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:

Tuesday, August 30

Life Update:

Hello from No Post Land. I can't believe it's been over a week since my last post. And don't even get me STARTED on how bad I am at posting client sessions. Wow. GUILT CITY. But I have a plan for that part of it, so look for some session posts soon! And as for my personal posts, well.... Noah is now in preschool, as of yesterday (that needs a post of its own!) and I think I might be able to find time to blog a bit more again.

Meanwhile.... it's time for a major life update. Because as far as any reader knows, based on my blogging, my life is chock-full of a whole lotta THIS:

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But it is time to announce, with deep joy and a LOT of relief, that our world is moving quite steadily more toward this:

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Isn't that little face of hers mesmerizingly charming? Or maybe it's just me... But here's the big news:

Lucy is starting to be a happy baby. At 4.5 months old, I can report that the interminable colic and crying of her first 3 months has faded and much of the time during her awake periods, she is happy and content. Best of all, she let's me put her down--- on a blanket, in her new Bumbo, in the bouncy seat--- and I can actually use two hands to get things done. I cannot tell you how liberating that has felt!

Now don't get me wrong-- this baby is still INTENSE. She knows what she wants and lets you know if she's not getting it. She rarely has a mild "fussy" stage... She's either happy or MAD. Luckily, the percentages are skewing to the HAPPY more, so I can usually expect about 75-80% of her waking time is going to be pleasant, and I can therefore manage the unhappy times better. 

Some of this good nature is just her maturing. I honestly think she has just been an old soul trapped in a tiny, helpless body, and has been SUPER frustrated to be unable to do anything. As she gains more skills and abilities, I think she feels relief. She is getting really good at grabbing at things and bringing them to her mouth, and I think she finds this immensely satisfying. She is also able to coo and chat with us, and will even "sing along" when I sing to her.

But another big piece of the puzzle has been her sleep. As a newborn, she's like most babies--- just trying to sleep as much as possible, wherever possible. But now that she's older, she has been showing signs of craving consistency and predictability, as well as a space of her own. She does SO MUCH BETTER if she can sleep in her own crib as much as possible. Too, she has been setting her own bedtime, and wants it super early--- between 6:30 and 7:00 pm. I'm telling you--- the things we've been trying to do to help her sleep well have been WORKING, and she is showing us how grateful she is for it. 

So. Here we are. End of the summer... a looooooong summer of highs and lows (lots of lows), stress and worry.... a baby that didn't know how to be happy..... A couple of stressful trips thrown in.... And here at the end, things have turned a corner. I am gaining confidence in my life again. I am feeling able to dote on my baby and love on her and adore her, without the accompanying feelings of guilt and anger at how MISERABLE she could make me. I am able to give Noah more face time without seeming tense or haggard. 

And all of this feels incredibly good. I feel lighter.I feel like I can move forward finally. I feel like I can actually tackle CLEANING MY HOUSE, finally.... Ha! You know how they tell mamas of new babies to let the house go and rest and take it easy? Well, did that advice count for FOUR MONTHS? 'Cause that's what I did. I neglected housework for FOUR MONTHS. Just so I could cope with my days. But now, with this new feeling of hope and confidence, I am actually kinda EXCITED to sweep. To scrub. TO make dinner once in a while. (gosh, I have been so bad at that stuff all summer. I'm embarrassed to admit it!)

Anyway. That's us. That's the latest in Lucy Land. 

Coming up soon-- thoughts on Noah and preschool, a family walk, and maybe even a client session or two! But for now, Lucy is awake from her nap (too soon, I might add. UGH! There are still moments of complete anxiety and frustration--- I won't lie...) and I have some mama-stuff to attend to.

Toodles!

Monday, August 22

Back When I Was Sewing Daily...

Back when I was sewing daily.... Ahh.... Man I miss those times. From January until the day Lucy was born, I was ADDICTED to getting behind my sewing machine and cranking out projects and doo-dads and blankets and such. It was truly my form of pregnancy nesting and it felt GOOOOOOD. 

