Thursday, June 26, 2014

Taking Stock

Making : A woven wall hanging (that's turning out very badly. But it's fun!)

Cooking : Spaghetti

Drinking : Lemonjello's iced coffee and water. Every day.

Reading: "The Poisonwood Bible" by Barabara Kingsolver

Wanting: My house to look Pinterest-worthy

Playing: Josh Garrel's "Love & War & The Sea Inbetween"

Sewing: .....

Wishing: We could all get over this darned lingering summer cold

Enjoying: Watching the kids play outside from the porch swing

Liking: Walks downtown in the morning

Wondering: What to do about the holidays this year. I know, I always start worrying about it way too early.

Hoping: to get my house and food ready for a girls craft night here on Saturday - before Saturday arrives.

Marveling: at how fast Silas is learning to talk lately. 

Needing: a haircut.

Smelling: Roses on the table.

Wearing: Sun dresses and bike shorts - thank God for cute lace trimmed bike shorts, especially on our windy days.

Thinking: I need to make a big to-do list and start working on projects that need to be done.

Feeling: like curling up in bed with a book.

Bookmarking: design ideas for the kids' bedrooms.

Monday, June 23, 2014


Yesterday was my birrrf-day.

So how does "28" feel, you ask? A heck-of-a lot closer to 30 than 27 felt, that's for sure. 

And as mother's luck would have it, I woke up with a summer cold yesterday - fever, sore throat and uncontrollable sneezing. But it's ok, because...

-Matt brought me home my favorite cookie and a coffee, which I ate unashamedly for breakfast.

-Olive wrote me a "little-bit-scary" book about a mother that turns into a dragon. (Hmm.)

-I successfully held myself back from interfering as I watched Matt suffer through baking a german chocolate birthday cake, which entailed at least 6 different trips to the grocery store and multiple start overs. (In the end it turned out amazing.)

-Matt forgot to get ice cream, which meant we had to get little sundaes from Captain Sundaes after eating our cake. I didn't complain. (But I will tomorrow when my pants won't button.)

-Matt surprised me, (and I mean REALLY surprised me,) with BALLROOM DANCING CLASSES. I'm still reeling from that one. I am so excited!

-Matt's Aunt Mary called me, and we had a nice long catch up. I love her.

-My friend Brooke stopped over right before bedtime with beautiful yellow roses. So, so sweet.

So basically, it was an epic birthday!

I'm really, really thankful for this new year, and most of all that I get to spend it with the people I love most. 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Summer Loving

Cutting the grass on the weekends - the deep, green smell of it and trying to make the neatest, straightest lines possible. 

Wearing dresses and shorts and feeling the sun and wind hit these bare, forever white legs. (Not really loving having to shave every day though, let's keep it real here.)

Saying good-morning to my neighbors on our daily walks downtown and returning the grins we get as we make our way down the sidewalk with our beast of a stroller.

Getting back into reading actual books again, and the game of picking out one book a week from the library as fast as I can before Silas pulls a shelf-full to the floor. Reading a paragraph here and there during nap times and feeding times and sometimes bathroom times, because really, it's basically the only sanctuary left to me in this noisy, overflowing house.

Yoga class is a sanctuary. I relish the stillness and quietness of the studio. I love feeling a little stronger, a little more flexible each week. I especially love the practice of shavasana at the end of every class, where you lay in perfect stillness, "corpse pose,"and literally feel the day's stress and tension rolling off of you like beads of water. 

Filling our gas tank up maybe every two or three weeks now, because other than the grocery store, we can literally walk everywhere. 

The weight and feel of 5 and 1/2 months-old Oona in my arms, and the softness of her fuzzy bit of hair brushing my cheek as she dozes on my shoulder. 

Tacos and frozen fruit pops from El Huarche, iced coffee from Lemonjellos, butterscotch sundaes from Captain Sundae.

Little trails of sand in the kitchen, the bathroom, the bedrooms, diapers...reminders from quick visits to the state park.

The way Lake Macatawa changes colors like a mood ring, depending on the weather. Greenish black in storms and deep, deep blue on clear days. 

Swinging on the porch swing in the evening.

Summer is the best

Friday, June 20, 2014

Papa Comes To MI

I used to dread summer on the east coast, but now I love summer. Summer in Michigan just rocks, you guys. Great weather, so many fun things to do, beautiful scenery, and everyone's super-de-duper happy because there's not a snowflake in sight. 

We stay so busy in the summer. Lots of activities and lots of company. My Dad kicked things off this summer by coming up and staying a week with us right before Father's Day. It was so great! It was the first time he had ever visited us in Michigan, so we had a blast taking him around to all our most favorite places. I especially enjoyed the special times he and I had going out for walks and coffee, just the two of us. I'm so thankful he took the time and energy to drive up and visit.

