Saturday, October 5, 2013

the best kiss I have ever had

gums, tiny teeth, drool and all.  

hope you were kissed by someone today too.  


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

every day

every day I think of things to blog about.  "I should write about that" is a common inside the head conversation I have with myself.  But then a baby cries or a timer goes off or the chores need to be dealt with and the 30-60 minute window of time that I have 3 times a day fades quickly.  

I want to blog about...

a "keepin' it real" post about how I have committed the ultimate fashion crime twice and worn my crocs out in public to run errands.  I felt horrible and nasty yet my feet did feel comfy wrapped in that soft plastic.  someone help me.  

my home is being invaded by stink bugs.  At one point there were like 30 crawling on my walls.  That's when I called Andrew and told him I was having a panic attack because I tried to pick them up to throw them in water myself, but I felt like I was picking up tiny roaches and it was horrible and I was so hot and sweaty with a baby on my hip.  So I went outside and turned on the water hose and sprayed those suckers until they flew away.  And then they flew back.  

I am riding again and it has become my new therapy.  I like riding this blue eyed horse named Toby.  I also just wrote and deleted 4 different sentences because they were (only funny to me) jokes about further damaging my womanly special area.  too much?  oh, but it's true. 

Our Hunter died last months and it was very, very sad.  I wrote a post the day that he died but never hit publish because I was afraid it would drive the reader to drink.  But maybe time enough has passed where I can post it.  

During the day the farm is so quiet and beautiful.  I never really got to experience this silence because I was always home when the lessons were going on after work.  It truly is a beautiful thing.  Sometimes, when I go out to walk around and I know Andrew is somewhere on the farm but don't have my cellphone, I do the Mockingjay whistle from Hunger Games and Andrew will hear it and attempt to whistle back (I'm really, really, good at whistling FYI) and we keep doing it until we find each other.  Tell me we aren't the coolest couple you could ever hope to know.

I painted my kitchen cabinets white and it was the best kitchen makeover ever.  Maybe one day I will post some pics. 

I want to write about my feelings (SURPRISE) and how the entire last 7 months have been a trial and error system where I fail ALL OF THE TIME.  But, I am learning more and more about myself and what is important.  What is enough.  What is love.  I am bursting with feelings, y'all.  

I have been trying to do a minimalist makeover on our home and I am making strides.  I'd love to write a post about how I have overcome some big hurdles along the way and how I wrote a prescription to myself about having the house tidied up each day.  

I got to see two of my best friends in the past months and it made my heart all happy and I want to all live 5 minutes from each other so I can be around that goodness all the time.  It makes me so happy/sad.

I really want to do one of those posts about what my makeup routine is.  I have no idea why though, because I use crusty old concealer and dirty brushes.  I just love knowing what other people use.  

I want to talk about my breastfeeding journey and my nips of steel.  You are on the edge of your seat, aren't you?

See?  So many great blog posts.  I can see 'em in my head plain as day.  

One day?

Happy October!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

7 months of lovins

7 months 
18 lbs. 7 oz.
26 1/4 in.

you are everywhere, crawling and pulling yourself up.  

you have two bottom teeth.

you love to giggle.

you love your daddy-man.

and I'm so in love

with you.

Monday, September 23, 2013

i'm really happy.

The fall air has rejuvenated my soul.  It seems like I have been finally able to slow down and take things in a bit easier.  Or maybe it is because I have been really trying the practice of slowing down and taking it all in.  I found myself in and out of a rut this summer.  Things are so busy and it is so darn hot.  I like being outside and so does Ev, so I feel like we are both in our element with the cooler weather.   She makes me feel alive inside and her eyes seem to hold every wonder I have ever felt and more.  She has become an anchor for me, holding me down in the present moment.  I feel happier, lighter.

So life is good.  That's my update.  

Monday, September 16, 2013


Layers mean fall must be here.  Andrew took Evs out on the farm this evening so I could cook dinner with two hands and half a brain and I piled on the layers to create this epic outfit for her.  

