July 23, 2015


After five years, I can still smell her sweet baby perfume and feel the weight of her little head resting on my shoulder.  

Today, we celebrate her.  Happy fifth birthday to our sweet, bitty girl.  We love you, Sophie!

June 8, 2015

To 'luth

The boys are always, always asking if we can go to 'luth, as Maxwell calls it.  Friday, we packed up the car and headed north.  Duluth was calling.  The lake was singing it's siren song.  Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt Melissa, Andrew & Olive were anxiously awaiting our arrival.  We had important business to attend to, like meeting this little cutie.

Olive.  She's Andrew's new puppy.  So cute.  And squishy.  And both boys loved playing with her.

Mom & I celebrated the pending arrival of Baby H.  Or Wenceslas Steven as he's fondly referred to by his glowing mama.  (And, no, that is not the name Shanda & Ryan have chosen for him.  That's still a secret.  Shhh...)

The whole family took a ride on the pizza train.  We settled into our vintage train car, watched the rainy lakeshore scenery pass by and had a slice of pepperoni or two.  There was even live music.  If you follow WM on Instagram, you may have seen me singing along.  I just couldn't help myself.

And, of course, we had to throw rocks.  On Saturday's bitterly cold morning, we braved the wind and waves on Brighton Beach.  Today, we enjoyed the warm sunshine and calm waters in Canal Park.  Papa even talked Maxwell into putting his toes into the big lake for the first time.  Channing followed suit insisting the water was hot.  I tried explaining that it was so cold it burned.  He just told me I was wrong the way that six-year-olds do & went about his rock throwing business.

It was good to be home.  It was better to be in Duluth as a family. And even better still to be making those oh-so-important childhood memories.  

June 2, 2015

And then

all of a sudden it was June.  June people?  What the...???  Where in the world did April & May go??

We're in the process of winding down the school year here.  There's just over a week and a half to do.  Part of me is SO ready to be done.  Done with 'hurry up's' in the morning.  Done with waking Maxwell in the afternoons to rush off to meet the bus.  Part of me is wondering how in the world I'm going to fill our days AND stay sane over the next couple months.  Stay sane being the key part.

Tomorrow, we are going to school for a breakfast honoring this kid:

Oh yeah!!  He got his first school award!!  And for picking up without being asked no less.  (Insert beaming, proud mama smile here.)

I've been sewing a bit.  I made these cute things for our neighbor, Lexi, in honor of birthday #5.  

And, this patchwork strawberry pillow.  Kath & I made these together.  I promised one to my mom and another to my sister.  Yeah.  Haven't even thought about starting them.  Sorry guys!!

And, I've been encouraging Channing in his artistic pursuits.  He draws.  I fill his drawings in with paint.  The collaborations are fantastically fun.  There's talk of putting some of his work on Etsy.  We've got this dream of swimming with Dolphins you see and this, this would be a great way to fund that trip.  Well, eventually fund that trip.  

Maxwell is well.  He's really into being SUPER these days.  SuperMax has helped run errands more than once in recent weeks.  It's crazy fun to watch people react to his antics.  My cheeks hurt from smiling all day.  It makes the mundane chore of grocery shopping and getting (too much) stuff from Costco much, much more enjoyable.

OK.  So there you have it.  We're alive and kicking here.  

March 27, 2015


This evening's activity, via Pinterest, was slightly frustrating and mostly fun.  Frustrating in that it is a lot harder than it looks to shove a glow stick bracelet into a plastic Easter egg.  Seriously.  It shouldn't be that hard, should it?

I got the bracelets at Michael's.  $1.50 for 12.  I vaguely recall glow disks.  In hindsight, that would have been the way to go.  Oh well.  We made due. 

The brightest eggs had the corresponding color bracelet inside.  And, if you do this with your own littles, take care not to snap the bracelet when twisting it up.  We lost two that way.  

See the dull egg to the right?  Green egg + orange bracelet = not so good.  
Looping the bracelet twice sort of seemed to work.  Although, we did have a few eggs break open during the hunt.  Granted the boys weren't exactly being gentle with the eggs.  I'm so very grateful they weren't real eggs.

What they were though was real fun.  We took turns hiding eggs and find them again.  

Max was the best.  He'd hide all of the eggs in one spot.

I loathe flash photography.  In all honesty, because I simply do not understand it.  My aperture was wide open here and yet the pending darkness wrecked havoc on my shot. Unless the boys were perfectly still, my images were all blur.  Oh well.  It's just another reminder that they're both in perpetual motion.  

Then he'd show you exactly where they all were.  Hilarious to me.  Infuriating to his big brother. 

