a toy story birthday party

welp, just like that - our eleanor is eight years old ... today was really wonderful. family and friends gathered at our house to celebrate our sweet girl. we ate pizza and chocolate cake and even played outside because it was fifty degrees today! 

it is 7:30pm now and i just sent arick out for tacos. eleanor is painting and wolfgang is climbing on me as i type, saying, "mommy, cake? mommy, cake?" over and over again. 

i am looking forward to this new year with my girl. watching her grow and loving her more and more each day ... 

well, that's all for now! hope you all are having a great weekend!


a new room for the birthday girl

this morning at seven am sharp, my husband and i tiptoed into eleanor's room and tossed eight pink balloons on her sleeping head ... she awoke in a flash and began jumping up and down on her bed and shouted, "today is my birfday! today is my birfday!" ... we all shared some giggles and hugs and "i love yous" and went downstairs so she could open her gift and eat her birthday donut (with sprinkles, of course) ... 

it is hard for me to talk about eleanor without becoming emotional. she has been my rock for so long. we have been through a lot together. there is something about your oldest child ... they are the ones that come into your life and open your heart for the very first time. since she is so much older than her brothers, she is such a help around here and has become my little sidekick. shoot ... she has become my very best friend. every year on her birthday, i write her a letter in a journal. during nap time today, i will sit down and write about this past year. the things she loves. the things she hates. where she lives and where she goes to school. her favorite color. her favorite toy. the way she still says "crash can" instead of "trash can" and how she always adds -ily to the end of almost every word ... (pinkily, funily, fancily, etc.) ... she is just so wonderful. my sweet girl. 

okay, enough of the sap! as most of you know, we have been doing some room swapping over here. she really, really wanted pink walls so we found some great wallpaper to use as an accent wall. you know i love white walls, but i think it is important to let your children express themselves and have things that are just theirs. we are so happy with how everything turned out. it is all just SO her. 

  • the wallpaper we used is from chasing paper. so many fun options. i really think wallpaper is making a comeback. 

  • she doesn't really play with toys much anymore, but she still loves her dollhouse and calico critters. you can find the dollhouse here

  • her dresser was yellow and we painted it white. i really would like to swap the knobs, but she loves those plain white ones. 

  • the "you are so loved" print is from a family print shop

  • the colorful painting by her bed was done by a friend and the wooden letter "E" is from target. 

  • her bed was the bed i slept in my entire childhood :) canopy is from IKEA. 

  • overhead shade is from lowes and lamp is from target!

i think that's all! ... if you want to read more about the journal i keep for her, you can find that here

she insisted on lining up her toy story characters for this photo :) she is having a toy story party tomorrow!


self worth and some photos

today has been pretty stressful. let me rephrase that - i have been really stressful. my husband even told me so earlier tonight. i'm not sure what my deal is, really. i guess i have been struggling with self worth lately. i mean, that's no excuse to be a stressful person, but maybe that's the reason anyhow. i am trying to figure out where i fit. is being a mother enough? am i supposed to be working towards something else? something just for me? or should i stop asking that question and just live. i feel such a pressure to keep up with other women. like so and so are off doing something wonderful AND being a mom. women are starting businesses and writing books while mothering and i get down on myself because i think why can't i do it all? why is it too much for me? it is especially hard when i open instagram on an exceptionally stressful day and see things other women are posting. on those days, it seems as if they are standing on top of a mountain wearing big smiles and i am stuck in a valley shouting up, "hey! what about me?!" ... it feels so insecure and childish to admit, but feelings are feelings are feelings. and maybe that's the thing - maybe i need to give my feelings a rest and stop worrying so much about what other women are doing and just be okay with whoever i am. 

it hit me today that i will probably never have a blog that has all of these how to's and recipes and it won't all be perfectly so and that's okay. it is. no one says i have to fit that mold. i can be whatever kind of writer and picture taker that i want to be. it is okay. i can just be here in my own little corner and talk about emotions and humanness. i love that stuff. and of course the occasional how to and recipe and what nots ... because those things are really great. but honestly, im just learning as i go just like everyone else. 

 i just think it is so important to not feel alone in this womanhood thing. to remember that we are all worthy of great things.  

well, im off to lay next to my husband and hug him because i am sorry for being stressful. i don't wanna be. here's to doing better. good night. xo. 

these are just some photos i took while putting laundry away today. i don't know, it was just a really good part of my day. 


wolf + ru's shared nursery

so, we have been busy making some changes over here. up until now, our finished basement has housed all of our toys and i won't lie, it gets really crazy down there ... most days, i just shut the door and pretend like the mess isn't a real thing ... but it is real. so real. and it drives me freaking crazy. 

our upstairs has four bedrooms. when we first bought the house, we thought, "great!" everyone will have their own room. it has been great, but it needed tweaked a bit. i am not a fan of having toys in the living room. we do have some because that just happens when you live in your house and your toddler likes to play with trains while he watches a show about trains. .. anyway, i knew i hated having them all in the basement, but also knew i didn't want them in the living room ... so i decided to move the boys together in one room and use the spare as a play room. wolf and ru are using eleanor's old room because it is the biggest room and eleanor is taking ru's old room and wolfgang's room will be the play room. eleanor's room is next up for a makeover. we just recently ordered some wall paper and i just cannot wait to put it up. she is also going to pick out a chandelier to replace the gigantic ceiling fan that currently occupies the room. 

so, for the past couple of days, i have been busy moving furniture and swapping closets to create a shared nursery for my boys. last friday, i found this beautiful spindle bed for wolfgang at an estate sale. it was only $30! i couldn't resist. he isn't sleeping in it yet and is still in the crib in his old room for the time being. rufus is still sleeping with us, but we have plans to sleep train him within the next month. i am really hoping and believing that both boys will be sleeping in the new room by springtime! wish us luck!

i won't lie, it sort of bothers me that all of the furniture doesn't match and maybe i'll work on changing that at some point, but mostly ... im like, whatever. :) 

now, a few things about their space:

the painted wooden cow and pig hanging above wolfgang's dresser was made by my grandpa and hung on my walls when i was little.

the quilt ru is laying on was made by his great aunt. it was his welcome to the world gift. 

the rocking chair belonged to my grandma's grandpa. 

ru's gramma made him the fuzzy duckling book he is playing with. 

i love having things in a room that have history and meaning. stay tuned for a peek at el's new room, the playroom and kitchen makeover!