it's a boy!!!

this morning we went for our twenty week ultrasound. we had been anticipating it since we found out we were pregnant. it's amazing how exciting it is. this little boy will be our third babe and still it feels like the first time. i spend so much time lost in thought. daydreaming of tiny fingers and toes. the little noises and squirms and everything wonderful about a newborn. oh and the smell! oh my. so much goodness. 

anyway, today was the day we would find out if new baby is a boy or a girl. i think we are all secretly hoping for a tiny turtle to appear on the screen ... and when the tech said, "there's the penis, it's a boy." oh the smiles we smiled. i immediately lifted off of the exam table and was floating on top of a cloud. i could almost hear those first cries. i could almost feel that rush of immense joy that comes over your body and soul when the baby enters the world. there really is nothing quite like it. 

so, here we are. expecting a new baby boy this summer. we are overjoyed. and so very thankful. 


on being still

lately we have been doing our best to just exist. you know, putting the phone down and living life. enjoying one another to the fullest. i have been trying my darndest to stay off of instagram as much as possible (which is tough because i love it) and only checking my phone several times of day. a couple of weeks ago i took the kids to the park and there was a little boy playing in the sand. his mother was trying to get a photo of him at a certain angle and the boy just wouldn't cooperate. she became frustrated, but finally got the shot. soon after, mama still on her phone, the little boy walks up to her and offers her a shovel to play in the sand with him. the mama, barely looking up from her phone, says, "not now, sweetie ... you play." .... this mother was ME. after leaving the park, i wanted to punch myself. instead i cried. i was so ashamed. why was i so focused on taking his photo and not focused on him? all he wanted was mama to play and i chose my phone instead. and then i started thinking ... how many times has this happened? photos are not as important as just being there. being present is important. sure, i still love taking photos of my babies because i know that one day we will all love looking through them. they will bring us joy. ... but, there has to be a balance. no, not a balance. there has to be more of me and less of a camera. more of me and less distractions. appreciating each and every moment. not everything has to be captured by our digital machines. 

so ... being still. existing with my children. loving them to the fullest. putting my phone down and social media on hold. being the best mother i can possibly be for them. and i know, ... that means being present. always accepting the shovel and playing in the sand. and leaving my damn phone in the car. 

also, just to be clear. this is something that has been weighing on my heart. this is a problem that belongs to me and something i want to work on ... i would not assume that all mamas and papas have this problem and certainly wouldn't judge them. :)

photos on my camera roll. new and old:

1/ eighteen weeks pregnant with baby number three.
2/ morning sun in my kitchen. fresh lilies and sharing bites of parfait with my little ones.
3/ typical lovable wolfgang. saying hi to everyone and kissing everything at the greenhouse.
4/ snuggling with my three babies.
5/ fresh squeezed lemonade. eleanor requests it everyday now.
6/ this boy will not stop climbing the stairs. aahh!
7/ a sunny day and new yellow clogs.
8/ brushing her teeth before bed.
9/ rolling around and being silly on the bed with daddy. their favorite thing.
10/ potting her very own flower for her window sill.
11/ spring! let the greenhouse hopping begin.
12/ eating cheese in mama's bed after waking up from a nap.


my first poem // on becoming a mother of three

"a tiny baby begins to grow, a happy belly begins to glow." -Devendra Banhart

in two weeks we will know more about you.
nearly halfway there.
choosing names.
tiny pushes against my skin.
you are really in there.
please be okay.

a mother of three. a mother of three.
some days it's like walking through a thick fog.
some days i am lost in loneliness.
worried i will fail you. and you. and you.
please be okay.

taking deep breaths and allow smiles to grow on my face.
kiss and hug them.
love them.
show them worries, but not too much.
cry for them and with them, always.
please be okay.

hear every call. listen.
be warm and say, "yes, darling."
dance and sing and imagine falling into clouds.
be warm.
please be okay.

nearly halfway there.
mother of three.
you can do this. you can do this.
everything you need is here.
you'll be okay.


a touch of spring

today began later than usual. my husband typically leaves for work around 7:30 and by that time everyone is up and eating breakfast. today was different. he left at his usual time and the kids were still sleeping. i wasn't, of course, because i was too freaked out. i kept tiptoeing into their bedrooms to check for signs of breathing. everyone was OK. i tried to relax and spend these added morning minutes feeling our third baby kicking inside of me ... and then i heard, "hi. ma ma. hi." around 8:30am.

