it's all about the food.

Two of my favorite places to people watch: airport and fair. And yesterday I made sure to get a good glimpse of the cowboy boots, glitter John Deer belt buckles, and all the racing cut-off shirts at our fair. I love watching the people, the kids, who work so hard to prepare their livestock for such a week. In fact, I secretly wish I was apart of it all when I was kid. Except for the smell. I would fail because of the smell.

The fair isn't about the people though, or the rides [I paid $7 for the armband that to ride all the rides and I didn't get on a single one], but for the FOOD. Leading up to fair night, I dream about all the stuff I want to eat. This time I walked away with super sweet, salty, buttery corn on the cob, a Hawaiian Shaved Ice, half of a gigantic cinnamon roll, and fudge. Naomi was thanking me all night.

And Audrey was thanking me for taking her to see all the animals and rodeo. And for a balloon.

There is nothing like a summer night gorging on delicious food at the fair.



Sometimes I'm that mom that wakes up and makes minnie mouse pancakes including a bow on top, eggs, and toast just for Audrey and sometimes I just pour her a bowl of cereal.

Sometimes I'm that mom that doesn't turn on the tv for days and not even realize it and sometimes Audrey gets Clifford in the morning and youtube clips throughout the day. 

Sometimes I'm that mom that has the best morning planned with trips to the park, library, and the farm, and sometimes it takes my everything to just get through a morning at home.

Sometimes I'm that mom that dresses her in the most adorable outfit and pigtails, and sometimes I let her go almost all day half-dressed in pj pants and no top.

Sometimes I'm that mom that plans out healthy meals and make sure she gets her fruits and veggies, and sometimes I let her eat cookies before dinner and two popsicles after.

Sometimes it is so hard being a mom. Trying to live up to a standard that doesn't really exist. And sometimes it's best to just let go and be.



I could have spent all weekend just sitting around and lounging with my best girlfriends and I would have been just as happy. We definitely did a lot of relaxing and lounging around in p.j.s, but we all had a lot of fun exploring Chicago.

My cup is full. I'm refreshed.

We ate at some delicious places and now I can't get that chocolate truffle cake out of my head. [Excuse me, why I clean off my drool right now thinking about it.]

Being that I love antiques and shopping, I thoroughly enjoyed going to the Randolph Market Festival. Surprisingly, I didn't buy one thing. But I did find a lot inspiration. And sometimes that is all you need.

We also went to the Imax Theater on the Navy Pier and saw the movie Inception. My brain is still hurting from trying to understand it, but it was really good. Not to mention, it was my first real experience at an Imax (besides seeing a 15 minute ocean movie with a 150 campers). And not to mention, it was my first movie in a very. long. time.

Then we hit up dinner at Smoque. Delish pulled pork sandwiches, but what was even better were the pictures we snapped using the black glossy wall outside.

My beautiful friends. Sarah, me, Stephanie, and Susan. (Sarah and Susan are twins- how adorable are they?)

Then after dinner, these pictures were taken without flash, just using the street light.

Almost 30 weeks along with Naomi Fae.

To close up our weekend of girl fun we hit up the Bean and the beach.

I even made it home in time to tuck my sweet baby girl into bed. And to sit on my new porch swing my husband hung while I was gone.

A full life.


and i'm off.

I'm leaving for Chicago (yes, I was just there last week) this morning. But this time it is just me to spend a weekend with three of my closest girlfriends.

Oh, and Naomi too, of course.

29 weeks along (as of last Tuesday).

It would only be fair for me to bring Naomi, since Audrey traveled with me two years ago.

25 weeks along with Audrey in July 2008. Taken in the Sears Willis Tower. Hopefully we can have a repeat shot with Naomi.

A weekend like this is far and few in between. It is cherished. Anticipated. Remembered. And bittersweet. I weekend without my husband and my sweet baby girl. But this trip is needed. It will be refreshing. And good.

Audrey will be spending the entire day with her Aunt Hanni (Hannah) today. Whom she totally adores. I have her lunch packed and ready to go in what used to be my Mickey and Minnie lunchbox when I was little. Audrey used my old lunch box for the first time the other day and it was pretty much the cutest thing ever. She didn't want to put it down.

If you look really close, you can see where I wrote "Ab" on it. Why I never finished writing my name? It will remain a mystery.

