Doll House.

Here's a cute little doll house that Jay and I made for Iris. He did the woodworking and I did the "interior design". I modge-podged one of my favorite scrap fabrics to the back walls and painted the peach and mint green striped walls. We basically duplicated the doll house design from Young House Love, but made it a little shorter. 

Needless to say, she loved it. 

Iris Turns Three.

Iris turned three today and it was such a sweet day. Really, the whole weekend was great.

Sadly, we had planned to have a "Soccer Ball Party" (as Iris called it months before) on Saturday in a nearby park where we were going to play soccer, but it rained on Saturday. . . A LOT. So, instead, we had a family party at the house and it was still wonderful.

Iris requested a cake with sprinkles on it, so momma delivered.  For future reference, if you are looking for a great box gluten-free cake, choose the Bob Red Mills Vanilla Cake mix. I actually used two different gluten-free cake mixes this weekend and it was the champion (the other [Pamela's] was good, but not great). 

Iris was surrounded by so much love on Saturday. There's not much that Iris loves more than having both sets of grandparents within arms reach.  

The pictures above are from her actual birthday, today. We woke up, had a lazy morning, lazy breakfast and watched our latest Netflix fave, Anastasia. Then Jay and I made our coffee, Iris put on her soccer jersey from Turkey (and immediately covered it up with a jacket because it was 60-something degrees outside), we convinced Iris to keep her eyes closed and we all headed outside to see her big birthday surprise. What you are seeing in the photos is her reaction to seeing her two mini soccer goals and a new ball in the yard. This kid loves soccer so irrationally. It's amazing. 

Here are a few photos of the party on Saturday. I didn't do a great job of manning the camera that day, but here are a some nice lil' cake shots. 

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I thought I'd write some great things about Iris on here since it's her big day and I love her oh-so-much. In no particular order. . . 

#1 She has teeny tiny freckles on her cheeks these days and I love them.

#2 She likes vegetables. You name it, she probably likes it or is at least willing to try a couple bites before saying, "that's not my favorite". 

#3 We have a pretty consistent dialog before bed that is straight out of Peter Pan. Here's how it goes: 

Iris: Mother?

Me: Yes, Michael?

Iris: Buried treasure. (Then she hands me imaginary gold cufflinks that belong to George. I know, she's great.)

#4 Her favorite stuffed animal companion is an unidentified lemur/bat type creature and she named him Fatí. Not Fatty. Don't say Fatty. It's Fatí with an accent. 

#5 She has a stellar imagination.

#6 She loves her friends. The girl thinks everyone is or wants to be her friend (and it's not that far from the truth). 

#7 She loves soccer.

#8 She loves her "baby sister". I thought the newness would wear off by now and she would be sick of not being an only child anymore, but it's just not the case. She loves her "little sister" well. She hugs her, kisses her, occasionally shares without being forced to, tickles her and watches out for her. It's a big blessing. 

#9 She loves all animals. We can't walk by a dog without petting it. We can't walk by a cat without TRYING to pet it. 

#10 She loves to sing. She makes up songs regularly and performs them on "stages" wherever we may be. 

There are obviously a million more reasons why I love her, but I'll stop there. I feel so blessed that she's my daughter and that I get to experience her loving and wild heart everyday. Happy birthday to Iris!





Lately, it's been fun to find various insects scurrying around our flower bed and garden. Iris finds them and gently loves on them, before releasing them back to the wildly manicured bushes. Although, one creature that popped up around the house was particularly hard to let go, so he stayed with us for about a week.

Peter Pan, the Frog.

He was a fine frog of about 2cm long and he ate like a king in his spacious mason jar.

I looked it up and he seemed to be a Gulf Coast Frog. I'd seen those regularly in East Texas where I grew up, but everyone who visited our house that week was mystified by how small he was. They'd never seen "such a small frog", but surely they'd been hopping around Austin for ages, right? It made me think about all of the nature we miss by just being 5 to 6 feet above the ground. 

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