Wednesday, December 14, 2011

what we look like now

Man oh man! Looking over my pitiful number of photos from the last month, I'm realizing one of the biggest benefits of actually blogging is that it keeps me snapping pics! It's kinda like with Facebook statuses. During the times in my life where I've actually put up FB statuses, it makes me keenly aware in my everyday life of what would be a good status. "Ooh I gotta go post on
Facebook that I just saw 2 squirrels collide!" Definitely kinda retarded, BUT the cool thing is that it keeps me NOTICING!!!

Likewise, when I am blogging regularly(ish), thinking "oh, I could blog about this" makes me get out the camera, and stop to APPRECIATE what has been done around the house, or what our family's gotten the opportunity to do. It's so easy to get caught up in "cool, this is done, now what's next" and not stop to appreciate and rest in work or reflect on the blessings God
's brought. After God created the world, He stopped and took a Sabbath. So here's to real and metaphorical Sabbaths!

NOW, on to a bit of catch-up.

Here is Brody the Boy. It's so fun to see what a total BOY he is now. He burps and farts--and then LAUGHS at himself. We are 100% POSITIVE he does it on purpose sometimes!!! His idea of fun with toys is seeing how hard he can throw them--at the gym kidcare, I always know Brody's at the toy bucket when I see legos and MyLittlePonys flying through the air. He is completely OBSESSED with balls. They are his all-time favorite toy, and whenever we walk by anything that remotely looks like a ball, he starts yelling, "BALL! BALL! BALL!"

Interestingly, despite what the above photo seems to indicate, he is terrified of messes. Anytime he spills a couple drops of milk on the floor, he points to the puddle and makes distraught noises. Or if there is a wrinkle in a rug, he obsessively tries to fix it. He also loves to clean things up. I like this trait!!

Another fun thing is his (limited) repertoire of animal noises. Basically it seems to be domestic furry animal say "woofwoof!" and wild furry animals say "RAAAWR!" He's also working on "hooohooo" and "meow."

My friend Kathryn took some pics of us for Christmas cards (just ordered them last night!), so here are a couple updated family pics! I didn't put in the one we are using, so that way it can be a little bit of a surprise or something. :P


I was also going to include our wonderful Thanksgiving in Eugene, Oregon, but I think I will save that for another time--Ellis needs to take the computer to work!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Brody at 15 Months


When I was pregnant with Brody, I was (sort of) keeping a journal and thinking if he turned out to be a girl, he would read and reread my thoughts about him and treasure his baby journal, yada yada yada. Good thing God gave me a BOY who will NOT care, because I think a girl would be very disappointed in me. So hopefully by the time I have a girl, I will have upped my game.

In an attempt to work on it, here is a 15.5 month update on what is going on with the Bear, which is what he probably thinks his name is.

(the only recentish pic on the computer right now)

Biggest milestone recently: WALKING, woohoo! As seen in the previous post, Brody was inspired to work hard over Labor Day weekend, and now walks everywhere! He also loves to walk backward--and he totally thinks he's cool when he does it.

Also, he loves to feed himself, which means he NEVER re-wears the same outfits two days in a row anymore, or even PJs. And his favorite food just happens to be yogurt, so it's REALLY messy! This morning I gave him oatmeal, thinking it was a better choice since it was more substantial and wouldn't slide right off the spoon onto him. BUT he decided it was substantial enough to be a finger food. He also really cracked me up with his toast this morning: he broke it in pieces, sucked all the jam off, and then stacked his toast pieces in his empty oatmeal bowl and stuck the spoon straight up in it like a flag. That MUST be the Eifert in him cause there's no way a Littlejohn baby would clean up after himself!

He loves to read books and sing to himself--we love listening to him in his carseat! And I think the ball has now replaced the play piano as his favorite toy. He still loves music and especially rap though!