So now that I am lucky to get behind my poor machine once every two weeks, I am feeling wistful nostalgia for those old days, not-so-long-ago. 

I have a gazillion photos of the things I was making this spring, and felt like pulling them up to revisit them... and thought, why not? I'll tuck them on the blog, too. Maybe one of these projects will inspire someone to go make something of their own. For me, it's just nice to reminisce about the time when I had nothing but time and two hands to make sweet things with fabric. One day, I'll get back there. I vow it. 

#1: Little Chickens

First, what is it they say about a bird in the hand? What about TWO birds in the hand?

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These teeny little chickens were a random project I whipped up one afternoon after Noah and I brought home some cute wooden birdhouses and I let him paint them. We only had turquoise paint on hand, so we painted those suckers a total blue--- no other colors. After they dried, he was kinda getting bored with them (who wouldn't, right?) so I popped back behind the machine and made him some impromptu chicks to go inside. You can see, I tried two different techniques--- the inside-out-sew-then-turn rightside-in, and the outside-outline stitch where you didn't have to turn the bird rightside-in. Technique #2 was easier, but Technique #1 was cuter. So. There. I love them.

#2: Birdie Crinkle Taggie

Something about birds on the brain... ha! This was a taggie blanket I whipped up for my friend Jessica's baby shower. She likes bold color and I had some fun Amy Butler fabric scraps that fit the bill... plus lots of ribbon remnants... So voila! A Birdie Taggie!

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I freehanded the bird shape and the wing/beak. I drew the pieces on typing paper first, then cut the fabric out. To make it a CRINKLE taggie, I took the bag from an empty box of cereal and rinsed it, patted it dry, and cut a big rectangle out of it-- bigger than the bird. This stuff is PERFECT for making a taggie crackly and crinkle-sounding, and I LOVE adding it! 

To sew together, you just put your bird shapes together with right sides facing, then lay your rectangle of crinkle paper on the bottom. You pin all your ribbons and the beak so that they are pointing into the sandwich, then sew a 1/4" seam all around, leaving a small 2-3" opening unsewn for turning the bird later. Once you've sewn the border, you trim the crinkle paper so it is the same shape as the bird, then turn the whole thing right side in. I made the wing separately and sewed it on last, sewing it on with a sturdy square-and-x pattern on the top of the wing. The rest of the wing is unattached, so it is kind of a taggie, too. 

To finish, I added a button eye (not shown), but officially, this is a no-no for kids under 3, because they can chew it off and choke. But I warned Jessica of that hazard and washed my hands of it. Ha! :) 

Cute, and so easily adaptable for any shape-- not just a bird. The next pic/project shows a regular ol' square taggie! 

#3: Matching Burp Cloths and Taggie

This set was a gift for a sweet friend. The burp cloths are just prefold diapers with a rectangle of flannel sewn to the center... And the taggie is basically done the same way as the bird above. This time, in manly fabrics. You know, 'cause the baby who received these is a boy.

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#3a: A close-up of the manly burp cloths, and a shot of the stack of girly ones I made for Lucy and Lucy's friend Holland.
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#4: Robin's Nest Appliqued Onesie

As you've seen, I've kinda had birds on the brain... so when I was thinking of fun things to applique onto a onesie, I got obsessed with the idea of making a robin's nest, complete with turquoise eggs. Lucy was born in the spring, after all. Newly hatched, if you will... I did these on 0-3 month onesies.

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The eggs are fleece and the nest is brown quilter's cotton. The eggs were sewn on with a basic straight stitch, but I used a tight zig-zag and some crazy maneuvering to get the nest outlined. I kinda love how it turned out! 

#5: Ice Cream Cone Appliqued Onesies

These ones were way easier than the nest onesies... Just basic applique techniques with some straight-stitch diagonal lines on the cone added for detail. Again, there's one for Lucy and one for Holland. I did these on 3-6 mo. onesies, since ice cream cones are summery.

