my weekend in pictures.


{Eloise tried her first artichoke & it was a success!}


{Date night to a whisky bar to see an old friend!}


{Eloise saw Grandpa stretching & wanted to join in on the fun!}


{After a quick – & unsuccessful – stop at the Nordy’s Anni Sale, we stopped by the Lego store & Eloise got to play for a bit.}


{Eloise joined Grammie in namaste at the end of a yoga session.}


{Four adults in the house after bedtime always means Catan!}


{Eloise, Aaron, Grammie, & Grandpa watching the boats at the Ballard Locks.}

Grammie & Grandpa were visiting from out of town, so it was such a fun treat to have them here. We did a few touristy things like Pike Place Market & the Ballard Locks, but lots of projects & things got done around the house too – thanks!

How was your weekend?


my weekend in pictures.



{Eloise has been super into tea parties lately and it is the cutest thing ever!}


{We spent some time enjoying the afternoon shade & some chalk while we waited for Papa to come home on Friday.}


{After running a few errands on Saturday afternoon, we hit up Gas Works Park for a few minutes. Eloise had never seen the view of the skyline from the park, so that was a must! It was such a pretty day to watch the boats on the lake, the planes taking off & landing, & all of the people at the park.}

After the park we met Ben & Sarah for a drink at Miir in Fremont. And there was this insanely adorable puppy outside. These photos are amazing!



{Seriously, puppies & toddlers!}


{We tried a new food truck for dinner on Saturday since we were all starving and it was too late to cook. An interesting name, but we will be back for the potstickers & curry!}


{Saturday ended up being really hot, so I ran out to Safeway on a popsicle run, Fudgsicles specifically. And then we watched a few episode of Bloodline. It’s a little slow but I know it’s going to get good!}


{Eloise wanted to wear the Ergo this morning with her baby doll Stella and then pretty much wanted to wear it all day long, even though it is SO big on her! I know they make Ergos for little kids & I need to find one for her. She was so sweet with her baby, rocking & patting & shushing & making sure she had her paci. It is amazing what she has learned from watching Aaron & me!}

We had a pretty low-key weekend which explains why there aren’t too many pictures to share. Gearing up for an eventful end of July!

How was your weekend?


our week in indiana & chicago.

As many of you know from my weekend in pictures post at the end of June, we were in Indiana visiting Aaron’s family. We just got home a few days ago last week & I wanted to be sure to share (lots of) photos from the trip!

We spent the first part of our trip in Indiana where we got to see lots of Aaron’s immediate family.


{Papaw Sam, Charlotte, & Eloise played “ring around the rosy” & Eloise loved it!}


{The two youngest granddaughters! Eloise & Charlotte are 10 months apart.}


{Eloise likes to wear her (sun) glasses when it is bright outside (the sun is out)! We headed to the Indy Children’s Museum with Aaron’s sister Cari & her two youngest kiddos.}


{All the kiddos in the race car.}


{Eloise was not happy about leaving, however.}


{Eloise enjoyed the wooden blocks. Some of them were the magnetic ones which sort of threw her off a bit, but she picked it up soon!}


{Charlotte & Eloise loved this wind tunnel. It had a stream of air where you could put the scarves & they would blow all around!}


{We caught music time & made a soundtrack to Goldilocks & The Three Bears. The kids really liked the instruments.}


{An Aaron & Eloise selfie.}


{She was patiently waiting for Aaron to build a really big tower & then she knocked the whole thing down, Godzilla-style.}


{Eloise’s second time on a merry-go-round. This was taken before the ride started. By the time I saw them again (one lap), she was off the horse & in Aaron’s arms! Maybe we need a little more time before the merry-go-round is fun…}


{Eloise had a good time playing in the make-believe soda shop!}


{When you are Indiana in the summer, you have to eat corn on the cob. Eloise got the hang of it pretty quickly!}


{One evening while Aaron & Sam were walking a few of the greens, a hot air balloon landed! We could hear other ones flying over & around the house too.}


{We made it on a playdate to the Indy Zoo with the Garner-Ballard clan!}


{The kiddos were so good & this aquarium window was perfect for the trio of littles!}


{Shark watching.}


{The whole crew of us. So amazing to see you Garner-Ballard family!}


{Saying our good-byes. Silas was so sweet with Eloise.}


{We made sure to stop in & see Eloise’s great-grandma Eileen.}


{And we lunched with Kait & Oliver. Despite her face, Eloise really loved them both. So good to see them too!}


{We had a fun evening with “Uncle” Colt & went out on the houseboat for some swimming & shenanigans. Eloise wanted to drive!}


{Oh man, these three. I also realize that Eloise was not wearing a life jacket. She was safe, I promise!}


