a family photo shoot

I am just the luckiest lady to have a sister-in-law who is also a photographer who generously agrees to take photos of me and mine year after year. The. Luckiest. And as always I just loooove the way they turn out! Even the ones where Dom is being well, Dom. It's just who he is at this stage in life.  I waited way too long to ask her to take these and between our crazy schedules and the weather we were able to find a day that worked... even if the sun was being shy and stayed behind the clouds. 

Thanks so much Ashley! If you're local definitely check her out! I know I'm biased but I mean... the proof is in the pudding. As they say....

a morning in antietam

We had underestimated the amount of time needed to explore Harper's Ferry and so decided to search for something else to do with our Sunday. Lots of options were discussed, Washington D.C., going to visit my brother at the fire house, heading home, etc. We decided to check out Antietam. You know, the whole bloodiest day in American history battlefield. Cheerful stuff for our Veteran's Day. I went once as a kid and I remember intensely hating it. Probably because I was a kid and well, annoyed at my brother. He always convinced my parents to take us to these Civil War things and that can be quite boring for a sister. I wonder if he would have been okay with a visit to say, The American Girl Doll store? Only fair...

some favorites on a friday...

It's Friday, it's Friday woo hoo! And I'm here sharing with you some of my favorite things as of late!  That are not Christmas related! The shocker! This post could also be entitled: Laurie is trying really hard to not be a frumpy mom and potentially embarrass her kids. That.

an afternoon in harper's ferry

We went away! Again! For the third time in something like five weeks? I don't know why we do this to ourselves. But we continue to. Over the summer I was chatting with a friend about small weekend getaways and she mentioned Harper's Ferry. Sure, I vaguely remember hearing about it in history class (re: it's mentioned in an Outlander book, I'm fairly certain). So I took to researching this cute little town (not a park, don't you dare call it a National Park) less than two hours to our southwest.

the kid’s fall parties

Let me tell you it will be a sad sad day in my world when I don't have the opportunity to go to one of my kid's class parties. I may cry. I haven't missed one yet! Here's to keeping that streak up!

First up was David's. They made cute little turkey pumpkins, played a few games, and had snacks. Really all that class parties are made of! And I'm no longer the room mom! I said I would for David's class this year... just to be fair to him. And he has the same teacher... so I thought, easy peasy! But they had someone else and hey, I'm not complaining! I got to just sit back and just help! 

final hersheypark in the dark

We really just try and get in as many trips to Hersheypark as possible. Must get our money's worth! This time we were down a brother-in-law and dad, and up a brother and family. It's just hard to get everyone! We rode a few rides and did the trick-or-treat trail once more because as you know, we don't already have enough candy at home now do we? We didn't stay too late as it was the night of Daylight Savings Time and see also a school night. Matt loves when I do this sort of madness to him. Just loves it.

trick or treating, 2018

Well it's Monday! Already! And here I am just getting around to our Halloween night! As we have done for a many many years, my entire family comes over and we order pizza and then go do our trick-or-treating thang. We are riding this tradition train for as long as possibly can!

rail trail on a warm fall day

An item on my bucket list was to get these kids back on a rail trail. It's really the best option as far as riding their bikes goes. Our development has driveways every twenty feet (am I exaggerating? Who's to say.) and that just makes me more nervous and the kids have to turn around and it just isn't fun for anyone. Rail trails are where it's at. They had a half day on Halloween last week and it was like, really warm. It was also the start of peak foliage so it was like the stars aligned and it just needed to be done. Ride those bikes. Cross things off the list. Look at the leaves. Check, check, check.

pumpkin carving

Here's the joke. The kids don't really carve the pumpkins. It's more like we carve and they enjoy watching and critiquing us. At least, that is what normally happens. This year I was at least expecting my eldest two to take the wheel and handle their own darn pumpkin. You will enjoy this! I assure you!