So, now I'm off. It's a daddy-daughter weekend and a girls weekend for me.


{easy} toddler tshirt dress.

I have been meaning to make Audrey a couple of dresses out of some old tshirts of mine that definitely don't fit me anymore. [The ones I wear to bed that I would be embarrassed if anyone caught me in, especially with a large pregnant belly hanging out the bottom half.] Last night I mustered up enough energy to do one and I am super excited with the results. It hardly took anytime at all. [Due to the fact that I don't measure or iron or you know, act like a real seamstress.]

This is what I started with. A tshirt from Old Navy. I love the material because it is slightly stretchy and doesn't unravel when cut.

And walaah, a toddler tshirt dress...

I pinned on a dress that Audrey already had and basically cut around it for my pattern. I sewed in the sides and cut the bottom off- I didn't even hem up the bottom, because I'm lazy, I think it goes with the look. I used an old pink shirt to cut up and use it on the sleeves and just sewed it on with a zig-zag stitch. Then I made a ruffle using this tutorial. [I will warn you know, ruffles are so addicting, I love to use them on everything because of how easy and cute they look.] I wrapped the ruffle into a circle to make a flower and hand-stitched it on the dress, along with felt leaves.

Then I got the idea to make two hairclips out of the scraps sitting around. I made a yellow ruffle and pink ruffle then hot glued it on the clips.

It helps that I have an adorable model to show it all off. And soon, two little models with be prancing around.


big girl bed.

I have been racking my brain for a couple of months now about the oh, so big decision-- moving Audrey to a big girl bed in preparation for baby Naomi. I have been over-thinking everything about it, like any first-time mom. I used Facebook and Twitter to ask questions. When should I do it? Do I switch to a toddler bed or twin bed? How do I prepare her for it? (Seriously, I am an over-analyzer.) I received helpful information from other moms, but there was no one-way to do it or one right way. I am continually learning as a mom, that you have to do what works for you. And your family.

So anyway. After going back and forth from buying a twin to a toddler bed, we ended up with an extra-long toddler bed. We bought an Ikea toddler bed off of Craigslist (from someone I know- so I didn't feel all gross about the mattress). We have had it for a couple of weeks now, but didn't have the time to switch Audrey over yet. I think it worked out well having it around before she actually had to sleep in it- she was able to play and explore on it. And we talked about it a lot. Then we decided after we got back from our trip, we would switch her out of the crib and into the bed. She had been sleeping in so many different beds traveling, that we thought it was a good time to keep it up. So after traveling 6 hours in a car, at 9:30 at night, we put her big girl bed in her room and put her to sleep in it. And somehow she slept like a ton of bricks and didn't get up the next morning until 9. It probably could have turned out really sour for us, but she has done surprisingly very well. Even naptime has been fine. I am just waiting for her to discover that she can actually get out of bed without us being in there, so far she just yells for "mama" when she wakes and stays put.

Just shy of 21 months, Audrey switched over to the big girl bed.

Now I get to over-analyze the next upcoming challenges of being a mom: potty training and paci. Both of which, I am in no hurry to do for now.



It's been a busy week after being gone most of the time on a whirlwind trip. Here are a couple of stats from last week:
  • Being in a car with a toddler: 4 hours, 8 hours, and 6 hours in 4 days. That included a trip to Chicago, then to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, and back home again in good o'Indiana. (And that 8 hour trip? Audrey only slept the first 45 minutes).
  • 6 taxi rides that added up to around $75.
  • One super close call with getting our car towed, we literally watched the tow truck coming.
  • One 45 minute city bus ride in the heart of Chicago while Audrey slept.
  • One delicious way-too-expensive meal at Hard Rock Cafe to celebrate Andrew's birthday.
  • One free trip to the Chicago Zoo. (With zero pictures because I forgot my SD card in the computer. I'm awesome like that.)
  • Two stops at Cracker Barrel.
  • Two-night stay with one of my super good friends, Susan, at her loft in Chi-town. (Thank you, Sooze, for your wonderful hospitality!)
  • One night stay in a hotel that also included the fire alarm going off about midnight.
  • One ceremony to watch my sister graduate from Basic Training.
 Two years ago, we traveled to Fort Leonard Wood to watch my brother graduate from Basic Training. And now, we returned to watch my sister graduate. Ironically, both years, I have been pregnant. I'm so proud of my sister for what she has accomplished. In the last year, she has quit her job to go back to school for nursing, joined the National Guard, and lost over 85 lbs.

