Thursday, November 27, 2014

pretty. dang. thankful.

I really had to search deep to find something to be thankful for this year. 

Or not. 

I never in a million years could have imagined how thankful I would be on Thanksgiving 2014. 

I pray that you find today filled with love and hope. Thank you for all the support, humor, love, and hope you have shared with me this year. I am incredibly grateful for each of you. 

I'm pretty thankful for this little turkey, too. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

much ado about nothing important

Warning: This probably isn't going to be the most exciting post ever. It might actually be the least exciting. If you aren't interested in my deep inner turmoil regarding baby gear, you probably wanna move on. If you choose to stick around...I will reward you at the end with a picture of Camilla. Win-win!

So as you've probably gathered, I didn't do a whole lot of research, pro-con lists, and comparison shopping for 90% of Camilla's stuff. A whole bunch of her stuff is hand-me-downs. The great thing about hand-me-downs is that a) they are free, b) sometimes they are on LOAN- which means you can give them back and don't have to figure out how and where to store them when you're done with them, and c) they eliminate the need to make a decision about that particular product. Could I have researched car seats to death and driven myself insane wondering whether I was picking the absolutely most perfect one on earth? Sure. But when my friend offered to give me hers (in great condition, not expired, blah blah blah) for free...well, that was a much easier decision. Yes, thank you. And thank you for saving me from hours of frantic debate and inner turmoil.

(As a side note, I think that I'm a much different mother now than I would have been if we'd gotten pregnant when we first started trying. I used to be WAY more controlling and Type A about everything. Probably because I thought I was the Master and Commander of my own destiny! The Boss of (my) Life!! I COULD CONTROL EVERYTHING!! And so I used to be a serious over-researcher. I would have spent at least two months debating car seats, guarantee it. And equally long on every single other little thing, too, down to the pacifiers. How exhausting.)

(Instead, I spent a few years researching, debating, and trying various methods of family building. I guess that wasn't really any less exhausting. I suppose I've just maxed out my personal ability to care Google extensively anymore. Ha.)

So my laissez-faire approach to baby gear meant that if I could find it as a hand-me-down, I'd take it. If I had to purchase (or register) for it, I'd pretty much just ask a trusted friend or two what they recommended, search my heart to see if it had any strong opinions about color or style, and make a decision. It took me about five minutes, on average. If I ever needed a tie-breaking vote, I'd consult the Amazon reviews and pick the item that got better ratings. Such an easy-breezy democracy I had going on!! (Then again, most people are picking out baby gear while they're sitting around marinating a fetus. I had a precious baby already in my arms, and I'd much rather spend my time squeezing her cheeks than scouring message boards for the inside scoop on crib sheets.)

This was all well and good and worked fabulously. I've nearly broken my arm giving myself pats on the back for my relaxed attitude about the whole thing. Way to not work yourself up into a tizzy over bottles, Erika! You go, girl! The only time I regret my gear-choosing-method is when other new moms or moms-to-be ask "so why did you pick the _____?" and I have to be like...ummmm....because it was blue?/because I found it at a yard sale?/because my friend said it was good and so I believed her? Then I feel lame. But otherwise it's great.

ANYWAY. All that is to say that now it's time to decide what high chair to get. My mom is going to get it for Millie for Christmas, but we need to pick out what we want. And all of a sudden, my don't-care attitude has LEFT THE PREMISES. The one I picked out a few months ago and registered for? Ehhhhh...I just don't know if that's really the right one now. So I've been researching. Comparing. Debating. And it's kind of annoying me how much I suddenly care. I mean, it's a high chair. She'll sit in it, get food all over it, and hopefully not plummet to the floor. In other words, it's nothing so important that I need to be devoting hours of my free time to researching the situation (well, besides the not-plummeting-to-the-floor-ness of it. That part is important.). AND YET I AM.

So now I'm bringing you into this incredibly important and fascinating debate. Please tell me you have a strong opinion about high chairs and you know exactly which one I should get. Bonus points if your high chair recommendation can also prevent food allergies, pickiness, and self-clean.

