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link love.

doesn't this photo just scream happy monday?! two big thumbs up from ellie girl to you!

and here are some links to fill up your cup:

a good reminder in a constant effort to not let "being busy" run our lives.

e & i are making these mini whole wheat chocolate chip muffins stat!

one of my absolute favorite games as a kid was guess who -- this is SO NEAT, i'm thinking if ryan & i really get our act together for christmas we might try to pull this off for ellie's gift! meaning i'll watch and try not to screw things up as ryan makes this! (ha!)

my sweet friend kaitlin is coming for a visit in september (YAY!!!!!!) and one of my favorite parts of her visits is trying new recipes after the girls are asleep -- mostly appetizers and desserts, because that's what we live for. this siracha lime corn salad and frozen hot chocolate are at the top of my list! (we'll report back!)

this has climbed the charts as one my favorite blogs -- so, so inspiring, beautiful writing, authentic voice, stunning, simple images.

we recently added this tiny tool to our kitchen and now i'm not sure how we lived without it! we also make guacamole almost daily. it's especially good for busy three year old hands who want to help!

have a GREAT week! xo


what i've been reading.

reading has been such a lifelong love for me -- and when i find myself in a season where i'm not making time for it, i feel off. and then (ever slow to realize this and too often stubborn!) as i make that space again, things seem to settle in my heart. this is especially true for me during nap/quiet time for the girls and just before i fall asleep (sometimes i barely get through three pages, but the act of reading calms me and gives me this sense of the end of a day).

i'm at a moment where i seem to be alternating between stories well told, and then for lack of a better category "parenting books." in the four years i've been reading them, i've come to appreciate that the best books about parenting/kids/motherhood/growing up, are really just about the human experience. yes, they can be helpful when you're thinking about raising kids, but so many of them have given me as much to think about with my marriage, my own growth, how to be a good friend, how to be understanding and empathetic. another way of saying it, a lot of these i would have enjoyed even if i weren't currently raising kids -- they're fascinating on lots of fronts.

here are some of the highlights from my summer reading:

it's what i do: a dear friend lent this to me and i could barely put it down. i loved it for so many reasons -- the bravery the author summoned to tell so much of her story, the rawness she was willing to share in the telling, the breadth it covered for someone who is still relatively young -- her childhood, her remarkable career, her path to finding someone to go through life with, motherhood and its impact. i have already sent it as a gift three times (and i read it two weeks ago!) and perhaps the most telling indicator of how much i adored it -- i couldn't wait for others to read it.

the wonder of girls: i've heard for years about the wonder of boys from my friends raising boys, and my own mom who counts it as one of the most significant books she read as she raised my brother; so when i stumbled upon this at our beloved used bookstore, i was curious! i had no idea he had written a companion piece (and raised two daughters!). i really loved this book. there's very little content for girls under the age of 5 in it (understandably -- it's focused on hormones, brain development the years between 5-18), but it was such a profound lens through which to process my own growing up and think about the years ahead with ellie & anna. a disclaimer that this was written in 2001 -- so to some it might seem "outdated" -- but i found the common sense, science, and thoughtfulness to have endured. like all parenting books, it wasn't that i agreed with every single thing, it was that i found some things that made such an impression upon me, and will be integrated in how we raise our girls. i marked pages and read them aloud to ryan and made a note to reread it when ellie is 7 or 8.

nutureshock: i had seen this book recommended for years and so when i saw a copy at our used bookstore, i picked it up & decided to see if i thought i might enjoy it. i happened to turn to the chapter on lying, which i literally couldn't stop reading -- the science behind why, how often, reactions to our kids lying and what (if anything) we can do about it was so interesting. there's also a section on "tattle tales" that was unbelievable to me -- you should read the whole thing, but the gist was that "tattling" has become this dreaded part of parenting/teaching. both groups report it as one of the most annoying parts of their jobs. and yet -- when examined, typically when a kid comes to "tattle" they're telling the truth (not making it up or exaggerating as we often assume) and it's usually not the first offense, but the 13th or 14th they've endured before seeking out an adult (!!). and the irony is -- we spend ages 3 to 10 with kids insisting they "not tattle" and then wonder why in their teenage years they won't come to us when they sense something one of their friends is doing is dangerous or troublesome! the book offered some really practical ways to talk to your kids about lying, and "tattling" that i implemented the day i read it. they've been such a helpful parenting tool. then i started reading the chapter on talking to your kids about race and decided at that point those two chapters alone made it worth taking it home to mull over and re-read, often with ryan.

i just started this book and am loving it so far! i'm definitely craving a good story, either a memoir/biography or a beautiful work of fiction -- anything you've loved recently? hope you find some time in these final days of summer to get lost in a good book -- on a hammock under a tree, in your favorite chair with the window open as the day fades to night, next to your favorite swimming hole, wherever you might be.

p.s. some of my all time favorite books here, here & here!


six month old anna (a few months late!).

oh anna, weren't they just placing you in my arms for the first time?! i will never forget that night -- how quickly you raced into our lives after all that waiting. how incredulous i was you arrived minutes after we got to the hospital (the gazillionth time i've been so grateful your dad is the one by my side -- that drive and walk into the hospital were not for the faint of heart!) how i sat there in the stillness of that saturday night, while your dad went to the car to get our bags, and just looked at your face -- getting to know you, soaking you up after carrying you for so many months. it sounds so sappy, but it felt like we were the only two people in the whole world.

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let's catch up!

hi! it's time for my bi-annual blog post (i kid ... sort of...) but -- look at that face?! how am i supposed to find time to write when soon she'll soon be begging me for the keys to the car and not be quite so willing to sit in a room and blow raspberries, read books, laugh, drool and spit up for hours on end?!

and so, to state perhaps the truest cliche of mamas everywhere, these kids are running me ragged, in the best possible way. but, slowly, i'm finding moments for balance -- and writing is at the top of that list. so i'm loosely holding to/hoping for one blog post a week? we're going to give it a college try. so for now, let's catch up a bit!...

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dads & daughters.

i've been thinking a lot about dads & daughters recently -- it seems to be this really beautiful bond i get to watch and be a part of so often right now.

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