Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

I just discovered this really cool, free app that takes video clips and pictures and sets them to music and makes it into a movie for you! I'm pretty pumped about this Christmas video from this morning!

Merry Christmas!!!

Friday, December 20, 2013


Helping daddy blow out his candles
Aubrey speaks like a 40 year old woman. My niece tells me this all the time. Her sentences are pretty wordy. There are no missing parts of speech. And she says funny and outdated sayings.

One day our friends came over in a rainstorm and Aubrey greeted them at the door by saying, It sure is rainy outside.

At 27, I still have to check myself for using well and good in the proper context. Aubrey will wake up every morning and ask me Did you sleep well last night?

Every time I put up in the DVD player for Aubrey to watch, she sits back on the couch, quietly claps her hands together and says This is going to be good!

I've been basically brushing off my niece's comments of her forty year old speech as some sort of anomaly with no clear answer to where she learned this speech.


I was making our bed the other night (moments before getting into it for the night, productive I know) and as I was laying down the third blanket to get cozied up in the cold weather I exclaimed, This is going to be great! 

Martin gave a quick laugh thinking I was imitating Aubrey, but really, that was my natural reaction to the situation. Mystery solved. I'm the forty year old teacher. I probably should stop saying Jeepers before it rubs off on Aubrey.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Raising an Addict

Getting her coffee fix

A recipe for perfect coffee. Anything less just isn't worth the effort.

1. A good mug you can wrap your hands around.
2. A spoonful of sugar.
3. A generous helping of milk
4. A chair to sit in and a window to gaze out.
5. Five minutes for sipping and gazing. 

If I don't have time for step 5, I usually skip the coffee. Coffee tends to be a weekend treat for me.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Me:  I am so excited we got that salsa as a regular item. The hot is delicious!
Coworker: Yeah. I actually had it with my dinner last night and it was really good.
Me: I just really wish it wasn't organic. 
Coworker: Why? Who cares?
Me: I don't believe in organic products. 
Coworker: Well, I don't specifically shop for organic but I don't have a problem buying it.
Me: You don't understand. In the circles I run in, I can't have organic products in my pantry.
Coworker: Well.....maybe just pour it in a bowl before people come over. 

Consider this my public disclaimer when you find organic salsa in my cupboard. It's delicious, not because it's organic, because the recipe is fantastic. 

Monday, December 9, 2013


*Laying in bed*

Martin: Are those pants silk or satin or something?
Me: No.


Me: I'm actually surprised you would say that because these are the sweatpants that you hate.
Martin: And yet you still thought I was being serious.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Gas Light

This story needs a lot of backstory to make any sense. I'm sorry. Here comes backstory.

1. Martin's 1996 Diesel Ford Truck has officially been retired. (Maybe not officially but its currently NOT running) He is now driving my old work car. A gray Camry. It looks exactly like my current work car, a gray Camry. The first night we had both of them pulled in the barn Martin took one look at the situation and said, Oh, aren't we so suburban!

2. I have a long history of never even thinking about filling up with gas until the low gas light comes on. There have been way too many arguments in our marriage centered around a long trip and my negligence with paying attention to the state of the gas light. In my defense, I have NEVER run out of gas. I have a very solid system for filling up with gas before running out and AFTER the low gas light appears.

3. This morning, Martin sent me this picture.

The attached caption to the text: Who have I become...

I'm going to call this one a win for the home team!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Sledding Season!

I want to do a post about Aubrey's adventure birthday party because it was AMAZING, but all the photos of her blowing out candles are on Martin's phone and I keep forgetting to transfer them to the computer so I keep putting off posting about this glorious event (you can't write about a birthday without cake photos).

Last week when there was gorgeous amounts of beautiful snow and perfect sledding weather (read: sunshine, no wind) the girls and I decided to enjoy the weather. I don't think the differences in Aubrey and Sylvia's personalities could have shown through any more clearly than they did in that short hour and a half sledding experience.

Here's a rundown of the morning  timeline:
8:45 AM: Aubrey is REALLY excited about the snow. She is begging me to go sledding. We pick up the kitchen and start putting snow clothes on. Sylvia is crawling around and going with the flow.
9:00 AM: We are outside. Aubrey is SUPER excited. She's making snowballs. She's throwing snow in her face. The world is great. Sylvia is super chill and happy. Her and I make mommy and baby snow angels next to each other.
9:15 AM: Aubrey really wants to ride in the sled. She's pretty excited still. Sylvia is still happy as a clam.
9:30 AM: Aubrey is NOT HAPPY. She is cold. She wants to go in the house. Sylvia seems content.
9:35 AM: Aubrey is in the house by herself "playing" the piano. A very happy Sylvia and I are still frolicking in the snow.
9:45 AM: Aubrey is inside. Sylvia falls face first off the sled into the snow. She is still happy. No cries. No tears.
10:30 AM: In the name of naptime, Sylvia happily retires to the house and to bed.
10:35 - 11:30 AM: I go outside to do some decorating on the porch. Aubrey is happy but coming in and out. Never staying out for too long. Refusing to stand in the shade.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thankful 2013

Thankful for... A husband who is hardworking, loyal, never fails to make me laugh and has perfected the art of spooning.

Thankful for... a three year old who is silly, imaginative and always has a good story to tell.

Thankful for... a baby who is nearly always smiling, eats almost anything you put in front of her and just starting taking a few steps on her own last night.

Thankful for... an extended family that is crazy, supportive, and demands our presence at their turkey tables.

Thankful for... friends near and far. Friends that never fail to make me smile even if they are across an ocean, a state away or just a few miles up the road.

Thankful for... friends that are in town and excited to swap stories over glasses of wine and lots of laughs.

Thankful for... a job that I love

Thankful for... the house of my dreams to enjoy with my family each night.

Thankful for... great people to babysit my children and help them grow and develop in so many ways.

Thankful many things. Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 24, 2013


I'm so excited to celebrate the birthday of this three year old today!


