11 December 2012


My sister, Heather, and I have decided to be grown ups...
We have agreed to sell our Barbie collection. Which pleases our mother, as she has been storing it for the past eighteen or so years.
I have to tell you how much fun it was to spend the entire afternoon sorting and arranging all of the Barbie furniture (which was always my favorite part) one last time so that I could take photos for the online classified ads.

Are you interested in some Barbie accessories? Maybe a classic dream house with a working elevator?

Check them out here, here, here, here, here, and here.

And, yes. I did just shamelessly advertise my own classified ads on my blog. And I'm OK with that.  

10 December 2012

Oliver's Hero...

...is Andre.

Always has been.

He talks about him in Maryland almost everday.

And Andre loves Oliver. A whole lot.

So you can imagine how happy they are to be together again.

Since we arrived, Oliver has followed Andre around like a little shadow, mimicking his every move.

It's pretty much the sweetest thing there ever was.

09 December 2012

Official Report:

The morning started with a question posed by Jesse at the breakfast table:

"Ollie, are you going to see Grandma today?"

To which Oliver bellowed,


Which confirmed my suspicions...I was in for a long day.

However, I'm happy to report that I was pleasantly surprised!

Jesse left us at the security gate where the line was short. We walked through the Southwest terminal and found a great big window lined with rocking chairs. We snagged one and watched a plane take off...

My little friend Oliver J. was fascinated, as I knew he would be. His no flying resolve seemed to be waning, and the deal was sealed when the pilots waved goodbye to Oliver from the cockpit as they pulled away.

"I want to fly on a plane, Mommy"

And we did.

The first few hours were great, the last two were a little rough, and at the end of hour five, we were both ecstatic to finally be landing.  But we made it! And that's what matters.

Salt Lake City greeted us with snow flurries, and loving family members. They even held a sign! (Which I should have snapped a picture of, but I was so sick of juggling my carry ons and rummaging to find things).

We are so happy to be home!

07 December 2012

The Mountains are Calling...

photo credit
The laundry is done and the dishes are clean. I feel good about that.

Tomorrow I will feed my boys a hearty breakfast of waffles, vacuum the floors, hop on an airplane, wrestle a two year old read some engaging literature, and in five short hours all will be right with the world.

Well, all except for the part where I leave Jesse in Maryland to fend for himself...but at least I am leaving him with clean clothes and a well stocked freezer full of homemade meals. I am a domestic goddess, after all.

I can't wait to see some mountains again!

Oh yeah...and my mom.

Must not forget:

puppets, fabric for Bryan's gift (grandma can I use your sewing machine?), string cheese, Ollie's fancy shmancy new octopus lunch box,  cell phone, mail that bill.

06 December 2012

Oliver J. Will Not Be Flying...

Last Saturday, Oliver saw an airplane...

"Look mom! And airplane! ZOOM!" he said.

I took that as the perfect opportunity to let him know that in exactly seven days he would get to fly on an airplane.

I thought for sure he would be ecstatic about this news.

No such luck.

His reply:

"Nope. Sorry. I don't want to fly on a plane. I don't want to fly on a bird. I don't want to fly on a space shuttle."

As soon as we got home I called my parents to tell them we wouldn't be coming because Oliver refused to fly. When he heard me repeat the unacceptable flight options, he added a couple more items to the list:

"Mom," he said, "I don't want to fly on a helicopter and I don't want to fly on a Noah gay."

Well, tomorrow we are boarding our flight no matter what my short friend Oliver says.

...This could get ugly.

19 November 2012

My Reading List:

If I'm not going to post anything, I should at least attempt to make your visit worthwhile, right?

Here's is the list of my very favorite blogs:

Grasping for Objectivity is a hilarious blog written by Rachel; smock-hating, homeschooling, Downton Abbey loving mother of two from Alabama.
Her "Jean"-ius is life changing (You may know her from her insanely popular posts about jeans and how not to wear them...).
She is a fantastic story teller. She'll have you in stitches about any topic from kids, to fashion, to cars, and cake molds...moulds?
She also in the business of making friends. She responds to every. single. comment, and remembers who you are. That's legit.
Her sincerity and authenticity keep me coming back for more, and she posts every day, so I'm never disappointed.

Stephanie Scheaffer: Writing for Good, by Stephanie Scheaffer (of course), is simply inspirational in every way.

