A Little Extra Writing

Grace

Photograph by Kevin A. Roberts

Awhile back I mentioned that blogging has not only allowed me to develop a wonderful online community and keep a fun record of our family life, but has also recently opened some doors for me in ways I never would have imagined. A couple of months ago, thanks to a friend who believed in me, I was contacted by the editor at St. Louis Family Magazine to write a piece.

I was lucky enough to interview Grace Mehan, a young adult with Down syndrome, and her  family about Grace’s Bus Stop. Check out the full article here if you are interested. The whole experience of researching and interviewing Grace and her family was an enriching one for me, and getting paid for some work was also nice, ha, ha!

But above all, the experience made me appreciate how hard it is to write in the reporter style! Let me tell you, that part did not come naturally to me, and there were a couple complete re-do’s and freak-out moments. Thank you Andrew, for reading and re-reading my drafts, and thank you Maggie, for believing in me! If the opportunity arises again, I will jump at the chance!

Dress That Mama: White Romper

DSC_0063DSC_0082Here is what I wore all day Saturday- a white cotton shorts romper with buttons up the back. I love wearing things like this because for some reason I feel instantly put together, and it’s simple enough to carry me through the hot summer. Usually I wear this with flat sandals, but I will dress it up with clogs with a bit of a heel and a nice necklace. And lately, this is how my hair inevitably ends up by the end of the afternoon.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

P.s.- To answer Kristin’s question, “How do you go to the bathroom in a romper with buttons up the back?” – Not often! Or, in privacy, ha ha! 

On Marriage

DSC_0004Today is our 7th wedding anniversary. We joke about the “Seven Year Itch,” even though we have been together for 15 years, so I guess we have technically made it past the itchy part. Recently we have been through the ringer emotionally- the hospitalization was really scary for us and stretched us to our limits in some surprising ways. And then it did something amazing; all the worry, all the heartache, all the stress took us to the next level somehow. Just when I thought it wasn’t possible, we became even closer. I know it sounds cheesy, but there is something really special and amazing about this man, and I am fantastically lucky to have him as my partner. DSC_0005DSC_0007Here are some things Andrew has taught me about marriage so far:

Laughter makes just about everything better. I tend to take myself too seriously! Andrew has taught me that if we can laugh at each other and ourselves, or a crappy situation, we can get through it together. And this counts in really morbid situations too… we tend to keep this to ourselves so we don’t offend anyone!

Communication is key. I know this is a given, but really. We are two different people with two different experiences of the same situation, and we often have different opinions on top of that! We talk. A lot.

Don’t stop doing those things you did at the beginning of the relationship- the little notes, texts, phone calls, emails, practical jokes, surprises, etc. Those things are small and take little effort but make a huge difference in how special and cared for you make the other person feel. Andrew is so much better at doing this than I am (I’m working on it!). And make time for dates. They are so important!

DSC_0008I love this man to the moon and back, a million times over. Happy Anniversary, my love! Here’s to 50 more!

(Easter) Weekend Shenanigans

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Whew, what a great weekend! We enjoyed beautiful weather, got plenty of gardening done, and still had time left over to spend with friends on Sunday; it has become a tradition for us to visit our friends for their neighborhood Easter parade and egg hunt and this year did not disappoint. The boys (and I) were looking forward to it for weeks, and I was a little nervous that it was going to be cold, but viola! Beautiful warm weather, sunny skies, and all signs of illness gone from our house. Finally!DSC_0142DSC_0145DSC_0149DSC_0156DSC_0157DSC_0158DSC_0159DSC_0160DSC_0163

It was so healing to spend time together all day Saturday with no one under the weather. I am feeling so much better, gaining more energy every day and needing to rest a bit less every day. I’m getting there! The boys enjoyed an egg hunt in our back yard, played in the water, and helped with the veggie garden. Andrew added play sand to the sand box we dug out for them last year and Emil spent most of his afternoon playing and burying himself in the sand while singing sweetly to no one in particular. DSC_0034DSC_0027DSC_0036

A sweet package from Allison- made me laugh and feel so special. Thank you, sweet Allison!DSC_0005DSC_0117DSC_0133DSC_0170DSC_0098DSC_0101DSC_0171DSC_0172DSC_0176DSC_0179DSC_0184DSC_0191DSC_0197DSC_0202DSC_0207DSC_0209DSC_0212

It was a wonderful weekend. I hope yours was too!

