Everly & Elizabeth

Aug 29, 2013

If ever you've tried to take photos of a 6 month old and a 14 month old, this would be the result. Shelly and I wanted some pictures of our sweet daughters together. They're both happy, darling girls. They both wanted to smile at their grandma (who was jumping around in the background to get their attention). But somehow the timing was never perfect. Except when you look at these pictures you don't see perfect. You see two little girls who are filled with smiles. Two little girls who are so busy exploring the world around them that they can't possibly sit still for a picture. Two little girls who bring joy to every life they touch. And what a special gift that is. 

Lizzie and Ever adore each other. They get so excited every time we get them together. Lizzie shouts "Hi! Hi! Hi!" and give Ever a kiss on her head. Everly gets this biggest smile and tries to mimic Lizzie, but she doesn't know words yet. Ever wants to be as big as her cousin. She tries to copy the things she sees from Lizzie. One day she'll get there. As for Lizzie, she loves showing Everly new tricks and tries her hardest to be a good example. They are already the best of friends. We are so lucky to watch them grow up together. 

xo Sue

Everly's Six Month Photos

Aug 26, 2013

These photos hardly need words. There is nothing more precious, more perfect, more beautiful in my life than this baby.

My sweet, sweet Ever,

You and your daddy are the best part of my life. If ever I need to feel happy, I just look at your beautiful smile. You always know when I need one and never hesitate to share your happiness with me. Sometimes it's hard being a mom. Sometimes it's not. Most of the time, it's simply my life and I am grateful for that. You are a gift and a blessing. Two nights ago you slept most of the night. You woke up once to nurse and snuggle and went straight back to sleep. Last night was different. You needed your mama. You wanted to nurse and snuggle all night long. Those nights are harder, until I remember that one day you won't want to nurse and snuggle in the night and my heart breaks for the thought. So even on the hard nights I try to cherish every moment. You are growing so quickly before my eyes. Half a year has flown by and before I know it I'll be planning a first birthday party. I promise to love you every moment and always be your biggest fan. I'm thrilled to watch you grow every day, knowing that you are so special and amazing and no one else gets to be your mom. Just me. I adore you sweetheart.

Love forever,
your Mama

Mother-Daughter: Day One

Aug 23, 2013

I think it's fun to do comparisons of mine and Everly's baby pictures. I love to see the similarities and the differences. And even though I'm told she looks like me, I don't always see it myself. Well, these are the originals. Day one of life. Mother and daughter. Don't worry that I was dressed in blue. My mom was sure I was a boy. I think I pull it off.
xo Sue

6 Months Old

Aug 20, 2013

As I'm writing this I feel a little bit of shock. I always knew that the months and eventually years with my daughter would fly by. But knowing it and experiencing it are two very different things. I thought life moved quickly without her- I had no idea. This little lady has turned my life upside down and completely changed my heart. She's given me more love and patience and happiness than I ever knew was possible. There are no words to describe her perfection. Everything she does makes me smile. Even her little baby cries make me smile. They're so precious. I am so grateful to her for teaching me the true meaning of unconditional love.

I had a moment last week where I told Aaron I'm not ready to be a mom to a six month old. He laughed and said too bad. That's all the sympathy he has for me! I think it's different for dads. He adores her (honestly more than any father/daughter I've ever seen) but he also leaves her each day to go to work. He sleeps through her nighttime feedings. He knows the joy of taking a shower by himself and not worrying that there's a crying baby in the other room. He doesn't spend every waking and sleeping moment caring for her, worrying for her, nurturing her.

