Hey! I'm Emily... homebody, amateur philosopher, professional photographer, mama and wife. This is my little world-- a place for me to preserve the little snippets of my life that bring me joy, make me think, or show my creative leanings. I'm so happy you're here. If you get a minute, please introduce yourself in the comments. If you like what you see, you are invited to follow my blog through your RSS Reader. Just click the link at the bottom of the page to add me.
Thank you for being part of my little world... :)

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Me:

Me:

Thursday, April 28

30 Days of Lucy-- Some from Day 5, Day 7 and Day 8

No words today.... Just some images....

Day Five, Inspired By "Baby as Art":

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Day Seven, Dad's Hands:

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And Day Eight, Debuting the FINISHED LUCY QUILT!

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{See the "Lucy" stitched into the quilt top on that last one? I had an AMAZINGLY lady quilt this for me, and she scattered Lucy's name throughout the stitching all over the quilt. I cherish it so much!!}

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I have a gajillion more photos from more days... bear with me as I find snippets of time to edit them. I am still loving this project!

Wednesday, April 27

This is Me....

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A List of Life Right Now: The Good, the Bad, Etc....


* Above photo: She (and I!) loves the sling.... So she gets at least one nap a day in there, and I can do a few things with both my hands... Today, I am blogging. And she is smiling/breathing/dozing just inches away from my busy hands...

* She is loving the swaddle. As am I, of course. I made some cute flannel ones, and got some really cute flannel ones as gifts, but I have found myself deferring to two swaddle squares I cut for photo sessions out of t-shirt fabric... The extra stretch is AWESOME and I can get this little 6 lb. baby tighter than a caterpillar in a cocoon. Yay, swaddles!

* I love: her smell. her lips. her hair. when she falls asleep in my arms. her doped up post-eating face when I burp her. 

* I HATE: that she doesn't settle back to sleep easily after night nursings. HATE HATE HATE this. Hate when she cries as I am trying to do something with Noah. Hate breastfeeding for the moment (didn't hate it with Noah...)

* I feel incredibly blessed, but terribly guilty at the same time for Joe... and all he does to carry my slack and help me through this transition. He is so selfless and SO good at being a daddy AND a hubby... so of course, the gratitude is IMMENSE. But the guilt is nearly overpowering. And probably irrational... But I still yearn for a way to give back to him... to show him how much he means to me... And I don't know how right now. 

* Noah LOVES this baby girl. None of his acting out has been towards her, and in all totality, his "acting out" in general has been mild anyway... A bit more defiance, a bit more "un listening"..... But mostly, he is transitioning really well into this new version of life. His sleeping is as predictable as ever, thank you hallelujah!!

* There have been gifts and meals and treats pouring in, and I am deeply grateful. I am trying to keep a list, and I WILL send proper thanks... I promise. I'm just not sure when.... I feel so humbled by the abundance of love being sent our way!!
 
*  I am in pajamas most of the day, most days.... but I still try to make it a point to put on mascara and earrings. It's just who I am. Ha ha!

* I am THRILLED to be able to drink as much milk as I want again. Darn lactose being a sugar and therefore something to limit during gestational diabetes!

 * I have managed several naps. And I am deeply grateful for each one. And NOT taking them for granted. (Honestly, I should be napping now... Noah is asleep, this baby is asleep, it's grey and rainy.... Oops.)

* Though I am NOT ready to be back in the world full-time, and not brave enough to jaunt out for errands or fun stuff, I am beginning to feel restless. And restless = trapped. And the rainy weather compounds that feeling. I have started to feel.... lonely. Bored. Uncomfortable. Stuck. Hoping it's just the day, the week... and that it'll fade soon-- both with the improving weather, and with a more predictable baby. Who knows. 

* Baby girl isn't nursing very efficiently. And Betty is making milk, but not a ton... so Baby Girl is losing weight a bit. So I'm supplementing with formula. And I resent it. But also feel the massive temptation to just drop out altogether and let the bottle do the work. Limbo here. 

* When I DO attempt to get out, and it is a success, I feel like I won the end-of-season championship game. MVP, over here!!

* We took a family walk last evening, in between rains.... It felt WONDERFUL on many levels. Good for our souls. 

* My physical recovery is going really well. The first 7-10 days were kinda miserable, but almost overnight everything has improved a TON. I almost feel normal!!

* The baby girl loves the car and my "pretty music mix" .... (so far). It is a relief that that formula of car + soundtrack music seems to keep her happy on car rides. HUGE RELIEF. No one loves driving a screaming baby around town with no way to intervene short of pulling over to pacify/soothe/feed. 

* I'm missing my family that hasn't been able to come meet Lucy yet. Some will be here shortly--- Mother's Day is her baby blessing and we'll be so happy to see several loved ones then... And some will come in the next few months... But I miss the ones who we don't know the next time we'll see them... Part of that post-partum loneliness, I guess... 

