A Pig & Some Cherries

You know the friends who are extremely inappropriate & hilariously funny all at the same time? The ones who stun you into silence with their sarcasm & candor? The ones who make you stop & say "SHUT UP! I was JUST gonna say that!?" The ones who don't judge you for being awful, but just appreciate your awfulness & judge you in secret? Ya, those are the best ones.

So, when I decided that this summer was going to be that super amazing one with new traditions, new adventures, & new everything, Kylie stepped up & said "I wanna go too!" Today was a new adventure. In our creepy, obsessive, stalker-like behavior, we think "What would Kelle do?" Well, Kelle would find a farm too far away on the hottest day of the stinkin' year, take the toddler, & go pick cherries.

And cherries we picked!

To add to the new of the summer, Mads & I made a new friend today - Kylie's mom. We all dressed a little too fancy to go sweat & pick cherries, but we looked cute. And really, isn't that all that matters?

 My girl didn't really get the concept of picking, putting them in the cartons, and then leaving them. We started over a few times. Then played the "who's watching the baby??!" game as we used every muscle in our bodies to pull down a branch with darker cherries, always fearful that the baby was indeed thwarting our efforts. All we wanted to do was make a pie. She had other plans apparently.

I LOVE when this little tongue pops out - it means girlfriend is concentrating on her incredibly important task. 

Let me pause here. In the above picture, note a small, blonde toddler. Also note the tall, blonde woman who has no kids, but thinks the world revolves around mine. She loves my girl something fierce. She gets excited when I tell her I plan to sew streamers together so that they make ruffled streamers for above mentioned small, blonde toddlers birthday party. She makes plans to celebrate my girl, & any subsequent kids, in the obsessive-compulsive-over-the-top-people-are-staring-and-judging-us kinds of ways. This is not normal. People who don't have kids, generally, don't really like kids in this obsessive way. I got lucky. Go find yourself a Kylie.

Meet Miss Piggy. This big, fat pig scared the holy everything out of me. I was not expecting this pig to be laying in the shade like a dog. Well, there she was. She was actually a super cool pig, as far as pigs go. My girl wanted so badly to like her, but it just didn't happen. 

This was as close as she could venture to Miss Piggy. Immediately following this shot, my girl sat on the hot dirt & stared at the pig for a few minutes. Just observing. Girlfriend is a whirlwind most of the time. She lives life running & not watching where she's going, until she has hit every single thing in her path, apologizing as she barrels into it. She pretends she can swim, goes under for what seems like an inordinate amount, comes back up, water in her lungs, & has the audacity to get mad at us for pulling her from imminent death. So, this? This was a nice change. Her quiet observation. Pig vs. toddler. 

And then wouldn't you know it? Just as our trip ended this afternoon, The Good Life came on in the car. As if One Republic knew that our theme song needed to round out the day.

This is the good life, people.

Pansies & A Bloody Nose

In the past week, I've wanted to write, but the inspiration hasn't come. Josh left early for church this morning,  so, while the babe was still sleeping, I hopped into the bath, & let the inspiration seep back into me - perhaps by osmosis. I realized that a big part of what I was missing was this:

I had a lot on my plate this week from editing to church meetings, & I hadn't stopped to just smell the petunias, so to speak. 

So, I got out of the tub, pruney & too hot, & decided today was going to be a memory-making day. As soon as that little blonde-haired, blue/gray-eyed beauty was awake, I was going to skip into her room & declare that "we are going to make a memory today!"

Well, turns out our memory was going to be her smacking her upper lip into the stage at church & having a horrible bloody nose. It was a rough morning from the moment girlfriend woke up, so ending it with her face-planting onto the stage was just the icing on the cake.

We had to make up for the crappy morning, so we did. After a tasty lunch, we filled the pool & simped. Simpin' is our cure-all, & it cured us today. My girl got pruney & sun-kissed, & then it was time for a nap.

This is her "you know what I mean, right Mama?" face. LOVE it.

I wasn't feeling like we had made up completely for the morning, so after nap, a snack, & some window Markering, it was down to the Lake for some simpin' & diggin'. 

So, now, I sit, listening to Sleeping Beauty playing in the background, the whir of the air conditioner, & the soft thunder every so often, & I am content - my girl in my lap, a day full of good stuff, & a renewed inspiration to write, snap photos, & get out of the house to be intentionally fun.

