GAME ON.


They delivered the POD today in the drizzly wet weather. And now my friends, IT'S ON. By 6pm tonight I'll know when they're going to pick this baby up tomorrow and then its adios to our belongings until June. It feels kind of good to be at this stage. It'll feel even better tomorrow after they pick it up and the hardest part of the moving is over with.

And now, for the rest of the afternoon, I pack. We don't have much left, but what i do have I need ready for our helpers to load into this bad boy. 

Our entire lives are going to fit into a box the size of a parking space. Crazy!

isaiah with the giggles (video)

Here's a little happiness for your Friday. Isaiah thinks daddy is hilarious lately. 


Have a great weekend everyone!

we're not going to be homeless!!

YOU GUYS! We have a place to live. A house to actually live in. I'm dying with excitement/relief. We're not able to move in until June 17 which kind of complicated things but I found this really awesome site (I may be behind the times here, I don't know) called airbnb.com Essentially it's people renting out their own  homes, properties, apartments, whatever when they're not there. It's so much cheaper than a hotel and is just more...homey.

Anywho. We'll be living in a little house in Alberta Arts District until May 8, and thank you so much to Jen for the lead on the place! I mean seriously, how cute is this:

I'm sad this place wasn't available the entire time up until June 17 when we move into our house, but we found another place to stay until then that is equally as cute. It's located near the Pearl District and is bound to lead to lots of adventurous outings with my boys. 

My only concern with this place is the balcony off of the bedroom. I'm currently thinking of ways to block the door off completely as well as lock the door so the dudes can't even THINK about trying to get out. 

After all that fun moving and adventuring we'll be able to FINALLY move to our cute little house that I can't wait to tell you guys all about. If you can't tell I'm elated to finally have this decision making process over with. Portland, you made it kind of tricky to move to you....but you can't outsmart me. 



a little piece of my grandpa


My great grandpa Leonard used to take his camera out with him on almost weekly walks to a park/camp grounds in the Loess Hills near our town. I think he did this pretty much up until he passed away. He had photo albums upon photo albums of all the flowers and plants he encountered on his journeys through the woods over the years.

I love keeping this little piece of him alive and even if I'm not taking pictures of the beauty around me, I'm always thinking about it when I'm in it. I wonder what kind of flower that is, when it's peak blooming time is, where it's native to. I suppose I could do more research but for now I just like to wonder, and take pretty pictures.

I know if you don't live in Southern California you automatically assume it's like this all year round but I've discovered over the past couple of years that there really ARE seasons here, they're just a little difficult to notice. Right now it's definitely spring. Everything is blooming, the hills are green. I really like spring here.

messy faces.


Before I had kids, I always swore my kids would at the very least always have clean faces and not any dirt under their fingernails and clothes that weren't covered in everything they ate that day. I mean, how hard can it be to just wipe your kids' face?

And then I had two little boys and was bitch slapped into reality.

Sometimes there are things more important than whether all the crusties are wiped away or there isn't some meal residue somewhere on their person. Sometimes you're just trying to get through the day without any major conflict. Sometimes you're too busy enjoying the moment that you don't give a shit what is on your kids' face. 

Sometimes the moment is just perfectly captured the way it is, messy faces and all. 




the dudes' reading selections


No matter how much I like or dislike a certain book, the boys have their favorites. Some I absolutely hate reading over and over, and some I don't mind. I thought I'd share with you guys the boys' recent favorites. We read these A LOT. 

1. I Love My Daddy Because... by Laurel Porter-Gaylord 
     - They love pointing to the animals in this book and always love the first and last page where the girl hugs and plays with her daddy. 

2. Shake a Leg (Sesame Street)
     - Kind of like a Simon Says book, it helps teach body parts and gets the boys moving.

3. Two is for Twins by Wendy Cheyetty Lewison 
      - The twins in this book look just like the boys with big curly hair! This book is also kind of hard to read, a lot of alliterations that turn into tongue twisters when you're tired. 