I barely know how to express in words how much joy you bring to my life. Your boundless energy. Your hilarious stories. Your ridiculous antics. You run me ragged, but I can't imagine life without your presence. You have the uncanny ability to embrace every situation as if it were a day at the beach and you make me look at life with new eyes. I know I'm the parent and it's my job to teach you, but there are so many times a day when I find you teaching me. Teaching me to stop and appreciate the beauty around me. Teaching me not to sweat the little things. Aweing me with just how smart a child can be. Wisdom far beyond your years.

The other morning I was frantically washing dishes that I had meant to wash the previous night before heading off to work. I was in the zone and barring a child caught in a dangerous situation, I was not to be disturbed. When suddenly you shouted, Mommy, look at how purple the sky is! I finally took a moment to look at the window and take in an absolutely gorgeous sunrise. I saw that sunrise because of you. You were the light of life embracing all that beauty and you allowed me to pause and embrace the beauty for myself. Thank you.

When I watch you with your sister, I can't help but tear up a little. I never would have guessed what an amazing sister you would become. You dote over Sylvia and worry about her ailments and make her giggle and encourage her to grow and learn. You are the absolute best sister you can possibly be. I love that.

I am so excited for you to turn three. I am excited for, as you say it, you to get bigger and bigger and bigger! But I am also sad. I want to bottle you up as an almost three year old and keep you this way forever. I never want to forget the stories you tell. Or the fact that you call your grey camouflage snowboots world boots. Or the way you say I miss daddy and when is daddy going to be home two seconds after he walks out the door.

For how many more years will you want to snuggle with me on the couch? For how many more years will bringing home bananas elicit a giant Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!? For how many more months will you call frost frosting? For how many more months will you call spinach bamboo? I want to bottle all the nuances and all that joy and hold it with me forever.

I know the year ahead will hold a lot of new experiences for you and also a lot of new experiences for me. Bear with me. You're my oldest child and therefore subject to all my trial and error. You're my guinea pig child (don't worry, you'll survive - I was my family guinea pig too). I can't wait for us to encounter your life together and to watch you grow into the girl you are quickly becoming.

I love you,

Saturday, November 23, 2013


This picture is unrelated in many ways, but the conversation did take place over this amazing Friday night grazing tray for dinner. Not pictured: roasted broccoli and asparagus. Mmm

Aubrey: Do you know what Eh-Be-Dee-Ah is?
Martin and I: No, what is it?
Aubrey: I will tell you. It is when you roll over. Drink your beer. Drink your milk. Then stand on a chair. Drink your milk and that's what Eh-Be-Dee-Ah is.
Us: (laughing hysterically) Oh yeah? Where did you learn that?
Aubrey: From my friends Kendyll and Leigha!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Moving to the Future (or the Present)

After dealing with a slider phone that would routinely die and need revival for way longer than most people could handle, Martin finally broke down and got a smartphone on Monday. Even though he's used my phone on occasion, you really don't realize or appreciate the features of a smartphone until you have one of your own.

Me: There was a really beautiful sunrise this morning. I didn't try to take a picture of it though. I can never get the colors to come out right in my pictures of sunrise or sunset. I feel like I see really awesome sunsets a lot and whenever I try to take a pictures the colors don't turn out nearly as bright on my phone as they do in the sunset.
Martin: I think my phone takes pictures with more detail than real life! Like if I took a picture of a tree I can look at that picture and it would look more detailed than it even looks in real life!


Martin: I think they really want people to buy ringtones. There is hardly anything for me to choose from for my alarm. One of my alarm choices is BLOWING DANDELIONS. Last time I checked, they don't make ANY NOISE.

Of course, he's still walking around with his phone in a Ziploc bag because he's so worried he's going to scratch the camera lens. This is the same guy who routinely takes photos with his finger lurking in the upper corner of the camera lens. Go figure.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Birthday Adventures

I can't believe Aubrey turns three on Sunday!!! Complete craziness! In honor of this monumental event, Martin and I spent the day with Aubrey on Monday, taking her to the Strong Museum of Play.

Martin's looking way too concentrated to be racing with an *almost* three year old

It's clearly necessary to have ALL the balls at once (of course, this action was largely coaxed by daddy)

It's a real possibility that Martin and I had more fun in the "little diggers" building section than Aubrey did.
Putting that sign on the wall was like asking Martin to build a higher tower. His immediate reaction was: Challenge Accepted!

Martin: I think you're going to have to block me. That lady has her eye on me. She's going to shut me down. You might have to provide a distraction. I need to work quickly. 
The "I built a chair!" face and then the "It doesn't support my daughter face!"

First time on a merry-go-round. Pure excitement.
 Martin: I would love to be the CEO of this place. I bet that guy is just sitting in his office, smoking a cigar and laughing.
Me: Why's that.
Martin: He's like....those suckers. I'm going to put a merry-go-round at door that way kids can beg their parents' to ride it on the way in AND on the way out.

Thursday, November 14, 2013


Me: How was the meeting?
Martin: Oh. It was good. Oh guess what?! I'm don't even collect hats, but I think I should just give in and collect them because I always get so many. They were passing these ones out and they're pretty shitty, but they were free so I took two. And then Andy pulled out some VINTAGE HATS! Check this one out! Pretty nice right? And guess what? If it gets a little cold.....hang on a second....EAR FLAPS!!!
Me: You are ridiculous. Let me get a picture of you.
Martin: Ok, great. Let me get my 18 wheeler mug. Make sure you get the ear flaps in there.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Since Aubrey has reached an age where she loves to make, create play and if we're going full cycle, ultimately destroy things, I've become obsessed with crafting. Almost every day home from work, Aubrey and I are making something fun.

Last weekend, we made an airplane out of a cardboard box.

Me: What do you think I should do to make it a little bit sturdier?
Martin: What type of warranty package do you think you're going to have on a cardboard box airplane? I'm sure it will be fine.
Me: Point taken.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Me: Aubrey, look at the ground outside. It frosted last night. See the ground is all covered in white stuff that sort of looks like snow. That's called frost.
Aubrey: Yeah. The snow made frosting last night!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Taste Test

I've gotten borderline obsessive about crafting pretend "food" for Aubrey's playroom recently. It started a few weeks ago when Aubrey and I headed to Michael's on one of my days off to purchase some felt. We made a lot of food and I was really proud of my handiwork (I'm naturally pretty uncrafty)

Felt food. PBJ. Hot dog. Fish. Hamburger. Salad. Taco. Eggs. Cheese and Crackers. Fries. Pizza.

