17 3 / 2014

(Reposting from FB since some of you don’t follow me there- I promise I’ll be more creative once I get comfortable begging for donations) Hi friends and family! On april 27th, I will travel to Washington, DC to run in the Nike Women’s Half Marathon on behalf of 2.5 yr old Abigail, who was diagnosed with kidney cancer shortly before losing her grandfather to liver cancer last summer. 

This will be my first half marathon and I can’t think of a better reason to challenge myself and test my limits- families like Abigail’s need our support and I want to raise as much money as I can to help researchers find better treatments and ultimately cure childhood cancer. Can you help me? 

My family lost a cousin and a grandmother to Leukemia as well as a handful of loved ones to other types of cancer, so I am excited (and a little scared- I AM NOT a runner!) to be teaming up with the Rally Foundation + the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in an effort to raise money and awareness for childhood cancer research. I don’t want to waste your time with facts and statistics [read: I will get weepy and emotional if I think/talk about it for too long] when I can sum up my point in just a few simple words- CANCER SUCKS. I need your help. I hate asking for money but I hate cancer even more so here I am, begging for your support… will you help me?

As an added incentive, Andy and I are raffling off a $100 VISA gift card- for every $25 donated, you will receive one entry into the raffle- $50 will get you 2 entries, $75 will get you 3, and so on… winner will be chosen once all donations are in.

Thank you in advance for any support you can send my way, whether it’s by donating funds, sending encouraging words, making me a killer playlist to run to, making some yummy treats for our bake sale, or liking/sharing my posts so others can read about this important cause. To quote Madeline and Charlie- “LET’S DO THIS THING!”

https://rallyfoundation.org/run/half-marathon-training/nike-womens-half-marathon-dc/nike-womens-half-marathon-dc

(Reposting from FB since some of you don’t follow me there- I promise I’ll be more creative once I get comfortable begging for donations) Hi friends and family! On april 27th, I will travel to Washington, DC to run in the Nike Women’s Half Marathon on behalf of 2.5 yr old Abigail, who was diagnosed with kidney cancer shortly before losing her grandfather to liver cancer last summer.

This will be my first half marathon and I can’t think of a better reason to challenge myself and test my limits- families like Abigail’s need our support and I want to raise as much money as I can to help researchers find better treatments and ultimately cure childhood cancer. Can you help me?

My family lost a cousin and a grandmother to Leukemia as well as a handful of loved ones to other types of cancer, so I am excited (and a little scared- I AM NOT a runner!) to be teaming up with the Rally Foundation + the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in an effort to raise money and awareness for childhood cancer research. I don’t want to waste your time with facts and statistics [read: I will get weepy and emotional if I think/talk about it for too long] when I can sum up my point in just a few simple words- CANCER SUCKS. I need your help. I hate asking for money but I hate cancer even more so here I am, begging for your support… will you help me?

As an added incentive, Andy and I are raffling off a $100 VISA gift card- for every $25 donated, you will receive one entry into the raffle- $50 will get you 2 entries, $75 will get you 3, and so on… winner will be chosen once all donations are in.

Thank you in advance for any support you can send my way, whether it’s by donating funds, sending encouraging words, making me a killer playlist to run to, making some yummy treats for our bake sale, or liking/sharing my posts so others can read about this important cause. To quote Madeline and Charlie- “LET’S DO THIS THING!”

https://rallyfoundation.org/run/half-marathon-training/nike-womens-half-marathon-dc/nike-womens-half-marathon-dc

19 10 / 2012

(photo credit to family members, photographers glen and wolf, andy)

it was everything you love about weddings. 

it was romantic and heartwarming and emotional and fun. so fun. 

for months, stephanie would call/text me and say they had nothing done or they needed to do more, blah blah blah. she lied to me. they had every detail covered down to placing teeth wipes for red wine stains in the restrooms for the guests. i didn’t even know they made those! all joking aside, zan and stephanie’s preparation and personal touches made their wedding day unforgettable for all who attended (and even some who couldn’t- they provided a live feed of the ceremony for family & friends far away. very cool).

