Friday, November 27, 2015


We recently listed our house on the market. It's a long story, but the short of it is that we want to see if we can sell it for a good price. I took a quick hurried set of photos one morning so that we could send it to our realtor, and I'm going to share them here as a sort of house tour.

If we stay here, I want to do some small updates to the kitchen - painting the cabinets, replacing the sink, maybe some lights ? - but for now just adding the pot racks and shelves for extra storage has been a game changer. 

The kitchen, dining and living room are all in one big space. That's what we liked about this house when we first saw it and it has worked well for us.

I haven't been able to take advantage of our bar cart this past year while I was pregnant, but here it stands, sturdy and under the careful watch of Helga. 

We changed up the layout of the living room a few times, but this is my favorite so far. 

This play kitchen used to be downstairs, but during the great floor disaster of 2015, we moved it up and found it fit perfectly in that space, and the landing turned into a little extra play area for Sloane.

This is Sloane's room, which she will eventually share with Logan, and it's probably my favorite of the upstairs. We have a lot of fun in this room. 

The guest room/office is the room that we've done the least with - it serves as an all-purpose room: our computer, spare bed, and then the closet holds my art supplies and extra clothes and blankets. I like this room for the extra storage (we also fold our laundry in here, aka, dump all the clean clothes here) but I especially love it because it allows us to house guests.

I always thought I would do more with this room eventually - curtains for the windows, a large painting or print above the bed. I haven't gotten around to it yet but I'm fine with it for now because I feel really calm when I walk into this room, which is how a bedroom should make you feel, I think.

We are using one of the rooms for Logan's space right now, until she moves over to Sloane's room and this set up works perfectly: pack and play, changing table and then a rolling cart for baby necessities.

Ken built this deck with the help of friends after we bought the house! 

Last year, I decided we needed a fire pit, and made one! There she is....surrounded by the leaves that we don't rake, on principle. 

There it is! It's not perfect, but we've made it our home and I have come to love it so!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


We had such a good weekend. We were exhausted by the end of it, but it was the best kind of tired because we were nourished. I jotted down scenes from this past weekend - it's how I'm practicing gratitude these days. 

Friday evening: I put Logan on a sheepskin rug while tidying up the kitchen, and Sloane - as she does whenever she has the chance - hurried over to Logan to coo over her. In a few minutes, Logan was gurgling and laughing at Sloane's antics and Sloane, thoroughly encouraged, kept at it in hopes of a few more laughs.

As we'd been doing every Saturday morning for the past few weeks, we bundled ourselves up and left the house for Sloane's gymnastics class, all of us. The weekends feel like a novelty in this way; we like being able to travel to things together as a family.

So even grocery shopping feels like an event to be treasured because we get to do it together. I also like this because I get to wear Logan in the ergo. I love having her close; it's a multi-tasking mother's dream.

We got to attend a play organized by the theatre company, Characterworks, and it was amazing. The play was Mary Poppins and I liked it even before it started because there were so many kids in the audience, and because we were there with some of my favorite people and their kids. When it did start, I was struck by how professional it looked and sounded - were they lip syncing? I wondered. It turns out they were a bunch of really talented kids with a great support system. All of us - Logan included - enjoyed it immensely. It had Ken singing "Step in Time" enthusiastically on Monday morning as he came downstairs.

The day tuckered Sloane out and she fell asleep in the car. She willingly went straight to bed when we got home, even though it was hours before her bedtime, and I put Logan down soon after. With Ken out of the house playing volleyball, I had a couple of hours to myself - which I used for meal prepping and watching a couple of episodes of Mindy. It was all especially enjoyable because our kitchen was so clean.

Sunday morning, Sloane was up extremely early. I didn't mind because I love being able to do a slow morning with her. The morning light is the best light.

At church, we met a man who said he would spoil us rotten if we moved to his neighborhood, and exchanged a few words, hugs, and tears with a friend who is going through something devastating. I've been thinking about it since and the ache for them stays with me.

For lunch, we met up with old friends and a gaggle of kids - "8 adults....and 7 kids." is what I told the woman when I was making the reservations. As I watched Sloane gleefully play with another child who I had held days after he was born, I felt the overwhelming sensation of being laden with blessings, far beyond what I deserved or expected.

There was a gift fair that my friend put together in her home and I went with Logan while Ken and Sloane spent the afternoon at a bookstore ("I want Sloane to have a table just for lego-building!" is the text I received from him). The fair was wonderful - it was a great idea and I scored a couple of lovely things. Plus, I got spend some time talking with friends and strangers and also tasted raw milk for the first time (delicious!) I felt pride and admiration for my friend who is a force to be reckoned with.

We had Sunday dinner - like we usually try to do - with a family that we have great affection and respect for. They encourage us in the way they live their lives, serve others and raise their boys. I feel happy when I see our kids playing together and I love the way we check in with each other as a family.

I ended the weekend finishing up meal prep for the week, kissing and cuddling both girls goodnight, and falling sleep next to my best friend.

