Month : December 2015

one little word for 2016.


For the past two years, I’ve passed on the concept of a resolutions list and simplified things with one little word. (You can read about the One Little Word concept here.) Like everyone else, yes, I’m planning to get back into regular workouts, eat better, continue to improve work/life balance, and visit somewhere new in 2016. But rather than sweat the checklist, it is so much more gratifying to me to let a single idea guide my year rather than get hung up on what exactly I did or did not accomplish.


After a crazy-busy year of adventure in 2014, followed by last year’s settling in and nurturing a new little family life, I’m ready for a year to not take it all so seriously. Hello, I sleep through the night again after many, many, long months of not. My hubby and I can finally talk about the possibility of a “just us” trip sooner than later. This awesome tiny roommate of ours is SO. MUCH. FUN. and on a daily basis, I just want to gobble him up with kisses and tickles. I’ve made some new friends and am ready to spend more time reconnecting with old ones. I need more one-on-one time with my mom this year – it’s like soul food to get a good long conversation with her and it happened too rarely in the Year of the Newborn.


I have a year of balancing motherhood, day job, side job, and life in general under my belt, and I’m continuing to prioritize. I’ve let some things go in favor of others that are more important. I’m not going to do it all, and I’m getting better at declining an opportunity here and there. I’m trying to get tuned in to what I care about most so I can spend my energy whole-heartedly and in the right places.


I’m planning on lots and LOTS of laughter in 2016. Happy tears. Dancing and singing. Silliness. Waking up rested. Slowing down for extra hugs and kisses. Coffee and conversation. Cocktails and conversation. More laughter. Sore face muscles from so much smiling. Maybe even staying up past 10. And when the inevitable tough stuff comes along, finding a way to laugh, yell, “plot twist!” and make the best of it. So much happens in a year, and it’s all really good, joyful stuff.



Here’s to 2016…


Bring it on.

deck the halls: 2015


Yes, it has taken me until Christmas Eve to blog our home decked for the holidays. But it’s not for lack of trying. A handful of times, I’ve been ready to whip out my tripod, tornado-quick-clean the house, and max out someone’s naptime, shooting all of the little details of our merried-up digs for Christmas. But every time, it has been UBER gloomy, rainy (yes, RAINY in Iowa in December) and the photog-snob in me was not about to turn on all the can lights to get the shots and I wasn’t wild about using my flash. #naturallightlover

But as the December days ticked by, I became more willing to compromise. So over the past week, I’ve grabbed some handheld snaps here and there, with no tripod or overly well thought-out shots, in less than perfect light, as time permitted. The result is pretty scattered, but documented, nonetheless.




I’m so glad I have these perfectly imperfect images of our home at Christmastime, our first with the little man. Art imitates life, and this year’s decorations — somewhat haphazard, some strategically placed out of reach of a certain someone, reflect the happy crazy that is life with a nearly one-year-old this year. It’s documenting what’s real and now.

Is this my most decked-out year ever? Definitely not. It’s a transition year if anything, learning how old decorations fit (or don’t fit) in our new home, filling in some gaps with some new pieces, and I feel like my style is evolving along with the style of this new home. I’m less glitz and more cozy. And as mentioned, I’m also working with a certain third pair of curious hands in mind…

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(whose gift to us, with a little help from his teachers, was the first one under the tree this year.)

So if you want to follow along on a random ride of photos, I can promise you no rhyme or reason to what follows, but lots of festivity. 🙂 Merry Christmas!





(yep, blurry, but at the risk of not waking the boys by throwing my flash on or clammering with the tripod, I was still determined to get a shot of my boxwood garland) 🙂


This year, the guest room was Santa’s workshop. Not only was it a place I could shut the door and keep Crew out of the wrapping supplies, but I also set up the “kid tree” in here so he could come peek at it from time to time, but I could keep him away from it when needed. I love this little tree with it’s color and whimsy…and all teething-proof ornaments!

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Sometimes just a simple little detail brings the cheer in. And the mixer likes having the company of the partridge.


The hallway off our mudroom seemed a great spot to display the holiday mail. I’ve filled this wire wreath in past years with ornaments and tulle. This year, I added clothespins and clipped our cards around it.



