hello erin »

every year we take our christmas card pictures in september and every year i convince myself that this is the year (!) i keep them secret until our christmas cards are sent.

and every year i get too excited and post them.

i was nervous-ish about pictures. pretty much because toddlers suck and you never quite know what you’re going to get with em. thankfully our beloved photographer ala is pretty much the sweetest and bestest and lex was overjoyed to be in front of her camera.

and yes. this is photo overload. . . just imagine how our christmas cards are going to look.

safe to say my hands down favorite is the picture of mike & lex. those two steal my heart.

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  • Sara - Yep. These are the cutest. The absolute best. And the most fun pictures EVERY! 100% obsessed and you should be too. I hope when I come see you they are ALL.OVER.YOUR.HOUSE. because they are the most adorable pictures EVER.

  • julie - OBSESSED. Seriously love them all so much!

  • EHayes - OMG, love these so much! What a ham, definitely going to be hard to narrow down your choices!

  • Chrissy - Gorgeous photos!!! How will you ever pick one for your Christmas card? Lex did such a great job working the camera!

  • Colleen Sullivan - I love ‘em! Framers, all of them!

  • melissa - Great pictures! You’re going to have a hard time narrowing it down for a Christmas card!

  • Karra - in LOVE! You have a beautiful family!!

  • Jess - Oh my gosh, the best! All of them!! I wouldn’t blame you if you put them all on your Christmas card!!! Your family is precious…I can’t wait to meet the fourth member!!

  • Kelley - I ADORE ADORE ADORE these! Seriously. Every single one!

  • Courtney P - Gorgeous photos, Erin! You have such a beautiful family. And I love the one of Lex standing by herself with her hands on her hips. That one literally made me laugh out loud. You are glowing and so beautiful – can’t wait to meet the newest member of the family!

  • Jenny - beautiful beautiful photos!!! I totally love the one with Lex upside – it’s like she’s holding on to the baby bump for dear life! Your boots look amazing and perfect for a fall photo shoot! I would have a hard time picking which ones to put on a card with so many great options. Oh that close up of Lex?! And 16 year old lex with her hands on her hips?! I about died — perfect way to capture toddler personality!

  • Courtney B - Best family pictures!! These are seriously SO cute! And you look amaaaaazing, Erin! I hope you’ve been feeling good!

  • Courtney - HER HAIR. YOUR BELLY. HER BOOTS. THE ONE LOOKING BACKWARD. ahhhh love love love love love love.

  • Meg O. - AH! They are gorgeous! Beautiful family, to boot!

  • Elizabeth - OH MY GOODNESS. These are so amazing! I’m glad I’m not you and have to narrow these down because if I were you… these would all make their way on to the Christmas card (somehow!)! GORGEOUS!

  • Courtney - oh that third one, laughed out loud for that one. They are so cute!!! I hate waiting to share pics. So hard. I suck at it too. And these are SOOO good!

  • Mayumi Shimose Poe - Mike and his little lady are cute, agreed, but mama, that photo of you and lex is stunning and you can see all the love in the world right there in that single frame. SO sweet. Love them all and GLAD we don’t have to wait till Christmas to see them!

  • Ashley - They are perfect!!!!! Love the sweet smiles!

I think lex was a farm-hand in a past life. This kid loves herself any and all sorts of animals. But what really does it for her is farm animals. The zoo is awesome- but anyplace we can get up close and personal with some friendly faces is a sure-fire win.

So with mike out of town this weekend we made a little girls trip with my other- animal-groupie leslie to a magical place called the gentle barn.

The gentle barn is ah-mazing. And ah-dorable. They specialize in cow hugging. And said cows have bows in their hair. If it wasn’t frowned upon to scream in front of them I’m sure lex and I would have been legit squealing at the sight of em.

We settled for hugging.

We also got to chase a few chickens (who weren’t feeling too hold able), pet a turkey (lex’s highlight), groom some goats, and lay on some pigs.

If that doesn’t sound like the best day ever I don’t know what does.

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  • Sara - Lex is so so so sweet with the animals. I can’t even handle her and Auntie L together!!!! Love the bows!!

  • julie - Totally the best day ever!

  • B - oh this is amazing. my girl loves her some farm animals. well any animal really. so awesome that you get to hug a cow and groom a goat. I am sure the piggies loved to be layed on as well – a true piggy pile!

