Friday, February 24, 2017

A Spring Wishlist

This (overused ;)) photo is from last year (Henry is so small!) but has me so excited about warm weather!

It's almost Spring! Here in Prescott we usually have one or two more snow storms, then it'll be smooth sailing into warm weather. We actually have snow on the forecast for next week, and I'm hoping that's it, but we might get one last one before April (or even IN April like some years past!). I'm really ready for spring time clothing, talking walks everyday (with Olive while the boys are in school!), and getting all of the sunshine we need. It's kind of fun having a baby right before Spring hits- there's definitely a sense of renewal and an added excitement of so much new! It's a happy time, for sure.

Today I wanted to round up some of the things I'm most excited about for this new season! Enjoy, and if you're already experiencing warm weather, send some our way!

These hats are my very favorite. The Panama version is the best, but there are a ton to choose from.

Some easy breezy tops: one, two, and three.

This dress is at the top of my list. It love the lavender color.

I'm loving this cardigan.

This oversized jumpsuit looks like a great, comfy postpartum item!

I have a pair of these overalls hanging in my closet waiting for them to fit again! I ordered them while pregnant so they're new to me- and how cute are the shorts!? A must-have for spring.

I'm really excited about getting away from super skinny jeans and into other shapes. I think these are just adorable and look super flattering. Plus, check out that price!

I love this sweet dress! This one too.

Isn't this bag so fun? It would be great for a beachy springtime vacation.

Free People has SO much good stuff for spring: one, two, and three.

Loving this simple top from ASOS. And this dress!

Everyone needs an Eliza Gran tote for the spring/summer months. So cute.

Spring shoe refresh: these sneakers, these wedges, and these sandals.

Happy shopping! xo

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Currently.


Reading: The BEST book. I can't put it down, but I'm forcing myself to only read a little before bed each night so I can drag it out and enjoy it. I usually read books way too quickly, and get sad they're over. From the first pages of this one I knew it would be great, and now that I'm halfway through it's only getting better. It's a story about race told from the very different perspectives of characters in the story. I didn't know anything about it when I downloaded the sample to my Kindle, and I'm glad I didn't You should do the same- just get it now and thank me later.

Watching: Arrival. Have you seen this movie yet? It really blew me away and I've been thinking about it a ton since I watched it the other night. I wasn't too sure what to expect, but I was really surprised with how emotional it was, and how much it spoke to me as a mother. I don't want to say too much, but I highly recommend it as one of the best movies I've seen in a long time. Also...HBO! The new season of Girls and Big Little Lies. Regarding Girls, I would say the first episode of this season was one of my favorites yet. I absolutely loved seeing Hannah out of her element and felt really happy for her that she was able to experience that. I just watched Big Little Lies this evening and enjoyed it. I actually thought I had read the book already (and maybe I have but don't remember), but the show so far is so engaging and chock full of great actors! I'm so excited about this series.

Planning: TWO weeks 'til the baby so life is all about getting ready for little Olive! Right now my major focus is on preparing for my maternity leave from Ergobaby, Daley PR and various clients. I'm only taking off a short time but both boys in school and a newborn, I will be able to work during naps and downtime once I return, which is great. Side note- this sounds easier than it will be, so I'll keep you posted on how that is going! haha. We're also finishing up her room and I'm hoping to have it completed as soon as our glider arrives. Although I had to remind myself the other day that she won't even be sleeping in there for at least half of a year! It's so funny to rush rush rush only to not even have them in their room for so long. I still can't wrap my head around the fact that it's almost time...

Dreaming of: post-baby clothes! Oh my gosh- there are so many amazing things coming out for Spring and I am so excited. I don't feel a big rush to get back to my "pre-baby body," (all in good time!) but I am excited to wear normal jeans again. I have my eye on a pair of these for sure- I'm so over super skinny jeans and I want are cute mom-type, boyfriendy ones. Those are quite expensive, but I feel like when you just have 1-2 pairs you wear all the time it's worth the investment. I also love, love any of these from this new-to-me brand, and the frayed bottoms are so cute. Another thing I'll need to keep in mind is that I'll have to find some nursing-friendly tops- I'll do a little round up soon with some ideas.

