Tuesday, July 31, 2012

cowgirl party

on sunday we celebrated my niece's 3rd birthday! i can't believe she's already 3. i remember the day she was born, mark and i showing up to the hospital to see her at the exact moment the nurse brought her out to show the family. she was so tiny, and now she is such a big, beautiful, smart, and HILARIOUS little girl! every time i see her she brings a smile to my face. auntie allie, uncle mark, and your cousey norah love you so much lulu! happy 3rd birthday!

now, for a picture heavy-post:

cake and favors

the birthday cowgirl...she was so happy!

pony rides!

norah was in love...she also tried to pick his nose // pop pop, mom mom, and great mom mom


ball pit!

cupcake toppers! so cute

make a wish!

nom nom nom nom

i didn't get any pictures of the pinata because i was recording, but this is the aftermath...CANDYYY!


p.s. the "worst mom ever" pictures and the "currently" picture were both from this day :)

worst mom ever


over the weekend we celebrated my niece lucy's birthday (post on that later). there was a pinata and norah managed to snag not one but TWO lollipops. i thought, ok she can hold both but i'm only going to open one. no big deal right? ....right?

well i open the brown one and things were going ok for the first 3 seconds before she tried to eat the red one  with the wrapper still on.

me: "do you want the red one instead?"
norah: "OK"
me: "ok, you're all done with brown?"
norah: "OK"
me: "ok, let me have the brown one i'm going to hold it for later"
norah: "OK"

so i re-wrap the brown one and put it in my back pocket so she couldn't see it. i unwrap the red and hand it to her. she is happy for .45 seconds before...

norah: "BOWN? BOWN? BOWN?"
me: "no, you have the red one now we'll save the brown one for later"

ok, she's a little upset
meltdown city

so sad, so terrible, so down right awful, huh? i mean come on, couldn't i have just given her TWO lollipops at once? even though she just ate cake and ice cream? even though it was almost bedtime? WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?! 

i guess i am just the worst mom ever. deal with it, norah.

Monday, July 30, 2012


all four cousins in one place! all of them are thrilled, clearly

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LOVING: that as i'm typing this, norah is in my lap sucking on her reward for going pee-pee on the potty (a lollipop)! a few times a week, she will decide that she wants to use the potty and when she is successful, she gets a lollipop. we're still not persistent with potty training just because she is so young. i fear that if i push her, she'll end up taking steps backwards and we definitely do not want that! but as she gets closer to 2, i want to get more serious about training (if she is still showing the same interest or more). we'll have to figure out a new reward system because there is no way this kid is getting ten lollipops a day. i'm thinking maybe chocolate chips? what has worked for you?

READING: i'm in between books right now, but i was looking through my shelves and stopped on irresistable revolution by shane claiborne. i have read this book a zillion times but each time it just gets better and better. i think i might start my zillionth-and-one read tonight. :)

WATCHING: the olympics! i love watching most sports even though i don't really follow along during the individual seasons or know too much about the players. as a former athlete it's nice to watch and reminisce about the days of playing on a team. and this year, i love the p&g mom commercials so i have to watch just for them hehe! otherwise, mark and i have been watching weeds and breaking bad which both started their newest seasons this summer. i've been a weeds fan since it's beginning and i recently caught up on the past seasons of breaking bad on netflix. love them both! 

THINKING ABOUT: expanding our family. this is ALL me, mark doesn't want to have another one just yet. i don't either really, i just have baby fever BAD! a know a lot of pregnant women or women with newborns right now and i just can't help but dream of another little peanut of my own. but right now we just want to enjoy norah and life as it is without complicating things further. eventually we will have another one (i won't be able to resist!) but probably not until norah is 3 or 4. 

ANTICIPATING: fall fall fall fall FALL! don't get me wrong, i love summer and it's carefree style, tan skin, and warm nights but fall is my absolute favorite season. i live for it's cool sweater weather, pumpkin spice EVERYTHING and the gorgeous colors all around. it's so close! 

LISTENING TO: the middle east. i first heard the song "blood" a month or two ago and ever since then i've been hooked! they have such a gorgeous sound.

