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Monthly Archive for October, 2012

Bull City Coop Tour

If you look you will find it. That’s what I’ve noticed the last few months about Durham. One night looking up fun events for us to do I happened upon Durham’s chicken coop tour. I knew Raleigh had one for years but had never heard of Durham’s – just so happens it was only their second attempt at it. I purchased a map at a local brewer and restaurant and Saturday morning we headed out to see some chickens and coops!

Nathan and I are still deciding where we want our coop to go now that we can officially have one! (Yay for home ownership!) so the tour was not only fun but informational, too. We didn’t see one coop or meet one chicken owner that was like the last.








Fall Is Approaching

We are all under the weather (just in time for Hurricane Sandy to blow by). Today was mostly grey and misty so we decided to take advantage of what felt like our first real fall day by sitting outside around our fire pit.We built the pit with cinder blocks that were previously a patio under the garden shed. We like it when we can make things that pretty much cost nothing!

The leaves seemed to have changed colors and fallen overnight. In Chicago by now we’d be wrapped up in coats and boots sipping mochas on our morning walks. That sounds dreamy as I write it but this afternoon sitting around our fire sipping lukewarm coffee and wiping our runny noses was pretty dreamy, too.






Molly Francis, 7 weeks

Some pretty little lady is 7 weeks old! Molly’s personality is poking out more and more. She greets us with the biggest smiles in the morning and loves to talk. Just this past week she started going down at a proper bedtime – 8 pm and in the bassinet. No more gliding chair (I was using it as a crutch but the truth is she didn’t care where she sleepy). She slept her first 6 hour stint this week! Now if I could just sleep at 8 pm, too!




How Many Pickets Does A…?

We purchased a URL for our future home blog but it’s still in the works. Well, honestly babies and house things have taken precedence. Though the truth is Nathan and I both are looking forward to writing and jotting down sentiments and projects we’ve ventured on.

One of which is the picket fence. We’ve known since we moved in or closed on this house that we wanted a picket fence. Do you know how much fence costs? Not that we’d probably ever purchase our own fence (my husband take the easy route?) but a quick quote from a home improvement store lands us at about $1200 for the 230 feet of yard we want to fence. So we are making our fence out of pallets! Found pallets, gifted pallets any and all pallets are up for grabs in this project. Nathan has actually struck a deal with one of our neighbors – in exchange for pallets Nathan will give him a ride to the scrap yard. This has come in handy since finding pallets in Durham is much more of a search than Chicago.

After a bit of math we’ve determined we will need approximately 630 (3 inch) pickets spaced 1.5 to 2 inches apart which basically equates to a whole lot of pallets. Nathan has performed most of the grunt work going at them with a sawzall and a flat bar. And just yesterday we put together a mock up section to see what it would look like. We are now playing around with keeping the pickets natural vs white as well. Both have pros and cons which I can write about later once we get there. The mockup section was really nice to see though the pickets are too close together.

It’s tough finding time to help or to feel a part of the project with a newborn but we all got involved yesterday. Eleanor loves anything to do with tools and helping Daddy. Hopefully by spring we will have a nice, loved, economical fence for our yard.






It’s Time

Wishing I had more time for things besides laundry and cooking. But thankful for this family, this time home with them, and this life.



This Old Home

We have a lot to do on this old house. And we keep dreaming about projects we don’t yet have money or time for, and starting others hoping we find the time to finish. Every other day I feel like the house is settling more to the West, and more in our hearts. It’s a beauty.





Big and Little

I usually call the other Sister, and it makes me smile. Here we have two sisters.



Managing Food

Nathan and I joined weight watchers together.

I love weight watchers for its tools and simple approach to eating healthy. This will help me in a big way as a mama of two since I tend to stress eat. Both babies crying…have a fig newton… Spit up in my hair as dog knocks over Eleanor…have an extra serving of dinner. You get the picture. WW has helped me a lot over the last few years including losing 35 pounds and having a healthy first pregnancy with Eleanor. My goal is to get back to my pre-Eleanor weight of 156. I still had about 10 pounds to lose when I got pregnant with Molly, and have about that much to lose now. So I’m 20 away from my goal but mostly I want to remind myself about healthy choices.

I always loved cooking and food but the role of motherhood has definitely steered me from that. It’s mostly stressful to cook now. Just being on weight watchers the last few days I’ve really began to love it again. The recipes are easy, healthy, and take me out of my cooking comfort zone. So far I’ve made black bean and lentil chili, Greek burgers, red pepper and tomato soup, lots of California wraps and sandwiches. I’m excited for Nathan too. His weight is constantly on a yo-yo swing due to beer consumption. He can lose weight in a heart beat but he can also pack it on just as fast. This will hopefully teach him about balance, as well.

I’m actually excited about food again because it seems manageable with the tools I have. My big need will be exercise. We go on walks often but I need to sweat. I’m planning on working out a schedule with my mom or Nathan for making this possible without being away from the kiddos too much. It was a struggle with just Eleanor, since it wasn’t necessarily fair for me to leave to exercise once Nathan had been home with her all day. I ended up going at night after she’d gone to bed but the studio was a block away from my house in Chicago. And bike riding as a transportation means will be tricky since NC is mostly connected by interstates. One step at a time, right? When do you find time to exercise?


Just Like That…

She’s one and a half years old, 18 months, on her way to two…


She’s full of life, spirited, and strong-willed. She runs through the rooms of this big old house as if time is chasing her. She gives the best hugs every morning without fail as if to say I missed you while I was sleeping. She hides behind chairs and couches for moments of quiet. She would do anything to play outside all day. She tests our patience, strengthens our will, and doubles our potential for love every day.


Eleanor James, you are a firecracker.


Molly Francis, 4 weeks

Little Miss Molly,

You are officially one month old. I wish that the days would just disappear into each other so that someway somehow you could stay small and warm curled up against my chest (and your daddy’s, and grandparents, and aunt and uncle’s) forever. Is that possible?

Molly Francis, 4 weeks

Molly Francis, 4 weeks

You are growing like the wild chives in our yard though… so fast and so strong. Today at your 4 week check up you weighed 10 lbs and 14 ounces and measured 22.5 inches long! That puts you way up there in the charts for both weight (87%) and height (94%). Go Molly Go! You are focusing so well with those big pretty blue eyes. They are so blue I’m sure they will stay that way! Your hair is also starting to turn from brown to blonde, and you have given us all a little smirk from time to time. I see a dimple and it makes my heart swell.

Molly Francis, 4 weeks

You spent all of last week with your Mammie. You two get along so well. She has the magic touch especially when it comes to burping you (which you need often)! And your sister Eleanor always wants to hold you. She sticks her hands out as if to say “Gimme baby Gimme!” whenever you are near. This past weekend we went to Charlotte and you got to meet your Uncle Aaron and spend some time with your Gramma who you haven’t seen since the day you were born!

Molly Francis, 4 weeks

Molly Francis, 4 weeks

There is so much love for you in our hearts. I hope you always feel that.