Resurrection Eggs: Bridging the Gap Between American & Biblical Easter Celebrations through a Christ-Focused Foundation

. .
that's by far the longest, most boring-looking title of a blog post by me ever. i wanted to say all of that front and center, but i promise, we're headed somewhere fun. 


you probably hear it every year at christmas and again at easter. the difference between how our culture celebrates these holidays and what these holidays themselves are actually supposed to celebrate is huge.

christmas seems to get away with it more. its pretty justifiable to say that we all give each other buttloads of gifts because christmas is jesus' birthday and we want to show his love. the tree, the songs, stockings, santa...these all are at least partially rooted in biblical or jesus origins...even if you have to stretch to make it so.

but something about easter pushes the poles even farther apart. the resurrection is the whole flippin' point of christianity period forever amen. so while we are awed by the virgin birth, it is because we see the cross in that baby's future. the passion of christ is actually the heart and soul of everything that we have put our hearts and souls into. 

so it seems like, if anything, the easter celebration should be MORE jesus-y than christmas.

and yet pastels, magic bunnies, plastic grass, candy eggs and heinous peeps are what we get. (though i do realize a lot of the easter traditions have cool links to new life, eternal life, etc. but i think these are much less well-known and easily secularized than st. nick's christian back story, for example). 

easter is a bigger deal--the biggest--and yet it feels like the tendency is to make it a smaller or cheaper one.

ok that is my cultural report as a wanna-be sociologist or whatever. now here's how jesse and i have decided to parent in light of where things stand in suburban america in 2013.

first off, we completely understand families who decide to eschew entirely all the non-christian trappings of holidays. seriously: get it. love it. considered it ourselves. but we just landed somewhere a little to the side of that...probably because we're too lazy to actually be so vigilant.

this is NOT saying our way is right. this is saying our way is our way and it's the one we've arrived at after prayerfully considering and discussing how exactly to raise our american kids in the year 2013 to be passionate followers of an eternal god who came to live and die in israel 2000 years ago. 

um, yeah, figuring this stuff out is almost as weird as it sounds.

we love both kinds of the magic of being human: the parts you need jesus for and the parts some would say you dont (atheists have joyful, loving moments too, after all). we want our kids to be part of the culture they live in and to experience both kinds of magic.

that said, we are dead- (or eternally alive, rather) serious about them knowing what is fun fluff and what is rock solid truth, and how to sort through--or even chuck out--all the sugar-infused, retail-supercharged, stimuli bonanza of holidays--to find their focus and their center in christ. 

that is our mission statement and we are constantly working out what this looks like practically to a 2 and 3 year old. 

we got an really spectacular tool for doing this yesterday. i went to judah's preschool (he goes to a christian preschool run by our old church) class easter party, and i watched and delighted as those little goobers did their egg hunt and played games and ate sugary snacks. then judah's wonderful teacher announced that coming home with each kid was a set of "resurrection eggs" and FYI there were some nails in them so maybe keep an eye on them.

when we got home and the kids were having snacks, i cracked open the carton having very little idea of what to expect and was THRILLED with what i saw: numbered eggs with little props inside each egg that told the story of easter.

i was about to cry when judah popped open egg number one and picked up the leaf inside. he immediately said, "mommy, dis is da palm leaf. jesus disciples put these down on the road so he didnt get dirty and dusty, and all the people yelled 'osanna! osanna!'" 

i mean really.

after the kids went down for naps i went through the whole carton and was more and more enamored of this activity. exactly why i love it is in the epic title of this post. 

we want to lay a foundation with our kids first and foremost so that all of the silly, fun things that arent overtly biblical about holidays, and life in general, always have strong roots in christ. it's not "taking back easter" because no culture or tradition could take that away from us, but it is saying, there's a super big, important, magical-beyond-comprehension reason that we do all these fun, celebratory things in life. it's giving our kids roots. and eventually they will realize that the "other" kind of magic that doesnt seem jesus-y on the outside, actually does come from him. all of joy and nature and love and everything that makes life HD and worth living is rooted in him also.

