Sunday, July 20, 2014



Oh, my baby. You're getting so big! No matter. You will always be my baby. See those eyes up there? They're the same baby eyes that stared right through me, just minutes after your birth. And so I'm sure, you're still my baby. And I know those eyes still see right through me.

Loula, you continue to be the brightest spot in our family - always full of joy and laughter and sass. You're smart as a whip, and keep up with your big sister every step of the way. You're fierce and independent. You will have it your way. You have an uncanny wisdom about you and know when people need snuggles or extra love. It is your happiness that has erased many a sad day, or a sad face, or sad feelings. You are everything our family needed, exactly when we needed you.

Lydia Lou, you're no longer two. You're "three, no sippies," as you say. But you will always - always - be my baby. Sippies or not. Thank you for loving me and everyone around you. You make this world a joy.

I love you to the moon and back, and then some more.

All my love,

at two (here and here)
at one (here and here)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

a fairy happy birthday!

For the girls' birthday party this year, I started planning a shin dig. A whoop de doo. With fairies (because this has been the year of the fairies) and a BBQ and bubbles and maybe the moon. Probably a pony. In a bounce house. Full of popcorn. 

Then Annabelle started telling me what she wanted to do. My sweet first born is basically me all over again (only with curly hair). She's a planner - detail oriented and kind of bossy. (We mean it in the most loving way, I swear!) And so she told me how it was going to go down. (Lou's at the blissful age where any party is a party, and she doesn't have much of an opinion. That will all be different next year, I'm sure.) 

She wanted to have a fairy party, yes. But she wanted to have just her bestest friend Marli come. And Marli's little sister, who is close to Lou's age. And she wanted to have a little fairy lunch. She told me she didn't want a big party. She wanted to just play with Marli and make a craft. 

Annabelle put me in charge of decorations, I planned a secret fairy craft (rainbow hand kites!), we agreed on a fairy menu, and she hired Miss Sam (her preschool teacher who runs a catering side gig) to make the cake. She described the cake she wanted, and Miss Sam wrote it down. Miss Sam cleared it with me first, and the cake you see here is the cake of Annabelle's dreams. Isn't it amazing? (Belle requested a half blue, half green cake, with pixie dust and the fairy sisters on top, and pink flowers. I found the little dolls, and Miss Sam pulled out the magic otherwise.) 

And so the party went as Annabelle planned. It was perfect. With the fairies and friends we've come to love so much this year.

Marli and Annabelle met in preschool. They became fast friends when Marli was kind to Annabelle on her first day, when she was scared. Marli's mom and I randomly volunteered to help in class a few weeks later, and we also became fast friends. Ashley has been the shoulder to lean on that I needed so very much this year. (Also, she's a hair artist. And dang, she's good.) And then there's little Layla, Marli's little sister, who is every bit the same as Lou, just a few months behind, and I simply cannot get enough of that sassy little thing. We love these friends so much and are so incredibly grateful to have found them.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

gloomy jackson

So we went to Jackson Hole and Grand Teton National Park a few weekends ago. We customarily tack on a day here after our Yellowstone trip, but this year, because we've loved it so much in the past, we decided to make a trip out of it. 

We were so excited. I love the Tetons. They're stunning. The air is clearer there. I swear life just becomes more clear in general after spending time in the Tetons.

But let me just say, the photos you see here are mostly a misrepresentation of the trip. It mostly rained. The Tetons were enshrouded in clouds. It was so bad one day, we drove back to Yellowstone

But alas, we had some moments in the sun. And it helps that Jess is one serious talent when it comes to his camera.

Let the photo dump commence. 


If you look closely, you'll see that this fellow has a fish in each talon.
He flew around with both for a minute before he finally had to let one
go and grab one with both claws.
We watched the whole show, and it was pretty awesome.
The girls still talk about the fish falling to the earth.

In Yellowstone at Lou's favorite - the Fountain Paint Pots.
She actually recognizes this geyser basin now, for the Pots
and goes running when she gets close.

When in Jackson (or Yellowstone) and you see a line up of cars
and people like this, you can expect to see a bear.

So in the movie "How to Train Your Dragon," Hiccup draws a
picture of Toothless the dragon in the sand.
Belle did the same here. :)

Let the record show - we cooked dinner in this rain on a camp stove.


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