Monday, October 31, 2011

times they are a changin' - halloween 2011


My how times have changed.
In my day Halloween was spent preparing for weeks for the 'perfect costume' be it scary or sweet.
Rushing home from school to finish homework and squeeze in dinner all so we could get ready to 'go out'.
We'd hit the main street (my brother and I) and by the time we got to the end of the block I was usually done.
I'd gotten scared out of my mind by the older kids on the block one year and a couple of houses had really spooky decor.
I was not excited about it.
On occasion we might go one or two streets over but that was a rarity and all based on my mood.
No we were old fashioned and went door to door asking our strange neighbors for candy.
And oddly enough - most folks participated even if they didn't have kids.
I guess it was the spirit of the community.
These days "Trick-or-Treating" is kind of a thing of the past.
Kids still get dressed up and are pretty excited at the prospect of an assortment of goodies and their parents encouraging them to grab as many as possible, but there isn't the same level of neighborly participation it seems.
Houses are dark and kids aren't wandering the streets as they were in my day.
They go to church for Trunks'n'Treats (which I think is a brilliant idea) or they go to their local mall or downtown civic area where store owners hand out candy.
There's usually a band and a bouncy house of some kind and everyone is in a spirited mood.
Oh and it starts at 3pm.
From what I remember you don't go out until it was good & dark and you had take your flashlight with you!
Somehow Halloween has evolved from being a dark and spooky evening with children wandering the streets to being that of a festive afternoon at the local shopping center, chatting it up with friends and perhaps grabbing a bite to eat.
In previous years Sweet Pea didn't really participate in Halloween.
She just wasn't really keen on it and her dad had never done it growing up so he was not a big fan.
And like I said before it's never really been my cup of tea either.
 (thanks neighbor boys for ruining it for me)
However last year she got her first 'store bought' costume,carved a small pumpkin and went trick-or-treating with some friends and it was all good.
So this year we did the same.
However, there are rules for our participation.
Nothing scary, or skanky or super expensive.
No witches or goblins or anything 'dark'.
We only want light and fun creatures prancing around our home.
Saturday we went by our friends the Muhammad's and participated in their neighborhood's annual costume contest and pumpkin carving.

Today I picked her up from school, she did homework and off we went.
She got a bit of candy but at the first stop but was a bit tuckered out to hit up our other local shopping center.
Go figure.
We were home by 5:30pm.
Having skipped my afternoon nap I was totally okay with that.
Babe had gone and picked up a bag of candy much to my chagrin as I think in the almost 3 years we've lived here we've had maybe 3 trick-or-treater's?
We had one tonight.
So guess who will be forced to eat all the Reese's peanut butter cups?
Oy.



Sunday, October 30, 2011

color bind


Have you ever read a blog that moved you to your core randomly?
Like you've never met this person and this is the first time you've read their words but suddenly you find yourself sobbing in front of your computer?
Yeah - that's what happened when I discovered Life in Grace.
Edie had just lost everything in a devastating house fire and was grateful to escape with her life and that of her family in tact.
I was terribly moved and crying at work.
She was so full of grace and Christ's love while suffering a tragic loss and it just rocked me to my core to see how her faith was overshadowing her loss.
I've followed her blog for the last year as she posted about their re-building process and found myself scouring older posts to see the wonder that was her house before.
This month she's working on a 31 day series documenting the transformation of her new living space. 
It's awesome.
Edie's workroom. I die for that chair. this speaks to my heart

This morning over my spiced cider and pumpkin bread I was able to catch up on the progress and fell in love.
You can tell how much she loves her home and the people who reside there.
How she wants it to be a place of rest, worship and comfort for all who enter it's doors.
I dig it so much.
She is not afraid to go out on a limb and use color.
Mix fabric and textures or color schemes.
I admire that.
And in my current state of nesting-ness it's been a huge boon to my creative spirit.
Currently I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place as I have a strong desire to "redcorrange" things around the homestead but it's a bit difficult to get things 'just so' when you don't outright own the place.
So I'm making do with what I have and changing a bit of the scenery if I can't change the landscape.
Does that even make sense?
I want new pillows for the couch and would love a new rug but that would take eons to mull over and finally decide on one we both like
 (for some reason Babe likes to insert his design aesthetic into my ambitions- go figure)
But I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.
No for now I'm quite content to imagine and use Pinterest as a medium to house all my ideas until I'm able to put them into action.
It's also helped me realize what my house 'style' is.
I think I described it last week as a modern, eclectic?
i love this whole scheme

hello color!

