Books, Books, Books.

posted on: Friday, February 27, 2015

You know what there is to do four (almost five) months in to winter? Nothing. Pretty much nothing when you have a brand new baby and a whole stack of medical bills to keep you from straying too far from home. Next year when she's older, doing more during these sub zero months will be easier and a lot more practical, but this year we've mostly just been staying home. 

Not that I'm complaining. Staring at a baby all day is pretty high on my list of favorite ways to spend a Saturday. I knew having a November due date that this quiet period would follow. Happily home bound with our purse strings squeezed a little tighter than normal for the season. With that in mind, I'm just trying my best to enjoy the slow, the quiet, the predictable days while they last. 

What you can do four (almost five) months in to winter is read, of course. Or listen. Or a combination of both, which is what I prefer. I usually have one audio book cued up and one paper back/kindle on the nightstand at the same time. Although I admit the audiobooks get finished a whole lot quicker since you can listen while cooking dinner, folding laundry or heating up that millionth cup of hot chocolate. Here's what I've been up to lately.


This one is right in the vein of The Fault In Our Stars. Young adult, tragic, heart breaking stuff. I can't say I loved it, because it's kind of a hard story to love, but the ending got me good.

Wowza. This book totally lived up to all the hype. How is this really someone's life? It makes you fully appreciate how resilient the human spirit can be even under seemingly impossible circumstances. It called to mind the first time I read Man's Search for Meaning. Very inspiring. Also, (captain obvious here) wars are just generally a terrible idea. Just throwing that out there.
This one came recommended to me from a friend (hiya Kate!) and I really, really liked it. This is so out of the realm of things I typically read. First of all, it's written by a man and I typically gravitate toward female authors 95% of the time. And it felt like it was a man's man kind of book, but also totally great. It's a thriller/mystery and had a few good plot twists and shocking moments. Highly recommend it.

Here's another author I'm embarrassed to admit it's taken me 31 years to get around to reading. Didion's writing is all about the craft. She's a writer's writer. The story and structure were interesting, following the downward spiral of a Hollywood starlet and underscoring the emptiness and superficiality life in LA has come to represent. But to be honest, it's so far removed from my actual life and experiences that I kind of just observed it from afar. That said, I'm totally up for more and I've got Slouching Toward Bethlehem cued up and ready to go next.

This one I really enjoyed. But then again anything Rachael recommends is bound to be good. An unfurling mystery and a walk back though time, full of secrets and aha moments.  It was just really fun. Plus, I happen to live in a hundred year old house and it made me think about all those people who have inhabited it before us and what stories this house would tell if the walls could talk.

Whoa, this one. You guys, I was totally not ready for that ending. I am not going to give anything away here but hooooooly mooooooly. So this book was one of the Daily Deals on Audible and was purchased on a whim. I hadn't heard about it before but mention Frank Lloyd Wright and I'm in. It's a novel but it follows the true life of FLW's mistress, Mamah Borthwick. It's based on true events so don't go googling her if you don't want spoilers. I'd definitely recommend this one. It delivered so much more than I expected.
And that's all for now. I'm currently reading The Maze Runner, dystopic YA lit, so you know I'm into it. What have you all been reading?

February, so far

posted on: Wednesday, February 25, 2015

February, how do I always seem to forget about you? You are the woooooorst. There we were chugging along, happily making the most of this last bit of winter and then, BAM, everyone is down for the count. The baby got her first cold, Wes had to miss a day of school for a fever, Josh got sick next and I just thought... what in the hell is going on around here? And then I remembered, oh right, February.

^^^ This is how we feel about February ^^^

Besides the mandatory illnesses we've had below zero temperatures for weeks now, multiple feet of snow (resulting in more snow days than I count), one car accident and cabin fever that is OFF THE CHARTS.

But, this month is the birth month of a couple of my favorite people, and there's valentine's day. Josh and I did manage to sneak up to Cleveland for a show at Playhouse Square that night, so that was something. The little ones also brought home the sweetest valentine's day crafts and we had fun making valentines for their friends/classmates and some special ones to mail out to our loved ones whom we don't see nearly enough.
I know it's already two weeks after the fact, but let's just ignore how late I am with these photos. It is February after all, I'm gonna need a little slack.

^^^heart shaped pancakes for breakfast with pink food coloring and sprinkles stirred in^^^

Only four days til March, guys. We're almost there.