I am stuffed to the brink.

I am looking forward to the thanksgiving weekend because of the people we will see (and the food we will eat!) but also because I get to do it all alongside my family.  These two make life so much fun. 

Monday, November 23, 2015


Reading books aloud is one of my most favorite things to do with Sloane, and now Logan can get in on it too.  Since Logan can recently sit up, I will have her on my lap while Sloane sits next to me and I will read a book aloud to both of them. These moments make me feel like I couldn't ask for anything else in the world, I'm so content. It's also pretty cool to be around when Ken is reading aloud to them - I hope we keep doing this always. Ken and I have both remarked how much our reading stamina has increased since we first started reading aloud to Sloane when she was a baby. It's a skill I'm happy to acquire. 

A few of our favorite books these days:

Journey by Aaron Becker 

The Biggest Story: How the Snake Crusher brings us back to the Garden by Don Clark

Madeline in London by Ludwig Bemelmans

Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne

Peter Rabbit and Other Cherished Stories by Beatrix Potter

The Kitten Who Thought He Was a Mouse by Miriam Norton

Walt Disney's Classic Storybook -

The Wild Christmas Reindeer by Jan Brett

Stuart Little by E. B. White

A friend also recently recommend Poems to Learn by Heart - this is next on our list!

Friday, November 20, 2015


I know, I know, it's not even Thanksgiving yet!

But I've been hearing Christmas songs on the radio, and I'm happy about it! I'm going to attribute 100% of the excitement to the fact that Sloane is excited about winter and snow and Christmas, and I had so much fun doing holiday things with her last year. (The photo above is when we decorated her little tree last year.)

I've started making a list of things I want to do as a family as soon as Thanksgiving is over, so that we can celebrate all December, instead of just on Christmas Day. This is my little version of the advent calendar activities:

1. Write and draw Christmas cards for friends and family
2. Make gingerbread cookies and decorate
3. Sing Christmas carols and hymns together
4. Get a Christmas tree and decorate it
5. Make and decorate gingerbread house
6. Read Christmas books
7. Read the story of Jesus' birth in the bible
8. Go pick out a present with Sloane for Logan and Ken
9. Have Sloane pick out some of her toys  to give away
10. Have a children's book exchange party with friends

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


My sister Sharon and her fiance Paul came to visit us this weekend.  Virgina was loudly showing off her gorgeous fall weather, I had roasted a bunch of vegetables for next week's meal prep, and Sloane had recovered from her fever, so by the time they came in on Saturday night, I was ready to party.

And by party, I mean have an early dinner out.  That's what a party is when you have kids! Hey, and i'm a-ok with that. 

We tried to go to Lunch and Supper, and I was really excited about it, but we got there at 5:30 thinking that was an early enough time to get a spot at this tiny place and we were totally wrong. It was packed! and the wait was going to be 45 minutes long.  There was a lovely statue of a pig that Sloane sat on while we considered the pros and cons of waiting 45 minutes for a table with toddler and an infant, and decided to move on.

It ended up being a night of walking around Scott's Addition neighborhood and getting a feel of the place. We used to live in this neighborhood and it was only after we moved that all these great places popped up - Lunch and Supper, Lamplighter coffee shop, Urban Farmhouse, Flying Dragon, En Su Boca, Ardent Brewery....all within walking distance of where we used to live! The same thing happened when we moved out of Church Hill, and I wouldn't be surprised if the same thing happened when we move out of the north side.  

We had a drink at Urban Farmhouse and ended up eating dinner at Buzz and Ned's.  I enjoyed both the food and the conversation, and Logan enjoyed that time by sleeping the whole time in the Ergo - I love that thing!

It was beautiful out on Sunday, and after a breakfast at home and a stroll around the seminary campus, we took further advantage of the sunny weather by tramping out to Carytown, one of my favorite places in town.

We visited World of Mirth, which is such a fun store to explore, especially with kids, and then we made a little stop at Rocket Fizz, a retro candy store that I hadn't been in before. It's filled with old school candy and some new school ones (like green tea flavored kit kats!) and it was a feast for the eyes. 

It's hard to peg down my favorite store in Carytown, but Luxor Vintage clothing is definitely up there. It has such amazing things, it's like traveling back in time and being able to go through the personal items in a person's life. 

After a couple of hours, we said goodbye to Sharon and Paul and returned home. When we pulled up to our house, Sloane sighed, "Mom, I had such a great time." 


I absolutely love having my sisters visit!

Monday, November 16, 2015


My sister Sharon made Sloane the most beautiful little workbook, and I wanted to share the pages here. I had told her that Sloane really likes doing worksheets to practice her numbers and letters, and so she made this for Sloane to work on. I love the colorful cover and all of the illustrations. Isn't it beautiful?

Sharon left the last page of the workbook blank, and Sloane filled it up with her own creation (on the right).

Thank you Sharon eemo! 

Friday, November 13, 2015


I am enjoying Sloane so much these days. Especially as she gets older, I love that anything I think up to do, I can take her along with me!

