Happy 3rd Birthday!

June 9th, 2011 by Laura

Life is certainly busy when you’re three! And we’ve been so busy living life that we’ve been neglecting this spot on the web. Hopefully we’ll get back to that, but I just wanted to say on here:

Happy Birthday Lucy!

I’ve been having so much fun getting to know who you are. Listening to, and trying to answer, your CONSTANT questions. Keeping up with your energy and your emotions. Playing. Cuddling. Watching your kindness towards our friends, family, and pets. Learning with you. And growing with you too.

Here’s to the next year of grand adventures.

Black & Gold & Goose

February 6th, 2011 by Eben

As you may have heard, the Steelers are in the Super Bowl. Most cities would be pretty excited, but this is Pittsburgh: it’s insane.


Of course, it’s hard to be in Pittsburgh during this excitement and not get just a little swept up in it. Lucy watched a good chunk of the Steelers-Ravens game at a neighbors house. The AFC championship game was a too late for her to watch, but she’s been pretty excited about watching the Super Bowl (by the way, “watching” football is not exactly accurate for Lucy — she doesn’t really watch the TV much at all).

Mostly, Lucy seems to feed off the excitement and celebration of others! We’re going to watch the game at another neighbor’s house in a bit. We’ll let you all know how it goes…

More pics here.


January 26th, 2011 by Laura

… make the world go round. And the tire swing.
(Emma, Annika, Lucy, and Annika’s friend and her son, who were visiting from Germany)

We are all so blessed to have such wonderful friends – friends who live far, far away, and friends who live right down the street (or right next door).

I started the post back in September – the last time we really updated the blog! (Although, I did appreciate the birthday greeting from Lucy and Eben in November.) And when I logged on today to write about exactly how grateful we are for all of our friends, this post was already sitting here, waiting to be completed.

In the past week, our family has been reminded of just how lucky we are to have such a wonderful group of friends and family – in Pittsburgh and beyond. It all started on a dark Wednesday morning, when I was trying to quietly leave the house for a dentist appointment, without turning on the lights. And then I feel down the stairs. Unfortunately I managed to hit the railing with such force that I broke two ribs and punctured my lung. (My sister pointed out that if we lived in a newer house, the railing probably wouldn’t have been as strong and would probably have broken. Stupid quality craftsmanship.) I took my first-ever ambulance ride to the emergency room and spent two nights in the hospital before being released on Friday.

It’s been a week, and I’m still a little weak and in some pain, but I’m feeling a 100 times better than last Wednesday.

Getting hurt stinks, but it has made me so grateful for everyone who has helped us.
We have eaten lovely homemade meals, discovered that our sidewalks were shoveled for us, and been showered with phone calls and facebook well-wishes. Our friends have picked Lucy up, fed her, played with her, comforted her, taken her to school, brought her back home, and just generally taken care of her so that Eben could take care of me.

My favorite story from the last week happened when Lucy and her friend Emma were riding in the car, on their way to school (that’s another post!). Lucy was a little emotional and asked aloud: “Where’s my daddy?” Lucy’s friend Emma replied: “Your daddy is at the hospital. Your momma fell down and had to go to the hospital. We’re going to school. Your daddy will pick you up after school.” Apparently Lucy was totally okay with that answer. I’m just amazed how these little two-and-a-half year olds are helping each other to deal with tough things.

Today Lucy spent the morning with her friend Riley and is spending the evening with her friend Emma. I’m resting since Eben is out of town for the night. I’m so glad that Lucy gets to play and expend some of that boundless energy with her friends, but I miss her too. I can’t wait to be back to dancing around and singing with the Goose!
Photo taken by Heather Conrad

Happy Birthday Momma!

November 9th, 2010 by Eben

Happy Day, Momma! I love you!


You do so many great things for me…

Enjoy your happy day! I’ll make you some carrot cake.

Say Cheese!

September 19th, 2010 by Laura

Lucy is currently fascinated with taking pictures. She’s quiet adept at using the iphone camera,

and she’s even tried her hand with the Canon Rebel.

She can entertain herself quiet nicely by pretending that every magnet, piece of paper, etc. are cameras. “Momma, say CHEESE! Daddy, say CHEESE!”

She is also working on perfecting her smile for the camera smile.