But first Nonna had a little Kubota ride in store for them in lieu of missing out on an actual hayride this year...

long island aquarium and then some

Our original plan was to take the kids to this farm. A Disneyland of Fall Farms if you will. It would have crossed so many items off my fall bucket list too! Hayrides! Pumpkin picking! Oh you name it. But as we have learned Mother Nature did not want Laurie to cross items off her bucket list. Oh no. She wanted to make Laurie's anxiety about missed traditions run high! But! Back up plan! The Long Island Aquarium!

lenz winery

Keeping up with the wine tasting we headed next to Lenz Winery. The weather was still being utterly rude so it was another indoor tasting for us! Oh how pretty these places must be on a clear fall day! This just means we will have to be back. That's what.

a party bus to macari vineyards

Our Saturday plans were partially ruined due to the heavy rain that was pummeling the island last weekend... It's raining sideways! But this did not stop us! Well, did not stop us completely. There are still vineyards!

we all took a trip to the island

Last Friday after school almost all of us Pennsylvanian Trovato's headed northeastward toward Long Island. We had ourselves a nice little weekend planned. Weather be damned. Which it wasn't because the weather had it's own plans. Rude. But. The. Traffic! Oh. The. Humanity! I pretty much expected it and all things considered we got there in four and a half hours which in the scheme of things isn't bad at all. But still. I'd be ragey if I lived there. You just have to prepare yourself, body, mind and soul, that once you cross the state line into New York the traffic will be waiting for you.

so what's new with you?

October went by in a blink! Actually all of my life goes by in a blink so I should just stop saying as much right? Because this is life. The blink. 
Christmas shopping is mainly done. And yes I have started decorating and to my neighbors I only half apologize. I love Christmas. I want to enjoy December as much as possible. I like to stare at my tree in a loving manner for as long as possible. And so it is that the day after Halloween I start this multi-day decorating process. It makes me happy and one should find joy where one can. Shouldn't one?

Matt and I have been going through the unfinished part of our basement and all the crap that we have stored there. Married twelve years and there is just a lifetime of stuff taking up room. In theory I would love to be a minimalist. Or live in a van. But then I think about the ten Christmas trees I have and I laugh at that whole idea. 

I am preparing myself for the next season of Outlander. It starts this Sunday! Gah! I rewatched most of season three and some of my favorites from the two seasons before that. I find myself giggling now and again remembering when they went to couples therapy. Oh how I have missed those two! Lord... you have given me a rare woman!

I've been really feeling this whole just spinning my wheels or whatever it is you want to call it, repeating the same activities day in and day out. And how much I just really hate it. It annoys me. I don't want to just survive this season of my life I want to enjoy it. But life is what it is and those papers need to be initialed and the lunches need to be packed and the homework needs to be done. It just does. There's nothing I can do about that save maybe home school the kids and that will never happen. So. It's down to perspective and attitude right? Just like everything else in life? I can only streamline and organize my life so much before it's as streamlined and organized as it's going to get. I'm a work in progress what can I say.

The kids the kids. They sure keep us busy! All the activities! Whatever they want! Except baseball because three days a week is too much for me. As long as they each have something. Their thing. Dom is too young for that of course but. The older two. I'm trying to get David to do this basketball league at the local rec. We will see!

And some new to me Instagram accounts! Linsey and Miko. I know wild right? Just two! But I spent most of October trying to clean out my account... remove the ones that I didn't even bother reading the captions and so on... It was cleansing to say the least!

So what about you guys? What's new with you?

Linking up with Kristen ! Thanks for hosting!
What's New With You


happy happy halloween!

Oh happy day! It's Halloween! And in our county that means trick-or-treat night! On a school night! Which as we all know is going to get a bit nuts so as we did last year, we got the cousins all dolled up in their costumes and Ashley took some awesome photos of them! Without all the layers! We went with a Star Wars theme again this year which they came up with on their own so, thanks kids! The Force runs strong with my family...

a zoo america field trip

This lucky eldest lady of mine had not one but two field trips in the month of October! This past Friday I had the pleasure of chaperoning once more and this time I got to be with Letty's actual class. Which was nice. Because you know me, I like to know all the people she knows. 

a little basement remix - a gym!

As most things do with me and the house, the ideas come to me (or rather the decision comes to me) over the tiniest thing. Like the start of cold weather. Cold weather means space heaters. And well my husband has a thing for space heaters. Every morning before the sun rises Matt and Dom pad down to the basement and lay themselves directly in front of that thing on full blast. All in the wee hours of the morn before the rest of us even wake up... Space. Heater. Best just to accept it at this point. The weirdos. 

hersheypark in the dark! 2018!

