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Friday, July 29

the washington nationals

we went to the nationals park to watch our local team play the rookies. guess we're following them from ballpark to ballpark now. :)

we went with bryce & jamie (who i think you can tell the beans are enamored with), braved some heat & intensely busy metro rides, ate famous ben's chili bowl, & cossette made best friends with the group sitting behind us. when we ran back into them on the train, they actually had seats & basically pulled ellers onto their laps in the sardine packed car so austin didn't have to stand with her. that girl is shy for about 11 milliseconds. 

while austin got up to take jellybean to the bathroom i crossed an item off my bucket list!! (yes i do have an actual detailed categorized bucket list. *cough*ocd*) we made it onto the JUMBOTRON as i tried to dance/rock my babe to sleep. the chief was just glad it wasn't the kiss cam, with him gone & everything :)

Tuesday, July 26

do i just take more pictures?

it's normal to have several hundred a month & then an additional folder of hundreds for each trip. right? bopi, back me up here...

Sunday, July 24

cossette's 1!

it so strange having your baby turn one. it feels like they've always been here & you keep thinking, it's only been one year?! but they have so much personality, have grown tons, have such a huge piece of your heart! that really happens that fast?? plus the first year is exhausting & difficult & you end up giving yourself major props for keeping this fragile little thing alive for an entire 365 days, when it felt like 500.

& when your first turns 2 you feel like, we most definitely did not have another year! & even though you've spent every second with her, it seems like you haven't gotten enough time with your baby for her to be a toddler now. the second year just flew! i think for every kid's every birthday i will get all retrospective & sentimental. poor things.

so here we are seemingly 500 days after cossette came to us & celebrating her first birthday.

we adore this sweet, unpredictable, funny, babbling, terrible eating coconut!
she is an exquisite little handful. :)

Saturday, July 23

fix it

i've been kind of nostalgic lately. i think i work in a less than normal female frequency & then have these bubbles of sappiness.

the jellybean was watching a show while i was making dinner & feeding cossette (or taking a photoshop class & pinning, who can remember?). & i hear something crash on the show & ellery gasps 'uh-oh! the puppy broke it!' & pointing at the screen, 'fix it mommy!'

& the sweet thing was dead serious. because mommy & daddy can fix everything. she is a very independent thing but has no problem asking for help & is constantly asking us to 'fix it'. & after laughing & telling her to see what happens, i got all sad. because as much as i wish i could i will not be able to fix everything for her.

Thursday, July 21


i enjoy doing a project or 2 when i can. i'll be blunt. creativity is not where i suffer. that, my friends, is in the execution. the ideas flow but i don't have the resources or the ability to polish off a beautiful finished product. but i'm learning. & trying. & for now that's enough.

i saw a coffee filter wreath & thought that since i didn't have any coffee paraphernalia but did have an old torn up french book, i would do pages rather than filters.

of course i found tutorials for book wreaths shortly thereafter & it probably would have minimized all the finger burns but i did it in less than an hour & like how it turned out. i even did a mini one for my mama.

next i kept seeing all these fun burlap pillows all over the place & thought 'hey, i could force get my mom to make that with me.' we did a few different techniques & experimented with this super soft muslin, burlap material.

& made a new burlap cover with gigantic wooden buttons for our beloved trampoline-ottoman in the basement.

the chief & i bought this table at DI when we were very first married for i think $10. it's the only furniture we bought. everything else was either gifted or hand-me-downs from the family i nannied. we overhauled it & were super proud of ourselves. haha it was really quite simple. it's an old record player table that also had a radio dial in it so part of the top opens & the sides originally had speakers with a kind of orange shag carpet over them. cute cute cute. haha aust ripped the front off & hinged it at the bottom so that it's a drop front cabinet while i cleaned out the inside & replaced the shag with a less hideous blue.

it was our tv stand then a funny console table & an entryway catch all & has held all sorts of things. since we have so much closet space here it had kind of lost its purpose. i've always wanted a vanity & had an epiphany 3 days ago that this could maybe be it.
so i primed, sanded, & spray painted away. inside. cause it was raining & i wanted to & i'm an idiot. not recommended.

