Thursday, November 27, 2014


When I looked out the window and saw this idyllic little scene, I made a mad dash for the camera. My heart is full!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Reflecting on Fall

We Midwesterners were thoroughly spoiled by a long and lingering fall. Here's a glimpse into some of our favorite moments:

Fresh Butterfinger doughnuts. How did we ever survive before owning a doughnut pan?

 Cool mornings call for warm kitchens and an eager Cook's Helper. 

Can you tell which buns are his?

 So pleased with his creations! He put them in his own kitchen to cool. 

Sharing kombucha by the back porch.

 Evening hikes on my sister's farm. 

Watching the harvest.

Introducing the kids to my favorite children's musician, Jack Pearson, at our local book festival. 

Enjoying family time at our annual church convention.

These two make me smile every day! 

Lots of hikes in the refreshing fall temps.

 Gray and his straw hat are inseparable these days! 

Gray fashioned a "bow" from a strip of plastic off the saran wrap box and turned his guitar into a violin! 

 Introducing Rain to her Auntie Kayla.

Canning applesauce.

Discovering a yummy organic orchard not far from home. 

Harvesting our garden.

Special treats to celebrate Kayla's visit home. (These chocolate-filled croissants from Trader Joe's were AWESOME!)

 Family time at Frontenac State Park.

Enjoying my parents' new puppy--the sweetest Great Pyrenees / Anatolian Shepherd.

Frolicking through the leaves.

Trick-or-treating with two little giraffes.

Strolling around our little town on crisp nights.

And just like that, frosty turned to frigid, and brisk to blustering. Oh well, we enjoyed fall while it lasted!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

A Year of Sundays

As the resident photography buff, I am the one behind the lens in most of our family shots.

To remedy this, we decided to document Rain's first year of life by having Mike photograph Mama and Baby every Sunday.

We missed a couple weeks here and there, but overall we stuck to it for a year. The resulting time-lapse demonstrates what we already suspected: babies grow far too fast, and I wear my favorite striped cardi a bit too much. (Hey--I can play the comfy clothes card for at least a year postpartum, right?)

If you have a tiny one on the way, I strongly encourage you to embark on some sort of documentation photo project. We forget so many details of that whirlwind first year!

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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

She's One!

Seems like just the other day she was a wee little thing sleeping in her rock-and-play. And now she's a jabbery, squirmy, motor-noise-making one-year-old!

Rain was born with a calm countenance and wise eyes. Friends constantly say she looks like she could spout off an entire paragraph (although she has only a few words so far). She just looks around like she gets it. She is discovering more and more mischief these days, but even still, there is a certain peacefulness about her that adds so much to our home.

One of the past year's greatest joys has been watching a special bond develop between Gray and Rain. Only fifteen months apart, they are simultaneously competitors and the fastest of friends. They make each other laugh like no one else can, and seek each other out for playtime, giggle fests, and comfort. 

Guilty mom confession: so far her only birthday cake has been a leftover slice of Mommy's from a couple days before. (Side effect of having birthdays so close together!) But come Saturday we will make amends by throwing her a sunshine-themed party. Cheesy? Absolutely! But when you have a little Ray-Ray in your life, cheesy can't be helped. 

Happy birthday, sweet girl! We love you so! 

Photo credit: Black and white family shot by Noelle Bakken Photography