styled | vintage v-neck

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quilting class attire

j.crew studded wool flats × j.crew ankle denim × j.crew vintage v-neck t-shirt × j.crew watercolor scarf × j.crew houndstooth blazer

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out and about

kate spade wool herringbone and tassled flats × j.crew wool joggers × j.crew vintage v-neck t-shirt × gucci fanny pack × j.crew puffer vest

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a little bit of edgy

steve madden studded metallic flats × j.crew distressed denim × j.crew vintage v-neck t-shirt × j.crew plaid scarf × lucky brand leather bomber jacket

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the wisdom of Roald Dahl

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and above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.

if a person has ugly thoughts, it begins to show on the face. and when that person has ugly thoughts every day, every week, every year, the face gets uglier and uglier until you can hardly bear to look at it. a person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. you can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts it will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.

a little nonsense now and then, is cherished by the wisest men.

we are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.

matilda said, “never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. be outrageous. go the whole hog. make sure everything you do is so completely crazy it’s unbelievable…”

i began to realize how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. if you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it at full speed ahead. embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all become passionate about it. lukewarm is no good. hot is no good either. white hot and passionate is the only thing to be.

we have so much time and so little to do. strike that, reverse it.

i was glad my father was an eye-smiler. it meant he never gave me a fake smile because it’s impossible to make your eyes twinkle if you aren’t feeling twinkly yourself. a mouth-smile is different. you can fake a mouth-smile any time you want, simply by moving your lips. i’ve also learned that a real mouth-smile always has an eye-smile to go with it. so watch out, i say, when someone smiles at you but his eyes stay the same. it’s sure to be a phony.

the grand birthday weekend

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the car selfie situation. we’ve got it on lock.

so, ben’s birthday. it just so happened to fall on a friday which meant birthday WEEKEND! obviously. stretching out birthdays is kind of the best. in fact, i am thinking about doing a round two celebration in february. marking off the 22nd and designating it as another date night. nothing wrong with bonus celebrating, right? especially when you are celebrating someone as deserving as my man.

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on friday, we did some “our family” celebrating and then after the workday was through, we dropped off the little ones so we could have a date night. it was one of those days when we had a million dinner ideas and couldn’t settle on something until the last minute. and when *we* choose a spot last minute, it usually ends up involving burgers. so, hopdoddy it was. we split truffle fries and a chocolate shake. and ordered up his-and-hers burgers. and if you are near a hopdoddy, do yourself a favor and get the k-town belly burger: grass-fed beef, pork belly (that they cooked in some kind of sweet and magical way), kimchi, house gochujang, korean rice crispies, mayo, and basil leaves. it was outstanding.

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on saturday morning, after my quilting class, we got our brunch party on with ben’s side of the family. all the bagels. freshly picked grapefruit. orange juice. rich coffee. spicy baked eggs. and a bacon flight. yup. good stuff.

we chatted and laughed and celebrated the birthday boy. he even blew out a candle that was placed in a dollop of cream cheese in the center of a bagel. good stuff. and the day was concluded with a movie night at home after the kiddos were asleep. popcorn and snacks and tasty beverages (i got ben a big thing of am amarena cherries so…manhattans) and a little mission impossible.

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aaaaand sunday. we started things off with coffee and a pile of pastries for the birthday boy (thanks for sharing, ben). and then closed the weekend with pizza and cupcakes with my side of the family. oh, and football. oh, and children making noise everywhere.

our families really know how to party. candles and balloons and tasty foods and treats and thoughtful presents. and plenty of play. and laughter. i hope ben felt celebrated and appreciated. because he is the best.

runny noses & jazz hands & baby blues

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there have been icky-sicky-bugs floating around our home for the past few days. runny noses and all. phlegm phlegm phlegm phlegm phlegm. ridley’s first cold. and elinor’s, maybe, third? i am beyond grateful for two healthy little ones. i am kind of the worst at illness. being sick just makes me mad. personally, i hate being slowed down by all the nonsense. and over the years, my body has gotten the hint and learned to do a full-force sick day and then move along. when i get a cold, i have one day of miserable. just, nothing. on the couch. all the fluids and intense rounds of vitamin C powder treatment. useless to everyone. hardcore ick. and then, i usually wake up feeling 75%. still in recovery but definitely functional. this fast and furious approach is perfect for me. but that one day, man. it makes me all kinds of mad.

