Monday, May 30, 2016

little gifts [425 - 441]

Happy Monday and Happy Memorial Day! Hopefully you enjoyed your weekend and are off to a great start of the week. There are so many little gifts in my life right now . . .

425. eating popsicles on the porch on a hot sticky day

426. exploring a new playground

427. little legs kicking a soccer ball in a wide open field

428. sandal wearing weather

429. tiny arms wrapped tight around my neck

430. cuddling a sleeping nugget during church

431. Emerson walking between his two aunties, holding their hands

432. the rustle of tree leaves dancing in the wind

433. playing in the shade of a tall oak tree on a warm morning

434. tiny baby shoes with real soles on my baby's tiny feet

435. Oliver's little arms reaching out for me when in the arms of someone else

436. peas flying at me during dinner after excited little hands pat and rub them on table

437. a Ninja Turtle baseball hat surprise for Emerson

438. Oliver's wet tears against my check

439. watching Emerson play t-ball

440. ice-cream with sprinkles

441. living in a land served by brave men and women who sacrifice so much for our freedom

What are some of the little gifts in your life right now?

Thursday, May 26, 2016

a few confessions

This week has not gone like I had hoped it would. Not that anything bad has happened, it's mostly been tasks I've not finished by when I was hoping to. So I just keep working on them as I can and trying to be content with just that. Anyhow, I thought I'd join and share some confessions this week. 

I confess . . .

- today is my last day of babysitting Bee. It's such a bittersweet change. We're used to her being gone during the summer, but seeing her in the Fall. This time though, she's not coming back and that is sad. Every morning Emerson asks if she's coming and he loves playing with her. They play so well together that it makes my job easy. I know we'll never find another Bee and that makes me sad. Sure, it's exciting to think about days with just the boys, but it's also really sad. Emerson's best playmate isn't going to be coming to play anymore.

- I'm not sure if I'm going to babysit another baby in the Fall or if we're just going to make do without me babysitting. There might be the potential for me to watch another little 1 1/2 year old girl, but I don't know. 

- I didn't expect I'd be this sad about Bee's last day. She's just worked her way deep into our lives and hearts, that I don't know what we'll do without her! 

- dinner is the last thing I want to fix at the end of the day. I wish I could have a magic wand I could wave that would fix whatever meal I wanted. But nope, that "wand" is me and it's feeling a little worn down. 

- Emerson pooped on the potty! More than once! He's not doing it every day, but when he does, he's so excited about it [and so am I]. Hopefully that [and that fact he's done it] will help him go on the regular.

- this is our last week as a one car family .... and I'm so very excited! 

- family has been asking what Oliver wants for his birthday and I don't know what to tell them! I don't even know what to get him for his birthday. Ideas and suggestions for a gifts for a one year old would be most welcome! 

- I started watching "The Bachelorette" on Tuesday afternoon. I'm still not done. 

- every day brings us closer to Oliver's first birthday, and I have still not printed a single picture of him or our family of four. eeek. 

That's all for today. I'm linking up here and here

Monday, May 23, 2016

little gifts [405 - 424]

Hello, friends and Happy Monday! Hopefully you all had a lovely weekends filled with family, fun, and rest. I'm starting my week bright and early and sharing a few little gifts in my life.

405. the humm of the dryer as I fall asleep

406. sitting outside in the afternoon shade

407. green grass tickling my hands and legs

408. the sun still shining after the boys are in bed

409. pats on my shoulder by a tiny, dimply hand

410. long summer days to come

411. fresh blueberries popping in my mouth

412. Landon fixing dinner

413. watching Emerson's little foot kick a soccer ball

414. hope for the day

415. poking Oliver's belly and getting big baby giggles in return

416. an unexpected nap in the middle of the afternoon

417. kisses from Emerson, while he puts me sleep

418. being covered with a blanket by the hands of my three year old

419. reading the same book 12 times in a row

420. "it a E for me!" as Emerson recognizes the letter "E" on a shirt

421. crock pot meals

422. little legs dangling over the edge of a chair, kicking the air, watching their shadow

423. a gentle breeze waving my skirt around my legs

424. tiny green sprouts bursting from the ground

What are some of the little gifts in your life today?

