Intro to (My) Instagram {pretty, happy, funny, real} (Vol. 20)

It’s been forever since I’ve participated in {pretty, happy, funny, real} and I finally (accidentally) opened an Instagram account a couple of months ago, so I thought I’d do a quick {phfr} of some of my favorite Instagram pics so far. Mostly {pretty}, because ohmygosh – I’m a little obsessed with this girl:

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I really don’t know what I’m doing with Instagram (not that I necessarily know what I’m doing with Facebook either), but it seems like a good avenue for sharing the glut of photos that make me smile. I’m always wary of over-sharing such things on Facebook (surprising news to my FB friends, as I already share quite a lot), but I figure that if people didn’t want to see pretty pics, they wouldn’t be on Instagram! So anyway, my Instagram account will include pretty-ish pics of my children and our beautiful old house. If that interests you, follow along!


Baby girl is almost four months old and we are totally living that cliché: We have no idea where the time has gone, yet we have no idea how we ever lived without her. I’m biased, but she is so sweet and lovely and such a “good” baby that Brennan and I are sort of shaking our heads in wonder. What a blessing this child is to our family.

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Bonus {pretty} — flowers and a long-lashed, curly-headed boy:

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Prep for baby’s baptism party.

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If that {pretty} wasn’t {happy} enough for you, well then let me just show you some more:

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Big Brother made a cow for Little Brother, who really just wants the tape off-camera.


And then there’s the {real}. I usually go kind of negative on this one, but this round I’ll just show you some snapshots of our everyday life – a beautiful kind of reality.

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The first time this table was clear of clutter in months. Literally.

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Well now, I believe this post officially qualifies as overkill. I hope that if you enjoyed the photos you’ll join me over at Instagram. And if it’s not your thing… don’t worry, I need only introduce you to my Instagram account once. Back to wordiness next time. (Speaking of which, did you see yesterday’s post on social media and how I kind of love it even though hating it seems to be en vogue?)

Enjoy the end of your week, all! And if you’re in this part of the world, ENJOY this long-awaited sunshine and warmth. May. it. last.

Please pop on over to Like Mother, Like Daughter for more {pretty, happy, funny, real}.


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Monday Morning Miscellany, Resurrected

A long while back, I pledged to publish a post every Monday morning – nothing too weighty, just some miscellany that was bouncing around my brain – because I made a habit of easing my way into the week via lazy Monday mornings of coffee and blog reading, but few of my favorite bloggers tended to post new content on Monday mornings. So I figured, “Why not me?”

I ended up doing it a grand total of, I don’t know… maybe four times? That’s me and my stellar follow-through!

Anyway, I currently have just such a jumble of miscellany bouncing around my brain and the household conditions seem somewhat conducive to writing, so I thought I’d give the concept another stab. (This time with no promises: I have no idea what next Sunday night/Monday morning will bring.)


Let’s start with some pictures!

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Isn’t that sweet? With their biggest brother now away at Kindergarten for so many (sooo… many…) hours a week, the younger two are already becoming closer. And littlest brother has begun to really look up to younger-older brother.

This morning I even caught him keeping his big brother company in time-out. (No, I’m not sure how effective that particular punishment turned out to be.)

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Biggest brother has been adjusting really well to Kindergarten – much better than I’d expected. As long as the days seem and as full as they must be for him, he comes home happy. I think his personality must be well-suited to the constant stimulation of school, because if anything, he’s seemed more satisfied and pleasant in the evenings after school than he normally is. The other day, he even decided to write a book:

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It’s done my worried (about him being away at school) heart so much good!


The other night I was perusing a few old blog posts on my phone that were similarly miscellaneous to this one – 7 Quick Takes and {pretty, happy, funny, real} – and I was enjoying them much more than I expected to. Until a month or so ago, I’d mostly stopped participating in those link-ups because I didn’t feel like many people were reading those posts, and if folks weren’t interested in them, then what was the point?