the festivities kicked off at noon on the grounds of the mountain terrace in woodside, CA. it was an intimate ceremony, officiated by a close friend. there was laughter… and tears! definitely tears! following the ceremony, guests dined on the most delicious brunch menu and a bloody mary bar. a bloody mary bar, y’all. my only regret that day was not taking enough pictures of the smaller details- the grass-covered “F” guest book, the tree-trunk place-holders, the rope swings hanging from the trees, white parasols on the back deck. i obsessed over the flowers- gorgeous- and that cake!!! throughout the wedding process, zan had only 2 requests for the reception- lawn games and his beloved karaoke. steph said something along the lines of “lindz, i need you to talk to your brother…” but in the end, there was bocce, croquet, corn hole, ladder golf and a dj. i don’t think he had to campaign too hard though :) either way, it was all a huge hit! 

the entire event was natural and organic with a rustic beauty that captured zan and stephanie’s personalities perfectly. we spent the afternoon dancing, SINGING, embracing one another under the shade of the redwoods. it was such a joyous occasion and i am so blessed to have been a part of it. 

zan and steph, a million congratulations! we love you!

((steph, you know how excited i am to have a sister- i’ve been asking santa for one since i was 2. welcome to the family, ferris!))

19 10 / 2012

zan & stephanie’s rehearsal dinner in palo alto/my brother’s getting hitched!

mexican fare (+ grapes for the kiddos ;)

madeline and aunt/cousin katie being silly  

cousin jen with the bride and groom

our family! 

more family!

the shoe game- always a good laugh for the guests, and a great sign that almost all their answers matched <3 

back at the hotel. tuckered out, but excited for the next day- wedding wedding wedding! my brother is getting maaaaaaarried!

**photo credit to my cousin jen and a few cell phone photos. so mad i didn’t pick my camera up all night!**

a few weeks ago, our family traveled to california to celebrate the marriage of my brother and my new sister-in-law!!!! let me just start out this series of posts by saying that i’ve dragged my feet on writing these because (my) words will never do this trip justice. california is magical. 

my love affair with palo alto began instantly- how could it not? the weather, the houses, their commitment to clean living, the people, stephanie’s family… it was perfection. all of it.we arrived on friday, but the rehearsal dinner wasn’t until saturday evening. zan and stephanie met in seattle and currently live there, but stephanie was born and raised in palo alto and her mother hosted the RD in the backyard of the house she grew up in. we spent the majority of the evening outside, listening to music and catching up with friends and family. the party was catered by a local mexican restaurant and the food was sooo good. toasts were made to the happy couple, we played the shoe game, but my favorite part of the night was spending quality time with stephanie’s family- my new family

19 9 / 2012

this past weekend, andy and i took the kids to coverdale farm reserve for DELAWARE FARM FUN DAYS! our nature society was gifted this 229 acre farm to use as an educational resource for the community- they provide a hands-on experience by letting the kids milk cows, feed the animals, and assist the farmers with their daily chores.

this was our first time participating in one of their programs so i wasn’t sure what to expect but we had such a fun time! i’m kinda bummed that we’re just finding out about this farm- we missed out on a whole summer of classes! our favorite course they offer is called “farm to fork” where they teach people how to live off the land by using only the resources available at coverdale to prepare meals. very cool.

after learning how to milk a cow, we bottled up the milk that we collected and fed the calf and the pigs. we also fed the chickens/hens/roosters and held baby chicks. i was pleasantly surprised at how hands-on we were actually allowed to be. madeline was very reserved during the group activities and had more fun wandering off and exploring on her own. charlie, on the other hand, thrives in big groups and was wiggling out of his carrier to play and get dirty with the big kids every chance he got!

madeline is currently obsessed with the wizard of oz so when we came across a scarecrow, we had to go say hello. we tried explaining to mads that this scarecrow wasn’t going to come to life but she wasn’t buying it. ((i don’t blame you, sweet girl. scarecrows are… SCARY!))