I had a few Styrofoam balls kicking around from the solar system I made on the playroom wall, and decided they would make excellent grapes, apples and oranges. So Aubrey and I got down to work mixing paint colors and started to make it happen.

Post painting. Pre hot gluing grapes into bunches and adding a stem on the apple.

Last night, Sylvia was doing her thing crawling around the house when she let out a cough that almost sounded like she was choking. Being the paranoid parent that I am, I went rushing to see what the problem could be and couldn't find anything in her mouth that would cause that kind of cough. I few minutes later Aubrey called Martin and I into her playroom to show us something.

The apple and orange are completely massacred. They must have tasted the best. Apparently it wasn't until she got to the purple grapes that she decided to give up.
When we entered the playroom we found this sitting on the floor.

Me: Oh my gosh! This must be what Sylvia was eating.
Martin: But she only has two teeth.
Aubrey: Umm......that was me.
Me: Aubrey, why would you eat that? You know it's not real
Aubrey: I'm sorry. I just wanted to try it.

This is the same girl that says, it's just pretend every time she "makes" you something in her play kitchen. You know, so you don't accidentally try to eat her food. Apparently she's going to have to start saying it to herself.

Saturday, November 9, 2013


My sister-in-law/one of my best friend, Ingrid, is in Afghanistan. Thanks to the internet, we get to talk quite often, but not nearly at our normal pace of 1-2 times a day.

On Thursday, Ingrid sent me this message:

Post more instagram pics!!!!!!

So, I obliged and got a little obsessed with posting pictures over the last few days.

Helping me change the sheets

Quiet time

Follow along here, if you'd like!

Friday, November 8, 2013

A Really Long Winded Welcome

Still looking adorable, even with a food covered face!
Martin's brother Gabe used to hate watching children eat. He hated it so much that in typical brother fashion, Martin would text messy pictures of Aubrey eating as she learned to take her first bites just to get under his skin. Then Gabe started dating Jenna. And Jenna had a baby. And one day we were all at Mimi and Poppa's and Gabe was FEEDING THE CHILD! That's the moment I knew it was the real deal. 

After that solidifying moment, I had no doubt in my mind that one day this would come, but a formal congratulations is in order for Gabe Bruning and the future (other) Mrs. Jenna Bruning!

And yes, we're aware that Martin and Gabe are best friends and like to do everything the same. Hence: the same truck and wives with the same name!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Pickled Peppers

Aubrey: Peter Piper picked peppers!
Me: Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers?
Aubrey: Yeah!
Me: But where's the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?
Aubrey: Mom! It's on the counter......SILLY!

End of season peppers from my sister in law!


Wednesday, November 6, 2013


Martin: Ok. I have to go to the bathroom.
Aubrey: Oh, ok. I'll come watch you!
Martin: Well, I'm going to go poop. A poop is something you do in private.
Aubrey: It's okay. I don't mind. I will sit in my chair and watch you.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Rookie Move

Giant mess. Result of a rookie parenting move on my part
If you stop by our house while I'm making dinner on any given night, you're likely to find Aubrey in Sylvia playing in one of two places. The recycling or the cupboard with the plastic bowls and storage containers.

Aubrey: Mom, can me and Sylvia play with the dishes?
Me: First you have to pick up all this recycling on the floor.
Aubrey: Oh. I'm sorry I made a mess, mom.
Me: (rookie mistake) It's ok to make a mess. You just need to clean it up before you make a new mess.

fast forward five minutes. Aubrey has all the recycling cleaned up and is inside the cupboard tossing all the dishes onto the floor.

Aubrey: I'm making a new big mess! I'm making a new big mess! This is my house!

At this point in the game you'd think I'd have learned not to tell my kids it's totally fine to make huge messes, but I haven't. She cleaned this mess up after dinner and moved on to shoveling out the toy shelf in the living room all the while singing Sylvia needs some toys. It was a really productive night.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Good Man

Aubrey: Mom. Daddy is a good man. Daddy is a good person.
Me: Yes he is.
Aubrey: And you are a good man too.
Me: I'm a woman.
Aubrey: You're a wo-man?
Me: Yep.
Aubrey: Hi wo-man.
Mom, I just called you a woman! (lots of giggles)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Beach Attire

A clothed picture to protect everyone's modesty
Aubrey: (runs into the living room with a beach ball and no shirt) Mom, Lexy, Let's play beach!
Me: Aubrey where is your shirt?
Aubrey: I don't have a shirt because I'm going to the beach.
Lexy: You still have to wear a shirt at the beach.
Aubrey: Nooooo! That's silly. I'm going to the beach.
Me: Girls always wear shirts. Even at the beach. Only boys don't wear shirts at the beach.
Aubrey: No mom! I am going to the beach. I don't need a shirt.

This perspective could be problematic in the future.

Saturday, November 2, 2013


Martin: So you know that new alternative radio station out of Buffalo, 107.7?
Me: Oh yeah! I put it on my speed dials.
Martin: Well I've been listening to it a lot lately and they play this one Arcade Fire song all the time and I had it in my head today and I really wanted to hear it. I listened FOREVER and it never came on. I stopped for lunch and when I got back in the tractor they were playing some stuff that I had already heard that day so I thought maybe I missed it. It got so bad that I didn't want to get out of the cab to pee because I didn't want to miss it. And every new song I was like, this is going to be it! And then it wasn't. Finally I got so mad I just changed the station to a random station and it came on! It's number one in Canada right now. It's a real good techno song.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Halloween 2013

A little ladybug, a terrific knight and a handsome stud. Pretty photogenic crew

A few days before Halloween, dressed up as "practice":
Aubrey: Come on mom! I will be Aubrey the Knight and you will be the knight mommy. Follow me. I will lead the way.
There is a dragon in here. We need to be careful. I will lead the way.
Oh! There's a prince in here. Hello Prince. Hello. Oh, it's a friendly dragon? The prince says its a friendly dragon. Come on, let's keep going. Hello, dragon. Hello. Can we pass? You can pass. Ok thank you. Come on, mom, let's pass.

