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09 November 2020

1. It's November 9th. How?! This year feels both interminable (doesn't March seem decades ago?) but also is somehow flying by? Somehow, some way. I'm still holding my breath thinking the kids will have to restart distance learning but their school has done such a wonderful job keeping everyone safe and distanced and outside as much as possible that so far - soo good. The kids had a snow day the Monday before Halloween but then we enjoyed thee most beautiful weather for Halloween and the week following! Such a nice change from the year prior where we were all freezing. Let's keep the trend going, 2021. 

2. I saw lots of Christmas decorating happening the second Halloween was over which makes sense the year has felt like a lot of doom and gloom but being the grinch that I am I don't think I could handle two months of Christmas decor. I don't think I could do it - sooo we'll wait! 

3. Simon and I finally finished the third season of Yellowstone. Because I'd heard that the end of the season was cRaZy - we weren't that blown away by the finale but are SUPER curious to see what season four looks like .... Simon thinks they'll be doing a lot of flashbacks and I hope he's wrong. And I hope Beth and Rip end up getting married. I'm very excited about the season premiere of The Crown and have been listening to many a Princess Diana podcasts in order to gear up. 

4. I posted about this on IG a few weeks ago despite thinking I was the last to hear about it but in case you haven't - I discovered this app where you can upload your receipts to earn points that can be exchanged for gift cards (I choose Amazon, always). It's simple and now I've become a receipt hound - anything for a little excitement, right 2020? Right. I think if you use my code: BVFBC you'll get 2,000 points off the bat, I think! Happy hounding

5. I promised I'd get back to you on what I thought of this fine piece of machinery - my one Prime Day purchase and after a few weeks of daily use I'm here to report that ... I don't know how we ever lived without it. I want one for the upstairs now too. Simon was skeptical but has come around. The kids gave it the (very creative) moniker of Dusty and set the timer so that it would start running around 2am the other morning and gave me quite the fright as I was sure someone had broken into the house. 

6. I'm starting to think about making the big room switch (Iris to the nursery and Clement in with all the boys) and while I'm always tempted to repaint I think the nursery is still well suited for a girl with maybe a few feminine elements like this rug that has been out of stock for monthS on end but it finally back! And how much does Iris care? Zero. She does not care, of course :) . Speaking of rugs - this gorgeous collection of rugs dropped today and I go back and forth between not even wanting to look so I'm not tempted but also poring over each and every one and envisioning them in different rooms of our house (this one is especially gorgeous). 

7. I'm mostly finished with the dreaded task of switching over the kids dressers and closets for the colder months (it's a lot more fun getting ready for summer, in my opinion!) and I've been able to fill the few holes in the wardrobes with my trusty Old Navy and H&M go-tos. I'm trying to simplify my own wardrobe and am looking for tops (sweaters because I'm always cold) that will work well with both jeans and leggings (my faves) and found this one (so many great reviews), this similar one (looks super soft), and this cardigan (on sale!). I wore my sweater blazer SO much last fall/winter/spring that I'm debating another color since they're currently 40% off

Alright, that's all! Hope you're all staying healthy and warm!

back to it

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16 October 2020

1. The kids started back to school over a month ago (lots of precautions, lots of outdoor time etc etc) and so far ... so good. Do I think we'll go back to remote schooling at some point? I'm counting on it in my head but for now -- the kids are thrilled to be back! Bosco likes to sleep in so I was dreading the mornings with him but he's shocked me by popping up and getting himself downstairs before some of the other kids which is a minor miracle. Abe is enjoying being the king of the kid castle during the day but is definitely missing his buddy Bosco. Hopefully Clement can fill his shoes since he's started talking (and talking and talking) recently! I'm loving have some structure to our days although Iris's naps aren't totally predictable quite yet (we're getting there! at least she lines up her afternoon nap with the boys which is ... so nice) but still, I'll take any routine I can get! Wow, this was an exciting paragraph, wasn't it?!

2. I forget if I raved about the show Yellowstone yet? We were only able to figure out how to watch the first two seasons but they were good. So good. I would be going with withdrawals if I didn't have the Bachelorette coming up one week from today (crazy). I'm making my way through Emily in Paris now and it's so/so ... but I'm only a few episodes in. 

3. I really enjoyed the book, Regretting You, as part of an online book club I joined. Mostly breezy and mostly happy ending! I'm SO excited that this book was just released because it is gorgeous in person and am snapping some up for Christmas presents because while still a couple months away - it's just around the corner. Also, the planner? Might turn me into a planner person. 

4. What else ... what else? We're gearing up for Halloween despite it not looking like we'll be doing the traditional trick-or-treating routine (I don't think). I'm eternally grateful that Julia is a planner through and through and that she and Phoebe have yet to change their minds about costumes (although, there's still time!) and hoping that the boys can make some decisions ... soon!! 

5. A new to me print shop with the most gorgeous + affordable downloadable prints! I got this one to put in our bathroom. And from another shop - I printed and hung this one in the boys room!

6. Did you get anything fun/good/practical on Prime Day(s)? I finally bit the bullet on one of these and I cannot WAIT. I read 20398402 reviews and think we'll be pleased - I hope/pray!! I'm still slowly working on replacing light fixtures throughout the house and am perpetually adding to my wishlist - Amazon's inventory is actually pretty impressive. 

7. I don't think I ever reported back on the findings from my "mom jeans" quest. I ended up keeping and loving this pair from Gap and this pair from Old Navy. I wanted to love the pair from Abercrombie but ... too many holes/too cold/not cool enough to pull them off! 

This sweater was also a recent winner from Old Navy as the temps (SADLY) drop here in Wichita. 

And finally - I've found a new dream dress that is very much not from Old Navy but that's why it's in my wishlist! :)

Happy, happy weekend!!

back to ... still summer :)

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21 August 2020

1. I can/can't believe that it's the end of August and we're not back to school (I mean .. it's actually *whispers* kind of nice but I've still go a lot of prep to do - wondering if these machine washable school shoes are a good idea?). Our school year was pushed back a few weeks and so we're enjoying the last bits of summer! A few of the kids have been able to do some small groups for (socially distanced + outside, worry not) reading skills and really enjoyed them and for that, I'm pretty grateful. The four older kids had a short four week baseball and softball season (Simon coached the girls team!) earlier in the summer and while nightly games got to be a little grueling I think we all have to admit that we miss them. 

2. I can't (and can, I suppose) believe Iris is nearing the three month mark. I would be sad but she's SUCH a delight and always wanting to smile and chat up a gibberish storm so as long as time slows down the teeniest tiniest bit ... I'll be fine. I know I'll miss the big kids help with her when they go back to school but luckily she's pretty low maintenance until it comes to a reasonable bedtime. Hashtag night owl. 

3. We won a cabin stay outside Branson at a school fundraiser back in November and were unable to change the dates so we decided to go and had so much fun (see photo above). The kids could wade and play in creeks all day and were pretty oblivious that weren't on the actual Table Rock Lake (no one tell them, thanks) and we found some stroller friendly "hiking" that they all enjoyed too. Did the five hour drive take us eight and did we have to deal with some car sickness? Maybe and unfortunately but! Still - so fun to have a little change of scenery and enjoy the outdoors for a couple of days. 