madeline insists on picking out her outfits these days. i found the leg warmers on her arms very amusing on this particular morning so we just went with it. our allergies started acting up not long after we arrived and when i asked madeline if she needed a tissue, she just held up her arms and said “i have my own tissues, thank you” and wiped her nose with the leg warmers. BUILT-IN TISSUES! pure genius, right?!

andy and i have wanted a farmhouse with some land for quite some time now, but only recently entertained the idea of actually running a (small, very small- 4.63 acres with 3 barns and creek frontage to be exact ;) mini-farm with animals and crops. we know it takes work- lots of work. HARD work. and time we don’t have. or money. or resources. so for now, we will continue living our dream through day trips out to the country with the kids until the time is right for us.

xo,

lindz

19 9 / 2012

::taps the microphone::

anyone out there?

madeline started her second year of “preschool” last week and it occurred to me that while i have two adorable baby books crying for attention, the only documentation we have of this big event are three IG posts and a handful of photos on my phone. not cool, lindz. not cool at all.

so here i am, back on tupelo honey, hoping to bring this little space back to life. my goal is to BUY SOME INK CARTRIDGES (finally!) and hook up our printer (gasp!), print each post from home and bind in a book to give to the kids someday. we’ll see :)

no song and dance, i’m just gonna jump right in…

***

MADELINE’S 1ST DAY OF PRESCHOOL, YR 2

((i originally wrote this cute little post about her 1st day back but the internet ate it so i’m just gonna post a few pictures, add some captions, and move on))

september 12th, 2012

madeline is clearly excited to see her teachers and classmates again! this is her 2nd year attending the same church preschool that andy went to when he was younger. we drop her off 2 mornings a week for 3 hrs a day. they read stories, have art and music class, play on the playground- nothing fancy but she loves every second of it.

charlie was not happy that madeline was leaving him! last year, madeline went to school for 1/2 a day on the days that i worked. my work schedule recently changed so this year, madeline goes to school on one work day and one of my SAH days. this allows me some one-on-one time with charlie, which i really appreciate.

madeline is the best big sister- she comforted charlie as we got ready to leave. poor buddy- he was so confused!

off they go! andy works right next to madeline’s preschool so he dropped her off on her first day back. there were tears (mine), lots of hugs and kisses and “share!”, “be sweet!” “have fun!”. i must have texted andy 15 times that day- LOOK OUT YOUR WINDOW. ARE THEY ON THE PLAYGROUND YET? CAN YOU SEE HER? WHO IS SHE PLAYING WITH???? i’m already looking for school nurse positions for when the kids enter grade school.

helicopter moms forever, y’all.

04 4 / 2012

my film professors would cringe at this VERY ROUGH EDIT i put together but i’m too busy to get fancy on you today…

madeline HATES us taking videos of her so we often have to hide the camera. here are a few clips from videos we took recently that make me smile. so cute! 

23 3 / 2012

hello, hello! 

it’s been a while, right?! the month of february was c-RA-zy. you have no idea. it’s taken most of march for us to recover from the madness and we’re still feeling a little punch-drunk from it all, but the dust has settled and with it came some much needed down time for the carmines. i have a fun little delaware lately post coming but in the meantime, i want to share with you some of our favorite items floating around the house these days. 

andy and i gave madeline the fisher price retro changeable disc camera for her 2nd birthday. the interchangeable discs have fun vintage pictures that tell stories and we love to sit and talk about what she sees in each picture through the viewfinder. for less than $15, this would make a great gift for your itty bitty loved ones. 

fisher price learning sounds projector

this was another gift we gave madeline for her birthday that she absolutely adores. this is basically a view finder on steroids- using view finder reels, images are projected onto the wall. if you use the learning sound reels, you can listen to fun facts & sound effects too… madeline loves mimicking the animal sounds! it comes with a few learning sound reels, but we’ve also purchased some non-sound reels like mickey mouse & they’re just as fun. the best part? at bedtime, you can swivel the lens and project images onto the ceiling for your kid to look at as they go to bed. very cool

step 2 fun flow play sink

madeline is obsessed with water. OB-SESSSSSSED.