  • Kelley - Sweet pictures- Lex sure does love her animals. The cows wear bows- adorable!

  • Jess - Total perfection! She’s simply adorable. :)

  • Chrissy - So sweet! Elin loves farm animals, too! She not afraid of any of them.

  • karra - Rae would’ve been in that mud hole in a heartbeat! and this is the best, we love going to the farms for the animals!!

  • Ashley - The sweetest!!!!!!!!!! I want to go to one of those!

  • Elizabeth - So sweet! She is so brave! She looks so at home with the animals. I see being a vet in her future!

  • Kristin - So sweet! I myself am terrified of animals so it always amazes me to see these little approach these giant beasts with no fear!

  • Courtney - Cow hugging?? Oh you californians ;)

  • Jenny - “The best day ever!!”
    Haha it looks totally fun and totally sweet. It’s so age appropriate I love it! And cows with bows? Does it get any better than that?!

  • Vanessa - I can’t even handle these pictures!! I want to go there!

  • Colleen Sullivan - Aw!! I love it! She’s the cutest :)

  • Tiffany K - okay, that does sound like the best day! I love every single freaking picture! So cute!

  • Courtney - Cow hugging! Yeah, best day ever.

mike’s officially been swept away to new orleans for my baby bro’s bachelor party lex and i have the weekend to ourselves.

i’m a total and complete wuss so i’m sure this will mean that we’ll be at target at least 3x, ice cream will be served with (for) every meal, and we might be sharing a bed (good thing lex has a full. . and she loves my body pillow far more than mike does).

but really. i plan on taking advantage of a girls weekend and painting nails, curling hair, baking cookies, and dressing like princesses. which come to think of it sounds like every other day (sorry babe). but really tonight i have a date with “the fault in our stars” movie and sunday we have big big plans with leslie and a certain gentle barn (cue major excitement over farm animals).

in other news. i just finished the bestest book ever. i’m 99% sure it’s going to be my book club choice if they every let me pick (rumor got around that i’m a goldfinch drop out and love teen lit). it took me less than 24 hours to read the 462 pages of sheer genius. and it took me three of liane moriarty’s books to connect the dots and realize I’m straight up obsessed with her. she’s the genius also behind the husbands secret and what alice forgot.

and this is probably long past the part where i fill you in on what its called.

big little lies.

go read it. ASAP. i love that a reviewer said that its “not your average mommy novel”. sums it up perfectly.


so while it may be friday in other parts of the country my work week is just starting since i have to feed, care for, and parent the tot all by myself (insert heaps and heaps of sarcasm here. . . life ain’t that bad).




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  • julie - Bachelor party in New Orleans? I’m kind of jealous! Good luck this weekend….I know that lex + farm animals is always a good combo! And that book has been on my list for a while…glad to know it’s a good one!

  • Sara - Next time I come to visit, I want to live the Lex-Mommy life!! Ice cream for every meal?! What’s not to love??

  • Courtney - A weekend by yourself totally calls for Target 3x at least.

  • Jenny - ahhh, yay for a girls weekend!! i am in love with the last two pictures of lex!! where is that adorable milk jar sippy from?!

  • Chrissy - Looking forward to checking that book out! Sounds great!

  • Jess - Have so much fun with Lex this weekend!! I can’t wait to see pictures of your fun! :) And, thanks for the book recommendation! Anything I can read in less than weekend is a win in my book…no pun intended.

  • karra - I’m halfway through the husbands secret! love it so far, I’ll have to pick this one up too. & girls weekend-YAY.

  • Amy - After I read The Husband’s Secret, I devoured the rest of Liane Moriarty’s novels and I recently finished Big Little Lies. Her writing is amazing.

    You should definitely check out her other books, they are all really great:
    What Alice Forgot
    The Last Anniversary
    The Hypnotist’s Love Story
    Three Wishes

  • Ashley - Enjoy your GIRL weekend, sounds like perfection! Love the ears, too! XO

  • Jess Beer - I am obsessed with Liane Moriarty too…LOVED Big Little Lies!

  • Jenny - Sending you happy thoughts for a not so hard girls weekend! Princesses and cookies sounds like a blast to me! :) Oh and off to check out that book! Sounds like something I’d love to read!

