Friday, March 14, 2014

Around Here...

Hello Friends. No, I didn't fall off the face of the earth. I have a continual debate in my head whether I should close down this blog or not. My last post was in October- so obviously I am being a pretty lackluster blogger. I actually started another blog over on Word Press, under a completely new name. I had big plans on "reinventing" myself- new blog, new Etsy shop name, new look, fresh start. In reality all of those things will just have to wait until I enter another season of life. At some point I need to come to terms with my current reality...which is all motherhood, all the time.

Being a Mommy to Miss Nora pretty much takes up every waking moment. Nora and I are an interesting mix. She is feisty and fiery. She never stops moving ever- she is this ball of energy. Her current state is this less than pleasant mix of teething and not wanting to be away from me for more than two seconds without a total meltdown. And I would say I am not one of those moms who just naturally seem to have it all together and looks so comfortable during all her mommy duties. I think I probably look like one frazzled mess. Sometimes I stop and wonder if everyone around me is aware that I have no idea what I am actually doing. Do they know I am very insecure in this new role? Do they know how lonely I am?

Motherhood is hard work, harder than I ever could have imagined. Not that I would trade one moment of any of it for the whole entire world, because I simply would not. I just can't deny that it has changed every single aspect of my life. Everything goes through a different lens now. My priorities have became very real and very defined. There are lots of things I no longer have time for. Probably the two areas hit hardest are ministry and creative time- and those will be posts for another day.

My days are full of blocks, singing dinosaurs, silly songs, lots and lots of books, and an absurd amount of cheerios. Even though she is a bit grumpy lately due to the teething, she is still so much fun. She is just learning so much right now- it's so fun to see the things she's figuring out. And it's so fun to see her preferences and her personality shining through. And good gracious is she beautiful. I know every parent thinks their child is the cutest...but really, this little girl is just so lovely. There are still moments I look at her and think "how can she be mine?" - how is she even real? This little pumpkin has completely captured my heart. So I may be a poor excuse for a blogger, my Etsy shop may be nearly empty, I might be climbing the walls trying to find the time for some creative outlet, and I may be desperately trying to find my "place" in ministry as the mom of a toddler...but somehow I just know this is exactly where I am supposed to be. And this is life, around here...

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Friday, July 19, 2013

Fern Cottage

Hello Friends. Today I wanted to share with you the newest addition to my Mom's backyard. My Mom has always loved to be in the backyard and has always loved to garden. I am actually a little surprised it took her this long to come up with the idea for a garden shed. In its place used to stand a lovely gazebo. My Mom married my Step Dad in that gazebo, I renewed my vows in that gazebo, and had maternity pictures in front of the gazebo. I loved that gazebo. It was getting old and it was going to need a complete overhaul. So, Mom decided rather than restore the gazebo- she wanted it torn down and repurposed into a garden shed.

Thankfully my Step Dad is the type that can build anything under the sun, and they both love projects. So earlier this summer they got all the sketches together and began to build what my Mother now affectionately calls "Fern Cottage." It took a lot longer than expected- as do most projects, but the end result is just so charming. The front porch is my favorite part- it's so peaceful sitting there in the afternoon. The inside is surprisingly spacious and holds all sorts of odds and ends my Mother has picked up over the years. I was a little sad to see the gazebo go, but Mom will actually get a lot more use out of this than she ever did the gazebo. Welcome to "Fern Cottage."

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Summers Are For Swimming

Hello Friends. So we have spent most days this past week swimming. I am so lucky that my Mom has a  little pool in her backyard- hello free entertainment. Nora really seems to enjoy the water and it's been so fun to see her exploring. We also were given a little baby pool for her that's in our backyard- which we tried out for the first time today. Nora is turning into my little beach babe! XO

Notice her monogrammed beach bag...

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Friday, June 28, 2013

Seven Years & Eight Months

Hi Friends. Just in for a quick little summer update. A few weeks ago Nick and I celebrated our 7 year wedding anniversary. He really wanted to get away for a night and even though I didn't want to leave Nora, I reluctantly agreed. We had a very nice time. We went to our favorite spot in Columbus and just had fun. The hotel we always stayed at had just been remodeled so our room was gorgeous and they even upgraded our room so we had one that overlooked the pool.

We arrived Friday afternoon and headed for lunch at a newer burger place called FlipSide. We then went and saw Man of Steel (Nick's pick obviously). Anytime we spend the night down there we have a tradition of going to The Cheesecake Factory as late as we can, we sit at a candlelit table outside, and spend hours chatting over dessert and coffee. We have had some of our best conversations there.