{Eloise looking like her doll Louise – overalls and pigtails! The overalls E is wearing were passed down from Aaron’s oldest brother & to the rest of the three siblings which makes them almost 40 years old! I love this tradition!}


{We headed to Maggi’s house one morning for a Lower family get-together. Family generational photos were a must.}


{Neither of us take a lot of selfies, but this is Eloise taking a selfie (she’s saying “cheese!”) so she must have learned it from someone!}


{An attempt to get a picture of these kiddos.}


{This was the result. Thanks Eloise & Crosby!}


{And look who happened to be in town – Kendra! It’s like we planned it… Thanks for being an amazing host Maggi!}


{Eloise in deep conversation with her great Aunt Sharon.}


 {After lunch & headed to the car. Maggi gave all of the kids a bucket full of goodies & Eloise held onto that bucket all weekend long!}

We headed up to Aaron’s grandfather’s lake house for the holiday weekend!


 {Welcome to the lake!}


{Being at the lake house means being on a boat. So here’s a boat selfie.}


{Aaron pre-backflip!}


{Nearly all of Aaron’s (maternal) cousins & Aunts & Uncles were up at the lake for the weekend. That is one BIG family!}


{Aunt Molly with her youngest nieces & nephew!}


{Eloise being a ham.}


{Happy Fourth of July from the Lower/Cambridge kids! These are all of Eloise’s cousins.}


{Eloise, Maddie, & Charlotte doing Sudoku. Maddie was so patient with the little ones.}


{Selfie with Aunt Jodi & Landon!}


{Yes, s’mores! Worth the bug bites & smelling like a camp fire.}


 {Testing out the selfie-stick!}

And then we headed to Chicago for a mini -vacation (just the three of us)!


{We ended up in this great little Airbnb in Logan Square & it was super kid friendly! Eloise is obsessed with rocking horses.}


{And even though we didn’t have a car in Chicago, we still had the car seat & Eloise took full advantage of being able to play in it. She loved to be buckled in!}


{We stopped into the Longman & Eagle for apps & drinks. It did not disappoint!}


{A homemade pretzel, meatballs with polenta, & a cherry soda. Amazingly good!}


{Mama & Eloise twinning. The best! And this is pretty much the best picture we could get. The other ones are of Eloise holding her dress up to show her belly…}


{Family photo in the park. Eloise was happy despite her stoic look.}


{For breakfast on the way to downtown we stopped in at Bang Bang! for biscuits. It was mind-blowing! If you ever are in Chicago, please go. There are pot pies & regular pies on the menu as well. We were able to chat with the owner Michael who gave us a sampling of pies after breakfast – SO delish! – & he was super cool. He gave us some tips about where to dine for the rest of our trip.}


{We took the L downtown. Even though we live in a big city, I am still in awe when we visit a big city!}


{Papa & Eloise. I think she was ready to get out & run around!}


{Cloud Gate – aka The Bean – did not disappoint!}


{Mama & Eloise!}


{Love this little family of ours.}


{After Cloud Gate & Millenium Park, we stumbled into the Chicago Symphony playing the musical accompaniment to this silent movie. It was really cool! I wish we could have stayed for the entire film.}


{Across this really cool footbridge from Millenium Park is Maggie Daley Park. It is this enormous playground that has all of these little play areas for kiddos. We could have spent hours & days at this park, but it was so, so hot (100 degrees with the heat index!) so we got just a sampling. The water features were nice for cooling off!}


{Down the slide!}


{She often goes feet first down the slide.}


{Just one of the many play structures at the park. Do you spot Aaron & Eloise down there by the slide? They climbed all the way to the top of the tower & came down the tube slide.}


{Eloise really liked this dribbling fountain.}


{Aaron got us tickets to the Cubs game at Wrigley Field. Luckily our seats were in the shade! What a cool stadium!}


{It was just before nap time, but Eloise would yell “Go Cubs!” & put her finger up in the air when she heard the crowd cheering.}


{And she was out. For about 40 minutes.}


{Obligatory picture with the marquee sign. It was so packed with people after the game!}


{At Michael’s suggestion, we went to Parson’s for dinner in Logan Square to celebrate National Fried Chicken Day. I don’t know if this was an actual made-up holiday or not, but we went with it.}


{Eloise & I breakfasting before we left for the airport.}


{After many, many hours of travelling by train & plane, we were happy to be on the light rail headed home. Eloise & Aaron did pull-ups to pass the time.}

Phew! What a trip! It was hard to be gone for so long, but it was nice to see so much family since we have only been getting back about once a year these days. This was also our last hoorah trip since we didn’t have to pay for a seat for Eloise. Though, I am sort of looking forward to the extra space when we have it!

