Thursday, January 26, 2012

fashion fantasies

There is a woman at my daughter's school who was pregnant like me and I presumed she was either a few weeks ahead or a few weeks behind.
I used to see her everyday when I went to pick up the kid from school.
She was pretty much always cute and stylish and never seemed to appear uncomfortable or awkward.
She gave birth sometime in the last week (the week of MLK's birthday) and by that Thursday she was back in regular clothes picking up one of her sons.
I can only assume that because this was baby boy #4 that he pretty much just slid out and it was easy for her to bounce back.
I was extremely impressed with the fact that she was even wanting to venture out of the house 3 days postpartum but hey, what do I know?
This is only my second child so maybe it gets easier after the first three?
Anywho - I saw her again yesterday and today and was struck by how non pregnant she looked.
I mean, she just had a baby! Shouldn't there be some sort of post pregnancy bulge or squish in the mid-section?
How is that even humanly possible?
And perhaps there is and she just has on a belly band to keep it tight but it didn't appear that way from my angle.
Of course that could just be my gestational jealously talking.
But I'm pretty sure this is the fastest recovery I've ever seen!
I honestly can't wait to get to get back to that point. 
I long to be able to slip into my own jeans once again (however long it may be until that's possible)
If only for the simplicity of getting dressed each day.
At this point its a bit of a struggle to find an outfit and I find myself (gasp!) repeating clothes two and three times in a week.
I have reached the end of my stylish pregnancy rope.
I'm to the point where I'm not really interested in wearing pants as they feel oddly restrictive and would much rather stay in my nightgown for the majority of the day.
Fortunately for me, the weather was cooperating and I was able to don a lovely maxi dress today that I am thoroughly enjoying wearing but who knows how long this will last?

My sartorial desires are manifesting in a major way via my Pinterest style board and I was thoroughly bummed that the GAP boyfriend jeans I have been jonesing over were not available in the color I wanted while they were 40% off.
Checked back today and the color is available but not the size.
GRRRRRRR.
The other jeans I'm stalking are way too expensive  for me to justify right now (+$100) and are known to run a size bigger.
Oy. clearly it's not meant to be at this time.
So I will wait and see if any of my favorite sale sites (Hautelook, My Habit, Gilt) have sales coming up with the style I'm looking for.

It's humorous to my husband and other friends that I'm so fashion obsessed when I have no idea how my body is going to be post baby. 
But since I have a "post-baby body workout plan" I'm not as concerned or amused.
Perhaps it's shallow to be focused on my outward appearance right now and if you think that then, fine.
I'm okay with it.
Right now, in these last few weeks before Baby Ninja arrives I am not focusing on the birth (no need to freak myself out about what could go wrong and all the other "fun" stuff that comes along with it)
I am thinking about my closet and how to make it work even better once the baby is here and I am a mommy of two.
Because while yes I am thinking of the health of my child I am also thinking how my style will need to switch up a bit and whats going to be kid friendly as well as cute.
I mean, I've got to have something to wear to Sweet Pea's 10th birthday don't I?

Does anybody else think about their mommy style as much as I do??



Wednesday, January 25, 2012

random thoughts....

I have been.....basking in the nothing-ness for a few days now and it's high time I got my act together.
Or so I feel like. 
I was sick so I do have an excuse but to be perfectly honest, I'm kind of enjoying it.
I know this time of relaxation and preparation will be gone all too soon.
Everyday I get a text or a phone call asking "you in labor?", "you ready for all this?" etc.....
And for me - I don't think you're ever really "ready" per se. I think it's all a state of mind.
The nursery is done minus the art work.
My creative muses are taking a break these last two weeks
 ( much needed after the OT they put in last Saturday) 
We have gone through the many baskets of clothes given to us by friends, a few shower gifts have arrived and we (read: Babe) has put those in his room as well.
Yesterday I picked up the stroller car/seat combo and Babe assembled that in the evening.
As I placed the carrier on the car seat base it hit me- "here we go again". 
Reading instructions on how to install, properly latch and fold the stroller up and down.
It was shocking to come downstairs this morning and see it just sitting in the corner waiting.
It's really happening.
As much as I may kvetch about the sore muscles, the lack of sleep and the general discomfort - I've enjoyed being pregnant.
I'm much more present this time around.
I'll even admit I'm going to miss the little nudges and pushes and swooshes around in my tummy.
It's become such a part of me I don't really even notice it
 (unless I'm trying to sleep and he decides to use my bladder as a punching bag)
But I'm grateful for the movements - it reminds me of this little life we've made.
So it's all good.
These final weeks as a party of 3 are waning faster than I expected.
I am excited to meet this little boy who's been tearing up my insides but I'm relishing our days - just the three of us, with absolute fervor.
I have no idea how Sweet Pea is going to react to suddenly being placed on the back burner while Mommy & Daddy get their heads wrapped around a new baby.
I can only pray we fortify her with enough love and strong memories right now to hold her over until we come up for air.
Fortunately she also has an abundance of family members who will dote on her and continue to make her feel just as special as always and for that I am eternally grateful.