She makes me want to do more and be better in everything.

The quality of her writing is excellent. Excellent, I tell you, but it's not just about her ability to move mountains through the written word.

She loves.

She loves lipstick. She loves learning. She loves literature.She loves her family. She loves her community. She loves God.

And it shows. In 2010, She and her husband sold their home and many of their possessions so that they could spend the 2011 traveling the country serving others. For real.


Saige Wisdom, by Sara, is one of my latest loves.

Sara is a mother of two in British Columbia. Her blog features big, bright, beautiful photos and a seriously witty commentary on various topics including, but not limited to her children, her current home remodel, and the end of her Canadian babymoon. 

My Life as a Kalli is another favorite of mine. Kalli is a mother of two from Utah. She doesn't write often, but when she does, it is worth the read. SO.FUNNY.

The repeated calls for attention from my short friend Oliver are telling me that I am currently failing at motherhood, so we'll have to pause this list for now so I can go play with my little one. But rest assured, we will revisit the topic of my favorite blogs at a later date... 

16 November 2012

Keep Walking and Give Time a Chance

A peek into my head lately...this seems to be on a continuous loop:

"Do you see the magnificence in giving time a chance 
to whittle your problems down to a manageable size?"

"How happy people are who have learned to bend to
the rhythm of paced and steady progress - even to
celebrate and delight in the ordinaries of life?"

-Virginia H. Pearce

15 November 2012

National Air and Space Part II: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center

Ollie and I accompanied our friend Lindsay to the National Air and Space Museum near Dulles airport in Chantilly, Virginia this week.

That place is AWESOME.

We saw airplanes, helicopters, missiles, rockets, and other various air and space type national treasures.

Funny story of the day...

Lindsay, Ollie, and I were walking through the space shuttle exhibit and Lindsay was in awe. I was too, but Lindsay was really, REALLY excited about it.

Which is completely understandable, because it was kind of amazing.

But it was a little bit hilarious when we rounded a corner and came across this R2D2 USPS mailbox and satellite phone booth, because that's when I got really, REALLY excited.

We took about 37 and 1/2 gazillion photos of the Enola Gay to send to my grandpa

Oliver J's pronunciation of Enola Gay: "NOAH - gay"

We also spent a significant amount of time growling at this lion and playing with these "drums" because that's what our short friend Oliver was really, REALLY excited about.

14 November 2012

This Morning

Maryland graced us with the first windshield scraping of the season.


That's all I have to say about that.

One day, when I'm a grown up, I'm going to live somewhere with a garage.

That will be a good day.

13 November 2012

2012 Christmas Ornament


I know that it isn't even Thanksgiving,

but I just bought our 2012 Christmas Tree Ornaments,

and I'm really REALLY excited about them.

I wanted:

...something whimsical and fun, but not tacky.

...something representative of our current life experience, but not overly commercialized or touristy...because we are not just tourists...we live here.

...something that I loved, not something that I settled for (which is what I feel I've done in the past couple of years...which is why I have not bragged about them...to anyone).

...something completely affordable from a handmade/small business.

And now, without further ado, our 2012 Christmas Tree Ornament:

From RachaelAPeden's Shop

They will look a whole lot like this, except they will be personalized...because the shop owner is cool like that and does it for free!

I'm in love.

10 November 2012

First World Problems...

I found a hole in the seat of my favorite 'laxin pants today...
I can't describe what a mournful situation this is.

Whoever you are, we can't thank you enough...

 I never told you this, but at the beginning of October, we got an anonymous love note in the mail.

The general idea of this love note was:

"You guys are pretty much awesome. Please take the $40 dollars we have enclosed and do something fun on us"

Our reaction to this letter looked something like this:

Because  A) we have the coolest friends ever, B) the sweet sentiment made us feel pretty good about ourselves, and C) we haven't been on a real date since...I can't remember, actually.

So finally, after a crazy hectic October, we planned a date to the Dutch Country Farmers Market.

This place is spectacular...

See that on my plate, that's some very tender pot roast atop legitimate Amish stuffing made with legitimate Amish bread.

Afterwards, we walked around the market trying to identify our best dessert options...

chocolate covered bacon
chocolate covered potato chips
Amish ice cream
Amish baked goods
Amish anything we could ever desire..
Except that dinner left us so satisfied that we decided we'd just have to go back another time...

