Sunday, February 18, 2018

Sutton Claire's Cake Smash

Our sweet Sutton Claire turns ONE tomorrow! We celebrated at home as a family this afternoon and let her have a little cake smash fun-






























ONE year old tomorrow.

I can hardly believe it. Oh, how my Momma heart aches. Sutton is everything beautiful and girly, and we love her something fierce. We dote on our girl. She's giggly, fiesty, and so spunky!! She makes us laugh! Her wavy auburn hair was totally unexpected and is so cute. My, how the last twelve months have flown by. She has been the happiest baby I could ever ask for. A true joy- she is my beautiful daughter. And, she is TOTALLY a Daddy's girl.

I love you, Sutton. We are so thankful you joined our little family!!

Monday, January 29, 2018

Cultivate

I started reading Cultivate by Lara Casey at the beginning of the year. It has been eye-opening and so refreshing! I've been taking my time going chapter by chapter, and sometimes even re-reading (which feels like such a luxury) to make sure I don't miss any of the nuggets.

I started the year with a desire to change. I've had a rough journey of self-awareness the past eleven months. I wanted to leave some things behind me in 2017- and cultivate better things in 2018 in their place. This book is essentially based on ten lies (but SO much more than this short blogpost can ever get into) that we oftentimes tell ourselves, that keep us from flourishing-

1. I have to do it all.
2. I have to be perfect.
3. My life needs to look like everyone else's.
4. It's impossible to start fresh or move forward.
5. I have to know all the details of the path ahead.
6. Waiting is not good or productive.
7. Small steps don't make a difference.
8. I will be content when I have it all.
9. I can do life by myself.
10. The past isn't valuable; it's all about the future.

Some of these apply more to me, and less to you. And likewise the lies you struggle with, I may not as much. I've highlighted the top lies that I struggle with in this season of my life.

The lie that I've struggled with the most, and is #1 for me is-
"I have to know all the details of the path ahead"

I'm in the process of learning about giving up the need to have a plan. Some truths I've realized is that fear is the opposite of faith. The root of my need to control is fear. As Lara writes, "We want to know every detail of the plan and to be assured that the outcome will be positive and in our comfort zones..". OUCH. So, so true!! The need to control it, to plan it, is based on the inability to trust God. I've trusted in myself, and my own abilities rather than His perfect plan. Yikes.

Another good question I've been mulling over is, "Are you planting an intentional life, or just planning one?". I've definitely been planning one, and I'm happy to report that now, I'm on my way to planting one.

Facing the dark places in my life. Turning them over to the light- exposed and in His hands.

The second lie I've struggled a lot with is-
"It's impossible to start fresh or move forward"

This is one that was unexpected for me. I didn't originally highlight it in my book, but it turns out, it's a root issue in my life. Here are a few quotes from this chapter that I've underlined SO hard they're ripping the book up!!

"We often make plans for our lives before nourishing our growing ground first. We look at the surface because we don't want to get our hands dirty or we don't know where to begin."

God is redeeming my dirt, so to speak. This paragraph really applied to me-

"Before when challenges would come I only had one mode: anxiety. I'd cry, complain, distract myself, escape, or just try harder, thinking I could fix it all." 

So many times I just tried harder. And harder. Came up with a fresh, new plan. Another list.
Some truths that are replacing this lie in my life are-

  • I don't have to strive or try harder. Where I can't, God already has.
  • I am enough in God alone, not because of what I do for a living or what does or doesn't get crossed off of my list each day. I can throw away my plan and my list.
  • I don't have to do it all. Done is better than perfect, and good enough is good. Let it go.
  • I don't have to fear, I'm following God.
Such good stuff here, y'all. Have you ever struggled with any of this? The getting down to sowing an intentional life is MESSY. It's hard. It's hard to look yourself- flaws and all in the mirror!!