My brain is pretty much a mix of all things pre-baby and post baby body shenanigans so it's all I can do to whip together a decent dinner these days.
But these are the simple times I'm going to look back on and cherish when it all gets crazy and I haven't slept or showered in days.

Surprisingly though, I can't wait for that to happen.

Monday, January 23, 2012

this weekend.....

Sitting in the window seat of my kitchen, eating waffles and looking out on the rain it suddenly hits me how tired I am.
Tired, but incredibly happy. And truly blessed.
I had a long weekend but it was all worth it and I couldn't be more thrilled with how it all turned out.
I made it a point to rest a LOT last week as I knew  this weekend was going to take a toll on me, I just didn't realize how much until today.
Friday we went to the movies and the kid got sick (like throwing up sick) 15minutes in. Being the awesome parents we are - I gave her the empty popcorn bag to yak into and held her hair back.
Once she was finished I pulled up the armrest and let her sleep in what's left of my lap and there she stayed until the movie was over.
By the time we got home she was fine enough to eat some dinner and have an ice cream sundae. 
Random act of vomiting?
Saturday I was up at 6:20 (haven't been up that early in a long time) dragged myself out of bed and hopped in the shower.
Made myself a small cup of coffee and some oatmeal to fortify me for the long day ahead.
I had a wedding to do and would be gone all day.
Makeup for an entire bridal party beginning at 8am.
Fortunately my good friend Ebony was coming with me as the Bridal party's hair stylist.
It was pouring when we left. Visibility was less than great so we were running a little late to get to our destination.
Once arrived we went straight to work and began a feverish pace to make up for lost time.
In the end I made up 8 faces and she did 6 heads of hair by 3pm.
Not sure that was the best idea for a woman who is 8 months pregnant but I love what I do and powered through.
By the end, my back was on fire but when the bride looked at me and told me she felt beautiful and personally thanked me for making her day bright - it was all worthwhile.
This is why I do what I do.
And it was great to spend the day with my friend. We work quite well together and have learned how to maneuver around one another to get the job done.
But poor preggo body was not pleased with me. 
I felt broken and by Saturday evening was reminded why they refer to it as a "delicate condition". Getting up to go to the bathroom hurt and I thought I was going to fall apart.
Sunday I woke up early again (not at 6am though) as my hubby was not feeling well and had been tossing and turning all night.
And it was baby shower day!
One of my girlfriends was hosting a shower for me at my mother's home and I was excited to see and spend some time with my friends.
It was truly amazing to see how much work this one person put into this event. Just for me.
She is such a great friend.
I brought my camera but ended up taking minimal pictures as I was just enjoying the moments.
I cried when my friend Jen walked in - I hadn't seen her since my wedding (she lives in San Diego) and I had no idea she was coming.
It made my heart dance with joy to see a former co-worker Sandra and her one month old baby boy as well.
My mafia girls represented of course and catching up with them over mimosas (for them) and blood orange soda (for me) is always a good time.
I felt so loved and had such a full heart that I could not stop smiling.
My little man is coming and I got to celebrate him with my friends!

Yes, I am sore and moving slowly around the house. Using the rain as an excuse to not do anything of real substance today and to have grilled cheese and soup for dinner.
But I am enjoying these moments.
This stillness.
The calm before the inevitable baby storm if you will.
I am basking in the ability to be still and just rest the way I'm supposed to and enjoy the gift of rain from the safety of home.

My cup continues to run over with the love and support of good and true friends and I am forever grateful for all them.


How was your weekend?


