Thursday, June 20, 2013


Mama's little monkey....

Ta Da! And that my friends, is how you bust out of a crib and secure yourself a big boy bed.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Way back in the day, Nugget coined the phrase "Same Same" for things that are, well, the same. Or matching. Or similar. Whatever. It's stuck, and now Dude says it too.

So, I had a vision in my head that these two photos would look very same same next to each other. Both of me with my boys, them at 8 weeks of age. They are wearing the same outfit, although Otto is minus the hoodie. I look pretty much the same, even down to the color of my shirt. And I swear, I really don't have a love affair with purple. Coincidence, I guess.

But once I put them side by side, they are so NOT same same. But cute to compare, nonetheless.

Also, Otto looks way more like his sister than his brother.

That's all. xo

Monday, June 17, 2013


It's a little crazy to know that we are already three weeks into our summer break. People! It's mid JUNE already! This summer is flying by, and I really don't want it to, considering we just hibernated for the better part of eight months. This was the longest winter of my life, and we were totally robbed of spring. For every nice day we'd have, we were punished with eight more of cold, snow, or rain. I seriously just washed and packed away Nugget's snow pants this weekend. And I'm still not positive it was safe to do so.

Any who, despite the weather, all our school and extra curricular activities came to a close all in the same week, signaling that surely summer was just around the bend.

We first said goodbye to Nugget's second year of dance. With a year of experience and maturity under her belt, this year went much better than the last. We also switched studios which I believe helped tremendously. We're not really in it for the recital, but it seems to be an inescapable crescendo of the dancing season. A year ago, my girl sat on the stage and cried. She wanted nothing to do with it and my heart broke in to a million pieces for her. But this year? Sister ROCKED it. She was the girl the other girls looked at for a clue as to what in the world they should be doing up there on that big stage. My heart was so proud it almost burst. What a difference a year makes.

Back Row L to R: Tori, Bella, Nugget, Kalli
Front Row L to R: Grace, Josie, Ireland, Ellie
Back Stage, before the show...

I'd like to commend whoever came up with the concept of the Friday night "Tot Show". All the youngest dancers perform in only one Friday night show, which was less than two hours long. Bam and done. And we still had our whole weekend ahead of us. Thank you very much.
The week following the dance recital also marked the end of the school year for Nugget's preschool and Dude's ECFE class. They both happened to be on the same day, which normally worked out just fine, except that this day Nugget's class was putting on a little program. So we had to ditch out of Dude's class a bit early, but it was totally worth it.
Doodey's class celebrated with a little outdoor play, which included a sensory table filled with bubbles. He LOVED it. Maybe a little too much. Too much in the sense that I had to borrow a dry shirt since we didn't have time to stop home and change before Nugget's program. But just look at that smile. Totally worth the sopping wet shirt.


We put Nugget in a pre-preschool program this year for many reasons. It has been the best decision we have made yet for her. She absolutely thrived this year, and I am so grateful she gets to spend one more year there, in that sweet little learning community with her teachers and her friends.
Once upon a time (like, a year ago) there was no bribe big enough to get my girl to stand in front of an audience and do something like this. Now look at her. My baby is growing up, and its so awesome to watch her unfold. Also, the confidence that standing next to a favorite friend brings is priceless.

After all that jazz, the kids got to release the butterflies they had been observing for a few weeks. I secretly smile every time Nugget has spied a butterfly since, exclaiming "Mom, I saw the butterfly from my school! How does it know to follow me?!".

As a kindergarten teacher, I've been told many times that I must have a big heart to love on all those little people. But these ladies? Their hearts must be ginormous. They have loved my girl like she was their own, and they have most definitely set her on a path of love and learning.

We've got a very leisurely summer ahead of us. A few structured activities sprinkled here and there, but mostly were just waking up each day and going wherever the wind takes us. I'm sure by September we'll all be itching to get back into a routine, but for now, these slow, easy breezy days are a nice change of pace.

Sunday, June 16, 2013


June is a busy month for us. My birthday, our anniversary, and Father's Day all pile on top of each other in the same week. It was a double bonus this year when our anniversary and Father's Day landed on the SAME day.

So apparently my brain is totally scattered these days (or I'm really bad at math, which is actually true)....I thought Nick and I were celebrating seven years of marriage, when in reality, it's only six. Whoopsie. No wonder why that whole seven year itch thing didn't fit ;) We left all three kids with a sitter for the first time, and headed out for a night on the town. I wanted to stay close to home, in case Otto needed me (he's still working on taking a bottle), so we just grabbed some dinner at the Mexican joint in town, then headed to the local wine bar. We're easy to please, and we're just happy to get out of the house for a bit!

On our actual anniversary, which also happened to be Father's Day, we loaded up the fam for a hike at the Ney Nature Center. Just a short drive away, beautiful scenery, and an old farmstead to explore. A match made in Heaven.

And our celebrations came full circle when we lunched on the picnic Nick gifted me for my birthday.

So fun! Summer is off to an amazing start!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Today's my birthday. I'm 31. THIRTY ONE! How in the world did I get here?! But it's cool, I'm totally fine with it.

Today was a good day, a little wonky, but mostly good. The wonky parts, you ask? It poured rain here this morning. Like POURED.  So I did what any mother would do on her birthday while it's raining cats and dogs. I changed all the bedding. But the only problem was that when I got up to Nugget's top bunk to wrestle with that fun, the ceiling fan nearly took me out and left me with a sweet little goose egg on my forehead. Whatevs. Whatchya gonna do? Also, rumor has it that lightning took out a TMobile tower in our area, so I currently cannot receive or make phone calls and texts. How did we ever survive before this day in age? Hope it's fixed soon. At least I've still got the Internet :)

The good parts? A garage sale, lunch out with my littles, surprise cupcakes, a nap with my Otto man, T-ball being cancelled, surprises from my fam.

