Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
1 Corinthians 3:17

Tuesday, March 31, 2015


I'm feeling nostalgic so I dug out these photos of our first Easter with Isabelle. Excuse me while I go curl up in the corner and sob my eyes out for a while. I mean, really. I seriously cannot take the cuteness.

 Look at these cuties! And my house! I miss my house so much.

Having been a boy Mom for all those years, I had never ever bought white patent leather Mary Janes or white tights with little flowers on them or baby dolls, or made Easter dresses or bonnets. I will never forget how excited I was to become a girl Mom, too.

I don't think I blogged about our Easter craft last year, but I should have- we all loved it. (I pinned the original from here.)
Step 1: Cut out a cross and a semi-circle from scrap paper
Step 2: Using cray pas, color in blocks all around the edges of the cross; use greens and yellows to go around the edge of the hill (semi-circle)

Step 3: With painter's tape, affix the cross to the paper, then the semi-circle
Step 4: Use your fingers to "push" the colors from the hill onto the paper, taking care to leave out the area where the cross stands; in other words, you'll have an empty space in the hill for the bottom of the cross  

Step 5: Remove the hill stencil and next spread out the colors all around the cross

Step 6: Paint the surrounding sky and grassy hill with watercolor paints

A close-up of pretty girl's Easter dress... I adore that pattern and love the way it fits Isabelle. I literally just made up my mind about her dress today, so I'd best get to it! I think it's going to be so lovely and pretty.

Her special belt, so, so easy to make! A little hot glue, some fabric cut into circles, then folded and glued, and then glued onto a faux ribbon bow. I love this little belt!

I also loved her Easter barrette, which was super easy to make. I don't have an exact tutorial for this, but it's very similar to her birthday brooch I posted about here. You should try one!

We're definitely going to be making these again! We are loyal peanut butter egg/cup fans, but there is just something extra fabulous about these homemade ones. They're so fresh and light and delicious, downright irresistible.

Or...jazz up some classic Rice Krispie Treat Squares. Chop up some Oreo cookies (in pretty Easter colors, of course!)- here I used both chocolate and golden cookies. They add a little extra texture and crunch to the squares and they are so, so good. We're having these for dessert tonight, in fact.  =)
Every year I find so many wonderful and meaningful ideas for things to make together, and I simply run out of time. Or I forget. Or I have a bad day and just don't care for an afternoon/evening. (Yesterday was a horrible day.) You can see my Pinterest Easter board here...hopefully I'll be making some of those things in the next day or two!

Monday, March 30, 2015


Do I look a little jaundiced in these photos? Ha Ha Just a little background: Isabelle woke me up in the middle of the night our very first night in DC because she'd thrown up all over the floor in the living room. It was terrible, yes, but it could've been so much worse, so I'll rank this as relatively minor in the grand scheme of things. I figured it was all the excitement of traveling and the hustle and bustle, and her tummy was just upset and hopefully adjusting. She felt much better after a bubble bath the next morning, and we were able to spend all day at the zoo and then some museums. I honestly didn't think much about it after that. Until the next day...

I'd heard that the only place you can take your picture from inside the White House is in the bathroom, which is really beautiful, so...why not? The one of me above is from the Library of Congress, as if I already somehow knew that my moment in the White House would not come to pass. At least not on this trip anyway. As for the photos, I feel the need to defend myself a little: it was freezing rain and sleeting on us all day long, but then when we'd get inside it would be so incredibly hot (though now I'm wondering about that, since my body was out of whack); plus, my scarf looked much cuter draped around my neck rather than simply hanging there, but every time I adjusted it, it literally made me gag (again, hindsight...fab), and, remember, it was soooo hot. I may have contemplated ripping off my t-shirt and just parading around in my tank top. Maybe.

Anyhoo. It was soon to be my turn.

It was either on IG or Facebook that I had captioned one of the pictures with a sincere apology to the poor sweet souls that had to go in to the Capital Building bathroom after me- the first lady, with her walkie talkie pressed tightly against the side of her face, with that harried look of damage control assessment; then moments later, a second one, complete with basically a hazmat suit, pushing through the crowds with the huge yellow trolley with all the brushes, brooms and other heavy-duty cleaning apparatus. I'd tried to get the toilet to flush but to no avail. There was simply too much...puke. It was coming faster than the toilet could handle it. And since I'd been holding everything in with my (rather powerful, I guess) mind-over-matter stance all morning long... well... I did the only thing I could do at this point: hang my head in shame, not look anyone in the eyes and book it outta there as quickly as possible. Ladies, I am deeply sorry. I was sitting on a nearby bench for a few minutes afterward and had to watch all of the women and girls exit the bathroom with horrified looks on their faces, holding their noses and muttering how disgusting it smelled.

Then it happened all over again. But this time I had to go to another bathroom. Because they hadn't gotten the first one under control yet. That's shame, I tell you. Pure, raw shame.

I will spare you the details of what happened as we waited outside for the ride back to the hotel. It may have involved a bush, needing to buy new shoes, and a pink and orange umbrella not used for its intended purpose. Stomach bugs are THE WORST.

The rest of that day, and the next, is basically a blur. I don't recall very much, other than the fact that my poor babies started dropping one by one. Hard and fast and mercilessly. To be sick when you're home is one thing; far away in a hotel room- and vying for the one bathroom- is something entirely different.

So we packed up and left early in the morning, though my sweet family drove me past the White House and even found a parking spot right on the side street so I could hop out and get a closer look. (This was also the morning we were going to spend more time at the monuments.) There I was, bed head and all, not a stitch of make-up on, still yellow- or green maybe- not having eaten for about 36 hours. Not the family memory I was hoping for, but hey, we will never ever forget our first time in DC. We made it home safely and not all that late, considering the many, m-a-n-y pull-overs on the highway from state to state to state.

When we got back, we learned that Jonah's fish, Flame, had died on Thursday. That was hard. Yes, we are those people who cry over pet fish. Ethan suggested that we surprise him one afternoon and go pick out a new one, so we did. He's very colorful and a little bit shy, and still nameless, which is strange for us.

 Oh, I forgot two photos that make me smile...
 Does this look like love to you? Because it looks like love to me.

 This girl, who fights off sleep in the car like it's a mortal enemy, who stays awake for hours and hours just so she won't miss anything... fifteen minutes from home, I turn around and see this. ;)

Friday, March 27, 2015


I can't believe one whole week ago we were still in DC! Some of us were faring better than others... The city is beautiful and I can't wait to go back and take in more (in the fall...definitely in the fall!). While I didn't get certain photos I'd had my heart set on, or even get to visit some of the places on our wishlist, I'm still thankful just because we got to go. So many times I was reminded of how giving and kind my children are. I watched them look out for one another, even care for each other when they weren't feeling well. No memorial or photograph is more important that that to this Mama.

I'm so glad it's Friday today!! We're still a little "off," so the weekend feels like an extra special gift right about now. I've got plans to bring Isabelle to the movies with some friends tomorrow, Cinderella, of course. Have you seen it? I've heard great reports so far. We've also got two huge brush piles in the backyard that are bound to make a lovely campfire (of sorts) and I just so happen to have all the ingredients for S'mores on hand...our first official Spring outdoorsy thing this year! Hooray! How's that for celebrating the every day things, right?

ps: So I have a thing for cats. Big ones. Well, all animals, really. I could stay and watch them All.Day.Long... if it weren't for the five other people dragging me away against my wishes.  ;)
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