China. fall 2015.

God is full of surprises and good things. Last fall one of my (unspoken) prayers was so spontaneously answered – we, after three years of quietly hoping, had the opportunity to visit our friends in China; first in Hong Kong for just two all too short days and then north to Wuhan for the remainder of the week. So prepare yourself for an incredibly full post!

I can explain how the trip came about another time – for now know that it was incredibly timely and simultaneously, well, spontaneous! (Something to do with cheap plane tickets and an opportunity to scope out potential business opportunities, namely coffee roasting.) 

Even though our time in Hong Kong was short, our primary purpose was to spend quality time with some friends and as a bonus we were able to see a teensy weensy itty bitty portion of the massive Asian melting pot. It was an incredible way to start our whirl wind journey.

Hong Kong was amazing – full of life and energy, but in experiencing mainland china (even for a short few days) we were taken to a new world; even more unfamiliar and intriguing.

Of course we began by heading to a super market, which conveniently enough happened to be directly below our friend’s apartment building. How else to better see what day-to-day life would be like. Girl’s gotta eat!

(If you look closely in the bottom righthand image, you can see how Tad and our friend Clint were twinning unplanned upon our arrival. Studs.)

We set out one evening to check out a coffee shop/english corner, Mr. Mai’s, where we later returned to have a sit down conversation with the owner (more on that to come in a later post).

One area of the city we went off to the next day offered an incredible variety of alleys, shops, vendors, and coffee houses to explore. We (I) could have stayed on the one street exploring the entire week without falling into boredom!

As you’ll come to observe, Clint and Miranda were good sports and humored me to be my primary models as I photographed them in nearly every location we visited. Good job y’all.

…except for this couple. I figured since people were (timidly) walking up and asking to be photographed WITH us or to take pictures of us multiple times a day (true story) I could have the freedom to be bold and ask this super cute couple if they would pose for me as well. Worth it. They didn’t seem to mind. At least for a few shots.

Among the dozens to choose from, we finally settled on one little coffee nook to check out (isn’t it a sweet spot?).

And true to the photo trend, a young man approached us and asked to photograph me while sitting here by the window. He even subtly posed me and told me where to look (but by pointing because… Chinese).

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I just had to ask one more group of girls for their portrait – they were more anxious, but still willing (win). ps. notice the sprout hair clip? These things were EVERYwhere, being sold for super cheap. We totally purchased some (they’re now all broken).

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Speaking of photography – if we ever should move our lives to mainland China, I would very much feel the need to also move my business there in some capacity or another so as you can imagine, when we came across the below scene, I was ecstatic. Wedding photography in China (based on what we have seen and heard from both Americans and Chinese friends alike) is slightly different than what we are familiar with state side. Unconventional? Think Glamour Shots but on multiple shots of espresso. I so wanted to go ask questions, get into what was going on there, find out what sort of thing the individuals were in to, but again…Chinese, I mean, Mandarin.

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Oh the smells and tastes and sounds and visual stimulation! So much was available to be taken in. Motor bikes, elderly woman gathering together, babies!, street food, tiny shops. So much.

I suppose I had one more (willing?) individual I photographed whenever I could. He is my every #mcm.

Clint and Miranda traded places with us every once in awhile – I’m thankful.

I’m also thankful that our trip dates coincided with the Chinese Mid-Autumn festival. We gathered together with a few friends at East Lake – the largest urban lake in China – at sunset to enjoy the full moon.

Before leaving the park, we caught a ride to the other side of the lake in order to head to dinner. The city at night, especially from a lake center view, was incredibly peaceful.

Just as incredible was a little something called Hot Pot. I don’t think we had a single food item that wasn’t delicious. I had some concerns regarding how my digestive system would fair considering an auto-immune disease I battle with daily, but everything remained at least steady enough to manage (minus a few detox symptoms upon returning home – TMI?)

Tad and I had a blast exploring and daily were given more and more peace about being there in the city, should one day we decide to pack up and go on a little adventure. Even at night walking around we felt safe. That was likely helped with the reality of being in a city of 11 million people and never being alone.

