as many of you know, we are in the process of moving. about six weeks ago, my husband lost his job and we made a decision. we decided that we could stay here and drain our savings trying to pay our mortgage while we look for a new job or we could use this as an opportunity to start something new. so, that's what we are doing ...  and it has been a ride, thats for sure. fortunately, our house sold almost right away, but at the same time it's like okay, shit! what are we gonna do? we still do not have it all figured out, but come next week, we will be out of here and somewhere else. maybe in an extended stay hotel, maybe in a new house, i don't know. it's all really wild and exciting and terrifying, but we are ready. hopefully ten years from now we can look back on this crazy time and laugh about it. life is an adventure, after all. 

okay, enough about that. i am sure some of you are tired of hearing about it ... i mean, i'm sick of hearing about! 

anyway, with this new start, i have been trying to set some goals for myself. being at home everyday with my boys is so incredible. like, even when the days are super hard and i'm crying in a corner, i feel like i've long the lottery ... but i gotta say, i am kind of lazy. somedays i scroll through social media and other moms are cooking up a storm and they are all dressed and they're doing crafts and all kinds of absolutely wonderful things ... and for the most part, we are doing none of those things. i do mostly manage to keep my house sort of clean, but that's about it. i mean, the boys and i do a lot outside of the home, but i wish we could make our time at home more productive and flowing and educational and healthier. so, i made a list ... 

1. get the boys and i ready first thing in the morning. 
2. quit diet soda. 
3. cook dinner every night. 
4. turn off the tv, hide the phone. 
5. only eat in the kitchen/dining area. (this has not been happening lately)
6. go outside. 
7. make things. 
8. quit diet soda. (did i say that already?)
9. put the laundry away right away. 

but i mean, really ...

10. stop worrying about what other moms are doing and just do your best. 

some of you may be like, you guys don't already do those things? and some of you may relate ... either way, i just wanna do better with these things because i think it will improve my happiness and theirs. what do you think? what are your things? 


a bedtime routine

let me first begin with saying we try our best to keep a bedtime routine with our kiddos. *ahem* we try our best. some nights they go to sleep with ease and other nights it seems like we are wiping tears and passing rufus back an forth for well over an hour. 

anyway, our bedtime routine with our kiddos hasn't really changed much since eleanor was a baby and i like that. i honestly like routine ... i like it even more when it works. 

typically around six pm, after we wrap up dinner, we go on a family walk. during the colder months, we replace our walk with board games. this is my favorite time of day for many reasons ... it means we are all together just hanging out. it means arick and i aren't on our phones as much. it means that bedtime is approaching, which means arick and i can snuggle on the sofa ... there is so much peace in this hour. i love it so much. 

at around seven pm, we toss the kids in the tub. sometimes we give them a good scrubbin' from head to toe and other nights we just give them a rinse. this honestly just depends on everyone's mood. my husband and i have a pretty good assembly line where one washes and the other dries them off, lotions and puts pjs on ... lately we have been using Aveeno Baby Eczema Therapy Nighttime Balm on rufus and are so pleased with the results. it is clinically proven to prevent recurrence of itchy patches and flare ups caused by eczema so babies can sleep through the nighthe has very sensitive skin that becomes irritated so easily and this stuff has worked like a charm. 

at around eight pm, it's books and bed. eleanor is generally the one who reads the bed time story these days because she enjoys it and it's good practice. :) 

and lastly, it's off to bed. for wolfgang, we put a gate in front of his door, lay him down and say goodnight. he is by far our most cooperative sleeper. sometimes he will try to break through the gate or destroy his room or yell for a few minutes, but typically, he just lays down and falls to sleep ... as for rufus, well, he's a mamas boy and that's okay. more than okay, really. i toyed with the idea of sleep training him, but quickly let go of it. we will lay in my bed and nurse and he will stroke my hair and fall asleep. once he is asleep, i transfer him to the crib so i can head downstairs and be with arick ... he always wakes up when we come to bed around midnight and then sleeps with us till morning. 

fun fact: we call bedtime "shutting it down" and if it has been a rough day, arick or i will yell, "i'm about ready to shut. it. down.!" haha. sometimes we say it at like three pm. 

p.s. i get a lot of questions about putting our babes to bed while it's still daylight ... we have never really had a habit of closing curtains or blinds, so i think the reason they do okay is because they have never known any other way. 

this post has been sponsored by aveeno. 


an apple orchard with new friends

so, i made a new friend. her name is sara and she has two little boys ... vince and memphis. long story short, instagram brought us together and i am so glad it did. she is in town from las vegas and we have been spending a lot of time together. this past week i took her to my favorite apple orchard and even though we nearly died from the heat, we had such an amazing time ... 

you can learn more about sara here and here

also! ... i made a whole lotta applesauce with the apples we picked and if you wanna great recipe to try, you can find it here

i hope everyone is having a happy weekend! xo


the most random blog post ever

some new things around here and a recipe for a lavender tea honey cake that i made this afternoon:

1. eleanor is now a third grader. a very hungry third grader.
2. i made a cake today and it was so good ... recipe below.
3. rufus is just so joyful all the time.
4. wolfgang is typically bare bummed these days because we are potty training. it's going okay. he is also very hungry.
5. we got a kitten two months ago. her name is pam. princess pam.
6. my dad made a clothesline just like the one we had when i was little and i love it.
7. have i mentioned how fabulous a mobile rufus is?
8. we got some new rugs this summer. one is from ecarpetgallery ... and i am so happy with it.
9. my boys have been taking naps together lately and it's just so friggin precious.

lavender tea cake with honey drizzle

  1. preheat oven to 350. grease and flour a bundt pan. 
  2. in a small saucepan, bring 3/4 cup milk, 1 tablespoon loose tea and 2 tablespoons lavender to a simmer. (do not boil) ... and then let cool. use a strainer to remove leaves. set lavender milk aside.
  3. cream together 1 cup sugar with 6 tablespoons softened butter. add 2 eggs and blend again. 
  4. in a separate bowl, whisk together 2 cups flour , 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and pinch of salt. 
  5. slowly add the flour mixture and milk to the butter mixture. alternate .. ending with milk. 
  6. pour into the pan and bake until a toothpick comes clean. about 35-40 mins, i think. 
  7. serve warm. drizzle some honey on top. so, so good with a cup of coffee. it's the perfect breakfast cake.  


happy first birthday, rufus otto!

i seriously haven't blogged in months, so it feels a little unfamiliar to be here right now! ... but i am also glad to be here and think i might stick around for a while. 

anyway, rufus turned one years old on august tenth .. like, how? it just seems like yesterday that he was a fresh smelling babe in my arms. all the cliche mom feelings are happening to me ... all of them. 

as some of you may know, i freaking love birthday parties. i love the planning and prepping and making lists and the trip to the party supply store .. i just love it all. usually everyone in the family comes, even arick's sister drives in from missouri. it always feels amazing being together for a few hours and celebrating my babies. 

for ru's first birthday i decided to go with a chicken and pie theme ... but ironically there weren't any chicken pot pies. we had hotdogs. .. and pasta salad. and coleslaw. and chips. and watermelon. and lemonade. all things summer, basically. it was perfect. 

we love you, rufus. rusie. ru tang. rufio. happy birthday, baby boy. 

arick's mom bought him the big chicken. it cracks us up. 

my mom's friend made the chicken cookies ... so cute.

my dad. his papaw.