a day in the life, september edition.

Hour by hour iPhone photos coming at you of a day in our life. This particular day was our Friday....

6:45 a.m. David blessed us by sleeping in! Waking up after 5 am is a celebratory occasion. A quiet breakfast at my own pace? Rare. And greatly appreciated and enjoyed.

7:45 a.m. I alternate between running and doing the elliptical. I'm a slower runner this time around the pregnancy... so the elliptical has been my pal.

8:45 a.m. Beds are made. Hair is done. Teeth are brushed. Kids are dressed. We head out the door to drop Letty off at school. I always make sure to get my goodbye kiss. Even if she accidentally gets my eyeball.

9:45 a.m. David enjoys his Letty-free time with a little uninterrupted YouTube action. I read and we cuddle together on the couch. Every now and then he'll look up at me and go mama look! about something like a red train or whatever.

10:45 a.m. There has been some excavating work behind our house lately and it's David's favorite thing to do. Stare at the diggers and dumb frucks. And then stare some more. Point a few times. So on and so forth. 

11:45 a.m. After we have Letty safely back to us we head home for a super nutritious lunch of carbs and butter. 

12:45 p.m. It's a gorgeous day and I feel the urge to go somewhere and do something. So we ventured up to Middle Creek Wildlife Preserve. It was pretty but otherwise not what I was thinking. We came. We saw. We conquered. 

1:45 p.m. I liked the drive home too. I would like it better had the leaves been a slightly different shade.

2:45 p.m. David is napping and Letty is enjoying her own special kind of quiet time so I turn back to Jamie and Claire with my afternoon coffee. 

3:45 p.m. I dare not let David sleep long in the afternoon for fear of an early wake up time the next day. I hate waking him when he's so peaceful.... He's not a good waker. Oh the humanity!

4:45 p.m. We head to my parents for dinner and I promptly bogart my niece. Who wouldn't when she is just that cute and cuddly? 

5:45 p.m. More carbs. Carbs for all. 

6:45 p.m. The kids take their balls (bouncy balls of course) outside and run off steam while we watch the sun set. 

7:45 p.m. They have earned their tubby once and then some with all the dirt and grass they have encountered today. They both love their towel ponchos from Nonna. 

8:45 p.m. The kids are in bed by 8 and Matt and I turn on Shark Tank for a little. I play on my phone and he has wine. And it is our happy time. 

9:45 p.m. Because of the potential for an impending wake up call in the morning I turn to bed early. But not without a quick Jamie and Claire visit. Because I just can't help myself.
And there it is! A very exciting but oh so typical day in our life!

For other hour by hour glimpses click here!


simple yet delicious and moist coffee cake.

This is a family recipe if you will passed down from Matt's side of the family, which is kind of a rarity. On the recipe card the title contains the word "flop" and well, I just don't do the word flop. I prefer to call this coffee cake. And have it with my coffee. Pronounced caw-fee. Heavy on the caw.

Your ingredients are few and the instructions are... few. Yes.

Don't forget your cute assistant.

Mix together in a bowl:
2 c flour
3/4 c sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 c shortening

Then add 1 egg and 1 cup milk to the above. And stir until mixed.

Pour into ungreased baking dish. Top with the combined 3/4 c brown sugar, 2 tbsp melted butter and 1 tsp cinnamon. I personally take a butter knife and kind of draw lines back and forth across the cake so that the "crumbs" will sink down into the cake itself more. In theory.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Use the toothpick test of course.

Drink with caw-fee. Like Linda Richman.

And Letty wanted her photo taken with her piece of cake and her water. She ate only the crumbs.


how you spell desperation. a tale of trains.

This is also a tale of a mother bored. On a Sunday Letty came down with her first fever of the year. Which is par for the course as far as she is concerned. Anyone with any tips as to how to build up her immunity I am allllll ears. Anyways she missed school on Monday which greatly pained me. I tried to hold my own little school for her which if you know Letty is a thing that just works out so very well for us. I knew she would be going over the letter 'A' had she been at school so I thought hey. Attempt 83,625 to teach her her letters. Why not make it the one that sticks?

Spoiler alert: it didn't work. What was the letter you learned today dear Letty? FOUR. 


