someone else to do the baby wearing!

one of my favorite things to do is go for a hike. i love being outside, surrounded by trees instead of cars. it feels so good. hiking with children is not always easy, especially when they are small. my oldest, jack henry, was a great hiker from a very early age. he just liked to be constantly moving, so we could set him on a path and he would just keeping going! he climbed a mountain at a year and a half! then came sidney. oh boy, she did not like to hike at all. it was fine as long as we could carry her in the back pack but when she got too heavy it became an arduous experience trying to get her to walk. just mention the word "hike" and she would start to whine. we started calling them "nature walks" to try to fool her but she caught on pretty quickly. distracting her helped. reading about plants and animals along the way. finding interesting things to look for, bringing friends along, all of these helped somewhat. it really has only been the last year or so that she finally started to like it (or at least accept that it was inevitable). of course that was the time tess came along! luckily she loves being outside. it is her favorite thing to do. she is not such a big fan of the carrier though and obviously is not ready to walk the trails very far yet (she likes to stop and stand on every single rock, you can imagine how long that takes!). so, we still have a few years of slow going ahead of us. it is worth it though. it is good for me and it is good for them. i want them to value nature and hopefully continue to choose to be out in it. it is not always the peaceful experience i imagine when heading out the door but i'm always glad we do it. i think maybe some hiking dates with my husband may help too!

do you hike with your little ones, or your older children/teenagers? is it a family tradition? one you grew up with? we didn't do any camping when i was little but i have very fond memories of some beautiful hikes we took, both in california where i grew up and in kentucky where we visited family every year. i hope to take my kids to visit some of those same places too.

these are all photos from our hike last weekend, except the last one which is from our daily hike around the neighborhood! we are looking hopefully for signs of fall!

deer cake topper...

i recently completed a new cake topper for the shop. i listed it in both shops actually, you can find it in little love blue and prairie seed. i am so happy with how it turned out. i love the groom in his little herringbone suit and pinstripes and bow tie (my daughter's idea). i love the bride in white wool and japanese floral linen and vintage lace veil. the stand is a little taller than i have made in the past too. they would make such a lovely statement on top of a cake and in your home afterwards for years to come. they are also just fun to display regardless if you are getting married at the moment. i had a client who recently bought a giraffe cake topper as a present for a sister who loves giraffes and was so pleased with it. the giraffes are available for custom order, i have made about 4 of them so far and each one comes out beautiful and unique. i also have plans for a series of new animal pairs that i have started working on!

tess turns one...

well, i guess i should say turned one! we had the sweetest little family party for tess in july and she absolutely loved it! she never tired of all the attention, singing, gift giving, or fun. i'm not sure my other two made it through their first birthday without a little bit of overload but tess was a trooper!

tess at one is such a funny little imp. she knows what she wants and is very good at letting you know too. she is strong willed and afraid of very little. she charges head first into most things (sometimes literally). she is not only walking but running, though she spends most mornings making papa walk around with her and hold her hand;) her favorite animal is the cat and a lot of her talking consists of meowing... it's hilarious! she does tell charlie he is a "good dog" though. she is switching to one nap now, right in the middle of the day, which can make the evenings feel long. she is a bed hog and rolls and rolls all over the big bed, wanting the space all to herself. her favorite thing is going outside. too bad the mosquitoes are so horrendous this year or she would just live out there. she shews them away with her little hand, saying "ow". she can stack blocks very high, and knows to run to the window to watch someone leave. she will play in water of any kind endlessly, crying when you take her out, no matter how long it has been. i'm looking forward to fall, and seeing all the ways that tess changes over the next few months.



here are all three of my babes at one!

what a blessed mama i am;)