while you wait for the others

first september fridays are for failed attempts at sweeping floors or getting a stitch of work done...they're more the open up the windows and listen to good records kind of fridays. small indulgences in the face of a mountain of better things to do. just my speed.

this thrifted painting found a home on the kitchen shelf this week. isn't he handsome? he likes to cheer me on from his perch as i botch recipes or patch together dinner and scares the living daylights out of us when we get a drink of water in the middle of the night. he's a keeper.

happy happy weekend, friends!

white winter hymnal

(illustrations from children's books the snowy day and deer in the snow)
max and i have been aching for a bit of snow around here...something to stick to the grass and buoy plastic sleds. in the meantime though, we're enjoying cold walks outside with plans to strewn the house with paper snowflakes...keeping woolens close...and reading dreamy books of whitest white winters. we're wintery ohio folk through and through.

have a lovely lovely weekend, friends! 

p.s. i'm so glad you guys like the new layout! it still needs tweaked here and there, but it feels so good to start the year off with something new and fresh. i've also decided to bite the bullet already and start accepting sponsors! it's something i've been meaning to do for years but have been too afraid. i'm so excited to start working with other artists and small businesses...knowing that taking this step will help justify the time i spend here...and insure that i will be able to continue to in the coming years! thank you all much and much for making that possible!

if you're interested in partnering up visit my sponsor page here...


happy friday and answers to some questions

matt is taking me out tonight on our first real date since phoebe was born. nursing and being the worst at pumping has pretty much kept us home these past 4 months...but tonight! tonight we throw caution to the wind and sneak out once she's asleep and grandma comes to sit. (max is away adventuring with his dad this weekend)
we have a curfew of midnight (when she's been waking up to eat again) and i have my fingers crossed that i don't fall asleep on matt by 9 o'clock. regardless, this calls for some heels and a little lipstick. 

happy happy weekend, friends!
i've spent some time answering a few of your questions...thank you so much for all of them!
i'll get to the other's next week...

Q&A after the jump
(click on "read more")

 Section 1- Mothering

What is your schedule like these days with the baby and max?- Each day is a mixed bag...my main objective is to stay super flexible! Bee is starting to form a small routine with her eating and napping but just when i think i've got it figured out she'll switch it up on me. That said, Max is up by 8 each morning for school and sis and i drop him off at 8:30. Right now Bee is eating every 2 hours and taking 1-2 long naps during the late morning and afternoon (if i'm lucky). I try to work while she's napping but most days you'll see me frantically pushing a cart around Target trying to get her to sleep. haha. Max is home by 3 and off playing with the neighbor boy most days. Bedtime is 9 and sis isn't too far behind him. She used to sleep through the night for me but is now waking up every 3 hours (midnight/3/5-6/7...ugh). 

How do you juggle being a mama and working from home...painting, blogging?- Being a mama of course comes first..and some days there isn't time for anything else. I try to create pockets of time for myself to work or decompress...but those usually come with some interruptions to change a diaper or fix a snack. The key again is to be flexible. I have to be ok with not having the dishes done or to skip a blog post one day or call in reinforcements to get out and drive around alone for 20 minutes. Prioritizing and taking my pulse and the pulse of the house is something i have to reassess every day. Needs and wants change daily. It truly is juggling...and i drop quite a few balls (usually the house cleaning/organizing/washing my hair/ balls)

What did you decide to do with Phoebe's vaccinations?- Matt and I are still undecided. We're doing the research and weighing our options but we've come to two different conclusions...and are at a bit of an impasse. Luckily, her Dr. is ok with us waiting. And while i'm breastfeeding we feel like that is buying us some valuable time. (Since antibodies are passed along through the milk). I will say though that the Dr. Sears book has been a real help!
What happened to max's "dear baby" posts? -  haha! they fizzled quick! I started to feel like a stage mom making him write those every week! he would be sad and wouldn't want to do it...and if i bribed him enough to sit and write they would become the wackiest letter you'd ever read. just nonsense and crude little boy humor. anyways, it was fun while it lasted. again...flexibility! haha.

Section 2- Relationships

Can you post wedding photos? Are you and Matt married?- Matt and I aren't legally married...although it's funny i forget that fact all the time! We are very much a team and committed to each other...a family! But we have let things grow in our relationship a little more organically than what is considered traditional. After getting divorced from Max's dad, i wasn't sure i would ever want to get legally married again. I believe in marriage wholeheartedly...what it symbolizes. But sitting in front of a judge and a stenographer and a lawyer....watching strangers decide what the fate of our marriage was when it was already decided in our hearts and with our God....changed the way i look at a legal marriage through the state. I could go on and on...but it's a pretty personal thing and very specific to my situation. Suffice it to say...maybe someday! haha. I'm pretty proud of where I am today, emotionally-speaking. But a ceremony in front of our friends and family would be pretty amazing...