Anyway - in reading Edie's blog and touring a few of my friends homes (whom I consider to be swell homemakers) I've found a certain vibe that I am slightly consumed by.
I want my house to be cozy & fun.
Functional but modern and still whimsical.
I am not stuffy and matchy-matchy and I strive for the space I reside in to have the same feeling.
There is something about all the homes I love that has a re-curring theme - they have no fear.
No inhibition when it comes to their decorating style and layout.
As a teen I spent a lot of time moving furniture or adding posters to the walls and as a young adult we lived in the 'crayola house' (each wall was a different color in our living room)
It's made me realize I need to get back to that feeling.
Looking at Edie's home brought out something in me.
Her unabashed love of color and seemingly reckless abandon when it comes to mixing patterns,textures and colors in a room just rocks my socks.
Because right now it's just a lot of brown and tan.
an old photo as things have since been re-arranged but the color are still pretty much the same

The whole nursery decorating process has really brought that into focus.
It's been awhile since I was able to design a room from scratch if ever, and there are so many good ideas out there it makes me slightly overwhelmed and anxious to narrow it down.
But I do know this - I like bold and bright colors that are also inviting and warm.
So while I'm pretty sure this will be a work in progress there will be plenty of updates on how I  we fine tune this place and make it our own.
And who knows what type of inspiration the next house will bring.

Tell me, do you have any decorating aspirations?
What's your home's style?



Saturday, October 29, 2011

getting it done

This is my last week home with Babe and it has been a doozy.
We've spent the majority of the week cleaning and organizing everything.
I've mentioned before I'm a little obsessive compulsive about my things and where and how they are put away so having him 'help' me was a bit of a challenge on my part.
Top that off with being a natural procrastinator (I am notorious for starting projects and not following through) and you have a recipe for FUN!
However, it turned out better than expected.
Monday I had lunch w/ my girlfriend and her mini-man (my boyfriend) and we ran errands and caught up.
Tuesday was another trip to the doctor where I discovered I've gained 7lbs.
In. two. weeks.
Perhaps I should lay off the bacon covered everything?
Meh.
(yes, that seems a bit vain and I realize I'm with child but that doesn't mean I should turn into a whale does it?)
awkward angle trying to see how far my toes stick out while not tipping over
Then our computer went black.
Insert panic attack here (no internet!!??? how will I survive?)
Wednesday I cruised on down to my parents neck of the woods to pick up/ drop off some things.
Stopped by my mothers to get a basket for the changing table and subsequently set off the house alarm.
Sweet.
No police came crashing around the corner and I called to let her know it was me lest she think there was a robbery gone wrong.
Decided to cruise by Chartreuse Home Furnishings on the way to my dad's and finally purchased the famous pinecone candle as I have been obsessed by candles lately and I am so happy I did!
My whole house smells delicious!
Went to my dads to chat it up and bring him some of the delicious pot roast from Sunday and we started discussing our computer issue (mainly that it's time for Babe and I to get a new one and upgrade) and he happened to have a brand spanking new HP still in the box just laying around.
What the what?!
Who does that? Oh my crazy dad + a late night QVC marathon.
So he generously offered it to us and Babe set it up yesterday.
It's fabulous.
Web cam and all that so now I can skype w/ my long lost bff's!!
When I returned home I settled in for a nice nap and then got busy going through my 500 million bins of random things I've had since the beginning of time it feels like!
I found old fliers from my promotion days in Atlanta, business cards for friends, prom pictures, and the blessed mixed tapes!



It was so fun to go through all that and take my trip down memory lane.
Ahhh, the memories.
Babe was also super impressed that I actually sat down to do it but I chalk that up to the fact that I finished my book early Monday morning and haven't really gotten sucked into a new one yet.
It feels good to have made such progress in such a short amount of time.
I'm really proud of us.
I organized all my craft things
 (note to self - you have a ton of craft paint, the only other ones you need are the glitter paints.)
And labeled all the drawers and am super pleased with the resulting organization.
So now Baby Ninja's room is all cleared out and ready for Babe to paint.

I'm pretty excited to see how the grey turns out on the wall and to get the crib put together.
I have a few other projects I want to do for in there but am trying to take it slow and do one thing at a time.
Well try to anyway.

What have you accomplished this week?