This is SUCH a fun stage, cause he is becoming an interactive little KID now. It's so fun to see him COMMUNICATE!!! Here are his words that I can think of:
Mama and Dada--do those even count? :)
Yogurt
Uh oh
Hi
Thank you
Up--his favorite!
All done
Juice
Bottle
and then Light--it's not perfectly consistent, but it's a Littlejohn tradition, so it's exciting!

He's turning out to be super social--he LOVES going to the gym KidCare with me and playing with all the kids! And nothing beats Logos volleyball games, where he gets to bask in the attention of junior high girls!

Lastly, here is a breakdown of his top 3 favorite people at 15 months:
1) Aunt Emily--no contest
2) Dad
3) Mom

At least I'm in the top 3! :)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Brodster on the Move

The Pudster has a reputation of not performing for the camera, but Labor Day weekend, he decided to show off his brand new skills to the fam! We had to bribe him with footballs and soccer balls, but here's Brody walking!

video

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Dirty Dash

A couple weeks ago, some friends and I did the funnest race ever!! (and Ami, if you read this, don't worry, I do know that I shouldn't say "funnest") It was called the Dirty Dash, a 10k in Spokane. The 10k is already my FAVORITE distance (with all my vast experience of a 10k and a 5k, haha) because I love that it's long enough to feel like an accomplishment, but short enough to just run and get on with your day.

But anyway, not only was this a 10k, it was a "mud run," so our run was filled with mud pits and obstacles like haybales and walls that we either had to scale or army crawl underneath through mud. They also had a beer chug event during the race!


Here is out team at the beginning: Dan, Doug, Rach, Christa, and me


A couple of the mud pits. Our feet got SO heavy from all the mud in our shoes--we got to wash our shoes out in a river and my feet felt so light and fancy free.


The best mud pit of ALL was right at the finish line. We dove in and got completely covered!
Too bad the "showers" were just a trickle!

Mom and Brody came and picked me up after the race to shop in Spokane (Ellis and Dad were backpacking), so the Arby's bathroom became my shower until I got a real one that night. Even after washing my hair 6 times I STILL had mud in it--it was awesome!

Here we are after our mudbath--cannot WAIT to do it next year!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Brody hits Fort Wayne

I totally need to put up pics, too, I know. But for some reason posting videos takes it out of me--cause they take SOOOO long to load. There's actually one more video from the Chicago/Fort Wayne trip, in Chicago, but it REALLY takes forever to load. So I'll just include it in the next Brody post, which should be soon, cause he's been doing so much fun stuff lately!


video
What a boy.

video

This next one was at the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo, which was the BEST zoo I have ever been to. Too bad there aren't ducks here in Moscow, cause Brode LOVES them. He also was way into the fish--we were in the aquarium for like half an hour. My fav part of this video is Brody's sound effects, haha.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Living room thoughts

I'm so excited to have scored some nice neutral furniture finally! In VA Beach, it was kinda tough to work around the blue plaid couch, the brown and blue zigzag loveseat, and the ashy carpet.

But HERE we have wood laminate, a beige leather couch we bought from my sis for $40 and a cream chair and ottoman, which were $5 for the pair. We also have a big maroon leather chair of my parents, which I am hoping to replace with something smaller and lighter, as it blocks a bigger chunk of the window than I would like.

The other day, on Pinterest (the site that's been keeping me away from blogging!), my friend Lish pinned the most amazing cheap rug from Urban Outfitters:



Right away it went on my birthday list! I was thinking it'd be awesome to have this rug and then some throw pillows with a fun ikat like this:

Obviously, that's not exactly the right one, but I'm kinda on an Ikat kick, so I'm searching high and low for the perfect fabric!

SADLY my birthday is still a month away, and Urban Outfitters is down to only the Black and White zigzag! :(

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the blue (or the gray, either one!) will reappear! And if not, maybe I'll just make one myself using this Ikea rug painting tutorial!