How do you keep a good relationship between you and max's dad?- The only word i can use for this answer is love. Love for Max, love for each other...each other's family. Divorce didn't take away the amount of respect and love we had for each other. And while it wasn't the easiest to find our footing and there were times when we've been at odds and i never thought we'd get here, not being on the same team has never been an option. Max sees us as one collective family...and that's because we are! One big, crazy, unconventional family! On the more practical side of the question- there are things I do to make sure there is peace. Picking and choosing battles, deciding to trust, working together/being flexible, finding happiness and joy for each other's personal and professional lives. It's all very possible when you make a decision to love. 

i'll pick back up next week with your questions about my professional life!


bits of our week/ Q&A's

1/baby's first snowfall watching 2/sweetest packages from kindest friends 3/view from above (boots and a rattle) 4/jack o lantern bee 5/ clown hat making (and) toe-dialing daddy 6/tea and a scone and a read 7/papa's chair 8/ last bits of leaves 9/ ornery halloween boy

i can hardly believe how quickly october came and went. 
she ushered in all sorts of craziness...heat and snow and november before we knew it.
the house is littered with balled up tissues and empty candy wrappers. a sure sign of the season. 

wishing you all a happy happy november and wonderful weekend!
and a little side note: i feel like i've done a rotten job at letting you all know how much i appreciate you...your kind comments and emails and just visiting here in general! a lot of your questions have gone unanswered and i would love to fix that! i think life has just swallowed up this blog and i need to clean house around here a bit...my "about" page hasn't been updated in 2 years for goodness sake! 

i'm working on a Q&A post of sorts...to answer common questions i get! so if there are any questions you've been wondering about please feel free to leave them here!
i'll start answering them next week...


happy friday!

no baby yet...but all is well! 
i've been soaking up time with my boys, hiding out from the heat, and trying to enjoy these last few moments of quiet.
there are a few perks of being pregnant left...last night matt insisted i use the motorized scooter cart at the grocery. it was everything i had hoped it would be and so much more! max couldn't breathe for laughing as we scooted around the store...breezing past corners and coming to the most jarring stops.
anyways, it was a little bit of a dream. 

have a happy happy weekend, all!
sunday we celebrate our little man on his golden birthday! time has flown right by...but these past 8 years with him have been the greatest of all my life.

hello there, friday!
this week has been one of lots of planned projects...procrastinating doing planned projects...keeping cool from the heat...reading with max by the fan at night...dinners out...and hiding in. i have some time alone this weekend...something i always look forward to but never know what to do with once it comes. we'll see what kind of mischief me and baby can get ourselves into...

i hope you had a fine week...and be so good to yourselves this weekend!

p.s. photo from instagram. you can follow along with me @katiespencilbox

happy weekend and cloth diaper swearing

matt and i went and registered for baby things today!
that poor guy...he's such a sensitive soul. i lost him in the baby thermometer isle and found him hiding somewhere between the pacifiers and bottle warmers. i think he was losing a bit of color. miniature things bring out the jimmy legs in him.
did i ever tell you about the time he couldn't quit pacing and swearing in front of the gal at the cloth diaper store?
oh how i get a real kick out of this side of him...the side that makes him break a sweat when i hold up baby tights!

have a wonderful wonderful weekend, sweet friends!

daily bits

happiest friday!!
this week has been baseballing with bubb, crib assembling (huzzah!), lots of painting and thrifting, ice cream sandwiches and sweaters and trying not to have too many meltdowns as we start checking things off of our baby to do list!

i laid in bed early this morning with a brain that wouldn't shut off...
it traveled from thinking about our birth plan to mapping out a obstacle course in the backyard for max's early birthday party come june...from wishing i had guacamole at that very moment to the logistics of breastfeeding to wondering what i would have done if i was on the titanic. all in a 5 minute span...oh dear.

things are getting wacky around here. 
wacky and full and filled with lots of good and happy things.

here's to a happy happy weekend, friends! 

blooms and busted teeth

my goodness has it been a day...the kind where you oversleep a bit and wear the same thing two days in a row and spend 3 hours at the urgent care dentist fixing up a little boy's busted tooth from a roller skating injury at school. i've never met a friday i didn't like...but this one has maybe worn out it's welcome.
it's going to be a drown my sorrows in pizza kind of night...and plenty of reflecting on the more than beautiful week this was...spring tree blossoms and baby kicks and summer warmth and sweet packages in the mail from amazing friends!
here's to a happy weekend!
fingers crossed...

11 things...

 happy friday, friends!
i'm officially under the weather and laying low today...but it's nothing but rain and wind outside and i couldn't think of a better day to stay hunkered in bed with some juice and the tv remote.
danielle at sometimes sweet tagged me to play along in "11 things" last week! it's been so much fun reading everyone's answers...i'm a sucker for odd facts about people!

11 random things about me:
1. i prided myself on never having tried a pickle in all of my life. until last week...when one was hiding under my hamburger at the pine club. it was my worst nightmare come true!

