it was the best of times.

It was the worst of times.

Well. Not really. But three of us have caught colds this past week and Jack has been pretty miserable. We shoot saline spray up his nose and then unplug him and he hollers and Ev gets a look of terror on her face and screams and says, ‘Jack! Nose!’ over and over again. We tell her to close her eyes and not watch and she goes and hides in the corner.

We ran out of tissue and had five rolls of toilet paper over the house. Wes and I drank shots of apple cider vinegar and shivered and gasped.

But we’re all mostly on the mend and thankful for health.

And we’ve had a couple of the best of times too.

I’ve heard this story about when we were kids. We were running around on the beach with a passel full of other kids. My mom was on the bluff and somehow the conversation of ‘could you ever get your kids attention in the chaos’ came up. Mom gave a mighty ‘yoo-hoo’ and supposedly we came running.

Mom still yoo-hoos. That was the ‘call’ we trained Gladys to when we were in obedience school and she comes running at any yoo-hoo.

Yesterday, we were doing some serious fall cleaning and Ev was always right underfoot. I was scrubbing counter tops and Wes was outside sweeping the porch when she pushed the storm door open and few inches and called out in this high pitched voice, ‘hoo-hoo dad, hoo-hoo. hoo-hoo dad, hoo-hoo.’

Took me a minute to process, and then I was like, ‘oh my word Wesley! She’s yoo-hooing to you!’.

And then we did that little parent melt.

We had a lovely thanksgiving with many a friend. We arrived just in time for the pony show which, for awhile, entailed a show of wills between pony and man.

Ev gave up some goldfish and was super delighted that the horse enjoyed them.

She even took a ride for a hot four seconds.

 That ponytail gets me every time. Heh. No pun intended. Also. Just to keep with traditions, that’s the sweater she wore to last years thanksgiving festivities. Peanut.

And today, we opted outside. [Don’t make me laugh, like Black Friday shopping ever even entered the radar screen.]

Have I mentioned that my brother and sister in law gave me a bike this fall? I have now completed 15 miles in the month of November, can power up my driveway, can get off my bike without gasping for air, and never went below gear 3 on my super long hilly quarter mile road. Almost rock star status.

Plus I have this little cheer squad that stands in the road with her dad as I go blazing down the hill and she has this look of awe on her face as I go flying past and I’m like ‘almost a rock star? Who am I kidding, totally one!’.

 Ah. I love it.

And then we take a family walk down the hill, cross the road and lean on the fence and moo to the cows.

And I think to myself, this whole family business is pretty great.

Hugs to you and yours.


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ev turns two.

Well, she turned two a couple weeks ago. And who knew it would be so entertaining? We haven’t celebrated many birthdays together as of yet and I did not anticipate her having such a good time opening her presents.

We had some of her favorite people over for dinner (her grandparents) and then after slurping down pasta, headed into the family room to open the booty.

When I was two or three, my parents bought me the American Girl Bitty Baby, complete with bassinet and diaper changing bag.

So Wes and I disappeared downstairs and brought up all my old doll stuff. And she was delighted and ever so pleased as we changed the baby’s diaper and changed it’s outfits, and put it night night and fed it’s bottle and on and on.

And her delight grew as her grandparents brought out a stroller for the baby, goldfish, a little food mixer and coloring books. She hit the jack pot and was well aware.

Jack had gone to bed that night at 6:30 and so she had the limelight and thoroughly enjoyed herself. And it was pretty entertaining.

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Oh little miss. You are so loved.

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jack. for the baby books.

Now that Jack’s six months old, I can inform you that when he was four months old he was 1.5 pounds heavier than Ev at that age, (perhaps 13.8?) and 1.5 inches longer. He seems much bigger than she but only lands in the 30th percentile. Which does make him about 20 percent bigger, but no giant as of yet.

You may have noticed by now that he rather delights in the company of others. His grin has warmed many a cold heart. Or. At least non baby people in airports. His goober face makes us laugh. And he already makes his sister squeal.

He’s a little squish who is working hard on sitting up by himself (praises), has one tooth, and generally, blissfully sleeps at night (more praises). And the little dude thinks he’s ready for crawling. He’s already got the ‘start your engines’ rock and roll going.

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  What a face. Kisses and squeezes to you Jackaroo!

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parents. november. hot.

My parents came to visit in November and it was hot! By hot, I mean 79 degrees. Like, shorts and tank weather. The first November I lived here, the beginning of the month began with lows in the teens and highs in the thirties. It had rained a lot and I wondered to my mother in law when the grass would reflect all that rain and get green. Like how it does in California. She nervously chuckled and informed me it would be a while.

Little did I know.

But. It’s been lovely thus far; my parents actually packed too warm of clothes. Ah. Will wonders never cease?