Friday, January 20, 2012

Not what I planned

I was NOT planning on being up this early this morning.
I wanted to get a head start on my day sure, but actually staying up once I finished Sweet Pea's hair after 7:30am?
Not in the plans.
However, she was coughing a bit and I wanted to see if we had anything to help her out and came downstairs to find a crap ton of ants in my kitchen.
Not looking for anything in particular but I guess since it's going to rain they were planning on making a new home in my sink.
Not cool.
I DESPISE ants. They are the bane of my existence and I will destroy them if they cross my path.
So that took about 20 minutes to get rid of them.
Grrr.
Now I'm up and feel like well, I could get my day started but suddenly can't remember what it is I'm supposed to be doing!
So why not write?
We went out to dinner last night at a super trendy burger joint Eureka Burger in Claremont (conveniently located close to the colleges for all the hipster college kids)  to celebrate the 34th birthday of Babe's BFF and waited for a table for about an hour so we could sit in our waiter friends section.
Poor Sweet Pea was super hungry and the baby ninja was kicking the stew out of me in his own hunger.
However, I had already perused the menu and knew exactly what I was going to have so that saved some time.
The food was good, the company was better and the atmosphere was entertaining to say the least.
All I could think was; I am so glad I am where I am in my life.
I could not imagine being some hipster 20something hanging out at a local joint on weeknight all the time!
I'm sure I did my fair share of "kicking it" as a youngster but now it just seems silly.
But I digress.
It was kind of fun to get out of the house in the middle of the week and I'll take any excuse to not have to come up w/ some brilliant dinner plan.
And the kid enjoyed herself but knocked out in the car on the way home, staying up past 9pm on a school night was apparently too much for her.
Either that or it was the butterscotch pudding that did her in.
I'm still nesting a bit but moving slower and slower.
Actually taking the time to "be still and put my feet up" like I'm supposed to.
But I need to light a fire under myself if I expect to finally finish the baby's room by the end of the month!
Not to worry though, I'm sure I'll rally and get it together in the nick of time!


Anything not go as you've planned so far today?



Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Fashion, Fitness & Inspiration on the Internet

January often represents a "re-birth" of sorts. A chance to start over. Begin fresh and with a clean slate.
31 days of those chances to be exact.
I've read a lot lately about how things are changing for other people and their excitement about the new year.
I must say that my situation is quite different.
Different from years past.
In previous years I would be fervently planning for the year.
Looking at the calender, marking off birthdays and special occasions and giving in to wishful thinking.
But this year - I'm just waiting.
Waiting to see what happens and when this little boy will make his debut.
But that doesn't mean my mind hasn't been fervently working.
I do have some exciting things in the works that I can't wait to share once they are solidified but for now I will  savor the moment, and just wait it out.
********************
There is a line from the first Sex and the City movie that I love:
"Every year the women of (New York) come together to forget their pasts and look forward to the spring"....or something to that effect.
She was talking about fashion week and how there is a certain 'renewal of spirit' that comes along with the spring line.
I must admit, I too am looking forward to warmer days and a lighter wardrobe.
Winter has been fun with it's boots and sweaters, layers and pops of color but I long for the days of  sorbet colors and relaxed attitudes.
Normally, my closet would already be in transition.
I would have purged things from the previous year that managed to escape the last purge but didn't quite live up to their potential (read: they were never worn)
I would be re-organizing my shoes and taking inventory on what I need vs. what styles I want.
And I still have a strong desire to do that.
But there is a little voice inside telling me to wait.
Just wait it out and see how you feel after the baby.
See what your body looks like and then make a decision based on that.
I have to admit I am nervous about that. I despise waiting.
I am ready to have my body back. To get back to working out and getting into my "pre-baby" jeans.
But will it really happen?
I've had numerous people remind me that I'm "older now than when Sweet Pea was born" and I may not "bounce back the same". 
That scares me a bit. But then I remind myself - the body I had when I got married  almost 2 years ago is not the one I had post Sweet Pea.
In fact- it was BETTER.
WAY better, to be honest. So that gives me some comfort.
Yes, I know the road back will be wrought with set backs and being tired due to having a newborn, a 9 year-old and a husband but I am up for the challenge.
I have so many fashion dreams I can't imagine giving them up and 'settling'.
It won't happen.
I am determined.
Is that selfish and vain? Maybe.
Will it help me to be a better mother & wife?
Yes and no - if I feel good everyone wins but when I am in the dumps.......well lets just say no one wants that.
I've already picked up Jillian Michael's 30 day shred which I did to get pre-wedding fit. 
(Babe cracked up when I came waddling up to him with the DVD and my excitement about it)

And  my copy of  'Bootylicious Buns' should be here any day - also a pre-wedding workout
 ($9.99 on Amazon.com)

 and I have the pre/post-natal DVD from Moms into Fitness by Lindsey Brin that is focused on a post-natal workout so that makes me excited.

Genuinely encouraged actually when you see the journey her body has taken after 3 pregnancies. 
Three C-sections at that.
 It gives me hope.
My style board on Pinterest has also re-whet my sartorial appetite yet again and inspired me to incorporate some new looks into my wardrobe by working with what I have and adding a few key piece:
 like these boyfriend jeans from the GAP

And this top from Target which I ordered in two colors (if you like it buy it in every color!) it was on sale for $14.00 so how could I say no?


