Celebrating 9 months with this sweet soul. We love her so!
You started your first day of school today, Hudson Bear. Last night I cried and told your dad I wanted to keep you home for another year. Up until now, you’ve been my early morning snuggler, grocery shopping assistant, and daily lunch date. I haven’t set an alarm in four years thanks to you, you early bird. When I haven’t gotten enough sleep the night before, I ask if we can snuggle for a bit, and not once have you objected. I wrap my arm around your tummy and we lie on your twin bed facing your wall with the map of the world on it. I think about the places you’ll go until you announce, “That’s enough snuggling, Mama!” On Mondays – grocery day – you always insist on pushing your own miniature grocery cart, and I always end up guiding it to the cash registers when your arms get tired and your belly fills with goodies from the sample counter. Together, we paint tiny masterpieces using the rocks in our backyard for canvases. We carry out sword fights with colored pencils and build airplanes out of cardboard.
Looking back on the past four years, most of the days blur together. It’s hard to remember where one ends and the other begins. And strange to think that only now is your brain cementing your earliest memories. So all that’s left of our time together will be what’s tucked into the corners of my own mind. But baby bear, I hope you do remember. If not the daily goings on, then just the feelings. The feeling of a safe place to return after a long day out. The feeling of a full belly and a warm towel after bath time. The feeling of a mama who kisses you so many times it’s embarrassing. I hope that even if you don’t remember that time we went on a scavenger hunt and you scraped your knee and I had to carry your 38-pound body all the way back home, that you do remember what it felt like to tuck your head between my chin and my shoulder as I wiped away your colossal tears. Mostly, I just hope you remember how wildly this mama loved you.
Dad convinced me that it is time. Time to give new people the privilege of knowing and loving you. Time to learn and grow. And time for us to see who you will become. As we unbuckle you from your carseat in the parking lot of your new school, you whisper, “I’ll miss you mama.” I tell you I’ll miss you too and that it’s just because we love each other so much. I expected you might cry or scream or run back to the car as you’ve done at so many church nursery drop-offs. Instead when we get to room four, you just hug me so hard I let out a little gasp, and I kiss you goodbye. I watch from the window as your teacher offers you a book from the classroom library. You look timid but brave. I wait by the window hoping you won’t see me and get second thoughts about this whole school thing. You don’t, and so your dad buckles your baby sister into her carseat and we drive away. You probably won’t remember us tucking you into bed on your first day of school, but when you ask for that extra minute of snuggle time and just one more song, tonight we’ll indulge you. And I’ll commit it to memory for the both of us.
New friend Lauren came over to snap a few photos with our fresh addition. I love that she just captured us in our new normal – unposed, sleep deprived, and in awe. The babe cried most of the time, but Lauren was like, “I got this.” So happy to have our little sugar baby home.
Those toes!^^Haha our new family picture. It’s perfect.
Nesting mode knows no bounds! We organized this babe’s closet, and we are both so happy about it that I had to document it.
Man the convenience of a local getaway with small kids cannot be understated. The Sheraton Wild Horse Pass is one of our favorite places to staycation (we stayed last year too), because it’s removed enough to feel like an escape but close enough to be super easy. On holiday weekends, they have a full itinerary for families to choose from (including childcare options), so it seemed like the best place to spend our last vacation as a family of three!
The staff greeted us with all the makings for s’mores, and we ate way too many of them around the campfire.Continue Reading
Well, rented one. Then it defecated on the front lawn and gave Ryan a stomach virus! Parenthood sure is magical.
Hudson asked for just one thing leading up to his fourth birthday, so we made his pony dreams come true Saturday afternoon. Aside from the presence of livestock, it actually turned out pretty low key – a small gathering, cupcakes from our favorite bakeshop, and a pony named Fiona.
Hudson hung out with me as I set the table and chairs. He told me who he wanted to sit next to (Ava and Perla) and kept remarking how beautiful he thought everything looked. He’s the stinkin’ sweetest.
Here are a few shots from Ryan’s iPhone!Continue Reading
Cooking weekly dinners is something we’re super intentional about. I’m often asked about meal planning, because I do it religiously, and it makes life so much easier. However, last week Sun Basket took the load off us! And I want to take the load off you, so make sure to enter our giveaway for a free week of Sun Basket meals!
The Sun Basket box arrived refrigerator packed with fresh ingredients I pre-selected from their weekly menu. First up, we tried the pan-roasted salmon. We’re not talking farm-raised fish. This wild caught salmon is the real deal. We followed the recipe card and in less than half an hour all three of us scarfed down this flavorful and flaky salmon dinner. PS – sometimes wild-caught salmon can taste extra fishy, but whether because it was so well-seasoned or just super fresh, both Ryan and I remarked how much we enjoyed the taste. The artichoke pilaf side paired really well with the salmon, plus I’ve never cooked with fregola before (it’s a lot like cous-cous) so was excited to not only try a new recipe but a new ingredient all together.
^Toasting the fregola.
Ryan wins MVP of the house while I’m pregnant. He’s taken over dinner-making duties on many a night since growing a human pretty much zaps your energy. He’s a keeper. We annihilated the lemongrass and coriander-crusted pork loin with Asian greens before getting any photos, but suffice it to say, it was real good. Equally important to us, the meat was hormone and antibiotic free!
Hard to pick a favorite but the grilled sirloins with roasted poblanos and New Mexican chile sauce had me wishing I was eating for more than just two. Oh and three cheers for grass-fed beef.
Overall, I was super impressed with the quality of the ingredients. I feel a little crazy admitting there are days when I travel to as many as three separate grocery stores for hard to find grass-fed, pasture raised meats or organic, non-GMO produce. To have it all delivered is such a luxury. Also when comparing similar services, it can be tricky for me to find dairy-free options, so it’s worth mentioning how accommodating Sun Basket is of various food aversions. Now your turn! If you’re into it and want to try it out, we’re giving away a free week of meals on my Instagram!
P.S. You can use this link to get $30 off your first order.
This post is in partnership with Sun Basket, whose products we genuinely use and love in our own home. Thanks for reading and supporting the sponsors who support our family!
After strawberry picking, Hudson decided we should make strawberry pie. I concurred. But we cheated a little using puff pastry dough and went for more of a free form tart. Totally the way to go if your sous-chef is three years old. Hudson made his very own smaller version and ate it like a pizza. Here he is proud as punch about it:
Everyone loves puff pastry but the filling is the real star of the show. Our strawberries were insanely fresh and delicious on their own, but roasting strawberries brings out their natural sugars anyway, so no worries if you’re going store-bought.
- all butter puff pastry dough (find in the frozen section at your grocer)
- 3 cups strawberries, roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp vanilla
- juice from one lemon
- 1.5 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 egg beaten (for egg wash)
- powdered sugar for sprinkling
- Place dough on a parchment lined sheet tray. We did a couple of smaller tarts for the littles and made the big one for everyone else. Divvy up the dough however you see fit.
- Pile berries on dough, leaving the edges free from filling.
- Fold the edges up around the strawberries.
- Place tray with galettes in the freezer for 10 minutes while preheating oven to 350°F.
- Brush edges of chilled galettes with egg wash, then sprinkle sugar on top. Bake until crust is slightly brown and crisp and filling bubbly, about 30 minutes.
- Serve with a sprinkle of powdered sugar. Eat up!