so in this example, we want to do the resurrection eggs with them every year, multiple times, so that these are the first easter egg memories they will have, and so that hopefully every egg they ever hunt for fun will remind them of jesus. we think this will be easier than trying to drag jesus into the egg story at 10 years old when all they care about is the snickers inside.

we feel like planting jesus seeds grows jesus fruit. will the fruit sometimes taste like jelly beans or sound like an action figure? maybe sometimes on certain branches. but the DNA (RNA, i guess, in the metaphor) of the fruit will be and point to jesus. it seems a better choice than growing little  sugar-crazed, self-centered materialist sprouts first and then trying to just put jesus paint on top of them later and hoping it sinks in and sticks.

*note:this analogy isnt airtight. it's not one or the other. example:  i am sugar-crazed, self-centered materialistic fruit. i was not raised with a constant rooting of christ in my life. he was something i chose to put on later in life. the cool thing about jesus though is that when i did, he just straight up transformed me into him-like fruit. he still is. 

so the eggs! i'm sure this isnt a new idea by any means, but it was our first encounter and i wanted to share them here. i changed up a few things that the class set had and added some extra stuff. this activity is so deep and meaningful, yet it is cheap (i mean, ours was made for free), fast, easy, fun and reusable. it's the mother (mary) of all easter crafts in my book.

ours came already in the carton, but it would be even more fun to hide these like a "normal" egg hunt and have the kids find them first and then go through the story. this would make a great activity for a sunday school class or just one kiddo. okay i cant stop talking about the awesome possibilities of this thing so i'm just gonna show you:

decorate the top of the egg carton to make it spiffy and cover up all the egg carton words. you can let your kids help for more ownership, or be a control freak like me and make it simple. i went with the font i imagine the romans used at that time. because of theme, yall.

and since it's what's on the inside that counts, let's break it open!:

12 easter eggs, numbered (go wild with sharpies, stickers, whatever) and then the key taped or pasted inside the lid so it doesnt get lost. here is my printable version of the key that fits a standard carton top if you prefer to use it.

and really it's inside what's inside that REALLY counts here: 

the 12 eggs-fillers we have in our set are: 
cup/bread made from tinfoil and triscuit
3 dimes or silver washers
a thorn branch
a piece of braided rope with tinfoil spikes and tape handle
little wooden cross (we have a prefab one, but obv, you can DIY one easy)
3 nails
a piece of purple cloth and a die
a piece of white cloth sprayed with perfume or yummy smelling oil
a rock
a little piece of paper folded like a book with THE BIBLE on front and a verse inside

but here again you can get creative. maybe you want to leave out the flogging of jesus for little ones that are easily disturbed.  or maybe you want to add in another element of the story like praying in gethsemane or peter cutting off the guards ear and jesus putting it back on (a hit with little boys, surely!). go for it! the combos are almost limitless and allow for years of variation.

and here is the key (download here) to what each object means and you can tell your kids about (and they will quickly start telling you...it's amazing how much these visuals sink home the story.) along with scripture references for each element if you want to read along in your bible.

fun fact: judah's teacher sprayed his white fabric with some stank-ass nana perfume. it's very 1970's nursing home and so judah thinks you wrap dead bodies in stinky clothes now. also: that smell is all over my fingers!

we plan to do this every year and add and change elements in it to keep it fresh and exciting. seeing the kids open up each egg, not knowing what's inside but knowing they are going to hear or tell a story for each one is really fun for everyone involved.

it is for freedom that christ has set us free. we believe he wants us to live life and experience fun and eat the yummy treats that he gave us the power to create.  but we want to make sure that in every magic moment of their childhood our kids can spot a thread running back from it to jesus himself. all good things come from him.

gang's all here. except for jesus in egg #11...dat tomb be empty, yall!

do yall do or know of any other cool activities to help kids keep jesus the focus of easter?
. .



hows about a nice random brain-shrapnel post today?