Except it wasn't quite dark because well, school night. It was also so so so cold so it was like, winter jackets for all people! We didn't even do costumes! Next time for sure! David grabbed an Iron Man mask and Letty wore her unicorn headband from the party the day before and we deemed it good! My sister was a better mother however and had Lena in her unicorn costume that is just the warmest and cutest thing on the planet. I. Love. Her.

mikayla raaaaae turns four!

This past weekend on a lovely crisp fall day we all got together as a family to celebrate the second of the triplets as she turned four! For any of you new around here my two nieces and Dom were all born within four months of each other, hence the triplets. Mikayla is the middle child in this scenario.... This child. She's tough. She's sassy. She puts up with zero bull. Put her in a ring with Dom and you know she'll be the one walking out unscathed. Which, I love. We ladies need to be tough now don't we? She is just the cutest little Shirley Temple lady with hair of my dreams! I can't believe she is four and watch out world! We all love you so Kayla Rae! 

a laundry room update with lamps expo

You know I'm a girl who loves her lighting. I get it honestly with a father who is a master electrician. Electrician Extraordinaire? Details. Lamps Expo contacted me to see if I would be willing to feature one of their products and after checking out their selection well, I happily accepted. After much much (much) deliberation we decided upon the Yorktown 1 Light Semi Flush in the Oil Rubbed Gilded finish. Originally I wanted it for our little hallway leading from the kitchen to the foyer but to my never-ending shame I did not measure when I ordered. Rookie move there Laur! But never fear! I found the perfect space for it! The most used room in the house actually. The laundry room! Which is actually were we enter the house each and every time we enter. It's our mud room... Our command center... You name it. Craft room? That may be stretching it even though it is where all craft supplies are stored.

the natural progression

I suppose the fact that we are a family that enjoys a nice little family-friendly hike should not at all surprise anyone that we are now a family that enjoys a nice little family-friendly fishing expedition. Well, four out of the five of us do anyways. It's just a natural progression. Maybe. Although Matt did fish as a child so maybe that's allowable? If he comes home one day and tells me he wants to go hunting I'm not sure what I'll do then. But for now if he likes this new (old) little hobby and his Salt Life shirts and tackle box whatever. You do your thang.

disney on ice!

Alternate title: my children are so spoiled and they have no idea just how spoiled.

We don't pay for these tickets, even though I do believe if we did it would be worth every penny. We just love getting to go to these shows! This year they added a few new characters into the mix which was a major hit! Coco and Moana! Two of our recent favorites! They also had a few staples, Belle and Elsa, as well as Toy Story. All three kids loved every second of it which is really a hard commodity to come by. They also had this new I don't even know what to call it, pulley system? Entire groups of characters able to swing and twirl way up high in the air. It was really quite the deal. We stayed for the entire show which probably has never happened in all our years of going to this show with the whole family. 

a diy riser

For the bedroom. Because the pool is closed and projects make Matt's world go round and there you have it. I have a grander image in mind for this bedroom of mine that involves a new storage situation for the foot of the bed but that will have to wait a hot minute. Or two. In the mean time Matt knew he could whip this little riser up for me in no time. I think the whole distressing of the wood situation is most cathartic for him. And I just love having a little place to rest my drink and my book and God only knows what else I'll find for it!

back again! to gettysburg!

I love going to Gettysburg in the fall. We used to go more often, back when the amount of kids didn't out number the parents. And one incredibly brave time I took the three kids solo. But there's just something great about heading out there on a fall day. Wandering around. Seeing the sights. Enjoying the crisp air. Soaking up some history while we are at it! And it's only an hour or so away so really, it should be done more!

the millersville homecoming parade

Let's just go ahead and say the weather people that be lied  this weekend. That's all. Down right lied. It was supposed to be a mostly sunny, albeit colder, weekend. And so with that mindset we planned on heading down to the college town of Millersville for their annual Homecoming Parade. Except it was rainy. One might be surprised here, or one might not, but the rain did not keep us at home no! Onward! Rain be damned!

