Dear Willa Monster (that’s right, you have a nickname now),

You are 4 months old and you are such a different baby than your sister was — though not in a bad way. I’d like to apologize for comparing you to Maggie, but I’ve only known your sister so far at this familiarity. You have such a different personality and demeanor than your sister, and I realize that you and your sister will respond differently and have different needs from each other. Above all else, I hope that I can meet them and keep you happy.

I love calling you my “little human nugget.” ‘Cause you are. You have these little roly poly rolls of happiness all rolled up into one tiny person. I once described you as thick — I think that is a fair assessment of your rolls right now — and it’s so cute. You love standing up even though you can’t, and you only bend at the waist when you want to. All the other times we are forced to just hold a standing baby. You are strong — you lift your head and upper body completely off the floor and can make eye contact with me while I’m standing; you are always watching and studying your surroundings. You’ve been rolling over for about a month, which surprised everyone because it took your sister so long, and she needed a lot of cheering and persuading (Maggie is chill that way). But you want to move, and you are not OK laying still and chilling. You have places to go, even as a 4-monther.

I’ve been told you look like me…kinda. You have your Aunt Jessi’s eyes and nose and your Aunt Shelly’s smile (which is very reminiscent of your grandma Roznik and both your Roznik aunts). So you kinda look like me, until you smile.

Your biggest asset and most notable feature IS your smile. You smiled for the first time at 5 weeks old and it was amazing; your smile went from ear to ear and lit up your entire face. We are all enamored with your smile and do everything we can to see it. Everybody in the house coos and whistles and just talks to ya, anything to get a Willow smile. You love talking with/to everybody; you may not make any sense, but that doesn’t stop you from letting your coos be heard.

We all chant this cute little chant when we talk to you — it makes you smile. “Willow Willow Willow Rai.” Your name is perfect for such a cute little human nugget. You love your jimmy jumper, and your Exersaucer, rolling around on the floor (we found you under the couch the other day), grabbing things (especially my necklace), and kicking and toe-grabbing (the best thing about being a baby). You love watching your sister and talking to her, but above all else, you love being held. You just want somebody to hold you close.
I realize now that babyhood is fleeting and I hug and love on you more and more everyday. I let you suck your thumb and sleep in the big bed with your daddy and I. I relish the toe-grabbing — ooh, all the toe-grabbing. Your skin is so soft and untouched by years of sun. I want to remember your smell and how you feel in my arms. I want you to stay a baby forever. I don’t mind the diapers and the breast-feeding and the spit up, so feel free to not grow up. I already miss the purity and beauty of you being a baby.

With the second child it’s hard to fathom if you will love them just as much as you do the first — I was really worried about this when I was pregnant. But I’ll let you know I do, I love you just as much as Maggie. My heart has gotten bigger and stronger and I have these warm happy can’t-believe-I-made-this-from-scratch-and-sustained-life kind of feelings for both of you.

I have never ever felt anything like this before. I love Jesus and God with everything I’ve got, but you and Maggie are little people I can hold and squeeeeze and are tangible objects that God gave to me and your daddy. Even the love I have for your daddy is a different kind of love — I’m smitten with you two, completely infatuated. I have never just looked at something as much as I look at you and your sister and just breathed a thank you to the Almighty. I really needed to be a mom to truly, truly appreciate His Glory. He is wonderful and I hope that I can teach you both about how much joy and love He has brought me. God is good.

I love you,

Willow "photo dump" 
of photos you haven't seen on Instagram.



Shifty Eyes


So I themed this BubbleLife article Top 10 not-so-obvious places to visit with your kids. But after writing like 5 of them I really filled up my word count quota and also nobody on my list was emailing me back with pictures, details or acknowledgment of my existence as an email user. Anyways so I cut it to 5. I have a ton of ideas that are not-so-obvious things to do with kids (thanks to my new facebook friend Alison) and I hope to make it a series of posts. Here's a link to the article.

By far the wonderful gentleman (named Blake by his parents) with Lucky Layla Farms was the easiest and most pleasant person to deal with in the research part of my article. I'll be going up to the farm sometime in the near future and braving raw unprocessed milk in appreciation of his promptness and helpfulness. Huh weird he was also the smallest business I featured.

I smelt it. It was way early Saturday morning – so early that I actually still consider it Friday night. I was just getting in bed and I smelled my pillow – no I hadn’t just washed my sheets – I’m embarrassed as to when that might have been last – and the window wan't open but I smelt fall. This sounds so weird as I write it that my nose can smell a season starting but mine can. I flippin love fall and especially October. The weather is so damn perfect, like sit-outside-in-a-hammock-drinking-pumpkin-something-and-thinking-damn-I’m-in-great-shape-for-flannel-season perfect. So welcome fall. I know that summer still hasn’t left, but I’m super duper nerdy-glad you have arrived. 

I love fall more than Christmas, but seriously there is no crazy shopping or a holiday that incubates a sense of Martha Stewart responsibility. Halloween is a chill holiday in comparison to the elf-on-a-shelf-untangle-lights-get-a-tree-mail-the-Christmas-card responsibilities. There is a no bathing suits, and no crazy-ass-egg-laying bunny. I LOVE IT. Also even tho Halloween, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter and July 4th are super over commercialized with ridiculous dollar store decorations. Halloween is a take-it-or-leave-it holiday, nobody blames you for not celebrating, just turn off the porch light.

I love fall and I'm gonna enjoy going outside again. I hope to take the kids to a pumpkin patch and possibly a farm. It WILL BE great.


I continue to write, this time about a pancake-loving dog who didn't do a 5K.

It takes me far too long to construct such a poorly constructed journalistic story. But people at work keep publishing my stories.  Read the newest one here >>

At the end of the article the editor thought I should make light of my cat issues. I wanted to leave in the Editor's Note and my response in the story but apparently nobody would "get it". Typical.


I'm sure some version of this was inspired by something I've seen on Pinterest. But this was so much fun. Here's how:

  • Ikea has these frames for $20.00
  • I wrapped the mat that the frames came in with their baby swaddling blankets. 
  • I created the calendar myself cause I couldn't find a cute etsy shop that had cute past calendars from 2011 (even tho I'm sure there is a closet full of them somewhere)
  • There is the lists of baby names I made early in my pregnancies
  • The wooden blocks are from Target online, they are the only ones that will fit in the frame. I had to paint some of the repeat letters different colors.
  • I used only a few of the sonogram photos
  • The little outfits are the ones that they wore home from the hospital
  • Everything else is from the hospital, the feet print, the bassinet labels, and our hospital bracelets
  • I used pins and tape to attach everything.
They work and fit on the wall now. But I'll let you know if anything falls off. :)




Lost the coin toss yesterday. So today my mini is a mini Dr. Who. My husband is so proud.

We left the tags on the jacket and Ross is returning it today. Shhhh. I feel smart and cheap all at the same time. :)

Apparently I haven't shared these photos yet. But here are a few of Willow's newborn photos from the talented Caroline Carmack. I'm reminded cause my husband wore the Dr. Who shirt during the shoot. I still love my nerdy mountain man.

He just started sewing Maggie fox back together in the middle of the shoot.