Tag Archives | Daily Life

Two Photos and a Lifetime in Between

Mother’s Day is around the corner.  My mom has always treasured this little grouping of photos that sits nestled in the edges of her dresser mirror:

Mom Gardens

I was probably 15 months old, happily exploring flowers at my grandparent’s garden.  The little girl on the carousel is my mom.  I recently asked her why the photos are taped together and she replied, “well that’s easy- I love this photo [of me] because I can see you in it!  You’re mine.”

I snapped this scene a few weeks ago of Olivia and my mom at the Botanical Gardens:

Grandma and Olivia Spring 2014

I’m struck by the similarities- a flower scene and so much love.  I have a feeling that one day, this photo will be pinned to my dresser mirror as well.

Comments { 0 }

Around Here: April 2014

I didn’t think that life could actually get fuller.  And then it did.  April has flown by and I’m trying to catch my breath and replace moments of overwhelm with confident faith that everything that needs to get done will.  This month I have been:

… finishing projects.

… planning surprises.

Glittered Champagne

… reading this article: I’m Done Making My Kid’s Childhood Magical and reflecting.  A friend sent this and it struck a nerve, especially since I place so much effort and emphasis on crafting beautiful events for the people I care about in my own life.  I both agree and disagree with this eloquent writer.  Childhood is truly a magical time.  I can almost see light bulbs illuminating for Olivia on a daily basis as she learns new skills or simply delights in activities like watching the puppies or walking around the neighborhood.  However, I also firmly believe that parents can create meaningful moments of engagement… there is a place for crafts, party planning, and beautiful decorations within the sphere of fostering beautiful memories.  It all goes back to intention- are you going through the motions simply for the sake of appearances?  Or, are you building a memory?

… visiting a precious newborn!

Baby-Barrett

… celebrating Easter with our little bunny!

Easter2014-2

Photo Credit: TH Photography & Design

Easter2014

Photo Credit: TH Photography & Design

… crying after finding this article: Time & Inspiration. LOVE, love, love Kami’s encouragement to embrace “moments of wholeness and tender growth.”  All the overwhelm/stress/anxiety melts away when you read something like this– suddenly your perspective widens and you are able to appreciate the here and now.

… running my silhouette nonstop in preparation for a special bachelorette weekend.

… listening to the magic of these four voices: (and checking off at least one item on my 30 During 30 list!)

Il-Divo

… managing temper tantrums.  My, oh my, yes… we have entered a new phase where running away in a fit of anger and then dropping to the floor in disgust (complete with tears and flailing arms/legs) is a common reaction to a simple redirection.

Walking-with-Dad

… starting a new project.  Based on this inspiration, James is building me an “L” shaped desk in our living room.

Living Room Desk

… searching for delicious protein packed meals that are easy to make.  Cooking motivation is still eluding me!

Comments { 0 }

Lately… March 2014

Quiet on the blog lately… a sneak peak at what’s going on behind the scenes:

Lately- March 2014-3

…watching this sweet girl GROW.

Lately- March 2014Lately- March 2014-2

…crafting like crazy for a special celebration.  Can’t wait to reveal more!

Lately- March 2014-4

…enjoying the first couple days of SPRING weather (hello, 60 degrees!)

Lately- March 2014-5

…turning 30 in 2 short weeks!

…finishing outstanding kitchen projects (tile, crown molding, painting).

Comments { 1 }

One Little Word: January and February

Loving the process of making my word visible this year by participating in Ali Edward’s One Little Word Class.  Here’s a peak at January:

One Litte Word January

One of the writing prompts included finding a quote reflective of your word.  I had a hard time choosing just one so I created a full page of “Light” quotes.  In between several blocks of text, I scattered various sizes of silver, aqua, and vellum stars.

OLW Light Quotes

OLW Light Quote Detail

Download a copy if this visual resonates with you: Light Quotes Printable

Action cards for February are prepped and awaiting my text for specific measurable goals.  For the monthly reflections layout, I used pieces of a transparency printed with patterned clouds in 3 of the squares.

OLW February

In the process of preparing these pages, I realized that I wanted to create something that captured the word GROW for the prior year.  I wasn’t able to keep up with any of the monthly prompts in terms of creatively documenting our time.  To honor our big year, I created these pages:

OLW Grow 2013

I enclosed my word within a text frame documenting all the ways we were constantly required to GROW.  Thicker number letters, a delicate leaf die-cut, and flower punches embellished the layout.

On the backside, I created a text block of song lyrics that were particularly meaningful to me.  A few of my favorite pictures, polka dot washi tape, and a simple journaling card completed the look.  (Note: I used the weld function on my silhouette to make the “Grow” text appear more scripted.)

OLW Grow Song

A few favorite details:

OLW Grow Details

As February draws to a close, I’m really excited to see what March and the rest of the year brings!

Comments { 1 }

Happy Valentine’s Day

Wishing you a delicious day filled with love!

Olivia-Valentines-Day

*Photo Credit: Tiffany Henning of TH Photography & Design

Comments { 2 }

Valentine Party Ideas: Pinks and Drinks Invitation

As you might have seen in my Instagram feed, we are decorated for Valentine’s Day!  Each February, I look forward to pulling out treasured Valentine’s I’ve received from family and friends over the years.  I came across an invitation I sent out nearly 4 years ago and couldn’t resist sharing it with you.

