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This picture is pretty monumental.

Lily has a love/hate/super-duper-terrified relationship with mascots, so when the Easter Bunny made an appearance at our neighborhood egg hunt last weekend, I held my breath. Earlier that day, we walked next door to check out the bunny costume, and Lily tried on the head. We also told her which grown-up would be inside the costume during the egg hunt, and that it was our special secret. It worked.

She ran right over to the bunny, hugged him and hollered at Sophie to come take a picture with him. Marc grabbed my camera from me so I could be in one of the shots. I’m so grateful to him because now I’m captured forever in this little (big) moment for Lily.

Our Easter celebration was pretty wonderful. And a welcome distraction from all that’s been on my mind lately. (An aside: Thank you for all of your sweet notes of encouragement and “I’ve been there” messages. I can’t tell you how much comfort your words brought me. I’m feeling much better, and I have a follow-up appointment May 8. More to come …)

I swore off my chores for much of the weekend and spent almost every minute possible with the girls. We dyed eggs, baked a cake, whipped up my mother-in-law’s famous potato salad and laughed a lot. Such bliss. Even amidst the occasional whining and fighting and fussing, we had a ball. And facing a laundry mountain at 10:30 last night? Totally worth it.

Lily got her face painted for the first time during school carnival on the day of our neighborhood egg hunt, and she loved it, itchy eyebrows and all. She is a master egg-hunter, filling her basket within seconds. I love this shot of her and Marc. Such cuties.

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Soph, on the other hand, doesn’t like chocolate or jelly beans or most candy in general, so she had fun running crazy and bunny-hopping. Even though this photo is blurry, it makes me smile. Quintessential Sophie.

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Lily decorated Easter eggs and practiced her teenager smirk.

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While Sophie ate more frosting than she spread on the cake.

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But the real star of our show is Mister Monroe and his Green Plaid Pants. He rocked those bad boys on Easter Sunday, and I couldn’t take my camera off him.

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Isn’t he awesome? Don’t even get me started on those curls.

We had such fun at my parents’ house on Sunday, and I was so happy that the rain cleared out in time for the egg hunt. Once again, Lily bagged more than she could carry. And Laura hid special eggs for the big girls with their names on them. Lily brought hers to school Monday for show-and-tell.

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Every time we take a family photo, I can’t get over how we’ve expanded way beyond my childhood family of four. So much love.

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Our Easter Bunny caked started with eyes and a nose and a mouth until the girls employed a “more is more” philosophy and emptied all the little bowls of jelly beans onto their creation.

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Last but not least, a gratuitous food shot. Because Mom made sweet potato biscuits from scratch, and they deserve a post all their own.

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Hope your Easter was wonderful! Can you believe May is just around the corner?

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Easter chocolates

Aren’t these Easter treats just lovely? Auntie Julie sent them to the girls in a care package stuffed to the brim with all sorts of goodies floating in Easter grass. I couldn’t resist snapping a photo of these pretties before they get gobbled up. (Related: the white one with the carrot has already disappeared. Ahem.) [click to continue…]

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on this day of remembering

by Suzanne on April 15, 2014

in heart

Boston Marathon survivor portraits by @dearworld

I stumbled across this stunning portrait project after a quick skim of my Facebook feed today, and it took my breath away. So I want to share it here, in case you haven’t seen it yet.

Dear World, I’m a fan. Thank you for connecting us to these amazing people in such a beautiful way.

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hello spring (thank goodness)

by Suzanne on April 7, 2014

in heart

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This girl is serious about getting down and dirty, even in her brand-new Elsa nightgown/dress. She loves planting flowers with her dad. And, much to his delight, she also enjoys pulling weeds and picking up pine cones.

I can’t even begin to express how ELATED I am that spring is here. My seasonal-affective-disorder-self couldn’t take much more winter.

Lily said it best over the weekend: “It’s a no-coat day! Finally!”

AMEN.

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Etsy favorites: COLOR!

by Suzanne on April 1, 2014

in retail therapy

collage-color statement necklace // mini planters  // bracelets  // coin purses

Whenever I need a little boost, I either eat a cupcake or hop onto Etsy and look around. Since I’m in the process of trying to shed my “winter seven,” Etsy is the lower-calorie option these days.

