September 30, 2011

Decide what to be and go be it.

(sorry about the ad at the beginning)

Last night I saw one of the most amazing shows of my life (and concerts are somewhat my thing.) The Avett Brothers performed like it was the last performance of their lives, like, they gave it all and then some, even though we were this random town along the way of their tour.

I could go on with the life retrospectives but I'll just leave it at that.

I do have to say I had a moment of clarity, in the audience not as someone obsessed with the band and their music and wanting to be them or with them. This time was different. I have crossed over to old lady status or maybe have just finally grown up. The tears crowded my eyes and with a mother's heart I looked at them and thought their mom must be so proud. I'm proud of them and their talent. I am so thankful they shared it with us.

These lyrics are so timely:

I wonder which brother is better
Which one our parents love the most
I sure did get in lots of trouble
They seemed to let the other go

A tear fell from my father’s eyes
I wondered what my dad would say
He said I love you
And I’m proud of you both, in so many different ways

Always remember there was nothing worth sharing like the love that let us share our name.
-Murder in the City, The Avett Brothers

September 29, 2011

Round and round

small style - gray & ivy

I think I look forward most to this post each week. I just love small style and am so thankful to have found Morgan at Mama Loves Papa. I also love that after almost six years of blogging that I still can't wait to write here.


This past weekend we had a family reunion at a park, with a big playground and fishing.


Before I forget, I've noticed in the past week or so that if I casually and loosely leave my hand out to my side, Ivy will grab it and hang on. But if I force her to hold my hand (say in a parking lot or somewhere to keep her safe) she resists it. This small act speaks so many silent words, and reminds me so much of myself. So much.


on ivy for this week's small style...

ribbed tee- tea collection
dress- tea collection
pants- h & m
boots- target

on gray- tea collection & target pants
on noah- target

P.S.almost all of my tea collection purchases are through my affiliate link and paid for by myself (I just placed a huuuuuge order a couple weeks ago which includes what Gray & Ivy are wearing here.)

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

September 28, 2011

I love the way you wear your baby at the zoo

sarah & viola babywearing mei tai

I keep forgetting to take photos when I see babywearing lately. I saw a dad backpacking with his daughter at the park recently, and recall seeing lots of ring-sling-wearing mamas here and there. Part of me is glad I'm not always quick to grab my phone or camera to snatch a pic, but then I also regret it later, so.

At the zoo last week Sarah wore Viola (she just turned one this week!) in the mei tai and I caught them in the beautiful act. The mei tai is my favorite carrier, no doubt. It's the only one I still keep in the car to use from time to time (but less and less frequently sadsadface) with Ivy.

See past I love the way your wear your baby photos .

Have questions about babywearing? Check out my post Adventures In Babywearing 2.0 and scroll down for my tips and suggestions. Feel free to leave questions in the comments here or email me as well.

As always, I love to see your babywearing photos. If you've posted any recently, feel free to link in the comments below!

Have a blog? Would love to have you join the babywearing bloggers blogroll. If you get a chance, "like" the babywearing bloggers blogroll on facebook so others can know to join, too.

September 27, 2011


grocery shopping

What day is it?

Huh. For some reason I thought once all three boys were in school that Ivy and I would have nothing to do! Free as a bird! Chilling all day! Oh muh gah no.

I don't know if I've ever been so on the go in my life. Maybe I thought there was enough free time for everyone and poof the other day I woke up and it's all used up. I've volunteered to help in Gray's class twice a week at lunchtime. Ivy comes along, too. She passes out the milks and napkins. And orders the kids to be quiet. A lot.

I signed her up for story time at the library. You know, because I thought she would be bored at home without brothers around, not knowing we'd be off gallivanting to school or doctor appointments (her stitches are out and it looks great!) and taking Mommal to get her nails done and grocery shopping and just keeping company. It fills up the days.

But they are full.

It's funny. And not what I expected. And it is good.

This is life.

The Thing Is

My Great Grandfather page 1

The thing is, I want to talk about him. But when I do I start to cry.

There must be a six-month milestone when it comes to grief. I haven't Googled it or anything but I'm almost sure of it. When you lose someone, it's more shock and affairs at the beginning. But when the dust settles- and when they were the life of the party and lit up every room and now that is gone- their absence... it's just so there. 

