& October 

October was a whirlwind. Sort of a blur. I simultaneously cannot remember what I was doing a month ago, but also cannot believe that it’s already November.

Fortunately November has afforded us open weekends and a slower pace that will allow us to catch up with life at home before the holiday madness ensues.

But since October was such a fun month,  filled with so many splendid things, I thought I’d share some of it!

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Early in the month we participated with dear friends on Team Kennedy‘s Wildflowers in the MADSS Buddy Walk. Which Nolan used as an opportunity to catch up on sleep.

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Seriously gorgeous weather allowed us lots of outside play.

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And a little break from my day job allowed me more time for indoor shenanigans with my babes, too!

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Heck, I even got a second ladies’ night in October. This time I met up with my high school girlfriends. We shared so many stories, old and new, and countless laughs.

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We had back-to-back wedding weekends and somehow I managed to take only one photo at one of the weddings. A particularly unflattering one of myself, at that! But sister neighbor on the left doesn’t make it home from Australia too often, so a picture was necessary, despite my inability to keep my eyes open at this particular hour.

Luckily there were professionals in charge of the wedding photos because how gorgeous are these couples?! Fall weddings FTW!


📸: Katie Ricard &  Abbot’s Lane

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We spent a sunny afternoon at Enchanted Valley Acres, which is technically a pumpkin patch, but really just a big field full of activities for kids of all ages.

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I was so grateful for the extra days off this month! Hanging at home with these two goofy guys a couple extra days a week was just what I needed to recover from our busy weekends!

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That said, I spent a good amount of time on these days peeling Nolan off the furniture. This is a rare moment when he’s actually sitting but I swear that kid is trying to give me a heart attack jumping around/off of our oversized chair. We have hardwood floors, which don’t provide the softest landing… anyone have advice for keeping toddlers off the furniture?!

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The last weekend of the month we finally had the opportunity to just STAY HOME. We had visitors, cheered on the Badgers, and had an all-around relaxing weekend.

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We closed out the month with Halloween, of course! I wasn’t nearly as prepared for costumes as I was last year and honestly didn’t care to put too much effort into it since I knew any makeup/hat/glasses would be off within two seconds. And well, the boys have no clue what Halloween or Trick-or-Treating even is. So a cheap Scooby Doo costume was purchased and an even cheaper Shaggy “costume” was thrown together. 

I think they made a pretty cute duo, even if they didn’t care to behave for photos.

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I’m looking forward to a calm November ahead- for soaking up the last bits of warm weather, for the election to be over (am I allowed to say that??), for spending lots of time at home, and for taking time to show gratitude during this Thanksgiving season.

HAPPY Friday, friends!

& the weekend | v. 2

My weekend started on the best foot, you guys! A foot in a wedged bootie, might I add, because I had someplace to go other than Target or the grocery store with toddlers.* 

It was ladies’ night!! 


Full disclosure: I had to ask my brainy & beautiful friends for proper punctuation advice on this Snap. Because #mombrain.

We went to so many places, had so many drinks & appetizers, and had so much fun! I don’t get to spend nearly enough time with these beautiful ladies these days so it was worth it, even if I did have a temporary, micro hangover Saturday morning.


The rest of the day was spent at a fun little festival, where we got to see lots of family & friends. Again, so many people we don’t see often enough! 


Sunday included Costco, swinging by my cousin’s soccer game, chili & cornbread. 

My aunt & uncle came over to collect a few pieces of furniture that were passed down from my grandma, which leaves me one step closer to a home office, my very own little spot in the house!

Hope your weekend was splendid & Monday wasn’t too rough on you!!
* running errands with my littles, clad in sweatshirts, leggings & tennis shoes is one of my very favorite things. But getting dressed up now & again is fun too. 😉

& the weekend | v. 1

We just had two days of doing whatever the heck we wanted, for the first time in quite awhile. 

And it was glorious.

J had some work to finish on our  neighbors’ deck so the boys & I did a little Saturday morning shopping. I had to laugh at myself a few different times because I remember when I thought shopping for & dressing boys wouldn’t be any fun. 

I could not have been more wrong. I had to practice some serious restraint to keep from buying ALL. THINGS. PLAID. 

But I could NOT resist these shoes. 


They officially have more shoes than I do at this point. No, for real.

We had plans to drive out to Amish country Saturday afternoon for an estimate on kitchen cabinets but with all of the flooding around here, there was no navigable road to get there!

But it was all good because we got to hit up a little BBQ festival, where the boys were able to play in a big pile of rocks. Every boy’s dream!


We took the boys to their very first Brewers game on Sunday & while it was a lot of work, we’re glad we did. They enjoyed the cheering & clapping, the loud music, & the sights in general. 


Next year they’ll be a little more independently mobile so I think it will be more enjoyable for all of us,  but it was fun nonetheless.


The timing of the game worked perfectly to allow for car naps, both to and from, and we stopped for dinner on the way home. We put two very sleepy boys down for bed at 7:30 & I was so exhausted that I forgot to plug in their monitor when I fell into bed at 10:00 so if they made a peep, I didn’t hear it.

