July 29, 2014

Travel in Color // Yellow

Benvenuto to my travel in color photography series.  Exactly one year ago, this is where I was.  And I am sort of missing it.

Italian love.  Florals, bicycles and relatively confusing signs on the way to, um, er, Tuscany.

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July 27, 2014

26 weeks pregnant and other things

A couple weeks ago I hit the 6 month mark of this 10 month little journey I am on.  I think that was my turning point of getting stoked about this little bebe on the way.  Prior to that, I was not not stoked.  I think I was just still anxious and it didn’t quite feel real.  Now, it feels real.  Probably because I can actually feel this little bambina moving around in me.  It’s awesome.  I love feeling her jabs and wiggles.  I try to thank God for every movement I feel.  Because if we are being honest, none of this would be happening apart from Him.

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And something else really cool happened recently which made me get into stoked mode.  Let me call it the liberation.  The freeing myself from the insanity of the American baby rules, regulations, opinions, how to not kill your baby, why you should register for 850 things, why to get a nanny, what crib to buy that your baby won’t suffocate in nonsense.  The liberating from the pregnancy and post pregnancy nonsense.  You see, in life, it’s good to seek advice, right?  It’s good to read books to be informed.  It’s smart to ask those who have gone before you what they think about strollers, butt cream and otherwise.  Blogs and forums can be a great quick-hit resource to help answer all of your burning questions.  Magazines, yeah, get those too!  Um, NO.  All of those things should be thrown out the window – literally and figuratively – when dealing with pregnancy.  Why?  Oh, let me count the ways.  Before I count the ways, let me offer a disclaimer which makes the below even that much more absurd.  I haven’t read one book (I have read maybe 3-4 total chapters across 2-3 books and threw the books in the garbage*).  I am not subscribed to any blogs.  I have engaged minimally to the pregnancy forums and social media outlets.  I have asked advice on baby or pregnancy related things maybe 5-6 times total.  I haven’t even registered at our hospital or signed up for any classes.  So my proactive pregnancy reach, or PPR,  is limited, comparatively speaking.  *As of yesterday, I am about 1/3 of the way through a book that I am madly in love with called Bringing Up Bebe.  It likely will be the only book I read during this pregnancy.  More to come on that. And so I sort of lied above by saying I hadn’t read any books.

Okay, let’s begin by being honest.  99% of what is out there results in making you believe you should buy something.  It’s sales.  Cruel, over-consuming sales.  Registering has been awful for me, aside from the cute clothes and books and stuff like that.  Everything else is so unbelievably overwhelming (just reference Buy Buy Baby’s recommended registry list…you may vomit, just to warn you).  And when I asked for advice, I legitimately received opposing advice from people who I love and respect.  Ugh.  So what stroller IS the best?  No clue.  But chances are my kid won’t care, won’t know the difference and we all will go on to live really great, robust lives.  Just like parents did hundreds of years ago before Buy Buy Baby ever existed.

Second, moms (whether they be your own mom, your friends who are moms, your mother-in-law, your sister who is a mom, your neighbor who is a mom, the lady checking you out at Target who is a mom) are opinionated for the most part.  And they are passionate.  And in some cases – not all – they want you to get on their mom wagon.  All with very good intentions.  But what we soon find out is we may not agree with their opinions.  Or fears.  Or worries.  Or whatever.  And then it just becomes annoying and sometimes uncomfortable.  What should be learned here?  Set boundaries, ask advice if you want it (and are willing to hear things you may not want to or may not agree with) and ask advice of those around you whom you relate with, respect and find you may have similar parenting styles.  Should a friend, or say, the random stranger at the grocery store offer their unwarranted advice?  Well, I don’t have the perfect answer quite yet but what I am learning is to not respond if possible or respond briefly/politely to acknowledge their words and move on with life.

Third, I am predicting it’s all a waste of time.  Because us first-time moms have no clue what we are doing so why can’t we just let it be that way?  Let’s be honest, all of the opinions and books and fears and worries that were planted in our brains may haunt us post baby (which who wants that?) and/or we will forget everything because we are so tired, our kid is nothing like your best friend’s kid and why not address the issues you face when you are faced with them vs. months before?  Of course, there are certain things that are critical to know and that’s why pregnancy is 10 months (or so I’d like to think) – to give you time to focus on some of the important factors like what the nursery will look like and whether or not you want your child to believe in God and/or Jesus.  Rick and I have tackled both of these things and I feel like if we stopped there, we would be okay and would figure out the rest as we went.