...and since our friends were so generous, we totally can!

 And so, my friends, whoever you are, we can't thank you enough. We want you to know that we had so much fun... and we really, really needed it. 

08 November 2012

Fall Favorite 2012

I LOVE me some Creamy Butternut Squash Soup...
I'm pretty sure I could slurp it every single day and never tire of it.
My other fall favorite was the vibrant fall color that was ABSOLUTELY EVERYWHERE for a whole week until the hurricane wind blew it away. 
Guess who was lame and didn't take any pictures?
If you guessed me, then you are absolutely correct.

06 November 2012

My First Presidential Election

These feet:
waited in this line:

And earned one of these:
To be clear, I admit that I did qualify for the 2008 presidential election, but I was mostly apathetic at the time...

05 November 2012

The Apple Doesn't Fall Far...

Did you know that every morning, like clock work, for absolutely as long as I can remember

(except during most of junior high and high school when I was just so dumb too cool), 

I'd wake up and head for my parents' bed.

"Can I tickle your back?" I'd ask...those were the magic words.

I'm not ashamed to admit that even to this day, when I wake up at home, that's the first place I go.

Lately, my friend Oliver has adopted my old pattern.

He doesn't know about the back tickling requirement yet, but we're getting there.

I'm not sure if my parents loved it as much as I did when I was young...

In fact, I'm now keenly aware of how much space a little body can take up, even in a bed ten times their size...

and just how quickly one's pillow can be completely commandeered...

and that sort of monkey business gets really old.

Really fast.

But, there's something very flattering in knowing that the first thing your little wants to do in the morning is share their bunny blanket (or jungle blanket, or circle blanket, or all of the above) with YOU...

and play with YOUR hair...

and kiss YOUR cheek...

and snuggle with YOU...

I don't think I'd give that up for anything.

I like to think my parents felt the same way. If not, they were pretty great at pretending.

Still are, actually.

03 November 2012

The Size of His Head...

One our favorite family treats is an 89 cent soda from Sam's.
Sometimes, we indulge and get one the size of Ollie's head.
Of course, that's really the only option... which is part of the fun.
One day Ollivander asked me what our drink was called.
"This is Root Beer," I said.
of course, he's never heard the word "root" before, so he translated it to the closest thing he could think of..
"Oh, this is Boo Beer," he said,

"This is YUMMY Boo Beer."
(we don't make the "L" sound at our house yet)
"Can I have some Red Beer, Mommy?"

"Can I have some White Beer, Mommy?' 

01 November 2012

That's one Jucy Lucy!

One day, when I was very pregnant with my friend Oliver, I was watching a show on the travel channel about a Minnesota burger called the Jucy Lucy.
A big pile of cheese locked inside of a hamburger patty and grilled so that when you bite into it, you are greeted by a pocket of delectable melted gooey goodness.
I don't know about you, but that seems like perfection to me.
Since seeing the show, I've been dying to try one.
I mean the real deal, from each of the restaurants in St. Paul claiming to serve the original.
And believe you me, IT WILL HAPPEN!
But until then, I'll settle for Jesse Moses' remake with some fried onion strings and BBQ sauce.

31 October 2012

Halloween 2012

A dinosaur and a doll.
We took Oliver J. out for his first Trick or Treating experience.

His favorite treat was the "Happy Ghost"
(a sucker with a tissue and a smiley face)
Jesse and I imposed a candy tax and took all the good candy.
Don't judge.
Oliver isn't really old enough to know the difference...

29 October 2012

The Hurricane...Oliver J.'s perspective:

The wind blew with all its might, the rain assaulted our windows, and Oliver J. was afraid to go to sleep...

"I hear monsters... and dinosaurs... and sharks outside."

For the record, Jesse and I are not ashamed to admit that we can hear them too.

28 October 2012


I learned a new word today...

Straight from the mouth of my awesome friend Abby:
"It's a chicken... stuffed in a duck... stuffed in a turkey. Sometimes there is bacon. That's America for you"

I have got to try this...

21 October 2012

Of Big Boys and Binkies

The other night, Jesse and I started the process of trying to convince Oliver J. to give up the binkie, which has only been used at bedtime and naptime since we lived in Idaho.

