Kids Were Here | Cheese


The wee one wanted some shredded cheese.  A cheese stick was not acceptable…she had to have the shredded kind.  So, I put a bit in a bowl and she happily wandered off, stuffing bits of cheese in her mouth as she went.  A few minutes later, I found this.

Sea Nettles

One of my favorite parts of aquariums are the jelly fish, especially sea nettles.  I love their colors and patterning, and the graceful way they flow through the water.  I could honestly watch them undulate and bounce off of each other all day.  Beautiful creatures.

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I stepped outside of the box a little bit and converted these.  I wanted the graphic patterns and shadows in the bells and tentacles to stand out more, and I felt the nettles’ natural oranges and reds and the bright blue from the aquarium lights overshadowed those features.   I love how they look even more luminous and delicate.

Vacation 2013 | Dollywood Day 1: Ferris Wheel Fun

We’re taking our family vacation this year in Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg, TN.  We’re sharing a huge cabin on the side of a wooded mountain just outside Gatlinburg with Hubby’s family…there are 23 of us total!

We went to Dollywood on Memorial Day.  It was a beautiful day, great for visiting the amusement park!  I have LOTS of pictures from some of the things we did (there aren’t any pictures from the stuff I did.  Odd how that happens…), so I’m going to break things up into individual posts to not overload both people reading this.  😉

We spent a good part of the day at the Country Fair part of the park.  The first ride you come to is the Wonder Wheel Ferris wheel.  L has ALWAYS wanted to ride a Ferris wheel, so she and a few others got in line to ride.

2013-05-29_0001For some reason, the line was incredibly long and slooooooooow….

Everyone is finally on!  2013-05-29_0003

I’m really not sure what was going on here.  It seemed like by the end of the ride the novelty had worn off, at least for L and M.

And that’s just the beginning.  We played around in Country Fair for a while longer, and rode a few rides including a small roller coaster, the Sky Rider, and a few other rides.  More to come soon!

Kids Were Here | Eggshell

I saw a neat project on a photography forum, then again from someone in an online mommy group I visit.  It’s called “Kids Were Here”, and it’s all about documenting all the ways kids remind us of their presence in our world.   Everything from the random toys they leave behind, to the piles of laundry found in their rooms, to hand prints on the TV screen.

The premise is pretty simple…to take pictures of things left behind by kids, and artistically document them being here without them being in the frame.

Most of the people I’ve found who are taking part in this project are doing it as part of a monthly blog circle, but I’ve decided not to.  I’ve decided to just take it on as a personal project instead, partially because I haven’t been able to find an open circle to join and partially because my life is filled with so many reminders of my kiddos around that I’d much rather document and post as I feel like it rather than at some set point in time for the circle.

So, to get started…

An eggshell from a hard boiled egg my 6 year old abandoned on the kitchen table one morning after eating the contents within:




For more information on Kids were here, or to see other people’s KWH projects, you can start here:  Kids Were Here


Letters to My Daughters | My Lilah

Another month has gone by, and it’s time for a new letter to my girlies.  This month, I’m writing to my middle child, Lilah.


My Lilah,


My goofball, Lilah.  My Monkey, Lilah.

I love you, your smile, your tenacity, your creativity, your benevolence, you.

Even when you’re driving me out of my mind when you’re monkeying about on the furniture, being completely obstinate, and brimming with bold sass. Of my children, you definitely challenge my patience the most, but that’s not entirely a bad thing.  You are most definitely comfortable with who you are, steady on your own feet at just 6 years old.  I hope that doesn’t change much as you grow older.  You’ll need your tenacity, your ingenuity, your sass and spitfire, and self confidence to carve your niche in this world.  If the past few years are any indication, you’ll navigate it with aplomb.

You are my little ball of energy, my extrovert, my athlete.  I freely admit that you these traits are completely opposite of me, and I usually have no idea how to handle it.  So, after observing your talents and interests, I determined the best outlet for your endless energy and enrolled you in gymnastics.


As far as I can tell and from what you tell me, you enjoy it.  You’re learning how to tumble, and learning beam, bars, and vault.  You get along well with the other girls in your section, and I can see an improvement in the way you move and carry yourself.


Swinging around the bars seems to come easily for you.  You hop right up there and start spinning around with little help from your coach.


Vault!  Running, jumping, climbing on, jumping off…some of your favorite activities.

Since the weather’s been nice, you’ve been playing outside more.  Probably not as much as you’d like, or how you’d like (you beg to ride your bike alllllllllll the time).  Now that the school has redone the playground and added new equipment, and now that summer is only a couple of weeks off, perhaps we’ll visit it more.  We went the other day for a little while, and you played until you decided you were bored.  I think it was because I was paying more attention to Ellie than you, so maybe we’ll go just you and I sometime soon.


That face, the one on the bottom…you give me that one All. The. Time.  Tenacity…you has it.


Monkey child.  If you can climb it, chances are you will.




You totally dressed yourself.  You have your own style, your own ideas, and you’re not afraid to own them.  Don’t let that get away from you.  There will be times where it will seem like dancing to your own song isn’t cool or important, but it is.  Always.

You have just a few more days of being a kindergartner left.  Soon, you’ll be a first grader, and then more.  Even though it seems I get annoyed with the things you do and how frequently you test your limits, I look forward to seeing the awesomeness that’s within you blossom.  I know I need to be more patient with you, please be patient with me.  I’m learning from you as much as you are learning from me.

Always remember that I love you.