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Two of our best times were spent with Miranda in her element and Clint on the Wuhan University Campus. Miranda is a high school teacher at one of the schools in Wuhan and we had the pleasure of watching her do her thing as well as sharing a bit about life in America to the students via a projector and some images we put together. It was a sweet day. She is such an awesome teacher!

Seeing the Wuhan University campus was amazing as well! The campus Tad and I attended, Iowa State University, is voted one of the most beautiful, but between the blossoms (not in bloom while we were there) and historical Chinese architecture, I may have to vote it out – though the images below don’t quite do it justice. Before we walked on campus we had some time to check out the river boats.

Everywhere we went there was something new to see and experience. Men playing games in the middle of the side walk with everyone hovering around, sunbrellas in perfect use, cart transportation, more food. I sound like I’ve never left my back yard (not true), but I couldn’t get enough!

And then we saw it. The cafe racer. This is a new post entirely, but if you know of Tad’s love for this sort of bike and the rarity of seeing one in the city, you’d understand.

Later on we had another opportunity to visit a coffee roaster in the area. He runs his own roasting company and distributes to different coffee businesses around the city so we were interested in his set-up. It was good to see two different businesses and business models. Namely that both were steadily run by americans in a foreign country.

The following day was especially fun for Tad and me as we were on our own to explore for the day! It started out fairly well with walking down to order some breakfast. It was successful in that we purchased and received food. Maybe not so successful in that while we thought we were asking for two rolls we in reality were asking for seven. More to go around?

While we walked up the street to check out the nearest shopping area, we came across these lovely ladies practicing with music and dance. They were excited to perform for us and we were thankful to be able to watch!

It really just wouldn’t have been right to not stop and grab a coffee so we dropped in to a nearby place outside of the mall we were about to enter. While the coffee wasn’t much to speak of at this particular location, the atmosphere of most of the coffee houses we visited was in my best words: super fly. Each one was completely unique with character and fun design elements it would be difficult to choose a favorite.

As much as we enjoyed checking things out on our own, our sweetest times were spent sitting across gazing at the image you see below. Music, friends, expressing gratitude and making requests together. Not to mention the view from their apartment and Wuhan’s famous breakfast: hot dry noodles. I even had a tiny bite just to try. But truly – there is little to nothing sweeter than fellowship with brothers and sisters!

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Are you tired yet? I’m getting tired re-living our packed week! We’re almost finished.

Before we headed for a nice drink and a calm evening walk, we were taken through probably the most insanely crowded and stimulating streets I have ever been on. I’ll just call it the street food hood.

And it wouldn’t be a trip to Wuhan without a ferry ride across the Yangtze River. Plus check out this kid!

Before we headed out to our last coffee house, we made it a priority to stop off in this back alley to grab a few portraits because, well, you can see why.

We spied this building on our walk and it caught my eye. It’s difficult to make out the date on the top of the building but it was built in 1910 just one year prior to the year the home we now live in was built. Fun find.
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At our final coffee stop I decided it was high time I grab a mocha! A special treat indeed. I’m sure you’ll spy it in the cluster of images below.

We ended our final evening with a walk along the river at sunset complete with many people enjoying lanterns for the mid-autumn festival.

Aaand our walk was followed by yet another stop for coffee before retiring for the night (notice a trend here?).

And when we thought we were calling it a night, that nothing was left to be seen, just outside the little coffee shop gathered a little evening women’s dance exercise group.

Oh China. And we were only there for one week. Bed time!



BE one of the thousand.

Exciting things are happening friends! Remember my prayer that God would completely BLOW MY MIND in how he would provide for us? Well, he has NOT been slow in answering that request! He has been so extremely faithful to provide exactly what we needed exactly when we needed it and some even before and we can’t wait to see how he will provide for us as we move forward. So what’s so exciting (aside from God’s awesome provision) you ask? This PUZZLE!

asay adoption puzzle-5It is a ONE THOUSAND piece puzzle, of which we are ‘selling’ the pieces for $10/each to raise funds for our adoption journey. I am so looking forward to having you guys write your names (or I’ll write it for you) :) on the back of your very own piece as you become a piece of our puzzle! Some have already been added – see below!

