Hello again, Valentine.

It’s been so busy around here.  Baby raising is hard work, I tell ya!  And keeping the house clean and dinner on the table… whew!  I need a raise.  Playing and learning everything there is to know about the world is a lot of work!

Kalvin is getting so big.  He will be nine months next week!  Where did my baby go? Seriously, it’s so sad to think about him growing up so fast.  I’m just going to stop thinking about it now because if I dwell on it for too long, I get teary.  It all just happens so quickly and what precious moments we are so lucky to be experiencing!  Hence, the reason for my absence.  It’s very hard to make time to do things (like blog) when we are so busy living our lives!

I want to come back to this, though.  I do miss it a little bit.  It just feels like I’m outgrowing this blog.  Maybe a new one will be coming soon?  Those are two things I should be making time for:  exercising and blogging.  We will see how good I am at making that happen.

Anyway, here is a quick picture of my baby boy on Valentine’s Day.  He (and his daddy) are the loves of my life.  Daddy was working at the time we took these pictures, so he didn’t get the lipstick smooches. Maybe next time. 

Kyle and I went on a lame date on Valentine’s evening while my parents watched Kalvin.  Seriously, it was super lame.  We picked up our car from the mechanic in Ankeny and then we went to Tasty Taco.  Then we contemplated walking around Menards (to scope out materials for our next home project)– but instead we got ice cream and listened to music in the parking lot.  I offered to drive around until we could find the make-out spot in Ankeny, but nope.  Ice cream sounded like a better idea, so that’s what we did instead.  :)

Kyle and I used to be awesome at date night.  And every now and again, we come up with some awesome things to do together as a two-some.  (My birthday is coming up and I have some good ideas for that!)  But really, this family life is so much more fun enjoyed together, and Kalvin is the coolest kid ever. So it’s fun to include him in on the fun, you know?

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving from the cutest turkey ever.




P.S. Kalvy & Kyle… For you I am beyond words thankful. So glad you’re mine, I’m the luckiest girl in the world!

Posted in Current Events by Erin McCullough. 1 Comment

You’ve Got Mail

It’s Friday night at 9:10 and I’m sitting here with a cup of hot chocolate and a very large glass of red wine because I couldn’t decide which I wanted so I had both.  And You’ve Got Mail is on a channel without high definition, but I don’t even care because I love You’ve Got Mail so much.

It’s Meg Ryan as Shop Girl that gets me every time.  And Tom Hanks is good in every movie, but I love how he is so vulnerably taken by Shop Girl.  And Shop Girl is so lovable because she’s so real and honest and pure and optimistic even though her shop went out of business and even though she’s duped by Joe Fox.  And in the end they fall crazy madly in love because love always prevails in the movies, just as it should in real life.


Except real life is so much more complicated than the movies. You’ve Got Mail is pretty complicated, I guess, if you really think about it and haven’t watched it 100 times.  I think Shop Girl was pretty forgiving, in the end.  I don’t know if I (if I were Shop Girl) could forgive Joe Fox for duping me.  Maybe I could.  If he looked at me with those sparkly inquisitive eyes and cute half smile… maybe I could.

And it’s based in NEW YORK.  In the fall.

We were supposed to go to New York while on vacation, but Sandy came and cut our vacation short and we didn’t make it.  Though I wanted to so badly because nothing, and I mean NOTHING, beats autumn in New York.  And there is no better shopping anywhere else.  I always stock up on my Prada perfume and knock off purses in Chinatown because I can’t afford them anywhere else… Sadly, this year I came home empty handed.  And Prada perfume is $80 in the department stores, which is about … $60 outside of my price range for frivolous things like perfume.  So this year I might have to mix my own concoction of oils because if I can’t smell expensive, I’d rather smell earthy and musky and like a hippy maiden than any other perfume.  Or maybe I’ll just use up my ridiculous stash of on-sale Victoria’s Secret body sprays…

Posted in Thoughts by Erin McCullough. 2 Comments

U wish u cud b this kewl

Omg, I feel like the coolest kid in school right now.

My mom-friend told me that her 17-year-old sister-in-law told her that if you’re going to use the stick on fingernail polish, you MUST get the cheap Dollar General Store brand. NOT the more expensive Sally Hansen types. And I think most 17-year-old girl would know these things, right?

I am generally so not interested in fingernail bling or … whatever. I’m lucky if I get my teeth brushed every morning so cute fingernails are at the bottom of my list.

But these, my friends, are so easy! Really, its so easy I’m not even going to tell you how easy it is. And according to the packaging, they are supposed to last up to ten days. But we’ll see about that, as I am an avid hand washer & dish washer, and I give baths to baby boy every night.

I don’t even know what sparked my interest in these, but I seriously think they’re so cool that I might go buy more. You know, to expand my collection to include leopard print or something.



And…. a close up :)



Trail walking and stuff…

A few days ago I received an invitation to lunch & craft with a group of moms from my hippy mom class. (The hippy mom class is held on Tuesdays in Beaverdale at a cozy little place where we get together and breast feed our babies, teach them baby sign language, talk about homeopathic wellness and which baby carrier works best.) It is a nice Tuesday activity that gets us out of the house and has been a great way to meet other SAHMs. (For those of you who don’t speak in acronyms, SAHM = stay at home mom.) Plus, the Kalvinator gets to play with his friends, which I know he looks forward to immensely. ha!

I received the invite on Monday, and the invitation was for Thursday at noon. So I looked forward to it alllll week! And I tell you, friends, I was not disappointed! They said lunch would be provided. I wasn’t expecting anything fancy, so imagine my surprise when lunch included white bean chicken chili, blueberry streusel, chocolate chex mix (with peanut butter cups AND marshmallows?! She called it “Better than sex Chex) … And (get this!) a craft!