The past few weeks the tears just brim. I've got my own set of losses but the kids, they each are still processing the first close death in our family. Ivy misunderstood a while back and we really haven't corrected her. Poppal's in Kevin? She'll ask- a lot- and I'll affirm that it is true. Poppal's in Kevin (Heaven).

But she still thinks he could walk through that door any minute.

And while on Skype with my Aunt Diane in Louisiana, she was showing us her sweet grandson Aiden. He and Ivy were waving and being cute on the webcam. Then she called to Uncle Clark in the other room- Aiden calls him Poppal. And Ivy says brightly, "Oh, Poppal's not in Kevin? He's at Aunt Diane's house?!"

His cell phone and wallet are still in the desk drawer. Ivy rung him up, "Poppal you're in Kevin? Did you get your head fixed? Oh, you're at the beach?"
She wants to talk about him. I want to talk about him. Carter misses him tremendously, featuring him in a writing assignment just yesterday (unbeknownst to me- all those dates are from his memory).

My Great Grandfather page 2

The thing is, I can imagine him standing right there. I can still hear him. I am in that in-between of it not being so raw but also still being able to remember everything. It is weird here.

Yet, comforting. We miss him.

- just write

September 26, 2011

All of us.

all of us, fall 2011

I actually remembered to have someone take a photo of all of us together yesterday.

Here we are, Fall 2011. (Wow, as compared to Fall 2008.)

September 24, 2011

If you give me a moment I'll keep it forever.

if you give a cat a cupcake

My dad and Ivy, reading If You Give A Cat A Cupcake.

It was pretty much one of those moments that I never wanted to end.

September 23, 2011

All I Got


We went to the zoo the other day and I took out my camera to take a picture but the battery was dead. I did snap this shot with my phone, of Ivy and Asher with a popcorn snack.

A couple weeks ago I was at the hair pulling out stress level with Carter and his homework and the forgetting of said homework. He didn't turn in a spelling project that is a big part of his grade, but his teacher gave an extension to turn it in by the next week. When that Friday came, he was ready to turn it in but he'd (again) forgotten what was due that week.

In a fit of scrambling and messaging, he was able to finish it in on time. I emailed the teacher during the school day to ensure he actually turned it in and she responded that yes, he had turned in both weeks' spelling but he forgot to do his math.


Anyway. I'm so thankful she's so understanding and that it's still just the beginning of the year. Lots of grooves to still be found.

Also, a I've got a different kind of response here: 5 Things Parents Want to Tell Teachers.

P.S. Ivy's stitches stay in until Monday. :/ Fall is here, which I love, but the grey skies and biting chill are really getting to me today, and I'm more teary-eyed than usual. Hold me?

    September 22, 2011

    Small Style: Oh, just errands

    We took Mommal to get her nails done on Tuesday. While we were waiting Ivy spilled my bottled water on the floor, fell out of her chair, and turned on the faucet in the pedicure tub. So we took a walk and I grabbed my camera.

    a little walk
    [girl friend]

    strike a pose
    She might get her stitches out tomorrow.

    E y e l a s h e s.

    on ivy for this week's small style...

    sweater- noppies via zulily
    tank- american apparel via the mini social
    skirt- addie & ella via the mini social
    pants- noppies via zulily
    shoes- ciento via zulily

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

    September 21, 2011


     "whiskers" (Ivy's stitches)

    Well, she did want to be Hello, Kitty for Halloween.

    Ivy is doing great. She got six stitches in her lip after some bedtime ballyhoo. You see, she has this routine of slipping out from under the covers after I tuck her in to give one more round of goodnight kisses. This night she just didn't make it back to her bed so safely.

    We have an appointment to have the stitches checked and removed on Friday with a new-to-us doctor. Ours was over an hour away and moved offices even farther west. This new one came recommended by a friend and my phone call to them went something like this: Hi, are you taking new patients with a natural approach to health care? Also, we don't vaccinate. All good. So, can you take out my daughter's stitches this Friday?

    We are hoping the wound heals up nice and clean on its own and over the next six months we can see what kind of scar (if any) is left. After that we can consider plastic surgery if needed.