Here we go.

For the longest time, I thought I wanted a high chair like this:

I like this kind because it looks like furniture and not plastic baby junk. I'm sorry. I'm superficial like that. It's going to sit in my dining room, and incidentally, my dining room is not decorated in neon pink plastic, sooo...I felt that something like this would look better. And's a high chair. There are straps and a tray and so surely it would get the high chair job done...and not offend my eyes too badly. So this is what I always thought I wanted.

But now I'm not so sure. I started reading reviews, and it seems like maybe this isn't the easiest kind to clean. And it's not as adjustable as (hideous) plastic ones. And a lot of people complained about it. Oh, and it doesn't have straps to go over the shoulder, so smaller/younger kids weren't nearly as secure in it. And so despite its good looks, now I'm just not sure it's the right thing. Easy on the eyes? Yes. But is it as practical as other kinds?

So then I decided on this one*:

It's definitely more in the plastic-kid-crap genre, but at least it's not bright colors. It's kinda simple and streamlined, and I thought that maybe the ease of cleaning and five-point harness would make up for the diminished visual appeal. But then I read some of the one- and two-star reviews (I know, I know...probably a mistake, but I always have to check and see what people are complaining about!) and (shockingly) now I'm just not sure about this one. The tray may not be as easily cleanable as other brands, and it has a huge footprint. Oh, and someone said it looked like an elevated toilet seat, and now that's all I can see. I can't put my baby on an elevated toilet seat!!!!

Ugh. Moving on. Then I debated whether I even need a standalone high chair. Could I just use something like this one*?


Ha, it looks really funny and squatty now that I've been staring at the other two long-legged ones. This is the kind that sits on top of one of your regular dining room chairs. I can see the huge advantages there- mainly, NO HUGE CONTRAPTION HOGGING YOUR FLOOR SPACE. We have 6 chairs at our table, and since it's just Matt and me sitting there, we could certainly spare one for Millie. You can also remove the tray and just pull the child up to the table- I like that idea. What I don't like is the thought of having gross food stuck all over my nice chairs. They aren't hard to clean (fake leather seats, no fabric or anything), but still. Ew. And our seats don't roll, unlike most high chairs, so I couldn't easily move her around once she was sitting there. And obviously, if ever the situation arose where we DID have lots of guests over and needed that chair...then we'd be out of luck. Either Millie or a guest would have to sit on the counter to eat, and that's just not classy. OH- and also, this option is like 50 times cheaper than the standalone high chairs. So that's a bonus.

Okay and now I'm really running the risk of putting everyone to sleep, including myself. So I won't go on and on, but know that these are merely three of about a ZILLION high chairs I have debated and considered over the last few days. So please- if you have any experience or opinions about these, help a sister out. I feel lame asking for help, but then least we're already set on her car seat, crib, swing, stroller, baby carriers, glider, and...practically everything else. So rest easy knowing there aren't that many things left that I can beg for help choosing. (Except convertible car seat. That's next and it'll probably be a doozy. Sorry!) 

And remember who you're helping here:

Only the world's cutest baby in Santa jammies!!!! Don't worry, I've had no problem choosing festive holiday jammies for her. My sister and I went to a consignment store on Saturday and pretty much wiped them out. But seriously- these red ones have a button-up BUTT FLAP on the back and it is the most adorable thing ever. Also, totally useless. BUT ADORABLE.

*Amazon Affiliate links- if you purchase something by clicking these links, I may receive a small commission (from Amazon, not you!).

Monday, November 24, 2014

the most thankful thanksgiving

We celebrated an early Thanksgiving with my family in Augusta this weekend, and I can honestly say that that the thankfulness wasn't limited to a meal this year. From the minute I got there until the minute we left, my heart was just overwhelmed with gratitude and joy over how many good things we have to celebrate this year.

