Thursday, March 20, 2014


just a few things that are making us extra happy right now. 

what we're eating// goldfish pretzels and cadbury eggs (its that time of year!!)
what we're loving// james' swankaroo backpack and my nena&co. bag
what we're wearing// hats for spring rains, not snow
what we're reading// the runaway bunny before bed and the visionist.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

a quiet house

some days our little lives are quiet and peaceful. we have a pretty quiet house and for that i am thankful (of course when james isn't screaming or the dogs aren't barking). but mostly, its quiet. when james naps, i usually take that time to get a few things done but sometimes i find myself just sitting on the couch in the quiet with my knitting or a book. when tyler gets home our house is full of happy noises and playing and rough housing, but even at that. i would say our home is a quiet one. 

i realized today after an exhausting trip to the grocery store that ended with a quarter of a bag of goldfish upended in the soda aisle, that i officially have a toddler living in my house. im hoping all this quiet and patience we have on a normal basis can persist through these toddler times, but if its a little louder than normal thats okay too. im thinking though, that things like small meltdowns and tantrums and just a general getting into everything is really going to make our days exciting, you know what i mean? its good because spring and summer are on the horizon and we can spend our energies outside. oh so thankful for that! 

 and these are just a few snippets of our home. theres also a floor littered with toys and muddy paw prints and a very cluttered kitchen counter. the spots that make me the most happy are the ones i like to take pictures of. ;)  

Sunday, March 16, 2014

road trips and elevators, oh my!

A few weeks ago (the week before the stomach flu, to be exact) we went to Indianapolis with Tyler's parents for a few days. We did this last year (here) and compared to that big adventure this one was a piece of cake! ;) 
James is officially walking now and he used the various elevators and escalators to try out his cutie red tennis shoes and extreme shyness all at once. The shyness! Its hilarious (cue hand on the forehead and other hand over his eyes, instant invisible shield). How dare anyone try to talk to him, especially in an elevator, of all places! ;) 

happy to be out of the car seat and of course, ready to use my phone for all his important social media updates. heh. 

Nana and Papa got James his first Mr. Potato Head just in time for lunch and waiting. MPH (that's his street name) came in handy at various restaurant locations throughout the trip. Thanks MPH, you're swell. :) 
Then there was that time where I shopped with my MIL and sans baby and sans husband for TWO WHOLE HOURS. Two of them. It was a miracle of miracles people. Also that sweater. Swoon. 
Then we took a whole bunch of really goofy photos to occupy us while we waited for fish tacos (me) and pizzas (everyone else) ((i hate pizza)) and tried not to be too loud/distracting/annoying to other patrons at the fine establishment that is The California Pizza Kitchen. 
Then we held hands while daddy pushed the stroller and found the nearest ice cream shop. Did I mention that our hotel was connected to a shopping mall? I didnt? Oh. Well it was. Best planning decision ever, on the part of my inlaws. No coats! No snowboots! That may have been the best part of the trip, actually. 
I share, because thats how nice I am and how much I love my kid. And don't you know, he totally has my ice cream face down too. Both of them (first, total bliss, followed by a "hey, don't look at me this is my ice cream" face). 
The next day was all business. As you can see by how exhausted it left poor James. I knitted while he slept it off and Tyler walked around making friends. Fist bumps for best buddies at the work convention. ;) 
So glad I caught James signing a deal while we were there, otherwise no one would have believed it happened. I think he agreed to ten million goldfish over the course of the next five years? Im not sure. 
I brought tons of toys, some of them new, for the hotel room but by the end of day two we were at our wits end in that little space. Thank goodness for crayons and socks man. And dinnertime right around the corner. 
That one time MPH decided he needed a drink too. It rough not knowing what happened to your ears. 
Waiting for daddy and watching the traffic before we headed out on our third day to the Indianapolis Childrens Museum. Also known as the place where we should have spent every day because it was amazing. Amazing. Amazing. See below for about ten bajillion examples why. 
Birdhouses and ponds and a giant music room and tea with teddy bears and a CAROUSEL RIDE? James was just beside himself with adventures. He did so good walking around exploring and touching other little girls' hairs (jeepers) and tyler and i tried not to stand directly behind him worrying and waiting for someone to knock him over. we did our best, but ya know. #firsttimeparents
Then those wonderful inlaws of mine offered to watch james for the length of an animated movie in their hotel room (because it was close to bedtime/meltdown time) and tyler and i escaped for adult only talk (about how awesome james did at the childrens museum of course) and chocolate covered strawberries and candy too. and holding hands and talking and loooove. ;) 
i also finished this super creepy scary good ghost story that last night and will forever not forget how thankful i was at the end to NOT be finishing it in my own bedroom of my hundred year old house. because let me tell you. SCARY. 
then i packed some james things. 
and some mama things.  

and we said goodbye again to indianapolis. it was a grand time. :) 

next time, we will for sure not touch whatever we touched that gave us the stomach flu for the following three days after we got home. definitely. 