Thursday, May 19, 2016

a few confessions

Happy Thursday! I thought I'd join in for some confessions again today, so I'll get right to it.

I confess . . . 

- As much as I love sleep and my bed, as hard as can be to wake up early enough to allow ample time to get ready and maybe do my quiet time before the boys wake in the morning, I love the times I do get out of bed early. I love the quiet and still of the morning. I love being completely ready and having plenty of quiet time before anyone else is awake. if only I could make it a daily habit.

- It's probably time I invest in a second pair of jeans. I wear mine every single day and I'm sure they could use a little break every now and then.

- Bee is coming an hour early today and I'm not exactly looking forward to it. Since she's coming so early, the boys are both still sleeping [yay!] - at an hour they are usually already running around the house like wild men [boo]. And there's no sign of them waking anytime soon. It's one thing for Bee to arrive early, but it's an entirely different thing for her to be here while the boys are still sleeping. ugh. Though, I predicted this very thing happening.

- There is only one more week left of babysitting and I am so very excited!

- Every morning I look forward to breakfast but am too lazy to make steel cut oats, one of my favorites.

- We're going to the beach shortly after Oliver turns one and I've had plans all along to wean him by his birthday. Recently though, I've started debating waiting on that because it would be nice to enjoy the beach and our time away from home without having a certain little monthly visitor come back. Also, that boy is showing no signs of being ready to be completely weaned. What to do.

- I'm trying to figure out a way to bring my sewing machine out of the basement so I can work on projects during nap time [since Bee naps in the basement] and after the boys are in bed for the night without feeling like I'm trapped in a dungeon. I really hate basements. I'm sure I could make space for it somewhere in our room? Maybe...

I'm linking up here and here today.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

[dairy free] chocolate chip cookies [a recipe]

Some days you just need a good chocolate chip cookie. There's something so homey, so classic, so comforting about enjoying chocolate chip cookies. Maybe it's because growing up, it's one of the cookies my mom would make regularly. She was always baking cookies, and when we got old enough to help and then bake on our own, we did. One thing is certain though, there were always cookies to be snacked on. 

Even though Emerson is still little and Oliver is just a baby, I want my boys to grow up in a home where homemade cookies are always handy for a snack or special treat. I want them to remember that even at a young age, cookies existed. Obviously I have a deep love of cookies. That may or may not be a good thing.

Over the past ten or so months, I've been on a dairy free diet as Oliver has an allergy to milk protein. I cut out all dairy, including dairy in baked goods [crackers, chips, bread...]. It's changed my eating habits significantly as well as how and what I cook. In the beginning it was more of a challenge, but now there's nothing to it and preparing dinner or desserts that are dairy free is a breeze. If there's ever something that's not diary free, I like the challenge of finding a way to make it so [although there are some things that just can't be altered, like cheesecake].

Since going dairy free, it seems as though the stores I shop at have started to carry more dairy free options for things like coffee creamer, yogurt, and chocolate chips. When I first saw the chocolate chips I couldn't believe  my eyes. Every time I saw them at the store I kept telling myself I didn't need to get them, I'd done without for six months, I could continue without. But then one day they were on sale, so I threw a bag in my cart and went on my merry way. I waited for the perfect day to use them, and when I did I wondered why I'd waited so long. Chocolate chips are just good. Chocolate chip cookies are just wonderful.

One morning I decided I need to bake some cookies, I called Emerson into the kitchen to help me, though the little turd only lasted two minutes and then ran back in a few times to help dump things in the bowl. That morning, chocolate chip cookies just seemed right. So I altered a recipe and created my own little batch of goodness.

