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ellie's second birthday party!


second year of motherhood - practical.

after sharing some thoughts on my second year of motherhood, i wanted to share some of the practical things that have really worked for us. finding something that makes our day smoother, our family healthier or where we see ellie gain that next step of confidence, independence, or responsibility is so huge.  

the first one above, was getting ellie her own hooks. we don't have a coat closet or rack, so this entry way is where we need to keep our things -- i'm a big believer in everything having a place and keeping things simple. ellie was so excited when we put this up! she always knows where her coats & backpacks are (and can reach them "all by myself" as we hear so often!). you can find hooks like this anywhere, but i found ours in the anthro sale section!

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second year of motherhood - thoughts.

i've been reflecting on my second year of motherhood & what i've learned about ellie, and myself, along the way. i wrote about motherhood & work after her first birthday, you can read the full post here -- re-reading it, i still feel so much of what i wrote there. ellie's second birthday sort of snuck up on me -- i actually found myself a lot more emotional about this birthday than when she turned one. there's no denying that what happens in the first year of life is simply incredible -- these babies go from itsy bitsy ones that sleep all the time, to little people who move around, talk, know familiar faces -- but i have been even more awe struck by the second year of life -- i feel like i have learned so much about ellie, who she is becoming, what she thinks, and likes, and feels.

in one really significant way, my second year of motherhood looked a lot like my first -- over half of it was spent with ryan deployed. in thinking about that and knowing that's not a very "normal" way to spend your first two years of motherhood, i remembered a conversation i had with a mom of triplets -- i was telling her how amazed i was by her; she said, humbly and genuinely, "this is all i know -- this is how i became a mom." i think that's such an important truth for all of us -- whatever circumstances surrounded your entry to motherhood, those are yours -- and just like everything in life, we have a choice in how we respond to them. let me be clear -- what i'm about to write did not come easily, it was hard fought for, forged by really digging in and included plenty of days where i was frustrated, discouraged, completely worn down. i wrote a lot about this last deployment -- for me, deployment + motherhood are intrinsically connected right now.

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link love.

in all the hustle & bustle of this week, i wanted to share some things i've been loving:

so, i could spend from now til christmas making these santa videos -- they're incredible for kids & HILARIOUS for adults.

this is a beautiful, beautiful piece on a first year of marriage.

love this simple, creative act of motherhood & homemaking with a toddler.

oh pimento cheese, i heart you!

so, this nursery is amazing.

i cannot put this book down!

this two minute video on empathy is so, so good.

this is one of the most beautiful, heartfelt things i've ever seen.

and my oh my this little girl above who is about to be two (?!?!) she is at such an incredible age. her new favorite word is "maybe" but she has no idea what rules govern its use so she just uses it a lot; she also is very excited about christmas -- what she has clung to the most is that jesus was born (every time she sees our nativity she shouts "born! born!") -- and her favorite songs: little drummer boy (rumpumpum) and jingle bells! wishing you all the joys of this season from our little family! xo


merry christmas!!!!

from our little family to yours! xoxo

here are our 200920102011 & 2012's cards! (all by minted!)