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happy weekend!

hey friends! i wanted to swing by here for a quick hello before our WONDERFUL babysitter arrives & i run out for a solo trip to target & trader joe's (my idea of a relaxing vacation these days!!) i first wanted to thank you for your really great entries on this giveaway, i loved reading them! it's so neat to see how nostalgic we all are for mixed tapes & i added some songs to my summer listening list from y'all! congrats to hannah, christa & lindsey, who random number generator picked as the winners; i just emailed you! secondly, i was so very touched by your comments & emails on this post. thank you from the bottom of my heart.

a few things to round up the week:

as many of you know, google reader will be gone soon (!!). i finally found something that looks a lot like it and you can transfer your blog reading list over in one click (hooray!!) thanks cup of jo for the tip, head over to feedly if you haven't already!

i can't wait to show ellie these photos of how baby giraffes sleep! (cup of jo again, her weekend lists are the best!) p.s. if you ask ellie what a giraffe does, she chomps her teeth in a really exaggerated way, my other favorite animal thing she does is walk on her knees to be a penguin. discovering a whole new love of animals with this kid!

these photos of grooms seeing their brides are just incredible.

i'm hosting a baby shower for two dear friends this weekend & am so excited to try this popcorn as one of the snacks!

don't you wish you'd been invited to this wedding in england? i do!

these throw pillows are amazing!

i finally updated my links on the sidebar (trying to clean this little blog up!) and if you haven't checked out you are my wild & flourish yet, they're wonderful.

ok, go have some fun! back on monday with another update from the crazy girl above, who is 18 months old (?!!) xo


some thoughts on this season.




hi, friends! so, i've been stumbling around how to write this post for some time & finally decided that i can't go over it, can go under it, just gotta go through it. i always feel awkward about apologizing for not posting -- let's be honest, you don't need me to post; you have rich, full lives. that said, i have felt guilty and found myself really missing this space so much. i also feel like it had been so long since i'd posted consistently, it's been hard to find a way back.

this blog has changed with the seasons of my life, from the very earliest days of newlywed life, to a big move to virginia, the ebbs and flows of working, a really difficult pregnancy, those days with a newborn, a deployment & so on. i've always strived to make t&f a place that reflected my life and thoughts as authentically as i can. i also know most of you come here for a bright spot -- a piece of light, some encouragement & someone who is on a path maybe somewhat familiar to you. i cherish the emails or comments from those of you who are also living this military life or are new mamas or navigating marriage or just find some resonance in our life with your own.

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milktape & a giveaway!!

i was SO excited when sam, one of the founders of milktape, reached out to me. this is such a simple, beautifully designed, thoughtful invention -- it's an old school tape that has a usb drive on it that can hold about 15 songs. as someone who has friends scattered around the globe, who has done long distance dating, as a military wife, and as someone who adores sending real mail, this quickly became one of my favorite things. it'll be my new go to for care packages! it couldn't be easier to use, or more well designed -- i'm such a fan.

& here's the really exciting part -- milktape is generously giving away THREE mixed tapes to t&f readers!! all you have to do is leave a comment on this post telling us who you'd send the tape to and/or what song would definitely be on it! i can't wait to read your answers. three winners will be chosen at random -- good luck!

*milktape kindly sent me a mixtape to try, but all these thoughts are 100% mine!


update from ellie girl.

in two days, i turn a year and a half ---- that's almost 550 days of living & boy do i have an update! so many news loves, so many adventures & i can't wait to share some lessons and thoughts on what i've learned on this big beautiful earth of ours. 

this guy is THE BEST.

have you guys been to j.crew? i love joining their window displays! also, balloon!!!!

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happy father's day!

happy father's day ryan -- to see you share your incredible love, patience, strength, and heart with ellie is simply amazing. in the smallest of moments, like sharing goldfish, your role in her life is so clear. i absolutely love doing life with you -- especially parenthood. your girls adore you.

photos by my dear friend kristi.


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.