Feathered Aspen

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October 16, 2014

Fall is here!!! Leaves and scarves and such. Going strong on my 6 month resolution not to buy anything two weeks in…. I know, I know. Those sixteen days have just flown by. Currently experiencing withdrawal in the form of lusting after a pair of madewell jeans, neon pink lipstick, and cognac booties…. But I shall prevail.

Also pictured are a couple of kids books we’ve been loving, Thibodeaux and Lu napping together, and Lily bathing her dollies in the baby bathtub in the big bath tub when it was 60 degrees in the house…. You know. Just the usual.






















Happy October!  We’re enjoying a warm streak this week with temperatures in the seventies and eighties, and it’s just gorgeous.  The leaves are changing, it’s just cool enough to wear long sleeves, and I’m dabbling in warm drinks.  Life is good, and I’m feeling particularly thankful for my little family and this wonderful time of year.  Lu is such a cuddle-bug, and Lily just told me she loves me to the moon and back when I put her down for nap, sooooo.   Yeah.  I’m one lucky duck.

Joshua took his eighth day of paternity leave yesterday and let me study up for my nutrition exam.  It’s been so nice to have a few three day weekends and little more time with him.  I sure am grateful for paternity leave.  The rest of the country should hurry up and see the wisdom in offering fathers time to take care of and enjoy their newborns.  It’s just so crazy to me how we don’t have better legal provisions for moms, dads, and babies.  For all of the conservative focus on the family pandering, I hear mum about making it more financially and professionally feasible for parents to take time off and usher their little ones into this world.  My heart just goes out to those moms who get no time or just a week to three weeks off, unpaid.  And for all those dads, too.  And babies!  Imagine being swaddled in amniotic fluid one week and then dropped off at a stranger’s the next!

On a completely separate note, you may have noticed a couple of name changes going on around here.  We’ve decided to slowly phase out our girls’ real names and bring in Lily for the eldest and Lu for the youngest.  I’m done going back and changing to Lu, but it’s going to take me a while to change everything to Lily.  Anyway, we decided to take a little more precaution with our girls’ internet footprint, so that’s why you’ll be hearing a lot more about Lily and Lu.


One of the things I’m thankful for these days is being able to nurse.  It’s such a nice thing Lu and I share, and I know firsthand that it can be such a struggle for so many people.  Recently, I’ve encountered mommies who have been quite militant about nursing and other mommies who have talked openly about their struggles with nursing, using formula, and then successes nursing with their subsequent children.  Sometimes, I’m amazed at the self-righteous judgement people are willing to cast upon other parents.  So while I’m thankful for this gift I’ve been given, and I do like that nursing in public is becoming more and more acceptable, I’m also hopeful that we can be more open and loving to all of the wonderful ways in which babies are cared for and fed.


Just a glimpse into my micro lab.  I kind of love it?!


Just amazed by the changes in this little one’s face.  Two months (bottom) to three months (top).




Soooo…  You know how lots of parents say, “you can be whatever you want to be.  You can be an artist!  An astronaut!  A ballerina!”

Yeah.  We’re trying something different.  We’re brainwashing Lily, and she’s going to be a scientist.  She can be an artist too, but I’m thinking I’ll just encourage her to be an artist or a poet or a writer – what have you – in her free time.  I will not be encouraging her to be a ballerina.  Anywho.  I’m sort of joking and sort of not.  It’s kind of like with my students.  I told them they were going to college.  Are there other valid life choices?  Of course.  But there’s something to be said for positive messaging and high expectations, you know?  A lot of people might assume that students from families with low incomes won’t go to college, so I thought it was important to have someone saying – rather adamantly – that they would.  In the same way, I had people telling me I could be whatever I wanted to be, but I don’t think I took them seriously because it was almost too abstract.  The narrative that girls didn’t make good mathematicians and scientists was less abstract.  Even though I felt confident that I was smart and I could go to college, I never ever considered being pre-med because I was “bad” at and didn’t “like” math and science.  Which is ridiculous really, because I never got anything less than an A in high school, and I think I didn’t “like” math and science because I couldn’t see myself as a mathematician or a scientist and the classes were harder for me.

So I’m telling Lily that she’d be a great scientist, and we’ll see where it goes.  Should she decide that she wants to be a teacher or a lawyer or a mechanic, I’ll get behind that, too :)


More brainwashing, of course.