I've wanted a baby for quite a long time (understatement). My sister also wanted and prayed for a baby- and when she got pregnant and I was still heartbroken and waiting, it broke her heart. I will never forget how hysterical sad and apologetic and happy and angry she was when she had to tell me that her dream had come true and she was pregnant. It took a long time for me to convince her that I really WAS happy for her- and I was! But I loved how honest she was- she'd always dreamed and imagined that we'd have kids growing up together. And she was mourning the loss of that dream the same way that I was.

And then we met J, and we were expecting, and Camilla was born, and then our adoption finalized, and then Laney was born...and in the space of a few months, our mourning has turned to rejoicing and our tears are long gone...and this weekend, we celebrated that. We both have babies. Girls. Cousins two months apart in age. Against all odds, we became mommies together and will get to experience our greatest joys (and struggles I'm sure!) together. It's so wonderful I can hardly stand it.

Blurry but beautiful to me anyway. And obviously we dress the girls like twins as much as possible because that is our love language. We dressed ourselves like twins growing up, despite the fact that our five-year age gap meant that we weren't really fooling anyone for a long time...but we didn't care. Dressing alike=love. So the girls will be twins until and unless they develop their own opinions and want otherwise.

Jake, Emily, and Carley were with us all weekend as well which meant lots of together time for all the cousins! Carley loves her baby cousins and really loved helping with their bottles and their pacis. And trying to steal their pacis. 

Laney: This is lame | Millie: This is so sad and scary! | Carley: I've got a boog to take care of...
 My parents were in Grandparent Excitement Level Code Red. And we can thank Mom for the awesome matching jammies. She understands the importance of dressing alike, clearly!

Millie and Laney are not impressed.

Jake (my brother) and Carley, Mark (my BIL) and Laney. You oughta know Matt and Millie by now...

I love this picture of all the dads and babies!!! Eeeeeekkkk!!

It just made my heart so happy to watch everyone loving on and holding and passing around the babies all weekend...and to finally be a part of it. To watch my own daughter be passed from grandparent to uncle to aunt and to see my siblings snuggle and kiss on her and tell her how much they love her and gaaaaah I am going to start crying. It's just that so many things smack of redemption these days, and this is yet another. For every holiday I spent crying in a bathroom, now I get to have a holiday watching a sister-in-law or grandparent rock and sway and comfort my baby, and it's just too much. It's perfect.

She hasn't quite figured out the art of selfies yet, but I'm sure we'll get there!
 We had a quick photo shoot in the backyard to try to get a good Christmas card photo. There aren't any photographers in the family, but I figured I'd put the good camera on auto, assemble some semi-coordinated outfits, find a decently lit spot, and hope for the best. And it went pretty well!!!

This is not the picture we put on the card (which I ordered approximately 15 minutes after the photo shoot concluded, hahaha...I am not a patient woman sometimes!), but it is basically the best picture ever. EVEN LOLA IS LOOKING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION!!! I am in love with this picture and plan to plaster it everywhere. You wanna talk about heart-healing?? Looking at this picture does it for me. I feel the broken pieces mend together a little tighter every time I look at it.

This is my family. My family. Forever.

(I'm gonna cry now, so bye!)

Thursday, November 20, 2014

pretty pictures: in a field

I realized that I never shared the 'posed' photo session Kristina did when she visited in September! I was so in love with the real life pictures, I barely even paid attention to the Posing In a Field ones. (Side note, but I swear- one day in 50 years our grandkids are all going to be like why were all of your pictures always in fields? Did you live in the country? Were neighborhoods not invented? And we're going to be like...ummm, yeah. It was 2014. TAKING PICTURES IN FIELDS IS WHAT WE DID. People drove good distances for the right field, sonny!)

Luckily, the field we posed in is less than a mile from our house. There are certain advantages to living in the sticks. Such live in the sticks. There are fields.

We are happy in a field! The light shines blissfully upon us!

Oh look, a baby! In a field!

