Saturday Morning

…before the summer heat lead us inside.

  • Stroll along the creek.
  • Berry Picnic.
  • Farmer’s Market $2 bouquet!!!
  • Happiness.

Play in the Dirt

  While at an outdoor wedding this weekend, Ella found her “happy spot” in the dirt!  This reminded me of how much I loved playing outside as a child…and how few children I see these days out in their front yards.

Five great reasons for kids to go outside and get dirty! – brought to us by

1. There are types of bacteria that are naturally found in soil which activate the neurons that produce serotonin – a key chemical in many bodily functions, as well as a natural anti-depressant. In other words, dirt can actually help make you feel happy.

2. Dirt is also great for the immune system, especially in children. Research has shown that early exposure to the naturally occurring microbes in soil will help build stronger, more disease-resistant kiddos.

3. In our technologically savvy generation, kids just aren’t getting enough time to play outside, and that has now been linked to attention disorders, depression (yes, in children), and obesity.

4. Children who play outside laugh more, which means they’re happy!  It also means their blood pressure and stress levels are lower.

5. Kids who play outside grow in their character development: they become more adventurous, more self-motivated, and they are better able to understand and assess risk.

Berry Season

blueberrymuffin Two of my favorite things:

1. The Farmer’s Market;  the beautiful bounty that our farmers bring us.

2. Getting creative in the kitchen with the treasures I find at the market.

This week’s inspiration came with the gorgeous blueberries from Pennington Farms.   The craving for muffins set in the minute I saw these gorgeous little jewels.  With my sister in town offering Auntie-time for Ella, I had just the right amount of time to let my creativity loose in the kitchen…Blueberry Pecan Muffins! {wheatfree and oooh sooo delicious}

One Year Old!













Ella has officially turned ONE!  We had two celebrations.  One with her friends, and the other was a joint birthday party with her cousin Parker, who is nine days older than Ella.  For the second party, my dad’s side of the family, along with Ella’s grandparents from New York, got together for an Italian feast…and a feast it was!   My parents created a big pot of homemade meatballs {Ella’s favorite} and my Aunt Marie {Ella Marie’s namesake} brought an elk lasagna.  I made my grandma’s baked chicken and my grandpa’s famous chocolate cake recipe for the adults to enjoy after dinner…along with adequate veggie dishes to balance out the abundance of “carne”.  To family…cheers!

Bringing Joy

ella tree Ella’s first Christmas.  Our first Christmas as parents.  At seven months old, she wasn’t exactly concerned about what Santa would be bringing, or sugar cookies, or what the count of gifts were under the tree.  {thank goodness}

To see Christmas through her observant eyes was such a joy and a reminder that the truest gift of Christmas are the memories shared.

The Mete family is definitely known for great, often hilarious, memories!  santalaughsThis year, Dad dressed up as Santa. Siena and Parker were not amused, Ella was curious, and the adults rolled off the furniture in laughter.  Pants, a bit too big, not to mention too short.  Mom, unsuccessful in “plumping” Santa with a pillow.  Tark’s silky bloomers..need I say more.

Ella’s Christmas Eve ended with a special gift from the East coast, a beautiful book of The Night Before Christmas.  With each turn of a page, we heard Grandma’s voice telling the story and sending her holiday wishes to Ella from New York!  So sweet, so special!

Joy * Joy * Joy