The little monster HAD to be in the shot.  I sewed it for Channing today.  One for Maxwell too.  Max calls his Chip.  Channing's has yet to be named.  They're squishy and lovable just like my boys.  
Granite countertops can be a photographer's delight.
Nonetheless, we had more smiles than frowns.  And I may have had a wee bit of fun playing with my camera settings in the low light. Happy egg hunting, my friends.  Happy egg hunting!!

March 26, 2015


Yes.  Delightfully so.  This little guy got down and dirty on the farm this morning.  Apparently, his animals-the horses in particular-needed some love and attention.

See?  Happy.

And yes, that face is inherited from me.  That's my 'I-love-you-so-much-I-could-eat-you' face.

As I snapped away, the animals were fed and watered and patted and kissed.  And then lined up.  And then the farmer decided, as he often does, to abandon his socks.  And then he hopped into the line-up too.  'Cuz that's what farmers do, right?

My heart is full of light and love and happiness.  I caught him being little and captured it forever.

March 7, 2015

What To Do

OK.  So my renewed efforts at blogging fell a wee bit short.  Life happens.  Fast.  I just get caught up in the moment.  Much time passes and a blog post playing catch up (again) seems rather lame.  But, here I am.  Digital files finally dumped from the camera to the computer.  Ready to share.  

We've been cooped up.  The scooters, strider bike, wheelie turtle and in-line skates are permanent fixtures in the kitchen/dining room.  I tried to take a selfie while riding the scooter in the scooter/ride-on turtle parade I had with the boys one evening.  It was simply a blur.  We did have some bitterly cold but brilliantly sunny afternoons spent wheeling about.  It was grand.  And warm.  We like warm.

And then, on a recent day off from school, Megan popped over for the afternoon.  We got caught up in art and snacks.  Jim had to call and ask for her back.  We simply lost track of time.  Watercolor + washi tape + popcorn = good fun.

And then, Channing had two celebrations at school that needed special attire.  He celebrated the 100th Day of School and, the following week, he celebrated Dress Like Your Favorite Book Character Day.  I whipped up the shirt and the Cat In The Hat costume.  In hindsight, I should have photographed the process.  Both were easily done and the How To would have been worth sharing.  

And then,  Kelly & her sweet family paid an impromptu, week-long visit.  I hardly picked up the camera.  We were simply too busy having fun.  I did, however, make a point of taking pictures of Little Lil with the quilt Grandma Kathy made for her.  Sweet.  Both Lil and the quilt.

And then, we tackled another Kiwi Crate.  I seriously love them.  The boys do too.  I usually let them choose just one activity from the box to prolong the fun.  This day, they did both projects in rapid succession.  My little bakers made chef hats & aprons and then 'baked' cakes.  

And then, because not everyone follows along on Instagram, these things happened too.  

Max is in perpetual motion.  Whether he's on his own during school hours or Channing is around to egg him on.  This boy does not.  stop.  moving.   
Kath & I are part of the Bag of the Month Club.  This is January's BOTM.  I think, for now, we're skipping February and moving right along to March.  The March pattern is by NoodleHead.  I [heart] NoodleHead patterns.  
My justification for this is that it's 'healthy'  And by 'healthy', I mean it has fewer calories than regular peanut butter, plain almond butter or Nutella.  It's great on toast with bananas or berries, better in a smoothie and better still eaten with a spoon.
OK.  Maybe he will sit still.  But only for this.  'Me play choo-choo, Mama.' 
Sometimes the boys from down the street come to play as their mom and dad play Two Ships Passing In The Night.   On their most recent visit, there was a fabulous hour of Lego collaboration. 
One afternoon I went into Maxwell's room to wake him from his nap.  All I could see were his sweet little toes peeking out from under his quilt.  This was one of those moments I knew I would miss terribly at the very same moment it was happening.  That feeling hit me like a ton of bricks.  Why do they grow up so fast??

Channing has mastered the fine art of making Jell-O.  He likes picking a flavor to match whatever he is wearing.  

Maxwellie is still having a bang-up time at MacPhail Center for Music.  On this particular day, we played both the spoons as well as pots & pans.   
I have a confession.  I like ball fringe.  I would put it on EVERYTHING if I could get away with it.  Since I can't, I put some on this St. Patty's Day pillow I pieced together in the last week or so.  
Which brings us to today.  I'm sitting here in my very sunny office with no less than four sewing machines at my back, the cursed coverstitch machine is taunting me as neither Kath nor I can figure out how to get the silly thing to work properly, a mountain of fabric is waiting to be refolded and stashed, muslin and a skirt pattern are at the ready and I've got a hankering for a 'quick fix' sewing project.  Yet a gallon of 'Dewy' paint is whispering from the corner, 'Forget the sewing projects.  Pick me.'  

What to do...what to do...