Weekend Update | Vol. 48

(Not a typo - I completely, purposely skipped Weekend 47. Jared and I went away for the weekend and I didn't take a single big camera pic. Because November. Because 2016. We're almost there guys...)

LIFE... Thanksgiving! Oh how I love Thanksgiving. We hosted this year, which was a great idea until I realized it meant we had to clean our mess of a house in addition to doing all the cooking. My mother must never find out how my house looks when she's not here. Never!

ALLIE...  I swore to myself that we'd refinish the dining room table before Thanksgiving this year, and got it done just in the nick of time. I went with a lighter stain this time around (Early American, my current fave) and I'm obsessed. Not only is it fork-mark-free, it looks like a brand new table. 

JARED... Mastered the turkey, mastered the mashed potatoes. Easily our best T-day dinner yet. 

EMMA... My mom, sister and I took Emma to the Nutcracker at the Kennedy Center, and she looooved it. She had never been to the theater before, not even a movie theater, and she was mesmerized by the whole experience. The look on her face as she watched the dancers is one I hope I never forget.

JONAH... All he wanted for Thanksgiving dinner was pie. And when he finally got pie for dessert, it turned out all he wanted was the whipped cream. Because, of course.



Jonah: Hush up, Christmas!

Emma (who apparently likes her bacon on the fatty side): I want the wiggly part! You know, the white part that wiggles!

Jared: Jonah, did you take your bandaid off?
Jonah: Rudolph did it. Bad Rudolph!

Emma: So Christmas is Jesus' birthday, and Halloween is his wife's birthday, right?

Weekend Update | Vol. 46

LIFE... Safe to say my birthday week didn't quite go as planned this year. I was in pretty rough shape most of the week, but managed to pick myself up a bit once the weekend rolled around. I went to a peace vigil in front of the White House on Saturday night with some friends, which was wonderful and cathartic. Then Sunday, Jared did his best to help me forget about the demise of our country as I rung in my 35th birthday. 

ALLIE...  Got my nails done for the first time since the week before Jonah was born. He's 3.

JARED... Hero husband performance for my birthday. The cards were stacked against him, but it ended up being a really nice day thanks to him. AND, after just having dinner with friends in which I said how Jared knows better than to buy me clothes, he bought me a dress from Anthro that I actually love and fits perfectly. He's a keeper, I tell ya.

EMMA... Did her usual lamenting on my birthday that it should be everyone's birthday every day and that life isn't fair. I tried to tell her that being a little kid with zero responsibilities IS like having a birthday every day, but she wasn't buying it.

JONAH... Never met a kid who loves M&Ms as much as Jonah. He calls them M&Emmas, and has eating every single pack of every variety he and Emma got for Halloween. I haven't told him about holiday M&Ms yet, but I think he's going to be a wee bit excited.



Emma: Maybe *I* should run for President.
Allie: You absolutely should.

Weekend Update | Vol. 45

LIFE... Took our family photos during late afternoon the Sunday of Daylight Savings and lived to tell about it. As usual, we all melted down a bit trying to get out the door, as Emma rebelled against having her clothing selection made without her input, and Jonah decided the boots he loved a week ago were now horrible and insisted we bring shoes for him to change into afterward. Ahh, children.

ALLIE...  Met up with a dear friend that I hadn't seen in 16 years, and not only reunited with her and her family, but got to meet and photograph her brand new baby girl. Very very very full heart.

JARED... Entirely too pessimistic about the election and will be proven wrong on Tuesday. (Also did not get a say in what I wrote for him this week.) 

EMMA... Apparently told my mom on Sunday that if Trump wins we have two choices: 1) we move to another country, but everyone in our family has to move too so we can all be together, or 2) we stay and work to make things better. This proves two things to me: 1) my daughter is astoundingly brilliant, and 2) she DOES actually listen to me. (Occasionally.)

