Thursday, November 20, 2014

pretty pictures: in a field

I realized that I never shared the 'posed' photo session Kristina did when she visited in September! I was so in love with the real life pictures, I barely even paid attention to the Posing In a Field ones. (Side note, but I swear- one day in 50 years our grandkids are all going to be like why were all of your pictures always in fields? Did you live in the country? Were neighborhoods not invented? And we're going to be like...ummm, yeah. It was 2014. TAKING PICTURES IN FIELDS IS WHAT WE DID. People drove good distances for the right field, sonny!)

Luckily, the field we posed in is less than a mile from our house. There are certain advantages to living in the sticks. Such live in the sticks. There are fields.

We are happy in a field! The light shines blissfully upon us!

Oh look, a baby! In a field!

Stop it, I can't even mock this one. That is damn precious.

Someone told me that your arms look skinnier in fields if you put your hand on your hip. Can't hurt, right?

Good thing there was a bench- standing in that field was getting exhausting!

Awww this was before Mills went bald on the back of her head...


Smooching in a field with a baby. Of course!

This one is precious. 

OH MY GOSH WHAT IS THAT THING??? Oh, a hand. Cool.

Oh look, Mom quit trying and took off the scarf and pulled up her hair because IT WAS 10,000 DEGREES OUT THERE.
Okay okay okay. I mock, but I really like the pictures in a field (and it was me that requested it, so don't think anyone dragged me out to a field against my will or something). I had thought that I might pick one of the Field Pictures for our Christmas cards, but now I don't think I will. First of all, my arms look fat in all of the pictures (besides the hand-on-hip one, but you can't even really see Millie in that one and I have a hunch that people care more about seeing Millie's cute face and really couldn't care less about my arm pudge). Second of all, this is so long ago that Millie looks like a totally different person. And now she can SMILE- wouldn't people want a more recent picture where she's smiling? In these pictures, she's about 2 weeks older than in the birth announcement picture. So like...I just think I need a more recent picture for Christmas cards. And I need to wear long sleeves. So it looks like another trip to a field will be in our near future.

As before, all pictures are copyright Kristina Boothe Photography. If you need pictures in a bed or in a field (or by an ocean, since she actually lives in Jax and does most of her pictures on beaches...lucky...), she's your girl!

Monday, November 17, 2014

another riveting weekend!

We had a relaxing and uneventful weekend- which is evidenced by the fact that I had the time and motivation to blog on Saturday, ha. So if you're like most of the world and apparently don't read (or write) blogs on weekends, be sure to catch up on Millie's nursery tour from Saturday! Or don't. I mean, if you hate cute rooms, you won't like it.

We spent some time on Friday night introducing Millie to her new toy that a friend loaned us!

That face can't lie- this thing is like a rager for babies. And an eyesore for adults. Once I finished photographing the nursery, we moved this thing back there and now just imagine a giant plastic contraption plopped down in front of the window, blocking the closet door, Lola's access to the window, and all the good feng shui vibes we had going. Oh well. At least Millie has big fun playing in it!

We took advantage of the cold weather and not having any plans and spent lots of time lounging around in our PJs. It was pretty miserable, obviously.

Blurry, but this adorable face is worth it!
 A couple of weeks ago we got rid of our DirecTV. It felt pretty traumatic at the time, but less so when I take into consideration that a) they kept taking away all the channels we liked anyway (like AMC- with no Walking Dead, what's the point in cable anyway?), b) we will save lots of money, and c) Netflix added a lot of HGTV shows, so I can still get my fix. After an initial period of mourning, now we don't even miss it much- the exceptions being when there are awesome football games that we can't find online to watch. Anyway, a few weeks ago Matt ordered some fancy-shmancy alien-looking antennae thing in hopes that we can pick up some over-the-air channels. In theory that wouldn't be hard, but all of the stations we could theoretically get are from Atlanta, and it's just too far to pick them up well. We've had antennae in the past that failed to get anything except a very grainy Spanish channel...and while I enjoyed trying to translate telenovelas for about 10 minutes, it really wasn't that great.

