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This is my humble collection of attempting to live a life full of lovely things. A blog highlighting crafty projects, inspiration, and all things delicate & detailed. To learn more click here.

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Here is a peek of my lovely wedding day! We were married July 20, 2008 in the gorgeous Black Hills of South Dakota. Find more images and details about my incredible wedding day on Style Me Pretty.

                    

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Friday
Dec052014

leaving our home of 7 years

Three weeks ago my family left our St. Louis city home and arrived at the rural plains of Wyoming, the home of our childhood.

(2600 Penn Street)
My life has been everything but manicured the last two months. The dust is finally settling and I can breathe a bit easier. While the stress of moving 1200 miles (with a 7 mo old) in a few short weeks was burden enough—there was also the internal processing of leaving the life we knew behind. Moving. Was. Hard.

(The view from our front porch, looking down the street)
In seven years we had built a life and community we loved. I moved to St. Louis just after graduating college. In my twenties—I started my professional career, went from single to married, bought my first home, and became a mother. In the shadow of that famous arch, I grew up.

(One of the gorgeous old mansions just blocks from our house)
Suddenly I have regret. Did I spend enough time with the people there? Could I have made a bigger impact? Will the city miss me? Was my scope of influence too small? Did I take advantage of all the great things that this city had to offer? Did I shop at Target enough? < Actually, yes. Yes to that last one. I shopped there way too much.

(View down the street)
I now have much respect for those that, for whatever reason, have to pick up their lives and move often. It’s a lot of work. And maybe roots go a little deeper each year, making it a little bit harder. But I don’t regret those roots. That city and the time spent there will always be special to me. So many great memories.

And now I look up and see a big sky. A really big sky. Which is fun. I may never have to parallel park again. Also fun. New adventures await, and I embrace them.

Monday
Oct272014

first halloween ::: mini rooster

Just added one more urban chicky to our flock. The most adorable poultry that ever was.

I adore all things chicken, so naturally when given the opportunity for a baby Halloween costume I went for the mini rooster. It's also fitting since he usually starts crowing & squawking between 5-5:30am.

He is thrilled, can't you tell?

I converted our Tula carrier for babywearing in Halloween style. A farmer and his chicken. Agh! They are THE CUTEST. Oh, how I love them so.

Enjoy your costume festivities this week!

Hat was purchased from Shop CCC, the striped leggings from Little Foot Boutique, and the "feathers" I bought from the fabric store.

Monday
Oct272014

making the move

The blog as been real quite for the last month because things have been happening behind the scenes.

We are leaving our bustling St. Louis home and moving back to the quiet plains of Wyoming! Apparently there is an urban legend that the state of WY doesn't actually exist??? Hah well, both my husband & I grew up a small town in northeast WY, and we've always planned to move back closer to our familes. The time has come. In just two short weeks we will be loading a truck to venture toward the great west.

I'll probably need to post a farewell lament soon. And I also have my little chickadee's halloween costume to show you! More posts will follow shortly.

Thursday
Sep182014

birth announcement ::: hand drawn type

It recently occured to me that I never posted my baby's birth announcement. To be honest, many things are overlooked these days...caring for babies is all-consuming much of the time (who knew?)!

For this announcement I had done a little pre-planning while pregnant, but after the birth nothing seemed to fit quite right. I needed to illustrate in some way his out of control story. While I don't consider myself a type illustrator in the least, I do like how these turned out. Aaaannnnndddd I now think my 4 week old baby is not as cute as he was at the time. Hahaha he is SO much cuter now!

Hope you all are well!

Wednesday
Sep032014

photo styling a product catalog

As a creative, I can “do” many crafty/designy things. And many of these things turn out pretty great. BUT there does exist a job to rule them all. My personal trump card. 

Product catalog styling.  

So thrilled to finally blog about a recent ideal job—which is just a hair shy of my dream job. Meaning, THIS my friends, is my life calling. The type of work that I THRIVE off of. And someday hope to do exclusively.

If I were to say “I’m a product catalog stylist”, most often the response is a blank look. No, I don’t take the photo. No, I don’t make the product. No, I don’t design the catalog. I simply arrange the scene (of products in an environment) that is then photographed and used in a catalog/advertisement/etc. They turn out like this:

Or this:

Still a bit confused? Let me show you A VIDEO of me. In action. Exclamation points x1000.

Thanks sooo much to my friend and creative peer, Carrie, for putting together such an amazing video. Gah, I love it so much! Other images in this post are a few of the final images used in the catalog. Also very fun. I am super grateful to have been a part of the team. It was two 12 hour days of condensed chaos. I think we shot around 12 images, which is intense (each image commonly takes around 2-3 hours). But I truly LOVE it. Almost as much as I love my first born child. Which is a lot.

