Aug. 27, 2014 – Cloudy, 59°, Sunrise 6:41 am, Sunset 9:21 pm Here we are again – birthday time! In my family birthdays tend to stretch out for days, even weeks…and it’s wonderful! J’s birthday is towards the end of August, … Continue reading

Carmen Girls

July 24, 2014 – Overcast, 64°, Sunrise 5:13 am, Sunset 10:58 pm

I met Rachel and Laura when we were in a sorority together; we really became friends our Junior year when we all lived on the same floor. It was so easy to just pop down the hall and hang out – plus M was studying for a semester in Germany, and they were kind enough to sympathize with me and keep me company! The two of them were friends with Meredith, and she and I were acquaintances because of Rach and Laura, but didn’t really get to know each other until we lived together in Chicago (on Carmen Ave).

Graduation 2004

Graduation 2004


The first year out of college I was sort of looking for direction of where to go. M had moved to Alaska, and wasn’t ready for me to move with him yet. Somehow this idea hatched about Chicago, things fell in to place very last minute, and I got the chance to move to Chicago and room with the girls; I lived there for one year. I always say that is my one “regret”: not getting to live with the 3 of them for another year in Chicago. Granted, I moved to Alaska to be with M, we got married and have 2 beautiful boys…so I use regret loosely. But I wish I could have some how done both – got the guy and still had another year with the girls!

Chicago roommates

Chicago roommates – 2004

They are still 3 of my closest friends, and it’s hard to believe it’s been 10+ years! We have shared a lot of life…


Lots of pictures sitting at tables and eating, Meredith’s favorite :)

All the Carmen gals – 2005

They were there for me when M deployed; we enjoyed a girls trip to Florida.


St. Pete Beach – 2009

When I was living in Oregon and pregnant with J, I flew home for my baby shower, and not only did they all drive to attend, but helped to host it.

Pregnant with J  2011

Pregnant with J – 2011


And the reason I’ve been reflecting on these beautiful friendships is because 2 weeks ago we all got the chance to be together for another wonderful life moment and celebrate Laura and Kris’ wedding!! I was honored to be a bridesmaid for Laura, and it felt so full circle; we have all been bridesmaids for each other’s weddings.



She was a stunning bride, and though I didn’t have the privilege to meet the groom until wedding weekend, I could immediately tell how perfect the two of them are together! They put together a wonderful wedding weekend, you could feel the love and see how excited all their friends and family were to be there and help kick off this beautiful marriage! Thank you for including me in The Best Day Ever. 

Mr. & Mrs.

Mr. & Mrs.

And thank you girls – you are amazing women, and I am so blessed by our friendship. Chicago was such a short season for me, but it has had such a lasting impact!


Caterpillar Encore

July 3, 2014 – Partly Cloudy, 70°, Sunrise 4:30 am, Sunset 11:36 pm

It’s beautiful here today! We’re expecting more of the same for this holiday weekend (we’re excited but some Alaskans think is hot; some of M’s coworkers are calling it a scorch-fest), and looking forward to celebrating with friends. Tomorrow we’re watching the parade (J can hardly wait to see the firetrucks) and going to a friend’s for a barbecue, and I even have our cute coordinating red-white-and-blue outfits picked out! We won’t be staying up for the fireworks though…they don’t go off until 11:20 pm, and even then the sun will still not have set.

Now that we have a lull in visitors, and the hustle and bustle of N’s birth is behind us, I thought I’d backtrack and share how we decorated his room. I mentioned in this post, about J’s new decor, that we were keeping the Hungry Caterpillar theme for the new little one. The only real change this time around is we own our home and can paint! Keeping with the gender neutral theme, we picked soft shades of green and yellow. It’s just enough of a change to make it feel fresh for N, but there’s also something very sweet about using the same items that we used for J when he was a baby. And thankfully painting the room was one item on our baby-to-do-list that we accomplished before M left for Boston, otherwise I’m sure it would not have happened!

And don’t mind the crying child in the photo, he was just unhappy that naptime was being postponed so Mama could do a quick photo shoot :)



When we first moved in, this was our guest room. Originally I thought we would get rid of the queen bed to make room for the baby, but my husband was not a fan of that idea. So we decided to keep it for awhile, and it’s actually worked out great. Our bedroom is downstairs, and the boys are upstairs, so on the nights where N just hasn’t wanted to settle it’s been nice to have a bed to crash in up there. Avoids me falling down the stairs in my zombie state.