Stop it, I can't even mock this one. That is damn precious.

Someone told me that your arms look skinnier in fields if you put your hand on your hip. Can't hurt, right?

Good thing there was a bench- standing in that field was getting exhausting!

Awww this was before Mills went bald on the back of her head...


Smooching in a field with a baby. Of course!

This one is precious. 

OH MY GOSH WHAT IS THAT THING??? Oh, a hand. Cool.

Oh look, Mom quit trying and took off the scarf and pulled up her hair because IT WAS 10,000 DEGREES OUT THERE.
Okay okay okay. I mock, but I really like the pictures in a field (and it was me that requested it, so don't think anyone dragged me out to a field against my will or something). I had thought that I might pick one of the Field Pictures for our Christmas cards, but now I don't think I will. First of all, my arms look fat in all of the pictures (besides the hand-on-hip one, but you can't even really see Millie in that one and I have a hunch that people care more about seeing Millie's cute face and really couldn't care less about my arm pudge). Second of all, this is so long ago that Millie looks like a totally different person. And now she can SMILE- wouldn't people want a more recent picture where she's smiling? In these pictures, she's about 2 weeks older than in the birth announcement picture. So like...I just think I need a more recent picture for Christmas cards. And I need to wear long sleeves. So it looks like another trip to a field will be in our near future.

As before, all pictures are copyright Kristina Boothe Photography. If you need pictures in a bed or in a field (or by an ocean, since she actually lives in Jax and does most of her pictures on beaches...lucky...), she's your girl!

Monday, November 17, 2014

another riveting weekend!

We had a relaxing and uneventful weekend- which is evidenced by the fact that I had the time and motivation to blog on Saturday, ha. So if you're like most of the world and apparently don't read (or write) blogs on weekends, be sure to catch up on Millie's nursery tour from Saturday! Or don't. I mean, if you hate cute rooms, you won't like it.

We spent some time on Friday night introducing Millie to her new toy that a friend loaned us!

That face can't lie- this thing is like a rager for babies. And an eyesore for adults. Once I finished photographing the nursery, we moved this thing back there and now just imagine a giant plastic contraption plopped down in front of the window, blocking the closet door, Lola's access to the window, and all the good feng shui vibes we had going. Oh well. At least Millie has big fun playing in it!

We took advantage of the cold weather and not having any plans and spent lots of time lounging around in our PJs. It was pretty miserable, obviously.

Blurry, but this adorable face is worth it!
 A couple of weeks ago we got rid of our DirecTV. It felt pretty traumatic at the time, but less so when I take into consideration that a) they kept taking away all the channels we liked anyway (like AMC- with no Walking Dead, what's the point in cable anyway?), b) we will save lots of money, and c) Netflix added a lot of HGTV shows, so I can still get my fix. After an initial period of mourning, now we don't even miss it much- the exceptions being when there are awesome football games that we can't find online to watch. Anyway, a few weeks ago Matt ordered some fancy-shmancy alien-looking antennae thing in hopes that we can pick up some over-the-air channels. In theory that wouldn't be hard, but all of the stations we could theoretically get are from Atlanta, and it's just too far to pick them up well. We've had antennae in the past that failed to get anything except a very grainy Spanish channel...and while I enjoyed trying to translate telenovelas for about 10 minutes, it really wasn't that great.

But Matt remained convinced that with the proper antennae and the right rooftop installation, we could get some TV. And on Saturday, after some death-defying walks across the roof and up and down ladders, he proved himself correct!! We now have a handful of stations that are unbelievable high-def and clear!! It's so exciting- we got to see actual live sporting events!! (And possibly more importantly- I will be able to keep up with The Bachelor/ette when it starts back!) And it seems that about half the stations we get primarily air old westerns, so if you notice me taking a new interest in movie genres...that's why.

Anyway. High five to Matt for persevering through my disbelief and also for his ingenuity in rigging up the new antennae through our old DirecTV satellite and wiring so that there aren't cables running across the house and through windows! 

