A space for mess, creativity, and kids (three things that are actually all synonyms)

A space for mess, creativity, and kids (three things that are actually all synonyms)

In the past year or so David has become increasingly interested in creating. He loves to draw, color, paint, cut, glue, and everything else. I love watching him, in part because a few years ago he didn’t like any of it — coloring, using stickers, or even playing with Play-Doh at all.  Anytime I brought out

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This spring calls for lilies

This spring calls for lilies

Last year after the chaos of moving into our new house, we immediately shifted gears and started the chaos of selling our old house. The house didn’t need any major renovations, but we painted, cleaned, and replaced the roof. As usual, I let Tom take the reins for all the time-consuming, labor-intensive stuff while I focused on

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Reference materials

Reference materials

I don’t often given parenting advice here. But. If you insist. My top two parenting tips are: 1. Hold off on introducing the song “First is the worst, second is the best, third is the one with the hairy chest” as long as possible. You might have a sleep-deprived, frustration-fueled moment when it SEEMS like

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Our home, smarter than we ever thought possible

I’m going to be vulnerable for a moment and tell you that I totally fumbled Tom’s recent birthday. Not COMPLETELY — we had friends over for football, and dinner with his family. I also made him a blackberry pie. It’s not like we didn’t celebrate. It’s just that aside from the kids making him cards, I didn’t really get him anything. I didn’t

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Made with little hands and big heart

Made with little hands and big heart

It’s almost Thanksgiving, and I wanted to do a little something for my kids’ preschool teachers. I sort of struggle to tell my kids’ teachers that I’m thankful for them because just saying it seems rote. I’m thankful for you, but do you have any idea how thankful? Seeing my little boy blossom as a student who loves

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Putting memories in their hands

Putting memories in their hands

I take a lot of photos. Every time I upload photos from my DSLR, a computer pop-up says something like, “28 items were successfully imported” and I think, “That’s more than a whole roll of film. I just took a whole roll of film of my kid eating breakfast.” When I was a kid back in

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Come on in! Take your coat off and stay a while!

Come on in! Take your coat off and stay a while!

We’ve been in our new house for five whole months. Doesn’t it feel like longer than that? Maybe it just feels that way to me because I have been counting down the days until my toddler grows out of that cute phase he’s in where he throws my shoes into the kitty litter, and BOY are the

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Goodbye, sweet home

The day before we closed on our old house, I told the kids (with a bit of drama and gravity) that we were going to the old house to have dinner for the last time. I wanted to gauge their emotions, did they seem reluctant to go to the old house? Excited? Apathetic? Mary Virginia

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We bought a zoo

Before I start, I’d like to frame this post by telling you that I love wildlife. I’m not at all squeamish about bugs or lizards or even spiders. I love wildlife and the environment, and when I was a kid, my best friend and I started a club called “Who Says You Can’t Save The Earth?”

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Making home

Our new yard is full of beautiful blooms — hydrangeas, calla lilies, butterfly bushes, and Hibiscus. You can tell the previous owners cared about their home. They were thoughtful about things like irises and hydrangeas, and I imagine they looked forward to seeing them bloom every year. So when I noticed hydrangea blooms bigger than

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A drastic change of scenery

A few weeks ago as I was getting ready for bed, Tom rushed into the bedroom holding his laptop open to what looked very much like our dream house. Look at this room! And that one! A fireplace! A sun room! The next day we went to see it. I only had about fifteen minutes to look around, but

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My experience selling with ThredUp

[Psst: If you’re planning to shop ThredUp, use my referral link and we’ll both get a $20 credit: http://www.thredup.com/r/PBHKWD] ————- After I wrote THIS post about cleaning out my closet and sending a bunch of stuff off to ThredUp, a few people asked me to write about my experience. Since I don’t get too many post requests,

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The peak of blackberry season

We planted blackberries four years ago, and every year we watch the plant bloom,  grow berries, and then every year birds, squirrels, chipmunks, or some other form of evil gets to them before we can. This year, just like every year before it, we watched the plant bloom, grow glossy red berries, and then, we watched in amazement as

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We’re calling this our Mothball-calypse

My clothesline is full of tiny little clothes. Before you get sentimental looking at these ruffle-bottomed sleepers, onesies with doggies and teeny-tiny swaddles, let me tell you: if the Internet could somehow transmit smell, you’d be frantically covering that vent on your computer right now. These clothes look sweet, but my goodness they smell. After two washes and over

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Hello, hyacinth

I bought these potted hyacinths last year when I was aching for spring. After the flowers faded, I plopped them in the ground and hoped for the best. Now here they are. They’re a bit battered and bruised after the winter, but who isn’t? I planted a bunch of tulips, too. They’re bravely unfurling in

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In. Out.

