June 30, 2011

Small Style: Johnny Cash

We're approaching that point in time where Ivy is like, no more pictures! and so I have to capture her from afar. I'm not concerned, because she's also known to bring me my camera or phone and demand I take a picture of my pretty dress.

Posting these photos from our friend's bbq last weekend just reminded me that I removed that dress after she soaked the front with red kool-aid and I have left it in the back of the car all this time. Oops. I better go get that in the wash.

this week's small style...

Leaning on a tree

repurposed dress: kaos, purchased at psychobaby (my favorite part might be the ric rac. I love ric rac.)
skirt: misha lulu
shoes: wee squeak (but I remove the squeakers for the sanity of others and my own)

[linking up as always with small style at mama loves papa.]  

Winners! The winner of the $25 Target gift card is Cassie and the winner of $100 Gilt* credit is Jen!

*Gilt Children is providing members of Gilty Mom's Summer Spectacular with a special limited-time offer: Click here to get $10 off when you spend $50 or more on Gilt Children! Offer expires July 18.

Also,  Tea Collection extended their big sale one more day- if you shop using code: TSALE20 you can get an additional 20% off sale prices, and shipping is free for all orders over $50.

To enter in a contest in Canada, visit Reader’s Digest.

June 29, 2011

The name of the day

lightning bug or firefly?

We write the name of the day on the chalkboard every morning because it's pretty

I'll know
what day it is.

They sizzle and fizzle by. At night we catch fireflies - songs have taught my children to know them by that name but I will always call them lighting bugs. Better than Gray's version of glow butts.

I show them how to capture soft and gentle in their hands, I poke generous holes in loose foil lids with a pencil. When we are asleep they fly back home to their families. We must be very careful with their wings.

Last night we went out for ice cream and they wanted double scoops and I said why not. I had two, too. And I didn't regret it.

June 27, 2011

A Tale of Two Ivys

 blue eyes

Our friends were passing through town on their travels and we met at the butterfly park. Ivy and Ivy played together for the first time and it was pretty adorable.

A tale of two Ivy

 Ivy LaRue & Ivy Pearl

June 26, 2011

Hola is Spanish for hugs


My Mommal said to me, how in the world did you get him out of long pants? We had come over for a visit and Gray was wearing SHORTS and a SHORT sleeved shirt! You know Gray, the one with the too shirty shirts and the Aunt Lisa pants. Yes, it was a miracle.

I took a gamble and bought him those shorts, having examined the waistband online and approving their like-Aunt-Lisa-pants-ness, hoping he would at least try them on. He did and he decided they were awesome, so I ordered two more pair just like them, in green and brown. We are set for drama-free dressing for the rest of the summer!

Also, someone asked him what his shirt said and he said "Hola! It means hugs."


I purchase pretty much every single thing Gray wears from Tea Collection. I buy up all their tag-free shirts (hint hint, totally wish they made more that way!) and now I've bought up all the shorts. [I always order through my affiliate link, and starting today through Wednesday night if you shop using code: TSALE20 you can get an additional 20% off sale prices, and shipping is free for all orders over $50. Just thought you'd like to know.]

June 25, 2011

Peace Amid The Poop

 Peace Amid The Poop starts at the 1:08 mark

Behind the scenes of Listen To Your Mother with Meagan Francis...

Meagan-LTYM Meagan Francis is a mother of five kids, ages two to teen, which is actually less insane than it sounds.

Actually, Meagan has found herself getting happier with each child she's added to the family, possibly because she's loosened up her expectations and learned how to relax, or maybe because she can no longer remember how much easier life was before children. Her new book The Happiest Mom: 10 Secrets To Enjoying Motherhood is all about the journey of going from cranky and overwhelmed to--mostly--satisfied with her life as an imperfect, but good enough mother. You can find her online at www.thehappiestmom.com.

Thoughts from Meagan: "Knowing that Steph is a dedicated mom of four, I figured the rehearsal schedule would be totally doable. So even though my on-stage skills were rusty, I was doubtful about whether any of my pieces were read-aloud-worthy, and I was more than a little nervous, I took a leap and auditioned. And I was so glad I did! To my pleasure I was cast in the show, when I saw everybody else rehearse their pieces, I knew I was part of something special.