A few moment before leaving for trick or treating:
Aubrey:  I can't wait for Halloween! I can't wait for Halloween! I can't wait for Halloween!

Five minutes later at our first (of three) house:
Me: Aubrey, can you say trick or treat?
Aubrey: (hiding behind our legs) I don't want to say trick or treat.

Thursday, October 31, 2013


Me: Aubrey, that bumblebee still fits you. Do you want to be a bumblebee for Halloween this year again? And then Sylvia can be a ladybug.
Aubrey: Mom! I already told. I am being a knight!

Me: So I was thinking that me and daddy should be Jack and Jill after they fell down the hill. How does that sound?
Aubrey: Mom! You can't be Jill. You have to be a knight's mommy. And dad can't be Jack. He has to be a knight's daddy.


Aubrey in the bumblebee costume shortly after Sylvia's birth. More details and pictures on this year's festivities to follow shortly.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Ah Ba Va

Sylvia has gone from silent to constant babbling in the last few weeks.

Sylvia: Ah. Ba. Va. Va. Ba. Ba Ah.
Aubrey: Mom! She's saying V! She's saying the letter V!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Just a Few Gems

I want to walk around with a tape recording of Aubrey at all times so I can listen to her talk all day long, even when I'm at work.

I slept so well last night with my comfy and cozy blanklet! How did you sleep?

I look just like a princess! And a princess is always prepared!

Will you come join me in my playroom?

You are my teacher. How are you teacher? What are we going to learn today?

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Sack

Last year for Christmas, Ingrid got us a Cheese of the Month club. Actually it might be Fruit of the Month? Either way, each month we get a fruit, a cheese and a side (usually some kind of cracker). This month the side was a small bag of almonds that came in a cloth sack.

Me: Aubrey, would you like this little bag? You can put it in your playroom and use it to carry things.
Martin: (just barely containing his laughter) Yeah, you can carry nuts in it. It's a nut sack.
Aubrey: (ignoring Martin) Oh yay! I will go put this in my playroom!
Martin: Aubrey, can you come thank mommy for that nutsack. Say, mommy - thank you for the nutsack.
Aubrey: Mommy, thank you for the nutsack.
Me: Martin, you are disgusting.
Martin: (laughing uncontrollably) I really hope she tells your mom about that. She'll be like mommy gave me a nutsack!
Aubrey: (talking to Sylvia and not paying attention to us): Look at my NUTSACK!!!
Martin: (laughing uncontrollably)
Me: You are a terrible person.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Hard Jobs

Aubrey: Mommy, what do you want me to do?
Me: I want you to pick up all these dishes and put them back in the cupboard, please.
Aubrey: You want me to pick up all these dishes.
Me: Yes, you have to pick up your messes.
Aubrey: Is that my job?
Me: Yes, please pick them up.

Aubrey: Did I clean them all up?
Me: There's some more on the other side of the counter. Put those away too.
Aubrey: (picking up a big glass bowl) This bowl is SO HEAVY. This job is harder than I thought! Whoa! I don't know if I can do this!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Dinner Training

After a few weeks (let's be honest, probably closer to months) of feeding Aubrey a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or noodles for dinner in the name of not wanting to argue - I finally decided enough was enough the other night and Martin and I came together as the united front of eat what we're eating or go to bed. This is going pretty well, with the exception of the night that Aubrey shoved food into her mouth without really swallowing it until she puked.

Aubrey: I have to go poop
Me: Well I guess you should have thought about that before you decided to sit at the table being such a baby about dinner. Finish that plate and then you can go to the bathroom.
Martin: Wow! You're good. I'm over here thinking I'm really tough and then you go and refuse bathroom privileges.
Me: Oh, she doesn't really have to go. She just pooped before her bath. It's a trick to leave the table.
Martin: I wish you hadn't told me that because I was really impressed.

after Martin comes down from putting Aubrey to bed.

Martin: She wasn't lying. That's the biggest turd I've EVER seen come out of her.

Sylvia let's out a cry from upstairs (we're also in the midst of attempting to train her to fall asleep without a bottle and sleep through the night)

Martin: Oh kids, give it up! 
Me: Ha!
Martin: I like to think my parents' had this lighthearted banter when I was bad as a kid, but I'm pretty sure they didn't
Me: Why are you pretty sure they didn't
Martin: I don't know. I just think they were all stern and pissed even after I was in bed.

Dishes: A favorite toy in this household

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Play Pals

Lately, Aubrey's favorite thing to do is drag ( literally) Sylvia into the playroom and play with her. Usually she tells her stories or makes her dinner. Or tells her stories while making her dinner. 

Aubrey: Sylvia, I'm making lots of crazy things. Pizza and macaroni. This is my really good macaroni. 

The other night I was working late and Martin sent me this text message accompanied by this photo. 

Aubrey: dad, me and Sylvia are going to my playroom. 

And if she's not dragging her she's carrying her under the armpits and proclaiming mom, I can barely carry Sylvia. She is so heavy. 

At this rate Sylvia is going to be one tough girl!


Wednesday, October 16, 2013


Setup: Martin is an excellent hashtagger. I really wish he had a smartphone and the ability to hashtag everything because his side comments are always so amazing. Of course, some of the glamour might be lost in the ability to actually hashtag because part of the fun is in the out loud conversational hashtags. 

Aubrey: wait mom, don't go downstairs. It's a red sign. (We both stop with our toes on the edge of the top step) ok. Green sign. Go! (We both begin to descend the staircase in a very leisurely, unracelike fashion. I reach the bottom first) mom! Come back up here! I'm supposed to win! 
Me: Aubrey. I have to feed Sylvia and get ready for work. If you wanted to win you should have walked faster. 
Martin: hashtag entitledgeneration 


Monday, October 14, 2013


Another woodchuck story. Fortunately, not involving our living situation this time.