I've been so quiet here on my internet land.  We just came back from two weekends being out of town and I've felt a little like I've been in a whirlwind. Evs is all over the place and taking up the majority of my mental capacity. I'll write down some stories here soon!  xo

Monday, August 26, 2013


This baby girl turned six months old yesterday.  It didn't sink in until this morning though, really.  My mom left from visiting this weekend so I'm able to sit in my sadness for a bit while Ev naps.  She's  in her crib that was recently moved down to the lowest setting when we found her standing up late last week.  She's pulling herself up on everything, crawling, she wiggles her way out of your arms when you try to snuggle.  She is no longer my tiny little baby (okay, she was never really tiny, but to me she was).  I think before six months, the 25th of each month came and went but she still seemed like a baby to me.  Five months sounds so much younger than six months.  Her six month birthday also brings a  milestone for me and my body.  I have spent half of a year giving my body over to feed and nurture this tiny being.  I have had so many ups and downs with breastfeeding, healing, and mentally going through this process of motherhood.  I have never been so overwhelmed with the love that you can feel for someone else.  There is a part of my chest that feels like a light goes straight through it and it expands when I see Everly's face.  That's what this love feels like.  I have started to rest on the prayer that I can always see her with this love, even when times are hard in our relationship.  

Everly Ruth, here are a few things I want to remember about you at 6 months old:

-You are starting to crawl to me, up me, and then nuzzle around when you want some milk.  I absolutely love this.  

-You are crawling, pulling yourself up, and doing this all way too fast for me.  But I love to watch you try and figure things out.  I'm gonna have to keep my eye on you.  ;)  

-You had two full body laughs going on this weekend and it was the best thing to hear.  Your laugh makes the world brighten.  

-You are really into watermelon rind.  Not so much avocados.  (me too.)

-You love playing with your ukelele and watching the horses move.  This makes your mama and daddy very happy.   

- Your dark brown hair is falling out and growing back in blonde.  The first thing people notice about you is your amazing hair that is usually going all over the place.  It does make me a little sad that you are losing your brown locks but your hair is an ever evolving masterpiece so I can't wait to see how it grows back in.  

-You snuggle up at night in-between me and your daddy and it is my favorite time of the day.  I will never ever regret sharing our bed with you.  

I could go on and on but those are the things that stick out the most.  Half of a year.  It is unbelievable.  

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Can we take a moment to talk about this?

I totally forgot about this photo shoot.  A dear friend bought this dress for Ev at Dollywood (greatest place on earth) so of course we had to dress her up in it and pretend that she was in a baby pageant.  Except, Ev isn't really a frilly baby.  I'm not sure that any baby is but Ev definitely was giving the "WTF, get this off me" vibe.  

And look at all that hair!   It is falling out and turning blonde now so I will have to savor these precious glamour shots gone wrong with her spiky black hair.  *sigh*

Happy Thursday!

Monday, August 19, 2013

eyes on the prize

I took this video last week and now I am looking up baby gates to replace my rigged up screen gates because this girl is everywhere.  She's figured out how to pull herself up on her own if I leave anything out that is her size so we are also dealing with some bumps on the head.  She's on the move and ready.

I'm not.  

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

you go girl

It's okay.


I might need to look at this from time to time and now so can you.

you're welcome.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Planting the Placenta Tree

I thawed out her placenta a few days ago (or is it mine?  who has ownership here?) and decided that today was the day to plant it!  That and it was really starting to gross me out in the fridge and this is something you do not procrastinate once thawed out.  My mom got me a wisteria tree for Mother's Day and we finally planted it and had our little family ceremony.  Andrew placed it in the hole muttering, "I hope you know how much I love you Valerie, you weird hippie."  Yes.  This is love.  Placenta love and we may have color coordinated our outfits just for fun.

 *a praying mantis was chillin' on her tree.  I think it's a sign. *

I really loved that we saved the placenta.  It felt special planting a tree to watch grow with her and to know that it will be here beside our little home where she is growing up means a lot to us.  We said a little prayer over the tree and spent the rest of the day outside enjoying this cool weather (in a Virginia August?).  Yes, it was a lovely day.  

Saturday, August 3, 2013

date night

 Those are bacon, apple, and brie sandwiches (the best sandwich ever?)

 blinded by the white

North River Gorge at sunset

photo taken after wine & happiness was consumed.