While it wasn’t exactly acting, taking part in the Valpo Listen To Your Mother allowed me to combine two of my passions: writing about motherhood and performing; and gave me a little taste of being on stage again in the beautiful Memorial Opera House. See what can come of taking a chance and putting yourself out there?"

A little background from Steph: "I was a huge fan of Meagan before I even read her incredible writing. She just has "it" and I love to be around her. I thought it was interesting that my husband said that while watching Meagan's reading, he could see why we are friends. It's almost comical how easy we get along and you will see in the coming months that we can be found in a lot of the same places online. I am honored to ever be included in her company, and Meagan was a perfect fit in our Listen To Your Mother show, that is for sure."

Every Sunday I'll be featuring a "behind the scenes" of each Listen To Your Mother Valparaiso/NW Indiana piece. You can watch the entire show on the Listen To Your Mother Show you tube channel here or see each piece listed and linked here and here.

Listen To Your Mother photos by Beth Fletcher Photography

June 24, 2011

In Stride

Ya'know how when you can't find the right words to write or say for yourself but there you go in a comment on someone else's blog post or a scrawl in the card you finally remember to send or a spill to a stranger in the elevator? It comes out and you're like, oh there it is.

We are at Children’s today for what should be a very routine EEG but still, it’s been a long time since I’ve had to face this part of my life. It’s not coming easy. I mean, my body goes here. And somehow I managed to drive the car here, but the rest of me is somewhere else seeking shelter and safety.

Taking a ten year old to have an EEG is a lot different than taking a three year old. He doesn't remember any of it, so now it's all new and scary. Again. The past few weeks leading up to this have been emotional and I feel awful because all this time he's not understood, and I could have prepared him more. Last night he was worried that the EEG would be able to read his thoughts. The more I type here the more I plan to delete some of this post. But I just want to see if I can get rid of some words. Bless his heart.

Mostly I didn't want to even mention the occasion but we have always been open about Noah's epilepsy and I feel it's important to be. It isn't a secret - unfortunately for him for the rest of his life others need to be aware, and I wish he didn't have to wear that badge but- fortunately for the circumstances he can add a lot more charm to the disease. I'm not going to share any other personal details that go along with it or anything, as I imagine neither would you. But, the word epilepsy is used and understood around these parts and it's not ever said in a shameful whisper. It's a matter of fact. Carter asked this morning why he didn't get epilepsy. It was a nice way of asking why it happened to Noah.

When he was younger I used to crawl up in the hospital bed with him oh who are we kidding I crawled up in there and snuggled in tight with him today. That is when I feel centered and safe to the core, just like going back in time. We could have hid under those white covers forever would it be possible. We are both exhausted.

If they gave report cards for EEGs, he got an A+ with extra credit. The all-clear. We are sent home. He is so happy and confesses that wasn't bad at all! I think maybe he even had fun. We rock it out on the way home. People watch us from passing cars on the Dan Ryan but we do not care. Make it or break it, we're gonna take it and jam, Sam. Feeling sorry for yourself is so five minutes ago.

He played me songs on his iPod. This one, thankfully at a long stoplight so that I could stare off in the other direction so that he did not see the burning water falling from my eyes. Oh no not now the breakdown! Let us get home. Let me be the strong one for just a little while. Let me let go so I can watch it go past.

June 22, 2011

Small Style: paper doll (and a giveaway!)

paper dolls

Enchanted truth be told, I wish I had Ivy's wardrobe. The bohemian princess girly-girl. And certainly her style is a reflection of my own whimsy. I do buy all her clothes. But she is the puller-outer of the drawers and the putter-together of every outfit, head to toe, and I have early on made sure to never cringe or show disapproval but instead delight at her imagination. 

Because it is rather delightful. Quite so.

small style girl

this week's small style...

tank: misha lulu
crown: starvisions on etsy

[linking up as always with small style at mama loves papa.]

By now you also know my love of daily deal sites and Gilt Children is a new one on my list. I was asked to be a Gilty Mom this summer and I'm so in. Gilt Children is providing members of Gilty Mom's Summer Spectacular with a special limited-time offer: Click here to get $10 off when you spend $50 or more on Gilt Children! Offer expires July 18.