1 1/2 cups dairy free butter, softened
3/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup + 2 TBLS brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup dairy free chocolate chips

Cream butter and sugars together until fluffy. Pour in vanilla and eggs and mix until smooth. Add flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix ingredients together until well combined. Sprinkle chocolate chips in and carefully combine into the cookie dough mixture. Drop spoonfuls of dough onto a lined cookie sheet [lined with silicone baking mat or parchment paper]. Bake at 350 for 9-11 minutes, until puffy and just barely golden in color.

*Of course, if you don't need the cookies to be dairy free, use regular unsalted butter and [real] chocolate chips.

Monday, May 16, 2016

little gifts [386 - 404]

Happy Monday to you! I have come to love these posts so very much because they help me see all of the little things that can bring so much joy into my life. So here goes . . .

386. bubbles floating high above the roof tops

387. a clear blue sky

388. a big bowl of khao soi

389. a date night with the mister

390. a weekend visit with Lauren

391. a box of diapers delivered right to my doorstep

392. finding Christmas presents to hide away for December

393. thinking about preparations to celebrate Oliver turning one

394. rolling balls of cookie dough between my hands

395. cinnamon sugar soft and crisp on freshly baked cookies

396. pats on the back by a tiny little hand

397. avocado covered baby

398. surprise lunch of eating out after church

399. 30% savings on an already sale price item

400. the excited breathing of Oliver as he crawls and makes his way toward a book or toy

401. drinking chocolate milk with a bendy straw

402. watching Oliver try to lift his leg just a little bit higher so he can climb onto big brother's bed

403. a shy little nugget who hides his face in my neck

404. red juicy watermelon

What are some of the little gifts in your life right now?

Friday, May 13, 2016

a secret and some big news

I have been waiting what seems like forever to write and share this post. But for many reasons, have had to refrain until now. Not any more though! I've been keeping a really big secret and have been bursting to share. This is news we have been so excited about and can finally spill the beans ... Landon has a job! A real, full time, professional, paying job. He recently just signed a contract for a position at a university in Kansas!

To say I'm excited would be an understatement. I am thrilled and am so proud of him and all he has done to get to this point and to get a job! This position is just an affirmation that he is following God's calling on his [our] life for him to pursue his PhD and ultimately become a professor. While he has a signed contract, he won't actually be starting until next year and he'll spend this summer and the upcoming school year working hard on finishing his PhD and dissertation. He's always been such a hard worker and he devotes himself fully to his work and research. I know that Kansas is going to be getting the best professor out there and am just so thankful for this opportunity for him [and our family].

The process of getting to this point has been a long one to say the least. Back in October he applied to an opening, a few weeks later he was contacted to do a phone interview. A few weeks after that, he was called back to see if he would be willing to fly out for a second, in person, interview. Um... yes please! We found out about the call back for an interview right before Christmas - it was one of the best gifts! The beginning of February he flew out for a three day long interview. Three day interview. Can you even imagine? From the moment his flight landed in Kansas he was essentially interviewing. Over dinner, over breakfast, meetings, presentations, though lunch, coffee breaks, walking around campus. He stared each morning bright and early and went until late at night, meeting people, presenting his work, and himself as the best candidate for the job. The department head sent him an itinerary for his interview, each hour was allotted to one thing or another: a meeting with the department head, a meeting with the hiring committee, a presentation... He spent weeks preparing for the interview, from getting new suits and shoes, to working on his presentation, practicing his presentation [it's super impressive and smart sounding!], learning about the hiring committee before hand, reading about the staff and department at the university. He spent weeks to prepare.

Then he flew off to Kansas and I prayed non-stop from the moment I dropped him off at the airport [though if I'm being honest - from the moment he submitted his application/had the phone interview/found out about the call back interview] until he received an offer - and had a signed the contract.

Each night while he was gone he called me and talked about how great the interview seemed to be going and about how wonderful everyone he'd met with had been. So we hoped and prayed. A lot.

