ten thoughts on a wednesday |18|


i can’t believe it’s been so long since i last published a blog post! it’s just been a wild couple of weeks. we have begun our search for a new flat in earnest, my parents came to visit, moses got an awful little tummy bug, we took a trip to switzerland, ian has been ultra busy at work, and, frankly, i’ve just been feeling like i’m in a bit of a rut in a few different ways lately. i’m grateful for the new start that every single day offers.

i think i may have finally convinced ian to enter into a new phase of traveling. i’m soooo glad we’ve have all the adventures we’ve had over the past few years, and our pace and mode of traveling has been exhilarating -  really filling our life with a lot of wonder and learning. but i’m ready for a new chapter - i’m just tired of quick weekend trips and packed travel itineraries! i want to go to one destination and spend a week or two experiencing it without any rush. we have a couple quick trips planned in october and one in december, but i’m hoping 2018 will be a bit more … slow. we are thinking ten days in morocco in early march and a two week road trip along the french riviera in late summer. knowing us, i’m sure we’ll sneak in some sort of ridiculous quick trips here and there, but truly, it’s time for a new era :)

moses is just … growing up. he’s transforming from our little baby into a little boy. he’s graduated from taking 2-5 uneasy steps between us to taking 10-15 wobbly steps across the living room with this adorable super-proud look on his face. he’s repeating animal sounds and some simple words, and he’s remarkably good at following instructions i give him about cleaning up or pointing at something in a book or doing one of his tricks. he’s obsessed with his dad and with dogs and birds. he’s snuggly and affectionate, loooves giving stuffed animals hugs (with the sweetest little “awww” sound), and sometimes grabs both sides of my face to pull me in for a slobbery kiss. i keep thinking he must have hit an apex of cuteness, but honestly he just keeps getting more darling to me. i am so, so grateful to be his mama.

i feel like i’ve been learning a lot in my marriage lately – about my husband, about myself, about life and relationships and humanity. it’s amazing and beautiful to me, this process of refining and discovering that comes from committing to share your life with someone else.

it was so great to have my parents in town for a few days last week. and, actually, they are coming back to london tomorrow! (they spent some time elsewhere in europe in between.) i got to help my mom a bit with a new book she’s writing about grandmothering, i adored watching moses play with his grandparents, and we all had some really fun meals and conversations all together. the highlight of their time in london for me was the bike ride my dad and i took together one perfect autumnal morning through london’s parks. my parents are some of my very best friends on earth, and i’m so so glad for that. IMG_9491

gosh, switzerland has a major corner on spectacular. seriously, that country! it’s crazy. every time i go i am blown away by its beauty. i am excited to share some pictures from our adventures there last week. but first, i still have faroe island pictures to post! this planet is so amazing.

the other day, i was sitting on the couch reading a book about a baby bear and a mama bear with moses. when we got to the end of the story, i asked moses to point at the baby bear, and then at the mama bear. then i said, “little mo, where’s your mama?” moses looked right in my eyes, pointed right in my face, and said mama.
he’s been saying that word and associating it with me for quite a few weeks, but that crystal clear moment was just so tender and somehow remarkably fulfilling and beautiful for me.
when moses says dada his voice is high-pitched and bright (usually because he’s soooo stinking excited to see ian), but when he says mama his voice is kind of low and raspy and warm. i love it.
on another day, a stranger delighted by the little mo asked me how old he was. after i told her, she looked me right in the eye and said, “you are so lucky.” yes, i am. i am so, so lucky.

