This is Taylor. She was born in mid-November after a much shorter labor than her sister (thank goodness!). She came with all that hair on her head. She is our smiley, chatty, giant-eyed beauty. She is also much more vocal than her sister. She is growing much faster than Ellie did (she'll be in 6-month jammies before her 3-month birthday), and has a voracious appetite. She sleeps fairly well, but likes to throw in at least one horrible night of sleep every week or so; to keep me on my toes.

We weren't sure how Ellie would be with a younger sibling. She had a little bit of a rough time at first (once she realized Taylor is staying forever), but now, after nearly 3 months, she loves her baby sister.  She wants to hug and kiss and hold her all of the time. However, if you're giving T attention, be prepared to have Ellie talking/yelling to you at the same time.

Taylor loves her big sister. She wants to watch everything Ellie does, and big sis gets the biggest baby grins.

Second-time motherhood, is such a crazy thing. My days feel hectic, but if you ask me what I do everyday, it sounds like nothing. I feel productive if I keep the kitchen clean; or clean-ish (I've never been one to put a lot of pressure on myself).

There have been a few days when my in-laws have taken Elliott overnight, and having just 1 baby is suddenly the world's easiest job. My husband and I look at each other like, 'why did we think this was so hard the first time?'


this blog

I thought I had given up writing. I debated on deleting this little blog of mine. I had pretty much decided I was done.  I didn't want to exploit my child(ren) by making my blog all about them. They're too young to decide what they want their internet personas to be - if any. They can't tell me if they don't want a picture posted or a story told. And I thought that if I was going to blog, it should be about me and my stories, not someone else's.

But...over the last year, I've repeatedly found myself writing blog posts in my head.  Finding random things to write about and then talking to myself like I'm telling a story to someone else. So I've decided to give this thing another round, and see where we go from here.

I have to tell you, though.  My stories may be a bit boring. I want to be authentic and real here in my space, and that means I might be a bit dull.  I'm up to my neck in diapers and naptimes, afterall. But I do promise to try to make it interesting for you, if you choose to follow along.



Sunday was Elliott's first birthday. It's hard to believe I have a 1-year old.

The last few weeks having been challenging, as a mother.  She is crawling like crazy, but dying to walk.  She knows a few signs, but wants to talk.

Her favorite activity is whining.  And suddenly, in the last two weeks she has become a crier.  Not just slight whiny cries either, but full-on screaming cries with giant crocodile tears.

She used to never cry. Ever.

We're also in the throws of separation/stranger anxiety.  If you're not mom or dad (or maybe grandma) you better not touch her unless you want to get screamed at.  I'm pretty sure she swore at her pediatrician yesterday, in baby-talk.

At the same time, she's also been the most fun. 

When she's in a good mood, she's super happy and chatty.  She gives big hugs and sweet kisses, and will look right into your eyes and give you the biggest gummiest smile you've ever seen.

She is daddy's princess, and squeals with delight whenever she hears his keys in the door each evening.

Despite the hardships of this age, I am so in-love with my girl.  She is a beautiful soul with big brown eyes to match. 


An update

We're still around.  In case you were worried, or something.

Life has been busy and boring all at the same time.  Somehow our days are flying by, even though in the moment, they feel like they're dragging.

Elliott is 11 1/2 months old.  Two weeks ago she started crawling, but she pretty much only crawls when she's desparate.  She would much rather cruise around in her walker, or walk around holding onto things.  Her favorite game, currently, is to hold our hands and make Brad or me walk her around the house.  She says 'mama' and 'dada' and tries to say 'kitty.' Brad also recently taught her the sign for 'more,' though she'll mostly only do it for him.

This last week, she's been working on her first two teeth.  She seemed nearly normal during the day (though she was a bit clingier and whinier than usual). But last night was the first night since last Thursday that either of us slept well. It was like life with a newborn all over again.

Last Sunday, we had her dedicated at church. Our small group (which consists of us and 2 other couples) all had baby girls in 2013, so we dedicated them all together.  It was perfect.

Our next big project is to plan her 1st birthday party, which is just 2 short weeks away. I should've done this week's ago, but I have to admit, I've been procrastinating a bit.  I don't want her to be 1 yet. So if I put off planning her party it won't happen, right?  right...

Nothing really going on with Brad and I. ...minus the fact that we abandoned being paleo to be vegan...  ha.  Which, surprisingly, hasn't been that difficult. I actually really like it. It seems easier to eat vegan than to eat paleo... less things to avoid maybe?

After watching multiple documentaries on how healthy a plant-based diet is, we decided to give it a try.  Brad has had some health issues 30-year-olds shouldn't have (high blood pressure, etc), and I'd like to weigh less. So it's a win-win for both of us to eat less garbage and more leafy greens.  So far it's working out pretty well. We decided we'd stick with it through Brad's birthday in April, and then see how we feel about it. So far, we're both fairly certain it will be something we continue doing.


new camera

For the last 5-10 years, the number one spot on my Christmas List has been a DSLR camera. You know, the cameras that run for no less than $600.  It was never a surprise when it wasn't under the tree.

