Monday, January 31, 2011


I need to figure out a way to bottle up this girl's motivation. I'm thinking I could make millions selling it on ebay and we'd all be set. Or maybe if I allowed it to rub off on me more often, I'd be in a lot better shape! Lately she is really into running. I just wish I could say the same for myself!


Sunday, January 30, 2011


This has been in the works for over a year. Partially because it's the first large piece of embroidery I've ever done, partially because I am easily distracted, but mostly just because I'm slow. I've had it in my head the whole time though, that this is for Max. 
The design is the product of my doodling across notebook paper during the rehearsals for a children's play I was in last winter. The play was a story-book version of The Tortoise and the Hare, which had the actors dressed up like a bunch of woodland animals, all of which walked on their hind legs. The stage makeup was amazing.
I absolutely love the way it turned out. This probably won't be my last piece of embroidery. I love the way I was able to change it and add things as I went along. In fact, now that I think about it, I wish the turtle was holding a ukulele. Or possibly a banjo. Maybe this isn't actually finished...


Friday, January 28, 2011

happy anniversary!

Five years ago today I married the man of my dreams. And with our powers combined, we have made two of the sweetest, most beautiful kids ever. I feel more and more blessed everyday. 


Thursday, January 27, 2011

clean house, dirty kids

Karl has been playing Mr. Mom for a few weeks now that I got a (very part-time) job, since he just happened to be home for the entire month of January. This means the kiddos have enjoyed having Daddy around to take them to the park after dropping me off at work, play with them in the dirt box (what used to be our garden bed), and chase them around the house with flashlights. They have loved soaking up all this daddy time! And I'm pretty lucky because though this is definitely not a permanent arrangement, my man plays Mr. Mom incredibly well--he even does dishes and laundry!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

good times.

A few weeks ago I got a chance to go to another one of my man's solo shows. It was lovely to be able to sit and chat with some friends, drink a few beers, and listen to my favorite music in the world. He'll get the chance to play another show soon, too. He'll play a charity show at Efeste Winery on February 5th. If you're interested, you can check out his facebook page which has a video of one of his very first solo shows last November (I think).

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

the difference a haircut makes



We cut Maxi's hair right after he turned two, and though it wasn't his first haircut, I am just as surprised at how much more grown up he looks with shorter hair. The second Karl finished with the clippers, I suddenly remembered the vow I had made last summer to never cut his hair again. It was probably good that I had forgotten it, because although I found his little ragamuffin look endearing, he was constantly having to push it out of his eyes. Problem solved. His new 'do definitely makes shampooing easier too, which is good because this little guy is not a fan of having water anywhere near his eyes, nose, or ears. Now we can wash and rinse his hair with a washcloth-- a definite plus!

As a side note, the 'before' photos were taken on two separate nights in the same week. Maximus is helping us find the perfect pizza crust recipe. Any suggestions?

Monday, January 24, 2011

I finally visited for the first time. In real life, I'm an Ikea kind of gal, mixed with some Target and Value Village. But while browsing around the site I decided that one day, when Karl and I build the old farmhouse of our dreams, this will be on the front door.

And this will be on the bathroom door.

 Wall paper will definitely be welcome in our dream house. The one on the right, in the kitchen. The beauty on the left, in the Peter Pan-style nursery (not because I want a Peter Pan theme, but because I'll design the perfect room that my children will share until they're twelve. We'll also probably rename Gus and call him Nana. It'll build character. It'll also be cute.)

And these here are calling to me in a special sort of way. It must be the fabric. Or the fact that Anne of Green Gables is the one dressed in pink. Either way, they would probably take center stage in my dream house and land on a shelf in the living room. By the fireplace. On a brick wall. 


Sunday, January 23, 2011

knitted shirt.

Here is the shirt I recently finished for Madelynn. It's the Autumn Leaves Vest from Pickles. I knitted it with some Knit Picks cotton that I've had in my stash. Because I used the same yarn as the horse dress, I was really crossing my fingers by the time I came to the middle of this shirt, hoping I had enough. Turns out it was just about the perfect amount! I ended up using larger needles than called for and worsted weight yarn and casting on the same number of stitches as for the 12 month size, which is another reason I was crossing my fingers--in hopes that it would fit!

You can see more pictures here, on my Ravelry project page.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


I've never seen anything like this girl and her cat. It is seriously sweet. I never really liked cats, but I couldn't say no to Madelynn when Mike showed up last summer--on her birthday no less.  She flops him over her shoulder and takes him everywhere, and the cat just purrs and purrs. Mike comes looking for Madelynn several times a day for some loves, and always sleeps at the foot of her bed. I'm pretty sure they're best friends.


Friday, January 14, 2011

Happy Birthday, sweet boy!

Driving a fire truck. Thanks Grandma!!

Dancing on "stage."

Happy Birthday!

Sister is a great helper when it comes to opening presents. 

How time flies! My baby boy turned two today. Maxi boy is so fun and sweet and it has been an absolute joy (and a workout!) to watch and guide him as he grows into the little boy he is becoming.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Not a resolution.

