Well, it turns out Ben and Gwen’s food poisoning wasn’t food poisoning afterall…it was the stomach flu that hit all of us except Cam (which is so bizarre because if there’s a bug out there, it will find Cameron) one by one last week! Oh my gosh it was horrible! I haven’t been that sick since I was a kid and, needless to say, it was a rough, sleepless, super yuck week that I’m so glad is behind us.

I’ve been trying to keep things in perspective though. I’m sure many of you are familiar with Lindsay Letters – I’ve featured her work several times here on IGE and a few of her gorgeous prints hang in our home – her 7 year old daughter, Eva Love, suffered a traumatic brain injury after taking a short tumble out of a moving golf cart a few weeks ago. Eva and her family have been on my mind constantly since the accident. I wake up at night thinking about her. It’s the worst possible thing I can think of having to go through as a parent and to see such a vivacious, spirited little girl fighting for her life tears my heart to shreds. If you want to learn more, you can visit Lindsay’s site. She and her husband post updates on Instagram daily, which I check for at least ten times a day. I don’t know why I feel so connected to a family I’ve never met, but I do.

I feel like I should say sorry for opening with something so heavy today, but I feel called to share Eva’s story and there’s nothing to apologize for, I suppose. And again, her story helped keep last week’s misery in perspective…especially the chaos that was actively parenting three little kids while trying not to vom all over myself. Good times!!

Anyway, it feels like ages since we last chatted. Not only has it been a crazy couple of weeks but I sometimes share things on Instagram then forget to also share them here on the Mothership, so I’m taking it back a month to Gwen’s first birthday party – I don’t think you’ve seen party pics, have you? This little bugger boo was the CUTEST LITTLE BIRTHDAY GIRL I EVER DID SEE! Ahem. Sis had so much fun with her cupcake, and I had so much fun watching the madness. (Crown, onesie.)

And I do mean madness – she was so angry when I called it and took her in for a bath. This might be my favorite picture from the party.

Still cannot believe my daughter is one (nearly 14 months, now!) She is sweet, sassy, funny, and the best snuggler. I couldn’t wish for anything more. We’ve gotten a few steps out of her over the past few weeks but I suspect she won’t be zipping around the house on two feet until the holidays.

The boys have been busy too. As I covered ad nauseam over the past few weeks, Lincoln started Kindergarten and is doing SO well! Fellow parents of a summer birthday baby – if you are on the fence about sending your child to Kindergarten or holding them back a year, we are so glad we waited. This has been Lincoln’s most confident start to a school year yet and I give so much credit to him attending a half day, transitional-K program last year. He also insisted on riding the bus this year which my Mama heart initially screamed, “NOOOOOOO” to, but he was insistent and confident in his decision. Not having to wrestle Cam and Gwen into their car seats twice a day has been a nice bonus, so we’ll keep on keepin’ on!

Cam also started his two year old, twice a week preschool last week and is a.) annoyed that he can’t go to school every day like his Baba, and b.) super annoyed that he can’t ride the bus like Baba. Such is life, little man!

It took me a good two weeks to adjust to Lincoln being gone all day, plus the dipping temperatures and changing of the seasons kind of threw me for a loop (change is HARD for me,) but I’m feeling better now. Add in the family plague and life has not felt “normal” since gosh, mid summer. But, we’ll get there.

While I miss the lazy, dog days of summer filled with lemonade, watermelon, and drinks on the deck, I am getting excited for Halloween (Lincoln wants to go as a Dementor from Harry Potter OMFG) plus the stove-sized Costco mum on my back deck is on the verge of blooming, so that’s good! Truly I feel at peace saying goodbye to summer – I really made an effort to make the most of it. Despite now having three kids, I went out with friends more than I have since before we had kids, picked up mowing as a fun new hobby and outdoor workout of choice, and spent time outdoors almost every evening even if it was just for a little bit. Sigh, see ya summer – bring on fall!

With that said, here’s what else is going on in the latest edition of Currently!

Time and place: Sunday, 1:18pm at the coffee shop. Once or twice a month lately Ben and I have been doing a “Sunday work swap” where we each get away for a couple hours to prep for the week ahead. I feel guilty working on the weekends – I prefer to be spending time together as a family – but we are both behind from being sick, and the weather is crummy so we’re just hanging indoors anyway. Bring on a few hours of productivity!