WIN! Gilt has provided me with $100 gift credit to giveaway. Like Gilt Children on Facebook (and they'd also love for you to post a summer tip on their wall. ) Come back here and leave a comment on this post to be entered to win. (1 comment on this post is really all that is required for entry so no worries if you don't "do Facebook.")

Additional entries (leave another comment for each one you do):
like Gilt Children on Facebook 
Sign up for a Gilt Children account
follow @GiltChildren on Twitter
follow me! @babysteph on Twitter

I'll choose one winner from the comments on this post at random Wednesday June 29th after 11:59pm and announce on next Thursday's Small Style post.

Gilt Children and The Motherhood has provided me with $100 gift credit as well as monetary compensation for a mention of their summer promotion to my lovely readers. Thank you!

[Still time to enter to win a Target gift card at this other giveaway ending 6/25.]

June 21, 2011

Where I'm From

I am from crayons left melting in the sun,
from Kool-Aid and tying a sheet to the box fan in the hallway.
I am from the scratchy Powder Puff Big Wheel tires on the pavement,
I am from Juniper Road, metal swing set in the backyard
from the big oak tree in the front
(so wide my brother used to pee on it and no one saw.)
I'm from Irish lullabies and stumpy cankle legs,
from Wilsons and Maynards and Hoovers and Riddles.
I'm from the grudge-holders
and the people pleasers
from the guess what? chicken butt and home again home again jiggity jig.
I'm from I've got the joy joy joy joy down in my heart
and baptism and believing and falling and receiving.
I'm from zucchini in a southern patch,
General Mills cereal with prizes inside.
From the family trip to the Rocky Mountains and I touched a cloud.
The time my grandmother called me thunder thighs (never forgot)
in sticky spiral album pages were birthday parties and family reunions
Polaroids with black marker "Stephie age 1"
my Raggedy Ann wallpaper 
crying when I turned twelve because I didn't want to ever turn thirteen
the canopy bed.
I am from that little girl, never knew she'd be big so fast
she had no clue and
I am glad.

I remember this "meme" from way back in my first year of blogging and all these years later thought I'd write one. Based on the original poem- Where I'm From by George Ella Lyons, found here and the template here if you want to make one, too. (Definitely come back and leave the link to yours in the comments.)



Even trees bend when the wind blows, we aren't meant to be like stone but I still hug your sharp edges and keep secret my injuries.

We are dancers, when we are givers we can be takers. We form callouses on our feet because you needed our shoes and we gave them to you, with our apologies, but we're okay when the high road is covered in egg shells.

June 19, 2011

It was the color of homemade.

It was the color of homemade. The hat she wore walking her dog. I drove past, hurrying Carter to baseball camp, we'd make it at nine a.m. exactly.

It was a hue that you just don't see sold in stores. She must have made it herself or maybe it was knit by a friend or maybe she bought it at a street fair.

I wish I could knit more. I just don't have time. Where in the world did all the time go? My boys stand up my side and heads in the crook there at my shoulder. It's an awkward jigsaw piece but it fits.

I wish I could read more. I collect books and like how they look on my table waiting, but reading takes a commitment I just can't give right now. That makes me sullen-y.

I pushed Ivy in a stroller down the street today. A girl wearing her baby in a moby wrap passed me and all in one little thought I smiled and then hoped she didn't judge me for pushing my kid in a stroller because if she only knew. I used to babywear, too I wanted to whisper trailing off.

I pushed the stroller and noticed that I'd probably be getting rid of it sooner than later. As has been happening with most of our baby to toddler stuff. Before I know it she'll be out of the big car seat and that's like the last of the gear. Then I'll have no kids in car seats. And instead they'll start needing their own cars. I stopped that thought process right there.

This moment. My hands are in all the jars and my feet are in all the corners and we are all overlapping lines. Soon enough it will be different.

For now this is how we'll live it.

June 18, 2011

Reluctant Motherhood

Reluctant Motherhood starts at the :53 mark

Behind the scenes of Listen To Your Mother with Heather Curlee Novak...

Heather-LTYMHeather Novak loves her husband John and is the frazzled but grinning mother of five month old Libby and two year old Portia. She has a long theater background from stage to TV commercials and megachurch dramas.

