| fifty-one // fifty-two |

Because today we marched. We are unable to make it to Washington for the big Women’s March but we’re thrilled to make it to the sister march in Columbus today! Harper fought a nasty fever all week and I really debated going, but the dread of not participating, not taking action hung over my head. Fortunately the fever broke, my mom decided to come and we made a family day of it!

There is so much to march for, and I am slightly embarrassed to say how many times I nearly broke down in tears. I marched for the strong women who helped raise me; my grandmother, my mother, my aunts, and wanted to set example for the future; my daughter and niece. I don’t want my daughter to grow up feeling like being a woman set limitations, I want her to be able to choose what happens with HER body, and most importantly I want her to feel valued by a society who sees her as equal.

There is so much to fear with the upcoming inauguration, but today I saw hope. I saw why sitting idly by is not an option. I saw husbands supporting wives and daughters, past politicians standing for what is right even if they aren’t looking for a photo opt, and I saw that even though Ohio has passed some oppressive legislation there are still so many who see a woman’s body and mind as her own!

This all slams into the fact that this blog was started just over 1 year ago. It’s still small, there is still more to accomplish, but like Judy Hopps “I don’t know when to quite!” (So much Zootopia this week!)

// favorite movie //

Sorry Frozen, another strong female lead took your place at the throne, Zootopia is queen! I think I maxed out at 6 showings in one day…work can not come soon enough!

// proudest moment //

Today Harper cheered, she clapped and she chanted. I hope she grows to be a strong independent woman like her grandmother, and grandma’s mommy. Who showed her, and me, you can be mothers, wives and work like a boss!

| forty-eight // fifth-two |

Because now I have a teenager who has opinions on the clothes we buy her, hats she wears and even has an opinion about what songs we sing. It’s wild how over this last week I have seen a huge jump in our little ones independence, but what is weird is how she is clinging to routine. Sounds contradictory right?!

Usually at dinner time to get her out from under my feet I have Harper “help” with dinner, basically push the buttons to preheat the stove. If I even think about going near the stove now she insists on “helping cook dinner,” every time. On Friday night we decided Harper needed some more fleece jackets for daycare since they get demolished each day, this girl was sorting through racks, picking out dresses, saying “oh this is so cute!” I mean what?!

// favorite accessory //

It’s really a toss up these day between beanies and sparkly toes. This weekend we decided it was time to experiment with pedicures and gave the little one Frozen toes. Ever since watching the Angel Olsen video where she wears a tinsel wig this one is obsessed with sparkle. I mean it’s pretty typical girlie.

// biggest hurdle //

These new found opinions making leaving the house each day more and more challenging. My grandmother always believed giving children choices made them strong individuals, so she gets one, but it never goes as planned. I ask “would you like to wear the green hat or pink” her response is “the Star Wars hat” which isn’t something that exists so we have to circle back around to what does exist!

| forty-seven // fifty-two |

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Because today was Daddy’s birthday and we made sure to celebrate his 39th turn ’round the sun in style. The main reason we moved to Ohio was for the better of our family, we rarely had days off together and never had any time just as a couple. It was one of those adult decisions you make when you realize your happiness means a whole hell of a lot. Today was a day I felt damn proud we made that choice!

We started off with French Toast and lots of coffee, his favorite, then bundled up to explore our first Ohio snowfall. Harper was really unsure of the snow getting on her boot, but was stoked it looked like Frozen outside. Our little bean has been fighting that daycare cold so we filled our Sunday with every bit of Holiday merriment we could find in Franklinton. We explored some artists lofts, hit a pretty rad femme powered market and listened to some great life music, and ended with a course of Daddy’s favorite meal. Now we are cuddled watching The Big Sleep while I sip some wine and recap our day.

We love exposing Harper to what we love and I am happy we don’t get intimated by bringing her along. Harper sat right in front of the stage to better dance to, devoured a cookie while daddy did some shopping and then passed out from all the excitement.