I hope they are good friends someday.  For now, I’ll settle for Lily keeping her fingers out of Lu’s orifices.


Oh, Lu.


The pregnancy hair hasn’t vanished quite yet.  Maybe it will stay forever?


Lily and I went on a walk around the neighborhood the other night.  It was a date, just the two of us.  When we got to the park, I asked Lily if she wanted to get down and play, but she said, “no mommy.  Lily, mommy walking.  Cuddle, talk.”

As you might surmise, I was more than ok with that.


More mommy and Lily time on the front porch.  Love this girl.


Is that….  A BABY in the laundry?!


Cha-cha-cha-chocolate face!


Mommy and Lily hiking at Guanella Pass.


Friends that wear your baby are the best sort of friends :) :)  This morning was so great, you guys.  We got into the car at 645, got up to Guanella Pass by 8, and Joshua and Will ran together while Val, Lu, Lilly and I walked together.  It was gorgeous!  Afterwards, we had lunch and then Joshua, the girls and I walked around Georgetown.  It was a good day :)


Cuddle bug!


Fort building later that day!


Miss Lu and me.



It feels like such a win when you pull off a meal with zero groceries that actually tastes good :)


I won’t go on with all the details, but I’ve been learning about fluids, etc in nutrition, and guys.  Drink up.  Seriously.

Lotsa Love,



3 month, 2.5 years, 28 1/2 years update…

This afternoon, I sat down and wrote an insightful and lengthy post.  I hit publish, and then I lost it all.

But I actually didn’t get too upset, because I’m fairly sure it wasn’t insightful; I was rambling.

The finer points:


  • Turns 3 months on Tuesday!!!
  • Has rolled from her back to her side at least four times this week (whoa! slow down, girly)
  • Has begun clasping her hands together
  • Tries to eat both of her hands at the same time
  • Is awake more and more these days
  • Enjoys the occasional comfort nurse (as opposed to her 5-10 mn quick feeds)
  • Still sleeping through the night
  • Still loving the wrap and bjorn
  • Loves being held so that she’s standing
  • Likes sitting up and facing out when she’s being held
  • Much better neck control
  • Smiling a ton
  • Sweetest coos
  • Probably 11 lbs 10 oz
  • Transitioning to 3 mo. clothing
  • Long and skinny, but starting to get those little leg rolls :)


  • “Oh, ick! Dirty floors, Mama.  Lily get broom (retrieves broom).  Lily clean.  Watch Mama!  Lily cleaning.”
  • “Daddy working.  Daddy help people.  Good job, Daddy.”
  • “Go to river today?  I know, Children’s Museum.  Ok, Mama.  Eat Fro Yo.  Ride train!”
  • “Lily want mango for snack.”
  • “Cuddle daddy. Cuddle mommy.”
  • “Baby Mina come?”
  • “Family day!”
  • “Mama do homework?”
  • (In reference to the TV) “Turn it off!”
  • “Uh oh.  Where rainbow go?!  Rainbow go home.  Rainbow ‘hind buildings.”
  • “Sunscreen.  No burn skin.”
  • “Lily poop on toilet, get Fro Yo.”
  • “Look, Mommy!  Boy has tattoo! Poop on toilet, get Fro Yo?”
  • “Lily wants braids.  Two braids.  Clip?”
  • “No Mommy.  Lily choose it.  Matches?” (holding up her clothing selections)
  • “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6!”  “12!”
  • “ABCDEFG, elemeno, QRSTUV, now I know my ABC, next time sing with me!”
  • “Shhh, Mina.  It’s ok.  Shhh.  ABCD!”

It’s not quite as lyrical in bullet points, but it gets the job done.  Both girls are so much fun, and I’m so thankful that I get to be home (or at the library or children’s museum or science museum or botanical gardens or playground, as it were) with them.  I’m on the search for other mommies and toddlers for friendship and playmates, but it’s not an easy hunt.  There’s a complicated social pattern at play here, people, and I’m not sure I’m up for the task.  Where are the mommies who proudly wear thrifted outfits and enjoy varied conversational topics?  Where are the mommies who both stay at home and listen to Ani?  Can I get a hell yeah?

Nope?  Well, then…  I guess the search must go on.  Wish me luck.  I don’t need a mommy who’s the same as me (some of my best friends have some pretty big differences), but kids around Lily’s age and some similar interests would be, like, INCREDIBLE.