She is a motivational speaker when she is motivated and pretends to run a bit. Heather writes radio commentaries for a local NPR radio station, blogs about living her love at Live Your Love Outloud, and reviews customer service adventures at Customer Service Wanted. She is grateful to God for many blessings in her life and hopes to raise her girls to love God and be kind to all people.

Thoughts from Heather: "I write a lot for NPR radio commentaries and did theater and church dramas up the wazoo but haven't done a show for soooo long.  As you know I thought I'd audition but it never occurred to me I'd get in or that there would be rehearsals, a show, etc!  Call it mommy brain...not thinking past the audition until the day of it.  Must be the 4 month old I had added to the two year old making me dense? (OK denser.)

Stephanie, you had such great energy I was glad just to meet you...actually reading my piece to you got in the way of our energized chatter!  Then when we got together as (most of) a cast I was actually intimidated which is rare.  RARE.  My sad little bit of writing paled in comparison to each of the others...and I didn't mind one bit.  I enjoyed hearing everyone's stories so very much and I look forward to hearing other Mama stories next year."

A little background from Steph: "I first met Heather at the Listen To Your Mother auditions but it felt like we already knew each other. We still believe we must have met before- possibly in passing- it was just one of those things. I am so thankful our paths crossed again. I absolutely loved her piece and her gentle approach with words. We have struck up a friendship since the show and I love how honest we've been with each other since the very beginning. It's actually a reflection of the rare vulnerability I've noticed with each cast member since the show. Such an amazing side effect of our experience, what an awesome surprise."

Every Sunday I'll be featuring a "behind the scenes" of each Listen To Your Mother Valparaiso/NW Indiana piece. You can watch the entire show on the Listen To Your Mother Show you tube channel here or see each piece listed and linked here and here.

Listen To Your Mother photos by Beth Fletcher Photography

June 15, 2011

Small Style: don't wanna be a boy today

small style week 16

Ivy's latest dramatic spell was in the bath last night. Suddenly and in a panic she wailed "I DON'T WANT TO BE A BOYYYYYYY!" and I said whatever do you mean? You don't have to be a boy!

I still don't know what she meant by that.

she's crafty

this week's small style...

tulle leggings

Linking up with small style at mama loves papa...

June 14, 2011

the monkeybird

Noah announced last night that he will be calling me 'mom' from now on. Not mommy or mama, just mom. He said it just seemed time. Then he said, "Okay, mom?" and then we both laughed at how ridiculous it sounded. But, it's still what he's calling me.

Carter was so anxious for baseball camp (a three-day basics clinic put on by the high school coaches & baseball players). He suggested eggs would be the best breakfast to give him energy, and then he looked all brow-furrowed and in thought at the table. I figured he was nervous about his first day, but he said he was actually trying to decide if he should go to TGIFridays or Dynasty Buffet for his birthday, which is still a month away. And also he says buffet like 'buffette'.

Grayson (just 5 years old mind you) has a conversation with a girl he recognizes at the park.
Him: Hi, remember me? From the lakehouse?
Her: What lakehouse?
Him: You know, my dad's boss with the boat?
Her: Oh yeah!
They run off attached at the hip.When they had to part he wouldn't calm down until I texted her mom to be sure they would be at the park again, same time tomorrow. They have a date.

I couldn't seem to let go of Ivy at bedtime last night and put it off as long as I could, holding her in my arms and singing all the songs I remember my mom and dad singing to me when I was a little girl, one after the other. I couldn't get but a few words into each one before she was asking me to "sing the monkeybird again" (hush little baby don't say a word, mama's gonna buy you a mocking bird.)

June 13, 2011



Today I stretched out with my hair in the grass and breathed in the sun

and when I got hungry I chopped up a tomato, onion, and avocado and mashed it all together with some lime and salt and

ate it with chips right out of the mixing bowl in my lap.


June 12, 2011

The Sacrifices Moms Make

The Sacrifices Moms Make starts at the 4:40 mark

Behind the scenes of Listen To Your Mother with June Saavedra...

LTYM-JuneJune Saavedra is the mother of three joyful children - Wolfgang, 6, and Tulip and Luna who just turned 4 and 2.  June is also extremely grateful and appreciative to be married to Gabino, the most awesome stay-at-home dad ever who, in addition to performing his responsibilities as CEO and janitor at Wolfgang, Tulip & Luna LLC, cooks her a delicious dinner every night.

