Thursday, July 5, 2012


For the two or three days preceding the 4th of July, Everleigh's been talking about it with comments like "Is it the fourth of July yet Mommy?" or "I want to play at Riverfest".  What can I say? She's a very patriotic girl :)

Well, we are in full-on heat wave mode here in Missouri right now, with heat indexes topping out at 100+ each day. But this did not deter us from celebrating July 4th in the sunshine. Oh no it did not. 

First, we took Everleigh to a local public garden we all love for some pretty scenes of flowers, plants, and fountains. Then we met up with Scott's family and went down to the annual Riverfest KC, where we hung out for about an hour (there was live music, a bouncy house for kids, pony rides, etc.) until we all decided it was a bit too hot and dry. Then we made out way back home for a cookout with family and friends.

After filling our bellies, we hung out for a bit and then ventured back into the night to see the Riverfest's fireworks display--one we've enjoyed for several years running. This year was the best I've ever seen. We laid out blanket near the river and relaxed until the fireworks began. Everleigh was thrilled. At one point, she said "I want to see this myself", and she moved further away from us to sit in her puppy chair. I guess she needed a little personal space to really soak it in. She kept saying "wow! This is NEAT!" and "look at the blue one!". During the grand finale, when it got super loud, she ran over and sat in her Daddy's lap while watching with an ear-to-ear grin.

It was perfect. Just perfect. In fact, SO perfect that I didn't even stop to take pictures. I think it was one of those times you just had to experience without looking through a lens. Hope you all had a nice time with family too!

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Lately I've been struggling to get into blogger mode. The truth is, since moving our internet connection is "on the border of a dead zone", so our connection pretty much sucks. This makes blogging, adding pics to facebook, etc feel like a giant 2-hour long chore rather than a way to share fun snippets with family and friends. I'm working on it and we should have a solution soon. So... sorry for the long boring stretches of nothingness.

 If I'm totally honest, I also feel that as Everleigh gets older, my writing and blog topics may have to change a bit as well. I will likely not do monthly posts anymore, and instead will do quarterly updates...babies just change at a way faster rate than toddlers and I don't want you guys to feel like I'm writing the same things over and over each month. I'm also working on incorporating more recipes, lifestyle pieces, and posts about staying plugged in with creative family activities and outings (art, music, etc.). In addition, I plan to start writing more about my work as a therapist and the interesting balance of work and home the mental health field demands. Basically, I want it to reflect me and my life as a mom a little better. I started psyching myself out when I would have ideas, thinking, "that's not interesting enough to do a post on" etc. So this me turning a new blog leaf ;) If you're still reading, hang in there and thanks for reading.

Thursday, June 21, 2012


Dear Everleigh,

This month you turned 2! You are such a big girl and we are so proud of you. The past two years have flown by, but the changes have seemed to happen slowly. Now, when I look back at pictures of you from a year ago, I am blown away by how different you were at your first birthday. You're such a little person now...crazy.

Here's what's new with you:

Poor baby with a cold, rocking out your happy napper
Stats: you still weigh only 24 pounds, which I suspect is about to change (see below). But you keep getting taller and you're outgrowing your shoes quicker than we can buy them, and you're happy and healthy so we know you're on the right track.

You asked me to put this on you and take your picture ;)

Eating like there's no tomorrow: you must be growing, little one, because lately you can't get enough food. Especially if said food belongs to someone else. Your favorite foods are: popcorn, chicken, blueberries, veggie chips, prunes, string cheese, bagels, and yogurt. But if someone else is eating something, it suddenly becomes exactly what you wanted too.

Sleeping like a big girl: after weaning you at night, you have slept SO much better that I now feel ridiculous for not having done it sooner. You also recently started letting me go through the nighttime routine with you (bath, milk, PJ's, brushing teeth, saying night night to Daddy, reading books, lamp off, sleepy time) and then leave you in there awake in bed, all tucked in until you fall asleep. Prior to this, if I tried to leave, you'd freak out and want me to stay in there with you until you fell asleep. We are SO happy that you are handling the new routine like a champ and we're all getting more rest.

Saying hilarious things: you talk A LOT. We love it. Recently a kid in your daycare said "Everleigh can talk!!!" when I came to pick you up. This is true. Everleigh CAN talk. And talk. And talk. And talk. You typically do a running commentary on everything that's happening at any given moment. "Mommy, are you doing the dishes?" "Daddy, you're making the bed!" Yes, nothing gets by you.

Sensitivity: you also recently started noticing others' feelings. Now you ask me several times a day, "What's wrong Mommy?" Sometimes you say this when I've just sighed because I'm stuck in traffic or spilled the juice I was trying to put away. Sometimes you simply ask out of the blue, which makes me worry that I'm putting off some kind of negative vibe. I think you just learned that phrase somewhere, and you really want to make sure everyone's ok, which is so sweet.

