When Nolie was really little I felt this huge need and pressure to create traditions. But I tried and tried and nothing stuck, felt right, or really worked. I can now see, looking back, that’s because we didn’t really know our family all that well yet. We were still figuring it all out (and still are, big time), we had lots of needs (need to nurse often, or snack all the time, need to sleep, need to get a diaper changed, need to rear face, etc.) and those made traditions (that are often far away, car filled, late at night, long term, include waiting or lines, and often not super baby friendly…) hard. But as we are finding our groove with a, still so young, growing up family we are slowly finding that traditions are gaining, and so much fun!

But, we’ve had one (seriously, other than sweet potato cheesecake on Thanksgiving… I think this is it) long standing, forever tradition. And that’s the pumpkin patch! And over documenting! And donuts! And I love it.

This was year six. And goodness, look at how  much changes in six years.


One not quite one year old, two exhausted parents wondering “are we doing this right???” and now … two big ol’ kiddos and two exhausted parents thinking “I think we might be doing this right!” And, whoa, that feels so good. Not that I don’t have days of intense doubt, but it’s pretty amazing to be coming into the time where we can see some of the results of our parenting (especially in Nolie!) and feel like “yes! This path, the one of endless talking and relating and loving and gentleness and not punishment… it’s working!” and I just want to go and hug those two parents from six years ago and say “hold her! nurse her! she’s great! you’re great!”

I obviously took a million pictures and I love them all. So here are a few… this is our family scrap book!


This is the first year that both of the girls were fully into the family photos! Neither put up a fight, both giggled and smiled and picked apples and asked if they could get the donuts after this (of course!). We figured the donuts were a pretty good incentive to get through the sappy mom and dad moments 😉

This was our first visit where Nolie was interested in taking some of the photos. She snapped a ton and has a pretty great eye! I love her pictures best because you can see that none of us are uncomfortable around her. All the kisses, grins, and loves are so authentic. So, thanks Nolie!

Almost 6 suits Nolie. She’s just amazing. And made for a pretty perfect big kid baby holder for her sweet and tiny 10 week old buddy, Birdie.12087948_10101489502896310_1486973605987359779_o

She’s still all nut though. 12108722_10101489504458180_542569339146138902_n

Donut, that is. 12065479_10101489503839420_5553754914229578542_n

Ever Harbor Joy is 3.5 and a spunk. Wild, overflowing, huge emotions, slow growing empathy, and mindblowingly sweet. Her favorite things are to fly! and run! (she can run two miles! what?!) 12132537_10101489502716670_1168160652183001784_o


This was the last year this pumpkin patch will be open, but I know that our tradition will live on and next year we will be scoping out a new spot. But an apple orchard is required!

Bright, 2015


{Every New Years we burn our Christmas Tree and make our new year wishes. This year it burned high and bright and quick.}

It has taken me a solid week to really be *in* the new year. I just put the last of the Christmas decorations and new years sparkles away. And I am closing in on a week of no Facebook (today!), and day four of my Whole30 (I’ll be sharing more about that soon!). I am one an odd duck. I am a slow mover, slow processor, and talk talk talk it out person… till I am not. And then I just leap. For example, I hemmed and hawed over a Facebook break for months and month (how ridiculous) and then I just pulled the trigger and full on ‘deactivated’ on January 1.

I will be, embarrassingly, honest. The first four days were really hard for me. I couldn’t really even be on my desk top because the urge to just “check” was too strong. I started to feel really weird and paranoid, I can hardly explain it. But I started to feel like my friends were happy I was “gone” and were talking about me (but, I mean, who cares if they are? were? The ones who matter have my phone number and have been texting me their amazing and hard and hilarious life updates… you know, like friends!). It was weird. And almost paralyzing to not “know” what was going on in the Facebook world. But after those four days it started to feel amazing. My brain feels calmer, less hectic (could be the sugar detox I’m on thanks to the Whole30 too), and I don’t feel so frustrated all the time. See, I have this awful habit of reading stuff on Facebook that makes me feel awful (parenting debates that just eat me up, heartbreaking articles, or obnoxious posts that rile me up) and then I would stew on it It was so pointless! It didn’t do anything but feed some heartbreak in me, and cause me to be a big downer to my kids. Such a worthless thing to spend my time on. Now that I’ve cut that out I am shocked at how much less annoyed and frustrated I feel! I smile more (and, I smiled a lot before! So it’s kinda crazy.) and feel like I can listen better (to my kids, to Charlie, and myself too!) . I had forgotten how GOOD it is to feel bored. To have your brain wander, quietly, and think of beautiful things  to create, or words to write, or songs to sing, or just about how the trees look all empty of leaves and full of spring promise (it’s coming early here! 45 and bright today!). I actually picked up a pen and wrote on paper till my hand cramped! I am not sure how or in what capacity I’ll rejoin Facebook come February, but this break is already proving fruitful and it’s only been seven days.

