26/52 || lessons from the garden

DSC_2319“M, once a week, every week, in 2014″

Finally! We are seeing some fruits of our labor (hehe!) in our backyard. The vegetable garden  is growing nicely but our potted strawberry plant is the real champ so far. Every year the garden is real labor of love. We don’t expect much out of it but we faithfully weed and water daily hoping that the five little plants we placed in the ground produce something. That’s why it’s SO EXCITING to walk out each morning and find there is a small tidbit you can dig your teeth into. M has been very good about waiting until each berry is ‘wed’ before plucking it off the branches and eating it. It’s a slow process, one little berry at a time but it’s been so gratifying for both her and I to be able to check our plant each day and see the tiny red fruit ready to become our afternoon treat. This one little pot has become such a good teacher in patience and tenderness.

I’m just thrilled!

Enjoy! Melissa

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a 2nd birthday celebration

DSC_2172A few weeks ago, we celebrated M’s 2nd birthday with some of her buddies who also turned two within a few weeks of her. Three families all loaded up our cars with presents, cupcakes, bagels for breakfast and our swimwear for a night at Great Wolf Lodge. For M’s first birthday, we threw a huge party at our house. Although it was so special, I wasn’t up for a repeat of the house cleaning, cooking and hosting this year. So, a getaway to the indoor Disneyland of Washington was the solution. It ended up being a blast for the children and hassle free for the parents. Besides the car packing, all we did was follow our pack of twos around Great Wolf’s indoor water park and feed them a celebratory  pizza dinner. It was quite the second birthday bash!

photo 3 photo 2 DSC_2180These three have been taking trips to the zoo together this summer so we thought an animal theme was fitting.The cupcakes could not have been more perfect. My friend Kristen made these for us and they were a huge hit with the kiddos. M chose a bear, Gemma was a lion and Connor wanted the monkey. Oh’ and because I’m sure you are wondering, I also chose the bear. He was too cute to pass up.

photo 4 DSC_2174 DSC_2186I think this is the last birthday that I’ll get away with choosing the theme and having any say in the activities so I feel like we did it right. What a weekend!

Happy Friday & Enjoy!



keeping busy with a summer bucket list


I’ve been seeing summer bucket lists float around pinterest lately and was actively avoiding making one. M is now at the age where if you tell her you are going to do something, she tucks it away in her little memory bank and holds you to it. I mean, what if I don’t feel like feeding ducks on a particular Tuesday, right? Then I realized that’s crazy. June has just barely announced itself and we are already taking summer head on. We’ve been eating meals outside, spending most of our days with bubbles or surrounded by water and taking full advantage of the longer, brighter days. So, why not have a list to focus that attention on the days where I wake up reaching for activities to entertain my crazy girl?

I am already excited for M to check each activity off one by one and for a bucket list tradition to grow in our home. Bring it on SUMMER!


Enjoy! Melissa


DSC_1830“M, once a week, every week, in 2014″

M has a few happy places but I think the happiest of them all is on a beach. I know it has something to do with my casual attitude once the sun kisses my cheeks and my toes feel the sand but mostly, I think she belongs in such a free space. She can run without me hounding her to stay near. She can build and tear down sand castles with pride. Nobody is trying to fix her messy hair or even make her wear bottoms if she doesn’t want to. Happy.

Enjoy! Melissa


mother's day mini session-285mother's day mini session-292 mother's day mini session-290 mother's day mini session-302 mother's day mini session-295Today my girl turns two.

People tell you time flies when you have a child but if you would have asked me in the first year, I would have whole heartedly disagreed with them. I felt like every day was a new adventure. Life altering decisions were made hourly. Things that shaped the way you were forever going to raise your child were decided in every moment of that year. Now though, with another 12 months under our belts, I would tell you that time does fly with a little one by your side. It feels like days ago that I was planning M’s first birthday and writing about it. This year has been filled with less newness and more of a calm as a family of three. Don’t get me wrong, M has embraced toddlerhood with open arms and is about as opposite of calm as they come, but our family, this way of being, it’s become less frantic and more normal.

To document the shift from months to years with our babe, we had some photos taken last week. Turns out, M was into showing what two is going to mean for her. She wasn’t thrilled about having her picture taken, ran from the photographer, pulled her cute ponytail out and acted as if the flower crown was trying to kill her. It was the perfect moment to step back and watch her take on the world herself, have opinions and show them off wildly.

Looks like two is going to be a fun one.

