Blog a la Cart

Month: December, 2015



Ashley’s feed @blogalacart

Another year in the books. Many beautiful moments, some firsts, some stresses, some losses, some triumphs – as years go, it was a good’un. The ebbs and flows of a year with its expected highs and lows. The loss of James’ grandfather being our deepest low and the pregnancy of The Third being our greatest high. The world around us shared in the highs and lows (arguably more lows), and we don’t go a day without feeling exceedingly grateful for our comfortable, safe, beautiful life in Vermont. We know that we are fortunate beyond measure.

2016 is going to be wilder than recent years previous as we expand our family. But we live for chaos, so bring it on, Little One! We are so excited to begin the year when we’ll meet you. All of us are eagerly anticipating your arrival and all that you’ll add to our lives and family.

In the meantime, a glimpse at our “Best Nine” on Instagram. (Devastatingly, our external hard drive that holds all of our images from 2015 malfunctioned and is now in the hands of some tech folk in the hope of extracting the data so the photos aren’t lost. Assuming they’re retrieved, we’ll do a delayed Year in Review.)

Wishing you all a safe and happy New Year’s Eve! We’ll see you in 2016!


James’ feed @cartwheelfarm




“A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2015.”

Sunny: Ending this series for 2015 where it began, in the pool in South Carolina, next to a black pup.
Kaki: Same bathing suit and everything.

More details about The 52 Project here. To view all the portraits in the series visit here.

Christmas // 2015


We hosted an eerily warm Christmas in Vermont with my parents and sister. It was a low-key affair with good food, good company, and good cheer. Here’s a look at the highlights.

Sunny began the celebrations with a yarn maze for Momar, Doda and Auntie Kimmy around the house while Kaki wore every possible layer of red she could find. The girls donned their winter Whale PJs from Auntie Kimmy and posed with their custom stockings from James’ mother and their favorite ornaments before leaving out milk and cookies for Santa. On Christmas Day, we ate fresh Kardemummabullar (Swedish Cardamom Rolls that James made to much success), and opened presents (Momar won Christmas with her array of dress up clothes and accessories for the girls), and went on long hikes (hello, 65 degrees!), and set fancy tables, and cooked our signature Boeuf Bourguignon for Christmas dinner. Christmas with young children is such an unbelievable joy. You don’t need much fanfare to have it feel incredibly special and meaningful.





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^^Big hugs between the sisters after they exchanged their presents for one another. *heartmelt*^^



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Week 30

I was feeling super self-conscious about my lack of maternity bathing suits and thus my selection of ill-fitting attire for this trip to South Carolina. I put this one on and immediately started bemoaning the stretch marks, and outie belly button, and saggy boobs when James stopped me mid-pity party: “That body is going to bring a human being into the world in 10 weeks. You should feel proud and awed by how badass that is.”

Touché feminist spouse. Keeping shit in perspective and reminding me of what I want my daughters and all women to feel about their bodies, in all of their many shapes, sizes, and stages.

Appropriate that Courtland (age 4) nabbed this image on my phone as we were getting ready to head out to the pool. She was once again the mirror that I needed.

Welcoming Maisie


It took us over four months, but James and I finally finished compiling the video of our sweet Fairy Goddaughter’s birth in time to gift to Courtland’s FGPs for Christmas. This labor was so quick and smooth that the video required only one song to capture the labor, delivery and wonderful postpartum bonding. In fact, I think James’ timing of the delivery in the video is actually longer than the IRL version.

Regardless, I was humbled and awed and inspired to be with people I consider family during these precious, vulnerable, life-altering moments. And I’m so happy to share a piece of the magic with all of you.

Stair Snoozer


How this is comfortable, we do not understand, but the stairs are absolutely Gladdy’s favorite snoozing spot. She can monitor the activity of both the upstairs and downstairs from this perch, and keep tabs on all of her humans.






“A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2015.”

Sunny: Christmas Eve, awaiting Momar and Doda and Auntie Kimmy’s arrival. Entertaining herself with the keyboard, making up her own Christmas carols.
Kaki: I suggested that the girls dress festively for Christmas Eve Day, and Courtland emerged from her closest wearing every possible item of red she could get her hands on. It was 68 degrees outside (WTF, Climate Disruption?!) but that didn’t stop her from wearing a red velvet dress layered with two different sweaters.

More details about The 52 Project here. To view all the portraits in the series visit here.

Merry Christmas // 2015

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Cards courtesy of Minted

Santas and Elves and M&Ms, oh my!


This spread of Santa and Elf jars is headed to the girls’ schools tomorrow to spread some holiday cheer. This was a really cute and age appropriate DIY for the kids. Over the course of two evenings, they sorted M&Ms into green and red piles, and then divided them into 20 different mason jars so that every conceivable teacher was accounted for. James and I sat back and enjoyed some egg nog by the wood stove as they busied themselves. They made extensive lists of who should receive a jar, including school nurses, and bus drivers, and cafeteria cooks. I printed out tags and Sunny wrote out each of the teachers names. They needed some help tying the tags on the jars and adding the flair, but it was definitely a nice change of pace to have so much of the project executed, without adult assistance, by the kids themselves. They’re learning the joy of not just receiving gifts, but of being on the gifting side of the equation. masonjarxmas_blogalacart-3


Elf Express // 2015


Ho Ho Ho! What a festive final weekend before Christmas. We had two separate cookie baking playdates, oh the sugar highs! We had holiday parties, and Nativity pageants, and a ride on the Elf Express through snowy Green Mountains. I was so grateful to catch even a dusting of snow given that we’ve had NONE this season and it’s going to be 62 degrees on Christmas Eve (boo hiss!). The train ride was adorable and cheesy and right up the girls’ alley. A fun way to really get in the spirit of the season, with cookies and hot chocolate and elves and Christmas carols and Santa.

We also started plowing our way through all of the STAR WARS episodes as a family. We’re preparing for an excursion to Episode VII over Christmas. The girls are far more into it than I anticipated and it’s been fascinating to watch them try to understand the movies and the nuances of good and evil. But more on that later…

In the meantime, snaps from our Elf Express adventure in Vermont.