All inspired by this outfit Pin
Simple "mommy chic" but still quite stylish no? I have most of the pieces already so it's not too far-fetched to re-create the look.
I have a pair of similar flats but if I find another pair for under $50 I may be "encouraged" to purchase them to complete the look.
I can't wait to work on my closet, wardrobe and fitness and see how our new family of four all works together!
Maybe I am in the ' inspired renewal' stage in January just like everyone else after all.
Just from a different angle.

What has inspired you this month?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Today

Today I am celebrating the life of one of my favorite people in the whole world.
My Dad.
He is AWESOME, let me just tell ya.
Most of my friends who have experienced his generosity of spirit or warped sense of humor would be inclined to agree with me.
He's just a cool guy.
Very intelligent and a modern marvel.
He's taken such good care of me over the years there is no way to ever repay him.
I love him to pieces.


My relationship with him wasn't always so peachy keen. 
No, the teen years were rough (who's weren't?) but going back and forth between houses was really stressful for me.
And then college - I couldn't wait to get away.
But then I moved back and moved in with him and that changed everything.
We began to talk. A LOT. well I talked, he mostly listened.
To my hopes, my dreams, my crazy stories.
And he supported them. As random as they were.
Getting older has only strengthened our relationship.
He is one of my best friends. Kind of weird to say about your dad but it's true.
I talk to him no less than once a week for over an hour each time. He knows all about my friends and their drama. He offers words of wisdom and "old people" humor & insight.
He is a champion for not only me but for our family.
My biggest cheerleader for all my harebrained ideas and ventures.
He loves my husband and his granddaughter and can't wait to meet the little ninja as well.
He's hella old-school but has a Facebook and an i-phone (which makes me giggle like a school girl).
But most of all - he is just a great Dad.
He's everything to me.

So today, I wish him a very happy birthday or Feliz Cumpleanos as we like to say and tell him how much I love and appreciate him.
And this weekend - we will treat him to dinner and regale him with stories from our week.
He will smile as he sits next to Sweet Pea and tucks in her napkin.
He will beam when my husband takes my arm to help me wriggle my pregnant body out of the booth and he will smile with pride as we watch my swollen stomach and speculate on the life inside.
And me?
Well I'll be holding back tears (hormones you know) as I tell him how much he means to us and how excited we are to have him be a very active part of our lives.

Happy Birthday Daddy.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Progress: Decor Update

I want to say that I have been a whirling dervish of activity this week but that's not exactly true.
More like a slow moving top.
I haven't been "relaxing" as much as last week but I've still managed to make a dent in my never ending "to-do" list.
I started by sorting out said list into categories: Home, Baby, Business and that has helped focus me tremendously (there's that word again!) 
So I must say I'm pretty excited about that.
 I've made it a point to tackle at least ONE THING from each section of the list each day and this way the tasks are not as daunting.
It also makes me feel like I'm actually doing something instead of being discouraged by the lack of check marks on said list.
One thing I've really been wanting to do is spruce up the downstairs bathroom.
 It's been kind of blah since we moved in as we were focusing on other areas of our home.
(I basically just threw some rugs and a set of hand towels in there and never looked back)
We have a ton of black and white photos in there (not intentionally, it just happened that they ended up in there) but they didn't really go w/ the burgundy rugs and towels that I threw in there. I was kind of inspired by the photos and decided those should be the focal point.
We're not painting this space so I needed to do what I could with accessories. 
I had a gift card and store credit to Bed, Bath and Beyond so I started there. An hour later I was headed home with my purchases.
I decided to keep it really simple - go with a black and white color scheme! 
Black rugs and a jazzy hand towel, a simple black soap dispenser made "custom" with vinyl lettering and we were good to go!




I also wanted to add a sign for the outer door designating this a restroom so I painted a wooden plaque I picked up at Michael's awhile ago my favorite shade of turquoise and some black vinyl lettering and viola!
A "new" bathroom!
And I spent no money of my own!
Then I started thinking, well, we have this blah tray on top of our ottoman in the living room.
What if I painted that as well and modge podged some scrapbook paper on top to give it a more modern effect?
But I'm having a hard time deciding on whether to paint it the same shade of turquoise or go with a nice glossy black for contrast.

I can't decide.
Did I mention I found fabric for the couch pillows?
My good friends Grandmother agreed to make some pillow covers for me, until I break down and buy a sewing machine, and those are screaming: COLOR!!

I am still hell bent on stenciling a new rug for the living room and am hoping to convince my husband to go with me to IKEA this weekend to pick it up. ( along w/ some new curtains to stencil as well)
I've already got the stencil, paint colors & the fabric medium needed to "make it work" 


I just need those final pieces and I don't think I can carry the rug by myself. 
Well rather, I don't think that I should.
I know he won't see my vision just yet but once I'm done he'll have no choice but to surrender to my monumental creative genius!!
(muwwhahahahaa!)