But now I see it! Looking back, it’s so fun to get a glimpse of what was running through my mind at the time I wrote those posts, not to mention the funny things my boys were doing and saying. So I think I’ll try to get back into writing them, even if it’s just a “Monday Morning Miscellany” every now and then. I have a feeling the little things are more worth remembering than I’d given them credit for.


Speaking of funny things my boys are saying… My second boy, this one:

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He’s something of the sensitive type. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a rough and tumble boys’ boy who says things like “I wuv you so much I want to punch you!” But he’s also a great animal lover and was disturbed to learn recently that – yes – people eat animals.

Poor guy.

He’s especially fond of pigs and chickens, so he really took the news pretty hard. (By the way, I get why he never made the connection with pigs, because we don’t exactly set a plate on the table and say, “Here’s some pig fer ya!” but… um… that’s exactly what we do with chicken.)

Kiddo’s been trying to solicit promises from me that we won’t be eating any of the animals he’s become acquainted with: “Mommy, we won’t eat the babysitters’ chickens, right?” Me: “No, we definitely won’t eat the babysitters’ chickens.”

And days after my aunt and uncle’s pig roast, he was still sulking: “Mommy, I don’t want people to eat pigs,” and “Who was dat pig we cut up at Aunt Kaff’s house?”

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But now!

The other day we were heading home from the grocery store at dinnertime with two hot rotisserie chickens in tow, and the very-hungry boys were admiring the smell of the chickens.

“Mmm… they smell so good! Mommy, how do you kill chickens? Do you shoot them?”

“No, you cut off their heads.”

“But where are these chickens’ heads? I don’t see them.”

That’s because they’ve been cut off.

The hungry tummy and the frank discussion must have caused some shift in my sensitive boy, because he suddenly shouted: “Mommy, I wuv pigs! To EAT.”


Let’s wash that down with a sweeter quote.

Last week I shared our very exciting news that Walsh baby #4 looks to be a GIRL. I’m still working on getting used to the idea (haven’t even bought anything pink yet!), but the boys are all in. The other day our second little guy put his head on my belly and said:

“Mama, I wuv your bewwy because a baby sister’s in it.” (Big cheesy grin.)

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The belly, along with the rest of us, just after learning that baby’s a SHE!


On Friday, the anniversary of September 11, I re-posted a link (on Facebook) to a piece I’d written a couple of years ago regarding my own experience of the attacks. If you haven’t read it, the story in a nutshell is that I was working about a half-mile from the Pentagon that awful morning. So in addition to the horror that most Americans felt upon learning what happened, I also experienced some of the real-world effects of those events: I saw streets fill with people and cars, I encountered heavily-armed police, I was temporarily stranded due to the public transportation shut-down, I could smell the acrid, biting smoke from the Pentagon, and the next day I saw it billowing into the sky.

The anniversaries of that day are always hard for me to bear, but for some reason this year’s really got to me. (I think because the weather was almost exactly like that of September 11, 2001 – gorgeous.) I ended up spending little time on Facebook, because all the memes and the images of the Twin Towers and the promises to “Never forget” and especially the videos – they were too much for me. I’d jump on my phone’s FB app thinking of something else and then WHAM, I’d catch a glimpse of the Twin Towers about to collapse and I swear my blood pressure would jump about a dozen points.

I can’t believe how much hold that day still has on me.

I was an awful grump on Friday, depressed and anxious despite the beautiful weather and the fact that I’m going to have a girl (!!!), and it took until mid-afternoon before I finally realized what was causing it: September 11 and that stupid, no-good, beautiful weather.

So I decided to do something about it. I took the boys straight from the bus stop to an ice cream shop, where we sat under that awful, clear-blue sky and thumbed our noses at it. We let ice cream and sprinkles and peanut butter and adorable, sticky faces work their magic.

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And work, they did.


Let’s come up from that heaviness with some pics of Baby Don King:

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This is what comes of finally deciding to comb all the tangles out of his hair. What am I going to do with this head of curly frizz?!

