010

Everything that happens is from now on.


The sun came out again. During a walk outside I turned to hubby and said you think maybe the cold is over? That it will just get warmer and warmer?

I knew the answer.

No, it's going to get cold again. But it does feel a little like spring today.

Let's enjoy it.

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January 16, 2010

Have a look-see!

bershday boots
My birthday boots (Ugg Cardy)

  • I'm still catching up on: visiting all my "lurkers" & the awesome recaps linked here of last weekend's Cupcake '10.

Coming this week... I'm thinking about sharing all my secrets about where I get Ivy's clothes!

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January 14, 2010

On Waiting


We do a lot of waiting around here.

We wait for the school bus in the morning, wait for it to bring brothers home in the afternoon. I wait for the dryer to buzz, the mail to come, for Fridays and paydays and for what's around the corner.

It's felt like we're waiting for a lot more than usual lately, for something up ahead, not sure, maybe it's the new year or too much busy-ness. Waiting, waiting with anticipating takes away from the rich living in the right now.


Tonight I drank hot chocolate with a spoon, and Kelly's homemade marshmallows (another birthday gift). I should do this more. What am I waiting for?

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Who's there?

shadow kisses
Ivy kissing her shadow. I know. Sweetness.

I hear it's delurking day or week or something. So that means if you're hanging around you should come out and say hi. And, I'm hoping to visit each and every one of you that does.

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January 13, 2010

Gifted: for the love of ivy


The sun is shining today. I am so happy. It's worth the mention.

for the love of ivy necklace

I wanted to show you the necklace I'm wearing today, a birthday gift from my friend Erin. It's called "for the love of ivy" by Stomping Bird.

I like how it looks like I'm giving you all a big hug.

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January 11, 2010

What Cupcake 10 was all about

cupcake ivy

A couple months ago, or so, I was chatting with my bloggy friend Heather of the Extraordinary Ordinary and we were thinking we should make more of an effort to meet up soon since she only lived in Minneapolis (at the time) and I in Northwest Indiana. Surely we could meet half-way somewhere and have dinner or something.

We took it to Twitter and, well, before you know it Heather had found an amazing house in Wisconsin and people were actually sending her money and SIGNING UP to spend a weekend with us.

Just what were we going to do?

Our vision was pretty simple. We wanted to get together with some fabulous women we'd met through blogging and Twitter and just hang out.

And there should be cupcakes.


Photo by Carrie

We didn't have a keynote or any sessions but we did have a circle, where we went around and said a little about our journey with blogging and where it has brought us, and how it brought us together that very moment, at Cupcake 10.

Not everyone knew each other or read each other's blogs. But we do now.

Elizabeth, Maggie, & Sara

It was a small group, but the perfect size.

We sat around in yoga pants and ate the biggest potluck meal I'd ever seen. (Seriously, we put churches to shame.) There were cupcakes and wine, but no one got drunk. There were swag bags- more like favors to take home and you know what? Those bags hung in the hallway all weekend until people left.

That spoke volumes to me.

Our little get together wasn't about the business of blogging, or even about blogs or Twitter. It was about the heart of the person that writes the blog or tweets a tweet.

That person commenting on your post, your favorite writer, you, me, we are so much more than our blogs.

Sarah and Haley
Sarah & Haley (with Kristina devouring a cupake in the background)
photo by Haley

The honesty was humbling. And inspiring. I can't stop thinking about it.

I stayed up late, in my pjs, legs tucked up on a window seat in the kitchen with Esther and Sarah after everyone else had gone to bed.


Photo by Hyacynth

In the morning, we all stumbled about armstretched for the coffee pot. Bed head and no makeup, my bangs going every which way. It was like we were at home. With family.

It was just like that.

This past weekend I was surrounded by positive women, truly caring for each other, and it blessed me.

That's what Cupcake 10 is and was. And I have a hope that bloggers and tweeters from all over will do the same in their area. You don't need a big agenda, and it's better if you don't have a large attendance. Keep it small, simple, and real. Good things will happen there.

More photos here.

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January 10, 2010

There were cupcakes.

Cupcake 10

I just got home. I didn't open my laptop all weekend. It was more fabulous than I had imagined.

Much more to come...

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January 8, 2010

Snow Day

shroomy ivy
(As you can see, Ivy's hair cut wasn't much, but is adorable!)

It's a snow day!

And my birthday!

The boys are already putting the hurt on some Jedis or whoever the bad guys are on Star Wars Wii. We'll have grilled banana sandwiches for lunch (to honor Elvis) and wait for the big snow to fall.

It's a great day.

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January 6, 2010

Calling all angels

calling all angels

She ran away from the snow. But dark clouds found her.

She's a friend way over there, and I'm far over here. She's missing my sidehugs and Ivy's spirit. Please think of her, pray for her, and if she's your friend, too, reach out to her. It's her story to tell, so in time, she will.

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January 4, 2010

Spot of

tea party

tea partay

drink up

Felt tea set I found on etsy. It's even more adorable in person.

[I have a girl!]

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January 3, 2010



I'm thinking about taking Ivy for her first haircut tomorrow.

Also, I'm probably overly excited for Cupcake '10 this weekend. Confession: While I love cupcakes, I am really not a cake fan, and my very favorite dessert of all is actually lemon bars. (Of which my Mom made a whole batch for my early birthday celebration today.) Who's in for Lemon Bar '11?

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January 2, 2010



On New Year's Day we visited my grandparents and the boys gave Ivy rides around the house on Poppal's walker. We know how to have fun.

Noah & Carter return to school on Monday. I might be praying for a snowstorm to come so that they have to close school. I just wish I could keep them home with me a little longer.

The past two weeks have been exceptionally relaxing, cozy, and fun. I don't want it to end.

Hope you've had a great start to your New Year!

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