December 22, 2015
Yesterday at my doctors appointment we went ahead and set a c-section date for our second little bird. I am finally at a place where saying that i'm having a c-section doesn't make me feel less than when it comes to delivery. For several reasons with Ru, after an entire day of labor I ended up having to have an emergency section and I struggled for a while after her birth with how my plan just did not go, well, to plan. At all. (You can read her birth story HERE.) Now I know that we did what we had to do and what was best for our daughter. She came into the world safe and healthy because I had a care team that put their expertise to work and delivered my baby the safest way they could. I'm so thankful for that.
When we found out I was pregnant again I was insistent on having a vbac. As the months passed though, I never felt a sense of peace and calm around my decision. I wanted so badly to feel 100% confident in the idea of a vbac (gosh I want / wanted to have a natural childbirth experience so badly,) but I just couldn't get there. The risk of a uterine rupture (although small) was just enough for me to not want to chance not coming home to my girls and husband. The way my body dealt with labor the first time was also a concern. I did not want to labor all day again and then have to have a c-section in the end. Of course there is just no way of knowing how any of it will go but I spent a lot of time weighing options and if I was going to try for a vbac I wanted to be FULLY committed to it. I had a conversation with a friend about making my c-section experience a beautiful one and it really helped me get to a place of peace. I'm excited about the calm, known aspect of this second birth. I know that natural childbirth can be very calm but in my experience the first time around it was anything but. Things like, being able to tell Ru when the baby is coming and to plan her hospital visit and her schedule with grandparents is also good for my mama planning heart. So while my choice for another c-section is not the best choice for everyone, it is what feels right for me and I'm so, so thankful that I've finally come to terms with it. Now watch me go into labor before my date! ha!
ps. Christmas in 3 days!? What?!
December 20, 2015
My little love bug - the story teller. I can't even begin to describe how much and how eloquently my little talks. I know that sounds so boastful and I wish it were some genius parenting feat I could take credit for but her language- her ability to speak so fully and fluently is all her and has been so amazing to witness as her mama. She started talking at 15 months and could form a full sentence at 18. Now, at almost 3 years old the things she says blows my mind daily and makes me hysterically laugh at the same time. Having a little best friend around you can just chat the day away with is truly and utterly the very best thing for my mama heart, especially with a second little baby bird heading our way in the next month. Having Ru be able to communicate with me all her little heart's joys and worries is making the transition from baby to big sister for her so much easier - because I know exactly how she is feeling we have been able to talk through all of her emotions. I'm finding that fact alone to be so reassuring that this huge change in all of our lives is going to be smooth as butter (At least that is what I'm telling myself!)
Speaking of a second little bird - I'm super excited about my new Lily Jade tote. It's the perfect carryall for everything from diapers to snacks to an extra change of clothes, to mama's essentials too. I also love that I can rock this bag in the times I'm not with my girls. It's the little things, like a great bag that help make our days as mama's just a teensy bit easier. Don't you think?
December 17, 2015
I really cannot believe we are only 5 weeks away from meeting this babe. I don't know if it's just me or all mama's who already have a child(ren) but it has flown by much faster than the first time around and I feel so unprepared even though I know what to (semi) expect. I was so ready for Ru. So ready to hold her in my arms - be her mama. I'm more scared for how I'll transition from having one child to two than I was from zero to one. I know once she is in my arms, my fears and anxieties will be gone but I've come to accept that it isn't happening for me now and probably won't until the moment i'm holding her. For the longest time I only thought about the things i'd be loosing - my one on one time with Ru. My undivided and devoted attention to her. Laying with her each and every night while she drifts to sleep. Our easy, carefree days where the agenda revovles mostly around what she'd like to do. All those things will shift in some ways and while that's okay and part of growing our family, I'm giving myself grace to mourn. I'm so excited to add another love to our clan and Ru can't even contain her joy over baby sister - the moment she meets her I think will be the closest I'll ever feel to heaven on earth and I can't wait for it, but for now, I'm savoring the heck out of this special time as the mama to one.
