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little updates!

while we're in the final days before this second little baby girl arrives, i wanted to share some small updates we've made to the nursery! ellie moved to her new room in july, and so it's been fun to be in this space and try to imagine this little baby girl and what she will be like. it's also really fun to work on a baby's room when all you need are little things -- none of the stress of is this the right crib?! chair?!

i said this on instagram, but for me, and the way i'm wired, this second round of nesting has been oh-so-wonderful. my type a, over achiever tendencies have been oh so humbled by parenthood -- i have no illusion that there is a to do list or task that will make us "ready" for this baby. for me, that's because i know she will come into the world with needs we could have never have anticipated; and that for a while, baby's needs are so simple. we've received some really thoughtful gifts for this baby that have brightened this space and made it feel new for this sweet girl.

for the past few week, i find myself walking in this room each night before bed. i just sort of wind up sitting there for a few minutes, looking around, trying to soak up the coming change. trying to process what it's like to bring a baby home, to rock it to sleep, the incredible care that will be done in this room, especially over her first year of life. it feels like it's been so long since we've had a baby in this house, i think my heart is just preparing, best it can, for it.

here are the little updates i just love: this rifle paper co set of classic books (b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l!); this crib sheet that just makes me so happy; this print that is SUCH a good reminder about raising little ones; this little mouse that i just totally fell for & some of our new favorite books (more on that next!). you can also see a wish list for this second baby in this post!


ellie's new room!


our (growing) family.


second baby wish list.


as we prepare for another little girl to join our family in november, i'm struck by how much simpler it is this time around. in truth, there's nothing we need before her arrival. there are a few things that will be nice to have, but if she came tomorrow, i know intimately how simple her needs will be for a long time ahead. i so appreciate the calmness with that (i know i'll still have those bizarre moments of intense nesting/crazy projects -- hold onto your hat!), but i'm taking rest in this season.

if you've followed my journey over the past year, you know that what i've actually done to prepare for this baby is simplifed our space and belongings, not added to it. we have three very small closests, and now four family members, there were no empty shelves or cabinets awaiting her. looking around there was much we hadn't used or didn't need, and so slowly, methodically, i've found other homes for those things. like most first time parents, we thought we needed way more than we actually did with ellie, so we've even cleaned out a lot of our "baby items" down to the ones we really used.

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christmas cards & baby announcements, oh my!




if you've been reading t&f for a while, you've no doubt heard me profess my love for minted. i've come to appreciate, especially when ordering something online, excellent quality that is consistent; great customer service; and a simple process.

recently, i've had so much fun wandering their site, picking some of my favorite birth announcement and christmas card designs. the really unbelievable thing is that both will include a baby girl i haven't met yet (!); so as i'm trying to imagine the photograph we'll use for each, it's exciting to think about this little one who will join our family in november.

we seem to always have a reason that we can't choose a photograph for our christmas card until the very last minute -- our very first christmas card was a wedding photograph (and we got married in november...); the past two years have included a deployment homecoming in november and now we'll be waiting til that month for our new addition. it does build the suspense!

so, in the meantime, i mark designs i love and get excited for the day i'll be able to see them with a photograph of our TWO little girls!

you can see the round up of our family's minted cards here: our 200920102011 & 2012, 2013 cards!; plus ellie's birth announcement!


just to be in the same room with them.

i have often joked that in retirement, ryan & i are going to have a bizarre hobby: we're going to crash rehearsal dinners. let me explain: i love weddings, but even more than weddings, i love rehearsal dinners. i love them because of the toasts that can be given on an evening like that. usually it is the wedding party, so the chosen family of the bride and groom, and close family members; an intimate gathering of all the people who best know them. so, if there are some good storytellers among those gathered, it can be an incredible evening of getting to know the ins and outs of the bride and groom (with some good roasts along the way); and more of their story as a couple. i can pretty much recite some of my favorite rehearsal dinner toasts -- childhood anecdotes, pieces of advice, moments of reflection that made a permanent impression upon me. they wove their way into my heart and became stories i love to retell. i love how rehearsal dinners can so clearly say to those two, on the eve of making that covenant: we're with you. we love you. we cherish you & the bond you have.

a few weeks ago, we went to san francisco for the wedding of some dear friends. the groom was our best man, peter, and his family introduced ryan & I to each other. the rehearsal dinner toasts were among the best i've ever heard -- spanning the spectrum from so funny they could have sent me into labor, and then like an unexpected freight train, they would end with something so profoundly moving and loving that i'd dissolve into tears. (in general, me at a wedding, especially pregnant, is a hot emotional mess).

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