This year I made a goal to give away one item every time I acquire a new item. One thing in, one thing out. At the start of 2014 we took a few bags Goodwill to wipe the slate clean after Christmas purchases and gifts. I don’t think I’ve bought any new clothes or home

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The little things

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by P&G. Save on NEW Gain Flings and Tide Pods at Target. Text CLEAN to Target (827438) for mobile coupons*. For the most part, my laundry room has looked like this for the past few months. A basket full of clean clothes waiting to be folded and put away. More

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O Krieger Tannenbaum

Tom and I agree that our Christmas tree is…fine. It’s small, droopy, a little wonky, and full of mismatched ornaments. But it’s definitely better than last year when we didn’t have a tree at all. We started with good intentions. Tom brought the tree home on a Tuesday night and started stringing the lights. He

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Southern living

Last spring my neighbor’s yard exploded with gardenia blooms and, wow, what a beautiful flower. I made sure to tell my neighbor how beautiful they were. An hour later, he knocked on my door with a bouquet of cut gardenias. That paragraph right there is why Southerners are willing to put up with the mosquitoes

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Welcome to my laundry room: Better together

There’s a lot of controversy in the blogging world about writing sponsored posts. Tom and I have talked about sponsored posts, and in that conversation we both decided that, if I ever wrote one I’d label it as a sponsored post at the top. Then we both slapped our knees and had a good laugh about

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Ornithologist

Brigham’s daily schedule looks something like this: He goes outside around 10:30 p.m., and then comes home around 8 a.m. starving, exhausted, missing tufts of fur. Sometimes brings rodents home with him. He eats, drinks from the toilet, and then he sleeps all day. He wakes up around 10:30 p.m., gets a snack, licks himself,

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I have a yarn problem

I have a yarn problem

In 2012 I made it one of my goals to “Reduce clutter, organize and make our house more liveable.” I reiterated the goal in 2013: Reduce clutter, and all that. I want to reduce clutter and have a well-organized home, not because I love organizing (I like organization, but I don’t revel in the act

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Laundry day

My parents have several photos of my mom with my sister when she was about David’s age. It was summer, and my sister was running around nothing but a diaper while my mom was hanging some clothes on the clothesline. Imitating my mom, Kristie took off her diaper and hung it on a stake in

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How the Grinch decorates for Christmas

I’ve mentioned before that a guy said I looked like the Grinch when I was in high school, and, in hindsight, I agree with him. If I’m the Grinch, Tom is Ebenezer Scrooge. Last week he described using hot water to wash his hands “luxurious.” I do love Christmas, but I’m a little Grinch-y about some things.

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Hurricane preparedness

Hurricane preparedness

I just put David down for a morning nap, which isn’t going to happen because it hasn’t happened in over a week…but mama still has hope…and a fussy baby. So we’re trying. Last week Tom was out of town for work. Before he left I told him that the one thing that would keep me

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Turf wars

Today at the grocery store I bought two tomatoes. I have 10 tomato plants in my backyard, but apparently that’s not enough to feed all of our neighborhood squirrels and also my family. Every time I go outside, instead of ripe, red tomatoes, I see tomato carnage. See that stub? That’s where tomatoes should be.

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So much indecision about a shower curtain

I’ve mentioned before that I don’t have a great eye for decorating. I’m indecisive, and have a hard time imagining the final product. When I see finished rooms in magazines and other people’s homes, it’s easy for me to pick out what I like and don’t like. But putting it all together is a whole

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When will our garden grow?

According to the Farmer’s Almanac, the last frost date in Richmond was April 6. That means our garden is two days from being a month late. The gutters are still doing great, but the only thing growing in the ground is grass and our neighbor’s liriope (which doesn’t seem to respect the boundaries of our

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Clearing out

Clearing out

You’re looking at four bags of clothes we don’t wear and things we don’t use. It’s sitting by our door because it’s all on its way OUT. It always feels so, so good to get rid of things. It’s a vicious cycle; the temptation to acquire new things followed by the oppression of clutter and

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The first day of spring

The first day of spring

The bushes in my front yard are unstoppable. I know these don’t look like much, but you can smell them from three blocks away. I read in Better Homes & Gardens that you should never plant fragrant flowers by your front door because they attract bees, and a swarm of bees on your porch isn’t

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‘Tis the season

It’s that time of year. Time to hang your colors high, people. VT vs Marshall this weekend. Go Hokies! (I’m sure there are plenty of people who think Virginia Tech would be better represented with an ironed flag. Sorry, this Hokie don’t iron.)