 Here are some of the things that I'm enjoying in particular:

1. She is a wonderful older sister.

I'm constantly impressed by how loving and kind she is to Logan.  Logan can't do much right now, but Sloane tries to play with her, make her laugh and is constantly giving her kisses. She readily volunteers to put Logan's pacifier in, get her blanket, and comfort her. She tells me that she will share all her toys with Logan when Logan is ready to play with them.

2.  She loves stories.

The thing that she says the most consistently these days is, "Tell me a story!" She loves being read to and wants us to tell her a story at all hours of the day.  If we need to snap her out of a bad mood, a story will do it.

We visited the new library at Libbie Mill and it's funny how excited we both were about it.

3. She loves doing her school work and working on her letters and numbers.

Krystal, our daycare provider, is wonderful at working on letters and numbers with her, and she remarks at how much Sloane loves working on it.  At home, she will often say, "Mom, I need to work on my letters," and will sit in front of her pad, writing the alphabet over and over again.  This here is when she wanted to write down all the characters from Peter Pan. (She wrote the names on the left and then wrote her name with extra letters on the right with a purple crayon).

4. She loves to draw.

When she gets into it, she can draw for hours. It feels like a privilege to have front row seats to such creativity. She comes up with funny designs and I like listening to her explanations of things.  One day out of nowhere, she started drawing these people. She will draw a photo of our family over and over again, and she also recently has been drawing scenes from the Peter Pan story: Captain Hook and Peter Pan fighting on the pirate ship, Wendy, John and Michael flying, etc.

5. She is a wonderful conversationalist.

How amazing is it that i can sit around and have interesting and funny conversations with someone that came out of my body and is now her own little person? We can have conversations where I can actually get to know her better.

Lately, when I tell her something that she knows, she says, "I know, mom" just like teenager might.

Sometimes i ask her to say certain words just because i want to hear how she says it. Like the word helicopter; out of Sloane's mouth, it is: helitopter.

Also, i can't believe how adorable her voice is.

6. She enjoys a good twirl.

I remember I used to love twirling in dresses with my sisters when I was younger, so it's fun to see how gleeful Sloane gets when she can twirl in a dresses. I like to take pictures of it so i can show Sloane how cool it looks. 

7. She has so much joy.

The other day she saw a flock of geese flying overhead. She gasped, clasped her hands together and yelped for joy. I saw her small body fill up with pure wonder.

She loves making "jokes" and remarking on things she finds silly. We are listening to a lot of Winne the Pooh these days and she finds much of it hilarious.

Her thing right now is to say something silly and say, "I'm just kidding!" or "I'm just joking mom" and laughing heartily.

Even doing the most ordinary of things is great fun with her around. 

8.  She takes care of her animals.

All of her animals have names, and she takes turns taking good care of them: taking them along on car rides, putting them down for a nap, telling them stories,  reassuring them, etc.

9. She has a great imagination.

She often has imaginary animals, specifically kittens, running around the house that she takes care of. She also has an imaginary friend named Dora, and the stories here get elaborate.

The picture above is when she dragged around these two carts full of blocks, saying that they were her dogs. She took them to the park, fed them food, and reassured them when they were scared.

10. She is always up for an adventure...

and she loves to cuddle at the end of the day.

I am the luckiest!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


Everytime I look at Logan these days, she reminds me of a little baby bear. It makes me laugh and she is always smiling and laughing back. I love making her smile, it feels like an addiction.

I'm savoring all the babyness of her - the tiny hands, the smell, the baby chub and the way she feels in my arms. I love that she is gaining heft and getting stronger, like she wants to sit up all time and can do it by herself sometimes, and I'm so proud and happy but there's also a little voice in the back of my head that says, "it's going by too fast" and I hang on to that moment of beholding her with all of my awareness so I can slow it down and appreciate it with every cell of my body.

There are days when it's really hard to leave Logan at daycare and walk away. But I tell myself that even though it sucks sometimes, it helps me appreciate her all the more in the hours I have with her in the mornings and evenings. I'm trying to teach her how to sleep continuously through the night but for now she is still waking up wanting to nurse and even though it's hard because of how tired I am, I even appreciate those times because it allows me more bonding time with her. She probably feels the same. 

That hair! It's getting longer but it's slowly starting to fall down. No more electrocuted baby hair, which is a little sad. Sloane loves rubbing her face through it, as if her hairs are soft feathers that you are meant to brush over your face. 

Sometimes she has these facial expressions that Ken and I die over. Kind of like this one, where it's as if she is a much older person giving us a "hey there" expression with a tiny baby face. It's the best.

Everyday, I feel extremely lucky to have her in our lives. When I hold both Logan and Sloane in my arms, I feel like the most fortunate and wealthy person in the world. 

Here is a little video clip of Logan laughing with Ken, he can always make her smile and talk. Sloane is saying "kiss her" here because Ken does this thing where he smothers Logan's cheeks and neck with kisses and it makes her giggle hysterically. Sloane loves seeing that.