Monday, January 28, 2013

walking man

On Friday I came into the living room to grab something and before I could get back down to Jack's room he was standing in the hallway with the sweetest, proudest grin on his face. He had walked down to see me.

He's been taking steps when coaxed since Christmas and he'll take a few unassisted steps between furniture, but that was real walking. No turning back now, right?

Later that evening I was watching him walk circles around the living room (just because he could, I guess) and I got all emo and teary thinking about how I get to watch him grow up. In full disclosure, I'm still riding out the deployment hormones and I'm probably PMSing, but still. One of my most favorite things about being a mom is seeing him learn and experience and develop. I felt the same way when I was pregnant and learning about how he was being formed inside me - it was like I had this private glimpse into God's heart when he set all of that into motion. All the pieces that come together to make this precious little person? What pride he must feel.

This motherhood thing is hard, but it sure is beautiful.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Just before lunch today, I remembered that one of my goals for 2013 is to use my real camera more instead of just snapping up-close-and-personal-pictures of Jack with my phone. Not that those are bad (at least I have something, right?) but they do kind of make his face look like the size of a three-year-old's.

So I decided to just grab my camera and start snapping. What's going on around here at 11am on a Wednesday? I'll show you:

I was wearing real clothes! Granted, my hair is kind of a hot mess and I'm not wearing make-up but I'm not in my jammies so I call that WINNING. It's part of my strategy to fight the winter blues. No one feels productive in an oversized sweatshirt, you know?

 Rudy wants to know where all the squirrels are. They're somewhere trying not to freeze to death, Rudiger. Sorry.

 This guy was reading the book his daddy recorded for him.

 Then he just backed his little hiney up right into my lap. Sweet thing.

And would you like to see what I should have been doing instead of running around with my camera?

Story of my life.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

deployment. let's do this thing.

There are only a few times in my life where I felt like my heart was actually breaking in half and one of them was this morning when I watched Andrew say goodbye to Jack. I'll spare you the weepy details, but suffice it to say that I feel very lucky to have the little family that I do.

Minutes after walking in the door from dropping Andrew off, I was making my list. It's how I survive, you know? Make a list. Set some goals. Stay busy, learn some new things, grow. And before we know it, leaves will be on the trees and I'll be wearing sandals and my guy will be coming back down the river to see us again. In dress whites, no less. Hubba hubba.

Until then, here's how I plan on getting through the next six months:

Starting from the bottom left:

+ I got a graphic design tablet and once I teach myself how to really use it, I think it's going to be fun. This could mean big things for the stationery business! ;)
+ Speaking of stationery, the blog and shop are getting an overhaul. That's sure to keep me busy and I'm looking forward to sharing it with you guys.
+ The YMCA gives free membership to spouses of deployed service members, so I plan to take advantage of that. Combined with my promise to Andrew to eat better, this should make me all sorts of healthy. One can hope...
+ I'm going to teach myself to crochet! Mainly because I want to make boot cuffs and little baby hats for my friend who is pregnant with twin girls.
+ I've been saving Downton Abbey and Mad Men to carry me through the winter months. Any other series I should add to my list?
+ I need to seriously do some decluttering and organizing in this house. My closet will probably never look like that...or will it??
+ Lots of house projects! That seems to keep me busy the most when Andrew is away, so who knows what I can get done in the next six months.

But for real. What should I be watching/reading? Any good resources for learning to crochet? Any good recipes out there for clean eating? I NEED TO KNOW IT ALL.

Friday, January 18, 2013

on sending my one-year-old to preschool

On the day I wrote this post, I decided that I'd be enrolling Jack in a preschool program one day a week.

That feels like such a big decision, mainly because I battled a mega ton of guilt before finally reaching that conclusion. How could I possibly need a break? I have one kid and no other responsibilities except keeping him alive and maybe doing some laundry and dishes along the way. I know people who have way more children than that and they're all homeschooled and there are casseroles in their freezer! What is my deal?

Sometimes I daydream about what it was like to work in an office. I miss catching up with coworkers over coffee and wearing cute shoes and going to fancy dinners with clients. I miss feeling a sense of accomplishment, like I was doing a good job and that I was respected for it.

I know what you're going to say: You have the most important job in the world! You ARE good at something! You ARE respected for it!

I KNOW. But it's hard not to feel like my entire existence is defined by the wants and needs of a 15-month old. I don't question that the work I'm doing is good, because it is so good, but it is still extra, super hard.

Maybe if Andrew could come home at 5:30pm every day and be around on the weekends, it would be different. Maybe if he was around to rescue me at the end of the more difficult days. Maybe, maybe, maybe.

But maybe not, you know? Maybe one day Andrew will come home every day at 4pm and maybe I'll still need to send my kids away one day a week. But I think that mamas need to be okay with saying that this junk is hard and we need a break sometimes. We'll be so much better for it.

When I posted on Facebook about Jack's first day at preschool, a friend commented, "Good for you for recognizing you need regular breaks and giving yourself one!" I wanted to cry. YES! Good for me! For a mom to take a step to better herself and her sanity is nothing but healthy, in my opinion.

We should encourage ourselves to do that more often and it should be okay. That's all I'm saying.

