I interrupt my regularly scheduled programming...

July 24, 2014

to bring you this:

my favorite rendition of one of my favorite bump pictures.

You've probably seen these sweeping the Internet lately (I especially love this family portrait, and this one of my dear blogging friend). When I was little, I thought faceless pictures were creepy (anyone else? haha). Luckily I grew out of that, and now I love this watercolor style.

I had this picture made into a portrait for me, and I'm going to hang it in the baby room. I wanted a way to commemorate my pregnancy, and this was an artistic and timeless way for me to do it. Plus, I reached that point where where you start to question "am I building a shrine to myself when I print out pictures of me and my family and hang them EVERYWHERE in my home?" Soooooo. This counts as art instead.

Anyway, it was done by the amazing Susanna Avila. No, she's not paying me to say this, although, in the spirit of full disclosure, yes she is my cousin. Mostly I just really love my picture so I wanted to share :) It would be perfect birthday present for someone, too! I won't say it would make a great Christmas present, because this is July, people.

Here's her contact information:
Susanna Avila Art

Go check out her work! You can thank me later :)

PS I want these macarones. Like right now.

basically I have this mom thing down

July 23, 2014

Last week, I was waiting in the doctor's office with Claire for her two-week appointment. There was another new mom waiting who started up a conversation with me. Her baby was born two days earlier than mine, and we had the same brand carseat cover. So clearly we were going to be BFFs. We kept chatting, and then she started talking about birthday party themes.

"I'm not sure what to do yet for a birthday party for little Benson," she said. "I love the theme of airplanes and travel."

"Yeah," I said.

"But then I was looking on Pinterest, and I saw the cutest little Up themed party. Balloons everywhere and stuff, you know."

"Yeah," I said again. (I know, I'm great at conversation.)

"Do you know what you're going to do for a party yet?" she asked.

"Oh, I don't think I'm one of those people who throws a little party when their baby turns one month old."

"I'm not talking about a month-old party. I'm talking about when our babies turn one year old."

I blinked.

And blinked again.

"You're already planning your baby's one-year-old birthday party?" I asked.

"Well yeah," she said. "I was going to do a tea party themed one if I had a girl. You should totally do that," she said.

I blinked a third time. "That's 49 weeks away."

Maybe we weren't destined to be BFFs after all. Just then, the nurse called "Claire!" I just sat there, thinking about the type of person that starts planning a birthday party 49 weeks in advance. And here I had been feeling great that I did my hair that morning.

"Claire?" called the nurse again.

"Um, isn't that you?" the girl asked politely, gesturing toward my baby.

"What -? Oh. Oh gosh. Yes." Oh yeah. I have a baby. And her name is Claire. I quickly gathered up my stuff.

The nurse was giving me a funny look (don't you know your own baby?), so I tried explaining. "Sorry! We usually just call her Squeaks or Baby Girl or The Squishy One. Haha...ha...." I trailed off lamely. She gave an obligatory half smile, but the funny look didn't go away.

And then later I discovered I only wore one earring all day. So basically I have this mom thing down. Hashtag winning.

It's a good thing I have a cute baby to make up for all of that :)

But seriously, those eyes.

our birthing experience

July 17, 2014

Many of you have asked me to share Claire's birth story here on this blog. I've debated about this a lot, and decided not to share her birth story in the traditional sense. The whole birthing experience was incredible, personal, and for the most part, wonderful for me. I'm happy to share my experience with family and friends, but some things are too special for public blogs, and to me, this is one of them. I really hope you'll understand and love me anyway.

That being said, here are a few snapshots and memories from our special day:

right before we left for the hospital - the last pictures with my bump. I had been having painful contractions for 25 hours straight - blech! They were consistently 7 minutes apart. I was trying to forego the hospital until they got down to 5 minutes apart, but after a whole day I was so fed up I decided we should just go! Luckily they told me I was definitely in labor and more than halfway there to having my baby, so they kept me :)

playing the waiting game - post epidural, so I had stopped squeezing Sam's hand and shouting ridiculous things like "she will be an only child! I am not going through this again!" :)

The first pictures with our baby girl. All I want to say on this blog is that if you believe death is the end, come to a live birth sometime. My angel mom was there. She was there to hand off the care of my daughter to me, and make sure my baby got here safely. I have rarely felt so peaceful, or so close to my angel mother. (It was my mom's birthday, by the way. I love that my daughter and my mom share a birthday.)

Oh, and the post-birth recovery process involved the most delicious chocolate shake from JCW's that I have ever had. Ever. :)  It also involved a lot of staring at our baby in total awe. 

And then - visitors!

