April 29, 2010

a proper disguise

ivy incognito

WANT: to be [both] invisible and dancing in attention's spotlight.



known but not known for being known.

can u see me?

understand the reality of life, and the serious need to still have fun. and enjoy. and live.

for the Very ImPortant [lifeportant] moments hiding behind a moustache on a stick.

April 28, 2010


Soft, happy sighs.

Today has been filled with nothing but distractions. I thought it was Thursday.

I've gotten lots of things kind of done this morning but not much completely done. Except I cooked asparagus for breakfast. Because, why not? (I make really good grilled asparagus with orange juice and honey.)

A peek at what I'm knitting.

It's one of those days where I have lots of stuff to do here in the house, but I like it, it's safe, and it breathes a strange, gracious relief.

April 26, 2010

the comfort in just being

Every week I buy flowers to put in jars or bottles that I [obsessively] save. Mums and daisies and this week, white roses. I'm certainly no interior designer, and I'll never pretend to be. I just like pretty little things around my house.

I enjoy taking photos and find it relaxing when I can sit down and look at them on my computer and have fun playing around with the editing. I'd never claim to be a photographer and will never pretend to be. I just like to take pictures. And so I will.

I love to knit, and am in the middle of a project I'm excited about, because it's for my house. But I don't really think I'd ever want to have my own etsy shop. I just want to knit for me, and for gifts. I like it this way.

I blog. And I find writing is one of my passions, but truth be told I do not blog with the hopes of getting a book deal someday. I am happy just blogging. So I will.

I am a Mom and while I would never personally consider myself The Best Mom In The World (many days I think I'm doing the WORST job at it, ever) (but I know that's not true either), I think my kids would call me that (the best mom in the world), so. I know a lot about being a Mom, but oh heck, I don't know anywhere near everything. And I will not pretend to.

I think it's perfectly ok to do neat things and do them just for the joy of it (or others) with no need of becoming a "professional whateveriam." I find comfort in just being. Me. No [yarn]strings attached.

In conclusion,
I took another test today and it was


April 25, 2010

It's my life.


one likes to wear scarves with tees


she brings me her bow box and carefully chooses "pretties" to wear (and insists even if they don't match, especially if they don't match)

four on a couch

he begs to wear his Aunt Lisa Pants (yes, he calls them that, they were a gift some time ago, and are much much too short) I only can get him into other pants with the promise that when we get home he can put on the Aunt Lisa Pants. When we get home, I'm going to put on my Aunt Lisa Pants, okay Mommy? OK, Gray.

happy happy happy happy

another tries to wear the same clothes (shirt, pants, SOCKS) days in a row (to school!) and sometimes I don't catch him


I took a test the other day and it was


April 23, 2010

hand painted

the face of an angel

I could tell you a story, but I have an aw-ful headache today. It won't go away.

But Ivy is sleep-ing and Gray is quiet time-ing and I'm whisper-ing this post and going to rest.

[shhh no comments today.]

April 22, 2010

Re-purposed for a happy earth day.

[Project Dresses for Ivy, originally published 6.15.09]

A few weeks ago I did a big closet purging of all the clothes I don't wear anymore and will never wear again. I freecycled a ton.

I am a sentimental person, especially when it comes to clothes. The kids each have their own bin filled with things I could never part with. I have a few of my own, too.

So I had this idea to re-purpose some of my old t-shirts that I loved...

[The t-shirt I got when we went to Disneyland, as part of Noah's Make-A-Wish trip. The Ralph Lauren pink pony tee that everyone had and I just had to have one, too- a birthday present from like six years ago? An Old Navy tank top that I just liked the cool design. And the colorful Paul Frank tank I bought in Estes Park, Colorado. ]

My blog friend Kim (Prairie Mama) had sent Ivy one of her darling pillowcase dresses that she makes and sells on etsy. I told her my idea but my lack of sewing skills- to fashion my old tees into dresses for Ivy. She was in.

I mailed them off and today they came...

[my Gram's jar of buttons]

[Come on in]

[P.S. Today Ivy LaRue turned nine months old.]

See Ivy 10 months later... here. (and also hope for hair-less babies.)

Photos by me but edited by Beth.

April 21, 2010

the dew in the melon.


going to the park is more of a reason to go to Starbucks and then stop at the park on the way home.


Sometimes it's to get out of the house, to avoid Mt. Laundry and its sister Mt. Dishes.


Sometimes it's to keep the kids busy, to keep Ivy from wanting to nurse alldaylong alldaylong alldaylong.


Sometimes it's to put away my computer, pocket my phone.


Sometimes it's an excuse to take pictures to put on my blog.

Sometimes it's for me to get adult interaction, with other Moms, friends, More sunlight. Day-dreaming. Fresh air.

big girl swing

Mosttimes I get to know my little ones better. What they can do, how high they can climb. What they're afraid of, what they're not afraid of.
The things they say, the things they ask.

melon theory

Bees make the honey and put it inside the melon.