Eating: I'm so predictable with my pregnancy cravings. Like clockwork towards the end of this pregnancy my love for all things apple shifted for a love for all things citrus! I can't get enough of the tiny Clementine oranges and eat an absurd amount each day. It was same way with my pregnancies with Henry and Charlie. Looking back now the big things that differentiated that I was having a girl or boy seemed to be in the very beginning- besides carrying super high with Olive, I would say most things have been exactly the same, right down to what I'm into eating.

xo

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Self-Love at 34.


This is another post in the Together We Mother series, a collaborative blogging effort by myself and a handful of friends where we all write on one topic on a selected day. I'll link to all of their sites at the end of my post, and I encourage you to check out what they've shared! This month's topic is self-love.
--------------------

Before I became a mother I remember reading an article about taking care of yourself after having children. The details are hazy but I can still recall a comparison between an airplane oxygen mask and parenting- you have to put your mask on first, before you can help anyone else. For some reason this visual has stuck with me over the years, burrowed a little hole into my brain, and resided there over all of this time as I've become a parent to one, to two, and now to three little ones.

And every so often I check to make sure my own mask is on tight. Am I doing everything I can to love myself fully? Any of the times I've felt my worst I can look back now and see these were periods where I sorely lacked self-love. That love comes in so many forms- it's taking time out to nourish your relationships and in turn nourishing yourself, it's getting enough sunshine in the winter, it's sweating every day...eating well, prioritizing yourself, looking in the mirror with love instead of judgment...the list goes on. And over the years I have found that when I don't have all of these moving pieces in my life working together, the wheels start to come off the wagon a little. And being a mama, this has a ripple effect on my entire family.

But knowing what works for you means knowing yourself. And this can be a journey all in its own. It can take a long time to get to a place where you can read the signs your body is showing you, where you can anticipate and react before beginning to feel bad- preventing rather than constantly cleaning up messes. I'm grateful I know myself so much better now. I understand what works for me and what I need in my life to be the best version of myself, and in turn the best partner and mother possible.

In my world, I need a few things daily- exercise, sunshine, time spent alone, healthy food, lots of water, and to feel connected to those I love. It sounds like a lot, but once I began to recognize how important each of these things were, I saw how easy they were to fit into different parts of my day, even on a small scale. This is self-love to me. Taking care of myself so I can take care of my family. Loving myself first, so I can love everyone around me with everything I've got.

A couple of years ago Hank and I attended a New Year's Eve yoga workshop. It was part yoga, part intention setting, and there was a lot of talk about self love and getting to a place where we spoke to ourselves with only love, all of the time. It resonated with me so much, because as someone who has experienced periods where self-love was lacking, I have learned that what we say to ourselves, we eventually believe. It's my job to teach this to my children, in the hope that maybe one day they'll have an easier time figuring it out than I did. Little ears and eyes are paying attention, and I feel lucky for this, because it's a daily reminder that I only get one chance to do it right.

"Loving yourself…does not mean being self-absorbed or narcissistic, or disregarding others. Rather it means welcoming yourself as the most honored guest in your own heart, a guest worthy of respect, a lovable companion." -Margo Anand


Be sure to check out the creative women in the #TogetherWeMother Series by visiting their blogs below: 



Photos by Morgan Pansing



Monday, February 20, 2017

Weekend Links


Wait, it's Monday? I just went to finish this up and realized it wasn't the weekend, and these weekend links are more like Monday links. Oh well! We just got home from a night in Mesa- we spent time with one of my best friends and her family, then spent the night at my parents' house. It was a really good time and absolutely filled up my heart with so much joy to be around the people I love the most. 2.5 weeks until I deliver this baby and I'm extra emotional, so I'm really feeling the love!

Anyway...here are some links for your...Monday! ;) Enjoy.

18 photos that won't make sense to sisterless families.

I LOVE all of these sunglasses. I can't even pick a favorite but I definitely am going to choose one for this spring/summer.

On creative shame.

There is no link between immigration and increased crime, this four year study says.

Watch this video.

What it's like to be black and pregnant.

I'm working on a hospital bag post, and it's been fun deciding what I'll be bringing with me. This time around I'll be packing a set of these pajamas (with short sleeves) for easy nursing access.

Vacationing in Maine in the 1960s. I love this!

The Grammys and motherhood.