asay adoption puzzle-1

I found this fundraising idea on another adoption blog I was perusing the other day and thought it would be a fantastic way to let even more people (1000 to be exact) be a part of bringing home our sweets. Ten dollars is like…2 mochas. Or ONE trip to the pool for me and the kids! (we’ll probably play in the backyard with the hose from now on).

asay adoption puzzle-2

So stop what you’re doing, CLICK HERE, give ten little dollars, and BE one of the thousand! Make sure you include your name (or the name you’d like to have written on your puzzle piece) and don’t forget your kids! They will want to have their name on their very own puzzle piece, most likely, just sayin’.

asay adoption puzzle-61This is what the finished puzzle will be. I designed it and ordered it through this sweet etsy shop. But we can’t put it together until each and every piece has been purchased and has a name on the back! Help us put our puzzle together, purchase a piece – or 3, and watch as God provides through all of you! Get excited – big things are happening through all of you!

adoption puzzle

You can also purchase puzzles pieces from me or our family members in Des Moines, Omaha, and Kearney, NE areas in person as well – just stop by or send a message and we will connect.

Another way to be one of the thousand is to send a check to:

Cornerstone Church
56829 US Highway 30
Ames, IA 50010

Make sure you write ‘Asay Adoption: puzzle’ in the memo line!



Let’s just come right out and say it: The asayplacey has got some spacey so we are adopting!

neocreo_Blue_World_Map arrow

We are in the process of adopting a sweet little person, whose face we long to see, (likely with some minor special medical needs) from eastern Europe into our family! Can you tell we are excited?! It’s exciting to be adding a new awesome kid to our family.

But can we share something we’re really not so excited about? We are not excited that children are in need of families to begin with. It’s not okay that there are over 210 million children is even one child carrying the label ‘orphan’ throughout our world (there are roughly 300 million people living in the USA to give you an idea). But because there are children without families, and out of an overflowing joy in having been adopted ourselves into the family of God through the work that Jesus did on the cross, we desire to care for and give the joy of a forever family to even just one sweet little one. We desire to defend the cause of the fatherless, to take action, and to be changed for the better by welcoming a child into our family.

When Tad and I were first engaged (this is still how we roll nearly 6 years later),engaged5

and were talking about our future family together, we made a decision that someday we would eventually like to grow our family through adoption, and due to some specific health issues that may make it dangerous for my and/or our biological baby’s life should we become pregnant, the decision was pretty clear that, ‘Hey, now is the time to start adopting!’

So we set out on an up-hill hike journey seeking a direction that lined up with what had been pulling on our hearts – to adopt in a little girl (or girls) out of a situation where child trafficking or child prostitution would be a very likely future for her. We know trafficking and prostitution are of issue in so many places, but one specific region had been placed on our hearts. In an effort to keep our story short, we pursued a specific country multiple times where this awful event occurs rather rampantly, but the door seemed to keep closing. We pursued yet another country we felt would be a good fit for us, and the door closed there as well. And the same result came about when we pursued yet another option. We felt stuck until we found an agency that we trusted who had an open program in eastern Europe. After doing some research on the program, country and adoption process and after much seeking of the Lord, we felt at peace and realized that for the first time, the door was wide open! So to answer the question, why eastern Europe? The answer is simply that the door was wide open, so we’re walking through it!

We have begun the miles of paper work, notarizing of legal documents, and background checks, have severely depleted put a very large dent our savings to get the ball rolling, and are thinking of every way possible to come up with the… are you ready for it? $35,000+ it will take to bring our little love out of the orphanage where she won’t be receiving the love and care she needs and into our home where we are anxiously waiting with open arms.

We are confident in the goodness of adoption and the call that we have to grow our family through adoption, but let’s face it; adoption comes with far too heavy of a financial burden to carry alone! We are doing what we can including giving of what we have, are selling many of our goods we can go without (and are probably better off without!) and are putting 100% of our small second income from my photography business ( into the fees associated with an international adoption, but much financial burden remains. So here’s the question – Would you consider being a help in carrying the load?