J’s still in his crib; he hasn’t tried to climb out ever, we’re going with containment as long as possible – or at least through the summer. So this is a new crib for N, identical to J’s so they could look nice together in a shared room down the road. The front railing can come off to transform into a toddler bed, so we felt like having 2 was not redundant.

IMG_7139When we got pregnant back in September, I was still rocking J to sleep most nights. I looked on Craigslist and checked out a few new rockers, but none were as comfy as the one I had made over for J originally. Then with my growing belly, and his growing body, we stopped fitting in the rocker together so that naturally ended the rocking to bed and made it easier to move the rocker into N’s room. Though J did have a mini melt down when I started moving stuff over to the baby’s room. He told me he did not like his trucks anymore and that the baby should have his trucks. He would keep the caterpillars!


Still haven’t taken the tag off the crib, the little things that slide with #2

And the caterpillar clock is back up (thanks Laura!). It had stopped working a few months back when it was still in J’s room. But with just a little messing with the battery connection it came back to life. It’s neat to have things from friends in N’s room. They may have been originally bought for J, but I like that the love is passed on. I also have the baby shower invite from J’s shower, thanks to Austin Mama herself, hanging up as well.


And this guy just keeps getting cuter! Starting to smile and ready to flirt just in time for a dear friend’s wedding, where Austin Mama and I get to meet up and celebrate one of our best friends!! Can’t wait!


10 weeks – where is the time going!?


One month

May 29, 2014 – Cloudy, 57°, Sunrise 4:41 am, Sunset 11:14 pm

Warning – this post contains an absurd number of cute baby photos!!

N is 5 weeks old! In many, many ways, we are still learning who he is; but it is already hard to imagine our family without him. The initial adjustment was not as hard as I thought it would be. Having M home for 3 weeks was amazing for all of us. And overall it’s still going well, but now it feels like we’re a little bit more into the grind of it all. “Oh yeah, I am going to be up 2-3 times a night for the foreseeable future, and I’m still chasing a 2.5 year old, and I have to grocery shop, and at least keep a walkway open through all the toys in the family room!” Thankfully grandparent reinforcements show up next week :-)

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Not a huge fan of his photo shoot

Our little man is still little, though you can tell he’s filling out from that first week. J was born in August, and early on he just wore onesies, so I had lots of tiny onesies. It’s still cool enough here though that N needed a few more layers. The first week or two he looked pretty ridiculous!

camera 434During those first 3 weeks with M home, we got around to some of the items on our baby list that were suppose to happen post-Boston, pre-baby…like assembling the crib. (We didn’t even have it when N was born, it had been ordered, but arrived the day we came home from the hospital!)

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J continues to adjust well. He’s definitely more needy these days, not always happy about waiting “his turn” when I’m helping N. He wants to be a big boy and help me with everything, and at the same time wants me to help him with everything like I do for N. But he continues to love on N; always wanting to cover him up with a blanket so N is warm, and J’s favorite thing is to lay cuddled up next to N. The other day we were all snuggling in the big bed, and J asked me to tuck N in tight right next to him…then he told me to leave the room; he just wanted to hang out with N. Makes me so excited to see their relationship grow!

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My two boys on Mother’s Day

Measuring to see how big N is

Measuring to see how big N is

Our furry child continues to adjust too. He’s such a great dog, and so easy going with the boys. He knows his ranking fell a little bit more – but thankfully doesn’t seem to mind! :-)

IMG_6453We’re certainly not into a routine yet, but we are starting to get more of a rhythm. N was very sleepy the first few weeks, we barely saw his eyes! Now he’s starting to be alert more of the day, his eyes are starting to focus on our faces, his tiny hands are starting to grab (mostly my hair, reminds me why I cut it all off with J!). He loves to be held, burps like a full grown man, and continues to steal our hearts!

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We have re-mastered the swaddle!

Love the forehead wrinkles

Love the forehead wrinkles

His favorite spot

His favorite spot






What do you mean I'm too little for peanut butter and pancakes?!

What do you mean I’m too little for peanut butter and pancakes?!


1 month - and just getting started!

1 month – and just getting started!

And just because it’s Alaska – here is the mama and baby moose that paid us a visit this week!