And I'd like to have all my painting projects done by the end of this month.
I'm getting bigger by the day it seems and this belly is not conducive to laying on the floor and getting my craft on!

There is something about the new year that brings out the creative in people don't you think?

What projects are you working this year?



Naturally Inclined

I think the word "natural" is being a bit misused as of late.
Being that I am in the home stretch of this pregnancy (thank you Lord!) I am getting inundated with emails about preparing for labor.
There are at least 75 articles a week that I get sent about how to have a "natural birth", how to avoid a c-section and preparing for a 'natural vaginal birth' both with and without the epidural.
I'm amused that there are no shortage of opinions on how a woman should behave and respond in labor a "natural" process that our bodies know how to deal with all on their own.
Whether we are prepared or not.
In a recent statement it was said Beyonce gave birth "naturally" to her new baby girl, while prior reports said that she had a C-section.
Who's to say what they meant by "natural"?????

I also find it intriguing that there are so many definitions as to what is "natural".
Some would define it as giving birth with no drugs what-so-ever.
 Others still would say no anything; no drugs, no  use of medical intervention in any way, just good old fashioned lamaze breathing and pushing.
Others might say a "natural birth" is doing exactly as God intended. 
Whatever, that may be.
Epidural, C-section, medical intervention - whatever is necessary to aid the process.
The point is: there are many different ideas.
 And in this case, it really is "to each their own".
No one can knock anyone else's decisions on what to do with their body and how they choose to deliver their child.
For some women - they dream of natural birth (i.e. no drugs) and others just want to push a baby out of them to have "the full experience of motherhood" others still, just want to get the baby out healthy by any means necessary.
I think I fall into the latter category.
I have made no secret of my decision to have a repeat c-section. 
I know what the risks are, what complications can occur and what the recovery will be like.
And I am still choosing to give birth this way.
I've realized along the way that this bothers some people.
I'm not sure why, but it strikes a chord in them.
I was asked recently when I was due and made the mistake of telling them I was having a c-section about a week before my "due date".
I received a flat "Why?" in response. 
As much as I get asked that and have had to defend my position I wasn't really expecting it at that moment.
I could feel my hackles being raised but then I realized, perhaps, she really was just curious and was not questioning ME as a mother.
Interesting how perspective works isn't it?
So I explained: It's in my best interest and that of my child.
 I had one for Sweet Pea.
 I went full term (40 weeks) and nothing was happening.
 It's been said that I don't really have the body for labor (no hips to speak of and a small pelvis) so I'm not sure that I'm able to push a baby out. Nor do I want to risk extra days in pregnancy to satisfy my own selfish needs or desires to prove myself a "real woman".
And I'm totally okay with that. 
We did what God intended for her birth, and this time, well this time we are preparing to do it the same way again.
If something different should occur, then so be it. I'm okay with that too.
But right now, I'm going to do what feels "natural" to me ; and that has already been scheduled  and penned onto the calender.

Anyone ever question your decisions you felt were "natural"??

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

whats in a name

so we are in the pregnancy home stretch and I for one could not BE more excited.
It's been fun, but honestly, I am over it.
I want to meet this kid! See, face to face, who has been kicking me for the last several months and if my dreams of what he looks like are accurate.
I'm also over being uncomfortable and unable to sleep, pick up items from the floor, and move fast.
But I digress.
So throughout this pregnancy I have been referring to the baby as "Baby Ninja" due in part to his ninja like movements on the ultra-sound and the fact that I'm convinced he's doing tae-kwon do (or something along those lines) in my belly. He's also been - "the occupant" or "tenant I'm ready to evict".
But we've had a hard time picking out a name.
Maybe it's because we had mostly girl names picked out originally and had to suddenly switch gears.
Perhaps its because we have had so many suggestions (no Q - Britannicus is NOT happening) and ideas offered to us it's been overwhelming.
But we wanted to take our time.
Sweet Pea was a bit easier. 
I had a list of names I liked and just ticked them off with potential middle names, found one that fit and thus 
Camryn Alexis was born.
This kid - well like I said, it's been different all around.
And it seems like everyone wants to know "what's the baby's name????"
Guess what? We want to know too!! Ha!
We haven't told anyone what the names are though they are displayed in plain sight in the house but we are really having a hard time.
We've now narrowed it down to three (no I'm not revealing them just yet) and are planning on letting our friends and family vote for their favorite at the baby shower.
From there we will make a decision once he arrives.
D and I both are feeling like we need to look at him to see which name fits.
Of course I have my favorite, D has his and Sweet Pea for sure has her personal preference
(side bar - every single name she has suggested has been for kids we already know or kids in her classes. It's pretty funny)
So there you have it.
Oh and for those that are really curious - all the names we have chosen begin with either a  "B" (which will make us the alphabet family : A,B,C,D) or a "C" (keeping with Sweet Pea's first name).