xoxo, r. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

let's knit// the mini mania scarf

call me crazy, but i love a good challenge. when i randomly came upon this pattern for the Mini Mania Scarf i couldn't resist. and then i ordered my first set of 'minis' from Etsy and now im hooked! theres something just really fun about all these colorful mini hanks and how they knit together into this beautiful piece.

knitting the Mini Mania scarf isnt for the weak of heart. it requires a super long circular needles and up to 600 stitches cast on! i stopped at 500 and after a few slip ups, more realistically have about 488. ha! using the 'linen stitch' (my new favorite) you work the scarf width wise. as in, you cast on the length of your scarf and knit up until it is as wide as you would like.

i can't wait to finish this and wear it! hopefully before its too warm out for scarves. although, this is ohio, so i probably have until july. ;)

Monday, March 10, 2014


what does it mean to be 'defined' by something? or even someone? right now, im mother. and teacher. and wife. and photographer. and sister and daughter. and friend. and a reader and a knitter. and i suppose some people would call me 'crafty' (i hate that word). but these are roles. and there are so many of them! all equally important and necessary in the make up of me. do they define me? yes of course.

mostly though, right now, i feel that 'defineness' by my role of james' mother. its shaken my world, the world i spent all my life in selfishly worrying only about me and then only about me and tyler. this role of being a mother is serious business and ive been feeling lately like maybe its the only thing that is defining me. its a good thing, in so many ways. i waited much much longer than i ever thought i would have to, to be a mother and the last fifteen months have left me just soaking it up and consuming myself in it. happily so. i have loved every minute of it and it has truly defined me in a way that perhaps my other 'roles' have not. its most definitely made me a better person.

but at the same time, those other parts of me are still so important! and so, as james perfects his new found skill of walking and becomes ever more independent, i find myself with just a little more time to myself. to be a reader again. or a better friend than perhaps i have been the last fifteen months. as he plays independently on the floor, i find myself thinking of tyler and what i could ask him at dinner about his day. or i have just a bit more time to plan my lessons for thursday morning, without feeling rushed. and that little bit of time, to step back from being james' mama for a minute, its good for my soul.

being a new, first time mom is hard, SO hard. and it defines you (for better or worse). i am happy to put that role at the top of my list, forever. but im happy to pay a little more attention to all these other parts of me too. we are always changing and ever growing and i want all of these things to grow and change with me. i think, mostly thats what ive been struggling with, as a new mom. (other than the lack of sleep at the beginning! ;)

“Defined” is the March writing prompt of The Mommy Blogger Collective. In addition to a monthly writing prompt, the collective hosts a monthly blogger featurette. This month we are featuring Gillian of Comes in ColoursA few words from Gillian — Hey, I’m Gillian and I blog at Comes in Colours! I am passionate about motherhood and passionate about photography. I am married to my middle school sweetheart and we are now raising our two boys, Roman and Asher, in northern Colorado. My life is real and far from perfect but my blog is a place where I celebrate motherhood through pictures and words. Connect with Gillian on InstagramPinterestBloglovin and pop by her blog to say hello.
/// The Mommy Blogger Collective /// ChristinaCourteneyDenaEricaErinGillianKatieMistyNicole, and RenĂ©e. ///

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

james at fifteen months

i realized a few days ago that i hadn't taken the time to write down who this kid is right now, right this very second. i did posts month by month until he was a year and then simply assumed i would continue them every once in a while. i can't believe that was five months ago i thought that! yikes. here's to documenting more of his sweet little everyday things more often.
dear james,

after every meal now, you sign 'done' and then promptly puts your cup on top of your plate. i don't know where that came from but it is adorable. ((you also knows 'more', as you are clearly emphasizing in the first photo. "more crackers please!!"))

you are SUPER shy right now. i mean, so so so shy. while we were away last week, you covered your face with your little hands at pretty much everyone and everybody who paid any kind of attention to you. and lets not even start on my siblings respective significant others! goodness. the lip quiver and tears as soon as they smile at you! its really sweet but also makes me wonder what i can do to help you with this.

you LOVE doing 'cheers' with us at dinner time! or any time really! after a celebratory dinner one night, you picked up on it pretty quick and now are always ready to celebrate with your cup.

whenever we ask you if you want something you shakes your head yes and say 'yeah, yeah, yeah'. especially when its for something really good like lunch or a cookie!

the walking!! so much walking. all the time now. just the other day, you stood up from a sitting position successfully for the first time and you could just SEE the pride on your little face. now you walk pretty much everywhere and if there is an elevator in sight, beware! but those little footsteps. if they aren't just the sweetest things to hear around my house.

you love love love reading right now. we have a good selection of board books that we rotate through and currently Goodnight Zoo and Trucks Go are your favorites. its the sweetest thing watching you flip through the pages and smile at the pictures.