There are MANY ways you can help beyond giving of your money including:

  • duh! PRAY for us, the whole process, and our child who waits
  • DONATE your talents, products, or services to help us fundraise
  • DONATE your ‘JUNK‘ to add to our garage sale or online fundraisers
  • BOOK a session with LibbyAsayStudio (who doesn’t love fresh photographs?!)
  • GIVE of your time (fundraising seems to steal lots of this these days)
  • GIVE when the time comes of your in good shape items that you’re no longer using (car seats, clothing… that third car that holds 3+ car seats that’s just sitting in your driveway [does this really apply to anyone?! Maybe!] etc.)
  • GIVE of your money (click here)

We will be keeping you all updated as we begin new fundraisers in the coming days/weeks. For now, please stop right this minute and pray for us. Ultimately we are placing our trust in the Lord to provide for ALL of our needs as He has already proven himself SO faithful to provide just what we need. We also know He delights in using people in His provision so if you feel the urge to give of your goods or services (or junk), please shoot us an email to share the details or show up at the asayplacey doorstep, and if you would like to help carry the financial load, please click here to give.

Every hour, prayer, and penny counts. Let’s bring our sweet little love home and together we’ll carry the load.

Please subscribe to the blog to keep up to date as we move forward with the adoption! We’ll be having fundraisers in the very near future so keep an eye out for those as well.

**If you’d like your donation to be tax deductible, you can send a check made out to Cornerstone Church with ‘Asay Adoption’ in the memo line to the address below:

Cornerstone Church | 56829 US Highway 30 | Ames, IA 50010


homemade Lara (type) bars

I finally got around to making Lara bars (or something like them) thanks to my momma for hanging with the little lady this morning. I had extra apricots and almonds that I wasn’t convinced I’d finish off if left as is, so I decided to pick up a bag of chopped dates along with some other simple ingredients to give it a go.

I gave the apricots (about 1/2 cup) a rough chop and threw them, along with the dates (maybe 1/4 cup)  into the food processor until it turned into a paste, which looked like the image below.apndates_MG_9380Time for almonds! After they were evenly chopped in the food processor I added a bit of flax seed meal and a handful or more of pumpkin seeds. After a few quick pulses, I added the nut mixture to the fruit paste. nutsThen I had some fun. I attempted to use a piece of plastic wrap to keep the puree from sticking to my hands, but then decided it’d be more effective to just get messy. _MG_9385I squished and squeezed and pushed it around until everything was well incorporated together._MG_9392_MG_9397Then, I formed it into a log and cut it into even pieces. I actually ended up cutting it into six bars as apposed to four as shown. (These babies are hearty!)_MG_9399And then shaped and wrapped them into bars with the plastic wrap that I wrapped them in while Grandma Marty and LL were playing salon in the other room. _MG_9407_MG_9430

Isn’t she lovely?

LL piggies

Oh, a bit of this was going on as well…LL & gramI couldn’t wait. They were very yummy! I’m sure LL will enjoy a bit of these later. homemade lara bars

cardboard heart cards!

Happy February 14 everyone! It’s fun to wake up on days when one of the first things you see is this:

vday from daddyI can explain. Simply put, Daddy loves us. Yes; we would have known even if we would have woken up to dirty dishes without flowers, but we are extra grateful we didn’t! He made us each a special valentine card by cutting heart shapes from cardboard and writing a little note on the back, AND gave Linley and me flowers. What a sweet man, right?! cardboard heart cardsThese, and most other special cards go in LL and W’s ‘boxes’. We currently do boxes instead of scrap books or photo albums. So. Much. More. SIMPLE. This is what daddy wrote to our little loves. vday2013-5

And what daddy wrote to momma is for momma’s eyes, because momma is really mamacita (or as LL likes to say, ‘mommy-citi’.) mamacitaWe love you daddy and are SOO blessed that you are ours!

happy new year & a bad attitude

or really I should say my ungrateful heart?!

We have OH SOOO much to be grateful for, but today (and really yesterday as well… mmm, probably the day before that should be included) hasn’t been the easiest to put those things I have to be grateful for above those that are, say, more of a challenge to embrace.

