Friday, July 31, 2009

A Visitor!

It seems as if butterflies have taken over. We received a visitor to the still blooming butterfly bush yesterday--a gorgeous, brand new Monarch. 


He stayed for literally hours, eating his fill. His wings were perfect--not even a tiny bit of fading or tearing, which is why we believe he was a newborn. That and his appetite! 


Both Liam and Isla were fascinated with this guy--he wasn't shy at all and practically hopped on my finger when I tried to get a little closer for pictures. 


This butterfly bush has been one of the greatest blessings of having our own home. It seems as if this little guy agrees! 

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Our Mornings


Breakfast time! Almost always followed by a craft, hopefully outside. This particular day, we were reading about how butterflies have scales that make up their wings--so we decided to make our own scaly butterflies! 

Butterfly Brushing

Butterfly Brushing

Butterfly Brushing

Monday, July 27, 2009

Sparklers and the Great Bug Search


Sparklers! What summer is complete without sparklers?

Out Front Today

And searching for bugs out front. Apparently this has become a favorite activity for the second born. She loves any insects (but especially butterflies!) And to celebrate Rainbow Week, a better look at Isla doing her best impression of a rainbow baby! She loves this little tie shirt. 

Out Front Today

Sunday, July 26, 2009

First Harvest

We've been gathering herbs from the garden for months now but now we have our first fruit! A delicious green pepper. Liam was so proud to finally pick it. It's been getting quite large for a while but we wanted to make sure it was really and truly ready. 

First Harvest

We had it for lunch yesterday, just sliced up with fresh cucumbers and homemade garlic breadsticks and marinara sauce. It was so wonderful to finally eat something we grew ourselves (herbs notwithstanding!) Today we ventured out to one of our favorite farmers' markets for the Lavender Festival and managed to come home without any veggies or fruits at all--thanks in part to our garden, but mostly to the generosity of my grandparents' garden. We couldn't pass up a loaf of our favorite brick oven fired bread, however. 

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Liam the Brother

At the Farm

Sometimes Liam seems so small still, still so very close to babyhood. 

At the Farm

And then there are moments when he just feels so grown-up and mature and completely ready to take on the task of being a big brother yet again. He calls the new baby Mr. Gunk and talks constantly about taking care of him, changing his diaper, carrying him around everywhere. And Mr. Gunk is a girl, according to this big kid! Because he is the Only Brother in the family. I may be partial, but I think he is absolutely fantastic--I would've loved to have a brother just like him. 

At the Farm

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Trip to the Farm

At the Farm

I know how very blessed my children are to have immediate family with a working farm, deep in rural Kentucky. I grew up on a farm so I know a lot of my early child hood experiences (a pony, as many horses as I could count around at all times, tractors and homegrown tomatoes, and lazy summer evenings with lightning bugs and fresh picked watermelon) are simply not a part of today's culture.

At the Farm

I love teaching my kids the things that my grandparents' taught me--picking only the reddest tomatoes and saving the green ones for later, holding your palm out flat to feed the horses to keep your hand from being nipped and of course, how to eat popsicles outside on the front porch, listening to the sounds of the life surrounding you. As much as I love our city, I can't help but feel that these experiences are vital. 

A Horse Of Course

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Isla is growing so fast, right in front of our eyes. I think a big part is my adjusting perspective, as she is about to become a "big kid", the middle child and, most importantly, not the baby of the family. I often forget that she is only eighteen months old, still just a babe herself, since she has seemingly assigned herself so many roles outside of her small stature.


I know that children have old souls--I can feel it every time I look into my own babies' eyes. But her expressions, her range of emotion, her uncanny abilities at her age have convinced me that not only will she never be merely ordinary but she is already extraordinary, above and beyond anything I could've ever expected from my daughter. My daughter! I can barely believe how lucky I am.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Things to Love


Handmade gifts for the impending arrival. This blanket was crocheted by Ryan's grandmother. Isn't it beautiful? Her craftsmanship is stunning.


Newborn diapers that were lovingly dyed by me almost four years ago--and have since graced the bums of both of our little ones. Nothing makes me happier than seeing old things become new again as we move on to yet another stage in our lives.

Monday, July 20, 2009


Inspired by a favorite blog of mine, I am going to keep it simple today: 

Outside my window...
A soft cloud cover and a nice breeze. For Kentucky in July, anyways.