Gone Girl Trailer

For all of you Gone Girl fans, the trailer just came out for the movie adaptation… will you see it? I always have mixed feelings about seeing the movie version of my favorite books; no matter how great the movie version is, it never seems to measure up to my mental images of the story as it moves forward. I guess that’s why I love reading so much?

It does look good, though, and I’ll probably see it anyway. Plenty of time to decide; the movie doesn’t come out until October 3rd.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Spring/Summer Color Palette

DSC_0012DSC_0009This spring, I’ve been very purposeful in my purchase of new clothing. I took a serious look at what I already had and decided to add pieces that were similar in color or tone and can be easily mixed and matched with pre-existing pieces. My color palette for this spring and summer? Cream and sand and a bit of brown…DSC_0011DSC_0004… along with blues and whites in various shades. Much of what is above was already in my closet. I added a couple of dresses: one tie-dyed white and blue long dress and one cream colored dolman-sleeve short dress. I also added a white shorts romper with buttons up the back that I think I’m going to live in this summer! DSC_0002I think having a color palette to fall back on over the next two months will make it so much easier to mix it up while keeping it simple. What colors or tones are you drawn to right now?

1000 Posts!

Lauren’s post today is her 1000th. When I saw she was near 1000 a few weeks ago, I started reading through the blog from the beginning. It is incredible to have this journal of our lives together over the past 6 years. In no particular order, here are some of my favorite posts (I tried to pick a top 10, but failed miserably…):

Birth Stories: Milo, Oliver, Emil

“Eye” Will Take No More

Hillbilly

Cut and Pasted

JUMP!

“Eye” Love You

Doo-Da!

Now for the A**-Wiping

Mustachio

Metamorphosis

Them’s Fightin’ Words…Er, Babbles

Empty Threats

Lost in Translation

Dirt

The Bite

That was a bad idea.

Creeps

Crawling (and Dancing) Back Out

Teamwork

Queen of Sneaky

Checking for Bad Guys

Oliver at Two Years, Two Months

Jewish

Fishy

Varmint Huntin’

Everything is a Penis

Rockin’ Out Yeah

A Bad Day

Creepy Things and Mean Things

Dear Dad,

Stitches

Hoppy Holidays

The Button

These Two

Under Water

Paris: The Latin Quarter & Le Marais

The Cabin, and a Bit About Friends (Part II)

A Slow Recovery

Oliver’s AM Words of Wisdom

Dress That Mama: Spring Whites

DSC_0106Lately shades of white have been really appealing to me. This spring I have invested in a few things to mix and match with what I already have to carry me through the summer. Everything so far is linen or cotton and breezy and light. It gets pretty hot here in St. Louis in the summer, so I know I’ll be reaching for lightweight skirts all through the summer. DSC_0102My thoughtful friend Ingrid (who has great style and great luck finding treasures) found this pair of Swedish Hasbeens in my size at a yard sale- lucky me! I think they will look great with all the white and light blue I’ve been stocking up on, and I appreciate a fun pop of color!

P.s.- Find Swedish Hasbeens clogs here!

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

DSC_0001Even though we are nowhere near the pumpkin-fest that is fall, I decided to make pumpkin whoopie pies with maple-cream cheese filling after a search through our pantry lead me to put two-and-two together. I was itching to bake something; we had all the ingredients. An hour later: perfection in a cookie. I plan to make these again… and long before October rolls around!

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 3 cups pureed pumpkin
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

For the filling:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups confectioner’s sugar

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, combine top 8 dry ingredients with a whisk. In a separate mixing bowl, cream together sugars and oil, then add eggs one at a time. Add pumpkin puree, then vanilla, and mix until smooth.

Gradually add spoonfuls of the dry mixture until incorporated. Drop cookie dough onto cookie sheets (use parchment paper or a silpat) in heaping spoonfuls, then press the middle down to make them nice and flat disks (otherwise they will puff up and be too dome-like for filling and stacking).

Bake 10 – 12 minutes, then allow to cool completely before transferring to wire rack.

Once the cookies are cool, make the frosting. Beat the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add maple syrup and vanilla and continue mixing. Carefully add the powdered sugar and whip together until incorporated.

Spread a heaping tablespoon of frosting onto the bottom of one cookie, match it up with a cookie about the same size, and gently squeeze together. Continue until all cookies are matched up, and eat the extras by dipping them into the leftover frosting, of course. And voila! Pumpkin Whoopie Pie magic! Enjoy!

P.s.- Recipe adapted slightly from this one