Mommy Fashions

When I was a kid, trends were more linear: flare jeans were cool and THEN skinny jeans were cool, but not at the same time. These days it all changes so quickly that styles cycle back before I knew they’d left! If you saw my closet makeover, then you know I don’t like to hang onto stuff. But some things never really go out of style, so I keep things like Converse, Birkenstocks, my favorite denim shirt, a black pencil skirt, etc.

Anyway, I got quite a laugh out of this: InStyle’s “What’s Right Now” headline says Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid are bringing cargo pants back in style. Trend alert!! I have owned a pair of olive drab cargos for many years and was already planning to wear them this Fall! <insert gasp>

This is what I wore to lunch today at my favorite neighborhood cafe. Everything I wore is 2-15 years old… 
Cargos: Talbots. Cardigan: Target. Top: Ann Taylor. Sandals: Birkenstock Betula. Tassle tote bag: Dooney & Bourke. Leather wrap bracelet: Stella & Dot. Boyfriend watch: Michael Kors.

I love the stacked bracelet + watch combination that’s trendy right now. I don’t think I have ever been “cool” although I may have thought so briefly in my 20s. It’s so good to be 45: you’re a champ every single day you put on something nicer than yoga pants, right?
Wrap bracelet: Stella & Dot. Watch: Michael Kors.

Cardigan: TJMaxx. Tee: Target. Shorts and belt: Walmart. Wedge sandals: Lands End. Layered chokers: Starr Luna.

That’s an outfit I wore last week. I rarely go anywhere more exciting than the kids’ school, sports practices or Target, so for me, it all comes down to simplicity (mix and match, no dry cleaning) and comfort.

What’s your go-to look?

This Month in the Yard: September

You know, I had so hoped this would be my year with our yard but it never bounced back from the dryness of July. I’ll call it a “lesson learned” for next year. Note to self: Plants need water. 😐

OK, here’s where things stand: I’ll start with the front porch. The front porch is my friend… The wreath can’t die on me and these plants have been incredibly resilient despite how often I forget to water them!


My brother Steve gave me these Begonias last Spring and I put them next to the Cleyera. They have thrived! No water – no problem.

Steve gave me these cute little Pansies, too. They’ve thrived with zero attention. I say “no water no problem” but this spot outside our dining room window stays fairly moist and shaded. Everything here looks great – as usual.

Leah and Andrew decided it was a good spot for a “fairy house”. See the pathway lined with pistacio nut shells?

They lined the fairy’s path with a fern frond.

…And inside the fairy’s house is a little bed made of leaves. ❤

The Lantana has done really well in both spots this year but particularly here where it gets bright sunlight and a little rain. I’m sticking with Lantana from here on out!

All of my Crepe Myrtle trees have grown like crazy despite the heat and lack of rain. I have trimmed back the off-shoots at the base of each tree twice already this summer and they have grown back again. Last summer, we paid to have this Crepe Myrtle removed – including have the roots ground down – but it came back anyway. I dug it up in July and it grew back and bigger – about 4′ tall! It’s insane. Gotta love the tenacity of a Crepe Myrtle!!!

My Cleyera are sprouting little autumn berries. So cute!

Soooo… several of my Hosta Lillies are in bad shape, particularly these by the driveway. Yikes! 😦 They just needed more water than they got. Ditto for the Hydrangeas behind them.

Droopy, thirsty Hydrangeas. <sigh> I haven’t thought about them in the 5-6 weeks since the last round of photos for the blog. But hey, I do feed the kids (and the pets) every day, so, you know, priorities. 🙂

The River Birch is dropping leaves – ditto for the Flowering Cherry.

The Caladiums that I planted as bulbs have done better in this pot than in the flowerbed. The pot has been pretty moist and mostly shaded.

Despite its imperfections, the yard is a great place to relax. I stopped to lay in the hammock for a bit between photos… So peaceful!