Products & images courtesy of Studio M
Photography Styling by Me
Art Direction by Bev Schofield
Photography by Michael Donnelly
Videography by Carrie Dougherty

Wednesday
Aug132014

girly pink confetti shower

An exciting project for your viewing pleasure! Recently I co-hosted a sweet baby shower for a dear friend. Since my baby was a boy, I was able to channel any unfulfilled girlish obsessions into this event. Which means a lot of pink, flowers, confetti, and lace!

We kept things fairly simple, but still colorful & feminine. This could easily be a bridal shower (I'm not super into "baby" themes). Food was a simple combination of finger foods and spice cake cupcakes. I made these intricate little tissue paper flower toppers and they were SO PRETTY. Paper flowers are my spiritual gift people. We didn't intentionally top the cupcakes with flowers & nuts, but I do find it hilarious.

For activities we had the clothespin game, where you lose your pin if someone catches you saying a forbidden word (ie. baby, due, cute, etc). The person with the most pins is the winner. Another activity was baby price is right. Always more entertaining than it sounds, and mom gets to keep the goodies! Lastly we had "decorate a diaper". No filters allowed on this one—the more humor the better! New parents need a reason to smile when changing diapers at 3am.

Favors were a bag of PINK strawberry coconut popcorn for the road. Yum!

That about covers it all! These pictures make me miss the tissue paper confetti—it's just so fun! I even stuffed the invites with it. And I still love the pink/coral color palette, though only in small doses.

It was a sweet day celebrating a precious little bundle. Definitely gave me my fill of pink & posh. Now hurry up Little Miss D, I can't wait to meet you!

Photography by me. Paper products available in my shop. Paper straws from Shop Sweet Lulu. Painterly party cups diy from Design*Sponge.

Monday
Aug042014

4 months

Oh how I wished I blogged more! This ball of pudge is clearly no longer a newborn squish. It's true what they say, the days are long but the years (months) are short.

Just shy of four months old, Gunnar loves to smile & giggle. He is so chill and SUCH a chunker. Probably because he loves to eat a lot. I love that he often holds my hand while nursing. His face still melts my heart at every opportunity. Currently he does not enjoy tummy time, rolling over, or naps....I'm holding out that he might some day. Luckily he prefers the potty over his diapers, which should come in handy in the future. He enjoys being worn, shaking his keyring, storytime, walks & exploring the world, making faces at momma & daddy, growling, and being my little photo prop. (As evidenced on my instagram feed)

My days are spent nurturing this little guy. I'm a lucky gal.

Thursday
Jul102014

front door facelift

Hello hello! I've got a non-baby related post today! During my pregnancy I spent a lot of time nesting and hope to share those fun updates with you. First is a welcome sight—adding color to the front door.

This happy door makes me smile every time I come home. And here's a GREAT lazy crafter tip > outsource the labor! By the time you research a tutorial, buy supplies, and then attempt the project (only to end up with quasi-awesome products), it makes the best sense to just skip all that. I wanted a pretty wreath but didn't want to make the flowers myself. The ones pictured were purchased from The Bakers Daughter Too on Etsy. I glued them on a wreath I owned and BAM—pretty wreath done. Low cost too! Probably the same as buying supplies. I added some filler flowers (1" was a lot bigger in my head....!), but the end product is thumbs up.

What do you think? Do you have other lazy crafter tips? Hope you all are enjoying your summer!

Wednesday
Jun042014

7 weeks into motherhood

You guys, I have NOTHING to blog or instagram except my first born child. Essentially there is nothing else going on in my life. This little creature has been all-consuming since his arrival. I do love him most dearly and very much enjoy our days of snuggling. The biggest adjustment is definitely the amount of attention he requires during his waking hours, and the scrambling to get 40+ things done during his short irregular nap times. Goodbye selfishness, there is no time for you. 

Gone are the naive dreams of working from home, whilst enjoying my sweet angelic babe each day. Instead are long days of breastfeeding, cleaning up body fluids, 
breastfeeding, laundry, breastfeeding, and attempting to keep the house from becoming a disaster. Did I mention there is a lot of breastfeeding? Which did NOT come easily or naturally in the beginning. If I'm being honest, at times I've even resented spending 1/4 of my waking hours on this single task. At 7 weeks, I estimate over 150 hours nurturing my little guy. I can't think of anything else in my life that has been given that much dedication. This is a calling that is physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausting. I had no idea.

But it is now getting a bit easier, and each time I have a little less anxiety about nursing around others. I envy those women who make it look so seamless, and hope to look half that put together some day. 

I haven't even touched on the many other surprises that came along with motherhood. Or the infinite list of questions like "do I leave my kid in the car while I return my shopping cart?" and "will my rug start growing some funk from all the milk it's absorbed?". But alas my sleeping babe will awake any second so I must publish this stat.

One day I do hope to blog about other fun things, but for now I plan to treasure (as best I can) this time when my baby needs his momma most.