In Matthew 13 Jesus told the parable of the four soils (hard, rocky, thorny, and good). I've realized that my soil- my growing ground has been really hard. The hard-ground definition in this book is, "She keeps living life her own way. She has it all under control on the surface, but underneath the surface is dry and immovable."
Gosh have I thought I could plan it all out. Do it my way. But I've surrendered that now. I want good ground- "the good ground is a picture of one who hears, understands, and does something about what God says in His Word. Her heart is set on what lasts longer than she will. Her life is messy but meaningful. She is imperfect and covered in grace. Her life is faithful and fruitful." Don't you??

Have you evaluated your soil? I am! Here are some (not so pretty) things I've been rooted in:
-Fear of the future
-Anxiousness
-A sense that there's more to life than this
-Expectations of others
-Distractions
-Anger

Also, something really wonderful mentioned in this book is letting the dirt be dirt. Many times we say what's wrong or in our hearts that needs fixing, but try to clean up the mess in the same sentence. 

"Here's whats going on in my heart, but I've already figured out how to fix it. I'm good. I don't need help. I've got it all under control."

Let the dirt be dirt. Evaluate your growing ground. Once you've identified some rocks in your soil- face them, and define them. 

  • Fear of the future- I've given up on dreaming because of my need for a list and plan. Dreaming makes me feel uneasy. I want a plan for our future, and I want to know all of the steps to get there. 
  • Anxiousness- I've felt anxious. Tense. Certain things and aspects of our life have felt out of my control and I don't like that feeling. 
  • A sense that there's more to life than this- I can feel it. There's peace that I'm missing out on. The ability to rest in my season. Feel content in these messy, everyday moments. I can rest in this season at home with my babies.
  • Expectations of others- Our life doesn't have to look like everyone else. I don't have to say yes to every oppourunity just because I'm creative. I can be selective and put my family first. I can dissappoint people to say yes to something that matters more to me. 
  • Distractions- I can put my phone down. I can focus on Jeremy. I can focus on Jonah and Sutton. I don't have to be moving to the next moment or season. I can be still and not be productive.
  • Anger- This doesn't have to be the emotion I reach for when I feel out of control. Everything doesn't have to come out as angry. I can learn to verbalize my feelings, respond in a kind manner. 
What are you struggling with in this season of your life? I'll be back later to talk more about this book. Has anyone else read it?? Thoughts? I'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Love Day Faves


In the spirit of getting back to blogging I thought it would be fun to show y'all my Valentine's favorites. 

Let's start with the cozy loungewear. Y'all. Have you ever tried the Merona super soft PJ sets???? Please tell me you have. I LIVE IN THESE. I size up, becauuse I prefer a loose, baggy fit- and ohhhh my gosh. I asked for another pair for Christmas (thanks, Sister!) and I'd love another pair for Love day!!! I wear the pants in the colder months and switch to my short sets in the summer. SO COMFY!!! I also think these velvet slippers are so cute. Love the pink color!

Jeremy is the best at getting me little "stocking stuffer" type gifts for my birthday and Valentine's day. He like to shop, and always comes up with cute little things that I love. I would love a few bath treats from LUSH. Also, has anyone tried this lip scrub? I want to try it and the lip tint! (hint, Jeremy) And, who wouldn't like a new tassel necklace or these amazing clear cosmetic bags. I have several sets (yes, from TRS where I used to design products, lol) and I need to get a few more because I literally am wearing mine out. I use them for travel...one for Sutton's bath products, one for her headbands, one for my cosmetics, one for meds the kids may need...the list goes on. I love multi-functional stuff like these bags!

The mules are there are a reminder for Jeremy because I had them on my Chrsitmas list. Haha. In the spirit of making this guide versatile I picked neutrals but Y'ALL KNOW I want the bright colors :)

I LOVE a gift for the kitchen. A new mug for coffee?? YES. Heart shaped pasta??? COME ON. So flipping cute. And let's be honest, in this season of life we are most likely to be celebrating Valentine's Day at home. With Sutton tucked in da' bed. Because that makes my life so much easier. I can't get enough mixing bowls (they seem to disappear around here?! and then I find them outside filled with mud and army men. Hmm.) and of course a new notepad for grocery lists. 

