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Around Indy |

when you only have an instant

Friends and family have been asking me if I plan to keep up with the blog when we move to Belgium. The short answer is YES. The longer answer involves how I can’t find the time to write, how I’m suffering from writers block from being overwhelmed, and whether or not we will even have an internet connection when we get there.

Personally, an existence without the internet is not existence I want to lead, so figuring out how to get mama connected back up with the people that live in her fun box better be top priority.

Also, I love blogging. So yes, in time this place will again become alive.

This month marks the last month our family will be spending in Indianapolis for a very long time, as the movers have officially been scheduled to arrive in just over two week. After we tape up that final box, we’ll be spending some family time road-tripping out to Colorado for a much needed extended family adventure (think horseback riding, rock climbing, white water rafting), then the kids and I will drive up to Michigan for a few weeks of sandy lake side fun, before we fly out for good-good.

It’s all happening so fast. Way too fast. I swear just yesterday this international relocation was ages away. But here we are…

My friend Angie Six is one of my favorite people both in real life and online, and she does this thing where she rounds-up her favorite instagram snapshots from the previous month into a compilation post. Today, I’m shamelessly stealing her idea, since she’s on a plane to Spain anyway, she can’t stop me.

So until I have more time to tell you how I feel and what’s going on, enjoy the insta-update.


1. My youngest sister Betsy got married last weekend. It was an absolute stunning day, and I’m not at all done talking about this one. Post of it’s own to follow later this week, promise-maybe.

2. Ok, just one thing about the wedding. It was at my parents house. You guys, THIS BARN.

3. DIY, FTW. A funny thing happens when you clean out the attic. You find things you totally forgot you had, because you have a *tiny* problem with hoarding. From trash to treasure, Michael and him mom worked hard all Labor Day weekend restoring this 1952 mid-century folding table to it’s former glory. Next stop? The Belgian Breakfast Nook.

4. Orange is the new, um, Black. That’s right folks. I’m almost as obsessed with this huge file cabinet as I am with that show. This tank with awesome original orange and yellow fold-up drawers will house many of the kids toys at the new place. If you’re local to Indy and love awesome old-ish junk, I suggest you check out my friend The Inventorialist. He finds (and sells at the best prices) all the good stuff…

5. The Dog. No, the dog is not moving to Belgium with us. And no, I’m still not talking about it. He hit a *wee* bump in the road health-wise last month, but I think we’ve gotten it under control and he’s prepped to be on his best behavior for his new family.

6. No, YOU need a Knot Genie for that head of hair. Admittedly, I don’t love the zoo. I mean, I’ll go because my kids love it, but seeing animals living behind plates of bullet-proof glass really isn’t my jam. But (BUT!) the Indianapolis zoo recently opened a new exhibit, and it’s possibly the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. I give you permission to skip every thing else (especially the reptile house) and go straight to the Orangutan Center and camp out with a lounge chair and some drinks. Orangutans are my new favorite. In fact, I just might trade baby Paul for a hairy baby,  if that hairy baby comes potty trained (also another post for another day).

7. Twelve years. This past month marked the 12th year Michael and I have been married. We spent it hanging out in the backyard, working on projects (see #3), drinking cheap beer while lounging in the backyard kiddie pool. It’s honestly everything I dreamed it would be. No, it actually is.

8. A new path. This spring a new and much needed running/bike trail opened up in our little urban neighborhood. I would love to say I’m taking advantage of it everyday, but alas finding a time to run since the half marathon (also something I want to blog about soon, YOU GUYS I RAN THE WHOLE THING) has been hard lately.

9. The Grand Finale. We’re at that place where we’re experiencing a lot of “lasts”. Last weekly community dinner, last day of school, last day of orchestra, last book club, LAST LAST LAST OF EVERYTHING. Piper finished out her orchestra experience with her dad on stage with her (look back row, he’s the first adult to the left standing up playing his bass) jamming out to Duke Ellington. Dang, I’m going to miss these little musical kids.