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Again with the Amy Butler fabric scraps. I love her stuff so much that I honestly keep the most ridiculous small scraps... Ya never know when you might get to use them, like on these cones!

#6: Pot Holders!

I had a good friend move into a new home, and I got to make her a housewarming gift. She has a really cool retro vivid vibe, so it was so much fun picking fabrics and colors to make her potholders. Once I had all the materials assembled, I realized I'd HAVE to make myself a set, too... I just loved them too much.

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The big square is a classic potholder, and the little oval is a fingertip potholder-- the fingers go in the top pocket and the thumb holds the bottom part and you've got a nifty, small, handy potholder. I found the tutorial here: CraftyAsianGirl pot holder tutorial. When it came time to quilt the big square, I got crazy and did a sunburst style--- totally dreamed it up last-minute, and in the end I LOVED it--- it suited my friend's kitschy style and just made the whole thing extra happy. :)

#7: Quilted Laptop Sleeve:

Last one, I promise! This one was a birthday gift for my baby sister. It came directly from a pattern in this book:  One-Yard Wonders, by Rebecca Yaker and Patricia Hoskins. I got the book for Christmas and WOW I love it!! 

This sleeve took some time and love, mostly because I got enamoured with the idea of doing it in patchwork on the front... And there are some glaring errors (see the houndstooth column on the right? I didn't measure my patchwork panel correctly and had to compensate. ACK.)

But I love it--- and hope the girly who received it loved it, too... I never heard back. Ahem.

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At the very least, I hope her laptop actually fits inside it. Haha! 

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Ah..... the days of gluttonous sewing....

But never you fear. I HAVE managed a few things since Lucy's arrival. They are fewer and further between, but I AM getting some things made. I have a small, simple quilt in the works... I've made a couple of headbands/flowers, I made a FABULOUS craftie for a friend that I just have to buckle down and photograph before I give it away.... And I have more things lined up to make. I want to keep trying to get a few minutes in every few days. Sewing has become my meditation, and I love it. 

Okay. Off to tackle putting groceries away. Then maybe making lunch for the big kid. Gotta use Lucy's nap wisely, right??

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Oh, and anyone have thoughts/tips on how to ensure your littler one gets a GOOD morning nap, even when you are driving all over town dropping the bigger one at preschool and such? If she falls asleep in the car, do I just keep driving??? Sounds awful! 

Or do I suck it up and concede a weaker nap on those days? Sad for her!

Anyway... I'll take any of your stories/ideas/thoughts. They're much appreciated!

Friday, August 19

Pinterest is Changing My Life.

Okay... that title is a bold statement. And perhaps it's not LITERALLY changing my LIFE... But it IS making it oh-so-much better!

What is Pinterest, you ask?

Oh, just a lovely lovely place online where you can store visual bookmarks of all the marvelous things you come across on the web... recipes, perfect throw pillows, craft tutorials, landscape photos, cute shoes... ANYTHING, really. Pinterest helps you organize your bookmarks into "boards", categorized ANY way you dream of. Then, when you're ready to revisit that bookmark, its there on your boards, pretty and appealing, with the original link intact. AWESOME.
Okay. But whoa. That's not all. Pinterest is a community. And all your friends are pinning amazing things, too. Suddenly, it's like you have a whole team of personal web surfers finding treasures that you'll love. And you are allowed to REpin their pins. Its encouraged! In fact, once you really get knee-deep in Pinterest, you kinda actually do less of your own online searching, and end up mesmerized by all the amazing pins already in the Pinterest universe-- a catalog of MILLIONS of amazing bookmarks from millions of people. So you repin and repin and repin  FABULOUS things.  It is basically just a beautiful, inspiring universe you want to live in.

Anyway. Besides the gorgeous things, I am finding and stockpiling a whole lot of clever ideas--- time savers, problem solvers, and other brilliance. And just yesterday, I got to use two of those clever ideas and WOW they simplified my life both times. I LOVE Pinterest!