They were here for a week. It was a nicely full week without too much running and gunning. I finally made it to my first UVA football game and rather enjoyed myself. Naturally, the marching band was my favorite part.

We cooked some exceptional meals. Went on an exceptional hike. I biked 1.5 miles while my parents pushed the stroller and concluded I am woefully out of shape. We visited yoders and cows and really, had a wonderful seven days.


 As always, when they depart, I feel that great distance between my babies and my parents and could grow dismal. But then I can feel an overwhelming sense of thankfulness that my kids get to know my parents.

 And that, my friends, is reason to rejoice.

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four days in new england.

I first started this blog because of a four day trip we took with my grandparents to New England…five years ago. Kind of blows my mind. And I just peeked back at that first blog post. It made me chuckle as I skimmed through it. I was very wordy.

It was our first taste of New England and this was our fourth time back. We must like it up there. Thanks to Grampa and Grama for introducing us. We celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary up there three years ago. We were supposed to take them to dinner out to celebrate and spent somewhere around $11.63 at Wendy’s drive through as we raced Hurricane Sandy down the coast.

Ah. Such adventures. Great memories. Thank goodness for this here blog.

Happily, this trip didn’t have quite as much adventure. Instead of driving hundreds upon thousands of miles, we flew. It was an amazingly short flight and the kids did great.

And the difference in my kids cracks me up. From the time Ev was a baby, if someone who’s not completely in her inner circle says hi to her, she generally looks at them like, ‘why are you talking to me? I don’t know you.’

Jack, on the other hand, would stare at the people sitting on either side of me on the plane until they would look at him and acknowledge him. Then he would burst into a smile as if to say, ‘Finally! You noticed me!’.

Oh he’s a jolly good fellow.


So. Back to New England. Some lovely friends of ours moved up there this year and showed us some of their favorite spots.

It was beautiful. 

I had the best lobster I’ve had in years. 

 I had clam chowder every day.

I had the hardest time I’ve ever had with both kids. (Guess who was off flying drones). (Both kids were exhausted and wailing and I was trying to get both of them to sleep at the same time. Jack was mad. Evelyn felt the need to basically sit on my head while I tried to calm Jack down.) 

 New England sunsets are amazing. The pastel colors were amazing. 

 The kids did better than I thought. 


Our friends live in a completely picturesque place. 

 And it was so good to be with them. 


Posted in friends, Happiness, Travels | 1 Comment

be by you.

Is this phrase used in every household? Or was it just in ours?

‘Ugh, the dog was soo be by you today.’. Or, ‘Um, I’m feeling very be by you.’.

Ev is very be by you. She generally follows me from room to room, but it is especially noticeable when I have to go put Jack’s paci in at naptime.

I’ll be in the living room reading books with Ev, or outside playing and tell her, ‘I’ll be right back, I need to go check on Jack.’ And immediately she begins to weep. ‘Me? Me?’ she sobs.

‘Do you want to come with me?’ I ask.

‘Uh huh,’ she whimpers. And tearfully follows me to the spare bathroom where Jack sleeps. (Second child).

And I’m like Ev. You goober head. I’m walking two rooms away. Can’t you just stay in here or out here until I get back? But she prefers to walk them with me. And mostly, it makes me shake my head. And I think about how exceedingly popular I am in my house. Unless Jack is hollering and she’s still crying in the bathroom with me. And then I’m like, Ev. FCOL. Can you wait outside for thirty seconds?

My lap is rarely empty.


And my heart is always full.

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Our new fall routine. 

A couple weeks ago, we were trapped in our house for about ten (ish) days of rain. And before and after and during that time, we were trapped in our house due to stink bugs. Seriously. They would come out in droves and collect between the door and the storm door. So if I were to open a door, one hundred stink bugs would then be between me and the storm door. And I’d essentially be welcoming them into my house while trying to herd two children through the opening of the storm door. They made me furious and I desperately worked at not letting them suck my joy away.

Anyways. Whoo. Get irritated just thinking about the darn things.

The rain has diminished, as have the stink bugs, and we are grateful. And so for many a morning, after everyone’s dressed, we head out the door and go for our walk.

And I really can’t get enough of that high pony tail.

First we head up the road to the post office, which is open from 10-12. We say hi to Rhoda who is a great grandmother. She is always delighted to see us and coos to ‘Jake’, and visits with Ev. Upon leaving this morning, Ev said ‘bye, bye’ and blew Rhoda a couple kisses. Rhoda beamed and told me, ‘she’s really getting more friendly!’.

Ah. I love it.

And then we head down the road where we look for Kitty and occasionally say hi to Delphi, the neighbor dog.

And then down the road some more to the little play structure behind the church, where Ev spent one adventuresome day going down the slide. She flew off the end every time and landed on her rear and for some reason, I can’t coax her back on it. She prefers to watch Jack go down.

Thankful for these glorious days.

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