Friday, October 31, 2014


Phew. We made it. Just in the nick of time before November kicks in.

We did a TMNT themed zone at church for our Halloween party and I thought it would be so much fun to really represent October well and go stand in public in the middle of the day in some silly costumes. I had wanted a very specific alley but there were people just standing in it and you have to draw the line somewhere. Obviously. It was a total wreck though, this picture. I'm not even going to sugarcoat it. Maddox was in a mood. Evan's stupid shell wouldn't stay attached. I somehow lost a piece to my tripod and so it wouldn't work properly and I was just ten sorts of flustered. I didn't even think we had a half-decent picture but then I found this one and it's pretty cute.

Happy Halloween and hello November!


Tuesday, October 28, 2014


The first time I ever said your name outloud to anyone other than your dad, was to the anesthesiologist as he was spreading sticky iodine onto my spine in preparation for my epidural. I curled myself over you in my belly and he distracted me by telling me stories about his wife and her childbirth and I distracted myself with pressing the balls of my feet into your dad's feet as hard as I could. He asked me what you were and I told him you were still a surprise. He asked me your name and I said, "If we have a boy, his name will be Maddox Oliver."

I hesitated for a moment because there it was, out in the open. I didn't even tell my closest friends who had actually begged and pleaded with me over their drinks and my iced tea and our appetizers at our favorite restaurant. We didn't tell our parents or our brothers. We didn't tell a single person what your name would be.

You were mine first, this tiny little soul that inhabited the spot just below my heart. I wanted to keep you there forever where I could keep you safe and protect you from everything that life would throw your way. Instead you were born, a perfect seven pounds, three ounces and I held your tightly bundled body against mine and forgot the rest of the world for a few perfect moments.

That seems like a lifetime ago. It seems like a dream that those soft newborn onesies were once too big for you. I remember the first day that your dad went back to work and I spent the day sending him pictures of you, of your feet, of your sleeping smiles. Now I send him texts about how you're suddenly walking down the stairs by yourself and running into things and when you've fallen asleep on me. We reminisce on your newborn days and wonder where all of that time went and whisper prayers of thanksgiving for all of it.

Your name means "fortunate," but I think we're the fortunate ones. We're so blessed by you. By your laugh and smile and mischievous grins. We've never heard so many compliments given as are given to you. You deserve every single one of them because you are sweet and kind and friendly and you really do have the purest and kindest and prettiest eyes. You've changed our lives in a million ways and every single day we discover something new about you and we look at each other and know that our life is perfect. Your toys may cover the floor and you may empty all kitchen cabinets and drawers of their contents five times daily and you might pee on the bath mat every night before your bath and you might go through an absurd amount of diapers some days but we love every single thing about you. We are richly blessed and we are fortunate.

I love you. I love you. I love you.

Monday, October 27, 2014

10/12 (a year of dates)

I don't know where these months go. I really don't. All I know is that suddenly I'm staring straight on into the last week of the month and Evan and I have absolutely no time to go on a date. This last week of October is going to be pure craziness as we get ready for Halloween at our church but the good news is that we get to spend like 99-percent of that craziness together. It'll be like date 2.0 but with a lot of other people and also our child.

We decided to have breakfast this week (since mornings are the only free time we have) and because we hadn't done a breakfast date yet. We had planned on going to this delicious little diner and then found out that it was closing. And not just closing but closing the day before our date. Just please, life. I was pretty brokenhearted because it not only sounded delicious to me but I wanted to go somewhere we didn't frequent all the time and when we do go to breakfast, we go to one of two places.

We still hadn't decided as we were walking out the door this morning but I remembered our favorite quaint cafe downtown (where we had our June date) not only serves the best lunch but also has amazing breakfast. We've never been for breakfast before but we even had a coupon (destiny!) and so it was decided.

Every single thing on their menu looked fantastic. And that means that it probably is because I'm the pickiest breakfast person on the face of the planet and I never try anything new. Evan ordered a loaded breakfast burrito with everything you can imagine stuffed into that thing and I ordered banana and walnut pancakes. I don't even really like pancakes. I prefer waffles over pancakes but banana pancakes are so cute so I had to order them.