For Olive: this cute set and this little dress.

Belly button rings: where are they now?

This is terrible news.

The cut throat world of selling Girl Scout cookies.

I just ordered a few of these to try out before baby comes. I hope I love at least ONE of them!

The worst things to eat at Trader Joe's.

However, these are on my dinner radar: Thai Basil Beef and Tomato-Glazed Meatloaves.

And on my dessert radar: Blood Orange and Cardamom Cake. WHOA. The photo I included above is from this post- amazing-looking right?!

I really, really love these bracelets. I have the one for Balance.

How to actually get stuff done after work when all you want to do is watch television.

And how to make sleep a priority again.

Wishlist: ANY of these bags for summer, this dress, and these shoes.

Also- one, two, and three. And how cute is this?

A really interesting read about "Instagram influencers."

This movie is on my must-see list, for sure.

I really loved this very down-to-earth, functional fashion round-up.

Have you ever tried a GLAMGLOW mask? I haven't, but want to! Let me know if you have and would recommend it!

I'm ordering one of these amazing looking tumblers, stat! Go Jenna!

How to live your values through your business.

And finally, life lessons from The Bachelor.

xoxo

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Not My Story To Tell


The other week I received an email from a blog reader about something they've noticed on this blog. This wasn't the first time I've received a message like this- they've become more frequent over the past couple of years or so- and when I opened this one up and read it, it made me take pause. The email asked me what had changed, why I no longer really shared a lot about the boys on my blog or on Instagram. I had received a similar direct message the other week when I posted a photo of toothless Henry with his swimming band- a long time reader reached out and said how nice it was to see his face, and to get a mini-update, and that it had been so long since I'd done so. Both messages are not uncommon for me to get, especially as of late, and I wanted to chat about it here today.

Sharing about the boys has been a much-discussed topic here. I've always viewed it as a fine line, and something I struggle with often. How much is too much? My boys are 3.5 and 6 now, and as time goes on I have pulled back more and more to the point where only talk about things that are going on with them here and there. I'm still taking the photos of course, but rather than sharing every little bit in a public forum, I'm keeping them for us, printing them out in albums, enjoying all of these moments together without sharing them online. That's not to say that I've taken some new stance against social media- but always a re-evaluator, I'm at a point now where I'm taking another fresh look at all of this.

Most of all, I believe their stories are not mine to tell.

I think back to my blog in the earlier days and how much content I shared about Henry- I don't regret it, but there are times where I think that if I could go back, I would have been even more careful about what I put out there. My number one job is to protect my children, and I often wonder if I did the right thing back then. If we were discussing this over lunch, in the same breath I would probably then mention how much I enjoy writing and telling our story, my story- connecting with people and sharing. But then I would also add that my desire for connection will never ever outweigh any sort of need to protect my children and their own personal stories.

As much as I love blogging and social media, it is not my kids' jobs to bring smiles to faces through my posts, make a stranger's day on Instagram with a cute anecdote or photo, or connect with anyone else. Kind of a weird thing to type out, but wouldn't you agree with that? I haven't always done this correctly with plenty of missteps along the way, but as both they and I grow, I'm learning more and more what works for us. I do believe there is a way to integrate your family into your blog and social media properly, but it takes a lot of thought and mindfulness. For instance, I know I will want to share about Olive's birth, our nursing experience (whatever it may be), and related topics. But I think the key is making it me-centric, rather than focusing on the child. And as they get older, doing the same- this is my story, so sharing my thoughts and experiences from my protective lens. The boys are pieces of everything of course, but mindfully gauging the level of inclusion is so important. As a writer or blogger this is a tricky space to navigate when you value telling your own story- your children are obviously huge parts of that- but I do believe it can be done while respecting your children's privacy.

So here are the questions I ask myself before I post anything about the boys:

Why am I posting this?
Would they mind today if I shared this with the world? Would they mind in 10, 20 years?
Would I want this, shared about me, today?
How would I feel looking back at this post about a child me, today? Or looking back on it as a teenager?

And I proceed.

So I ask you- what are your thoughts? Do you ever think to yourself as you read blogs- wow, this is a LOT about their kids? Or do you enjoy reading the details? In your own social sharing, do you choose to post about your children? How do you decide what to share?