Stop & smell the petunias this week.

On Father's Day...a few days later...

For whatever reason, I have become a sappy, sentimental girl at the ripe old age of 28. It works out fabulously because I married a sappy, sentimental boy who isn't completely freaked out by it - only slightly freaked. As a result, when big emotional, lovey, sit-around-holding-hands-talking-about-your-feelings holidays crop up, I am like a big, ol' dork ready to share my feelings.

Father's Day is no different. Father's Day took on a new meaning for us a couple of years ago when our girl was born. I know I didn't make a big deal out of it before, & Josh isn't really a make-a-big-deal kind of guy, but I'm slowly turning that around in our house. Holidays & birthdays are big - will be big. Will be big every year from here on out. We celebrate birthdays for a week. No ifs, ands or buts. A week of celebrating that one cool person in the house. Breakfasts, little gifts, sappy cards, & special notes telling them how special & wonderful & amazing they are. Holidays blow up in this house. You will be able to smell our holiday-decked-to-the-max house down the street. Cinnamon, brown sugar, pumpkin spice...oh, it is on, holidays. It is on.

We started celebrating Sunday with the extended family, but Josh wasn't able to come because he was working. There was food & simpin' - what our girl does best.

So, this Father's Day, due to a full work day for Dada, we pushed the day back to be sure we celebrated Dada properly. We packed up the car, packed a picnic dinner - complete with some of Dada's favorite goodies, headed to our favorite spot on the beach, & lazed around in the sun until our skin was sun-kissed, & our girl was ready for bedtime. 

Watching our girl toddle back & forth from the shore to our blanket heaving her bucket full of water never gets old. She's determined. This is the job she has to do at the beach; she knows it; we know it. It's intense. If only we could know what was going on in that little blonde head of hers. 

So, we celebrated. We were sun-kissed, full, & happy, & we drove away, still very light outside at 7:30pm, with the windows down basking in the warm, summer sun. It was a good day.

We love our Dada. He was made to be her Dada. They are two peas in a pod. Their love is so sweet & tender. It is heaven to sneak a peek at them deep in conversation, & arms all wrapped around each other. This girl toddles over to us, blankie in one hand, Tigger in the other & asks, "'nuggle?!" He looks at me, smiling & says, "We did it, babe. Our girl loves to snuggle." May it be ever this way with them. 

It's a good-Father's-Day-kinda-day.

The Good Life

I'm dog tired, but I can't sleep. After a wedding yesterday & a family session this morning, I expected to pick up my little, & pass right out. Not so much. So, I sit here, in the cool, quiet house, while I listen to the toilet quietly running - J & I say it's our built-in water feature - mind is abuzz with ideas for the summer. Did you know that it's already the middle of June? Where did the summer go!? If I were 10, I'd be panicked that school was just around the corner.

While I am already ready for fall smells, crunchy leaves, crisp air, I have this girl who has limitless energy & a larger-than-life personality that begs me to go & do. See, it hit me, listening to other people tell you not to spoil, not to let them eat ice cream, & not to do all the things that you've already done that will clearly screw her up & need thousands of dollars worth of therapy, that I don't want to miss these moments with her. She is only itty bitty for this itty bitty amount of time, & so I am going to make the most of it. We are going to drink out of bottles, eat ice cream & spin in circles until she falls to the ground in a fit of hysterical giggles...because being a kid is AWESOME. And being a mama watching her be a kid is AWESOME.

This summer may be the only summer I have with just her, and I want it to be wicked amazing. I want her to look back in her photo books & think "I have a super cool mom." And she will. Because I am cool. And this summer is so much fun that it's impossible to express it's awesomeness. There are more things I want to do this summer, and so, I am making myself a list to do, so that I can refer back to it over the coming summer weeks.

Without further ado...the list.

1. Get ice cream from the creepy ice cream truck dude.
2. Have donut dates on Fridays.
3. Go to the movies with my girl.
4. Find a Pick-Ur-Own berry field. And go pick.
5. Lay in a grassy field.
6. Find an old quilt at a thrift store & make it our new family park/beach blanket.
7. Do a moon walk.
8. Build a reading nook for my girl.
9. Get pregnant.
10. Buy bread & feed ducks.
11. Fly a kite.
12. Get a slurpee.
13. See fireworks.
14. Go to the Farmer's Market.
15. Send postcards to family just for fun.
16. Picnic at the beach.
17. Get new family photos taken - every year, baby, every year.
18. Catch fireflies in Mason jars.
19. Make s'mores.
20. Go to the zoo.