anyway since i had barely hemmed our master bedroom curtains i just happened to have the perfect size scraps to replace the lovely blue. it may be a little too matchy matchy for my taste but for now it was an easy zero cost solution.

i do think i'll do another white coat & poly but by brush this time. i think it will work great. now to find & adhere a mirror to the inside...

i found a shattered mirror behind cut out wooden vines a couple years ago in a clearance garden aisle at target. i got it for $8 & removed the mirror & sponged it with red & hung it vertically in our master bedroom. then later it turned into a headboard. (yeah, we don't have any actual adult beds at our house.) if you've noticed, i switch uses & furniture layout frequently.
just used this to show you the headboard thing in red.
ignore that it's my bday morning, with miss e's half-flat leftover bday balloon & cmas gift wrap.

when we moved we got a king size bed from my 'rents & a guest bedroom from our townhouse. so the red is now the guest & i have just started collecting grey & white for our master. i used red curtains for a makeshift headboard in the guest so my trusty vines turned grey.

& yes my bed is always made but never this well. a tightly made bed is austin's dream in life so since he's doing his part this month, i figure i can do mine.

this last project is my pride & joy. i'm crazy proud of it. i wanted a bicycle pillow as we are so excited about our new bike life. i was thinking something different but when i found a picture of a statue on a random google search & adored it, plans changed. so i resized it, printed it, & traced it onto transfer paper. then i took an exacto knife & spent for.ev.ER. cutting out every spoke & feather. my mom made the pillow because she has the cadillac of all sewing machines & equal skill & i have neither machines nor skill. (she will laugh at this because it most likely took her 11 minutes from start to finish.)

we ironed it on & held our breaths...

success! probably a much easier way to do it but it is super cool & one of a kind & i love it.

i always have some kind of project in the works & i love seeing what other people are into so i thought i'd share a bit. i'm hoping over time i'll get better but for now it's something i just like dabbling in.

Tuesday, July 19

think you're such a smartie?

the chief is usually right & it is the single most irritating thing about him. & he revels in it. super charming.

we were up watching tv & eating smarties when i said something about smarties clearly having different flavors & he told me i'm obsessed with my taste buds & there is no way. a wager was set.

needless to say he will be putting the clean sheets on the bed for the next month. i better keep betting while i'm on a hot streak.

Sunday, July 17

on the road to church

no that's not a metaphor i'm really talking about our actual road to the church building each week.

but since you asked, i do think involving yourself in any form of worship is a wonderful idea. & happen to know when certain services are held... just sayin. :)

okay so our first sunday driving to church in virginia we were shocked. from our house to the church house it is 2.8 miles. keep that number in mind as we pass how many other church buildings?? let us count:

#1. harvest church of the assemblies of God

#2. franconia episcopal free will baptist

#3. laurel grove baptist church, we think they're under construction?

#4. calvary road baptist church

#5. mount calvary community church

#6. franconia alliance church

#7. olivet episcopal church (adore how east coast this one feels)

#8. franconia united methodist church (my favorite building, the stained glass is a beauty!)

#9. virginia presbyterian church & there is a korean presbyterian church that uses the same building so really this could count as two.

#10. reality gospel church

 #11. st. john's lutheran church

#12. franconia baptist church

#13. church of jesus christ of latter-day saints: mt vernon stake (our destination)

please excuse the quality of these pictures as they are taken while driving. i was actually kind of impressed with myself, though i did have to crop many a side view mirror out. :) i love our drive to church every sabbath checking out the other buildings & church goers. makes me happy that people take the time out to thank a higher power.