* Photos are still happening daily... some days they feel like a raging success, and other days a MASSIVE "meh".... but altogether satisfying still, as a project. I hope to have more to share with you tomorrow. 

* And so.... This is me. Right now. Up. Down. Moody. Tired. Grateful. Content. Restless. 

So be it. This is life.

Monday, April 25

Easter Cuteness:

Our Easter was VERY low-key... Since I'm still staying close to home with the baby, Lucy and I didn't get fancied up for church. But Noah had a spiffy new outfit, so I had to grab some photos of him looking handsome for the holiday.

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What a dapper little man, right? He even let me force him into his first official "sibling photo":

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(the fact that Lucy is smiling too is a fluke... and sadly, this photo is kinda out of focus if you get too close... but SO cute with the smiling duo, so I kept it!)

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So Lucy and I sent the boys away to church and hung out just the two of us-- and worked on her photos for the day-- one of my FAVORITE ideas for her "30 Days" project:

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Be still my mama heart---- I LOVE the way these turned out! The softest bunny ear hat in the world, the softest green "grass".... And my "bunny vision" is now a reality!

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So though we didn't have any parties, any ham dinners, any guests, or big plans, we enjoyed being a family together, and that's all we needed for the day. Next year can be a big deal. This year, I'll take my bunny and my little man, and my amazing hubby... and we'll keep learning how to make this new world work for us. 

For now... Bed. The pre-10:00pm bedtime is a MUST for my sanity these days!

Sunday, April 24

Just One...

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From back on Day 4.

I'm editing... a bit at a time... and shooting daily.

That's all I got for tonight. Better go to bed now, while she's sleeping....

Happy Easter, all!

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(Thank you to Heather Bauers of Woolywishes  for the amazing "Lucy" hat, named after my sweet baby!)

Friday, April 22

Miscellany From This Strange New World....

Friday, and I am home with just the tiny girl... Noah gets to hang out in Columbia with his grandparents for a couple of days, letting me acclimate a bit to this new world. I gotta be honest--- I actually miss the toddler. This baby is attached at the hip (breast) anyway, so it's not like I get MORE time with her with Noah gone. Its just a bit.... quieter. So.

I DID get to "sleep in" this morning, though... something that having Noah around would NOT have facilitated. Thank you, kids.

Anyhoo... Today is SUPER gloomy and wet and rainy, so I am still in pajamas (oh, who am I kidding-- I've been in pajamas 94% of the time since coming home from the hospital)... and the baby girl has been snoozing on my lap as I get some pics ready to blog. I figure since it's so BLAH outside, it might be time to give some more updates and fun stuff here... Since I went from blogging like a crazy lady to barely ANYTHING. (funny how a new baby will do that to your productivity, right??)

So today's post is dedicated to the random and miscellaneous details and photos from the last week and a half... probably par for the course as far as how my mind is gonna work for a while. Snippets, pieces, randomness.... But really, is that so different from my usual postings?

So. I KNOW the biggest question you've all been dying to ask is, "what did you eat first to celebrate being done with that diabetic diet?" I am happy to report that I ate a big plate of:
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Waffles. 

And okay, this photo is a cheat--- This is from a subsequent morning at the hospital... (yes, I had waffles twice. I REALLY craved them!! Still do!) But for real, about 35 minutes before Lucy was born, between the epidural and the pushing (or was it right after Lucy was born?? Gosh! I don't remember now!! I DO remember the timing was surreal and kind of hilarious at the moment), the nurse glanced at the clock and suggested that I might want to order a meal before the kitchen closed at 7:00pm... So I took a menu in hand, weird circumstances and all, and ordered a chicken salad sandwich and Belgian waffles. YUM.

And they were amazing in all their syrupy, buttery goodness. And no, waffles and chicken salad DON'T really mix.

And if "Waffles" is a disappointing answer to that diabetes question, let me assure you that in the next 48 hours, I definitely got to luxuriate in a chocolate chip cookie binge like you wouldn't believe (Thank you, Amy and Sarah! I only shared like 5% of them and totally ate the rest! Ha!)

And I ate a couple of these:
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Oh man, Cupcakery bliss. The one pictured is lemon and raspberry. Wow! Thanks to my sis Beckie for bringing the celebratory cuppies to our hospital room!

Beckie also brought the best treat--- my sweetie Noah-- to the hospital each day of our stay. Man, I love that kid and MISSED him!

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He was a bit INTENSE after the sleepy little Lucy got me used to slowness and quiet... But ya know? He wouldn't be Noah if he wasn't a bit loud and intense... and wacky.
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Sis Beckie got to be one of the first to hold Lucy during their visits...
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And after three days and two nights, we packed up and headed home. Here's one of Lucy's first home pics, kissy face and all:

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We got home Thursday afternoon, and that first 24 hours home was a bit of a haze... Learning to adjust to having TWO, realizing sleep was gonna be elusive for a while.... Dealing with the physical pain leftover from the birth... etc...

