Tuesday, February 28, 2012


After an historic day in the Cleveland area, I'm still sitting here reeling over what has just happened.
5 students sitting in the comfort and safety of their pre-class cafeteria breakfast time.  Just a normal day.  Just a normal Monday.  In a moment everything changed.  A student made a choice that would affect a community, a city, an entire nation.

We sat our oldest down (1st grade) to discuss the event.

I didn't want to but I knew he'd hear about it, accidentally hear it on TV/Radio and just knew it was inevitable.  I didn't want thoughts of fear for his own safety to flood his mind and for him to handle that alone.

It brought me back to when Joel's brother was shot.  Oct 16, 2005.  Everything stopped once that phone call came.  I remembered seeing my husband literally bend his body forward as if someone had punched him in the gut.  He looked up at me and silently spoke, 'Matt's dead'

Everything changed & all of a sudden our family walked through the process of saying goodbye to someone whose life was purposely sought out and robbed.  It's such a horribly thick & messy cluster of emotions to process.  A simple 'God's in control' meant nothing to us in that time.....even though He was.

Jude's questions were simple but honest.

"What did this boy's parents say when he did this?"
"What did the teachers do to protect the kids?"
"Why did this happen?"
"How do I know it will not happen at my school?"

Joel and I sat in disbelief that we were even having this talk with our son - this teeny bit of Jude's innocence (among thousands of children) stripped away in a moment.  It broke my heart to have this sweet almost 7 yr old walk through a very adult discussion.  I knew all we could do would be to talk, be honest, give an open & honest forum to our son(s), and most powerfully....pray.

My heart is grieving for the families who have lost and for those who are walking in shock right now.  I am sad for the parents who are now fearing their child climbing back onto that bus in the morning....and my deepest prayer is for God's love & comfort to be so evident and rich.  I pray for families to draw closer and that this young man's mind & heart would come to the light & he himself would receive the care & healing he needs....in addition to his consequences. 

In a world where things like this happen, it's easy to fall into a place of fear but I truly feel if we can unite, pray 'together' (Heck-maybe even in school for a change), and look out for one another....we can find the good again.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

birthing business

I am not sure what is more exciting: Having a baby or having a baby with a bunch of other people pregnant at the same time.
The latter, I think...

The chatter about your ever-changing body, how fantastic everyone's hair, skin & nails appear & just all the kicks....oh Lord, I will always always remember these precious kicks.

After sitting with a friend who is in town and is ALSO pregnant, I had a complete loss of composure. HELLO WATERWORKS!  I mean, it's a total miracle going on in here people!  Baby living, moving & sharing blood//oxygen with me - it's FANTASTICALLY & scientifically intimate.

We are at the 26 week mark and my jaw almost dropped typing that.


We are well past the halfway point and with Spring seemingly on its way, it looks like we'll be able to welcome this baby into a summer of grilling out, laying low, occasionally doing some makeup on gorgeous brides in beautiful gowns while I'm tucking my stomach in spanx.  FANTASTIC!

Excited to watch my Jude turn into a big brother of 2....see my little Leland become a big brother and hopefully not murder the baby in his sleep....and see a little boy walk into a family that is going to gawk and be in awe of his every move & breath....

Monday, February 20, 2012

current makeup loves

It's been nearly 4 years now in the makeup & wedding world.  These last few months working for Bobbi Brown have been really eye opening - especially into her philosophy behind the skin.  I, for one, learned how wrong I was about my own skin and how undernourished it was.

While our skin is comprised of oil & water, it's amazing how off balance the water and/or oil can get and that can affect how our makeup goes on & stays on.

I've been currently using a few products religiously either on myself or on my gorgeous brides - I feel like when I see their wedding images weeks later, I notice what a difference these products really made.  Want to know what they are?

Smashbox Soft Lights Prism Blush 
This gorgeous powder like blush goes on like silk and gives a finish over the cheek that both pops the color and adds a gorgeous focus on the sides of the face.  It's a last-minute touch over each and every bride.
Rosebud Salve
Are you one of those persons who 'eats your lipstick' and cannot get color to stay put?  Your lips are dry honey pie...this formula, over 100 years old, is so soothing to the lips & casts no pigment which is perfect to lie underneath lipstick or refresh on the cold days of winter.
Bobbi Brown Everything Mascara
Winner of the 2012 Editor's Choice Award for 'Best Natural Mascara' - I can't get enough of this formula. 2 coats is what I use and LOVE how easy it is layer and lengthen my lashes.
Bobbi Brown Long-wear Gel Eyeliner
I've been introducing people to this eye liner option as of late...it seems intimidating at first: It comes in a pot, you use a brush....ah - seems like a lot of work?  BUT - really, it's faster, more accurate than a pencil and it will last ALL day (or longer if you fall asleep with your makeup on) AND makes it through a sweaty zumba class without budging.  I'm forever a loyal fan to Gel liner....you need to be too.