December 10, 2015
I'm super excited about a fun shopping event i'll be hosting TONIGHT at Madwell in Cincinnati from 6-8 pm with sweet treats from my favorite Brown Bear Bakery and of course Champagne to sip (you can have extra on my behalf! :) 25% off your entire purchase too! Hope to see you!
ps. this fantastic illustration was hand painted by the incredibly talented Joya from Rajovilla
October 12, 2015
We are settling quite nicely into our sweet little rental home. It is just what we wanted for this next year and will be the perfect place to welcome our new little babe. It's an odd thing, knowing you will be moving again in a year or so. I so badly want to settle in completely and truly but I know OUR home is waiting for us this next year. I am missing our old home which still very much feels like ours and that we'll be going home soon. I think mostly it's the familiarity of what home becomes over time. The smell, the creaks of the floor, the turn of each door knob - all the things that collectively make a home. It wasn't where we wanted to stay forever and now was the time to go but it is still hard to leave your first house and a house we loved at that. If you are curious - we are taking the plunge and doing something a little bit scary, a lot a bit exciting and for sure where are hearts are. We are building a home in downtown Cincinnati in our favorite little neighborhood, Over The Rhine. I'll be sharing more of that journey once we break ground (hopefully in the next month or two.) We have been designing and drawing plans for the last, almost year, and to finally see how this is all coming together is so, so exciting. Until then I'm trying to enjoy our little slice of quaint neighborhood - I've loaded up on the Halloween candy to pass out because i've been told our street is THE SPOT for trick or treaters and if there is one thing i've always wanted, it is to sit on my front porch and pass out candy! (nerd alert!) More soon...
September 11, 2015
Geesh! I sure haven't been around this space in quite some time and it feels good to be here, letting my fingers do the talking. So much has happened since the last time I posted back in early June. If you aren't following me over on IG then you may not know, we are having ANOTHER BABY GIRL, have been traveling and we're moving at the end of the month - kind of a whirlwind of a summer but we're very excited for all the lies ahead.
So this new baby girl - it's pretty crazy honestly - another girl. Before having Ru I always felt that i'd be the mama to only boys and I had come to love that idea. Just a mama and her boys and then after having Ru, I couldn't imagine a child any other way besides the exact way that she was. She is the girl of my dreams and raising a little lady has been a gift beyond words. This second pregnancy has felt SO different from my first and that had me convinced it was a boy. I was wrapping my head around one sweet girl and one sweet boy and falling in love with the little boy I was growing. We found out earlier in the week that this little bug is actually a little girl and oh my goodness, the idea of TWO little girls is so foreign yet so, so exciting for us. I myself don't have a sister so being able to give Ru the gift of sisterhood is I think, what i'm most excited for. They are going to be quite the pair, I just know. Already Ru is so in love with baby sister, hugging my belling constantly telling sister how much she loves her and how she can't wait to show her her books and hold her hand. It still is a little hard for me to grasp how I'm going to love this new babe the same way I love my big girl but I know I will. I know it will be different and I'll have to navigate time and attention for them both but this mama love is fierce and my heart will find its way. Also, papa with his two girls - the cute might just kill me dead.
Oh and we're also moving in two weeks! Gah! We sold our home in less than a day and found a super charming little rental house in a great neighborhood. Fenced in back yard, big wide sidewalks and some of our favorite places within biking distance. We are sad to leave this home of ours but excited for new things. Our plan is to hunker down there for a year or so while we work on building our dream home in the city. More on that later! I'm off now to wipe down some 2 year old I know who's covered in potting soil, paint and avocado. This season of life is pretty dang sweet.
June 3, 2015
Each day that passes my daughter keeps getting smarter, funnier, more in tune with everything around her and aware of the fact that she is indeed transitioning out of babyhood. It's such a sweet time - watching and helping her grow. Often she'll claim she's a big girl now but sometimes she still says she's a baby and needs to be extra close. The passing of time around here for us is sweet and bitter. We have a really big year planned and I'm doing my best to remember that what I have right now is today. What's to come is exciting but if I dwell on it too much, I'll miss what is happening right now and right now is so good.