Also, have I told you that his big brothers have now Christened the poor kid “furball”?

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Well, I do believe I’ll be getting in this post just past my “morning” deadline. I’d hoped to finish it up before the boys woke this morning (HA!), but instead I chose to sleep in. (No Kindergarten to get ready for this morning. Bliss…)

So, though I had no early-morning peace to enable this post’s completion, as of noon I have: given one urine-soaked baby a bath, changed his crib linens, done three loads of laundry, gotten myself and three boys fed and dressed, done dishes and loaded the dishwasher, picked up a random assortment of stuff, gotten the baby down for a nap, and yes – finally finished writing this post. I’m proud of myself!

Have a great week, everyone! I hope to “see” you back here soon.

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Unreliable Equation: {pretty, happy, funny, real} (Vol. 13)

It’s funny, isn’t it, how you can feed the same variables into the homemaking/mothering equation day in and day out, and yet get completely different outcomes? All. the. time. Same mother, same children, same schedule, and one day turns out to be sunshine and roses while the next is miserable misery.

Yesterday afternoon while waiting for my husband to come home early from work (yippee!), I pondered what I might write for my {p,h,f,r}. Despite not feeling my best, I was very much in the sunshine-and-roses mindset. (Sing it: Home early from work!!!) My mind was full of pretty, pretty, pretty…

Until it wasn’t.

Six hours into fussy baby, hungry baby, FUSSY baby, HUNGRY baby, fussy, fussy, FUSSY baby… I’d had it. I was done, cooked. Everything was suddenly very, very real.

Grump, grump, grumpity, grump.

After developing an awful crick in my neck from falling asleep nursing little-mister-nearly-four-weeks-old (which STILL didn’t do the trick), I finally deposited the unhappy little bugger in his Rock-n-Play (seriously, our absolute favorite piece of baby gear, hands-down) and tossed dirty dishes into the dishwasher with rather too much vigor. I’m lucky I didn’t break anything.

Thank goodness for daddies who are good with babies.

And thank goodness for those sunshine-and-roses moments, which feed the soul and soothe the mind and which will surely, surely come again.

Until they do, I’ll just go ahead and remind myself of the following:





I think this little guy will be serving as my {pretty} for quite some time. He really is a dear, isn’t he?


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The boys are {happy} to have something as exciting as Grandma’s new garden going in the backyard. I’m happy to have the boys outside. Grandma’s happy to have her own piece of dirt at her new home. Brennan’s happy to be done digging.

I’m also happy to finally have these new titles in my hot little hands:


(For those who don’t already know, the books are written by two wonderful bloggers. “The Little Oratory: A Beginner’s Guide to Praying in the Home” is co-authored by Leila Lawler of Like Mother, Like Daughter and “Something Other Than God: How I Passionately Sought Happiness and Accidentally Found It” is written by Jennifer Fulwiler  of Conversion Diary. I’ve started both and can’t wait to get through them. I’ll report back when I do.)



Oh my, has this little guy been funny lately. He is such a ham.

Yesterday afternoon when I scolded him for waking up the baby, he said, “But Mommy, I was just twying to teach him to dance!”

A moment later he walked back into the kitchen looking like this:

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When he repeated the ensemble for his father that evening (this time with the lovely addition of oven mitts on his feet), he said “I yook fashion!” and “C’mon, everybody, yet’s CWAZY shake! Yet’s have some fun!”


Need I include anything more in this category?

How about the beautiful, moving kind of brotherly love that also kind of drives you nuts because you know it will result in a woken up/disturbed/crying baby? Yep, that’s {real}.

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He loves that baby so, so much.

So do I. (Grumble, grumble…)


Head on over to Like Mother, Like Daughter for more in the way of {pretty, happy, funny, real}!

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Our First Days With Him: 7 Quick Takes Friday (Vol. 27)

7 quick takes sm1 Your 7 Quick Takes Toolkit!



