Phoebe's big girl room


Happy happy New Year, friends! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season. We've been spending the last few weeks hunkering down together, soaking up the holidays and time with each other. The kids are back to school now and wheels are spinning trying to get back into the swing of things.

Sis got a big girl bed just after Christmas and a whole new sense of self along with it! Lots of shutting the door to be alone in her room...tucking everyone from babies to dada under her covers and tons of pretend sleeping (and not a whole lot of real sleeping). It's been funny and sweet to watch her take pride in a space for herself. Official big girl stuff around here!

Oh Christmas Tree


Snow gave way to rain just as Thanksgiving came and went. Thank goodness for the chilly air and boxes of new twinkle lights to keep things happy. We went to hunt down our tree for Christmas with my sister Amy and her boys last week...my favorite tradition. Forever rows of beautiful greens and wagons pulled by red-bowed horses hauling away fresh cut trees. Sappy fingers and red baby noses and the stirring feeling of nothing but lighter hearts and a season of hope to come.

November clockwork


This time of year always seems to bring out a funny, pensive side of myself...taking stock of a year and feeling a sudden itch to learn French or finish that scarf I've been meaning to finish for 3 years now. It's my November clockwork...photo-finish ambitions for a year. But sometimes it's just the idea of a year's-end-dream that can drive me...inspire me. It gets channeled into a painting or the most boring part of an afternoon at home with the kids. (that thousandth episode of Barney is way more tolerable when your head is lost in thoughts of speaking fluent French while wearing a lumpy, misshapen homemade scarf of yours!) And it always, ALWAYS, ends up in a prematurely decorated Christmas house.

Is it possible to be altogether proud and completely embarrassed that I already have the house fully decorated for Christmas (tree excluded)? First house in the neighborhood! (Which is saying something, as we live on a street where some people never take their decorations down).

I blame it on that scarf...

tricks and treats


Hoping you all had a Halloween as wonderfully sugared up and strange as ours was. Ours almost didn't come to be, with Max declaring himself too old to dress up this year and Phoebe panicking at the sight of the 50 lb Minnie Mouse ears and hat I was making for her. But it all shook out in the end (runny noses and weather be damned!) and just might turn out being our favorite tricks and treats yet! It's amazing what little/no expectations can do. haha. And never underestimate the power of a fixed-expression JFK mask to make any situation hilarious (or terrifying, depending if you ask Bee)... 
 
 Happy happy November, friends!

Fall time in Ohio

 
Bayer's Farm- W 3rd, Dayton, OH. October 2014

The cool hues of summer have turned tide to the warmth of an Ohio autumn...blood moons and burning bright trees and golden field stalks of corn. It's always the best kind of surprise when you wake up one day and realize a season is finally set into place. When a porch is suddenly covered in Phoebe's favorite "punkys" and the sewing box comes out to sew long lost buttons on coats or start off the beginnings of a wonky homemade costume. It's all enough to set off a lit spark inside that keeps good company through the promise of winter and colder days. 

Sending love to you all and your October. 


Phoebe goes to school


Phoebe girl started the toddler program at Max's school this week! 3 half days away with friends...busy with projects and eating snacks and ready to give the most delicious hugs a mom could ever dream up when the day is said and done and I come to pick her up. Max is the best kind of brother, peeking out his classroom window at her, checking to make sure she's ok. It's a beautiful thing, watching your little ones find their footing together. So far so good!


summer's end in hatteras

Hatteras, N.C- August 2014

Max started back to school last week and we're slowly falling back into old rhythms and routines. We managed to squeeze in one last week away at the beach before school and it was a fine way of soaking up all the last good bits that summer has to offer. Lazing in the sand, bouncing between sun and shade, seashell hunting and wave crashing and the best time hiding out with family. Max is our forever fish--brave and fearless, while Phoebe prefers streaking on the beach and chasing crabs and keeping a stern eye on the water.

The ocean is an endless gift of salt and contentment...it's certainly not lost on this Midwestern gal.

Mackinac Island


We took a day last week to sneak away from fishing and drive up the coast to Mackinac Island. All accidentally dressed in blue (typical), we did all the best kinds of touristy family things...eating hotdogs on the beach while Phoebe tried to kill seagulls, renting bikes to ride along the water, ice cream and people watching, visiting fudge shops and magic shops and romanticizing a life lived on such an island (there's a library on the beach!). It was a really beautiful day, and although I think everyone prefers the slow and steadiness of being on the lake fishing, it was nice to have a new adventure together...carving out a little bit of time for just the four of us.
 

floodwaters


We just got back from a week away with family in northern Michigan, fishing the floodwaters and celebrating Matt and his twin brother Todd's birthday. This place is really special to Matt's family, steeped with lots of tradition, and it's been really wonderful sharing it together and also with Max's dad and 2nd mama (our Jess and Sara)...and this year with Max's nana and papaw (Jesse's parents) in tow as well. One big beautiful mash of a family filling up on chilly mornings and Scrabble afternoons, swaying together in metal boats on calmest water--big family dinners and bunk bed nights and the craziest sky full of stars that you'll ever meet.

