March 23, 2015

tucson_la la lovely blog

I’ve coming to the desert for 20 years, now.  Tucson has taken it’s place in my heart as a home.  And, anyone that knows me, well, knows that home is my heart.

I’m sitting at a desk, in the room I don’t usually stay in, in my parents home situated in the foot hills.  My view is fixed on the valley, the mountains behind, and the tall long armed saguaro cactus right in front of me.  This is the the room my grandpa always stayed in.  The room that belongs to our dear friends who, for 15 years, have traveled here with us.  And, the room that I holed up in with Liam Brave, 3 months old, inconsolable.  Nursing wouldn’t calm him and for some, hormonal, reason it made me sick to my stomach and with thoughts of panic, every single time I fed him.  This room is more than a room.

I brought all my babies here.  Spent sick days, huge and pregnant, here.  My first had her first birthday here.  We were here on that dreadful day in September 2001.  Awakened by a call from my Dad, and rushed to wake our friends.  We watched the news, cried, and prayed. Tucson might be the strongest tradition my kids have had.  This southwest sky will, no doubt, paint the colors of childhood in their memory.  This place will always be my heart because it was where family was family.  Beginnings of my babies, forever friendships fostered, special times with siblings, precious time with parents…..a place they had for themselves, always with the intention to share with us.  This house is more than a house.

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February 9, 2015

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little la la,

yesterday, in chicago, you told me your name isn’t la la.  i’m not sure if you rolled your eyes, but i rolled mine.  my jr. high self meeting yours.  no, your name is ella.  would have been eleanor.  beautiful fairy.  light.  grace.  and, as amy says, queen of the sea.  but, you are still ella bella ding dong, lolli-pop, ella grace with the pretty pretty face, and la la (as your little brothers started calling you – well, that and butthead).  you can’t take your names away – not even from yourself.  and, one day, you won’t want to.  you’ll laugh with your brothers, bigger then you, when they, in man voices, call you la la.  if you are lucky, like me, they will even have new names for you.  just as i have jumbo for jay.

it’s an interesting thing becoming ourselves.

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October 13, 2014


a few weeks ago i ran a half marathon.  some of you knew i was training.  training and trying, is really more like it.  i was never a runner (except for that time in jr. high) or had a desire to be.  the idea of any kind of race never even raced through my mind.  never ever was i one of those people that thought it would be cool to run a a marathon or mark it off a list.  but, in may, i did some list making with friends and a half marathon made the list, just waiting to be marked off in a few short months.

the training was tough and so time consuming.  the movement in my body and my brain.  running was always on my mind.  but, when i was actually running, my mind was on the moment.  while i did a lot of huffing and puffing and worked on wishing my way out of some of those specific moments, when i finally found my groove and my breath (which for me was two short breaths in and one long breath out) the moments of the past day, week, and all the days ahead that occupied my mind at all times drifted right out and i came upon clarity.  this made me love running.  pounding the pavement was pondering.  and, pondering tends to lead me to purpose.

i made it to the milwaukee half marathon and was super nervous.

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September 26, 2014



happy friday, lovelies.  what a week it has been.  i ran the 1/2 marathon (i’ll share a bit on that on monday) which was scary and exhilarating, my home and a behind the blogger series was featured on style me pretty, and next week i’ll be revealing rocco’s newly updated room (not yet seen).  however, away from the shiny screen, i’ve been dragging around in dodgy sweat pants with very soar feet and crabby children.  i should find the dichotomy humorous, but it usually just feels a little frustrating like you are living in some sort of strange middle place.  but, maybe that is just life?  you’ve just finished this or left that and you are on your way to here and slowly there.  what is here now is the weekend and i’m grateful for that.  at least a short blur of space time to enjoy the here and now.  a freeze frame to forget yesterday and to not think about tomorrow.  the leaves are changing here and the sun is warm and the air smells like life.   i’m hoping for a bike ride with my near and dear, a movie on the sofa, and just lingering over coffee in the morning.

what are you hoping for this weekend?  has fall arrived where you live?