4. Hello Herky! By Aimee Aryal 
      -You can get your own Hello Mascot books at MascotBooks.com We're slowly brainwashing the boys to be Hawkeyes for life. My dad got them the Hello Cy book (Iowa State) for Christmas but we leave it at his house. (For the best.)

5. I Like Bugs By Lorena Siminovich
     - This is a "feely" book. I got it for them last Easter and they still like feeling the bugs inside. 

6. Caps For Sale  By Esphyr Slobodkina
     I used to read this when I was little! Although I think the book is dumb (the guy gets pissed off and ends up basically throwing a tantrum to get his hats back) the boys love when Chikezie reads this to them.

7. Trucks By Bright Baby
     - They can point to every type of truck when asked, know lots of different parts and are learning colors and counting in this book. Even though there aren't any words, it's still a good learning tool.

8. Little Blue Truck By Alice Schertle
    - This is our favorite. Chikezie and I both love reading it, the illustrations are amazing and the boys have so much fun. We've read this so many times Chikezie and I both have it memorized and can correct each other when we miss a line or switch words around. It's turned into a bit of a competition.

What are some of your kids' favorite books? 

see ya soon, friend.


I met this lovely girl a year ago and have truly found such a great friend. She's moving home to Georgia with her girlie today, and leaving her husband behind for 9 months. I can't even begin to feel how hard that would be. But she's brave. And smart. And all the good things. 

Stephanie, I'm anticipating the next time I see you will be in our hotel room in NYC in August. And I can't wait to pick up right where we left off. With a bottle (or 6) of wine and our phones to document it all.


Being silly together, laughing over things nobody else does, movie dates, girls days, thrifting our faces off, skype dates, venting phone convos about how much we hate moving. 

I'm so thankful to have met you, you've been truly an awesome friend here when I didn't have many. I can't wait to see you shine. And I'm only a phone call or inappropriate skype date away.






in which i discuss my love of trees



I've always loved trees. I think it's because I grew up surrounded by walnuts, and cottonwoods and oak and maple trees. When I was young, I loved when the cotton woods would "shed" in the late spring and it looked like it was snowing. I'd spend hours roaming around the yard (that we called "the park") with my wagon and my dog, picking up the hundreds of walnuts so my dad wouldn't mow over them. I pretended they were treasure and I'd hide them in secret places.

When my life starts to feel crazy, I've found trees to be a constant source of calm. It sounds weird when I say it like that, but I can just feel the weight lift off my shoulders and the pressure in my chest lighten. Maybe it's a feeling I've brought with me from my childhood, when I found solace outside. 

When I didn't want to be inside doing chores on weekends, I escaped to the park where it would take my mom longer to find me or I could pretend to be out of ear's reach. When my parents were arguing, I'd sit under a walnut tree, as far from the house as I could be and listen to the sounds of the farm. I had no siblings to keep me entertained, but an imagination and a huge acreage to roam. 

I want the boys to learn to appreciate things like this. I know it's "just a tree" but it's a small thing. Sometimes in life, when things are spiraling out of control, appreciation for the small things, for nature, can be such a source of relief. 


finally a decent family picture!

(The out takes of this mostly included Julian with those two fingers in his mouth, in each of his nostrils)

I hope everyone had an awesome Easter! The weather was beautiful for the wedding, the bride and groom were beautiful and the location was just stunning. The boys did as well as to be expected for 2 year olds. A.k.a. just wanting to run everywhere, not wanting to eat at all, and then passing out after 30 minutes of stroller circles in my desperate attempt to keep my (and Chikezie's) sanity.

It was nice spending this day with friends and my sweet little family. On our way out of LA we took a weird turn and ended up driving past/through Skid Row. (Chikezie insisted he knew his way to the freeway...........) It was a very blatant reminder for me to be thankful for the people in our lives and the opportunities we've been blessed with. 

And I'm thankful for finally having a decent family picture.

house hunting, Easter and a wedding.