the whole process of moving is just a big. ole. pain. and i want it to be over, already! we have to be out of our flat by 8 november, so the pressure is really on to find our next place … and juggling the pros and cons of lots of different properties in this wild city is just exhausting! we actually found what felt like the perfect spot, and then we got outbid by someone else (when it comes to renting in london, there’s lots of negotiation back and forth between the landlord and potential tenets around price, requirements, etc). now i compare everything to that place and i’m just … excited to be done searching for a place to live at some point :) then it’s on to the actual moving bit, which also comes with challenges for sure! but it’s exciting. it’s a new chapter for our family. we are grateful to live in this amazing city. it’s been fun to be in different neighborhoods viewing different flats and imagining us living there!
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i’ve been thinking lately about feelings and how emotions guide our lives in so many ways. i’ve been ridiculed a bit for trusting my feelings so much when it comes to my faith, but the more i think about it, the more i realize how vital feelings are to so many aspects of being human. feelings are how we determine who we love and build relationships with, how we spend our time, what we believe about basic right and wrong, our sexuality and personality and identity. of course emotions can be fickle and deceiving and conflated, but they’re important! i believe in really listening to our hearts and our minds, together.

autumn in here. yay! without a doubt, my favourite season. i love that we live on a planet with different seasons (in many places). yesterday i experienced such a perfect fall afternoon. moses and i met some friends in green park and then walked home in that distinctive slanty light of autumn past trafalgar square, where some really talented street performers were filling the air with music as the black cabs and red buses cruised by on our london streets. it was a little slice of wonderful.
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happy wednesday! life is beautiful!

ten thoughts on a wednesday |17|


i am a member of a facebook group of wellesley graduates who are parents. the posts in this group range from fascinating to hilarious to helpful, and every once in a while there’s one that makes me cry! this past week someone asked members of the group to share what makes parenting “worth it” for them – to share experiences that have caused them to pause and think, “having kids was definitely the right choice for me.” the responses were so, so beautiful and tender! people talked about the wonder of watching their toddlers learn something new, and the way their babies remind them to find joy in simple things, and the sweetest moments of snuggling or love or triumph. this post made me reflect on all the many reasons i personally find parenthood to be awesome and all the many snippets of extraordinary love and joy i’ve experienced in my short fourteen months as a parent. i’m really, really grateful.

i’m starting to feel pretty psyched about fall! there’s a little nip in the air and the sunlight is getting all slanty, and reds and oranges are peeking out on trees around london. i love this city in the autumn, and i feel like the summer has been so full and satisfying. bring on allll the coziness and wonder of the next season!

moses is learning so much every day! i really can’t believe how quickly he catches on to things and how much he can understand and do on his own now. his “trick” repetoire is growing! he can do the following things on demand (or just when he feels like it ;)) : pat his belly, touch his toes, say a prayer (fold his arms), sign “more please,” sign “thank you,” sign “milk,” make a fishy sound, make a lion sound, say dada, say mama (finally!), point at jesus (a picture we have hanging on the wall), point at any bird, dog or ball in any book, turn the page, give hugs and kisses (which he especially likes to do with his stuffed animals), make music (the cutest little sing/hum), dance, and be gentle (which has somehow translated into stroking my face).
and, yesterday….! moses took his first steps!! my cousin aubrey was hanging out at our flat and she was actually the one to witness his spontaneous three-step voyage – haha! he has since walked a few steps between ian and i and it’s just so exciting!

last saturday we took the train to the temple with our friends the larsons, and our friends the duncans met us there. we traded off babysitting so we could all go in the temple with our spouse. it was a gorgeous day and ian and i had such a blast having a picnic and playing with five fun kids on the temple grounds (and then a wonderful time inside the temple together).
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in an effort to better keep to our monthly budget, we recently decided to roll over any amount of money we go over or under in any given category to the next month (i.e. if we spend fifty pounds more than our allotted grocery budget in september, we get fifty pounds less to spend on groceries in october) – rather than finding another way to even things out. this is really motivating and i’m finding all kinds of ways to save a bit of spending here and there, and that feels good! ian and i have had different saving and spending habits in our lives, so it’s been an adventure to decide how to do it all together. we think we are well-suited in this way and balance each other out nicely.

i can’t stop thinking about how awesome (as in truly inspiring genuine awe) our four days in the faroe islands were (with my brother and his family). while driving around that incredible place in our massive nine-seater van, we played a lot of this song and this song – both pumped us up in different ways!

i forgot to mention in my posts about our baby-free trip to malta that the best part was sleeping in in the mornings!!! in faroe islands, moses woke up at 5:30 every morning :( oh, and also, the plane rides to and from malta were basically bliss – haha! it’s really great to travel without baby sometimes, but man, we love having little mo along on our adventures.