September 19th, 2010 by Laura

Somehow, while we weren’t looking, Lucy has become a big girl.

After three weeks of sleeping in twin beds, mattresses on the floor, or in our bed while on vacation, we decided it was time to take apart Lucy’s crib.

Lucy spent about two weeks sleeping on her crib mattress on the floor. Which, surprisingly was very exciting. Who knew that sleeping on a mattress would be such fun! “Lucy no sleep in crib, Lucy sleep on mattwess.” To add to the excitement, Lucy and I headed across the river to pick up her new twin mattress, which the people at the Original Mattress Factory kindly strapped on the car, and I slowly drove across the bridge and up the big hill to our house.

Lucy spent one night on the mattress and then on Saturday, her new bed was delivered! And it’s a trundle bed!!! Okay, so maybe that’s a little bit of my excitement creeping in there. But when I was a kid, I wanted a trundle bed, so now I get to live vicariously through her a little bit (it’s started already!). To go along with her new bed, I sewed up a few Eric Carle pillows and we finally hung the beautiful print from Amy and Julia. Let’s hope we all continue to sleep tight!

And in other news, Lucy is continuing the transition from diapers, to using the little potty, to sitting on the big potty. We removed the small baby bjorn potty from the bathroom and replaced it with a baby bjorn seat that fits on top of our toilet seat. Lucy seems pretty proud that she can climb up on it all by herself. Plus, we are one step closer to not having to deal with cleaning up poop (you still have to clean out the potty once it’s used, which is still better than diapers). Yay!!!


Momma and Daddy do fun stuff too

September 19th, 2010 by Laura

While Lucy is growing and changing and learning, we are too!

I learned to sew:
check out that hat


matching pj pants (you should see the ones I made for Eben!)

Which means shopping at fabric shops:

with very patient family members….

And Eben is getting closer to his New Year’s Goal of making something in his shop

First you need an anvil

Then you need inspiration

Then you just need to figure out how to get the gas home to make it all happen!

It’s important to us that Lucy see us learning new things, making new things, and truly enjoying the things we do just for ourselves. It warms my heart each time she exclaims: “Momma made for Lucy.” And lately she’s picked up our habit of thanking one another for making dinner each night “Thank you Momma for making dinder for us.” You’re so very welcome Lucy.

Ballet and Bicycles

September 19th, 2010 by Laura

Lucy is a dancer – a mover, a shaker. She’s been dancing since before she could walk or even crawl.

So we wanted to find her some good opportunities for dancing. Her Music Together class is definitely a full-body experience – exercising a lot more than just her lungs. Over the summer we tried ballet class at the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. It was surprisingly structured for 2 year olds, and Lucy didn’t participate much in class. But at home, Lucy practices passe and tendu and the occasional chasse. She seemed to enjoy it, but we were looking for a different sort of first dance experience, so we enrolled in a class at Dance Alloy Theatre – a modern dance company. It’s a small class, with only three students total (plus parents). We crawled around on the floor and danced to nursery rhymes. Hopefully this will be a better fit for us!

And since half of dance is about the outfits:



And in other motor-skills news, Lucy got a bicycle. Well, actually it’s a tricycle. But it’s SO cool. And her helmet is lovely too. She must have grown a bit between when these pictures were taken and now because she can pretty much reach the pedals now. Our next-door neighbor, who is the same age as Lucy has a few bikes in her garage, and the two girls like to get out all the bikes and take turns riding them all. We’re going to be in trouble when they really figure out how to make those things go!


Travels with Lucy, 2010 summer edition. Part 2

September 19th, 2010 by Laura

And the adventure continued!

After saying goodbye to Eben, Lucy and I spent a little more time in Hallowell and then headed south. We got to have lunch with Allyn in Boston (on her birthday, no less!), and then I tried to convince Lucy to take a nap in the car. It didn’t really work. She was too excited about finally getting to go to a museum. Poor Lucy had been looking forward to going to the museum since Friday (and now it was Monday). She’d been promised a visit to the Children’s Discovery Museum with Grammy Peg on Saturday, but so many other fun things came up and they didn’t make it. It’s an experience I know well. And on Sunday it was closed. Lucy seemed to take it well. From time to time should would say “no go to museum today, museum closed, go tomorrow.” So we really had to get to a museum on Monday. The Boston Children’s Museum or the Museum of Science would have been fun, but they would definitely have interrupted nap time. So instead, we drove to Providence, RI. I was excited to go back and visit the Providence Children’s Museum since I’d turned down an AmeriCorps position there in 2003. Wonder what life would be like now if I’d taken that job?

