Cincinnati Trip – April 2012


It keeps happening. I intend to document an event, a trip, a visit with friends and I come home with a camera full of pictures of my daughter. I don’t know how it happens…

A couple weeks ago we took a weekend trip up to Cincinnati to visit our dear friends Sean and Renata and their kiddos. It was rainy and cold on Saturday so we went to the aquarium.

They don’t allow strollers in the aquarium. I thought that was the dumbest thing until I realized how packed it was in there. It was hard enough just to move around all of the standing people. Our very heavy little girl needed to take a nap anyway, and Daddy’s shoulder is the perfect spot.

I call Precious Ali-gator all the time as nickname for her real name (does that make any sense?) so I thought it was pretty awesome to get a picture of the gator under a Gator Alley sign.

She’s not really anything like an alligator. This guy was massive!

There was a trippy and very relaxing room full of neon lights and various kinds of jelly fish. I could have watched them for hours.

We caught a brief penguin show, too. This sweet family will be welcoming a new baby boy on Precious’ birthday in July!

Precious is a wonderful traveler. Look, all she needs is a shoe to chew on…

Sean and Renata have a beautiful, comfortable mid-century modern home. We love visiting them!

We even worked in a little time for antique store browsing this trip. We didn’t come home with anything but I enjoyed seeing these Curtis Jeré (real and/or imitation) metal wall sculptures.

I might regret that we didn’t buy this to put on our yet-to-exist fireplace.




Jaron Isaac! Born 11-2-11 weighing in at 9 lbs 3 oz. Big boy!

You thought I was going to reveal a picture of our baby girl, Precious, didn’t you? Not yet, but… I’m going to post a photo (showing her face) on Thanksgiving along with an announcement so check back over the weekend!

Jaron is the freshly adopted son of our friends Leila and Jeremy. You may remember hearing about their crazy past year and a half… first their house was flooded in 4 ft of Cumberland River water for several days. Then while they were fighting insurance companies to pay out what was owed, their rental house was robbed over Christmas last year. Earlier this year they finally moved into their newly rebuilt home (with a foundation 4 ft higher per FEMA regs!). A month before his due date, they were matched with this little boy through their adoption agency. After all of the above drained their savings they had just a couple weeks to scrambled and come up with $20,000 to bring home their son. At least one of my blog readers donated to their fund. You know who you are, and I sincerely thank you! Jeremy and Leila are a couple of the finest people I know and Jaron is a perfect fit in their family. I’m happy that he and Precious can grow up as friends and neighbors.

Jaron with Uncle Jason, at 4 days old:

Here he is sporting his stripped socks made my Auntie Martina. (They double as anti-scratch boxing gloves.)

This picture was taken at 17 days old the morning after I babysat him overnight to give his mama a much needed solid night of sleep. We survived but I sure am thankful Precious was sleeping almost through the night already when she came to us.

Welcome Jaron! You are so loved, little dude!

Christmas 2010


My last post on our mid-century modern Christmas 2010 is a recap through photos. (I’m still in vacation mentality so most of these are staight-out-of-camera shots.) First, we got together with Jason’s parents, his brother and our sister-in-law (who is 7.5 months pregnant with our niece) at our house for an early, laid-back celebration. We played dominos, ate pizza, opened presents and watched a movie.

Then, for Christmas weekend, we drove with my parents to my brother and sister-in-law’s house in Pennsylvania. We had great weather the whole way. Clear roads and snow on the ground in some places.

Lucy came along. She sat on my lap most of the way. Jason gave me a new camera for Christmas so I was still trying to learn it over the holiday. It’s a Nikon Coolpix. (I got him rain boots and a drill bit & driver set, in case anyone cares.)

This is Lucy’s cousin Queso. She’s wearing a Penn State sweater.

Hi Mama!

My brother-in-law Jeff and my brother Aaron

Jason and I accidentally matched our black and white striped shirts on Christmas Eve.


Our Swedish meatballs on Christmas Eve tradition. Jessica, mama and me.

My sister-in-law Laura gave Aaron a pair of thrifted cowboy boots as a joke. The joke is on her when he starts wearing them for real!

Queso got a new toy from Aunt Martina and Uncle Jason.

Jason enjoying his new subscription to Money magazine.

Dad spent a lot of time playing with is new iPad.

Lucy is very tolerant.

Aaron, Laura, my parents.

Jeff’s sister Megan, his dad, Jess and Jeff.

Neko got a new bone from Aunt Martina and Uncle Jason.

Me, Jason, Jessica on Christmas Day 2010

A major snow storm was forecasted to hit Eastern Pennsylvania on Sunday night so we left a day ahead of schedule and headed home a different route, which led us right through Cincinnati were our dear friends live. They generously offered to host us overnight. It was a great Christmas gift to get to see them again this year!