Affirming: Nourish Your Pace. My friend Alexa shared her September intentions on Instagram recently and they are speaking LOUDLY to me. Right now my day to day life is feeling somewhat chaotic, and new daily routines haven’t quite been re-established. It’s time to open my arms, collect all the chaos, stuff it into a bag, and zip it shut, then, slow down, deal with things as they come, accept the present, and work on establishing routines. Like I said, we’ll get there.

Making: One Pot Chicken and Rice. As Alexa encourages above, I’ve been thinking “warm & spicy”. This is a great time of year to start switching over to warming comfort foods and we’ve been doing just that at dinner time. I’ve been making my One-Pot Chicken and Rice on repeat – the last time I added a sliced leek and it was next level. This dish is a HUGE hit with you guys too.

Bowl of One-Pot Chicken and Rice | iowagirleats.com

Adventuring. Cam, Gwen and I have been going on frog hunts in the backyard after naps in the afternoons (high five to the first person who can spot the frog in the photo below!) We don’t have a water feature or anything in our backyard, yet find at least 10 of these quarter-size frogs every time we go out there. This makes mowing VERY interesting, btw. It’s like reverse whack a mole trying to avoid these little lovers with my mower. I almost ugly cried when I saw one become so scared that it jumped backwards into a hole as my mower got close. #emotionalmess

Indulging: Alter Eco Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Caramels. Speaking of feelings…my sister in law dropped off the sweetest care package the morning Lincoln started Kindergarten – chocolates, tissues, and the nicest note. Inside were these Alter Eco Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Truffles which are THE most incredible treats, regardless of whether you’re eating your feelings or not! They’re certified GF, too! I think she got them from Whole Foods but I wouldn’t be surprised to see them at HyVee, Target, etc. Highly recommend.

Wearing: New Balance Sneakers. It’s sneaker weather, y’all! Last week I was so excited to bust out my New Balance sneakers, which I purchased last fall. These sneakers are THE BEST EVER. I love the cute, tan details and they slip on and off like a dream. These + jeans + a sweatshirt are my fall uniform.

Stocking up: Athleta Trekkie Shorts. You guys know my love for Athleta Trekkie Shorts which are a summer wardrobe staple, well they’re on sale which I feel like never happens with these shorts. They’re the perfect length at 4″ and are so comfortable. I have them in green and navy (wearing the navy ones in the picture of Gwen screaming.) Stock up now so you are set for next summer!

Experiencing: Giraffe feeding. A friend and I took our kids to the zoo a couple weeks ago and we splurged and fed the giraffes – it was so cool! The past couple of times the boys have been too scared to try but my friend’s son was all about it, so Cam was too (L was at school.) Checked off the bucket list. :)

Sharing: ButcherBox Ground Beef for Life. ButcherBox is running their Ground Beef for Life promo right now! If you’ve been on the fence about starting a ButcherBox subscription, this is hands down the best time to do it as you’ll get 2lbs ground beef for FREE, in every shipment, for the life of your subscription. It is the best tasting ground beef we’ve ever had. Ben recently told me I’ve mastered cooking stove-top burgers made from Butcher Box beef and I nearly clutched my heart and fell to the floor I was so touched. Doesn’t take much, guys. FYI, I get their “Custom” box every month so I can choose what comes inside.

Listening (on repeat): You Need to Calm Down. Lincoln and I joke that this is Cam’s anthem. ;) It actually needs to be America’s anthem. We are obsessed. Listening to it on repeat, all day long. Taylor Swift for president.

Loving: PackIt Freezable Lunch Box. Being a newbie Mom to the whole eating lunch at school thing, I bought Lincoln a standard lunch bag forgetting that he’d need a way to keep his lunch cold. Duh! I packed a cold pack for a couple of days but it was heavy and annoying, so I found this PackIt Freezable Lunch Box and it’s AWESOME! It’s still ice cold at the end of the day, easy to clean, and the perfect size.

Drooling: O’Hara Interiors Office Design. DREAM OFFICE ALERT!!!! Ben and I looked at a home last year that had an office tucked behind the kitchen like this and I nearly forgave the fact that there was a drainage ditch in the middle of the backyard because it was so perfect!! How about you? Would you prefer to have an office for bills/work/etc right off the kitchen like this, or in a completely separate room?

Pick a Currently category and fill me in!