Sunday called for kicking Millie's wardrobe up a little notch. And repeatedly dying over her cuteness.

Seriously, Mom? MORE pictures? Get a life, woman!

She expressed her appreciation for my impeccable sense of style by gifting me with some new accessories.

That's right- my hair and shirt look way better adorned in spit-up!

To offset my gross accessories, I gave myself a ridiculous manicure last night.

Wine color-Essie Bahama Mama; Sparkles-Essie Jazzy Jubilant
My fancy nails are completely unnecessary thrilling me to death, but it's one of those things where as I'm enjoying looking at them, I'm simultaneously thinking about how in a short time (two years? five, max) I will see this picture and groan and say omg, that is SO 2014...what was I thinking?!?! So Future Self, please know that I realize how dumb this trend probably is, but it's harmless enough, so I'll enjoy it while I can. Also, hopefully my future self will have learned how to not paint her cuticles while doing at-home manicures. Present self hasn't mastered that skill yet, clearly.

It's Monday morning, I'm back at work with my baby sleeping beside me (her Monday morning babysitter picks her up here, so she comes in with me for a little while!) and I decided it was time to turn on my Pentatonix Holiday Pandora station. It's gonna be a good day!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

millie's nursery tour

It's weird- although I'd been dreaming about and planning Millie's nursery for years (since long before we knew it would be Millie), and then got it started last fall, and then ignored it for 6 months before cautiously opening the door again, and then working on it some more, and then bringing her home to it, and then finally having showers and getting it all REALLY took a long time for it to occur to me that it was really done. I guess it was a work in progress for so long (years!!) that it only just recently hit me that it really is pretty much complete. Sure, I'm still waiting to get 'real' pictures printed for the frames...and there are a few things still in progress for the gallery wall...but for the most part, it's really done. And I realized I'd better hurry and take pictures of it before she's grown. Or at least before she learns how to make a mess.

So here we go. It's as done as it's been, and it is by far my favorite place in the whole house. Now don't go getting any crazy ideas about her actually sleeping in there. She has yet to spend a night in her own room, and I will probably put that off for as long as possible...maybe until we need to convert the crib to a toddler bed? Ha. But we enjoy rocking and reading in the glider, changing diapers and clothes on the changing table, swinging in the swing, and lounging on the floor to play (and not do tummy time, because homegirl will have NONE OF THAT).

I've included links to as many items as I could find, but a lot of it is older/out of stock, thrifted/gifted/handed down, or DIYed. 

So...welcome to the happiest room in my house!

Glider* | Crib* | Lamp | Ottoman
This is the view as you walk in. It's not a terribly large room, so I was happy to find a crib and glider with a smaller footprint. The art above the crib was something I crafted over the summer, and the picture of the framed vase was something I found at an antique store a few years ago. The curtains were the very first thing I ever made for the nursery, waaaay back in January of 2012! They were the fabric that inspired the color scheme for the whole room. A lot of the smaller furniture items (ottoman, side table, pillow) are from Target's college dorm 'back to school' line from late summer/early fall. It really worked out that they made EVERYTHING in that turquoise/teal color that perfectly matched my colors...and it was all dirt cheap!

 The pumpkins were part of the decor at my work shower in early November! My friend/co-worker Diana made the most thoughtful, fabulous, and nursery-colored decor...I was thrilled to bring it home and decorate with it (until it rots, ha)!

The blankets on the swing and the glider were both handmade by some amazingly talented friends!! Brooke made the orange and turquoise striped one and Jennie made the turquoise and gray chevron one. 

The crib skirt and bumper (THE HORRORS!!!! Please recall- she doesn't actually sleep there.) fabric and the changing table were both adventures from last fall. The white trash can is our cloth diaper pail; the silver one is for actual trash. The white 'corner' shelf was a thrift store find and I change what's on the shelves at least twice a week, ha. The basket thingy (that is probably supposed to be a fruit holder?) holds her hairbows and pacifiers. Always important to keep those things handy!