-i recently received the best spam comment ever: After reading your book, I've been hemorrhoid-free for almost two years. 

um, congratulations! my heart's cry is to write to relieve rectal arterial swelling.

-my son miiiiiight be a literalist:

Judah: "we did a fire drill today"
Jesse: "oh yeah? How'd it go?"
Judah: "wooo-oooo woooo-ooooo" 

-i have been running SO behind on my etsy orders lately. like always getting them out at the last possible day in my "will ship by" window. so monday night i woefully skipped my girls small group and toiled like a house elf to finish up and actually get ahead.

this afforded me the unknown (for a few months at least) pleasure of sewing for fun last night! i used an Oliver + S pattern i bought forever ago and made layla an easter outfit last night. 

i didnt start until 11 pm (brilliant) and then i shocked myself by staying up until 2:30 am (without really noticing) working on these and was not even tired this morning. as i woke and realized i could finally fit it on my lil' peep herself, all desire to keep snoozing left me. creativity and passion do wonders for work-ethic.

 the buttons arent sewn on because i think i'm gonna get another color. what color do yall think would be best? i like the light blue and the pink in the floral patter, but am notoriously bad at these decisions.

-jesse and i went to a wonderful friend's wedding recently and they had the coolest programs i have ever seen. john, the groom, is one of only 5 males i know who read the blog, so naturally he is cool like ovaltine and was on board with these bad boys:

i would be a little nervous that they would have to requisition a "full figured gal" silhouette for me!

-so in my recent weight loss adventures i had been noticing that my scale was acting weird. like i would weight myself on the way to the bathroom (for mathtime funs...you know) and then weight right after. sometimes my scale would say i had GAINED 1-1.5 lbs during the interval. 

our scale was like $10 from rite aid, purchased in 2007 and has been subject to myriad drops, stomps, kicks and jumpings on-and-off by the kids. so i decided to retire her and get a decent one. this baby had crazy good reviews and looks slick and was not bananas expensive my any means

it arrived last night and i was excited to get my new spiffy weight in .2lb increments and to see if maybe the old clunker had been shorting me some lost pounds.

well, well, well. turns out the old scale was actually quite friendly and had been reporting me 4 lbs less than i actually am. 

so all aboard the wambulance. i KNOW the number doesnt matter. i KNOW the differential of total loss is still the same. but even so i am struggling against big-time discouragement to find out this unhappy little surprise that i was heavier to begin with and heavier now than i had realized. 

-but on the uptick of that emotional spiral: i am on level 3 of jillian's 30 day shred. i started it right after my scale debacle and it was great to have a new routine to focus on. i am still doing the beginner moves for the most part, but even still level 3 is haaaaaard and it felt good to thrash myself...especially my secret 4 lbs.

-my boudreaux post on must-haves for baby has a $100 visa card giveaway at the bottom. getcha odds on!

-i am eating these two dishes like a ravenous monster lately. i seriously cant get enough: arugula and (optional) avocado with the DELICIOUS mustard herb dressing here

and then a family staple that we eat once a week (yet a pinterest pariah since no one EVER repins it...only one repin in 26 weeks!): mushroom and farro salad. yall. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAT IT!

from whatsgabycooking

if farro scares you, just think of it as rice or pasta...though it is so much yummier and healthier than both. it is SO GOOD. we get ours from amazon and cook it in our rice steamer for this recipe. the kids even love it (judah once pitched a fit for farro...hilarious!) and it's great reheated the next day. go the distance and get real fontina from the deli counter.

and with that, my mind grapes are sufficiently squozen. i'm off to judah's class easter party!


reaping what we sow

i sew. but until this week i have never sown.

on monday we were gardening virgins. today, we have the supplies and plans for a 300 sq ft vegetable garden. 

any bets on how much/if we will harvest?

here's how this adventure sprouted (eh?) in my head: i follow ashley ann on instagram. shes got chickens. i love eggs and decide i want to raise chickens too and that i am certainly qualified. [normally here is the point where i order like 25 baby chicks and they all end up dead in two weeks]. but since i'm so mature, i decided to see if i could keep another food source alive before moving up the food chain to poultry. 