It's really challenging to find a job in academia. Finding any job is a challenge, but there are so few openings for professors which makes it even more challenging than other jobs. Even though he'll be more educated than before, actually getting hired for a job as a professor is such a difficult thing to do. There aren't many openings and for the few openings there are, there are hundreds and hundreds of applicants. The applicants are then narrowed down to ten or so and then phone interviews begin. They're narrowed down even more after that to just three or so for an interview on campus. And then the hiring committee chooses one applicant. Landon was their one.

Praise the Lord.

I truly couldn't be more proud of him or more thankful for this opportunity. It's so exciting to know where we'll be heading next and where, more likely than not, we'll be spending the rest of our lives. I'm anxious for this next year to pass so we can move and finally be settled. But at the same time, I'm trying to enjoy each day we have here because I know this is a very special time in our lives and before long will be a distant memory. But I'm so ready to be done here... 

In my excitement about moving [in a year or so], I've already started looking at houses and our options when it comes to housing: building, buying new, fixing up a house. There are so many factors to consider, and it's exciting to know that the house we do end up buying could very likely be [and hopefully will be] our forever home. I've moved from place to place ever since I was a little girl and one thing I am so looking forward to is being settled and having a home - hanging pictures on the walls, hosting friends and family, watching our boys grow and have their friends over, loving, learning, laughing, crying, and knowing that our boys will come home from to college [better be the one their daddy teaches at, hello faculty student discount] to visit us in that same home. That's my dream at least. Even though I've only been able to visit there once, it seems like such a sweet little town and the perfect place to raise a family.

I know there is still a lot of work Landon has to finish before we move and that once we move he'll be a new kind of busy as he's working as a professor [!!!]. Even still, I'm so very excited about what is to come and about what this next year will look like. I'm excited for him and his career as a professor, I know the staff at the university is eager to have him and they have already been more than accommodating in every way possible. They allowed a return visit so he could negotiate in person and so I could go with him and see the town. They set up meetings with a realtor for both visits [which makes it so real!]. They gave him everything he asked for and more in his start up package. They were always quick to respond to his emails and questions and their responses showed their excitement to have him as a part of their department.

God has answered our prayers in big ways making it evident to us that this is what we should be doing. The whole time he's given sign after sign that it was this university and not the other one he interviewed at [because he had another interview at a different university!]. I couldn't be more excited for him or for us as a family.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

a few confessions

It's been few weeks since I've done any confessing, and today just feels like a confessing kind of day. So, here we go I confess . . . 

- I hate when Landon it gone for trips, but one thing I don't mind so much about his absence? That when I go to take a shower, I don't have to move the shower head down so it doesn't spray me right in the face.

- No matter how many times I kiss Oliver's face while I'm rocking him, I have to kiss his sweet little baby soft cheek one last time right before I lay him down. Always.

- I can't go to bed at night unless the kitchen is clean up. This works fine most nights, but on the rare night I have to rush the boys upstairs after dinner for baths and bed time, then forget about the dirty kitchen until I go in to get water right before I'm ready to go to bed, it's not so good.

- Usually I try to pay our bills right away, but sometimes they just sit on my desk for a while. I pay them eventually [and on time] but why can't I just make myself pay them right away?

- I'm ready to move into a house with 3 or more bedrooms so Oliver can actually have his own room and not have his toys in our room. Basically, I just want our room to be a toy free zone. One day. Though I do love what the toys represent so I really can't complain too much.

- I have racked my brain and creative juices and am coming to a wits end - Emerson will not poop on the potty! Help!

- A few months ago Landon suggested I make an afghan for one of his advisor's new baby. I thought that was a great idea and started working on it. We're seeing her tomorrow and the afghan still isn't quite done! Yikes!

- Pretty much every time I sit down and work on the afghan, I start to fall asleep. How does one fall asleep while crocheting? I have no idea, but this happens to me every.single.time.

- Oliver's birthday is in less than a months [crazy!] and I have no idea what theme I'll be working around for his cake. That means I'm just in denial that my baby will be one, right?