Idea One: Packaging Cupcakes in Clear Cups
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I made these pretty little cupcakes Wednesday night, and needed to take some to a friend's house. 
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I used my "ice cream cone" cupcake pan, so these cuppies have a bigger base that is a lot more tippy... So putting them in a standard cupcake carrier was a no-go. Enter the plastic cup idea. VOILA! Oh my goodness, SO PERFECT. I don't have a pic, but they fit perfectly... and the base of the cup fit perfectly in a standard cupcake tin, so I could still carry a bunch of cupcakes-in-a-cup on their own tray. They traveled so so well. THANK YOU, Pinterest!


Idea Two: Toothpaste To Help Hang Photos
Pinterest link

I don't have a picture of this myself, but here's the deal. I had 5 fabric-covered letters I wanted to hang on Lucy's wall. Each of these letters had two hanger hoops on the back. Anyone who has tried to align and hammer in nails for TWO loops knows what a pain it is to center, measure, and level these nails. I mean, I will sometimes have to try multiple times to get the nails right so that the item will hang on the wall. YUCK!! Enter my Pinterest repin. You dab a bit of toothpaste on the metal hangers... Then you place your picture or fabric letter or whatever on the wall how you want it. When you take it away from the wall, there's a teeny toothpaste mark left behind in the EXACT place where you should hammer your nail. COME ON. I hung those letters in record time and did not have to re-hammer any nails ONCE. AMAZING.

THANK YOU PINTEREST!!

Okay. Not only is Pinterest helping me with these common household problems... but it has become the place I put all my "crafties to do one day" ideas now. And my "One Recipe and One Crafty a Week" project sends me straight to my boards every time. I've not posted any recently, but here is my crafty and recipe from a few weeks ago. The crafty:

MONSTER KNEES
Taken directly from the original idea, from a Dutch blog. (Heres the pin/Here's the original site) I did not even think of any of this on my own. TOTALLY borrowed. But oh-so-cute. And handy, right?

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And the recipe:
BANOFFEE PIE
from this pin.

Truly as easy as the pin and recipe describe, and AMAZINGLY tasty. I will be making this again, for sure!

(Forgive the crappy pics. My kitchen does NOT get pretty light).
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So. Pinterest. Yes. More, please. (Feel free to come follow my insane pinning here: http://pinterest.com/emsoutherland/ . I am addicted. It's embarrassing. But oh-so-fun. I am so inspired right now!)

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But for those of you who couldn't care less about crafties and food and such, and only come here to see my amazing kids (*snort*, yeah right... Maybe the GRANDPARENTS come for that. The rest of you just endure my oversharing of the kids... Haha!)

Here's some recent Noah. He has his Old Mai on as a cape. He is eating a cocoa puff ball. He is telling you to HALT.

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And here is Lucy in my FAVORITE of her summer outfits. I love this little romper so much that I will probably set it aside to be only hers and not a hand-me-down, and maybe frame it in a shadowbox one day. I just love it.
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Oh, yeah... and I love HER, too. When she gives us those 20-minute Cute Spells, I just die over how amazing she is.

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And that concludes my oversharing for the day. Oversharing my obsession with Pinterest. Oversharing my babies. 

I gotta get out more. 

Ha. 

Back to the grind, folks... Thanks for reading. I love that I can feel like I'm part of the world through blogging, even when I spend most days totally at home with two young ones who don't do well at adult conversation. :)

Monday, August 15

Lucy is Four Months Old

Presenting the next shot in the series-- Lucy, 4 Months:

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(Month 3 HERE
Month 2 HERE
Inspired by these guys HERE)

With a few other shots from the 10 minutes of Happy Lucy On Her Polka Dot Blanket:

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Some notes:

* Yes, her eyes really look this way in person--- sparkly, grey-blue, HUGE....
*  When she smiles, her whole face opens up. It makes you forget everything else.
*  The headband was made by me, especially for her Aunt Kirsti's wedding. (Inspired by the Peekaboo newborn shot of a baby in a bicycle basket, here.)
*  I used THIS tutorial for the roses. I need to photograph them close up for the blog to show you how cool they turned out.
 