My Purple Coneflowers are dead – done for the year – which is odd because last September they were gorgeous.

My Purple Day Lillies just look like clumps of grass with the exception of this one lonely amazing bloom. So pretty!

The little Apple Tree that Michael planted in the Spring is hanging in there.

This is the Cleveland Pear we planted in 2008. It was about as tall as Bryan or me back then! It will be beautiful in a few more weeks…

The Purple Pixie Loropetalum look pretty amazing. They’re already transitioning from purple to red. I love these shrubs.

OK, that’s it for September!


Letzter Wochenende war Oktoberfest! Wir hatten ein ausgezeichnet Zeit – wie immer!

I had to break out my German for a second… Last weekend was Oktoberfest! We had an excellent time – as always! 🙂

Michael, Leah and Andrew were so patient as we waited in a line ~200 yards long just to get in!!!

It’s a very good thing Andrew came with us because he loves rides as much as Leah does! He couldn’t get enough! Andrew was cracking me up!

Bryan joined us in time for dinner!

How about some greasy Schnitzel before we go ride something that spins really fast?!? Mmmmmmm!

Almost Munich. 😉

Studies in centrifugal force.
(The kids took off their flip-flops for this one.)

Michael is such a smart kid – he likes the carousel. Me, too! Ha!

This is really all the spinning we can handle. Michael and I are mostly spectators at Oktoberfest.

Michael liked the fun house…

Leah and Andrew rode everything that goes really fast and yanks you around! Look at the delight on Andrew’s face! Leah would alternate between laughing and looking concerned, but she loved every ride and wanted more!

The kids ate so much junk food! (But “fair food” is half the allure, right?)

This is Andrew shortly before I made him and Leah promise that next year they will trust me when I tell them they cannot possibly eat a funnel cake all by themselves – much less after eating Schnitzels! Ha!

Amazingly, no one threw up!!!


The Wide Receiver

So, just to clarify, I am having so much fun coaching Michael’s football team! Oh my word. I love it. Michael thinks I get too excited. Michael is very, very reserved – except for when he’s not.

Up. Down. Up. Down. Up. Down. Up. Down.

Yesterday, Michael got the opportunity to play wide receiver. He’s been playing center when he is on offense and is great at snapping the ball, but the job is a little boring in flag football. He’s been wanting to run the ball and this was his first chance to show the coaches what he can do. (What Michael can do is always contingent on whether he is thinking about football or whether he is mentally cataloging dinosaurs into the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods.)

The quarterback (in red) threw the ball to Michael.

Michael was ready.

He caught it and turned away from the kid who was trying to block him…

…and he ran it all the way in! He got past three kids trying to pull his flags! And then he did it again! Michael thought it was really cool. 🙂 Now he says football is “probably” his sport.


When Leah was little, we called her Leelee at least as often as we called her Leah. I don’t know why, how or when we stopped, but eventually she became Leah, officially. Each team in our volleyball league gets to select their team name, colors, uniforms, numbers and the name that goes on their jerseys. The girls like to use their nicknames, so in our volleyball world, Leah is Leelee, #12.

This is Leah’s second season and she is really playing well! She’s decided this is “her sport”.

Leah’s height and strength give her an advantage as a server. That’s her strong-suit.

Leah’s favorite part of volleyball is playing with AC (!!) and making friends.

Here’s AC serving. She’s a very good athlete. Both girls want to play on the middle school team next year!

I have always made fun of the people who stick their kids in “travel ball” because it’s such a magnet for the crazies who think their kid will be an Olympian. Anyway, I may have to eat my words if Leah really falls in love with this sport! I’ve been warned that only the kids who have played club volleyball make the high school team. How crazy competitive is everything these days? Wow. The goal is to have fun. Well, Leah is having fun!!

Let’s say it’s Fall…

I am ready to call it: The temps have been low enough to open windows and bring in fresh air – and football season is underway – so it must be Fall. Last night, I did a quick swap of our decor…

The wreath I made a few years ago is back on the front door. I still love it!