Friday, October 28, 2011

significant chatter

there are times when we (women) like to run our mouths for no particular reason.
just make conversation with folks and get our chit-chat on.
most days its simply because we require some kind of adult conversation and some days we just need to vent.
However, I am a fan of significant chatter.
You know conversations that actually mean something?
Where you skip the banal pleasantries and get down to the nitty gritty?
Those are my favorite.
It doesn't have to be deeply profound - it can be as simple as discussing paint colors or as deep as discussing our place in life.
All the same it still moves me and re-kindles something inside me.
I had the pleasure of spending some QT with one of my favorite ladies and we chatted it up all the day long.
And then we went to dinner with her and chatted it up some more.
And it was good.
My heart was full and happy.
Aside from eating at one of our favorite restaurants it was just a good time to catch up and share thoughts and ideas.
It's funny, how a few moments with quality women can affect your life in such a positive manner.
It seemed we touched on every topic under the sun - family, friendships, kids, husbands, life.
It was good indeed.
To take a moment out of our super busy lives full of kids, family and other commitments and just be.
Enjoy one another's company.
And it got me thinking - I have been truly blessed in the last year regarding my friendships and how they've grown.
I lost a few along the way that I thought had potential but in the grand scheme of things it was for the best.
I gained some quality folks and couldn't be happier about them.
They are some choice ladies let me tell ya.
And also my friendships with my other girls was strengthened as well.
I was reminded why God chooses to place people in our lives at seemingly just the right time.
I love that about this season in my life.
Things are falling into place in a most magical way and it just makes me grateful.

What are you grateful for today?


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Souful Sunday

I am super jazzed and in an excellent mood.
Not much could thwart it to be honest.
Babe let me sleep in way past what I wanted but exactly as long as I needed.
I have pumpkin bread baking in my oven (thank you Trader Joe's) and thusly my house smells DIVINE,

the sun is shining, I got all my items at the grocery store for under $40 (whoop whoop!), my Sweet Pea is happily hanging out in her room in her jammies and I don't have a problem with that.
Babe is hunkered down on the couch for his weekly Sunday football fest.
I'm making a pot roast with smoky new potatoes and green beans for dinner and possibly cornbread or biscuits ( I haven't decided which).
Life is pretty good.

This has been my first week "off" of work and while it has been busy doing things around the house (hello clean kitchen sink, bathroom and mirrors) it has been quite relaxing as well.
We are getting into a familiar routine and that soothes my soul.
I can pretty much feel the stress melting away and the anxiety is waning each day.
God is good.
It's also helped that Babe is still off and has been around to help with a lot of things (ahem....scrubbing the bathtub) that my burgeoning belly won't allow.
It's been actually nice having him here.
Friday we picked up the kid early from her after school program and went to lunch at Mimi's Cafe, picked up the crib and headed over to Home Depot to get our paint colors.
We chose a lovely grey tone for the one wall we plan to paint and two fun options for a cabinet I have been dying to spruce up for the last few months.
It makes me excited to think about the changes that will be happening around here.
I am nesting for sure.
Then Babe and I geeked out and had a Lord of the Rings marathon - we got through the first two and 1/3rd of the way through Return of the King before we had to tap out and go to bed.
Saturday was just as lovely.
I spent the day with my dear friend Amber and her adorable son.
He makes me excited to have a boy. He is just plain awesome.
We went to the Orange County Swap meet in search of "The Baby Guy" - a local legend who makes baby bedding, car seat & shopping cart covers as well as blankets and other items.
Since I have strong ideas about what I don't want it was kind of hard to figure out what I do.
But they had exactly what I was looking for.
Literally.
I explained what my colors were and I wanted a more modern feel which I think slightly confused the young girl who was assisting me.
I latched on to a fabric sample they had out (grey with a geometrical design in white) and she went to show me a custom order they had done.
It was perfect but I wanted more colors so Gerry came over and walked me through step by step to get exactly the accent colors of our room (thank goodness I had the paint swatches in my purse) and I placed my order!
I am so excited!
It was a bit pricey in my opinion but I've seen the work he's done and heard the feedback from friends so I was willing to fork over the dough and get it done.
Plus this is about the only pricey thing we will be buying (minus the stroller) for this kid and his room so I figured I could deal with it.
I couldn't believe he had exactly what I wanted but didn't even know existed!
Just makes my heart happy.
Today we are lazing about a bit.
I'm making Pot Roast from the Down Home with the Neely's cookbook (my first ever!) alongside smokey new potatoes and green beans + biscuits.
Hello Soulful Sunday!
So far it all tastes great and my kitchen smells spectacular!
It's still humorous to me how much I enjoy cooking for my family when years ago I thought it somehow beneath me or beyond my skill level.
It's an act of love or service and that's one of my love languages.
It's how I show I care and oddly I think has been done throughout the ages.
I'm pretty proud of myself and the look on Babe's face when he 'taste tested' the roast was priceless.