i bought and planted cilantro seeds (aka coriander...i'm learning already!) on tuesday. that went so well (i mean, i successfully covered up seeds with potting soil obviously i am a green-thumbed prodigy!) that i went ahead and decided that the next step up from wunderkind seed-planter was straight to organic backyard farmer. 

jesse is a really lucky guy.

so we are taking back some of the land that the dogs have. they have like an entire acre fenced in back there and it's totally theirs and wild and you take your life (and your unstained clothing) in your own hands when you venture back there amongst the beasts. 

but lately, jesse and i have been looking hungrily at that land and have designs on taking many square feet of it for our own.  the garden is the first step. dont worry, in the tradition of fair trade demonstrated by our esteemed forefathers, we have given the pooches gifts of beads and firewater in exchange for their homeland. #facepalmforhistory

i used smart gardener to plan out my garden based on where we live, our yard's orientation, space and what we want to grow. they churned me out a to-do list by week and an optimum layout based on planty science or something.  

so a robot planned my garden. i'm sure this is just like how my ancestors started out.

we're trying for:

red peppers
spaghetti squash

i am kind of ignorantly excited about all the work this will take. we plan to just jump in with both feet (though not on our garden because we dont want to compact the soil) and figure it out as we go or just sink and fail miserably. this is the dukes way.

so okay hippie people with experience...advice for a gardening noobs? 


dreaux, dreaux, dreaux your butt: a list of must-haves for baby

so unless you are one of those alternate-universe-dwelling creatures from "i didnt know i was pregnant," you have a good 8 months to plan for and prepare for this tiny incoming (or outgoing, as it were) human to fall (haha, you wish) into your lap. 
i read and read and read. jesse and i took a 3 hour class weekly for 15 weeks leading up to judah's birth. i even went so far as to ask my mom advice! 
despite being pretty intelligent people with decent expectation-management strategies and a lot of book-knowledge on babies, our first night home from the hospital had me SOBBING in bed between an utterly flummoxed and sleep-deprived jesse and the tiny wailing nugget that was judah.

judah at 3 days old. so cute...and yet so capable of destroying us.

i think this feeling of being utterly clueless is a rite of passage for new parents. no article, list or product can save or prepare you for when it's your baby, your life, your sanity, your perineum all seemingly falling apart around you.

a lot of our confusion could have been avoided because it stemmed from having TOO MANY options. "do we put him in the swing, the bouncer, the moses basket, the sling?!?!" having so much information at hand and, for most first time moms blessed/cursed with many baby showers and an empty registry, so many things can make you crazy. 

it wasnt until we had figured judah out and were expecting layla that i started to realize that we as a species (humans, that is) have survived for thousands of years (whether that is 5 or 5,000 thousands is a whole 'nother post) without all of these options. i found a peace in the fact that almost all my baby needed to get from single cell to functioning human life form in 9 months was ME, and that the same was pretty much true for the months after birth too.

that being said, there are definitely a few shining all-stars that were the glorious backup dancers in the feature performance of "mommy is all i need." whether i was a mama as a cave woman or a victorian wet nurse, or an empowered hippie mama of 2013, these gems would be getting crazy use in my cave/castle/wigwam(?) if i could get my mitts on them.

the rash-fighting heroes over at Boudreax's Butt Paste have asked me to put together a few of my go-to "secrets" or tips for new moms...all of which we learned the haaaaaard way. this works out nicely as their tubes of baby-healing goodness were already a part of our starting lineup of must-haves.

one caveat: the thing you hear over and over again is "every baby is different." that's totally true. but yall, i have had TWO WHOLE BABIES and these things worked magic on both of them, so, um, i dont know what more we could want, statistically, before declaring these recommendations LAW.  

