24 December 2013

Merry Christmas.

A baby and her dad are fast asleep, and I'm fighting
heavy eye lids because I know that at this time tomorrow I will be saying
 "I can't believe it's over already." So, I'm enjoying O Holy Night on repeat, 
the smell of our tiny tree, and my hundredth cup of hot chocolate for the season.   

Tonight I've slowed down to remember one amazing thing. 
A couple thousand years ago, 
God saw fit to send his baby boy to die for me, and you, and her…

Merry Christmas, friend.  
I hope you are somewhere getting punched in the gut by this holy night too. 
Much love. 

23 December 2013

A Christmas Miracle + A Winner

A full blown Christmas miracle happened today.  We decided last minute to take Marin to see Jolly Old Saint Nick.  I really do fight Christmas traditions that feel obligatory which I’m trying to work on because, well, it’s a bit scrooge-like.  And it never fails that once I get there, I see why people wait in lines for this stuff; it is magical, really.  I mean, a little girl, not my own mind you, sat on Santa’s lap and read her Christmas list to Santa item-by-item, and I actually cried.  I cried watching someone else’s child sit on Santa’s lap. I couldn’t handle the anticipation to see what Marin would do; although, I was pretty sure it wouldn’t involve one of her awesome gummy grins because she is usually pretty serious when there is a lot to look at.  Christmas, at the mall, yeah not conducive for a big gummy…too…much…to…see….Mom!  I just hoped for a small tug on the beard at most, but then…thanks to those amazing talented people who shake stuffed animals at babies all day, there it was.  And what seemed like the entire line of waiting families actually cheered and clapped at the beautiful little sight.  And mommy’s heart grew three sizes that day.  Until next year, Santa. 

P.S. Manda, you are the lucky winner of the Pen, meet Paper giveaway! Congrats!  Kristen will be getting in touch soon! Merry Christmas and thanks for joining in the fun, friend!

21 December 2013


      Discussions in our home these past few days have revolved quite a bit around house plans. Swooooon. We are making some plans indeed!  And besides the large number of minutes I spent in dreamland today, aka Pinterest, I got to thinking about this number... 
Twenty-two years.  
When I add it up, that’s the amount of time I’ve spent living in apartments. And there were some pretty sweet apartments too.  Like the one in Germany that had the huge abandoned attic that I filled with an entire Fisherprice household, complete with washer and dryer.  Then there was the apartment in Colorado that backed to a massive park with baseball fields, soccer fields, and a creek full of crawfish.  Then the amazing lofty feeling one I spent a year in, just me (except for the six months a small mischievous pug named Daisy lived there too.) That brings me to my all time favorite fun size home, this condo where Andy and I spent our newlywed years and our first (almost) year with a 22 lbs. peanut.    

So, as you could imagine, there’s some real daydreaming going on in these parts due to the prospect of a bonafide house with room for friends, and parties, and babies. 
But, all the pretty things are starting to sparkle. And my fingers just keep pinning, so I just want to leave this little note here for my future self:

Dear Me in a year,
Girl you are looking gooooood.  But seriously, I just want to remind you; keep it simple.  You’ve been blessed with all the things that make life full, as well as 22 years of simple living; remember where your treasure is.  That’s all.


If you also are trying to keep things simple, but still want to deck your walls with lovely decor, stop by the giveaway HERE!! It ends so soon!!

17 December 2013

Threads: Brown Sugar Beach (disclaimer: no giraffes died in the making of this outfit)

 I once bought myself a pair of harem pants from a man at a Turkish market.  I'm sure I got an AMAZING deal on them too, and what a shame because I've only worn them twice: once in public as an effort to be ONE with the locals (fail) and once for a private viewing of my personal rendition of "Hammer Time: Turkish Style" (total win). Needless to say, they weren't my wisest purchase, BUT these little-bitty harem pants are an entirely different story because a.) They are beyond cute and trendy and people will stare for all the right reasons,  and b.) Marin has gotten much more use out of hers because they are the softest pants known to babes (wonderful for play time and nap time!)

I've been on a bit of a handmade kick as of late, and if you are feeling the handmade love and are liking these precious pants, you can find them at the etsy shop Brown Sugar Beach, sewn by a lovely lady named Kelsy who lives all the way in Santa Barbara, California.  

Oh and don't forget to enter the giveaway from Pen, Meet Paper here!!!

15 December 2013

A Giveaway: Pen, Meet Paper

My sweet friend Heather from Notes from the Nelsens and I are excited to co-host this 
giveaway and a chance for you to win a $40.00 credit to the adorable etsy shop Pen, Meet Paper.

 Kristen, the founder and artist behind Pen, Meet Paper is one of the kindest, most talented 
 people you could run across, ah! and so stinking humble about her amazing talent too.

Kristen started hand-lettering favorite quotes and song lyrics in the winter of 2012 as a creative outlet from her day job of art directing book covers. When friends and family started asking how they could buy the prints, Pen, Meet Paper was born. Kristen has expanded to include prints of states with nostalgic hand-lettered lyrics and sayings. So far she has completed 30 states and plans to complete all 50 in the near future.

Here are just a few of the state prints. You can check out the others here

She has 57 total prints for your choosing pleasure.
Here are two of her prints I love, love, love and WILL own someday by golly:

You can find Pen, Meet Paper and Kristen at:
the blog: penmeetpaper.com
and on Twitter @kvasgaard

Kristen is offering 10% off to Notes from the Nelsens and M for Love readers!
Just enter code HAPPY10 at checkout!

And now for the giveaway!!!
Kristen is giving one lucky winner a $40.00 credit to her store. To enter the giveaway, use the Rafflecopter below. Winner will be announced Monday, December 23rd. Good luck!

11 December 2013

Marin Crawls

It is official. As of today, point a AND point b exist in this little girl's world.  Mommy was behind the camera, disturbing the neighbors with cheers of all sorts.  Bruce was somewhat unemotional about the feat, but received a kiss despite his stoicism.

I should probably also mention that Bruce is pretty popular in our house as of late. I mean, who else but him could sing Bruce Channel's one hit wonder "Hey Baby" on repeat while flapping his arms?  Only Bruiser can. 

09 December 2013

Happy Birthday. ilove you.

I was told not to buy this here item by the birthday boy himself.  He reminded me that it was much too expensive of a gift and that he didn’t really need it, simply chalking up a sufficient birthday gift to new white t-shirts to replace his current ones and their bacon neck situation.  I racked my brain for WEEKS trying to think of a gift that would evoke from him the same giddy response I knew this device would, but I....just....couldn’t.  I mean, I was really starting to sweat his gift this year.  So, last Friday I called AT&T, attempting to work a birthday discount miracle for the guy who never buys himself anything.  When there to my wondering ears did I hear, an automated system which said, “You have a new device waiting to be activated.  Is this the reason you are calling?” Why no it isn’t. lol  The most generous guy alive struck again, and boy was I furious (in a good way).  While I was a little bummed about discovering the Christmas gift he bought me, I took this as an open invitation to reciprocate the gesture and spend his hard earned money to get him the ONE item he would light up over.  So, off to apple I went.  And he was deeeelighted when he saw it (unless that was panic in his eyes over deeeepleted bank accounts). Ha.

 Happy Birthday to my sweetheart.  I hope you have the best birthday yet.  And while I know you loved this here gift, you actually don’t put much value on such toys, so I can also guarantee the kind of presents that mean the most to you when you arrive home from work today…a little baby girl flailing her arms and squealing because her dada is home and a wifey (who baked a cake. Yep, that’s right, a cake) who just thinks you hang the moon.  Our funds may now be low, but our spirits are rich indeed. I love you.