Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Leeber McLeeberson

Yep, that is the name we have chosen to call our youngest.  His name is Leland.  It's a cool name.  We spent days upon days scouring baby name sites & books...finally pick it and THIS is what we call him.

It's hysterical to hear my 5 year old refer to him as "Leeber McLeeberson" but even more hysterical to see Leland respond to it.

I love this kid. He is nearing 7 months.  He is enjoying food more than anything.  If Jude has something to eat, he will whine until he gets to have something.  Oy. It's already starting!

Monday, May 24, 2010

7 years ago today....

I married a rockstar.

I love you baby.  Thanks for being silly with me.  For caring about me.  For showing me I'm your only. I love what God has given us.  I love this life we've built as one.  I love our 2 crazy boys.  I love laughing alongside of you.

Happy Anniversary!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

To my dearest Jude London....

Today you are 5. 

You have been awaiting this day for a long time.  
You can use your whole hand to illustrate your age.  
You are getting ready to start Kindergarten.  
You are so incredibly ready.  
You sound your words out. 
You write your name.  
You write letters and numbers so beautifully.  
You are a gifted artist.  
You have a beautiful voice. 
You have a deep compassion that convicts me.
You pray to God when you are scared. 
You never doubt that He hears you. 
You encourage me as your Mommy. 
You care for Leland with such tenderness.
You are more than I could have asked God for, sweet son. 
You are the reason for so much laughter in our home.
You enjoy giving as much or more than getting. 
You have taught me a great deal.
You make me so proud. 

Happy Birthday! Today is your day.  I love you.


Friday, May 21, 2010

Interview with "My Retro Kitchen"

So, I love meeting foodies.  
I love talking about food.  
I love learning something new about food.  

A newly re-acquainted friend, Amie, has a lovely and resourceful foodie blog called My Retro Kitchen that I am obsessed with.  Her posts are always full of interest and inspire me to look deeper when I look in my fridge.

I am so honored she asked me to do an interview for her "Friday Feasting with Friends" weekly feature.  Check it out here.  Thanks Amie for the love!

Happy Friday people....
photo credit

Thursday, May 20, 2010

this big pot in the backyard

It came with the house.
Currently grows gross weeds.

This is what it will become.

Thanks for the inspiration, Black Eiffel.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

9 by design (revisited)

I think I have it figured out why this show appeals to me so much.  It's not just the incredible design and innovation.  It is not the inspiring transformations and over-the-top art selections.  It is because this family has the same problems any family has.  Their kids whine. Their baby cries. Their kids disappear in the middle of intersections and cause them to freak out and yell.  Robert & Cortney are given the opportunity for a kid-free date night and they jump up and down like Joel and I do.  They are seemingly unafraid of that transparency.  They are also somewhat dumbfounded as to what makes their lives so interesting to the press.

In last night's episode, Robert came home to read Cortney some interesting press they had been receiving.  Both of them stared at the Times with such child-like excitement.  I guess I expected a 'snooty side' to rear its ugly head one of these episodes.  Truth be told...I'm still waiting for it.

As someone who is literally SURROUNDED by creative people, I cannot help but appreciate the ones who are so humble about their gift.  This show scratches me where I itch in the 'inspiration' department.  I already want to tear down every wall in my house and start over again....ok, maybe not the ideal design for my town....but makes me want to hit up flea markets all over town looking past the 'junk' and seeing what could be....

Monday, May 17, 2010

day 2 of birth week

So, my Jude is turning 5 in 4 days. Look how little he was....

My heart is excited for what is ahead but to be truthful, after yesterdays post, I sobbed like a baby in the car on the way to my parent's house.  I cannot think too long & hard about him being in school every day all day...I know I will adjust but I ache at the very thought of it.  I am going to miss the mornings...the snuggling as I drink my coffee.  I am going to miss our play-doh mornings.  I am also going to miss the spontaneous drive each day has....'what do you want to do today?"  I love that.  I realize he isn't dying or going to a boarding school or anything...it's just going to be different.  Sometimes when things change, I am simply just sad about it.  It couldn't more true a word for this week.  While i love to celebrate the gift of God I have had for 5 years...I am a teeny tiny itty bitty bit sad as well. 

Our 'special' birthweek event yesterday was a surprise trip to Grandma & Grandpa's house!  Fun had by all!

Today is a trip to a new playland + dessert after school.  Jude is totally digging this whole birth week celebration thing.  He walked up to my Dad and said, "It's my birth week...and it's time to get this PAR-TAY started!" 

Birth week....day 1

Beware a very sappy post up ahead:

I am peering down the week with various tasks; meals to make; love to dish out; cleaning to do over and over and over....

Today, though, I slowed my heart down.  I hugged my eldest son. I looked in his big green eyes. I told him how close his birthday is. Only 5 more days....til he is 5 years old.

An overwhelming feeling came over me.  I thought back to the day I found out I was carrying him.  It was too soon for me...Joel was still in art school.  I wasn't ready.  Little did I know how perfect the timing truly would be.  I remember his little kicks inside my womb.  I remember his spiky hair after his first bath in the hospital.  I remember falling in love with Joel all over again watching him transform from husband to father.  I remember when I asked Jude if he was ready to meet his new little brother...and his response was: "Mommy, is it OK if I am shy around him at first?"  Oh Jude, we love your innocence and tender heart.  We adore your thoughtful words and loving touch.  We appreciate the artwork you bring home....the chalk-board notes of love...and the snuggling....oh the snuggling!