Tucker: So, has any ever been to ....(names a specific town)? When I was a little kid we went to something up there and my mom told me that the people there were woodchucks. So while I was standing in line to get some food with my dad I decided it would be a good time to tell everyone around me that my mom says they are woodchucks ... Yeah. ....that didn't go over well. 
Tristan: you know, woodchuck is a pretty good description!


When you're in the midst of new love everything is amazing. Colors are brighter. Food tastes better. People are friendlier. And most importantly, almost everything is serendipitous.

Caton: Guess what? Mike and I have the same initials only backwards. Mine are CM and his are MC. Isn't that crazy?!
Me: Uh....yeah...crazy?!
Martin: God works in mysterious ways.


Me: Do you want some coffee?
Caton: I would love some!
Me: Do you think Mike wants coffee?
Caton: Mike LOVES coffee. We both love coffee!


Caton: Did I tell you that Mike loves Tim Hortons.
Mike: Well, I went there once it was good. I think Caton loves Tim Hortons. But I love it too, in solidarity.


Caton: That is NOT a T-Rex. Right Mike, that is not a T-Rex is it?
Mike: Solidarity......Nope. Not a T-Rex.
Me: This is not fair. I can't compete with solidarity.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

You Had to be There

Setup: First stop on a wine tour. Caton and Mike have just finished telling a story. I am laughing hysterically. At this point I can't remember the actual story, but I definitely remember thinking it was funny at the time.

Mike: Well, you sort of had to be there.
Caton: You can't say you had to be there unless no one is laughing. Jenna is cracking up.

Mike: (starting to tell another story): You kind of had to be there for this story.
Caton: Stop saying that! You can't say that at the beginning of a story. You need to wait until the end.


Setup: second stop on a wine tour.
Caton: Ryan, this is Jenna. This is her actual voice. She doesn't have an indoor voice.


Setup: I'm a prepared person
Me: I'm going to buy a bottle of wine for us to drink at the next winery. And I brought food. I have fruit and carrots and chips and salsa.
Judy: Wow, you are prepared. I was just happy I remembered to bring my toothbrush home.

At the second winery.

Caton: I think I'm going to buy this bottle of wine. Do you think they'll let us use our wine glasses if we drink it here?
Me:  I have plastic cups in my car if they don't.

Caton: Yeah, we're going to drink a bottle here outside. They sell food here. Natalie and Katie are getting some.
Me: They're buying food? I have food! I have fruit and chips and salsa and carrots.
Caton: We got it. You have a Mary Poppins car or something.
Me: What can I say, I'm a mom.


Setup: We pull into a parking lot of a winery and sort of stop our cars in a circle to decide if we should stop/have time to stop and still make it to the winery we want to go to before closing. We decide to go into the winery. Martin, being the inside car in the circle and the car the furthest from being parked in a reasonable fashion places the car into park.
Caton: Are you seriously going to park like that.
Martin: Yes, of course!

Thursday, October 10, 2013


Setup: Martin is getting LASIK eye surgery at this very moment. I am sitting in the car with a sleeping Sylvia waiting to be his driver. We've spent the last three hours at the eye doctor mostly waiting around for his consult. I dressed Sylvia in a brown shirt with pink writing on it today. It's caused some confusion.  

Patient 1: oh look! He's so cute!
Patient 2: yes. He is being so good
Martin (whispered to me) : you had to go with earth tones didn't you? 

An hour or so later. A whole new set of patients. 

Patient: aren't you so handsome. Yes you are. You are so handsome. Hi handsome! Hi handsome! Hi handsome! 
Martin: brown was a bad choice. 


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Things Learned

Martin: Look what I just blew out of my nose!
Me: Are you trying to show my your boogers. That is gross.
Martin: What, you don't look?
Me: Well, I do. And I used to try and show them to people but then my brother's told me it was I stopped......when I was a kid.
Martin: Are these the same brother's that would make you go in the bathroom to look at the size and shape of their poops?
Me: Yep. Same ones!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Imaginary Jack

Aubrey has an imaginary friend named Jack. He is her older brother.

Aubrey: Mom, carry me and Jack to my bed.
Me: Ok. (picks Aubrey up from bathroom sink and start heading to her bedroom)
Aubrey: Mom, you forgot Jack in the bathroom! Silly mommy! Jack is going to sleep in my bed with me. We are going to play with my animals.


Aubrey: Jack wants a cup of milk and I want a cup of milk. We both like milk!


Aubrey: Come on Jack, let's go. It's time for dinner.


Aubrey: Mom, take Jack out of the bathtub. The water is getting cold.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Our Own CaddyShack

I've never actually seen Caddyshack, but as I was relaying our trials and tribulations with woodchucks to a friend this weekend, he quickly pointed out that it is the exact plot of Caddyshack. Our life has literally gotten as ridiculous as a movie.

Here's the breakdown:

We have a woodchuck. We tried to set a live trap to catch the woodchuck.

Live trap attempt one: Caught a woodchuck. Woodchuck escaped out the back of the trap.

Live trap attempt two: Martin "beefed up" the trap with plastic chicken wire. We caught a woodchuck but were out of town for a wedding. The woodchuck has an entire weekend to eat through the "beefed up" trap. We returned from the wedding to find a perfect circle eaten out of the back of the trap.

Live trap attempt three through five: The trap gets "beefed up" with actual chicken wire. There will be no escaping. After two escapes this woodchuck has gotten smart. She has figured out how to eat the bait without stepping on the pad and setting the trap off.

Live trap attempt six: We caught a woodchuck! Unfortunately, Martin decides all his guns are too big to shoot the woodchuck with and instead attempts to hit the woodchuck with a shovel. He sprays the woodchuck in the face with ether and then lets her out of the trap to hit a (hopefully disoriented) woodchuck over the head with a shovel. Turns out she isn't that disoriented and quickly takes off running out of sight as soon as the trap is open.