    Everyone in the E.R. made up over Ivy's blue eyes and how good she was. She was so still and also talked their ears off. Once we got home, however, she was back to her wild ways and has me seriously considering bubble wrap for the next small style. Do they make it for a mama's heart?

    September 20, 2011

    Like a Player

    Ivy sweet-dreaming under the table.

    I spent the better part of my Saturday beneath a dining room table covered in blankets. We try not to let any light in, and are very quiet- and it's like, I go back in time and yet where there is no time. I made many a table fort or hallway sheet-tied-to-a-fan tent when I was a little girl. Some days I watch Ivy play and truly feel like I am watching myself at that age. It's very surreal.

    When the sun finally peeks through, or the rain dries enough so that we can go outside, we ride bikes. Gray coasts down the sidewalk with no hands and I'm instantly back to that feeling of riding my banana seat through the neighborhood, the whirrr of my wheels, balancing with no hands. I'm there.

    bike riding

    Growing up I lived among dogs barking up tall trees and found plenty to pretend underneath front yard evergreens. I often regret the new-ness of the neighborhood we live in now and that my kids don't have sticks and leaves and nature surrounding them. We try to venture out- we take walks, belong to the local arboretum, and visit parks and trails in the woods. And I always let them bring their sticks home.

    But when we are here (and when we aren't out riding bikes) I prefer painting or doing our visual prayer or covering the entire driveway in colorful chalk murals and roads. Hubs takes on the basketball and catch and golf practice in the backyard. And often the kids just make up stuff with each other. They pretend to drive to Starbucks and bring me a latte. They fill up the baby pool with water and toys and go "fishing." They set up all the lawn chairs in the garage and play house with the neighbor kids.

    I did that, too. And one day when I was playing house across the street in a friend's yard, at the tippy top of his tall slide, he kissed me on the cheek. And I slid right down and ran all the way home and threw away every Scratch n'Sniff and puffy sticker he ever gave me. Ripped them right out of my sticker book.

    What do you remember? What's your specialty (your favorite thing to do with your kids outside?) What do they love to do?


    In celebration of this Saturday's World Wide Day of Play [Sept 24] GoGo squeeZ - a company all about good and simple active play- is blog carnival-ing with Story Bleed Magazine to showcase all of our nostalgic stories of playtime with a big link up. How did you play when you were a child... and how do you play now with your own kids? Join in by writing your stories (or sharing a play-photo on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #GoGoDayOfPlay) and linking up with Story Bleed.

    Our hopes are that you'll also join the GoGo Gang, nationwide brigade of parents and kids that are dedicated to getting a daily dose of (active, outdoor) GoGo Time. By liking the GoGo Gang on Facebook and uploading a photo of your child (or you and your child together!) enjoying outdoor play, you will help the Gang reach their goal of 100,000 members.

    When the GoGo Gang is 100,000 members strong, GoGo squeeZ will team up for Action for Healthy Kids to renovate a play space  in an under-served community. And  when membership reaches 250,000, GoGo squeeZ will build playgrounds in two more communities.

    So, join us! Link up with the blog carnival at Story Bleed and get in the GoGo Gang, and most importantly, go outside and play.

    GoGo squeeZ Facebook page
    GoGo squeeZ Twitter

    GoGo squeeZ is compensating me for this post. I was thrilled to partner with Story Bleed Magazine and this weekend's World Wide Day of Play. All memories and words here are my own.

    We are getting out of here

    I drove home yesterday from a successful shopping trip (jeans! I am going to wear jeans now!) to find road block and construction signs in my yard. What the.

    Apparently they are closing like, every road surrounding our house. We can exit through the back of our neighborhood. But early this morning the phone rang and the phone never rings. The school bus drivers are trying to figure out how to get to the kids. And then the beeping started. Right outside my window. And the banging and the drilling. We are so getting out of here.

    We're going to Mommal's. The phone rang again. She called to tell me to send her a message on Facebook. She can't hear very well today.