In other news, I’m going to dabble in minimalism!  Hooray!  I hope you won’t be bored to tears if I tell you I pared down my wardrobe to 100 items, including outerwear, workout wear, regular wear, night wear, shoes, accessories, undies, etc, etc, excluding jewelry in which I refuse to be minimalist and it only takes up one jewelry box, so no biggie, right?  I didn’t get rid of everything else (I’m dabbling, after all), but I did put it into storage.  The plan is to go for six months with just these 100 items (I think it’s 96???) and to not buy anything for those six months.  (I mean, I will be buying diapers and toiletries because, as I mentioned, I am trying to make some friends).  I’m also going to go the six months without buying the girls anything, save a gift each for Christmas.  I’m not trying to be draconian, but I’m also feeling a bit owned by my stuff these days.  Plus, the bombardment of this cute outfit, those adorable boots, that perfect toy, etc, etc is totally overwhelming.  How do you navigate a world that’s continually telling you to purchase something that will make you more beautiful, more confident, a better mommy, more happy?  I say opt out for a bit.  I could be totally wrong, but hey, it’s worth a try.  So in tandem with my six months of living with less and not buying frivolous things, I’m going to delete pinterest and eBay from my phone.  I’m embarrassed to say I spend far too much time salivating over what amounts to fabric, leather, and plastic.  I will continue buying memberships to places/classes where I can bring the girls, because I would go CRAZY if I didn’t have anywhere to go.  Seriously.  It’s pretty much the only time of the day when we all feel like a team rather than competing factions.

Anywho.  I got the idea for my minimalist dabblings from these three places (1, 2, 3).  The general idea is 40 items or less for 3 months, but usually people exclude outerwear, workout wear, night wear, and undies.  So I included all those things, extended the experiment an extra 3 months (cos I’m an endurance athlete, as you know) and upped my limit to 100.  It was actually pretty fun to plan out the things that would make the cut, and today, I packed everything else away and tucked it in the basement (which is a terrifying place indeed).

So that’s that.  The experiment starts October 1st, and I won’t lie; I am using the approaching date as an excuse to acquire a few more items, but I’m not going crazy.  In total, I’ll probably spend about $200 to get some things to power us through the winter ;)

Lotsa love,




















Weekend in the Mountains

I’ve made a resolution to keep up with my photos and videos on here, so without delay, here’s a little video from when the Devanes were out here :)  Music is Lost Tide by Sun Kil Moon.

And visit Brittaney’s blog for more pics:


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September iPhone Photos


Thibodeaux sleeping in the boppy:


I’m sad to say that I can no longer bear to look at my cloth diapers.  I just can’t do another load of laundry every day, and so I’m tired of them guilt tripping me, so I’m going to sell them.  We did them for a year with Lily, but between two kids and a full life, it’s too much for us.


Would you look at this grin?!



And this photo.  Just insane:


She’s getting so much bigger!


A series of photos from last weekend.  I plan to do another video and post some of our pictures, but Brittaney is way ahead of the game.  Visit her blog, for the scoop and some lovely photos :)

IMG_4304 Splash pad days.IMG_4293

Well, hello.IMG_4274

I’ll spare you the photo of poop, but suffice it to say, Lily has turned a corner and earned no less than 8 tattoos in the past week for pooping in her big girl potty!IMG_4250

I love this photo of Lu and me.  This is how we roll:


Lu all bundled:IMG_4199 IMG_4198

Studying for micro (and killin’ it).  Yeah.  Art History majors can crush a micro exam.IMG_4190

So sweet.  Walking with her dolly and singing her songs.IMG_4180

More splash pad fun.  We’ve been loving the new digs at Union Station.  So great!IMG_4161


I donated over 500 ounces to the milk bank!IMG_4102

Having fun dressing up for class, of course.  Otherwise I’m covered in poop, vomit, and wearing work out clothing, just praying to get a run in.


Lipstick selfies.IMG_4073

This little girl is magic:IMG_4072

Matching bandaids from vaccines.  Ouch.IMG_4032

My running date.  IMG_4023Guys, you have no idea how satisfying it is to be caught up on my phone videos/images.  Now for Joshua’s so you can see pretty pictures and a fun video from last weekend!

Love, E


Summer’s End

This is just a compilation of the videos that have been on my iPhone for the past couple of months.  The song is Riptide by Vance Joy.


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