Well. I think we found a place to live. WE FOUND A PLACE. I feel like doing some kind of gymnastical move right now but I never did gymnastics so I'll just use all caps. I'M SO HAPPY. I spent the majority of last week obsessively searching homes on Zillow, Craigslist, Walkscore....pretty much any place I could find new house listings. I was constantly updating them, searching multiple times a day in hopes some new and absolutely perfect place would pop up.

We applied for three places, just so we have options. Early next week we should find out if our applications went through which they should, right? I mean as long as you have a job, have rented before and haven't murdered anybody I think they'll take your money. But then whenever I submit an application for something like this I get all paranoid having thoughts like, "Wait, we paid rent late a couple of times!? We're not going to get accepted! We're going to be homeless! Maybe I killed someone and don't remember it! Oh my hell we're going to live in a box."

So Chikezie pretty much fell in love with Portland all over again this weekend and I'm jealous I wasn't there. But I did a shit load of work to get him there, so I guess there's that. And we probably have a house. 

In other news, tomorrow is Easter. (You didn't know? Wow.) But more important than Easter, tomorrow is our friends Dickson and Kristine's wedding! At Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. I'm kind of peeing my pants I'm so excited. I've wanted to go there forever. And this will be our first family wedding. So it'll either be a happy, awesome day or the boys will suck the life out of it and I'll want to stab my face with a fork repeatedly. 

Either way. We're going to celebrate tomorrow. And I hope you guys do some celebrating, in whatever way you get down with your Easter selves. 

Oh shit, the bunny is supposed to come tonight, huh? UGH. 




cheers to adventure


It's all for them. Everything we do, it's for them. When they were just little tiny peas growing in my belly, I quit my job, quit grad school, packed up two suitcases and left all of those close to me to start a family with the love of my life. 

We lived in a studio apartment. I knew no one besides Chikezie and a handful of new friends from his work. I baked those babies the best I knew how. I was lonely, but the thought of them and the life I was giving them kept me going. 

Over the past 3 years we've worked to adapt to this new life, this new place, this new everything... day by day. Some days were rough. Some days were full of joy. These two little people kept us strong. Everything we've done has been for them.

Now I find myself in a similar situation as before, but with a different attitude. Maybe it's because I'm prepared. Maybe because I feel like I'm not alone anymore. Maybe it's because of these two little people. 

When the days get rough. When my anxiety and worries of the future, of tomorrow, of next Wednesday get the best of me, I drop everything and return to their world. Their joys are simple, their smiles and love so genuine. 

We don't know what we're doing, we hope this move will be best for our little family. We hope we're doing the right things. But the amazing thing about adventure is that you really don't have much more than hope to hold you in your seat as you pick up pace and plunge straight down the roller coaster of chance. 

Hope is holding us in...and these two little smiling faces are helping ease our fears. 

And well, when that doesn't work...I always have wine.

Cheers to adventure. And hope. And smiling faces to get you through when nothing else can. 


playing with chalk. (and being entertaining in general)

We played with chalk outside on our patio yesterday. 





Airplane!

Scared face.














CHARGE!!







All the facial expressions? Julian. The cuteness and pointing? Isaiah. These kids are endlessly entertaining. I'm glad we had two.




MARCH Large Sponsors (yeah I know it's April)

Wait...it's APRIL already? These are the lovely laides who sponsored me through March, and most of who you'll see a return during April!

blog 
Some seriously beautiful photos. I love going here and just...looking. And she always has something meaningful to say.


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A great read and a cute family.

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Two ladies blogging together about what they love, which may or may not include a lot of DIY. And I love.

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She makes the most gorgeous glass pendant accessories. I mean really. Check them out. Now.

You know I love fabric! Mary has such a good eye for fabrics and uses them for handmade bags and electronic ereader covers. She sent me one of these and it's one of my favorite handmade items yet. 


Please stop by and say hi to all of them! 













video update


So yeah. That's all I have for now. I sound so depressed lol. I was trying to be quiet while the boys slept!