I just love this little guy.  Always a new face or something funny he is doing, it seems.

We are headed to Cincinnati today for an Ikea trip and a Frightened Rabbit show!!  Landon has loved Frightened Rabbit for a very long time, and he finally gets to see them live.  He got me interested in them too, and  I am so excited to be able to share it with him tonight.  Landon's brother, Daniel, is coming with us and has plans to get some furniture at Ikea for his bachelor pad.  We haven't been to Ikea for a couple years, so we're excited to check out all the new decor and furniture.

Meanwhile, Finn gets to stay with his Grandma and Grandpa and play quite a bit, I suspect.  He is going to have a ball. :)


healthy oatmeal cookies...


Last week, I made some healthy oatmeal cookies for Finn and I to enjoy.  They had mashed banana, oats, raisins, and cinnamon.  I used this recipe I pinned, and I couldn't get over how easy they were.  Today, I made some again, but added chopped apples, cinnamon, and raw honey.  They turned out great and it was nice to know we could have "cookies" for breakfast. :)

There are some things we've been relaxed on with Finn, but when it comes to processed sugar, we are kind of protective.  As he gets older and eats more, I'm sure it will get a bit more tough to deal with, but we will try to hold off as much as we can.  Finding healthy sweet treats that can be a good substitute is important to me.  And helping Finn eat healthy will force Landon and I to eat healthier too...which I love.

What about you, what are your favorite healthy sweet treat recipes?


hello friday...


It's sunny here today, and looking outside makes me so happy.  I am definitely ready for warm weather to be here, and even though it's cold, the sun just makes it feel so much better.

A few favs from this week:

*Going out on a wonderful date with Landon last night.  We went to an Irish pub and ate some delicious food.  We each tried a new beer, and both liked the ones we tried.  Afterwards, we went to our local coffee shop.  The barista (one of our favorite ones in there) saw we were alone without Finn and asked about him.  She also questioned why we ordered coffee instead of beer since we were on a date.  We explained we'd already had some at dinner, and she said "Ok, good."  I love that she was "looking out for us" in a way.  See, this is why I love local places.

*Watching Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou again.  I forgot how much I loved this movie, and it is so good watching a second time.  Wes Anderson is a brilliant director.  One time in college I dressed up (in a very rough handmade costume) as a member of the Zissou Society for halloween.  It was awesome.

*Enjoying time with my family.  We've tried to take it easy this week and just enjoy our spare time together.  Finn keeps us SO entertained lately.  He is imitating and laughing and dancing all the time.  Seriously, babies are hilarious.  We did a mini photo shoot last night (the photos above are from that) and Finn was cracking us up the whole time.  Love him.

*Beautifying our home.  We had a couple diy projects that have were on the back burner for awhile, and finally we made the time to get them finished up and hung.  I'll have to post some pictures another time, but we love the little touches they make to our cozy home.

*Having coffee with a friend.  I met with a friend from small group on Saturday, and we just sat and talked for a couple hours.  It was so encouraging and just nice to be out with a girlfriend talking about struggles, love, and life.

*Crafting.  I started working on an embroidery project again, and I didn't realize how much I missed doing little detail work.  It is so relaxing for me, and I can't wait to finish this one up!

*Looking forward.  I am so excited because tomorrow, my roommate from my last year at college is getting married!  We are driving to Ohio and back again for what is predicted to be a pretty awesome wedding.  I am so happy for my friend and getting to witness her day is such an honor.

We are also having a sweet family over this weekend on Sunday.  The Siler family, all the way from Wisconsin, is staying with us overnight while they are on a road trip.  They are a husband and wife photography team, and they have two young kids.  I lived with them for a few months when I was working at an internship in Portland, Oregon after college.  They only had one child then, and he was about Finn's age when I lived with them.  So excited to see them again and visit, eat good food, and possibly play some Settlers.

All in all, life is good these days.  I've been learning a lot this week...just learning how to be content, learning how to be a better mama to Finn, and learning what is really important in my life.  I am seeing how things quickly get in the way of living, and each day and each week, I am seeking to be more about experiences and people instead of things.  Looking forward to enjoying just that this weekend with some amazing family and friends.  Hope you all have a fantastic weekend yourselves!



Source: flickr.com via Leah on Pinterest

Every now and again, Landon and I indulge in some Flying Cupcakes.  I wrote in this post about how we went out to the IMA and tried Flying Cupcakes for the first time back when we were new to Indy.  They are by far the best cupcakes we've had.  We branched out from our usual flavors and tried some new ones yesterday.  I love these little mini dates we have, just walking into a bakery and getting two cupcakes.  Finn is along with us, but we love it.