Some of the stuff I am doing/thinking about lately:

Wanting to run a Sweater Drive in February in honor of Mr.Rogers! But I need to find a place that needs some cozy sweaters.

Writing! What do I want to do with this blog? with my heart for writing? and with my need to grow my skills. . . .

Playing. How to play? Why does it seem like it’s hard for so many new parents? And how to help parents learn to really just play.

More on the stuff my book dreams are made of. How to have a deeply respectful and loving marriage while still attachment/unconditional parenting young children.

What life will look like this time next year, what decisions we will make regarding schooling for Nolie and how I can fulfill all these rolls and meet her needs best.

Buying heavier plates for our weight lifting, because I am out growing the ones we have (BA!BAM!)

Signing up for another half marathon and getting on that Training Fun again!

How to parent Ever through what seems to be her most tumultuous life phase to date (oh the fits, guys, they’re big!) and come out the other end with more love, closeness, and emotional maturity for us both!

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I’m pretty excited to see what my brain and body do with this next week of whole eating and Facebook free living. I feel like I’m on the edge of something, something big and bright and light. 2014 was amazing and weighty with decisions and intense growth. This year feels Bright and Joy filled already. 2015, lets grow!

Traditions: Pumpkin Patch

Year One: 69865_494766586256_4175302_n

Year Two:307806_879709193820_583087261_nYear Three:

581007_10100321155409040_1737613536_nYear Four:


1069290_10100668462423000_2099827825_nYear Five:


Also, somehow our three kids (we always pumpkin patch with the same sweet families who have been there through thick and thin, pregnancies, pregnancy scares, and all the booze and popcorn fueled playdates you can imagine) turned into seven over these years.



Our little home has given us quite a lot. Room to grow, security, fresh inspiration, roots, and most recently; an endless bounty of foraging fun. We have blue berries, strawberries, mint, rosemary, apples, grapes, and some fruit we can’t quite figure out. . . .looks like a huge cherry tastes like a tiny peach?

Regardless. I am feeling the love for our little home today. 10492116_10100993583832090_875959782473656188_n




{also, that little mudroom bench is one of my favorite reclaimed pieces Charlie has made.

It is just so soft and worn, perfect fit, and holds tiny feet with tired bodies with so much ease.}




I used to think that fulfillment was found in only the usual spaces. The paycheck with my name on it, the pat on the back from a superior, the scale moving downward, and the compliments from strangers. It was a small definition and one without much depth.

I grew a little and found fulfillment in consistent alone time with God, in meeting Him at 6am, on the dot and without fail. In being at church on the right days, with the right people, at the right time. But that was weak and small, that was habit and religion, not fulfillment and relationship. That was another definition that was little and without growth.

Lately I’ve noticed fullfillment shifting, new every day. It those deep baby sighs as they fall asleep in my arms, full. In hands plunged deep in the sink of hot water washing the film from a meal I made with my hands, full. I am finding it in reading to Nolie, endlessly, full. In spelling out words, counting up high, singing without ceasing, and prayers on my lips all the time, full. Thanks Full. His gifts, so full. A constant conversation with my God, not a stranger, feeling Full.

I have been doing the work, or rather letting it happen, that I am not aching for Full to come in the form of a check, habit, number, or accolade. But I am noticing Fullness, fulfillment, and Him. Everywhere.

In bubbles blown high off the back deck, in a freshly cleaned kitchen, in burping a newborn, in a rearranged living room, in a nearly all homemade renovation, plunging into the cold lake, in hands callused and held tight for ten years, in my girls bright eyes, in new words learned from lips and pencils.

The definition is growing, expanding, exploding. And it’s unending.


It’s been a hard day. But the thing that always pulls me back is thankfulness for the moments.


Independent play. Listening to her describe her dreamy world around her and talk to the drawings she creates.

10454209_10100937022516420_5635396936974717384_oA late, and needed, nap. Growing things, found things, and a tidy home. Can you spy Everbee?

10468641_10100937022501450_4003436335990859520_nAll hung up, all ready for play, all closed up for the night.

10491970_10100937023274900_8920132944018838597_nHer, and all the heart and spunk within her.

raising women.

Ever just get chills when you look at those beautiful big eyed babies? See them speak with love, interact without shame, and love with zero abandon; The hairs on my arm stand tall as I see them walk taller. And I know. This is holy work. This is it. These girls are gonna change the world. And I can’t even fathom in what huge ways their love with shape people. Will change broken hearts. Will rock this town as we know it. This world as we know it.

The little powerhouse firecrackers who live in this home are gonna do some big, big, things.



Five things on my mind. . .

1. Swim Suits. I took this picture a couple months ago and am in love with this style suit. But I need to find a way to make it more supportive (heyo nursing boobs!) and was thinking of cutting the straps to make it a halter (currently crosses in the back) but am scared of ruining it :/ But then I found this post (heyo beach body!) and now I just want to make myself a swim suit. I’m in love! Seems like a good birthday present to yourself, yeh?


