July 14, 2014

cake and fake camping, he's five!

Hulking, smashing he came crashing.

Bronson is F I V E.
I've known and loved this boy for over 5 years.
It's a lot to take in but it feels ok right now. 
When he turned 3 I was a straight up mess. Ever since then it's been easier and easier because he understands what a birthday is and he's so excited to get older. Who am I to Grinch on that parade?

Happy birthday Bronson boy!! We love you! (Especially when you keep the smashing to a minimum.) Have the best year ever, this is gonna be a HUGE one!

July 7, 2014

Utah 2014!

4th of July smooches

We had THE best time in Utah this year. 
Highlights include:

- Kneaders & Tucanos
- The dollar movie
- Volleyball at the cabin
- Iceberg shakes
- Getting my roots done (gotta keep it fresh fresh)
- Bluebell ice cream
- late night card playing and family time
- thrift shopping my brains out
- Bronson's "fake birthday party"
- The kids playing with their cousins

10 days wasn't long enough and we can't wait to go back! 

July 2, 2014

free at last, free at last! kind of.

Fancy Ev // Casual Ev.  In all her 18 month, nursery going glory.

Everly just hit the nursery milestone!!! It's like a giant weight off my shoulders to only have to chase her around for an hour at church. It's a long hour but still, feeling good!

Ev is probably the cutest 18 month old girl I've ever met. She says "yeah" and "dog dog" plenty, wants me to hold her all day, climbs everything, naps ok, sleeps great at night, runs faster than anyone should, could color for hours, smiles the brightest and makes more messes than the rest of team Tuttle combined.  

We love her. We love nursery. Match made in heaven. 

June 16, 2014

She Reads// Things A Little Bird Told Me (Confessions of The Creative Mind)

Short version: Read this ^ and now.

Longer version: Here's a big, huge secret (not): I love Twitter and have been tweeting my brains out since November 2010. I'm 12.3K tweets deep at this point and there's no end in sight. I have to admit, I was totally one of those, "Why would I want to see status updates about people eating sandwiches?!" before I got my own account. So cute. Twitter is so much freaking more than that and reading its birth story in this book was so exciting and interesting. Even though I knew the ending (spoiler: Twitter makes it big) learning about Biz Stone and how he and Jack Dorsey came up with the concept for Twitter during a 2 week hackathon, and then stuck by it for years, was uplifting and inspirational.

I loved reading about Biz in high school. His no homework policy was one of my favorite anecdotes and it felt pretty familiar because guess what? Topher Tutt himself exercised a very similar policy when he was in high school (and it might've taken him through college as well ... but that's his story to tell). Biz was so engaging and I loved reading his thoughts on the inherent goodness of others, advice on giving to charities and on living simply. And hello, the way he talked about his wife was the best.

I could really go on for days here but mostly what I'm getting at is: You don't have to use or even know what Twitter is (but it's literally 2014, how does anyone not know what Twitter is and what it can be used to accomplish?!) to get a lot from this book.

Feel like I have to mention, all fangirling aside, obviously sometimes Twitter can be a negative space. Its tone is set by us, the users, and sometimes we're a snarky, drama filled bunch. But I've seen the goodness of others manifested there time and time again, and I'm grateful for the friendships I've strengthened and the causes I've been able to support through it. 

Twitter bird (who's supposedly named Larry?), long may you fly. 

(PS: I haven't seen The Fail Whale in forever!!)

email: meredithtutt@gmail.com
twitter: @meredithtutt
instagram: @meredithtutt

last day of preschool!

So Bronson wrapped up his first school experience a few months ago. Back in August I was so nervous about him getting older and going out into the big bad world of preschool, we had a great experience at his school though!

Here are some of the highlights:

- He eventually developed an interest in writing and drawing! This is the biggest deal to me. I love seeing him write his name, draw The Hulk and hold a pencil the right way.
- He (and I) got to go on a few field trips that were fun and interesting (special mention: the pet store and the pumpkin patch)
- He made a lot of new friends.
- He got to take the class "pet" (a wooden duck named ... something with a J. We can't remember.) home and practice responsibility.
- He got to attend some fun holiday parties.
- He learned more about taking turns and using his imagination,.
- He got to invite me, Ev and Toph to family night and was so proud to show off his school.