What have you been up to this weekend?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

up all night

Monday night since we finished dinner early and had plenty of time to kill, Babe and I had an "on demand" marathon.
this where we watch several episodes of a show that we haven't had time to catch to determine if we want to add it to our DVR schedule.
Last night it was "Up All Night" with Christina Applegate, Maya Rudolph and Will Arnett
I have to say - I LOVED it and can't wait to see more.
It's funny, it's relevant and it makes parenting seem "cool".
Sort of.
I was listening to the radio the other day and Carson Daly (former MTV veejay) stated he thougth the show was brilliant and could totally resonate with a lot of 30 somethings out there right now.
I have to say I agree.
If you don't know, its about a couple who has a baby that ultimately changes their lives and are still trying to hang on to their "cool factor" while reconciling the fact that they are indeed.....parents.
It's hilarious.
Damon and I often chuckle about how "cool" we used to be and how much our lives have changed since having Sweet Pea.
And now with Baby Ninja on the way they are about to change that much more.
We used to be about going out to have a good time.
 Eating out, dancing/ drinking the night away only to sleep in and do it all again the next night.
There were some epic good times and fortunately for me (unfortunate for a few others) I have most of it captured on film in a photo album.
Yes a real one - that you put actual pictures in. (gasp!)
But now - we still are about having a good time, but we are definitely more focused on the kids and their needs.
We go to the fair and other amusement parks, for the kids.
We choose restaurants that are 'kid friendly' and have decent booster seats.
We choose neighborhoods based on the school district, not the proximity to the best mall/club/restaurants.
It's funny how time moves and things change isn't it?
I never would have thought at 16 that at 32 I would be a married mother of two and living in suburbia.
And that I would like it.
I used to dance on speakers for pete's sake!
Crazy huh?
And with baby ninja moving like crazy and not being able to sleep for longer than a few hours - I too am "Up all Night" so I can doubly relate to the sleep deprived haze this couple is walking around in.
Being pregnant is tough, having a new baby (especially the first one) is even tougher.
Learning to laugh at yourselves and taking each day as it comes is a lesson all parents have to learn.
You have to learn to balance who you are with who you were and learn to be okay with that.
It takes time and there will be moments of confusion as you look at your life surrounded by colorful squeaky toys, sweat/yoga pants, spit-up stained shirts while an abundance of "uh-oh's" and "whoopsie daisy's" punctuate your conversation and be like "who am I???? What have I become?"
And then there will be the days your little one is cuddled in your arms, smelling sweet after a bath and looks up at you adoringly and you know......you're a parent.
In it for life, for better or worse and wouldn't have it any other way.


Did you have any "who am I?" moments when you first became a parent?
If you're not a parent are you nervous about losing your identity?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

labor of love

To push or  to section
That is a major question.
well for me it is. That's what I keep getting asked.
"Are you going to try and have a VBAC (vaginal birth after Cesarean) or are you going to take the easy way out?"
Umm. I don't think either way is "easy" by any means thank-you-very-much.
I've had a c-section and I had one for a reason. It wasn't mere vanity or  a scheduling choice.
And this time well.....this time I am making the choice ahead of time.
I've decided to go ahead and schedule a c-section for Baby Ninja.
(insert shocked gasps, head shaking and tsk-tsking here.....I'll wait)
I am choosing to do this because I have no desire to put my body or my baby through any unnecessary trauma.
Now do I know for sure that my plan is going to go exactly the way I think?
Nope. That is the beauty of God's plan co-mingled with having children.
Nothing goes "according to plan". It's all a crap shoot.
I learned that with Sweet Pea and have seen how it's gone down with other friends in recent years.
A girlfriend of mine planned on a VBAC. Prepared for it and when it came down to it, the baby didn't budge so an induction and ultimately another c-section happened.
Another friend was preparing and planning for the 'marathon of labor' and things went awkwardly awry and a c-section was scheduled.
This just shows me how often things do not generally go the way we would like them to.
It's just the way that it is.
I'm laid back enough to understand that and also controlling enough to want to have some kind of "plan" in place.
I've spoken to the people that matter about it - my husband, my doctor (who by the way is beyond supportive) and my father (the retired OBGYN).
All are in agreeance. If there is a way to avoid any type of bodily &/or baby trauma the best thing to do is go ahead and schedule this surgery.
Yes, my recovery is going to be long and uncomfortable.
I am fully aware of that.
Yes, it will be that much harder with a nine-year old and a husband and a new baby.
But I am up for the challenge.
I have prayed about it and I just feel this is best for both me and the baby (do I sound like I'm justifying?)
I'm sure there will be nay-sayers and those that I am close to me that will constantly rib me for 'not having a "real" delivery/birth experience' or for 'taking the easy way out' and to those I simply say.
You can suck it.
I often wonder why women get so up in arms about the process. How I choose to give birth is exactly that: my choice.
It's like being upset for how I choose to celebrate a birthday. And to me that is ridiculous.
A lot of women, from discussions I've been involved in, seem to feel that they are somehow not real women if they do not push a baby out of their bodily orifice. That somehow, and someway they are 'less than' if they do not "suffer" the perils of labor.
Who in the hell thought up that load of crap?
Yes, I get that we all like to get together and compare our war stories much like soldiers from a hard fought battle.
And giving birth (in any form) is a battle. A real labor of love if you will.
We have a hard enough time being mothers and working out the battle of perfection as it is. Can we not just accept that some people have different birthing ideas than others?
I'm not going to judge you if you want to give birth at home, in a pool, on video, with a doula or in a hospital.
So don't judge me for having two c-sections because the honest truth is my body cannot handle the perils of labor.
We tried it and it didn't work.
No need to revisit it. End of story.
I can only hope women will at some point, learn to stop judging one another and just learn from each others experiences - both good and bad.


