snowshoeing. with littles.

I took Willa for a winter hike when she was 6 months old. She slept a bit and then wailed a lot.

We tried taking her snowshoeing at 19 months. More wailing.

This past weekend, we went for it yet again, and it was a huge success. Minimal wailing! Apparently 2.5 is the ideal age for riding on your parent’s back and looking at the views between snoozes. Although, our 12-week-old rocked it too. He slept the entire 2 hours we were hiking.

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I think outdoor adventures with little ones are the definition of hit or miss. Sometimes it goes wonderfully and other times it’s a total disaster. But either way, as parents, you still get some fresh air and make some memories. We are always glad we gave it a try.

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Cameron demonstrated that the easiest time to do these things is actually when they’re super little. They just sleep! (Having a second has really made me realize/remember how easy infants are overall.) Once they’re a bit older, they’re less likely to enjoy being confined to a carrier. Until they get a bit older still, as Willa demonstrated, and they realize walking can be tiring and they’d rather be carried.


The only thing I’ve really learned about parenting is that nothing ever stays the same. Once you think you have it figured out, things change. So, last weekend was a great time for our family to go snowshoeing. Maybe next time it won’t go as well. Or maybe it’ll go better. You never know. It’s all part of the adventure…right?

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being in the moment


Sometimes when I’m reading blogs and looking at pictures of amazing people doing amazing things, I find myself wondering how much of their fun outing they spent trying to capture it in photos. Were those photos really shot quickly and effortlessly? Or were they staged and took 20 tries to get right? The blogger obviously wants you to think the former, but I’m sure it’s some of both.

I love taking pictures. Always have. When we’re out and about I try to snap photos when the mood strikes me, and then later I’ll see what I’ve come up with. I rarely have a specific shot I’m trying to get, but I do sometimes find myself trying to get some “good shots.”

My family was in town earlier this month. All of them. Mom. Dad. Sister. Future brother-in-law. We had a lot of fun. And they were a lot of help (2 kids to 6 adults seems like a solid ratio, no? ). Willa was in heaven. They were so happy to meet Cameron.

There was family time. Double date night. Mom-daughter time. It was great! But I didn’t take many pictures. On one hand, that makes me sad. But on the other, it makes me realize I was enjoying life and just living it. And I have lots of memories to cherish. Even without pictures.

walkable sledding

When we bought our house in 2013, one of our main critera was “walkability.” We wanted to live somewhere that allowed us to easily walk to the places we frequented. Park. Restaurants. Coffee. Library. Post office. Grocery store.

One thing we didn’t think of: sledding hill.



After the snow fell at the end of 2014, there was one thing on our mind: going sledding. At two and a half, this winter Willa is old enough to partake, and Dan had prepared us well by arranging for Santa to bring her a shiny, new, inflatable sled.




In the past couple weeks, we’ve been hitting up the local sledding hill on the regular. To walk there, I’ve been putting Cameron in the Beco on my front, snuggled into his Patagonia fleece suit, and Willa jumps on her dad’s back in the ergo. (You can’t trust a toddler to walk even a few blocks when they’re cold from the snow. Last time she fell asleep on the way home and it wasn’t even noon yet.)

Even though it’s a bit of ordeal to bundle everyone up and strap each child in a carrier, it’s so much more enjoyable to walk there than to take the car. (I swear, car seats and winter just don’t mix. The coats are too bulky! The snow and slush get all over the place. The buckles won’t tighten. Grrr.) It’s just so nice to get some fresh air and (cautiously) catapult yourself down a snowy hill. I love the community it brings out: parents and kids of all ages, hot cocoa and other libations, dogs, smiles. Good times. Cameron even took one run with me. He was sound asleep. I’m sure it was memorable for him!




willa’s best night ever

On New Year’s Day, Willa woke up two hours later than normal, and was two times crankier than normal at the breakfast table.

As she whined and wailed, we joked that she must be a bit hung over. She’d not only stayed up late on New Year’s Eve (not midnight-late, but 10pm-late!) but she’d also had pretty much the best night her 2.5 year old self could ever want. There’s always a let down when you realize such fun is over, right?


We went over to our friends’ house and continued our family tradition of making pizzas (we just started it last year, but at least we’re 2 for 2). It’s always fun to have an activity on NYE, and pizzas are always a great thing to eat, no?

So, for Willa there was pizza-making (= cheese eating). There was lots of milk to drink. Then there were chocolate chip cookies for dessert. There was lots of playing with her friend Henry and all his awesome toys. There was a viewing of the best movie ever (Frozen), and then there was more toy playing. And she wore not only sparkly shoes but also a sparkly barrette. Plus the staying up late. And dancing too. Like I said: best night ever.






And don’t worry. The rest of us had a great night too. Happy New Year!


christmas highlights


Finally: stockings for all members of the family!

Willa’s excitement after the last small ornament was velcroed to our new-this-year advent tree. Meaning: Christmas tomorrow!


Walking down the street on Christmas Eve morning to hear the Christmas carolers, followed by a stop at the park to enjoy the beautiful weather.


Willa making a gingerbread house with Grandpa and Barbara.


This shrimp dish for Christmas Eve dinner. With delicious wine.


Wearing Cameron in the Solly wrap amidst the festivities.


Watching Claymation Christmas as a family on Christmas Eve and then reading our special pop-up version of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.


Willa’s excitement about leaving out cookies, carrots, and eggnog for Santa. And when she sneaked upstairs on Christmas morning to see if he’d eaten the cookies. She was supposed to be taking her stocking stuffer bath toy to her bathroom, but she didn’t skip the change to run up one more level to the tree to check things out.


Eggnog lattes with Morning Fresh farms nog from Marczyk Fine Foods.

Forgetting to send some of the stocking presents I’d bought for my sister. Baby brain?


The $13 used train set I found at Goodwill in November. Divided into three boxes from Santa, it was just as awesome of a gift as I’d hoped it’d be.

Running with Dan on Christmas day. Just the two of us. (And feeling bad we forgot to take Bryna with us.)

My Little Pony lip balms from the dollar store = Willa’s favorite gift on Christmas day.


Matching PJs (+ sibling love!?).


So many generous, thoughtful gifts. For Willa: Imaginets, books, an ice cream scoop set, Duplo Legos, clothes, new Keens, a Take-A-Part Airplane, Dot-a-Dot markers, a modern sock monkey, and more…

Afternoon eggnogs with whiskey.

Santa bringing Willa Frozen: She called him (obviously) last week to ask for it, and after Wal-Mart didn’t have the Blu-Ray version, we ordered it in the nick of time from Amazon. We then forgot to put it under the tree because it was so small, but we snuck it upstairs as the unwrapping was coming to an end. As she opened it, she quietly and thoughtfully said, “He remembered.” Who knows if she’ll remember, but we definitely will!

Snow on Christmas day.


Five pounds of beef tenderloin, also from Marczyk. Much of it went into the freezer, but the portion we had for dinner was divine. I even had seconds!


Cameron sleeping 8.5 hours Christmas night. Apparently the festivities wore him out!