I'm glad he went to preschool but I'm still not sold on kindergarten. THE STRUGGLE.

June 1, 2014

She Reads// Spring Reading

I browsed SkyMall on my trip to UT. That was educational.


Spring's been gone and replaced by the sweatiest time of the year for a while now.
It's time to tally up what I read when it was under 100 degrees out:

How to Love (I ripped through this in about 3 hours and really enjoyed it. I don't actually know why because it has all the elements I usually pass on? I think it was the way the sequence of events were revealed, it kept me hooked to the last word.)

Counting By Sevens (Holy moly, this book took me weeks to finish. I kept meaning to just quit and return it to the library, but I liked the characters and story just enough to hold onto it. Overall, I'm glad I persevered. I don't know why I never could just hunker down and get into it though.)

The Art of Wishing (Another fast read I surprised myself by liking. The genie element was interesting and for once it wasn't an overly sexed up YA book #oldlady. Or maybe this falls more into the teen category? I'm not sure officially what the differences between the two are, but if teen books are less graphic and not full of misleading lies cited as "realism" and "humor," I like them more.)

Minding Frankie (Here I gave audio books another shot ... no go. I had some driving coming up so I  downloaded this and listened and listened and listened and listened only to finally admit defeat, check it out, and finish it myself. I just don't like being read to. Never have.)

Wedding Night (Sophie Kinsella! You betrayed me! This book sucked. The end. Ok, not the end: so it started out fine, funny even! but it became way too rambly and got so redundant about halfway through. Huge sadface.)

The Illustrated Mum (I loved this! If you want a short, easy, but also heavy read, I'd go for this one.)

Lean In (Too many thoughts. This book deserves its own post but I feel like so many people have hashed it out already I'll just keep it to my journal and spouting random ideas and stats at Toph. Overall: I'm SO glad I read this. I didn't love or agree with it all, but it made me think about so many things I hadn't before.)

Julie and Julia (Again, glad I read it but what the heck even? I wanted Meryl to come save me from Julie the whole time.)

Muggie Maggie (Some delightfully simple Beverly Cleary to cleanse my palate after the harshness of Julie.)

The Beginning of Everything (Everyone in the world told me this was a fantastic book ... My takeaway: if you took out every penis joke/reference, it would've been a lot shorter. #thatswhatshesaid.)


Now onto summer reading! I'm using this list and am so excited to try out some new genres and authors.

May 16, 2014

the living room! & this concludes the tour

I kept waiting for the perfect mix of good lighting, uncharacteristic cleanliness, both kids playing happily elsewhere, yadayada before taking pictures of our living room. I finally realized those stars were not going to align on their own so I pushed the piles of Legos aside, put Ev down for a nap, made B play at the table (instead of on the pink cabinet ... ) and snappity snap.

 This is the room we live in 24/7.  I cut out sewing projects on the floor, we build forts, watch the internet, snack, read books, pull out the couch bed for movie nights, make huge messes, entertain friends and family; we live the crap out of this room. And, despite my best efforts, the carpet shows it (I hate carpet!!).

Anyway, here we go:

It's the same old story as all our other places: re-do, thrift, dumpster dive, DIY, use sheets as curtains, etc. My favorite parts of this space are the giant rug I made by sewing 8 small (and cheap!) rag rugs together, the pink cabinet I found by the dumpster next to B's preschool, and all the art and photos on the walls.

I was drawn to crazy colors (always) and limited by budget (duh), but I like how this little apartment came together. Just throwing this out into the universe though: I'M READY FOR A HOUSE. With a tiny yard, a washer/dryer, two toilets (!!), and less carpeting. These are my demands.

May 11, 2014

the state of the union 7

So, 7 years. It snuck up on us. I was in charge this year and let's just say: Toph did a much better job last year. :/
We had a really nice time hanging out together without the kids (we had a babysitter for 5 hours!!) and I had all this great stuff planned but it fell through so oops/dang it/I suck.
We just keep saying, "We're going to Hawaii for our 10th, it's gonna happen!" and boy do I hope so! We've never really been on a romantic trip (before or after kids) (except our honeymoon I guess but shoot. That doesn't count.) and Hawaii has been calling my name forever.
Only three more years!