My eye always gravitates toward color. And lots of it. Back in middle school, my favorite outfit came from this store that carried only knit separates in solid colors. I remember it being like a candy store. Blocks of color as far as the eye could see. Mix and match EVERYTHING. I wish I could remember the name of that store! (I imagine it didn’t stay in business very long, despite my patronage.) Picture, if you will, little Suzanne wearing emerald-green tapered pants, a canary yellow top, and a bright purple jacket with perfectly square shoulder pads. All at the same time.

I don’t know what was more unfortunate about that outfit: the color combination, the fact that all three pieces were made of stretchy knit, or that Laura called me “the joker” every time I wore it. Still, I loved it. (Loved it too much actually).

But I sure am grateful that my appetite for color and sense of style have evolved.

These picks from Etsy make me happy and get me in the mood for warmer days ahead. So I file them as favorites and give my inner knit-ensemble-wearing-12-year-old-self a high-five.

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Wednesday night

by Suzanne on March 25, 2014

in heart

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Sophie’s shirt got stuck on her head while we were trying to pull it off, and instead of crying she burst into hysterical laughter when I just left it there. So of course I had to tie the sleeves under her chin to elicit even more of that intoxicating laughter that is like bacon for my soul (greedy momma).

Then Lily got in on the action and I hollered to Marc for my camera.

I was trying to mess with the manual settings in this next shot but the room was too dark and too yellow, so I gave myself some grace and twisted the dial to the no-flash setting. My favorite.

My biggest fear with manual photography is missing the moment. Stuff happens so fast with these girls, and I’m anxious to capture it all. Right now, I’m just too slow with the aperture and the shutter speed and the white balance and all the confusing numbers. I’ll get there someday with that intimidating “M” button. Soon enough.

I like this shot though, because in a weird way, it captures me in the moment.

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The bath is like Switzerland. Neutral territory. The girls play so well together in that water, sharing and laughing and splashing each other’s butts. (Body parts and potty humor are all the rage in our house right now. I’m not doing a very good job at stopping it because I just can’t help but laugh. Especially at the fart jokes.)

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Here is Sophie the Pirate. She always begs to wear Lily’s “big girl headband” after bath, and she yanks it onto her head Keith Richards style. Then she clambers up the little wooden stool and shouts “ARRRRR MATEYS” to her reflection in the mirror. Every single night. It’s irresistible.

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The final step before bed (at last): brushing teeth. Sophie is insistent on doing it ALL BY MYSELF MOMMA. Okay, big girl. You got this.

These two. How I just love them.

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the top ten best things about my day at the NCAA tournament in Raleigh

March 23, 2014

10. The Coastal Carolina chanticleer’s jaunty toupee. 9. The Tennessee pep band for playing Britney Spears and actually making me like it. 8. Never a line for the ladies’ room. 7. Crazy Mercer fans, especially when they threw streamers from the top deck to the bottom. 6. Actually remembering the location of our parking space. 5. Our […]

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because I want to take her home with me and snuggle forever and ever

March 19, 2014

The girls can share a room. They won’t mind. After all, a pet baby gorilla is pretty much every kid’s dream, right? Seriously, though. I’m praying that this tiny gal thrives and grows into a big ol’ mama gorilla. Big hugs, little one.

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Lily’s movie-themed birthday party (jammies optional!)

March 18, 2014

I just got my hands on these awesome photos Ann took at Lily’s 6th birthday party, and I couldn’t wait to share some of my favorites with you guys. Lily really wanted a movie party and insisted that I write “wear your pj’s!” on the invitation (I ordered these cute printables on Etsy). We set […]

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little miss awesome

March 12, 2014

She insists on wearing her fairy wings everywhere. She also usually chooses from an assortment of tutus (“ballerinas”) each morning, and sometimes doubles up. Because one can never wear too many tutus at the same time. She’s discovered the magic of coloring. This is different from her toddler scribbling. Suddenly she’s aware of the lines […]

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