Living room trapeze

My friend Sophie (of the children's brand Oeuf) might be the coolest mom ever, since she hung a trapeze in her Brooklyn living room. Her kids like to "swing really high and scare people," she says. "They love to triple-dog-dare our poor guests to do knee hangs." I interviewed her for Martha Stewart Living, and you can read the full interview here, if you'd like.

P.S. Alex and I took a trapeze class and bombed:)

(Photos by Stephanie Deleau)

Real actors read Yelp reviews

Do you ever read Yelp restaurant reviews? They can be hilariously over the top. So, this actor doing a dramatic reading of a bad review made me laugh out loud. Genius.

(Via Eater. Thanks, Megan!)

Olympics photos

Have you been watching the Olympics? These photos show the crazy emotion of the games. I can't imagine how nervous the athletes must be the moment before their competition starts. See more here.

Even Superman Gets Sick

(posting tonight from my phone)

For the third night in a row, Erik and I took turns rocking a sick baby while in between cleaning up vomit sheets. Fun times!

I took Jack to see the doctor first thing this morning and as I feared he had a double ear infection and a horrible looking throat. Once I got him back home and settled with Hogan it was off to Memphis for a few errands and OT and PT at Lebonheur. We even had a fun lunch at Pei Wei (our favorite lunch spot) with Amanda, Gracen and Hyatt to kick off the start of school. Yep, our kids start back August 6th!

Lucy and I didn't get home until after 6pm and by then Jack was defiantly a little worse for wear. Poor baby. He did manage to muster up the energy to do "Superman" like the girls though. I think it was a but much, as I ended up giving him his first breathing treatment soon after.

Tomorrow is another full day. It's back to Memphis for me and Lucy, Ella has a dentist appointment and tumbling and Jack is ready for a day of momma lovin. Here's to a good nights sleep.

Monday giveaway!

Today's giveaway is from So Young Mother, a small company (owned by a mom) that makes amazing diaper bags. Each diaper bag has a rugged canvas exterior, lots of wipeable compartments, a cell-phone pocket and even backpack straps. Bonus: They're unisex, so dads will be happy to carry them. Diaper bags are typically not cute, and your keys and phone get lost in the cavernous interiors, so these great bags are a godsend for new moms.

(She also has the cutest toddler backpacks!)

For a chance to win, please visit So Young Mother and leave a comment below. A winner will be chosen at random tomorrow. Good luck! xo Update: Suzie L. is our lucky winner. Thanks for playing.

Have you had that baby yet?

This website makes me laugh. Wouldn't it be great to send it to everyone you know (especially in-laws) as soon as you hit your ninth month of pregnancy?

(Old photo of me)

Motherhood Mondays: On being human

Motherhood can have ups and downs. Exhausting, beautiful, hilarious, frustrating, magical, overwhelming. I used to joke to Alex that new motherhood was like traveling abroad. You're tired and jetlagged, and you haven't showered and you have a cramp in your neck and you're sort of inexplicably sticky, but then you look around and the world feels beautiful and otherworldly and you're glad you came.

My friend Leigh wrote a fantastic post last week about how motherhood can sometimes feel tough to navigate, and it reminded me that everyone's life—no matter how effortless and polished it may look from the outside (when you see women on blogs, in magazines, even just on the street)—without a doubt includes the same tricky moments, worries, doubts, ups and downs. That's what it means to be human and real, and we should celebrate and love ourselves for that.

Recently, I came across this poem (excerpt below). I have such respect for all mothers, and women overall.

"The Lanyard" By Billy Collins (an excerpt)
She gave me life and milk from her breasts,
and I gave her a lanyard.
She nursed me in many a sick room,
lifted spoons of medicine to my lips,
laid cold face-cloths on my forehead,
and then led me out into the airy light
and taught me to walk and swim,
and I, in turn, presented her with a lanyard.
Here are thousands of meals, she said,
and here is clothing and a good education.
And here is your lanyard, I replied,
which I made with a little help from a counselor.
Here is a breathing body and a beating heart,
strong legs, bones and teeth,
and two clear eyes to read the world, she whispered,
and here, I said, is the lanyard I made at camp.
(Top photo of Toby and me. Bottom photo from Nirrimi)

Anatomy of a Family Picture

This is what happens when I try to make a picture play out in real life like it does my mind.  Utter failure.  To be fair, it was late and the kids had already posed for a million pictures.  This, however, was the picture I really wanted.  The outfits were perfectly planned and the canvas was already made (in my mind.)  Oh, well. Better luck next time.  