And it was amazing. Not only because the food was the best breakfast I've maybe ever had but also because it was just he and I and we weren't making up from a fight or coming down off a bad weekend. We had a great weekend and we spent a ton of time together and this has been a pretty great month and it just felt good to start my day and my week with a little quality time with my favorite person.  I'm not one for waking up early and sitting down to an actual meal in the morning. I'm usually rolling out of bed as Evan is heading off to work and Maddox and I find a nice warm spot to share some fruit and yogurt or a bowl of Lucky Charms or some leftovers. But there's just something about the intimacy of intentionally waking up early to eat with someone and to prepare food instead of raiding whatever's in the fridge. I'm going to have to make real breakfast an actual habit and I'm going to have to treat both of my boys to some banana pancakes.

the goodness (2)

I bribed him with a cookie. But I had to document his cuteness today. I had to.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Maddox Currently

Currently, Maddox is 19-months and he...

Tells me when he has a wet/messy diaper. I am so nervous about potty training, you guys! I don't know the first steps about getting this kid out of diapers and I'm putting it off because it just sounds so hard and he's so strong willed that I feel like it's not going to work and we're going to get discouraged. (And all moms are like, "Yeah, obviously. Have you learned nothing?") Anyway, this month Maddox really started to realize when he has a wet or messy diaper and tells me! (I'm so sick of smelling his behind to see if he's stinky or not! < you would think that would be motivation enough.) He puts his hand on his butt and says, "Soos," which must be "poop" in Maddox-talk and then, sure enough! he's messy and we change him.

Is obsessed with throwing things away. Maddox is very helpful and likes to clean up all the time. He currently really likes to throw things away and so after every diaper change he takes his diaper to the trash and throws it away. Sometimes if it's super messy or really full I will do it and he basically loses his mind like I refused his nap or something. I'm also missing the lid to my ceramic mug (the only mug that I have that goes everywhere with me) and I will either find it when we move out (along with a whole trove of other things I didn't know I was missing) or it's long gone and buried deep in the landfill by now.

Says "bye" and leaves. Sometimes when we're playing, Maddox will just stand up, say "bah" (basically every word he says is some form of "bah" and you have to be fluent in Maddox-lingo to know which "bah" is which) and run away and go somewhere else to play. Usually, usually, this means he wants to be chased or play hide and seek and those are currently his favorite games to play with Evan.

Knows his body parts:  Sometimes I realize Maddox knows what I'm saying and I'm blown away by how quickly his mind picks up on things! It's so cool to watch him grow and develop and see how far he has come in just a year-and-a-half. Crazy. This is one of those things. For a while, Maddox thought it was funny to pretend pick his nose and so I asked him one day where his nose was. He pointed to it. So I gave him the run down of your basic body parts and when he knew I moved on to things like elbows and legs and eyebrow. We're still working on those but we sing, "Head and shoulders, knees and toes," like 500-times a day and he's really into pointing out his belly/bellybutton to anyone and everyone.

Asks "where" with his hands. You know the universal upturned hands sign for "I don't know" or "where?" Well, this cutie has it down. And it's the cutest. I ask him where things are all day long because I love when he walks around with his hands in the air looking for something.

Stands still for pictures. I mean, I take a lot of pictures of this kid. A lot. I will say, "Stand over there, I want to take your picture!" And then he does. He'll stand still for about ten seconds and then he runs to me to see it. He'll oblige for about 2 seconds of this nonsense and then he's back to running around and generally not standing very still at all.

New words: Boo.  (Literally, boo. He hides behind things and peeks his head out and says, "Boo!") "Ha!" (Hi.) Beh beh. (Baby. Specifically when he's pointing to the pictures of himself on the fridge.) Bah! (Ball. Arms in the air in the "touch down" motion is football. When we say "football" he throws his arms up and Evan couldn't be more proud if he tried.) Bah! (Belly. To which he is constantly showing strangers or trying to show them mine while we're in public. Thumbs up to that, guys.) Joos. (Shoes.)

Saturday, October 25, 2014

A hilarious story about my dad

This is a hilarious story about my dad that I need to put here for safe keeping.