JONAH... Been on a building tear lately, with both Legos and Magnatiles. We'll see him pull them out and turn around 5 minutes later and he's already constructed some elaborate monstrosity. Now if only we could get our little builders to work on something together without it turning into WWIII... a mom can dream.



Jared: I love you, bud.
Jonah: You're welcome.

Jonah: My socks are getting boring.

Emma: Oh flarmpit! He's up to my armpit!

Emma: Why does my nail taste like cotton candy?

Jonah: Who's singing this song?
Allie: Elsa from Frozen.
Jonah: This girl can sing.

Weekend Update | Vol. 44

LIFE... Hiking in Harper's Ferry + and a thoroughly exhausting, candy-filled Halloween = perfect Fall weekend.

ALLIE...  Survived Emma's first filling. Barely.

JARED... Will be taking Emma to her next filling appointment. 

EMMA... For a girl who had next to no interest in riding a bike for pretty much her entire life, she's finally discovered how much fun it can be. So much so that she asked us to take her training wheels off. Bike riding is once again zero fun for all involved, but we're pleasantly surprised with how determined and motivated she is to figure this out.  

JONAH... Was a little shy and overwhelmed by all the Halloween festivities, but got the hang of trick-or-treating as the night went on. We kept reminding him to say "trick-or-treat!" and "thank you!", so he'd shyly walk up to the door, wait til he got candy, and then say "trick-or-treat-thank-you!" Close enough.



Jared: How about you guys make breakfast this morning?
Emma: But we only know how to make fruit and ketchup!
Jared: Then we'll take 2 fruit and ketchups please.

Allie: You can't be biting your nails already, m'love.
Jared: But I've been waiting all day for Sunday night!
Allie: ...

Weekend Update | Vol. 43

LIFE... Ballet, birthdays, and bubbles made for a fun-filled weekend.

ALLIE... Super cleaned out the garage and we can now park BOTH cars in our technically-but-tight two car garage. Every time I open the door to the garage and see both cars in there I get all kinds of giddy. 

JARED... Now gets to park his car in the garage thanks to his awesome wife, who may or may not remind him of this every rainy/freezing/crappy morning for the foreseeable future.

EMMA... After months of her asking us, we finally enrolled her in ballet. She has the cutest little uniform, gets to run on her tippy toes, has a british teacher, and is quite the happy ballerina. 

JONAH... After having hand-me-down socks his entire life, I finally bought him his very own big boy socks. He's so over the moon about them, he even wears them to bed. Who knew!



Jared: I feel like a half hour with Scott Avett and Charlie Rose would be UNBEARABLE.

Allie: What if Dwight Yoakam and Ron Howard's brother have been the same person all along??

Allie: What about this... a lightweight crewneck sweater?
Jared: Now we're talking. Can you order me some pecs like that, too?

Jared: I love the hats. And if that means the rest of it's gotta change, I'm fine with that.

Jared: We still root for the Eagles, even if they lose.
Emma: Like against the Lions.
Jared: Yeah.
Jonah: And the Redskins.
Jared: Thanks for rubbing it in, buddy.

Weekend Update | Vol. 41 & 42

We pretty much did the same thing two weekends in a row, so instead of getting two separate pumpkin patch posts, I've combined them into one super duper pumpkin spice flavored post. (Aaaaand I desperately need to catch up on this project.)

LIFE... Fall is in full swing in the Shellaway household, and what better way to celebrate than spending two weekends in a row at various local pumpkin patches? Apple cider donuts make everything better.

ALLIE... Being a Girl Scout Daisy leader is way WAY more work than I anticipated. And we haven't even had our first meeting yet! Mama just wanted some Thin Mints. 

JARED... The one Sunday I take the kids so he can watch the game solo and the Eagles blow it. Clearly the kids are good luck and they should watch with him every weekend while I'm off doing super fun non-football stuff.

EMMA... Used to be terrified of the zipline, but this year she walked right up to it, hopped on, and zipped down the line with a HUGE smile on her face. Bravery baby steps, but it's progress!