Have you ever felt judged by another mother? How did you deal with it?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

35

Today we celebrated my husband's 35th birthday.
It was a perfect day.
Literally.
The sun was shining, the weather amazing.
We shared brunch with a few of his closest friends and their families.
And of course - there was football on all day!!
There was even a nap or two for me!
(double yaay!)
I love these kinds of days.
Relaxing and enjoying good company.
I have been thinking about this day for awhile.
35 seems like such a big number.
So much has happened to us in the last 5 years and we still have such a long way to go.
I remember celebrating his 23rd birthday in Atlanta with him.
I was barely 20.
And he seemed so much older than me at that the time.

Much more grounded than, flighty, giggly, young me.
He knew were he was going and had a plan on how to get there.
Not me -  I was just going somewhere.
And now here we are.
A whopping 12 years later.
We finished college.
We had the Sweetest little Pea.
We survived our years apart and (finally) got married
We are expecting a baby boy.
Things are moving and changing daily.
I am so glad I went up to him that day in front of the gym and randomly struck up the conversation that led to the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
He has been such an integral part of my life.
I am grateful for all the time we have spent.
The laughs we have shared, the lives we have created, and the journey we are on.
It's not always peachy keen.
But it is riddled with joy and laughter and for me that's all that counts.
So cheers to my Babe on his 35th birthday.
I wish him many more and can't wait to see what the next 12+ years have to bring!


Friday, October 14, 2011

winds of change


The time has come, to say goodbye to my Hautelook family.
Today marks the last day for several months that I will get up in the dark, the wee twilight hours and get dressed.
(because we all know that in a few months I will be getting up all the same but I won't be putting clothes on for that or showering for that matter)
Today I will race to the train station to get a "good space" both in line and parking and make the trek to downtown L.A.
My doctor has advised that I be put on early pregnancy leave so I will now be off work until further notice.
It is bittersweet.
I will miss all my HL friends & family.
The "train friends" I have made - some whose names I know others whom I do not.
There will be a small void left with out the "need to be needed"-ness of going to a job everyday.......however;
I have been overly stressed and working on a high level anxiety for the last few months.
A crippling anxiety that has left me feeling overwhelmed, under pressure and unsure of myself.
Not ideal for a wife and mother who has things to do.
It was making me insane. Not too mention it's not healthy for me or Baby Ninja , so...doctor's orders - I'm out of the 9-5 rat race for now.
The main question everyone sees to have is : What will you do all day with all that time?
Hmmmm......ummm... well..... how about all the things that I don't have time for now?
  • cleaning  my house, no like REALLY clean it
  • organize the many "things" that are floating around with no home
  • work on the nursery
  • write!!!
  • find a home for all my craft supplies and organize them so they are easier to work with
  • redecorrange the furniture/pillows/sheets & towels
  • NEST!!
Just generally take care of me, my family and the baby to be! 
I'm excited for sure.
Little nervous for what it means financially but I have faith that things will all work out in the end and that this is God's plan for us, so I'm just going to let it happen.

Stay tuned for some household updates in the next few weeks and other randomness.

What changes have come about for you this season?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Finding my Voice - featured essay

Would love it if you headed over to the Smartly.com and checked out my latest essay:


the beauty of what happened when I attended a conference and let myself be open to the possibilities.

