ten thoughts from a wednesday |43|

{just didn't quite get to publishing this yesterday...! happy thursday :)}

i love england so, so much.
from our french riviera trip, we flew back to the uk via birmingham rather than london (long story) and then drove home. we stopped by stratford-upon-avon on our way.
the minute we got out of the rental car on the high street of that quintessential british town i just thought to myself, "i'm home." and as we wandered around, taking in shakespeare's town, i couldn't stop thinking about how much i love england. i had really fallen for france on our trip - seriously such an amazing country - but nothing is like england for me. i seriously love it so much (have i said that yet?).
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^^ i had to snap a photo of this magnet quoting shakespeare in a souvenir shop. i texted it to ian while he was parking the car. because we had just proved the quote right with a little spat ;) ^^
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^^ shakespeare's birthplace and schoolroom! (gotta love the little mo doing something silly in the background...) ^^
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^^ the church where shakespeare is buried is gorgeous and beautifully preserved. i really loved stopping in there. ^^ we also found a killer playground in stratford-upon-avon ;) 

motherhood is really kicking my butt lately. i absolutely love love love being moses's and gabriel's mom, and they are both mostly incredibly sweet and fun. but the past couple of weeks have just been pretty challenging for me. gabriel's nighttime sleep regressed a lot, and moses developed a new habit of letting out a truly blood-curdling scream of "nooooooo!" that somehow pushes just the right button inside me to send my patience over the edge. ian has been traveling for work about ten of the past fourteen days and i've just been run ragged. i am learning so much from motherhood and i am genuinely so grateful for how it is refining me. but phew, it's just really freaking hard sometimes. (shoutout to all the single parents out there - you. are. amazing...!)

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^^ i started reading this book (written by my mom) for the first time the other night (after feeling like i'd turned into a total witch with the boys at bedtime). it is so good. ten pages in i was crying - because it is so funny, because it is so touching, and because i felt overflowing gratitude for my mom. ^^
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^^ moses loves, loves playdates with his buddy julian. ^^

i think that being the primary caretaker of a toddler is so much harder than being the primary caretaker of a baby. when moses was a baby, i thought my life had changed so much and i was sacrificing so much but now i'm realizing ooooh man, i was just getting started, ha! it's relatively so easy to strap a baby on/in and go places and get stuff done. (obviously it depends a lot on the baby, the toddler, and the parent - this is just my experience.) it's super fun and funny to be the primary caretaker of a toddler - i adore seeing moses learn and discover and he totally cracks me up - but it's also super involved. i have a feeling my parenting journey is only going to get harder and harder ... but i'm also going to continue to develop more capacity, and that's exciting.

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^^ someone adores his animals ... and singing along to the hymns at church, ha! ^^
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^^ a few mornings ago (while ian was still out of town), both boys were awake and ready to party at 6am. so by 7am we were on our way to kensington gardens to feed the ducks! it was such a beautiful, peaceful morning in the park. ^^

people always comment on how much moses and gabriel look alike. i have always agreed that they look like brothers, but because they are so individual to me, i've never really seen the striking resemblance. until i put the two pictures below - of my boys at 4.5 months respectively - side by side. wow...!

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we had a lesson in church last sunday about how to be a good receiver of service (usually the lessons are the other way around - about being a good giver of service)! so when a friend from our congregation reached out to me on monday morning and asked if she could watch the boys for an hour to give me a break amongst all of ian's recent business travel, i said yes you can! sometimes it feels natural to hesitate (for a myriad of reasons) to accept help, but i think there's a lot of power in saying yes to offers of simple service.

i got to go to afternoon tea with some friends last week. we went to dominique ansel bakery and it was really incredible. everything was just so pretty down to the tiniest details, and so creative. the spread of food was intended to represent the journey from seed to blossom - we started with a little gorgeous mushroom canapae that seemed like a seed and ended with a sweet treat covered in rose petals (and sugar dew drops, for good measure...). when it came time to eat the scones, they were accompanied by little white chocolate strawberries filled with clotted cream and jam....! the flavors were exquisite and the presentation was just spectacular. definitely one of my favourite afternoon tea experiences ever.

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^^ this is my friend lizzie, who was visiting london from connecticut with her husband. we've known each other since seventh grade! ^^
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poor moses has been sporting a black eye! he slipped and fell while playing on a toy truck and hit into a sharp corner just in the right spot to create quite the shiner. it's looking better every day, and i've definitely used the "you should see the other guy" joke a few times... ;) i was pretty freaked out when it first happened, because i could see it swelling and turning blue really rapidly before my eyes (i snapped a picture right after the fall because i wanted to send it to ian's brother who is a doctor). but little mo was perfectly happy about 45 seconds later and hasn't complained about it since. kids are so resilient!