Eloise was such a good little traveler &, even though we set our expectations really low, she far exceeded them. She was really good on both plane rides & took a short nap. We snacked a lot, drew on her new doodle pad, & played with her mermaid stickers. We had Sesame Street downloaded just in case, but we didn’t even need to bust that out, which is good because we were assuming it would completely occupy her but we don’t know since she doesn’t get official screen time yet!

Where are your family travels taking you to this summer?


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my weekend in pictures.


{Started the weekend off right with the Dixie Chicks! My friend Jenna & I had a fun girls’ night out without the babies or our husbands. It was a great show & I hope it’s not another 10 years before they go on tour again.}


{Sadie’s new favorite napping spot is under the dining room table.}


{We hosted a PEPS playdate on Saturday morning & the kids got along so well! Eloise gave hugs all around.}


{Eloise had some quality time at the playground before dinner on Saturday.}


{During Eloise’s nap today we finally went thru and organized our freezers – the one in our refrigerator & the chest one in our utility room.}


{After being out of town, the yard needed some work – I am in charge of the flower beds & Aaron is in charge of the grass! – so we headed out this afternoon. Eloise thoroughly enjoyed herself & helped me weed & clean up the beds. And have you ever seen such a stylish gardener?}

After being away for so long & then hitting the ground running, we needed a nice, slow weekend. There were lots of naps, laundry, & unpacking. We are gearing up for the coming week & mid-July?! And Eloise turned twenty-three months today!

How was your weekend?


eloise {month twenty-three}


{lion: jellycat via Nordstrom // top: babyGap (old) // leggings: Target (old)}

{month twenty-three} You guys, twenty-three months? How did this happen? Eloise definitely seems like a toddler these days, but I am not prepared for a two year old!

Building on last month’s counting, Eloise can now count in French almost completely unprompted. She usually forgets four (quatre) but every other number she knows & in order! We are still working on counting in English, Spanish, and Japanese, but French is her absolute favorite!

Eloise talks & talks all day long, unless we are with new people & it takes a bit longer for her to warm up. One of her new favorite things is to talk in “ing” verbs: singing, walking, talking, holding, eating, etc. She is always verbalizing what she is doing, what she wants to do, or what she sees someone else doing with an “ing.”

More and more Eloise has started to play with other kids, rather than just parallel play which is what happens when babies are young. We still have weekly & monthly playdates with our PEPS groups, plus Eloise got to see almost all of her cousins on Aaron’s side just this past few weeks, so there have been lots of opportunity to interact with other kids her age. She does really well, I think, socializing & sharing, especially since it is so new & she does spend a lot of time with me playing independently at home. At some point Eloise will be in pre-school (either this fall or winter probably) and I think she will do really well!

When it comes to doing anything, Eloise has decided she wants to do it herself. Typical toddler, right? Getting dressed, brushing her teeth, turning on the bath water, walking down the stairs, buckling her car seat. You name it, she wants to do it herself! As long as I give her some control or let her try for herself first, she will accept some help from Mama!

Lots of people have asked about whether Eloise has had a haircut & the answer is no. And I don’t have plans on cutting it anytime soon! As you can see from this month’s picture, her bangs are finally growing out! They are still in her face quite a bit, but we are nearly to the length where I can tuck it behind her ear. It is long enough to put in two awesome pigtails or one ponytail which has been really nice for the summer since she still runs warm. She also has a pretty serious cowlick that isn’t really visible when her hair is parted, but when you try to put it straight back, it rears its ugly head.

Eloise still really loves books. Her favorite series is the Hello, World series: London, Paris, New York, and San Francisco. She points out the opposites in London, the shapes in Paris, the colors in New York, and the numbers in San Francisco. It is pretty amazing how much she has learned just thru bedtime reading.

Busy, busy & constant motion is basically Eloise now. A blur. She loves to run & thinks you are supposed to yell when you run which is pretty entertaining. I don’t see her stopping anytime soon!

{weight} 30-ish pounds.

{hair} dark (reddish) brown.

{teeth} 12 teeth plus four molars.

{eyes} dark brown.

{clothes}  18 to 24 months, 2T, and some 3T.

{diapers} full-time cloth {bum genius pocket, & elemental and grovia hybrid with organic soaker pads} & honest company size 5 diapers at night with a bum genius diaper cover.

{feeding} during the day, three meals, morning snack, & afternoon snack. sippy cup of milk with every meal.

{likes} digging in the dirt, splashing, counting, chewing on her toothbrush, the mailman, any person outside on the sidewalk, bubbles, sidewalk chalk, coloring, buckles, jumping, watching out the front window (dogs, kids, trucks), books, mama & papa’s cell phone, toys that squeak or rattle, singing & music, dancing, Sadie, standing, FaceTime, bathtime, her snack cup, shoes, mama’s (diaper) bag, clapping, putting things inside a bag or box, taking lids off of things, talking, helping with anything & everything, when Papa comes home from work.