Tell me, what possibilities have been shown to you lately?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

the struggle

There are times in which we hope against hope for things we know will likely not happen.
Times when we pray for things just outside of our reach because that's what we think we need & feel we want.
Or is that just me?
There have been a few instances in the last month where things were looking gloriously bright. 
But then the light abruptly dimmed.
My career as a writer, a makeup artist, a creative being has been challenged.
Things that I had hoped would happen haven't. Things I need to be doing, I have not.
I am inspired but lack motivation? I don't know.
I was hopeful that a few events would pan out and allow a bit of wiggle room in our budget but alas they didn't/haven't panned out.
I'm not 100% sure why so that is bothering me as well.
Part of my issue is I want things to happen when and how I want them to happen. Or I get an idea into my head and have already planned out exactly how XYZ will benefit my family's life and then when it doesn't happen or pan out exactly that way I am severely disappointed.
to the point of being a offended.
I have got to stop taking things personally.

But I am an emotional being (particularly lately) and it gets to me.
I know that I have such potential but my growth is somehow stunted.
Am I sabotaging myself? Do I l get my hopes/expectations up to high only to be pulled down into despair by any setbacks or disappointments?
I know I am designed and destined for a creative career. Of this I am certain.
But attaining that life I so dream of and long for is just out of my grasp.
The when and how of it all is vexing me. 
There is also that line that I, like so many other women, walk between wanting to have some kind of fabulous career and just being a mom. 
Of course I want to enjoy my family but I also require some type of creative outlet.
Perhaps I just need to take some time, sit back and get some perspective because I feel slightly out of control and I'm not really down with that.
But then - I'm not really in control of my life now am I?
So maybe my best bet is to keep on praying, keep on keeping on and have faith in my heart and my mind that God will  continue to guide my path and show me what to do.
And then I open my email and see Today's word with Joel and Victoria Osteeen : Dreams in the making
The scripture for the day is ‘Here comes that dreamer!’ they said to each other”(Genesis, 37:19, NIV)
How apropos is that? The whole point of the devotional was how Joseph was a dreamer and no matter what obstacles he faced he still kept dreaming and God was working behind the scenes to get him to those dreams. 
Clearly I need to take a cue from Joseph and stay in faith, keep following my heart and believing in my dreams. (insert Journey's "Don't stop believing" here).
Love it when things like this happen. It's like I answered my own questions without even trying!

Tell me, have you been struggling with anything lately?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Soulful weekend

Is is just me or does the weekend seem to go by too quickly?
these days Saturday and Sunday just seem to fly by.
This weekend was no exception. 
It seemed like Saturday was here and then it was Sunday afternoon and time to get ready for the week all over again!
But all things considered it was a good weekend.
We had no plans for once.
So I slept in ridiculously late Saturday had some breakfast and then  realized I was supposed to buy some onesies from Hautelook so I quickly logged on to the computer to do so, then I proceeded to lay around on the couch and watch "Top Chef: Just Desserts" with my family.
Then Babe and I watched "Limitless" having fallen asleep at the end of of Transformers 3 the night before, I was unable to hang for one more movie at that point.
We finally all got ourselves together for an outing to the illustrious Home Depot to gather paint swatches for the nursery.
It was Babe's first time out of the house since last Friday. He was quite excited.
We then headed over to Babies'r Us to take a gander at what's new in the world of baby.
And the answer to that is a LOT!
oh boy!
We were a little overwhelmed with all of the "options" for the things.....but slightly underwhelmed by the bedding choices.
Everything is so.....character / theme-y like. 
So not what I'm going for. 
The stroller section however - yowzers is that overwhelming!
I have to do more research and ask my newer mommy friends what they have and what they like.
Sunday was super chill.
We usually do a family dinner but I was so tired and my allergies were out of control so I spent most of the day in my jammies as did Babe & Sweet Pea.
I even napped on the couch for an hour or so - by the time I woke up, my mother-in-love had stopped by and then my mom showed up.
We ended up kicking Babe out of the downstairs so we could watch a movie "Soul Surfer" that the Sweets really wanted to see.
Oh.my.word.
What a wonderful movie.
Talk about putting things in perspective.
I cried, I laughed, I hugged my kid super tight.
It was incredibly uplifting, enlightening and all around feel good.
At one point, I'm crying, Sweets is crying and so is my mother-in-love.
I don't even have words for how I was moved by that movie.
It's funny how something so simple can change your view on things.
All the things I've been stressing about - work, home, money, Babe's health, Sweet Pea, Baby Ninja, my parents, my extended family
It all seemed so trivial in light of what this family had gone through.
I was thoroughly moved.
If you haven't seen this movie - please check it out.
Before I knew it - it was time for dinner (creamy tuscan chicken) and then off to bed!
Sweet Pea has picture day today  so hopefully her hair held up long enough to get a good shot!

