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ellie at this moment.


somehow, ellie is 17 months old -- and what an incredible age that is. she is learning new boundaries, new things she can do on her own, new words, literally every day. she's figuring out how to express herself, how to be understood, how to carve out her own little independence. the baby calendar is long over & so i don't have a regular way of tracking these moments of growth, so as i looked back at our morning during her nap, i came here to record the things that this little girl is all about these days.

she has a bunch of words and a lot of them are really clear, but she has her own take on some of her favorite things -- wawa for water, milk-a for milk, snack-ee for snack, yaya for latte (i especially love that one!), nani for my mom (instead of nana, which is what we've been calling her), peas for please, shu-bell for shovel (her papa loves to dig in the dirt, which she knows, so every time she says papa, it's followed with shu-bell); izzy-kay for her friend lizzie kay; jackie or jack jack for her friend jackson, she also says "dowwwnnn" very dramatically. i know these will change, evolve, go away & so i wanted to savor these early words she so proudly uses.

being outside is the great equalizer for this girl -- we spend most of our day, every day outdoors -- at the park, taking walks, just exploring. it's our big reset button -- if we've having a tough day, no matter the weather, we venture out. she runs most places, belly out with lots of gusto. she likes to announce her independence -- when she's venturing off, she'll wave bye bye, say bye bye and lean her head into her shoulder to see you off, then come running back hoping desperately you've really missed her. she'd make a great life guard -- if she knows people are around, she goes over their names over & over & over & over again -- especially if they're out of sight for a bit.

she does everything big -- she's hugely enthusiastic, very serious, big reactions all around. she's in a really affectionate phase -- she hugs like she means it, gives really really slobbery kisses and exclamations of "mooommmmmyyyyyy!!!!" she's testing her will and her powers of influence (i-wan-a-snacky is something i hear about 9000 times a day -- we're working on it, without much success). she ADORES babies & dogs & eating & trash trucks. those are her four big loves and we spend a lot of time talking about them. she answers most questions with "yeah" very emphatically -- like she's just been waiting on you to ask her about that.

oh ellie girl, we're just crazy about you, and worn out, all at once.

one quick note on the top photo, last night we were looking at some old photos of my great grandmother, after whom ellie is named -- we were talking about how stoic people were in photos in 1925, especially women. when i took this photo of e this morning and put it through a black and white filter, it looked like she could be standing right next to her namesake.


strawberry picking.


post nap antics.

it's hard to put into words the energy this sweet little girl has, especially when she wakes up from a good nap - hold onto your hat folks! these photographs begin to tell the story. all were taken within about a minute time frame, maybe less. i'll do my best to narrate them!

Click to read more ...


first ponytail.


three things i love with ellie right now.

i was thinking today about what really makes up the daily life ellie & i share right now -- at sixteen months, our days are so very different than they were even a few months ago. there are a few constants in our days & as i try to simplify & surround her with beautiful, simple, natural things there are some very clear favorites for this sweet girl. here they are!

1. we read a lot through out the day & i have so many favorite books, but as ellie forms her own opinions & has books she seems to love to read over and over and over (and over!) again -- this book, trains go, is one of our tried and true loves. i think it will be my new go to one year old birthday present -- the sounds, simple illustrations & things to talk about on each page are just so wonderful. (thank you nana!)

2. the great outdoors. we are truly outside every day -- usually multiple times a day. rain or shine, cold or hot, we find a way to explore. often it's our own backyard (on hotter days, i fill a big cooler with water & she has some simple buckets, shovels, cans that she fills over and over) or the nearby park or some other place we just stumble upon. i find there's nothing more grounding for both of us than just stepping outside. when the day is dragging on or we just feel off, we set off to be outside. i've also found when we travel it's one of the things that settles ellie into a new environment fastest. we took a wonderful weekend trip to north carolina this weekend and literally went to a park five times in three days (!!) -- we made new friends, did familiar things like the swings & slide and discovered new things to climb on. i also find i'm better about talking less (goodness knows i could be quiet more often) and letting ellie try to new things -- we both just settle into being in the great outdoors.

3. this wonderful table & chairs. i'm trying to do small montessori activities with ellie each day -- i went to a montessori school as a child & the methodology just makes sense to me -- it fits with my natural approach to motherhood. (if you're looking for a wonderful book to begin, this is my favorite -- thanks margaret!) i've found this table is our best investment we've made in things for our house for e. we begin each day coloring and working with play dough or animals here each morning. we often eat snack here -- stove top popcorn, trader joes organic animal crackers (so, so good!) or some blueberries. we just invested in two more chairs because we so often find ourselves with three or four of us who'd love to have a seat. this one is so well made & beautiful -- i just love it.

mamas, what are your favorite things these days? i feel like i've finally gotten perspective on being a first time mom -- you really don't need much, but some beautiful, practical, we made things go a long way -- and then get outside! :)


our little family.