st. louis

Hi, ol' friend. It's good to be back. And I hope you had a restful, peaceful Advent and Christmas season.  There is so much to update you on, but let me first share with you our photos from a St. Louis trip back in October.  Yep, October. My computer has been collecting dust for the last few months and I've been re-teaching myself how to be present to my family by unplugging, un-blogging, and deleting social media (that's another post for another day).  

In October we went to St. Louis to meet up with our good Louisiana friends Greg and Rebecca Fontenot.  Brad and Greg met in med school and have been buds ever since...and the minute I met Rebecca I knew we would be lifelong friends.  They have two kids the exact ages and genders as ours (Peter and Elizabeth...see, they even have similar less-weird-versions of our names!)  And they are just about the kindest people you could ever meet.  Here's a recap of our trip: 

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I think my favorite memory from our few days in St. Louis was seeing the boys at the zoo. We had such a fun day! Pier went crazy over the polar bear and the hippos. Heck, I did too if I'm being honest.  If you've never seen a two year old see zoo animals the joy is contagious, let me tell you.  Some other stand out memories: attending mass at the basilica, visiting the science museum, and throwing the frisbee in Forrest Park.  Peter and Pier were really sweet playing together...they always had to hold hands or give each other hugs (there were also tantrums -- mostly Pier lol -- because of toys, but I don't like to dwell on that typical two year old behavior ;)).  We were there for only four days but Pier kept referring to Peter as "my best fwyan".  Heart melting.  

Traveling with kids is exhausting but always worth it.  Except that time we all caught a stomach virus from said Fontenot family the day we got back to Indiana and were basically dying for a week afterword.... I'll spare you the details on that one. 

wishing you and yours...

...a very Merry Christmas! Thank you for following along this blog and being such a supportive community to be a part of.  I apologize for my lack of presence here, but promise to resume writing once the holiday craziness is over.  I have lots to update you on!  For now, enjoy the sacred Christmas season with your loved ones.  Turn your phones off...forget about the TV and the scrolling on a screen...and just soak up those life-giving conversations and traditions that we all hold dear.  I'll be spending the upcoming weeks in Louisiana with my family doing just that!

From his fullness we have all received, grace in place of grace...
— John 1:16
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May the peace of Christ reign in your hearts always. 
(And may you never be too old for matching holiday jammies and Mariah Carey dance parties;))
Love,
Emily, Bradley, Pier, Eulalie, and Gertie the Cat

halloween 2017

Happy All saints day!  Last night, we drove to the quaint little town of Noblesville for some fun trick-or-treating with friends.  Eulalie went as a snugly polar bear, and Pier dressed up as a llama this year (...if you want to walk down memory lane with me, HERE he is as a chicken the first time he went trick-or-treating).  What can I say, I have a weak spot for babies in animal costumes.  I actually can't wait to start doing family themed costumes and dressing up all together -- maybe next year will be the year?!

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Like any holiday with children, it was filled with a lot of joy and good ol' fashion fun.  We ate chili and (the parents) drank beer and even stopped by the local fire station where the firemen were giving out candy (you can imagine how much joy that brought to my two-year-old-truck-obsessed-llama).  

He also loved all the Halloween decorations -- the skeletons, ghosts, and "pun-kins" in particular.  Pier looks so stoic in all these photos probably because he took this trick-or-treating business very seriously. He was on a mission to get that candy and we had a hard time keeping up with him!  Don't worry, he was very polite and said "trick-or-treat" to each person he met on his way...he was a bit confused at what to do during those the first few houses though and started helping himself by walking inside their homes after he got his treats.  He learned by the end of the night that we don't walk into stranger's houses.  

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One last thing...The day before Halloween, we carved our very own pumpkin and Pier was in absolute AWE of it.  His favorite book right now is Pumpkin Moonshine by Tasha Tudor and he soaked up every second of carving our own.  And y'all... it's the cutest thing in the world to hear him say "punkin moonshine".  I can't wait to do it all again next year!

 

our autumn book basket

Pier and I have been snuggling up and reading lots of books about changing leaves, apple pies, and pumpkin patches.  I like to keep a thrifted basket on hand in our living room to be filled with books of the season.  Reading about the changing cycles of nature is my small way of helping my children recognize the beauty that surrounds us each season. 

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The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin | BEATRIX POTTER
The Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night | PETER SPIER
Pumpkin Moonshine | TASHA TUDOR
A Apple Pie | KATE GREENAWAY
Fletcher and the Falling Leaves | JULIA RAWLINSON
Tractor Mac Harvest Time | BILLY STEERS
Leaf Man | LOIS EHLERT
Autumn | GERDA MULLER
Thankful | EILEEN SPINELLI
 


These books are really sweet and fun to read together.  Pier has a soft spot for characters with trucks and animals, and I love books that teach life lessons in order to establish a strong moral code.  I'm always looking for new books to add to our seasonal library...are there any autumn reads that your little ones love? 

 

matching jammies

If you know anything about me, you know I am a sucker for matching my children.  I personally can't wait for the day that Eulalie and I can wear the same dress in our respective sizes and be twins...but that day is not today (you can tell I haven't given this any thought, right).  Today, I took a few sibling photos of Pier and Eulalie in their matching jammies.   We've all been under the weather the past week, so moments like this are bright spots on those hard days.  My mama heart can't take the cuteness!

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Pier fascinates his little sister.  He makes her smile so big and she loves to watch him play.  It's taken a while for Pier to warm up to her presence, but now I think we're making significant progress.  He wakes up every morning and asks where "you-wee" is and whenever he sees her, he exclaims "HI! HI YOU-WEE! HI!!!".  He's lately been really into old church hymns like "Holy, Holy, Holy" and "Come Thou Fount".  His favorite right now is "Be Thou My Vision" and he sings it to Eulalie whenver she starts crying...last night, as I was doing the dishes, Pier "taught her" how to dance while we played Be Thou My Vision on repeat.  It calms her down immediately and it's really the sweetest to witness. 

Hope you've enjoyed this rare moment of my kids being magically smiley to one another! Now I'm plotting what pair of matching jammies I can buy next...