I began potty training LL on Wednesday (yaay! more to come later.) and then Thursday came.  Along with the Flu for my dear husband, blood greeting me in the morning on LL’s sheets and crusted to her ear (we trimmed her finger nails and solved the problem), left over stir fry crusted to LL’s booster seat tray, a snotty nose and need for extra snuggles from our 4 month old little mister, which then resulted in not giving the potty trainee the undivided attention she needed, whiiiich then resulted in a pile of poo on the floor and on her socks. LL was also being SUPER disobedient yesterday (probably because I was giving more attention to W as I was ‘wearing him’ all day) she tried out of curiosity to pull the cutting board and knife blindly off of the counter after being told a couple of times not to. After some chats LL needed hugs and snugs. See below:

hugs n snuggs

Maybe we could call yesterday a fail for mothering.

I’ve always appreciated the mother who can shrug at the mess, day, after day, after day… and after yet another day. I’m maybe not that said mother and yesterday was my breaking day when I was again reminded by what God told me. That He’s strong in me when I’m most weak and need Him the most. Truth. I told Tad today that I thought the only reason the Almighty has mothering as my lot is because he knows just how strong HE would be made through me; because let’s face it, if our kids are a success (let alone well fed!), it’s certainly not because, ‘wow! I’m so gifted!’. Can I hear an Amen from the mommies who hear me?!

So tomorrow I’m going to try a little harder to choose joy and be grateful that 1. hey, at least she has healthy bowl movements! (though we could try for the toilet next time) and 2. Whittaker is snot-nosed and crying because he’s here. He’s here; with me.

On a happier note: the Christmas wrap that LL helped to decorate turned out to be such fun! I’ll post on that later along with our Christmas celebrating!

Happy New Year everyone! May it be a FRUITFUL twenty-thirteen.

lately: april through memorial day

NOTE: if the video links don’t come through – copy and paste into your browser to view.

A very. long. post. for a VERY full month and a half. You have been forewarned! But we can’t begin without a bit of LL during our mulch shoot we had to take photos for her thank you cards:

I always like to give her something to play with when we photograph, and thought it was fitting to use her ‘I love you’ wooden teether 1. because she’s becoming a rockstar at signing! (see the video below – unfortunately it’s cut short) and 2. because it was neutral! We had fun… sort of.

ok, back to the mulch session:

below she was politely letting me know that she was ‘all done’ by signing and saying ‘daauuh’?? And yes, just after she fell into the mulch, we were most definitely ‘all done’!

Speaking of the mulch (and I wish we had a photo of last year’s yard, because stating that it was overgrown is an understatement! It was truly a small forest), we decided it’d be good to nip the weeds in the bud and at the very least clean some things up by laying some mulch. So we headed to our city site and picked up a few truck-fulls of ‘less-than-great-but-it-does-the-job-FREE-mulch and laid ‘er down.

Tad has been working SUPER hard this past month both in and out of the house! (we’ll get to what’s going on INSIDE in a bit). There were just (and still are) some oddly placed and sore looking items in our yard that needed to see their final day. This bush for example:

And this tree, which is now a lovely stump:

Now that the spring perennials are gone, the back was left colorless, so thankfully this weekend, Tad’s momma came and helped bring some life – COLOR in the form of pretty flowers. And SOON there will be color! Now, if only I can keep them alive. I do have a good solution for this, believe it or not! It comes in the form of a three foot round plastic thing which will be our summer fun: the lil pool.

LL has already truly been enjoying playing in the water outside on hot days, or just being outside in general, so my plan for the flowers is to water every time I fill up her pool (just not on the jet setting – perhaps the mist or shower setting)

We’ve had fun in her new sweet swim halter from Aunt Nichole and the sun hat gma-Marty made:

 But, ya know, skinny-dipping has its perks too: (Now if I can just teach her to leave her toys inside the pool so she doesn’t try to get them and fall head first onto the concrete. sigh.) We’ve been sitting on the quilt a family friend made for her a lot already this summer, playing with leaves and sticks while momma reads.And having fun and playing with dad.And getting bit by monster skeeters resulting in lots of swelling (the middle knuckle if you couldn’t tell):

 And LOVING wagon rides!!! (thanks gpa + gma Asay) …so much so that we’ll cry when we pass by the red wagon only to find that we’re getting in the car instead:

Side note: the wagon is proving to be a wonderful walking aid for LL!