A Baby Shower for Eliza!


Two Saturdays ago I hosted a baby shower for my sister-in-law and my little niece, Eliza (with lots of  help from Ginger’s friends and Eliza’s grandma and my mom.) Baby girl is due around Valentine’s Day so we decided to go for a love-hearts-valentine theme. I didn’t take as many pictures as I should have but thankfully our dear photographer friend, Beth Rose was there with camera in hand. Here are some pictures I did take.

One of the food tables, before guests arrived:

(Do you love IZZE as much as I do? Just fruit juice and carbonated water. And it’s pretty, too!)

Tables set up before guests arrived:

The favor and craft table. We had two crafty activities: a hair accessory making station and a bunch of handmade Valentines and a mailbox for welcome notes and prayers for baby Eliza.

My beautiful sis-in-law Ginger, the mom-to-be!


We played two games. The first one everyone had 5-10 minutes to sculpt a baby out of playdoh. That’s all the instructions I gave. Once everyone was done, I asked Ginger to select the most realistic, the funniest and the most hideous. The other game we played was baby shower bingo, where partiers mark off items on a pre-made bingo card as the mama is opening her gifts. I downloaded the bingo cards free from here.

In the hallway we set up a photo “booth” with silly props to encourage ladies to pose in front of the camera. It turned out to be a lot of fun. These photos were taken by Beth Rose Goin:

Ginger and me:

Ginger and her sister Crystal (Eliza is the one with the glasses and mustache):

I’m looking forward to seeing the rest of the photos BR took. But not as much as I’m looking forward to meeting my baby niece in a couple months! It was a really fun time and most importantly I think Ginger felt the love for her, Eliza and dad-to-be Daniel from their friends, family and co-workers.

My Cincinnati Framily


It’s been a while since I’ve used that term: framily. That what I call friends that are so close that they’re like family. Over the long weekend I went up to visit my framily in Cincinnati. This cute little bugger and his mom, who is my best friend from design school (and her husband, who I didn’t take any picture of … sorry Sean.)

Isn’t my “nephew” so cute?

I love him! It’s especially fun making him smile and laugh.

It’s always a wonderful time when I get to spend the weekend with this family.

Added bonus: they’re also in to mid-century modern design and have an awesome home. After every visit we end up bringing all kind of thrift store, vintage store and antique store treasures back home with us. (Look for that post next week!)

Erie Trip – Part 2


Day 3 – Visited my aunt, uncle and cousins in the morning (didn’t get any pics), had lunch at Imperial China Buffet, went shopping (tax free clothes baby!), Ginger and I played with a pug puppy at the mall, went to dinner at the home of Jason’s bro Steve and wife Char, and finally met their almost-1-year-old little dude Aiden, then we all fell in love with him and his goofy laugh



Day 4 – I had the smile breakfast at Eat’n Park were Jason used worked as a cook and my friends hung out every Friday night for a year in high school; took advantage of the sunshine and when down to the peninsula for a walk—my favorite location in Erie; reminisced about one of our first dates when we watched the sunset and talked about the wonders of God; walked toward the place Jason proposed to me 7.5 years ago; went to Aiden’s 1st birthday party; watched him get overwhelmed with gifts and confused by the singing followed by giant cake; had dinner at O’Charley’s (yes, a Nashville-based chain) with Dave and Emily; played Mexican Train for a couple of house and then fell asleep watching The Office




Day 5 – Breakfast at Tim Horton’s (a first for all of us Nashvillians) and then napped on-and-off thru a 10 hour drive home (including 4 stops)

Erie/Cincinnati Trip – Part 1


Since I have a lot of pictures to share from our vacation to visit family and friends last weekend, I thought I’d divide it up into a couple of posts.

Day 1 – drove to Cincinnati, OH to visit friends (not quite half-way to Erie, PA), saw some joker on a motorcycle, drank a grapefruit IZZE (yum!), ooohed over the beautiful fall trees in KY and OH, and awed over cute little 2-month-old Ben.



Day 2 – hung out with Ben and his mama in the morning (Jason was great with him!), saw more gorgeous trees on the drive, drove the rest of the way to Erie, saw snow as soon as we arrived, visited Jason’s Grandma and Aunt Linda’s cute boston terrier named Shakes, had dinner at Quaker Steak and Lube with our good friends Dave and Emily, and later hung out at their home watching funny videos.






Biker Gang


I went for a bike ride with this cute guy. I’d follow him anywhere.


We met up with these goobers. These photos are a perfect example of framily (friends+family). Some are family. Some are friends. Can you tell the difference? Me neither. I love ’em all:


Biking with dogs is funny:


Dressing exhausted dogs up in clothes is even funnier!