"Why don't you let us take your binkie tonight. I bet you could sleep without it."

We said.


was the reply.

"But look, Oliver, you have all these bedtime friends in your bed. Mickey doesn't need a binkie. You don't either. Why don't you try a night without it?"

"No," again.

"Binkies are for babies. You are not a baby. You don't need a binkie."


Then Jesse, the genius that he is, suggested,

"Big boys don't need binkies. Why don't you try being a big boy tonight and sleep without your binkie."

"OK! I be a big boy!"

Oliver said as he plopped the binkie into Jesse's hand.

I wasn't sure how I felt about this...

Do we really have a "Big Boy?" I thought.

Ollie gave us each a squeeze and kiss, and snuggled into bed.

As I flipped Ollie's tape (yeah, we're cool like that), I looked over at my sweet boy, laying back on his pillow and rubbing his hair, something happened that I'm not proud of.

I had a moment of weakness.

I tried to suppress it, but the words just spilled out...

"Ollie, please ask Dad for your binkie back," I said. "I'm not ready to have a big boy. There are no big boys in our house. Only babies."

Jesse gave me a funny look and laughed as he surrendered the binkie back to Oliver.

Finally, all was right with the world and we left Oliver J. as Snugalove songs filled the room.

Since that night, I've done better.

I came up with other excuses for not having a binkie.

Excuses that have nothing to do with the fact that my son is no longer a baby, and hardly even seems like a toddler anymore.

Excuses like, "it's in the dishwasher," or "I can't find it."

But I'm not sure how serious I am about the business of giving up binkies as I have since found that there is a direct correlation between naptime and binkies....

When the binkie is available, Ollie will sleep for three hours. When there is no binkie, Ollie gets out of bed and plays for a half hour and then lets himself out of his room saying "I try to wake up, Mommy"

And I'm not about to give up naptime.

16 October 2012

To Ollie, Love Grandpa Than

This photo of a block fort popped up in my email today. It's from the boys at home.

It is very intricate work...if you'll notice, there's even a courtyard.

Oliver loved it.

Ollie sat with me for five minutes telling me about the colors, shapes, and letters he could see...

What's the first thing Ollie would do if he had the chance to see it live and in person?

I believe his exact words would be "OH NO" as he ran right into it and watched it tumble around his ankles.

15 October 2012


Right now...

As I type...

My mother is in Jamaica.

And my sister is in China.

And I am very very jealous.

But that's ok. Because I'm going to do something super fantastically awesome this weekend with Kristen to make up for it.

I'm not sure what that super fantastically awesome thing is just yet, but I do live in, what I consider to be, one of the coolest places in the world...so I'm sure we can figure something out.

10 October 2012

"Let's Pretend I Worked Out Today"

Today I wore my "Let's Pretend I Worked Out Today" outfit.

Maybe you have one too...

Basically, it consists of athletic pants and a sweatshirt/t-shirt.

When you wear it in public, you're just hoping that people will think you worked out in the morning and were too busy to change,

rather than what actually happened...

Which was that you decided to wear 'laxin clothes all day and not get dressed.

And never,


not even once,

did you consider actually working out.

Oh, you would never do that?

Ok, I guess it's just me.

07 October 2012

A Fall Favorite...in Haiku.

Making our bed with
heavier blankets, as nights
grow long and chilly.

29 September 2012

The Story of Jesse's Life: Geek Speak

The other night, Jesse received a gaming invitation from one of his brothers in the form of a text...

"Abandon thine wives, children, roommates, and the pursuit of women. For tomorrow I laboreth not, and verily I desireth to gather together five of the children of Moses. Verily our enemies shall be crushed under our heals in the Gears of War."
We've been laughing about it for days.

25 September 2012


Dearest darlings of Snowy River apartment 336,

Remember that time in 2007 when we all pitched in some moolah and bought some house supplies...
specifically Costco brand plastic wrap?

And remember how, at the end of spring semester 2008, we divided up the leftovers of said house supplies and I took home said plastic wrap?

Well, I thought you might be interested to know that, just last week, I FINALLY used the last of it...

Ladies, that roll of plastic wrap officially lasted for

3 states, 
4 cities,
6 moves, 
and 7 apartments!

That's some serious value.

Also, you should know that I miss you.

That's all.