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sometimes i feel like summer in london is hooooolding on...
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...and other times i can totally feel that delicious crisp of autumn in the air.
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^^ i'm a little obsessed with these fall-y belgravia storefronts ... how about those pastel pumpkins and skulls? ^^ 
i love living somewhere with really distinct seasons, and i really love the weather in london. it gets such a bad rap, but i think it's lovely (the lack of daylight hours in january and february is my only complaint).

i've been listening to this podcast episode and i am loving it! i actually haven't gotten through the whole thing yet because i have to keep pausing it to take notes (and then moses wakes up from his nap, ha). a favourite quote so far:
"love is a painful, poignant, touching attempt by two flawed individuals to try to meet each other's needs in situations of gross uncertainty and ignorance of who they are and who the other person is ... but we just do our best."
so many nuggets of awesome wisdom...i'll have to share more once i am able to get through the entire interview!

having a little giggle fest has inadvertently become part of gabriel's bedtime routine. he is such a giggly baby! and his laughs make me crazy with joy. i'm soooo glad and grateful to experience babyhood with a child of mine all over again.

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life is beautiful.


  1. I read "I didn't Plan to be a Witch" not long after the birth of my second baby when I was feeling overwhelmed and in need of a lifeline. To read such funny, heart-warming, and relatable stories from a mother whom I greatly admire was everything I needed. I'm grateful to your mom for sharing her wisdom with us all! And I'm grateful to you for continuing the tradition!

  2. Just remember, if your good mom days out number your bad mom days, you're good! It can be hard especially when does are gone. For me it doesn't matter of it's 3 days or 3 weeks, that last day always kicks my trash. I've also learned that it's generally my fault because my self-care habits range when Hyrum is gone. Hang in there!

    1. oh man, heather, you are such a champ with all of hyrum’s travel (three weeks? that would be a big fat NO from me, haha). the good very much so outweighs the bad for me but you’re right, it’s hard!!

  3. I have a 6 year old step daughter (Who we have full custody of) and a baby 2 days younger than Gabriel and my husband is gone every tuesday-friday. Motherhood is really hard for me too. It's awesome and I love my kids so much...but it's hard. I often tell my husband I miss working (I was a special ed teacher for 9 years), because I felt really good at my job, and I don't feel like I'm good at being a mom. Hang in there...age 2-4 was really hard. 4-6 hasn't been as difficult for us 😀

    1. i have so many props for moms like you whose husbands are traveling for work so much. i am sure you are an awesome mom (especially if you are an awesome special ed teacher!!). thanks for your comment.

  4. Oh man, my two year old is going through something similar. Lots of “NO, I don’t want to!” at the top of his lungs. If you figure anything out to stop that behavior, let me know! It’s definitely a fun but challenging stage. Bracing myself for three because everyone says that’s worse.

  5. I have your mothers book ! I remember the story in there about baby you in that car crash at Bear Lake ! Where she found you wrapped around the steering column as she had been breast feeding you .

  6. Did you know Shakespeare's head is missing from that grave?

  7. I think it’s great to take pictures when there is a new bump or rash or cut. You can easily say to the doc if it’s changed or how many days ago did it happen because of the picture.

  8. 1. Thank you so so so much for this post. My marriage has been exceptionally hard this past week and I really needed everything in this post.
    2. I love your moms book. It initially hurt my feelings when a friend gave it to me (haha... thought she was giving me a hint) but once I started reading, I was instantly considering giving it to so many other people :)
    3. I’m sorry things are feeling so challenging with the boys right now. You are an incredible mom, though. Even on your worst days you are better than me- I promise! Your boys are so so lucky to have a mom who cares so deeply and ensures wonderful exploration and appreciation for the world around them. You work hard at marriage, too, which will also help them tremendously. And you are doing so great at self care and staying active with friends and travel and things that you love. I am so jealous that you are training for a marathon! You got this.

  9. Age 1.5-2.5 was the hardest with my son. And later... those little men do develop slowly! Slowly. That might explain a thing or two with husbands... We expect a ton from them but they are someone's sons developing slowly... still.

  10. Yer the best! Love you so much! Wish I could be with you to enjoy all that splendor of London! Thanks to the fellow witches out there. Haha!

  11. Seriously, your sons could not be more adorable!


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