sweet & sassy six

dear molly moo,

whenever you and your brother have a birthday, i like to think back to the very day you were born.  you were born on a beautiful & sunshiny day in mid-july.  i could not WAIT to meet you.  what would you look like?  what color of hair would you have?  how much would you weigh?  what would your cry sound like?  what would your personality be like?  would you be an easy baby?  would you like me?  sooooooo many questions that a mama with a new baby thinks about not only the nine months that she has a darling babe growing in her womb, but also when she's younger and daydreams about what her future everything will be like.  yes, i dreamed of you when i was a young girl. 

dad named you; he always wanted to name his girl molly.  and i was ok with that.  i liked how it was a name everyone knows, but simultaneously not a name every other little girl has.  i still have yet to meet a molly in a mom's group or church children's ministry.  in fact, i meet more dogs named molly.  i think it's such a popular doggie name because people associate it with cuteness, love and affection.  i considered naming you iris.  i've told you that before and, now that you and julian like and watch pokemon (where one of the character's names is iris), you tell me you wish i named you that.  i responded by saying that if i did name you iris you would have wished i named you molly.  that's just how things are!

your middle name, as you know, is scarlet.  we named you after your great-grandpa on dad's side.  his nickname was red because he had red hair.  so it's really just a play on that.  and boy were we surprised when you came into the world with beautiful locks of bright red hair.  dad and i are still astonished about that.  whenever someone calls your hair 'red', however, you correct them right away and insist that your hair is 'auburn!' 

you were the best baby in existence of all babies of all time.  you were constant smiles and you radiated joy and happiness.  you slept through the night from your very first night.  you rarely cried the first year of your life; really only when we would take too long to prepare your food or take the spoon out of your mouth to give you another bite.  so cute - we will never forget that! 

your personality is my favorite.  i've written time and time again how you adore cats.  and adore is the understatement of the century.  i don't even think there is an accurate enough word in the english language to describe your love for them.  i have videos of you from when you just learned to walk chasing after gracie as fast as your little legs would let you.  you called her 'ceecee' then.  a year ago we got dan the cat.  he was made for you, and you him.  i love finding books for you about cats, love dressing you in clothes with cat patterns on them, and love looking for any cat stuffed animal or trinket at thrift stores i go to. 

some other qualities that make up your amazing personality are as follows: 
you have great confidence, but you're not overconfident.  and, going along with that, you are very decisive.  you know what you want and know what you like without a doubt.  in your mind there is no wavering.  and there is no convincing you of anything otherwise.
you also have introverted tendencies, which actually came as a surprise to me.  you talk our ears off day in and day out, but i've observed that you can get overwhelmed and want to be away from the crowd whenever we are at special gatherings.  and you know what?  that's ok!
independence.  you always have been independent.  which sometimes, i must admit, pangs my heart.  don't get me wrong, i think it is such a strength to be so independent and actually wish i was more like that myself.  it has just made me cherish the special moments you want to snuggle me and embrace me with your sweet kisses and strong hugs.  but you've always been so good at playing by yourself, finding something for yourself to do, and being alone.  when we've tucked you in and closed your bedroom door behind us, you usually (unknowingly) serenade us belting out songs from twinkle, twinkle, to let it go, to girl on fire.  you also take it upon yourself to read through a huge stack of books until you fall asleep, or get into your basket of cats, or set up a tea party, or play with your frozen castle.
you are a sweet and very special caretaker.  this, also, has taken me by surprise.  you have said to me before how you don't like babies (although that's changing.  now, you say you when you grow up you don't want to get married and kiss a boy, but you want babies.) so i just thought maybe it would take some time for you to develop a mother heart and intuition.  but, especially in this past year, whenever dad or i aren't feeling well you take it upon yourself to bring us pillows and blankets, a box of tissues, a glass of water, and some stuffed animals and set up a nice place on the couch to tuck us in.  it is the sweetest thing on the planet and it really makes me feel like i'm taken care of.  i think you are probably the most nurturing and sweet-hearted caretaker i've ever had!  and for that, i'm grateful.

