Tree Trip, 2015

November 30, 2015 § Leave a comment

Our usual Christmas tree spot wasn’t open this year but we tried a new one and liked it just as much. Only a slightly longer walk, which isn’t a bad thing. The boys were troopers and the weather was perfect.

Here are a few photos.



Let It Snow – Fort Phase 1C Update

November 25, 2015 § Leave a comment

Last weekend, we nearly finished phase 1C of the Best Brothers fort, which was to add a temporary sledding hill!!


This photo is mid-way through construction and we still need to add snow-catching carpet to the ramp. The boys helped with the hammering, screwing and bolting and Hiram had a suggestion that improved our design for the guard rails! The boys couldn’t wait to test it out so we know it works even without the snow.

Snow will be literal icing on the cake. We are ready!

Eldyn: 3 Years + 11 Months

November 15, 2015 § Leave a comment


I’m getting myself all worked up about the fact that this is the last month any of my kids will be 3 + anything. Yikes. At least 4 is one of my favorite ages ever. Here are a few stories about our favorite Shoeless Lewless.

This One’s Just Right: Eldyn has this completely adorable way of climbing into our bed and sleeping there. It’s adorable (and not exhausting) because he does it right away after we tuck him in and not when we’re already trying to sleep there too. The unspoken deal is that then we go up, find him, and move him into his own spot when we’re ready for bed.

Nesting: Also, whether he’s asleep in our bed or his own, Lew is in a phase where he likes to make little nests to sleep on. One night when we picked him up to move him, we found out that he was sound asleep on a pile of matchbox cars, little (pointy) dinosaur figurines and his Barbie. Another night, it was a pile of 30+ perfectly flattened tissues all in a pile. It’s like a little bedtime surprise for B and me.

Two Wheels: I am not sure Lew wants anyone to know this but HE RODE HIS TWO WHEEL BIKE. Without training wheels! All by himself! He told us he wanted to take the training wheels off and that he knew he could ride without them. So we took them off and off he went! But as soon as he realized B wasn’t holding him up, he stopped. He got off his bike, climbed into my arms and told me he wanted me to carry him home.

You know the story where the mom runs beside the kid on the bike and lets go and cries as she stands there watching him ride off down the sidewalk to adulthood? I thought about that story while I was carrying my big boy back the half-block home. That was a moment just for me. That was the universe, reminding me that no matter how big they get, there’s always a chance they’re gonna need their mama.

2 Years + 11 Months

1 Year + 11 Months

11 Months and 11 Months + 4 Days

Hiram: 6 Years + 5 Months

November 9, 2015 § Leave a comment


There are so many differences between kindergarten and first grade. As we got settled into the new school year, October was full of poignant examples of how far Hiram has come.

I Feel Fine – One of the best examples is the easier, breezier way Hiram acclimates to new things. Last year, drop off involved the actual peeling back of H’s little fingers, arms, legs and then fingers again, running like a crazy mama out the door and sobbing into my coffee cup on the curb. Daily. For months. This year, he couldn’t care less when I go. And that is just fine with me.

All Fun – Hiram and I now officially like playing the same kinds of games. And doing the same puzzles. The other night we got going on a 100-piecer with only 3 minutes left until bedtime. And then we both got in trouble with Hiram’s dad for not finding a stopping spot soon enough. Ooops.

Cool Duds – Hiram needed new long-sleeved shirts this fall so I did what I usually do which is go to a store, buy a bunch and hope he likes them. Usually I strike out on at least a few but this year all his new shirts have been represented equally in the rotation. Then he told me I did a good job picking out his shirts (!) “I must be learning your style,” I said. “Yep,” he replied, “Now you know that my style is ‘cool.'”
5 Years + 5 Months

4 Years + 5 Months

3 Years + 5 Months

2 Years + 5 Months

1 Year + 5 Months

Halloween 2015

November 3, 2015 § Leave a comment

I found myself in a little bit of a funk about Halloween this year. Ask Brad and he might even tell you that the days leading up to Halloween included a few tears (mine). Tears! I know I say this every year because Halloween kind of bugs me every year. When I feel my worst about it, I see it as a bunch of junk to buy, wear, consume, give to other people’s kids, pawn off on friends and colleagues (and more!)

I do such a bad job at getting into the spirit.

But this year I did do my best to focus on all the opportunities Halloween brings. That included:

  • Being part of a full-family-trick-or-treat outing instead of staying back to hand out candy
  • Dressing up like “Super Goyl” to be Eldyn’s better half
  • Seeing and hearing an actual owl on Halloween eve
  • Watching Brad chase Hiram down the street yelling “Give me back my hat, you monkey!”

Here are pics:


Stand and Stomp

October 25, 2015 § Leave a comment


Lew is taking skating lessons for the first time this fall. From what I can gather, the general idea at skating lessons is to master these skills in this order:

  • Stand on the ice without falling down
  • Stomp on the ice without falling down
  • Bend your knees without falling down
  • Then, and only then, try gliding

Eldyn has no patience for this. He wants to be a hockey player and he knows he needs to glide to be a hockey player. He needs to glide right this second.

I was walking him into lessons yesterday and suggested that maybe (just maybe?) he should try following his teacher’s directions. Try standing. Try stomping. Try bending his knees? Maybe those things would lead to gliding?

No. He was pretty sure not. And he wasn’t having it. “No mama! I want to stand and glide. NOT stand and stomp!”

At first, I did try “arguing” with him a little but it was clear that this wasn’t going to work. And so, when he told me that he was going out there to glide around like a pro, I told him I couldn’t wait to see him do it. I laced up his skates, got him one of those “walkers” you push around when you can’t skate, and sent him on his way.

He smiled at me from the ice. He might have even waved except he needed both hands to keep his balance. Then, he turned himself around and got right down to the business of…stomping. All the way across the ice.

I love my fierce little man.



Uh-Mazing House For Sale

October 20, 2015 § Leave a comment

Screen Shot 2015-10-20 at 6.13.12 AM

My parent’s house is for sale! My favorite things about the house are:

  1. Access to huge windows and amazing daylight from anywhere, including the walk-out basement
  2. A total “entertainment style” kitchen, dining and living room setup. This house hosts with such grace.
  3. The second story deck and absolutely beautiful backyard.
  4. The cozy fireplace.
  5. The secret clubhouse (see me for access tips).

Here are pictures. Please help us spread the word!


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