I must admit I'm excited to see what people will vote for as I think that will possibly sway one of us to the other's side as well!

Wish us luck!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Monday miscellany

My friend Katie tagged me in this post and since it's so much like completing a survey (and I LOVE surveys) I decided to participate as well. I won't tag anybody since I doubt they'd do this but  I appreciate the love from Katie all the same!

[the rules]
1. You must post the rules.
2. Post 11 fun facts about yourself on the blog post.
3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post, and then create 11 new questions to ask the people you've tagged.
4. Tag 11 people and link them on your post
5. Let them know you've tagged them!
So my "fun" facts

  1. I am a huge book nerd. I love to read. All.the.time. I would rather read than do anything. and that's saying a lot
  2. I wear makeup in some form EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. even if I'm not leaving the house I at least put on mascara. it's a sickness, I know.
  3. My favorite color is not just purple. It's actually lavender. I lost my favorite lavender members only jacket in 2nd grade and still haven't recovered
  4. I've been engaged twice. to the same man. eventually I married him =)
  5. I'm not very "outdoorsy". I like to be outside and hang out but I'm not a camping kind of girl.
  6. I'm obsessed with game shows. Jeopardy and Family Feud are my favorites
  7. I would rather write out my feelings than talk about them. I get too emotional and flustered because I can never find the right words.
  8. I am incredibly sensitive for someone who is constantly sarcastic. It's a defense mechanism.
  9. Pinterest is my crack, Hobby Lobby my drug dealer and my imagination fuels the fire
  10. I like to have private dance parties in my bedroom. It's only awkward if someone else is home and catches me mid booty shake.
  11. I love to host functions at my home. I am a home body that likes to be around people and this is the best of both worlds.
[questions from Katie]
1. If you could only own cats or only own dogs for your entire life, which would you choose?
Dogs. I'm allergic to cats
2. What was the last dream (sleep dream) you had that you can remember?
I was looking for curtains in IKEA and they didn't have the ones I really wanted and my hubby was trying to make me settle for the others. I was not pleased.
3. If you had no fear of failure, what would you do?
Everything.
4. If you could save only one photograph, what would it be?
One of the three of us from our wedding day. There is so much joy in that one photo it makes my heart sing.
5. Deserted Island: What three books would you take?
Dorothy West's "The Wedding", Pearl Cleage's "What looks like Crazy on an Ordinary Day",  Anything by Patricia Cornwell
6. What skill do you wish you had and why?
The ability to sew. I think it would be handy to hem my own clothes, make pillows and other fun items 
7.  What is your favorite meal to cook?
Anything in my crock pot or dutch oven. Lately it's been bbq chicken in either - it's just so tender and falls off the bone....mmmm
8. How long does it take for you to get ready to go out of the house?
Used to be 20 minutes (providing I've already showered) but now its a bit longer since I'm not moving as fast as before
9. What is your favorite childhood memory?
Going to the Cayman Islands with my Dad and brother. It was so relaxing and beautiful and its on my top 10 list of  favorite trips
10. Deserted Island: What three movies do you take? (and yes, this strange island has a DVD player, don't ask!)
Clueless, Pirates of the Caribbean or the Star Wars Saga, The Color purple
11. How long on average does it take you to read a book?
2-3 days give or take

Friday, January 6, 2012

Focus on Friendship

Lately I've been thinking about change,timing, relationships and priorities.
 Partially due to the little ninja who will be arriving next month and that will be a huge change for us. But also in part to a lot of things I've been reading, hearing and seeing.
It seems that we are in season of change over here in so cal.
Not a bad thing but just a growth period for us. And within that growth our priorities are being re-defined and re-focused. This is a good thing. We are finding ourselves drawn to more like minded individuals and pursuing relationships with them rather than just accepting or creating any old friendship.
That's not to say that we can't be friends with those that have other views or ways life but just that lately it seems the relationships we are growing in are the ones that are much like our own.
This holiday season it was definitely evident how our lives are changing yet again. We've spent more time with friends, building our famdamily, and reveling in those relationships than we ever have before.
Christmas Eve, we went by the home of one of D's best friends homes to just hang out before the hoopla of the next day that was to be spent with our kin......and there was something so cool about the simple joy of spending a few hours eating snacks, the kids playing, babies toddling and hubby's domino-ing (yes I just made that a word).
It was so simple but we had a grand time.
As we were on our way home I mentioned to D that we should do that every year from now on. Alternate houses, of course, and just spend Christmas Eve together as a group. He agreed it was a great idea.
Particularly since our older kids have grown up together ( we have photos of the Tweens back when they were 5,7&9 now they are 9, 12 and 15)
and we would like our younger kids to have the same opportunity.
Especially as the older the kids get the busier our "schedules" get and the less time we seem to have to just "kick it".
It's also been interesting to me note the changes in D's relationship with his closest friends over the last year.