Friday, we got to see my mom and dad, and they came in the nick of time--- ready to entertain a restless toddler, ready to hold a fussy newborn... Ready to help however they could.

PhotobucketAnd as much as I love staying up too late and talking for hours, I HAD to go to bed early or I was going to collapse. So I went to bed at 9:30 pm, and mom and dad took turns holding the baby while watching a movie. Oh, and mom hemmed some swaddle blankets for me, too... SuperParents, they are. They even sent Joe to bed at 11:00pm and kept their newborn vigil til ONE O'CLOCK AM before coming to wake me and give me the baby. Seriously. The BEST gift of all time--- that three hours of sleep. Amazing. They finished their visit the next morning with mom doing a little bit of yardwork for us (THANK YOU!!) and Dad helping Noah get his wiggles out for hours. So amazing of them!!

Later that day, my bessie Genny came in town for some Lucy Love:


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She brought with her food, gifts, and so much love and willingness to play with Noah or hold the baby or let me talk about everything for hours.... Such a good visit!!

In the days since those first few home, life has been simplified to a major degree... Just as it should. Truly, I am focused on:

sleeping when I can
being PRESENT for Noah as much as I can manage
keeping Lucy fed and cared for
trying to remember to thank Joe as much as I can for all he is doing
putting on deodorant daily

And anything beyond those things is just icing. Like the day I actually managed to do dishes and tidy the kitchen. I was so proud of that accomplishment that I even took a photo. I'm a dork:
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(Sunflowers and cupcakes... happy gifties from lovely friends!)


Here, Joe shot me as I worked to get Lucy soothed to sleep for her photos on Monday:
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And before she caved into the inevitable sleep:

And so.

The first week home has come and gone. 

The baby is still alive. That's saying a lot. 

And we are still happy we did this. 

Meanwhile, the laundry will keep... the dining room that is all boxed up from the Great Furniture Exodus of March 2011 will stay boxed and cluttery for a while longer.... The cooking will continue to be on hold for a bit longer.... And we will continue to ease into this insanity by trying to sleep when we can, and saying THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU as much as we possibly can... to our loved ones who help, to each other, and to our God who saw fit to gift us with this simple, beautiful life of ours.

Monday, April 18

Announcing: Miss Lucy Charlotte, My Sweet Baby Girl

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{taken on day 5}

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{taken on day 4}

Announcing the arrival of Miss Lucy Charlotte:
Born Tuesday, April 12
6:44 pm
7 lbs. 2 oz.
18 3/4 inches

Surprising head of blonde hair, and a successful VBAC! An AWESOME day.

We are in "hibernation mode", learning our new way of life together.... So for now, not many words... But a few more photos:

While still in the hospital, day 2:
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I promise, more to come... For now, though, I need to honor my new bedtime of 10:30 or so and GET TO SLEEP! There's a long night ahead...

Monday, April 11

40 Weeks: We Got Here. We're Still Here. :)

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Welcome to my due date. 4.11.11. It was always a cute lil' due date... Like, "What's the 411, yo?"

Well, the 411 is that 4.11 has come and nearly gone, and Lucy is still cozy in her tummy cave. But ya know what? I am okay. We are zen. Because after a weekend of debating our next move (all while waiting for some sign of labor, *fingers crossed*), we finally decided that an induction is NOT the end of the world. My doc had been trying to convince me of that--- that Pitocin does NOT always equal inevitable C-section.  That in fact, with everything progressing well cervically, induction might just end up being the way to a successful VBAC instead of a late-term C-section due to my diabetes or the baby getting super big... 

So. 

Sure. 

I'd have done this differently. I wanted the drama and magic of spontaneous labor. (I almost got it last week, when I had three hours of consistent contractions... But they dwindled.... and were gone.)

I wanted the slow build of contraction pain, not the WHAM of Pitocin ones. 

I wanted Lucy to have the chance to do it her way. 

But.

It's okay. Tomorrow morning, we'll ease into this experience with a bit of Pitocin and a lot of prayers, and by the end of 4.12.11, there will likely be a new kiddo in my life. 4.12 isn't as cute as 4.11.... But dang, this April has been so PRETTY that ANY date in April makes me happy. :)

So... As I blog one last time for a few days, sharing my random thoughts and moods at the end of this pregnancy, I have some fun stuff to share--- the Last Days of the Waiting, if you will. 