Last week my mom watched Ev while Andrew and I went on our first solo date in 5 months.  I didn't want to go.  Is that bad to say out loud?  Well, I didn't.  I was tired.  I was cranky and stressed.  We planned a date on a budget to the mountains for a small hike, sandwiches, and a bottle of wine.  This all sounded fine and dandy until that evening when we were trying to get ready.  It wasn't about leaving Ev, it was just about getting our shiz together enough to walk out the door.  I dragged my feet and plopped down in our old volvo station wagon with the crankiest face I could muster.  We made our way through the valley backroads and bit by bit I felt my chest getting lighter.  We hiked to a little spot that has a hanging bridge and since it was so late at night and there weren't any other hikers on the trail, we set up our picnic right there over the river.  It was magical and one of the best dates we have ever been on.  We sat and talked about getting caught up in this wild life with a 5 month old and a farm but how incredibly lucky we are to be here living our dreams.  I forget that most days.

It's important to get away and take a breath.  And I highly recommend doing it over a bridge with your best friend.  

p.s.  and when that said best friend and baby daddy eats all but 3 pieces of the POUND of bacon that you fried earlier for your bacon, apple, and brie sandwiches that you are making for the said special date and you realize you are screaming at each other over bacon????  It is clear that you are in need of date night.  ;)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

tennis bear vs. me

I got back from a weekend family trip to New Jersey on Monday.  Andrew couldn't make the trip so I was on my own, along with the helping hands of family.  I think I bit off a little more than I could chew going solo, but I do feel like I came out feeling like more of a mother than I was telling myself.  The second night we were there I had finally nursed Ev to sleep and I was sitting on the floor with a tiny light to read by and she started to cry.  I used all my tricks in my bag to get her to sleep before scooping her up and starting to sway side to side. 

I need this right now.  I need this right now, baby girl.  I need this.   Please go back to sleep so I can read and just have silence.

I pleaded.  Hard.  

At the same time I realized I was staring at the tennis playing bear picture that has been hanging in my Grandmother's guest room for my entire 29 years.  Back and forth I rocked looking at that bear, silently pleading with my baby to go to sleep.  I knew I would give out soon physically from lunging with my little 17 lb baby but I suddenly started to feel like the tennis bear was taunting me.  Those balled up fist, beady eyes, and scowl face.  He wanted to take me on.  I kept on my side of the court, swiveling side to side.  

I will win bear.
I will win.

She started to feel like she was getting heavy again.  She was almost there.

The bear gave up and/or Ev fell back asleep and I placed in her the springy bed with a fortress of pillows surrounding her.   

This week has put me face to face with that bear more than once.  It has been mentally tough and one of those weeks where you just keep saying "what else do you got for me life?".  But the bear won't win.  We'll keep on keepin' on and I will win.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Royal Birth-- We understand

My mom is in town and is obsessed with the Royals so we have watched 24 hour coverage of this event on the news.  Since we live at the Kingdom of Traiylor, I feel like I can understand what Will & Kate must be going through.  But on the real, it is fun to relive what those first few days felt like.  I have never been on such a high in my life.  The endorphins were pumping through my veins and I couldn't stop smiling for 2 days, I swear.  It was the best.  Almost makes me want to do it again.  

Scratch that.  

I haven't slept in 5 months.  I'm talking crazy.  How do people have more than one baby?  Talk to me in a few years or hold my hand while I cry if we have a "surprise" before then.  I bow down to any woman that does this more than once.  

congrats new parents!

p.s.  Andrew wants me to assure everyone that he does not hate me and apologizes for his dirty mouth and oversharing wife.  

Sunday, July 21, 2013

I think I'm really funny sometimes...(video edit)

(some folks emailed and told me they couldn't see the video.  edited to embed new one.) 

Andrew left yesterday for Tennessee to go look at some horses for sale. Earlier today I spotted a big cardboard box in the yard and decided that I wanted to give him a grand surprise welcome home. I had my mom stand on the back porch and pretend to be talking on speaker phone to a friend as he walked up while I was hiding in the box. My videographer got caught up in the moment and didn't film me jumping out but I still think this is the funniest thing ever.  

He really did luck out when he found me to be his life partner.  ;)

(skip to 30 seconds-ish in..)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

July, in summary

I want to eat her.

July has been hot.  And I don't really do hot.  And the farm in July is busy.  A little too busy.  It means that my other half does not get in from the barns until 8:00 each night.  That means that I am all frazzley with a crazy eye by the time he comes in and then I try to cook us dinner.  

Relief is on its way though.  My mom is coming into town on Friday (DO YOU HEAR THE ANGELS SINGING?!) and I can get caught back up.