They have been friends for a few decades and grew up together.
Now almost all of them have experienced fatherhood for the second time around in the last year and a half. They are older and wiser....and they have begun to realize they have to make more of an effort to keep up w/ each other similar to the way us women do.
There need to be boys nights filled with poker, cigars and video games, boys trips and excursions (there is a reason that paintball gun is sitting in our garage) and grill offs. They need to take time to nurture the friendships they have built before they look up and realize how much of each others lives they have missed out on.

Similarly we women need our ladies nights, spa days and the like.
We need these relationships to strengthen ourselves and when we get that time away we come back to our daily lives refreshed and with new perspectives.
 It's all relative.
This year we've decided to really focus on these relationships, be they new or old. Make the effort to reach out and find out what's going on. Be supportive and nurturing in all things and generally spend more time together.
Its been sad to see some of our friendships fall by the wayside due to lack of communication but thus is life and we will continue to look forward and not back.
I'm excited about the coming year and the many activities we will all get to participate in and how our kids will grow up together and one day when we are old and gray we will look back on these memories and say:
"It was all worth it. Thank God we put in the time and effort. These people have been a source of support for us for the last__ number of years."
Even better - is that our kids will have these memories and this famdamily for a lifetime if they so choose.
And in the end.....that's really what it's all about.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

little pleasures


Today was unlike any other day I've had in a while.
I did absolutely nothing.
And by nothing I mean, I did not work on a craft, run 25 errands by 2pm, workout or anything of the sort.
I got up earlier than anticipated and prepped for my doctor's appointment only to receive a call that she was at the hospital and would not be available until late afternoon.
So I took advantage and had a brief nap. A rarity for me.
I had to stop at the store to pick up a few things for dinner
(which I won't be cooking in part to my lovely husband and my mother.....courtesy of the Kansas City Steak Company).
I picked up my favorite lunch of a personal pepperoni pizza from Round Table, came home, plopped on the couch and watched the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
I rocked in the glider in the nursery to get a feel for it.
I didn't even look at the things in there that need a 'home' and was content to put my feet up for several hours.
I've had a very simple day and I liked it.
There are things that I could go do and take care of but I realize (as I've said in the last day or so) that I'm slowing down.
All the hustle and bustle of the last month has finally caught up with me and my body is having none of my brains urge to 'get 'er done'.
And for once, I am listening. No mind over matter here. Because at this stage in the game, matter is definitely out weighing the mind (quite literally).
It's funny to me to be in this state.
I'm usually a constant ball of motion, rarely sitting still for more than a few minutes before jumping up to tackle the next project/task.
Matter of fact a Christmas card from my dad mentioned his desire for me to relax and enjoy things. Take it slow.
And New Year's day I got a mini-lecture from my mother about resting and taking care of myself.
My husband tells me about it all the time too. He's constantly reminding me that I am pregnant and somewhat limited in the things I can do. He encourages me to not push myself too hard. Which is great.
However, being the spitfire that I am......it's kind of hard.
I don't believe in being sedentary (even though I am inherently lazy) or not taking action in some way whenever the mood strikes.
But today....I have done nothing.
I am doing nothing.
 Sure I'm writing a bit but all that's done from my ipad and doesn't require a lot on my part other than sitting still long enough to form a coherent sentence.
Perhaps later in the week I'll bust out some paint and finish the sign for the downstairs bathroom, make that trip to Staples to print my Subway Art(thank you blogland for the tutorial), bake something yummy for my family, finalize the baby registry, make that IKEA/Barnes&Noble/HomeGoods run........or something.
But right now, today, all I am doing is taking it easy.....and I am thoroughly enjoying it.