Like a week ago, my mom came home from Africa (still jealous over here) and so my dad and I planned to go pick her up from the airport. Actually I wanted to make her walk home in case of Ebola but then my dad said that was mean and made me in fact pick her up. And so I did. But before I picked her up, my dad needed to stop at his office.

I need to take a pause here and briefly mention that I've lived here my whole life. I've been driving for ten-years and I manage to get around this place without a GPS like 99.9 percent of the time. I have been to the airport a million times. Which is where we were headed. I've been to my dad's office a million times. Like, this isn't LA, ya'll.

So. We got in the car and my dad immediately says to me, "Go to 13th and take a right and then go all the way to Lewis." YA'LL MY DAD STARTED GIVING ME DIRECTIONS RIGHT OFF THE BAT. I should have just said, "Thanks, guy. This isn't my first rodeo." But I didn't because I was trying to be a less-sassy daughter that day and I figured when I made it safely to Lewis he would just be like, "She got this." But no. That is actually not what happened.

What happened is, I did make it to Lewis. And then he said, "Take a right on 12th. It's the one right after that streetlight." And on and on and on until we were like in the middle of residential hell and every other street was a dead end and I basically had traced a stair pattern with my car and a trip that should have taken like 10-minutes was turning into a Sunday drive.

This is the best part of the story so pay attention: My dad's office is on the outskirts of town, past the interstate. So to get to his office using my dad's backwards route you have to go over the overpass and through several lights. I was stopping at a red light and this was our exchange:

Dad: "You're going to stop at this red light and there are four lights to go through. One, two, three, four. So this one, one after that, another one and then take a right at the last one."
Me, the whole time he's saying this but especially AS HE STARTS COUNTING TO FOUR AT ME: *looking out the window, trying not to die of holding in my laughter.

I'm happy to report that we not only made it to his office (where he actually told me which spot to park in. At eight o'clock at night. You know, a parking lot with like two cars in it and he feels like I need guidance as to which empty spot to park in.) but we also made it safely to the airport. He also said, "Does this car have AM/FM radio?" (We listen to our free Sirius usually.) "Yep, sure does." "Let's find the high school football game cast." My dad is still greatly obsessed with my alma mater. Like, you would probably think he still had a child on the team. He does not. My brother is now in college and has nothing to do with his high school football team. But he made me find the game cast and we listened to it for a good five minutes--five minutes of which I wanted to pull all of my hair out one-by-one because I just cannot with radio sports. My own personal version of hell would be sports on the radio because it is the most annoying. So you can tell that I really appreciated his insistence on listening to the game as he was giving me further directions to the airport and most especially how to use roundabouts. He also got really annoyed when he found out that they were losing and I quote, "Turn this BLEEP off." Except he didn't say "bleep."

That's my dad!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

the best salad of your whole life

This October is weird. It's like 80-degrees one day and 50 the next. All of the leaves have turned but it's still so toasty warm mid-day that it doesn't quite feel like fall on some of these warm afternoons. I have been searching my Pinterest boards for cheap and yummy dishes to make my boys and I and I remembered this delicious salad I made earlier in the year. I know it's kind of past "salad season" but I just don't know what to do with myself on these warm fall days! When I made this recipe before I didn't use most of her ingredients. Sometimes I make these recipes and I don't use 1/2 of the ingredients and I'm like, "Well, I didn't really make that at all." I like to use other people's recipes as a jumping off point so I know that it would be good to put all of those things on some lettuce. I came up with my own version of this salad and let me tell you: I could eat this every day for the rest of my life. That's probably not true. I would probably get sick of it because I am one of those people who eats something until I despise, hate, loathe entirely that thing. [Unless, of course, it is those Keebler Elf pretend girl scout Samoa cookies. One thing for the rest of my life? THOSE. Hands down.]

I was going to take pictures of making it and putting it all together and then I was like, "'s a salad. They're not stupid."

Unless of course you don't make this for yourself.