4. I've been terrible on the reading front and I don't know why. I loved The Royal We and was so excited to start The Heir Affair but .... I guess the siren song of Netflix just is a little bit louder these days? I need to buckle down and get into it because I know I'll love it. I started listening to Such a Fun Age and I know it's going to be a good one too! I'm also SUPER excited about One to Watch ... I should probably start um .. reading. 

5. I plowed through Indian Matchmaking all the way to the frustrating last episode ... will there be a second season? I hope so. I know there have been some follow up YouTube updates so maybe those will give me answers! I should check. I might be the only person in the world actually enjoying the GOAT Bachelor episodes and for that ... I should be more embarrassed. I just love reliving the older seasons so much. Hopefully Clair (and Tayshia's?) season will start super soon!

6. I'm guessing I'm the 10th person to tell you about this pink cleaning stuff from Amazon? It's amazing. We've got a resident mural artist on our hands and this stuff has saved me a lot of time I would've wasted repainting many a wall in the house. We ripped up some carpet in a little eating area off the kitchen and the tile underneath is in decent but not great shape and I'm wondering if this stuff would help it shine a bit?

Other Amazon purchases - these bike shorts. I was not on the bike short trend train and am still skeptical but I just think of them as short leggings for the summer/around the house - the pockets are KEY for my phone, an errant pacifier, or trash the kids inevitably gift me on a walk. I convinced my friend Jessica to buy a pair and she loved them so much she placed an order for a second color right away. Also these leggings are as lightweight (without being see through and still being sturdy enough to run in) as them come.

7. I don't have a Nordstrom credit card - nor do I plan to get one - but I was super bummed this dress was sold out before it was available to the commoners. This is a cute runner-up but still - boo! (I did recently buy this one and I LOVE it. Love.) I keep reading that the skincare sale stuff is well worth a look so I might have to stock up on these favorites.

I've decided I'm going to give mom (well, mom-esque) jeans a go because I like to dip my toe into trends yearS after they've been trendy (guessing they're on their way out already!) --I ordered these (look at those reviews!)  I've got my eye on this chic looking pair, as well as these sky high rise babies, and these might be the top contenders! Everlane has yet to steer me wrong. If you have a pair you love - please let a mom know. 

the birth story of Iris Miriam

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22 July 2020

I think it could actually and aptly be called, "the birth blip" if one were to compare her earth entrance to the odysseys of some of her siblings. Not to name names but ahem ... Theo, Phoebe, and Abe.

So, don't blink or you'll miss it.


Knee slaps.

We all know I can make a short story go the length of an unabridged War and Peace.

So, here we go.

Where were we? Let's start at 38 weeks and change and some good old fashioned prodromal labor. Nothing I wasn't used to but since I'd been hanging out at 3cm and 80% effaced for a few weeks my OB (whom I love) was shocked all the contractions hadn't kicked things into gear. Simon was so sure I'd have the baby around 39 weeks (as I'd done six times before ... ) that he'd rescheduled all of his surgery patients (not a simple thing with the covid testing prior to surgery etc etc) and I was getting worried that he'd be back to work as usual once the baby did come. So, in the interest of Simon being at the delivery and not going beyond 40 weeks because I was trying for a VBAC (post Clement) my OB decided to schedule an induction for 39 weeks and 1 day.

In the hopes of not having another OP baby and running the risk of pushing for three hours during a VBAC I sought out the care of a wonderful chiropractor in town. My experience with chiropractic care was limited to one visit where I was hoping to get some relief from a stubborn migraine (well over a year ago) and I did! It was amazing. However, I'd heard and read such great things about chiropractic care during pregnancy and really wish I'd gone sooner than I did. She was confident we could ensure a well positioned baby for delivery and my hopes were up VERY high that she was right. I didn't even think about the lower back relief that would come with the adjustments or the headache she was able to cure (pop?) on the spot. I only went to three or four adjustments before Iris was born but they made a huge difference in how much better I felt physically approaching labor.

My hilarious friend Fran also told me to load up on dates starting at 35 weeks to help shorten labor. I put several in a few smoothies a couple times a week and while many naysayers would laugh I don't doubt that they helped.

Alright. Induction day! I know things like inductions and epidurals and Pitocin can have a bad reputation in the birth story world but I'm hear to shed a positive light on all three. Clutch your pearls if you must. 98% of my labor anxiety (which is ... minimal) is wondering what I'd do with the kids when I went into labor with no warning (unlikely but ... still) so having it on the books and someone (thank you Mom and Hemma!!) there to watch the kids was really quite nice. We got there at 6am (despite sleeping through my alarm which I have done maybe twice in my life), masked and ready to roll. I had my IV in and Pitocin started by 7:30am. Since I was attempting a VBAC the Pitocin dose had a limit and while I don't think I ever hit that limit -  the tick tock of the clock was definitely dancing pretty in the back of my head. My nurse was wonderful - as most labor and delivery nurses (I've had!) tend to be. We FaceTimed the kids and told them hopefully the baby would be here by dinner time.

The details are already fuzzy but I think my doctor came and broke my water around 8:30. I was still only at about a 4 and maybe 90% effaced. The resident came in an hour later and called me, "a 4.5" and Simon and I looked at each other and I started to worry ever so slightly that I wouldn't make any progress and I'd be having another c-section (not the end of the world! Just wasn't looking to go through that recovery again ... ). My nurse kept telling me to say the word when I wanted my epidural and while I wasn't in a ton of pain at all with the frequent contractions - I was definitely getting more and more uncomfortable (starting to sweat and curl my toes) and when she reminded me first I'd need a bag of fluid I said -- let's just go ahead and do it. And we did. I had a wonderful nurse anesthetist and a wonderful epidural (could still feel and move my legs but no pain). Simon and I were SO sure that I was having a boy (her heart rate was super low throughout the pregnancy which isn't a proven theory - it was proof enough for me and my late night Google searches) that we hadn't nailed down a middle name in the event we had a girl.

We decided to toss around some girl middle names and decided we wanted to go the Marian route and I was super surprised Simon agreed to Miriam because he normally goes through a, "no way ... maybe ... I'll think about ... maybe ... I don't know ... I guess ... maybe ... okay!" song and dance when I suggest any name at all. So, easy peasy.

Around 11:10 Simon noticed a heart rate decel and the resident came in to check my progress and asked if I was feeling any pressure. I said sort of but .. not really because I tend to exaggerate any pain of any kind and while I felt some pressure - it didn't really feel like the baby was about to come out. Fully expecting for her to call me a, "4.75" she said I was at a 7 as my doctor walked in from her clinic across the street. She decided to check too and said I was an 8 and we were, "about to have this baby" as she started gearing up with a gown.

I nervously chuckled behind my mask.

I had told her time and time again my lengthy pushing history and tried to protest because she hadn't been around for my requisite three hour pushing parties. How many patients had she left in clinic rooms across the street? They were in for a long wait. I got ready to push and she said I would have the baby with my next contraction.

Bold claim and I believed her 0%.

But, she was right! A couple of pushes and one contraction and out she came at exactly 11:25am! Simon looked at me with a look that I thought meant, "you were right!" and we had a boy but he then said, "it's a GIRL" and I'm pretty sure I started crying tears of disbelief. We would've been thrilled to add to our pack of boys and how fun for Clement to have two brothers so close in age? But, Phoebe and Julia really really wanted another sister and I was so happy for them.

They kept saying that was such a big baby but put her right on my chest and she started nursing almost immediately and didn't stop for a solid two hours. It made for some awkward FaceTime calls to our family as they wanted to see her face but we couldn't wait to share the news. The girls were so excited and the boys seemed happy but later both Bosco and Sebastian had to ask what we named her so ... happy but distracted, I guess.