June was born in the Chicago suburbs. Hightailing it to the big city as soon as she was able, she spent her formative years enjoying urban adventure and searching for the perfect Sunday brunch. Her exploits have included being a magician's assistant, modeling, and performance art.  When motherhood beckoned, she chose to relocate to NWI for bigger lawns and quieter evenings. She is currently a middle school teacher.

Thoughts from June: "When I heard about this show I thought I would write a piece and audition.  But, I kept it all a secret from everyone I know, including my husband, until just a few days before the audition.  I decided that the audition (oh, and the writing process including sharing my writing) would be just for me.

It was something I wanted to do for myself, just for the experience of doing it.  I wouldn't tell him what my piece was about.  I just told him that I would be heading out Saturday morning for my audition.  Once cast in the show, I was deliriously psyched.  Mostly about my writing.  To be honest, I figured I could speak well enough in front of an audience, but getting my "piece" cast was a huge accomplishment for me.

I was a bit nervous about opening the show, though,  and being responsible for setting a tone, but then I knew that Stephanie had pieced together the show in such an appropriate way that there was a very good reason for our order so that gave me the confidence to pop up there onto the stage and offer the audience the first piece of the evening.  I was elated during the whole show, that this cool, fun, and meaningful thing was happening, nationally too, and I was part of it.  I am very glad to have been a part of this."

A little background from Steph:  "June was actually my first audition and I knew her piece The Sacrifices Moms Make was going to open my show. She was the ultimate start to the day of auditions. Honestly, it got me GOING! I was soaring. June is not even a blogger!* I know her from a local natural parenting group. She is a middle school teacher and her husband is a stay at home dad. 1.) I had no idea she was this funny and 2.) had no idea she could write like that PS she doesn't even have a blog*. Those first roars of laughter I heard from the audience during her piece the night of the show will stay with me forever."

*edited to add: June is now a blogger! Follow along at Secret Life of Moms.

Every Sunday I'll be featuring a "behind the scenes" of each Listen To Your Mother Valparaiso/NW Indiana piece. You can watch the entire show on the Listen To Your Mother Show YouTube channel here or see each piece listed and linked here and here.

Listen To Your Mother photos by Beth Fletcher Photography

June 11, 2011

If I could

doll house

I can get high on surprises. When something nice and unexpected happens you never had time to even anticipate it, or control its outcome or prepare for your reaction, it just automatically comes all neat and done and good. It makes you feel special.

My favorite part is that it leaves you vulnerable without the heartbreak.

hand to open

When you are expecting something, there is always so much room for disappointment. There's just so much risk that it's not going to turn out as awesome as you hoped. Or turn out at all. And for some reason, for me, the let down takes me way down lower than what is probably normal.

This anxiousness also takes away from the current moment, always looking ahead at what's to come, good or bad. I have to remind myself of that constantly lately. Right now is a surprise waiting to happen, right now is life laying itself down in front of you but your eyes and thoughts are far beyond to a moment in time that might never be.

hand to close

Our neighbors gave Ivy this big dollhouse and a million pieces to go with it, out of the blue, and she has been mesmerized. I hate how my kids will beg for something and whine for it and ohmygawd  they'll finally get it and it means nothing, it's discarded, it's bagged up for donation, it turns me bitter. I love how Ivy never knew she wanted this, I love observing her appreciation of this gift.

If I could have many wishes, I'd shrink myself real small and I'd live here.

edited to add: PS I just found myself reading this post and wanted to share it here. Wow.

June 9, 2011

The first _______ of _______ tastes like _________.

The first sip of an iced latte tastes like vacations.


Here's the thing.

I wish I could write beyond that line. I have many angles I could take it but what I really want to write is how I am about to Google "is it depression if you know the reason why you're sad?"

: : : 

I am having a hard time. I can not write about it. I think everything is okay, and as usual everything is going to be okay. But I'm hanging on the line right now, I'm kind of letting everything else fall... elsewhere. I probably won't be able to answer your emails or comments for who knows how long, and that eats at my heart. But I am not deleting a one of them, and will get there, in time.

We all eventually arrive, if not on time, in time.

You tell me: The first  _______ of _______ tastes/smells/sounds/feels/looks like _________.

I just need to know.