I totally feel weird taking selfies. And I take like twenty before I'm finally semi-satisfied with one. But I wanted to capture myself today, myself at 31. (Pre-goose egg.)

I wanted to do something fun/special for a birthday blog initial thought was to share 31 things I've learned along the way, but who am I kidding? 31 is A LOT of things to think of!

So I decided upon doing a "Currently" post, as that seemed fitting to capture what I'm thinking at this stage of my life.

Ya ready?

Currently loving... late night texting dates with my Swanky Shank girl

Currently reading... Carry on Warrior, by Glennon Doyle Melton

Currently wishing...I had a house keeper

Currently excited about...our upcoming cabin getaway

Currently missing... the sunshine

Currently get caught up with laundry

Currently working at...having lots of love and patience

Currently enjoying...lilacs

Currently snacking on...cake pops (Thanks, Mom!)

Currently using...EOS Lemon Lip Balm

Currently wearing...V-neck tee and shorts

Currently planning...our road trip to Florida!

Currently signing...Get Your Sparkle On (Thanks Nugget!)

Currently restore all the photos that I lost on my blog (like, a year ago!), and print this thing, finally

Currently make peace with a messy house

Currently listening to...the hum of Otto's swing swaying back and forth, back and forth

Currently doing...blogging!

Currently praying for...all those who are sick or hurting

Currently dreaming of...the beach...the ocean

Here's what Nick was hiding from me in the fridge this week:

Looks like a very delicious picnic is in our near future :)


Winner of the Chevron Mama and Baby Peace Bands is Sara OBrien!

Winner of the Teething Necklace is Crystal Schoefer!

Ladies, please email your address so I can have your goodies sent out to you!

I leave you with this.


Monday, June 10, 2013


Hello all! Guess what?! It's my birthday week...YAY!

I came home from a busy day yesterday to this:

It totally made me smile. Nick and Nugget have something up their sleeves for me, and I'm so excited! I love surprises! Although Nugget slipped a hefty clue at breakfast this morning that she "got samples at the store with Daddy" when they did my present shopping. That, coupled with being banned from the downstairs fridge/freezer leads me to believe it's something edible. You agree? But I'm gonna stop there because really, I want to be surprised!

Also, for those of you who don't already know, Nick calls me Tootse :)

AND! In honor of my birthday week, I have a treat for you! I was recently introduced to a sweet lil' Mama, Danielle, and her new Etsy store, Pieces to Peaces. And together we want to give away some goodies to YOU! Yay!

Nugget and I got to try out some of her hair goodies, and they are sure fun! Her headbands are so soft and stretchy, and there are tons of cute prints to choose from. And the best part? They are uber affordable, so you can totally stock up for summer!

Her shop is growing daily, and I love each new item more then the next! My newest favorite is the  natural wood teethers for baby. Otto totally digs his, and it's a nice alternative to his hands ;)

You likey? This one can be yours! One of you lucky ducks will win this chevron teether!
She's also giving away this matching Peace Band set for Mama and Baby, in my favorite chevron pattern! I mean really, how can you go wrong with chevron?!
You can enter to win in two ways.
1. Like Pieces to Peaces on Facebook. Click here. Then leave me a comment here telling me you did so.
2. Follow Pieces to Peaces on Instagram, at piecestopeacesboutique. Then leave me a comment here telling me you did so.
Yes! You can enter TWICE, and there are TWO prizes to giveaway. Your chances are good! I will be choosing a winner on Wednesday, my birthday!
And if you want to stock up, visit her Etsy shop! Click here.
Happy Monday, friends! xo

Sunday, June 2, 2013


We're coming down from a weekend high, as it was a good one filled with family, laughter, food, sunshine and plenty of activity. Otto was baptized today, thus celebrating him and this milestone is what brought us all together.

We asked Nick's Uncle Jay, who lives in Utah, to be Otto's Godfather. He's also Nick's Godfather, and that just makes it all the more special. He happily accepted the position, and within a day had his travel arrangements booked for the event. It was so fun to have him in our town, share meals with him, and have him accompany us on our weekend outings. The kids totally loved his energy and the fact that he spoiled them rotten with gifts. And I must admit, and extra set of hands was a huge help. Three on three is a good ratio.

 Northfield Farmer's Market.

 After dinner shenanigans.

One thing I will never tire of is dressing Otto in things that were once Milo's. It helps me remember when Milo was that tiny, and I like to ogle over their similarities and differences alike. The baptismal outfit that my boys wore has been worn by all the Bowen boys in my family, starting with my Dad. What I wouldn't do to get my hands on a photo line up of that! I was a little nervous that Otto had outgrown it before he ever got a chance to wear it, but luckily I was able to squeeze him in, with little time to spare.


And just for fun...a side by side comparison of my boys. The two photos were taken two years apart, to the day.

So Otto's special day arrived, and family piled in our tiny little country church to witness and celebrate with us.

 Otto and Father John.

 Daddy, Otto, Mama

 Otto and his Godmother, my sweetest friend Jen.

 Otto and his Godfather, also his Great Uncle, Jay.

Mama, Grandma Sue, Otto, Great Grandma Mary, Aunt Angie.

We had the most beautiful, sunny day, and everyone came over for lunch and visiting favorite part. Otto is sure a lucky little man to be loved by so many!

Happy Baptism Day, my sweet baby boy! May God use you to do many a great things! xo.