WORKING ON: organizing and cleaning out our room! in the corner of our room sits my desk with all my sewing and crafting supplies buried under mounds and mounds of STUFF. we've been here since april and i haven't sat at that desk once! it has become a catch-all for all the junk that ends up in our room. i'm in the process of going through all the piles and finding a home for everything. then i can actually bring my tools (which are living on a chair in the dining room at the moment. i've been sewing at the dining room table or on the floor. sad.) back upstairs and craft in my own space. i really can't wait for this to be done, it's so hard to create in a cluttered and cramped space.

WISHING: we were back in south jersey. this move has been pretty tough on us in more ways than one, and we're really missing our home. i know that we'll be back i just hope that it's sooner and not later! though i have to say that being able to stay home with norah for the past four months has been such a blessing. i've wanted this time with her since the day she was born. better late than never! 

inspired by danielle at sometimes sweet

Friday, July 27, 2012

happy weekend!

the newest trick: showing off her guns!

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what's everyone up to this weekend? we're looking forward to a lazy saturday and then our friend's son's 1st birthday and our niece's 3rd birthday parties on sunday! there will be a PONY at the second party! i can't wait, norah is going to lose her mind. see you all on monday!

- another paint recipe i came across on pinterest. will definitely be trying this one!

- family night at a drive-in theater. that backseat looks sooo cozy.

- rachel at smile and wave also gives us a review of the book of new family traditions. i'd definitely like to check this one out.

- i've got baby fever! someone talk me down!

- summer e-course sale at red velvet! 25% off with code SUMMERSALE. good until august 1st!

- great advice.

- a painting party! i would love to do this for norah but it really should be outside. darn winter birthdays.

- this is too funny: instagram cookies!

- interesting post on "mompetition" - what's your take on the topic?

- when all else fails...take a nap.

- project life art journal series by janel at run with scissors...love!

- the color run is coming to new jersey!!! wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

our lovey

norah has a couple of stuffed animals that she clings to. one, being the grinch, who we call "chew." and another being a little red mouse from ikea who is named "ruby." chew has been her buddy for a few months now and ruby is starting to work her way up to a close number two.

lately, norah has been very affectionate toward a third animal and let me tell you it melts my heart. this bear was my bear when i was a baby, and she's been with me ever since. her name is "baby allison" (haha) and i took her everywhere with me. even as i grew she came with me to college and when i moved away. she even had a place in my apartment as a newlywed. when norah came along i kept her close by still, sitting in the corner of the crib.

now norah is growing to love baby allison as much as i did (and still do). my bear will be the first, of many, things that i hope to pass down to norah one day. it makes my heart so happy to see them together, and to hear norah call out for her friends "chew", "boobee", and "assin."

Thursday, July 26, 2012

thrifting thursday // v.2

it's thursday again! here are this week's finds:

not bad for a quick in-and-out trip!

love this book! can't wait to read it with norah

2 yards for $2 heck yea

sweet little piggy! i didn't notice his chipped ear until i was at the check-out line but i don't mind it

puzzle with all the pieces? what could be better?

TWO PUZZLES with all the pieces! aw yea!

linked with:


and apron thrift girl

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

a thought

the other day my niece lucy had been resting her head on the edge of the kiddie pool, just staring at her feet, perfectly content with where she was. we wondered what she was thinking, and realized that she probably wasn't thinking about anything at all. when I am in a quiet place, my mind tends to bounce all over, creating a mental to-do list and worrying if I have enough hours in the day to get it all done. not to mention all other life circumstances and extra worries to pile on top of that.

the beautiful thing about childhood is that "worrying" does not exist. "to-do" lists don't exist. the only direction a child's mind has to go is to a place of imagination and wonder. what if our adult minds were capable of such a thing? how much more beautiful could adulthood be if we could learn to just rest our heads on the kiddie pool and be happy in the moment we're in?

a special thanks to my niece for reminding me not to worry so much and to just be present in each moment, happy exactly where I am. who knew a three year old could be such a great teacher?