*  Lucy's current milestones are grabbing for things successfully and being able to prop herself up on her elbows during tummy time and get her head up pretty far. No more licking the blanket on the floor because her face is planted on it.
*  Lucy mostly sleeps in her crib nowadays, finally. She still often takes her morning nap in my arms/the sling/the carseat/ the stroller, but even that mobile nap seems to be biting the dust slowly. And her nighttime is pretty good in her crib, except for the awful hour of 5:00am and on. This is her witching hour, and it falls on MY shift, and it ticks me off to no end.
* Every day, I think, "This is the day I will wean her." I am shocked by this feeling this time, because it wasn't even on the radar with Noah. I breastfed Noah til 13 months, even with supply struggles and lots of ups and downs. This time, it's just been HARD all around to be a good mama, and being anxious about feeding her enough and being stressed about her behaviors in general, I'm just finding I don't have much strength left to push through the breastfeeding frustrations. Still... I carry on. So though I daily say THIS is the day I will wean, that day still hasn't actually happened.
*  Lucy is giving us marvelous stretches of smiling, cooing, lovely cuteness. Every day we get several of these. She's even been good about letting me put her down in a bouncy seat or on a blanket for periods of time. In this, she has improved greatly from her first 2 months.
*  BUT. When she is DONE being sweet, she flips immediately to her awful side again, and screams for whatever it is she is needing-- food, rest, less stimulation... She has no "middle", really... it's either angelically great or devilishly awful. This Dr. Jekyl/Mr. Hyde-ness is EXHAUSTING and disheartening and draining and..... makes me sad.
*  She loves her big brother. Loves tracking him with her big eyes. Loves "talking" to him.
*  She is still quite small---- we haven't had her 4-month appt yet (that's in 2 days) so I don't have any official numbers, but she is still very much in 0-3 month clothes, with the pants and bottoms of those 0-3 mo. items still being huge on her. I estimate she's no more than 12-13 pounds.
*  But Lordy, she poops like a champ. I cannot begin to describe the horrific blowouts she's managed to produce at the worst possible times--- my sister's wedding reception, an outlet mall parking lot with a whole night of travel ahead of us, nearly every church day.... Something about the angle of her carseat just primes her to be a loose cannon, and the results are AWFUL. So. Tiny she may be, but powerful in her abilities. And CLEARLY not malnourished.
*  She loves her baths. Seems to be starting to love her Bunny lovey I am foisting on her. Loves her binkie, though she still won't work hard to keep the darn thing in her mouth. We've devised a thousand ways to keep the thing in-- because she NEEDS it.... But it is exhausting to have to hold it in or prop it in and I cannot WAIT til she can grab that thing in her own fist and plug herself back in. UGH.
*  She still completely surprises me with her reddish blonde hair and BLUE-grey eyes. I never expected either of those colors on my baby girl. She was gonna be brunette and brown-eyed... Ha!
* I still fear that there is something I'm missing with regards to her temperament... something I can CHANGE or FIX that will bring her comfort and suddenly make her a happier baby....I am always feeling doubt.
*  But I am also feeling many many sudden rushes of complete love for her... and I KNOW this is exactly where I am meant to be, even if it is mostly hard hard hard for now. There are times the memory of how MUCH I wanted her for SO LONG nearly takes my breath away, and I force myself to be still and be grateful for ALL of this, even the bad and the ugly. And I try so hard to be PRESENT when it is good.

Thus, we head into the close of summer and keep truckin'......And I took a picture of the painting I did a few years ago that I have in my kitchen right now,  a very basic message I can always stand to integrate into my days:


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The side says, all around the edges, "When life gives you big, overflowing bushels of lemons...."
Remember: LEMONADE.

Got it?

(Working on it.)