JONAH... Was very disappointed to discover that the giant pumpkin he found didn't meet my "only as big as you can carry" rule. Next year, little buddy.



Emma: Even a little person can do big things.

Emma: You know when it comes to bouncy housing I get a red ash on my back.

Jared: I went to high school with a girl named Adriana.
Jonah: Me, too.

Jonah: Do you like hot tea?
Allie: I do.
Emma: How do you know about hot tea, Jonah?
Jonah: I drink so much hot tea. It's like apple juice.
Emma: Then you'll really like apple cider donuts. We can get them from the farm today.
Jonah: Yeah! And honey mustard!

Weekend Update | Vol. 40

LIFE... And just like that, our little guy is THREE! We had a great weekend celebrating our sweet Jo and feel very blessed to have so much family nearby to share these big milestones with.

ALLIE... May have gone a wee bit overboard on the party decor and food considering Jo's party was a small, family get together - but I feel zero guilt about it. AND, I broke my own record for having the playroom reorganized after an influx of new birthday toys. Clutter = 0*, Allie = 378,249 (*score most definitely excludes rooms not frequented by house guests).

JARED... Went to his first Redskins game on Sunday, wore an Eagles t-shirt, and didn't get into a fight. Win!

EMMA... Thinks everyone should get gifts when it's someone else's birthday. I explained that's basically what Christmas is. She did not care for that explanation. Note to self: work on clarifying what "fair' means with 5 year old. 

JONAH... From his school birthday walk, to dinner at Chick-fil-a (his choice), to his party on Saturday, the kid is still on cloud 9 from all the birthday festivities. He did have his first accidental balloon fly away experience on Saturday... he took it pretty hard. 



Allie: Did you save room for cake, buddy?
Jonah: Yep! In my armpit!

Jared: Like how come he doesn't look swarthy? He and I have the same effing facial hair pattern. What, he can pull it off because he can play guitar? I can grow the hell out of a mustache, I'll tell you that much. You know I could. You know it.

Allie: Okay, let's take our deep breaths... breathe love in... and now breathe love out...
Emma: But Mama... whenever I take my deep breaths I just breathe snot in and breathe snot out.

Weekend Update | Vol. 39

LIFE... It was a jam packed weekend that kicked off with a night at the Great Frederick fair with Jared's parents, middled with Zachary's 5th birthday party, and ended with a morning hike and some afternoon football. All in all, a great weekend!

ALLIE... Happy to say I practiced a tremendous amount of restraint mingling among people at the fair who were overtly proud to not share my political beliefs.

JARED... 100% on board the Wentz train.

EMMA... Still not a fan of roller coasters, but was surprisingly fantastic at dart throwing. Maybe in another 10 years we'll let her try the dart board in the basement.

JONAH... Decided to start pronouncing "Mary Puffins" and "Chick-uh-lay" correctly this week. We're all devastated.



(Post small boat ride at the fair)
Great job getting over your fear! You seemed uncertain about it at first, but towards the end it looked like you were having fun.
Emma: I just pretended I was happy about it.

Jared (to Allie): If you just wanted to lay in bed and relax we shouldn't have had children.

Jared: Highway to the breakfast zone!
Allie: ...

Jonah (cheering for the Eagles): Get that hootball! Get it right now!

Weekend Update | Vol. 37

LIFE... Our September birthday extravaganza kicked off this weekend with a party at Adventure Park. We have 5 birthday parties between now and the end of the month, but we've been training all year for this and we're ready. Who am I kidding... this is going to be an insane mix of fun and exhaustion and we're all going to look like dust bowl migrants by the time October rolls around.

ALLIE... Football season has started. Boooooooo. 

JARED... Football season has started. Yesssssss!

EMMA... Does not like roller coasters. Not one single bit. My girl is officially the kid who forces the operator to stop the ride after 30 seconds because she wants off. But she super duper loves the carousel. So, you know, small thrills.