May 12, 2015
I've got three mother's days under my belt now and I have to admit, they just keep getting sweeter and sweeter each year. Maybe it this year felt extra delicious because my girl could pick me flowers and hold my face in her little hands to say 'I love you mommy.' Whatever it was, it sure was sweet and I love nothing more than being this girl's mama. She's my light, my joy, my heart.
Also wanted to send a belated happy mother's day to all the mama's out there - the mama's in waiting, the mama's wanting to be and the women who take care of someone in that nurturing, motherly way. You are all wonderful and lovely and deserving of a day to celebrate you.
May 1, 2015
Whew! Happy Friday! I tell you what. This week has been a doozy. Our girl came down with a fever on Sunday and it didn't break until Thursday morning. Our dog also came down with an infection on Sunday that was less than pretty and so our house this past week has been a sick filled disaster. Thankfully, everyone is now on the mend and my girl is going on hour 4 of her nap (talk about getting over sickness) and the boy is basking in a sunny spot in the kitchen. We are looking forward to a weekend not filled with 100 obligations and just being able to enjoy some easy time together. I'm predicting lots of iced coffee's, parks, a bike ride and maybe some grilling on the back deck. TGIF, friends!
April 24, 2015
The past few weeks, I've really been trying to sort out where my heart is and where I'd like to be. I'm asking myself some thoughtful questions and really trying to listen and follow, which is not always easy to do when you like to be in control of your life's path.
This song from Hillsong United has been on repeat (literally) for days on end in our home. These words speak to me so deeply. I'm really finding so much encouragement through it- maybe you'll feel inspired by it too.
April 19, 2015
I could care less that this is an ad for Pandora Jewelry. It is the most beautiful video about our unique connections to our children and my mama heart can barely take it. If you need me, I'm in a pile of my own tears over here.
April 10, 2015
Oh the kitchen. The heart of the house and really, isn't that so true? You cook here, eat here, dance here, snuggle here, cry here, gather here. I love our kitchen to pieces. When we first moved in the kitchen was fine. It was updated and clean. All we could really ask for but after 6 months or so we knew it wasn't 'us,' so we ripped out the counters (and added butcher block) painted the walls all white, painted the cabinets bright yellow, and then all white again (phew) put the subway tile up and re-floored. Just this past Christmas we bought Ru her own little kitchen and I could not love the fact that it looks exactly like ours more. When mama cooks, Ru is right there next to me cooking away too. Our kitchen and dinning room are really one in the same, so it's this really large open space in our home that we love so much. Whenever we have guests this is where we are.
April 3, 2015
The dining room is by far the most modern room in our house. I love that it cathces you off guard when you step in. It's deep gray (almost navy) walls and it's shocking artwork. We totally fell in love with those cool 1950 mughots when we spotted them from a vendor of ours at our first City Flea in 2011 and we've had them hanging ever since. The kitchen, which the dining room opens up to is all white (tour coming soon!) and the reason I feel like we can get away with such a dark color in the dining area. I sometimes feel like it's a room in our house that doesn't really fit with the rest of the home, but i've really come to love it. We spend so much time in there- we eat every meal together around our big wooden farm table (which we had custom made a few years ago by a local woodworker) and the number of family dance parties that have happened in this space is too many to count. Most everything in our dining room and kitchen (they really are like one big room) is either wood or white and I think that is the other reason the decor feels most modern to me. Below are the sources for some of the pieces //
Mugshots / Larken Design
Dining chairs / Herman Miller
Bar Cart / Brooklyn Flea Market
Dining Table / Custom by T Wallace
Buffet / estate sale and refinished by my husband
Globe / Flea Market
Bar Stool / Target
The kitchen is up next!