I think one of our favorite days of his trip was the day my Dad and Matt went kayaking and the kids and I met them at Windmill Island. The kids were so excited to see Papa and Daddy in boats! Now Matt and I keep thinking about kayaks and wondering if we could fit a two-seater in our garage...

21 / 52

Portraits of my children once a week, for a year.

Olive - made a new friend at the library yesterday named Ida, and found out that they are practically neighbors AND will also be in the same kindergarten class this fall! I just can't get over how cute the names "Olive and Ida" are together. 

Silas - likes to watch me doing my hair and washing my face in the morning while asking "all done now?" every two seconds. Other favorite sentences: "Time to go?" "I go walking?" and "Outside?"

Oona - was about to send Matt and I to marriage counseling with her sleep (or lack thereof) antics. When she started getting up every two hours, Matt finally convinced me to try a few nights of careful "crying it out" training (meaning, we set a timer for 20 minutes before getting her up.) Not my favorite thing to do...but it has worked! She is napping and sleeping at night much better now, thank God. We are making plans to move her into her own room soon. It is time, but she's also my littlest one, and I find myself getting overly emotional about all her milestones.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Father's Day

I've written and re-written this post several times in the last few days, and I've come to the realization that I just can't put into eloquent words all I would love to say about how I feel about the father of my babies. So this will have to do...

In 7 and a half years, our family has grown from two naive newlyweds to a noisy, crazy family of five. We have been blessed with three beautiful, healthy babies and have also grieved over the losses of two babies that I miscarried. Through all the highs and lows and love and heartache we've experienced as parents, I've watched Matt grow into an amazing father. I am so proud of him. He is the rock that Olive, Silas, Oona and I lean on - he's the glue that holds us together. He is a peacemaker, humble, and so kind. I can not imagine going through life without him.

You are so loved, husband. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

20 / 52

Portraits of my children once a week, for a year.

Olive: 5 years and 2 months old. So scary smart, questions everything, argues frequently. She has a brilliant imagination, a huge love for words and is a doting big sister. She's growing so fast. I am so tremendously proud of her.

Silas: 2 years and 2 months old. Always getting into trouble, always covered in scrapes and bruises. So sensitive and loving. We "get" each other, he and I. The other day he snuck up behind me, wrapped his arms around my waist and started singing "Let it Go" with all his might. I love him so much it hurts.

Oona: Exactly 5 months old today. She's a wild card, this one. Always surprising us. She's all rolls and chub, but so strong. She's very mobile for such a young one, and is working hard to learn to crawl. She has the sweetest smile in the whole wide world. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Rediscovering Childhood Favorites

Did you ever read Maud Hart Lovelace's "Betsy" books as a child? They were some of my favorites growing up. I just started reading "Betsy-Tacy and Tib" with Olive and it has been so much fun! Olive's really connecting with the characters and adventures and it brings me back to being a little girl, enjoying long summer days with my nose in a good book.

Sharing my favorite books with my kids is one of my greatest pleasures. My mom read out loud to me constantly as a kid, and those are some of my most treasured childhood memories. Some classic children's-lit characters feel as close to me as family, they're that special to me. 

Some of the books I'm eagerly anticipating reading with Olive in the coming years:

There are so many, many more to add to the list! There is so much fantastic children's literature out there!

What books were your favorites as a child? What books do you love reading to your kids?

Monday, June 2, 2014

19 / 52

Portraits of my children, once a week for a year.

Olive: I should just shell out for dance lessons already, right? My dancing queen.

Silas: This is the summer that will transition him forever from "baby" to "boy." He's changing rapidly before our eyes. It breaks my heart. If I could keep him at 2 forever, I believe I would.

Oona: Wearing me out, one sleepless night after the other... Though, if I have to be woken up at 2AM every morning, I'm glad it's by that cute face. She's very generous with her grins and snuggles.


1. Django, settling back into a new "normal" // 2. Evening stops at the park after long walks // 3. Peonies are becoming my new favorite flowers // 4. Neighborhood // 5. Ear scratches // 6. Family

First off - you can't start a day better than by getting a text from some of your best friends informing you their third baby was born this morning! Congratulations Matthew and Tasha! I love you!

We had a hot, (90F yesterday!) busy weekend. It was wonderful. That's the upside, I've decided, about harsh winters - the summers are just so good. We've been living outside. Grilling, sprinklers, long walks, iced coffees, and sun dresses - I really love it!

Speaking of "hot" - I tried hot vinyasa yoga for the first time last week. It was really intense. And really really hot (I'm not sure I have ever sweated so profusely in my life. Puddles, people.) I felt a little overwhelmed during the class and could not do all of the poses but was nevertheless proud of myself at the end. I think I'm going to try it again. This seems to be a season of my life for doing things that are outside of my comfort zone! 

My dad is coming to visit next weekend for the first time, and we're all terribly excited. We really hope he will enjoy west Michigan as much as we do! I'm praying the weather stays nice - it would be so sad if it suddenly turned rainy and chilly while he was here (please don't do it, Michigan!)