Polar bears: your new obsession. You fell in love with the polar bear at the zoo, and ever since that's all you talk about. You frequently ask me to draw a polar bear with chalk, and you hunt for polar bears in all your books.

Hair talk: you've finally gotten a bit more hair (this has been a long process for you, but I have faith that you will sport gorgeous locks someday!) and to celebrate, you have started allowing me to clip your bangs back with barrettes or pull your hair into piggies. I try not to be all hung up on how you look anyways --you're perfect in my eyes. But it helps to have a bit more hair and bit less mullet happening.

Pool party: you love spending hot summer days in your little pool out back--something that's been coming in handy in this 90+ degree summer heat. I think even more than swimming, you love putting on your different swimsuits and prancing around.

You are such a joy to be with. I really feel blessed every day by your optimism, sense of humor, and curiosity. We love you so much!

Happy 2nd Birthday, Big Girl!


Thursday, June 7, 2012


Lately, Ev has taken to stating things and then asking them back in the form of a question (or vice versa).

Last week at the CVS, I held her in the feminine product aisle and she said (regarding the pads and tampons) "Mommy, are you getting diapers? Diapers for Mommy!".  Super loud. It was awesome. Or she'll say, "Mommy is eating a popsicle pop. Mommy? Are you eating a popsicle pop?" 

Today Ev wasn't feeling well and she said to Scott, "Daddy? Do you want to hold me?". Smooth.

It's oh so cute and I pretty much love it. Except when she calls me out at the store ;) 

Sunday, June 3, 2012


We celebrated Everleigh's 2nd birthday this past Saturday (even though her actual birthday isn't until Wednesday). We could not have hoped for a more beautiful day to have a party at the park! I got all craftsy, and attempted to make this the best party ever, while still keeping in mind that the most important thing was that Everleigh had a good time :) Scott mocked me saying, "if you keep this up, she'll expect a birthday party every year". Don't worry Ev, mommy's got your back on this one ;)

Here are some shots of the party!

My sweet little birthday puppy! Photo by Bryan Bail

Little puppy cups with "dirt 'n' worms"

Homemade puppy ears


My homemade paw cupcakes

Handmade felt birthday sign

Puppy snacks

Ev's adorable pigtails and a vintage top

Puppy friends!

Going for the birthday cupcake

Because every great party includes a costume change (wings and tutu were gifts from our dear friends Natalie and Sage)

Playing with birthday toys in the sun

How you know she enjoyed the party...

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


This past weekend, Scott and I got away to Lawrence, KS for my birthday while my parents watched Everleigh. It was soooo restful, fun, and relaxing. I haven't felt so young in years ;)

My cutie puckering up after tasting my girly drink

Chicken-mobile with live chickens

Scott checking out "Experimental"

Oh, Henry's--I love you

Posing for a post-drinks pic at Henry's upstairs

My dream van ;)

Friday night was pretty low-key. We checked into the hotel, lazed around for awhile enjoying not having to watch someone every second, and caught a Pickers marathon on TV. Then we decided we needed to shift it into gear, so we hit Mass Street and ate some pizza at a little underground dive called Rudy's. Afterwards, we went to my favorite little record store, Love Garden and Scotti bought me a few killer cd's for my birthday (something I always want to do but rarely spring for). I got an Azure Ray CD, the new Lykke Li (love does not describe how I feel about this album), and Fleet Foxes.

Then we hit up our favorite little Lawrence Bar, Henry's Upstairs, and capped the night with a visit to the Taproom (a basement dance-party with awesome DJ's).

Saturday, we slept in (wow. so nice), had breakfast in bed, and got up to window shop. We visited an antique mall and found Ev an old-school bulldozer that was made to last. Then we hit the vintage shops and got a few new duds. Along the way, we sampled the best coffee of all time, and caught some kind of decorative car/bike parade, which was super fun to see.

Later that night, we had a late dinner at Free State Brewery and then wandered into the coolest show at the Bottleneck that I've been to in a minute. The bands were Spirit is the Spirit and Cloud Dog. Both bands were super-danceable, and the place was packed with strangely dressed artsy kids and lots of skinny white gay guys painted up like American Indians. When Cloud Dog played, they basically had a drum circle combine with techno music. We danced along and laughed until about 2AM, when we headed back to the hotel.

Glorious. The whole weekend was magical and fun and brought us even closer together. We missed Ev like crazy, but it helped us remember how much she has changed our life, and how happy we are in our new role as parents.

So yep, Happy Birthday to me!

Friday, May 25, 2012


Today, I turn 30 years old. I have been so lucky to have had 30 healthy and beautiful years so far. As I kiss goodbye to my carefree twenties, I think of all the amazing memories of festivals, moments on stage, summers where bare feet and sundresses were considered standard dress. I recall amazing conversations with friends that lasted all night, of last minute road trips, of studies, studies, studies. Drinking too much, talking too much, reading too much, working too much.

