a little bit of saturday


this impromptu excursion to the farmers market brought to you by unseasonably glorious end-of-may-just-about-june weather. no joke, it was such a perfect morning. cool and breezy and sunny. not at all what i expect this late in the game. and so, before we tackled our to-do list and went about our day, we decided to wake elinor a tad earlier than her normal with the wonderful news of “we are going to the market and getting food”. amazing how quickly she popped out of bed…

off to gilbert farmers market for not only the best in local produce but some killer cold brew coffee and our very favorite food truck, uprooted kitchen (yes, again. yes, i am obsessed. and yes, the make breakfast…and it is crazy delish).

we grabbed some tasty iced coffee and strolled the grounds a bit. meeting puppies and bumping into familiar faces and ordering up ALL THE BREAKFAST.

we opted for two bowls filled with a kale salad with crisped sweet potato coins, as a base for the star of the dish: a fresh tempeh breakfast sandwich with avocado and arugula and caramelized onions on a house-baked (truck-baked?) gluten-free naan bun. aaaaaand we also grabbed some dessert because when it is gluten free and vegan, it means it is healthy and so, you go for it.

oh, and because it was the three-year anniversary for uprooted kitchen at the gilbert market (and also because elinor is irresistible and we get the hook-up because of her), we were each given mini peach thumbprint cookies (tiny and even cuter versions of the amazing ones we had at our wednesday night dinner, seen here) to nibble on while we waited for the food. so, that was not too shabby.

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see what i mean about elinor and her irresistibleness? her teeny topknot and those perfectly placed sunnies. she knows how to work it…


and there’s the aforementioned tasty bowl of goodness. it was so good. in fact, i could really go for another one of those right about now…


and after we had our fill of the market, we polished off the morning with final sips of coffee and my best friend, the trail mix cookie. nuts and seeds and almond butter and cacao nibs and chocolate. gosh, it is good. and since this was my second one this week (i won’t apologize) i am thinking i might need to start buying these babies in bulk. you never know when you will *need* one…

hurray for saturday. and hurray for a long weekend. happy memorial day, friends!

dear little prince

diving baby pose

remember when you were all tiny and tucked in a pike pose? just about 19 weeks old?

how times have changed. and how close we are now.


dear little prince,

i am writing to you a tad early this week because i wanted to commemorate the ONE MONTH TO GO MARK with a little letter. today is may 22. that means that your due date is exactly one month from today.

i could wax poetic but instead, let us get down to business, shall we? i am talking dates. i am talking scheduling.

so, i am all about your arriving when God has intended and when you are ready but i must confess that there is that part of me that craves “control”. you know, the pick-a-birthday, scheduled birth stuff. don’t get me wrong, i wouldn’t trade a healthy, normal, boring, non-intervention pregnancy and regular, spontaneous natural birth for anything… BUT, knowing the arrival date would be pretty great. i am all about a deadline and a goal. and i will admit that this “estimated” due date business is the pits.

back to scheduling. i know that only God knows the date and time. and i know that you care very little about such things. BUT, i did offer up some suggestions to your sister toward the end of her in utero time and that seemed to go pretty well so i figured i would do the same with you. just in case it means anything. and just in case you are chatting away with the Almighty and He asks your opinion. put in a good word for us, would ya?

here are some joint-family suggestions for your arrival:

  • please stay put until at least june 1 so we can get to 37 weeks. i know that “full term” term is up for discussion but it would be nice for you to make the most of the next few weeks (plus, we would really appreciate those weeks AND may is already a pretty packed month).
  • please do not arrive until after june 9 as your aunt bree + uncle paul + cousin sawyer are traveling and we would hate for them to miss out on the fun.
  • please do not try to arrive between june 11 and june 14 as i have an event that weekend that i would really enjoy wrapping up and participating in before your arrival.
  • hey, as of june 15, we are pretty much in the clear. that would put you about a week early which it totally fine with me. BUT, if you do decide to come a tad early, how about steering clear of june 17…that is our anniversary. if you must come that day, we will most definitely share the special date on the calendar but would prefer a special day for mama and papa and your own special day, just for you.
  • sunday, june 21 would be a fabulous arrival date. father’s day. what a special one that would be!
  • and of course, we love june 22 – your due date. AND, your great-grandma may’s birthday. how cool would that be?
  • p.s. anywhere in the june 22 to july 22 timeframe would put us in the same “sign”, i have been told. so…do what you will with that. apparently, some folks think that would be a little much to have two Cancers under one roof. like it might disrupt the cosmic balance or something? i dunno about all that. i mean, from my limited knowledge about such things, i am really more of a Leo when you get right down to it. and if you arrive before june 22 you will share a sign with your Neena and BooBoo so that would put us at three Gemini’s which seems excessive. isn’t that the twin sign? does that double the personality or something? zodiac stuff. sigh. just felt like i should pass along some sage advice from some strangers in whole foods… aren’t you glad we don’t have to stress about that? God is on His throne and put the planets and stars into motion and has numbered our days, that’s all i need to know.
  • back to the real considerations. if you would, please do not decide to come on june 28. that is your aunt faith’s birthday and i don’t know how she would feel about sharing… really, other than sharing a birthdate with your great-grandma may, most would prefer that you have your very own special date on the calendar…
  • IF YOU MUST MAKE US WAIT AN EXTRA WEEK AND TAKE US INTO THE MONTH OF JULY (which i do not recommend) then shoot for july 1. canada day! that would be kind of cool, right?
  • maybe don’t share a birthday with America, though. it is kind of a big deal around here. and as fun as it would be to always be guaranteed a barbecue cookout and fireworks on your birthday, i don’t really want to be obligated to throw you a patriotic-bald-eagle-stars-and-stripes themed party every year.
  • and beyond that…well, enough said, right? please do not keep us in suspense that long. two weeks past your estimated arrival date is a bit much, don’t you think? i hope that by the double-digits of july, we have all that birth stuff behind us and are settling into life together. my goodness! we are going to have such a great summer…

all our love,

mama + papa + elinor

elinor adorableness and some very tasty eats

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this post is really starting off well, don’t you agree? would you look at that little lady up there? my goodness. she is pretty darn cute. i can’t even fathom the kinds of things that are going to happen to my mama heart when we welcome another little life into our world. our gal already makes my heart swell and swoon and burst. but another sweet face? another little one? more personality? more cuteness? gosh, what will i do with myself? i can only imagine all the gushing…

but this post isn’t just about elinor and her cuteness, it is also about an evening out at agritopia with some super yummy food. read on…


how about beginning with the healthy stuff. that’s a very good place to start. we arrived at the farm and i made a beeline to the uprooted kitchen truck. that stuff sells out fast and there is no way i was going to miss out on my farm veggie / vegan cheese crisp. it is always a winner. i ordered one of those and then my eyes were drawn to the dessert menu. i don’t always get dessert when i visit this food truck and that is such a mistake. ALWAYS GET DESSERT. i got the vegan and gluten-free (healthy!) trail mix cookie filled with oats and almond butter and seeds and nuts and cacao nibs and tiny chocolate chips. seriously, a health food. and then i spotted the seasonal peach thumbprint cookie and that was also a must-have. oat cashew cookie filled with agritopia farm-fresh peaches and preserves. woah.

i shared my crisp with elinor and yes, i shared desserts too. and you know you have a winner when your man takes a bite of the thumbprint cookie and says, “wow! wait, is this healthy? gluten free and vegan? how do they get it to taste like that without butter?” bravo, uprooted kitchen. i would have gone back for another one if i didn’t buy the last one… see, you gotta go for it before they are gone.

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and now, for the “good stuff”. the united steaks of cheese truck was also serving up grub at the farm and when they are there, you kinda gotta. that truck is not a weekly thing so if you happen to go to the farm on one of their nights, you do the dirty delicious cheesy food thing.

ben ordered the cheesesteak fries. dangerous indeed. fries smothered with cheese and fry sauce and fried up beef. gives me heartburn just thinking about it…

and he also snagged a buffalo chicken sandwich with bleu cheese and carrot slaw which was quite tasty. i stole a bite of that and it did not disappoint. as you can see from my man’s face, he was one happy camper with his naughty food. it was a treat for him. and, it was a perfect indulgence to make up for the serious lack of preggo cravings around here.

elinor was a happy girl too. she got plenty of mama’s veggie crisp and managed to get a few of papa’s fries. she loves to share food with papa. 95% of the time, our family eats the same dish for dinner (even when we dine out, we tend to order a pile of stuff and just splitsies) but elinor has so much fun in that 5% of the time when papa gets something different and “fun” and he so kindly shares with her. those two. food buddies for sure.

also, iced decaf americanos! ’tis the season. and the coffee shop at agritopia knows their way around one of those beverages. the perfect drink to sip along with our cookies.

outdoor dining, birds chirping, a warm breeze, guitar jams, iced coffee, and peach desserts…feels like summer to me!