April 1, 2015
I didn't know how much I wanted an actual entryway until we had an actual entryway. A designated place to hang your coat, take your shoes off and greet guests. When we first moved in 4 years ago I instantly felt very grown up with such an official entrance to our home. Our entry space is pretty simple- minimal decor per usual. We do not have a storm door (have you ever tried to find a door to fit a 150 year old door frame? geeps), so the downside to this space is when the door is closed, it's pretty dark. Anyways, when we bought our home the first half of the entry had parkay flooring and the stairs and hall were carpeted. We decided to re-do the flooring of our entire first floor to have it be consistent and a little more our style, so we settled on an extremely durable (we have a chocolate lab and toddler) faux wood. It was not our first choice but we were trying to be cost effective and smart with our choice. The beige-y wall color is also not our favorite but it runs the entire length up to the second floor so painting it is just a bit too daunting for us right now. And really, it's ok. We don't hate it. My hope is that if you were to ever come to our home, you would instantly feel welcomed, because for me, that is what the entry way is for.
March 30, 2015
I have been wanting to share the rooms of our home for some time now and am finally getting around to it. We have lived in our house for a little over four years and the rooms have changed and evolved so much over that time. I finally feel like we have our home the way we want it - the way it feels most us. I wanted to have the chance to document it before we decide it might be time for the next chapter, and so today i'm starting with the family room. The room we spend most of our time in, where we quite literally, gather as a family. Having our home look and feel lived in and like a child lives here is important to me, but so is not having toys all over the place. I think people often feel like once they have children their homes have to be this cluttered space filled with toys and i've found that to not be true. In our family room, Ru has a corner where we keep a small collection of toys and books. We store them in baskets which makes cleaning up super easy. (Ya just throw everything in!) I've also come to learn that simple, unique, natural decor speaks to my soul. Bringing the outdoors in (so many plants) and finding unique decor and furniture pieces from flea markets or estate sales is totally our jam. I like that each piece of furniture or decorative item tells a story. Literally, every piece of furniture and knick knack we have in this room (except the TV stand - IKEA) is from several different estate sales or flea markets (Sorry, can't source them!) The plant stand though, which lots of people have asked about, is from Fab.com.
Hoping to post another room later in the week!
March 23, 2015
Even though we are in the city, we live right in the midst of Eden Park which is filled with wildlife, so by default our little yard is a squirrel, bird, snake (ewww) raccoon, and sometimes deer haven. Really, you'd think we live in the middle of the forest. Ru and I have been talking about all of our fun outdoor projects this spring and this year she is actually old enough to understand and participate in helping make them happen. I've been wanting to hang a bird feeder from our big tree for some time now and thought today was the perfect day. I was totally winging it when it came to the bird food and hope they'll like it. I'm sure the squirrels will at least! Here's what we used (because it was all we had in the pantry:)
1/2 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup quinoa
1/2 steel cut oats
1/4 cup dried cranberries
spoon full of peanut butter
mixed it all up in a mixing bowl and poured into feeder. Viola! I'll report back as to whether or not they eat it :)
March 18, 2015
Victor is the new brand from Noble Denim and I cannot tell you how freaking excited I am about it. If you were to see me at any moment of any day, I'm in jeans and a plain tee with a basic cardigan or sweatshirt overtop. I live in basics and so when there is a new line of basics being produced by friends in my own city, I'm excited. The super cool thing about Victor is that it's about more than producing cool basics. They are about producing an American made product that puts work back into the local factory. It's a meaningful and worthwhile mission. Please check out their kickstarter and support if you can. These are the types of companies we need more of.
March 5, 2015
Hey all! I just wanted to pop in to pass on the news that our vendor application for our fifth season of The City Flea is live on our website! I opened the application on Sunday and they are pouring in. Having this business of ours is the sweetest and in times like these, where I scroll through hundreds of applications from talented, creative folks, my mind is blown and I am beyond thankful. This is the start of our fifth year and I honestly cannot believe we've been running this market for 5 years. It's so crazy awesome. So, anyways! If you or someone you know is interested in slinging goods at our super awesome market, APPLY!
And also, this photo....ahhhh summer!