some construction themed birthday invitations with basic invite

It's never too early to plan a party, if you ask me. In fact I think Dominic's birthday party date has already been chosen for months now and yet it isn't until December. But what with the holidays and school things it is best to be prepared. I mean are you even the slightest bit surprised? It's me we are talking about here. So when Basic Invite contacted me to check out their construction themed birthday invitations I jumped at the chance! What little boy doesn't love construction!? The digger love is real. They were kind enough to send me some samples (custom samples are huge!) so I could really just dig my pointy black fingernails in.

i am farm showed out

The Farm Show is quite the deal around these parts, much to Matt's surprise and never-ending chagrin, but it is just the same. The kids always tend to have off school too which means we make quite a few trips. And field trips. Dom's field trip was up first! And I, of course, chaperone. First of what was supposed to be three. Prepare thyself Laur. 

a birthday beach day for matteo!

Matt didn't want much for his actual birthday. He wanted a sunrise and coffee... toes in the sand... and nothing but the sound of the waves crashing and the kids squealing. I'd say the day delivered. We weren't sure the sunrise would be anything to write home about but here I am writing home about it just the same. We had to wake the kids up of course and basically carried them to the van in their pajamas so they wouldn't miss it. I ran and the kids played and then we headed back to the house to say goodbye to his aunt and uncle who had some work back home to do... The kids stood on their steps and waved goodbye with the most forlorn expressions...

another assateague boat day

These day trips down to Assateague Island while we are visiting with Matt's aunt and uncle are sure becoming a favorite of ours! The nice leisurely boat ride down.... the beach mostly our own.... the potential horse sightings... the grilling right there on the beach...the sun! It's just really nice. And we may have perfected it this time around? Third times a charm? 

we are a bunch of fishermen now

This weekend past we were invited down to the beach with Matt's aunt and uncle for the long holiday weekend slash see also Matt's birthday weekend. We arrived late-ish Friday night after a lot of traffic but that Saturday? Well that is the day I learned my family likes to fish. Me? Not so much. But them?They sure do.

so what's new with you?

If I had to pick a favorite month, besides Christmas time, October is that favorite of months. It really starts to fell like fall, the leaves may even be changing in some places, fall activities are in full swing, my husband was born this month! We got married this month! It's good times, October.
In September I wanted to have a no spend month. Or a low spend month if such a thing exists. Well I made it like three weeks maybe and that was shot when Hobby Lobby opened their doors the last week of the month. But! I definitely did not buy a single item on Prime! Okay other than two birthday gifts. That. Is. Huge. Birthday gifts don't count. I kept adding things to my wishlist that I would normally have just purchased and wonder of wonders don't you know it that I really didn't need all that stuff! But come the first of this month you bet I was back on Prime. And what did I purchase you are all wondering?! Well, I shall keep you in suspense no longer. Another birthday gift. Haha! Okay but also I got this set of wood pot brushes because the one we have is older than I care to admit and yeah. I know I'm about three years late to getting these but fairy lights! I got a set of six because don't you know it I'll be putting them everywhere. And this rug to go under my other outdoor rug because, I'm basic. After a month off I think I showed serious restraint.

October brings the start of all the things. Field trips, book fairs, parent lunches, volunteering in the classroom, Wednesday night church, Girl Scouts, field hockey, you name it. My calendar is looking a bit intense. Anyone have any like super duper perfect way of staying organized as far as kid's calendars go? I have a desk calendar hanging on the fridge that I update but most importantly we use Cozi. Matt and I can both access it from our phones and it always updates. You can color code based on kid too and even set up reminders. We have been using this for like... years. Back when having kids was like oh what do you want to do today baby? Care to sit in a stroller as we take a walk? Ah.. the good ole days.

Letty is starting up with a new tutor here soon. We loved her other tutor, do not get me wrong, and I loved that she actually works in Letty's building but this new one has more specific training so... we are giving it a whirl. Time will tell! 

The middle child. I feel like I could talk in circles around Letty and her world and her activities and Dominic well, we are together all the time so that just means I talk about him more. David though? I mean he is doing awesome in school... Gives us no issues with homework. Makes friends super easily. Doesn't get into trouble. He's just been, easier. He can still go to pieces for no apparent reason and might lose his mind over something like, losing a race on his iPad. But overall he's so good. So don't forget that David! Just because I don't have much to report doesn't mean you aren't awesome and loved! Oh! Speaking of reporting! We have been asking the boys to at least try what Matt makes for him and I for dinner, yes, we are enablers, and the boys have been doing so good! They even tried shrimp!!! If you know David, then you know this is like... MASSIVE. One tiny piece of shrimp at a time!