Bobbi Brown EXTRA Repair Moisturizing Balm
For those of us who are seeing our makeup wash away 3-4 hours after application....or are tired of flaky & chapped dry skin....this balm has been such a remedy.  Even my husband noticed the other day how much softer and clearer my skin looked.  I think my face was just thirsty!

Ok - there are my favorites - if you are interested in trying these types of products, go visit the awesome peeps at Nordstroms-Beachwood Place Bobbi Brown counter - give these a try - when you look in the mirror, it will be proof enough! 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

one of those conversations....

Walking through this pregnancy has been so joy-filled but definitely feeling the anxiety of spreading ALL the love around to 3 boys instead of just 2.

I keep getting all misty eyed when I think of Leland 'really' getting it...that this cutie pie baby actually has to stay in our home....and live with us...

In recent days, Leland's dependent behavior has increased and it makes it all the more difficult for me to imagine another teeny person needing me just as much.  Funny coming from me as I started out my parenting journey from the spectrum of baby wise....and while I love the concept of keeping a routine & maintaining order and priorities....I do love to baby my babies.  I.Just.Do.
the 2 men of the house

We've been working hard at making memories with the boys, trying our best to show them our love despite my lack of energy or the 'changes' that are ahead.  Jude so gets it and he's so ready.  Something, however, he said just made my heart ache a little bit.  It went something like this:

Jude: Mommy, you are going to have the baby at the hospital right?

ME: Yep, and you and Lee can come and visit baby this time (Last time he wasn't allowed due to H1N1)

Jude: (hesitating) Mommy....if a Mommy dies that has a baby in her belly, does the baby die too?"

Joel: Not necessarily buddy, it depends on if help can come to the baby in time and if the baby is old enough to live outside of its Mommy.

Jude: Oh ok....

ME: Why do you ask this, babe?

Jude: I just don't want you to die when you have our next brother.

ME: (sad and shocked by this statement) Honey, Mommy is super used to this and will come home just fine and it will be a time to celebrate.  Why are worrying about this babe?

Jude: It's just that....when Luke and Princess Leia were born, their Mommy Padme died when she had them....and I just don't want you to die when you have my brother.

Joel: (trying not to laugh) Aw buddy....

Obviously, this convo told me 2 things:

1-We are so overboard with this whole Star Wars situation....I don't see that improving.

2-I have a little boy is who turning into a boy with worries and stress....hard to see it happen but it's inevitable and all we can do is communicate, share our hearts & be transparent....knowing full well our boys will reciprocate what they see.

Thanks for reading & happy Wednesday....go hug your kids!
valentines date to Menchie's complete with silly behavior and stares....

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

for always coming home to me....

I will never forget dancing with you to this song....
awkwardly at a wedding before you knew
I liked you and I knew you liked me....

and then again on our wedding day during our first dance.

Thanks for ALL you are....not just
 for what you do or for how you do it but simply
for being who you are.

Happy Valentines Day to my one and only!

Monday, February 13, 2012


Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever
be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth you will, nine times out of
ten, become original without ever having noticed it.

This quote has never meant more to me as I stare 2012 in the face.  This season has been both beautiful and messy.  I've never felt the need to truly remember and stop to think about the person I was supposed to be.

Given the world in which we live where social media and pinterest come along and lure us on a discovery of 'who am I really?"  or 'Oh I'll create a pin board of 'my style'' - nothing of which has anything to do with us....not even the photograph taken was by us.

Instead of pinning, which I've done too, why don't we start looking inside...thinking, using our brain, deciding for ourselves what today, tomorrow, this year and this decade is supposed to be.  It will not be what 'so and so' pinned....because it's not real.  The originator was never supposed to be this phantom blogger of which we'll never know.  The reality is what is - it's what's inside.

Perhaps less of all this 'sharing & pinning' is what is ahead....or perhaps sharing more about what is equally painful and messy....after all, life isn't rainbows and sunshine always....

I am simplifying, posting less often and writing more often.  I don't write for anyone but me and I write because it heals my soul and makes me realize I'm not crazy - I'm just me. 
print courtesy

Thanks for listening....

Friday, February 10, 2012

tweet tweet. i think you're sweet.