The inspiration for “Pinks and Drinks” came from the Hostess with the Mostess blog I came across back in 2008: Valentine’s Day Party Invites.  Here was my DIY card version:

Pinks and Drinks Invitation

This stair step card was embellished using Martha Stewart punches, rubber stamps, and a Nestability die.

Pinks and Drinks Invitation 3

Pinks and Drinks Invitation 2

I love how dimensional this card turned out!

Pinks and Drinks 4

Isn’t this a fun theme?  Here are some easy, fun Valentine party decorating ideas!

Comments { 0 }

Charting Progress

Our Parents as Teachers Coordinator stopped by this past week to check on Olivia’s progress and administer her 12 month ASQ Screening.  As I expected, Olivia passed with flying colors and even obtained perfect scores in the gross and fine motor skills categories.  Part of my homework from this session including filling out Year 1 of a multi-year medical record.

Medical-HistoryThe questionnaire started with the normal rundown of documenting birth and medical complications.  On the next page, I found a box labeled “General Development.”  Such simple questions… that left me with tears streaking down my face.

I’m not sure what it was… perhaps the act of writing it down or seeing it so neatly condensed on 2 sheets of paper served as a trigger… but the juxtaposition of Olivia’s early start compared to her vibrant and healthy current reality has never felt so palpable.  I am just so grateful.

My beautiful, feisty, independent girl is thriving.  These days, she is literally running to embrace life.  I struggled to contain all of my answers to the first question {What can your child do well?} on a single line and felt my heart swell with all the memories of Olivia’s milestones.  I didn’t even know what to write for the second line.  Yes, she has trouble sometimes focusing on listening to an entire storybook BUT that is usually because she is ready to practice a new motor skill.  Perfectly normal at this stage.

Not to say that there aren’t difficult moments and darn right challenging days.  Sometimes, it’s minute by minute!  Despite demanding learning tasks (for both mom and baby!), watching Olivia awaken to all the wonderful possibilities of this world is such a special gift.

I am so grateful.

Comments { 0 }

January 2014

The sun is shining today… but, my oh my…. what a winter we have had.

January-Snow-5

More snow that I can ever remember has graced our Midwestern city.  The official report from the airport recorded over 10 inches in one day!

January-Snow-3I’ll never forget opening our back door up to a wall of snow!

January-Snow-6

Our month of snow flurries and frigid temperatures has made Olivia’s song from music class quite appropriate–

“Mushy, slushy, cold and wet… Snowsuits and boots, is it over yet?” (I’m Freezing, Music Together Curriculum)

January-Snow-2January-Snow-1Let’s just say, I’m counting the days until SPRING!

Comments { 0 }

Navigating Slowly

Looking for the bright spots this week…

Tulips3

I’ve been horribly sick (again).  Despite feeling horrendous and having quite possibly the worst sore throat of my life, these tulips still managed to put a smile on my face.

Tulips2

Looks like 2014 can only go up from here!

Tulips1

Comments { 0 }

Lately… Summer 2013

Lately-Summer-13

Row 1: In late July, James’ parents visited and we tackled cleaning up our yard.  We weeded like crazy!  (I don’t think our yard has had any attention since Olivia’s early arrival.)  The garden bed along the side of the house was completely overgrown.  Due to the unseasonably cool summer temps, Olivia was able to spend some time outside with us.  She is pictured here on one of my favorite quilts from my Grandma.

Row 2: We tried a recipe for homemade mango margaritas… yum!  Olivia practiced her swimming skills and I enjoyed snuggles early one morning with both my girls (Lexi and Olivia).  I also sent my favorite children’s book (Wherever You Are: My Love Will Find You) along with a handmade card to a friend that delivered her baby very prematurely.  My heart goes out to this new mama and we pray for their sweet boy each day.

Row 3: I severely burned my hands after a glass dish broke filled with scalding liquid.  Real aloe and lavender essential oil were a saving grace.  We made a fun “Congrats!” sign for a friend that completed his PhD.  I couldn’t be there in person to hear his dissertation defense, but Olivia and I cheered him on in spirit!  We also celebrated 2 big milestones during the month of August: Olivia learned how to sit-up by herself and tried her first solid foods (avocados!).

Row 4: A friend and I tried making laundry detergent, body wash, and diaper rash cream using essential oils.  With my mom’s help babysitting Olivia, I was able to work on several fun card projects this month including several thank you cards.  On August 17th, we took Olivia to the zoo for the first time.  We enjoyed seeing the giraffes, elephants, and tigers.  I never realized how gracefully hippos glide through the water!

Row 5: Olivia took her first plane ride to Washington DC to attend James’ brother’s wedding over Labor Day weekend.  (Read my 10 Tips for Traveling with a Baby post.)  It was awesome to see Olivia interacting with her 4 sweet cousins.  Our trip included many sightseeing adventures and even a trip to the ocean!  Olivia was not a fan of the waves.  When the water started to rush up onto her feet, she immediately started crying!  We met a fisherman along a pier while exploring the beach that proudly told us his philosophy on fishing: “You just missed the two best fishing days of the year… yesterday and tomorrow!”

Row 6: Lots of wedding fun!  A quick pic of J and I before the ceremony started.  Olivia “helped” us make a card for the newlyweds… she might have tried to bite off the corner… And, finally, our sweet girl turned 8 months old.  It is amazing how much she changes and grows each day.

Comments { 0 }