Freddie says, “Come on in!”

I always have an arrangement on the dining table and love pulling out these orange berries every year. Our runner is way too short so I turned it sideways.

The blue pumpkin is back!

This is “my” chair – I think. Bryan has decided he likes it and Freddie has, too! I’m sitting in this chair as I type… I love that we have been able to open the windows at night and curl up with a cozy throw.

I  love brown and gold so much. ❤ They go well with every Fall color.

I already showed you my new throw pillows/covers. I’m excited about football season this year – maybe because I am coaching and looking for strategies? Ha! (Kidding!)

Freddie got a new throw in navy and orange to match our pillows. I watch those Febreeze commercials about being “nose blind” to your pets’ odors and sigh wistfully. Freddie is a stinky dog! But we love him.

I pulled out this little flower arrangement that Bryan’s mom gave us as newlyweds.

I’ve always believed a house is not a home until you add plants. I have six in the family room.

That’s it for our Fall home tour. 🙂

Pinterest Told Me To

I was looking for Fall outfit inspiration on Pinterest the other day and stumbled across the funniest blog called Pinterest Told Me To! Just the name cracked me up! I really liked this outfit that she pinned…

And since Pinterest told me to, I had to give it a try…

This is what I wore to a parent meeting yesterday with our school system’s director of strategy and innovation. She answered a lot of questions I have had about our magnet schools and the high school we are zoned for. I actually felt excited about our secondary public schools for the first time. Interesting presentation… made all the better by orange and white with denim and leopard print. 🙂

Hawks Football

Michael is playing football this year for the first time. So far, he has played two games and they have been so much fun! My little buddy is playing great at center and guard. This is also my first season as an assistant coach! I am loving it and laugh at myself that I’m the only coach who calls the players “sweetie”. I already asked my dad to coach a team with me next year! Bryan says I’ll still be the assistant – and he is right. That’s fine – I will learn from the best! Dad was a phenom as a flag football coach.

Here’s our Defensive Coordinator going over the strategy with the boys…

The boys are 6-8 years old. They’re babies. (Michael is reading this and objects!) When I was the assistant coach for Leah’s soccer team of 4-6 year olds, my main role was translator: “Hey kids, kick the ball toward THAT goal.” In football, I am both the translator and the Chief Boo-Boo Checker.

Michael is the biggest kid on the team and he’s only 7. He can play in this age group next year, too. When Michael was a baby, everybody would say, “He’s gonna play football!!!” And I would say, “Maybe – or maybe he’ll be the biggest clarinet player in the band.” We shall see!

For now, he’s liking football. 🙂

The tween who stole my heart…

It’s this time of year – every year – that I really cannot get my head around the disparity between Leah’s maturity and her actual age. This child is 10 years old? That seems crazy to me. When she turns 11 in November, it will likely feel like a good fit for a couple of months and then – if history serves as any predictor – I will find myself thinking, Is this baby really just 11? 🙂

So pensive.

I often crawl in bed with her and talk for a while before she goes to sleep. That’s when we seem to have our best conversations. Sometimes they’re serious and sometimes they’re hilarious – like which little boy toots the loudest in class. Ha! Most nights I find myself thinking, You were a little peanut just a couple of years ago! It all goes by so fast – way too fast. I’m glad so many moms told me this is how it feels to watch your babies grow up – you have to revel in it and soak it all in.

I snapped these pictures with my iPhone last weekend before dropping Leah off with friends who were taking her to Atlanta for Auburn’s opening game. She packed her bag and picked out this outfit and pulled back her hair and was pretty convincingly thirteen. I found myself thinking back to kindergarten when she wanted dangling earrings and make-up and I said, Let’s wait until middle school. I’ll bet you a jillion bucks that next August this kid says, Yay! I finally get to wear dangling earrings and makeup! She forgets nothing.

I love her so much! ❤