    Last night Ivy hit her mouth on the side of Carter's bed. She blames the blue jumpy donkey and its shenanigans when everyone was supposed to be still tucked in bed. The scene was gruesome. I'm talking horror movie conditions. Six stitches. Her beautiful gorgeous upper lip. My poor baby we are so getting out of here.

    -- Just Write

    September 18, 2011

    Under the table and dreaming

    I got lost, for a moment. Breakfast plate, newspaper, tiny glass of orange juice. The slapslapslap of a brother and sister fighting beneath the dining room table turned fort-tent wakes me to reality. We have guests coming for a party. Probably should get this cleaned up. I wish it could stay like that. I imagine everyone sitting cross-legged on the floor, under the table, in another world. Someday.

    We'll go to church. Another new-to-us one but this time (this time I hope) it will stick. The kids like it well enough and I'm aware that I am of that age, where that is what matters most about a church right now.

    I'll go to the store. We need buns for the sandwiches and more funfetti cupcake mix thanks to the eight casualties from me dropping the pan after pulling them out of the oven last night. God made dirt and dirt don't hurt except when we're serving them to guests. And p.s. have you seen my floors?

    I dry my hair and start out with a brush but toward the end I just let it be. Half put-together and half-whatever, and I've twisted my lipstick's last twist.

    Just enough to scrape out for today.

    September 16, 2011

    Devouring the fall skies in your eyes

    I showed this video to Jeff and tears rolled down my face even though I'd just watched it two times already and he got teary, too. Choked up he says, "that makes me feel like a crappy dad!" LOL

    I'm thankful I at least do the "month one" photos and only wish I'd started earlier. But the letter writing thing... I'm wondering if I shouldn't do something similar, whether it be handwriting letters or emailing them like in the video. What do you do?

    Other links of note:

    We're in birthday party mode this weekend. It's super chilly here now (I'm thisclose to turning on the HEAT) and I'm digging out my scarves and sweaters while totally devouring the beautiful fall skies. How about you?

    September 15, 2011

    For starters, I burned the butter.

    For starters, I burned the butter.

    I was making chicken noodle soup for the very first time-- I am not a novice when it comes to making soup. I can make some pretty amazing minestrone and tortilla soup and a mouth-watering bowl of roasted acorn squash deliciousness but chicken noodle? Never made it. Tonight I had some chicken breasts that needed to be cooked and, well, I went for it.

    And I burned the butter.

    But, I journeyed on with the making of the soup. And, according to my children (whose opinions matter very much to me) it was the best soup they've ever tasted. And I didn't even use a recipe. I just kind of guessed, because chicken noodle soup? I've been eating it for as long as I can remember and so I just figured it out.



    A couple weeks ago I saw a thing going around on Twitter to say what inspires you in three words. And goodness, if I couldn't come up with three words.

    I. don't. know.?

    I'm supposed to write something about inspiration for my Hallmark post this month, I think.

    What inspires me? So many things that my mind drew a blank.

    I guess I find myself most "inspire-able" by the weather, or rather the change in weather. The moment when I am listening to music and I am moved to turn the volume up a few more notches. When I let it take me away.

    I am inspired by the under dog. By the overcoming, and the overcome'd. By the unexpected because I am not easily surprised. By thoughtfulness with no intentions. By random artistic messes. By those who have mercy, and those that desire it.

    By things that are nothing but at the same time everything. By what doesn't make sense. By beautiful differences, and imperfections.

    What inspires me draws me to thankfulness.

    I know what I am not inspired by. Conflict, disapproval, jealousy, pretentiousness, clutter (the kind that's not pretty). I don't think I've ever really thought to get with the program and apply these things to my life already like for real this time.

    Because how I choose to surround myself, the soil I plant my soul in, matters.


    You know, every time I step foot in the kitchen there's a chance I'm going to burn the butter. I'll set another place at the table; make it part of my special occasion.

    It adds fibers to my rope, with my words I write myself a way


    What inspires you?

    Hallmark is compensating me for participating in the Life Is A Special Occasion campaign, but encouraged me to write about anything I wanted in the theme of inspiration. It would be awesome if you'd sign up for their promotional emails (you might even see me in there!) by following this link. I am partnering with Hallmark to spotlight Life Is A Special Occasion  for the rest of this year. As always, all content and opinions expressed are my own.

