I Wear My Great-Grandma’s Clothes, I Look Incredible, Vol. 3

I have 2 dresses photographed! So more to come!

This dress is maybe my favorite.  Turns out it is flattering, too.  A couple people lately have thought that I lost weight but sadly that is not the case.  I’ll take the compliment, though!

In hindsight I should have worn my pearls!  Worn with my trusty/old white church sweater.  I don’t remember what shoes and they’re not in the picture – probably just ballet flats.

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A sad story about this dress is one time I let someone talk me out of wearing it an event and wore something less . . . vintage.  I care a little less about what people think these days.  But confidence matters – if I had worn it without feeling it, I probably wouldn’t have looked as good anyway.

Now I wear it to hang out in the nursery at church with my kiddos – and they certainly don’t care what I’m wearing, save maybe for Elliot needing nursing access.

More to come!


I Wear My Great-Grandma’s Clothes, I Look Incredible, Vol. 2

Took these pics a couple weeks ago!

This dress is sadly wrinkly but made out of like plastic so I’m scared to iron it.

A couple cute photobombers made it into this shoot 🙂


Blue leggings for pop of color, black flats, and a perfect color match bracelet I found in my closet

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Confession: I used a robe belt because the belt wasn’t long enough, and the top buttons had a little trouble maintaining their position.  Great-Grandma must not have been quite so curvy . . .

This morning . . .

We went to a local park around 8:30 to get some outside time before the unbearable heat came. The park has a 1/2 mile walking loop, baseball fields, and a playground.  I parked just about opposite from the playground so we would walk the loop to get there (shorter stretch for the walk back!).

Elliot walked the whole way to the playground, taking his little 15-month-old time.  Stopping to look at rocks, pointing at the boulders lining the street, squawking at the porta-potty draining truck on its ride in and out of the park . . . And very cutely noticing his shadow!  I told him it was him, and he put his little chubby hands to his chest in a “me???” motion, then watched as his shadow kept moving with us.

Early on a dragonfly landed on his little pointing finger – so cool!

Leland danced and walked and ran ahead at times, then backtracked to let us catch up.  Leland also, per usual, kept up the running commentary.  Elliot took one decent fall but ended up rolling so it wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been.  Ladies out for their morning jogs passed us more than once on our way to the playground. And one man, doing some kind of calisthenics before jogging, while listening loudly to sports radio.  No eye contact from him.

We made it to the playground after one more stop to check out a bench, oh and another stop to watch a flat-bed tractor-trailer go by.  Play play play – climb and slide, climb and slide.  Leland won’t slide at our usual, walking-distance-to park but he will here.  He wouldn’t do the zip line this time.  Elliot and I both hung from the monkey bars, and Elliot tried to climb ladder-y things but could not.

And the walk back to the car – Elliot stops to run his fingers through the gravel.  We stop to check out some cute mushrooms in the grass.  We keep walking, Elliot turns around and walks the other way.  He walked a little more than sat his little crying bum on the ground – it was time to carry him the rest of the way.  Leland carried a stick – we leave those at the park.  He brought his little rock home but had to leave it outside.

One last stop and only picture – a dew-soaked feather, captured on the second try because the kids blocked the sun as soon as my camera was ready the first time!


I Wear My Great-Grandma’s Clothes, I Look Incredible Vol. 1

New series!  Get it?

I’d link to the song, but I’m not sure if all the lyrics are appropriate.

This dress is what I wore to church today, and, as you can imagine, belonged to my Great-Grandma.  She was pretty cool.  She always tried to give me the food off her plate, and she got so excited when we would get her toilet paper for Christmas.


Styled with boots from Payless that I totally copied from my sister-in-law, a belt I bought awhile ago just for this dress, and a necklace from a World Vision donation.

Check out the detail of this fabric!


The first time I wore this dress I got very distracted from the sermon in church when I realized there were animals all over my dress!

Hoping to wear some more of her things in the future and take some more pictures!

Cake and Frosting!

Well the littlest one turned . . .


The bigger one turned . . .


Brian turned 32 somewhere in there, but I got him French Crullers for his dessert.  Our anniversary happened, too.

And then I turned . . .


Convenient how those candles worked out, mm?  Also I just love that I had Leland when I was 27.  See, that means when he turns 3, I am 30 (for 2 weeks anyway!), turns 14 I am 41, turns 25 I am 52 etc.  It’s even BETTER because my mom had me at 27, so when Leland turns 6, she will be 60, 17 and 70, 28 and 82 . . . AND THEN if Leland has a baby at 27, then there will be all that, plus when that baby turns 9 my mom will be 90 etc etc . . . NUMBERS ARE FUN



I can’t stick to a recipe as written, so here are my links and notes, as well as my attempt at writing down my frosting recipe.  It was basically the same frosting for each cake with a little flavor variation.

Elliot’s cake was based on this healthy banana cake, because I don’t let him have much sugar yet – but I used regular flour and added some honey I think?  It’s a dense cake, but pretty yummy.