I awoke in a panic at 4am, but they gave me an other 2.5 hours of sleep after that. 

Hey awesome weekend, you can visit again any time you want. 😉

the only quinoa salad recipe you need

It’s been a hot minute since I last shared a recipe, huh? Well, this one has been invented in many forms in our house over the past couple of months so I decided it was time to share the goodness.

It was first presented to me during a bachelorette weekend getaway & I couldn’t get home to reinvent it fast enough.

The bones of the recipe are this:

quinoa + diced vegetables + bottled salad dressing 

That’s all. But the different spins you can take are neverending.


Instructions for salad, as shown here, below!

Ingredients:

1.5 cups quinoa, cooked according to package instructions & cooled

2 bell peppers, any color, de-seeded & diced

1/4 cup diced red onion, more or less to taste

1/2cup Annie’s Tuscany Italian dressing

zest & juice of one lemon 

salt & pepper, to taste

Directions

Mix all ingredients. 

Add toppings of choice. 

Devour.

Variations:

Add roasted sweet potato chunks, toss with Honey Mustard vinaigrette.

Add any other vegetables- broccoli, cucumbers, tomatoes, etc. Add more dressing if you add more veggies!

Add peanuts & carrots, toss with Sesame Ginger vinaigrette.

Add jalapeños & cilantro, toss with Chile Lime vinaigrette.

The possibilities are endless and the results are bound to be delicious!

*This post is not at all sponsored by Annie’s, we just really love their products!

currently | 9.14.16

time & place | Wednesday, 10:07am. I’m in bed, drinking coffee, listening to the boys fight their nap that they so desperately seemed to need ten minutes ago. We’re in that weird transition period where they don’t always need two naps each day, but some days they do, & some days one does but the other doesn’t. And well, it’s just a weird, slightly frustrating little time. But I’m stoked that I can sit here, in bed, not too worried about anything other than my nap-fighting babes because for once we don’t have a bajillion things going on this week/weekend.




loving | As much as I don’t want to admit it, I am actually loving the cooler weather & shift to fall. I’ve fully embraced seasonal candles. I’ve started getting one pump of pumpkin spice in my iced coffee. I’ve worn last year’s boots twice. I’ve started shopping for new boots. And scarves. My nails are (relatively) freshly manicured & sporting a dark purple/maroon color. I’m looking forward to the pumpkin patch & the apple orchard & fall baking.


seeking | An answer to why Nolan is wide awake from 2am-4am lately. He’s not really upset, in fact, he’s downright happy sometimes. He doesn’t seem to be in any sort of pain. I guess he just wants a middle of the night mommy date? This is actually alright by me, but we could both probably benefit from those couple hours of sleep. And if there’s some way I could be helping him rest, I’d love to do so.

craving | Vegetables. Bonus if I don’t have to wash/peel/chop/roast them myself. But everyone else in this house is either incapable of cooking or just thinks they are (ahem) so I’m stuck doing the dirty work.

destroying | The chocolate chip cookies my mom baked while she was here watching the boys yesterday. Irresistible.

cherishing | Theo’s curls before we get them cut off tomorrow. I would let his curly mullet grow forever, but to spare him from hating me later in life, for letting him rock a mullet, he will get his first hair cut tomorrow.


cooking | Cauliflower. I’ve been on a low-carb kick lately (you know, minus the cookies) so cauliflower has been a nice little replacement for potatoes & pasta & other starchy goodness.

playing | “BA!!” Always. Theo must be playing with a ball, at all times. So in turn, I’m always playing with a ball. And Nolie is really into books lately so I’m also reading a lot of One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish. Fine by me!
eating | Aforementioned cookies, dipped in coffee. Breakfast of champions.

hating | The news. Can this election just be over already? Can we find a way to eliminate heroin? And when can world peace become a reality? Because I just hate to turn on the news these days. Yet I can’t not watch it, ya know?
anticipating | Taking a shower, I guess? A shower is a legitimate thing to be excited about when you’re a mom.

collecting | Recipes. Low-carb, fall-inspired, slow cooker, etc. This is my new favorite recipe.

celebrating | Nothing. And I love it. Not that I don’t love a celebration, but I’m super happy to have a weekend free from running around like crazy. So I guess we’re celebrating an upcoming weekend of doing whatever we want!

ooh baby baby, it’s a wild world

…I’ve seen a lot of what the world can do, and it’s breaking my heart in two. 

I’m finding it difficult not to carry the weight of the world lately. I almost can’t bear to turn on the tv or browse social media, for fear of what I’ll see.

Another senseless murder, another act of terrorism, another life taken too soon*, another racially charged tragedy.

And the worst part about it? None of this is shocking anymore. When I heard about the attack in Nice yesterday, I didn’t gasp like I did when these sorts of incidents first started happening more frequently. 

When was that even? 

When did this sort of thing become so regular? 