JONAH... Has pretty much stopped napping on the weekends. I'm not sure how to feel about this development. 



Emma: Mom, Jonah almost gave me a bloody nose when he kicked me in the nose hole, but he said he was sorry.

Allie: Jonah, why is there half a banana on the floor?
Jonah: I was trying not to eat it.

Emma: What's a ghost's favorite breakfast?
Allie: ...
Emma: Ghoster Strudel!

Jared: I don't know how to put it back together.
Emma: Well, you can try your best.

Weekend Update | Vol. 36

LIFE... It's taken me 10 years, but I FINALLY got Jared to a Renaissance Festival. And I'm happy to say he enjoyed it much more than he thought he would. The kids loved it, of course, because Ren Fests are fantastic and anyone who says otherwise either hasn't been, or takes life way too seriously. Steak on a stake, my friends. Steak. On. A. Stake. 

ALLIE... I finally had cheesecake on a stick, and now all is right with the world.

JARED... Perfected his caprese salad, and I for one am very very thankful. It's all about that balsamic reduction. Mmm, mmm, mmm,

EMMA... The 3-day weekend was just what she needed and we're seeing lots of positive progress on the meltdown front. We're not expecting perfection, but a little less crazy goes a long way.

JONAH... In a pretty awesome phase right now, and we're trying to appreciate every single second of it.



Emma: We're lost!
Allie: We're not lost.
Emma: But how will we ever get back to our sweet home sweet?

Allie: Jonah, were you chewing on your shoe?
Jonah: No.
Allie: Then why is it wet?
Jonah: I chewed it.

Weekend Update | Vol. 35

LIFE... We celebrated the first week back at school with a little end of summer neighborhood block party on Saturday. The kids had a blast and we were reminded, once again, how awesome our little slice of suburbia is. 

ALLIE... This transition to Kindergarten is kicking my butt. Ordered 3 parenting books once I realized that everything that's worked in the past is no longer working. Send wine.

JARED... The end of summer means football is starting. Jared is happy.

EMMA... So proud of this kid for kicking butt during her first week of Kindergarten. She's riding the bus, making new friends, and learning the ins and outs of her new classroom and school. Home time is a slightly different story - lots and lots of big feelings. For example, she threw her fork across the kitchen so I took away the piece of cake she was eating. She cried for 2 hours, repeatedly opened the trash to say goodbye to her cake, and drew the cake a picture that said "I love you to the moon forever." She may or may not have called the cake her "precious." Send wine.

JONAH... Big man on campus! Well, one of the older kids in Pre-Primary and flying solo without his big sis at school this year. Also, an astoundingly impressive blackberry picker. We figured he'd pick all the red ones but he honed in on the ripe ones and ended up with the best berries of the bunch. The kid doesn't mess around when it comes to food!



Jared: If Emma Stone is 27 that means I'm like REALLY old.

Allie: There sure is a lot of smooching going on. What is this show??
Jared: Let's see... Masters of Sex.
Allie: That would explain it.

Allie: Did you get something to eat, buddy?
Jonah: Yep.
Allie: What'd you have?
Jonah: Everything.

Weekend Update | Vol. 33 & 34


LIFE... Spent a week at Bethany Beach with my parents, sister, and her family, and while "vacation" is really just parenting in an unfamiliar place, we all had a great time. Best memory was letting the kids stay up late and heading to the boardwalk after dinner. We saw a gorgeous pink moonrise, got cold treats, and spotted Mars and Saturn on our walk home. It was the kind of night you want to hold on to forever as parents.

ALLIE... Drank rosè, read a book for pleasure, became one of those people who works out on vacation (ew), got my Kohr Brothers fix, and applied sunscreen to small children 8,376 times.

JARED... Drove. A lot. Got Mirror Pond thanks to my sister, cooked killer lasagna for the fam, read a book for pleasure, watched lots of track & field, rescued our beach gear in the middle of a thunderstorm. All around hero dad stuff.