What do y'all like to receive for Valentine's Day? What do you like to give?? I think it would be fun for Jeremy to make a list. I'll get on that. He makes GREAT guy gift-lists. 
Here are a few links- 

PJS 
Mules and Mules and these Mules 
Bath Suds & Kiss from LUSH

Retro Be My Valentine Cards


And lastly, HOW CUTE are these vintage Valentine's?? I love them so much because they remind me of actual vintage Valentine's cards that my Mom saved from when I was little. Several years I found them in a box of school papers she sent home with me and I strung them into the cutest garland.

Happy Wednesday, y'all! 

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

New Year's Resolutions (Part I)

Recently I read a post on Instagram (my social media drug of choice, it seems) of a quote.
It struck a chord within me.
This is what it said-


And this is my mantra moving into 2018. Gosh so much has happened in life, that I am not sure how to catch up in this space. I guess we can chat honestly about what 2017 looked like for me--and then go into what I hope this new year holds?

Let's start there.


2017-
"Hi. I'm Lindsay. What do I do? Oh, I'm a stay at home Mom."

That sentence.

Seriously. That sentence and the feelings and emotions it brings with it.

To be honest everything about that has been difficult for me. I had Sutton last February. Almost one year ago. My c-section recovery. So much harder. The transition from having one self-sufficient almost five year old to having two kids. So hard for me. The transition from working full-time in a fast-paced "big girl" and fun career, to staying home with my children. Woahhh hard. Having a creative outlet (my career) to uh. Not feeling creative at all. AT ALL. NOTHING. ZILCH. NADA.

Yeah.

Everything about my life today is completely different from what it was a mere year ago.

Honestly, I expected change. Right? I knew I was making a BIG change. I, Lindsay, asked for the change. And boy did things change.......

I'm coming (slow process over here) to understand that it's okay. But that realization didn't happened overnight for me. Oh, definitely not. The realization that different is okay. Change is okay. It has been uncomfortable for me. The realization that my life isn't going to be the same as it was (which sounds so simple, right?) It's been a REALLY hard realization for me. An eleven month journey, so to speak.

Please don't misunderstand me. I am blessed to be able to stay home with Sutton and Jonah. I realize that. This was an opportunity that I've always dreamed of. But it doesn't change the fact that it is a COMPLETELY different reality than what I have been used to for ohhhhh- forever. But, especially the last seven years. Total mind shift. Total reality shift. Just everything. All different.

With all of that being said- there's really more to this messy, different-ness I'm referring to. Sometimes dramatic changes bring out the best in people. They thrive, right? Well, I have not thrived the past eleven months. No, this big change brought out the worst in me. Another (hard) truth to face. The past year has turned me upside down in terms of realizing certain things about myself. My very identity. Leaving the role of Lindsay, "Senior Product Development Manager" left me feeling as if I didn't even know WHO I am. It rocked me to the core.

So many times over the last year I've felt like I was slooooowly lifting one very heavy foot up, out of the muck and mud, and repeating that. Over and over. Sloshy. Messy. Thick and heavy. Cloudy and gray. My life has felt messy and out of order. The year has felt uncomfortable. I've felt out of place. And, if you know anything about me you know my need for a plan. My need for control. My need for things to feel IN ORDER. ALL THE TIME. And here we are, almost a year into this big life change. Nothing has felt in order, nothing has felt in my control. I've faced really hard truths about myself. Here are a few that I've come face to face with-

I've learned that I have an issue with always needing a plan. That I feel out of control, wildly uncomfortable when I don't have one.

I've learned that tending to children all day long has a way of wearing me down emotionally. Draining me.

I've learned that my identity has been tied to what I accomplish in my career and based on my long to-do list.

I've learned that what I thought being a Stay at Home Mom would feel like, feels nothing like that for this season of my life.

I've learned that I do not know how to rest. How to be still in a moment (this goes back to accomplishing "things") and appreciate a moment for what it is.

I've learned that I am distracted.