I am stealing an idea from a friend (Amy D) to celebrate my son all week long!  It's birth week, people!  Jude gets to pick something fun to do each day in order to celebrate all the way til Saturday!  He is so very excited.  So far, all he can come up with is going to play grounds, libraries and play lands (stuff we do all the time as it is) - it makes me grateful that his ordinary life is celebration enough.  I do plan to throw in some surprises along the way...I want him to know how very much he is loved. 

Friday, May 14, 2010

Where I find motivation to keep going...

It's in the daily snuggles given freely over and over.
It's in the loving gestures that only a baby can imitate with such sweetness.
It's in the giggles that overtake him when the tickling has begun.
It's in the twirling of my hair while my sweet baby nurses to sleep.
It's in the songs that my 5 yr old sings while playing.
It's in the castles of sand that imagination reaches its peak.
It's in the rise and fall of their chest as they deeply breath in their sleep.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

all you need is love

Sorry if I got a song stuck in your head.

It's been a really wonderful week.  Mothers Day was lovely.  Calm. Peaceful. My heart is still and grateful for the sons I have here.  I am also grateful for the one waiting for me in heaven.

After a crazy season of 'scrimpin' & pinchin' I am proud to say my culinary skills are getting more and more creative.  I am looking at my pantry with more in my repertoire. I am seeing past the crisper in my fridge and gazing at a spice rack that is brimming with possibilities.

I had asked Joel last week to bring home some potatoes from the market.  He was pumped about how cheap he got them.  The next day I was planning to do loaded baked potatoes and a salad bar and noticed something: These Potatoes are ALL rotten!  (No wonder how cheap they were!)

I threw the soft, green little guys away and had to start over.  I didn't want to do 'just salad' so I gazed into the fridge.  Trying to be creative.  Trying to be inventive.  Using love in what I make for my family.

I saw bacon....lettuce....tomatoes and thought: BLT's!  Perfect.  'Cept that we're sick of BLT's.  So, i put a spin on it and stuck them on tortillas on a bed of couscous and sauteed onions.  Spicy brown mustard and Avacado top the open-faced soft taco and voila!  No joke....Joel told me this is now one of his all time favorite dinners....I just had to laugh!

Friday, May 7, 2010

To the Mommies...

May you be spoiled rotten this weekend. 
May your children cuddle you close.

Enjoy the pedicures...massages...breakfast(s) in bed...receive the love and know how wonderful you are!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

dinner last night...

So we do our grocery run @ the West Side Market on Wednesdays.  It gets us through the week/weekend and seems to make the most sense for our lifestyle. 

While I couldn't wait to see Joel bring home the fresh stuff, I had some stuff leftover from the weekend I wanted to use...

We're sorta sick of salad, veggie quesadillas, and stir fry.  So, we sauteed them in pasta and made a sauce out of olive oil, lemon, basil and bread crumbs.  It was divine paired with angel hair pasta.  The only thing missing was an intense cheese flavor....

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

so so so close...

It's been a tight month, financially. 
Bought a new car.
It takes more gas.
Got better insurance on it.
Had a new baby.
He eats solids now.
Got a speeding ticket.
Upgraded phones.

Life is full of the unexpected.  Seriously unexpected things just come up. 

I am humbled, however. I have a husband who is an incredibly hard worker.  He selflessly gives up nights/weekends/days off so he can make extra for us.  It's hard, to be honest, not to be directly helping out in that department.  Although, I do consider raising the kids/cleaning/cooking to help out a bit.  ;)

The GREAT news to share is....

In 2 months we will have TWO WHOLE STUDENT LOANS finally paid off!!!  This is HUGE.  
This is how I feel when I think about it. 

So....if you are down and out about finances like we have all been from time to time....look up, celebrate where you have come from, and be generous.  You always have more when you give lots!  

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

confessions of a 6 month old

I enjoy long walks to starbucks with my Mom.
I am often tortured by my brother.  I don't seem to mind that too much. Unless I am squirted in the face with a water gun.
The best part of the day is when I get up in the morning.  I sing to wake up Mommy.
I am starting to eat food off a spoon.  Squash and bananas are my favorite.
My name is Leland but I have a lot of nicknames: LeeBee; Leeseph; Leebles
Sometimes I cry when my Mom kisses me too much but I know she means well.
I roll over when I play on the floor but sometimes I freak out when I'm on my belly too long.
I blow raspberries to express my emotions.  It seems to get everyone's attention.
I am put into this "Johnny Jumper" contraption and for some reason, I just JUMP & JUMP & JUMP.
Everyone laughs.
I like my new family.  They seem to like me too.


Monday, May 3, 2010

my husband is eco-cool

So it's been 6 months since Leland was born.  6 months!  The first half of his first year is done.  I am in disbelief.  This child amazes me.  He is SO mellow and laid back.  Even when he does cry, it's more of a whimper than an all-out scream.  I love the bond we have.  I love bond he has with Jude.  It's just unreal how beautiful these last 6 months have been. 

Upon realizing the 6 month mark was approaching...Joel and I noticed how many cool posters we have received that we kept saying.."Oh we should frame that!"  Well....every time we said that, it was soon followed by, "Hmm...a frame of that size is going to be SO expensive!"  So, we'd just leave these darling posters for no one to see.

Until Saturday.  Joel decided to take apart some wooden furniture that we no longer care for....and voila: FRAMES!

This first one is from our darling friends: Dylan & Candace....one of their all-time best sellers...get one here.  The second one was a gift from another friend, Carli.  The third one is from our TWIST Family. 

What do you think?  Didn't he do a great job???