a few months ago my parents gave madeline a folding step stool, which is pretty awesome except for the fact that it sent her water obsession into overdrive. this stool gave madeline the ability to reach sinks. and faucets. for a short time, water was everywhere. ((side note regarding the stool- this has become such a useful tool for us lately. madeline uses it to help us bake, prep dinner, climb on beds, brush her teeth, etc. instead of us having to purchase a stool for each floor, madeline can collapse the stool and take it from room to room herself. she is very independent these days and loves being able to control how involved she is with whatever it is that we’re doing.))

madeline’s favorite activity is pouring and measuring and splashing around so i was determined to find a way to let her play while conserving water. we finally decided on the fun flow play sink since it most resembled our kitchen sink (deeper than most tables) and came with a moveable faucet. just as the reviews warned us, the manual pump on the faucet was broken upon assembly. while i may not recommend this particular model, we have logged some serious hours with this toy (?) & i highly recommend a play sink (or something like it). 

and if you do decide to purchase a water table (especially in the winter time when you can’t play outside), might i also suggest one with a cover AND DEFINITELY something like THIS

soffe the giraffe teether

i am so late to the party on this one, the guests left hours ago… truth be told, madeline cruised through teething so i never had to purchase teething toys for her. charlie, on the other hand, got his first 2 teeth around 3.5-4 months old, has a few more on the way and seems to be in a world of pain right before they break through the skin. ENTER SOFFE. i don’t know what it is about this toy but babies love it, charlie loves it, therefore we love it. ((thanks for the gift, uncle zan/zuncle and aunt stephanie!!! xo))

LET’S TALK SKIN FOR A MOMENT. madeline has insanely sensitive skin, crazy allergies, and for a month last fall, she broke out in hives all day long. after working closely with our pediatrician, we got the hives under control but i will always be hyper-aware of everything we use on hers and charlie’s skin. we used to use THIS and THIS but when even the super sensitive version of california baby products made madeline break out upon contact in the bathtub, we were forced to give away our stash of CB and started using these next few products exclusively. (definitely not suggesting that aveeno or CB are bad products, btw. mads is just super-duper sensitive)

noodle & boo shampoo, bath wash, & bubble bath

AKA heaven in a bottle. i had never heard of noodle & boo until i received their essential care kit in a gift bag that was given to andy and i when we purchased our double stroller. i goggled the company when i got home to see what they were all about and i was pleasantly surprised to find out that every N&B formula is “hypoallergenic, clinically-tested to minimize risk of allergic reactions, and are dermatologist-tested to verify optimality for sensitive skin”. we LOVE LOVE LOVE noodle & boo products, especially the shampoo, bubble bath, body wash, and lotion. we use it on both charlie and madeline every other night during bath time and one bottle of each lasts us about 3 months. the price tag makes my heart and wallet weep but when it comes to the kiddos, it’s totally worth it. the smell is fresh, clean, and out of this world! seriously, i can’t say enough good things about this company. 

and if my raving review isn’t enough to convince you that this product is OMG AMAZING, check out all these celebrities who love noodle & boo too!

baby hugo chamomile & vanilla massage oil

with winter came dry heat and DRY SKIN. baby hugo was recommended to me by a sales associate at whole foods one day and i haven’t looked back. i use this on the babes post-bath and on my skin too. smells yummy and doesn’t leave you or your kids feeling… well, oily.

boogie wipes saline nose wipes 

when i first heard about boogie wipes, i thought to myself, “what a waste of money”.

