Wednesday, August 31, 2011


I'm noticing lots of memories flooding back to me.

Thankful for them.

Leland is entering a season I so vividly remember with Jude at this same stage. The constant blabber with moments of understood english, the sweet snuggling while watching Thomas the Tank Engine & ELMO, and the development of a personality that is unafraid of anything.

I took Leland to a beautiful area outside of the city this morning. We enjoyed fruit, juice & a latte. We climbed a playground. We swung on swings.

Most importantly, I remembered my 6 yr old at this age. It is not hard with his little brother wearing his clothes & looking so similar. I remembered Jude's sweet voice at this age & savored Leland's little voice. I took it as an opportunity to sort of rewind time for a moment.

I guess I didn't expect this to happen when we found out at our 20 wk ultrasound that another boy was on the way. While there was slight little part of me that had hoped for a daughter, I had no idea how much I'd love this moment & this chance to see a piece of my little Jude again.

Life got too busy when Jude was at this stage. Joel and I were both working too much & Jude was barely with us week to week...instead he was with babysitters a LOT. While we quit that pace before he turned 3, I regret missing that time with him.

I am grateful for more downtime now with Leland than I had back then with Jude. It's redemptive & refreshing. Maybe I'll take ONE MORE BOY just so I can have this again....

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

a conversation documented

Jude began 1st grade.

So natural. So ready.

I already adore his teacher who is reminding me of Laura Ingalls Wilder a kind & soft in her tone yet really high-energy.

I'm trying to get used to the early wake ups & eating breakfast WAY earlier than we normally do. This little convo took place over a bowl of oatmeal just makes me smile.

Jude: Mommy, what are you doing?

Me: Trying on these pants to see if they fit. I'm trying to lose the last few pounds of baby weight.

Jude: Why?

Me: Because it doesn't look good on me. It looks better on babies.

Jude: Mommy, you know what we need around here?

Me: What?

Jude: Another need to give us one more.

Me: Really? Why do you say that?

Jude: I just want a different kind this time. A more different one than Leland.

Me: What kind do you want???

Jude: A sister....and lets call her "Ashla"


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

the vegan situation

So, it's been 6 months since the vegan situation began.

What started out as a 90 day challenge to see if my endometriosis symptoms would improve has turned into a lifestyle change.

Here is what I love about the change:

Cholesterol intake is dramatically lower
Weight loss has been immediate & consistent
Energy levels are up higher than ever
Love affair with vegetables
Metabolism has sped up

I actually researched this today out of the book, Everything Vegan

One of their points was that upon eating a vegan meal, you will actually burn calories FASTER resulting is less stored fat....couple THAT info with the fact that you are eating WAY less fat and it's obvious the result. (see next sentence for more scientific sounding proof)

Dr. Neal Barnard, M.D. of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) states, "There is evidence that a vegan diet causes an increased calorie burn after meals, meaning plant-based foods are being used more efficiently as fuel for the body, as opposed to being stored as fat."

I didn't even read this part until now but it makes a ton of sense.

I am also experimenting with nut-based cheeses, tofu, tempeh & more. I might live with 3 meat-loving men....but this girl is loving her lifestyle & that she is fighting a nasty disease with diet & not meds. #thebestpart

Quick vegan, gluten free recipe for quick no-bake cookies:

1c sugar
1c brown sugar
1/3c vegetable shortening
1/3c almond milk
1tsp vanilla
1/3c peanut butter
1 1/2c quick cooking oats

heat the sugars/shortening/milk until a rapid boil
remove from heat and add peanut butter til melted
add the vanilla
quickly add the oats & moisten.
working fast - start spooning out circles onto wax paper
allow to set

DELISH with a capital D!

Monday, August 22, 2011

hello lover

You know what I love?

I love walking into a store just passing the time on a lazy Sunday afternoon and finding something that I've been HUNTING down for nearly 6 months.

H&M you are sometimes so positively boring with little that inspires me and at other times, you are the very answer!

Another little thing I love is popping into a boutique you just happened to be parked near....and finding a lovely little emerald green bag to take to know because it's green & lovely.

35 days folks. 35 days.