0. MAMA. like i said, this comes first. your boobs, your body, your smell and your intuition. even though you left the hospital and it felt like "are they really just going to LET me take this baby? without a permission slip from my parents?!?!" you are equipped genetically and biologically to care for this baby and to know what's best for it in almost every situation. dont doubt yourself.

1. SWADDLE. your husband is going to feel all awesome when he becomes the champion of origami-ing your newborn into a tight little glow worm of love just as well as the nurses as the hospital did. but youre both going to feel like crazy people when the little thing, despite being grown in anti-gravity fluid and having no muscles to speak of, hulks right out of that blanket like it was wet toilet paper.

skip the receiving blankets, pass on the velcro closure ones and just get the miracle blanket. it looks like a straight-jacket but it's secretly your best friend. because those little arms that you thought were so adorable on the ultrasound are actually out to destroy you. when the baby startles during sleep the arms that are so used to being tightly enclosed in a uterus with flail about, scaring and waking the poor tot up.

we used our first miracle blanket for months with judah and then again with layla until it literally started falling apart. we bought a new one and i made layla one from scratch so that we would never be without one. if we didnt have the swaddler, we didnt have a sleeping baby. simple as that.  we held clinics one teddy bears to educate the grandparents and babysitters on how it was done.

lay-lay leaving the nocturnal to the owls.

2. WHITE NOISE same idea. it was really ambient-ly noisy in the womb. blood rushing, heart beating, constant muffled noise from outside. pure silence is not a friend of a sleeping babe (or anyone, really). we are white noise machine addicts. we have owned probably 6 different models of machines and by far the best one is this one by homedics. i dont think they are even sold new anymore, but we got our first one as a hand me down and then snagged up one for layla's room on ebay. 

think about how easy it is to fall asleep on an airplane or a train. thats white noise. during dead silence any little noise disrupts your brain. but when there is constant LOUD ambient noise like and engine or an ocean, the little creaks of a house, a car passing, dog barking or adults taking in the living room dont disrupt sleep because the brain isnt startled by them since it is constantly "hearing" the white noise. 

we had travel versions of these machines when the kids were in infant carseats that just velcro'd right on. 

we use these every night still in both kids' rooms. if we forget to turn them on, the kids are up as soon as jesse and i open a door or speak above a whisper. i will not be held prisoner in my own home. i have earned the right to scream about "project runway" or to have 1.5 glasses of wine and run into the wall while dancing up on jesse without my kids waking up. this is america, dammit.

3. BUTT PASTE. diaper rash. it just plain happens. and it is awful. you've never felt your ovaries clench up in anguish until you've opened a diaper and seen a little nut-pouch or tiny-vaginie bright red and irritated. the  horror of the diaper rash monster, "Rashadon" with its electric red laser is perfectly illustrated by Boudreaux's in its attack on Butt City.

thanks to the aforementioned baby showers, we had every possible diaper rash cream conceived by modern science.

in the end (see what i did there?) our favorite has been the boudreaux's. it doesnt have that screaming-loud diaper rash cream odor (which is nice and baby-ish at first but then just smells like PAIN), it goes on so much smoother, softer and in a lighter coat than the old school stuff, and seems to immediately soothe the fire down below for the babies.  i also love that it isnt bright white (it's skin tone) and cleans off super easily

when we started getting the kids to sleep through the night (no longer waking up every few hours to eat and change diapers,  i would anticipate the burn from the pee being against their skin for so long and swipe on some Boudreaux's in anticipation of impending flames. i love that it prevents and protects against the rash even starting. 

the hippie in my loves the all natural version of the butt paste for little flare ups (like the time layla discovered lemonade and peed citric acid for 2 days and had just a little scorch) and then we use the regular or extra strength stuff that has the zinc oxide in it for the really bad cases (like when they are pooping lava during a stomach bug).

with layla hilariously adamant against potty training (she literally will poop one raisin-worth in the potty, bring the potty to us, demand her treat and then proceed to drop the remaining 90% of the deuce in her diaper after assuring us "i duhN!"...little mercenary) we are still well-stocked with the Boudreaux's at our house. we even still use is on judah when he "forget" to tell us he has pooped and doesnt get wiped. a few hours later he will be sporting some wicked skid marks and when he calls "baby rash," and then he gets a dose of the good stuff where it counts.