and elinor is a lot like me. she usually has one day of serious sickies. she is quiet. she snuggles. she is quiet. did i mention that already? she throws the white flag. she succumbs to the power of the cold and shuts things down for a day to recover. and while it is SO sad to see her like that (and while all the nose-wiping is, frankly, gross) i kind of like those rare sick days with my little girl. there is a lot of tea and snuggles and blankets and movies and reading. i soak it up because i know that the next day, she will flip the switch back to ON and resume regular operations. full force, even with some residual sniffles. loud and intense. unencumbered, despite her playtime being punctuated with coughs.

i feel so badly when the kiddos get sick. they don’t understand what’s going on with their bodies* they are tired but want to act like everything is normal. they don’t understand why rest is good and fluids are good. they want to play! do all the things! and they just can’t comprehend why they aren’t allowed to enjoy their usual treats of gummy bears and ice cream from the grandparents. fortunately, elinor is going through a major satsuma phase right now so she is peel-and-eating about four of those babies a day. vitamin C and superfood smoothies and probiotics and essential oils, all around. tea with lemon and honey for elinor. and plenty of breastmilk for ridley.

from what i can tell, ridley likes to milk it just a tad longer. he likes at least three sick days. i think he is amused by the funny pig/pug sound that his nose makes when he is all stuffed up. and if it weren’t for the constant supply of “boogies”, you wouldn’t really know that he is under the weather. he smiles through it all. currently, i am referring to him as our little slug bug. as he is leaving a trail of slime everywhere he goes. between the crawling and teething and banana eating and runny nose, things are incredibly slimy. so if you need me this week, i will be hosing down the house…

* fabulous story: a few nights back, elinor woke up a couple of hours after bedtime and yelled for papa. when he went in to check on her, she was sitting up in her bed and immediately asked, “what’s happening with my nose?!?!” so so funny. but, poor girl. mucous is no joke. ben wiped her nose and tried to contain his laughter. it’s one for the memory books. elinor’s first truly snotty nose.

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oh, elinor. when she isn’t busy honing her tiny tyrant skills, she is working on her other craft: entertaining. such a drama queen. she’s emotional. she is the best mimic. a master of impersonations. a queen of comedic timing. a maven of improv. she is always telling stories or recounting recent events. she is delightful. such joy and spunk. such personality. so expressive. such gestures. such wild ideas. a glint in her eye. a smirk on her face. and that perfect dimple. this threenager stuff is no joke. but her jokes make it enjoyable.

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i can’t get enough of these two. together. she is so aware of him. trying to meet his needs and help and play. and he is constantly trying to keep up and show off. elinor is the instigator. elinor encourages him. she messes with him. and ridley is ever so charming. and daring. he likes to surprise us. and while he is accommodating and sweet, he also knows the art of a well-placed strong arm. she is determined. he is determined. but their methods and manners are unique.

the two of them are quite the pair. so similar in so many ways. i see glimmers of elinor in ridley. i see flashes of ridley in elinor. bits and pieces of ben and myself in both of them. but with all their similarities, they are such individuals. they smile differently. they eat differently. they crawl and move differently. communicate differently. they have their own styles, approaches, preferences.

i love this season of life. watching their personalities grow. watching them interact. watching them relate to each other and the world around them. and i am so excited to see what God has for them…

happy birthday, ben!

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well hello there, handsome hubs. a very merry birthday to you!

thank you for sharing your life with me. what an honor. and what a ride. i have been able to spend the last, what, fourteen birthdays with you? yikes. that’s a bit crazy. and it just keeps getting better. you just keep getting better. it is such a blessing to watch you grow in wisdom. to watch you bend your ear to God, bend your will to God. allowing Him to mold you and use you for His kingdom work.

you are a devoted son. you are a devoted husband. you are a devoted father. you are a devoted worker. you are a devoted friend. in everything you do, you give everything you can. you strive for excellence. you push. you pursue. you love your family well. you make us laugh. and yes, sometimes, roll our eyes.

i love your mischievous smirk. your sparkling eyes. your rad beard. your style. your wit. your dedication. your love of cheese. and bread. and cheese again. you are you. that is truer than true. there is no one alive who is you-er than you.

i love you so. now let’s party!

***

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