the sun was shining and we filled our bellies with berries and bananas. our regular routine could commence. only, it didn't. we decided to take the morning off and head outside. we hadn't been able to take a walk in so long ... it was fifty degrees and time. i think we needed it more than we thought even. we walked to the art museum and i let the kiddos run about outside. eleanor ran around with her imaginary friends and wolfgang stomped around blabbing and pointing at everything he saw. they rolled around in last autumn's leaves and smiled so many big smiles. 

we came home and i began nesting away while eleanor practiced her reading. i placed some market flowers here and there and put together some tiny wreaths made from baby's breath. i even hung some teeny thrifted knits for new baby. 

once daddy was home, i took a long, hot shower and weeped. pregnancy is a funny thing. once a day i have to release every emotion from my body. it either presents itself in fits of uncontrollable laughter or buckets of tears. and every time it happens, it is so freeing. 

so, that was our day. may tomorrow be just as sweet. 


cloud cakes // a homeschool recipe

today at school we learned about clouds ... i say we because i had no idea that the thin, feathery clouds were bits of ice ... did you? homeschooling is amazing in that way. i learn so much through teaching her. in more ways than one. she made a little diagram of the three types of clouds and presented it to daddy before we indulged in our cloud cakes. 

i adapted this recipe from a recipe for vanilla bean cake that i have made several times. this time, the trick was to whisk air into the batter as much as possible to get a light and fluffy cake as result. and oh boy, were they light and fluffy! nom. 

here are the tools you will need:

  • two large bowls, one small
  • a whisk
  • an electric mixer
  • rubber spatula 
  • measuring cups
  • measuring spoons
  • cooling rack
  • three, three inch round cake pans or a muffin pan

for the cake:
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup plus two tablespoons milk, room temperature
  • 2 large egg whites, room temperature
  • half stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or a little more if you want
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
for the frosting:
  • 1 and 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • i used about half bag of 32 oz powdered sugar. id say about 12 to 15oz will do
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 2-4 tablespoons of milk, although today i didn't need any milk
 cake directions:

  1. preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. grease pans with vegetable shortening, line with parchment and flour pans. if making cupcakes, just pop in some liners. 
  3. sift together dry ingredients and set aside. 
  4. whisk milk and egg whites. really whisk it! you want lots of air to get in there. it will make for a fluffy cake. set aside. 
  5. with your electric mixer, beat on medium speed the sugar, butter and vanilla bean paste. beat for quiet some time (about three minutes) until you can tell it has become light and sort of fluff like. add vanilla extract and then mix again for a few seconds. 
  6. now slowly add your dry ingredients to the sugar mixture. alternate milk mixture and dry ingredients. be sure to scrape sides every now and again. i ended with the milk mixture. 
  7. once everything is blended thoroughly, give it one last mix on medium speed. 
  8. pour batter into cake pans and bake until a tooth pick is pulled out clean. about twenty minutes. 
  9. allow to cool on rack. make sure completely cooled before applying frosting. 
frosting directions:
  1. with your electric mixer, blend all ingredients except the milk ... hold off because you may not need it. just wait and see if you think it is too thick. 
  2. apply icing to cooled cakes. we used a pastry bag to swirl it around so it looked like a cloud. ;)

side note! if using three, three inch pans for this cake ... you can stack em! they make the sweetest little individual size cake for a special someone on their birthday. 


around here with my little ones

1. mama / daughter date at the cheesecake factory.
2. my sixteen week bump
3. a snuggly sunday. my favorite day of the week.
4. cleaning house around a toddler is SO much fun
5. apple and olive oil cake and an impatient little boy
6. playing in the snow at papaw and mamaw's house
7. he got new shoes
8. the view from where i fold laundry.
9. always snoozing in mama's bed
10. story time and wearing mama's glasses
11. it kills him that sister will not let him play with her dollhouse
12. eleanor, the entertainer
13. listening to sister read
14. she is always stealing kisses from him these days
15. peter pan
16. after nap nursing snuggles
17. twirling like sister in the afternoon sun
18. i found a pile of dirt on my bed today and he was sucking on the spray bottle #rotten
19. so, so excited to meet our newest babe this summer
20. my goal is to turn my bedroom into a greenhouse this spring