Monday, January 2, 2012

enjoying waiting and incubating


The decorations are down, the festivities are over and tomorrow everyone heads back to work and school.
Suddenly I'm left with morning and afternoons to myself to write, finish art/craft projects and nap at my own leisure.
And oddly, I'm kind of bummed about it.
I've enjoyed the last two weeks more than I thought which is always a good thing right?
Not realizing the blessings you have coming and then being astounded when you receive them?
I enjoyed having Sweet Pea off and doing fun things, just she and I.
Then we had Babe home for a week and we ran errands, laughed, watched movies, read and just enjoyed each others company.
It's exactly what we needed.
In the coming weeks I know things will pick up as we prepare for our little man's arrival and we will be busy and distracted with tiny things.
I also know that I am moving slower and slower and am losing my "umph" so to speak.
It's just not there like it was a few weeks ago.
So I am cherishing this time.
Granted there are days when I forget that I am pregnant and attempt to hop out of bed or off the couch like I could 7 months ago, and am quickly reminded how round and awkward I am.
Sigh.
I am still however obsessed with decorating and adding more color.
The lack of Holiday decor is definitely fueling that as well but it's less of a
 "OMG. I MUST DO THIS IMMEDIATELY" type of feeling and more like an "okay so if I get an opportunity to do this, then I will."
I think my hubby will like that more as there is less of a sense of crazy-pregnant-lady urgency on my part.
I just want this space to be cozy and comfy.
I'm realizing that I need to slow down and, as much as I hate to admit, I can't do everything that tickles my fancy right now.
I might not be able to even do it for a while so I need to just relax and let it go.
So I'm working on that.
I'm going to put my feet up and make an effort to 'be still' as much as I can and listen to my body more.
I'll let you know how that works out for me.



Expectations

Happy 2012 everyone!
I hope you all had an excellent NYE and are looking forward to what all this year may bring as much as I am.
Saturday was a bit of a whirlwind.
I'm a firm believer in having a clean house heading into the new year so we spent most of the last few days cleaning, organizing and laundering.
As we prepared our house for the New Year I was struck by a few things:
One - I am REALLY pregnant. Like I can barely bend down to pick things up off the floor pregnant and sometimes I forget that
Two - it has been a GREAT year. I can say that with confidence and smile.
But I digress.......
I was reading another friends blog before I ran off on my errands and she was discussing her past year and what she was looking forward to in 2012 and it reminded me to work on my 'word for the year'.
For the last three years I have picked one word to concentrate on.
One word to articulate what I want for my life in that year.
In 2010 it was all about Faith and learning to lean on it.
In 2011 it was Simplify and discovering what it meant to do with out.
And I can honestly say that those were chosen at the end of the previous year without any thought as to how the year might turn out and the things that would be in store and yet somehow they ended up being so incredibly fitting.
So while I was driving around with Rachel's post still rattling in my head it hit as soon as I pulled in to Party City.
FOCUS.
That is my word for this year.
I want to maintain a level of focus like never before.
Interestingly enough, since I am the queen of scatter-brained, multi-tasking; focus for me has so many meanings.
It's also been my husbands nickname for the better part of 20 years.
One that I always thought was supercool.
I thought about what all that the word Focus meant to me.
More than the obvious of just concentrating on one thing (which we all know is ridiculously hard for me to do).
It's about paying attention to what really matters.
I spent the last year of my life simplifying it.
Getting rid of clutter in all forms (drama, friendships, commitments etc) and really learning to enjoy the simple things that make me smile.
And not just enjoy them but to be present for them, not thinking about how I'm going to post them on the blog, or the next new thing to want, or taking a ton of pictures and not being an active participant.
But to just be.
It was hard for me at first.
 I took fewer pictures, I posted a bit less but I grew more as a person than ever before.
I remembered events and inside jokes because I was a part of them instead of looking through my camera lens at all that was happening.
I was purposeful about my blogging and other writings and only wrote when lead to do so and not because of a want to be noticed.
I spent more quality time with my family.
This year our family is changing in a most significant way.
After more than a decade we are adding a 4th member.
And I want to cherish this time more than anything.
I want to focus on the things that are really important to me.
My family.
 My friends.
My relationships.
 My writing.
My makeup.
My creativity.
These are all things that make me, ME.
I looked up the exact definition of the word (because I'm a nerd) and was pleased to find that the concrete definition fit what I'm looking for:

Definition: focus

The concentration of attention or energy on something
 
That's it in a nutshell. Basically just concentrate my energy and attention on the things that really matter.
So this year there will be more laughing, loving and spending time with family and friends because that's whats important to me.
There will be time spent on writing and growing as a writer.
There will be makeup done and beauty created when there is time and I won't be trying to be something I'm not.
Just doing all things in the timing that the Lord provides and being okay with that.
I truly look forward to all that this year has in store and can't wait to look back and see how my focus has changed over the course of 12 months.
 
I'm not making any strong "resolutions" this year other than to stick to this word.
To come back to the definition if I somehow feel stuck or conflicted in some way.
I hope you all stick around for the ride......

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