- I'm super picky about what kind of floss I use. I try to floss every night, though it doesn't always happen, but it can't be any old kind of floss. It must be the kind in the round dispenser. I don't know why. If I'm in a bind, I'll make do with another kind, but this is the only one for me. I just hope they never stop making it.

- The other day I got some dairy free ice-cream to try. And it was good. But, while eating a little cup of it, I discovered that I'm not a lover of ice cream any more. It has nothing to do with the fact that it was dairy free, you couldn't even tell the difference, it's just that it just "eh, ice cream". I can eat it, sure, but I'd rather not. ...I guess that's a good problem to have.

Anyhow, I'll stop there for now! Happy Friday's Eve to you.

I'm linking up here today. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Oliver / 11 month update

I can't even handle that you are 11 months old today, Oliver! In one month you will be one! One! Cue the waterworks. It is so hard to believe that it has been nearly one year since we welcomed you into this world and yet at the same time, it's not hard to believe at all. You are a true joy and delight and it's hard to remember what our family was like before you came along.

You are a babe on the move and will rarely be still for anything. Recently you graduated from army crawling everywhere [which I loved] to regular crawling. You're a speedy little nugget and can get anywhere you want to go. You always jump at the chance to crawl into the bathroom if the door is open, apparently it's pretty exciting in there. If something's in your way, you usually just crawl right on top of it. If it's too tall you'll go around or under or something. But one thing is for sure, when  you decide where you want to go, you go there and there is little that can stop you or your desire to be there. You're pulling up on anything and everything like a pro and sometimes you'll let go and stand on your own - for all of .0079 seconds. You can take your time standing, causing, and learning to walk. I know you'll learn one day and then there will really be no stopping you!

You like to be where I am and if I take a few steps to one side, you'll quickly follow and plant yourself at my feet, usually waiting for me to pick you up. If I walk to the other room for a minute, you're never far behind and I can usually peek around the corner and see your little self crawling to find me. When you see me, your eyes light up, you giggle, and then you book it to get to me even faster. A lot of our dinners are prepared with you at  my feet "helping", I wish I could pick you up and hold you all the while I get dinner ready, but it just doesn't always work that way.

Teething: This past month you popped a few more teeth through - your top left canine [around April 15 or so] and your top right first molar [on May 8]. Your top left first molar looks like it's going to cut through any day now, and I'm sure it's the reason [and that first molar] for some less than stellar naps and congestion. When it comes to cutting teeth, you mean business! On one of our many visits to the doctor, one of the doctors said that usually, it's four teeth by the first 15 months. Well, you my dear have gone above and beyond!

Sleep: As far as sleep goes, you're taking two naps a day. One in the morning around 9:30 and it usually lasts from 30-60 minutes. Though sometimes longer and sometimes it's nonexistent. Then you'll nap again around 1:30 for an hour or two. Though that varies from day to day too. Thankfully I've trained you to nap while Emerson and Bee take their afternoon naps, so Mama has a little bit of quite time too. Keep it up! And take as long of naps as you please. I usually try to have you in bed by 7:30, earlier if possible but it doesn't always work out that way. You usually wake up around 6 or 6:30 in the morning. Some mornings you'll wake at 5, nurse, and sleep for another hour or two. There really isn't a set time or pattern to you sleep. Over the last few weeks you have gotten better about sleeping through the night and have done it on a few occasions. Sometimes you'll sleep until 4:30 or 5 and then go back to sleep after nursing. I still consider that sleeping through the night. And since you have slept through the night more frequently as of late, I know that you'll be doing it more regularly soon [I hope ;].