But Matt remained convinced that with the proper antennae and the right rooftop installation, we could get some TV. And on Saturday, after some death-defying walks across the roof and up and down ladders, he proved himself correct!! We now have a handful of stations that are unbelievable high-def and clear!! It's so exciting- we got to see actual live sporting events!! (And possibly more importantly- I will be able to keep up with The Bachelor/ette when it starts back!) And it seems that about half the stations we get primarily air old westerns, so if you notice me taking a new interest in movie genres...that's why.

Anyway. High five to Matt for persevering through my disbelief and also for his ingenuity in rigging up the new antennae through our old DirecTV satellite and wiring so that there aren't cables running across the house and through windows! 

Sunday called for kicking Millie's wardrobe up a little notch. And repeatedly dying over her cuteness.

Seriously, Mom? MORE pictures? Get a life, woman!

She expressed her appreciation for my impeccable sense of style by gifting me with some new accessories.

That's right- my hair and shirt look way better adorned in spit-up!

To offset my gross accessories, I gave myself a ridiculous manicure last night.

Wine color-Essie Bahama Mama; Sparkles-Essie Jazzy Jubilant
My fancy nails are completely unnecessary thrilling me to death, but it's one of those things where as I'm enjoying looking at them, I'm simultaneously thinking about how in a short time (two years? five, max) I will see this picture and groan and say omg, that is SO 2014...what was I thinking?!?! So Future Self, please know that I realize how dumb this trend probably is, but it's harmless enough, so I'll enjoy it while I can. Also, hopefully my future self will have learned how to not paint her cuticles while doing at-home manicures. Present self hasn't mastered that skill yet, clearly.

It's Monday morning, I'm back at work with my baby sleeping beside me (her Monday morning babysitter picks her up here, so she comes in with me for a little while!) and I decided it was time to turn on my Pentatonix Holiday Pandora station. It's gonna be a good day!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

millie's nursery tour

It's weird- although I'd been dreaming about and planning Millie's nursery for years (since long before we knew it would be Millie), and then got it started last fall, and then ignored it for 6 months before cautiously opening the door again, and then working on it some more, and then bringing her home to it, and then finally having showers and getting it all REALLY took a long time for it to occur to me that it was really done. I guess it was a work in progress for so long (years!!) that it only just recently hit me that it really is pretty much complete. Sure, I'm still waiting to get 'real' pictures printed for the frames...and there are a few things still in progress for the gallery wall...but for the most part, it's really done. And I realized I'd better hurry and take pictures of it before she's grown. Or at least before she learns how to make a mess.

So here we go. It's as done as it's been, and it is by far my favorite place in the whole house. Now don't go getting any crazy ideas about her actually sleeping in there. She has yet to spend a night in her own room, and I will probably put that off for as long as possible...maybe until we need to convert the crib to a toddler bed? Ha. But we enjoy rocking and reading in the glider, changing diapers and clothes on the changing table, swinging in the swing, and lounging on the floor to play (and not do tummy time, because homegirl will have NONE OF THAT).

I've included links to as many items as I could find, but a lot of it is older/out of stock, thrifted/gifted/handed down, or DIYed. 

So...welcome to the happiest room in my house!

Glider* | Crib* | Lamp | Ottoman
This is the view as you walk in. It's not a terribly large room, so I was happy to find a crib and glider with a smaller footprint. The art above the crib was something I crafted over the summer, and the picture of the framed vase was something I found at an antique store a few years ago. The curtains were the very first thing I ever made for the nursery, waaaay back in January of 2012! They were the fabric that inspired the color scheme for the whole room. A lot of the smaller furniture items (ottoman, side table, pillow) are from Target's college dorm 'back to school' line from late summer/early fall. It really worked out that they made EVERYTHING in that turquoise/teal color that perfectly matched my colors...and it was all dirt cheap!

 The pumpkins were part of the decor at my work shower in early November! My friend/co-worker Diana made the most thoughtful, fabulous, and nursery-colored decor...I was thrilled to bring it home and decorate with it (until it rots, ha)!

The blankets on the swing and the glider were both handmade by some amazingly talented friends!! Brooke made the orange and turquoise striped one and Jennie made the turquoise and gray chevron one. 

