dirty hands, full hearts.

That’s how things are over here. All the time. It doesn’t matter how many times we wipe and wash Max’s hands, there is always, without fail, going to be dirt under his fingernails. I have kind of learned to accept it as the normal thing. If nothing else, it just shows how much fun he is having on any given day.

A few days ago, Nick needed to change the oil in his truck, so we all went along to his uncle’s shop, and Max wanted to help. I’m just so glad that I brought my camera along, because the photos that resulted from that simple little outing are ones that I will cherish forever.

Dirt on their hands. Dirt on the floor. Dirt on their clothes. Smiles on their faces. Full hearts.










“A portrait of my children. Once a week. Every week. In 2014.”

Drew: is trying to repeat phrases we say. Like “I see that,” and “that’s a dog.”

Max: Has been in big kid underwear (except at night) for a week now. He’s had some accidents, but none of them were while we were out of the house! He even stayed dry for a trip to Walmart and for church this morning. So proud of that stubborn little goof.


five things friday

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^^^Max is pretty excited about today. He knows Daddy doesn’t have to work, and it’s a beautiful day! He was saying, “Mommy! It’s a blue sky! Blue sky, perfect day!” (we watch The Lorax a lot…haha!)

It’s been a while since I did a five things friday post…but I had some good stuff to share with you guys! I might start doing these posts again…who knows?!

1. I have been listening to this on REPEAT the last several days…

and this.

and this too.

2. I almost always make some sort of soup (or really anything that heats over well) for us to eat on for lunches every week. This week? Sweet potato chili. So good. I’m not sure who takes credit for the recipe, but I got it from my sister in law, Chelsea:

  • 2 sweet potatoes, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small onion, chopped fine
  • 2 cans of navy beans
  • 1 can of black beans (rinsed)
  • 1 can red beans
  • 1 can of Rotel
  • 1 can of petite diced tomatoes
  • 2-3 tablespoons of chili powder (to taste)
  • cumin to taste

–> combine all ingredients, simmer for an hour, and enjoy it! Such a good, different kind of chili!

3. The “pull-up fairy” came for a visit at our house this week. She took all the pull-ups (which are the devil. I advise all of you who are prepping to potty train…stay away from the pull-ups!) and left Max a sweet, encouraging note to accompany his brand new pack of boxer briefs. See…Max is totally capable of using the potty, he just chooses not to. So we had to get creative! Haha!

4. People you should follow on the internet:

5. We are planning the boys’ first joint birthday cookout with our families (it’s still almost 3 weeks away, but I am a plan ahead kind of person), and it just doesn’t seem real. I am a mom. With two boys. A mom that plans birthday cookouts and gets excited about things like Little Tikes “cozy trucks” and sandboxes. I am overcome with gratitude this week that I get to share a life with them, and Nick, and our families. I’m in one of these moods where I just love everybody so. much. I love you, too, ok?


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Today, Thursday. Slow morning before husband left for work. Sweet potato chili, guitar lessons with my sisters. Playing and napping for the babes. Puppy snuggles. Normal.

But I love finding lovely things in the every day, and I love that my camera helps me do that sometimes. It helps me see every moment differently.

I love these moments. The small things my boys do that make my heart so happy.

Drew…when he wants some alone time he sneaks off to a closet in their room and plays quietly. I found him in there today with the door shut, happy as can be and loving having a little alone time.

Max…he has started asking for naps when he gets sleepy. He wants me to make him a little nest on the couch, he snuggles into it, and off to sleepy town he goes. For a sweet boy who has never been the best sleeper, it’s kind of glorious.

I just really love being their momma.



You know those days that you just don’t want to end? The ones that are just so close to perfect that you wouldn’t change a thing? Sunday was like that for me. Nick had the day off, and we spent the day in the best of ways.

Mom and Daddy.
Burritos and quesildillas.
New shorts for husband.
Car naps.
Fishing poles.

Sunday is always one of my favorites.





“A portrait of my children. Once a week. Every week. In 2014”

Max: I love how he concentrates so hard while he plays in the sand.

Drew: I love how his hair is so funny up there with his double crown.

the parcel exchange

I am part of this fantastic thing called The Parcel Exchange. Twelve girls, all over the country, sending and receiving one package at the beginning of each month. Praying for each other, lifting each other up with encouragement in handwritten notes and gifts- handmade, vintage, or just plain wonderful- each month. I can’t even begin to tell you how blessed I am by the community of women this group has created, even though I have met very few of them face to face.

I love making things for these ladies, packing up gifts, and hoping it will bring some happy to their day when they receive it!

Today, my March parcel came in the mail from Kidder, and it was perfect. Our theme this month was “vintage,” and she included so many neat things. My favorites? A vintage compass box, and a banner made from the pages of Beverly Cleary’s “Socks.” It was all so beautifully packaged that I couldn’t help but take way too many photos!

Thank you so much, Kidder! It all really made my day!

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If you are on Instagram, go check out the hashtag #theparcelexchange for more photos from all of us!

PS…You can go read Chelsea’s blog about The Parcel Exchange too! And if you want to start your own parcel exchange let us know! We’d love to hear about it, or help you get started!