Food/nursing: All of your meals now are finger foods, you'll let me spoon feed you sometimes, but not much. you prefer to get you hands [and face, arms, hair, and neck] nice and sticky from the food you eat. I love watching you see something you want on your tray and pick that one thing up, even if it may be surrounded by other food, you pick the one you want; your pincer grasp is very good! You eat a lot of vegetables and enjoy fruits mixed in every now and then. You're drinking from a sippy cup like a pro and love you some prune juice! It's a good thing too, your belly needs that fiber! I'm still trying to think of new foods to introduce to you and when I do, you generally like the new food. Some of your favorites are: sweet potato, squash, peas, Kix, waffle, cooked apple or pear, banana, and avocado. There are other foods you love too and some I'm sure I'm forgetting to mention. You tried hamburger for the first time the other night and ate all that was on your tray, maybe you'll be a meat lover like your daddy. Right now you're nursing twice a day, once in the morning when you wake up and once before bedtime. If you wake in the middle of the night you usually nurse then too, unless you're up around 11, then I just pat you back to sleep with no nursing. When you do nurse, it's pretty quick 20 minutes tops and you're done. You were nursing even quicker than that during the day, but I think you're still sleeping in the morning and of course you're sleepy at night, so that takes a bit longer. Not that I'm complaining, you're much faster than Emerson ever was!

Stats: Dressing you the past few weeks has been a challenge, the weather is so fickle these days, some days you need shorts it's so hot and other's you need to be bundled up in fleece pants and jackets with a hat and blanket if we go out. So you're just wearing whatever clothes we have for you and making it work. You're in some 6 month things, but mostly 9 month clothes all around right now. I'm not sure what size shoe you wear, but I got some crib shoes for you a month or so ago for 6-9 month, and they are huge on you! They just fall right off your feet anytime I put them on you. I'm afraid you won't get to wear them much because you'll probably be walking before your feet will fit in them. You're still wearing size 3 Pampers Swaddlers and probably will be for a while. I'd guess you're around 18 pounds, but I honestly have no idea. Who knows. You're head has grown since the fall, the little reindeer hat you've worn all winter isn't fitting as well as before, which is good I suppose. It's also good the warmer months are almost here so we don't have to worry about getting you a different one.

Playing: Right now you love playing with anything you can get your little hands on. You especially love finding cords and outlets to play with and opening drawers and cabinets. You love putting things inside of other things, like a little rubber duck inside a cup, then dumping the duck out, and doing it all over again. It's one of your favorite activities right now and will keep you busy for a long time. This morning you did that for 20 minutes, played with something else for a bit, and then dumped the duck out of the cup for another 20 minutes. That's a long time for you! I love watching you as you play because you are discovering and learning so much as you do it! You also love reading books. You'll sit in my lap and we'll read a few books together. You have a few favorites and you love turning the pages while we read.

It's so sweet watching your relationship with Emerson. He loves you and loves to give you toys, but you're only allowed to play with the toys he gives you. You're not so crazy about that idea and just want the toy you want even if he doesn't want you to have it, which makes for lots of lessons in sharing. You're already showing spunk in "fighting" back for your toy. If you have a toy or book and Emerson grabs it out of your hands you try and hold on to it sometimes and if/when he does take it from you, you cry. Poor peanut. He usually always wants whatever toy or book you crawled across the room to play with. But he does love you so much. He loves to open your door in the morning and squeal good morning to you. If you're still sleeping he always asks, "where Odada at?" You can make him laugh over the silliest things and he can make you giggle and bounce with excitement but just walking up the stairs together.

Favorites: bathtime, eating Puffs, crawling, exploring your little world, playing, reading, your mama, being outside, meal times, being held, being smothered in kisses, "running" away from me, pulling my hair [or any hair you can get your hands on - not my favorite!]. I'm sure there are others, I just can't think of them right now.

Dislikes: being still for diaper changes, having your nose wiped, the nasal aspirator, being hungry, not getting what you want, when a toy or book is taken from you, not being held, having a dirty diaper.

Milestones: cutting two teeth, waving [and saying] bye, starting to sign "more" and "all done" - but it's not super clear.