All-in-all a great day with a great little family! Go out and explore, expose you and your family to new adventures. Experiences are the best memories!

| favorite activity |

After bath time our favorite thing is to wear a hooded towel and sing the imperial march from Star Wars while watching ourself in the mirror. Everynight, we call it Darth Vader towel. It’s adorable to see Darth Vader dresses as a unicorn and smiling.

| new demands |

Anyone else have a demanding 2 year old who does things like “mommy drink water on stool!” It’s wild the odd things that need to happen for her to feel calm. We can’t decide if she is OCD or just likes to boss us around as payback…

| forty-four // fifty-two |

Because she is getting so big and I am cherishing every cuddle this one allows…even if they are passed out walks from car to bedroom. I missed a post last week because well that is life. Last week I was fighting another bug, what many new daycare moms assure me will be another drop in an ocean. 

This week Harper has been obsessed with “helping” which is really just a way to make each task last a few moments longer. Currently her favorite is folding laundry, feeding the dog, picking up her room, and putting items into the trash. I am glad she is wanting to do what she can around the house, but some tasks must wait till after bed time. 

We went to a friend’s last night, seeing many people I hadn’t seen in years and who had never interacted with Harper. I was amazed by what a well behaved little toddler I seemed to have acquired!

// favorite toy //

Baby Elsa, there are two, who have recently been outfitted in some very 80’s colorful gear. Moving back to the Midwest and staying with the parents means seeing many of my toys making a comeback. There is even a Polly Pocket floating around!

// Mom’s new focus //

We are working on “please” and “thank you” when Harper gives us her demands. “Mommy stand over here,” which I reply “say please?” I know this will be a lifelong struggle but for now trying to avoid a little tyrant who is demanding her mom stand on a rug while she eats cheerios.

| forty-one // fifty-two |

Because a little girl asked to be a fox and I threw together a Frida Kahlo costume for the Zoo. Daddy was fighting a migraine and wasn’t up for the family costume (fingers crossed for tomorrow) but he insisted on escorting us to Boo at the Zoo so Ms. Harper could get some trick-or-treat training.

I always love Halloween as a kid, I was always the kid with a different costume for each event, but life has gotten in the way the last few years so I was excited to experience it through a toddler’s eyes. Harper has been getting obsessed with everything Halloween. It’s been “Halloween spider,” “Halloween pumpkin,” and all that jazz. We have been practicing our “trick-or-treat” delivery, and sharing every Halloween tradition we have with our little one. 

She is fully healed from last weekend and about two days away from completing her antibiotics. This week I have noticed how advanced her language has become. I have also heard her work through building sentences. I have quickly seen my baby depart and my advanced toddler shining through, that was until she let me wrap her in a towel after her bath and rock her while she rested her head on my shoulder. I could barely lift her but held on as long as she allowed. 

// heart-melting moment //

Harper was walking away while we watched Star Wars (per her request) and I said “I love you Harper, but be careful!” She responded “I love you too Mommy!” And que pride, waterworks and smiles!

// most frustrating toddler-ism //

“What’s this?” I think it’s her “why?” but I am not sure I can take it asked 35 times about things she already knows what they are! I mean, ugh! I love this kid but I have started just asked “I don’t know, what?” after each go around.

| thirty-five // fifty-two |

Because we had big plans for the weekend but then mama got hit with a hell of a cold, think swimming in a sea of tissues and mucinex cold, so we stayed home. We helped Grandma bake cookies using her childhood cookbook, went for a walk along the water and mom caught up on her Harry Potter.

This week was also my first full week back to work, and Harper is definitely adjusting to the new routine and having Dad as the primary caregiver. Mama is the rule-maker so the “routine” has been a bit deconstructed. She is also testing her two year old limits which is testing Dad’s patience, this was not helped by being stuck in bed with the death cold! 

We had a big weekend planned, exploring a music festival in a new hood, getting to an apple orchard and a flea market for Sunday. While it’s always nice to take a step back and relax this girl seems to thrive in the hustle and bustle. Luckily we all survived, and we are finding staying at Grandma’s is giving us special access to her year’s of experience with an excited two year old!

Monday starts a new week and we are already planning next week’s adventures!

// favorite new TV show //

Sid the Science Kid has entered our morning PBS rotation and Harper is hooked! Not sure my feelings yet, but I am going to say I kinda felt like we needed some new shows! Also am I the only parent who doesn’t get Paw Patrol?! We tried to watch it this weekend and Harper was not a fan…

// the struggle known as potty training //

Before we were Ohio bound Harper was on the panty track! She had dry diapers between changes and was asking to use the potty…fast-forward three weeks and we are back to potty fights and full diapers. I hate to say it but she even pooped in the tub about a week ago!