......and there are so many more. These are just a few that I've worked through/am working through and wanted to share. The quote I saw on Instagram hit home because I have so many things I've walked through, and I'm working on that I didn't want to take with me into 2018.

"I took it off. I did not want to carry it with me anymore."


I'll start (this looooong post) with the first resolution I had for 2018.

1. Read a book for 5-10 minutes a day and journal my thoughts/feelings.
With this resolution I was looking for just a little bit of time for myself in a chaotic kid-filled day. A moment of peace, and some time to refresh my mind. And it just so happened that a friend gifted me a book by Lara Casey, called "Cultivate". Naturally I decided to start with it. YOU GUYS. I'm a month into this book, journaling as I go and it is changing my life.

Seriously. I want to talk more about it, so I'll stop here for now (babies gotta eat, y'all) and continue later with Part II later, I hope you'll join me!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Some August Thoughts

Every single time I say I'm going to be a good, faithful blogger it's all lies, y'all. So, I'll just give you some (random) thoughts on the second Tuesday in August.

1. Jonah is at his Grandparent's house. Simultaneously I miss him, and I'm breathing a sign of relief because I forgot how easy having one kid was. Whew.

2. One month until pre-school starts. He's ready. I'm ready. And he's upset he's not going to school five days per week. Go figure! I have a social butterfly.

3. Jeremy and I went on our first date in probably a year- to see John Mayer (MY FAVE) and had the BEST time together.

4. We are half-way into 2017. Which means Sutton turns 6 months old this month. Life isn't fair in terms of the way time flies. It totally does. And I'm 99% sure she's our last little baby, so. JUST SLOW DOWN TIME for me. Someone. Anyone? Help.

5. Jeremy and I are in a weird season of life. We are both really evaluating our life, and re-evaluating our priorities. But not for today- our priorities for five or six years from now. We will both be 40. FORTY. I can't even. And it has brought around a lot of questions about what we want to put our efforts into, and direct our finances for the next five/six years. We're calling it the six-year plan jokingly around here.

But not really joking. I'll talk more about it later. Still turning it over in our minds, thinking it over.

Have you ever taken big steps away from the direction everyone else's life around you is going? Going AGAINST the so called "American Dream" of bigger houses, SUV's and materialistic things??

I think we are :)

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Patriotic Potatoes

Today Jonah asked if we could do "a craft" about twenty five times. So I made something up on the fly- a potato stamped table runner. I thought it would be fun to share here in case anyone else needs an easy and fun (kid friendly!!) craft for these long summer days.

We had a back of russet potatoes in the patry (any potato will do, in my opinion) and I cut a couple in half and then started cutting stars with a paring knife...obviously the making of the stamps will be an adult only task- Jonah stood and supervised letting me know that my cuts didn't LOOK like stars to him...
 

(I'm a rookie potato stamp maker and didn't remember that I should cut the "S" opposite so when stamped it is going in the right direction!! Pshhh.)

Then grab some kraft paper, or whatever you have on hand, washable paint and start STAMPIN' those patriotic potatoes!!



After we covered the runner in stamps I grabbed two small paint brushes and we drew on the paper. This project kept Jonah busy for over an hour and was a cinch. He loved it!!



^^^ Jonah's "usa" at the bottom right of the photo above. Priceless!!!!



And, our finished table runner is now dry and the cutest addition to a patriotic situation we have going on in the breakfast area!!


Thursday, June 8, 2017

Hello, it's me

I was wondering if after all these years you'd like to meet.

Just kidding. It hasn't been years. But seriously- a LIFETIME has come and gone since I last blogged. I sort of gave up blogging to keep my sanity while I was working full-time, momming full-time and also pregnant.

BUT. I think maybe I'm back. I have tons of projects I want to work on and share and also something else happened...

I'M OFFICIALLY A STAY AT HOME MOM.