moses and i spent an afternoon in primrose hill last week. we went to a little playground in the cutest colouful square and moses loved swinging and watching some boys play football. we walked through regent’s park to queen mary’s rose garden because i just love it so much! and i wanted to see the roses before they start really fading into fall. i love living in this city.
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last saturday night, just before moses’s bedtime, ian said, “okay, let’s cut his hair.” we had talked about trying an at-home haircut for moses for a while, and the hair-in-the-eyes stuff was starting to drive us all a little crazy. “let’s just do it – now,” ian said. and so we stripped mo down, put him in the sink, watched one youtube video about cutting a baby boy’s hair, and went for it.
i thought it would turn out really awful, but honestly, it didn’t turn out that bad! we think moses looks so much older with shorter hair, and we miss the cute whispies and curls, but it was time. it was a funny experience and will always be a fun memory.
here’s mo the morning after his haircut, in some new sunday clothes – looking so grown up!
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the power of moms (an awesome website that my sister started and runs) is offering something really fantastic for free right now! it’s called a clutter busting kit and it includes tons of resources (step-by-step guides, podcasts, photos, etc) to help parents get ride of clutter and get their kids involved in helping with housework! check it out here!

happy wednesday!
life is beautiful!

eli, julie, zara & dean come to london!

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now all eight of my siblings have come to visit us in london!

it was such a blast having my closest-in-age brother eli, his awesome wife julie, and their kids zara and dean in london with us a couple weeks ago. we explored iconic sights and hidden mews, there was plentiful cousin bonding and sibling bonding, we had crazy awesome slumber parties in our tiny flat, and the kids kept us on our toes and laughing.

we are so grateful for eli and julie’s friendship, and their examples.

it was a fabulous few days together in london before we all set off to the faroe islands! eli and julie had been to london several times before (eli did a study abroad here), but it is always fun to share the city as our home with those we love.

^^ right after ejzd’s arrival from new york city! moses and i picked them up at the tube station and the fun began. ^^
^^ zara and moses adore each other. moses was looking at these pictures with me together earlier and was soooo thrilled to see zara. ^^
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^^ playing at the pirate ship park (how darling is little mo peaking out from the belly of the ship?!) ^^
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^^ passing kensington palace and then jetlagged kids passing out in the victoria & albert museum. ^^
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^^ ^^ mo loved riding on the top deck of double deckers with his cuzzies! ^^ ^^
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^^ can you spot us with excited arms up in front of westminster abbey? // deanie chasing pigeons in covent garden ^^
^^ saturday morning in notting hill…
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^^ this girl is just dripping with pizzazz. i love her so much! ^^
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^^ from a little cruise on the thames from big ben to tower bridge! ^^
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^^ uncle ian telling zara some cool facts about the moat at the tower of london ^^
^^ really bad lighting and screaming kids. good times! :) ^^
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^^ the second shot above has got to be one of my favourite pics in the world – everyone who knows ian loves him, but especially four year olds. ^^IMG_9410
^^ ^^ we had some crowded dinners at our flat, and one glorious kid-free dinner out! ^^ ^^
^^ on sunday, while i went to pick up ian’s birthday cake after church, he took our visitors to the top of one new change to see the views of st. paul’s. i love this photo even though it’s blurry – those six faces are some of my very favourite on earth! ^^
^^ love these two. ^^
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^^ birthday party with stellar views. ^^
^^ and a sunday picnic in the rose garden in regent’s park! ^^
^^ mo loves his auntie julie. ^^
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^^ sheesh i love these kids. ^^
^^ these four got to go inside buckingham palace (which is only possible a few weeks a year). zara was pretty excited about going in the princess’s house, but pretty disappointed that she didn’t meet the princess, like she was expecting haha! ^^
^^ popping into the natural history museum. ^^
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^^ how we roll – so fun wrangling those kids all over london. ^^
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love eli, julie, zara and dean so much, and loved the time we had together in london!