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

xo

Monday, February 13, 2017

March 10th.


It still hits me sometimes when I'm doing the simplest of things- setting out two lunchboxes to fill before school, driving in the car with my little singers in the middle row, standing in front of the mirror looking at this belly that is growing bigger everyday- this is it. To be there, to look around and know you're in the place you have always dreamt of, and to have these clear, open eyes to take it all in- how lucky and blessed and overwhelming it feels. The other day I was checking out at Trader Joe's, the boys on either side of the cart, and the cashier said to me- "It never gets better than this, right here. These are the days you will look back to and miss the most." I nodded and smiled, "I'm sure that's true." And really, I know that it is.

We're preparing now for another baby. We have a month to go, and although we are busy with school and work and basketball and everything in between, our sweet girl has become a part of almost everything we do. "Do you think Olive will like this book?" Charlie asks as we read before bed. "Can Olive sleep in here with me?" Henry wants to know. I wonder all day long what she will be like, look like, smell like, sound like. And Hank and I lay in bed at night and talk about the future- three children and what that means, dreams we have for our family, where we see ourselves in a year, two, ten.

And although most of the newborn days are hazy, I can remember each boys' birth vividly, and the moment they were placed on my chest. Looking in their eyes, taking in their features, feeling an "I know you" recollection that is part déjà vu and part something very, very old that aches in the sweetest way, felt deep in my heart. Both times it's been the oddest sensation. And I think I'm looking forward to that most of all- one last time to experience this first. Perhaps my most favorite first of all.

There aren't many instances in life we are able to get a do-over. I've written on this before, the feeling we get when we look back at something important in our lives. It's easy to feel that "if I knew then what I know now" and have thoughts about what we would do differently. That's a gift I find buried somewhere inside raising multiple children. With Henry, although I was warned of how fast it would go, I didn't fully grasp it. Time slipped by too quickly. It went by in a flash, newborn, three months, three years, halfway to twelve. And with Charlie, although I knew time would move even faster, I was able to be more intentional about it because yes, I had done it before. Third time around all I care about is slow. I know exactly how painfully quick the first week will go, followed by those first months. That newborn period, one of the sweetest there is, will be gone in the blink of an eye, floating away in a haze of sleeplessness and surviving. But intentional- that's my focus. Each day taking the time to soak up that happy, heavy feeling of a soft, warm baby nestled into my chest, the small sounds and facial movements, the stretching of limbs no longer confined, the steady breathing on my neck while she lays sleeping on me at night. And this time, the third time, I know enough to take extra pause each day to memorize as much as I can.

So here we are, this family of four, four weeks away from meeting the little one who will complete our family. March 10th for her birthday, a Friday that is 10 days before the start of spring. So fitting that our little girl would usher in this new season with a burst of excitement, a flurry of new. Flowers will be blooming and so will we, coming alive in the warm weather, sunshine on our faces and soaking up every bit of this new in our lives. Four to five, and so incredibly grateful. Here we go...

(all items c/o except the slippers, rug, and outfit)

Sunday, February 12, 2017

A Little Green Here, A Little Green There



Did you see my post a couple weeks ago about Art.com's campaign with Pantone's Color of the Year? Since then I've read a few different articles on the color- greenery- and it's been interesting to learn more about the why on this color choice. Green is a big part of our lives since we try to spend as much time as possible outdoors, but we don't necessarily have a lot of green in our home. A few plants here and there, but I don't have a huge green thumb so I don't always gravitate toward filling spaces with plants. I'd love to have more around though- maybe this year will be my year!

The more I've focused on this color, the more I've realized how calming and wonderful it is! It just makes me happy. And today I wanted to share some photos of the items we received from Art.com, and how they're looking in our home. This afternoon we spent some time hanging pictures and getting organized, and it made my 36-week pregnant, nesting self so happy. Henry elected to put his special green print right above his bed and Charlie helped with some of the other items. Next week I'll share a few more things and how we placed them around our home, as well as some more greenery picks from Art.com- they have a whole section dedicated to the color which is super helpful.

Here are some photos- and if you have a moment, take a look at Art.com's Greenery collection- so many affordable, cute things to spice up your home. And they're having a big sale now too!

xo


This post was shared in collaboration with Art.com. Thanks for reading!
 
Blogging tips