So yeah, that’s us in an instant. Go ahead and follow me on Instagram (I’m “designhermomma”), because this blog is totally shoddy at best lately.


day 984 of my captivity

We left our Indiana house in search of warmer land on December 20, 2013. We arrived back January 4th, 2014 – one day before “the most epic storm of all times” hit Indianapolis. Pajama days have turned into cleaning days which have turned into “home school” days which have turned into “please just stop touching me and could you keep your voice down” days.


Buy a pound of bacon. And then buy at least two more pounds. Honestly, I picked up a pound for two specific meals. This soup (which I advise you make tomorrow) and for salad toppings. I wish I had had a pound or two to accommodate the 5 (and counting) breakfasts we’ve had as a family at home.

Clean your guest bathroom, and have clean sheets and comforters at the ready. So when friends call asking for a place to crash because they don’t have power or heat, you’re not mortified with the state of your house. In my defense: we had just been gone for over 2 weeks. Also – I like to think I have the best of friends that can see beyond my dirt.

Consider acquiring an arsenal of candles that don’t consist of half used Bath and Body scented candles. Because when your only option is burning 6 different scents at once for light? You’ll get a headache and cry. Much like going into an Ambercrombie store.

Marshmallows. Don’t be that mom that forgets to buy marshmallows for the hot chocolate on the coldest day in multiple decades. Also – don’t forget the dishwasher soap. I’m currently washing dishes by hand as if I’m Laura Ingles Wilder or something. Nope.

Treat your postman. Because even when it’s obscenely cold out, they will still deliver your 1 lb. Restoration Hardware catalog. And that’s just stupid talk.

That gallon handle of vodka left over from holiday celebrations? It will come in handy. Real handy (that’s why it’s called a  handle of vodka…)

If you boil water and then throw it in the air at -15 degrees, it will totally turn into snow asap and your kids will think you are pure magic.  And you will get burned if you attempt the trick upwind, friends (this I know from experience). Consider it your PSA for the day.

Have all the screens charged at all times. Cell phones, ipads, ipods, kindles and children. Honestly, be at the ready. Because nothing says love and attention like sticking a fully charged screen in front of your kids face.

Don’t insist on taking your kids photos outside in the snow while it’s storming. Your phone will then experience the Black Screen of Death and you not only will suffer from extreme Cabin Fever, but you’ll not be able to share it with anyone via text or instagram. But then again – look at baby Paul. Maybe breaking the phone was totally worth it.

Start paying them for manual labor. I’m talking .5 cents for a matched pair of sock (which could have made them millions). .50 cent (high rollah!) for a lost TV remote control, and a quarter for “babysitting” their brother (in their bedrooms) for at least 30 minutes.

You guys, this polar vortex storm has been amazing and even a little bit fun. Sure, I’m bitching like everyone else, and I openly wish I could curl up with a book or a good netflix series made for the PG13 audience (not iCarley, OMGEEEEEE) – but whatever.

Banking on school being in session on Monday.

#UnwrapWonder with a trip to C Wonder (sponsored)

Hey Emily? Wanna host a shopping event at a local retail store at the best mall in the city?

Want to invite everyone you know? Give them an amazing deal on the entire store? Offer cookies, cupcakes, and bubbly drinks?

Oh, and would you like to chose a local charity to support through sales generated by your party? 

And how about we throw in a door prize, just to make things exciting….

Yes. Yes I would like all of this. Please and thank you very much.

Last night, over 20 C Wonder stores across the country held blogger hosted shopping events, and yours truly was honored the pleasure of meeting, greeting, and opening the doors for the Indianapolis location.


Guest were treated to 30% off regularly priced items, and sale items were already marked an unbelievable 40% off retail. Danger, my friends. The whole store was dangerously discounted.