BlogHer is giving one of you a $100 VISA GIFTCARD.

Leave a comment with your best diaper rash tips, and read the rest of the rules here:

Sweepstakes Rules:
No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
b) Tweet (public message) about this promotion and/or to share the above video; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: "#SweepstakesEntry"; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
c) Blog about this promotion and/or the above video, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 3/18/13 - 4/15/13
Be sure to visit the Boudreaux's Butt Paste brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!


tipped off

yesterday (or as judah calls it, "last day") we had our scariest parenting moment to date. 

jesse was with the kids and i was getting ready for work in our room. he was starting to load them in the car and they were all three going back and forth from the garage and driveway into the house. if we are less than militant in watching them, the barrier between "what we're trying to do" and "oh hey look over there" or "oh i remember something shiny in my room" become very permeable and they will sneakily slide right back down the hill of productivity. as usual, it was very reminiscent of a cat-rodeo. mini meltdowns, screams of glee, running feet, etc.

i hear judah start to cry in his room and i am thinking that layla must have licked him good or snatched a toy while he wasnt looking. but it lasts past the first scream-wave so i know he isnt doing it just to express frustration. i hear the second and third ones and i am thinking maybe he had to get a spanking since i dont hear jesse comforting him or asking what's wrong.

i start to listen a little more carefully (maybe 10 seconds having elapsed this whole time) and i detect a hint of panic and hysteria in his cries. 

so i bolt from my room, down the hall to theirs, and on the way he just goes completely silent--which scares me even more-- and i see the worst site thus far in parenting: judah pinned at the chest under their toppled big, wooden dresser (how did i not hear the fall!?!?!).

i happen to know that this piece is one of IKEA's few real wood items, so i knew it should be heavy, but when i threw it off of him it might as well have been a feather. i feel confident i could have easily tossed a chevy across the room in this situation.

i am checking him for crush injuries (because i have sadly read at least 3 blogs of parents whose children were KILLED by tipped furniture) and screaming for jesse, who comes running in about 10 seconds after me. 

judah was pretty scared (understandably) and his chest was a little red from where the thing had landed (that sentence turns my stomach just to read), but praise jesus he only had a bruise on his arm. i am actually not sure how he wasnt hurt more. we did take him to urgent care to get his arm looked at when he kept complaining about it and it swelled up a bit. his X-ray was clean (and the doctor checked his chest and head too just to be sure) and he got a soft cast to wear for a week in case there was a sneaky growth plate fracture not showing up on the x-ray.

let me pause here and say that we are pretty hardcore free-range parents. we make a point to not live our daily lives in fear of or preparation for the one-in-a-million thing (i've written about this before) that can happen. we want to teach them how to live in the world, not to be afraid of it. we dont assume there is a kidnapper around every blind aisle in the grocery store, we dont expect halloween candy to be poisoned, and we know (and have seen) that gravity and fire can teach the kids through experience much better than our constant words. learning the hard way on some things is super-effective. we try to say "what do you think will happen if you do that?" and "is that a good decision?" more than we say "DANGER!!" or "be careful...."

so i dont love the fear-mongering culture that is pretty prevalent in parenting and media today and dont want to be doing that here, but there is certainly a time to scream "FREEZE!" rather than having a conversation (like when they're about to run into traffic), and situations where taking a precaution every time seems like wisdom and not paranoia (i.e. seatbelts).

since everyone but the most ardent  hippies owns furniture and since kids are natural climbers, this one seems like a good one to maybe invest some time on preventing (even though a serious injury or death is obviously still pretty rare). because unlike touching an iron or jumping off the couch, sadly, in these tipping situations--just like a car accident--just one incident can be irreversible so.