Tonight we get to go out on a real date!  We're getting our sweet sitter for Finn, and heading out to The Claddagh, an Irish Pub nearby.  Then we're heading out to a camera shop I love to check out some stuff.  I'm so excited to be able to spend some time alone with Landon...it's been far too long since we went out just the two of us.



I'm not sure exactly what I want to say or how to say it.  I am overwhelmed sometimes when I step back and look at the blessings in my life.  Landon and I are so very blessed to have such deep and uplifting relationships in our lives.  The relationships in our small group have become very dear to us over the last year.  These people aren't our blood family, but they are becoming our family so quickly.

On Tuesdays we have small group where we meet with 6 other couples, share a meal, then talk about life, what our pastor preached the Sunday prior, what God is doing in our lives, and just a whole lot of stuff.  I love going to group.  We leave each week so blessed and encouraged.

Last week was a rough week.  Just being at home with a fussy baby, getting down on myself, on our life, and on the frustrations I feel.  It's so easy to focus on myself when things seem like they aren't working out or I am going through a struggle.  I, coming from a terrible attitude, chose not to go to group last week.  I didn't want to talk or laugh or share anything because I wanted to wallow in my self pity over how awful my week was going.  That night and the next day, I got texts and emails and facebook messages asking where I had been and if anything was wrong.  They weren't prying questions trying to find out info so someone could gossip.  They were concerned questions because the people in our group know me and everyone else so well.

I sat in front of the computer holding my phone and just wept.

These people love me.  They don't just care about me, they genuinely, unconditionally, and truly love me.  And I didn't quite realize it until that day.  When I had been at my worst, my friends had met me with their best.

Every week we meet, I realize more and more how treasured I am by God and how loving He is.  He loves me enough to place me in a group of people that gently and lovingly rub the rough edges out of my life.  I wouldn't dream of being anywhere else, because I see how my life and attitudes are changing for the better.

On of the guys in group last night said something that stuck with me.  I can't quote it word for word, but it was something like "Nothing materialistic compares to relationships."  He said it much better, I'm sure, but I love that message.  How many of us are trying so desperately to find our identity in things?  How many people are wealthy but lack true value and worth because they don't have genuine relationships in their lives?  How many people are trudging through life trying to make things appear better than they are because they are truly unhappy?  I don't want to be those people.  I would rather be poor in wealth and live simply with real relationships in my life than have anything money can buy and be secretly unhappy.

I realize this post is all over the place, but I felt like sharing from the heart today, and when I share from the heart, I'm not polished with my words.  Do you have people in your life that speak truth to you, love you, and value you for who you are?  I am so happy to say that I do, and those times where I feel loved and cherished even with all my rough edges are some of the most meaningful times of my life.

I want to choose to use my life to invest in others as others have invested in me.  To care enough about another person that I share my heart with them and let them share their heart with me.

To love as I have been loved.


St. Patrick's Day meal...

Source: flickr.com via Leah on Pinterest

Source: flickr.com via Leah on Pinterest


On Sunday we decided to celebrate St. Patrick's Day a bit by having corned beef with cabbage for supper.  I may have a smidge of Irish in my family tree, and Landon doesn't think his family does, but he looks sorta Irish, so that counts, right?  :)  We had fun making the tasty meal, and enjoying it together.  The only thing we were missing was a good beer, but we can't buy any in Indiana on Sundays.  Oh well, we didn't miss the extra calories.

I have only made corned beef one other time I think, but it was fairly simple.  Here's my quick recipe:

Baked Corned Beef with Skillet Cabbage

2 lbs. of corned beef including spice packet
2 T. brown sugar
2 T. balsamic vinegar
1/2 head cabbage, chopped
2 T. butter
1 T. coarse salt

Preheat oven to 350˚ F. 
Rinse and pat dry the corned beef, and place fat-side down onto aluminum foil.
Top with spice packet included with corned beef, brown sugar, and balsamic vinegar.
Wrap up the foil leaving some space at the top for steam to collect.
Place wrapped corned beef onto a roasting pan and place in the oven.
Bake for roughly 2 hours.
Unwrap and let broil on high for a few minutes.
Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

While the corned beef is broiling, melt some butter in a skillet on medium-high heat.  Add the chopped cabbage and coarse salt and sauté until slightly browned.  Serve with sliced corned beef.

Well, there you have it.  A simple and festive St. Patrick's Day meal.


hello friday...


