Monday, September 29, 2014

Bittersweet

The end of summer is always so bittersweet for me...

I love, love, love summer. I love the sunshine, the flowers, the outdoor music & chilled cocktails. I love pontoon boat rides at the cabin, Liam playing in the sprinkler and nursing Chloe outside on the deck.

Yet as Fall starts to roll in I also look forward to throwing a sweatshirt on & going for walks in the cool, crisp air. There's nothing more comforting than making pumpkin pies, having fires in our fireplace and snuggling on the couch with my family under a bunch of fuzzy blankets.

So as Summer says goodbye and Fall says "hi" I plan to try and enjoy every little bit of it...

Goodbye warm breezes, hello coughs and sneezes.
Goodbye bees, hello colorful trees.
Goodbye tomatoes, hello potatoes.


Some things that made me smile last week:

Cooking with fresh vegetables from our garden and farmers market...


The normalcy of play time...


An abundance & assortment of tomatoes from our garden...


Flowers from Matt...


Liam playing under the birch tree in my mom's front yard 
(the same birch tree I used to play under when I was a kid)...


My usual breakfast as of lately - coffee and oatmeal with brown sugar, yogurt and fruit...


Surfers on Lake Michigan...


Our little sleeping beauty...


Liam so proud of his block building...


Chloe learning to sit up on her own...


Some cool graffiti art we discovered under a bridge...


And our cats snuggling. 
If only they knew they're brother and sister!!


Have a peaceful week,

❤️Erin 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

It's finally hanging up!



Wayyyyyy back in March of this year, a few weeks before Chloe was born, the ladies in my Crafty Club surprised me with a really cool Wall Alphabet craft. I arrived at my friend Sarah's house expecting to do an Easter-themed craft, and voila! The ladies had secretly planned to make this alphabet instead & give it to me as a baby gift :)

In March, decorating the letters during Crafty Club...

Fast forward almost 6 months and we FINALLY have it hanging up in Chloe's room!! 

There are various reasons why it took me so long to get it on the wall: 1) The ladies had a hard time getting all of the letters to stay fastened together. Sarah and Joy hot-glued the letters together prior to dropping it off at our house & it broke into various pieces when it arrived.  2) I had planned to reinforce it with hot glue and hang it up in the nursery before the baby arrived, but Chloe came two weeks earlier than expected! and 3) I'm a professional procrastinator. It took me this long to just sit down and get it done

When I finally sat down a couple of weeks ago to work on it I found that using overlapping sheets of clear contact paper on the back + hot gluing the living heck out of it was the best way to secure it.

First I placed the letters onto clear contact paper...

Then I applied a BOATLOAD of hot glue in any spot where it 
wouldn't be too noticeable...

Once the glue was set and dried I flipped the whole thing over and x-acto
knifed away the most noticeable (and structurally unimportant) parts of the contact paper...

I then secured floral wire around some of the letters and attached a hanging wire on the back.


Here are some photos of the final project, hanging above Chloe's crib:



 Each of the letters were decorated amongst the seven of us...

And a couple photos of some of the other art in her room...



        Thank you Sarah, Joy, Andi, Janine, Erin and Stephanie for the nice addition to Chloe's room!!



Monday, September 15, 2014

A balancing act

I've been totally slacking in the taking-photos-of-the-kiddos Department. Life has been so busy.

We've been doing lots of fun stuff. In the past few weeks we've:
Attended two weddings.
Taken a trip to our cabin.
Spent a day at the zoo.
Enjoyed Bookworm Gardens twice.
Have been harvesting tomatoes from our garden.
Matt's been canning dilly beans and making homemade salsa.
Liam has done countless experiments with paint & glitter glue & play dough.
We've taken trips to the farmer's market.
Started potty training Liam.
Started giving Chloe cereal.

But it's really the daily to-do list that's been keeping us busy:
It's the laundry.
And the dishes.
And the constant layer of crumbs and stickiness on the kitchen floor.
The picking up of toys & socks & books & random everything.
The mowing of the law, de-weeding the garden, watering the flowers, etc.
Paying bills and getting rid of piles of junk mail.
Keeping the refrigerator stocked and the diaper baskets full.
Hosting friends and family at our house.
Double bath times. Double story times. Double put-downs-to-bed.

I've been struggling during the day with how to manage the routine stuff while also making time for fun and caring for two little kids. As soon as I think I've figured it all out, something changes or goes haywire. Luckily, when Matt's done with work for the day, he's an enormous help! When he's with the kids and I things are so much easier.

We have 2 kids and I get stressed out. My Grandma Bieniek had 8 kids and my Grandma Judnic had 9 kids!! HOW DID THEY DO IT ALL?

I've been super complain-y and crabby lately (I'm so sorry Matt) but I truly feel blessed to be busy and tired and surrounded by chaos sometimes. I would rather be busy than bored!

And so we truck on...
...trying to find a balance between fun and the day-to-day....


A few photos of things that have made me smile in the past few weeks:


This little sweetie keeps me smiling...

Liam loving the outdoors at our cabin...

 Kitchen chaos. 

At the zoo. Chloe's first train ride.

Afternoon snuggling with my peanut...

My nephew's 3rd birthday party...

Liam at the park

And last but not least...
(we're trying the "naked" potty training technique)

Monday, September 1, 2014

A beginning


We had Chloe baptized last Sunday.

She was baptized by Pastor Jim at First Congregational Church in Sheboygan.

We asked my brother Jason and Matt's sister Becky to be her godparents. They were there, along with other family members and friends, to welcome Chloe into the Christian community.

As parents it is our hope that faith was created in Chloe's heart through her baptism and that she becomes a loving, compassionate, honest, generous and lovable human being. May this be the beginning of a faithful life for our little Chloe :)

Here are a few photos from the baptism and the gathering + lunch we had at our home afterwards:



I loooovvveeee these little feet!

Our sweet little girl.

 Chloe and her Great-Grandma Beiniek (my mom's mom)


Liam was intrigued by the whole thing.



With her Cousin Beth.

What's a party without some yummy cake?

Snuggled up to her Great-Aunt Tracy

Hanging out with cousins Jenna and Danny.


With her Godfather, Jason.

With her Godmother, Becky.

Grandma Judnic: happy!
Chloe: tired 

Some paper flowers that I made and hung from our kitchen ceiling.
Super easy to make - Tissue Paper Pom Poms

A cozy spot to sit on our deck.

Fun fact: the white gown that Chloe is wearing in these photos was worn by Matt at his baptism, as well as by his dad and grandpa. It's quite the antique and beautifully made.