then i went to cori’s house and she had a giant tub of them. “just try it” she said. and i did. and then i drove to target and bought every tub they had on their shelves. now i know i’ve gone semi-crunchy on you with the cloth diapering and the castile soap and the probiotics, but i will forever be a fan of these overpriced saline wipes. we’re currently out and waiting on a delivery (today!) and i can’t tell you how many times i’ve actually said out loud in the past few days “where are my boogie wipes?!”. they’re the only product i can use on madeline’s nose and face that not only breaks down the mucus and snot that sticks to her face, but keeps her skin from breaking down and getting raw and chapped when i have to wipe her nose 15,568 times a day (thank you, preschool). every time she sneezes i hear “mommy, towel”. before boogie wipes, i tried everything from baby wipes (7th gen, earth’s best, pampers sensitive) to warm washcloths, even my homemade baby wipes and nothing works as well as these. we keep a large tub at home and a travel pack in the diaper bag and purse. they are alcohol, pthalate and paraben free which makes this mama happy, and you can also heat these in the microwave as a warm treat to stuffy, snotty noses. 

just try it. 

dr. bronner’s magic pure castile soap

since becoming a parent to kids with sensitive skin, i’ve changed up my hair and skin care routine as well. i now use dr. bronner’s pure castile soap in lavender and eucalyptus as a body wash/shaving soap and carol’s homemade soaps for my face and hands. my favorite is her milk & oatmeal soap that i stock up on when i see her at local craft fairs but i can’t seem to find it on her site. if you’re interested in purchasing some, contact her directly. she’s so easy to work with! i also recommend her linen sprays and lotion bars. check her out. she’s good stuff. 

NEUMA hair products

post-pregnancy, my hair is a hot mess. i’m not ready to cave and cut short so after a consultation w/my hair dresser, we came up with a way to save the locks. this new regimen includes fancy shampoo and conditioner and argan hair treatment (post-wash, pre-dry oil for hair). i hate spending my hard-earned money on expensive hair products, but i promised myself i would do whatever it takes to make my hair healthy again and i can honestly say, NEUMA is saving my hair. i could tell a difference the moment i started using these products. because i was skeptical at first, i purchased the travel kit that included the products i mentioned above. the shampoo and conditioner in the kit lasted me 6 weeks (using sparingly but almost daily, and i have long hair) and i have enough argan treatment for a year (3-4 times a wk). i now buy the bigger bottles for home use but i like having the smaller bottles (that i fill myself) to take with me when we travel (same goes for the noodle & boo bottles). my hair salon also gives me 20% off NEUMA purchases if i bring them my old bottles to recycle. check and see if your salon will do the same for you, i’m pretty sure they will. here’s a little excerpt from the NEUMA website that explains their mission:

"NEUMA uses only renewable, beneficial plant-based ingredients - leaving you, and your hair, looking and feeling more beautiful. Our collection of professional performance beauty products contain ingredients which above all, do no harm - because like you, we care for earth and hair.

NEUMA is free of synthetic fragrance, sulfates, parabens, 1,4-dioxane, phthalates, glutens, neurotoxins, aluminum compounds, glycols, formaldehyde donors, ureas, carcinogens, environmental pollutants - a truly sustainable brand.

Organic raw materials, sustainable business practices and continuing membership 
as a global corporate citizen will make the difference in the long run. “

more good people, even better products. 

aden + anais swaddling blankets

i can’t believe i never knew about these until getting pregnant with charlie. why didn’t any of you tell me?! HELLO!! OVER HERE!!!! ::waves hands frantically over head::

i want to full on make-out with aden + anais blankets. all of them. we have quite the collection these days and use them for everything. the ones above are my favorite from the a+a collection and are perfect for swaddling & the car seat. they are very thin so i use 2 each night to swaddle charlie with before bedtime. charlie is as strong as an ox and these are the only blankets he can’t wiggle out of. not gonna lie though, i make a mean swaddle. target carries them (4 pack) and i’ve found that they are cheaper there than any site online. if you know where i can get them at a discount, hook a girl up already. i want to give them to all my friends. we have 7 (come in singles and packs of 3 or 4 online) but as far as i’m concerned, you can never have too many of these. 

aden + anais cozy wrap

IMO, the perfect baby blanket. the cozy wrap is a little thicker than the swaddling blankets so i use this to cover my babies at night and during the colder months when we’re out and about. it also makes a great nursing cover. i don’t recommend these to swaddle with though, too thick. 