Am I a potty-training failure? I feel like the inconsistency from Daddy is killing this girl’s potty game but not sure how to start again!! H-E-L-P

| thirty-three // fifty-two |

Last week kind of ran away from us, really it was a nice thing. There was a million things happening and I completely forgot to post our weekly portraits, it was amazing how much happened in a 7 days span.

First…we had mom land a job, then we celebrated the babe’s birthday where my sister announced she was in labor, the next day a new baby girl named Madison graced us with her presence, we spent a WHOLE day at the zoo, and we ended the week with Harper spending time with Grandma’s Mommy and the rest of our extended family. 

Yes, all that happened in just 7 days!! Now I am back on the grind, sitting in a hotel room and reminiscing about our magical time together.

| thirty-one // fifty-two |

On Tuesday we spent out last day together as a family before shipping Harper off to her grandma’s for a week while we finished packing. We spent that last day with my husband’s family honoring the memory of his mom-mom and pop-pop. We gathered their ashes in a little tote bag and headed to the bay where they had spent many happy summers. We visited all their favorite spots, said a few prayers and then had a toast and ate some ice cream cake. 

It was a very emotional day for my husband who had been incredibly close with his grandparents and saw them as his parental figures. It was one of those days in your marriage you feel such strong empathy for this person you love, and feel so amazed to share an amazing connection with another human being. It was a beautiful last day, and such a great good-bye to this part of the country that has been such a huge part of my husband’s life. 

In just three days we will be reunited with our little one, and begin our new chapter in the mid-west. Together as a family!

// newest love //

Grandma is a hit! I am amazed by how quickly Harper has taken to my mother. As my dear friend said, “who wouldn’t love your mom!” Honestly, I was a little worried since I have never spent a day, let alone five, away from my little one. We had one FaceTime full of tears, but everything else has been “my grandma” and it makes me so proud of our little brave girl!

// most adorable //

My mom has a piano and was excited to show Harper. Needless to say it has been a hit!

| twenty-nine // fifty-two |

Because this week we went to one of my favorite brunch spots to eat in a greenhouse, buy a plant, and do a little shopping. This girl was a picture of perfection during our brunch, only later our little toddler came out to play. But more about that later…

These next few weeks we are trying to squeeze in every favorite we have in this city. Terrain is my favorite place for brunch, mostly because of the fact you get to eat truffle fries in a greenhouse. I was excited to see all the beautiful flowers out for this girl to stop a smell. We bought a plant for our lovely sitter and played with the gravel. 

Wildflowers always hold a special place in my heart since my grandfather, who Harper got her middle from, always kept a beautiful garden in their backyard filled with pathways, butterflies and some of my fondest childhood memories. I love that this little one seems to feel the same since we had to stop to smell each one. Once we went from flowers to playing with gravel we decided to pack up and head into the city to bring Dad our leftovers. 

Due to lack of nap our visit to the city became an emotional one, and I know I may sound terrible for saying it but her crying face makes me so happy. It’s just the most precious and heartbreaking thing wrapped with sweetness. I know when we are elbow deep in those terrible twos I may not feel the same way but for now each cry makes my heart melt for more reasons then one. 

// life-ending addiction //

This girl with the phone has become epic. The meltdowns asking for mommy’s phone are those parent legends are made of. We gave her one of our old phones so she could see “pictures of baby” and test mommy and daddy’s phones seem to be all that matter. How have other people dealt with this? Seriously need some assistance!

// sweetest moments //

After much fighting now this girl asks for kisses. Before bed, in the middle of a conversation or sometimes when she just misses you. Be still my heart.

| ten // fifty-two |

Because this week life has been a bit bonkers, professionally and a bit personally, so this Daddy had to step into night-time duty, potty trainer, and little toddler wrangler. After working 7 days straight, two with this little party monster, I was ready for a FULL day off with these two. Sometimes as a mom it can feel like you are the only one going through the life changing path of parenthood, but what about dad. 

After a minor breakdown to my husband, we realized we were both feeling the same stresses and pressures but not talking about them. Being a working parent is incredibly difficult, hoping to work on a post about balance, relief and how to support your partner through it all. 

In the meantime here’s some pictures of two of the bestest friends…


favorite saying //

“Come on!” Usually said if you don’t do what she wants. Hysterical, but never serious!

big step //

Potty training is here!! Tips, tricks and support is always welcomed!!!