Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Are we ready for Thanksgiving?? Surprisingly, I think I am! What helped get me in the mood was the Friendsgiving feast we had this past weekend. These are friends who all worked together at one point in time - some of us don't all work together anymore, but we make a point to get together to catch up and doing a potluck for Thanksgiving has naturally just become a thing (now three years in a row!). We're doing it and we're doing it hard.  

Inspired by Oh Joy's "cone-a-copia", I put together this centerpiece for our table using ice cream cones, winter greens, dried orange baby's breath that I had around and white paper flowers (yes...from my wedding).

I also did a few simple things to jazz up the table: handmade simple place mats out of burlap (and by handmade I mean I measured, cut and fringed them- easiest placemats ever),  gold ribbons around mason jars, pine cones as stands for name cards and paper napkins with a fun geometric pattern (from Target). 

Happy Thanksgiving all! 

Monday, November 25, 2013


I was in a crummy mood today. The one-two punch of a really cold day and a Monday at the office got me real good. It's the kind of mood that warrants making a giant bowl of aglio e olio and eating it hot and steamy. Or making a pan of fried rice and eating it straight out is the pan, standing up, next to the stove. Or going to town on a loaf of fresh bread, smothered in butter. As I later told Ken, these cravings might be my body's way of trying to fatten me up for the winter. I did end up making some fried rice for dinner but I'm proud to say I refrained from getting all dramatic with it. More importantly, at the end of the day, I get to pick up sloane the brave, who is a balm for my cranky soul. Great huge grins from my daughter, a warm house, and some leftovers from the night before's friendsgiving feast wore down some of my crankiness and got me closer to a thankful state of mind, which is where I always hope to be.

It's usually slower and sometimes harder to run errands with a toddler, but it is also  more fun with a side kick who is 100% committed to their sidekick role for an errand-filled Saturday. This past weekend found just us girls alone while Ken was out of town. On Friday, we shared an apple together while I told her of my Saturday to-do list and on Saturday morning, we got dressed, took our time eating our breakfast, and then looked at each other, took a deep breath and went at it.  That day we hit up two grocery stores, two thrift stores, a children's consignment store, the dollar tree, the mall, and chipotlewith a nap somewhere in the middle of all that.  

Some other noteworthy things, she started saying "wee!" when doing certain things that warrant such an emotion, i.e. sliding off the chair, running into the next room, finding a ball. It's too much for words.
It  also got real cold this past weekend and I showed her how the cold sometimes makes me hug myself and say, "brrr it's cold!" Watching her imitate me do that was maybe the highlight of the whole day. 
Also, Sloane learned how to jump. She demands that we jump around together, sporadically. 

I love that I get to share my joy of eating apples with her.  As she eats the apple with glee and such efficiency, I'm like, 'yes! I know, isn't it SO good?!' 

On the left, right before we set out for the day. 
On the right, we took a break and came back home so that she could take a nap and this is right before she uncharacteristically put up a very big fuss about having to nap. i imagined she was saying, 'but mama, we're not done!'

She is usually in the shopping cart when we go to the grocery store, but on this particular trip, i only needed to pick up one or two things so she was eye-level with all of the flowers and we must have spent a good 10 minutes in the floral section because she needed to sniff each and every flower and plant.

Dinner after a long day of errands…(we tried out chipotle's kid's menu!) she had brown rice, black beans and some of a pork and cheese quesedilla. 

When she saw these mannequins at the store she stared long and hard and went up to investigate.  She pointed to the dog and said "ruh run!" (for rusty) and I was tickled by how still she was standing there so still. We had a couple of people walk by and get surprised because they thought she was part of the display.

