Saturday, January 31, 2015


Dear Olive,

I can't stop thinking about building a tiny house in a remote location. 

I think about doing it ourselves and what an amazing project it would be to build it over a summer.

I remember how when we lay in the hammock of your parent's A frame summer home in the woods, you described the fondness of your memories growing up visiting the cabin each season.

I think about how lovely it would be to bring our kids someplace each summer where they grow up and curate the same nostalgia. 

They would grow their friendships there.  And learn to swim.  And be dirty for days.

I muse about living simply.  Making dinners together with our husbands in the fading light. 

And about how living in close quarters for a period of time; away from technology and the distraction of modern day, will hone our sense of what is important, guiding our decisions for the remainder of the calendar. 

Building the project stone by stone would be a kind of love letter to our families.

If we did it when the kids were old enough to help, the process would be the ultimate teachable project.

I imagine it becoming a place that we return for generations. 

A place that Ella and Violet bring their friends and eventually their husbands.

And; someday, when we are gone, the legacy of our friendship and memories will forge a continued bond of our families together.  In a place that connects them, if only for the summer.


Dear Olive,

The kids are presently fighting over a stuffed sheep that they call "lambie"  One of them will procure it from the other and then run to the teepee to hide.

Do you still want to make a teepee?  It took about 2 hours and $30.   Much better than the $199 they have been going for online.

Here's how to do it:
We purchased our rods from the hardware store.  They are wooden and square.  Lowes even cut down the rods for us, since I am presently sawless.  The fabric I chose was indoor outdoor striped fabric.  I am going to go on record as saying that we had one of the first black and white striped teepees.  Now I see them everywhere.

Basically, the teepee is just a square with four triangles sewn to the base.  The only thing that I sewed was the base and hemming around the opening flaps.  I added another fabric under the flaps for stability.

All of the other teepee tutorials I read made you measure and sew pole pockets.  Ugh... terrible.  A staple gun is my weapon of choice here.  It actually makes the tent more stable anyway.  Just fold over the fabric and staple it to the poles.

After stapling all of the poles, just pull up the teepee.  I folded the top of the triangles inward and added elastic around the top to keep the poles together.

The teepee is one of my favorite kid projects.  It acts as our toy bin.  At the end of the day, we basically just shovel all of the toys into it.  Sheep included.

Monday, January 26, 2015


Dear Olive,

Fires and cookies and sledding, and hot chocolate, and naps.  Is there anything better than a snow day?  Hope you had a good one!

Sunday, January 25, 2015


Dear Olive,

When I first started dating my husband, one thing that I grew to dislike about him was his irritating refusal to be catty or to gossip in any way.  He was unnervingly nice.  I kept waiting for him to let his guard down so that we could trash talk together.  But he never did.  Since then, I've obviously grown to realize this as my own fault instead of his.  But it still annoys me that when I have a social beef, he continues to respond to with graciousness and maturity.  

Overall, I like to consider myself in the lower extreme of being mean.  I go out of my way to volunteer and to extend kindness to others.  I'm an avid proponent of social justice.  But sarcasm and quips about another's behavior are kind of a part of human nature.  And they tend to be a bit thrilling.  I've recently read this article.  Which hits the nail on the head with what I've been trying to enact ever since the early days of realizing my gossip flaw.   Sarcasm and gossip are a conversational style of our culture.  Asking a colleague, "so what did you think about that inservice?" With leading intent to bash it, is neither constructive nor nice.  But it is reinforcing and forges camaraderie.  Like little meerkats, we like to create a schema that puts us inside the social circle.  But to do so, we also need to leave someone out.  Refusing to engage in the drama is noble, but less sexy.  Endeavoring to be less sexy is a work in progress.


Dear Olive,

Trying to win at the Eat Play Plan tonight, I gave the kids some artwork to do while I hid some letters for a scavenger hunt.  The intent was to hide letters around the house, put on this song while they collected them, and then spell their names.

Unfortunately, the tide turned.  I heard my husband gasp upon returning to the kitchen.  It appears that Ella popped the watercolor ovals from her art desk and happily munched them while I busied myself with the business of finding things to keep them busy.  She downed green, blue, orange, brown, and half of yellow in about four minutes.  She declared them delicious as I dialed Poison Control.

I knew that they were likely nontoxic, even though the box didn't specify.  But it just made me feel better to have the Poison Control lady underscore that I shouldn't worry when she has green stool tomorrow.  She also commented that Ella has an under-defined pallet.

Monday, January 19, 2015


Dear Olive,

What a timely release of Selma.  We saw it last night and it beget so many questions for me about how I will explain this part of history to my children.  I suppose what I want them to know most is the difference that one person can make in the world.


Dear Olive,

If I was going to spend my paycheck on the things I've been coveting at Anthropologie instead of the 36 gallons of milk and other sustenance requirements, this is what it would look like:

Sunday, January 11, 2015


Dear Olive,

I remember the first time we visited each other's new houses and how fortunate I felt to be sharing my joy of a new space with my best friend.  Below is the transformation on which you've given me your opinion over the years.
 I was so over the moon when Apartment Therapy featured our home.  Still, I'd like to think we've made some progress since then.











Sources: Crib, Dresser (similar), Lamp, Curtains, Chandelier, Dollhouse, Bins, Changing Pad Cover


Sources: Bicycle Art, Lamp, Dresser (similar), Planter, Rug, Chandelier (similar)