Well it's Friday, again.  We have had a busy week.  Last Friday, Finn had surgery on his thumb to release what's called "trigger thumb."  He was such a champ, and I was more concerned than he was.  He didn't cry when the nurse took him away, he bounced back pretty quickly afterwards, and he got a balloon, so he was happy the whole time. :)  They had to put him all the way under, and I was nervous about it, but he did great and his thumb is on it's way to being healed.

I've also been working on finishing a wedding job this week.  It's not just any wedding though, it is my brother-in-law and sister-in-law's wedding.  It's been so fun to look through all the photos of their day again and remember how fun (and hot) that day was.  It is so amazing to me how photos don't necessarily show the temperature of the day.  It was very hot the day they got married, but you wouldn't know it from looking through the photos.  Same with our wedding.  It was super cold that day, but it looks like the perfect fall weather when you flip through our album.

Gearing up for a nice weekend at home with my guys.  I've got a roast in the slow cooker, we're taking it easy tomorrow, and Sunday we are doing worship team at church.  We love being a part of the band on Sundays and I love getting to play my violin regularly.

I read this really good quote today in a parenting book I'm reading through.  It stuck out to me and I want to meditate on it all weekend, and beyond.  I feel like the concept is so true and yet so often overlooked.

"Love breeds happiness.  You really cannot have happiness without love." 
You and Your Child

I hope this weekend is great for you all.  Enjoy each moment.


adoption shirt...

Some friends of my sister and her husband are in the process of adopting.  It's such an exciting time for their family as they go through all the paperwork and fundraising it takes to bring home their children.  It's also exciting for us to watch them, pray with them, and help support them.  Brittani, the mom, asked if I would help design a shirt for them, and I loved working with her to come up with a color scheme and design.

Here's the finished design:

Screen shot 2013-03-05 at 12.06.51 PM

They are currently taking orders for the shirts, so if you have been searching for a t-shirt, and want to help a good cause, here's the link where you can order.  There's only a few days left I think.

Here is the link for Brittani and her family's adoption blog.  If you'd like to know more about their story.


mama style: natural face routine...

I finally found an easy and natural face routine to help exfoliate and smooth my face.  These winter months are hard on my skin, and the dry build-up I get is annoying.  After looking through various routines online, I mixed a couple together and the results have been great.

For my skin, which is a combination depending on the weather, I use a brown sugar/olive oil scrub first, then a greek yogurt/egg white mask second.  I have been doing this once a week, and it keeps my face feeling fresh and rejuvenated.

Here is the method I've used:






My favorite moisturizer for the day is Lumene Pure Radiance Day Cream with Vitamin C.  I use the night cream in the evenings.  I have also found that applying almond oil to my face before showering helps with the dry skin, as I love to take hot showers.


hello friday...


Wow this week flew. by.  The funniest part is that nothing really profound happened...just a quiet week at home with the boys.

But I do have a few favs from this week....

*Favorite moment with friends:  Having an Oscars Party with my sister Hannah, her husband Jon, and our niece Emery.  We had appetizers, made these cookies, and watched Seth McFarlane make inappropriate jokes.  Also, Jennifer Lawrence is so cool...I once fell off the stage during a wedding, so she made me feel better when she tripped on the stairs.

*Favorite physical activity: At my boss's yearly color party on Saturday, we all made a Harlem Shake video.  Probably the best party moment ever.  It was a party, so no judgements please.  :)

*Favorite Pin: I have to post it because it's so funny.

Source: julia.blogg.se via Leah on Pinterest

I mean, come on.

*Favorite quote: "You cannot love someone you do not know." - You And Your Child

*Favorite song from the week: Home by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

*Favorite meal of the week:  Breakfast for dinner at small group!  Delicious casseroles, monkey bread, and fruit.  Ahhh.  Loved it.

*Favorite movie watched: Coco Avant Chanel.  If you've never seen this, you totally should!  It's a beautiful and artistic French film about the humble beginnings of  a fashion designer.  One of my favorites.

*Favorite design project:  Currently, I have none, but I do have two weddings I'm editing for work...and they are beautiful!  I love getting to work on wedding photos for my job!

*Favorite realization:  I don't have to worry about my future.  My God is in control, and He wants what's best for me.  My job is to embrace each moment of each day, and live them in love for Him and for other people.

*Favorite moment with Finn: The other night after an early supper, Landon and I just hung out with Finn in our living room.  He was crazy funny that night, rocking in our chair, screaming, playing, and just having a wonderful time.  I love that kid more than I can say.

Have a fantastic weekend, friends!  I am heading out for some girl time with my pal Ballard and a couple other girls.  Then, Landon and I are having a quiet weekend at home.  Looking forward to some great time as a family.


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