Enjoy! Melissa


Photos by the talented Stacy Jacobsen






in my suitcase

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We are home from just over a week in Hawaii and although I miss my family, the palm trees and the whole toes in the sand thing, there is just something about your own bed that is so inviting. Am I right or am I right?

Anyway, while we were there, we moved between my parents house, an ocean front rental cottage and a hotel. I must have packed and unpacked my suitcase 20 times. I’m guessing that I left a piece of us at each location because man, M has lot of a stuff to keep track of. But, before I left anywhere, I checked and double checked that I had these five things with me. I couldn’t have made it a single day without them.

Babyganics Natural Insect Repellent : The bugs just eat M and I up on vacations. Last trip, I was unprepared and spraying her with any bug spray I could get my hands on. I felt so guilty about the chemicals while I was doing it but in the heat of the moment it was bug bites or bug spray. Spray won. This trip, I was ready for those blood suckers with this and it totally helped. We each ended up a with a few bites but nothing like last trip.

Neutrogena Sunblock Stick : Not only does this make sun blocking M’s face quick, it distracts her while I lotion up the rest of her body. She likes to apply this to her face herself. Wait until you see how white her face is in all of our pictures!

Rash Guard : Like I said, applying sun block to a toddler can be tricky. This helps so I can shield her from the sun and avoid a fight. Win!

Puddle Jumper Floatation Device : It is so funny to watch M walk around in these. She can’t put her arms down to her side so she’s like a little robot waddling around. But, when she’s in the water, these are a awesome. She swam like a fish with very little help from me.

Elastic Hair Ties : Vacation hair is sometimes not the best hair. Humidity is not my or M’s friend. So, both of us had our hair up using these ties almost the entire trip. Lifesaver.

Enjoy! Melissa


vitamin d

DSC_1751I just don’t think there is anything that makes my heart skip a beat more then watching M play in the sunshine. I may live in the NorthWest but I am a true blue sun- seeker. I’m guessing that stems from planting my roots here. A place where sunshine is special. Yes, it’s true, there is a cloud-cover that looms over our area for a good 6 plus months a year so when the sun does come out, we follow it.

The temperature has skyrocketed over 80 the past two days and except for naps, M and I have hardly set a toe inside. The dishes are piling up, laundry needs to be done and I’m sure the vacuum would like to see the light of day but I don’t really care. By the end of the day yesterday, we were both sunblock covered sweaty messes.

It’s the best kind of mess to be.

I’ve been watching her water the plants, play in bare feet and run headstrong into the chilly lake and I’m positive this summer with a two year old is going to be one of my favorites.

Vitamin D has been good for my skin and my soul.

Enjoy! Melissa


It’s been a really (REALLY) long time since I’ve done an iPhone update but I was flipping through my pictures tonight and was reminded that although I’ve felt like M and I have battled it out this week, we’ve had some deliciously cute times as well. Am I the only one that does that? Browse my own photos. It just sounds so narcissistic. Gosh! But really, it’s not as horribly sick as it appears. It’s just sometimes nice to be able to look at these moments instead of stay in the heat of a tantrum. Know what I mean?

photo 1This girl! We had a good day so I treated her to a little Red Robin for lunch. The clucks and fries were just as good as I remember from those teenager days spent ordering food in huge groups and insisting we each needed our own bill.

photo 2 photo 3Easter! The Easter Bunny left M a chicken themed basket. She was thrilled and right away spent about 5 minutes trying to comb the hen’s hair out of it’s face.

photo 4The Tulip Festival flowers are still going strong on my counter.

photo 5I guess we’ve been grabbing some snacks on the go lately??? We stopped for a green smoothie at Jamba a few days ago and M has never acted so sweet as she did while she bribed me to give her the rest of my drink after hers was gone. I’m such a sucker!

Enjoy! Melissa

boo-boos & popsicles

DSC_1157Yesterday was the most glorious of days in Seattle. By far, our nicest of the year so far. M and I celebrated with a little trip to the zoo then strawberry popsicles in the backyard. I’m sure we can all agree that there is nothing better then an icy treat on a warm day, right?  Anyway, it was all fun and games until she slipped down the cement stairs and got her first toddler scraped leg. Not to worry, Mickey (and a little Neosporin) made everything better.

Enjoy! Melissa

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DSC_1109“M, once a week, every week, in 2014″

Every once in a while, she spends a few minutes actually enjoying some independence. It’s so rare that I have to stop, breath it in and remind myself not to interrupt.

Just ignore me here with the camera practicing my paparazzi skills.

Enjoy! Melissa