The crib skirt and bumper (THE HORRORS!!!! Please recall- she doesn't actually sleep there.) fabric and the changing table were both adventures from last fall. The white trash can is our cloth diaper pail; the silver one is for actual trash. The white 'corner' shelf was a thrift store find and I change what's on the shelves at least twice a week, ha. The basket thingy (that is probably supposed to be a fruit holder?) holds her hairbows and pacifiers. Always important to keep those things handy!

Currently this shelf holds her blankets and a basket of socks!

I got the idea for the baskets on the wall from Pinterest (shocking!) and found the turquoise baskets in the college dorm section at Target (also shocking!). We keep her cloth diaper covers in the one on the right (the inserts are in a drawer). The left basket has some disposables (she wears them at night) and burp cloths (90% of them were in the wash when I took this picture, ha). I absolutely love the convenience and storage that those hanging baskets give me! And the wreath on top was a random two-second project with some leftover fabric from the crib bedding. That wreath moves around frequently, too.

If you ask Camilla, the most important feature of the changing table area (and probably the entire room) is what hangs over it.

This is Monkey, a random toy borrowed from her activity mat and hung from some linking chain toy that I rigged up. It was a desperate attempt to distract her when she was in an "I hate being changed" phase and ended up being QUITE effective. Now she loves to laugh at and talk to her monkey- it's SO cute, and actually doesn't look too tacky, so I let him stay. What a giver, right?? ;)

This is the wall opposite the crib. The shelf is one that was in my bedroom growing up; I stole it from my parents' house, painted it gray, and now it's Millie's! This is where (most of) her toys and books reside. The books in the basket in the corner are library books- important to not get them mixed in!

The wreath on the closet door was made by a friend of my mom's! I absolutely LOVE it!

Great is Thy Faithfulness print
The child in the "Camilla Ann" frame is not actually Camilla Ann. Stock photography for the win?? Mama needs to order a 5x7 print? Something like that. The Jesus Loves Me was something Matt's mom cross-stitched for him when he was little! I found a frame and spray painted it and love that we have it in Millie's room! The 'believe' one is actually a greeting card that a sweet friend gave us last fall when we were expecting Ellison. I love the colors and am thankful for the reminder to continue believing, even when things aren't easy.

 Booooooooks!!! Obviously we are fans. I hope Millie is too!

And that's pretty much it. I'm going to come clean and admit that I did put some of the less beautiful things away in the closet before I took pictures (activity mat, Bumbo seat)...but this is pretty much how it looks! Last night we actually received an exersaucer/bouncy thing on loan from a friend...but it's still parked in the living room, so I didn't technically have to hide it away. And I have no idea where it's going to go because WHY ARE BABY TOYS SO HUGE AND PLASTIC??

My goal in my pre-pre-pre-baby nursery-planning days was that the room would be gender neutral and happy. I feel like I accomplished 'happy' pretty easily, and gender neutral became slightly less important once it was established that Millie is a girl. I have no idea if we'll ever have another baby to use this nursery, but I feel like I could pretty easily adapt it to be more 'boyish' (which really, I hate the whole girly/boyish thing arbitrary and socially-constructed, but still. Whatever. At least it isn't pink??) if the opportunity arose. In the meantime, Matt and I love the room, Millie will hopefully love it one day (and not want to redecorate it in obnoxious cartoon characters or something ahhhhhhh!!!), and Lola seems quite appreciative that 'her' room is finally something besides four blank walls.
Photo credit Kristina Boothe Photography

 And really, at the end of the day, the room doesn't matter. It could be pink or black or non-existent and we would be fine. All I care about is the girl that (sorta) lives in it.

Photo credit Kristina Boothe Photography
Thanks for visiting! If you're ever in the neighborhood, feel free to drop by and rock for a few minutes and soak in the happy. It's pretty fantastic.

*These Amazon links are affiliate links. In theory (this is the first time I've ever done this, so I have no idea if it really works, ha), if you were to click on a link and then purchase the item, I would receive compensation.

Thursday, November 13, 2014


It's random thoughts or nothin' today...and since I've already picked nothin' for two days in a row, we'll go with the random thoughts.