(Pinterest images: rug and fabric)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Talking to Little Kids

I just read this adorable article over at A Cup of Jo (one of my fav blogs!) a week or so ago, and have been thinking about it ever since. It's about talking to little girls (or kids in general!) about ideas and books to really get to know them and make them feel listened to! As someone who TOTALLY falls into complimenting little kids on their hairbows and ties and dimples all the time, I loved this advice for an alternative to small talk. So cute.

Here's the article (and one of the cute pics she had with it:




This Saturday, Toby and I were riding the bus downtown, when a six-year-old girl sat down next to us. She was wearing a white dress and sparkly red flats, and her blonde hair was twisted into a braid. My first instinct was to compliment her hairstyle, but I stopped myself...

I had just read the GREAT article
How to Talk to Little Girls by Lisa Bloom, which encourages adults to ask little girls about ideas and books, instead of complimenting their looks. "Teaching girls that their appearance is the first thing you notice tells them that looks are more important than anything," says Bloom. "I always bite my tongue when I meet little girls, restraining myself from my first impulse, which is to tell them how darn cute/ pretty/ beautiful/ well-dressed/ well-manicured/ well-coiffed they are...It's our culture's standard talking-to-little-girls icebreaker, isn't it?"

(It's true! It's really easy and almost instinctive to compliment a little girl's appearance, don't you think?)

"Clothes or hair or bodies...it's surprising how hard it is to stay away from those topics with little girls, but I'm stubborn," Bloom writes. "Try this the next time you meet a little girl [ask her what she's reading]. She may be surprised and unsure at first, because few ask her about her mind, but be patient and stick with it...Model for her what a thinking woman says and does."

So, instead of telling the girl on the bus how much I liked her hair, I went ahead and asked her what books she liked. She told me that her mom was reading The Little House in the Prairie to her at night, and that they read one chapter per night, unless it was a long chapter, in which case they read half. We talked about books for five bus stops (that's a long time in midtown traffic!) and then I asked her what she had for breakfast. "Pancakes," she said. I told her that I loved pancakes with lemon and sugar, and her mom looked up and said, "That's how I ate them growing up in Germany." And then the little girl told me how she had gone on an airplane (!) to Germany earlier that summer and how she had seen a fox during her trip and how her grandparents took to her swimming and to the movies, where you could eat pizza in your seats.

I was thrilled by our conversation! (Although
Toby fell asleep:) It was so much more interesting than braids.

Lisa Bloom's advice to have real conversations with little girls (and boys!) is wonderful. (Think: "Have you been swimming this summer?" "Do you like animals?" "Do you know any jokes?") Changing the conversation topic is such a seemingly small thing, but it can make a profound difference, don't you think?


What's your take? Do you instinctively compliment little girls' looks, too? What else do you talk about with little girls? Do you remember having smart conversations with adults when you were little? Do you have any young girls in your life to at the moment, or do you have a daughter? Will you take Lisa Bloom's pledge, too? (Think how amazing it would be if we all did this from now on!) Do you think it's important or not that big of a deal? I'm curious to hear your thoughts... xoxo

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

New place!!

After a summer of living in my parents' basement (aka bachelor pad--there were 4 guys living there all year last year, and Ellis and I burned candles all summer to fight off the guy smell), Ellis, Brody, and I finally moved into a new apartment!!

It's actually the basement apartment of a house, so it's more like a duplex, and we are PUMPED!! Also, did I mention we have great neighbors? My old roomie Amy is living upstairs with her hubby, so we're excited to share a house with them! Here's a tour of the space on move-in day.


The living room/kitchen. Nice big living room with two huge windows, plus a window in the kitchen. Even though this is a basement apartment, it has WAY more light than our apartment at the Village in Virginia. The kitchen is probably the "weakest" part of the place--it's technically a bar in a basement. It has a sink and a stove, but limited cabinet space and the fridge is in the dining room, haha. BUT we LOVE the kitchen being open with the living room, and the bar and bar stools, not to mention the awesome brick wine cellar.

One of the things I'm MOST excited for--a FIREPLACE. I DREAMED of a fireplace in VA Beach--it was on my apartment wish list for our next place, so CHECK. This is EXACTLY what we need for LONG COLD Moscow winters. I know this is a lot of all caps, but it's just way exciting!!

