GOODBYE 2013

December 31, 2013

It's safe to say, this was the best year of my life. Becoming a mama to our sweet girl has been the best, most rewarding, most stressful, challenging, most fulfilling job in the world and it has made me a better human being. I live for this girl and this past year has taught me so much about strength, courage, love and conviction. I faced a lot of fears, wore my heart on my sleeve, learned to parent with my spouse, and grew in both relationship with myself and my husband. It has been a year of a lot of personal growth. For me, that sort of maturity is the best kind. 

I have a lot of personal goals, goals for our small business and this blog for 2014 that i'll share in the coming days. Today though is all about saying goodbye to what was the most wonderful year. We are celebrating with some of our closest friends tonight with a drink and a toast (at 6pm, because that's just how we party these days :) Cheers to an amazing 2013 and an even better 2014, friends!

CHRISTMAS MORNING

December 30, 2013

Just a few shots of our first Christmas morning with this sweet little thing. It was way sweeter for her papa and I than it was for her, but I think she enjoyed her new little things and the company of her uncle and grandpa and grandma for brunch. It was the first christmas we stayed home and hosted and boy was it so nice. We stayed in pajama's, played records, sipped coffee and were not rushing around all day long. This is a new tradition I'm more than on board with. 

And thus concludes Christmas photo's. PS. The holiday week really through our sleep off and now we are having some major issues. Does anyone have a good book, website, etc for sleep training? My poor girl is exhausted but is having the hardest time sleeping on her own. Please help. We are all a little bit tired around these parts. 

PPS. You can tell who was behind the lens- I wish there were more photo's of Nick! 

CHRISTMAS EVE

Ruthie met Santa (my stepdad) a second time on Christmas eve and had a much better experience than her first time, as you might remember from instagram. Hooray! My mom hosted our entire extended family and while it can be a little bit crazy, it is nice to see everyone. This year's party included 30 aunts, uncles and cousins, 4 baby's, 3 dogs and one grandma! We have celebrated Christmas eve with this crazy bunch every single year of my life. It's such a fun tradition. 

CHRISTMAS PART 1

December 29, 2013

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Christmas eve morning is tradition for nick's immediate family to get together to do our gift exchange and spend the morning together. It's really relaxed and a ton of fun just being with each other. We say all the time how dang lucky we are to have such a loving, close, fun family and special holiday's are just that much more fun because we all love spending so much time together. This year was extra special too because our little nephew was with us (who arrived 5 weeks early!) Last Christmas we had no babies, and this christmas, two! Life sure is sweet.

I have some more photo's to share of Christmas eve and Christmas morning. Hope everyone had a really wonderful holiday! Our first with baby girl sure was.

MERRY CHRISTMAS

December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas, friends! Here's the image we chose for our family christmas card this year. (Last week I showed you some of the outtakes) Anyways, just wanted to wish you all a wonderful holiday. We are so excited to spend the rest of the week relaxing and being with our families AND spending our first christmas together as a family of three. Eeee! I'll be back soon! Cheers!

HOLIDAY GREENERY FOUR WAYS

December 20, 2013

| As some garnish for wrapping

MERRY MERRY

December 19, 2013

I came across a quote recently about the holiday's as a parent that went a little something like this - ' I used to think being a kid on Christmas was the best thing ever but it turns out, having kids on Christmas is.' And my gosh, I could not agree more. I know Ruthie is still little, but experiencing this season as a mother stirs my soul in so many happy ways. As if I didn't love Christmastime enough already, Ruthie had to come on to the scene and yet again prove that my love is capable of expanding in ways I never thought imaginable. She's really something...

A STORY ABOUT LOVE

December 18, 2013

I can't really think of the right words for this post. I wanted to write something really meaningful but the story itself speaks in a way I could never. So, for now I'll give you the specifics and let you dive into it on your own.

Two and half years ago, our friend Ben and our friend Melanie lost their wife and sister. It was devastating, heartbreaking, and tragic in every sense of the word. EVERYONE in our community was impacted by Ali's passing and it was really quite amazing to witness an entire city of people rallying together to show this family love and support. (There are still good people out there, friends) I still can't think of this story without getting tears in my eyes. Not only are these friends of mine but having a little girl myself and imagining this same scenario in our own lives makes me feel like I've been punched in the stomach. I can't even go there, honestly because I become a giant mess of a human and there is no sense in dwelling on something like that. 

Over the past couple of days, Ben's story has been everywhere. Literally. ABC, NBC, TODAY, Buzzfeed. ALL OVER THE PLACE. Melanie (who happens to be an amazing photographer - actually shot our wedding!) took these photos of Ben and Ali on their wedding day in their empty house before they moved in and Ben and his daughter, in their empty house before they said goodbye to it. I really don't have words for how beautiful and amazing they are. Ben wrote a few words about the experience HERE and the full collection of photos can be found HERE. (Both sites have actually crashed because of the overwhelming number of people being who are being touched by this story so if the links don't work, that's why.)

This story deserves the attention of everyone. Ben says this isn't a story about loss or grief, it's a story about love and who doesn't need a little bit of that? 

WEEKEND NOTES

December 16, 2013

Happy Monday! Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. We sure did. On Saturday we held the final City Flea of 2013 and while it's always a little sad, the 4 month break until our next season starts is always nice. It gives us some time to refresh, come up with new ideas and get excited about the kickoff of another season. I can not believe we've been doing this for 3 years already! Anyways, we had a great night on Saturday with our holiday market and are so thankful to our vendors and the shoppers who show up every single month. On Sunday we mellowed out and grabbed coffee as a family, did a little shopping and had a family dinner. This is the last normal week until the holiday break and I'm so looking forward to it. It's snowing outside right now so Ruthie and I are planning to hunker down for the day and ease on into this Monday. Have a great week, everyone! 