Kidding! I know this will make it onto your menu. And soon. ;]

What I Add: 
Chopped celery
Garbonzo beans
Sweet corn (I toast this in a pan a tiny bit before throwing it in)
Tri-colored quinoa
Shredded chicken

What I Do:
I prepare all of these ingredients first. The quinoa takes the longest at 20 minutes. I chop my veggies and cook my edamame and chicken and throw everything into a giant bowl. Because these ingredients are going to be warm (I don't worry about cooling anything down because at this point I'm starving), I keep these together and use it as a topping for my lettuce. I shred some romaine and throw a couple of scoops of my topping in a bowl and mix! I top with tomato and cashews because Evan thinks croutons are the devil and splash it with the smallest amount of Italian dressing.

I made this for dinner last night and had the brilliant idea to make a topping instead of a chopped salad because we always have leftovers and what does leftover lettuce do? Get soggy. No one will eat gross leftovers in this house and we all pretend that someone else is going to eat it and no one else ever does. Using it as a topping ensures that no lettuce will get soggy and this salad stays delicious AND gets eaten. And if you want to eat just the quinoa and veggies, you can! (Which I do and it's equally as delicious.)

This salad might sound kind of basic but I always feel like I'm in a rut with my salads. My parents always made chef salad with lots of proteins like turkey and ham and chicken and as good as those were, this protein-rich salad with beans and chicken and quinoa instead of processed lunch meat is just so much more filling. Even Maddox gave us his usual, "mmm!" after every single bite. Mama, daddy and baby approved!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Ten Things

Ten things that are my favorite about him right now.

1. Tippy toes.

2. How he is obsessed with wearing shoes and brings shoes to me to put on whether he has pants on or not or whether he's headed to bed in a few minutes or not.

3. When I say, "Let me see!" He opens his mouth to show me he's swallowed his bite of food.

4. How Evan and I sing, "Sweet Caroline" all day long and get to the part that says, "Bah! Bah! Bah!" And right after we say the "Bah! Bah! Bah!" Maddox chimes in with "Bah! Bah! Bah! Bah! Bah! Bah!"

5. The way he stomps his feet when he's excited.

6. How he still says, "mmm" always.

7. How I will be carrying him by the fridge and he will reach out to the picture of me and say, "Mama!"

8. When he's eaten all of his snack he will come grab my hand and lead me to the pantry and point and say, "mmm" until I've refilled his snack or distracted him with something else.

9. When I say, "Do you want to cuddle?" He lays his head on my shoulder.

10. When he hears me sing and he starts to sing, too.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The goodness (1)

The toes. The hair. The face.

If I'm ever having a bad day, this will be my pick-me-up for the rest of my life. It's practically impossible to be upset when I've got this kind of goodness in my life.

Thursday, October 2, 2014


We named our new car Walter. He's not white (which would be hilarious, my fellow Breaking Bad fans) but he is blue. So, my fellow Breaking Bad fans, do you get it? Ha Ha Ha.

We've had him for a month. At first I would get in to go somewhere and be a little sad because it wasn't Simon. I would park in the Target parking lot (as far away from everyone else as possible because new car) and walk past at least five of Simon's cousins. And they would all be white. And I would hold back tears because I am a girl and also emotions.

And then I got used to it. Maybe it was the morning that Evan put Maddox in his carseat and started the car while I loaded up our water bottles and an extra blanket and double (triple) checked the diaper situation. That morning it was kind of chilly so Evan turned on my seat warmer. And that seat warmer warmed up my legs all the way to my back and that was really nice.

Or maybe it was making my first phone call using the blue tooth system and looking like all those blue tooth idiots I'm always making fun of because they're talking to themselves while they're driving.

Or maybe it was the time that every single radio station was advertising all at the same time and so I turned on our free subscription to Sirius radio and had a billion radio stations at the tips of my fingers.

There's a lot of good in this car. Like how I can see a little tiny hand pop up over the car seat in the back and wave around to the music. Or how Evan grabs my hand when we're driving. (you guys. kids = no hand holding. ever.) Or how this car has gotten us around town for a month and let's us know when someone is too close or we're about to run into something (thank you, caption obvious) or we've just hit a bush (expert bush hitter over here). Or how it has water sensors on the wipers and sometimes if a leaf hits the sensor the wipers go crazy and I lose my mind thinking I've hit a button and end up running the wipers for ten extra minutes while I figure out how to turn that stupid, god-awful sensor off.

So, Walter, welcome to our family. We kind of like you and your fancy ass.