I was so excited for Saturday because I knew Saturday meant I finally got to go to Jeni's! They had just build a Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream where we stay. This is my all time favorite ice cream. They have traveling carts that show up around Columbus and I fell in love with their ice cream a few years back when my Mom and I were at a festival down there. But, I hadn't ever been to one of their store fronts. The day before I delivered Nora four pints of Jeni's ice cream (and a newborn Jeni's onesie) were delivered to my front door in dry ice (making Nick the best hubby ever)! Anyways, so we finally got to go and it was amazing- literally I have never had anything so yummy in my entire life. The down side- now I can't stop thinking about it and I can't wait to get to another Jeni's ASAP. Our anniversary weekend was really wonderful though- and our actual anniversary fell on Father's Day- so Nick felt really loved that day!

Later that week Nora turned 8 months old, which is still so hard to believe. She is spending lots of time on her tummy now. She pushes herself up on her arms so well- like she is always doing pushups, it's so cute. She still hasn't figured out getting her legs under her, but I know we are so close to crawling. She is eating like a champ- we've been through peas, carrots, sweet potatoes, pears, apples, and tons of rice cereal. Next week we start on bananas. Every new thing we give her she eats right up, I think we are pretty lucky there. And she is sleeping just as well. She goes down around 8 or so and wakes up when she hears Nick getting ready for work around 7 or 7:30. I can usually get 2 good naps out of her every day, which is nice. She is just so enjoyable. She has her moods, but for the most part she is a very pleasant baby. And I am still loving every single moment with her and wouldn't trade our time together for anything in the whole world.

Jeni's- My favorite treat on earth (take that, diet)

She is such a beautiful baby

Friday, May 31, 2013

The Start of Summer...

Hello Friends! It finally feels like summer has arrived around here, which I am so thankful for. Lately we have had two weddings, a garage sale, a summer festival, a visit to a new church and new small group, Nick preached in Paris, Ohio, and the first trip strolling Nora to the ice cream shop down the road from our house. What's fun about all this is that Nora has so many "firsts." And even though I get a few eye rolls from Nick, I document every single one. With all of these "firsts" we learn a lot- how much she can handle, what things annoy her, what things make her calm. I think because it's just the two of us at home nearly every day- crowds and lots of people trying to get her attention are unpleasant for her. She does fine with noise- but she prefers quiet and one on one interactions for sure. There have been moments I wanted to break down and cry. Then there are the moments, when I feel overcome with joy that this is my new life, my new reality, my new little family of three. I love every minute with her (even the frustrating ones) and wouldn't trade any of it for the world.

I am in the middle of writing out a summer leap list- all the little things I want to do this summer. For example I can't wait to take her to the zoo, swimming at my Mom's house, and give her the first little adventure in a sandbox. Most of the leap list involves little things with Nora- family things. I know somewhere in there we will have to find a little bit of time for just Nick and I. Our anniversary is in a few weeks and we are taking an overnight trip to Columbus- and my Mom is going to watch Nora. I already feel kinda sick about it- I really hate being away from her...but I know Nick and I will have a great time.

I am also thinking about taking just a little bit of a blog hiatus. Lately- well really since Nora has been born I just kinda feel as though I don't have the desire to blog. She really fills my day and I just want to focus on her. I also have a wee bit of writers block...and just feel like my creative side has been in hibernation. My Etsy shop is so neglected, I literally feel shocked when I make a sale because it's in such a sad state. The only ongoing creative thing I am doing is Project Life (it's kind of a new obsession). So Nora's entire life is documented up through mid-May currently- every first you could think of- first time to Target, first time in the Bumbo seat, first time in Jenny Jump Up, first time eating peas...I mean everything! Anyways- and as I have said before, I am really loving sharing photos on Instagram- so quick and simple, but a fun way to connect with people.

So, I am giving myself permission to take a little break from this blog. Posting will be spotty at best. I think I need to take the time to decide if I want to just shut down the blog for good, or if I can come back with a better focus and a bit re-energized. For now friends- hope your summer is starting off wonderfully! XO

Monday, May 20, 2013

Nora: Seven Months

Hello Friends. Well my little sweetie pie turned seven months old yesterday! Crazy! How can time be going by so quickly? She is changing so rapidly right now and it's so fun to watch.