We did manage to get some great family shots, but not without a few funny ones that make us laugh.  This one was the funniest by far.  It is seriously the worst picture ever of myself and my sister in law is probably going to kill me for posting this!

In the end, there were some frame worthy pictures to be proud of.  I have bought a couple of Groupon deals for Canvas on Demand and I have been so pleased.  I think some special grandparents might be getting pictures for Christmas this year.  

Then, there are always the ones that just happen.  The best pictures are rarely ever planned:

For those that asked, we stayed at the Edgewater Beach Resort in Panama City Beach, Florida.  The beach trip was wonderful.  Is it time to go back?

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Go Team USA

This wasn't the post I had in mind for tonight. However, when we got home from the mountains I discovered that my computer screen is on the blink. Once upon a time this would have been enough to put me over the edge, but thankfully this new perspective on life has me staying pretty calm. I will admit that there is a tiny storm of the crazies brewing as I think about all the pictures (Atlanta, beach, mountains) that are still on my hard drive. Praying it's just my screen and not the hard drive that's messed up.

So...since I wont be working on pictures tonight I guess I will sit with my family and watch the Olympics. I love the summer Olympics and can't wait to share in the excitement with the girls. Four years ago I neary had a heart attack every time Michael Phelps swam. I honestly should have been on the podium with him as much work as I put in. Well, maybe not but I was his biggest fan!

Ella was just watching beach volleyball and I heard her ask her daddy, "Doesn't sand get in their bikini?!". That girl cracks me up.

I hope to resume posting pictures and writing about our beach and mountain trips tomorrow. Until then, Go Team USA!

Playing Catch Up

I know we are in the mountains, but I can't post those pictures until I finish posting about the beach.  Blame it on OCD, but I just can't handle my book being out of order this year.  I've got some major catching up to do and so little time.  This post will mainly be pictures, but I took some great ones and want to remember our wonderful vacation. Installment 1:

During our family photo time, Jack decided he had other things he'd rather do:

And Ella.  Wow!  I think she gets more beautiful every day.  I am so proud of these pictures.

This was our view from the balcony.  I am not afraid of heights, but I am a self diagnosed sufferer of High Place Phenomenon.  It's crazy, I know, but it creates this amazing anxiety that takes over my body.  It's awful.  That means that I don't go out on the balcony for the first few days of any trip and I have to go inside when any of my children are out there.  Totally irrational, I know.  After the fear subsides in a day or two, I always enjoy reading a good book looking out over and listening to the ocean.  This particular day I was waiting on Jack to wake up from his nap and reading something very insightful like US Weekly or People I'm sure.

My absolute favorite pictures are below.  Every single day we were at the beach we saw rainbows.  This particular day we saw double rainbows.  We liked to think that God was sending us a sign that everything was going to be ok.  Our hearts and minds were heavy this vacation and each day when we saw the rainbows we seemed to breathe a sigh of relief.

More to come....

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Hiking up to Clingmans Dome. We are having a wonderful trip. Too bad it's coming to an end tomorrow.

Have a fun weekend.

What are your plans for the weekend? We're going swimming this evening in a public pool in our neighborhood; hoping it's refreshing without too many floating Band-Aids:) Also, I'm psyched to share our bathroom makeover next week. Have a wonderful weekend, and here are a few fun links from around the web...

A song for your weekend.

An adventure print that would make a sweet wedding gift.

Murray's Cheese just opened a restaurant!!! Or, as they call it, a cheese bar.

A toddler speaks up about dinner.

Cheeky doormat.

Cute bulldog sweater.

Jemima, the mom.

Mason jar salads.

Who's up for cloud gazing?

Cool travel photos.

Michigan tees. (Thanks, Jennifer)

Instagram cookies.

Holy smokes, this is a subway station!

Finally, Lookmatic is giving Cup of Jo readers a great deal on glasses and sunglasses. Enjoy! xoxo
(Illustration by Gemma Correll)