This is probably her typical posture while ‘chillin’ in her ride, though every once in a while she’ll try to prop a foot up on the side. (See the naners in the bag?? We were just heading home from the grocery store!)Speaking of rides, we’ve done a good amount of riding in the car this past month. Tad had a bit of training to do for work and was up in the twin cities for a full week, so to break up his time away, LL and I joined him for a couple of days mid week. We shopped, we walked, we ate, and we made a mess of the hotel with our O’s. Bestly though (it’s a word!), we got to see dad :)And somehow, in all of her free time, LL pick up a little somethin somethin at the mall, and when we all returned home, she presented THIS to me for momma’s day:It was full of all kinds of LUSH goodies (yes they were lush, but I don’t mean that, I mean LUSH cosmetic goodies, hand-made yummies good for my nose and well being) Because of my growing belly, the rose and argan body conditioner was probably my favorite in the package. Thanks little lady!

We also traveled over to ‘Mtown’ to visit great gramps n gram McD. Thanks for loving on us! 

Also this month (late last month?), we FINALLY had our first prenatal appointment. I guess we thought mid-way through was a good time to start care;) Actually there were a couple of reasons for the wait, but the primary reason was the month or so without insurance due to Tad’s job switch. But we’re thankful to be where we are and to have heard the babe’s heart beat beating well. Linley even got to hold the doppler! Because Tad wasn’t able to make it to the appointment with us this time, we took a video for him, so have a look if you’d like to watch. I had my blood levels tested as well and am deficient in a couple of areas (This post is becoming quite long, so we can chat about that and nutrition in the next).

It was good to hear and even more fun to have Linley so involved. I have been asking the Lord to tell me what this babe will be like. If he/she is half as goofy, tenacious, and strong-willed as his/her older sister, boy are we in for a real treat! Lately we’ve been:

finding it humorous to stuff food down the back of our shirtand sitting for Loooong lengths of time (attention undivided-the tenacious part) trying to either 1. put a lid on and off of something 2. take these mini books in and out of their case 3. put either her or your shoes on and off or her or your feet. She seems very patient! Every once in a while she’ll get frustrated that something she’s been trying for so long at isn’t working, but with some gentle encouragement she continues on and has mastered a few things! She’s just so intent on making it work!

For example, this past week, I gave her markers to explore with for the first time, she colored for just a bit, but as soon as she saw the box, there was no more coloring – she was far more interested in getting that marker back inside its case!

I suppose the above image is finally a glimpse of the finished mantel along with the rug and chase we purchased at ikea while up north a couple of months ago, so here are some more!

Yay! The mantel and bookshelf! We’re still working on the decorating – but it’s complete… for the most part (some base shoe and fresh tile and we’ll call it good!) My favorite piece in the room is that old blue milk canister, which we’re using to house our fire utensils. Garage sale find!Sofa and chairs. I should have taken a wide shot; maybe later. It really does feel more homey and ‘put together’… a good feeling to have. But there was another room in particular that did NOT feel so homey and ‘put-together’: the dreaded ‘GREEN ROOM’. Why is it dubbed the ‘green room’ you ask? Well, because it sports green carpet, green walls, when we moved in it was adorned with green laced curtains, green tile, and a green counter top to match in the attached bathroom. So we are currently in the process of carrying out PROJECT DE-GREENING THE GREEN ROOM. We’re hoping to bring some sort of functionality order and a much need aesthetic update to this VERY multi-purpose space.

Here are the before’s:

And so it began this past week/weekend

1. remove old trim

2. rip up carpet and install floor of choice – in this case, a surprise method we’ll reveal when it’s complete (but can you guess what it is?!) ps. we spaced w/ pennies!

3. create and install new casings for the windows to match the 1911 style in the rest of the house – THANKS gpa Asay for slaving away this weekend! Well, I guess we didn’t JUST slave drive you! There was some fun involved: 


4. create half wall/shelving unit/coat hook/mudroom area/laundry nook

5. fill holes, caulk, and paint!