  • Colleen Sullivan - I’d be suuuper jelly about my husband going to New Orleans — all that gumbo, beignets and drinks! mmmm. Have a wonderful girls weekend and tell us how you like Fault in our Stars!

  • Courtney - Have fun!!! Thanks for the book rec. I need read something good, I had such a series of flops I lost book interest for a while.

  • Kelley - Sounds like the perfect weekend! And I’m going to have to grab that book! Oh that milk jar straw and lid is amazing. PBK I presume? :)

  • EHayes - I think you planned my wkd in october when dad is away for boys weekend. And yes, deets on the lid for the milk jar… we might be doing cookies & milk for K’s bday so that’d be a perfect favor. Have fun!

  • Elizabeth - Sounds like the perfect girls weekend! Mind if I crash? ;) I went to Target last night so I’m already 1/3 of the way there! All kidding aside, I hope you girls have the best weekend! And that you love The Fault in Our Stars. I totally saw it in the theater with all the other teenagers and LOVED it every bit as much as they did.

  • Lauren - oh my gosh I just finished big little lies!! It was soooooo good!!!

  • Mayumi Shimose Poe - Good for you that you can stay positive about Mike going away. I [insert multiple colorful swear words] hate it.

Let me start by admitting just how lazy I truly am. And how much I wasn’t looking forward to what turned out to be a glorious weekend.

Mikes been all tri-man lately and I’ve been all couch potato. So major crossroads are had (and not the glorious B.spears kind). What I considered driving and hotel staying and packing and cheering turned into an easy peasy super fun weekend.

My biggest complaint was that my beloved body pillow didn’t make the trip. All hail the pregnancy pillow.

We picked lex up from school on Friday and hit the road to sunny san Diego. We hit the pool, the park, lex got some new sneaks, and mike let me eat at my favorite restaurant of ALL TIME (just to butter me up a bit with browned butter and mizerthra cheese).

lex requested i take pictures of her before school. . . and i hope this is a phase that never ends.

saturday we headed to the san diego zoo. which is like the bomb diggity of all zoos. i swear my zoo experiences shall never be the same. we got there early bird status at 9am and had the zoo to ourselves.

well us and the flamingos. which we got to feed. flamingo’s are lex’s jam. possibly because they’re pink. but when she learned she got to get up close n personal with a flock she was over the moon.

sunday was race day. mike has been killing it lately in triathlons. while lex has been killing it in sideline dance moves.

this handsome devil took EIGHTH in his age group (which is like the hardest age group evah) and 50-something overall (out of like 600 people!). we’re oh, so proud. especially since this was his first olympic distance tri.

ready for an action shot?

since then my days have been filled with disney, disney, oh and more disney.

monday i got to experience disney sans stroller and met up with my bff smulie and her hawt husband jon. after that i felt so guilty for leaving lex lex at home we decided that a mother/princess disney day was a complete necessity.

and now i need at least 3 weeks at home to recoup.


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  • Sara - I’m so jealous of Sir’s lean legs!! Not jealous enough to compete in tri’s though! ROCKSTAR, Sir. Can’t even process that he was 6th!!! Lex, as always, is the cutest!!

  • Jess - What a weekend! And, you have the best looking family…all three of you (and I’m sure the 4th will be a rockstar, too). I LOVE the San Diego Zoo!!! I still remember the orangutans fondling each other…haha!!! Get some rest, girl.

  • Colleen Sullivan - Wow go Mike! In my dreams I always want to be a triathlete and then I think about the hard work , and… meh! But seriously, swimming in open water SCARES me to death.

  • EHayes - Congrats to your husband, that’s so awesome (speak of, can he guest post again?) I went to the SD Zoo when I was kid, LOVED it, they had so many monkeys… that’s really all I remember, but it def kicked the Philly Zoo’s arse, which isn’t that bad of a zoo either. And I’m so jealous of your distant to Disney!

    And Lex is so bendy!

  • Vanessa - Olympic distance tri?! That’s amazing!!! But I feel lazier just looking at that picture ;) Did I mention I love Lex’s shin tattoo?!?