Oliver, You are the happiest little baby ever and are content to go with the flow. You love your mama the most, though Daddy and Emerson come in right behind. You are such a blessing to our family and I am so very thankful I get to spend my days with you. Your sweet little personality is my favorite. I'm so thankful Jesus blessed us with you and I pray that you will always know the love of Christ, obey, and follow Him. Trust Him always, Oliver. He will direct your path. I love you little nugget!


Monday, May 9, 2016

little gifts [370 - 385]

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a lovely and rest-filled weekend. We stayed around the house, ran a few errands, and didn't do too much else. It was wonderful and I loved it. Sunday morning Landon surprised me with muffins - he'd stayed up later than me on Saturday night to make them for breakfast. He jokes that I never would have known if Oliver hadn't woken up. In reality, I still didn't know until breakfast. I wondered where he was the night before, but figured he had more work to do and that's why he was staying up late. Lucky me! Anyhow, it was a nice little weekend and now we're back at the usual shenanigans.

found here

What better way to start the week than with some little gifts?

370. muffins for breakfast!

371. extra cuddles from Oliver

372. a family walk in the gray afternoon

373. dandelion wishes dancing through the air

374. a robin's blue eggs

375. two little boys sleeping in until 7:20 and 7:50

376. soft yarn pulling gently though my fingers

377. putting cards in the mail box

378. a tiny hand patting my shoulder

379. green leaves swaying in the breeze

380. overcast days

381. polkadot pitchers

382. freshly cut grass

383. a blanket wrapped sung against you

384. tiny pebbles hidden away as treasure

385. a flip flop dangling off your foot

What are some of the little gifts in your life right now?

Friday, May 6, 2016

friday favorites [cookies, curls, and quiet days]

This week has been a pretty low key and quiet week. I only had to baby-sit one day this week [that as yesterday] due to Bee being sick and an already planned day off today. It sure wasn't fun that she was sick, but I sure enjoyed spending the days with just my boys. A little taste of what's to come I suppose. Although, we will be missing that extra income... eh. What can you do? I'm just going to enjoy these days as much as I can because I know I'll never get them back. Anyhow, I thought I'd share a few favorite things from this week, so here goes...

one. chocolate chip cookies. 
Early this week I decided I needed to make some cookies. We were at home and Emerson was just messing around in the living room. I thought he might have fun helping me make some cookies. We hadn't baked anything in a while, and we didn't have anywhere to be, so he could actually help without me feeling rushed [or like other people shouldn't eat the cookies]. He was so eager to help - at first. But then his attention was slowly averted to something else and I was left making cookies by myself. It was probably the first time since August I made [or ate] chocolate chip cookies. Such a classic cookie - but since I'm still on a dairy free diet chocolate chips are out of the question. Until I found a dairy [nut, soy, and all the other things] free chocolate chip alternative. And they are good! You'd never guess they were dairy free. Dairy free chocolate chip cookies for the win!

two. leg pains.
For the last week or so Emerson has been waking up with severe leg pains, so much so that he won't get out of bed and when he's playing on the floor he's sitting in one spot - and not even moving an inch or two when Oliver has a toy he wants/doesn't want Oliver to have. You know it's got to be bad if the otherwise tornado of a boy doesn't even move to snatch his beloved toy out of his baby brothers innocent hands. We've been to the doctor just about every other day it seems to have tests run, x-rays, labs, more x-rays, and other fun things done. There is still no definite answer to what it was/is, but it's the strangest thing. He seems to be on the mend now, hopefully the worst is behind us.

three. curls. 
Sometime in October I had the genius idea of chopping all my hair off. About once every three or so years I have this thought. It goes something like this: I like my hair when it's short! It's easier/quicker to fix and in the winter I won't have to fool with long hair getting stuck under coats/bag straps/the car door when I close it [because, hello windy Illinois], or babies pulling and eating it. I should cut it! And so I do. And I like it. It's cute, it's different. It's light. But since I can't really keep it short all of the time [short, naturally curly hair, does not agree with humid summer months] and because I promised a certain someone that the short hair wasn't here to stay, I can't keep getting trims and such. So it has to go through the awkward stage of growing out again. Fun times. Well, I am happy to say, my hair is finally long enough again to let it be curly! I like the option of straightening it or letting it curl. These days, I'm really liking the curl, so it's nice that my hair when curled doesn't make me look like a chipmunk. Because, don't you know, when my hair is short and curly I basically look like a chipmunk.