Small Style: beach edition

small style beachy

We took this week's small style to the beach...

small style beach edition

on gray: tee by tea collection (semi annual 40% off sale going on now; I just bought him 2 more pairs of shorts, the only kind he will wear!) fish swim shorts from target, hat from gymboree, flip flops- target
on ivy: swimsuit from target, shorts by misha lulu, flip flops- target

[If you like style, then you do not want to miss the marvelous Sakura Bloom Styleathon going on now at Marvelous Kiddo. You also have until Sunday to enter to win a linen baby sling and shopping spree to Lilla P as part of the Styleathon. I hope you win!]

Linking up as always with small style at mama loves papa...

June 8, 2011



she carefully patted and scooped

and shaped

and built.

and she went off to gather stones.

and a boy came by and he took the feather right out of her castle

and he threw it into the water.

she didn't cry, she didn't even show her anger

she looked up and she got up and she waded into the water, and collected her feather

and placed it back where it belonged.

beach feather castle

June 7, 2011

asher & ivy

I joked with Sarah yesterday that, if Asher and Ivy do marry someday, they might be the first couple that people have been able to watch grow up from the very beginning.


Their friendship is natural, but hasn't always been the kindest (on Ivy's part) (she can be a bit bossy) however as they are growing older they have truly become pals. They ran along next to each other at the park, arms brushing up against one another until they were holding hands, without much thought... later Asher introduced her to someone "this is my best friend Ivy" and it about melted us to the floor.


We could watch them discover and learn and be sweet forever.

asher's hair

And I kinda hope we do.

love hangout

June 6, 2011

I am a balloon man. Here are my balloons.

These are the things that got me out of bed today.

  • My Listen To Your Mother show videos are online now. You can watch them or listen to them while you do other stuff. I would love for you to watch them in order, but seriously, even if it takes you watching one per day, or week, I ask that you just watch. You'll see. 
  • I have been doing yoga and/or pilates every day, and it's something that I am finding I count on getting me through many moment by moments. I didn't want to mention it, really, because of the annoying sense of accountability thing and I'm sure some people are wondering about how the whole barefoot running thing is going (or not). I liked running only when I was running. The moments to get me to run? Weren't happening. I don't want to run on the treadmill, I just want to run outside, without children. That leaves an even smaller window of time, then add in constant snow/rain and tornadoes/ or HEATWAVE and forget it. It's just not my thing and you know what? No big whoop. So I tried something and it didn't last. Like that's never happened before?
  • Sushi. I'm new to it, I'm not a fan of cooked fish so to eat it raw is weird for me, but I do know I like sushi and wish that I was going to be eating it today. I'd be remiss if I didn't confess that I have already thought about how I could make it happen so that I could have sushi for breakfast today.

There are many other things that got me out of bed today, of course, many givens that I just don't need to write out. Like my kids and other stuff. But the kids part is mainly because someone's got to take care of them. Otherwise I would be absolutely tempted to not get out of this bed for the rest of the day. (Oh yeah, I'm still in bed, btw, writing this, full transparency, hoping these balloons will lift me out of here.)

June 5, 2011


june four

I totally did not forget that today was the fourth. What? no okay maybe but I still made it. That's all that matters.

Also, I am so excited to tell you that my Listen To Your Mother show videos are up!! As in, ready to watch online! They are uploaded individually, so I just ask that you please watch them in order if you can. And then pass them on- spread the word to your friends and family and anyone you think would be touched by these amazing stories and performances. I can't wait to hear what you think...

I used to take photos of my kids on the first of every month, now it's on the fourth. Four for four... get it? You can see past month photos here.

*edited to add: I seriously thought today was the fourth. Oh well! Move along! Watch the videos!!!

Dresses for Africa, and beyond

pillowcase dresses

Yesterday I attended a get-together that involved a big group of women eating brunch and making pillowcase dresses for friends to take on their next mission trips to kids in need. It was really a fun time, and for such a neat reason. I don't know how to sew, but I certainly had fun learning to pin hems and seams and totally was in to the embellishing part.

pillowcase dress 
made by Love 

I was thinking that it would be awesome if instead of making kids sew potholders and pin cushions in home ec at school wouldn't it be cool if they made things to give away to those in need? Do they still even have home ec in school these days? And I also think I should have more intentional parties like this with my friends, where we get together and eat quiche and make things for good causes. Have you ever done anything like this? Got any ideas?