God has good eyes to always see us.

What does adversity mean?

Am I a good lover?*

Will you take a picture of my poop?

*Meaning: good at loving things. Lightbulbs for me: I want my children to love loving.

April 20, 2010

Vitamin D

it grows

I can tell a difference, whether I get it directly or by supplement.

sun dress

[sun]Light is good for you. For the soul, for the body. And it can help you see in the shadows.

sun day

We take ProD5 that we buy from here (I don't get anything if you buy from there, bytheway, just passing along the in-fo.)

April 18, 2010

I bought a pillow instead.

ny folk pillow, cb2
[from CB2 in Chicago]

Ivy & the pillow
Now, with more Ivy!

One little thing at a time.

I did find the shower curtain and accessories I want. Can't wait to show them to you.

Oh, and the winner of the Chipoupine giveaway was commenter #1 (I'm serious, it was random.org's first pick) - Kristine.

April 16, 2010

some thoughts and confessions.

Something I've learned over the years... that perfect family whose blog you read or live next door to or see at church? Yeah, they aren't perfect.

Lately I'm amazed [and saddened] at the friends and acquaintances that have been struggling, divorcing, hurting... often they are the ones I'd least expect.

I've learned that instead of wishing my life was like theirs and what I think they have that I don't, I should just be minding my own business and working on my own life. And take what I do have. And make it better.

I find myself in church on Sunday mornings and wish that the feeling I feel there didn't escape me when I leave. Because sometimes, oftentimes, it does.

And I slip back into the me I was the week before. I'm working on this. Because I love that feeling I have at church. I finally (maybe for the first time, definitely in a long time) feel like I've gotten the church thing right. And I'm laying down my trust again.

Sometimes I get behind on laundry, or just want to take a break from cloth diapering, and so I put Ivy in disposable diapers. And I don't feel guilty about it either.

I really don't feel like we're going to have another baby. But I want to write about my desire for another baby, because my body, my soul really does desire it. I'm just not sure my mind does. And so I'll keep writing about it. Because it makes me feel better when I do.

I am not going to BlogHer this summer because I don't want to leave Ivy and my family, really, for that long. And even if I could take someone to help with her full-time while I'm there, I don't want to go. And even if my whole family could come, I don't want to go. Because then I'd want to be with my family and not at some blog conference. When I really think about it, what I want to do most of all? Be here at home with my family. And so I will.

My house is small and very cluttered. I am frustrated at my every turn, so many things need their own place but instead are on the floor or crammed into some makeshift home for them waiting for me to figure out where I should put it someday, I imagine when the kids are all in school or old enough for me to do something for longer than twenty minutes at a time.

My thoughts are much like that, too many to fit in my head, very cluttered. I've got some great ideas up there but they are thrown on the floor of my mind, waiting for me to put them where they go.

Today I'm going to buy a new shower curtain, and new towels to hang on the towel rack. And maybe! even a new tissue cube cover. One room at a time, I think, and starting small with the bathroom is totally do-able for me, today.

April 15, 2010

There's a bean in our park.

cloud gate
Cloud Gate, Millennium Park

Sarah & I had plans to do something on the beautiful that was yester day and so we decided to go to the park. And why not just go all out and go to The Park.

hands on

phone home.

Sharing super expensive Starbucks Artisan bread that would later be fed to pigeons, seagulls, a finicky squirrel,
and eventually left behind on a restaurant table causing the End Of The World to Gray for about ten seconds.

It's awesome when we can drive into the city and enjoy the day and then be home in time for the bigkids to get off the bus, make dinner (and even bake cookies) and finish laundry and you know, be Mom.

April 12, 2010

one two three four more


Gray keeps breathing his pickle-y breath over to me.

Noah wrestled me when I wasn't looking.

Normal bickering and not wanting to share was getting a bit out of hand last night so I made Carter and Noah hug it out for an extremely long time. Keep hugging! I didn't say you could stop yet! And before long they were giggling so hard and then KISSING and then Ivy and Gray got in on it and it turned into this huge family group hug and was like something you'd see in a feel-good movie only it was my life.

Tonight all four were in the kitchen and yet I found myself counting- to be sure-, it felt like someone was missing.

A sign?

I texted hubby about it. He said he was going to pretend I didn't just say that.


April 11, 2010

free like me


Never before have I seen so much of myself in my children, more than a look in the eye or the way they walk like me or crinkle their nose like me.

I see little me and I see little them

and one day they'll see little them and little whoever will be theirs.

April 9, 2010

Real Simple Me

real simple me
Ready for my own talk show.

So, I have been in the frumpiest of frumps lately. I don't even want to know how many days (weeks?) I went without styling my hair, wearing meh clothes, and not even bothering with my contacts (glasses are great but mine make me feel extra frumped.)

And that's just the surface stuff. I've not been taking care of myself inside and out.

This week I've been doing some things differently here and there and

Jen, me, & Amy

last night, and today, I felt kind of pretty.

Me & my Jenny.