That's it. There are more, but 20's enough to get the juices flowing. What's your to-do list for summer? Create one if you haven't - they are only this little for oh so little.

Oh, and I am loving this new page in her book, so I'm sharing.

It's the good life all up in herrr to day.


Brunch is my favorite word. I love the way it sounds, how it feels fancier than breakfast or lunch, & how it makes you feel like you live in the Hamptons, & you are meeting your cricket friends, all dressed in white, sipping mimosas. It's my favorite word. Ask Josh. He knows it's true.

This week's special date with my girl was brunch. We got dressed, snapped some photos & loaded up the car with strollers & extra clothes, not knowing what the morning might bring - you never know when there could be an impromptu swim opportunity.

I woke up that morning feeling the urge to sip tea & eat a scone with my girl, so we decided on Barnes & Noble - that place makes me want to journal & read more & wear reading glasses. I figured we'd sit & share that blueberry scone & she'd jabber on like she does...

This sweet little brunchy moment lasted all of 10 seconds. I snapped this photo, & she turned & jumped off her stool. 

So, we rolled with it. We meandered down the sidewalk, & stopped for some new shoes for my little. 

So awkward when that little hand finds it's way down my shirt in public.

I cherish these days with her when we can just hang out together & do something different from our other days. This is the summer of fun. I wake up everyday thinking of new, fun things to do with this little girl. It won't always be just me & my girl - she'll have to share me at some point, but for now...it's just the two of us.

Oh, & I've had complaints that I don't post her toddler moments. So, here ya go. Our date ended with a lovely tantrum. Putting the camera in her face mid-tantrum really helped the sitch.

Go make a FUN memory with your littles today!

About that photo book...

Once the little is down for the evening, if I'm not in the throes of editing, I am writing, rewriting, tweaking, & shifting this little photo book for my girl. Her life is documented in pictures - the poor child of a photographer mama - and this book makes her years into stories. This story is colorful & funny & silly & changing constantly. It is documented to reflect the stages & the larger-than-life personality my girl has.

If I could, I'd post the whole flippin' book, but that's a whole lotta work. Her book is one of my favorite things to work on when the house is quiet for the night. I find peace in sitting in front of the computer with a blank slate, the blinking cursor begging me to document the stage that is only going to last for 2 days before she's learned something newer. I sift through hundreds of pictures that capture her in the moment before I have turned around, only to turn back & realize that the moment has passed, & she has grown up a little bit more. This book freezes her in these precious moments. 

Without further ado...my favorites...so far...

The good life is abundant today.


I have watched myself over the past few months, while there has been a flurry of activities, new commitments, & new challenges, I feel joyful. I looked at my husband the other day & I said "I feel like I have hit my stride."

I read something on Kelle's blog the other day that could easily be overlooked. It was an old post, from a few years back, from when her oldest daughter was Maddie's age. It rocked me. Rocked what I believe as a mom. She looks at her daughter every morning & says, "What do you want to do today?" Nothing. Simple. ROCKED. Something shifted inside of me. Something that exploded to redirect our days. I am her Mama. I have the ability to make her day amazing or to just muddle through. I choose the former.

I had a comment on a picture of Maddie the other day that made me laugh out loud: "Man, that little girl gets around!" That little girl does get around. Because her Mama realized that it's her joy to discover new things with her daughter.

I decided that our mission this summer is to drive all over looking for new, awesome parks, anything with water, & the best ice cream cone we can find. So far...summer has been awesome! 

So, who knows that these posts will end up looking like. I tend to be a very inconsistent blogger, but for now, I am inspired to write. I have gone back & rewritten Maddie's entire second year photo book because I am inspired! (when I say that in my head, I look like a flamenco dancer twirling around saying OlĂ©!) For now, I will share whatever tickles my fancy. And darlin', my fancy is tickled right now. I feel like Pollyanna - joyful, whimsical, hitting my stride, dorky to be sure, but HAPPY, FULFILLED.

First pigtails. June 2012.

So. Much. Love.
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