It's late afternoon before your dad arrives home from work. 

The windows are open at the autumn air. 

You and I are on the floor in your bedroom. 

You are playing with your plastic tool bench. The one your cousin, Jackson, lent you. The one that promotes short but enthusiastic play from you. 

You stand and walk into the hall. You pull the big black bag of throw pillows out of your way. You reach your curious hand behind the laundry on the hall and grasp a screwdriver. 

You return to your room with a triumphant smile. 

Turning the toy over, you find the holes concealing the screws from sight and prying child hands. 

You insert the screwdriver and do your best to turn the screws loose. 

Perhaps we should be purchasing plastic, age-appropriate tools for your Christmas present this year, young craftsman. 


taking stock

I am easing my way back into blogging with this Taking Stock post inspired by Pip at Meet me at Mike's.

Making : a baby for the next ~26 weeks, do I need to make other things too?
Cooking : butternut squash soup for dinner
Drinking : coffee after a three months break
Reading: books about Soviet Germany
Wanting: it to be Autumn forever
Looking: at a stack of empty boxes (we are moving! Details to come...)
Playing: Two Dots obsessively
Deciding: whether or not to find out Huckleberry's gender
Wishing: for a month between November 22nd and November 23rd
Enjoying: the sound of church bells at our new home
Wondering: how we will finish everything in time for our big move
Loving: August's little voice repeating our words (apple, sneezy, umayuma)
Considering: which furniture to keep and which to give away
Watching: college football (heal up, Watson!)
Hoping: Moonlight White (BM) is the right color for our new walls
Marvelling: at the Lord's faithfulness in making a way for our family
Needing: more boxes, always more boxes
Smelling: the paper mill down the road (good riddance!)
Wearing: maternity shorts and a sweatshirt everyday
Admiring: Brandon's willingness to paint, install, drywall and google what he doesn't know
Sorting: through baby clothes and toys
Buying: a hedgehog salt and pepper shaker because I need a touch of fall decor
Bookmarking: maternity clothes and postpartum healing herb links
Disliking: the limitations of pregnancy "don't paint, don't horseback ride, don't lift that"
Opening: the windows
Feeling: second trimester energy boost (that I did not have with August)
Snacking: on pumpkin spice m&ms (for me) and walnuts (for Huckleberry)
Coveting: naptime
Anticipating: a girls mountain weekend in 2 weeks!


A Little Loy Announcement


Things have been very quiet here over the last few weeks. I have half-written birthday posts and letters to my siblings in the drafts folder along with many September pictures and memories to share. But for a few more days, things will be quiet. This video explains why. See you in a few weeks, friends.


A New England August || Part 03: Coastal Maine

During our New England vacation, everyone was working and Grandma was still in Pennsylvania on Monday so we drove to Maine for a cliff walk. We intended to drive a bit further up the coast but we stopped in York (due to a carseat-weary toddler). I've always been blessed with beautiful white sandy beaches so seeing people in beach chairs on the small patches of sand was definitely a bit strange. In my mind why bother? but then I consider the alternative (no beach time) and I know I'd join the locals if I were one. 

After stretching our legs along the rocky path for a bit, we continued up to Perkins Cove for a bit of lunch at The Roost. The Cove was just slammed with tourists so we only drove through to fondly recall our day alone there years ago. The Roost was not busy but we ordered our sandwiches to go so we could sit in the sunshine and let August roam a bit. 

If you've been here long, you may recall that Brandon and I just 100% love Maine. This quick morning trip had me pining again for a one-day relocation to the Polar Star State. There are no plans and no easy way to see it happening but its still a Loy dream that we hold loosely. In the meantime, I'll enjoy my stash of Maine birch that I rescued from fiery doom. It is happily scattered throughout my house now.


Visitors in August

August was lined up for us to visit with four groups from our Clemson church, DCF. Unfortunately, two of those parties fell through (on our end) so I only ended up visiting with Melissa and Aileen. Brandon wasn't able to see either. August was a month of refreshing conversation and encouraging laughter.