So, yeah. There's that. And I'm planning Jonah's fifth (hold me!!!) birthday party in two weeks and I have a few fun crafts I want to write about.  I'll be back soon. I want to use this as a creative outlet.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Sutton's Nursery: Part II

After many months of gathering and DIY'ing Sutton's nursery is almost complete. Here's where we left off after Part I. The pink gingham accent wall. Can you even deal?! I cannot. This is officially my favorite room in our house (and I think it may be all of our favorite room right now because we keep walking in, and talking about our girl together!!).

So, back to where we left off- I decided to go BIG and order the palm leaf fabric for the window rather than use it as an accent pillow. Bold move? Yes. But I love bold colors and pattern mixing. I've been wanting to use the palm leaf pattern in the house for awhile now and decided this was the perfect spot for it.



Soon after hanging the palm print, I knew that I wanted to incorporate Jonah's crib and French provincial dresser. The dark walnut stain of the crib and dresser top totally grounded the space. There is a LOT of color going on in here. Originally I wanted a green Jenny Lind and thought about painting Jonah's, but after Jeremy put it together (with Jonah's help, of course) and we moved it in- it just worked. It doesn't compete with the wall and bright window panels.

On my original inspiration board there was a pretty watercolor floral fabric that I found on Etsy. I debated back and forth about it for awhile, but decided to order the crib sheet and see how I liked it in the space. I knew if I ordered the floral (this would be the third bold pattern in the space) I would need to tone down the other crib bedding.

I bought the gold tassel crib skirt that was on my inspiration board from Pottery Barn and tried it on the crib. I hated it!! It really needed something soft and more girly in here with all the bold color. So, back it went and I came home with this new light pink pom pom crib set. (I was kind of nervous at this point because I wasn't sure exactly what I wanted, didn't want to order custom bedding and hate it. So I purchased from PB. It totally worked out through trial and error! The staff at Pottery Barn was super kind and helpful, too. I think you need to see crib bedding in your own space to really know if you like it or not. Stressful much.)

I love how the bumper and crib skirt turned out! It works with the floral bedding and the wall/windows but doesn't compete. The perfect accent! (We have the crib on the highest/infant setting right now in preparation for our girl, otherwise their skirts touch the ground, which I really prefer.)

(Do you see the tiny baby in the left corner of the photo? Jonah went with his Grandparents to the dollar store to get a few prizes for himself and came home with that for Sutton. I seriously thought that was so cute that he thought about her!! He carefully put the doll in her crib to "keep her company in case she's scared". Can't wait to see him become a big brother!!)

So, at this point we are about finished with it! Jeremy hung the picture ledges for me this past weekend (thanks babe!) and now that the left wall is complete, the room feels more cozy and almost done. I really think the finished result is preppy, southern and girly. Exactly what I wanted for my sweet girl--




My Mom saved my Raggedy Ann doll, and also several of my Cabbage Patch dolls + accessories and handed them down to me for Sutton's room. Jonah picked out the white furry heart pillow at Target because he thought it matched Shep and went well in Sister's room. I agree! 


I covered the plain white pineapple lamp shade with some of the left over palm fabric. I think it turned out so cute! Still trying to decide which bins/boxes I want for this Ikea shelf that will eventually hold Sutton's toys. Right now I just made do with a few little things we had around the house. Oh! And I still haven't quite decided on a color for the monogram. Still debating that... I think I will probably go light pink. Something as neutral as possible.

I love the mix of the palm, the floral and the sweet pom pom crib bedding!

(Funny story- I put Jonah's "Shep" in Sutton's nursery and added the grosgrain bow. When Jonah spotted it after school he was SO MAD at his Momma!!! It was so comical and funny. He put his fists on his hips and furrowed that brow, "NOW HE'S A GRILL"... He says grill instead of girl and it's literally the last thing he pronounces incorrectly and I loooove it. He was so hot mad that I made Shep into a girl. But I kinda love it, and thankfully Jonah Knox decided he's too big for Shep so he will "show Sutton how to ride it"....) 

How cute is the monogrammed bow holder? Bows on bows over here!! The blankets are all vintage- my Mom saved them and passed them on to me. Love that I get to use things for Sutton that she used when I was a baby! 