And, yep, I just posted that. Because it’s my beach body, and I like it. I’m done ‘coming to terms’ with  my  body and into just liking it now.

2. SPRING TIME FOR THE MOTHER LOVE SHOW UP NOW. Okay, I’m not one to wish away the rainy months but after a snowy move, a week of sickness, and weeks of packing before that. . . we are ready to get out! explore! run! play! exercise! instead I feel like a cozy tired sloth. Looking at the photos on this blog, while I could never be a constant heat dweller, make me ache for gardens and sun soaked days. Ohhhhh come on PNW, turn up the heat!

3. Why didn’t I make an art corner sooner?! I’ll be posting more about this, because it has been amazing. Like, non stop creating and crafting and exploring and learning and WONDERFUL!


4. Dates. I want to get some writing down about marriage, marriage maintenance (doesn’t that sound romantic?) and how we do our best connecting even with the hubbub of life right now. But I always question if that is of interest to anyone or if it’s just such a personal thing that hearing about others’ experiences is pointless. Would you want to read about marriage? Or is that kinda…. drab?

5. All the hope projects. Like, they just swirl and swirl and swirl.. a bench there! a black wall there! a pink bookshelf mounted up there?! alluvit. Homeowners? Do those thoughts ever stop? I think I could think up insane DIY projects for the next fifty years, at least.

okay, one more, 6. I’m obsessed with rugs. This house has no carpeting so we want to cozy up lots of spaces. And, here are a couple I am aching for.

Sweetest Welcome Mat EVER19135359_060_f (can you even see that? I can’t stand links without a picture. But this is all I could snag!)

Swoony love for this one and this one too. Wish they came in bigger than 4×6!


Little Dream Home- Girls Room

So, we’re still in the midst of “maybe we got it?” and “maybe it will all fall through. . . ” with this little dream home of ours. So instead of being radio silent, not letting it out, and keeping all the dreams in my composition notebook. I’m just going to let my dreams go wild and post it all on here. I’ll be heartbroken if we lose this house, but trust that it’s this or something better. I truly do. But I also feel so heartpullovestrong that this little home will be ours one day.

So, in typical me fashion, I’m designing each room and making endless lists with itemized budgets and where to buy each and every light fixture of my dreams. OMG. I love light fixtures.

So I am going to go through and post some of my inspiration for each room, I think it will be so exciting to look back (in, like, ten years when we actually finish this stuff!) and see where the vision ended up.

The girls room is currently a big open space, no closet yet, and two huge windows with gorgeous moulding. The whole house has amazing tall ceilings and their room is especially bright and welcoming. Right now it’s a deep red wine color that is pretty but a little dark for a shared space that needs to feel bright and airy for play.

Here’s some of what I”m scheming. . .


I’m loving this rug and colors from Cost Plus World Market!hensvik-wardrobe__65574_PE177068_S4A couple of these would be 1. DARLING and 2. So convenient. Nolie and Ever would both love (love love) to have their own little wardrobes and these are a steal at Ikea.


I mean. Right? Romantic, so darling, cottage’y, and doesn’t every little kid want an instafort for their bed?

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One wall is PERFECT as an accent wall. I haven’t decided yet between bold stripes or a chair rail with a color (or chalk?) under and polka dots up top. In fact, I’m kinda toying with polka dots as a theme across the board. and if so. . .

tastrup-rug-low-pile__0185525_PE337535_S4 bollkaktus-curtains--pair__0174992_PE328465_S4

That rug and those curtains would both be cute ‘wink and a nod’ to polkadots without going all the way.

I’m in love. Send me all your kid room pins. Cause I’m in deep.

Glad List

a whole slew of matching smiles

bright, bright, bright

hiking with the little ladies

sore muscles and sun covered cheeks

Ever learning to twirl

Nolie recognizing and sounding out a new word; Papa

He is kinda the hero of all of the ladies of the house.

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This fresh Summer sun is perfectly timed. Charlie’s new job is in full swing and we are adjusting in fits and spurts. He loves it and is delirious with meeting new people, new skill sets to acquire, and so much more socializing than he is used to. I am growing into a full time mom, no real breaks during the day- not of the ‘pop by’ variety or the phone/text style that I had become accustomed to. This, on the surface, seems like it would be all lame. But so far I am feeling pretty epically proud of myself. I am rising above my “I can’t take another minute!” feelings, calling out in faith for a moments more patience. And He is giving it. Well, really, He is pouring it on me in a huge bath of love.

This past week had some significantly hard moments. But overall, what I take from it, what I remember, what is etched forefront? Just a whole lot of Happiness and glad that is seeping out of every little moment.



Also, my most unexpected Glad List addition.

Co-sleeping. It is really blessing my heart, my life, and my baby.