milestones | 6 months

7:00 AM

oh my heart. i want to talk a little about this one, because somehow he is six months old already and i feel like he's barely been mentioned.. and he is worth mentioning. our little clark man is an amazing little fellow (from a totally unbiased view of course), so here's a few things about him...we'll just call these milestones though some really are not.

  • he's crawling! say what?! yep, everywhere
  • he sits up
  • rolls over during pretty much every diaper change
  • hates purees, all of them
  • his first food was a teething biscuit, maybe that's why he hates purees?
  • has been teething most of his life and finally has two little teeth to show for it (on the bottom)
  • is our blue-eyed fella
  • has been to oregon and hawaii
  • goes after anything that makes a crinkle noise
  • prefers to be held close and talked to pretty much all of the time
  • only slept through the night until he was two months old, and hasn't ever since
  • has never took a bottle despite our efforts
  • lights up like no other when he sees his brother
  • almost always has his tongue out
  • makes the saddest sad face you've ever seen
  • is the definition of a "happy spitter"
  • still sleeps in a bassinet in our room because he's up just about every two hours
  • has hair that has changed from dark brown, to light brown, to the faintest red, to blonde
  • is nearing twenty pounds 
  • has arm rolls, thigh rolls, the whole sh-bang
  • has pretty much the best little laugh ever (p.s. he's super ticklish)

ok, so that in no way gives him justice, but at least it catches us up a little.



7:00 AM

"a portrait of my children once a week, every week, in 2015"

holland: suited up and ready for yard work with dad, which means peering out the window like this because the lawn mower, leaf blower and weed wacker are entirely too loud for you.

clark: ready, set, go. 


no salt play dough

10:51 PM

when clark naps each morning, i make it my goal to do something special with holland, something that baby brother wouldn't be so keen on, or that i wouldn't be too keen on him partaking in. most days we play with holland's teeny tiny cars which were handed down to him from dad. sometimes we build train tracks, do a baking activity or paint. today we tackled play dough. no salt play dough, because as the words left my mouth i realized we didn't have near enough salt to make the real deal. with holland already on his way to get the stool and play dough tools before i even finished my sentence, turning back wasn't an option.

we experimented with a recipe and to my surprise, our no salt play dough came out really well. it had a consistency we both loved. and thanks to the olive oil and lack of salt, my hands felt silky smooth within a few minutes. i'm not a big fan of the feeling traditional play dough leaves on my hands.

the no bake aspect of this recipe makes it perfect for toddlers. the only downside is that this dough really doesn't keep. you can keep it in a sealed container or plastic wrap in the refrigerator for a day or two, but without the salt it will ferment after that. the upside is it's really easy to make and you can have lots of fun mixing in things you probably wouldn't with traditional play dough. and if your toddler is anything like mine, he/she will be thrilled to do it all over again in a day or two.

holland requested blue play dough so we colored ours, but you certainly don't have to. white play dough would equally as beautiful. we mixed dried lavender into ours as well, which provided fun texture and a little aroma therapy as we rolled, patted, and shaped. i also provided a couple rolling pins, wood stamps, and cookie cutters, as well as a bowl of left-over birthday confetti i found in our art cabinet.

we left our dough out all day. holland literally played with it for hours, but because i left it out for about ten hours, the outside of our dough was a little dry come evening so i went ahead and tossed it. had we covered it, it would have had more life left in it.

i'm already dreaming up our next mix-ins; sticks, leaves, flower petals, glitter, sequins, pipe cleaners, rose water, essential oils, sand...

i am pretty excited about this recipe working out, as well as the ease of it. it is super cheap to make, and you probably have all the ingredients in your pantry right now. it is also all natural and suitable for younger children who might mouth it.

if you choose to make it, please share your experience. i would love to hear what you come up with. photos are a bonus.

no salt play dough

2 cups of flour
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup water
food coloring (optional)
essential oils, rosewater, lavender, etc.
large bowl for mixing

mix flour, olive oil, water, food coloring, and any essential oils, rosewater, or extras to your desired consistency. you may find you want to add a little more water or a bit more oil. it is up to you, but take care when doing so. a little extra liquid will go a long way. if coloring, we found it worked best to add our food coloring to our water before pouring our water in.

i can't wait to see what you and your littles come up with!