So excuse my silence whilst I get my shiz together.  

Saturday, July 13, 2013

While away

I left to go to the store this afternoon and came back to this.  Not sure why he is sleeping on the dog bed with my nursing pillow but I'm gonna just let these two sleep. 

Happy weekend! 

Monday, July 8, 2013

lunch with heifetz

We went on an adventure today to the Heiftz International Music Institute in Staunton.  The Heifetz International Music Institute is "dedicated to the artistic growth and career development of some of the most talented and promising young musicians in the world."  I've heard nothing but great things so I was excited to take Everly to listen to some live music and their free brown bag lunch concert fit well for our schedule.  

Ev was really into it, as much as a 4 month old can be, and we were able to stay for about half of the pieces before I felt like she was going to start on a babbling roll. One piece got really quiet and I started panicking that she would rip a big wet one right there in the room and how would that NOT interrupt a performance?  But she held it all in strong like a champ.  

After we left we walked around to the back of the Woodrow Wilson Library and took a seat in the shade to nurse.  One of the students had walked outside the back to tune his violin and warm up and he ended up playing for us.  It was like a little private performance.  Ev was so happy being outside and listening to the music.  It was one of those moments where I felt like I was exactly where I wanted to be in life.   

Hanging out in the back ready for a fast escape.  

Maybe she was over it by this point...

secret picture of our private concert.  

a "balfie"
 baby + selfie.  They seem more acceptable than just a selfie.  Maybe?  Maybe not.  

One thing I don't think I realized was how hard it would be to venture out of the house after the baby came.  It is so much more difficult and nerve-wracking than expected.  Will she cry?  Will she need to nurse?  Will people be cool with me nursing?  Will there be some place that I can change her?  The list goes on and on.  But I think it is very important for stay at home moms or dads to get out.  My friend gave me the best advice:  only go on one stop per day.  Then when you get home and put the baby down for a nap, have a nice cold beer waiting for you to de-stress.  (okay that last part is my advice.)    

Speaking of nursing in public, I saw this today on Facebook and it was by far one of the most powerful pieces I have seen on the subject.  Check it out:

Saturday, July 6, 2013

the one where I watch my baby roll down the hill through a lens

 found here.  

I came upon this image of how to make a flower headband and tried my hand at it today while we were sitting outside in the shade.  It would probably work better with different flowers but it was a lot of fun to make while Ev tried to stick fists full of petals in her mouth.  

And then I was mother of the year and Ev started to roll down the hill as I snapped away on my camera.

Friday, July 5, 2013

my country 'tis of thee

I love the 4th of July.  It has always been one of my favorite holidays and this year was exciting to have Ev to start a family tradition.  We started out the morning with the Staunton parade and saw all of the Ultimate Miss pageant queens and hometown baseball teams in all of their glory!  

I found out later in the day that it was Andrew's first time going to the parade.  Wha-What?  I know, that's what I thought.  What kind of deprived child were you?  I think he ended up having a really fun time with Ev and Lady Liberty herself, his wife, despite his aversion to large crowds of sweaty people.  

She loved looking at all of the things going on around her.   

 Lady Liberty hair that I tried to recreate from here.    

 gums for miles

 She passed out right at the end of the parade.  Overstimulation?  (nice boots)

Mt. Sidney friends 'till the end!  

We came home from the parade, took a family nap, grilled steaks and then attempted to watch some fireworks.  I say attempted because we piled poor Ev in the car screaming, drug her to a field where it sounded like the Gettysburg battle and then had to leave early because it was just too loud and was spooking her.  Maybe next year?  

Hope you had a great day too.  

Go America!  

Monday, July 1, 2013

K.I.R.: I sat in the parking lot of Food Lion today and it was amazing

 Going to the grocery store alone is a beautiful thing.   

During a little rain today, Andrew stayed at home with Ev while I ran to the grocery store and bank. Before I made my first stop I went to the drive thru at McDonalds and got a hot fudge sundae WITH the little airplane baggy of nuts and parked in the back of the Food Lion parking lot next to an unmarked bread truck (U.B.T's).  

I sat while NPR raged on in the background, tore open the corner of my peanuts, equally distributed the fudge/peanut/ice cream ratio (I have a thing about this) and had one of the most blissful 4 minutes i've had in awhile.   

If you ever see someone doing this, don't stare.  Just let them have it.  

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