    September 14, 2011

    Birthday Sunshine

    misha lulu + missoni

    I really call Ivy by several names: Ivy, Ivylarue, Lucy, Lulu, and Sweet Pea.

    She answers to them all.

    Today she is three. Three. THREE. Born at home just like I'd dreamed.


    her Misha Lulu for Hello, Kitty birthday dress oh yes

    if you steal my sunshine
     so reminds me of if you steal my sunshine 

    Oh yeah and we had cupcakes.

    birthday kids
    flying monkey (a la Wizard of Oz) & carrot

    Ivy and Asher have birthdays just two lovely days apart. A corner of my heart has a feeling these two will always be that close. They just have to.

    birthday cupcakes

    this week's small style... as seen on ivy

    dress: misha lulu for hello, kitty
    top: kate quinn organics
    leggings: missoni for target (yeah so I got sucked in- did you snatch up any missoni?)
    shoes ciento via zulily

    [linking up as always with the beautiful  mama loves papa and her small style.]   

    [See Asher & Ivy through the years. ]

    And everybody was Kung Fu fighting


    Over dinner (spaghetti tacos yes) Gray announced that when he grows up, he is going to have three jobs.
    1. "I'm going to work at my work."
    2. Singer
    3. Ninja
    Then I said, Ivy eat what is on your plate and don't lick your brother.

    About the spaghetti tacos... apparently the NWIparent site doesn't work for everyone and that bums me out when I blog and no one can see it so I'll cross-post below.

    Gray, coming up with the idea from a TV show most likely, has been requesting spaghetti tacos for dinner every night for at least the past week or more. After the first few nights I realized that he was serious. That spaghetti tacos were such a thing.

    But every night I had made other plans for dinner or didn’t have the ingredients (he said it had to have a hard shell) and I was putting off going to the store for as long as possible.

    Yesterday he asked again and was visibly offended that I STILL HADN’T BOUGHT THE STUFF TO MAKE SPAGHETTI TACOS. So you know what I did today? I bought the stuff. When he got home from school I told him right away and to my chagrin he was like “huh, okay can I go ride my bike now?”

    I served it up on a Batman plate (to Gray only- the other kids were like nothankyou) and I watched him take a big crunchy bite. He worked on it for a bit and I asked if he liked it.

    “Not really” and he dumped the spaghetti out from the taco and ate it like normal people eat spaghetti, with a fork.

    Do you make weird things for your kids? I think the strangest thing we’ve ever done besides this was when I made breakfast for dinner. It BLEW THEIR MINDS.

    P.S. I realize that ninjas do not do Kung Fu because I googled it and apparently ninjas train in ninjutsu but that doesn't make for a very fun title. I will be sure to inform Gray of the correct information.

    September 13, 2011


    A dream.

    I was looking for my exit, driving down the expressway. I saw the sign: Peace, and took it. I drove around, to wherever I was supposed to be going. I walked into a historical museum of some sort and asked the man at the front desk if this was the best way to learn about the town of Peace. I am just visiting. And I'd also need a good recommendation for a nice place to eat downtown. I specifically remember saying "money is no object."

    Now, I can still recall this dream from last week quite vividly, right down to my arm hairs and the name on the sign.

    On our walk the next morning, we passed a hacky-sack type ball that had been left on someone's driveway. I noticed it because it was in "Dora" colors and I assumed it would have a picture of Dora and Boots on it and Ivy would surely take notice but as we got closer I saw that it just had writing.

    I read slowly as we strolled and each letter came into focus. It said P-E-A-C-E.

    Today I link up... just write.

    September 12, 2011


    webcam to gif
    I have happy kids.

    So, saw our first day of school photos and asked if they could feature one on their site. Gray's photo is there today! Check him out!

    I am contributing to a new site all about having... 4 Kids or More. Watch for my first post this week. In the meantime you'll want to follow us on twitter and subscribe and all that good stuff!

    And one more thing, my friend Heather is launching a new writing link-up tomorrow called Just Write. I plan to participate, would love for you to consider linking up, too.

    Now, I'm off to enjoy my one day of less. It's Monday! Ivy is at grandma's and all the boys are at school. It's just me and the housework and my knitting. What a great moment to be in.