the sickly ironic thing is that we have actually always been really good about anchoring our tall/climb-able/tippable furniture. most of our stuff is IKEA and they almost always include the hardware for it. the dressed had been anchored in layla's room, but when we converted it to an office in january we moved it to judah's room and just didnt re-dock it. i was thinking they were old enough to know better. 

turns out, bigger kids are more likely to have these incidents since their weight and strength is substantial enough to get these big pieces moving to their tipping points. judah actually had pulled out the bottom drawer and used it as a step to try to climb up higher (the whole thing is only waist high on us when we are standing beside it) and that is what started the imbalance.

so i'm not trying to be scary lady , but maybe take a minute and look around your house to the things that are tall or heavy and could tip if a kiddo started gamboling on them. the anti-tipping kits are super affordable and easy to install.

funny story: when i was pregnant with judah i was decidedly more paranoid (and had more time on my hands to dream up insane scenarios). he had this little hip-high shelf made for holding little baskets in his room. it was like $5 from michaels and i think it maybe weighed 2-3 pounds total. i totally anchored that thing to the wall like it was the washington monument casting its cold shadow on my unborn child's crib and many seismic events were eminent. so yeah...you can take this too far.

static cheesing on the jump-o-line in his new "power sleeve"


getting fixed v8.0 (aka goal: keepers)

i might have guessed that my 8th stitch fix would turn out to be my number one stunna, just because 8 is (obviously) my totem spirit number. 

but i DIDNT guess, therefore this was even more fun because i didnt see it coming.

yall, stitch fix is ON. THEIR. GAME. i was feeling blah about them there for a while last summer, but they have done nothing but impress me since. i feel like their inventory is better AND they know me, my style, and--dare i say it?--my body (ooh la la), so much better now. they have LISTENED to my feedback and made awesome adjustments.

i feel this side-view of the stack just LOOKS like me! a great sign.

well now, let's just see what we have here:

a silky cream sleeveless blouse with some cool details (pintucking! applique!) and a long length (which i love and requested for hip-coverage) i'm thinking its a great layering basic for fun cardis and coats plus will look good by itself in summer when i get a tan mess of freckles

ah! a peachy-coral chevron top! the granny buttons make me nervous, but i am excited to get a chevron statement piece for my body since i declined putting them all over my wall. i am digging the color.

a soooooper long heathered cream and navy striped scarf. i know i will sew this one into an infinity scarf (and remove the great honking tag) if i keep it so that's why i showed it this way. love it immediately.  willing it to be worthy.

a fun dots n' stripes top with some cool sleeve and neckline action. think it's totally gonna be a winner.

a dress! flowy and soft. navy and colorblocked will coral-pink at the hem. i feel like i will really like this if i can style it right and make it not potato sack-esque

okay. into the clothes i go! didnt have time to really get gussied up and think hard about the styling of these, so it's just simple ensembles and post-workday hair/makeup this time. if the clothes can work on this, i'll know they're winners.

oh, hey, what do you know? i just so happen to have a visually interesting cardi that could use a cute underlayer that doesnt compete with it (thank you fix #7!) ! i went full bore on the triangle theme. digging this, but the hem tapers a bit and is not elastic, and it's a little tight on my hips. hopefully my hips will soon be yielding, but in the interest of clothes that fit me NOW, i asked if they had a large. they did and i got it! (free shipping on my alternate sizes). the medium is pictured.


this dress is mad comfy and i love its simple bodice/top that give lots of blanks canvas for an awesome statement necklace (which i dont have yet). i belted the blousy-elastic waist because it was feeling baggy and sacky. even still i felt it was too big. i looked at the tag and it was the one large item in my order. i asked if they had a medium and they did! double luck! it came, it fits, i love it and wore it this weekend to a great friend's wedding (hi john!)


at this point we are 2 for 2 and headed into unprecedented stitch fix territory. the most i have ever kept was 2 items out of 5.

let's all remain calm.

i tried to recreate a spin on the outfit i put together for my tide post with my boots, mint jeans, yellow necklace and navy F21 trench ($13!!!).  i really like this look and the top especially, but the medium is a little tight on the bust and tends to squash me there and/or ride up (as you can see happening above).

why, no i am NOT pressing up against an invisible pane of plexiglass. why do you ask?