Audrey and Jonathan loved the soldiers. And they especiallly loved yelling "Hiiiiii Hanni" when it was super quiet during the ceremony and Aunt Hannah was giving a speech.

And as if traveling all week wasn't enough, we moved Audrey to a big girl bed the night we returned. It has gone pretty much seamless. But I will share more on that tomorrow.



That's the number of birthday parties we have been to in the last week and a half. Three of which we hosted-- one for my mother-in-law and two for my husband. [Yes, my husband gets two parties. We have such big families, that sometimes we have to celebrate twice. Which I'm not complaining. Hello, cake?] My nephew turned two and we attended two parties for him. That means in ten days, we are averaging having a birthday dessert every other day. Anyone else having a birthday soon, I would be happy to eat another piece of cake for you.

With all this partying, we have been super busy.

My nephew, Jonathan, blowing out his sweet barn cake (made by his talented mama and my good friend, Debbie).

Audrey enjoying a wagon ride with her cousin and friend. The birthday party took place on a farm, so they had a grand o'time riding around.

There was a "pig pen" set up. Pink balloons that looked like pigs and Audrey just thought it was the best thing ever.

This is in our backyard. I think we had around 14 people there just with my immediate family members. I heart big families, what can I say.

Audrey and Jonathan enjoying dinner together. I love that Audrey has a cousin so close in age. You know, so she can learn how to slyly steal mac and cheese off his plate.

It's been a good partying time. Now we are off on another adventure this week.



third trimester.

I opened up the baby book the other day, I think for the fourth time this pregnancy (unlike with Audrey's pregnancy where I read it probably four times a day), and I read this week you are starting your third trimester. What!? As of Tuesday, 27 weeks done, I am officially in my third trimester. And then every project I haven't finished yet ran through my head. And I have since crashed. The nesting phase? It was beautiful while it lasted. I am still getting stuff done, mainly organizing and purging. But I can tell I am not being crazy crafty like I was just a week ago. Maybe it will come back. Maybe it won't. But one thing I know, my belly keeps growing. And growing. And growing. Did I mention I am in a wedding in about three weeks?

This belly is in a wedding in three weeks.

So where did my other two trimesters go? No, seriously. I know this is only my second pregnancy, but it is flying by. I'm going to blame it on the cutest little girl I know. She keeps me busy. A very happy busy.

I can't believe how much of a toddler Audrey is now at 20 months. She talks in sentences, picks out her nail polish colors, can count to 5 as of today (she won't always do it, but when she does it is super cute), loves to play ring-around-the-rosey (with herself, which is hilarious because she gets so dizzy), and if you ask her what her name is she will say Audey Tose.

I love my Audey Tose and can't wait to meet my Naomi Fae.


happy fourth.

We have had such a busy, fun-filled weekend and we still have today to celebrate.

Happy Independence Day!

Here are some of favorites from last night.

One of my favorite moments of last night. Holding Audrey after she fell asleep on the way to the fireworks show at 8 o'clock. She took a good cat nap on me and then was able to last until almost 11. It felt so right to have Naomi in my belly with Audrey laying on top.

My husband was like a little boy watching the fireworks.

Not completely focused, but completely love. From the top of her flower to the way her dress kept falling off her shoulder, like she didn't have a care in the world. Because, duh, she doesn't.

26.5 weeks with Naomi Fae. And don't be fooled by the hat. It's my husband's that I requested to borrow because I went showerless all.day.long. from getting up early for an estate sale, to a parade, to boating, to a cook-out and fireworks. Under that hat? You don't even want to know.


it's the weekend. enjoy.

Happy weekend, friends.

We are spending it going to our town's parade, boating, visiting family, fireworks, and lots and lots of eating.

I get to spend it with my favorite people. My family.

My view looking down. My two girls. Do you see them?

[And I just got word a good friend of mine had her baby last night. So that means, I get to see a newborn today too. Eek!]


there's A and there's B.

You can look at these pictures and see A or see B.

A, you can see my pretty ruffle shower curtain that I love so much. I bought it back in September when our bathroom wasn't even complete, but you know, I had to have it.


B, you can see my huge (white) 26 week belly.

You decide.