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happy birthday, mum!


these two crazy kids on their anniversary a few days ago. aren’t they the cutest?

happy birthday, mum! i thank God for your life and what a gift you are to me, your son-in-law, your granddaughter (and almost-here grandson), your husband, your entire family, your friends, your acquaintances, your neighbors…and well, everyone who crosses your path.

thank you for loving your Savior. thank you for your tender heart and desire to learn. thank you for your gracious and sweet spirit – your giving nature and servant’s heart. thank you for being a prayer-warrior and truth-speaker. thank you for being an encourager and edifier. thank you for being tender yet strong. thank you for loving fiercely and for your protective mothering. thank you for using your time and gifts and talents to bless others and bring glory to your Creator. you are creative and diligent and dedicated and imaginative and industrious.

thank you for showing me how to apply makeup and how to rock a bold lip color. thank you for showing me how playful and wonderful it can be to be a woman. for wearing fabulous heels and caring about accessories and knowing what is the proper amount of perfume. for loving to get all dolled up to go out with your man. for putting on your sunday best. thank you for encouraging me to play dress up.

and thank you for showing me how to deep clean tile and organize cabinets and starch and steam and wield a hammer and drill and fix broken things and create beautiful DIY masterpieces. for modeling the proverbs 31 heart and behaviors.

most importantly, thank you for reading the Word of God in front of me and to me. thank you for the value you placed on your quiet time with the Lord. for the countless days when i would see your Bible open and notes being taken in the margin and pieces of paper strewn about and your study materials piled up.

you are quite the lady. and on this anniversary of your birth, i hope that you know how loved you are and what a blessing you are to so so so many.


scenes from sabbath

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so may is a bit of a busy month around here. it is grand in so many ways and so full of activities and celebrations. one of the scheduling items for us is that it is my man’s month to serve as usher. in addition to that, he also has a few violin performances on the calendar for in-service music and for special concerts. fancy stuff. it is wonderful to see him serve the Lord in worship and use his gifts and talents to bless others. plus, we get private practice concerts in the evenings which elinor and i (and baby ridley too) would not complain about. you gotta love some postprandial music.

AND it just so happens that i serve as teacher in the children’s ministry during the month of may. that adds an extra layer of complexity to our sunday mornings. i teach during first service and then ben ushers during second service. it is a packed morning indeed. and for the past few weeks, they have had to redistribute the volunteers which has left me flying solo with 30 (THIRTY) first through third graders. no helper for me. i keep having nightmares about a gulliver’s travels situation taking place during sunday school… 30-to-1 is a really intense ratio. SOOOO…i somehow managed to rope my man into being my assistant. call it moral support. call it backup. call it my “it” guy or “go-to” guy or even, my I.T. guy (thank goodness for tech support…) but he has been such a help to me.

on sunday, we dropped elinor off at her class and we headed off to “our class”. after herding and managing and organizing and calming and teaching and cajoling or whatever we managed with our classroom of kids, i went to grab elinor from her room while ben added his tie to his ensemble and took off for second service duties.

elinor and i decided to enjoy the mid-service time in the family room, snuggling and snacking and sipping water and discussing what elinor did in her class. she told me stories about jesus and sang a song to me and filled me in on her boy friend (boy-space-friend. a friend who is a boy. no boyfriends around here…) owen. she told me about stickers and verses and music and eating goldfish crackers. and i distracted her from the plates of glazed donuts in the fellowship area. darn those donuts. just sitting there, screaming at little children to eat themselves into a sugar-high frenzy. and i’m not gonna lie, after a morning with 30 rambunctious and opinionated and intelligent and challenging and delightful and exhausting children, i was mere moments away from diving face-first into my very own platter of those fried and sugar dipped beauties…

but i digress. darn you, donuts.


