Thursday, November 27, 2014


This past year has brought a lot of changes for us. Some sad things, but a lot of really great things for which we are incredibly grateful. Kane's new school does a terrific job of getting the kids (and in turn our whole family) to think about the things that are truly important in life, to be aware of how incredibly fortunate we are, and to think outside ourselves and about others who are not so fortunate. We've developed a new dinner time routine of having Kane announce a Quaker query (sometimes they are from his school, sometimes he makes them up), followed by a collective moment of silence, sharing our thoughts about the query, and then Cam rounds it out with a Jewish blessing. Hey, it works for us.

Needless to say, we've all spent lots of time thinking about thankfulness. Plus, I've always been inspired by No Monsters in My Bed's monthly grateful lists (including Darcy's categories -- I'm stealing them!). It's so easy to focus on the things we don't like about our life -- things we want, but don't have. So for this Thanksgiving, we thought we'd share our lists of things for which we are thankful this year.

Happy Thanksgiving, all!!!

* Orphie and the Book of Heroes at the Kennedy Center
* Finally discovering Homeland, but limiting our watching of it to viewing together. With Joel's travel schedule, that keeps the viewing to a reasonable number per week.
* Watching National Treasure movies with the kids and spurring on a real-life treasure hunt.
* Making time to actually read books myself. The kids apparently had never seen me read a book to myself and asked "are you reading that in your head? Just for yourself!?" Clearly, I need to read more.
* Finding the 3rd floor at the Smithsonian American Art Museum
* Spotify

* Tin Box in Vieques
* Trader Joe's Iced Coffee (and a new Trader Joe's by our house)
* Green Hat Gin Rickeys
* Grilled pizza this summer
* Blue Apron making "home cooked" possible this school year!!!
* Sushi dinner with the kids at Kaz
* Thanksgiving dinner at Bourbon Steak

* Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House with the kids
* DC Youth Poetry Slam competition with Kane
* Going up to the top of the Washington Monument
* Crystal Grottoes and Antietem Battlefield
* Driving to West Virginia for dinner, pretty much just to get a geocache in a new state, as suggested by Joel (unheard of!)
* Library of Congress with the kids
* Scottish Rite of Freemasonry

* A macbook
* My Herschel backpack
* Egyptian jewelry from Joel
* The close possibility of a new house! (fingers crossed!!!)

* An awesome new writing project opportunity for me -- stay tuned!
* Sort of figuring out how to use my DSLR camera
* Finding an amazing new school for Kane, and a new community and friends for our family
* Cam finally being "top dog" are her school, which has been a wonderful place and we are going to miss it very much next year
* Volunteering in the community with the kids
* Taking the kids back-to-school shopping at actual stores
* Family who go way, way out of their way to be present and helpful with our kids
* My brother, sister-in-law, and almost here new nephew! moving to DC
* Wrapping up an awesome year of blogging at A Feteful Life with my friend, Suzanne
* Finally finding a fabulous hairstylist!
* Boxing and our trainer
* Everyone getting a chance to say goodbye to our beloved Vegas in their own way
* Finally getting family photos, including Veg!
* Embracing hours of commuting each day with the kids to listen to audiobooks and discover favorite new places along the way
* The kids' gratitude jar
* New blog design

* Going to Chicago by myself to meet by brand-new, adorable nephew, Alex
* A tropical vacation with Joel to the most laid-back destination
* An awesome family vacation to Jamaica in the most amazing "resort" ever
* Taking the kids to my family vacation destination (Beaver Island) and watching them fall in love with all of its random wonderfulness. And getting to stop in Chicago on the way back to visit my sister and family
* An overnight trip to NYC by myself 

The Kids' Lists:
* for mommy, and daddy and my teachers; for good food; for nice friends and good learning; for the whole world.

* for G-d; friends; Zoe and Evey; daddys and mommys; yummy, delicious food that mommy makes; houses and moving; and that's all the things I need to say.

*photograph by Darcy Troutman Photography

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Hirshhorn Museum: At the Hub of Things

I couldn't wait to get the kids in school for longer periods of time and now it's driving me a bit mad that we have no time during the week to do anything. Especially since it's getting dark out so early. Granted, as soon as they're home for the summer, I'll be lamenting the loss of school time. But, that's just how it goes, I guess.

