This past weekend we had the pleasure? the adventure? the experience? the fun… of watching my tween (half) brother while my dad and step mom were out of town. I’m going to have to say, we were probably last resort of places he would want to stay…. I mean, I think we have a fantastic house, I think it’s beautiful and suites our needs, but for a tween boy? Oof, poor thing. No TV, no video games, no games in general, nothing. He brought his own computer and small video game set up, but still, at one point he was lying on the couch like he was going to die of boredom (pictured above). I did the best thing I could think of, I offered him the opportunity to eat enough candy to make him throw up. And… he said “no thank you.” So there was that.
    I’m still amused at the fact of how much I really wanted a boy when I was pregnant with M. Like, I cried, hysterically after I found out I was having a girl. It must have been right before Alex moved to New York? I don’t remember anymore. But it was the one and only appointment he went to with me… and I was a sobbing mess. I’m sure if I searched for it, I could find my (hand written) journal entry on my thoughts at the time…. but either way, I remember the feeling: fear. I’m still shocked at the amount of pink that has entered my home, but now, I can’t see life any other way. I’m looking forward to more— girl-ier moments with her. Bored tween friday nights where I can pull out a manicure kit or ask if she wants to sew or take part in some craft project with me—- or letting her stay up late with popcorn and chocolate watching some late night girly garbage on the couch, just like my mom would let me do with her from time to time. I hope anyway…. who knows,  she might not be into any of that. But I’m hoping she is, just like I was. And I hope that she has that overly tom-boyish side that I’ve always had as well—-though I doubt she will, cause right now, she’s pretty freakin’ dainty.
    I know that if we had a boy, we would grow with the boy and he would grow into our home and our space, but the idea of having full size tween boy to entertain is just so foreign to me. I mean, can you even entertain them? Girls too… the only thing I truly cared about at that age was friends, crafts, fort building in the woods, and video games. Tweens, teens, whatever, they’re all hard and scary, for now anyway.
    On the up side of our weekend slumber party experience— Chris, he’s a great kid. He’s not obnoxious or annoying in any way, and he’s amazingly mature, so at least we had that to work with. And Marlowe of course had a blast. Other than my (and Alex’s) constant worry of whether or not he was miserable, I had a great time. But yeah, he was mostly stuck with us in our lives and seeing how simple (boring?) we really are. Which was an interesting experience all in itself. We’ve never ever had anyone here for an extended amount of time seeing how our family functions. Well, other than when Chris was here filming us, but he slept outside in his airstream— not in our home, waking up to us groggy faced and needing coffee. So it’s slightly different. This weekend was neat. It opened my head up to new thoughts and ideas for sure, which can be challenging but amazing at the same time.
also pictured above:
-A hammock in the walkway?! It’s been a spare time craft project. I’ve had that hammock for maybe three years now stored away, hoping at one day I could hang it in my one day new home. One year later of being in my new home (!) I’m finally accepting there’s no where to hang it so I bought a stand.
-I’ve rearranged my workroom this past week.
-Reading sam in the trees. Speaking of books, have you checked out THIS amazing project?
-He convinced her she’s a superhero.
-Marlowe’s bathingsuit c/o stella cove. 


  1. My brother-in-law stayed with us for a few weeks a couple years ago, when he was 12–I definitely think he did not find our videogame-less lifestyle to be much fun at all. He hasn't wanted to come back to stay since. I did try to entertain him!

  2. I had the exact same reaction when I found out the I was having a girl. I was so upset, and then upset at myself for being upset. Since then, I have chalked it up to being an insecure new mom who just wanted to "know my body" a bit more, as if predicting the sex indicates your level of maternal intuition 🙂 And now, my three-year-old girl is just as girly as could be and i love it.

  3. I like to imagine that we grow ready for tween-having as the years pass. Always trying to keep the memories of being that age fresh in order to achieve "oneness with the tween" (ha) when the time comes.

    I always love your colorful table. It makes everything look so appetizing!