Oliver got to play with his favorite friend all day today.

We played at the park.

We read In a Napping House,

We ate waffles and fruit for lunch.

While I was in the kitchen doing chores and the boys were in the living room playing with every toy that we own, most specifically our small fisher price castle, I heard this dialogue:

Oliver J's friend who shall remain nameless, "Hey, you! Let down your hair!"

Then I heard Oliver say "BE QUIET!"

Apparently we need to talk about classic fairy tales

...and manners.

23 September 2012

When Left to His Own Devices...

Chaos ensues...
It is important to note that not 30 minutes prior, the room was tidy and Oliver J. was wearing pants...

Fast forward another 30 minutes and there are no books on the shelf, nor toys in the bin.

You can only imagine the ordeal it was for Oliver to have to clean it all up.

21 September 2012

Top 10...

Reasons why Thursday rocked...

1. Chinese Potluck Brunch with friends. YUM! Next month's potluck brunch theme: Harvest.

2. Kristen informed me that she has officially booked tickets to visit me out here in the forest.

3. Won this prize from a giveaway at rikrak studio

That's two clutch patterns and a small clutch from LBG Studio (cannot wait to try making the foldover clutch!), a necklace from Yanessa B., and a stocking of my choice from rikrak.
Seriously can't believe my luck.

4. Fake it Frugal brownies! I LOVE them! Especially with dark chocolate chips baked in... Mmm! It's currently my favorite treat.
5. Found this gem on the Ipod...
6. Which reminded me of this picture of Oliver from earlier this summer. Can't believe I didn't show you until now...

What can I say? We like naps.
7. Singing in the car with Ollie all afternoon while we drove to and fro, picking up my friend Oliver's girlfriend Tina and dropping her off at BWI and then picking Jesse up from school
8. The Magic of Ordinary Days with newly found kindred spirits Lindsey and Cami, officially on my top ten list of favorite people in all of Maryland. (Bree, you were right! They are my kind of people!)
9. Strawberry Peach smoothies for dinner.
10. Supernatural with Jesse until 1:00 am.

19 September 2012

Everyday at Breakfast...

 "Can I have a oatmealk with milk and sugar for dinner, Mom?"

18 September 2012

In My Favorite Dream

Jesse often asks me where I think I might like to go once he finishes PA school, and the honest truth is that I don't know.

Besides a cruise with the Lambertsens, I don't have any solid plans.

I can't pick a city or state. I'm uncertain about whether I want to live rural or urban. I don't know that I will insist on living near family once again, or if I will crave more adventure and new experiences. It's entirely possible that I will want to stay exactly where I'm at...

Maybe, the fact that my head and heart won't settle on even the mere idea of a location, not even for the sake of conversation, is their way of telling me to learn to love where I'm at. To be present in my life now rather than waste the days away waiting for the future to unfold

I can, however, tell you that in my favorite dream I am surrounded by people that I love...my friends and family all in the same neighborhood.

That we live life...

Share meals, run errands, fill leisure time, build homes, and raise families.

Serving one another.


15 September 2012


Earlier this summer, our Severn Ward Laurel president suggested a summer incentive program for Personal Progress:
"We should set a requirement for value experiences to complete and then take whoever met the requirement on a special activity. Like a day trip. Somewhere AMAZING!"
And thus, T.R.I.P.P. was born.
"Take Responsibility In Personal Progress"
Five of us were eligible for the trip after ten weeks and ten value experiences. So we drove to D.C. to take the girls to the National Museum of American History and then up to Georgetown for some famous Georgetown Cupcakes.
This is the line we waited in to buy said cupcakes. That's about 35 minutes worth of cupcake patrons.
I picked Key Lime.
My life is changed... These cupcakes were, dare I say, even better than Sweet Tooth Fairy.
Please bless I live a posh Georgetown life when I'm a grown up...

14 September 2012

On the farm...

One of my Maryland friends raises animals in her over sized yard.

She has goats, chickens, and ducks. As of last week, she has baby ducks and she invited us to come to see them.

Ollie was infatuated. As usual. 

He sat to watch them for half an hour, all the while singing...

"Sheep goes baa, baa,
Goose goes hissy, hissy,
Duck goes quack, quack,
Hen goes chimmy-chuck, chimmy-chuck,
Cat goes fiddle-i-fee."