Happy Thanksgiving (and a bit of a goodbye) from these turkeys

Thanksgiving turkeys

I’m sitting on the couch watching my girls watch the SpongeBob Christmas special. Sophie is wearing a blue princess dress over her clothes, and Lily is sprawled in “her” chair (the big brown La-Z-Boy that migrated downstairs from the nursery and that I still can’t bear to part with because there are so many memories wrapped up in it). Her black eye — from a head-on collision at recess this week — is starting to turn green. She’s forgotten it’s there. Thank goodness.

Marc sits beside me, exhausted from more wrestling with insulation and plastic sheeting and pipes under the house. We’ve just finished a dinner of Thanksgiving leftovers, and bedtime is fast approaching (praise be).

In one word, I’m content.

I’ve grown to appreciate this happy weariness of parenthood. The completion of a fun, action-packed day. The delicious anticipation of those glorious post-bedtime hours when I get a break from the nonstop tending to my girls’ needs.

My reserves fill up, and I begin to miss them as I head up to bed. By the morning, I’m rested (mostly) and overjoyed (truly) to see them again. Especially when they sleep past seven.

We’ve had a wonderful little holiday. Thanksgiving Day with Nonna, Papa, Aunt Laura and her brood; a movie date with sweet Olive; Christmas decorating; and lots (LOTS) of jammie time. I hope your holiday has been just as chaotic and relaxing and love-filled.

Every year as we turn the corner toward Christmas, I get extra nostalgic and emotional. It’s an interesting phenomenon that’s been growing stronger since Lily’s first Christmas six years ago. I take stock and reflect and think ahead to a new, fresh year. And I can’t listen to a Bing Crosby song without tearing up a little bit.

Can you tell where this is headed?

Here I am again, wanting to stop blogging. There are lots of reasons, but the biggest are those two in the photo up there (and their dad). I hardly publish any more, but this site still weighs on me. I neglect it. Then I feel guilty and throw myself in and spend way too much time nurturing it. My compulsion to document takes all sorts of forms (journals for both girls, notes on my phone, copious photo-taking, etc.) and publishing these intimacies online is becoming increasingly uncomfortable for me. An invasion of privacy that I’m enabling. It’s weird.

Plus, my real job is busy and incredibly fulfilling. I’ve also started freelance writing. And I want to dedicate most of my online energy to Posy and Ann Tyer Photography and Postpartum Education and Support.

So I’m going to step away for a little while. Or a long one. I just don’t know. I’m not going to shutter this site in a big hurry, like with pretty*swell, when I lost a bunch of photos and words and my heart is still broken over it. Silly impulsive me.

Thank you for reading. Especially those of you who’ve been with us since the beginning, August 2009.

I’ll still be hanging out on Instagram, so pop by there for little updates if you’d like.

Happy holidays, friends. Wishing you love and happiness and lots of bacon-wrapped goodies.


from my camera roll: Sunday by the lake


So many little snapshots of our life hang out in my phone … and then get dumped onto the computer never to be heard from again. I share my favorites on Instagram, but there are always a bunch left on the cutting room floor that I love.

Since I have this little corner of the internet all to myself, I figure why not share here? A bajillion more photos of my kids! You’re in, right?

This batch was taken on a walk by our neighborhood lake last Sunday, where Sophie spent a lot of time finding beauty in the weeds and Lily sky-gazed while Bella frolicked and marked her “territory” every ten feet. It was the first time in a long while that I’d been outside just to be outside, and it was pretty wonderful.








a lesson in gratitude

We got the news on Halloween day, in the midst of costumes and Elsa braids and where’s my treat bucket.

Our furnace is unsafe, the technician said, and we really shouldn’t use it anymore. It is 21 years old, after all. We’ve been heating and cooling the house on borrowed time for the last few years, so we knew this news was coming. It was just a matter of when.

So that must be why it didn’t occur to me at that very moment that forecasters had called for a freezing cold weekend and we needed to figure out how to stay warm. That and the fact that trick-or-treating was starting and the girls had already bolted out the door before my brain could register much of anything.