Eventually she allowed us to break her away from her food source to be weighed and bathed. They were so certain she was in the 90th percentile for weight and that we'd have to monitor her blood sugar but since she was, "just" 8 pounds and 5 ounces (my second biggest after Abe) - she managed to escape the many heel pricks.

We we're moved to my postpartum room and I think I figuratively held my breath until we were discharged the next day after Clement spent a week in the NICU (no time at all compared to so many other babies but a week nearly did my in). When we pulled in the driveway from the hospital the kids had allll climbed in the car before I could even get her out of her carseat - they were SO excited to meet her.

She's been a great eater, sleeper, and all around wonderful addition to our family.

The end!

she's here!

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24 June 2020

1. Iris Miriam has arrived! She was born on June 1st and I'll save all the details for the birth story that should be up superdupersoon but she's been a delightful addition to the family and I'm still SO surprised that she was a she! All of the older kids have been a huge help and Clement is pretty independent and hasn't seemed bothered that there's a new baby in town ... yet. Abe finally started calling her, "Iris" instead of, "virus" and is always walking around closing the shutters in the house saying she doesn't like the sunshine (??). Overall, we're adjusting well and feel so fortunate to have her here safe and sound.

2. While summer sort of "just started" and even with the remote learning situation it still feels like we're monthS into a summer of sorts. The older three are enjoying an abbreviated baseball/softball season with Simon coaching Julia's team and the younger kids are along for the ride and hoping that their games are parked next to a playground (they usually are). We haven't gotten too deep into the summer humidity and buggy season quite yet but I'm sure it's coming (but is still years better than winter, if you ask me!).

3. I've done almost zero reading since the last time I checked in but am about 1/4 of the way through 28 Summers (thoroughly enjoying it!) and have Big Summer next on the docket!

4. I will admit that I binged the second season of Selling Sunset in am embarrassing amount of time (as in - no time at all!) and am now working my way through the first season (not sure why I did that) with Simon watching with one mildly entertained eye in the evenings. I'm not as taken with the GOAT bachelor episodes they've been airing -- they put me right to sleep which maybe isn't a bad thing, honestly.

5. While Iris will stay in our room for the time being and Clement will stay in his room (and we decide if we put 5 boys in one room together? Or Iris goes in with the girls and skips the nursery altogether?) I'm pretty pleased with how gender neutral we've kept Clement's (and formerly Abe's!) room. I wouldn't feel the need to change much if Iris moved in there but I have to admit that I spotted these dreamy mobiles and have never considered myself a mobile person until ... now.

6. I've been trying to exercise serious restraint when it comes to buying baby girl clothes because honestly - all she needs is a few onesies for these first several weeks anyway - but it's been tough resisting the siren song of H&M's adorable inventory and these (unnecessary, most likely) swim suits - too much, too cute.

7. I've been living in these shorts (so much so that Phoebe asked if I would wear them swimming -- ?? no) but wished I'd gotten my normal size even being so freshly postpartum. They run pretty big! But, I still love them. Also, these nursing bras are still far and away my favorite (even over the fancy pricey ones) and now I'm remembering why I wore them long after I'd weaned both Abe and Clement because they are just so comfortable. And while I'm still holding out hope that Amazon does Prime day - they're having a big sale right now that's worth checking out (happy that they've extended their return window in case I actually don't need back-to-school shoes for the kids in the fall :))!

Alright, back to the birth story but wanted to check I super quick! Hope you're having a wonderful summer!!

action packed

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22 May 2020

Why does Clement look old enough to strut right into a kindergarten classroom?

1. Greetings from our first official day of summer break (!!!!) ... I don't think I realized how excited I was until the day actually came but here we are. The kids did a great job considering their temporary teacher's lack of decent teaching skills but I know they'll be excited to go back to school. They can't wait to see their friends, learn from actual teachers (now that they know how good they formerly had it ha), restart sports and activities etc etc etc - there seems to be so much information floating around about what the fall will look like but I'm going to wait and see what officially comes to light.

2. Of course the forecast shows heavy rain for the next 10 days but we're not letting it get us down - yet. Simon keeps saying its perfect weather to have a baby/newborn around but he hasn't seen my to-do list and all that "needs" to get done. Important things like ... rehanging pictures in their third location of the month, maybe actually narrow down some potential baby names, and deep clean until the proverbial cows come home :).

3. I'm not quite 38 weeks and just for fun my OB said she thinks the baby will be here by 38 weeks and 2 days (I think I've got some weekS to go!) so the waiting game shall begin in earnest then. Even Abe who isn't quite three is starting to ask when that big baby is going to come out so we shall SEE. All things considered, I feel fine. I started going to a chiropractor to try to avoid having a fifth sunny side up baby in an effort to not go through hours of pushing this time around and I have to admit the adjustments have helped me sleep so well and completely eliminated my last bit of sciatica. I'm optimistic (as is my doctor) about the prospect of a vbac but since Clement was a c-section I obviously haven't ruled the possibility of a repeat on that front but if only for the sake of recovery - I would love to avoid going that route again. I feel like this paragraph is making little to no sense and I think we should just end it here. Ended!

4. Simon and I started watching Mrs. America and it reminds us a bit of a politically focused Mad Men? It's fun to see DC "back in the day" and watch a story unfold that I honestly knew very little about as far as the details went. I keep reminding myself a lot of it is fictionalized but it's definitely entertaining. We flew through Waco and while heartbreaking and honestly disturbing - it was really well done. I think enough people warned me about the final episode that while it was really tough to watch - the warnings helped to ease the shock factor, I think.

5. I'm listening to Verity (a little too scary for my very wimpy taste but perfect if you enjoy almost thrillers) while I finish up my last minute projects and reading Beach Read when I can to balance out the former. I'm enjoying both aside from the scare factor but reading anything puts me right to sleep these days which I don't mind because Beach Read is light and pleasant and I'm fine sticking to that fluffy genre for the time being.

6. I rounded up some fun gold mirrors over here (dupes for this mirror, if you will) and some impressive Amazon rugs over here and am side eying all of the sales going on this weekend. I'm hoping this rug goes on sale and wouldn't mind if this one dropped a little more either .... let a dreamer dream. You know you're a real good time when you're scouring the patio furniture sales like a hungry hawk but I am and I'm okay with it. Patio furniture has come a long way, that's for sure!

7. I never thought LOFT could outdo itself on the sale front but somehow they are this weekend and I'll always find it hard to resist their perfect selection of sunglasses. Always. I'm also loving this dress, this top, and of course my favorite joggers of ALL time. Lots of pretty espadrilles on sale over here which might be one of my favorite parts of summer - second only to the weather ;) And I ordered the toiletry bag taking the ig world by storm and I have to say that it is as amazing as everyone claims. Mom's honor.

Have a great 3 day weekend!!!

xoxo, gp

May flowers

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02 May 2020

1. Re: title -- April didn't have many showers so I'm hoping May doesn't either but we'll see ... we shall see. As shared on IG but I did finally finish this wall and am glad I decided to wait until I found (what I thought) was the perfect wallpaper. Our house doesn't have any stark white (mostly because the trim is very yellowy-beige) so it was tough to find a design that didn't incorporate a super cool/crisp white but Target, of all places, to the off white rescue. The design is SUPER forgiving and if I didn't line the panels up perfectly it's almost impossible to tell (to my design blind eye) and in the event that we have a girl and she eventually gets this room I think it's pretty darn gender neutral. Alright, enough about THAT forever, alright? Alright.