April 21, 2014

Easter 2014

It was a lot harder to get a family Easter picture this year than it was last year. Good thing we take a new one every other week (according to Topher) or I'd be real bummed with what we managed to capture this go round.

Happy Easter! We hung out with family, hunted for eggs, talked of Christ, rejoiced in Christ and we ate until we wanted to die (strawberry shortcake, worth it). Then we visited the cemetery to talk about how death isn't the end. Irony.

Easter is always such a good idea.

April 7, 2014

conference weekend

Here's what General Conference weekend looked like for us with an almost 5 year old and an Everly 
(I think she's 15 months ... )

Ev's into everything. She especially adores putting on and then rapidly removing clothes.

Bronson could play Legos for years and years and never look up. 
Except for every three seconds when he has to show everyone what he's building and talk non stop about it.

I made and consumed lots and lots of cinnamon rolls.

First pony!!! She was really into it.

Such a cuddly cozy weekend.

Pretty sure if there were Conference Weekend pics from when I was a kid
they'd look pretty similar minus the cinnamon rolls and hugging. 

March 27, 2014

Mini trip: Berkeley!

Another work conference for the tax lawyer in our fam took us to Berkeley(/technically Oakland too, I think?)!

We stayed: at The Claremont. THE most gorgeous place around. When we pulled up I had to double check that we were actually allowed to be there. It looked like a castle but more friendly than that. And fancier. Also, hello! Berkeley is gorgeous. I'd never been before and color me impressed.

We ate: at Pizzahhh (we always get pizza when we go somewhere new and this didn't disappoint, so good!) and King Yen Restaurant (again, a solid choice). I love reading Yelp reviews and I cannot lie.

We played: at the hotel pool(s!!). Seriously this hotel was amazing and their pools were so fun for the kids. It wasn't that warm out yet but everything was heated and my kids don't care about weather. Bronson would've spent the whole trip in the pool but watching Ev near water lost its appeal for me a lot faster than that. I kinda hate taking kids to the pool by myself. Grinchmom.

I had way too many adult meltdowns on this trip because so many things went wrong (parking issues, car trouble, weather stuff, GPS fails, etc.) but I'm fairly sure that the kids had a blast in spite of it all. Most importantly, Ev slept like a champ in her bathroom suite so that was fantastic.

I told Toph I refuse to go on any more of these work trips but let's keep it real, I'll cave at the first mention of out of town pizza and hotel TV. Whatevs.

March 4, 2014

day in the life (that happened to be Valentine's)

7:30ish: Ev's awake and wants to claw my face off, remove my earrings, pull all my hair out or eat breakfast asap. I choose to throw some food and books her way so I can get up and ready.

8:30-9:30ish: Bronson's up thanks to Ev and they play in their room for a hot minute while I get his breakfast together and straighten up the apartment a little bit.
I made him a special heart breakfast! Because love and Valentine's day and mom guilt.
 He loved it so much he said, "Next time just cut everything into square shapes."

9:30-11:00ish Bronson plays Legos and watches some Lego YouTube reviews, while Ev waddles around pausing every so often for a photo op. She also naps somewhere in here.

11:00-1:00ish We have a friend over to play and it's glorious! All the kids are busy AND happy together. I get to juice up some produce that deserves it, make Toph a little Valentine's gift, and make up a dessert recipe (that turned out really great! wish I'd written it down). I feed the kids some non Valentinesy lunch too.

1:30-4:30ish: I pack up the kids and we walk to the gym only to find out the child care isn't open on Friday afternoons (log that away for future reference) so it's back home. There's more Legos (I got B a new small set for Valentine's), chocolate chip eating, another short nap and general mayhem until Toph's home.

5:00-7:00 Ev goes down for some quiet time in her bed (with books and toys), Bronson gets a show, Toph catches up on some sportball basket throw, and I hit the gym alone.
Toph's forever Valentine right there^

7:00-11:00ish: We don't have a sitter this year so we're attempting a nice dinner at home sort of sans kids. The plan is to get the kids fed, pajama-ed and off to their room for bed or playing. I shower the gym away and then get going on the plan!
[pretend there's a nice picture of Topher and me right here]


Basically, we ended up having a really delish candlelit dinner (courtesy of Toph!) that was interrupted a hundred times by B and Ev. They didn't both fall asleep until after 11 so ... yay. 

Happy Valentine's day!