We had a lovely time. It was a quiet day there and Lucy had many of the exhibits all to herself.
(a kid-sized woodstove and lots of food to pretend with!)

(a great toddler area with a cozy spot for Momma to snap pictures and rest a little)

(and a steamroller to sit on!)

It was smaller than I remembered, but a great spot to explore and such fun for Lucy and for me.

From there, we went to Little Compton, RI, back to the farm where Jesse and Bridget got married on Saturday. Lucy and I stayed there for two nights – enjoying making new friends and spending time on a sandy beach.

how did she get sand in her neck?


On Wednesday, we left RI, drove through CT and hopped on a ferry to Long Island. But first, we stopped in Mystic, CT for a spontaneous trip to the Mystic Aquarium. When I asked Lucy if she wanted to go to an aquarium, she didn’t miss a beat and said “like the monkey.” Took me a minute, but I realized she was talking about Curious George. So we stopped, paid A LOT for tickets, and wandered in. It’s a lovely space with a good mix of outdoors and indoors exhibits. Lucy was especially taken with the sea lions. And she wanted to know each one’s name. I might have made some up….


THEN we went on the ferry. “Lucy take boat, go to Katie’s house.”

(yummy snack on the ferry. Gotta love that yoohoo – I remember drinking those as a child while watching the fireworks with my dad.)

Lucy was very excited about a) the boat and b) seeing her friend Katie whom we haven’t seen in a few months. They skipped town and moved to Centerport, NY So we were both pretty excited to see our friends. We played in the sand, ate great food, and really enjoyed catching up with Katie, Jenny, and Chris. When we arrived, Katie was saying “Lucy come, Lucy Katie’s FRIEND!” So sweet.

there they go!


From there, we drove through New York and headed to Philadelphia, were we picked up Uncle Duck (Justus). It was a bit of a random detour, but Justus was headed to DC, and we were able to give him a ride most of the way. Lucy was beyond thrilled to see him again, and he made being stuck in traffic entertaining. (No pics since I was driving the car the whole time.) Sadly, she fell asleep not too long before we arrived at Justus’ stop, so she didn’t get to say goodbye. When she woke up, she was so sad and then she realized that Uncle Duck was gone. “Where Uncle Duck go?” Sob. Heartbreaking. It was a LONG driving day, but we stopped in Frederick, MD for dinner and then agreed to keep going so that we could get to the lake house – Deep Creek Lake, MD. Lucy fell asleep not long after dinner, and I had an easy drive to the lake.

Safi was very excited to see us! And Lucy was happy to see Grandmommy, Granddad, Aunt Bethany and Ryder too. Aunt Robin and Uncle Dwight joined us for some of the visit too.

(Meanwhile, Eben hopped on a plane and went to visit friends in San Francisco for the Labor Day weekend.)

Lucy did some good driving (she just spun the wheel and we went around and around and around)

Lots of sitting on the swing

cutie pie!

whoopie pie!


And then, 24 days after leaving Pittsburgh, we headed home. We stopped at the airport to pick up Eben. It felt good to all be back in the same place again. We dropped him at work and went to see Lucca. When we walked in, Lucy shrieked and exclaimed: “Lucy’s house! Lucy’s baby! Lucy’s chair!” She was so excited to be back among familiar surroundings. We all were.

Now the question is – Where will we go next?!

And, if you haven’t seen enough pictures, check out the whole vacation collection.

Travels with Lucy, 2010 summer edition. Part 1.

September 19th, 2010 by Laura

Perhaps the most anticipated part of this summer was our multi-week trip North. It was epic (just as this post promises to be).

After a slight delay, we left our home on August 14th for points East and North. First we traveled to Winchester for a short visit with Grandmommy and Granddad and to drop Safi off with them.

Safi was not amused but had it pretty good with milk-bones everyday and all the dog toys she could steal from Cody and Cheyenne.

Then we headed North, stopping in Philadelphia for a short trip to the Please Touch Museum.