Live trap attempt seven through fourteen: This woodchuck has gotten very smart and cautious. She's eating the bait but definitely is not going to take her chances setting off the trap.

Martin warns me to keep a close eye on the girls and sets a trap to kill the woodchuck.

Attempt fifteen: The woodchuck still manages to get the food from the trap without setting it off.

The next day:

Martin: I'm going to burn the barn down. This woodchuck is making a mockery of me!
Me: Why? Did it get the food again without getting caught in the trap.
Martin: No, she got caught in the trap. But apparently it wasn't a fatal catch and she must have dragged the trap into her hole with her because now the trap is missing too!

If you're keeping score the current record is Woodchuck- 16, Brunings - 0.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

In Your Head

Martin: So. I could have bought a tree stand at the store today but I didn't.
Me: Well that's good, because you already have two.
Martin: I know. I actually already had this same conversation with you in the store in my head. I think they were actually cheaper this year than they were last year but I know I can't sit and watch deer in three places at once and I knew you would say that I already have two so I stopped myself from buying one!


Saturday, September 28, 2013


Setup: Aubrey loves to make everyone lunch in her play kitchen (best roadside find ever!).

Aubrey: Here's your lunch!
Me: What is it?
Aubrey: Oooh. It's a cupcake.
Me: A cupcake for lunch?! We need to eat some fruits and vegetables.
Aubrey: Oh. right! Here's your fruits and vegetables.
Me: Thank you! What type of fruit is this.
Aubrey: I think it's chocolate cake.
Me: That's not a vegetable! A vegetable is something like salad. or eggplant. or squash.
Aubrey: Um. Mom. Stop talking.

Apparently doesn't want to hear the vegetable talk.

Clearly not Aubrey, but due to her lack of speech this cutie is making limited appearances on here!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Super Why!

Setup: Aubrey is obsessed with this show Super Why! it's a PBS show, but we watch it on Netflix. I'm pretty okay with her watching this every single morning while I take a shower and then sometimes at night too because they learn letters and spelling and there is always a lesson simple poignant like Sharing is Good! or Don't Waster Water!. Also, between Super Why! and a letter app on my cellphone Aubrey has managed to be able to pick out all capital letters (we're still working on lowercase) and that's something I certainly don't have the skills to teach her. Each episode they have to replace a word in the story to solve the problem. Aubrey has gotten pretty good at knowing which word Wyatt (the main character - get it Super Wyatt?) should replace but they always choose the wrong word on the first try and then choose the right word on the second try. This is the conversation that plays out between myself and Aubrey almost every time she watches an episode.

Aubrey: Yelling at the computer for Wyatt to choose the word. He chooses the wrong word. She runs into the kitchen. Mom! Super Why is not listening to me!
Me: Oh no! Well you better go tell him that you are really smart and he should listen to you.
Aubrey: Yeah. (runs back to computer. They finally choose the correct response. After Aubrey's yelling of course. Runs back to me in the kitchen.) Mom! Super Why is listening to me!
Me: Oh good job! You helped him solve the problem!
Aubrey: Yeah.

Photo from a Super Big Problem. A broken crayon.

Thursday, September 26, 2013


Setup: I love our house, but like any old house, there are some really annoying things about it. Like the basement door that sticks and rarely opens. Yesterday I was caught yanking on the basement door by Martin who quickly put a stop to my method.

Martin: Whoa. Whoa. Whoa! Don't do that. Let me show you. If the door doesn't open put your hand like this and apply even pressure here and just like that you can slowly pull it open.
Me: (looking at him dubiously as I know this is a method I will probably not be able to recreate) Ok.
Martin: Because if you do what you're doing one of these days your going to break off the bottom hinge and you know I'm not going to fix it and then....well that's it, you know I'm not going to fix it.

Point well taken. As evidenced by the door to our recycling cupboard which Aubrey leaned on and knocked out of the wall within the first couple months of living in this home.....We still have a doorless cupboard.

But. There was the lightswitch he replaced back in the spring.

Matt: Take a picture so you can remember Martin doing home repairs.

Oh Matt, you know my husband so well!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Call of Duty

Setup: It's 1:20 in the morning. I'm attempting to break Sylvia of her terrible habit of waking up for a bottle every. single. night. at 12:00, 3:00 and then 6:00. It's a tiring affair. She's been awake and crying since 12:30 AM. I have finally decided that she is not going to cry herself to sleep and I drag myself out of bed and, after changing her diaper, go downstairs to prepare a bottle. I come back upstairs to find Martin leaning over Sylvia's crib in an attempt to coo her back to sleep.

Me: Hey. Way to respond to the call of action.
Martin: What? I heard her crying.
Me: She's been crying for 50 minutes .
Martin: Well, I just heard her and got up.

We give Sylvia the bottle and go back to bed.

Martin: I know you didn't say it - but, you're welcome.

Saturday, September 21, 2013


Aubrey: Look, mom! My Van Lieshout Family Farms shirt is green just like Sylvia's poop!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Corn Maze Fun!

When you go to a 12 acre corn maze with two adorable toddlers you tend to get adorable pictures.

And lots of playing "Boo" with each other while taking turns hiding behind a stalk of corn.....obviously the ultimate hiding spot.