9:38 PM

"a portrait of my children once a week, every week, in 2015"

holland: nap boycotts mean afternoon couch snuggles

clark: teething keys, muslin swaddles (always muslin swaddles), grins and giggles



9:08 PM

"a portrait of my children once a week, every week, in 2015"

holland: because you certainly need a ridiculous beanie and binoculars on a morning walk to the park

clark: early morning light fills the room, you sit, carefully picking up each and every toy in that little basket, examining it as if it is new as the day before us...moments like this are my favorite



8:44 PM

"a portrait of my children once a week, every week, in 2015"

holland: when it storms outside, we bubble bath inside

clark: afternoon snoozes


from my heart || i want to choose joy

10:23 PM

after a long day (or week rather) i decided to pop open a bottle of  red wine (which i am certain will forever remind me of nights spent at the beach what feels like an entire life time ago), and bake quintessential chocolate chip cookies, sans kids, in the peace of a quiet home, with them tucked away in their beds, soundly snoozing. it's not often i bake anymore. what use to be pretty much a daily thing has now become bi-weekly at best. baking was my thing, in a big way. it's pretty much what i did and where i put my extra time and our extra money. i baked for every event, dinner, occasion, just because and all of the time...until we had two kids.

now the thought of baking is quickly followed with thoughts along the lines of "i just don't want to deal with the hassle of holland 'helping' " or "i don't have the patience", "it won't be any fun", "it's not the same" (which it isn't but i'll get to that later). baking use to be an outlet for me that has willingly taken the side burner. just look how excited i was about this tiny little baking space a couple years ago. i say willingly, because motherhood is something i have always wanted, it's what i've wanted my whole life, and it is so worth setting aside things for, but what i realized tonight is that maybe me having to set it aside is something i've created, but not really the truth. as i creamed the butter, added the sugar, measured my flour and salt and baking soda, cracked a single egg, poured in the vanilla, scraped down the edges, and finally and carefully mixed in the chocolate chips, was that i missed my baker-man terribly, my holland. i missed him so much that it actually ached deep inside of me. not leaving a little pile of chcolate chips on the counter for him so he stayed out of the rest, or cleaning up flour e v e r y w h e r e felt plain empty and was all too easy. my cookies were mixed and in the oven in a flash. i wasn't poked or prodded with sticky fingers, there was nearly no mess to clean, and what i thought would be so satisfying really wasn't, and was over before i knew it. when the timer went off, no one ran to the oven or pulled out the hot mits, i wasn't asked fifteen times if the cookies were ready to eat, rather i was left with the realization of just how integrated my life has become with that of my children's, that they are legitimately a part of me, that some of my passions are now that of my oldest's, and though baking use to be my thing, now it's our thing, holland and i's. it isn't that it needs to take the side burner as i've  told myself, it just looks a little bit different right now, and a lot more messy.

and those things i've told myself about baking being too messy, too hard, that i don't have the patience for, they are simply lies, lies i have allowed to creep in and steal a little bit of my joy, our joy. holland loves baking with me and i take that away from him all of the time. it is so simple but so true. tonight i am left with thoughts of just how often i allow this type of thought to creep into my daily life, thoughts that my children might be a nusience or even prevent me from certain things, when really they are the complete opposite, blessing me, growing me in the best of ways. motherhood is hard some days, weeks, months even, but guys, it is so worth it. and i am so in love with these two little people i have been entrusted with raising.

i encourage you to ask yourself where you allow lies to creep in and take a hold of parts of your life, because i think we all do it. what is important however, it what we do about it. do we allow these lies, be them big or small, to take away little bits of our joy before finally stealing the last of it, or do we stand up and stop the lies? personally, i want to stand up and take back my joy. i want to choose joy and truth everyday, and i know you do too.

don't let your joy slip away friends. don't let it.


teriyaki chicken

9:32 PM

teriyaki chicken is a staple in our home. marrying a man from hawaii, that's sort of a given. sweet meat and rice is his jam. he can eat it every day, without the flavors ever growing old, and so teriyaki chicken is often how we do lunch and how we do dinner. basically, i aim to make a big batch at the beginning of the week that we portion into tupperware containers along with brown rice and blanched broccoli. we simply reheat throughout the week for an easy lunch or as a grab and go dinner on a busy evening. it's relatively healthy, holds up well to reheathing, easy to make, and totally budget friendly.

if you have time to allow your chicken to marinate over night it is really so much better, but even after a few hours, it is still delicious.

teriyaki chicken
yield: 4 servings

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon seseame oil
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, plus additional as garnish

rinse chicken, pat dry and place in a gallon sized ziplock. in a small bowl whisk together remaining ingredients until brown sugar has mostly dissolved. pour marinade over chicken. seal, shake and marinate in refrigerator overnight for best results.

when ready to cook, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. place chicken in skillet taking care not to layer. add 1-2 tablespoons of marinade. cook for ten minutes, flip. cook an additional ten minutes and check for doneness. your chicken is done when golden brown and liquid is absorbed. your marinade will thicken and deepen in color during cooking. at the end of cooking only clear juices will remain and a few pan scrapings. remove from heat.

allow to cool for a few minutes to seal juices in. slice horizontally and serve over brown rice. sprinkle with additional toasted sesame seeds.


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