aden + anais muslin dream blanket

we own 2 of these and they’re the largest and thickest of them all. we use them when we’re playing on the ground or snuggling on the couch.

we also own the a+a muslin sleeping bag. it was a great gift to receive but i wouldn’t have purchased it myself. my recommendation? register for it. 

radio flyer tricycle

my mom and dad gave madeline her first “bikecycle” for her 2nd birthday. aside from the fact that it’s red (!!), we love the classic, clean look and quality of this tricycle compared to the big, flashy, plastic ones. with 2 kids currently and more expected down the road, we love it when madeline receives gifts that she can one day pass down to her brother(s) and (hopefully) sisters. we haven’t taken to the sidewalks with this bad boy just yet but she rides it through the house on our hardwoods and LOVES IT. radio flyer “bikecycle” FTW. 

ahhh. my beloved bean bag. my parents bought this for madeline the last time they were here and although she gets a lot of use out of it, i’m the one who uses it the most. let me just say that BREASTFEEDING IS HARD WITH A NEWBORN AND A TODDLER. or at least it used to be. i hate disrupting whatever activity madeline’s involved in so i can go find a comfortable place to nurse. before the bean bag, i would nurse standing up or on desk & dining room table chairs (blah), the kitchen counter (?), madeline’s train set table, THE HARDWOOD FLOORS… anywhere i could find a place to sit down. now i can move (sometimes kick!) the bean bag to wherever the action is, plop down on it and BF charlie in comfort. even if you don’t BF, we love using the bean bag for charlie too. same applies to him- i can drag the bean bag around and set him on it whenever i need a free hand. LOOOOOOOOVE IT. love it love it love it. 

cloud b gentle giraffe sound machine w/4 soothing sounds

confession: my kids hate the soothe & glow seahorse. i know, i know, but whatever. it’s cool. what they DO love are the cloud b sound machines. madeline owned the sleep sheep but when we lost the sound machine insert, we purchased the giraffe for charlie.  so cute and provides the perfect white noise w/4 diff sound options every night at bedtime. bonus points for being travel size and having velcro straps to attach to car seats, pack-n-plays, cribs, swings, you name it. also? remember on parenthood when sydney is walking into the hospital and she has a gift for her new sibling but she never gets to give it to him because julia didn’t get the baby and OMG SO SAD? IT WAS THE GENTLE GIRAFFE. 

HABA TOYS!

haba haba haba toys. so fun!! last december i purchased a couple of groupons (or something like it) that gave me a HUGE discount on HABA toys. we had a very HABA christmas last year! i bought so many awesome toys for the kiddos, some are posted above but we seriously picked out 2 boxes worth of stuff- blocks, teethers for charlie, bath toys- and it’s all top quality stuff. need some great easter basket ideas without breaking the bank? GO HABA. you won’t be disappointed. 

soma intimates panties

i think it’s weird to discuss panties on my blog to complete strangers but i love soma so much i’m willing to overlook my hangup this one time to let you in on a little secret. I LOVE SOMA UNDERWEAR and here’s why- they have this vanishing edge silicone at the leg openings that prevents panty lines and keeps them from riding up.  they are the nicest intimates i own and worth every. dollar.  

lifefactory water bottles 

i don’t drink coffee or soda or juice. i drink (chug) milk and water. LOTS AND LOTS OF WATER. 

water can get awfully boring so i firmly believe that what you drink it out of shouldn’t be. i will make any excuse to buy new water bottles, i have a whole cabinet full of them. i have the one i use when we go walking, and the one i take to work, and the one that fits into the grooves of the treadmill perfectly, and the one i carry in my purse that won’t leak everywhere. my girlfriend shervin kept tweeting pictures of lifefactory bottles that i thought were so cool so when our whole foods opened last week, i picked up a charcoal colored one. this is another call for help- can you guys find these on the cheap? i heart them but just can’t justify the price. i’d really love to get some for the whole family, maybe the easter bunny will bring us some??