I don't believe in New Year's resolutions simply for the fact that usually they are things like losing weight or working out more and honestly, for most people they only last for the first few weeks of the new year. That is why this year, I'm making a lifestyle change. There is a fact that this change is based on, and here it is: when there are three people at home all day, everyday, messes and clutter are unavoidable. Lately, I've spending so much time cleaning up after these little people that I've found myself trying to think of things to just keep them busy so I can clean. The problem with this is that the second I get one mess cleaned up, I am constantly following them to the next. At the end of the day I am completely exhausted and the kiddos are left feeling like I've been ignoring them all day, which is partially true. Then, my wonderful husband gets home to find me zoning out on the couch because I've given up on trying to keep the clutter at bay, and hinging on going insane because I feel bad that he comes home to a messy house and I've been ignoring the kids all day, and NOTHING has actually been accomplished. Then I run to the kitchen to make dinner, while he actually plays with our attention-starved kiddies. We put the kids to bed and are so exhausted that we say to ourselves, 'tomorrow is another day, we'll start fresh and I'll clean the house in the morning.' Then I wake up the next morning (grumpily) to a messy house and the whole cycle starts again. Ok, so maybe that's not everyday (thank goodness!), but I can't say that it is an uncommon occurrence in our home. This also usually leaves our home in a terrible state for when someone pops over--many family members live withing a 3-mile radius of us, so this is not not uncommon. It also leaves Madelynn asking who's coming over when Karl and I do get the gumption for a 20 minute after dinner cleaning spree.

Enter, my new lifestyle change: Send the kids away to boarding school and enjoy a clean home from now on.

Just kidding!

Enter, my lifestyle change: Hire a nanny and a maid service.

Ok, just kidding again. It is actually to continue to make the Daily 7 (am I the last person on Earth to read about that?) a part of my  routine. And also, to continue to use the 20 minute after dinner cleaning spree (self-explanatory), which gets shorter when I actually make good use of the Daily 7. This little list totally streamlines cleaning tasks for me and helps me to not get overwhelmed. Of course, there are still the little kiddie messes throughout the day, but Madelynn actually has been really good about learning by example and cleaning up after herself when she sees me doing chores. Also, when I don't feel so overwhelmed at the end of the day because I've gotten more accomplished, helping the kids pick up their toys and activities before bedtime isn't such a big deal.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

cooking soup.

I'm not exactly sure why I didn't think of this FOREVER ago. Lately Mad has been super in to cooking. She wants to help with everything, which is nice. However, I usually like to keep the cooking to myself. I feel terrible about it sometimes, but honestly, when Karl gets home he usually plays with the kiddies while I go into the kitchen by myself and try to just relax. I usually just tune everyone out and bask in the fact that I can make all the decisions while I'm cooking. It's the one thing I do where I don't have to try to negotiate with unruly kiddos, and (luckily) everyone usually eats whatever I make without complaining. However, lately I've been trying to let go and be more carefree when the kiddies want to help or get involved (notice the photo in my last post!). So when Mad came to me donning her apron and asking if she could cook the other day I said, "sure" and then I proceeded to give her a mixing bowl with water, a spoon, and few small shakers with inexpensive spices inside--the 'back up' salt and pepper shakers, and some candy sprinkle containers I filled with Italian seasoning and garlic powder, which I usually buy in bulk. She was busy "cooking" in the middle of the kitchen floor for hours. Maxi even got involved for quite awhile. It was the perfect quiet activity that day. A few days later she got the urge to 'cook' again, this time making 'unicorn soup' using up the rest of our cake sprinkles. After carefully measuring out the correct amounts of rainbows, moons and stars, she put it out on the porch, occasionally going out to check whether or not the local unicorns were stopping by for meals. What an imagination! I think my letting go is paying off.


our last night of 2010

Since Karl had a show on New Year's Eve, the kids and I had a night full of apple pie, playing, and reading lots of books. I let them both stay up late and have a special night with Mommy, which was so fun. Maximus ended up hitting the hay around 9:30, which is pretty late for him, and then Madelynn and I stayed up for a special girl party. We painted our nails, played crazy eights, watched Free Willy, drank sparkling cider, and to my surprise, the girl lasted until the final countdown and firework show, which we watched on television. Karl walked in the door about 10 minutes later, which was really sweet. Since his show was more than an hour away, I could tell he tried really hard to get home in time for the countdown. Gotta love that guy!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

measure up.

I recently made myself a measuring board for my kiddos. I've been wanting to do this pretty much since Madelynn could stand, but have been bouncing different ideas and designs around in my head. I wanted to buy one, but didn't want it to be paper (the kiddies would tear it up!), I definitely didn't want to just mark on the wall--what happens when we move away or decide on a new paint color?! Sometimes I'm not sure why I put so much energy into thinking about this, because it seems like just a small detail. But I'm sentimental about things. I envision having a place where all the kids' measurements are drawn up all over something, and someday we'll look at it and realize it started so long ago and we'll see our kids' names, cousins, friends, maybe someday grandkids, and we'll all talk about the memories over a fresh apple pie and homemade hot cocoa (I'm sure I'll have mastered those recipes by then). See? These are the things I think about.

Anyway, after two years of different designs in my head, this is what finally came out. It couldn't be more simple (some of my ideas were terribly elaborate and very decorative), it is basically just a 1x4 board covered in white paint with little marks and numbers to sort of look like a giant ruler.

After it dried in the garage, two weeks of nagging little Maximus finally paid off and he hung it for me.

Monday, January 3, 2011

pretending it's summer

is so much easier when you have a new dress and it's sunny out (sure, it's only 37 degrees out, but that's beside the point! Don't worry, we weren't out long before going in to cuddle under blankets and drink hot cocoa.). This is the Jane Austen Dress, from the book Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines. I've had the knitting finished (including weaving in all the ends and everything!) for a few weeks now, but procrastinated sewing on the skirt 'cause I was a-skeered I would ruin it in the process. The fabric is the same corduroy I'm using for a baby blanket, which I still have yet to finish. Mad fell in love with the horses, so we went back for more! This is the closest she can get to a pony on a daily basis, so my guess is that this will get worn lots.