Newborn photos by me—Gunnar was 4 days old. And yes, I was unexpectedly hit hard with a case of I-have-the-cutest-baby-ever-born-and-everyone-needs-to-look-at-his-picture syndrome (so annoying!).
Friday
May022014

my birth story ::: gunnar james

 

April 16, 2014 is a day I will never forget. Gunnar James was born around 7:30 pm, on I-70 at mile marker 225, in the front seat of our Nissan. He weighed 7 lbs and was 20 inches long.

Let me back up a bit before I explain how that insanity happened. From the beginning of the pregnancy, we opted to plan for a non-hospital birth (oh the irony!). I was often defensive about this, as occasionally people thought it was potentially putting me or my baby at risk. Like all parenting choices, where/how you birth is so so personal and every parent does what they think is best for themselves and their baby. Every birth story is amazing, and every mother is amazing whether they birth with no intervention, with intervention, through adoption, or anything in between. We found the perfect option for us at the birth center in our area. While there are too many reasons to list why, having the guarantee of who will be with you in labor and more importantly that they don’t leave your side during labor was at the top of the list. The prenatal care was outstanding, and I’m sure the birth experience would have been too. I LOVED my midwife. She told my baby belly how perfect he was and hugged me nearly every appointment. I trusted her professional ability AND liked her so much I wanted to be friends.

As preparation for labor we also took a Bradley Method birth class, which teaches you the ins & outs of pregnancy/birth and emphasizes the husband’s role as an active participant in labor. If you are remotely inclined toward non-intervention birth, I highly recommend this class. We made new friends and felt very prepared about what to expect. Now how does a well prepared pregnant person end up giving birth in a moving vehicle? A combination of biology and denial. With a side of extra denial.

The morning of Gunnar’s birth, I had mild menstrual cramps. While there are a zillion weird feelings/cramps during pregnancy, I knew today was the day I’d meet my baby because the feelings continued intermittently for more than 2 hours. The day before this was my 41 week prenatal, and I had my first/only cervical check and learned I was dilated 2 cm. We chose to have the midwife agitate my cervix (membrane sweep) because she was sure labor would happen within the next 48 hours.

At 4pm, my husband came home from work and we went for a walk at a nearby park. After we returned home we crawled into bed and put on some Big Bang Theory, planning for a 5 hour tv marathon. Just before 5pm, we talked about food and decided to order pizza….and here's where things take off. Before the pizza arrived my contractions had escalated to what I call almost "near death". The pain was absolutely horrific, peoplethere was NO chance of yoga relaxation happening. Trevor starting timing right away, and called the midwife because this seemed like active labor—we basically started with contractions at 45-50 seconds and 4-5 min between (which is basically when you leave for the hospital during a typical 10-15 hr labor). Because things had just started happening, the midwife suggested we wait it out for a bit and establish a rhythm. (Pizza arrives!) Around 6-6:30pm I get in the bathtub because I find no relief and am STRUGGLING to keep it together. He calls the midwife again wanting to make the drive SOON, with contractions coming every 2-3 min and lasting 40-50 sec. (PAUSE: That means I have 1 minute in between these incredibly painful contractions that are dilating my cervix at warp speed. NOT a pleasant experience) Then I'm on the toilet and do not want to leave. While on this porcelain post I go through transition (hindsight) and start crying to make it stop. To my delight there is a small lull of relief in the contraction pattern. My husband says we are leaving NOW.

At 7pm I'm in the car and he is speed racing. At some point I realize I'm in the pushing stage but contractions are SO much more bearable I keep reassuring him that we'll make it to the birth center (pushing normally lasts at least an hour!). We got pulled over for speeding (haha), but the cop waved us off before he made it to our window. About 10 miles before the birth center, at 7:25ish, Trevor looks over and notices I am crowning in the passenger seat. He immediately slows and goes to take the nearest exit, which just so happens to be the exit for a hospital. Before we even make the exit, a baby appears on the seat (yay for leather upholstery!). Trevor reaches over to help lift him on my chest. I am definitely in shock and disbelief. But the baby makes a few peeps so we start to feel like it's all going to be okay. After a few minutes I remember to look underneath the baby—it’s a boy!

We pull up to the ER and are rushed in just like the movies. Two of our midwives show up within 5 minutes. The hospital staff was wonderful and even let my midwife stitch me up. We were discharged at 9:30pm and went to the birth center for our recovery. We stayed there 2 hours and were on our way home at 12:30am. Life as a family of three has been wonderful after our rather intense (accidental) unassisted birth experience. Sadly we have struggled with breastfeeding. After two weeks of little/no success, we did make some progress. While not completely through the woods, I feel confident we’ll both be pros very soon. I sympathize with the mothers out there who endured extra newborn challenges, like trouble feeding, sleeping or colic. You all are heros!

I am still so overwhelmed with love for my amazing husband who was a rock during that crazy 3 hour labor. I'm also so grateful to an incredible birth team that took such great care of us. Lastly, I’m indebted to my talented friend, Dustin, for capturing these family portraits that will forever melt my heart.

Life is such a gift.

All photography by Dustin Davis