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link love.

i mentioned in this post how much blogs have been an encouragement to me during these months of morning sickness -- i thought i'd share some of my favorite recent links in case you're looking for some inspiration:

this great post triggered my most intense pregnancy craving to date -- and since then, i've had an uncountable number of these sandwiches (i can't even imagine when my own tomatoes are finally ready!) the other thing i can't get enough of? plums -- which are unbelievable and in season right now!

cup of jo comes through for me again -- awesome ideas for nurturing strong relationships among siblings! also dates with your child -- YES!

such a neat summer craft: cardboard dream catchers.

loved this post about motherhood and the white flag (wonderful babysitters are the way i'm hoping to find more time to write).

need a fourth of july t-shirt?

piece on marriage that rightfully has been getting a lot of attention.

will be making these soon, they're perfect for a summer gathering!

happy fourth of july! xo


life right now.



so, i miss this space — and i’m a big believer that our lives are a reflection of our priorities — and that fundamentally we all get 24 hours and lots of choices about how we spend that time. i’m also totally over being “so busy” or worshiping it or stressing about it or talking about it — i’ve found it’s not a fun way to be yourself or fun to be around. i also feel like with little ones, that’s not what i want them to be taking away about the pace of our family’s life (ellie’s favorite time increment to use with me is “one second!” “one second mommy!” — they can give you such a gut check on how you talk about your own life!). so, this post is going to be a meandering look at where i am in life and how i’m trying to get to a place where i have more space for the people and things that matter the most to me — writing here being among them.

i feel like i keep coming back to the quote “it’s ok to be happy with a calm life.” i read that quote and i immediately want to give it a double high five, an emphatic yes, a strong head nod — and then i pause for a moment and think — “how on earth do you get there and stay there for any length of time?!!!” sure, there are moments when i’m reading with ellie in her teepee and am totally at peace, present in the moment, temporarily not thinking about dinner or laundry or emails or bills or where we need to be next. there are moments when ryan and i are sitting on the porch, lost in conversation, and i’m not, in the back of my mind thinking about how we need to do the dishes, or put away the laundry or get to bed because that little one is going to be up and at ‘em SO soon! there are days when i’m better about giving myself permission to take a nap and more grace that even if it doesn’t feel like my body is doing anything — it’s growing a little one and that act is often unseen, very hard work. there are times when i’m more present with my friends — not multitasking while we’re on the phone or delaying writing an email i know i need to send or putting off coffee because i “don’t have time."

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strawberry picking - as a family!


exciting news for our little family! pancakes?!

sweet readers (anyone who is still out there! hi mom & dad!) -- thank you so much for your patience and understanding over the past few months. i have missed this space & am so grateful to finally be posting! our family has some really exciting news -- we're expecting a baby this november!!!! (or, if you're ellie, possibly just pancakes).

like my pregnancy with ellie, this one has been really hard. it has also been really different, because we have ellie around -- which is both the greatest blessing because she is a hourly reminder of why this is all more than worth it; but also needs a lot of energy -- and so whatever i've had to give, which most days hasn't been much, has gone to her. i'm 17 weeks and turning a corner -- it's hard to put into words how grateful i am to be having better days -- with more to give to ryan, and ellie and well, to life.

i have some posts i'm eager to write -- on the early weeks of this pregnancy (including some funny ellie girl stories), some new thoughts on surviving morning sickness for any of you who might be sick as dogs like me, strawberry picking and an ellie update (somehow she is almost two and a half!). i began this blog right after ryan & i were married (now almost 5 years ago!) and so many of you have literally watched our family grow. thank you for your love, encouragement -- and for showing up, here, time and time again.

as i told my sweet friend allison, when i was realizing i was getting closer to some better days & the chance to write here again: "it'd probably be a good idea to keep expectations low, as in, i'm still puking, setting off my own house alarm (while ellie is in time out) and going through the starbucks drive thru braless -- so, i'm going to write, i'm just not sure how often ... and about what!"

i will show up and do what i've always tried to do: tell good stories. if parenting has taught me anything, it's that babies bring lots of good stories.

welcome to our family little one, we can't wait to meet you!

p.s. a little explanation of the video above: every other time i've asked e what's in my belly, she's said "baby!!" but, of course, the one time i video tape it, she decides it's pancakes. ryan & i loved the unscripted response too much to post anything else for this announcement!


link love.


two years old folks -- i'm telling you, it's the best. seriously, i mean yes it's a little charles dickens "it was the best of times, it was the worst of times" but mostly -- it's just awesome. i'm with sydney and am thinking of launching a fan club. i really need to start writing down ellie quotes, but one of my recent favorites is that she has been captivated by the idea that ryan & i fell in love. when we were in dc a few weeks ago, we kept showing her the places we fell in love. days later, we realized she took this literally, as she knocked me over in an aggressive hug on our attic floor she squealed "i fall in love with you!!"

fast forward a few weeks -- she & i are crossing the street to go to a park, she says, out of the blue, "mommy, you fall in love with daddy?" i responded "yeah ellie, i did" (long pause) and she goes, "oh .... one time... i ALMOST fall in love with daddy, we in sailboat!" my favorite parts are that a. she used one of her favorite current storytelling tricks "one time..." b. she ALMOST fell in love -- not quite and c. she has never been on a sailboat.

my other favorite trick up her sleeve is when ryan is leaving to go to the squadron (a new favorite word of hers that sounds a lot like chocolate when she says it) she'll try to stall him by saying "hold ON. daddy. HAVE to tell you a story." he'll walk over and crouch down, she'll sigh and squeal something in her this-is-the-most-exciting-story-you've-ever-heard-voice like "we going to NEW chick-fil-a!!! ... that my story." i can't imagine where she gets this from. ;)

ok, ok, this post was supposed to be full of links! here we go:

it's been a long time since i've thought about engagement photos, but geez louise, these are stunning!

so, so true.

it's on my bucket list to make my own cinnamon rolls, at least one time. these might be it.

this blog is my new fav -- makes me laugh so, so hard, such an authentic voice, such a window into motherhood.

and super random, but these two toddler girl dresses at baby gap would be such beautiful flower girl dresses!! 

most of all -- happy weekend, you earned it!


how we think about toys + giving (part two).

last monday, i wrote about how we think about and organize toys in our house. now i'm going to jump into a little hot water -- several of you have asked about how you might handle relatives or friends who don't quite understand what you're trying to teach your child about toys and taking care of their things. it's such a tricky balance because it's so amazing to have other people love your kid -- and want to be generous with them. you don't want to discourage that in anyway, but when they repeatedly give gifts that counter the kind of environment you're trying to create, that you think is best for your family, it gets harder.

i've watched lots of friends wrestle with this -- and i'm not just saying this because our families read this blog, but we've been truly fortunate in that our family members have really sought out suggestions for what ellie might like (my brother chose the guitar from a list of amazon links i sent him), keep gifting to holidays only (which keeps ellie from thinking there's a steady stream of new toys in her life), and have been really thoughtful (ryan's mom made ellie a beautiful goodnight moon needlepoint ornament for christmas -- commemorating one of her & ryan's favorite books).

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