Here's the dining room--it's not the best shot--I'll get a better one when it's all furnished and the fridge is moved into the pantry or into the kitchen.

LAUNDRY ROOM! For the FIRST TIME in our marriage, I will not be hauling laundry baskets to the Village laundry building whenever I need to wash a load! I know all our fellow Regenters understand!

Our bedroom--again, more light than our bedroom in VA Beach.

Brody's room
THIRD bedroom!! So please, come stay! We even have an extra bed of my parents' too, so no air mattress. a real bed!
Huge bathroom. Honestly I don't know why the bathroom is this big, haha, but better too much room than not enough. And yes, there's so much room that Brody's potty chair will totally be out.


The other MOST AWESOME thing about this place, besides the fireplace--a HUGE yard! and it has a fence--so I can just let Brody roam around in the dirt and not worry about cars! Plus, great for parties!

Also I forgot to add, that the rent is $300 less than our in Virginia Beach! We were so blessed to find this place! And this is one super great thing about Moscow over VA Beach! We may not have Target or TJ Maxx :( , but the rent is great here! :)

So there you go! I'll definitely put up pics of the progress as it comes along!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

new Bear videos

I'm pretty much the worst video poster in the world. But it's half Brody's fault because he is not a performer--as soon as I get the camera out, anything cool he was doing immediately stops. I'm guessing he's gonna be like his daddy--I don't think Ellis ever posed for a picture until we got together and we would take pictures and I would be like, "why aren't you smiling? this is a terrible picture!" Now you would never know--now he even smiled for his driver's license!

But anyway, I think until Brody learns that it is just a common courtesy to perform for the camera, that everybody will just have to be content with footage of him just hanging out. :)

video

Brody LOVES music and dancing, and my dad's favorite thing this summer has been playing old songs for him like the Beegees and the Rolling Stones and then watching the Brode dance.


video

Dancing and bouncing with aunts and uncles.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Summer wine love

Mmmm, nothing better on a beach vacation than AMAZING wine!!!


TOTALLY obsessed with this Kyra Chenin Blanc, from Moses Lake, WA. I am a total lightweight, but I could POUND a bottle of this wine because it is THAT GOOD. We just may end up ordering a whole case of them at Christmas and giving them out like Scrooge on Christmas Day!! Thanks, Dad E, for introducing us and for sending us one for the beach!!! :D

Monday, July 18, 2011

yuuummy summer salad

Despite the fact that there are only 3 warm months out of the whole year here in Moscow, there are many things I missed about this place while we were in Virginia Beach. Sidewalks. Local coffeeshops. No traffic. But maybe MOST OF ALL is the Moscow Food Coop. Part natural grocery store, part awesomest lunch spot ever, I have so many food obsessions to come out of there. Tabouli....Veggie pockets....tomato tortellini soup.

But perhaps my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE is their Bok Choy salad.

What is so awesome about this recipe is all the fresh CRUNCH. Check out all the PEPPERS and CABBAGE!!! cruchcrunchcrunch!

You can get this recipe, and the whole Coop Cookbook on their website, but just to do the homework for you, here you go!


Salad:

1/2 C. almonds, slivered and toasted
1 head Bok Choy, chopped
1 C. red cabbage, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 1/2 T. tamari (or soy sauce)
3/4 C. vegan mayonnaise (I substituted plain yogurt)

Dressing: (this is where the magic happens)

1/4 C. apple cider vinegar
1/4 C. tamari
1/4 C. canola oil
1/4 C. brown sugar.

Chop everything, toss it all in a bowl. Whisk the dressing together, pour over the salad, and toss it up! Hope you love it!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Hello Seattle

Dad E. took Ellis, Brody, Matt, and me on an awesome trip to see U2 in Seattle!! To get to see one of the biggest bands EVER in a HUGE Qwest Field concert was INCREDIBLE!

