Everly's First Birthday Party

Feb 28, 2014

First birthday parties are interesting as a mom and a blogger. There's a little bit of pressure to make it amazing. I'm fully aware that this pressure is somewhat imagined but it's still there, so thank you Pinterest! Some of you have simply fantastic parties for your babies. And I wanted to, believe me I wanted to! I sometimes wish I was one of those girls, the ones who could do something so fancy and pull it off so beautifully (seriously, Avery's First Birthday Party? GORGEOUS!!!). However I am me and because I am me I "planned" Everly's birthday party in December. And then actually planned it two days before pulling it off. So maybe it's not Pinterest-Perfect but it was definitely Sue-Perfect and that's what I was going for! We did a (sort-of) Bug themed party because her nickname is Baby Bug (or Buggerly) and because I found this cake on Pinterest and wanted to do a whole party around it. Pinterest is where all great ideas are discovered these days, right? 

My mom has pictures of me when I was 1 digging in to my cake so I knew we would need to have a cake smash for E at her party too. She loved that frosting but wasn't so interested in the cake part. And once she decided she was done she stuck her foot in the cake, stood up, and walked away trailing frosting and cake chunks behind her. Aaron was a sweetheart and made both the cupcakes and the cup-of-dirts. Shelly put the caterpillar cake together once the cupcakes were ready. My mom was my inspiration for the sugar cookie bar and it was a huge hit! The kids especially loved frosting their cookies and dumping as many toppings as they could fit on one cookie. There was chicken salad, veggies, and chips for the adults. I made a giant batch of the chicken salad but it was devoured anyway! 

This day was absolutely wonderful for Everly, Aaron, and me. We were surrounded by people who love us (although we really wished Aaron's parents could have been there!) and we laughed and played and celebrated the birth of the most amazing little girl in the world. 

xo Sue


Feb 25, 2014

Thing on my mind: The past year has been such a whirlwind. I wish I could say each year Everly is with me will pass slower than the last but I'm afraid the opposite will be true. At the same time, most people thought she was already one because she's been walking for so long! 

Favorite show: Chicago PD! 

Favorite moment: Everly's cake smash at her birthday party. It was so cute to see her playing in the frosting and once she figured out that the cake tasted good too it was all over.

Books I'm reading: Life After Life and The Whole-Brain Child.

Project: I just finished running my first online course for Sacred Pregnancy and started the second. We've got two more in March! It's so busy but so much fun.

Favorite food: Anything I can cook quickly. Life has been so crazy lately that I haven't had time for anything more than that.

Songs on repeat: Say Something (the original) & I See Fire.

Favorite activity: Playing with my Ever and watching her learn. It's so cool to be a mom.

Daily revelation: I am so lucky.

Favorite photos:

xo Sue

Sunday Favorites

Feb 23, 2014

Seriously, cake on her forehead. She's the best.
Sometimes I need to share my favorites and this is one of those times. There's just so much good content out there! 

Maybe I'm biased, but my friend Alex made Everly a painting for her birthday and it is gorgeous! You need to see it and hear all about her artistic inspirations. 

An awesome post for people who like to do sponsorship. There are some great blogs out there to sponsor and this will help you spot them! Also if you're looking for someone to sponsor you should visit Jane. She is fantastic and didn't even tell me to say that! 

Fran shared some great tips about do's and don'ts of blog design. If you like to DIY your blog you should give her post a read! 

This article about female nudity speaks to the feminist in me. If men being naked (or half naked) doesn't have to be about sex then why does female nudity automatically become sexual?

These 5 minute hairstyles are great and I'll be stealing many of the ideas when I figure out how to use a brush...

And seriously, Ellen Page's coming out speech was amazing. I heart her.

xo Sue

A Letter to Everly On Her First Birthday

Feb 20, 2014

Dear Everly,

I'm struggling deeply to find the words to say to you today. You are one year old. One year ago I kissed you for the first time. I held your tiny hand in mine while I breastfed and held you close. I saw your perfect eyes staring straight into mine and all I could think was "I know you." I still remember that feeling, that moment of knowing you. Oh Everly, you are perfection. You are so big and brave and beautiful. You are my little adventurer and you are fearless. You fall down a thousand times and stand right back up each and every time. You have so much to teach me about life, you show me this every single day.