norah, lost in her own world

Monday, July 23, 2012


tonight i put norah to bed even though the normal routine is mommy does bath and teeth brushing, then daddy does storytime and snuggles before laying her down. however we had dinner at mark's brother's house and afterwards gave norah and her cousin a bath together. we drove the mile back to my in-laws (oh yea, we're staying with them for a couple days. did i mention that?) and she was still awake and asking to nurse so i decided i would take over bed time.

the room was dark and cool, and we each slipped into our PJs and snuggled under the covers. she nursed for only a minute or two before reaching for her binky and rolling over, her animal friends tucked under her arms. it would have been easy to pick her up and lay her in the pack n play, but i decided to just stay with her for a little longer.

as i lay there with my nose on her neck, inhaling the sweet baby smell that still lingers on her soft skin, i said a silent prayer and thanked our God in Heaven for that moment. so easily i forget to just feel her skin, really feel it i mean. i ran my fingers along her arms and felt that baby softness that will only be here for a short while longer. as she gets older i know her skin will look more like mine, with marks and scars that prove the passage of time. tonight i remembered just to look at her and breathe in everything that she is. that soft soft skin, her sweet baby smell, and her small little body pressed into mine. this was such a happy moment, but i couldn't help but feel a little sad.

tonight is the last night that norah will ever be as small as she is. as that thought circled my mind i couldn't bring myself to leave the bed. i wanted to stay with her forever in that moment, and never ever leave. it is so painful, this thing called motherhood. the heart that once beat inside of you and now is alive in your arms will one day be too big to stay there. one day my arms will be empty but i know my heart never will. moments like these i tuck away, safe in the reserves of my memory, for days and years to come.

i brushed back her hair and the words "i love you so very much" whispered into her ear. i picked up that teeny little body and made my way to her bed. as i laid her down and covered her up the sadness i felt was replaced with a surge of love. i kissed her cheek and i realized that i didn't have to be sad because this moment will never leave me. as long as i am alive, i will carry this night in my heart. norah will grow and she'll no longer need me to put her to bed, but i will close my eyes and remember.

i will always have tonight.

Friday, July 20, 2012

happy weekend!

little feet, big shoes

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what's everyone up to this weekend? i'm on the hunt for a local place to go strawberry and/or blueberry picking, then on sunday we're heading down to stay with mark's parents for a couple of nights! whatever you do, enjoy your time and i'll see you all on monday :)

- summer bucket list.

- shaving cream paint for the bath: very popular at little mouse's house.

- mommy and me journal. so sweet! 

10 simple things to make you happier at home.

- we had chicken & veggie stew for dinner last night and for the first time there were NO leftovers! delicious.

- leigh-ann from freckled nest has some great advice for those seeking a creative future.

- trending: black and white rugs in kid's rooms.

- need to buy a house so i can build a home office/studio.

- summer camps for grown ups!

- hehe, yep.

- i know it's old but i just can't resist.

norah's style

norah picked her own outfit this morning:

clearly, she loves getting her picture taken

most of the time, i am the one to get norah dressed in the morning. i love to mix and match pieces from her wardrobe to come up with unique and cute little outfits for her. it's especially fun for me to see how many different ways she can wear an article of clothing. my personal style is usually reflected in whatever norah is wearing that day.

lately, however, she has been expressing her opinions about the items of clothing she owns. if i say "how about this shirt (dress/jumper/pants/etc.)?" she will tell me "ok" or "NO!" i usually just put what i want on her regardless of what she says but then i sort of feel bad. i know she doesn't really know what she's wearing (or care, for that matter), but i can't help but feel a little guilty for essentially dressing my daughter like i would a doll. what if she doesn't actually like wearing converse sneakers or anything with birds on it?? bad mommy!

i want norah to be able to express herself creatively. if that means wearing halloween costumes to go grocery shopping, or pairing cowboy boots with sweatpants then so be it. as long as her outfit of choice is appropriate for the weather, i have no problem allowing her to choose her own clothes. it is more important to me that she develops a personality with opinions and a sense of style that are all her own than to have a "mini me." whatever i can do to help her find herself i will do, even if that means giving in to outfits like today's.

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on norah:
-shirt: old navy hand me down
-leggings: circo
-boots: circo
-birdie clip: handmade