To start the night off right, I ducked into the store a wee bit early and curated a few of my favorite things. (Cues Carrie Underwood Julie Andrews “These are a few of my favorite things….”):

myfavsOn me:
denim shirt :: signature cardigan :: necklace


monogrammed jewelry box :: frenchie dish :: note cards

cheese board :: monogrammed mugs :: dog ceramic plate :: herringbone tote

pursesTotes! So many fun totes (most of which can be easily  monogrammed).

cellandthingsPossibly my favorite little find of the evening was the social media earring gift box set. We could still be #friends if I wore them, right?


candyshopRunning towards the stocking stuffer table, like little kids in a candy shop. Katy, your girls are adorable and unbelievably well behaved!


I’m going to be honest and make a small confession. Until last month, I had never set foot into a C Wonder store. Granted it’s a new store here in Indianapolis and fairly new to the Midwest, but until a few weeks ago, I had never shopped at C Wonder.

When you walk in, the store is visual eye candy – packed top to bottom with fun sweaters, brightly colored enamel bangles, tons of home decor accessories, even stocking stuffers for the kiddos.

C Wonder stuff, ahhh, it just makes me feel happy.

And happy I purchased. By the end of the night, I had created quite a shopping pile myself. I think I bought a whole alphabets worth of signature monogrammed mugs, not to mention tons of stocking stuffers for the kids and other things that cannot be pictured or mentioned (because they read this blog) for others on my Christmas list.

I spy with my little lone eeee (it's coming home with meeee) #unwrapwonder

If you are still searching for a few last minute gifts (or need to find that perfect outfit for yourself) C Wonder can make it happen.

Did you come out? What did you purchase? Do shop and tell…

*Thank you MomTrends for hooking me up with this fantastic opportunity to work with C Wonder. I was compensated for hosting this event, and all opinions are my own.

Looking towards spring and that elusive 13.1 (sponsored)

*Over the next few months I’ll be blogging about my fitness journey thanks to my ambassadorship with Smooth Fitness. While these posts are sponsored and I received a super sweet treadmill in exchange for my story, I’m taking this opportunity to get in shape extremely seriously. Mostly seriously.


On Thanksgiving day, I did something I’ve been wanting to do for the past 10 years. No, I didn’t eat a whole turkey in one sitting (although it was close), I actually signed up for the Indy Mini Marathon this coming spring. Like, paid an entry fee, calculated my projected per mile time so I know where to line up, and requested a commemorative tee-shirt in my size.

I’ve contemplated running this race for over a decade – but something has always kept me back. Pregnancy, postpartum nursing boobs (do not mess, seriously), the wicked Indiana winter and her icy sidewalks – I’ve always justified not running it.

Bit I’ve literally run out of excuses. And it’s really something I want to do while living in Indianapolis.

And I have a smokin’ amazing treadmill in my basement.

So I’m “training”, and by “training” I mean running just a short distance on the treadmill (40 minutes or 3 miles, whatever comes first)  every couple of days during Paul’s naptime.

Not gonna lie, it’s been really hard to find the time. Between keeping up with taking care of the kids, work stuff, holiday stuff, stuff my face stuff – finding time to work out has been tricky.

bossy photobomb

(personal trainer boy is not happy with the sweaty selfie session)

And I’m not a morning person. Nor a night person. I’m a person that likes to exercise at a normal time of the day, like 2:30pm.

But I’m squeezing in time, even if that means I’m running to Yo Gabba Gabba episodes playing in the background.  And every so often, running a ridiculous 5k to stay motivated.

A few weeks ago, it was The Ugly Sweater Run. If ever there was a run custom designed for me, this one would be it.

I mean really…


It was a crazy freezing Sunday morning – and over 100 layers of clothes I chose this very festive sweater of ugly sweaters as my costume of choice. This sweater will never see the likes of my shop. It’s part of my personal collection. Yes I really do have an ugly sweater personal collection.


I had thought I’d seen a few ugly sweaters in my day – but there’s something absolutely thrilling about seeing thousands of them in one gigantic corral of freezing runners.