Today, I feel every inch the mother of a newborn. Whooo-eee, am I tired. It’s a good thing I was blessed with some good sleepers (thank you, Lord!), because I am simply not equipped to handle a severe and consistent lack of sleep. After my solid three hours last night, I just about shed tears as I heaved myself out of bed this morning.

And I’ve been fighting them off the rest of the day.


So why in the world am I finally posting something to the blog today, rather than on any of the handful of lovelier, more happy and perky days I’ve had in the three weeks since the baby was born? Because today I’m tired enough that I just don’t care anymore.

You see, I’ve got a bit of an OCD/perfectionist problem. After posting the birth announcement, I reasonably and rightfully took a little break from thinking about anything but baby, boys, husband, and home. No blogging, not much reading of blogs, not much Facebooking or emailing. Fine. Makes sense.

Soon enough, though, I started to want to share some pictures and thoughts on the new baby and our new little family of five. (Six? I should say six now that my mother-in-law is living with us, shouldn’t I?) But I’d already built up a back-log of photos and ideas and I didn’t know which would be the perfect ones to post. So I didn’t post anything at all. It’s a very Julie thing to have done.

But today? I just don’t care anymore! I’m too tired to care! So I’ll just throw something up here, re-break the ice, and get back to blogging. It’s good to have your inhibitions broken down every now and then.


I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit it, but do you know what was majorly contributing to my perfectionist reluctance to post anything on the blog? (Anything less than perfect, that is.) This here post is my 100th.

One-hundred posts! It’s a piddly number, I’m sure, to anyone who has been blogging for a while. But it feels like a big milestone to me and I wanted to find a great way to mark it. And… um… I couldn’t. So, this:

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(They look thrilled, don’t they? Woo-hoo! One-hundred posts! Here’s to the next hundred excuses for Mommy to be chained to her laptop!)


Now for the baby photos. I’m sure that’s what you really care about anyway, right?







He’s sweet, isn’t he?


Of course he is! He’s wonderful. He spent his first couple of weeks as a deliciously sleepy baby, sliding straight from one feeding session (we’re having to supplement with formula again, just like with the other two – ugh) into sleep, then awake for a few peaceful minutes before beginning the cycle all over again. Pretty easy, really.

So easy that we were actually able to go out for a nice lunch on my birthday. Sleeping baby? Sleeping two-year-old? Check, check!

So easy that we were actually able to go out for a nice lunch on my birthday. Sleeping baby? Sleeping two-year-old? Check, check!

It’s getting a little harder now. He’s awake for longer periods of time and he wants to be held more. (Imagine that!) He’s also hitting that three-week growth spurt, so he’s hungrier. (HUNGRIER, I tell you!)

But he’s also starting to smile in his sleep. Which is one of God’s little gifts, I think, to get hormonal, sleep-deprived new mothers through these difficult first days and nights.



His big brothers have also been wonderful. They love their baby and have been trying hard to help take care of him. Sometimes they love him a little too much and he needs to be rescued, but that’s not such a bad problem to have.



By and large they’ve been cooperative, even giving me a stress-free first trip back to the grocery store and a couple of three-way naps.



They’ve also been saying some really funny things in the past few weeks:

My two-year-old, pointing at the baby, keeps saying: “I wike him widdle nose! I wike him widdle ears! I wike him widdle head!” Then, pointing at me, he says: “I wike your big nose! I wike your big ears! I wike your big head!”

He also comes out with, “Dat Baby Isaat! He my budder” over and over and over… All the time. To everyone. Including Brennan and me. (As if we didn’t know who the baby was.)


The three-year-old constantly says, “I sink Baby Isaac wikes me!” Or, “I sink he wuvs me.” Or, “I wuv da baby.” Or, “He’s so cuuute!” Or, “We have a funny baby!”

Also, one day when I ran into the kitchen, responding to the screams of the two-year-old, biggest brother assured me, “Don’t worry, Mommy! He’s not bweeding!”