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First, as you can tell, I DID get one more belly pic opportunity. I went with bold color this time. Oh, what? You mean that's what I went with nearly EVERY time? Ha ha! What can I say? It's my style. :)

And the boys took a turn in front of that insane yellow backdrop:

My Joe, who I love. Who I will need with all my heart and energy tomorrow as we dive into baby-delivery mode:
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And my Noah.... and his Mai, of course:
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(love the faint Koolaid stain on Noah's upper lip... Also love that Noah helped me snap those pics of Joe. He s an aspiring photog, never mind he rarely gets the subject in the viewfinder. Minor issue, right?)

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Meanwhile, since I ended up getting a vast, unscheduled weekend this past weekend-- fully prepared to be having a baby, but not-- I managed to finish Lucy's quilt!! Here, about 85% done, is the pretty little thing, awaiting binding:
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And WOW, what a labor of love and money this thing ended up being! I just really loved doing it, so every time I bought MORE STUFF for it, I just didn't feel too badly that it was turning into the $150* baby quilt. Yikes! It was so fun to try out a new skill--- to learn to go slow and be precise in the process of quilting. To see the pattern become a reality. And now that it is done, to get excited for its first washing (it gets all soft and crinkly when you wash it!)... and using it as a backdrop for some Lucy baby pics... 

So. Forgive me for just posting that peek pic. There WILL be a full quilt pic soon. SOOOOON. 

(*possibly an exaggeration. Possibly not.)
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Also, last Friday, when I was SURE I'd have that baby any moment, I waxed a bit nostalgic and sentimental as Noah and I eased into the day in the slow, sweet way we've been doing all winter... For months now, as I've been preggy and lazy, I've brought Noah into our room when he wakes and let him play on my iTouch or watch a cartoon... And I'll often doze another 20 minutes or so... And we'll just lounge in our pjs til one or both of us is STARVING and we HAVE to get up and go find breakfast. It's been so sweet... So cozy. So Friday morning, as Noah brought his favorite toys to the mix, I grabbed my camera and tried to find a way to catch a few moments of this ritual in a way that I'd always remember it. 

Because this will change. As soon as Lucy comes home. Mornings will inevitably change. 

So, a few of those snaps I tried to take.... Nothing QUITE captures the true gift of these moments with my Noah, but these photos try:

{in his jammies, on the pillow next to me, chillin' with Nacho, the sock elephant...}
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{getting goofy}
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{sunlight pouring into our east-facing window, Joe's Superman pillow... no agenda}
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{Wall-E finds a hiding place. Noah asks me to snap a pic, then he wants to snap one of his own. Mine is the top one. I think I like his better.}
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{communing with Lucy. Mai and Nacho are invited. Yes, that pale lump at the bottom of the frame is my belly...}
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{just me and him... making faces at each other, getting in for a close-up...No makeup, not pretty... Just US.}
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It's not a unique morning... And the pics aren't gorgeous... But the moments are, to me. 

And I know Noah will be an amazing big bro, and life will shift wider to accommodate the new baby... But there is definitely some Natsukashii at the loss of the ONE child to make room for the TWO children. 

I only hope Noah feels our palpable, intense love for him, even as Lucy comes into the scene. 

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And so. 

Tomorrow. 


As of tomorrow, I get a new, squishy, fresh baby in my arms. 

As of tomorrow, I will lose that 7:30 am wake-up and slow ease into morning. 

As of tomorrow, I will not be in control (Like I ever was. Ha!)

As of tomorrow, I get pancakes. Chocolate chip cookies. Cadbury MiniEggs. Back into my life. 

As of tomorrow, EVERYTHING changes. 

And I cannot WAIT.

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Good night, world!

Thursday, April 7

Another Baby Girl: Brand New Lydia {St. Louis Newborn Photographer}

This little ladybug was THREE DAYS OLD when I got to take these images.Can you imagine? She was so fresh!!
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I also got to be there for her birth... Well, sort of. Mama didn't wait for me to arrive and went from a 6 to a full ten and pushing in about 5 minutes, so by the time I got to the hospital, the deed was done. Still, Lydia was only 15 minutes old, so I stuck around and got some really sweet images of her first few hours. I don't have them to share for now, besides them being a bit special and personal to the family... But suffice it to say, being there for Lydia's first few hours, and then snuggling her for these images, REALLY got me charged up for my own coming experience!

(Maybe I'LL get to go from a 6 to a 10 in 5 minutes! No?)
Welcome to the world, sweet Lydia. I love you already!

Wednesday, April 6

Flashback 2010: Welcome To The World, Sweet Lili {St. Louis Newborn Photographer}

A newborn from the autumn, 2010, born to this beautiful family I photographed prior to her birth:
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See what I mean? PERFECTION, that baby. 

(And don't be surprised if you see some of those same hats/props showing up with my own baby girl. I bought them mostly for myself, but thought I might as well share with little Lili... :))
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I love reviewing these sessions--- how can I NOT get more excited for my own baby girl!?