On the way over we had a few extra minutes, so we detoured to see the Fremont Troll, which none of us had ever seen before.

It was Brody's second time in Seattle, and he loved walking around with Dad!


The big U2 fans of the group. Neither of them was up for much talking during the show, as they considered themselves to be going through "spiritual experiences."


There they are!


Thanks, Dad, for an awesome opportunity! We love you!

Happy Fourth!!

So much to catch up on!! I pretty much never have the computer these days since Ellis is using it to study for the bar, but hey, who needs computers in the summer? :)

Ellis and I had an AWESOME Fourth of July. We went camping--without the Brode this time--with a big group of friends. SO MUCH FUN!!


We went to a GORGEOUS little reservoir called Spring Valley, just 25 minutes away from home and totally FREE!! We canoed and paddleboarded and talked LATE into the night around the campfire with a newfound friend, Mark, who showed us how to gut and cook fish.


Had a BLAST with Rachel and Lenora on the paddleboard!

Simon taking it easy

Ellis, Parker, Ethan, and Nathan

Parker, Mark, Rosalie, and Caleb gutting the fish
Fishing was pretty much the big event of the trip for a lot of the guys--they fished for dinner, fished in the dark, and Caleb was up at 6 AM Monday morning to fish!

Dinner was super exciting for me, because 1) I've never had fish caught fresh from the water, and 2) I've never even had fresh-water fish PERIOD. So I got to try something new, and felt pretty hardcore peeling fresh fish flesh from their creepy poky spines.

Here are some of us cooking dinner.

Such a blast! Can't wait to do a trip like this again!!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

cute painting idea

TOTALLY love this nursery painting idea from one of Young House Love's house crashings.


I wish there was a straight on pic of these adorable animal canvasses, but you can get the idea here! I love the simplicity of the clean white silhouettes and also the progression of the blue tones. (Also was excited to see the zoo fabric from Brody's baby quilt on that lamp!!) :)

I love the versatility of this idea too, like a cluster of silhouetted bathroom icons (like a tub, a toothbrush, bubbles) in a bathroom, or kitchen gadgets in a kitchen, etc.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Annapolis

To celebrate Ellis finishing up law school--and give my aunt the excuse to babysit Brody overnight--Ellis and I decided to go on a little one-night getaway to one of our FAVORITE cities EVER, Annapolis. Annapolis is on our list of top 5 places in which we would love to live, along with Haverford, PA and Black Mountain, NC.

Here is the gorgeous downtown taken from near the waterfront.

We wanted to find a B&B type place to stay, and were super excited to find the Historic Inns of Annapolis, a group of 3 different historic buildings in downtown Annapolis. We chose the Maryland Inn, and loved it!

It also had an awesome porch for sitting and reading. This is a dream come true for Ellis--I think his idea of a perfect day is one in which he could sit outside and read undisturbed all day long. For me, it took a while to get back into reading after NSA, but I've totally caught the bug again lately and have been on a book rampage. This particular trip I was reading The Kite Runner, which was fabulous, and I'm really excited to read his other book, A Thousand Splendid Suns.

We ate lunch at our fav place, Buddy's Crabs and Ribs.


Stopped in at several of the cool shops like Capital Teas. (this is the one pic I got before the lady told me I wasn't allowed)
And of COURSE the smokeshop!


We also ran into a few of Ellis' law school friends, who were up for a girls' trip to Annapolis!
The only pic I got of the waterfront was at night. It's gorgeous, and so fun. There is an AWESOME crepe shop where we got breakfast called Sofi's Crepes. I'd never had a crepe other than a Nutella crepe before, but I branched out and got a bacon, egg, and cheese crepe. I know it sounds like McDonald's, but NO. Seriously, I want to go on a trip and get Sofi's for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

It was so fun to get away with Ellis just the two of us, and no Brody. ALTHOUGH we actually called my aunt a couple times just cause we missed him. Thanks so much, Tammi, for watching him for us!
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