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ellie's new room!


our (growing) family.


second baby wish list.


as we prepare for another little girl to join our family in november, i'm struck by how much simpler it is this time around. in truth, there's nothing we need before her arrival. there are a few things that will be nice to have, but if she came tomorrow, i know intimately how simple her needs will be for a long time ahead. i so appreciate the calmness with that (i know i'll still have those bizarre moments of intense nesting/crazy projects -- hold onto your hat!), but i'm taking rest in this season.

if you've followed my journey over the past year, you know that what i've actually done to prepare for this baby is simplifed our space and belongings, not added to it. we have three very small closests, and now four family members, there were no empty shelves or cabinets awaiting her. looking around there was much we hadn't used or didn't need, and so slowly, methodically, i've found other homes for those things. like most first time parents, we thought we needed way more than we actually did with ellie, so we've even cleaned out a lot of our "baby items" down to the ones we really used.

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christmas cards & baby announcements, oh my!




if you've been reading t&f for a while, you've no doubt heard me profess my love for minted. i've come to appreciate, especially when ordering something online, excellent quality that is consistent; great customer service; and a simple process.

recently, i've had so much fun wandering their site, picking some of my favorite birth announcement and christmas card designs. the really unbelievable thing is that both will include a baby girl i haven't met yet (!); so as i'm trying to imagine the photograph we'll use for each, it's exciting to think about this little one who will join our family in november.

we seem to always have a reason that we can't choose a photograph for our christmas card until the very last minute -- our very first christmas card was a wedding photograph (and we got married in november...); the past two years have included a deployment homecoming in november and now we'll be waiting til that month for our new addition. it does build the suspense!

so, in the meantime, i mark designs i love and get excited for the day i'll be able to see them with a photograph of our TWO little girls!

you can see the round up of our family's minted cards here: our 200920102011 & 2012, 2013 cards!; plus ellie's birth announcement!


just to be in the same room with them.

i have often joked that in retirement, ryan & i are going to have a bizarre hobby: we're going to crash rehearsal dinners. let me explain: i love weddings, but even more than weddings, i love rehearsal dinners. i love them because of the toasts that can be given on an evening like that. usually it is the wedding party, so the chosen family of the bride and groom, and close family members; an intimate gathering of all the people who best know them. so, if there are some good storytellers among those gathered, it can be an incredible evening of getting to know the ins and outs of the bride and groom (with some good roasts along the way); and more of their story as a couple. i can pretty much recite some of my favorite rehearsal dinner toasts -- childhood anecdotes, pieces of advice, moments of reflection that made a permanent impression upon me. they wove their way into my heart and became stories i love to retell. i love how rehearsal dinners can so clearly say to those two, on the eve of making that covenant: we're with you. we love you. we cherish you & the bond you have.

a few weeks ago, we went to san francisco for the wedding of some dear friends. the groom was our best man, peter, and his family introduced ryan & I to each other. the rehearsal dinner toasts were among the best i've ever heard -- spanning the spectrum from so funny they could have sent me into labor, and then like an unexpected freight train, they would end with something so profoundly moving and loving that i'd dissolve into tears. (in general, me at a wedding, especially pregnant, is a hot emotional mess).

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so good.

hi!! so, i was just telling myself that there will be more time next week, when e is back in school, and surely life slows down a bit, and that then i'll write a post (right...) but then i thought about some of the things i've been reading recently and how GOOD they've been. how much they've filled up my cup (or how hard they've made me laugh). and how much i would want to know about them if i hadn't stumbled upon them yet. how many times i've thought about them since i read them. brought them up in conversation. read them aloud to ryan. and so i'm here to share a few with you in hopes they might be a balm to your soul.

our little update is that this summer has been so, so good. our first one together as a family since ellie was born, and we've soaked it up in simple ways. we've mostly been here -- at the park, in our backyard, gathering tomatoes, spending evenings with dear friends, heading to the ocean, painting with ellie, doing a bit of nesting for the new little one, simplifying our home a bit more, sharing meals together. somehow it's almost september, i'm 29 weeks along with this little one (!!), fall hit the skies of virginia incredibly early this week (70 degrees in august is just incredible) and i'm feeling really hopeful about this next season. ryan checks out of his sea tour squadron this week, ellie begins another year at her sweet school soon, and every day we get closer to meeting this sweet little girl. life is full.

fill up your mug with coffee and settle in:

her writing just gets me. every. time.

a beautiful, poignant letter to her pre-mom self. amen.

i don't need much encouragement to be convinced a 740 sq foot house would be oh SO good -- having watched her work and admired her so, so much, this interview with elle rowley completely inspired me.

this video. so, so powerful. two things: the likelihood of you crying is pretty high, and you should have your subtitles on.

ok, so i realize this is likely a small group of you, but for those of you somehow connected to military aviation, my guess is your house has no shortage of memorabilia (ha!) -- that said, this design company that does pretty incredible posters for individual squadrons. ryan worked with them to design something for his current squadron and what they created was something i was excited to hang in our house! (we chose the canvas which i love the look of!)

and if you need a really good laugh, this jim gaffigan bit on having four kids pretty much is a nightly viewing in our house.

have a great week! xo