    September 11, 2011

    I love the way you wear your baby: in a pouch

    I love the way you wear your baby, pouch

    The hot air balloon launch we attended on Friday night ended up being cancelled due to bad weather (see that sky?) but as we were hurrying to gather up our chairs and blankets, I passed this sweet mom wearing her 2 month old baby Helen in a pouch.

    We have a Popcorn Festival in our city and watched the parade yesterday morning. I saw several moms and dads babywearing as they walked in the parade- wraps and Ergos seem to be popular around here- but I was too busy keeping Ivy out of the street and enjoying the festivities to snap any pics in time!

    See past I love the way your wear your baby photos .

    Have questions about babywearing? Check out my post Adventures In Babywearing 2.0 and scroll down for my tips and suggestions. Feel free to leave questions in the comments here or email me as well.

    As always, I love to see your babywearing photos. If you've posted any recently, feel free to link in the comments below!

    Have a blog? Would love to have you join the babywearing bloggers blogroll. If you get a chance, "like" the babywearing bloggers blogroll on facebook so others can know to join, too.

    September 10, 2011

    Like a Flag on a Pumpkin

     September 11 2001 ish

    Shortly after September 11, 2001 - Noah was just seven months old and I was a stay at home mom- we painted the American flag on a big pumpkin and set it on our porch. Somehow an elephant costume worked its way in there, too, though I don't remember why. I think it was the warmest thing he owned.

    Do you remember what you were doing on that day? Where Were You on September 11, 2001?

    And such a neat update- here's a video of the students and teacher in the classroom with President Bush on 9/11 and where they are now.

    Also written around the web....

    Most Embarrassing Blog Moments (I'm sharing mine!)

    I'm thinking that my new feature for Sundays (eventually) will be about favorite book finds throughout the week. We have so many filling our shelves because I love buying them second hand (and new!) on top of our weekly trips to the library. So I ask you, What Did You Read To Your Kids Last Night? Would love your suggestions.

    I also might continue my break from Twitter and Facebook on the weekends, or maybe all weekend at least after a little Saturday morning indulging....

    September 9, 2011

    Pee Ess

    (to yesterday)

    I cooled off and took my position in front of the sink full of dishes even though I swear I just did them, while Carter called for help with his spelling over the running of the water.

    "Is Buh-lawg-nah a verb?"

    I asked him to spell that for me?


    Oh, you mean baloney. That's a noun. To which Gray about cackled himself out of his chair.

    A few more words in. "Does 'fungi' mean weird?"

    I laughed, I felt better, and then I made chocolate chip cookies. Because that's how I do this mom thing. (They were break and bake cookies, just keeping it real.)


    Later on I saw a message from my sweet friend Megan, a mom with kids all grown up and out of the house now. She sent me the link to this article: Bittersweet Song of September. Several strings of words struck right through me, but especially- on the inevitable growing up of our children- "Even when you win, you lose."

    Yeah, something a lot like that.

    September 8, 2011

    If I didn't get this out of my head it might have exploded.

    We're in the third week of school and I am FA-RUSTRATED to no end with certain school children in this house and their homework and their not doing said homework. Okay, really it's just one of them but I don't want to name names. Whatever the case, I am coming undone.

    Like, how I get an email from one of the boys' teachers stating he didn't turn in spelling last week and so he can turn it in by tomorrow to save his grade, and I get all focused on him getting that done only to find out he forgot THIS WEEK'S SPELLING (that is due tomorrow mind you) at school. 

    I excused myself in a huff so that I can chill the flip out because I was so not chill and take a few breaths before I email the teacher, hoping to get the assignment tonight if she's online. I grabbed my laptop and plopped into my LaZboy only to find I am sitting in pee. Now that is just uncalled for. The things going through my head right now are not pretty. Also, I was actually wearing something cute today.

    Next I am going to type a bunch of words all in caps with lots of GAHHHHHHHHHs in the white space below this post and then delete it all and everything will be so much better.