2. We're closing in on a little over 2 weeks (or actually 12 days as a dear friend texted me this morning) left of distance learning (remote learning? home schooling?) and while I wouldn't say our routine is exhaustive or rigorous I think we'll all be a little bit relieved when we cross the finish line. I'm hopeless at teaching the kids new concepts (thankfully Simon is quite a bit more skilled in this arena) and am trying not to imagine a fall semester at home for this reason alone but - let's get through the summer first, G.

3. I got Jen Fulwiler's new book, Your Blue Flame in the mail last week and blew threw it. I'm normally a fiction gal and steer clear of any sort of self-help books (I don't think this would qualify as one, actually but it's not my preferred genre) and now want to casually give a copy to everyone I know because it was so GOOD. Inspiring without trying to be and super entertaining/hilarious to boot. Recommend x 10.

4. Just one day shy of 35 weeks (because that sounds SO much better than 34 weeks - you know? you do) and feeling better than I have in previous weeks? I'm thinking maybe the baby dropped since my heartburn is down to a dull roar vs the bonfire that had been blaring before. My sciatica is also feeling a lot more bearable and I'm sleeping through the night which hasn't always been the case. Party emoji. I'm making mental lists of things I can get done before my due date and hoping some name inspiration strikes soon as we're still coming up sort of short. We do need a new infant car seat so if you have any recommendations (we'd previously always needed a super slim model to fit all the car seats in the car but with a much bigger van now - the car seat world is my oyster!) - I'm all eyes!

5. I know I've blogged about this site before (no way, shape, or form sponsored) but was shocked to log-in and find that I had racked up hundreds of dollars of gift cards (I generally only use it on my laptop but am realizing I should be using it on my phone too) so if you don't use it to find coupon and discount codes (which it does quite well!) - I highly recommend you do! It pays off.

6. These shorts were (still are!) a favorite of mine a few summers ago so took advantage of the sale and bought them a couple sizes up for the postpartum summer. I was intrigued by the old school look of these shoes until I realized they are actually mens but ... that shouldn't stop me? Right? Even though it's warming up I've been living in these jeans and these pants (not at the same time - ha Ha HA) despite not loving maternity pants in general - they're both comfortable and as flattering as things can be in the home stretch.

7. Julia has been asking for denim overall shorts and I finally found a pair that isn't frayed to shreds (says she who just bought frayed shorts for herself) and are a super play-friendly length. She loves them too - win/win. I've been mixing this primer with this illuminating lotion in place of any sort of foundation or tinted moisturizer and etc and it's a super duper winning combo (in my book!). Giving these sandals a try for the little boys this summer - the velcro sold me and so far so good but hopefully they don't break in a matter of days :)

Alright, we're in tackling project mode so back I go!

Happy Saturday!

hello, it's us

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20 April 2020

1. Checking in from week 5 (starting week 5?) of quarantine - I hope you all are doing well and staying safe and healthy. I think we've settled into a decent routine and the schooling situation is going fine (we are doing almost none of the optional things though - maybe we should) for now. Simon keeps saying we should just plug right on through summer with school of the home variety and while I agree with him in theory - I think the practice itself might be challenging with a new baby on the scene. However, I've always been the pessimist in the relationship so we shall see! He's welcome to one room schoolhouse it up :)

2. The weather seems to have hopefully turned for ~good but I know that as soon as I do the big switch of the kids drawers from cold weather to warm weather clothing - it'll get cold again so I'm holding off for now. I did just get these in-betweenish rompers for the girls and am resisting stating the requisite, "wish it came in my size!" (but I do) My seasonal allergies have flared up quite nicely so that makes me think the sunshine is here to stay but again, I'm not the weather. Phoebe has been very concerned about how her birthday is going to go down (this week!) as if she's ever had a big birthday shebang (usually just family which is always fun) but it looks like at least the weather will be gorgeous and thankfully Amazon pulled through with much earlier than anticipated delivery dates for her gifts. Party emoji.

3. I did a home tour via IG story on the Everyday Mamas IG page last week if you want to check it out in their highlights. I had to resist being super chatty and talking every single painted dresser from Facebook Marketplace but it still felt super long. Oops.

4. I'm 33 weeks along and it's crazy to think that if this baby comes when Clement did (they won't! but still) they'd be here in fewer than 3 weeks. I haven't done a stitch of baby laundry or diaper buying or anything of that nature but I'm plugging along on some organizing and projects I was hoping to do pre-baby so the laundry and diapers and checking to see if our infant car seat is expired (prettttty sure it is) can wait another week or two or three. I'm having mostly good days but sometimes I wake up and feel super creeky and a lot more pregnant than I am but we're all healthy and I'm grateful for that! Phoebe says she has different screams ready (one bad, one good) depending on if the baby is a boy or a girl - so it's good to know she's very level-headed about the prospect of a 6th brother joining the mix. Definitely not sponsored as I've happily purchased them myself but I'm always amazed how much better my back feels when I wear these tanks. The subtle support makes a huge difference and I'm eternally grateful for it.

5. I'm reading The Two Lives of Lydia Bird and at first it was giving me Evvie Drake Starts Over vibes (which I adored) but it's turning out to be quite different but I'm still enjoying it. I'm thankfully falling asleep pretty quickly at night so I'm not making the fastest of headway but it's enjoyable if you're in the market for something (semi-sad, warning!) decent to read!

6. I cheated on my favorite place to buy kids clothes for a minute and bought a few pairs of these shorts for the older two boys and really like the length (not capri style but also not super short - the one review threw me because Sebastian is pretty tall and these aren't short on him at all) and quality. They didn't shrink in the wash and even with the drawstrings they look a lot nicer than ye old gym shorts but seem to be just as comfy. Win/win/win. I also bought the girls each a pair of these shorts when they were on sale a few weeks ago and wish they'd drop back down price-wise because they're winners in the quality/comfort book! It's early in 2020 but I'm already calling this my favorite beauty purchase of the year because it has changed my hair for the better which is a feat in an of itself. I could never pull off the, "goes many days between washes" thing even with the help of any and all dry shampoo but this gets my (and Julia's - she's a fan) hair cleaner than it's ever been without stripping it to dry bits. I think it will last a long time too because. teeny tiny bit goes a really long + lathery way.

7. My love for clogs has yet to die so when I saw that Everlane released a pair - they very much stopped me in my scrolling tracks. I'm going to be prudent and wait to make sure my feet are going to de-swell postpartum so as to get the correct size but gosh, they're pretty. And completely unrelated - I started putting together a page for our favorite baby/toddler board books in case you're in the market. I'll add more but it's a start!

Alright, Godspeed in whatever your week might entail!

check it up check it in

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03 April 2020

Battleship Recess

1. Hello again. Hope you're all holding up as well as can be expected! It feels like every day brings new and unexpected news on the Coronavirus front but also nothing is seeming to change? Hopefully that makes sense. We're holding steady staying very much at home with the occasional walk and lots of backyard play. We began distance learning in earnest on Monday and it truly feels like it's been three weeks of subpar, "homeschooling". I've never felt even .01% called to homeschool (as someone who had a great experience being homeschooled) so I guess the silver lining is that it's been a great confirmation that my feelings were spot on. The kids are being real troopers though and dare I say the poor teachers might have it worse trying to suddenly coordinate everything remotely for such young kids? I dare. Anyway, rest assured that if you find yourself trying to teach your kids and/or coordinate zoom calls and/or manage the million other things you've inevitable got going on -- you are doing a MUCH better job than I am. Guaranteed. This book has kept Bosco (4.5) occupied when necessary but I think the little boys are thoroughly enjoying all the extra time to dig in the forbidden grassy areas of the yard while I attempt to teach the others ...