2. the first cassette tapes i ever owned were blues traveler, the cure greatest hits, and essential bach. my sister amy and i also loved listening to this tape with bette midler on it that we found in our older sister's tampon box. (they used to give out prizes in those boxes back then!)
3. please don't touch my knees.
4. i have a hard time editing myself in awkward situations. or all situations. i will tell my life story to the last person that cares if i knew it would keep awkward silence away.
5. i sing odd, made up songs to get max to wake up in the morning. they work like a charm...if only because i'm sure it's terrifying to wake up to your mom hovering over you singing breathy tunes about tuesdays and being a shooting star! there's no turning back to sleep after that...(he now sings them to me some mornings to get me up...i've never been more proud!)
6. i unashamedly bite my finger nails. when i was little my mom offered me money or the doll i had been wanting if i stopped and i chose my nail biting. i stand by that choice to this day..haha. my hands are useless with fancy nails. also, if i paint them i will peel the paint off within the first 2 minutes.
7. my favorite smells are lemon and cut grass and mint toothpaste and the cleanest baby hair (oh i can't wait to have a baby head around to smell).
8. i'm a bad price-heckler. i will pay $20 more than asking price to not have to deal with a bargaining situation.

9. i started writing a "novel" when i was 10. it was 20 pages and about a book-smart prairie girl in the 1800's. she was a direct ripoff of laura ingalls and anne shirely. and she had red hair. oh dear...what i wouldn't give to have those pages now...

10. my grandma stratton gives the most amazing hugs in all the world...she likes to pound on your back really really hard! to this day when i need a comfort, matt knows to give me a hug and pound on my back.
11. i won 4th runner up and "miss congeniality" in a local firefighter's pageant i was forced into when i was in high school. instead of being asked questions about world peace we had to answer fire safety questions. my first question was "what does CPR stand for?"...i didn't know and i asked for a life-line. hmph! (who wants to be a millionare-style) it will forever be the most embarrassing of my memories to date. haha. p.s. CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation. i will never forget it now.
{questions from danielle}

1. If money, schooling or time was no obstacle, what career would you choose? 
 i've always thought that being a textile designer would be just wonderful! that or a children's book illustrator/author. if brains or know-how was no obstacle i think being a scientist of some sort would be fascinating...i wish my brain worked that way!

2. What's the one thing you look forward to every day? 
max and matt waking up!

3. What is your number one, all-time, favorite blog?
don't make me choose! 

4. Biggest online pet peeve?
snarky or mean-spirited comments

5. What is your all-time favorite book?
 any of the children's books i grew up on. beverly cleary books will forever hold a soft-spot in my heart. max came home from school the other day and said they are reading "the mouse and the motorcycle". it made my fingers itch to start reading it again...

6. What would your "last meal" be?
stuffed crust pizza with just the crust, freshly picked strawberries, lemon meringue pie, and the orange julius my mom used to make. what a depressing meal. haha. maybe i should add a steak?

7. Do you believe in love at first site?
i do! or anyways, i love hearing stories about couples who have been together a lifetime that started with love at first sight!

8. What would your ideal Sunday morning consist of? 
breakfast in bed and listening to my dad sing from the other room. growing up baptist, every sunday morning my dad would be singing bluegrass hymns at the top of his lungs...it was my favorite way to wake up and i would love to wake up like that every sunday morning! 
9. Why do you blog?
i love having a place to put pictures and thoughts and memories from our everyday. it's such a gift already to read back through old entries from years ago...i can't imagine what a comfort all of this will be in years to come.

10. If you had to choose one color to wear forever, what would you pick?
red. it's the color i see above most...and i have to stop myself from buying too much of it!
11. What is your all-time favorite band?
i don't think i could ever get tired of listening to the avett brothers.

i would love to read along if any of you decide to do "11 things" of your own! definitely link up in the comments if you do or already have! 

i'm off to get some rest!  happy happy weekend, loves! 

february photo a day friday

what a week! it's amazing how one afternoon can change your world and suddenly your thoughts are knee deep in little lady names and dresses and thoughts of having someone to share anne of green gables with. thank you much and much for all the sweet comments! and my apologies to our little gal for her first picture shown to the world being a leg-spread money shot! haha. 
(a few of you asked...we do have a name for sis but we're waiting to share until we make sure it suits her! max was going to be a milo until i saw his little face...p.s did i ever tell you that max's real name is maddox? i only call him that now when he is getting ornery though...haha)

this week has been bike rides and dress shopping, some painting and thrifting and three sad attempts at playing street hockey with my max...two burnt dinners, boat loads of dark chocolate, late night harry potter marathons with matt, and lots of baby squirm feeling and nursery dreaming and attempts to sit still in the present a bit. it's so hard not to want to rush these weeks along.

happy happy weekend, loves!
this is max's weekend away adventuring with his dad...fingers crossed i can get anything done besides pinning baby things...


february photo a day friday

happy happy friday, friends!
this week has been spent loving on each other, getting hurt laser tagging ( i woke up the next morning sore as can be...i think it was all the army-crawling and crouching i did. haha. i don't mess when it comes to laser tag), eating lots of sweets, and lots more singing and talking to our heirloom tomato baby (hello, 19 weeks! and goodbye weeks and weeks of being in the dark...tuesday we get to celebrate our girl or boy!). 
i couldn't wait for this stage in the game...when our little one could start hearing our voices! today i went out and bought headphones for me and my tomato so we could lay in the sunny spots of the house and listen to music.

i hope you all have the loveliest weekend! 
max is taking me out on a date tonight...dinner and the secret world of arrietty
my little guy is a charmer!