PS - have i mentioned how positively horrific and carrot-like I look in my passport photo? ah.....

Friday, August 19, 2011

a room

Joel and I had made a somewhat impulsive trip to IKEA last weekend.

We decided that it was time to replace our creaking bed & worn dresser with broken drawers with a fresh new modern set.

Our room, already painted in mustard with white molding & trim, isn't huge.

Ideally, we needed furniture that would be slim, sleek & help give us space. The Hemnes line from IKEA was the ticket.

We purchased art work for 2 of the walls - one wall, however, remains bare & in need of something.

I woke up this morning thinking - I KNOW! - A map. A map of Dublin brought home in our luggage and framed for over our bed. To remind us of a trip we took together that we 'needed' - yes I am speaking as if we've already gone. The thing is I know that this trip was sorta 'meant to be'.

After a Top Thrill Dragster kind of decade together....filled with lots of things, I can honestly say this is the first year we haven't held each other through pretty major tragedy. I feel no guilt in wanting to remember how great 2011 has been....especially on this trip with my love.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

so close

Well, we're 40 days out from the big trip to Ireland.

I've been ALL OVER THE PLACE lately. I feel like I'm juggling so many things and occasionally I'm dropping the ball on major & minor items.

I would love for someone to show me how they juggle 2 part time jobs, kids, household, cooking for 2 different diets, grocery shopping, laundry, actually spending time those kids, oh and yeah, and keeping up a beautiful know, without resorting to being a Mom on Meth.

I am also feeling like a loser friend these days - cancelling playdates & such due to working or whatnot. It's just tough. If I could get paid to be a stellar friend, that'd be what I'd pick!

the one area I feel like I'm NOT losing out in is in the area of exercise. Honestly, this is the LONGEST time (not including highschool sports of course) where I've maintained a 4x/week exercise routine. It's TRULY just a part of my life and I find myself freaking out a little when I forget to sneak in a workout.

I'm 11lbs away, guys. eleven pounds away from my lowest all time adult weight (pre kids OF COURSE) and I'm hoping to get there by the time I step foot on Irish soil.

Here we so close!

BTW-HUGE Shout out to all of you who have been cheering me on, offering authentic compliments, and to my husband who always makes me feel like a super model.

image cred

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

all good things come to an end

It's the last full week of Jude being home.

1st grade seems a little bit scary to my boy. I have no worry in my bones that he'll be just fine. I just know it.

My heart is more sad for the little brother who will have no one but Mommy to chase about...

Read this today and thought it suited the melancholy mood I'm in....

Nature's first green is gold
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
— Robert Frost

Thankful for such a lovely summer with my boys....and looking ahead to what this school year will hold for my Jude.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


a recent bridal trial quickly went from normal makeup Ireland personal trip-planning.

This bride, who shall remain nameless....knows a thing or two about Ireland. 

When asked the question of 'What are the must-see places?" 

This place intrigued me most.

With an average temp of 60 degrees during the time we'll be there, this might be the perfect place to pick up a new scarf....

Thursday, August 4, 2011

90 seconds

in an antique store in beautiful Lakewood, Ohio....was all it took to find this little lovely.

I wonder who all has held it. I wonder how long ago it was made.

All I know now is it's mine...and I'm excited to place in my home and gently carry along with me for beautiful brides to use as they see their makeup for the first time on their wedding day.

Isn't it magical?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

a convo with Jude

I recently sat down with Jude a few weeks back to discuss how great it is for our bodies when we fill up with vegetables instead of sugary sweets.

I told him how healthy his muscles would get and that he would continue to get big & tall if he had a balanced diet without too many sweets.

The conversation took a sweet little turn...

JUDE: So, if I eat healthy, I will get bigger?

ME: You sure will. The sweet foods are for special treats.

JUDE: Will I get as big as Daddy?

ME: Absolutely! You will get big muscles like Daddy and will be able to work hard like Daddy does.

JUDE: So does everyone get bigger as they get older?

ME: Yes! From the time you are born, as you eat healthy, you get bigger and bigger.

JUDE: Well, then why are you only getting smaller, Mommy?