Currently this shelf holds her blankets and a basket of socks!

I got the idea for the baskets on the wall from Pinterest (shocking!) and found the turquoise baskets in the college dorm section at Target (also shocking!). We keep her cloth diaper covers in the one on the right (the inserts are in a drawer). The left basket has some disposables (she wears them at night) and burp cloths (90% of them were in the wash when I took this picture, ha). I absolutely love the convenience and storage that those hanging baskets give me! And the wreath on top was a random two-second project with some leftover fabric from the crib bedding. That wreath moves around frequently, too.

If you ask Camilla, the most important feature of the changing table area (and probably the entire room) is what hangs over it.

This is Monkey, a random toy borrowed from her activity mat and hung from some linking chain toy that I rigged up. It was a desperate attempt to distract her when she was in an "I hate being changed" phase and ended up being QUITE effective. Now she loves to laugh at and talk to her monkey- it's SO cute, and actually doesn't look too tacky, so I let him stay. What a giver, right?? ;)

This is the wall opposite the crib. The shelf is one that was in my bedroom growing up; I stole it from my parents' house, painted it gray, and now it's Millie's! This is where (most of) her toys and books reside. The books in the basket in the corner are library books- important to not get them mixed in!

The wreath on the closet door was made by a friend of my mom's! I absolutely LOVE it!

Great is Thy Faithfulness print
The child in the "Camilla Ann" frame is not actually Camilla Ann. Stock photography for the win?? Mama needs to order a 5x7 print? Something like that. The Jesus Loves Me was something Matt's mom cross-stitched for him when he was little! I found a frame and spray painted it and love that we have it in Millie's room! The 'believe' one is actually a greeting card that a sweet friend gave us last fall when we were expecting Ellison. I love the colors and am thankful for the reminder to continue believing, even when things aren't easy.

 Booooooooks!!! Obviously we are fans. I hope Millie is too!

And that's pretty much it. I'm going to come clean and admit that I did put some of the less beautiful things away in the closet before I took pictures (activity mat, Bumbo seat)...but this is pretty much how it looks! Last night we actually received an exersaucer/bouncy thing on loan from a friend...but it's still parked in the living room, so I didn't technically have to hide it away. And I have no idea where it's going to go because WHY ARE BABY TOYS SO HUGE AND PLASTIC??

My goal in my pre-pre-pre-baby nursery-planning days was that the room would be gender neutral and happy. I feel like I accomplished 'happy' pretty easily, and gender neutral became slightly less important once it was established that Millie is a girl. I have no idea if we'll ever have another baby to use this nursery, but I feel like I could pretty easily adapt it to be more 'boyish' (which really, I hate the whole girly/boyish thing arbitrary and socially-constructed, but still. Whatever. At least it isn't pink??) if the opportunity arose. In the meantime, Matt and I love the room, Millie will hopefully love it one day (and not want to redecorate it in obnoxious cartoon characters or something ahhhhhhh!!!), and Lola seems quite appreciative that 'her' room is finally something besides four blank walls.
Photo credit Kristina Boothe Photography

 And really, at the end of the day, the room doesn't matter. It could be pink or black or non-existent and we would be fine. All I care about is the girl that (sorta) lives in it.

Photo credit Kristina Boothe Photography
Thanks for visiting! If you're ever in the neighborhood, feel free to drop by and rock for a few minutes and soak in the happy. It's pretty fantastic.

*These Amazon links are affiliate links. In theory (this is the first time I've ever done this, so I have no idea if it really works, ha), if you were to click on a link and then purchase the item, I would receive compensation.

Thursday, November 13, 2014


It's random thoughts or nothin' today...and since I've already picked nothin' for two days in a row, we'll go with the random thoughts.