EMMA... Danced through the waves, built sand castle masterpieces, managed to drop an ice cream cone, shave ice, and snow cone on 3 consecutive days, and probably still has sand in her hair.

JONAH... Loved having a bigger audience to ham it up with, wasn't crazy about the ocean, became completely obsessed with his cousin's Magna-Tiles, and will now be getting copious amounts of Magna-Tiles for his birthday. Shhh, don't tell.



Jared: It's not a stereotype if it's something good.

Jared: Ugh, I'm so sick of seeing her stupid grin. I mean, who's that happy singing about insurance? Come on.

Emma: This is how you can make me feel better. You can give me a video. That will make me happy.
Allie: I'm sorry sweetie. Would you like some snack?
Emma: Yesssss.
Allie: Okay, we have applesauce, fruit-
Emma: I don't want a snack, I want a video!!!

Jared: You can't have a dreamcatcher on your rear view mirror and not let me in. I'm not going to allow that.

Jared: I would never want to be the only person in a butcher shop in the middle of nowhere.

Jared: Let's not unpack. We can just leave everything in the car and buy them new clothes.

Weekend Update | Vol. 32

LIFE... We kicked off the kids' annual 2 week Summer Break with a visit to see some dear family friends in central Virginia. A day spent splashing in the pool and feeding farm animals makes for some happy, tired kiddos. 



Allie: I guess a jungle is different from a rainforest.
Jared: Yeah, I guess.
Allie: What's the difference?
Jared: Probably rains a lot more in the rainforest.

Emma: Did you know a long long time ago people had poop trucks to poop in?

Weekend Update | Vol. 31

LIFE... Keeping it short and sweet again this week because life is about to get crazy and I'm trying to give myself a little calm before the storm. It was another great summer weekend, made even better by a visit from Jared's parents. The kids had a blast playing with their Grandma and Pop-Pop, and I got to sneak off to a bridal shower for the fiance of a dear friend from high school.



Jared: Okay... I guess I'll only have two pancakes.
Allie: Thank you for your sacrifice.

Emma: Mom, will you play that Barry Sanders music again?
Allie: Barry Sanders? Do you mean Bernie Sanders?
Emma: Yeah, Bernie Sanders.
Allie: He doesn't sing songs. You mean like a speech? You want to watch a Bernie Sanders speech when we get home?
Emma: Nooo. Music! You played something the other day by Bernie Sanders.
Allie: ...
Allie: Do you mean Laurie Berkner???
Emma: Oh, yeah!!!

Jonah: Can I bring a toy up from downstairs when we get home?
Allie: I don't think so, buddy. You already have a lot of toys in your playroom to choose from.
Jonah: But I want something!!!
Allie: What is it that you want?
Jonah: Something! Something that's on something!
Allie: (intense, toddler-induced eye rolling)

Jared: Jonah, quit it with the monkey feet already.
Jonah: Monkey feet? What are monkey feet??
Jared: Ask your mother.

Weekend Update | Vol. 30

LIFE... Another great summer weekend. We spent Saturday afternoon celebrating my rockstar mama's birthday, and later that night Jared and I continued our July 'o Music with a triple header at Merriweather: Dawes, Old Crow, and Brandi Carlile. It was so flippin' good.



Allie: Oh, you and your bleeding heart.
Jared: This coming from you?

Emma: Mom, I'm back! Did my popsicle melt?
Allie: No, I kept it cold with my ice powers.
Emma: You don't have ice powers!
Jared: You haven't slept next to her in winter.

Weekend Update | Vol. 29

LIFE... Finally - a rare summer weekend when we had absolutely nothing going on! Well, except for a birthday party. But, after two consecutive weekends away, and two consecutive weekends sleeping in a tent, to be able to spend the majority of the weekend doing whatever we want felt pretty darn glorious.  

ALLIE... 6 weeks into my new workout routine, I decided it was finally time to add the whole eating healthier portion into my life. It's not substantially depressing so far and now I get to feel really self righteous when I see other people eating like crap. Newly healthy people are kind of the worst. 