June 4, 2011

Tell me something good

 noah bball

It's happened. My boys are officially into sports. Like, wanting to play sports. No organized teams yet or anything. Yet. I'm already tearing up at the thought of watching them, proud. Ok so yeah I'm already tearing up watching them play on the driveway.

Anyway. They are off this morning to throw around the ball and shoot some hoops with Dad while I take Ivy on our ritual Saturday morning to market and errands run. Later I'm going to a Love for Anika party - we're making pillowcase dresses to send to Kids Alive to be distributed to girls in their care or surrounding villages and we're also raising money for a little girl named Anika, to help her adopting family bring her home from Russia. You can help here (and maybe even win something delightful to keep), if you'd like.

That's good.

And also, some other good things: I was hired for a few exciting writing gigs (details to come about them all), and was mentioned at ohdeedoh in an interview with Erin from Growing Up Senge. How lovely is that.

Now go on, tell me something good going on with you?

June 3, 2011

A change of plans

I have to breathe through my typing about how I am avoiding my calendar right now. The next few months are ridiculous. With good things- all good things! Just busy things. And I just don't do busy. I'm barefoot-long-skirt-hey-man-it's-all-good-not-busy girl. But we've got baseball and theatre for my older boys in separate weeks- separate months actually, and family coming to visit, and mini vacays, and birthdays, and speaking engagements, and concerts, and lots of Chicago, and events. And busy.

After careful consideration, and pleas for my best-roomie to forgive me, I've decided not to go to BlogHer in San Diego this August.

My original plan was to go un-sponsored, paying for everything myself like most people. As the time gets closer for me to book my flight and pony up my part of the hotel room costs, it's just not happening like I'd envisioned. I toyed around with maybe getting a sponsor, especially since Listen To Your Mother is having a party at the conference and stuff, but there were no bites. But I honestly was really mostly looking forward to meeting friends for the first time in person, like Morgan and Desiree. I guess I thought I had to be there.

Then also this week at the Great Gabe Escape fundraiser I won a 3-night family getaway to a river cabin in Michigan, owned by Amanda.

Back to that ::breathe:: calendar. Literally, there are no open 3 whole days before school starts back up. Except for around the time I was to be in San Diego. Jeff had already taken that time off so... not really a hard choice to make after all. I'd rather spend that time with my family pretending we have our own vacation home than at a blogging conference! [I am not the blogger you want to model for how to "make it" in this business.]

Now, no hard feelings, blog conferences. Remember just a couple months ago I up and left the fam for a few days to go to Mom 2.0 in NOLA. And if I did have the money and/maybe sponsor for BlogHer this August I wouldn't be writing this post. I do think it's going to be a fabulous conference. I have a good feeling about it. It will just be missing me. That's all. But I am just a speck on a speck in Internetland. And you can have me for free right here. Virtual hugs for everyone!

Now, who wants to buy my early bird rate BlogHer ticket?  Contact me if you're seriously interested. BusyDad just bought my ticket!

June 2, 2011

Small Style: Belted


Again, Ivy totally put this outfit together herself. Believe me I tried to convince her otherwise because guess who had to fasten all those belts? I also tried to suggest that the socks were a bit much but her mind was made up.

This week's small style....

double belted

dress- american apparel via the mini social
leggings- le big via zulily
shoes- l'amour via zulily
belts- target

Hooked up with Small Style at Mama Loves Papa...

June 1, 2011

I also love a good sneeze

 beach run

Carter's latest great idea was that people might like it if he sold S'mores at the beach instead of the lemonade stand he's been planning.

It's almost always a guarantee that I'll like song number 9 or 10 on any album I listen to.

old timey four

Not only are we often running late for every where we need to go, but we also leave the house looking like someone ransacked the place. Every time. Most days I put it all back together when we get home.

Whenever it's time to leave, Grayson can never find his shoes, hat, and two rubber snakes. Related: see above.


I know a girl who will drink all of my drink and then remove the cap and straw so that she can try to get more out of it, ice falling all over her face and down her dress and yet, she doesn't even care. Her name is Ivy. She has an admirable outlook on life and giving it your all.