Tuesday brought with it two feverless children and a stir crazy mother. And the plan for the day looked something like this: pediatrician for flu shots (kick em while they're down is always my motto), Country Barn Market for pumpkins, Carter's Outlet, Christmas Tree Hill Outlet, Strasburg Railroad for Thomas and Percy viewing, Chick-Fil-A, Target, Old Navy, home. 

Did we complete the aforementioned feats? Why yes, we did. I only had to pick David up off the floor of some public place 73 times. Cover his mouth as he screamed upon exiting five times. Forgot the stroller at home one time (rookie move Laur). Bribed with assorted snacks and false promises of a time out 34 times... You get the gist. David was having none of it. And I am far too stubborn to call it a day when a day should be called. Just like Patton I push through. 

I have no photos of the Barn Market which is a shame because it is really a cute place. Cows and baked goods and on the weekends hayrides and pumpkin picking. Oh and a parrot - watch out - he bites! 

But the highlight for the day and the main reason for all the venturing out into the world was Strasburg Railroad. And Thomas and Percy too. We visited Thomas in the beginning of the summer and that was all well and good. But this time Percy was here! And I knew enough not to purchase a ticket and just see the engines (really useful ones at that) come in and come out of the station. David takes his trains very seriously. 

After the show that the entire day was I rewarded Letty by letting her paint her chosen pumpkin, a bribe for her earlier shot in the arm. And that shirt she's wearing? Yeah I made that. Many moon ago when when puffy paints were a trend and jellies were on my feet. 

I wish I could say we all slept well that night, but as any parent knows a jam packed day full of activities tends to backfire. But knowing what I know now I would still do the same day over again. Because I had things I wanted to do. That's why. And I'm the mom. I make the rules. 

All the rules.


glittered acorns. a fall diy failure.

Not all diy's turn out the way you expected. I've been quite lucky in this department heretofore. So call this an exercise in what not to do. Realness and all that.

The diy: glittered acorns in assorted fall colors. 
The inspiration: these sculpted beauties found on Etsy.
The players: my sister and I with a little help from Letty and my mom, the supply backer. She has all the craft supplies. All the time.

In theory we thought we could throw the acorns into a cup of glue and then throw them into a cup of glitter. And then dry. Simple enough. I feel like we should have realized it was too simple. We are educated women after all. Especially Beth.

They turned out like this, a glittered blob that does in fact, not, look like an acorn.

It used a ton of glitter for results like this, with a lot of glitter being wasted and sticking within the cup. As seen below... Letty chose purple by the way. We need to work on the definition of what is a Fall color.

Finer glitter seemed to work better, as did pouring the glitter over the acorns after removing them from the now watered down glue. Straws. We were grasping at them.

Then I tried dipping the acorn in glue but not covering the "hat" and then just shaking a wee bit of glitter on that portion. See gold acorn below. GREAT SUCCESS. Or not so much.

Failure failure failure. But we tried. And hey. Penn State won so we got free coffee too. And now we know. It ain't gonna work. 


an attempt at a fall photo

I used to think the biggest hurdle when it came to photos of my kids was finding the appropriate outfit. It's alllll in the outfit. Normally this isn't too difficult because as all our clothes come from The House of Stephanie I know I'll find plenty of wonders to wear for them, most likely already color coordinated and themed.

Once that's done and they are dressed and the hair is done and proper footwear donned it's location scouting time. As this day was raining I was scouting around the indoor portion of our world. I was picturing fall and so the fireplace had to do. 

And so here are the best shots. We also attempted a cousin shot for Nonna. Attempted. Lena is such a diva she gave me sooooo much trouble. 

I am sarcastic by nature. 

I always forget things until after my attempted "photo shoot" is done. These things being...

- Never attempt a do over. You have one shot at this. I did my kids first and then a half hour or so later wanted to try with Lena as well. You can see that this worked out so well for me.

- Prepare the background first. Chairs and pillows and lighting. And get your camera ready to go. You have to be quicker than them. Lens cover off. Power button on. Strap the hell out of the way.

- Bribes. When it came time for the cousin shot I was begging David to sit down. I had to bust out a chocolate chip cookie. Be prepared to give one to every other child with teeth too. When Letty was David's age it was fruit snacks. One fruit snack per good smile. At least fruit snacks didn't interfere with the picture.

- Don't expect perfection. Someday when I look back on these I'll remember the sound David made when he was trying to get away from his sister's hug. Or the way he says cheeeeeeese every time even if he is running across the room. Fleeting moments.... These.