What did you all do this weekend?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

halfway there- random pregnancy ramblings


" Congratulations you're halfway there!"
That's the first email I saw this morning from one of many baby/pregnancy email updates I get.
This growing a person inside of you deal is halfway over.
I'm that much closer to meeting my son.
(insert awkward happy dance here)
And all I can think is:
I have GOT to get on the ball! We haven't done anything it seems!!
Sure we got the would-be nursery semi cleared out
(where oh where will I put all of my craft supplies?)
And I'm starting to narrow down ideas for Baby Ninja's room and overall "vibe" which is good.
But danggit there are so many good ideas out there that I will never be able to do it all.
(thank you Pinterest for giving me all kinds of wacky ideas)
And lets talk about naming this kid shall we?
It seemed like coming up with a name for Sweet Pea was easy as pie and in fact it was my friend Pie and I who sort of finalized the name.
Babe gave his approval after she and I had narrowed down the list.
But this kid?
Jeez.
And everyone has an opinion of course and an idea of what they like, while we both have reasons for not liking said name ...i.e. "I knew a guy named ______ and he was a jerk" or
"I dated a guy named _____" so that won't work.
It just seems a lot harder now.
So we will probably be heading into February and still have no name.
Swell.
Another thing to think about - the baby shower.
Who throws it?
I don't know.
I've done a couple for my close friends even though they have sisters but I don't have any so I'm not sure how that works.
But thank goodness for my girlfriends who are super supportive and giving me TONS of baby boy advice (cuz I got the girliest girl ever and Lord knows I know nothing about boys).
But because we're due at the end of February and will be going into the holidays pretty soon, it's hard to plan when to do this shindig.
And y'all know how I love to plan a party!
Then there's the guest list - I guess it's like inviting people to your bridal shower - but there are a plethora of women in my life that I would love to be included in this event as they have in some way shape or form influenced me in the last several years even though we may not be super "close friends".
Is that weird?
Anywho - these are just a few of my preggo brain ramblings.
I'm off to work on "Operation Baby Nursery" and go look at paint swatches, bedding and get an idea of what's new in the world of baby.
Taking Babe & Sweet Pea with me so we'll see how long we all last.


What are you all up to this weekend?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

week 20: what's working for me

This week finally feels like fall around here!
Saturday and Sunday it was like 80-90 degrees but Monday was a little cooler and by Tuesday......well I got to rock my new boots!
Can you say excited!!?????
So I pulled together this little number and was off to work.
I was pretty comfortable for most of the day save for a post-El Cholo lunch throwdown where I had one too many chips y salsa.
That being said, I'm linking up with Lindsey again for WIWW!!!

pleated poppy


Top: H&M
Jeans: Gap "skinny" maternity
Boots: Steven by Steve Madden
Necklace & Earrings : H&M

It's a rainy day today but I still wanted to feel "pretty" and rock my other new boots and my favorite sweater dress from last season.
Surprisingly if fits particularly well and I don't look super large!
Success!




Dress: Nordstrom Rack
Tights: Target
Boots: Steven by Steve Madden
Neckalce: gifted
Earrings: Forever 21

So what's been your favorite outfit this week?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Street Chic - featuring ME!!

Remember this when I said I was encouraged by a friend to post about what was working for me, fashion wise, while pregnant?
Well this is why
One of my favorite shoe sites, Sole Society did a Street Chic feature for some of their October shoes and they chose ME ( of all people) to participate!!
For some reason they seem to think me stylish - go figure.....
It made my week let me just tell you!
 Oh and by the way - the shoes on my feet?
Yeah those are the "Amber"!!!
I have my own SHOES!!!!

Talk about a shoe lover's dream!
So if you're not a member for some strange reason please go here and sign up now.
You won't regret it.
Promise.
I think I may need to add both of these to my collection :

 Hot pink patent flats?? Yes PLEASE!!!

oh and here are some random outtakes from my shoot:



thanks for the love ladies!!
 