I added the hooks for the future so we can hang Sutton's dress up clothes right here. Love that she has a place to display her pretty tutu's and costumes!


I am so proud of and pleased with how my girl's nursery turned out! Lots of love went into this little room. I'll be back with more photos and updates as we get closer to Sutton's arrival (8 weeks!!)...


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Sutton's Nursery: Part I (and DIY Gingham Accent Wall)

I started working on Sutton's nursery pretty soon after we found out we were having a little girl (we found out gender on October 14th). Girl world is a totally new place for me to be living!! I thought it would be fun to share a little bit of the planning and progress along the way thus far.

When thinking about our girl, I knew I wanted something preppy and bright. Southern and girly. I didn't want it to feel vintage or bohemian. It's a well known fact that I'm a color lover, so I figured I would go big in her room and design a space that I would love to live in (aka, wake up every three hours to feed in, play in, etc..). Here's my original inspiration board for her nursery-

The key elements are-

1. A preppy Pink + Green color scheme.
2. Buffalo check in a cheerful pop of color (bubble gum pink, preferably).
3. A couple of fun accent prints (loving the palm print and a pop of watercolor floral).
4. Monogram all the things!!
5. Sweet and/or feminine decor (maybe a flamingo mobile, or pom pom trim, scallops, pink/white seersucker and/or bows)

And here's a bit of the progress along the way.

Gingham Accent Wall:

The first phase was cleaning out and repainting her nursery. No small task. We have been using her room as a guest room/pile all the moving boxes we haven't really sorted through kind of room. Or mess. Whatever. So I spent a lot of time in there sorting through that.

Then, paint.  The previous homeowner sponge painted the entire space and had purple butterfly border (that was a nightmare to remove!!!). Soooo, yeah. I spent a good week peeling border, priming the walls and painting the entire room a clean, bright white. Our guest bedrooms aren't that large, so I wanted to keep it bright and as light as possible.



I decided to paint one accent wall (the wall behind her crib) in a fun bold pattern. I debated ordering wallpaper for that wall, but the one I selected would have been upwards of $350 for just one wall, so yeah. I nixed that because what?? Home girl can paint. Plus there are other things I can spend that on (bedding!).

After I made up my mind that I wanted the buffalo check, the first order of business was deciding on a scale for the print. I decided to go with a 4" scale because I didn't want it to be too large, OR spend the rest of my life measuring 2" squares. Ain't nobody got time for that. Did I mention I'm a messy, impulsive creative?? Totally.

I grabbed a trusty yard stick (no fancy level for this DIY'er) and started from the top right corner. I started there because that would be most visible and right above her crib once finished. I measured a few rows across, then down. Over and over. Annnnd over and over again.

The next step was taping and painting all of the horizontal stripes. I only did one coat of pink paint on these. I also mixed in a tiny bit of the white wall paint to tone down the horizontal stripes and (hopefully) create more dimension.



Let the paint dry for a few minutes and remove a mountain of green frog tape (verrrry carefully). Also, MOST IMPORTANT NOTE. Anytime you're painting stripes or a pattern, be sure to score the frog tape with a credit card to really seal the edges. I spent a lot of time doing that because I didn't want to have to go back and do a bunch of touch ups (boring).


I loved how the pink stripes were looking and really debated on stopping at this point. But I wanted gingham, so I pressed on and next I taped all of the vertical stripes. Seriously a pain in the rear. So much tape, and re-taping to get the lines straight.

((To be honest, I just eyed it at this point. Some lines are straighter than others but that doesn't bother me personally.))



I waited a couple of hours in between two coats of pink paint on the vertical stripes. I needed a little dimension since I only used one paint color. Two, or better yet three paint colors would have given more depth to the gingham pattern, but who has time to tape off yet another set of squares? Mmm, not me.

After both coats of paint were dry I removed the last bit of green tape and let it dry overnight. You can see the effect below. The vertical lines are slightly darker than the horizontal. I think it turned out so perfectly adorable. I can't wait to show you guys the outcome and more progress later this week.