Our lady has grown in so many ways it would be impossible to list them all but perhaps I'll try just a few.
  • Everly still breastfeeds almost exclusively. We're doing baby led weaning and we love it. But she doesn't actually get much in her tummy when she's feeding herself and it's not mush. So yay for yummy mommy milk to keep her growing healthy and strong.
  • She goes to sleep between 7 and 8 and wakes up between 6 and 8 each day. In that sense she does sleep through the night because she's finally stopped waking up at 3am to play. She still nurses 2-3 times a night but I think it's more of a comfort thing than an actually being hungry thing. Hopefully she'll start to move out of that stage, but if not we've both perfected the art of nursing while asleep. And that is not a joke.
  • She still babbles all the time and her favorite is still dadada. She has yet to say mamama or anything like it. It's okay though, I know how much a little girl loves her daddy. After all, I'm 27 and still a daddy's girl.
  • Ever has the crawling stance down but hasn't started moving around in it yet. She also grabs things and pulls herself up to stand. However, she still uses rolling and scooting as her preferred methods of transportation. Or yelling for mom. That one works great for her. 

And apparently 6 months is too old to hold still for a picture. I followed her around all day with the camera but she was more interested in playing!
xo Sue


Aug 19, 2013

"Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn't know you had, and dealing with fears you didn't know existed." - Linda Wooten

Thing on my mind: Everly has suddenly lost her baby-ness and gained some toddler-ness. She sits, pulls herself up, stands (with something to hold), scoots, rolls, and practices her crawling stance. And I feel suddenly unprepared to be a mother to a scooter/crawler/toddler. I thought I had more time.

Favorite food: Grilled chicken. Since Aaron and I are doing 30 days sugar/flour free there aren't many things I can eat right now but man, grilled chicken is just yummy.

Project: Reading books to prep for my doula conference next month. So exciting!

Books I'm reading: Inferno, The Cuckoo's Calling, and The Birth Partner.

Favorite moment: Watching Ever practice her crawl stance. She sits on hands and knees and rocks back and forth and it's amazing.

Songs on repeat: Sail (I don't know why...) and Pop Song (listen to it- hysterical and true).

Show I can't get enough of: How I Met Your Mother. I love everything about this show except the premise that he's telling these stories to his kids. That part creeps me out just a little bit. If I forget about that part though it's a great show.

Favorite activity: Rocking my baby to sleep at night. It's become such a special time for the two of us and I love that she trusts her mama to hold and love her while she drifts off into dreamland.

Daily revelation: I don't deserve this beautiful life but I'm grateful for every minute.

Favorite pictures:

xo Sue

30 Days of Self Portraits

Aug 16, 2013

30 days? I know, how vain can a person be, right? A month ago the lovely ladies at A Beautiful Mess issued a challenge to do 30 days of self portraits and I couldn't resist- I wanted the challenge of 30 days of pictures without just looking at the camera and smiling. I was excited to get creative because who wants to see my face every single day? Not me. Sometimes I don't even look in the mirror. Yep, I'm that girl. But that's not the point. It's funny how Everly has changed in such a short time but I didn't really. Now the 30 days are up so I thought I'd share my month of vanity with you. Enjoy!

My favorites are 3, 15, 25, and 28. All pictures that include my sweet Ever. Coincidence? Probably not. She's pretty adorable. 

xo Sue

Ever Exploring

Aug 15, 2013

Perhaps I'm a little biased, but I do believe that my daughter is beautiful. The innocence, the happiness, the curiosity in her eyes. They make me so happy. May you never lose that joy baby girl. 

xo Sue

Mama's Homemade Salsa

Aug 13, 2013

Growing up I have these vivid memories of my mama canning food in the kitchen. Peaches, pears, jams and jellies, and always salsa. A few days ago she harvested her garden and came back with just enough tomatoes to make her delicious salsa. It wasn't enough to can (because lets be honest, that stuff goes quickly!) but it was enough to make the recipe I remember from years ago and that was good enough for me. The way my mom cooks is very entertaining and as I get older I find I cook the same way. I used to be a very strict recipe follower. Now I look at a recipe and change it to fit my tastes as I go. So thanks for that mom! But really, this recipe should be followed. It's perfect.

Mama's Homemade Salsa
  • 12 large tomatoes
  • 3 large bell peppers
  • 1 large onion
  • 2-6 jalapeƱo peppers (depending on how spicy you want it)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
Blanche, skin, and core the tomatoes. Chop all vegetables into large pieces (see above). Using a food processor, dice the vegetables up into chunky pieces. Add everything to a large pot and cook on med/high heat for 1-2 hours until you've achieved the consistency you want. Store in the fridge or can it to make it last longer! 

