51/52

51/52

I’ve been knitting. That’s what I’ve been doing. That’s why posting has been light, that’s why you might have seen me dragging yarn to the playground, knitting over cocktails on girls’ night, and stopping mid-conversation to count stitches. This year I made 48 hats, and every day Mary Virginia would cozy up to me and ask,

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50/52

50/52

This is week 50, which is incredible for two reasons. First, at this point it’s safe to say that I’ve stuck to the project! Second, it means this year is almost over. The year feels long and short at the same time, especially when I look back at these photos; especially when I look at

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49/52

A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016.  David / This weekend David got to take home the class pet, Narni the narwhal. When he told me he was bringing home a narwhal I asked him where we were going to put the giant aquarium and his response let me know

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48/52

This past week we celebrated Thanksgiving. We celebrated in town, out of town, and in the middle of it all we had a spur-of-the-moment celebration with out of town friends. I took very, very few photos over the holiday. Partially because I was busy visiting with family and partially because I needed my full attention

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47/52

A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016. David / Making a beaded Christmas wreath ornament. Working on fine motor skills and Mommy’s patience. Mary Virginia / Sweet little marker-stained hands pat pat patting sugar cookie dough with her trusty sidekick Barbie dog. Thomas / I suppose the up side to having

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A certain kind of lifestyle

This morning, before 8 o’clock, my kids dismantled the playroom. When I say “dismantled” I don’t mean they made a typically giant toddler mess, disproportionate to their small size. What I mean is they took apart their toy bins and moved around furniture. Thomas spent the morning wondering how we fit all of Disney World into our

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46/52

It’s week 46. That means there are only six weeks left in 2016. And 41 shopping days before Christmas. As if we needed another reason to freak out this week… A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016. David / I’ve taken so many pictures of David creating this year. (7

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45/52

A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016. The three of them / This is from this weekend just before kickoff. My kids made my dreams come true by wearing Virginia Tech clothes and standing in close enough proximity for a photo. When Tom asked me to marry him, we went hiking and

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Halloween 2016

Halloween 2016

The kids had their costumes planned for weeks, maybe even months before Halloween. An octopus for David, a butterfly fairy for Mary Virginia (heavy on the butterfly, light on the fairy), and a hand-me-down dragon for Thomas. Then the day before Halloween, Mary Virginia called an audible and switched to the most terrifying costume of

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A pumpkin novella

A pumpkin novella

Here we are, on the other side of Halloween 2016 and can I just say: WHEW! We made it, guys. I don’t know what it is about walking with my family through our neighborhood in the dark that takes it out of me but MAN am I wiped out today, maybe for the rest of the

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44/52

Pumpkins carved, candy in a big bowl, costumes ALMOST assembled. Tomorrow’s Halloween and the Kriegers are ready. Except for the teeny detail that Mary Virginia spiked a fever last night and so our princess butterfly might end up on the couch watching Sofia the First instead of trick-or-treating. It’s lose lose for everyone, because that’s

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43/52

I know I’ve been posting a lot of afternoon photos of the kids in the backyard, but I just can’t help it. It’s like fall heard that it’s not my favorite season so it’s upping the ante with beautiful, golden light. Fall means winter is coming, so though I love the angle of the sun

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The late afternoon light

The late afternoon light

Every afternoon my two napping kids wake up around 4, and after a quick snack we go outside. When we first moved, my kids seemed uncomfortable and listless in the yard, which was a total shock to me. Our new yard is bigger and has more places to dig and explore, but they just weren’t really

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42/52

42/52

Every afternoon we have about an hour after naps and before dinner, and I’m trying to get in the routine of going outside. I wish going outside to play only involved me saying, “KIDS! LET’S GO OUTSIDE TO PLAY!” But that’s simply not the case. I won’t bore you with the details but there are shoes and

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Neighbors to friends

In the summer, our neighborhood had Popsicle parties every Friday. I posted about it on Instagram and several people asked me about the logistics. It’s this simple: the person in charge of our neighborhood association emailed everyone at the beginning of the summer with a calendar. Anyone who wanted to host signed up for a