1. This working mom gig is no joke. In case you were under the impression that working 40 hours a week (45 if you count the commutes!) plus raising an infant was some kind of walk in the park...well, it's not. And to top it off, it's dark by the time I get home so WE CAN'T EVEN GO TO THE PARK. Waaah. So it's not easy BUT I must say- it's still better than I thought it would be. I cram more than I ever thought possible into the minutes when Millie is sleeping so that I can be fully present and engaged every minute that she's awake and we're together. Matt and I have all of these lists around the house (Things To Do At Night, Things To Do Before Work...) and we're being super proactive about everything and therefore so far I can say that we haven't been too overwhelmed by anything. The laundry stays in check (including the diapers). The house isn't a wreck. We cook and eat 3 meals a day. Her diaper bag(s) are always properly stocked. And in addition to all of that and work, we have this fabulous little person to love and play with and snuggle and we absolutely couldn't be happier. Tonight we even crammed in 30 minutes of circuits while she napped before dinner. Since exercise is definitely the most prominent thing we've given up lately, that made me feel like today was extra-successful! (PS. In case it didn't seem abundantly clear here- every single 'sacrifice' is infinitesimal to what we've gained. I am so incredibly grateful for the opportunity to be a working mom because it means I'm a MOM, and that's all that really matters.)

2. Since I don't get much down time now, I've become highly selective about how I spend it. As you may have observed...blogging doesn't make the cut every day. Ha. My spare hour or so at night is usually split between trucking through Gilmore Girls or reading. I've read some GREAT books lately. I kept thinking about doing a book review post, but like...nahhhh. Too much work. I'll just share my current fave. In a separate bullet point, of course.


But Erika, you're probably thinking, that looks like yet another YA dystopian trilogy! Haven't you gotten over those yet? Aren't you 31 and not 15? Aren't they all basically the same?

To answer your very judgy questions...Yes, No, Yes, Yes. BUT SERIOUSLY YOU NEED TO READ THIS SERIES. I'm not quite finished with Book 3 (I picked blogging instead!!), but they are AMAZING. Sure, in a way they're very much like all the other YA trilogies of late. BUT in another way, they're better. One of the best differences is that the back story on this one (like, how did The Country Formerly Known as the United States become some insane dystopian society?) is FAR more believable and plausible than usual. They don't really explain that until the 2nd book, but when they do, you're like whoa. That could actually happen. And then THAT could happen and then THAT could happen and then OMG IN TWO GENERATIONS WE COULD BE LIVING IN THIS STORY!!!!! It makes the whole thing much creepier and more awesome. Also, there isn't nearly as much teenage angst in these, in my opinion. Sure, there's a teenage romance, but it's compelling without being quite as eye-roll-worthy as in other books.

So anyway, in conclusion, add these to your library holds list and thank me later.

4. I was looking at my Google Analytics yesterday and noticed that one of my favorite old posts must have gotten discovered and shared and re-shared on Facebook, based on tons of new visitors all coming from FB to the same post. And it just happens to be last year's Christmas Grammar Intervention. And you know what THAT means- it must be Christmas card season again!! I had planned on doing Christmas cards this year (hello cute baby!), but I feel like I just got done addressing our birth announcements like five minutes ago and I STILL haven't finished my thank you cards, sooooo...all of a sudden, doing another mail out doesn't seem nearly as appealing. I don't know. Does that make me the Grinch? 

5. I really try to avoid sharing the same photo on multiple platforms, but sometimes it simply can't be avoided. My deepest apologies if you already saw this on Instagram the other day, but see...I've looked at it 282929491 times and still think it's the best thing I've ever seen, so maybe it won't annoy you too badly. 

Sometimes Camilla gets to come to my work and spend lunch hour with me. This is evidently what she thinks about it:

Dying. I just die every time I see it. AHHHHHHHHHHHH she is so stinkin' cute!!!!

But for the sake of fairness, this was really just one of her many facial expressions she made in about 4 seconds. Matt caught all of them with his fast thumb snapping lots of pictures.

See, really she likes it there. Or something. Maybe.

That's all I've got. Have a great Thursday!