February 22, 2015
Snow days in our neighborhood are an absolute favorite scene for me. White blankets spread across all the hills and yards. Just across the street from our house is Eden Park which sprawls over hilltops for 186 acres. It is one of my favorite places to be in the city and how lucky are we that it is quite literally, our front yard. Yesterday morning we woke to find the streets nearly un-driveable so we took the opportunity to bundle up with our sled in tow for an adventure through the park. We spent the good majority of the morning stomping around, sledding down some hills and taking in the river view from the top of the hill. It was foggy and snowy and had that peaceful quiet only snow has the ability to create. There was not another soul in site and it really was a somewhat magical morning.
We came back in after a couple hours to warm our toes and eat big bowls of soup for lunch. It was perfect.
February 17, 2015
The other day I was sitting in Ru's room, rocking her as she slept and started thinking about the future and the possibility of another baby. I've had these thoughts for some time and know there is no rush in having another babe and in the right time, things will happen the way they are supposed to but still, I can't help but feel a little sad that in this moment, the idea of another babe is not exciting to me. I know for sure that I want more children. I'm not questioning that - I just wish I could feel as excited as I did when we were thinking of baby number 1. I posted these words to my Instagram account and the comments of encouragement and support really helped me feel not alone. Thank you, if you contributed to that conversation. It meant so much.
'A few thoughts as I sit here with my 2 year old daughter sound asleep in my arms for the last hour with nothing else to do but think. First off, I am NOT pregnant. This is us, her and I, 2 years ago. Actually, I was getting ready to meet her on this exact day- my last shot of me with her tucked away safely. I was being induced in just several hours and was overwhelmed. Nick snapped this photo of us just as we were heading out the door. And now, the best 2 years of my life so far gone by and talk of maybe another baby sometime not so far away. And here's where I struggle. I want my daughter to have siblings 100% and I love nothing more in the entire universe than mothering, but I'm just not excited about it. Baby fever? Don't have it. But gosh did I when we were trying for R. I wanted her so deeply and the fact that I'm void of that same feeling now saddens me to no end.
Me and this little family have such a good thing going. My days with JUST her are so cherished. I mourn the thought of those days being gone. Things are getting easy- she sleeps, travels, eats anything, is the best little buddy there is and the idea of starting again and rocking everyone's world is frightening. I also know having another child would be amazing beyond belief and that the love I feel for this one would be the same for another but it's hard. It's hard to imagine it all and to say goodbye to life as it is now. I feel like I am the only mama with these sad thoughts on having another baby.
Motherhood. It always catches me in the rawest ways.'
Did anyone else feel like this for baby 2, 3, or 4? Maybe I won't ever feel that deep desire to have another baby but once they arrive I'll wonder how I ever lived without them? Also, Ruthie is baby obsessed. I so badly want to give her a sibling and know that I will one day. In the meantime, I'm trying to make sense of my feelings and find contentment in the fact that I just may not feel the same way I did about pregnancy 2 years ago. And that's okay.
February 10, 2015
Is Valentine's Day really just a few days away? Guess so! Nick and I don't do much to celebrate - usually our favorite take out and hand written cards and honestly, that's all I need. We've never been one of those couples who needs to go over the top to show each other we care. We do that in our everyday - cooking dinner for each other, tag teaming this parenting gig, picking up a favorite treat on the way home from work, spur of the moment dinner dates. We are simple and truly, it's the only way I want to be.
These sweet cards are from local paper goods artist AP loves design and her work is some of my favorite. It's cute and simple and made with a ton of love.
January 30, 2015
This weekend we will celebrate our baby girl turning two - her golden birthday at that. 2 on the 2nd and this happens to be the year I will celebrate mine as well - 31 on the 31st and for that reason, this year feels especially big and special. Good stuff is in store, I can feel it. We are having grandparents come to our house for a small, special celebration and I'm keeping it simple with gold decorations for the golden birthday. She requested chocolate cake with strawberries on top and a balloon. She's easy to please and as sweet as they come. I can't wait to celebrate the best 2 years of my life with my little love this weekend. Hope you have a good one too!