This month, follow the link to Kerry Varnum | Kerry Varnum Photography’s letter to her beautiful daughter.  After reading her words and seeing her awesome photography, follow the links around the circle of amazingly talented, awesome mothers writing to their sweet little girls.


Letters to My Daughters | Spring is here!

Dear Girlies,

Spring has finally arrived!  Yay!


Spring Break has come and gone, and, although it snowed for the first couple of days (so un-springlike), you managed to have some fun.  When it warmed up enough, you played outside and rode your bikes.  We baked and decorated sugar cookies, did cool art projects, and got a cool package in the mail all the way from New Zealand!  We also spent Easter weekend with Nana, Pop Pop, and LaLa.  Overall a good week!

The weather for the past week has been wonderful…warm and spring-y.  Flowers are blooming everywhere, and so many fun events are going on!  Just in the past week you’ve hunted for and found four leaf clovers in the backyard, we’ve planted tomatoes and marigolds in porch planters, we’ve visited a goat farm, and played in the water from the garden hose.  Warmer weather is a lot of fun!

Ellie, you’re having fun being right in the middle of everything.  You want to do everything your sisters are doing, and you adore being outside.  You ask to go outside by going to the door and pulling on the knob (you can barely reach it now…getting so big!) or pointing out the window. You’re very adamant about getting what you want, too.  I’m sure the coming months are going to be challenging, but amazing to watch you learn and change!

Meredith and Lilah, you have a month and a half of school left before summer…it may seem like a long time, but it will fly by!

My girlies, I hope we can have lots of fun this summer too! I’m already looking for fun activity ideas for y’all to do, and events to go check out.  We’re lucky to live in a great, family oriented area with lots of parks, museums, and community activities…the problem usually is figuring out what to choose!



This month I’m linking to Laura Mood | My Everyday Blessing Photography.   Please go read her letter to her beautiful little girl, then follow the links around the circle of amazingly talented mothers.  The past two months have been wonderful, and I’m blessed to be a part of this group of loving mothers and talented artists.

Laughing goat says….

I suck at blogging.



I have no idea how mommy bloggers do it.  Seriously, no clue.  I have every intention of writing a post, and then…well, usually I get sidetracked.  And that sidetrack get sidetracked.  And so forth.

Ah, well.  As long as I post something sometime.  🙂

Letters to My Daughters | 18 months

Dear Eleanor,

You’re 18 months old!  A whole year and a half!


Your personality is blossoming more and more every day!  You’re trying to communicate with us, and you get so frustrated when you can’t.  The time is coming when you’ll be able to tell us what you want or need; one of these days you’ll figure out that you can say words and sentences and getting what you want will be a little easier!  😉


We got you some new pink shoes and you LOVE them!  You HAD to have them when we found them in your size (you wanted us to put them on you right there in the store!), and you love wearing them around.  Even over your footie jammas.


Your new pink shoes on your footies! Please note the toys and stuff on the floor. That’s all you. 🙂

Other than your new shoes, some of your favorites right now are:

Foods: Cheese, grape tomatoes, mini sweet peppers, watermelon, pickles, whatever Mommy is eating
Drinks: Ice cold water and breastmilk (yes, you’re STILL nursing.  All day AND night.  It’s good for you and all, but you can cut back anytime now…)
Toys: Blocks and Duplos, Busy Bee, Laugh and Learn Puppy, Little People stuff
Activities: Cuddling, playing outside, drawing with crayons, climbing on things


I love you, my wee little girlie!  Even if you don’t let me get a good night’s sleep, run off with my cell phone multiple times a day, lure me into the kitchen just so you can play in the fridge, lure me in the kitchen so I get you a snack that you take one bite of then start whining for something else, unfold the laundry right after I’ve folded it, and cry because…well, most of the time I don’t know.  I love you no matter what.

You and the remote...the other thing you love to run off with!

You and the remote…the other thing you love to run off with!




This month I’m linking to Emily Jackson | Cat and the Fiddle Photography‘s beautiful words to her sweet little girl!  After you read Emily’s letter, please continue around the circle of wonderfully talented ladies and read the letters they’ve written for their little girls.  Last month’s letters were amazing, and this month’s are sure to be as well.

Letters to My Daughters | My Creative Girlies

One of the many projects I’m working on this year is something called Letters to my Daughters. At least once a month I will write a letter to one or more of my awesome girls chronicling something awesome they’ve done, mommy gushing over them, imparting some random bit of wisdom, or just because.  At the end of the year, I plan to make them a book of these letters…a keepsake and photo journal of their childhood.

I’ve joined a blog circle of other fantastic, talented mothers also writing Letters to their daughters.  I look forward to reading their letters and seeing their beautiful children.  This month I’m linking to Laura Mood | Everyday Blessings Photography .  Please take a moment to read her words to her beautiful daughter.

Dear Girlies,

Earlier this week we sat down and made letterboxes for school Valentines.  As always, I enjoyed watching your creativity with the materials you were given, and seeing the final products that reflect your personality and vision.  You have been blessed with creativity and the abilities needed to take your creative ideas and bring them to life.  Use these blessings often, and use them to better yourself and your world! Don’t ever stop being imaginative, and don’t ever stop creating – even when it seems pointless, or you think it’s terrible, or you think no one likes it.  Just keep writing, or drawing, or painting, or singing, or dancing, or however you feel like creating. Have fun with your art, express yourself through it, and enjoy it.  CREATE FOR YOURSELF, and let your personality shine through in your work!




And little miss E, you’ve got the world ahead of you!  You’re creative, too…you love to dance and draw.  I’m looking forward to watching you discover and develop your talents!



I love you, my  talented girlies!