My time with Aileen was glorious. Caneva was visiting so I took the entire afternoon and evening to drive (alone) slowly under the John's Island oaks to Kiawah, relax in the pool, ride bikes on the beach and dine at the Fat Hen on delicious spaghetti squash (amongst other things).  I jokingly hashtagged our pictures on IG with #ailaireEpicLove. (To date one of my favorite hashtags.) Aileen is moving to California this month and I am thankful for the extra time to be together in person.

Melissa's family was vacationing on IOP so she snuck away one afternoon. I'm afraid I sorta dragged her around on a few errands with me ("Hello, barber shop. May I purchase some raw milk?"). But we redeemed the day with iced coffees and heart-deep conversation during August's nap time.

Although I missed seeing the Elmore and Hayes families, I do feel refreshed. I am thankful for the people the Lord has blessed my life with, knowing our hearts and prayers connect us even when geography and timing do not. The reality of community remains sacred, unique and precious. When you find it, friends, do not take it for granted.


A New England August || Part 02: Upper Charles Trail

Caneva watches David and Chloe two days a week. While we were visiting, August enjoyed the extra cousin time. He and David are becoming good buddies. One morning, we walked a part of the Upper Charles Trail through Milford. 

David wanted to hold August's hand the whole walk. When David got out to walk, August wanted to join him. Little men...


Watch. Listen. Read 07

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World:
I really, really loved this film. It is definitely sad (hello, end of the world) but the storyline and dialogue were not over-the-top cheesy or dramatic. The plot was actually less about "the end" than it was a look at one guy and how he dealt with certain doom. (Spoiler alert: It was handled quietly.) Please watch this film for the ending scene alone: beautifully written and flawlessly acted.

Guardians of the Galaxy:
This is definitely the summer blockbuster of 2014; you know it has to be great if I am saying this about a movie starring Vin Diesel. This is one of my favorite Marvel movies so far. Fun characters (a tree! a raccoon! and a StarLord!), intriguing plot development, surprisingly great dialogue. 


Mostly I am listening to the jabbering of a 16-month-old but occasionally I remember to turn on my old faithful iTunes Radio or Pandora stations. When I listen to this awesome mix, my heart is happy.


Delicious! by Ruth Reichl
Reichl's first fictional novel contains a few engaging characters and mouth-watering descriptions of food. But the plot seems to kinda die out towards the end into what seemed like an editor-driven ending rather than the natural story of the novel. I would have liked to see where the characters ended up when pushed into difficult spaces. I am not not recommending this book, just know the characters and the food are the most compelling elements.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children & Hollow City by Ransom Riggs
My mum and I used to search thrift stores and flea markets for old photos. One in particular was hung on our fridge and we claimed them as relatives. When I heard about the premise of Riggs' YA books, I was enthralled. Taking existing, old photographs and tying them into his story, Riggs weaves a tale of adventure, fantasy and suspense for young audiences. (It also helps I am a big fan of his first name.)

The Fault in our Stars by John Green
Overrated. The dialogue is far too advanced- pedantic, even- especially since we know from June's reading Green is capable of better dialogue. The subject matter is definitely intense and moving. I am not giving up on Green, but this one is not going down as a recommendation.

Written in My Own Heart's Blood by Diana Gabaldon
The 8th novel was not my favorite in this series. The story moves away from one of my favorite characters (like Fergus) and focuses too much on newer characters (like Dottie and Dr. Hunter). The British evacuation from Philadelphia seemed laborious and convoluted and I STILL cannot figure out why she killed off one of her youngest characters. I still love Claire and Jamie but I wonder how much longer Gabaldon is going to take this story. This book ended like it could be the final novel, but she seems to not be finished.

Up next: Dr. Who. (I am SO late to this party, but so glad I came.)