    Small Style: Jacket Weather

    apparently we like green

    We had a cold spell this week which was totally awesome but also had me scrambling because I really didn't do any "back to school" shopping yet. I mean, just because the kids start school doesn't mean that they should automatically start wearing jeans and sweatshirts - it's still summer here! Their summer duds were working just fine until I could figure out what still fit from last year. And then those fall clouds rolled in. Aren't they beautiful though?

    I spent the entire morning rifling through boxes and boxes of past years' clothes and hand-me-downs. Then I sorted out all that was outgrown and not use-able (hand-me-downs don't apply to Gray since he hates tags and the tag-free stuff didn't start until recent years, and also, I pretty much can only buy him tea collection. But anyway.) I took two enormous bins to Once Upon A Child and while they were figuring out what they wanted to buy from me I shopped Noah & Carter's sizes. I found a ton. I was hoping to break even or not have to pay too much out of pocket. When it was all said and done, they paid me $5 difference. That was awesome.

    As for Ivy's clothes, I have been thinking about selling hers online via ebay or something like that. She has so many adorable things that I would love to see appreciated (lots of misha lulu, mini boden, tea collection, etsy finds, etc) and also if I can make a little money to buy more cute things that wouldn't be so bad either. I am considering linking to it from here but am not sure yet. Do you have any opinions on the matter?


    this week's small style...

    on gray: old navy jacket from many years ago, target pants, keen shoes

    on carter: old navy sweatshirt that is too small but he insists on wearing it anyway, old navy pants

    on noah: lands' end sweatshirt* that he picked out of the catalog before I even found out they wanted to send us some items from their fall collection. it's super soft and crazy cool, dogwood pants

    on ivy: gymboree sweatshirt I found on clearance earlier this year, tea collection dress + gypsy pants

    she's really into whispering secrets lately

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

    *Lands' End sent Noah the sweatshirt for mention here on my blog. Right now they have up to 40% off the back to school collection, and boots &; shoes are 30% off with code SHOESALE and pin 1105.

    September 7, 2011

    I Love The 70's

    i love the 70's

    "I thought it was supposed to be cooler today." Mommal sighed, passenger side while I drove to her hair appointment.

    "Tomorrow. Tomorrow it's supposed to be in the seventies!"

    "Oh I love the seventies!" she smiled and looked on. I wondered if she thinks I am a bad driver. I try to go slow and take every bump with ease. She holds onto the door frame.

    She's 76. I'm going to drop her off and then grocery shop until her hair dresser calls my cell and let's me know she's ready. I replace all the expired condiments from her refrigerator. I buy her magazines. People is her favorite especially if Kim Kardashian is on the cover. She will try to give me some money but I won't take it. Was I burden to her when she took care of me long ago? No, of course not. Well, same thing.

    September 6, 2011

    Sometimes I Fall

    merry go round, ivy + abby

    ivy & my niece abby - merry go round

    I kind of love it that only one person I know will truly "get" that title.

    Also, I wrote some words on motherhood and grace here today.

    September 5, 2011

    On plugs and wires and the things that truly connect us.

     hear no evil...

    Friday I cold-turkey removed myself from blogging, Twitter, & Facebook for three days. At first I planned to keep a journal of all the things I would have tweeted or said but couldn't because of the hiatus. The only thing I wrote down was the fact that I made two purchases in a row that were exact dollar amounts- I spent $8 even at Walgreen's and Culver's lunch was $11 even. That's what I thought about Tweeting. Really. Dumb.

    I realized that not only had I been feeling like my mind and spirit had been overwhelmed with un-needed Internet "toxins" of useless information, I have been polluting the stream and feeds more often than not as well.

    We've been going on daily walks for exercise to get me away from the computer. The fact that I need to give myself a break from screentime and it means I go outside is pretty funny-awesome if you think about it. So, we walked to the splash pad and library again. And from my chair in the children's area, by the wooden dollhouse and train set, I recall looking up at the windows above the bookshelves. And noticing the approaching-autumnal clouds outside. I am pretty sure had I been "plugged in" I would have had my phone in hand and would never have looked out those windows. Because in fact, I'd never noticed them until that day.

    And Ivy jabbered away at the next table. She read herself a book, in her own words of course. And I probably would have seen that as a chance to chill out -whew she's busied herself, so I can get something done! But instead I just watched her without her knowing. My face hurt from smiling. And I ached for the other things I've missed in place of "me time" that really was more like "waste of time."