Further down the hall is my Pottery Barn Kids knockoff DIY project. I didn’t add any treats or trinkets this year, but focused on experiences. Spoiler alert — we didn’t get them all checked off, but I’m certain there were things NOT on the list we did instead. 🙂


A few more little details here and there. Still figuring out themes and color schemes for different spaces, but it has been fun to play around!
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Which brings us to this shot, just this evening, of our tree, ready for Christmas morning. We didn’t put gifts under it until just today (at the risk of an early opening!). It feels real now that Santa has arrived. 🙂

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Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal. From our home to yours, peace this Christmas.


the big O.N.E.


I can’t believe it, but I’m planning a first birthday party.

Yes, this little Christmas gnome will be *ONE* just after the holidays.


There are times it feels he’s always been here, but seriously…didn’t he just arrive on our scene, like, a few weeks ago?


I digress. (Otherwise I’ll start crying.)

With a birthday so close to the holidays, we’ve opted (at least for this first year, when he doesn’t even know what the heck a birthday IS) to roll his celebration, and our one-year-later long overdue housewarming, into a casual new years day brunch with friends and family. While he doesn’t need a single thing in the way of gifts, I DO want him to look back on pictures and see that he was celebrated. So naturally…the frustrated hostess of everything in me had to pull a little something together.

We’ll do a cake smash shoot sometime after the brunch, but when we do, I wanted to prop it a bit with some shades of metallics. Nothing too crazy (okay, the balloons ARE 40″ tall and will spell his name…Page is going to choke), but I figure you only turn one, once.

For the actual brunch, I do want to put together a little setup to reflect on his first year…I’m thinking it seems only natural to incorporate Instagram into the theme. 🙂 More birthday fun to come…stay tuned!

Update: Check out how Crew’s first birthday shoot came together here and the New Years brunch here

Crew: 11 months!


It’s a tiny miracle I can sit down to write this post…because you are constantly on the move! We laugh at how fast you are – we blink and you’re across the room, pulling up on something. You LOVE to be standing and this new height level perspective you’ve discovered!


You’re aware that you’re missing out on things when you’re down on the floor and we’re standing up or sitting up on the couch or in bed. You  whine until one of us picks you up so you can scan the situation and see what you’ve been left out of.


You LOVE music, in particular the shaker song at Book Babies, the version of Hark! The Herald Angels Sing by Pentatonix, and If You’re Happy and You Know It continues to be a fave. You bop along to tunes that strike your fancy!


This was a month where so many things just seemed to CLICK for you. You suddenly became way more interested in food – a wider range, and a greater quantity. Daycare has started trying things on their menu with you as well, so you’re being exposed to a wide array of things to try. Favorites right now include anything with blueberry, yogurt, puffs, baby “cheetos”, bites of Mom’s veggie pizza, baked potato soup, the Plum Organics “Mighty 4” pouches, and blueberry toaster waffles! As a result, you are taking smaller and fewer bottles – one when you wake up, a couple small ones during the day, and one when you go to bed. We officially started the transition to whole milk this week – no more rushing to Costco for formula!


I’m crediting the increase in food with the increase in sleep. You wake up maybe once a night now, and usually it’s for a brief moment to get that pacifier back – which we still sometimes have to help with, since you still like to throw them out of the crib (?!). You’re going to bed between 7 and 7:30, and sleeping until nearly 7 most mornings.


You are all cars. All the time. Nothing else exists when we’re outside or in a parking lot and a car/truck of any sort goes by — it has your full attention. You will pull acrobatic tricks in our arms to get a glimpse of a passing car. You have a handful of toy cars, all of which seem to be your playthings of choice right now. You push them around the room as you crawl, and recently starting making “vroom” type noises.  You have the need for speed!


Physically, you seem to have gone through a recent growth spurt – you feel heavier, you’ve moved up a pants size, and you have a little more belly now, too – perhaps all that new food? 🙂 You also just seem more SOLID – it must be all that constant muscle work of crawling, pulling up, and walking along things. It’s true — you really are “Sooooo big!” as you like to show us! Your hair is going a bit curlier now that you really have some – we scheduled your first haircut for this weekend to trim up a little for Christmas and the big O-N-E.


(On another developmental note, this was the first month you hit a point where you were “over” your monthly photo sesh with Mom…#notamused #arewedoneyet #mamarazzi.)

…I’m crying (happy-ish) tears that the next post will be about celebrating your sweet soul on this planet for one. whole. year. Time flies when you’re having fun. 

Happy eleven months and merry first Christmas, my little love.
XO, Mom