what i'm looking for.

on perhaps the most perfect day of spring, we had a small ceremony to bless finley's journey through life.  there was good music and pastries and champagne and good family and close friends and so many smiles my cheeks were sore the next day.  it was the best of the best.

it was on a day much like this one almost two years ago that we did the same thing for julian.  we chose two of the most fantastic people we know to be fin's godparents and help him on his path, and they were included in this ceremony.  the whole day was filled with so much love and warmth and just made me feel so incredibly lucky.

the song we chose for finley was U2's 'i still haven't found what i'm looking for,' which is one of our absolute favorites and really suited finley well.

finley felt so at ease he fell asleep during his ceremony.  typical easygoing fins. :)

look at this village, these people.  who have said they willl do this with us.  that they will support us and love us, and they will help to show my children their way.  these people are not just saying it with words.  i have learned, again and again since finley was born, that they are really here for us.  they come over with food, or call to check in when philip is traveling.  they come by for dinner and bedtime to give me a hand.  they are there when i call and say please come hold my baby so i can take a shower, and then they show up with cold beer.  they are there when i say i can't be alone with these kids any more, can we come over? and they open up their homes with a smile.  they plan trips out here to see me when they know i need it most.  they know julian's favorite colors and have learned some signs.

i couldn't do this whole parenting thing without them, and i'm so grateful i don't have to.

finley joe, we are all so happy you are in our lives.  you made us a family, and i could not be happier about that.  you are the cherry on top of my sundae, the extra bit of sweetness in my life i always needed.  i'll forever love you.

[all photos by corinna lander -- she totally captured our essence and light. love it.]

the biggest boy's room.

you know how sometimes you find a space and you just feel a connection?  sometimes it's a coffeeshop, or maybe just a park.  this is one of those spaces in my home.  a place where i feel totally comfortable, happy, and at ease.  i've blogged quite a bit about julian's nursery, and it's graced quite a few internet pages [style me pretty and the interior design blog designs by katy, to name a few].  

julian's room has always been one of my favorite rooms in our house.  we've moved this room to three different houses now, and while it's mostly stayed the same, each time it's been changed just a bit to fit the space.

but now the space has grown into a big-boy bedroom, and i could not be happier with how it's turning out.  i thought i'd share a little bit about how we grew the space from a nursery to a toddler's room and what i love so much about it.  

i shared our nursery story last summer here.  in a nutshell, it's about how i had a bright and sunny space in mind for a girl and once we found out we were having a boy, i wasn't sure how to translate that into a boy's room.  but i'm so, so glad that we did.  we picked benjamin moore's simply white for julian's room and gives his room the perfect bright, neutral look we wanted.

when we first moved into our new house, julian was still in his crib.  we had all the same things that he'd had in his nursery since we lived in chestnut hill, all the same pieces for art and storage.  luckily, this room finally had a lot of wall space, something we hadn't had before in our highlands house. there had been a few things that we had gotten for his room but had never been able to hang up since there wasn't enough room, so we finally got to put those in.

the toddler bed is new.  julian's been in a bed about two months now, and he absolutely loves it.  it was one of those transitions he was ready for and he never looked back at his crib.  we waited a couple weeks before taking it out of his room, and waited a few more weeks after that before moving out the rocking chair.  for weeks before taking the plunge, philip and i debated about the kind of bed we should get for julian.  we knew fin was going to use the crib, so that was out of the question.  but how to transition... toddler bed?  twin bed?  bunk bed?  what's the best option?  we ended up going with a toddler bed that grows into a twin bed from ikea [julian actually picked it out himself, but we are pretty sure that's because the floor model had truck sheets on].  this meant we had to buy a new mattress and new sheets instead of using the ones from his crib, but it's worked out well.  he loves this bed so much and we recently extended it to the mid-length between toddler and twin.

the night stand used to be a side table we placed by the rocking chair with all of my nursing essentials.  it holds his lamp and sound machine.

the bottom two art prints are from iviebaby on of those flash sales elizabeth often runs on her printables.  i bought them on a whim and i wasn't sure where they'd go, but i'm so happy they've found a home here over julian's bed. [one says be brave, little one and the other says you are our greatest adventure.]  i am so very happy that we went with a more modern look for his nursery, because it has been incredibly easy to transition his room from baby to toddler.

the two adventure posters used to hang over his crib.  he loves the balloon and the deer.  depending on his mood, sometimes he tell us it's a mommy deer and a baby deer, and sometimes it's a daddy deer and a baby deer.  when we first ordered the storage bins from land of nod, i wasn't sure what would go in them.  today they overflow with stuffed animals and books.  one of these days i'm going to have to order another big one, i think.