Leland wanted chocolate cake for his birthday – I used my great-grandmother’s “Wacky Cake” recipe – no eggs, milk, etc and uses vinegar!  This is our recipe, but you can find all kinds of other variations online.

1 1/2 C flour
1 C sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/3 C oil
1/4 C cocoa
1 Tbsp vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
1 C cold water

1 round cake pan, 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes

My birthday cake was more of a shortbread/bar type dessert.  I used this lemon bar recipe but did not use the glaze and frosted them instead.  If I made them again I would cook them for less time – keep a close eye for when they are done as stated in the recipe!

The Frosting – Based on the frosting recipe with the banana cake above and this recipe

A note on prices:  I bought mascarpone first at Stop and Shop for $8 for 8 ounces, at PriceRite I paid $4.50 for 16 ounces. Cheapo store for the win!

Okay, here is my approximation for a large amount of frosting (i.e. way too much for one cake round):

16 ounces mascarpone
1-2 C powdered sugar
1/2 – 1 C whipping cream
flavoring – 1 tsp vanilla OR zest of half a lemon and a little juice

Straight out of the fridge, whip up the mascarpone a bit with a spoon or spatula, mix in the powdered sugar to your sweetness liking.  In a separate bowl, whip the cream.  It is not necessary to whip it all the way to stiff peaks.  Fold it into the mascarpone mixture, mix in flavoring.  Keep refrigerated.

My first attempt, I left the mascarpone out for a while thinking it would need to be room temperature to mix, and then I used an electric hand mixer.  This was all too much for the delicate mascarpone and it had a curdled texture (but not taste).  I also only used my milk frother for the cream since the kids were sleeping, and just whipping it up a bit worked fine – I have not tried it whipping it to stiff peaks as Martha directs.  I also wasn’t a fan of using applesauce in it as in the first recipe, so Elliot just got a version with less powdered sugar.

There you go!  So yummy . . . now I’m going to try to get back off of eating sweets . . .

A Pretty Crier

I don’t really like to read Ann Voskamp.  I’ve never really had a problem with what she says, but her writing kind of drives me nuts.  Honestly I feel like I’m reading a patient’s journal from when I worked in a psych hospital.  BUT she is the reason I have the recipe for bird’s nest cookies we make every Easter now!

And I read her posts about Iraq, because they were just as important as the people who posted them on facebook said they were.

But then she went and made me cry! She talked about friends, and I wouldn’t have known except my new friends at Bible study read it to us, and I felt it all.  I felt all the hurt of people brushing me off, and the hurt of my own lack of effort to keep up with friends.  I felt the hurt of missing dear friends, who live so very far away!

I felt glad I had reached out to a friend recently and we’ve been emailing back and forth.

I felt hope for my new friends at Bible study (including one old friend!) who seem to really invest in me and care, and I cried and told them how grateful I was to be there and for all of them.  And I cried and talked about how I had gotten to the point where I was just all set with people who didn’t get back to me or put any effort in.  It goes both ways, right?  How much effort do I put in if there isn’t any follow through?

And Jenn brought be tissues and told me I was a pretty crier, and I told them I had a lot of experience.

(Excuses alert!) It’s been hard with the two littles, and also I think facebook tricks me into thinking I’m a better friend than I am.

I don’t know what else to say.  It takes time to build some new friends.  I have so many friends I love dearly, but they are so far away.  I need people I can get together with in this area! And it’s starting – slowly, but it’s starting.

So if you are a friend far away, I love you!  Let’s talk more.

If you are a friend close by, I love you!  Come over and I will make you a delicious latte with my aeropress and milk frother.


Leland is 3!

Oh, Leland . . . not that I ever call him that!  Our little Goosety . . . I can’t believe it has been 3 years!

Just born!

Just born!

smart, funny, sweet, sensitive, irrepressible, snuggly (a more recent development), silly, tender-hearted

One year old!

One year old!

He weighed in at 29 pounds and is just under 39 inches at the doctor.

Two years old!

Two years old!

He loves trucks, being outside, playgrounds, sticker books, his kiddie theology book, music class, playgroup, the zoo, macaroni and cheese, ice cream . . .

Three years old!

Three years old!

And some Leland quotes from the last few months:

L: Baby eat pork-pines, only pork-pines

L: Only baby drive impact hammer

(After I had painted my toenails a couple days prior)
L: Mommy put something on her toes
Em: Yes I did
L: It’s garlic
Em: No honey
L: It’s probably garlic

(re: toast) L: It’s [my] favorite.  It’s probably love.

(sticks a toy fishing rod in my nose) L: Gonna take some booger pictures

L:  There’s cactuses at the syringe party

L (sings): Jesus Jesus (speaking) That’s a song about Jesus

B: What kind of dog should we get?
L: A kitty cat dog . . . a ice black dog. Okay.  Alright. Just in case.

L: Spiderweb Leland Daniel Hess.  That’s [my] spiderweb name.

L: You can’t see words, but you can listen to them.

(re: orange juice) L: It lights me up when I drink it


Happy Birthday, my boy . . .