IMG_1100 IMG_1101 IMG_1103 7:30am is such an exuberant time of day. with my macchiato or americano or bulletproof coffee in hand, i grab a few moments of calm before i begin to hear elinor chatting away in her room. i make my way upstairs and fetch her from her bed - and so, it begins. she chatters incessantly while i get her dressed and gather her precious belongings to bring downstairs. then we make our way to ridley's room to greet him. he gives us the heartiest smiles and kicks while elinor and i sing to him and she attempts to smother him with hugs and kisses. these kids. so cheery in the morning. so excited to start a fresh day. such energy.

we head downstairs and sit together, listening to elinor's favorite, "papa music" (the classical radio station) while i feed ridley. elinor snuggles with me and rubs ridley's head and holds his hand. it is the VERY best.

once the boy is full and burped (elinor likes to help with that part), elinor and i have our morning reading time while ridley plays. sometimes he just relaxes on my lap but lately, he wants to be plopped on the floor so he can scoot about. there is such a happy and noisy and wonderful vibe that exists in the thirty minute period after the little ones wake. anticipation for what the day has in store. a fresh slate. endless opportunity for play and fun and memory-making and learning and imagination and discovery. gosh, i need to work on my attitude. that's how i should feel about every morning God gives me. hopeful and joyful and grateful.

so, the other morning.

after ridley was fed, i put him down on the couch next to me so that elinor and i had easy tummy access for a little ticklemonster time (elinor's new favorite game to play). we attacked the little man and reveled in the sound of his giggles. suddenly, elinor stopped and let out an OH! of concern. i asked her what was wrong and she said that baby brother looked cold. she swiftly moved about the room and collected some fabulous cold-weather gear. she draped a fuzzy blanket across his chest and selected a matching stocking to serve as a hat. "there. much better."

ridley, shrouded in sable, shot me a quick "really, mama?" look and then transitioned to a series of the sweetest smiles. he is such a trooper. he takes the forced dress up and forcible hugs and kisses like a champ. he's such a good little brother. and elinor is pretty much rocking this whole big sister gig.

love this life. love these lives.