Friday, November 21, 2014

DIY Kids Silly Thanksgiving Hats

I'm a big fan of adding a little silly into holiday celebrations. And what better way to do that then by keeping your kiddos busy at the same time?! Enter DIY Thanksgiving hats. And I'm not talking the typical Pilgrim wear. I've always enjoyed stretching the traditional craft a bit. Circa 1987, I fashioned a 6-person Thanksgiving headdress and made my entire family wear it at one time. Jealous? So jealous, I can tell. You could try your hand at recreating that fine masterpiece, but I think these fabulous hats below would be a good second choice. Don't be at turkey -- get on it!

1 / OK, this slice (found on A Beautiful Mess) is for a pet. But dogs are kids too! And it's so absurdly cute.

2 / This awesome turkey hat is actually from a kit, but I think it'd be easy to make out of brown paper lunch bags you've already got.

3 / A pumpkin pie hat! from The House that Lars Built.

4 / I'm loving these fall leaf crowns from Handmade Charlotte.

5 / Cam would swoon over this candy cornucopia topper, also from The House that Lars Built

Thursday, November 20, 2014

A Day in the Life: (November 2014)

I ran up a scary car mileage on November 12th. I think I drove back and forth from downtown DC to Bethesda twice, and sprinkled in several other trips in the middle. I'm trying to remain optimistic and keep things in perspective, but man, all this driving is bringing. me. down. I hate being sedentary for such long periods of time -- even though the kids and I have found fun, entertaining, useful things to do with our time in the car. It's meant a huge overall decrease in the amount of exercise I get and an increase in the dining out (or in the car). All of which is honestly making me really grumpy. That being said, we still had a pretty good day -- the increase in car time means more time to talk to each other, listen to audiobooks, and jam out together. And I'm still managing to fit in work, albeit a lot of it on the road. We even got in a family dinner before Joel headed out of town! I couldn't manage to lug around my good camera that day, so the iPhone pics will have to do.

After you've perused our life on the road, see what No Monsters in My Bed was up to that day!

8.08 am -- we were running late and had a worst/best of moment on the Parkway: getting stuck behind a cyclist and getting a glimpse of my favorite morning running group (they are FAST).

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Land of Nod Holiday GIVEAWAY: $50 Gift Certificate!!! (giveaway over!)

Congrats to LeeAnn for winning the Art Box last week!

The last holiday item up for grabs this season is a $50 gift certificate to The Land of Nod so you can pick whatever your little heart desires! In case you need some inspiration (or want to use the certificate to get me a present), I've rounded up my top 5 favorite Nod items from a variety of categories. I'm obviously in a metallic mood this season, but you can use the card to purchase whatever you'd like for whoever you'd like. Same general rules as last week -- to be eligible to win, you must:

1. leave a comment on this blog post telling us for what you'd use the gift card;
2. like Not-So-SAHM on Facebook (if you haven't already); and 
3. then enter to win via the Rafflecopter at the end of this post. 

I will pick a winner on Tuesday, November 25th at 9 pm EST.

Good luck!!!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, November 17, 2014

DIY Kids Terrarium

One of the items at the top of our Summer Bucket List from this past summer was planting an herb garden on our front porch. Not only did we check that one off our list, but we even managed to (mostly) keep them alive all summer long. I loved having fresh herbs, but I also loved how much the kids loved taking care of the plants. In addition to our little garden, we planted several pots full of plants and flowers, including our beloved tropical palm, Ziggy (named after Ziggy Marley, of course). We let most of them go now that the weather has turned cold (except Ziggy), but I thought it would be super fun to have the kids make an indoor terrarium. I have fond memories of making them during my Michigan summers with family, and I think our kiddos would love it too.

There are so many cute options out there, though, that I'm having trouble deciding in which direction we want to go. What do you think?!

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5

Friday, November 14, 2014

Winter Coat Faves

Brrrr! It's starting to get chilly out on the east coast! I swear, every year it feels like just as we've had a chance to break out our fall clothes, the temps really drop and we have to start thinking about winter already. I mean, it's snowing plenty of other places right now (SNOW!), so I should count us lucky. But, fortunately, cold weather also means that I get to go winter coat shopping and I LOVE picking out a variety of outerwear for the kids. Much like their fall favorites, each of our kids like to have several coats to wear throughout the winter season. And since they seem to be getting two years out of some coats (I try to buy the new ones a little on the big side and they last two years then), I don't mind getting them a few different styles. They generally each get a "puffy" coat (generally the warmest of the coats); a "dress" coat (Kane's favorite, obviously); and some kind of "novelty" style (Cam's go to). Here are my favorites of each!

Coats for Cam
1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9