And if you take directions from the toddlers while chatting with your friend and neither of you are paying the slightest attention to direction then you might be in the maze for 45 minutes. After that 45 minutes, if you're lucky, some employee will happen to cross your path and ask you if you need help getting out. 15 minutes later (following said employee the entire time) when you realize you were not close AT ALL to the end you will exit the maze.

ps. I'm aware this post with no conversation comes on the heels of my conversation only proclamation. I don't care. These pictures are too cute not to share.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

It Will Be a Conversation

Michelle: So your blog is all conversations now?
Me: Yeah.
Michelle: Why?
Me: Well, I was just feeling really uninspired to write other posts, and the conversations are my favorite part anyway.
Martin: So, what are you going to do when something really inappropriate happens in our marriage and you want to post about it.
Me: Oh, it will be a conversation.
Michelle: Yeah, she'll be posting the conversation before you have it.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Weddings and Favors

Our good family friend Bailey Hartway Bannister got married to the love of her life Robert Bannister this weekend. It was a cowboy boot kind of wedding so I was definitely waaaay too excited. Also, Bailey looked beautiful. And Martin and I have decided we're moving to Nebraska.....or at the very least - visiting.  Plus, they're beef farmers, so they gave out steak knives as favors (Score!) and the steak knives had their initials on them which also happen to be ours (Double Score!) and we happened to find eleven forgotten knives on tables at the end of the night (Triple Score!/Thanks Katie, Ryan and Karalyn for leaving yours!/I'll give them to you if you want them)

Martin: These steak knives are going to be so great in our kitchen! We are going to clean up when everyone forgets to take theirs home tonight!
Me: That's exactly what I was thinking! And our name starts with B too!
Martin: I am so turned on right now.

As we're headed to our car at the end of the night with 11 knives in tow..

Martin: I wanted to thank Mr. and Mrs. Bannister for hosting such a nice party, but I was too busy searching the tables for discarded knives.

So, Mr. and Mrs. Bannister - officially - Thank you! We had an amazing time!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Turn the Page!

Setup: Aubrey has asked me to "read" her a story about the two of us. I start to tell a story..

Me: Once upon a time, there was a very smart little girl with beautiful blonde curly hair and she had a mommy who loved her very much (I briefly pause to decide where to go with this story)
Aubrey: Turn the page, mom.
Me: Ok....(still thinking)
Aubrey: Mom! You have to turn the page! Aren't you turning the page?

All curled up and ready for a good story.

Monday, September 16, 2013


Setup: A three day weekend. Two cups of coffee brewed at 11:20pm in the hopes of watching a marathon of Scrubs. Don't judge. Ps. Martin is returning home from driving truck, you know actually working during this conversation at 2:14 AM.

Martin: Are you actually awake?
Me: Yep!
Martin: Wow, looks like you're really making the most of this long weekend.
Me: Yep!
Martin: Ok, well I'm going to go to bed.
Me: Oooohh. Okay.
Martin: You sound disappointed that I want to sleep.....At 2:00 in the morning.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Continue Watching

Amanda: Don't you hate how Netflix pops up with that continue watching button after a few episodes? It's like, yes, I'm still here doing nothing and I still want to keep watching.
Martin: I know, it's like they're really rubbing it in your face that you're not doing anything productive. 'Don't worry - I'm still here. Not mowing the lawn'
Me: The only time it's really useful is when you've fallen asleep. You know, so you don't miss a bunch of episodes.

Oh laziness!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Summer of Fun

Martin: Man, every summer I think 'This is going to be the summer of fun' and then the summer goes by and I hardly did anything and mostly worked.
Me: Yeah, I know what you mean.
Martin: Oh well, I guess there is always next summer.
Me: (for some reason adding a morbid bit to the conversation) Well....until there isn't.
Martin: What, you think I'm going to wither away on you?
Me: Ha! Definitely not.
Martin: I'll do it just to prove you wrong.

Friday, September 13, 2013

36 Weeks.

Update: this post somehow got reposted from when I was 36 weeks pregnant with Sylvia. I am NOT pregnant again.  

Here I am at 36 weeks and I'm actually feeling spectacular! There was a time during the holidays when I honestly thought I was going to have the baby at any second but the last few days I have been feeling so well, I think I could probably be pregnant for a while. Which is a good thing....because apparently I may not be 36 weeks.

I mean, I guess we're still calling it 36 weeks and they're not changing my due date or anything, but when I went to the doctor this past week my stomach didn't "measure up" to be as large as it should at this point in my pregnancy so my doctor immediately sent me for an ultrasound to ensure the baby is large enough and there is enough fluid in my uterus for the baby to live healthily. What I found out is - there is plenty of fluid. And also, the baby is on the small side but not alarmingly small. I haven't spoken with my doctor about the findings yet, but what I gleamed from the ultrasound technician is that the baby is just slightly smaller than Aubrey probably would have been at the same stage in my first pregnancy meaning that this baby might be a little smaller than Aubrey or I might go a little bit late with the delivery.

In other news, I've been meaning to share this story for about a month now in a pregnancy post and just haven't done many pregnancy posts until last week when I completely forgot to add this anecdote.

Me: (after visiting the doctor one Monday morning): So guess who I saw at the doctor today?
Martin: I don't know, who?
Me: (names an acquaintance) And guess who was with her?
Martin: No idea.
Me: Her husband.
Martin: Oh, well.....good for him.......When is she due anyway?
Me: She's having a C-section on Friday.
Martin: Well, of course he's going to be there! This is the end!
Me: When I was pregnant with Aubrey I went to the doctor on my due date and you didn't join.
Martin: I soon as I said that previous statement I knew I was going to regret it.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The State of Our Pantry

Setup: Text conversation a few weeks back. You'd never believe I work in a grocery store.

Martin: Mind grabbing some groceries today? Love you!
Me: I guess I could do that. :p Why are you sick of noodles?
Martin: No, but I think we only have a box of them left too. lol. Had graham crackers and milk for breakfast. those were good.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Setup: Aubrey had her first gymnastics class on Monday afternoon. Monday evening at dinner, we were discussing the class.

Me: She just wasn't as well behaved as I would have liked. She didn't listen at all.
Martin: We're going to have to work on your listening skills, aren't we?
Aubrey: What?

and there you have it....
photo, unrelated but adorable

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Say You're Sorry

Setup: I'm washing dishes and, in my typical fashion, I'm hurriedly shoving pots and pans into the cupboards. One of the pots makes a loud noise as I shove it behind the door causing Aubrey to look up from her very intense game of imagination with the pieces to Candyland. (For the first time ever in an Aubrey adventure, no one needs to be resuced or go to the hospital, but instead it seems they are going to a wedding and one of them is wearing a very nice sparkly dress)

Aubrey: Mommy! You scared Sylvia with that noise!
Me: Oh, I'm sorry.
Aubrey: Say you're sorry to Sylvia.
Me: I'm sorry Sylvia.
Aubrey: Good girl.