And something else that bullies down those winter blues: yellow tights to brighten up the dark and remind you of sunny days:

Friday, November 22, 2013


"Try not to become a man of success, but rather to become a man of value." - Einstein 

I'm chewing on this.  There is so much I want to do, but also sometimes I am so tired.  I have many dreams, but I am also very happy with what I have going on here right now.  I try not to get too knocked down when things don't work out, reflect on why I feel discouraged, flex my trusting muscles, and find value in the overwhelming wealth that is my life. Einstein was probably warning against the success that seeks out fame and prosperity, and I'm agreeing with him, that pursuing those kinds of successes does not do anything for character or true joy. So becoming a woman of value is having my own, possibly counter-culture, definition of success. Nothing wrong with fame or prosperity, but those things in themselves hold little intrinsic value and my 30 year old self has been defining success these days as: getting through my to-do list for the day, really seeing my daughter, making her feel loved and praying for her, having patience towards others, being open, giving as many thanks as I can possibly squeeze in a day, being still before my Maker, writing, day dreaming and putting forth plans for the future but holding on to them loosely.  I'm learning as I go; transformation through the renewal of my mind. 

And now without further ado, our trip to the museum, in photos... like I do.

I was near giddy to take sloane to the natural history museum last weekend. It's probably become one of my favorite hobby these days- introducing Sloane to new things.  Ken and I felt like such parents, like the kind of parents that do things like take their kid to the museum.  I see why this is a thing, everyone wins. It's for the benefit of the kid, sure, but also, it reminds the grown ups of the wonder that we once had when we were kids.  

Taking pictures on such trips is another thing we do here right? To prove to them later that we did such things, but more importantly to remind them that there was a point in their lives when they first saw things like a giant stuffed elephant, stuffed birds, the bones of a dinasoar, a replica of a blue whale, and tanks of live hermit crabs and beautiful fish, they considered it absolutely and utterly amazing.

taking a deep breath before exploring: sitting down at ground level, having a clementine for energy and observing the crowds

we started with the elephant on the main floor and sloane's mind was blown

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


One of my favorite things about a city is being able to get around without a car. A city with good public transportation is immediately a great city in my book. A city that is squished to the brim with so much to see that walking is the preferred method usually has me scheming up ways to move there as soon as possible. I appreciate the convenience of a car as much as the next person but having to walk to your next destination makes me feel more like I'm living life in the pace and with the observation that it is meant to be lived, you know? 

When I lived in DC for a semester my last year of college, I lived on Connecticut Avenue near the zoo and worked in southeast DC, near Eastern Market. Sometimes I commuted on the metro, but as soon as the weather got nice, I walked the 3.5 mile, one hour long walk. I have such strong nostalgic feelings about those walks. I would usually be listening to some music, try out different routes so that I could check out new streets and I got to know the city the best that way.  Anyways, any time I come into DC I think about that time, and although it was a long time ago now, it made me that kind of happy go lucky to be walking down 10th avenue this particular day.  

See this man here ? I love him. 

(As an aside, I was in such a bad mood today, and I cranky requested him to please do the dishes before I get home, and he did. And then gave me a big satisfying hug when I saw him.  Sometimes I think it would be nice to have a button I could push that would get him to do [insert chore here] exactly at the precise moment I want, but then here's the thing, I feel LOVED when I know that he is willing to choose me and consciously choosing to help me over [insert hobby/downtime here] with his time...and obviously, that's so much better than having a robot husband.  Free will theology anyone?]

That day, as we walked around, I must have turned to him at least five times to say, 'Gosh, isn't this nice!'  He responded with sincerity and more enthusiasm than he usually does when I exclaim such things to him in the midst of something I have declared to be an adventure and gosh if I don't love that he knows me, puts up with me (and hopefully, loves me) for that.  

You see that little bug there standing next to me?  She had SUCH a great time trotting down this street. It is amazing how much joy can flood my heart just from watching run with the biggest smile on her face. Of course she had to stop to look closely at particular leaves, study the grass, and in this case here, she came to a dead stop when she saw these kids running up towards us.  She does this; when she sees other kids, she cannot keep her eyes off of them.  And then once she observed what they were up to, she was off, bunny in hand, trying to chase after them and join them in their romp. 

The way she interacts with her stuffed animals these days just kills me.  

The way she runs into my arms has me in a puddle, every time. 

Sometimes I look at this guy and think, whoa that's my best friend. I married him, and there he is, pushing our baby in a stroller… and I freeze everything for a millisecond to just enjoy that thought.  But also, let's take a poll, should he cut his hair and grow facial hair? Or keep growing a mane?

Yes, we totally pulled off a self-timer photo on this walk. 

Next up, the museum of natural history!