(Lucy in the Alice in Wonderland exhibit)

We piled back into the car and drove to Milford, CT to visit with Auntie Deb, Chris, Michele, and Maya and Morgan. Lucy really loved seeing the girls again and they were so great with each other! The next morning we drove up to Worcester, MA to meet Lucy’s cousin Jack and visit with Aunt Emily, Uncle James, Uncle Duck (Justus), and Emily’s mom, Maryanne. It was a short visit, but so great to see everyone.

Back in the car, we drove to Maine – something I had never done with Eben. We made it to Hallowell, ME – Grammy Peg’s house. While there, we got to spend some time with Grammy Peg and Aunt Nana (Jana) before heading farther North (or DownEast as those funny folks in Maine say).

Then we got in a visit with GG Bop in Damriscotta, ME and made our way to Flye Point, ME. We were lucky enough to get a week’s vacation there – staying in a lovely cabin just up the hill from Bama and Bampa’s house.


It was heavenly! Compared to the 90 degree heat and 110% of humidity of Pittsburgh, it was actually cool there – the crisp, coolness that some would call delightful. As soon as we arrived, Lucy took a page from her current favorite bedtime book (Blueberries for Sal) and picked blueberries outside our cabin. She spent days carefully avoiding the seaweeds on the rocks so as not to go ka-sploosh and took a trip to Bucks Harbor – just like Sal did in One Morning in Maine. Grammy Peg and Lisa showed up, and we even took a hike up Blue Hill (which may or may not be “blueberry hill”).
Jana was along for all of the fun so that we could get a little more Aunt Nana time before she headed across the Atlantic to Marseille – check out her blog for more on that! Jana was such a great help, and Eben and I also got a little alone time when Bampa collected Lucy and took her for a trip to the beach without us. Talk about a perfect vacation!



I was amazed to watch Lucy spend long stretches of time just exploring the rocks and looking at all of the snails on the beach.

She adored the boat ride and the picnic on Goose Island.

She loved running in the grass.

And she ate her weight in blackberries and blueberries.

Eben got away from work.

I knitted up almost an entire sweater (Lucy sized).

Also, we ate a lot of lobster.

On Sunday we went to Bampa’s church. His congregation was welcoming and his sermon was in some ways a conversation with Lucy (and her parents). Later in the day we had a visit from Cecile, Taylor, and Zoe. Lucy had been looking forward to this for weeks! As with Asa, it’s hard to know if Lucy truly remembered Zoe, but boy was she excited to see her. After a shy start, the two were happy to wander along the water’s edge together.
Our friend Jake joined us too for our chilly walk out to the Hub and back.

On the 25th, we celebrated Bama’s birthday with her and a trip to Lily’s Cafe – a favorite spot and the place where we got Lucy’s very first birthday cupcake last year.
While there, we ran into Sally – or little Sal as we knew her. Lucy seemed unsure at first that this woman could be the same big girl who lost her tooth while digging for clams and followed little bear’s mama up the mountain (of course I know that that the real Sal may not have actually done those things). But, after we walked away, she said: “Sal over there. Grownup.” So cool.

Reluctantly, we left Flye Point and drove back through Damariscotta (not that we were reluctant to visit GG Bop, only to leave Flye Point). Before we got to Damariscotta, we stopped in Belfast to visit with Eben’s old RA – Fang and her two kiddos – Axel and Poppy. Axel was great about sharing his toys and his backyard, and Poppy was such a contented 5 month-old. Back in Damariscotta, we visited with GG Bop again and also saw Anna and Uncle Thomas. Lucy was shy, but quick to warm up and willing to get to know more of her family.

Back in Hallowell, we spent more time with Grammy Peg and Aunt Nana,
(same expression!)
then Eben and I left to go to a wedding in Little Compton, RI. We had a lovely time visiting with friends from college and celebrating the happy couple.
Sounds like Lucy had fun too. On Sunday we called to check in, and we had an entire conversation with Lucy on the phone – a first for me!

Sadly, Eben had to return to work, so we drove back to Hallowell, and then he and I got up VERY early in the morning so that I could drive him to the airport in Portland. Back in Hallowell, I crawled back into bed to get a little more sleep before Lucy woke up and the day began.

With Eben back in Pittsburgh, Lucy and I embarked on our next leg of the trip. For more, check out the next post!