  4. I like to imagine that we grow ready for tween-having as the years pass. Always trying to keep the memories of being that age fresh in order to achieve "oneness with the tween" (ha) when the time comes.

    I always love your colorful table. It makes everything look so appetizing!

  5. Great post! I just gave birth to a little girl one year after having a little boy… having a little boy suits us. A little girl… Wow. I was a little stunned when I found out she was a girl. I can't believe how many pink outfits we've been gifted. What has really rocked me is how outwardly critical I am about my own appearance. Not sure if it would phase my son, but that is not a habit I want to instill in my gorgeous daughter. Having a girl has already forced me to check myself.

    Thanks for perks into your home with your tween brother! I sure he had a great time. 🙂

  6. I'm lauging – full-sized boys are scary things indeed! It looks like you all had a pretty good time though, I'm sure he will grow up with many fond memories of his time spent with you. Your girl evenings sound wonderful, I'm sure you'll have such wonderful ones with Marlowe too.

  7. you have such a beautiful home. and i love that you have no tv, from a fellow non tv-haver.=)

  8. Aaawww love how close your daughter is to your half-brother. Looks like they had so much fun together! 🙂

  9. Ummm. . . there is not entertaining them at the teen/tween age. I'm struggling with it like crazy right now. To me, these years are the hardest years. The years when they think they don't need you, when they aren't saying "Mom! Mom! Mom! Come look!" but constantly asking why you are even interested in what is going on in their life and friends become the most important thing in the world. Oh lord, it's a trip. I see a lot of wine in my future. Enjoy the shit out of these precious years mama! Looks like your brother is amazing with Marlowe though, is sweet, kind and had a good time despite a lack of technology. 😉 I'm sure Marlowe loved it.

  10. NO VIDEO GAMES *gasp*

    no, we're the same. No TV connection (we do have a screen) and no video games. Tweens WORST nightmare!

    xo em

  11. I love this post so much! My only sibling is a 17 year old sister (I'm 28). I ALWAYS wanted to have a girl and was terrified when I found out I was pregnant with a boy…but now I couldn't imagine ever having a girl. I think if any future kids are girls I might buckle with all of the fear involved. Anyway, anytime we watch my sister while my parents travel I feel exactly like you mentioned here. She's ready to die of boredom. She goes in another room to call her friends and talk about my lame house without all the cool stuff. She sits on her computer. Haha. It's always entertaining, sort of.

  12. I think it's interesting to see how differently families live. Even though you're part of the same family, and you share so much, you live entirely different lives. I honestly think how you're raising Marlowe is refreshing. There's just so much stuff out there, and to see you really working on creating a minimal lifestyle is just…so nice.

  13. Haha! Your little brother is adorable! I love kids so much. Every single age brings a new challenge and a slightly different way of thinking. I think regardless of gender, the tween/teen years are going to be very interesting! I know that I was an absolute terror and had the absolute worst relationship with my mom ever. Thank goodness we're past that. 😉

    The Rambling Fangirl

  14. This looks my house everyday. It's very interesting having a tween and a two year old under one roof all the time. Hilarious at times, but also stressful at times….and soon we will be adding a new baby to the mix. Send lots of wine! 🙂 It looks like they had a great time together though!

  15. I had to watch my tween-age nephew once when my son was tiny and I seriously felt like I had to entertain him. He was so bored and we have TV's and computers and video games… I finally ended up making-up a science experiment with a diaper and water (do not ask, I had vaguely remembered doing something in Girl Scouts so I went with it). Ah yes and I totally remember looking at my little baby the next day seriously wondering how I was going to relate in a few years… Six years later I can tell you almost every superhero and Star Wars character on the planet. Oh boys.

  16. You are speaking my language, Drea. Those words about being a mum to a girl I could just tell the world myself. I love the way you live your life together as a family, how you bond with your girl and will be in years to come. It's great to be a girl and raise a girl, isn't it? xxx