Valentine's Day is very commercial.

To us, though, we've always made it be a day that we remember all those sweet moments that really matter.

This year, being pregnant, reminds me of my pregnancy 7 years ago with my Jude.  I remember being so frustrated that I wasn't showing (yet I had gained nearly 40lbs already...OMG!) and I remember Joel and I getting a hotel and getting away for 2 nights....all the dinners, shopping, movies.  It was a 'last hoorah' of sorts I'll never forget.

7 years later and prego with boy #3, we are keeping it simple and doing dinner at a local romantic spot that has become special to us.  We never fail to have remarkable conversation paired with delightful french-inspired food.

Our VDay is TODAY!  A kid free evening awaits us - time to bust out my hottest maternity dress and glossiest red lip...but I'm just as excited for next Tuesday, the 'actual' VDay when we treat our boys to an evening candy hunt and give them some love too....enjoy these cute (and FREE) printables care of thelongthread.com

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

fat, sick and nearly dead

 Oh goodness - have you seen this documentary yet? 

You probably have. 

You probably are the one who told ME to see it.

Well, I did.

Can I share my thoughts?

First off, if you have not seen it - quick summary: An Australian gentleman with a good bit of weight to lose decides to do a raw juice fast with 100% veggies/fruits and nothing else for 60 days to try and correct some health problems he was recently diagnosed with.  He comes to the states to document his journey and along the way, inspires others.....especially a certain truck driver whose future was very limited because of his obesity, poor diet & lack of information & resources.

What I loved - despite the cheesy illustration & cartoons that are interjected -  was how a story of one man turned into a small revolution that helped kickstart people of all ages to realize this:

FOOD is meant to keep us healthy, not subtract years from living & breathing. 
FOOD can cure ailments that otherwise would require dose upon dose of pills for years....or worse, forever. 

I firmly believe that more knowledge is helpful and I really thought I knew somethings...but wow, this documentary was entirely helpful in showing me how teaching your body to 'go without' for a time can be so so wonderful.

In my extended family alone, we've lost people FAR too early simply because of diet, lack of exercise or just denial of disease that was attacking the body because of a major imbalance of veggies/protein/carbohydrates/sugars, etc.  70% of what is killing the U.S. is entirely preventable.... holy outrage!

All those intense stats aside, I know food is and can be a source of comfort...but it's all in the little changes.  Rewarding your child for good grades or behavior with a great new book, a trip to favorite park....and NOT sugar.  One meal at a time....one meal at a time.....I have to continue to tell myself that as we are a work in progress and not doing all this perfectly....

Ok the rant is complete....on with our lives.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

so we bake bread now...

Joel bought me this beautiful book last year....and we've had every intention of really trying out the tried and true dutch oven method of baking bread but just never made the time.

Until this weekend.

This book has such lovely photographs, ideas & recipes.  We tried the basic no-knead bread this weekend but I am looking forward to playing around with nuts, dried fruits & olives in our breads to come.

photos by me - on the remarkable iphone 4S

Monday, February 6, 2012


This weekend was nothing short of beautiful & restful.

Even now as I write, I'm a little sad its all over and we're back to the week of routine and school and work and such.

Our #1 resolution for 2012 was to quiet down our lives, make room for one another and for our next little Miller man....

We really enjoyed our sons this weekend - listened to them - played with them - cooked with them
AND took breaks from them.

Hope you are making time for each other, putting to-do lists away for a few moments and remembering why you work so hard in the first place.

Here's a taste of our time together....
snuggling + hot chili + brussel sprout salad + Joel's guacamole = FAVORITE weekend!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


I've hit it.

The 10lb mark in this pregnancy.  (at 22 weeks)

Why am I documenting this ridiculousness?  No, its not because I have nothing else creative to say....

The reason is that compared to my pregnancy with Jude (who at this point I had put on 37lbs by now)
and compared to my Leland (who at this point I had put on 17lbs by now)....

I am pretty proud of myself.

The tough parts were in the beginning when no foods sound good....'cept cereal and meatballs.

The other aspect is when a healthy & active lifestyle is 'already' in effect, your metabolism is just moving quicker, responding faster & not doing the damage it could on the body.

I'm thrilled to say that while it'd be nice to just use all my previous maternity clothes, they are too BIG. yay! 

Amazing how you live & learn....and while they say "Oh don't worry about what you eat during your pregnancy" ....I know better and I know how hard it gets when your tummy drags on the floor, your cheeks look like they are always full of food...and your legs could resemble trees at Yosemite...no thanks!

Here's to keeping lbs coming on....slowly....