I am thinking...

About everything that still needs to be done before this little one arrives! I am 39 weeks pregnant today.

I am thankful for...

A beautiful, clean home and children who are willing to participate in quiet time today.

From the kitchen...
Curried lentils and rice for dinner. We made such a large batch this weekend that we have plenty leftover. And fortunately, it is delicious enough that you never get sick of it!

I am wearing...
Stretchy black yoga pants and a black maternity t-shirt. I will be happy to retire my maternity clothes very soon!

I am creating...
A peaceful, restful place to give birth to this baby. Candles, incense, a book I'm saving for labor, newborn diapers, blankets, clean sheets and towels. And lots and lots of lavender (my favorite.) 

I am going...
To have a nice, sugary iced mocha after dinner tonight. I've been looking forward to it! 

I am reading...
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince in preparation for seeing the movie next week (maybe!)

I am praying...
That this baby arrives safely and that I have the strength and ability to make that happen.

I am hearing...
The sound of an older brother reading patiently to his little sister. It's wonderful and magical when siblings play together.

Around the house...
The ceiling fans are whirring, the freezer just kicked on and I'm contemplating a glass of lemonade before dinner. 

One of my favorite things...
This new incense that is burning right now. I think it's cedar wood...?

A few plans for the rest of the week...
A trip to the health food store and my grandparents' farm tomorrow, the farmers' market on Wednesday, a play date on Friday and lots and lots of hope for the newest member of our family to grace us with his/her presence. 

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Lost in the Garden

Lost in the Garden

The garden at my grandparents' farm has run a little wild this year, thanks to the copious amounts of rain that Kentucky has received--very unusual for this region in July. Nonetheless, the crops should be quite impressive this year. Isla was most interested in the tomatoes after her blueberry picking foray several weeks ago. Unfortunately, we only gathered approximately a pint of ripe cherry tomatoes since it has also been unseasonably cool. Tomatoes need lots of sun and heat to truly feel appreciated.


The sunflowers didn't seem to mind the rain at all. In fact, these were close to fifteen feet tall. Monstrous sunflowers, indeed!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Thursday, July 16, 2009

My Sister

Museum Center

My sister and I have a very special relationship--one reason I was so determined to provide a close in age sibling for my little ones is how close I am with her. She's a wonderful aunt and an all-around great person. 

Museum Center

Liam absolutely adores her and Isla is not far behind.

Museum Center

I can only hope that one day she provides me with nieces and nephews to spoil and dote on like she does my kids. Thanks, Aunt Brittaney, for everything that you do.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Cincinnati Museum Center

We had quite a bit of fun at the Museum Center on Monday. We are actually members but it's always a nice treat to visit nonetheless.

Museum Center

Museum Center

Museum Center

Monday, July 13, 2009

Out Front

Our front flower bed is flourishing! I can't complain at all.

Rose the Tomato Plant

Rose the Tomato Plant is gargantuan. Let's hope she bears fruit...soon?


Our magic mushroom is a whimsical addition added several weeks ago. It's a solar lantern that twinkles at night. Every evening before bed, Liam and Isla like to check on it. 


Our marigolds are also thriving.


And the sunflowers have arrived! It's an exciting time of year for us. Liam is especially excited since he grew these sunflowers from seed. 

Monday, July 6, 2009

A Very Monday Monday


This guy decided to stop and partake of our butterfly bush. Since he was so forthcoming with the proboscis and consistently flashing his wings, I couldn't help but learn more about him!


He is a great spangled fritillary, fairly common to our area but the first we've seen. I can't wait to have a butterfly-friendly garden so we can watch and learn even more about our flying friends. 


Liam was very excited to observe him for so long and used his best guess to match him to the butterfly magnets we have gracing our magnet board in the living room. A very close match! 

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Fairy Magic


The side of a barn and an old gate on my grandparents' farm.

Fairy House

The fairy house that Liam, Lexi and I built nearby. 

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Blueberry Picking

Blueberry Picking

We went to a you-pick farm this Wednesday, featuring blueberries. It was well worth it--these blueberries are amazing! 

Blueberry Picking

The little ones' patience only held out for a gallon's worth but it was still quite a haul. 

Blueberry Picking

Even Isla almost had the hang of it...if only she knew the difference between the green and blue blueberries. 

Blueberry Picking