Did you know there have been nearly 12,00 people killed by Islamic terrorism this year alone? This list may not be completely accurate or up-to-date, but it’s devastating nonetheless.

As mothers we do everything in our power to protect our children. We desperately need a break from them at times, yet when we leave them we do nothing but worry. And now, we even worry when we’re with them. When we think they can’t possibly be harmed in our care. But we just never know. 


I’m trying my best to stay above it all. Soak up every single moment of happiness that is in my life. Kiss  the little cheeks (and lips, because THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THIS) of my babes as much as they’ll let me. Embrace middle of the night wakings with open arms because far too many mothers no longer get to snuggle their babies.


And I don’t know how I’ll begin to explain all of this to my children when they’re old enough to understand. I don’t know how I’ll begin to tell them the ways in which the world can be so cruel. How there can be so much hate when all anybody wants is to be loved, how people can be so evil when we were all born with the same innocence. 


So for now, I hold them as tightly as I can. I cherish each and every moment moment I have with them; the little and big, the good and bad, the happy and sad.

Someday I’ll teach them to be smart and aware. And I’ll hold out hope that by the time they’re old enough to understand, I won’t have to tell them there’s a lot of bad and beware.

I wish you all sunshine through the clouds, positivity when the negative drags you down. I hope that you can see through the evil, embrace the little things, I hope you can get by just upon a smile.


*The story of Beau Solomon has been weighing particularly heavy on my heart, as he was a resident of my hometown, attended my high school, and shared his love of life with many people I know. My 19 year-old Godson was his teammate, his classmate, his friend, and on Wednesday he was a pall bearer at his funeral.

currently

I’m a sucker for these posts…

time & place | 7:31am, Wednesday. In bed. No, not because I have magical babies that sleep this late. On the contrary, they decided they were ready for the day at 4:30am, then changed their mind around 7:00. And as soon as I put them in their cribs? Playtime!! So here I lie, listening to them not sleep.

loving | My new work schedule. I now just work Mondays and Tuesdays at my office job, and work a couple of nights a week at my old restaurant job (no matter how many times I “quit” that job, I always end up going back for more.) This allows me so much more time with my babes, eliminates day care expenses, and still allows me some adult interaction by way of making money! Admittedly I miss the daily interaction with my coworkers and I’m feeling like I’m missing out on a lot, making it difficult to really feel like I know what’s going on when I am at work, but I know at home (or out and about!) with my babes is exactly where I need to be.

seeking | Plants & flowers. I’m hoping to get some serious planting done this Saturday. Now that we’ve been smacked in the face with summer I’m realizing how desolate our garden beds are! We knocked down this old planter and have been working on some patio updates so I’m hoping flowers will bring it all together this weekend!

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craving | I’ve really been craving a way to channel some creative energy lately, resulting in doodles and lots of ideas. I need to bake some elaborate cupcakes, get crafty, or plant aforementioned flowers. Food wise I’m all about cold vegetables, salads, and “picnic food”, which is perfect with Memorial Day so soon!

——>current time & place | 1:39pm, Thursday. I fell asleep while writing yesterday. Oops! Currently sitting on the couch while the boys nap.

destroying | I’m mostly the destruction supervisor around here. For instance, it takes approximately 45 seconds for our living room to go from “acceptably tidy” to “two almost-toddlers definitely live here”. I watch that happen quite frequently.

cherishing | The sweet scent of baby sunscreen lingering in the air from our earlier outdoor adventures.

cooking | Not too much cooking going on here the past few days. It’s hot and muggy so I’ve been throwing together salads for lunches. We did have zoodles with turkey meatballs the other night but I don’t really consider heating meatballs and sauce or spiralizing zucchini “cooking”. Planning to utilize the slow cooker for a Thursday night taco party. Not to worry- my babies aren’t starving- they’re eating zoodles and meatballs too. Plus waffles, yogurt, fruit, mac & cheese, avocado, cheese, plenty of stuff that doesn’t require heating the oven. 🙂

playing | Outside! Finally! I put some water in a shallow tote, along with some kitchen utensils and it provided entertainment for over an hour!

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eating | Just finished the last of the zoodles and meatballs!

hating | My cast. I’m over this broken wrist business and have my fingers crossed that when they remove my current cast tomorrow they’ll say, “This looks good, you don’t need another one!” But the chances of that happening are slim to none.

anticipating | The weekend! Always. Gardening Saturday, a cookout and photo session for the boys on Sunday, and just relaxing on Monday! I’m super excited for the cookout, as there will be six littles, all born within a year or so of one another, together for the first time since Labor Day. There are now two more babies on the way so this group just keeps getting better!

collecting | I’ve been a bit more into Pinterest lately. Pinning everything from recipes I want to try this summer, to clothes I should buy since I donated ALL of my clothes while pregnant last spring, to ideas for our next home. Also collecting photo memories for the first year books in putting together for the boys. ::cue tears::

celebrating | Memorial Day weekend! The unofficial start of summer, but more importantly, time to remember and honor those who’ve lost their lives defending our country.

Happy long weekend to you all!