If I wasn’t elbow deep in paint, I would have taken more pictures. This is the only photo I took all afternoon:


Kalvin cooperated beautifully and we ended up with two very awesome Thanksgiving-themed crafts to take home.

What else have we been up to? Well, we’ve been enjoying what might be the last of this nice weather by trail walking.




Two days in a row we’ve trail walked. It’s been nearly 60 degrees these past few days, which is nice enough to go exploring on the nice central Iowa trails that we support with our tax dollars, and is a great way to put off folding the five very giant loads of laundry that are waiting for me. (I need to fold them soon …before my hard working husband runs out of clean underwear!) How cool is it that he’s working hard to support our family while we’re off trail walking and making Thanksgiving-themed crafts?! The least I could do is supply him with clean underwear, right?!

To top off this very wonderful day, I got a bottle of two-buck-chuck (a bottle of Shiraz) from Trader Joe’s to enjoy after the little boy goes to bed. :) . It doesn’t get any better than this, I don’t think.

Posted in Events & Adventures by Erin McCullough. 1 Comment

Train ride in Portland

One of my favorite things we did on vacation happened in Maine.  We took Kalvin to a train museum and then took a train ride across Portland. There is something about little boys and trains that just go together.  It’s magical, really.

Kalv was so.tired.  Like, we still hadn’t figured out the napping on vacation thing, so I was expecting a little monster.  But (mostly) he loved it.  He LOVED the train museum, and playing with the trains.  And the conductor?  –OH, it was love at first sight.

Do you see that face!?  The conductor seriously won this little guy’s heart. Kalvin was smitten.

How can one tiny little boy bring so much joy to the world?

Family picture on the train.  This one’s a keeper!  Oh, boys.  You’ve stolen my heart.

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Posted in Events & Adventures by Erin McCullough. 2 Comments

Iowa sunset

I’m just going to put this out there:  I HATE DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME.  I hate that it gets dark so early, and I hate that the days are so short.

BUT–on a good note we’ve been having some really great sunsets!!

I love Iowa.

Posted in Every Day Life by Erin McCullough. 4 Comments

Election Day 2012

Can you hear and do you care and
Cant you see we must be free to
Teach your children what you believe in.
Make a world that we can live in.

(credit: Crosby, Stills & Nash)






(p.s. the picture of Ky and Kalv in the voting booth… I secretly snuck the taking of this picture. The cranky polling lady kindly asked me not to take any more pictures, so I had to sneak this one because I couldn’t miss Kalv’s first voting experience.  Scandalous….)



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Posted in Current Events Every Day Life Family Fun by Erin McCullough. 3 Comments

My little pumpkin pie

We finally got around to carving our perfect pumpkin! Kyle carved, I photographed (and made sure Kalvin didn’t eat the pumpkin guts), and the Kalvinator… was less than impressed. Just LOOK at that face!! Hahahahaha.

I’ve SO been looking forward to carving pumpkins with baby boy. I’m a big believer that every baby boy should get to feel pumpkin guts.

He was a very good sport until we put him inside the pumpkin… (I promise we’re not child abusers. But I saw this idea on Pinterest.  So I just had to try it.) It didn’t quite work out as I’d hoped..

Oh, sweet boy, thank you for being such a good sport and playing along. We love you SO MUCH!

I salted the pumpkin seeds a little too vigorously… so they ended up rather salty.  And our pumpkin… well.  :) See for yourself.



Tomorrow is election day, which is one of my favorite holidays.  So go out into the world, get educated and vote, people!  Vote!  

Give me s’more

In the grand scheme of things, THESE are the important moments, right?


We invited friends over for a backyard bonfire. (Perk of living in the country, holla!)  Kyle and I shopped last night for all the campfire nececssities: graham crackers, marshmallows, Hershey’s chocolate, hot dogs and buns.  Because what’s a backyard bonfire unless you pull out all the stops?!  I looked forward to it all day long, I even cleaned house for the first time since we got back from vacation!  It was kind of like the night before Christmas, not quite as exciting, but almost because we haven’t had a backyard bonfire in forever!

Kyle used to be an Eagle Scout.  If you are unfamiliar with Eagle Scouts, let me just tell you that you should familiarize yourself with them as soon as possible.  They make the best husbands ever.  He is the best fire-starter and fire-maker.  Which is a good skill to have, you know.


I love this year so much. It’s a year of firsts.  In the last month, we’ve taken our first ever family vacation, Kalvin saw the ocean and played on the beach for the first time, he had his first Halloween, and now we are having our very first backyard bonfire. How fun is that!? I can’t believe how fast the time has gone.  There’s so much to do, so much to show him, and I love having an almost captive audience in Kalvin.  He’s such a serious boy during his firsts, taking it all in and really trying to understand what is going on around him. It makes everything so much more fun seeing the world through the eyes of a child.




The big boys and dads played hide and seek in the dark, while the moms and Kalvin snuggled around the campfire.  It was fun to listen to the giggles in the dark and to see them hiding and seeking.  Base was the big willow tree in the middle of the big back yard.  Between hiding and seeking, we roasted weenies and made s’mores.  The dogs restlessly waited for someone to drop some hot dog scraps in their direction.  My favorite, of course, were the s’mores.  Roasted marshmallows and melty chocolate.  Mmmmhmmm.

Baby boy fell asleep  in my arms, which was my MOST favorite part of the night (baby snuggles are one of life’s biggest blessings) and I did my very best job to keep him warm whilst he slept.

it was a most perfect night, indeed, especially the part where I got to put big fat marshmallows in my hot chocolate at the end of the night.



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Posted in Events & Adventures by Erin McCullough. 2 Comments