{dislikes} not being included, having something taken away from her, diaper changes, not eating when someone else is, being hungry, getting into the carseat, getting out of the carseat, having a poop in her diaper (& sitting).

{nicknames} Bug{s}, Love Bug, Baby Bug, E, Wheezy, Kiddo, Love, Bugaboo, Ellie or Elle.

Happy Twenty-Three Months Eloise!


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my weekend in pictures.


{We met up with the Andersons for coffee on Saturday morning, & Eloise & Jaz had a great time playing together. Eloise loves playing with my keys!}


{On Saturday afternoon we went to a first birthday party for our little friend Willow. Eloise had a fun time with the balloons, bouncing house, & slide. Happy Birthday Willow!}


{Summer means the Nordy’s Anni Sale is right around the corner. I love the sneak peak catalog. Better start saving my pennies since Early Access is in just a few weeks! And for those that have asked, the Skip Hop mat we have in our living room was a big sale find I found last year.}


{Nice weather meant we took a family walk after naptime. Aaron wanted an extra-good workout, so he Ergo-ed Eloise. We ended up down at a local  beer pub. Pies & Pints, for a refreshing beverage & snack!}


{Bright & early Sunday morning we hopped in an Uber & then on the light rail headed for the airport. Mount Rainier was out on our ride over & it was so beautiful.}


{After a relatively uneventful flight to Chicago – Eloise did SO well! – we jumped in a rental car & headed to Indy.}


{Nearly our entire drive into Indiana was under dark, gloomy rain clouds. And we just a got a little bit of rain & also this double rainbow!}

We are in the Midwest this week visiting Aaron’s family & enjoying the hot summer weather! The flight went so well, & Eloise did a great job drawing and entertaining herself. No meltdowns & we didn’t even have to bust out the TV shows we brought as back-up! She napped for about 30 minutes but was in a good mood, so we didn’t think too much of it. Even the car ride went well though we were all SO ready to be done travelling. We got into Aaron’s parents’ house late & then Eloise fell apart. She did not want to go to bed & got really hyper since she was so tired. Poor kid. After lots of tears, Aaron finally got her to sleep (in the wee hours of the morning). Fingers crossed we will transition to East Coast time soon & we’ll get our good sleeper back!

How was your weekend?


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friday I’m in love.

Welcome back Friday!

{one} Screen Passes.


{via Crib to Table blog}

We haven’t officially started screen time with Eloise (beyond FaceTime with family) & are just starting to talk about what that might look like. As much as we want her to be technology literate & know there are benefits to (some) screen time, we figure we have gone this long & why rush it? She doesn’t know what she is missing & we think she is better for it!

When Denaye posted this blog post called “My kid asks to watch TV all day long” I knew it would be good. She has set up a system for screen time that allows her 2.5 year old son four 15 minute passes to watch a show (once in the morning and once in the evening) and includes a visual timer. For me personally, this is genius! It gives your child freedom & choice in when she wants to watch TV (using the passes back-to-back or not) but maintains some structure so you don’t end up in an endless power struggle! Thanks Denaye for a great tip! What do you Mamas do about screen time?

{two}  YHL Bonus Room.


{via Young House Love blog}

Even though they aren’t blogging regularly anymore, John and Sherry of Young House Love still do awesome home DIYs. (And have you tuned into any of the new podcasts yet? I haven’t but it’s on my list!) Enter their finished bonus room. Swoon! If there is one thing I could change about our current home (& the one I will live in forever!) is to add a big bonus room space. I love that this is a family-oriented space with lounging space for movie nights (which doubles as a guest bed) as well as toy storage and creative space for the kiddos. Now I will go and plot adding a guest space… by raising the roof (literally?)!

{three} Cup of Jo: City Guide Seattle.

City Guide: Seattle

{via Cup of Jo blog}

Does anyone else like to read thru city guides for cities they either live in or grew up in? I find city guides to Seattle fascinating because there are so many things to see in a single city & it’s hard to pinpoint just a few highlights to visit so that you feel like you have seen a bit of everything. We live in the very north side of town & don’t venture outside of our neighborhood that often (but we should!) but we have both lived here for many years, & yet I don’t recognize any of the places listed in this Cup of Jo guide to Seattle! So maybe we have a travel bucket list for our own city! (There are City Guides for Nashville, Minneapolist, & NYC here!)

What are you loving this week?


Be sure to check out June’s Linky Party below. And we are taking Fridays off this summer, so we’ll be back after Labor Day!

Happy Summer!