Dominic is loving school. Mainly the playground and the urinal and his friend Jaxson. Not in that order or anything. And get this! His teacher said I had her worried but he is doing great and she wants to clone him. I mean. Dom? My Dom? Praise hands! Exclamation marks!! And me? I'm doing okay too. I either go bug my mom while he is at school or go bug my Grammy or maybe meet up with friends or something. It goes by so fast. Thank goodness.

I know the holidays are far away but! I signed up to be a part of our home town's Holiday Home Tour and well... Suuuuure I won't need any new decor Matt! I mean, I already do so much! But we know this to be untrue. So. Two more Christmas trees were purchased for my foyer and I am just so excited. I have some other ideas percolating for the kid's playroom just to make it less mess and more Christmas! We need more Christmas!

Sorry. Let's get back to all things fall and ignore that prior paragraph, yes?

Andddddd new to me Instagram accounts! I went a bit nuts following new home decor feeds, so if that's your thing might I suggest: Blessed Ranch. The Curated Farmhouse. Park Crest Lane. White Vintage Lane. Our Home Life. Rustic Wild Arrow. Annnndd just regular awesome feeds I've found not home decor related: Charlie. Sena. Ramona. Daria. Our Way of Wanderlust. Kate. Marzena. Julie. Humphrey and Grace. Wow I went a bit Instagram crazy in September I see! Back to school loneliness means more 'Gramming!

So. What's up with all of you?

Linking up with Kristen ! Thanks for hosting!
What's New With You


diy rustic ceiling beams

All summer long as a diy project idea came into my head I saved that little idea for later and planned on bringing it out after the pool closed, just to give that husband of mine something to do when he can no longer go out back and whisper sweet nothings to his best friend (which is the pool, to be clear here). The pool may not be closed yet, but the swimming has been far and few between. So he did the first of these saved for after summer projects. Beams! In our living room! 

Annnnnd don't mind Dom's shoes just lined up all nice on the bench there please but. Real life! I prep the kid's clothes for the next day and their shoes go there. Clearly all kids are dressed and only Dom is left home when I took these photos! Gah!

a fall fest on a sunday

I mentioned yesterday that we hit up our local garden center's annual Fall Fest on Sunday. It's free and it's close and the kids get to paint pumpkins! Don't forget the hay maze and the corn kernel table! What's not to love!? 

the weekend of weekends

I went in to this weekend like okay Laur, let's just put our head down and do the damn thing. Because overbooked? You betcha. Running in different directions? Sure thing. Long, long days? Oh girl, uh-huh.

Friday night started off with a friend's bridal shower. Totally doable. I even put on big girl pants. And I cooked. We are talking, big deal here people. Annnnd the bride and I had matching shoes which I'm pretty sure means that I shouldn't be wearing them because I am so not as cool as her but.... there you have it.

run, forrest, run!

This past Wednesday was the kid's school's annual Run for Fitness. The kids and all their little friends show up, run a lap, and then get a ribbon. This year as Letty is now a big bad second grader she does a half mile, while David still does a quarter mile. It was humid, which did not help attitudes one bit. They both were really excited to sign up for it but the day of? Letty was wanting none of it. The whole two laps threw her and she didn't want to do it. Fine, she would do it. No way I hate running.... Lots of flip flopping and bad moods happening. Seeing all her friends there helped, I think. It's like social hour with these two I swear it! And yes, I totally didn't buy them new shirts but hey! Last year's fit! I never want my kid to be the only one not in a matching shirt type situation but this time I let that go.... Making strides people!

my hair, oh my hair

And on my headstone it shall read, Laurie Elizabeth (Trovato) Olsen, loving wife, mother, daughter and sister, with hair she loved almost above all else, may she rest in peace.

Or something like that.

My hair.... It's just important to me. Yet I never pay to have it cut or colored? I'm a conundrum, I know. I just like to have my long, dirty, wavy hair and it's sort of (very much so) like a safety blanket that I'll be very very sad to one day part with but for now (and for a really long time actually), it's sort of my thing.