Friday, August 12

My Current Favorite Client Photo: Little Gnome

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This is Hudson. I got to snuggle him almost two weeks ago.

I can't stop looking at this photo--- the red of his cap, the texture of the twig basket... but mostly the perfect scrunchiness of his tiny little face.

I love my job. :)

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In other news, the fam and I are headed to CoMo this evening for my baby sister's Missouri wedding reception. I am looking forward to:

- Mom's cake (she is the pastry chef for this occasion)
- Dad's and Steven's cookies (Dad is the cookie master, and he and my bro are making hundreds of them for the dessert buffet)
- Seeing my sis Beckie, who didn't get to go to Utah with us, and who just returned from a vacay in Maine.
- Seeing my sis Sarah, who is currently living in Maine and is only in town for a bit longer before going back. 
- Seeing my sis-in-law Tamara and making her show me her Europe photos
- Hanging with Joe instead of ditching him like we did last weekend. 
- Seeing the fantastic job my mom did getting Kirsti's reception up and running. 

It'll be a good little trip. See ya on the flip side!

Tuesday, August 9

Some Random Stuff: Noah and Simple Gifts

Having just gotten back from a whirlwind trip out to Utah for my sister's wedding, and trying to get my two kiddos back into their rhythm, as well as trying to keep my own head above water with photo session editing and the usual housekeeping, I don't currently have a great deal of time to prepare a cohesive, clever, useful blog entry.

But I DO have an endless supply of random shots from my life that can always be tossed into a blog entry. Let's do that today, shall we?

Starting with my Noah...who, in these photos, is having a delightful time "styling" his hair that he had gotten wet with the hose outside. Who doesn't love to make spikes in their 'do while looking at themselves in the mirror?
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Moving on, another typical Noah-style activity--- stick swords.
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Which activity can also transition quickly and effectively to.......
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Nostril Dowels.

(Seriously. Is he a 3-year-old boy or WHAT???)

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In other news, I must send a shout of gratitude to the universe for the jabillion blessings and tender mercies that are put in my path, ALL THE TIME. Heavenly Father is looking out for me and giving me ample reason to feel gratitude and joy, and I need to be better at stopping, noticing, feeling that gratitude and joy, and sending a quick, silent prayer of thanks.

Two instances just this weekend where I had the opportunity to do just that happened at airport security, both leaving STL and coming back to STL. The first time, it was 5:00 in the morning and it was just Lucy and me the stroller (yes!! I took your advice, blog commenters, and brought the stroller! It SAVED MY LIFE. Thank you!!) and several bags and supplies. The line for security was, as usual, lengthy. I was plotting my meticulous list of what to do to get through without causing too much of a backup-- Start with shoes/belt. Put those in the tub. Then put the camera bag in a tub and the diaper bag in a tub. THEN take out the blankets from the stroller and only unbuckle and extract Lucy at the last moment. Once she's out, unclasp the car seat portion one-handed and set it on the conveyor, and then finally, one-hand-close the stroller and hike it up there.... it's gotta run like clockwork!!

In the midst of my plotting, a brusque, big, mean-looking black lady from Security came to my area of the line and began waving people over to a newly-opened line. Three, four, five people were waved over. Then her eyes fell on me. She asked, "Do you have everything ready to go?" I said I did, and she waved me through as well. She then closed the line and followed me. I thought she was annoyed with me, being a troublesome stroller/baby mama type, but no--- suddenly, she was getting tubs out for me and taking my bags. She took everything I had and helped me put them in bins. She didn't even stop to see if I needed help. Once Lucy was out, she whisked my stroller/car seat combo away, telling me I didn't have to break it down and she'd go scan it separately. Before I could even really grasp what was going on, I was through the dreaded security and out the other side, and still she was there--- helping my bags off the belt, helping me get the baby back in the stroller. She never even stopped to wait for a thank you--- she just did it. She was truly an angel. (And I DID thank her!)