Our Newborn Photos

posted on: Friday, February 20, 2015

ever iris 
eight days new


Three Months Old

posted on: Friday, February 6, 2015

My sweet Ever Iris is three months old today. Three months! She's moved out of the sleepy newborn stage and every day is slowly coming more and more "online" as Josh likes to call it. She smiles and coos and even gave us her first laugh the other morning. Which we now devote the entirety of our days trying to get her to replicate. She is the dreamiest little thing I have ever known. She's eternally happy and for that I am so, so grateful. A third child all the way, so easy going and fun.
At three months old she:
  • Weighs in around 16-17 lbs last I checked, putting her in the 99th percentile for weight. She has the most delicious little chubby cheeks and thighs. You should see the rolls on these thighs you guys. Also, she's already wearing size 6-9 months clothing. I'm a goner for a fat baby and this one about does me in on the daily.
  • Doesn't need or take a pacifier anymore, but loves chewing on her hands and drools like crazy.
  • Is really starting to try to roll over but hasn't quite gotten it yet. She also rocks tummy time and can lift her whole chest off the ground now.
  • Has accumulated quite the array of nicknames including but not limited to: Ever Mouse, Evvie, Everlasting Love (that one comes courtesy of Grandpa Nick) and Ever Bean which quickly devolved in to the inevitable Katniss Ever Bean (obvs.)
  •  Nursing like a champ and does really well taking bottles of pumped milk for babysitters or Josh. 
  • Co-sleeping with us and is the BEST sleeper. Goes down around 10pm and will sleep until about 7 or 8am if left undisturbed, waking once or twice to eat but falling immediately back to sleep. (I totally just jinxed this whole thing didn't I?) 
  • Smells like heaven. Milky baby breath + Dreft detergent + Baby Magic soap = my happy place.
  • Has the longest, prettiest eyelashes already. Oren level long. Where do these kids of mine get these lashes? I don't know but I'll take it.
She's just an absolute dream baby, truly. I can't believe how lucky I am and can't fathom what I ever did to deserve all this. I still can't believe she's really here some days, after hoping for her for so long. After wondering if she was out there somewhere waiting for us. And now here she is, three months earth side. Three months of bringing us unbelievable joy and contentment. She's just the perfect fit into our family, our missing piece.

Ever's Room, Before + After

posted on: Sunday, February 1, 2015

Today I wanted to share photos of baby girl's finished bedroom if you'd care to take a peek. I feel like it's been so long since we've done any real improvements on the house considering that for about the last year or so I've been either sick and tired, heavily pregnant or taking care of a newborn. So getting her room finally finished has been a really big goal of mine. You may remember the "before" post I did awhile back and I ended up sticking pretty closely to the furniture plan and mood board I put together at the time. I ended up changing out the light I'd had in mind for something bigger and switched out the side table for something cuter, but otherwise I pretty much stuck to the plan. Here are a few photos to jog your memory in case you don't remember what it looked like before.

And here it is now!

If you remember when we started overhauling this space we had no idea if our little one was going to be a boy or a girl. So, outside of the basic gender neutral furniture pieces I'd selected, this room was sitting pretty empty up until just a couple of months ago. Once she arrived and we knew our baby girl was, in fact, a girl, I started gathering accessories to start layering in. I don't feel like I went overly girly in here, but after two boys I have to admit it was fun to play around with a few accessories that were more on the feminine side of things for a change. Most importantly though it just feels like a bright, happy and energetic space when you walk through the door instead of the depressing, dark box it was before. Architecturally speaking Ever's room is definitely the most boring room in our house (sorry baby!) with just four square walls and a single window. So, it was a bit of a challenge to spice it up without any of the fun architectural details found elsewhere in our house that I normally have in my corner helping bolster the design. (Like Oren's amazing wall of windows or Wes's fun room shape and built-ins.) But baby girl does have her own attached full bath, so don't go feeling too sorry for her yet ;)

Anyway, I'm pretty happy with the final product. I'm dreaming of someday switching out the tasseltry hanging over the crib for a huge, colorful wall weaving ala Maryanne Moodie, but I haven't found just the right thing quite yet (I also don't have those Maryanne Moodie dollas quite yet either if you know what I'm saying ;) but when I do, you'll be the first to know.

Source list: crib, bookshelf, rocker, side tables, pouf, pillow on rocker, throw on rocker, doll on rocker, table lamp, bunny bust on wall, hexagon shelves on wall, elephant basket, quilt on crib, ombre pillow in crib,  bear pillow in crib, bunny doll in crib, rectangular area rug, round rug, tasseltry above crib, mobile, baskets on top of bookshelf, triangle garland, sheep pillow, wolf print, giraffe print, print on wall, window shade, bamboo chandelier. The dresser and mirror were thrifted and came as a set. Instead of buying a new mirror I saved a few bucks by using the existing and just painting it gold. The sheep blanket was handmade for Ever by her great grandmother, but you can find the pattern here. The globe is vintage and everything else were just books and things I already had lying around or bought on sale at Target or West Elm. Paint color is Benjamin Moore, OC-17, white dove.

We also made over Ever's little attached bath as well. The tile and fixtures aren't my favorite but they're also not bad so we just gave the room a little cosmetic touching up for now. We painted out the walls, trim and ceiling and got some new hand towels and a new bath mat. We replaced the outlets and covers, robe hooks and toilet paper holder. We also finally got a pair of updated sconces in here which are super fun for a kid's bathroom. The before pictures are pretty terrible, but here's what I've got.


Source List: sconces are from Onefortythree (gloss white finish with teak veneer options), wall paint color is Teresa's Green by Farrow & Ball, trim and ceiling color is Benjamin Moore, OC-17, white dove.

***Post Edit: See Ever's room over on Apartment Therapy as well!***

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