so anyway, there you have it. some of our must-haves these days. what are some of you and your family’s MUST HAVES? please share

xo

lindsay

13 2 / 2012

it snowed twice (!!) and i was on-call so we spent a lot of time indoors. here’s a little peek into our weekend… 

dress up

fingerpaint on plywood 

a technicolor mess for my darling em 

post-laundry basket race reading to her bitty baby molly 

a little popped toe action 

writing briefs & filing motions in daddy’s office

my early drive into work 

view from work 

play time on mommy & daddy’s bed instead of napping 

slow dancing to amos lee’s sweet pea 

my little man in his sister’s old bouncy gym 

belly laughs!

tiny little footprints 

sunday lunch @ our favorite spot- pizza by elizabeths 

this is what i get for asking her to say “cheese!” while eating

no shower, beers at noon kind of day

new fishies

mr. robot 

bubbles

the grover fan club’s newest member

10 2 / 2012

***if this entry seems a little rushed it’s because i wrote this post already and tumblr deleted it. so annoyed.***

since having charlie, i’ve come to realize that i don’t need our crazy life to be perfect. i need it to be manageable. 

manageable.

it’s my new word. 

about a month ago i found myself knee-deep in creative party idea pins on pinterest and i was thisclose to ordering these gorgeous custom made paper dolls from england (that were made to look just like your child, too cool) when i finally snapped out of it- what was i doing?? madeline doesn’t need some fancy party, she wouldn’t get it. she needs balloons and a cake and family and a few close friends… that’s it. lindsay, make this party manageable i thought to myselfso i tucked the paper doll party theme in my back pocket for when madeline would appreciate it and went with something a little more modest. i was very pleased with the results and the best part? we only spent one afternoon/evening putting it all together. operation: manageable birthday party with minimal stress was, IMO, a success… 

sweet little banner i made with twine and scrapbooking paper from michael’s 

since the super bowl fell on the same day as madeline’s birthday, we decided to host a brunch so everyone could make it to their super bowl parities on time- this spread (with extra in the kitchen for backup) served about 30 people. we made scrambled eggs (my late grandmother’s recipe), bacon (my dad’s, it’s the best. the secret is the bacon press), brie and crackers (threw that out there at the last second)… 

donuts, fruit salad, mini pancake stacks w/mint and blueberries (idea from pinterest)… 

a little birdie filled w/syrup and french toast & strawberry skewers sprinkled w/powdered sugar (idea from pinterest). the quote on the chalkboard was also an idea i stumbled on while searching pinterest for inspiration. it comes from one of our favorite books and the second i saw it i knew it would make the perfect backdrop for madeline’s party. 

i have to laugh at this picture- this was all stuff i had leftover from previous parties that i found in our kitchen cabinets. my newest obsession is infused water. i chose cucumber for this particular occasion but i’ll throw anything into water and drink it- blueberries, mint, basil, peaches, oranges, strawberries. so yummy. 

(remnants of) the adult beverages station 

aunt stephanie was more than happy to help madeline learn how to ride her new “bikecycle” that grams and grandpa (pop pop) gave her. she hasn’t stopped riding it since!

cousins

this picture makes me so happy! i love how ben wrote “food store”- i refuse to erase it. the kids were having so much fun ringing up groceries with the cash register and baking goods in the kitchen for the market. 

ahhh, the leaning homemade (with love!) 4 layer strawberry shortcake i made at the last minute because the icing was melting and the strawberries were slipping off and we had no more room in the fridge to store it… but it was good. soooo good. and it finally tipped over after the last person was given a slice.  

make a wish!

look at the lean on that thing!!!! what a mess. 

madeline didn’t seem to mind though.

we love you, madeline! happy, happy birthday, sweet girl. 