2. Simon and I did join the ranks of the Tiger King audience last week and just couldn't ... look ... away. I'm curious if we weren't under quarantine if it would've held the same appeal? Simon thought it ended on an abrupt and unsatisfying note - ha. I'm still reeling from the whole thing, I think. I'd love to rewatch Friday Night Lights since the last time we watched it was when Julia was a newborn but we're not quite desperate enough to pay for it ... yet!

3. I should be more ashamed to admit that I read Colton's book in one sitting but I think I got my just punishment because it was (whispers) ... not worth my time. I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt during his season but the book did him no favors (in my opinion) and I dove right back into The Dinner List to try to cleanse it from my literary memory.

4. Although the last three weeks have felt like a long three months I still can't believe that next week is Holy Week. Sebastian asked tonight if it was still Lent and so you could say I've fallen a little short on the religion class front. Hopefully we can make up for it next week with uh .... streaming everything Mass/Stations/etc from the comfort of our home - maybe the most bizarre feeling thing about the quarantine? Phoebe has happily stepped up as nursery director while we "attend" church which I have to admit has been quite nice.

5. I'm not quite 31 weeks along but suddenly feel as though I could be 38 weeks and counting. Hopefully it was just an off week but if not ... I will survive. This is my first sciatica heavy pregnancy and for that I am grateful because it's not for the faint of heart ... or back. The kids are all getting excited and the girls are still begging me to find out if it's a he or a she .... the anticipation is killing them (and me - but I would never tell them so).

6. I almost forgot all about Easter candy but I think I did get it ordered in time for actual Easter (fingers crossed) but did stumble upon and order and get this dress (more of a house dress than an Easter dress but isn't it all the same right now?) in the mail - weeks before it's projected arrival date and for that I am eternally grateful because it's perfect for the last couple of months of pregnancy. It runs a little big which is perfect for a non-maternity dress that is being forced into maternity territory. I'm going to get at least one more color. I'd love it not pregnant too but would probably size down to account for the generous fit. And another Amazon win was finally taking the plunge on the rug that everyone seems to have and not caring and am so pleased with it in person. I can see it working in a lot of different colored rooms (I put it in our ~dark navy bedroom) because it has a lot of different colors without looking like a rainbow if that makes sense.

7. Old Navy is having another site wide 50% off sale and I have to admit that their Toddler boy new arrivals are pretty darn cuteThis baby girl swimsuit is adorable and their jean selection is looking as tempting as ever. I'm SO excited about this collaboration and have a sneaking suspicion it's going to sell out superduperfast -- but we'll see. We'll see!

Alright, hope you have a super uneventful weekend!

life in the time of corona

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21 March 2020

1. Last week (feels like last year!) when hanging in the dirt pile next to the gym parking lot didn't feel as luxurious as it does now. I debated keeping any mention of Covid-19 slash Coronavirus out of the title but hopefully I'll see this post title in years to come and have a greater appreciation for everything I took for granted beforehand? Maybe not! I don't know.

2. Hope you're doing as well as can be expected - I'm sure this is looking so different for everyone and I feel lucky we're all able to be at home for the time being and the minor disappointments and inconveniences far outweigh the risks we pose and assume by simply going on living our regular day to day life. Simon has been home as he'd already taken the time off for the kids spring break (this week! and now alllllll the weeks until August and also until we get our distance learning directions from their school - out of sight out of mind is my philosophy for now) which has been so nice and made a huge difference. We're not sure what the weeks will look like moving forward but we're taking things one day at a time! There are lots of great book recommendations for 4th/5th graders over on my ig and I've been told that Audible for kids is free to stream at the moment!

3. We were going a little stir crazy until yesterday when we were gifted with the most gorgeous weather and things felt a lot less hopeless and my gratitude was at an all time high. We woke up to a 40 degree temperature drop but I know it will warm up again and the sunshine will continue to be a literal light in our (totally fine! just a little different now!) lives. Last year I was reluctant to buy a blow up pool for our yard (but I did and it was thee best purchase) and this year I can't wait until we can pull it out again. We might even add a slide.

4. I hit the 3rd trimester milestone somewhere in the thick of all of this and aside from occasional sciatic and insomnia I feel mostly fine. I have a laundry list of house projects I'd like to get done before June but know the majority of them will have to wait which is perfectly fine. The Lovely War and In Five Years have been keeping me company when I can't sleep and I've also started Grace Based Parenting which so far? Pretty good.

5. There were some new things listed over in my Kidizen shop if you'd like to take a peek - the in between weather makes me want to summer-fy every dresser and closet in the house but then I check my March madness self - soon enough! Soon enough.

6. Last day that my favorite machine washable summer kid shoes and are on sale and Old Navy is running a really great 50% off everything sale (couldn't resist this for the little boys and these for the older boys).

7. Again, hope everyone is doing well! I'd love to hear how you're coping/passing the time!

love from the Camp!

Paris in February

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12 March 2020

Alright! Because if anything deserves a dedicated blog post in an era where lots of people consider blogs all but dead (minus me! not me! dedicated blog reader to the bitter but hopefully never end) it's a trip to Paris so here we are and here we go. 

+ I spent a spring semester (aka very frigid few months) at my college's campus in Austria and was able to travel around Europe on the weekends quite a bit for for some reason did not make it to Paris and SO it was such a blast getting to experience it for the first time with the girls. And now I want to go back with Simon when it's just a teeny tiny bit warmer. 

+ I will say that the forecast called for it to rain the entire time and I came prepared with thre perfectly compact umbrellas with loads of 5 star Amazon reviews and used them: ZERO times so if you're in a similar predicament - I wouldn't stress. But, if you're about to travel somewhere where the sun is supposed to shine the entire time -- maybe stress. Kidding. I'm kidding. But, I was anticipating terrible weather and only one day was truly windy and frigid and cold but the magic of being in Paris made up for it, truthfully. 

+ We stayed at the Hotel Le Lapin Blanc which was adorable and very accommodating when our flight landed an hour early and we found ourselves on the streets of Paris a little too long before sunrise and the girls all but fast asleep (because they weren't able to sleep on the flight, I couldn't blame them but uh - wish they did) and they let us nap in an empty room free of charge until we felt rested and more importantly safe to roam about. We were a few blocks from Notre-Dame which was obviously under loads of construction but was still a sight to see and a fun, "first" of the trip. I was initially told we couldn't go inside but then right before we left to come back home - was told oh! actually you could go inside so I'm bummed we didn't. 

+ We did go to the Shrine of the Miraculous Medal which I highly recommend doing if you're in Paris and have the time. The Sisters are the absolutely sweetest and I felt like we bought a lot of the gift shop's inventory but now wish we would've bought double for gifts and for ... ourselves. Next time! Next time. I do wish I would've prepared Phoebe for seeing the incorrupt body of Saint Catherine Laboure but I was so focused on getting there before it closed for the evening that I did ... not. She took it in stride and left the question peppering for after we left, thankfully. 