JARED... Our garden is growing like crazy right now, so Jared decided it was time to turn our surplus of veggies into some delicious pickles. SEVEN jars of them. Anyone want some pickles?

EMMA... After going to at least a gazillion birthday parties to which her little brother wasn't invited, she naturally thought it was insanely unfair that he got to go to his very first birthday party to which she wasn't invited. He's now been disinvited to her 6th birthday party, though something tells me she'll change her mind. 

JONAH... Had a blast had his friend's birthday party, bouncing all over like a maniac. He somehow still had enough energy to swim when he got home. Oh to have the energy of a toddler. 



Emma: Maybe when you're a grandma you'll frame the photos you took as a mama.

Allie: What happened, JoJo?
Jonah: I fell.
Allie: You jumped and fell on your tushy?
Jonah: Yyyyeah.
Emma: That wasn't a very good choice.
Jonah: It wasn't.

Weekend Update | Vol. 28

LIFE... Jared and I spent the weekend at the Red Wing Roots music festival and it was faaaaaaantastic. Seriously, best festival we've ever been to. And while we were away, the kids stayed with my mom and stepdad and had an equally awesome time. Easily the best weekend of the summer so far!

ALLIE & JARED... We hadn't had a weekend away just the two of us since our babymoon to Pickathon with Jonah back in 2013, so we were a wee bit overdue. And despite our fairly high expectations for Red Wing based on everything we'd heard, we completely blown away by how awesome the festival was. Every single aspect - the people, the bands, the food, the location, the staff - left us feeling like we couldn't have asked for more. Highlights were: South Street beer and Oak Hill cider, the Dawes performance Friday night, talking to Taylor after the show, sleeping in until 7:30 (seriously glorious for us), Drew Holcomb covering The Band, chatting with insanely nice strangers, running into Sean (aka Langhorne Slim), and the Steel Wheels closing the festival with one last chorus of Red Wing. See you in 2017, Natural Chimneys Park!

EMMA... Got to take her Lea doll to the American Girl store and of course picked up a few new things.

JONAH... Wore his Puddle Jumper vest in the pool for the first time and had a blast. He was a little uncertain at first, but once he knew he was safe he turned into a water loving maniac.



Toddler in the tent next to us after his dad stunk up their tent: It stinks!
His Dad: Just ignore it, buddy.
Kid: But I can't! It smells like pepperoni farted!!

Weekend Update | Vol. 27

LIFE... Since I'm a bit behind on these posts I'll keep it short. We had a fantastic 4th of July at the cabin... great friends, good fishing, a pirate treasure hunt for the kids, and some very much needed time off the grid in rural PA. Can't ask for much more than that!


Weekend Update | Vol. 26

LIFE... A trip to the zoo + a lazy Sunday made for a perfect weekend. 

ALLIE... I have a list of tasks I call my "someday To Do list." As in, someday I'll get to it but not any time soon. Well miracle of all miracles, I finally crossed something off that list - making 9 pairs of shorts from 9 pairs of Emma's hole-y leggings. Gotta say, it feels pretty good to get the last laugh on those dang leggings. It's the little things, my friends.

JARED... Was so desperate for a haircut on Sunday that he let me cut it. It turned out way better than either of us expected (thanks YouTube!) and looks almost professional. That being said, I have a sneaky feeling he'll be going back to the salon next time. 

EMMA... Had a blast at the zoo and even got to ride a camel for the first time. She had a huge grin on her face the entire ride and immediately wanted to go again.

JONAH... Finally got new shirts and shoes and you'd think he won the lottery. Has also developed the most amazing maniacal laugh that I'm desperate to capture on video.



Jonah: You hush it, Cookie Monster!

Allie: Whatcha doing, sweetie?
Emma: Having a festival on the beach.
Allie: Nice. What bands are playing at the festival?
Emma: Langhorne, Sturgill, and Peter, Paul, & Mary