the teepee and lights are now my favorite part of his room.  the teepee was julian's first christmas present from santa and was meant to stay in our living room in the highlands house as a semi-attractive way to house toys and baby stuff, and serve as a quiet play area for him.  but since moving to the new house, we have lots of room for it to stay up in his bedroom.  it moved out temporarily when both his crib and the big boy bed were in his room, but it's back now and in it's rightful place now that the rocking chair is out.  we recently decorated it with globe lights [we originally bought them for our patio but that didn't work out], and they give the whole room a nice glow.  above the teepee is his scratch-off world map for his travels [he gets one travel-themed gift a year from us and this was his first one], the adventure banner i ordered for him but never had enough wall space for until now, and the zebra that he and philip named larry.

i recently hung the mirror to julian's height [it's actually the only mirror in his room] and he loves being able to look at himself.  i couldn't find the right place for this mirror in the new house.  i don't need it my height and he loves to utilize it so win-win.

the dresser area hasn't changed much since we first set it up in chestnut hill, and we are still using the kitchen cart for diaper necessities.  the blue pom poms were leftover from his first birthday party and needed a place to live.  the small black camera on the left is our baby monitor, and that fan is actually a specially-designed space heater for kid friendly places.  julian's room is very drafty and we noticed it was dipping into the low 60s or even high 50s [!!!] overnight in the winter.  this space heater fixed it all and can also just be used as a fan.  we now use the numbers over his changing pad for stuffed animals and other toys to keep him occupied during diaper changes, and the little white box next to the pad is filled with lotions and creams we use on a daily basis.

this gallery wall is also a recent addition, though it's not actually in julian's room.  with some nails, gold ribbon and small clothespins i made a quick gallery wall for his artwork on the small space between the boys' rooms.  it's a huge source of pride for julian that it's hung out in the house for everyone to see, and will regularly draw or paint a picture and request to hang it up on the wall.  i'm probably going to have to make another one soon.

the thing that has worked out the best about julian's room is how much he loves it.  it truly is his safe space where he often runs up to on his own to play, read, or just be.  which warms my heart the most.

around here // 012.

i'm finally climbing out from underneath the piles of boxes in the new house and dusting off the ol keyboard.  we've been in the house two weeks now, and i'm actually pretty impressed with the progress we've made.  julian's room is completely finished -- paint is dry and pictures are hung.  of course that's the only room that is completely done, but we've made good progress in all the other rooms.  most of the other rooms.  well, some of them.  philip has been traveling a lot since we moved in, so let's just say i'm impressed because i can't lift anything and he hasn't been around too much.

moving on.

i'll start sharing little peeks of the house here and there on instagram, so follow along if you're a little voyeuristic about looking inside people's houses.  i know i am.

craving apple butter.  but settling for trader joe's pumpkin butter because apparently apple butter is a regional thing and i'm not interested in making an obscene amount of it just to spread on toast one day.

reading her.  i'm not far enough yet to make a judgment on it, but i can't wait to be done already because next on my list is big magic.  it's everywhere i turn these days and i know the universe is pointing me in it's direction.

planning a weekend away in the mountains in two weeks... and a spa day on friday, which can't come soon enough for this aching pregnant body.

missing my old neighborhood.  there's no good coffee shop in the new neighborhood, which means i'm drinking diet coke in the afternoon instead of good coffee in the morning since philip is the barista around here.  blurg.

drinking earl grey tea with milk and sugar every evening and sometimes in the afternoon.  my most consistent pregnancy craving so far.  considering other cravings i've had it's pretty distinguished if you ask me.

celebrating seven years of marriage this past weekend.  how is that even possible?  pssssst... i recently threw some of my favorite wedding photos up on the blog if you want to scope them out.

watching all the space movies.  interstellar, gravity and apollo 13 have been on tv here after bedtime.  up next is contact.  and i can't wait for our next date at the movies, which we are saving for when the martian comes out.  we are total space nerds [i even read the martian, which i can't recommend enough]

listening to first aid kit.  can't stop listening to them, actually.

playing trucks.  julian and i really like to crash them off the couch and down the stairs.  what can i say -- i'm a mom of a boy :)

not decorating everything at once, which is both the best and a challenge.  right now i have my eye on this rug for our master bathroom that's coming together slowly.

obsessing over the adorable and high-quality beanies and earbands from shit that i knit.  so impressed with their mission and craftsmanship!  they are running a kickstarter now through the next three weeks so hop on over to support local crafters and score yourself a sweet knit hat.  i've got my eye on a bliss band.

awaiting the delivery of our brand new outdoor lounge set we ordered from wayfair! go check out their sales -- we snagged our corner couch set at 53% off plus free shipping.  can't be beat!

crying at all the refugee stories i hear.  all the time.

wearing maternity jeans.  we are finally transitioning to fall around here.

cooking not as much as i should.  but i did make some homemade chicken fried rice with brown rice last week, and let's just say that didn't last long around here.