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41/52

I’m trying to get the kids outside as much as possible. There are a hundred reasons, but at the top of the pile are 1) When we’re outside Thomas is happier and it’s almost impossible for him to get into the toilet from the yard 2) winter is coming. Like most of the south eastern

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40/52

Last weekend we went to Franklin County to visit my parents. It was a quick end-of-summer visit; the kids got to close out the summer swimming in Grammy and Gramps’s pool and to catch up with cousin Gabby. (Visiting from Canada!) So these photos are technically from last week. More like 39.5 instead of 40. A

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39/52

A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016. David / We got something like three inches of rain this week, and since it hasn’t rained in Richmond all summer, we didn’t know what to do with ourselves. Scratch that, David knew exactly what to do. On our way home from preschool

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Just two girls at the beauty salon

Just two girls at the beauty salon

It’s true. Since I had kids, certain things have fallen to the wayside. Things like trips to the doctor and dentist and shopping for a pair of warm boots for the fall. Of course I’m talking about appointments for me. Don’t worry, my kids are set in the appropriate-shoe department. I’m the cookie-cutter, stereotypical mom you see

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38/52

38/52

We started school this week, and it’s when our schedule fills that I most appreciate the remaining, quiet time at home. A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016. David / Introvert at play. As David grows we can see his need for alone time more and more. Tom made his

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37/52

This was our last week of summer — school starts for the big kids next week. Instead of a last hurrah, it ended up being one of those weeks we just had to muscle through. We had lots of doctor’s appointments and subsequently Mary Virginia got sick. Is it just me or do other moms have

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36/52

A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016 David / If you follow me on Instagram, you already know we gave David an long-overdue back-to-school haircut this week. As I was cutting it, he said, “Mommy, don’t make my hair pretty. Make it cool. Make it like a triangle with flames shooting out.”

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35/52

We spent last week on vacation with Tom’s family on Lake Anna. So this week we’re doing laundry, missing our cousins, and languishing in post-vacation hangover/denial. More vacation pictures to come (what kind of mommy blogger would I be if I didn’t publish at least 300 photos of my children in puddle jumpers?) but for now,

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34/52

A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016. David / It’s been a huge summer for David. He learned to swim, and now he can ride a bicycle. It took about three lessons and now he’s off! (Riding a balance bike for two years really was the best teacher.) This photo doesn’t

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33/52

It’s a birthday week in our house. David turns five on Tuesday, but we kicked off the celebration with a small family party this weekend. A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016. Thomas / When we have a birthday, I buy a bag of balloons in the kid’s favorite color, blow them up,

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Imitating life

Imitating life

It has been unreasonably hot here for the past few weeks — we’ve spent all of our time in the air conditioning or the pool or wishing that’s where we were. But don’t misunderstand me — even when I’m sweating through my shorts at the park, chasing the shade and praying for a breeze? Just a small one? Is a breeze be too

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32/52

This past week my kids added the word “Olympics” to their vocabulary. Olympics, and also its variants — Owimpics, Limpics, and the ever popular, “Can we watch something else?” We let the kids watch some of the opening ceremonies on Friday, and then watched several sports on Saturday. Tom and I love the Olympics, but

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Just a few doors down

When we bought our last house, it never occurred to me to ask if there were kids in the neighborhood. I was 7 months pregnant, and that just wasn’t on my radar. I didn’t know how important it would be to have friends for my children, and friends for me just a few doors down.

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31/52

31/52

A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016. David / This Wednesday Tom called me at four o’clock and we had this conversation: Tom – Hey, I’m sorry I just remembered I have a meeting at 5:30 and I’m presenting. Me – Ok. This seems like a good time to tell you that

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30/52

A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016. David / He’s spent weeks trying to catch butterflies, but he can never even get within feet of them. Lucky for him, though his mother really struggles to pick out paint colors or organize a mudroom, she’s excellent at catching insects. (His mother also really

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29/52

The whole forecast is full of hot, humid days and the second Tom opened his mouth to complain about it I shouted YOUJUSTSTOPITRIGHTNOW! Because remember a few weeks ago? When we were all bummed that it was JULY but too cold to swim? REMEMBER THAT? Kids, we’re sweating for the next two months and WE’RE

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28/52

28/52

When I’m taking pictures I almost exclusively use my 35mm lens. That’s my #2 photography tip (#1 is to bring jelly beans to get kids to sit and smile). The 35mm fixed lens takes great photos, even if you’re like me and don’t know what you’re doing. This week I broke out my zoom lens and took these at 18mm.