four. quiet mornings. 
One nice thing about Bee not coming this week was we got to take our time getting ready. We played upstairs, I did laundry, we weren't rushing to get ready before she arrived. Getting two little people ready for the day can be a little overwhelming, so it was nice to just enjoy the slowness of the mornings.

five. date night. 
We finally went on a date! It had been far too long since Landon and I had gone on a date. I knew it was pitiful and that we  I needed to make doing out a priority. Thankfully, we have a pretty great relationship with Bee's mom and dad and her mom has offered on more than one occasion to babysit for us. I hate asking people for things, but one afternoon I finally asked her if she was serious about babysitting for us, and she excitedly jumped at the chance. Because the boys know her and Bee, I felt good about dropping them off to play and have dinner one evening while Landon and I went out sans kiddos. It was so good to have conversation that wasn't interrupted and a meal that we could sit through and not have to get up once to get something else for the little people. It is something we I need to work on and do better at going out more frequently. I say 'I' because Landon's all about going out, I'm the one that has issues about leaving the boys, even for a few hours. But it was good and soul refreshing.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend! Happy Mother's Day to all you Mamas out there!

Linking up with these ladies herehere and here.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

currently [and a winner!]

It's been a while since I've shared what I'm up to. Not that it's usually all that exciting, but I like to be able to look back and see what I have in fact been up to so here were are.

original source unknown

Currently I am . . .  

drinking // coffee with caramel almond milk creamer - yum and yum. Also, ice water. Always.

eating // dairy free chocolate chip cookies. And they are every bit as good as dairy filled ones. 

reading // I just finished reading "I Said Yes: My Story of Heartbreak, Redemption, and True Love" by Emily Maynard Johnson and I haven't picked a new book to read quite yet.
learning // the art of pretty handwriting/calligraphy. 

planning // on making some cookies to take to an annual picnic for Landon's department tomorrow

wishing // the weather would stay nice and pretty or cold - just make up your mind, Weather! :) 

wearing // long sleeve t-shirts and jeans. And also slippers. Always. This never seems to change much. 

praying // for our health and my sister's family as they are going through a lot of changes right now. 

enjoying // quiet mornings with just the boys and me. Bee's been sick this week so we've been left to our own devices and I love it! 

looking forward to // going to the beach this summer [even if it may be a few months away!].

What are some of the things you're up to these days?

Oh! And I have some very exciting news for you! The winner for the $50 gift card to PinkBlush is . . .

Laura Ozinga 

Congratulations, Laura! You have 24 hours to claim your prize, email me at: so I can get your gift card to you. Thank you to all who participated, it was so much fun! Even if you didn't win, you should still check out PinkBlush, they have the cutest clothes and I love them all. I seriously wish I could just get one of everything from them! 

Monday, May 2, 2016

little gifts [357 - 369]

Happy Monday to you! Our weekend has been a pretty dreary one and Monday has not brought much cheer with it. I figured the perfect way to start the week would be to share a few little gifts ...because in the process it alway lifts my spirits and I'm in need of some of that. So here we go...

357. Oliver sleeping through the night!

358. a little shopping trip with my little boys

359. a surprise day off

360. a robin's nest and pretty blue eggs

361. online grocery shopping

362. health insurance

363. no waiting at the ER

364. no negative/positive results [I always confuse the two]

365. building plans for what's to come

366. a new hobby

367. handwritten notes in the mail

368. nap time

369. cool, misty weather

- - - - -

What are some of the little gifts in your life right now?

Don't forget to enter the giveaway for a $50 gift card to PinkBlush if you haven't already; it ends tomorrow morning! The winner will be announced on Wednesday!