Tuesday, July 12

height charts

it was 2008 & my parents had just finished a remodel of their entryway & front room. the job was finished. the painters came. my mom is not normally one to hire painters. she does everything better than everyone so she usually would have done it herself.

let me backtrack. we always measured our height on the same door frame all growing up. with each move my mom would get a long, skinny piece of wood & transfer the markings to a door frame in the new house.

see where this is going? heartbreak town. i bet you my mom will cry just reading this post. yup. those mindless painters ignored signs & tape & verbal warnings & painted directly over almost 30 years of hodgman kid growth. ensue devastation. my mom & i tried everything. paint thinner, sanding, you name it.

there were tears. lots of tears. even by us offspring.

not long after that i had someone's height of my own to measure. with the wounds still fresh, my first mother's day my mama commissioned a lady who had given me this darling painted stool to make this...

< attached was a note sprinkled
with a harsh word or 2 about ignorant

> the next year 
i had the same artist make these:

if you didn't know, e is always yellow & c is always lavender.
i love them all cozy in their corner of the nursery. how fun would it be to get the same lady for any subsequent height charts at our house?

& since ellery is exactly 2 1/2 years old today we marked a new spot at exactly 3 feet tall! cossette will get her first mark in 12 days! exciting!!

"you have to do your own growing no matter how tall your grandfather was."
-abraham lincoln

Thursday, July 7


we are being eaten alive! all 4 of us look like we basted in nectar & offered ourselves up to the bugs. we don't know when we're getting them or why they can't seem to stay away from my babies faces but i think it's just part of living where it's humid. i'm sparing you a picture of my legs which officially have 27 bites from the knees down. i have quadruple the number of bites as the rest of the fam combined.

for a day or 2 ellers looked like she'd been in a boxing match; her poor little eye was slightly closed & puffy. terrible.

the girls are usually great sports about it & so is the chief.

i however feel like i'm losing my mind. maybe i'm just not getting enough blood to my brain. probably because the mosquitos are feasting on my dna. i don't know how to stop it unless i just use bug spray everyday & smell like a camper until the fall. grrr.

Tuesday, July 5

the hills at capitol hill

as it would turn out, a nation's capital is the place to be for a nation's birthday.

elles-a-belle was hyped up for the day hearing benjamin franklin & thomas jefferson read the declaration of independence in front of the national archives. it was super cute when they read off the signers & she heard her name: william ellery! huzzah!

we walked through the sculpture gardens & danced & played waiting for the parade to start at constitution & 7th. uncle sam knows how to hold a parade! we loved the old "bicyle-cycles" with 6 foot front wheels, the curious george balloon (you can see e announcing "it's george!"), & all the impressive bands.

we then walked up & down the national mall 3+ times just checking everything out. there were festivities, carnivals, a tour of the world through food, the progression of music in the united states, etc. TONS to see & do! then it was time to get out of the heat so we headed into the museum of american history which we hadn't visited yet. it was saweet! definitely one to explore again. i hit the exhibit on the first ladies & saw inaugural gowns as far back as martha washington. incroyable! & we both went through the colossal exhibits on the evolution of transportation. we felt super guilty that the girls were asleep by now & didn't get to see all the cool old steam engines, buggies, cars, etc. 

we then made our way to the capitol to meet up with bryce, jamie, & her parents who were visiting from out of town. we had a fantastic spot to view the concert on capitol hill & enjoy the fireworks.

the concert had some people that even i knew (josh groban, jordin sparks, matthew morrison, steve martin) & was really a lot of fun. they then played good old american music (elvis, etc) until the orchestra took over to serenade the fireworks.

here's what the lawn looked like when we arrived...

& then by the time the concert started:

& this doesn't even account for the crowd once the fireworks began! but isn't it beautiful?!

the fireworks were SO fun. & SO long! love love love fireworks & these were great! little cossette slept through the entire thing, canons shots & everything & ellers kept saying "oh dear! up in a sky! fireworks are awesome!" :)

the chaos back to the metro station was not bad! we went in prepared but it was ideal because it was one of the farthest east that you could see the show which meant it was pretty empty & we calmly walked in & nestled into a little alcove in the very front seats & watched as we went further in & people got crazier & crazier. & since our metro stop is the last on the line we didn't have to fight our double stroller through to get off. walked home from the metro stop, hosed all 4 of us down (i really wore white pants on purpose?!), & went to bed. exhausted. love the day, love my family, & love my country. it was a perfect independence day!