After we got home from our Easter celebration at my grandparents’ house, the big guy sighed and smiled and said, “Dat was a gweat party.”


Of course, it was far less charming when, upon spotting a revealed bit of my midsection, he asked me, “Do you have a baby in your bewwy again?”


It’s going to be quite a while before I don’t look like I have a baby in my “bewwy” again.

That said, yesterday I glanced in the mirror while I was holding the baby and I thought, “Hm. You’re looking unusually photogenic at the moment. Take a picture, why don’t you?”

Sorry, I know: that sounds ridiculous. Arrogant, maybe. It’s just that I always feel so gross in all of my post-partum pictures that I figured if I could get one that I actually feel good about, I should go for it.

And, I figured may as well share the pic while I’m at it. (Please, though, ignore the detritus of random junk and dirty laundry on the periphery of the photo. Every single mirror in my house is currently sporting a similar view. If I waited until I had cleaned it up, I would have never taken the picture.)


I can’t go out on that one, though. How about… Happy Easter from the Walsh boys!

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Okay, that’s enough low-quality ice-breaking for today. Head on over to Jen’s for lots of Quick Takes that weren’t inspired by “I just don’t care anymore!” And have a great weekend!

The Little Things

Today was just the kind of day my boys like: We left the house. And visited people. And ate in a “westawant” (er… it was really a cafeteria in a senior living facility, but close enough.) They got to run laps around a friend’s house. And stick their hands in dirt. And clean up crumbs with a broom. And carry around big sticks. They got to run in long hallways. (While I winced and prayed that they didn’t knock over any elderly people.) They got to pet a cute little dog. They got to take a bath. (We… um… don’t do baths nearly often enough, so they’re still a big deal: “Do you want to take a bath, boys?”)

For two- and three-year-olds, it really is the little things that bring joy.

By the end of the day, the most vivid image in our two-year-old’s mind must have been petting Toby the dog, a cute little guy belonging to one of the elderly gentlemen at my great-aunt’s retirement home. My boy spent a puzzling few minutes insisting that he was “Dopey” before I recalled the pup and realized he was trying to say “Toby.” Thereafter, he refused to answer to anything else and crawled around on the floor, yipping.


Meanwhile, our three-year-old came out with a series of funnies today that I thought I’d share with you in lieu of my more thoughtful post on prison sentences. (Not kidding. Hmm… which should I post at 11:00 pm when I’m more than a little foggy-brained? Prison sentences: punishment vs rehabilitation or… cute kid quotes? I’ve got to go with the latter.) Stay tuned for prison talk tomorrow.

This morning as we drove toward our first destination, my boy said: “Wook, Mommy! A ammal shelter! A ammal shelter house! Dats where ammals wiv.” Then, predictably: “I want a dog.”

After I explained to him (not for the first time) that dogs are a lot of work, like babies, and we’re about to have a baby, so it’s not a good time to get a dog… he gasped and said: “I know! We can get a dog after da baby’s born!”

As I was describing to the boys whose house we were driving to and I told them that it was Miss Mary’s house, but not his little friend E.G.’s mommy Miss Mary’s house, he asked: “Is it da Mary dat has a baby Jesus?”

As we were leaving Mary’s house, which he had earlier been told was a “magic house” (for a reason that made sense at the time, though I can’t currently remember what it was), he said: “I had fun at da magic house, Mommy. I haffa tell Gwanma an Gwampa dat I went to a magic house yesserday!”

Walking away (really, floating on air) from Toby the dog, whom the boys had just been permitted to pet for a couple of minutes: “Toby wiked me, Mommy! He’s da best dog in da whole world. Toby is so cute! I want a dog.”

Telling his father about his day: “We got to see Miss Mary’s gardens! Where she has vetchtables! Did you know you can eat vetchtables?”

And… I can no longer keep my eyes open. So I’d better sign off now. See you tomorrow for Day 2 of Jen’s 7 Posts in 7 Days challenge!