  • Charla - Triathlon…. Blah blah blah. I’m way too lazy for that! What really speaks to me is said pregnancy pillow! Which one do you have? I just may be in the market…

I’d be lying if i said we didn’t have a stellar hair week this week.

by “we” i clearly mean lex because my locks don’t hold a candle to blonde curls. lex has become very demanding about her hair these days. She requests all sorts of princess styles (i usually just braid it and name it some sort of princess), but now she’s into getting it curled and twirled and adorned with a giant pink bow.

which definitely showcases her fabulous LA county fair hair wrap.

she called this one “barbie hair!!”

this week we got a shipment of pretty darn adorable headbands c/o bitty bow shop. considering how picky/opinionated this toddler can be involving all things clothes/shoes/hair alexis totally nailed lex and her style. and the pink headband was on before i could count to three- because pink AND jewels is the way to this princesses heart.

i’m pretty sure a sequin disney clip will be making its way into our collection soon. I have to admit everything is so dang adorable that it’s hard not to go crazy (the prices! So reasonable!).

lex has decided naps these days are a crap-shoot- most days she goes down like a champ, other days she sits for 30 minutes and then promptly declares “mommy! i’m still awake!”. this is something i just can’t get myself on board with. my fingers are crossed its a stage– because even if she’s happy as a clam skipping her nap and acts none the grumpier I’m not ready to say sinara to my 2.5 hour DVR date. at least i’m buying some quiet time thanks to a few new books. she’s officially obsessed with every single little golden princess book ever made. i have fond memories of reading pokey little puppy via little golden books- but now they have fancy things like frozen and tinker bell.

its still hot here. sky high temps that have us reaching for the shade and longing for boots. i have complete confidence that the weather will cool sometime before january proving my wannabe weatherman of a husband wrong. he’s my boot-dream-crusher year after year.

but chances are he’s right and we’ll be hitting the pool for another few months.








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  • Tiffany Kuehl - I love each and every one of these pictures!!! She is so cute! Sydney loves having her hair curled too! Luckily it only takes me about five minutes to do hers. Lol

  • Sara - Love those luscious locks and bows! I WISH my hair looked that good!!

  • Courtney P - She is sooooo cute!! Gorgeous headbands. I just love her spunky personality!!

  • Laura - Lex is too cute and I’m loving those hairbands! They are my favorite accessory when dressing Presley!

  • EHayes - I can’t wait for A’s hair to thicken a bit, it’s long but it’s so wispy in the front and has natural wave/bounce so it just doesn’t look like little girl hair yet, just constant messy toddler bedhead. Of course the fact she rips out bows and ponies at random times doesn’t help either!

  • Chrissy - Love those bows on Lex. Adorable! Love her hair curled.

  • karra - Lex’s hair is swoon worthy! Crossing my fingers with you she starts napping again!!

  • Jasmine Star - I can’t even…I was just sucked into this glorious blog. And I not so secretly wish you were my mom. With all your stay busy boxes and stuff. Does that make me creepy? Oh well. xoxo

  • Laureen - First of all, Jasmine Star just commented on your blog..?! How cool. :)
    I’m always so impressed by her hair, well done momma!! She is too cute.
    Hope you both can get some nap/rest time in soon, I’m sure you could really use it.

  • Courtney B - Lex kills me with her cuteness. I hope Mia is en route to being as girly as Lex ;)
    I remember the little golden books! I actually hated the puppy one, but I can’t remember why? I think it made me sad? Ha!
    I can’t believe how crazy hot the weather has been in California!! Sending some cool vibes your way… as if that will make a difference! :)

  • Courtney - She is so cute demanding hair styles. I still have to beg Aria to just let me put up the top bit so it stays our of her eyes. She is getting so much hair lately and yet it seems like none because it is all in the front and back and the sides are like meh maybe next month will grow some. Although Aria will be hard pressed to get me to do fancy things to her hair like curl it. I’m seriously lacking in the hair style department.

  • Kelly Mock - Love her shoes in the top pic! She is adorable!

  • Elizabeth - Girlfriend has the best hair around! I’m pretty jealous. Also, I’m more than sure that her hair looks way better than mine everyday because I am so fancy and put it up in a bun (with a headband though! but a boring black one at that) EVERY.DAY.
    And girl, I hope your weatherman husband is wrong because I just bought 4 sweaters today and am DYING to wear them! I actually thought today was kind cold and it was still 85 degrees!

  • Kristin - lex has the mot lusciously perfect hair and i’m totally jealous of it!