My team: Beth, Shireen, Katie and Sarah. Rule: There’s no walking or sulking in Ugly Sweater Running. And the person who has the most fun wins.

big fatties

And we were winners! Nothing says “I’m an athlete” like double fisting some hard cider at the finish line. Because if drinking beers at the end of the finish line is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

There’s four and a half months between now and the big 13.1. Clearly at some point I’m going to have to take a more serious approach to “training”, but for now I’m just focusing on moving forward – one step in front of the other.

And I’m switching to water soonish. Promise.

Indianapolis Ladies: You’re Invited to my C Wonder Party (at The Fashion Mall)

Local Indy ladies listen up – I’ve teamed with MomTrends and The CityMoms and we will be gathering stylish moms and their friends and families for a night of shopping at the new C Wonder store at The Fashion Mall! (or do we now call it Keystone at the Crossing?).

Anyway, you know the mall I’m talking about – the best mall in the city!

When: Thursday, December 12th. 6pm – 8pm

Where: Keystone Crossing
8702 Keystone Crossing, Indianapolis, IN 46240

C Wonder Invite FINAL

RSVP Here!

So what’s in it for you?

30% discount on your total full priced purchase for the evening.

Fun giveaways including a $75 gift certificate to C Wonder and a beautiful wide enamel initial bangle!


Screen shot 2013-12-05 at 9.42.22 AM

Enjoy sweet snacks, sip a few sips, and mix & mingle with other local ladies while getting some of your holiday shopping done!

A few of my favorite C Wonder pieces you’ll see at the party:


And to make the night even sweeter, C Wonder is donating 10% of the stores total sales during the party to Coburn Place, an amazing local organization that provides transitional housing for women and children leaving domestic abuse relationships.


How awesome is that? So awesome.

So will you be there? I would absolutely LOVE to meet so many of you! Bring your friends, bring your momma, take the baby with you if you want!

But be sure to RSVP so you’re eligible to receive all the goodies!

I’m taking the kids to see the Opera (not Oprah): Amahl and the Night Visitors (LOCAL GIVEAWAY)

Hey Nola – what do you think about going to the Oprah in a couple weeks? We can get dressed up, go to dinner beforehand, and then attend the Opera.

OPRAH? What’s Oprah? Have I been there before? What kids are hers?

Um, no. Not Oprah (although how awesome would that be?), the Indianapolis Opera. A musical performance kinda like a play where they sing really fancy and wear fun costumes and we clap at the end.


Yup, I’m taking the girls to see their (and my) first Opera, Amahl and the Night Visitors, in just a couple weeks and I’m pretty excited. So what’s the Amahl and the Night Visitors all about?

From the producers:

Amahl and the Night Visitors is a warm and compassionate story that captures the true essence of Christmas spirit. It tells of the night the Three Kings, following the Star of Bethlehem, stop for shelter at the home of Amahl, a poor crippled shepherd boy who lives with his widowed mother.

I’m thinking it will be the perfect “first” introduction experience for my kids for a few really awesome reasons:

  • Amahl and the Night Visitors is in English – so the kid will be able to follow along with the storyline easily.
  • Pre-show crafts and activities are planned for the kiddos – so come early!
  • The staring role is a young boy – which is awesome to have kids in the cast.
  • The show is a total of 50 minutes – short and sweet.
  • The venue isn’t “gigantic” – every seat in the auditorium is pretty great.

Ok, we’re going to be there, and if you’re local to Indianapolis, we would love to see you there!

The details: 

When: Dec. 6th – 7th., 13 – 15th.

Where: Bastille Opera Center (4011 N. Pennsylvania St.)

Ticket start at just $25 a piece!

And I’m giving away a family 4 pack for the December 9th show at 8pm! Enter the Rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winner will be announced Sunday Dec. 1st!

Want another chance to win tickets? Visit Mom for Less, she’s hosting a giveaway also!

*I’ve been giving tickets for my family to attend the show in exchange for hosting this giveaway.