August 19, 2015

No Buddy

These two.  There are days when they're at each other from the moment their eyes open in the morning.  And then there are days like this.  They're the best of best friends.

It was drizzling as we left our house and headed out in search of a frog or two.  These guys didn't mind one bit.  They were decked out in their rain gear, and with their red Radio Flyer wagon, butterfly nets and animal cracker tub turned critter keeper, they were ready.

On the path to adventure, they stopped to pick flowers for me and to speculate where the leprechaun was as they discovered a nice, thick patch of clover.

With Channing trolling the edge of the path and Maxwell hauling the gear, they managed to nab a few creatures for their always-evolving collection.

Maxwellie has a soft spot for anything that creeps or crawls.  I kid you not.  Papa Doug found him out front one sunny afternoon with bumble bees pinched between the thumb and forefinger of each hand.  A big, fat toad spent the better part of another afternoon blasting into outer space, as with Max's help, he flew the rocket ship from the space station play set.  And today was no exception.  He found himself a 'gwasspapa' as big as my middle finger, gave it a kiss and told it, 'It's OK.  I'm a nice boy.'  (Despite Max's assurances, that grasshopper made a hasty escape the first chance he got.)

Nearly two hours and a mere half mile later, we made it home.  Muddied boots were cleaned.  Bugs were again carefully inspected.

And, this mama's heart smiled, as truly 'there is no buddy like a brother.'

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.