What are your favorite shoes for fall?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Post -Op

Oh what a weekend.
At this point I wish there really were two of me.
One to take the much needed nap I am craving and the other to guzzle the glass of wine I am wishing for.
Clearly neither of those things are going to happen as there is laundry to be done and things to get sorted for the coming week.
My exhaustion is earned though and oddly not pregnancy related.
Friday I had to take my husband to the hospital to have his gall bladder removed.
Serious but yet not so much.
We were there waiting for several hours before they finally took him back to the O.R. at 4:45pm.
Pregnant lady in an uncomfortable chair, freezing room and with no snacks?
Oh I was PLEASANT.
Fortunately my mother-in-love came to check on her baby boy so she stayed while I rushed to get Sweet Pea from school.
She had to eat in the car.
I felt terrible.
We stopped home first for jackets and a change of clothes for me (those hospitals are COLD!) and a few items for Babe as he was going to be kept overnight.
Got back to the hospital to discover they wouldn't let Sweet Pea up as she is only 9 and not the required 12.
Awesome.
My mother-in-love wasn't answering her phone at the time either, so I did what any crazy pregnant wife/mother would do.
I left her in the lobby under the watchful eye of security while I scurried up the the 2nd floor to get her Granna.
Fortunately she was with the doctor so we just switched places and she went downstairs.
The doctor said everything went well but he would be staying overnight and definitely wouldn't be able to drive for at least 10 days.
Huh? 10 days?
He takes Sweet Pea to school - how is that going to work?
So I went back downstairs to let my family know what was going on and asked my mother-in-love to please take Sweet Pea home with her and I would be by shortly to come get her.
Spent isn't even the beginning of where I was.
Alone in the hospital I held back tears as I was overcome with emotion.
How is this all going to work out? Thank you God everything that went okay! When will I get to see him? How much pain will he be in?
There were so many thoughts running through my head I couldn't grasp them all.
When they finally brought him to a room (1.5 hours  in an awkward chair later) he was coherent but definitely woozy.
Anyone who's ever hung out w/ someone post anesthesia knows how entertaining that can be.
But I felt wretched for him.
Here I was bemoaning the uncomfortable chairs and how exhausted I was and he'd had his body operated on.
Perspective.
I stayed until he got fully settle and finally left at his urging and insistence " I don't want you out late by yourself".
I was emotionally and physically drained and I still had to go get my kiddo and make phone calls.
By the time we got home and I ate again (lest the child in my stomach start doing the running man....again) it was almost 11pm.
I had to go to bed.
I tried but it was a futile attempt. I was restless.
At some point I did fall asleep but it was not restful so I was up bright and early Saturday by 8am.
Anyone who knows me knows, I do NOT get up early on the weekend.
AT.ALL.
But I missed my hubby and was desperate to check on him.
So I gathered the kid (she was already up) and we were off.
This time they let her upstairs (Thank you Jesus!) and she was able to see her Daddy.
I could tell she was concerned but she put on a brave face.
It's scary seeing your big strong Daddy laid out w/ tubes connected to him.
His mom showed up shortly thereafter and because they wouldn't release him for another 45min - 1 hour we left to go get our hair done.
(pause for reaction - yes we kept our previously scheduled hair appt. while Babe was on his way home from the hospital; judge me if you like but this was the only weekend we had)
We got pretty, swung by my Dad's and then headed back home to relieve his mom who had been here all afternoon.
Poor guy was super cranky and uncomfortable but I understood having had two major surgeries myself.
He had a hard time getting comfortable to sleep and as a side sleeper, he was vexed he could not roll over the way he's used to.
It was a long night.
Today has been better.
He got himself up and came downstairs to begin his football marathon while I was still semi-passed out upstairs.
Then I got up to run errands and go grocery shopping to stock up on things for his doctor assigned low-fat diet.
It being Sunday it took me forever and was a lot harder to bring in the heavy items now that I had to do it myself.
Sweet Pea has been a gem - checking on him to see if he needs anything and helping me bring in and put away groceries.
She has since retreated to her room - no doubt to avoid me asking her to do something else.
As for me.....I needed to get this out before my brain melts and I am completely useless....and while he's napping on the couch.
Work tomorrow is going to be interesting I'm sure.......
One great highlight of the day is that my favorite caramel corn from Popcornopolis was hosting a road show at Costco and I was able to score 3 bags for $12!! Score!!
Highlight of my day.
*****************************************
I've had one strong observation from this whole situation:
It is a good thing God allows women to have the children. Otherwise there would be no babies after the first one. Men simply cannot tolerate that kind of pain and would be lost if they had to be in pain and do other things to sustain a household.
It simply wouldn't happen.
So yeah....that's my weekend in a nutshell.

What was your highlight of the weekend?

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