some things you love:
disney movies
girl singers and music in general
animals, especially felines
gymnastics and ballet dancing
pink, purple, and red
fashion (you are very particular about what you will let me dress you in)
silly jokes and funny film shorts
having FUN - action city, nick universe, etc.
hello kitty
mac & cheese, pizza, and green goodness juice
swinging on the play set or porch swing
lift-the-flap board books

molly, i look forward to every day i get to wake up to you in my life.  you bless us tremendously.

love you so much,


last photo of you as five, the night before your birthday.


ten on ten: july 2014



 and, coincidentally, it is my beautiful sister's birthday today!  happy birthday, shelby!!
can't wait to see you in a couple days!


a craft for summertime

so i pinned this a while back.  and as i was looking for inspiration for some summer crafts back in may, i stumbled upon it again.  i thought, "how easy, cheap, and kid-friendly!"

i decided to use acrylic paint, even though i kinda shudder every time i let my kids use it.  but i just really wanted the colors to be bright, and i wanted this craft to last in case i decided to hang it outside.

so i gave them their smocks, placemats, some ground rules, and watched them with my eagle eye.  and they did fine.  they were excited about it!  and they really did a great job.  i didn't want the paint job to be perfect.  i wanted it to look like kids did it, if you know what i mean.  once the cans were done drying, i got eric to drill a hole in the bottom of each can.  i found a good stick in the brush pile in our backyard and wrapped it with embroidery floss.  that only took about an hour and is really just as therapeutic as knitting or crocheting!  lastly, i took some twine, threaded it through the hole in the cans, and tied the other end around the stick.  i hung it on our 3-season porch and it fits perfectly!



sunshine & rainbows

i've gotta say, the weather so far this summer has been
for example, today's high was 75°.  in july, people!!!!!!!  typically it would be closer to 90°
it's just been so ideal.
yesterday was also beautiful:
sunshiny all day long until the evening when it rained.  but it was a peaceful and really pretty rain.
and then all of a sudden the sun came out and eric called us into the kitch, and before us was the most magnificent double rainbow i have ever seen in my life.  i really couldn't believe it and was just utterly astonished. 
i grabbed my camera and headed outside in the rain.  i'm glad i captured this, mostly for memory's sake, but these photos do the rainbow no justice whatsoever. 

do you remember the most amazing rainbow you've ever seen?

top ten favorite children's books from my childhood

by now it's becoming pretty evident who some of my absolute favorite children's authors are, and this list is no exception.
but it's funny because as a kid it's like you don't even notice that kind of thing, you don't reeeeeeeally care who authors it unless maybe it's dr. seuss.  maybe.  but otherwise, nope. 
when you're a child you have your reasons.  it's not like you follow a certain author because it's a fad or whatever.  some authors are just that good.  they are so talented in their imagination, writing, and (in some cases) illustrating skills.
and that's what a lot of these are for me.
but i think that, especially for baby dear, sometimes books are loved so much because they make you wish you were a character in that book.  or the words and pictures help you to form an idea of what an aspiration or dream of yours is.  i think, when i was small, i loved baby dear so much because the mom had little girls, and she was at home a lot taking care of them, and she dressed so nice, and the house was just perfect and that life looked ideal to me.  that's precisely what i wanted when i grew up.  and her oldest daughter wanted to mimic her every move in taking care of her baby doll.  i identified with that.  it's just too sweet.
so now, for this week:

top ten favorite children's books from my childhood:
gregory the terrible eater by mitchell sharmat
caps for sale by esphyr slobodkina
little rabbit's loose tooth by lucy bate and diane de groat
corduroy by don freeman
one fine day by nonny hogrogian
imogene's antlers by david small
the day jimmy's boa ate the wash by stephen kellogg
the very hungry caterpillar by eric carle
baby dear (little golden book) by esther & eloise wilkin
the amazing bone by william steig


4th festivities

loot & prizes
pony rides
cotton candy
red, white, & blue
bug spray
cook out
brats & hotdogs
arnold palmer
ice cream sandwiches
glow sticks
bright lights
boom & bang
late bedtimes


wordless wednesday