these are my most fave photos from the style me pretty feature….because while my house is pretty and has fun elements…it’s these people that truly decorate it.  climbing indoor swings, racing down the halls, jumping on beds and eating frozen waffles frozen.  they are the beauty, the fun, and yes, sometimes the mess.  they are home.  we are loud, we are wild, we are quiet, we are emotional, we are fun, we are serious, we are crazy.  we need grace.  we give grace.  love lives among us and in us.  perfect love within the imperfect.

there are two mantras on our walls that sum it up well.  the first on the wall in our family room / kitchen area (which wasn’t photographed) is a print that says, ‘ IN THE MADNESS THERE IS LOVE.’

the second, i wrote for our entry way:






thank you yazy jo for taking such beautiful photos (if you are in the chicago area and looking for a wedding photographer, yazy does amazing work!) and thank you style me pretty for featuring me as a blogger and my home.

happy weekend, friends!


01 / one of my fave bloggers + friends was featured in the New York Times in an article penned “When Blogging Becomes a Slog.”  did you read it?  thoughts?

02 / hands up if you used to eat hot pockets.  love the idea of healthier home made ones like these.

03 / have you ever considered a DIY platform bed for your little ones? loving these ikea hacks.

04 / it’s that time of year when oh happy day shares the coolest costumes on the block.  love this one.

05 /  gosh, i still need to learn how to braid better because these looks are super something i’d like to try.

06 / how to feel confident in 2 minutes.  this is simple, fascinating and worth trying.

LOVELY  Pics : INSTAGRAM / Inspiration : PINTEREST / Chatter : TWITTER / Conversation : FACEBOOK

photographs by : yazy jo photography

February 14, 2014


happy friday lovelies.  happy valentines!  before anything else.  i have to know.  do you love or loathe it?  i told you here how my ritual used to be to wear all black and hand out photocopies of cupid with his arrow in his back (there might have even been a pool of blood).  ask my friends.  i’m somewhere in the middle.  we don’t usually make a big deal out of it.  usually, we are in tucson every february with some of our besties and i’d have to say those are some of my best valentines memories.  we’ve planned some fun times as a group and made some really funny memories.

however, yesterday might take the cake – – the mister came home with a kitty – – for real.  all of my pleading and instagramming and pinning kitties was not in vain.  seriously, this is one of the nicest things anyone has ever done for me.  total sacrificial giving, since the mister doesn’t “like” cats.  although, don’t tell him i said this, but i think he likes (no loves) the tat (as rocco calls him) more than any of his.  he held him all night and couldn’t wait to get him up.  tat came with the name theodore / theo and i’m just not sure i can change it.  i kind of love it (esp. after reading the goldfinch – my heart went out to theo).  and, i’m just going to apologize for the cat pictures, in advance.

he’s so cute, but all like tiger too . . .


as for this past week, i took a quick 48 hour trip to austin for if gathering.  i was tired, my kids had been sick all week and i really didn’t feel like going.  wah wah wah.  but, i went because i had a plane ticket, had a friend there waiting for me, and had a hunch that i was supposed to be there.  i think i was.  it was one of those crazy times that was busy but restful.  a lot of learning but a specific word.  how did i end up here and yet a definite dot on my map.  do you ever feel like you are on a journey that you didn’t even plan for?  that’s me right now.  it started in london last year, with stops in new york, and now austin.  austin, which held a piece, like the other places.   a piece i needed in my putting back together.  i’m not sure what stop will be next, but i think there will be more.  anyhow, i made new friends and was able to spend time with a dear friend.  it was good.  and i am grateful.

how was your week, lovelies?

looking for more love on this love day?  i shared my love story on how stephen and i met many moons ago (and how love changes over time) right here.


01 /  the downton cast not in character offering a chance to meet them in order to help a serious cause all done with the best possible british humor.  love.

02 /   i dreamt i was on my way to france last night.  this might be as close as i get this weekend.  

03 /  i love a good day in the life.  especially when it’s my fave handbag designer.

04 /  a DIY minimalist table for $90.  bet you never knew you wanted to make your own dining table.

05 /  this home has me totally swooning.

06 / my friends kitchen transformation on design sponge – a cookie cutter becomes anything but.

LOVELY  Pictures : INSTAGRAM / Inspiration : PINTEREST / Chatter : TWITTER / Conversation : FACEBOOK