08 2 / 2012

the past 3 week(end)s have been full of celebrations. i turned 32, we took a trip to nyc to say goodbye to a dear friend before he embarks on a yr long trip to south america, and madeline turned 2!

andy testing out the new treadmill he put together with beer in hand//birthday treats//1.21.12 6am birthday snow//a virtual birthday text of my favorite breakfast from the turys

2012 is the year that i get back on track in taking better care of myself. i’ve devoted the last 3 years to birthing and caring for these sweet, sweet babies of ours but somewhere along the way i stopped making myself a priority. i’ve declared 2012 as the year of me and will not apologize for marking out time each day to focus on being the best version of me. this includes minor changes- working out more, reading an hour a day, spending that extra 15 min to dry my hair instead of pulling it back straight out of the shower, and focusing on my biggest insecurity- my skin.

when andy asked me what i wanted for my birthday, i threw out a suggestion that would help me meet one of my goals for this year. he knew that i was having a hard time making it to the gym so he was supportive when i asked if it be possible to bring the gym to me. after some googling, we found a treadmill for a great deal (HALF OFF) online. i usually have buyer’s remorse after purchases like this- they feel so selfish these days, don’t they?- but i refuse to let myself feel guilty about this one. i’ve been exercising every day while reading my new magazines (gift subscriptions FTW) and watching tv… it’s a little chunk of ‘me time’ each day that i really look forward to desperately need. 

you loyal readers out there know how much i love me some snow… i couldn’t believe my eyes when i woke up to snow on my birthday! once the kids woke, we bundled them up and walked over to our neighborhood coffee shop for breakfast. 

i have been hoarding a box full of gift cards and decided that my birthday would be the perfect time to use some of them. in sticking with the year of me theme i scheduled an appt with my hair dresser here in delaware, then drove to philly for an afternoon of facial pampering at a spa in rittenhouse square that specializes in skin treatments. i have sun damage from 13 years in the FL sun and acne scaring on my face that i’m super sensitive about, so my facial also included microdermabrasion and a chemical peel. i still have 2-3 more treatments left before i can get the result i’m looking for, but this was the start of something big for me. my skin has never felt or looked better and i can’t wait to share my before/after pictures with you when i’m finished with the process. 

my birthday happened to fall on the same day that our neighbor friends were throwing a going away party (they’re moving to the ARTIC CIRCLE, so cool) so we all got dolled up and spent the evening with some of our favorite families that live on our street. 

the next morning we went to a birthday brunch with the in-laws and headed back to their house afterwards to play in the snow. andy had promised madeline that he would build her a snowman and she couldn’t stop talking about it- she carried her carrot nose around for hours! unfortunately the rain had set in earlier and the snow had a thin layer of ice over it. andy got creative and used some snow from the birdbath to make a mini snowman. so precious.  

a few pictures of us goofing around// playing with some of the premium picnik features before it shuts down- booooooo. 

the state/carolina game. pictures on the left were taken before the game. pictures on the right were taken shortly after tipoff… needless to say, it was ugly. 

baking rainbow cupcakes/learning our colors. i’ll accept the side eye from you for letting mads have a few licks of the batter- i know better ;) 

play date at the children’s museum. another gift certificate we received- membership for a year and the best part? we can bring friends! thank you grandma and da! we love it and go at least once a week. 

the weekend after my birthday was spent in manhattan with some of our most favorite people. our dear friend eric is traveling around south america for a year+ and our group of friends wanted to send him off in style. we drove/flew in from all over the east coast- boca raton, wilmington (nc), raleigh, dc, new jersey, and delaware to say goodbye. this group is pretty special to us- fraternity brothers, roommates in college, the ones responsible for introducing andy and i, people that have seen andy and i at our very worst and very best and love us unconditionally.  i can’t even begin to tell you how amazing that night was- as excited as we were to get back home to our babies, we didn’t want the weekend to end. i laughed until i cried, my cheeks hurt from smiling so much.

my favorite celebration of all though took place this past weekend- madeline’s second birthday! i took a lot of pictures so they deserve a blog entry of their own, which i hope to post tonight or tomorrow. 

i’m secretly happy that things are slowing down around here for the next few weeks- all this celebrating has left me pleasantly exhausted! i’ve said it before but it’s worth repeating- weekends like these are good for the soul.