Friday, July 30, 2010


happy birthday, ash!!!

i love this day so much. for so many reasons...

i love that we get to celebrate you! i love that you are SO much fun to shop for and i always have a hard time stopping myself when it comes to your birthday gifts.

and i love that for several weeks we are only one year apart. (almost as much as i dislike the several weeks when sam and i are eleven years me turning 30 and sam still being 19!!) i don't know why i love it so much, but it makes me so happy to have only one year separate us. i know the numbers are just numbers, but i cherish this gap of time between the end of july and september!

ash, your friendship and sisterhood is such a gift. i have loved sharing the journey of motherhood with you and i look forward to all of the years ahead of us.

we love you so much!

happy birthday!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


my gram was one of the most generous women you will ever meet.

she was feisty and spunky and loved her jewelry.

she had a quick wit and had an opinion on most things.

and she will be greatly missed.

even though lily spent very little time with my gram, there is something about her that makes me sure gram lives on in my daughter. lily's expressions often remind me so much of my gram and i am so thankful for that now.

gram, our hearts ache for you to be here with us and you are already missed so very much. but, i can't wait to join you and poppy one day in heaven to celebrate together.

oh how we adore you...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

::bastille day::

i have never before celebrated bastille day.

i admittedly know very little about france.

but, that is something i love about whit. you see, out of the five of us, whit was the only one of us who studied french. she did so unashamedly and with passion.

and when it comes to trivia and details, whit is your girl. want to know the nickname of oregon?
yup, the beaver state...and she didn't even have to think twice. so, when july 14th rolled around, she was ready to celebrate.

we did so in one of the only ways we knew to do here...but it sure was delicious. we enjoyed crepes from an adorable takeaway creperie. and lily loved EVERY bite.

happy bastille day!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

boys weekend...

(plus lily and me)

my brothers and dad made a trip to c'ville this past weekend as a belated birthday gift for duke.

it was the perfect summer weekend...great food, golf, a night spent out at a vineyard with great music, time on campus and downtown, and best of all, wonderful company.

thank you so much, dad, duke and sam for making the trek! we miss you already!!

and what is cuter than a naked sleeping baby on a hot summer day??

Friday, July 9, 2010


as one of ryan's father's day gifts, he received a composter.

i know. i know. probably not the #1 gift on his list. but don't worry, it wasn't the only thing he received. and in all honesty, is has been something we have been talking about doing for well over a year, but have just never taken the plunge. well, we finally dove in.

and per request (yeah, blogging bud, erin!) i thought i'd tell you a bit about our progress thus far...

we decided on the garden gourmet. it is a recycled plastic composter that just has a simple lid on top and a sliding door on the bottom. it traps solar heat to speed composting and has air vents on the side to aid in the process. it snapped together very quickly with no tools.

our hope is to create nutrient rich soil for our garden while eliminating our waste.

i was suprised when i began to learn about composting how much we can compost that we typically throw away. almost all of our kitchen and yard scraps can be added to the composter. fruits, veggies, egg shells, coffee grounds, and plain breads can all be thrown in. the general premise is that you add equal green material (food products) and brown material (dried out lawn material) to the composter. you can even compost dryer lint, rags, paper towels and other paper products. the smaller the item you put into it, the quicker it will start to decompose.

each time i add waste from our kitchen, i toss in some yard waste and give it a quick stir. we have yet to have rich soil from it, but i can tell things are really working in there. stuff is quickly breaking down and i am excited to see what we produce!

my biggest concerns were the smell of the composter and also that we might attract vermin. so far, so good. when i purchased it, i was told that to prevent smells, you need to keep your ratio of green to brown material 1:1. so, i have been trying really hard to stick to that.

and so far, no animals have seemed to come knocking. it has a great door and lid that snap into place, so any animal would have to be pretty aggressive. but, we have had a big problem with our trash can, so that has been my biggest fear. but, so far, so good. i think that meat and dairy products are the big things that attract pests, so i have not put any of that into the composter. we do have some fruit flies around it, but that occasionally happens in our kitchen around our was sure to happen around the composter! :)

the garden gourmet is not a batch composter. meaning you don't have to stop the composting process at any point and wait for compost to be created. some tumblers are batch composters. i didn't want to have to stop the process, so we steered clean of this kind.

anyway, so far, so good. i am excited to be composting and lily loves adding to our little kitchen bucket to take it down to the yard. if anyone has any advice or tips, i would love them!

here's to hoping our garden next year is even more bountiful due to the compost!

and just a little lily and finn love. we rode bikes to the park last week and due to a huge storm here, trees were down everywhere. someone had built a fort under a downed tree that they thought was awesome!

Thursday, July 8, 2010


over our home owning years, i have had a major dilemma.

and that dilemma has revolved around cleaning our floors.

i have been through 4 different mops and i feel like all i have done is push around dirty water, various floor cleaning chemicals, or germs. and i never feel satisfied after finishing that the job has been done well.

i keep buying new mop heads, new mops, or new products thinking, "this is finally going to be it! my key to shining floors!"

well, 6 years later, i think i finally have found a solution for our home.

enter the eureka enviro steamer mop.

it's great guys. check it out...

it works on the premise of creating really hot steam (220 degrees) to work the grime and dirt off of your floors. no more soap. no more chemicals. no pads or refills. just pure clean steam. it heats up in just a few minutes with nothing but water and you are able to quickly steam clean almost any hard floor in your home.

it comes with two reusable pads that you throw in the washer after you've used them. it has a large enough capacity for me to only fill it once and do our entire upstairs (which, granted, isn't that large, but still!) and it constantly emits steam. for really caked on areas, you can just hold it over the spot for several seconds and it lifts right off. i must say, i am impressed.

we have had the steamer for several weeks now and i am sold. it is far and away better than any mop i've ever had. and i love that i don't have to buy anything additional for it and it is not harming the environment. it was expensive (i found it for $69), but let's be honest...i've put more money than that into my combined costs of our previous mopping efforts. and i think this one will finally be around for good.

my floors aren't exactly shining, but that is not due to the mop...just my two sweet little ones running around all day long. but, i finally feel like they are clean. at least until the next meal!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

::a little 4th love::

we are truly in the heat of summer over here, but it felt great and very appropriate for the 4th of july.

ry was off in chicago for colin's bachelor party (no pictures of that to follow...)

but, thankfully for the kids and i, whit came to visit!

it was wonderful to have her in town. we did all things summer and lily and finn enjoyed every minute of her being here. lily was truly her shadow and allowed her no privacy and even begged to make the long drive to the airport and back just to be with her. we were all glad she was here!

thanks so much for celebrating with us, whit!

and on a completely different note, i made a really simple and easy gift for finn for his birthday.

i made a homemade version of an activity book after seeing how much he and lily loved a really little one we have. i was able to use scraps and old items from around the house, so it was free, which made it even better! it is nothing fancy and has some flaws, but they don't care! i would recommend it if you are looking for a project!

i am hoping it might come in handy for our upcoming indiana trips...
best wishes, right? :)