+ Lauren arranged a brilliant kid-friendly scavenger hunt at the Louvre on our first day which was perfect for the girls. They were in separate groups (according to age) and while it's impossible to see the entire thing in one afternoon - I felt like we got a really great interactive trip that ended with seeing the Mona Lisa and the girls getting a little gift/memento which is obviously their love language. This was the "roughest" day on the jet lag front as they were fading fast around 5pm so we got some food at a deli down the street, had a little picnic in our room, and called it a night. 

+ I'm not going to turn this into a retroactive itinerary of our trip, worry not.

+ We also enjoyed seeing Monet's Water Lilies, a tour of the Royal Apartments at Versailles, a golf cart excursions of the grounds of Versailles (I wouldn't mind spending a day on foot in the gardens but this was our one truly cold and bitterly windy day and we were pressed for time so, golf cart it was!), going to not-the-the-top of the Eiffel Tower which was perfectly fine with the girls thanks to the wind, and multiple dining establishments. The girls were also treated to macaron making lessons which was definitely very high on their highlight list!

+ We went to Mass at the Basilique de Sacre Coeur where Phoebe almost received her First Communion from a well-meaning French speaking (duh) priest but I intervened like the buzzkill that I am. We wandered around MontMartre (photos with pink building above - and where I fully expected Belle to come waltzing and singing around the bend!) and ate our favorite meal of the trip: a Nutella and strawberry crepe from a street vendor (and we ate a LOT of good food!). The girls still talk about it. I still think about it. No words will do it justice so I'll stop but it was so good.

+ As much as I missed Simon and the boys I kept thinking what great ages the girls were for the trip since Phoebe is very firmly out of nap/stroller age, Julia will have vivid memories of our time together (Phoebe's will be murkier but thankfully I have 9238472347 phone photos to crystalize the memories), and they're still young enough that even the snacks and little bottles of water on the flights excited them to no end. Simon and I have tried very hard to impress upon the girls that a trip to Paris is an enormous privilege (and one we owe to Lauren for the invite) at any age but especially at their age and we hope that they'll understand that to a greater degree as they get older.

+ Overall, it was the most wonderful 5/6 days (4 days in Paris and 2 days of travel) that I'll never forget. We can't wait to find out if it was a full on girls trip or if we had a little brother tagging along for the ride ... soon enough!!

+ Oh! I do have to add that we used Land Sky See to book our flights and saved almost $1000 in doing so. I have no affiliation with them but they came highly recommended by Lauren and I'm SO glad we went that route! 

in like a lamb

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06 March 2020

1. Greetings from one of the most gorgeous first weeks of March I've ever experienced here in Kansas. Not that I have many Kansas springs under my belt but this one is far and away been the most beautiful in terms of weather. Am I expecting a lion-like exit? Absolutely. But, if we coast right on into summer floating around the 50s and 60s .. I will not complain. At all. Hopefully your weather has been equally cooperative because it does a sun-starved human a whole lot of good.

2. The rug for the boys room came (pictured above) and it's a little lighter than I anticipated but overall I'm pleased and honestly I am not sure the boys even noticed the switch which is ... not surprising. I'm in the middle of painting a small hallway with chalkboard paint (as a sort of gallery to hang all of the kids artwork and hopefully redirect Abe's enthusiasm for drawing on white walls ...) and I'm one week in and maybe halfway finished. I blame Clement's penchant for getting into everything at the moment and Simon blames the tiny roller I've been using. We can both be right just this once, I suppose.

3. Kate wrote the most fun baby naming post for us and gave us a lot of food for thought. We're still not nearly decided on names but Simon says we still have a long way to go which is sadly very true.

4. It's rare for me because I love the show so much but I couldn't get through the WTA episode of the Bachelor this week. Luckily, Lauren provided the most entertaining recap imaginable and I'm allll ready for the finale on Monday + Tuesday. Lucky us.

5. I finished Before We Were Yours (ill-fitting title and cover, in my unprofessional opinion) and if I were to ever organize slash facilitate a book club this would be high on my list of books to read. It was really tough to read but also one of those books I couldn't put down. I don't know if I can read about the true atrocities behind the Tennessee Children's Home Society because reading the fictitious tales was difficult enough but we'll see. In the mean time I'm on the hunt for something new to read if you've got any suggestions!

6. While Easter is definitely not quite around the corner I'm still scoping out Easter garb for the kids and was surprised by this cute selection. Paired with this or this? Very cute. I'm rarely let down by the boys dressier clothing selection here but am looking for a suit for Sebastian's First Communion and might just let that double as as Easter outfit. I just might.

7. If I wasn't at the mercy of maternity (or at least bump friendly) maternity clothes I would have a hard time passing up this dress especially being half off at the moment.  This one might work for maternity ... I love the navy/pink combo. I haven't tried it yet but I'm a big fan of the sneaker/dress trend and love the look of these dupes (instead of their pricier partner) and just might have to jump on the bandwagon sooner rather than later.

Have a wonderful and hopefully sunny weekend!!

rug roundup {blue edition}

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28 February 2020

I'm still waiting for our Paris pics to put up a dedicated Paris post but in the mean time I've been taking stock of the super unnecessary things I'd like to do around the house before the baby comes. I've got some painting (of the room not artistic variety) on the horizon but there are also a few rugs that I'd like to replace after playing 100 rounds of musical rugs around the house. First up? The boys room. 

I'm in the market to replace this one (or maybe just move it to a less traffic heavy part of the house). I think something a little darker that shows less um - dirt - would work better in their blue room.  I love the look of both this one and this one but it goes without saying that do NOT love those prices - especially for a kids room. Or any room, honestly. I used to have great luck searching vintage rugs here but was shocked to see how much pricier they are today than they were a few years ago so  I quickly abandoned that idea. If you've ever purchased an area rug you know that the options are endless and downright overwhelming so only let myself look at a couple thousand before narrowing it down to these few. I love this collection of rugs but didn't see the exact color I was hoping but found quite a few that I loved and listed here ...

1. blue shag rug with tassels - I don't think a shag rug is super practical for the boys room but I do love the look and feel of shag rugs in the right spaces (which might be zero with little kids, honestly). I'm not an expert but it feels like an easy way to warm up a room, right? Right. 

2. vintage castle medallion - I toyed with going a more charcoal/black route since the boys bunk bed is black but since I found so many great blue options I decided against it but this was my top charcoal choice. 

3. persian medallion - I wanted something a little darker but kept this one bookmarked for maybe another room/area because it's a really pretty neutral pattern (apparently blue is the new green in interiors? don't quote me on that but I still really love green ... ). 

4. blue withering medallion with fringe - This is the one I ended up ordering after "trying" it in their room with the handy virtual tool. I think the shade of the blue will work perfectly with the blue walls and black bed. I still have a very colorful rug over on Abe's side of the room and I think this complements it well. I hope.

5. beige worn medallion (also super cool blue version) - the mom in me knows this would've hidden dirt the best but didn't think it was quite right for their room. Another one to keep in mind for another time though ...

6. dark blue coventry - this was a VERYclosesecond choice and I'm still hoping I made the right decision. I think I might go with the blue version (that totally looks green) for Clement's room though.  It seems to strike the classic/modern balance well, in my expert opinion.