    I didn't keep a journal like I thought I would. But I did have a bit of a writer's block removed. I felt more creative and let words ride the flow. I couldn't wait to plunk it out on my computer. That was another interesting factoid. I've often used Twitter and Facebook as a crutch to help me with things to write about but am now seeing that is just synthetic. Inside a big bubble, no less.

    True, not every moment I spend on Twitter and Facebook is for naught. Some of it is good and fun and totally worth it. But I was finding myself loitering around a point where I wasn't able to decipher which was which, you know?

    I am surprised that I wished I had made my hiatus last longer. I thought I would be ready to post by the time Monday saw 12 a.m. But here it is late at night and almost Tuesday. I honestly think I might "roughly" plan to refrain from Twitter and Facebook on the weekends meaning I'm going to just pencil that in and not decide anything permanent now and all but... the re-entry after a couple days off is niiiice. It feels like things fit a bit better again. I can see clearly. I didn't get nearly as much done as I thought I would with this little experiment, but I think that I realized that it doesn't have to be all or nothing. I don't see unplugging completely as the answer. Maybe just turning down the volume once in a while will do.

    A stop and smell the roses and don't tweet about it every time you do it kind of thing. Is it not just as beautiful if no one else knows it happened? Some things- many things- everyday things are better left just felt and unsaid. It will tell you a whole lot more later on.

    Hallmark is compensating me for participating in the Life Is A Special Occasion campaign, but encouraged me to write about anything I wanted in the theme of inspiration. It would be awesome if you'd sign up for their promotional emails (you might even see me in there!) by following this link. I am partnering with Hallmark to spotlight Life Is A Special Occasion  for the rest of this year. As always, all content and opinions expressed are my own.

    September 4, 2011

    September FOUR

    September FOUR

    Gray was freezing while eating his ice cream cone - Ivy says Haay put your hands in the air like you just don't care- I just now realize Carter went outside in his brand new socks with no shoes what?- Noah is cool, man.

    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.

    [comments closed due to hiatus]

    September 2, 2011

    Going Dark To Find The Light: On Hiatus

     into the wood

    After I publish this post (and then facebook and tweet it of course) I am taking a hiatus from social media until Monday morning. Like completely (and cold turkey I might add.)

    As part of my Life Is A Special Occasion series with Hallmark, I'm attempting this little experiment for several reasons- most of which I'll explain when I post on Monday- and I hope to have some hearty reflections on being inspired to take an uninterrupted  not-shared-with-everyone breath more often and enjoy the any day moments. 

    What I'll be "quitting" until Monday:
    Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Blogging (with the exception of Sunday as it is the 4th of the month post but I will close comments )

    What I won't be quitting:
    Email, Google Reader, and writing in a journal (because honestly I am hoping without the distraction of the above I'll actually pay attention to these things for once.)

    Not intending to start a movement or anything like that, but I do hope to inspire you to consider what your biggest moment-stealer is right now- Twitter? Reality TV? Mindless Internet surfing? Netflix? Words With Friends? - and do something about it. Maybe not for three days but what about one day? Or an entire afternoon? Because honestly just when I was beginning to write this piece I wasted about 35 minutes going back and forth on Twitter and Facebook just checking it and not even posting anything or engaging with anyone. That is embarrassing.

    Yes, I do have to be online and "social media savvy" for my job, but also, I have a feeling I'll find that what's it's all about is totally quality over quantity. Aside from all of that my mind is in desperate want for a slow down. I need this. I'm excited for the light I might find when these other things go dark for a little while.

    What shape does it take for you? And if you aren't comfortable openly sharing, feel free to email me or comment anonymously. I'd love it if we could hold hands together on this one.

    See you Monday.

    Hallmark is compensating me for participating in the Life Is A Special Occasion campaign, but encouraged me to write about anything I wanted in the theme of inspiration. It would be awesome if you'd sign up for their promotional emails (you might even see me in there!) by following this link. I am partnering with Hallmark to spotlight Life Is A Special Occasion  for the rest of this year. As always, all content and opinions expressed are my own.