we made the decision that after our time at second service, we would treat ourselves to some lunch. i was in the mood for a big bowl of veggie goodness paired with an extra large iced tea. and give me all the ice. they have some great ice there. we split some hummus and pita to start and then swapped stories from our morning and shared what we had learned.

it was the perfect midday moment as a family. and just what we needed before returning home for naps and tasks and bread-baking (yay hubby! yay for sunday bread!). i am so grateful for moments of respite and rejuvenating meals. i am so grateful for sweet times with my family. and i am so grateful to be members of the family of God. we love our church family. i feel so blessed to be part of such a connected and serving body. they always find ways to be a blessing to us and pour into our lives – and i hope that God can use our little crew, in big and small ways, to be a blessing to others.


also, this darling girl. she was rocking the most swoon-worthy flapper hairdo and THAT PROFILE. i am so smitten with that face. i have been pretty much obsessed with her forehead and button nose and pouty lips since she was in the womb. there are times when she looks so incredibly grown up and i have flashes of her heading off to prom or walking down the aisle…but at the same time, that profile takes me back to when she was just a little peanut in my belly. i love her so. my sweet baby girl.


bébé numéro deux | 35 weeks

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progress & countdown: 34 weeks down & 35 days to go. sooooo, that’s like a month.

baby size: a honeydew melon.

food & drink: lots of fluids. green juices and kombucha and tea. i can’t get enough these days. it is probably because we are moving into summertime and also due to increased blood and fluid supply for baby…but i don’t go more than a few minutes without sipping something. and ice. the ice crunching is getting pretty wild. the food stuff is pretty much the same. and all the food seems to be working because my looks and feels like it doubled this week. grow baby grow! just a few more weeks to pack on the delicious rolls. 

bump stuff: as i said, this week marked a serious increase in bumpage. it feels heavier and bigger and i decided to accentuate this growth spurt by some horizontal stripes because, why not?

highs: family dinner dates and unseasonably cool temperatures and finalizing projects for elinor’s room and little ridley. just have to get some stuff up on the walls and restock infant care items and we are all set!

lows: well, nothing too bad. just the regular homestretch preggo complaints. widening pelvis, stretching tendons, heavier belly, crazy kicking baby, and increased pressure. my body is getting geared up for the big event which is very good news. buuuut, that doesn’t mean i have to like it.

new developments: baby doesn’t have much room to maneuver now (but boy oh boy, is he trying). he is over 18 inches long and tips the scales at 5 1/4 pounds. because he is so snug in the womb, baby isn’t likely to be doing dramatic somersaults anymore (someone should clue him in) but the number of movements should remain about the same. baby’s kidneys are fully developed now and his liver can process some waste products. basic physical development is mostly complete – baby’s main job now is to put on weight. check! he’s on it.

meaningful moments & hormones & feelings: hearing his reassuring “heartbeep” (as elinor likes to say) whoosh-whoosh sounds and beginning to talk more about the actual birth experience and postpartum stuff instead of just all pregnancy stuff. it is getting real. i have finished brushing up on my birth reading and i am making my way back to the “you have an infant…now what do you do with it?” reads. there are so many little things that i forgot about. how we kept elinor alive and functioning properly is beyond me. by grace alone, i tell you.

superficial stuff: just really feeling pregnant now. ben keeps giving me his sassy smirk accompanied with the “well, you are a month away…i guess it is time for you to feel pregnant…” and i guess it is. my pregnancy has been uneventful so far. smooth sailing and easy breezy. i don’t take that for granted and i wouldn’t dare complain about non-complaint-worthy things like my pre-pregnancy shorts not fitting or my active baby growing and moving… there are so many people who are sick and tired and sore and miserable and in and out of the hospital and on medication and stressed and worried and dealing with baby complications for 9 + months. so, i am just going to shut my mouth and count my blessings.

looking forward to: washing bitty baby boy clothes and hanging drapes and unrolling a fabulous tattersall rug and installing our masculine light fixture and swooning over incredible baby blankets. sheesh, we have a busy few weeks. stay put, little prince. more on that in a later letter… we do have some preferences for you, but of course.