1. This working mom gig is no joke. In case you were under the impression that working 40 hours a week (45 if you count the commutes!) plus raising an infant was some kind of walk in the park...well, it's not. And to top it off, it's dark by the time I get home so WE CAN'T EVEN GO TO THE PARK. Waaah. So it's not easy BUT I must say- it's still better than I thought it would be. I cram more than I ever thought possible into the minutes when Millie is sleeping so that I can be fully present and engaged every minute that she's awake and we're together. Matt and I have all of these lists around the house (Things To Do At Night, Things To Do Before Work...) and we're being super proactive about everything and therefore so far I can say that we haven't been too overwhelmed by anything. The laundry stays in check (including the diapers). The house isn't a wreck. We cook and eat 3 meals a day. Her diaper bag(s) are always properly stocked. And in addition to all of that and work, we have this fabulous little person to love and play with and snuggle and we absolutely couldn't be happier. Tonight we even crammed in 30 minutes of circuits while she napped before dinner. Since exercise is definitely the most prominent thing we've given up lately, that made me feel like today was extra-successful! (PS. In case it didn't seem abundantly clear here- every single 'sacrifice' is infinitesimal to what we've gained. I am so incredibly grateful for the opportunity to be a working mom because it means I'm a MOM, and that's all that really matters.)

2. Since I don't get much down time now, I've become highly selective about how I spend it. As you may have observed...blogging doesn't make the cut every day. Ha. My spare hour or so at night is usually split between trucking through Gilmore Girls or reading. I've read some GREAT books lately. I kept thinking about doing a book review post, but like...nahhhh. Too much work. I'll just share my current fave. In a separate bullet point, of course.


But Erika, you're probably thinking, that looks like yet another YA dystopian trilogy! Haven't you gotten over those yet? Aren't you 31 and not 15? Aren't they all basically the same?

To answer your very judgy questions...Yes, No, Yes, Yes. BUT SERIOUSLY YOU NEED TO READ THIS SERIES. I'm not quite finished with Book 3 (I picked blogging instead!!), but they are AMAZING. Sure, in a way they're very much like all the other YA trilogies of late. BUT in another way, they're better. One of the best differences is that the back story on this one (like, how did The Country Formerly Known as the United States become some insane dystopian society?) is FAR more believable and plausible than usual. They don't really explain that until the 2nd book, but when they do, you're like whoa. That could actually happen. And then THAT could happen and then THAT could happen and then OMG IN TWO GENERATIONS WE COULD BE LIVING IN THIS STORY!!!!! It makes the whole thing much creepier and more awesome. Also, there isn't nearly as much teenage angst in these, in my opinion. Sure, there's a teenage romance, but it's compelling without being quite as eye-roll-worthy as in other books.

So anyway, in conclusion, add these to your library holds list and thank me later.

4. I was looking at my Google Analytics yesterday and noticed that one of my favorite old posts must have gotten discovered and shared and re-shared on Facebook, based on tons of new visitors all coming from FB to the same post. And it just happens to be last year's Christmas Grammar Intervention. And you know what THAT means- it must be Christmas card season again!! I had planned on doing Christmas cards this year (hello cute baby!), but I feel like I just got done addressing our birth announcements like five minutes ago and I STILL haven't finished my thank you cards, sooooo...all of a sudden, doing another mail out doesn't seem nearly as appealing. I don't know. Does that make me the Grinch? 

5. I really try to avoid sharing the same photo on multiple platforms, but sometimes it simply can't be avoided. My deepest apologies if you already saw this on Instagram the other day, but see...I've looked at it 282929491 times and still think it's the best thing I've ever seen, so maybe it won't annoy you too badly. 

Sometimes Camilla gets to come to my work and spend lunch hour with me. This is evidently what she thinks about it:

Dying. I just die every time I see it. AHHHHHHHHHHHH she is so stinkin' cute!!!!

But for the sake of fairness, this was really just one of her many facial expressions she made in about 4 seconds. Matt caught all of them with his fast thumb snapping lots of pictures.

See, really she likes it there. Or something. Maybe.

That's all I've got. Have a great Thursday!