Any fun rugs you've come across? I debated getting this one because every time I see it online I pause for a moment of admiration but I think sticking to blue was the right choice - I hope!

back in action

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24 February 2020

1. The girls and I are back from our epic Paris trip and when we get the better photos back (our fearless leader Lauren had the bright idea to hire a photographer and her photos will surely trump all of my phone pics!) I'll have to throw a little recap/takeaway at you. It felt wildly imprudent (it actually was totally fine!) to leave 5 kids (and a husband!) behind for 5 days but Simon wouldn't take no for an answer and the girls and I had the most wonderful time and I'm so glad I didn't listen to myself. However, my mom asked Phoebe what she thought of France and Phoebe replied that there were a lot of smokers and statues of naked people (true and true) .. so hopefully she gleaned some slightly shinier memories too!

2. The day after we came back we got our third snow dump of the season which, as always: was pretty but I still didn't like it. At all. I'm back to staring at the 10 day forecast and holding tight to those ~50 degree days even if they never come into fruition. I've started to make sure the kids all have swimsuits that fit for the summer which might be a smart move but also might be a stupidly hopeful one to worry about in February - laughlaugh.

3. I flew through Jessica Simpson's book on the flight and while it won't be everyone's cup of tea I found it completely fascinating and as the young kids say these days, "I'm a stan" of hers now. I'm having trouble getting through Unfollow maybe because the shock factor was kind of taken away after reading Educated? I don't know - it's a really well written book but feels just familiar enough that the intrigue is missing (for me!) a bit at the moment. I picked up Before We Were Yours and it looks really good but I'll admit the jet lag is still taking it's toll and I've been falling asleep really early this week.

4. I watched lots of the Love Is Blind episodes on our flight home and didn't love it but also couldn't look away? Wow. If I can convince Simon to finish up the season with me - I might have to do just that. Otherwise, I might be okay leaving well enough alone. Maybe not though! It was compelling at some points .... I guess :) And I'm officially split between team Madison and team Hannah Ann as we head into the final month of the Bachelor. Hannah Ann has really grown on me but I really love Madison too. It seems like there is a bit of a push to make Kelsey the next bachelorette which is crazy to think how far she's come since champagne gate.

5. How amazing is this artistic flower series? I could scroll through again and again and again!!

6. I got a few emails that the link to the amazing Old Navy pants was broken - I'm so sorry! I'll admit I ordered them and despite being 25 weeks pregnant I can tell that they run big (or they will on my non-pregnant self) and to definitely size down! They are a really substantial material though and can definitely be dressed way up or down. I really love them.

7. I wore my new boots all over Paris with virtually no break-in time and thankfully have nothing but glowing reports to give. The girls boots worked out perfectly - kept their feet both dry and comfy which was greatly appreciated. I'm still living in my Amazon shirts and as much as I can't wait for the weather to warm up - I'll miss them when it's too hot to wear them. I'm having fun browsing floral dresses for Easter (this one! So pretty!) but will realistically wear something I already own - although it's always fun to look!

Hope you have a wonderful last week of February and smooth start to Lent!

quick + clean

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13 February 2020

Other than Bosco insisting we needed to buy a new toilet and a riding lawn mower (no and ... would be nice but, no) taking all the boys to Lowes went surprisingly well. Color me pleasantly surprised.

1. Alright, we're plowing through February (someone actually ordered class Valentines before they were mostly sold out on Amazon, learned that lesson the hard way in years past) and while March might be my least favorite month (it feels like it should be nearing spring but it's still pretty darn cold and it feels almost as long as January, in my pessimistic opinion) I won't mind when she comes round the calendar mountain this year. Simon remarked that while winter isn't nearly as fun as summer - it hasn't been a terrible winter on the weather front I had to (begrudgingly) agree. Will I always spend the first paragraph of every blog post talking about the weather? I hope not. I'll stop. Now.

2. Let's move onto the next most exciting thing: a pregnancy update. Cackle. 23 weeks and starting to feel a lot larger than I should. Phoebe remarks almost daily with wide eyes how big the baby is (aka - how big I am) and even Clement has stopped to stare at his growing sibling when I go to get him out of his crib. I'm really excited for the weather to warm up so I can take daily walks outside although the treadmill is a decent substitute and I'm eternally grateful for the gym childcare that makes said substitute possible. Simon and I are at a name standstill while he says we still have lots of time left (agreed) but that we could reduce 50% off the discussion but just finding out the gender. Ha. Ha. Ha. I do spend many a late night/early morning perusing my favorite name site just for fun ...

3. I started Unfollow yesterday and it has a lot of Educated undertones (not a complaint) so I'm glad I read some books in between the two because they are both a little heavy. Having worked ever so briefly in Topeka, it's really interesting to read and revisit certain spots in my cobwebbed memory. I'm really hoping to find some good books (this one caught my eye!) to read on our upcoming trip but am super tempted to read Jessica's literary debut too. SUPER tempted.

4. While it would be easy to hop on the, "worst season ever" bandwagon that seems to have permeated Bachelor nation - I have to admit that I'm dying to know how the seasons turns out. Lauren made me laugh out loud multiple times with her recap - as usual! Simon and I started the Jack Ryan series on Amazon and he's loving it but it's a little too violent for me so I watch with one eye half open.

5. While I'm at a standstill on buying maternity clothing (I don't need anything at all and I mostly live in leggings anyway!) but my eye has wandered over to the non-maternity sections of splendor and this Loft top stopped me in my scroll and it IS 40% off at the moment. Tempting! Old Navy is starting to roll out their spring things and these pants look like a more comfy version of some Madewell/Everlane wide leg pants to me! And I couldn't resist this gingham suit for the girls bc I'm a sucker for gingham and the bottoms would look great with their navy rash guard - win/win.

6. My "hack" for finding lined ankle rain boots for the girls was putting these soles in these boots. Are they fully lined? No - but they are significantly more comfortable and have passed the initial rainy day tests so hopefully they work well on rainy travel days. I even "made" a pair for myself with the women's version of the boots and can vouch for the comfort. Okay - I promise not to type about boots again (until the fall) - AFTER I'm finished with take numero seven!

7. Happy to report my year(s) long search for black boots has come to a close and I settled on the pair I think I tried on at the very beginning. I just kept comparing every pair to this one and ultimately like the angle at the top - which is really how one should pick out a pair of boots (they are comfortable and fit really well but - details!). These were a superclose second but ultimately returned them after debating the differences (the penny boots are just a bit more comfortable) for far longer than I should.

Alright! Have a great weekend and wonderful Valentines Day! I'll report back when we return from our trip!!

on the eve of February

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31 January 2020

the kids were confused why they had school when it "snowed" ... also Bosco and I have varying levels of love/hate for said snow

1. 89 cheers for the last day of January. I think February is happy to have its moment in the spotlight because it's going to be almost 70 (!!!!!!) on Sunday - a miraculous temperature I haven't been stalking for the last 8 days, definitely not. Are we looking ahead at the snow in the forecast on Tuesday? Also definitely not. I don't think I look at the weather app at all during the warmer months but it feels like I check it hourly during these colder months as if it's going to suddenly change for the less sad.

2. The girls and I do have a once in a life time type of trip planned with Lauren in a couple of weeks so this winter might go down as one of the better (best?) ones to date! I'll keep you overly posted. The weather looks similarish to here so I'm over thinking shoes and coats and clothing and will probably still pack all of the wrong things. When I'm old and grown I'm going to invent a normal colored lined kids ankle rain boot that isn't super heavy with non-slip bottoms  (these look close-ish but the price tag does not). Mark my typed words.