Just this past month she has started sitting up on her own- still a little wobbly but doing pretty good. She is doing better at rolling. She is riding in the cart like a big girl at Target. We finally gave her the first taste of "food" - peas and she was not a fan. She is doing better at naps. She enjoys routine and familiar people. She is extremely active and always needs to be doing something. She loves strolls around the neighborhood. She loves her "Jenny Jump Up." She is barely squeezing into 9 month clothing and really is more comfortable in 12 month clothing (never expected her to grow so fast!). At her last pediatrician appointment, she measured in the 97th percentile in height and weight. Her head is still above the 97th percentile. She weighs 20 pounds. She's been to her first wedding and just heard Nick preach for the first time this past Sunday. Her eyes are still so blue and we aren't sure if they are going to change- since Nick and I both have green eyes, I really thought she would as well. Her hair is getting crazy and she's developing some major waves. She is generally pretty happy, but has a huge amount of "sass" to her. This little angel really keeps me on my toes. XO

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Family Pictures

Hello Friends. I wanted to share a few photos from yesterday. Our dear friends Kristy and Keith asked me to take some more pictures for them. Once we finished up with their session, I asked Kristy to take a few quick shots of us. It was cold, cloudy, and Nora was in no humor for pictures! So, I don't know that I would say it was a success, but at least we have some half way decent family pictures that don't involve me awkwardly holding my phone out in front of us and wishing for the best! She's been all smiles lately, so not sure why she was so serious for picture time, but hey, she's a baby- she can do whatever she wants! XO

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Weekend Wedding

Hi Friends. This past weekend I was the Matron of Honor in my dear friend Kristy's wedding. It was so much fun. Friday night was the rehearsal - Kristy surprised all her girls with Pandora bracelets and three charms (each symbolizing Kristy and the wedding). I have never heard of such an elaborate and generous gift for the bridal party...but that's Kristy- always giving. At the dinner that night Nick sat next to the pastor that was going to be marrying Kristy and Keith. They hit it off really well and the pastor ended up asking Nick to preach at the church in May! Pretty exciting stuff. 

Saturday was beautiful- sunny and warm. We all got to the church around one to help Kristy get ready. I forgot how nerve racking the getting ready and waiting can be. However- there was so much laughter coming out of our room- everyone was commenting on the constant giggles. The wedding itself was so sweet- just simple and lovely. And Kristy, being true to herself, made everyone giggle during her vows. Afterwards- poor Kristy nearly passed out during pictures. She refused to eat before the wedding and her blood sugar went crazy. After a coke and a candy bar- she was all smiles. We stopped off at The McKinley Monument before the reception for some quick outdoor pictures. The reception was great as well- and I managed to not screw up the toast! Being part of someone's wedding is such an honor- it was one of the biggest days of her life and I got a front row seat. I am one lucky lady....

The girls...

My handsome date...


Essie's "Jamaica Me Crazy" matched my dress perfectly

My bouquet 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sunday Snapshot

Hi Friends. We had such a nice day today- with tons of family time. We went to church, ate lunch out at our favorite local restaurant, got some groceries, hit up Starbucks, and when we finally got home, we decided to go for a nice long walk. Nora has been in the happiest mood all weekend and we have had so much fun. We honestly don't venture out too much during the week, so weekends when we get to be out and about, it's such a nice change of pace. Hope your weekend was wonderful friends. XO

Friday, April 19, 2013

Nora: Six Months

Hi Friends. Well my sweet baby girl turned six months old today. This morning as we snuggled in for our morning nap- I thought about the morning of her birth. I thought about how in those early morning hours I couldn't have imagined the love I would feel for this little girl. I mean I knew I would love my baby (obviously), but I never imagined a love like this. She is simply the best adventure. I still look at her beautiful face and can't believe she is mine. A baby completely changes your perspective and makes you reevaluate all your priorities.

We've had Fox news on a lot these past few days. These tragedies in Boston are breaking my heart. And then I started to think about how in her short little life we've watched Hurricane Sandy, the Sandy Hook Shootings, and now this. All the ugliness and upheaval is heavy on my heart. I think about the world she is going to grow up in. I want to shield her, I want to protect her, I want her to know no hurt. As a mother, this is the burden on my heart. However, I know it's not reality.

Anyways-at six months Miss Nora is super fun. She is making all kinds of sounds- for a few days she seemed to find her high pitched voice- and screeched a lot. She is doing great with her cereal (obviously- she's a little piggy). I can't wait to start her on some "real" foods soon. She has great hand eye coordination and is very accurate at reaching for and picking up toys. She is getting close to sitting up by herself (her poor head is so big, she really tends to tip over most tries). She kicks her legs like crazy and I swear she is ready to jump up and run away. She all of a sudden likes to "stand" on our laps- with us holding on tightly she is putting weight on her legs. She wants constant attention- if I dare walk out of the room, I certainly hear about it very quickly. She lights up when she sees her Daddy and loves to put her hands all over his face when he gets home from work. She is doing a little bit better with naps, but she isn't great by any means. She is going to bed around 8 and sleeps until about 7:30 in the morning. She has grown out of all her six month clothes and has long been out of her size 2 diapers.  It amazes me how quickly she is growing!

And just a side note- sorry for the lack of posting lately. She really is keeping me on my toes. And I have been loving Instagram lately- it's just so much easier and quicker. If you are interested in following me- search for Navarrecharm. XO