You can bet your tail I was saying a huge prayer of thanks under my breath as I walked away from there, stunned by her gracious gift.

And then, somehow, it happened AGAIN.

Four days later, on the way back to STL, in the Salt Lake City airport, and I was running a bit late. When I got to the ticketing area, I saw a massive long line, and quickly determined that it was the line for security, SO long that it wrapped around OUT of the appointed area for security and out into the ticketing area. It was a SCARY LONG LINE. I was anxious getting my bag checked, getting ready to get in line---- worried I was going to miss my flight completely. I got in line and noticed a security fellow ushering people to the line, helping them to get to the right place since this line was not in the usual area. He spied me, came directly over, and said, "There's a special services line right over there, if you want to get in line with your stroller." (SEE, bloggers?? The stroller advice??? PAID OFF AGAIN. Amazing and miraculous!) He walked me over, and I am not kidding you--- he moved me from a line of hundreds of people to a line with ONE family in front of me. ONE FAMILY. No one else ahead of me.

That one nearly made me cry. What a blessing. A true moment of grace.

And ya know? Life is like that more than we know. These gifts... these moments... they are there, happening all day, if we just look for them.

Sometimes they are subtle and fleeting...things you have to really watch for.

Other times, they are literal gifts, and even though they may seem like a small gesture to the one giving them, they can change a whole day for the person receiving them.

Example:

One evening last month, someone ding-dong-ditched us with a doorstep full of dinner.
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This cute basket, filled with a simple, healthy, flavorful dinner, all with notes attached for information on how to prepare things, was left on our doorstep. The giver even included cookies AND cookie dough.

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I am still completely in the dark as to who might be the giver. There was only one clue, pretty cryptic,  and Joe and I have discussed the possibilities at length... But the thing is, I think the giver didn't intend me to know. And ya know what? That means that I have warm fuzzy feelings about TEN individuals I think it could be instead of just one individual, and that just adds a whole bucketload of good energy back into the universe. It was a marvelous gift. One that I was humbled to receive and grateful for with all my heart. And YUM, it was good!!

One more gift, just 'cause it's pretty. How about this chocolate raspberry tart? Oh, yeah, baby!

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Nothing too elaborate-- this was just a sweet treat my friend Erin brought home for me after I babysat her littles. Believe me--- it was more than enough payment for the babysitting, since her kids are ANGELS. And something like this little treat can do WONDERS for lightening a girl's heart. Yum.

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Anyhoo.... Randomness. A little of this, a little of that... all of it good good good. 

Back to work for me, for now. One day, I'll manage to get some cohesive blog posts done... maybe even some recent sessions?! eh-- who am I kidding? I think I'll be behind forever. It's life. 

Happy end-of-the-heat-wave for all you in the Midwest, and here's to a great rest of the week for all of us!

Wednesday, August 3

Baby Vent. Feel Free to Just Enjoy the Photo & Skip the Rest.

Lucy Lou, on a happier day, enjoying her crib and her Bunny Bunny:
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Cute, right? Don't let that face fool ya- this girl can make her mama cry faster than anything. Like today. 

Today, it's just me and the Lulu. Noah is in Utah with his grandparents, and Joe is at work. It's just me and the babe, and life couldn't be more simple, right? 

Wellll.....

I am struggling here. Seems like she's chosen these three days without Noah to be the days she tests out new ideas and breaks her old routines. This baby, who was finally getting a bit easier, was actually settling into some predictable patterns. I know, I know--- don't ever count on a baby's PATTERNS. They'll just go and change them on ya as soon as you're comfortable. So. of course Lucy is now messing with all those things I was REALLY hoping to be able to rely on... Not just during these three days when it was just she and I, but also on this upcoming flight to Utah... the 4-day trip where I'll be the sole parent of this kiddo with no Joe nearby to take over when I've had enough. 

Seriously, Lucy? 

You're gonna go and mess it all up like this, scaring the pants off of me for this trip tomorrow?