3. I finished The Dream Daughter this week and I can't remember the last time I stayed up so stupidly late to finish a book. So many herky jerky twists and turns (the good kind) and while I don't think I ever would've picked it out on my own - I'm glad I read it. You know I'm always looking for new meal ideas and Emily's brand new cookbook is an answer to meal prayers + the proceeds go to thee most wonderful cause! Win/win/WIN.

4. Did you see that the Crown will "end" in 2003? Selfishly, I'm not pleased but I can't complain because the next two seasons are sure to be just as great as the first three. However, I was looking forward to seeing how the recent split would be played out ... I'll survive. I think. I did enjoy the special ABC aired on Wednesday night on Harry and Meghan - I'll take what I can get.

5. I'm not sure where I've been but I only recently discovered this gorgeous shop. Julia and Sebastian are starting to grow out of the kid-kid (technical name) sizes and I feel completely lost as we (slowly!) approach the tween years style but am hoping I can sneak a few seasons of this goodness in before they officially grow out of their sizes!

6. This is a strong statement but this might be my best Amazon purchase to date. Clement is completely obsessed with it and we try to reserve it to keep him happy in the car and at Mass and it works like an absolute charm. I even bought an extra + the keychain version because I'm so amazed at his undying love for the seemingly simple toy. And now I'm wondering what other Fat Brain toys he might love ...

7. I've been looking for a moto jacket and was thrilled to see this one at Nordstrom Rack earlier this week. I won't be able to zip it up until the fall but still! It's very cute. I also love these shorts (they look much shorter on the model than they are IRL) and was happy to see them on sale to size up for the postpartum months of summer delight. LOFT is having an extra 50% off all sale styles sale (say that 3x fast) and this adorable top caught my eye along with this cardigan. The Zella pocket leggings have ruined me and now I must have pockets on all of my leggings and I've been very pleasantly surprised by these. They'll be great for the warmer weather with the calf ventilation too. ha Ha HA.

Have a phenomenal weekend! Go Chiefs!!

and so this is still January

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20 January 2020

1. Even though last week seemed to fly by it still feels like we should be a teeny bit closer to February than we are which feels about right for January, you know? You do. The appropriately awful January weather is upon us and I find myself checking the 10 day forecast before I do anything else in the morning with the hope that we'll have another 60 degree miracle. No such luck, yet.

2. I hit the 20 week mark this weekend and had the big ultrasound this morning. Simon and the girls really wanted to find out the gender but I held strong (although Julia confesses she peeked). We'll find out in a very short and painless ~4.5 months ... patience, young + old grasshoppers. I had been feeling decent so eased up on my nausea medicine but have paid the price this week and am back to praising the wonders of western medicine. This is the latest I've felt this crummy (which is not to complain! I have it very easy compared to so many!!) and I'm going to blame my age ha.

3. I read the super sweet, In The Moonlight this past week and recommend if you're looking for something relatively light and zippy. I just started The Dream Daughter as part of Abbie's February book club and it's feeling less light but already very engaging and I'm super intrigued thus far. I also started watching the Netflix Documentary, "Cheer" and ... can't stop. Even Simon looks up from his book and admits it's really interesting. I'd recommend it but I think everyone has already watched it!

4. Kidizen very kindly made me my own link to the clothes I'm selling - lots have already sold but there are lots left and more to be listed! Hopefully that's less confusing that what I tried to explain last week. My apologies!!

5. As our Lego collection grows (and grows!!) I'm starting to think beyond the big plastic bin the boys lug all over the house. I really do love how much (especially Bosco) enjoys building, "machines" but think I'd love them more with a setup like this ... isn't it lovely? It is.

6. I've been struggling on the dinner front lately. I made two meals I was sure would be hits with mostly everyone but they were not (to put it politely) so if you have any great dinner ideas you'd like to share - I'm all ears/eyes. I think I've linked these before but they're worth a relink - if you have Reeses lovers in your house - these are sure to be a huge hit.

7. The LOFT sale caught my eye (is it just me or do the January sales feel even better than the ~black Friday stuff?) esp these sunglasses, this dress, and this sweater (use code: FLASH for 50% off). And J.Crew seems to really be cleaning house with their markdowns and I'm not complaining. And finally I'm wondering if these boots will be the boots to end my black boot search? I'm hoping!!

Have a wonderful rest of the week!!

and so this is January ...

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10 January 2020

... and you might have to suffer through a few more weeks of Christmas pictures because my super talented sister-in-law took too many great snaps not to share with the masses.

1. The above photo is from a fun book exchange we did with the grandkids on Simon's side of the family (he has four siblings - all married or almost married so five couples total and ten grandkids total so each couple drew two names and gifted a book to the niece(s) or nephew(s) they drew! It was really fun - I highly recommend) shortly before Christmas. Simon's sister made one heck of a feast and we put a Christmas movie on for the kids (already in their pajamas - genius idea that was not mine) and I think a yearly tradition was born! Did you want to know all of that? I think you did.

2. There's a new and updated prayer for Amber over here if you scroll down to the January 7th update in the event that you have some prayer time to spare!

3. I can't not touch on the weather because it was the most beautiful 60 degree day yesterday and I was in figurative heaven but tomorrow's forecast is predicting snow and lots of it. In another life I will get excited about snow but I've already gotten super stuck in the snow in our notsmall van this winter and I'd be happy not to see it again for a long, long time (and we don't even get it that often). Anyway, it's appropriate to start wishing for spring in late March/early April - not early January but maybe if I just whisper the wish ... maybe it will listen.

4. Listen, I know the Bachelor/ette franchise is not everyone's thing but it was a GEM of a premiere this past Monday. Simon reluctantly watched it with me and was even feeling strongly about Hannah's reappearance at the end of the episode (we have differing feelings on the matter - mine are the correct ones.) I don't think Peter and Hannah are back together but I would love it if they were. My favorite off the bat (and she was given the gift of an incredible edit and date) was Madison but time will tell as I still don't feel like I know 75% of their names. Sharleen's recap echoed a lot of my thoughts and I'm just really excited for the season. I tried to edit this overeager paragraph down but I can't.

5. I'm selling (with the help of an awesome style scout - shout out to Shara!) some gently used (sometimes new!) kids + mom clothing over on Kidizen if you want to check it out. I peruse the app almost daily and have gotten lots of the kids clothes and shoes there!

6.  Amazon find of the week was this lilac-esque nail polish. I usually go for dark or super light barely there colors but this is a fun in between one that isn't too purple-y but is still deemed fun enough that the girls have requested it. Definitely recommend if you're in the market for a new nail hue.

7. I really REALLY love and wanted this dress when it first came out but it sold out almost immediately but I guess I'm glad I was forced to wait because now it's on sale + an additional 50% off. Woo to the hoo. I promise to never type that again, apologies. My very favorite leggings are still 40% off (maternity version too!) and I finally settled on a winter coat after trying on and returning more than I should admit.

I just discovered that Amazon has the BBC Little Women 3 part series on Prime right now so I'll let you guess what we'll be doing tonight! Wild, as always.

Have a good one!

bonus pic that Becca took of our house (plus her dog, Truman!) on Christmas day. Every year we promise we'll get a new (faux) tree since this one is covered in dead lights and every year ... we don't Keep us honest, 2020.


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