By the end of the week, Phoebe girl had made peace with the hot pink life jacket that she hated so much and Max had prided himself in trying and almost catching every species of fish in the water. These kinds of days away from home are the best kind for stirring up and easing down a restless summer soul...a reminder that a shaded hammock and a good climbing tree can trump just about anything.


birthday circus sideshow


max and bee had a big circus sideshow to celebrate their birthdays this year! i was originally planning on two separate parties, but max wanted to celebrate together and who can argue with that? we had it at the roundhouse in the park...which is built just like a circus tent. we scattered the place with bouncy balls and hula hoops. there were lots of popcorn and cotton candy and calliope music, peanut shells and corn dogs and kids running around in funny hats and clown noses. bee ate a million and a half cupcakes and both kids conquered their fear of clowns when matt's mama hired mr. funny bones to come and do magic tricks and make balloon animals. most non-threatening/non-"keep you up at night" clown ever!

we photo-boothed and danced and made one big spectacle for these two crazies, it was a true circus...

helpful links + shopping sources- roundhouse information here // vintage circus mural image found here. i painted it on 2 4x8 sheets of lightweight insulation bought at home depot. // balloon wall inspired by you are my fave! // invitations are homemade, stamps available at the USPS // clown toppers and napkins found at shop sweet lulu // hula hoops from the dollar store (my favorite place to shop for party stuff!) // party hats are homemade with pom poms hot-glued on // stilts diy found here // peanut bags here // bozo the clown inflatable, candle sparklers found on amazon, here and here // marquee numbers made my max's stepmother sara, edison-bulb string lights found at hobby lobby// circus calliope music playlist here //

10/2


max and bee had a birthday this week. we've been whooping and hollering and cheering and celebrating, with an extra side of cupcaking, everyday since their party sunday! i'm a firm believer in making a fuss over good people, and these two take the cake.

they are wild and funny and ornery as can be. they scrap and dance and nuzzle together like the truest of friends. max at 10 is witty and handsome--sensitive and stubborn and smart as a whip. he teaches me how to throw fast balls, has given his heart to a girl, dreams up all sorts of cockamamie hypotheticals on a daily, and still belly laughs at the best/worst kind of jokes. he has the best sense of humor in town. he's at that beautiful age where the world is your oyster and potential is boundless. being first baseman for the reds or becoming a youtube gamer celebrity is a possible as anything...and my goodness is it the best to remember what that feels like!

phoebe bee at 2 is funny and determined, independent and guarded and wise. she's still our old soul with the weirdest and best of quirks---like fake sneezing when she's excited...or asking to make eggs every 20 minutes (but never eating them). she's a true lady with her purses and her polish, but won't think twice about ripping your face off or rolling in the mud. she lives to nurture and care for her boys and her babies...to sing with eyes-closed-conviction into anything microphone-shaped...to go off adventuring on her own, but checking back every once in a while to see if "muk" is back yet (this gal is still on the boob...i'm officially the worst at weaning!). she is our darling and cherished girl...getting the hang of life and forging a bit of her own phoebe-shaped path.
together these two make life rich and full and hilarious. they are a gift through and through!

hoping your summer is going swimmingly, friends. birthday party pictures coming soon!


new print in shop


hi, friends! hoping your june is starting off real fine! max is officially out of school and we've been easing our way into a summer routine...

i put a new print in the shop this morning! you may remember it from a blog update a few months ago. my spring print update went by the wayside when commissions and work for KINFOLK stacked up...but i'm so happy to get to throw this piece into the mix. "Laura" is a bundle of vintage-tea stained cream peonies and olive leaves...streaks of greys and greens. i just saw a sample of it at my printers last week--oh, it looks really lovely on paper.

as for us, it's been forever rainy days and stuffy noses around here...a bursting garden, pajama days, paint and popsicle sticks every which way. max and bee are getting ready to turn 10 and 2, respectively. it's definitely a time to stop and soak things up. or sit and eat my feelings. haha. either one.

 

strawberry picking


the strawberry fields are finally open for picking. it's a tradition that i like to keep...remembering how much i loved going with my mom and sisters when i was a girl. my sister amy and her boys came along and despite max going to sit in the car 5 minutes into picking...my nephew juju trance eating berries...and bee putting everything but strawberries in our bucket (dirt, crayons, her baby doll)...we made a memory! and nothing is sweeter than that, especially when it comes with a bucket full of strawberries warm from the sun on the side.