I am honestly fighting tears as I think about how I am possibly going to make it. Where she had finally been getting cheerful during her awake times, she is back to being fussy. Where she would settle happily in my arms with a binkie, she now fights me. Where she was taking an afternoon nap in her crib LIKE CLOCKWORK, this is now the second day in a row it has fallen apart and failed completely. This kiddo lives for sleep, yet is sabotaging her nap opportunities right and left. 

I feel a huge knot in my tummy as I anticipate this flight tomorrow. Will she SCREAM the whole time? I'd begun to be confident she'd be AWESOME, but after these past three days, I no longer trust her. And on the day of my sister's wedding, when I have to be the dang photographer, will she ever GET a nap? Her mama can get her to sleep in a sling or her arms like clockwork... but Lucy is getting finicky about who else tries it on her. I can see her squirming and screaming as one of my sisters tries to hold her for a nap. And I'm not bringing her stroller, a pretty consistent nap spot for her, because I just don't know how I'd maneuver the airport with one more big thing like that. So her naps on Wedding Day will all have to be Held Naps. and I'm beginning to think that's likely to fail. Awesome. 

I hate this. 

I'm not feeling great about being her mama just now.

I want to leave her here and just go alone. 

Isn't that awful of me???

Off to go cry a bit more... Quietly, though, so as to not wake the girl who is now asleep in my sling since she woke too early from her crib nap. 

Sucks.

Tuesday, August 2

Finishing What I Started... #28, #29, #30.

August. Nearly 3 months behind the last day I did these...

Am I the only one who struggles to finish things I've started? Projects, grand ideas, crafties, etc... ?? It's a lifelong struggle of mine for sure!

But I vowed to myself to finish editing these last 3 days of Lucy and POST THEM THIS WEEK. So. Without further ado or apology, I give you:

Lucy, Day 28

This was the slackiest day of all the 30 days... I simply didn't have the steam to do anything this day, so out into the yard we went, and I grabbed a couple of Lucy just chillin' on her soft blanket. Easy. And kinda boring. But whatever... at least I didn't skip the day altogether. 

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Lucy, Day 29:

To make up for the day before, I made a supreme effort this day--- bean bag setup and everything. In fact, I even whipped up the vintage yo-yo flower headband for Lucy just for this day and this backdrop. The flower is made from fabric and lace from my grandma's stash, so it's particularly sweet to me. 

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I find that I am loving this next one the best... Hm.
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And for funsies, since I've not done this yet for any of her 30 Day Project, here's a pullback of the sunroom "studio" where I shot 95% of her photos. Fun! 

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You can see the beanbag, up on a table so I didn't have to crouch every day... The space heater... the reflectors not being used in the background... The pile of blankets on the beanbag...My collection of seamless paper rolls in the back...Good times!

And.....

Lucy, Day 30

A day for swaddles, to keep her asleep... A day of just getting those last shots. I also pulled out my Lensbaby for a couple of shots, just because... 

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And after she woke, I just snapped a few more of her in her everyday swaddle, the one we use all the time in real life... Her face flushed from her nap and from the space heater... her eyes a bit dazed and sleepy...

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And even a big yawn.... ! Makes me want to go take a nap of my own!
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Hello, Lulu... Nice to see your big eyes on your last day of newborn photo sessions! 

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And just to help us all remember that those 30 days may have frozen time for Lucy the Newborn, she is well and truly growing, and dazzling my camera with her sparkling grey blue eyes and ever-growing arsenal of expressions. So, to finish the post for today, a few of Lucy, approx. 3 months old. I love love love these:

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...Aaaaand wait for it............


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BAM. Her split-her-face-in-half-with-joy smile. Giant. Delightful. And she's pretty generous with it. :) It's those smiles that keep me going with her, I swear it. 

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For now, this will have to do, post-wise. There are many many other things I need to finish... More things to blog about. But this has been a day stuck at the computer and I think I need a break. The end. Thanks for sticking with me through those endless 30Days of Lucy... Ha!