The next morning, I woke up with a terrible headache. It was beyond horrible - I couldn't sit up or nurse or do anything except lay there. I also did a lot of crying and complaining - lucky Sam. Turns out it was a random complication that affects one in every 500 women - and I was the lucky 1, woot woot. After three terrible days and a misdiagnosis from a doctor, I finally went the to the emergency room so they could stop my spinal fluid from leaking out of my skull. It's a quick and almost instant fix (basically they give you another epidural), and things have been SO MUCH better since then! It was an almost instantaneous day and night difference. We are loving every second with our darling girl.

    New Mommy Moment: Featuring Amy, Rachel, and Carly

    July 15, 2014

    I try to keep things in balance here on this blog. It's a little bit of everything: fashion, food, teaching, crafting, adventures, family. I realize my posts have definitely been unbalanced lately - it's been all about baby! The last few posts, and the next few posts, will be all about motherhood and our squishy baby girl. I hope you'll indulge me in this. Having a baby changes everything, and I'm excited to share our hospital experience, as well as a few more pictures of our tiny one. Posts on this blog will get back to the normal balance soon, although you'll find a lot more pictures of a certain cute baby than you used to. As my life changes, it's natural that my lifestyle blog content will change a little too. In the meantime, rest assured that it won't ALWAYS be about baby, and thanks for reading along!

    Today I have the last of my motherhood features. Three gorgeous women are sharing a little moment from when they became a mom. 

    Amy from Harris Inc:

    I pretty much exclusively breast fed Brooks from day one.  He was a good eater and rarely ever spit up.  One morning when Brooks was about three months old,  I brought him into bed with us when he woke up so that I could feed him.  I fed him like normal and he was his happy, content self.  I passed him off to my husband who was playing "airplane" with him.  We were both laughing because Brooks thought it was so funny, when all of the sudden Matt tipped him forward putting more pressure on his belly and BLAHHHH... he projectile vomited all over my husbands face, nose, and mouth!  It was so disgusting and Matt was freaking out.  Instead of taking the baby and getting something for Matt to clean up with, I sat there laughing my head off and taking pictures.  At the time Matt was not too pleased with me as he couldn't breathe without inhaling baby vomit but now it is something we look back on and laugh.  Plus, it's a funny picture to have and show Brooks someday...so really, I was just helping out in a different way :)

    Rachel from Her Threaded Needle:

    he's growing up so fast. it makes me a little sad, and a little excited to watch my baby man turn into a little man. soon enough, he'll just be a man, but my man just the same. I try to soak in every moment with luke, because these moments are so fleeting.
    each morning I wake up to the cooing of my little alarm clock down the hall. I open his door and he grins as I scoop him up. I take him back to bed with me, and we snuggle amongst the blankets and pillows while he nurses. he, of course, is focused on only one thing, and I breathe in his baby smell as I kiss his head. he is still, except for one little foot that rotates around. he is happy. I whisper to him then, in the early morning. I whisper things I want him to remember, things I used to whisper while his heart still beat inside my body as I cradled my expanding tummy. things I whispered to him as soon as he was placed in my arms after birth, and every morning since. you are strong. you are safe. you are loved. the things I say vary a little each day, but always, always, you are loved.
    my parents told me these things, in whispers as well as in actions. It was the way my dad made me model new clothes for him, and the way he whistled as he said, you are beautiful each Sunday morning. It was the way my spelling tests were preserved in photo albums or hung on the fridge that my mother said you are smart. It was the way dad snuggled me on the couch every evening and the way my mom signed I love you with her hands as my school bus drove away each morning that said you are loved, you are safe.
    I spent a lot of elementary school lunches eating in a bathroom stall because I stood up for what I believed in. after, I'd look in the mirror before I headed back to my personal hell and wipe my tears and think, I am loved. and I am strong because I can do this.

    As I took my tests in school, I remembered previous tests, proudly displayed at home, and think, I am smart.
    And in the afternoons, as I jumped off the bus and ran through our front door, I thought, I am safe.
    I am loved, I am smart, I am safe. It was these words, these thoughts these feelings that kept me going through these tormenting years.

    One day soon, I'll hang his tests on our fridge, tell him he's handsome in his Sunday tie, and I'll sign I love you as he watches from the bus window. But for now, right now, these whispers are enough.

    you are safe. you are handsome. you are strong.
    you are loved.
    I whisper these important things I know he'll remember, and I breathe in his baby smell. His downy hairs tickle my nose. And each morning, when his belly is full, he smiles, touches my cheek and coos.

    I love you, too."


    You'd think as a teacher I'd be TOTALLY prepared for mommy hood, right? Wrong! I had everything planned to the minute.  Until our darling daughter decided to remain breech, and enter the world via a C section.  Already doing things her own way!  I guess all that praying I did for a strong personality? Was a little too effective!

    Thank you so much ladies! I turned off comments to this post - go visit their blogs and leave some love instead!

    Amy // Blog // Pinterest // Twitter // Instagram
    Rachel // Blog // Pinterest // Twitter // Instagram
    Carly // Blog // Pinterest // Twitter // Instagram
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