HOLIDAY MARKET

December 13, 2013

Hey friends! Happy Friday! Just wanted to pop in to remind everyone that our last market of the year is tomorrow evening from 5-10 at Washington Park. It's going to be snowy and freezing and totally awesome in that holiday winter wonderland sort of way, so please come by to finish up your holiday shopping, grab a hot cocoa and stay for the OTR tree lighting. A lot of good stuff happening. See you then!

INSTANT LOVE | MAMAWATTERS

December 10, 2013

It's been a long while since I've done an instant love feature and I thought there's no better time than now when everyone is busy posting so much holiday loveliness! If you do not already follow Amanda Watters you are missing out big time. Her sweet, simple, beautiful photos of everyday life with her two littles, Stella and Theo melt your heart and remind you to really embrace the beauty in simple moments. Her feed is a huge inspiration to me and I think you'll see why when you hop over and have a look for yourself! And don't forget to visit her blog as well - basically a more elaborate extension of her instagram feed. Just lovely!

CHRISTMAS CARD OUTTAKES

December 9, 2013

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My dream of having a family christmas card is finally coming true! This weekend we set up the tripod and got a little bit fancy so we could shoot a fun and easy shot of our family in front of the christmas tree. The photo we ended up choosing is super sweet and I think captures how much our little family loves one another. I'm excited for them to arrive! Anyways, it's nice too because now we have some good shots of us all together. You know how that is? It's always a photo of just me and ruthie or just nick and ruthie…So. Here we all are! Happy holidays!

ps. nick and ruthie's eyes in that photo of them together! twins!

ST. NICK WAS HERE

December 6, 2013

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Happy St. Nick's all! This morning I was giddy when brining Ruthie down the stairs to see her stocking. I know she has no idea but it's so fun sharing these firsts with her during her first holiday season. I slowly pulled out the simple little things I got for her one at a time and spent a few minutes looking and playing with each little item. We are setting the precedent of simple holiday gifting for our children right off the bat and so in her stocking was an ornament for the tree, a finger puppet, a sweet little gnome and a holiday book. I think it's safe to say she loved it. She carried the gnome and finger puppet around with her the entire morning :)

Nick and I have been talking a lot about how we want to do our family gifting at Christmas and decided on 4 gifts for Ruthie. You may have seen this idea floating around the internet this season and we really loved the idea. So, This year and in the years to come Ruthie will receive something to play with, something she needs, something to wear and something to read. It's simple and fun and I think a good reminder that the holiday's are not solely about gift giving. And with this being the first year we have a child in the mix Nick and I decided we would be super simple and gift ourselves the cappuccino maker we've been lusting after for a while now.

How do you guys do gift giving?

Ruthie's finger puppet, ornament and gnome all came from local children's boutique, the spotted goose and her book from local children's bookstore, blue manatee. Two of my favorite places.

FAMILY

December 4, 2013

I don't know if it's the recent birth of our nephew, having just spent time with family over thanksgiving, all of the fun, new memories and traditions we are making this holiday season as a new family of three or a combination of it all, but something has me really, really cherishing family. I'm always really excited when the holiday season rolls around but this year is especially special. Even though Ruthie is still too young to understand what Christmas is, the look in her eyes when she see's our lit up christmas tree and holiday decorations around the house is just sweet. Sweet in that, gosh this is a good life kind of way. I'm so thankful for this family of mine. 

And this begins the official kick off of holiday posting around here! Happy December!

lovely images | 1. 2. 3. 4.

TEN MONTHS

December 2, 2013

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Oh Ruthie. Your ninth month was really something fantastic. It was the month in which you became more of a girl and less of a baby. I get little glimpses of who you might be in a year or two from now and my heart just flutters. You are the sweetest little thing but you have this silly, wild side too that I just adore. You snuggle me up on and off all day long and you squeal and yell and crack up the rest of the time. I love how you are. I hope you will always know that - that I love how you are. Even when our days aren't so easy and fun and simple. When the days come where you might be afraid I'll feel disappointment or that I'm not proud of what you've done - I will always love how you are because you are mine to love, always. Ten months feels a lot different than all the other months. We are in double digits now and whether it's true or not you just seem so grown up. You have preference towards things, threw your first fit (that was fun. and actually really adorable,) you say 'all done' when you are finished eating, you wave hi (and sometimes say it), you are getting so good at standing, and you just started dancing when music plays. ' I like to dance ' from Yo Gabba Gabba is your absolute favorite and gosh darnit, you are so damn cute when you dance to it. (I have video)

Your first ever little cousin was born just 6 days ago and holding him reminded me how quickly time has passed and just how much you have grown. I can't believe you were once that small (smaller actually.) I'm so proud of who you have become in ten months and can't wait to see you will be as the months and years pass. I've started thinking about your first birthday and as sad as it makes me knowing how quickly the year has gone, it also makes me extremely happy - that we have almost conquered one year together and that it could not have been more fun. I know that as you get older I'll continue to fall more and more in love with who are are becoming. Which seems impossible because how much I love you THIS MOMENT makes me want to cry. It's that much that I could just burst into tears thinking about it. One day when you read this letter you will roll your eyes at that, but then you will have a child of your own and know exactly what I am talking about. Trust me. Your grandma would say the same thing to me and here we are now. Grandma was right.

I love you so much I could burst.
 

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