Fourth, if I hear one more person tell me basically that my life is over and I will never sleep again when I have a kid (in slightly different words), I may punch them in the face.  Okay, that was harsh/I blame the hormones for that aggressive comment.  But, come on!  First of all, when you have gone through 4 miscarriages and God blesses you with a healthy pregnancy, the attitude of “say goodbye to life as you know it” just doesn’t bode well.  Um, hello!  Don’t you think I prayed and prayed and wanted this and chose to try to get pregnant to enter this next season of life?  Don’t I want to gain a few extra pounds and some wrinkles and sleepless nights to be able to bring a child into this world and have the privilege of raising it?  Yeah, I prayed and yeah, I realize the choice I am making.  So let’s not be all negative Nancy with the “let me point out what sucks about having kids” to a first-time mom.

Last.  Well, actually, let me stop there.  There were just so many thoughts and emotions and anxieties in my head.  Some stemming from myself, from the devil and my own insecurities.  And then some stemming from books like Baby Bargains and blogs and unwanted advice and commentary from the peanut gallery.  My head was spinning.  Until now.  My head isn’t spinning.  I have freedom.  Liberation.  And it’s the best I have felt in 26 weeks.  And I am so excited to continue to not read books (besides the disclaimed aforementioned one) and to not become crazy and worried the rest of this pregnancy.  I can do that after this little bambina is born.  For now, it’s time to have some fun, focus on the few key things that matter most and be super grateful to God every single day for this miracle!

That’s all.  :)  Just a few thoughts on 26 weeks of pregnancy.

July 25, 2014

Shop Feature // Glassybaby

Lee Rhodes is diagnosed with cancer for the third time, she is a mother of three. Lee remembers meeting patients in waiting rooms who could not afford day-to-day costs like bus fare, childcare and groceries during chemotherapy. While entertaining friends, she drops a tea light into a roughly hewn glass cup, and the first Glassybaby is born. (taken from www.glassybaby.com)

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As I strolled the streets of Bellevue, a city just minutes from Seattle, I stumbled upon a vibrant, yet simple store filled with hundreds and hundreds of colorful glass candle holders.  My initial reaction was that they were pretty, but did I really need another candle-related anything?!  And did I need to spend $44 on a candle-related anything?  No.

And moments later I am engulfed and inspired by the story of how Glassybaby was founded.  It began with a light of hope.  Founder, three-time cancer survivor, mom of three, Lee Rhodes found great healing from the soothing light of a candle-lit Glassybaby.  So what did she do?  She became a designer.  She learned how to blow glass.  She partnered with artists.  She became a woman entrepreneur.  And in 2001, Glassybaby is officially founded.

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As the woman showed me around the store and continued sharing the Glassybaby story, I wanted to buy 20 of them!  I was addicted as she would light a tea light to show me how each Glassybaby reflects the light differently, uniquely as they are all one of a kind.  It wasn’t just the product that sold me.  It was the variety.  The story.  The founder.  The brilliance (in more ways than one).  And, the give back. 10% of sales go to various organizations to support people in need.  In fact, in 2014, they reached $2MM in charitable giving!

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Another thing I love about these are they are collectables.  I can’t wait to grow my collection over the years.  For the baby (ahem, nursery).  For the powder room.  For the party.  For holiday celebrations.  For the living room.  To use as vases.  For the office.  Perhaps a pen holder? They make a perfect gift, housewarming and otherwise.  (Get ready friends and family, these will likely be my go-to gift going forward.) And, you can rent them!  If you want them for a wedding or a shower or cocktail party, they rent for just $5 each and make beautiful, simple decor.

I am sure you are wondering…which one did I buy?!  It was hard.  I was in the store for at least 40 minutes and finally went with my gut.  A bright, neon-esque yellow that reminded me of Miami.  Canary.  It was my housewarming gift to myself ;)

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July 22, 2014

Black and White Striped Walls

As our house hunt in Miami continues, so does my hours and hours on Pinterest getting inspiration on new projects!  I keep seeing incredible wall coverings and lately, a lot of black and white and a lot of black and white striped walls!  Here are a few of my favorite…though not sure I would take the risk in our house with something so bold.  Would you?!

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All photos via Pinterest unless otherwise noted.

July 16, 2014

Words of Wisdom

My life these days is one part exciting, one part scary and one part absolutely crazy.  I am still living in a hotel.  I am 6 months pregnant.  I am in a new city where meeting people and finding comfort has been a bit difficult.  It’s a perfect storm of true adventure.  Not knowing where we will move.  Anticipating the birth of our baby girl.  And so many other things in between.  The below words of wisdom, or shall we say, quotes of the day,  have made their way to me somehow and I pinned to my Pinterest page and I realize they are spot on for where I am at right now.

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