This year, I finally gave up the dream.  I left it off the list, and decided that if I really wanted one I would just have to save up for it.

But then....Christmas morning came.  I opened a gift from my sister, and there it was.  A Canon EOS Rebel SL1. What.  WHAT!?!?

It is awesome.

I've been taking pictures like crazy the last 10ish days.  I'm still getting the hang of how it works, and haven't even touched the Manual setting yet, but look...  These pictures are amazing!

I still can't even believe it!



2013 was a big year for us. 

This year, we got really serious about budgeting, then we bought a new car; I stopped working; and, of course, the biggest thing of all, our sweet Elliott joined us and took over our home, our lives, and our hearts. 

It's been an amazing time. 

Today, after hearing the message at church, we decided to set a few goals for our family. Brad and I have made personal goals before, but we've never sat down to do it for the family as a whole. It seems like a great way to set out on the right foot. I'm not talking resolutions. While I would like to get in better shape, I'm also not fooling myself into thinking I'll suddenly want to go to the gym everyday. 

We're each coming up with broad goals for each category: finances,  marriage, family, home, etc.

I'd like to make date nights a priority, and paint the outside of our house, to name a few. 

Will you be setting goals for the upcoming year?



Having a baby changes your body.


Note, I did not say it ruins your body.  Because it doesn't. I think in a lot of ways, my body is better than ever.  But then I've got this belly I didn't have before.

It's fine, really.  This fat pad was protecting my baby-cake for 9 months. It did an excellent job of keeping her padded, safe, and warm. That's a pretty amazing thing.

However, now, nearly 9 months later, I'm ready for it to go away.

Nursing Elliott has helped a lot, but there's this last 10 pounds that is refusing to budge.

In an effort to lose the pounds and healthify these bods, Brad and I have decided to start eating paleo.

We're not going to be super strict with it.  We don't eat a lot of dairy or legumes as it is, so we don't see a need to cute those out completely.

We're also not going to be SUPER strict on weekends. Sometimes, date night requires a burger and fries, knowwhatImean?

However, we do generally eat a lot of grains and sugar.  Because I bake.  And that is what baking is made of.

So starting yesterday, we've cut out grains and sugar, and I've been cooking paleo recipes.

I found this website the other day, paleomg.com.  The girl is freakin' awesome.  So many delicious-looking paleo baked goods.  I made pumpkin chocolate chip muffins last night, and they are to die for.  Brad couldn't believe they're paleo.

If all paleo baked good recipes are like this.  I think we might actually succeed at this thing.

Has anyone else done paleo?  How'd it go for you?  Feel free to share any recipes you loved...



On Saturday, my lady love turned eight months old. Her little personality is showing more and more every day, and she is my favorite.

This month, she's started to wave hello/goodbye and shake her head 'no.'  She's eating pureed foods, but has been showing a lot of interest in food from our plates.  The only reason she hasn't had much yet is because her parents are paranoid that she will choke to death.  Though she has successfully eaten pear and cauliflower on her own.

She is a very social little lady who loves to smile and chat with her baby friends and grandparents.

Her sleep is all or nothing. She sleeps through the night, or she's up every 3 hours.  There is no in between.

She is not crawling yet, and seems to show no interest in it.  If placed on her tummy, she instantly rolls to her back.  She'd rather sit or stand up to play with her toys. I suspect she may skip crawling altogether.

We bought her a little push truck this weekend, and she can't get enough of it.  She's great at balancing on it and pushing herself around the living room.

I seriously love being her mama. It is the best job I have ever had.



Elliott's entered in the National Gerber Baby Contest! Vote for her here.

I have two sisters.  I've mentioned that before, I'm sure. Well, about a week ago, I wrote a post about how we visited my youngest sister, and how she was kind of a poop when I told her I was pregnant with Ellie.

My other sister, Kiesha, was stoked about my pregnancy.  To my surprise, actually.  I guess I didn't think she'd care that much. She's busy with her career and then-boyfriend-now-fiance.  But when I told her I was having a baby, she was super excited.

And when I found out I was having a girl, she immediately went out and bought lots of cute pink things. She also started planning my baby shower.

Auntie Kiesha's work is about a block away from Brad's work, so anytime Elliott and I go up to visit daddy for lunch, Auntie Kiesha also gets a visit. I'm a little afraid of what might happen if we came up and didn't tell her.

Both of my sisters, love my baby more than I thought they would. I don't have any nieces or nephews yet, so I didn't know what to expect.

They're very hands-on aunties. A few days after E was born, they demanded I text at least 2 photos per day so they could be a part of her daily activities.

It's weird being a grown-up with a baby.  It's like watching my sisters play with my favorite and most delicate toy.  Except now I trust them not to break her.