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27/52

27/52

Happy 4th of July weekend from the Kriegers! Yesterday I tried to explain why we celebrate Independence Day to the kids and was baffled by the number of concepts I had to introduce. War, taxes, sovereignty, the existence of our country and also other countries. Two minutes into it I gave up because my kids already understand hotdogs and hamburgers

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A party fit for a mermaid

A party fit for a mermaid

Every year as my kids’ birthdays approach, I swear I’m not going to do it. Then, after the birthdays, I swear I’m never going to do it again. The parties, I mean. They’re just too much work. The cleaning, the food, all that prep. And then there’s the small matter that Mary Virginia asked me

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26/52

26/52

It’s week 26 — we’re halfway through the year! I can barely recognize these kids from week one because they’ve changed so much! Ok so maybe I can. They haven’t changed THAT much. But two out of three have gotten haircuts (sorry Thomas) so I suppose some things have changed. A portrait of my youngest children, once a week, every

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25/52

Happy Father’s Day! My gift to Tom was letting him wake up with the kids (again) while I slept in (again). And now that I put it that way, I guess every day is Father’s Day around here. A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016. David / Sweet big boy hands

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24/52

24/52

This week I did something I usually try to avoid. I quickly took pictures on Sunday, the “deadline” for the weekly photos. What it lacks in spontaneity and variety it makes up in children still in their church clothes. A photo of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016. The three of them

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Caught dirt-handed

They way Thomas is standing, it looks like I caught him in the act of something naughty. What I caught him doing was standing. I was taking photos of his fancy three-year old sister in the front yard and I turned around and he was showing off his new trick. Thomas has been pulling up since mid-February, but he just

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23/52

Friends keep asking me if we’re swimming yet. The answer? A resounding yes. Yes, we’re swimming twice a day, every day. I’ve only been in the pool once. Not because of this, but because we’re in the middle of the coldest, cloudiest, rainiest late-spring/early-summer I can remember. It’s so cold that every time I go in

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22/52

We moved over the weekend and WOW. Moving is a lot of work. And I am not good at work. I am really really good at watching reality television. Thankfully the kids are doing great with all the transitions, and they’re already used to living in wall-to-wall clutter and chaos. A portrait of my children, once

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Yummi Pouch cloth snack bags

Yummi Pouch cloth snack bags

Moms pack a lot of snacks. A LOT of snacks. In fact, my grocery list usually includes “snacks I can pack.” When we’re out, keeping the kids’ well-fed is second only to making sure they’re buckled in their carseats. Cereal? Packable. Crackers? Packable. Muffins? Packable, not durable. Popsicles? Not packable, sorry Mary Virginia. I pack

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21/52

A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016 David / I’ve been really hesitant to sign my kids up for activities. The schedules and commitments at such a young age make me nervous. A friend of ours coaches a soccer program in the spring, and we decided to take David. It’s perfect for

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20/52

A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016 David / David and Brigham, hanging on the couch like bros. I used to write about David and Brigham’s relationship a lot, back when David loved to lay on Brigham and Brigham used to beg me to put him in the Witness Protection Program.

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Due date

Due date

Today was Thomas’s due date, which means at this time last year I was eating an entire bag of Cheetos every day and coming to terms with the fact that I was going to be pregnant for the rest of my life. I signed up to be pregnant for 40 weeks. Forty weeks and one day means I’ll probably

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For little girls with curly hair

For little girls with curly hair

When I took Mary Virginia to get her hair cut a few weeks ago, she sidled up to me and asked, “Mommy? Can you ask him to make my hair yellow and flat?” YELLOW AND FLAT?? Of course, two-year old daughter! That’s what I was going to ask for anyway! But we have to hurry because we don’t

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