I think of past loves and old friends. Of what I've traded in along the way to get where I am right now. And I feel absolutely, positively blessed.

Spending my first weekend away from Ev with Scott, and although I'm already missing her like I left a chunk of my heart back in Kansas City, I feel so grounded and happy and alive riding in the car, holding hands with my husband, listening to music way too loud with the wind in my hair.

Here's to a new decade for me. What will it hold? From where I'm sitting, it looks fabulous.


Thursday, May 17, 2012


Dear Everleigh,

This month you are 23 months old, which means you are almost 2!  This month you made some huge strides towards becoming an official big girl, and I couldn't be more proud. As your second birthday approaches, I see your baby-ness (a word I may or may not have just created) slipping away and revealing the cutest, sweetest toddler I could have ever hoped to know. Here's what you've been up to this month.

Miss Independent: this month you have decided that you can do it ALL "by myself". Everything from dressing yourself to feeding yourself to wanting to swim by yourself (which, by the way you cannot yet do). You are overly sure of yourself sometimes, which is pretty scary for us, but it also makes us so proud. You're such a big girl Ev!

Imaginative Play: you've started playing more by yourself, having your dolls talk, and flexing your make-believe skills. It's super cute to watch you do this by the way. Sometimes you use your little toy phone and say things like "Oh nothing. Hanging with Mommy and Daddy" and we MELT.

Night Weaning: this has been a big one for us. I never in a million years pictured nursing this long, but you really were not interested in stopping and it was a really nice way for us to connect after a long day apart. Now, the time has come and we've been working on weaning, which has been slow and frustrating for both of us. But it's just another way to celebrate you being a big girl.

First Night Away: you spent last Friday night with Grandma and Papa which was your first night away from Mommy and Daddy ever. According to Grandma (who may have fudged the details in an effort to make me feel better) you did awesome, and only brought up Mommy and milk a few times. She told me that you only woke up crying one time where you couldn't re-settle yourself and needed some Grandma love. I was admittedly a bit nervous about leaving you, but I thoroughly enjoyed sleeping ALL NIGHT in my own bed. That overnight was a practice run for later this month when Mommy and Daddy go out of town for a whole weekend to celebrate Mommy's birthday...but I feel confident that you can handle it.

Repeating and Baby Talk: lately you've been getting a kick out of imitating other kids when you hear them in public--especially babies. If a kid yells out "ba bah!" you yell back "ba bah!" It's super cute and kind of funny, but it also can be frustrating when you take it home with you and start talking baby talk there. We just keep encouraging you to use your words and talk like a big girl, with mixed results. It is pretty cute though to see you interact with little kiddos everywhere and try to speak their language :)

Cute Things: some of the things you say crack me up on a daily basis. For instance, lately you've said a few times out of the blue "I forgot to run-run!" and then taken off running. Or you've tooted and said "toot Magoot Mommy". You're a very classy kid, Ev.

I'm Not Done, I'm Finished: somewhere along the line you've gotten done and finished mixed up as being opposites, and when I ask, "are you done with that?" you'll say, "no, I'm finished". To you, this means you're still working on it. I explained this to you, and yesterday you said "I'm done. Done means finished". You're getting it. Maybe. Or not.

ABC's and 123's: You can now sing your ABC's all the way through and count to 10 by yourself. This blows me away. Rock star. You love to sing and frequently hum, even in your sleep.

Little Friends: this month you've really come into your own socially, and are interested in interacting with friends. There's nothing so sweet as watching you play with other kids, laugh with them, share with them. I never get sick of it.

Everleigh, I can't begin to tell you the ways you've changed my life for the good. I'm so happy to see you blossoming into this independent toddler. Stay cool!

Love always,


Tuesday, May 1, 2012


It's so sweet to see my amazing friends have kids and for our kids to become friends. Who knew the heart could be so filled with love? This weekend, my lovely friend Natalie invited Ev and I to join her and her daughter, Sage, in attending a pre-opening lunch at Cafe Gratitude--a gourmet, raw vegan restaurant opening in Kansas City. Nat got the hook up because she painted the amazing mural you'll see in one of the photos (go Natalie!).

The food was delicious, the company was even better, and the environment was warm and loving. The girls were actually awesome during lunch, and afterwards they tried to get the place hopping by breaking out into spontaneous dancing. Afterwards, we picked up some felt at the local art store for a project, and then headed up to Everleigh's playroom and where we all had some friend-time :)

Check out Natalie's skills on that mural!

We really felt an abundance of joy and love and friendship that day

I meant to photograph the awesome food but it was so good we ate it first. These were our to go boxes ;)

After an accidental slip and fall while dancing, the girls decided it was funny and kept doing it

Getting their dance on

Natalie and Sage in the art store

Fort time!

A brief scuffle over control of the brush

Combing Ev's hair