6. furnish decorate and enjoy.

Well friends, this is becoming a bit much. The meal planning, naked babies, potty training, and photo shoots will have to wait for another day. A joyful SPRING week everyone!


This past Saturday we celebrated Linley’s first year of life with family here at the Asayplacey, and this is how it went down:

The entry welcome banner: The entry welcome mini bannerThis is the wall of photo streamers we made to celebrate in-utero through 11 months – ‘Celebrating Linley Louise’ (two nails, twine, linen, tape, photos, card stock, markers, hole punches, needle and thread). It’s difficult to see, but the birdie in the top left was a part of her shower decor before she was born, and the little red sparkly hand print on the left about 5 photos down was made for her when she was just one month old: LL’s ‘ONE’ cake:

She thought it was the sweetest thing when we lit the candle and everyone began singing to her:I made her mini cupcakes of the same cake with a different frosting. I made whipped cream and attempted to dye it with blube juice (juice from heated frozen blueberries). It was working, but it was last minute and I didn’t make enough juice so it was more of a light purply grey. She didn’t know what she was supposed to do at first…So she said, ‘please?!’ and exploredI wasn’t prepared with a bib, so we took the cardigan off because with nearly each bite she kept signing, ‘please’, smearing cake and cream all over her chest.

*side note: thank you Lindsey Nims of Babble4Baby for making us her sweet bow! She has far more than what is currently listed on the website and makes everything custom!
Then we cleaned up sweet messy hands, everyone else had cake, and LL played with tissue paper and cards (i.e. opened birthday gifts)reading her cards:I loved her expression when holding up her new swim halter: Whenever I would take a drink from my water bottle, LL would go crazy, so for her day, she received her very own Camelbak bottle:Another please?yeah! she got the paper off:Score!

And what’s opening gifts if you can’t get some help from a couple of cousins:

And then we partied and charlared until the storm (tornados and strong winds came that night!) was closing in and family had to head home.

LL having fun playing with Great Gram Joyce’s purse (she likes mastering zippers):This is how you clap your hands, Grandpa:Miss Cori piling all available animals on LL’s lap:Hey Uncle Z:This was so sweet. I looked over, and LL was sitting on cousin Mag’s lap hangin out: Buddies
mmm fruit and cheese – thanks Grandma A and Great Gram Elaine Everyone seemed to really enjoy the balloons: Including us after everyone left!We’ll end with the best and most recent family photo we have to date (pay no mind to the finger prints). Thanks everyone for helping to celebrate LL’s birthday with us! She DEFINITELY had a great time with a full house. 

11mo happenings

The following has become one of Linley’s very favorite things to do. Entertaining to watch; a bit embarrassing should there be anyone peeping in our windows.

As a way to be able to see and hear her as well as for her to hear me if needed, I’ll leave the washroom door ajar when necessary. She’s doing better at remaining content when I leave the room (depending on her mood at the moment and the circumstances of the day); so I’ll sometimes place her in front of her books and toy box until she’s occupied with something and do my best to sneak away to the restroom before she notices. Unfortunately, there’s a slight squeak in the door when it swings close, so I’m almost always found out, and she thinks it’s the greatest thing! This is the result:

Aside from that fun, we’re OH SO CLOSE to being finished with the bookshelf! We’re learning as we go with the cabinet doors, so aside from being hinged and knobbed, the shelves are up with books and all and it’s looking more and more complete (yes-photos to come when it’s ALL done.) Here is Tad measuring for the doors:


I had Tad bring up our totes of books from the basement this week. LL was helping me sort and found this one to take with us to get her pants changed. (not joking… this is the one she grabbed – and I am juuust ornery enough to take a picture and publish it)



On a more clean note, I should post photos of bath time every month, because they’re the best!

11mo bathtime.jpg

And thank you Grandma Marty for making LL her new summer hat! She’s been taking it off, then trying to put it back on; then taking it off and putting it back on.

grandma marty's sun hat.jpg

Finally, LL helped me make a spring/summery wreath yesterday! Thanks girl!

oh my. Just 8 days until your birthday Little Lady!!