At the Real Simple event, beauty expert Jane Iredale encouraged us, when wanting to be a better version of you, don't focus on change, but enhance what you have.

The things that make us different, unique, flawed? and sometimes strange.

The things that make you you.

Work it.

Edited to add: This is not a fishing for compliments plea. I am just being honest, and hope that I'm not the only one that feels this way sometimes. You can tell me how beautiful I am all day long, but it means nothing unless I feel it myself.

Edited AGAIN!: I do want to say that change is often good, I don't mean say we should never change, but it hit me how long I let WEEKS go by with no change, waiting for change, and how much longer can I let it go? YEARS? Will I be an old lady still waiting for things to change or waiting until I have the motivation to change them? And then miss out on some pretty good stuff I could have been doing with what I already had? So IN THE MEANTIME we have got to work it! :)

When I got home from Chicago this afternoon we took the kids out for dinner.
Taking kids out in public is totally like a box of chocolates. You never know what they’re going to say. Read more about it here: Big Beard.

Last two photos credit: Amy, PAgirly on Flickr

April 8, 2010

Off to the party.

and in my hair

A little glimpse of me, in the same old dress with new accessories. :)

that's a big flower on your bag

April 7, 2010

Knit Head

Ivy found one of the first hats I ever knitted and it's now her favorite.
Funny because when I would wear it, it was totally NOT my hubby's favorite LOL.

Today was a super dark, rainy day and I was thankful to hole up indoors with my knitting (I'm making something fun for the playroom!) and I even did yoga and popped popcorn and watched movie trailers for a really long time.

Here's the movies I think look interesting:
Breaking Upwards
Despicable Me
Eat Pray Love
The Exploding Girl
The Greatest
Letters To God
Letters To Juliet
Mother and Child
Please Give
The Switch

Tomorrow night (or tonight, whenever you're reading this) I am going to a VIP party for Real Simple magazine's 10th anniversary. And I have nothing to wear. And you know, NO PRESSURE because it's just Real Simple magazine.

But I've decided that whatever I do end up wearing, I'm going to own it, and I'll look awesome.


(If you're free on Friday, you should totally come out to Real Simple's big free event at Union Station in Chicago - I'll be there, too!)

April 6, 2010

It sticks.

my family (part 1) they stick

Secretly I'll give you glimpses, hints of me a longtimeago.

I'm not ready to share it all, don't know if I'll ever be... but I was just thinking about it, with the window open and whisper of damp summer night coming,

how before I had a life, before I had anything to do but play Crash Bandicoot on the Playstation or go to open mic nights at coffee houses

when I worked open to closes at the mall, lived off Sbarro cheese pizza and Gloria Jean's chillers and had nothing to do.

I remember wishing, I remember my heart grieving for something, grasping for the one thing anything that would stick

And make my life make sense.

Throw a bunch of dreams at the wall, at my heart, whatever sticks.

I remember further back, to childhood, pieces of it, and not all of it. I can close my eyes and be there, outside until dark, playing under the branches of a big evergreen, riding bikes, pretending.

Lots of pretending.

And I wonder when I crawled out from that tree, when I stopped make-believe-ing? When I let my heart be broken and let my life be lived. And on the way it happened

while I was probably still day-dreaming.

Because I see my life now, and finally, I have something that sticks.

my family (part 2)

April 5, 2010

As seen on Ivy...

easter dress

From now on I'll try to be better at always including "who" Ivy is wearing in my photo descriptions on flickr (easy way to get there is to just click on the photo.)

[I bought this dress from all the numbers on etsy.]

Have any favorite etsy shops you'd like to share? I'm all ears. :)

April 4, 2010

You can't fake this happy.

Easter 2010
My lovelies, Easter Sunday twenty-ten

April 3, 2010

Easter Buddy

i just love this pose

We've never "done" the Easter Bunny at our house. It's not a religious reason or anything, because Santa certainly makes a visit, we just never have put out Easter baskets or anything like that. (Most likely do to financial reasons in the beginning and over the years, we just didn't bring it up (which is surprising to me since as a child Easter was my favorite holiday due to the combination of Christ's resurrection, church festivities, dressy outfits, and Easter basket goodies-- one year I got a Cabbage Patch Doll! One of my best memories ever.))

So when Grayson heard me say something about the Easter Bunny as we passed a yard displaying a huge blow up Winnie the Pooh holding an egg next to an even larger blow-up bunny, he asked What's the Easter Buddy?

I realized he had never heard of the Easter Bunny before.

My explanation was weak but I was caught off-guard. "Easter BUNNY. Like a rabbit. It's this guy. He wears a bunny costume."

Oh, is it pink?


And he never brought it up again.

in the window sill

Semi-unrelated: Today Ivy saw a bunny in the grass as she sat on the window-sill and was tickled TICKLED I tell you. She clasped her little hands over her mouth and laughed deep down "da bud-dy! Bud-dy!"

How ever you celebrate it, happy happy Easter, my friends. It's still my favorite.