Monday, September 9, 2013

A Little Bit Cranky

Setup: Aubrey is attempting to "play" with Sylvia by getting her to crawl faster by pushing her butt forward until she falls forward face-planting onto the ground, repeatedly. She then decides she wants to hold Sylvia and lays on the floor on her back with Sylvia laying across her chest crying her eyes out.

Aubrey: Why is my sister crying. I think she is a little bit cranky.
Me: I think she's crying because you are hurting her.
Aubrey: Yeah. I need to be a little gentle. Then she will not cry. I am sorry Sylvia. I will be gentle.
Sylvia: continues with a slight wimper.
Aubrey: I told her I was sorry and she is still crying! I think she is just a little bit cranky!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Super Happy

Setup: We're in the kitchen cooking dinner. Aubrey is riffling through the drawers and pulls out a large, heart shaped jar opener. She promptly holds the opener up to her chest.

Aubrey: You make my heart feel SUPER Happy!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Bathroom Tales

Setup: It's morning. We're all in the bathroom at the same time shuffling around each other. Weird? Possibly, but it's morning and we've got places to go. Martin has his back turned to Aubrey and I and is going to the bathroom.

Aubrey: Mommy, daddy is using his hand to go pee. That is SO silly!
Me: Daddy is a boy. Boys pee different than girls.
Aubrey: That is SO SILLY!!!

Thursday, September 5, 2013


Me: Aubrey, it is getting late. We better get to bed before you turn into a pumpkin!
Aubrey: Oh no! Is the Ditchen going to turn me into a pumpkin?
Me: (thinking she said Kitchen) Yeah, sure. We better get upstairs!
Aubrey: Oh no! We better hurry.
Me: Ok, let's put some pajamas on.
Aubrey: Mommy. HURRY! The Ditchen is going to get us!

upstairs, in the bathroom.

Aubrey: The Ditchen is going to get me and turn me into a pumpkin. And that's not good. And the Ditchen is going to turn all my toes into a boo boo. And won't be good either. I have to get to bed before the Ditchen gets up here! The Ditchen is not nice! And that is not good. We need to make her nice again.

I've never met this Ditchen, but she sure did make for an easy bedtime tonight.

update: Apparently she was not saying Ditchen but Witch. I figured this out when she told me she had to break the Witch's wand in half before bed tonight.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Five Years, Five Clues

we had a surprisingly difficult time taking a picture of ourselves where one or the other or both of us didn't look like a complete creeper. Or high. We're apparently the absolute worst at taking a selfie. (sidenote: I absolutely hate the word selfie which has recently been added to the Oxford American Dictionary - great going, America.) This picture above is basically the best of the worst.

For our anniversary on Friday night, Martin and I went on a scavenger hunt of sorts. I was inspired by my dear friend Katie Mason Epstein whom sent her husband on a scavenger hunt for their anniversary and lead him to Taylor Swift tickets. While I was pretty sure I didn't have any grand plans for an "end of the hunt" surprise, I thought making the scavenger hunt the present would be a good idea also. So I planned an evening full of activities and each stop along our date was preceded with a clue leading Martin in the right direction. I thought the clues were hard enough to not spell it out, but easy enough that Martin would get them right away.....I was wrong. My first clue: "Let's start tonight off with a bet. Be on the look out for big hats" It took some considerable coaching before Martin realized we were going to the horse races.

But, after some mild confusion over which race they were on, how to bet, how to win, who to bet on etc. We did place a $2 bet. And, even though it was only $2, Martin made sure to throw his ticket on the ground as if he had lost our children's college tuition in the race. A realistic enough impression that the woman standing next to us wished us better luck on the next race as she walked away.

At dinner, the table behind us started discussing Full House and Martin had all he could do not to jump out of his chair and join the conversation, especially when the men at the table had never heard of the show.

And at the bar, our Guinness had a perfect shamrock drawn into the foam.

Five Years. Five Clues. One Successful Night.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

There's Two?

Sometimes, it takes a special occasion like a wedding to realize just how long it's been since you've seen or talked to or even just shared the slightest bits of information with people you used to see on a daily basis.

Ranatta: So, does your mom have the kid?
Me: Yeah, they're with my mom.
Ranatta: Wait....THEY?
Me: Yeah. I have two girls.
Ranatta: When did that happen?

And to think, almost exactly three years ago I stood up in her gorgeous wedding. I need to keep in better touch with my friends!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Petit Four and Risque

As mentioned, Matt and Judy hosted an amazing wedding! And, almost as much fun as the wedding was the reunion of college friends on Friday night. As we all came into town to celebrate Matt and Judy's love for each other, we met up (we were all sleeping in the same house) and hunkered down for a just our style game night.

We started the evening with Catchphrase were a few of us really showed our intelligence off.

Me: (hits the next button)
Kristin: What are you doing? You can't skip.
Me: I have never even heard of this word. It's risk but spelled R-I-S-Q-U-E
Caton: That's risqué
Me: Oooooh. Right!

Max: Ok. It's a small size.
(various guesses from crowd)
Max: Not 3, not 5 but...
(various guesses from crowd)
Max: Two plus two is...
(various guesses, including four, from crowd)
Max: Ok, a small one of those.
(puzzled looks)
Max: It was petite four.
Crowd: Do you mean petit four? Like from a tea party.
Max: Well, how was I supposed to know that? I've never had a tea party!

Then we moved on to King's Cup, which invariably, the best part is never have I ever.

Kristin: Hmm. Well I used to say never have I ever had a White Russian but then I had one.
Max: (thinking she was talking about people and not the drink) But that's almost all the Russians!

Max: I've never been camping
James: What?! What did you do in high school??? Where did you drink?

nothing like a good game night to make you miss college all over again.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Five Years.

Happy Anniversary, Love. Five years ago today we stood before our family and friends and promised to spend the rest of our lives together. Five years later, I'm still thankful I made the best decision of my life standing up there with you.