And for the record, the day went wonderfully. He cried for about 10 seconds and then had the time of his life. According to his "report card" he especially loved coloring, circle time and lunch. When I peeked in the window before picking him up, he was dancing and sleepily rubbing his eyes. He had a blast.

And what did I do with six hours to myself? I ran some errands and went shopping with a friend. Then I ate a sandwich in the parking lot of Panera all by myself, just because I could. And it was fabulous.

Monday, January 14, 2013

that craft fair from a long time ago

While I was taking pictures off of my camera, I came across these from the Fall Festival I participated in three months ago. What you can't see in this picture is our kitchen that was being remodeled, the 20+ person dinner we were hosting three days later and Jack's first birthday party that was taking place the very next weekend. Now you do understand why I didn't ever show you the pictures?

But the time is here! Please, step into the Marvelous Prints booth.

I actually scored a really good spot. Once the festival started, all of the cars had to clear out of the lot behind my booth, but we were just one space down from the main entrance and en route to all of the food. You couldn't miss us!

I tried to work with what I had when it came to booth decor/set-up and these chalkboards came from a neighbor's yard sale over the summer. She set them aside for Jack and then gave them to us for free. I used a chalk marker to write out inventory and pricing.

A couple of things I learned:
  • People are influenced by how the booth looks. I grabbed a clearance rug from Kohl's at the last minute and laid the rug down on the grass. I covered the tables in table cloths. I brought chairs from our sun room to use in the display. So many people commented on how "homey" the booth felt and I think it lured them in more than if I'd just plopped everything down on a rickety folding table.
  • Have lots and lots of business cards. People may not be able to decide or have a reason to buy right there on the spot, but I had several orders around Christmastime from people who grabbed my card.
  • No one really knew what I was selling. I overheard several people read the Marvelous Prints sign and then try to figure out what was going to be inside. Art? Posters? Oh, stationery! So that got me thinking a lot about the importance of good branding. (Spoiler alert: makeover in progress!)
  • I'm a people person. I knew this already, but I realized that I'd 10x rather stand and talk to people about my work (or babies or where I'm from or funnel cakes) than sell everything I make online. I'm a very relational person and I needed to be reminded of that. It made me start thinking more intentionally about partnering with local shops or festivals to sell my stuff, rather than limit myself to Etsy.
And I can't go without saying that Andrew was a huge, gigantic help. He helped me assemble product, think through pricing, set up my booth, etc. But he also watched Jack all day, brought me lunch and was genuinely excited for me and proud of me. He's my biggest fan and I love that.

Overall, I'm really glad I went through with this. It was a lot of work, but I enjoyed it and learned a lot. That's all that matters, right?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

pictures by the sea

I'm posting these because I'm a bad blogger, who has been sitting on our family pictures for almost two months without sharing them and because I'm a lazy blogger, who is still in vacation mode and can't come up with any real content to write about. Enjoy! 



These photos were taken by Ute-Christin and if you are in the southern Connecticut area, I cannot recommend her enough!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

snow day



It snowed a few weeks after we moved into our temporary rental last year, but Jack was just a wee little blob who just hung in the Ergo with rosy cheeks while we walked around the neighborhood. He was unamused.

This time, I think he had more fun watching Rudy act a fool than he did playing in it himself. Although he did seem to enjoy flopping around in it and we enjoyed watching his face when he realized that it was cold and wet.

And just as we suspected when we bought this house, it's beautiful here when it snows. New England has its perks after all.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

christmas 2012

A few Christmas highlights:

+ ALL OF THE FOOD. My first home-cooked meal came from my Nanny Johnson - she pulled out all the stops and made my favorites.
+ I loved seeing Nanny Johnson, especially since it's been so long since we saw her last. And she made this unbelievable stocking for him this year, which is just beautiful.
+ A day date to Chapel Hill with my love. We got burgers from Spanky's, walked around campus and spent a little too much time at Student Stores on behalf of Santa. But for what it's worth, Jack loves his new basketball ;)
+ We saw old friends and their babies. Five years ago, we'd be staying up late eating Pokey Sticks after a basketball game. This time we talked about cloth diapering. Life is weird.
+ All of the relaxation. Having grandmothers and aunts and uncles around means there is always someone to take the baby. Which means I sat around a lot and drank tea. And I ate all of my meals while they were still warm!
+ Seeing the family that has loved me so well also love my kid. That's pretty awesome.
+ The family time in general was awesome. I cried a lot after each of the goodbyes because living far away from them is just plain hard.
+ Seeing our sweet boy take it all in. In the cutest plaid Christmas jammies ever.
+ Having my little family in tact for the holidays. What a blessing that is.

Christmas with Jack was magical. He noticed every light, every jingle bell, every ornament. He learned how to ho-ho-ho. He asked to see the Christmas tree first thing every morning and he learned to open presents. And on Christmas Day, he took his first steps. Like I said: magical.

I didn't take a lot of pictures, mostly because I was busy enjoying it all.

In a way, we're still on Christmas vacation and I'm so much in relaxation mode that I'm afraid for the day when Andrew goes back to work and I'm on my own again. We've spent the last week camped out inside watching movies and eating waffles and looking at the snow from the window by the couch. I think I've worn real clothes instead of PJs twice this week? It's been amazing.

Best! Christmas! Ever!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...