Foster Raymond Gray

After months of toiling over options Seth’s father threw out the name “Foster” at dinner. Foster was his grandfather’s name, Seth’s great-grand father’s name. So, little Foster will be named after his great-great-grandfather and his grandfather, my father, Raymond.

We love the name and it was one of those – “Yep. That’s it.” moments, so, we know it’s right. Thank you so much for helping by giving us your name ideas.



The next thing.

Seth hasn’t been blogging, as you may have noticed, because he’s been in garage – his workshop – 8-10 hours a day working on leather bags and other goodies for our Beauty and the Biker pop up shop.

He loves it out there (and so does, Archer).

Garage workshop - ohio

We’ll be popping up (for the very first time) at the Moonlight Market on Gay Street in Columbus on Saturday, May 11th.

Seth has been busy using this

Leather sewing machine

to turn leather like this

leather hides, dyed

into bags like this

hand stitched, men's leather briefcase

Because it takes him 20+ hours to make bags like the one shown, I decided to fill our shop up with some goodies from the Beauty side of our brand – clothes, hats, purses and jewelry.

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Severely Outnumbered

We have learned several new things in the past few days… 

1. It’s a boy and all of his little pieces and parts are in perfect working order!!! I was indifferent either way on gender but am now a bit relieved because I can do boys. Girls, on the other hand… phew, makes me nervous just thinking about it.

2. Lily was severely disappointed, but only for a few minutes. Then she was perfectly fine. This after I spent hours worrying about her reaction.

3. Children under 8 are terrible at coming up with baby names. Unless you had something like Mario, Donkey Kong, or Sushi in mind.

4. We are stumped on names. Middle name will be Raymond after my father. If you have any name ideas, leave them in the comments and help us out (we beg of you).




Cierra won the new leaf necklace. Thank you all so much for commenting!!!

Oh boy, or girl?

We find out on Monday!!!

I think it’s a girl, but am fine either way. I’m more curious as to what type of little person he or she will be. Having three already, it is clear the personality and spirit trumps the sex.

So, yes, on Monday – we will know.

Guess what you think we’re having in the comments and enter to win a new leaf necklace! And if you guess correctly and then, IF you are randomly drawn – you win.

Here’s another baby bump picture. Some of you have had theories on Facebook as to what the sex is by the shape and height of my bump. I know nothing of these things and leave it all to you, Ladies.

20week baby bump

Also, I am nearly 20 weeks and due in late August or early September.

We have been busy bees, as usual. Seth has been quiet on the blog because he’s been either in the garage making bags (he has sold four now) or running about the yard doing mad yard work for our party next weekend to celebrate our birthdays and our one year wedding anniversary.

Last weekend we had a little party at the Cement Marketing office to open the first Moonlight Market on Gay Street. Columbus Mayor Mike Coleman stopped by to kick things off and took a moment to say “Hello” to the kids.  Read More…

The surprise attack

Typically, I trudge through my birthdays as one would a murky pond- carefully and cautiously stepping through the day, just trying to make it to the other side without a bite or an encounter with some unidentifiable monster. And every year when April 6th arrives, I feel a huge wave of relief. Aging isn’t the issue. I still feel young and every year I grow wiser, happier- so, no, age does not bother me (yet).

I myself couldn’t quite put a finger on why I dreaded the big day so much until last year when Seth asked me, “Why do you hate them so much?” He looked genuinely concerned after having watched me closely avoid emotional land mines all day.

No one had ever really asked me why. But, immediately, I knew the answer and tears flew through my eyes, soaking my cheeks instantly.

“I hate my birthdays because he’s not here.”

My father, his voice, his hug and his grand birthday enthusiasm. But I also missed the family that had existed before he died. After his death everyone scattered in their grief and there was no one to pull us back together again. Now 14 years later we remain divided, entire states and years of emotional wounds set between us.

But this year, Seth had a plan, He was bound and determined to beat my birthday demons.

The day started out as my birthdays usually do. No plans, home from work and treating myself to my own schedule of “whatever I feel like.” After dinner, a homemade lemon cake from Seth

Lemon cake

and a round of kid and Seth presents I could see the finish line. Bedtime was just 45 minutes away for the kids… and not long after my own.

But then I spotted a woman walking down the side walk with a present in her hands. When she came into focus i realized it was my best friend Monica. Read More…

Mr. Stork

We have been keeping this a secret for the past four months. But now my little 17 week old is too big to hide.

We are ecstatic… And yes, it was planned (that seems to be the first question everyone has). Yes, planned. Although Lily’s wish for a little sister on Christmas Eve could have done the trick.

Here is my bump and the handsome culprit.


Expect a flurry of posts now that the cat is out of the bag. I find it very hard to blog when I am keeping something from you.



My little boy.

Benjamin turned seven last weekend.


The years haven’t flown by. I don’t feel that way at all. I look back on the past seven years as a long, long road to where we are today. There was no flying involved. We just took it day by day, keeping ourselves busy with adventures, big and small. And through it all, we were together.

Fortunately for me, he still lets me squeeze him hug him and kiss him up, just like I did when he was a little guy.


Thank goodness, because Read More…

What do you do with family photos?

Printed photos are a rarity for me. Lily & Cohen’s baby pictures aren’t in one of those frilly family photo albums. Well, a few of them are. And there are some in frames. But most of the pictures are on my phone and computer… and backed up on two separate external hard drives… and various online photo services. But printing them always seemed like such a hassle. Have to crop them, upload them to some wobbly local photo shop website (or through iPhoto, Flickr, Picasa, etc), select print sizes, glossy or matte finish, and on and on.  And, usually, you have to do that all from a computer.

Now, though, we have lots of pictures. A Ms. Single Mama/Beauty and the Biker reader, Julie, told us about an awesome photo app she’s been working on called Groovebook: a photo app for busy families. Groovebook prints a keepsake booklet of up to 100 pictures from your iOS (iPhone, iPod, etc) or Android device each month, sends it to you, and all they charge is $2.99 for shipping/handling. Seriously. So, when Julie asked if we wanted to try out this photo app for free (in exchange for sharing our thoughts about it), we said sure!

You can download Groovebook for free from the iTunes App Store or Google Play. Then, create a free account, and select the pictures you want this month. The pics go from your phone to your door with a few taps.

The kids love these little photo books. Each page is perforated, and tells the date, time, and location of each picture.

Lily tore out a bunch and put them on the pin board in her room.

groovebook photos on a pinboard Read More…

A surprise

He may have anticipated that one day he could love again. But I don’t think he ever expected to fall in love with her dog, too.




They’re made for each other, these two. Just another piece of our serendipity falling into place.



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