Late that night, as Marc and I decamped to the family room couch after wrestling two sugar-laden little girls to bed, it hit me: we need heat. We had one space-heater, but I worried that it wouldn’t be enough to keep all of us warm through the night.

My first thought: neighbors.

I didn’t want to disturb them with late-night texts, so I put out a call for space heaters in our Facebook group. Within minutes of that post going live, our next-door neighbor was at the door with a space heater.

And then the flood began. Texts, calls and offers of help and heaters rolled in over the next hour and clear through the weekend.

Nearly a week later, I’m still overwhelmed with gratitude. We are blessed with the best neighbors on the planet. Our own little cul-de-sac village, plus a dear friend down the street who seems to have a sixth sense when people are in need.

And don’t even get me started on my husband. He sprang into action the very next day, ripping out duct work and clearing our crawl space of decades’ worth of accumulated junk. He hauled away metal and insulation and the very furnace itself, clearing the way for today’s installation (hallelujah) and saving us a few thousand dollars. There were moments this week, like when we were kneeling together to measure the space to be cut for a new vent and I saw his sweat dripping onto the sub-floor, that I realized how much I love this man and how very much he cares for his family.

My dad also came to the rescue, helping Marc over several days to do the heavy lifting and hauling and driving all over town to dump everything in the right places. Mom cooked us hot soup on one of the coldest nights and insisted that we sleep over. I feel so blessed not only to have my parents nearby, but for all the ways they love and support us.

We survived this week by the grace of people who care for us.

How lucky we are! And warm. So very warm.

elsa and elsa

“our” North Carolina State Fair


As I held the little plastic bag to Lily’s mouth while her breakfast came up on the parking lot shuttle bus (I caught it all! Mom win!) I thought for sure we’d be turning right back around to go home.

I was wrong.

My six-year-old daughter, infused with the Spirit of the State Fair, rallied, and we had a wonderful Sunday morning filled with everything we love (EXCEPT rides, of course).

Ann came along to document our fun, and I’m so grateful for that. She captured “our” fair so beautifully. You’d never even know how the day began …


Fair_web-4 Fair_web-5 Fair_web-7 Fair_web-9 Fair_web-11 Fair_web-13 Fair_web-17 Fair_web-18 Fair_web-19 Fair_web-22 Fair_web-23 Fair_web-24 Fair_web-27 Fair_web-28

ten years


Ten years ago today.

You and me and hopes and dreams and hearts brimming with love.

Little did I know as I walked toward you on my father’s arm — blinking back tears and grinning like a fool — how amazing our life would be. I treasure every bit of it, even the valleys, because without fail, we climb out on the other side holding hands, stronger. Together.

This little world we’ve created. These little human beings we’re raising. All this love. How grateful I am.

I love you, sweet husband. Happy number ten.

educating the next deep-fried generation


Once upon a time, FIVE years ago, I was crowned Deep-Fried Ambassador of the North Carolina State Fair. Deputy Deep-Fried (also known as Alisa) and I set out for quite the air-brushed, meat-on-a-stick adventure.


I took my job very seriously.

And I still kind of haven’t let go (at all, really). I just love the fair, plain and simple. And I’m so lucky to have a real-life job that enables me access to 11 days of deep-fried bliss each year. (I’m not a carnie. Just for the record.)

It definitely wouldn’t be State Fair week if I didn’t sample some crazy new food with The Deputy. This year’s culinary conundrum? The Twinx.


Not sure what’s going on in this picture? Me neither. But I do know this: a Twinkie stuffed with a Twix bar, wrapped in bacon, battered and deep-fried actually is quite tasty.

Five years, two kids and numerous deep-fried delicacies later, The Deputy and I are still going strong. And as The Junior Deputy’s expression indicates, we clearly have our work cut out for us in training the next generation of fairgoers on the splendor of all things deep-fried.

Challenge accepted.


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