in the last month or so, you've really picked up the 'vroom' noise and its so funny watching you get out your basket of cars and 'vroom' them around the room.

we try not to watch too many movies around here but teething and stomach flus the last month or so have made them a bit more prevalent. hotel transylvania (daddy's favorite) has the best music at the end (so does The Lorax) and lately as soon as it starts, you put your arms above your head and start shaking your  booty. it. is. adorable.

sleeping at night happens ALL the time now (halleluuuujah) and youre such a trooper going to bed on your own. i put you in your crib at bed time, give you your beau the wolf to squeeze tight and you promptly turns on your side to fall asleep. most nights anyhow. every once in a while, we have a tear or two. but really. youre so good at it. 

i know you will be so happy once you can talk because right now, when you need help with something or wants something, all you can do is point or take my hand/fingers and guide them where you want them to go. to push a button, to fix something, to get something thats stuck on the bottom of your foot (the worst!!) but its really so sweet to be needed so. 

im just frankly in love with you kid. have i mentioned that? so so so in love. your smiles are the best part of my every day (always!) and youre just SO funny. cracks me up with your goofiness and desire to play peekaboo all the time. im a lucky mama. 


Monday, March 3, 2014

let's eat// chocolate chocolate cookies

way back last week, before we all suffered a nasty case of the stomach flu around here, i made these cookies. it was one of those days where i woke up and already wished i was going back to bed and the only fix for that kind of day is chocolate, am i right?

i found the recipe here, Outrageous Chocolate Cookies, and ill be honest, i didnt spend that much time looking around for one. it was quite literally the first recipe that popped up. i just wanted some cookies man! and im not a baker, so i really think that is saying a lot.

anyways. loved these and loved how large they got and howshiny they were on top too. the batter ends up being really thin (like brownie batter) which i assumed meant i had done something wrong, but alas. thats how it is supposed to look.

so hurrah for yummy easy chocolatey chocolate cookies. they were a total lifesaver!

xoxo, R.

Saturday, March 1, 2014


//we are recovering from a stomach flu yesterday that knocked little James right off his feet. poor kid. nothing hurts worse than trying to explain to your baby why they have to throw up. and nothing hurts worse than explaining to myself that vomit WILL come out of the velvet pillow. it WILL. 

//the last two weeks have been a bit brutal in all aspects and im feeling not quite like myself. im blaming february, now that its over. thank goodness. i tore off the 'february' page of my stendig calendar with a whoooosh and a big sigh of relief. spring, you are so close! 

//we just got back from quick trip to indianapolis with tyler's parents for work related things. it was fun and involved copious amounts of eating out. my favorite. now we're home and im like "where's the menu? who's making dinner?" and then silence.  

//ive been craving the sound of music since its started popping up on our pandora. just turned it on in time for james to wake up from his nap. typical but great because now i have a singing partner! ;) 

//taxes. i mean, just shoot me now. 

//there is pot roast cooking in the slow cooker and i had chocolate for breakfast. 

//i downloaded a self timer app on my phone. how much fun is that? a lot. poor james and tyler, family photos will never be the same. ever.

//that song, about yelling timber? yeah, im the one singing out loud to that shamelessly in the car. of course, that means i have to have a car, which i do not, still. UGH. car problems are the most annoying. 

//happy saturday and happy its tyler's week of vacation week! a whole week home with us and i just cant even. i am just. just so excited. SO EXCITED. i see date nights in our future. i do! they are happening. 


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

montessori at home// the treasure basket

i think i've mentioned this before, but for six years i worked at a montessori school while i was getting my degree in education and after i graduated as well. i loved the environment and i knew as soon as i had children, montessori would be at the heart of how we raised them. its so easy to make an environment at home that is purposeful for your child! i also saw immediately how beneficial a lot of maria montessori's theories about education were, especially when implemented at an early age and i had so much fun when james was born introducing him to different mobiles, rattles and the like. 

now, at fifteen months, james is at a totally different level of exploration. which means its time for the treasure box to change. originally, i had put out on his shelf a small basket with a bowl, wooden spoon and a small cloth for him to explore. i cannot tell you how much he loved that basket. 
james' first treasure basket at five months
a 'treasure' basket can contain anywhere from five to twenty items, all safe but not necessarily things your little one would find in his toy box. they are meant to be changed periodically to stimulate interest and are used in such a way that initiates conversation and thought: "what color is this?" "how does it feel" "can i put it inside something else?" "what does it taste like?" and other questions of that nature. through this type of interaction, you are introducing colors, textures, etc. as well as promoting exploration and manipulation in a safe way! 

lately, sorting and pouring and mimicking what i do in the kitchen while cooking dinner really captivates james so i put together a treasure basket that includes all of those things, in a safe way. i love watching him concentrate with his lips pursed as he transfers the pompoms and mixes them with the whisk, then pretend pours soap from the bottle on them. 

i can't wait to rotate new treasure baskets onto his shelves as the seasons change too! there are so many possibilities!