Formulate contacted me a bit ago and asked if I would be part of their product launch for shampoo and conditioner that is formulated (get it?) to your hair wants and your hair needs. And I couldn't sign up fast enough. To start, I got to take a magic hair wizard survey! It was about 27 questions (that was my count anyways) but it only took a matter of minutes. Questions like: hair length coarseness issues, how often you wash and condition (in my case, I'm a once a weeker), what products you use (dry shampoo and hair spray only and I only air dry my hair, never curl), your type of hair, your hail goals (#hairgoals), where you live geographically speaking, your preferred fragrance and even the preferred strength of fragrance. It was pretty awesome. I felt super fancy.

things i’m loving right now

We recently got a new smart tv for our bedroom which has been all kinds of fantastic but Matt just discovered Plex? Which means that any movie that we have on our hard drive is accessible through any tv in our house. Just, poof! There’s a movie. Which then begs to the question do we rip every dvd we own so we can just remotely access them via remote? A project for another time to be sure. And sometimes I just read my book and he watches stuff so, winner winner. 

These slower afternoons we have been having. Girl Scouts hasn’t started yet. Wednesday night church hasn’t started yet. Letty’s tutor just had a baby. So these afternoons are mainly ours. For a little anyways. And as weird as that is it is nice!

A Hobby Lobby has opened by us! To be visited today! See also a new Wegman’s and a Whole Foods and where are we!!?

I was having some skin issues as of late which I mean, rude, and I have been using this lately and well, no skin issues. So I’m sold. The weird post-35 pimples, the dry skin, gone! Plus it smells so good!

Let’s see let’s see.... uhm flannel sheets. Coffee. Flannels. Cooler days. Leggings. Pumpkins. The fact that I’ve gone all month without an impulse amazon purchase!! Big things people, big things. 

What are you all loving lately??


our final hersheypark visit!

I mean, other than Hersheypark in the Dark and Christmas Candylane, that is. But other than that the end of September brings the end of their regular season. Some rides will close up their doors for the year and decorations and lights will be strung up in preparation for the coming festivities... but the regular park as we know it is done. For us that is. We can't make it next weekend which, man that weekend is gonna be rough (we can do this!). So for us, this was our final visit.

fall bucket list

Now we can say it is officially Fall can we not? I know this image was in a post a bit back but here it is once more.... My Fall Bucket List! I know, just like the rest of life, that Fall can go by quite fast. Weekends fill up before you know it and I typically joke that I'll have a free weekend in January... Except it's not a joke. I like to have a list of what I want to do but I know that typically I won't get it all done.... But a girl can plan!

what i've been reading lately

I have not done this since January. Which is just ridiculous. But what that also means is that this list is quite extensive and so therefore this post could be quite nuts. I counted and well... 32 books. So I'm going to have to break it down into sections here. And I'll keep my comments very short. Ha!

I found a few new authors I love! Kristin Hannah and Sandra Brown. Totally different types of authors to be sure! From Kristin I read, The Great AloneBetween Sisters, and Mystic Lake. All three I loved! I am always left wanting to know more and they always end too soon. As far as Sandra's go I feel like she has herself a successful book writing recipe there. From what I can gather. These are page turners and I always read them so quickly! Mean Streak and Lethal were the two I have read so far and I plan on more! I have read Grisham before but it's been a bit. I read Camino Island and The Rooster Bar, both good as you can expect.

During the summer I read a lot of what I would call "beachy" reads. Meaning sort of mindless and light. Fun? So if those are your types of books may I recommend:
Still Me - JoJo Meyers
The Hating Game - Sally Thorne
Love & Gelato - Jenna Evans Welch
Beautiful Day - Elin Hildebrand

I read a few historical fiction books and I just love those. These all were WWII themed and as we know, that's my favorite part of history to read about. Fiction or otherwise.
Beneath a Scarlet Sky - Mark Sullivan (This was about a side of WWII I rarely read about, the Italian side. In the alps.)
Secrets of a Charmed Life - Susan Meissner (Loved this one, about two sisters and The Blitz)
Beautiful Ruins - Jess Walter (also in Italy. jumps from the past to present and somewhere in between)