Also, if your name is Everly, this is how you help when your mom and grandma make salsa. Enjoy!

xo Sue

Be That Woman

Aug 9, 2013

I am stepping up. Past the doubts, the fears, and the what if's. Past the worries of not being good enough or being rejected. Past the stress of failure and disappointment.

I'm getting back to real life after living in the new mom blissful/exhausted bubble. And I'm stepping up and going after things I really want. It's terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. Twice this week I stepped outside of my box, my comfort zone. The first was to apply to be a website administrator for a movement that I truly, deeply believe in. The second was to apply as a contributing writer to a blog that I adore. I've heard back (and got the position!) from the first and I just applied for the second yesterday (fingers crossed!). It's amazing to find opportunities that make my heart so happy.

Since giving birth to my darling Ever I've been trying to figure out how it all fits back together. She is the center of everything and I want her to have a mother who she looks up to. A mother who isn't afraid to tell life "I want this" and then go for it. A mother  who sometimes fails but learns from it and does better next time. A mother who chases her dreams. I desperately want my daughter to have that kind of mother. So I have to be that woman.

I have to look for and GRAB new opportunities. Rarely do they come looking for me. I have to know what I want from my life and go out and get it. I hope to teach my sweet Ever that she can do anything with hard work, determination, and belief in herself. And I suppose the best way to teach that is by example.

My mom and I watched the finale of The Office today (so good by the way!) and something Pam said really struck me. She said "I took so long to do so many important things." I don't want to look back on my life and feel that way. I don't want to wish I'd started something a year ago. I don't want to regret not taking an opportunity just because I was nervous or I thought maybe it wouldn't work out right.

I'm doing this now. I'm diving in head first. I'm chasing after what I want and I'm becoming the mother and woman I truly want to be. For me and for her. It's time to seize the day!

More Pinterest Projects

Aug 8, 2013

Shelly and I have done 5 weeks straight of Pinterest Project Fridays. It's been so much fun! Shelly picked these cake stands and I think they turned out pretty great. They were very easy but since we had to let the caulk and paint dry they took us all day to finish. We contemplated decorating them with details but at the end of the day we were ready to be done. It's okay because I love purple! 

These paintings were also fun to make. We taped stars and other abstract shapes on the canvas with painters tape and ended up with some really cool paintings in the end.

We also made this chinese noodle and veggie dish but I forgot to take pictures of it. It was so tasty that it was gone within minutes. If you're looking for a cheap, easy, tasty meal at home I definitely recommend it.
xo Sue

Clean Eating

Aug 5, 2013

We're changing the way we eat.

I don't want to call it Paleo. It's not quite that. For the entire month of August Aaron and I are giving up sugar and flour from our diets. Ever since moving back stateside we've been eating terrible food. We missed so many things while we were away so we were in food heaven moving home. Now that we've been back about a month and a half I've noticed a serious trend in our bad eating habits. So it's time for a change.

Last year I was super excited about a 30 day juice fast. I made it 12 days and became so horribly sick that I had to stop. I didn't know at the time that I was pregnant and it wasn't the juicing that made me so sick! But for the first 10 days I felt great. Getting back to the basics of food and really cleansing your body feels so amazing. We're not going quite as basic as juicing this time, mostly because I'm nursing Everly and I don't want to do anything to affect my milk supply. So we're eliminating the really bad stuff from our diets and we'll see how it feels.

I'm a little anxious to be giving up my dr pepper. I don't need it but it sure is my favorite drink when we go out. It's a good thing I like ice water though, right? I'll be sure to update through the month with our progress. I'm hoping for a refreshed body and mind, and a little weight loss too but that would just be an extra perk. We're on day 5 now and I feel great. I've held strong (even at a party with lots of treats!) and although I'm craving cupcakes I'm loving the way my body feels.

And on a separate but related topic, if you have any awesome recipes with no sugar and no flour I'd love to get my hands on them! Luckily Pinterest is filled with yumminess but I'd love some tried-and-true recipes too.