VERDICT: maybe. i do know that my bust is one of the first places i lose weight from, so i sort of want to hold onto this top because it will be a gemstone as my healthy weight continues to approach. (they didnt have a large available)

i love this scarf. love it so. it's more expensive than i would normally pay for a scarf, but might be worth it if i keep everything since when you keep all 5 items you get  25% off everything (on top of the $20 credit included with every fix). strategy is becoming a factor

VERDICT: solid maybe

last is the dots n's stripes top featured in a horrible picture. i wanted to love this but it just kind fell flat on me. its a dressy fabric, but the cut and style come off casual and so it was kind of clashing for me there.

VERDICT: leaning towards no*.

okay so this post-game decision-making  required a little thinking. more accurately, it required an excel spreadsheet where i ran through the scenarios of keeping 2, 3, 4,or 5 items.  i knew that i was keeping at least the first two, wanted the scarf too, would feel great in the chevrons soon and then would maybe keep the dots/stripes just to get the discount and could sell it or give to a friend.

after running the numbers i decided to...KEEP EVERYTHING! the dots top that i wasnt in love with ended up being essentially free once it kicked in the 25% off everything discount as the 5th item. 

i am just so buzzed to have joined the keeper club (fictional...just made that up) of stitch fix! it feels awesome to have gotten 5 outstanding pieces that are pretty unique and all for less than $200 (for 3 blouses, a dress, and an awesome scarf from boutique labels, i call that a win).

i usually like to ask yall what i should keep and reveal my choices later, but i left you hanging so long last time, that i had to get it all out there this time. but what do you think? did i make the right choice? what would you have kept or had me keep?

*if youre in love with that last top and are a M, email me and we'll work something out for you to own this bad boy...otherwise, i'll probably try it again in 10 lbs in case the shape looks different, and if not i'll just ebay it

My other Stitch Fix Posts:



jesse and i have often noticed that posts solely about layla dont get a lot of comment love. this used to make me sad, but not anymore. i know she is a fan favorite and am confident that her charms translate through binary so i shall happily continue to publish her antics and know that comments or lack thereof (always fine! no pressure!) do not make my lil' lady special. she just is.

girlfriend is straight up hilarious. she is a gorgeous, loving, witty, sassy little button of a kid who brings us to our knees in awe, love, hilarity and thankfulness.

here's a nice assortment of some of her most recent capers in cuteness (some of which i instagrammed and some not):

feeling fabulous in her tutu while testing out some accessories at baby gap

what's cute on judah tends to be even more cute and hilarious on her

ahhhhhhhhhhg shes amazing.

 pretending to eat soup out of an economy tin of im-not-even-going-to-tell-you-whats-in-there.

apparently iron[woman] conducts electricity

rocking mismatched wedges and most likely a wedgie.

tiny miss thing charmed a full pack of m&m's out of a church worker. i took them away and said she had to wait until after lunch to enjoy them. she immediately assumed the pouting position.

just checking to make sure her petulance is still being noted.

it's possible that she likes her big brother. hastag understatement.

fuzzy yoga-kins is BEAT and passes out in the car.

um yeah. she gives everything her all. even "potty theory 101"

sometimes she's so cute she has to pinch her own cheeks

she's riveting (get it?)

ah yes. this was about 2 months ago i think. her talking has come a loooooong way. i need to record a convo with her soon. but this captures her speech patterns perfectly. 

it's possible that his amazing daddy skills are a turn on. hashtag signmeupformore...practice

okay. i get it. i see why people want little girls. even our wild little lady would rather sit and talk than wrestle around. meanwhile, judah just body slams the walls, runs in circles around the house and growls and snarls. it's a little bit nice to have this relational nugget in the midst of the naked dervish and his path of destruction.

i love her so much i could eat her up. dear layla: please stay amazing and weird and feisty and loving. amen.