These are books I felt like I had to read just because of the author.... All were good.
The Chemist - Stephenie Meyer 
Origin - Dan Brown
Seven Stones to Stand or Fall - Diana Gabaldon (love me some Jamie!)
Varina - Charles Frazier
Anne of Green Gables - L.M. Montgomery (just for old time's sake)

I read two dystopian society type books and both were good. 
When She Woke - Hillary Jordan (the future where your skin is dyed to match your crime and no prison)
100 - Kass Morgan (delinquent kids sent to earth to see if it is inhabitable, also a show)

And ones that I just can't seem to categorize...
Wonder - R.J. Palacio (loved! cried! watched the movie! will read again!)
Little Fires Everywhere - Celeste Ng (family dynamics, prejudices, stereotypes. worth a read)
An American Marriage - Tayari Jones
Sweetbitter - Stephanie Danler (also a show and I like that better I think, about being a server in new york)

I wouldn't recommend these necessarily and I'll just leave it at that.... To each their own!
The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet - Becky Chambers (it was just a lot. if you're into aliens then you'd probably love it!)
Shape of Water - Vanessa Taylor (weird)
Capital Gaines - Chip Gaines (you know I wanted to love this, I did! just felt very self-helpy to me)
Seinfeldia - Jennifer Armstrong (wasn't as interesting as I thought it would be)
Homegoing - Ya'a Gyasi (super important story but super heavy and I got confused)
The Princess Diarist - Carrie Fisher (although I did learn some interesting gossip)

So. Any book suggestions for me? I'm all ears (eyes)!


the thing about amber bottles

Has anyone else noticed something happening lately on Instagram and home decor blogs and even at Target? It's all about the vintage amber glass bottles. Apparently.

I saw it first on Liz Marie's blog and as you may know I find her to be just the very best and I thought, oh that's fun! And then I started seeing amber bottles pop up in my Instagram feed. Allll over my feed. And then I went to Target and wouldn't you know it, Joanna also has a few things (this vase or these canisters) in her collection as well! So you know she probably was the one that started the trend  in the first place and now I am just obsessed with it. As things go when Joanna is involved.

groundhog day

I very much feel that this season in life is just one biiiiig hamster’s wheel. Every day (or week) the same activities return once more and we are just sort of doing the motions of life. Rinse. Repeat. Or in our case it’s: get the kids out the door (fed, dressed, with clean teeth), fold the laundry, empty the dishwasher, try and find something to occupy the morning, pack the lunches, do the homework, prep for tomorrow, dinner, some sort of extra-curricular activity, bedtime routines. Rinse. Repeat. 

It’s a lot. And it feels a lot more because all of this happens in the 45 minutes before they leave... and then these quiet hours when the kids are away life sort of pauses for a bit and I'm a little lost and then it jump starts the second they are home. Which is what it is and all of that. Nothing to be done about it. They are healthy! Thriving! The things need to be done and why dwell on it? Because I am a Master. Dweller. That’s why. It’s also hard for me to not always be planning. What comes next? Am I ready for tomorrow? Do I have something to do with myself every single day they are away? So on. Probably perpetuating the Groundhog Day type feel I got going on.

I have been looking through old photos of Letty and David lately.... and they almost seem unrecognizable compared to the Letty and David of today. Where did her curls go? When did her curls go? Where are my round-cheeked soft little dimpled innocent children? When did they become these thinner, taller versions of themselves? With adult teeth???? You blink and you miss it and I’m just so thankful I have this blog. To help me remember. To document. And to relive those moments where my hamster wheel life style got in the way... 

Normally when they do their homework I’m off doing some other task. Prepping lunches or signing paperwork of my own.... Returning emails, etc.  Not paying attention, not in the moment. But yesterday I just watched them. David who has been really working on his handwriting and it’s impressive how smart he is! Have I mentioned how smart he is?? Letty working so hard to get through her books she brought home. She works harder at that task than I have ever had to work for anything. Except maybe to get her? Which is interesting.  But focus on the now, Laur. Today.


It's been a hot minute since I did one of these so... yes, let's!

On the chalkboard: I didn't go too nuts with this wall as I typically do... The chalkboard in the kid's playroom however.... I have too many chalkboards to keep count of. It might be a problem.