upon turning four.

there was a birthday party with friends and family.
there was a visit from grandma.
there was a breakfast out,

 mini golf, 

inflatable pool weather, 
and cake with neighbors

after a requested mac n cheese dinner outdoors. 
and just like that...he's 4!


4 years old.

nicolai turned four yesterday.
he continues to like to cook, play with trucks, ride his bike/kickbike/scooter.
recently he's taken some community classes and gotten some exposure to life outside of our home and "our tribe" (this is rare for us).
with plans to attend a co-op preschool in the fall it's been great to see him embrace these new experiences with excitement and confidence.
he's started to tell jokes that he makes up...some really make us laugh out loud because they're just so random...still getting the hang of it.
he's a huge fan of his new bunk bed and continues to love listening to us read books (we recently finished the magic treehouse chapter book series).
his afternoon routine includes quiet time alone in his room which often still includes a nap, though that's up to him and his mood/need on any given day.
we really feel lucky to have nicolai in our family.


16 months old.

matteo has started walking a bit more but still just in his practice phase.
he seems to be learning new words near daily.
he's clingy (usually to mama) and screams to communicate...it can be exhausting.
he's still napping twice a day.


recipes worth repeating(dedicated to you, ab)

i recently borrowed the smitten kitchen cookbook from our library.
we made the spaghetti squash tacos and the salted brown butter crispy treats (we used to avoid marshmallows as they are not vegetarian but we've let that slide on occasion...think s'mores, campfires, and now this delicious recipe.)
these cauliflower wings (we use bbq sauce) are fun for a night of sports on tv.
and in the spirit of "cauliflower is the new kale" (though i bet something is anxiously waiting in the wings...isn't cauliflower's moment nearing it's end?) we cooked up some friend rice (off the cuff) using cauliflower rice instead of our usual brown rice.
and those easter recipes with friends in south dakota?
braised artichokes with tomatoes and mint (we used capers not anchovies and totally cheated with canned artichokes).
cacio e pepe potatoes.
cannellini beans with spinach (again we used canned beans).


my little readers.

when i stumble upon a moment like these my heart swells.
we love books.


weekend away: southeast south dakota.

we've been saving cash to buy a more reliable car and our first voyage in the 2006 honda odyssey was an easter weekend trip to see friends in south dakota.
we spent a very mellow couple of days taking short walks,

 cooking together,

playing, talking,

and scheming for a next visit.

of course there were easter baskets (mostly supplied by grandparents and great-grandparents) and there was a little egg hunt in the snowy yard.

being with close friends leaves the soul feeling refreshed and the heart full of  joy and thankfulness, no? 


recent read.

some neighbor friends and i have started a little book club.
our first pick and (7 hour...not all book related) discussion was when breath becomes air by paul kalanithi.
i loved this book...deep, heart warming, and devastating.
i appreciated the look at the medical experience from a doctor-turned-patient perspective.
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