There are moments of my day that I wish I could freeze and keep forever. The days with you are an absolute joy. Although I never pictured myself as a mother (and definitely not one who stayed home with her baby) I cannot imagine my life otherwise. You teach me each day what being a mother really is. Even at this moment you're sitting in my lap, snuggled up exhausted and refusing to go to sleep, and I adore it. You are my daughter, my heart, my greatest joy.

Sometimes I am completely overwhelmed with my life as your mother. You are such an incredible little person and I am nothing in comparison. You are so determined, so smart, so beautiful. Sometimes I don't know what I could possibly have to offer you. But I always do my best because you are amazing and worth every second of fear and worry. You are worth every second of beauty and joy. My favorite moments are when you smile your perfect toothy smile at me. And when you give me baby kisses.

My sweet little Ever, you make me believe in magic. Because there is nothing in this world more incredible than you. Happy First Birthday my love.

Love Always,

The Making of a Father

Feb 18, 2014

Mothers and fathers are not born, they're made. 

I've never understood this until I watched my husband over the last year. Aaron was so excited to be a dad. He was amazing during the pregnancy and birth and cried the most beautiful tears when Everly was born. While she was tiny he loved to snuggle her and naps together were their favorites. But he had a hard time when she fussed. And let me tell you, she was a fussy baby. She wanted to be held all.the.time. and it was hard on us. Around seven each night she'd start to cry (or scream) and do that for a few hours. Months two through four were hard on us all. I struggled and Aaron struggled. There were nights we didn't think we'd get through. I'm sure that I've grown stronger and better in the last year but I don't notice the changes in myself. I can tell you for certain though, my husband has become the father that Everly needs and deserves. He is amazing with her. Her crying used to frustrate him and stress him out (both of us, really). Now he responds to her cries. He hears her fuss and figures out the source. When she's having a hard time falling asleep he takes her in his arms, rocks her back and forth, and sings sweet lullabies to her. A year ago he couldn't do that. He hadn't learned about her yet. Now he's a source of comfort to her. Everly loves her daddy. She loves to play with him and could spend hours doing so. I could spend hours just watching the two of them. He said to me yesterday "I really like the person Everly has made me in to." I really like this person too. He's amazing.

Aaron has grown so much over the past year as a father and it has made my love for him so much deeper. To watch him with our daughter is to truly know love.

xo Sue

Just One Frame

Feb 17, 2014

Everly's first birthday party was on Saturday. The cake was her favorite part. Although she did get some pretty fantastic gifts too. It was a bug themed party (sort of) and it was absolutely perfect. I want to share every single picture from that day with you. And I will! But I've been insanely busy around here lately. Everly turns one this Thursday and the two of us (plus my wonderful sister-in-law) are heading to California the next day for a week. I'll be attending a Sacred Pregnancy retreat during the days while Rachel and Everly explore California. At night we'll all be together to play and party. It's going to be a great time, except we'll be missing Aaron terribly. In the days leading up to our trip I have more to accomplish than I can even put into words. I probably shouldn't be writing this post. Instead I should be busy busy working! Everything will get done though because I tend to push myself hard during busy times. And then we'll enjoy our week long (sort of) vacation. 

On a separate but sort of awesome note, I was nominated for two awards in the Best of Blog Awards over at My So-Called Chaos. What? Way cool, so thank you to the sweet bloggy friend that nominated me! You can vote for me in the Precise Pinner (I am pretty awesome at Pinterest) and the Best Bloggy Buddy categories. Seriously, thanks friends. I'm honored to be nominated! 

My So-Called Chaos Best of Blog Awards
xo Sue

Season of Love

Feb 14, 2014

I've always found it sad that a holiday dedicated to love gets so much hate. What is so bad about a holiday that celebrates LOVE? I know when people think of love they think of romantic, passionate, must-have-you-now love. That's not what it's always about. In fact, life rarely is about that kind of love! It's about the love of your family, the love of your friends, the love of yourself. This lovely holiday I want to share just a few of the things that I'm celebrating today, the things I love.

  • Aaron, of course! He's my lover.
  • Everly, the tiny love of my life. The person who taught me about love, really.
  • My family, all of them. They're spectacular.
  • My friends, I can't list you all separately because this list would be too long. You are wonderful!
  • Myself. This year of falling in love with myself has already been fantastic. I am really great.

Last year on Valentine's Day Aaron and I stayed in and had a sweet dinner together (our tradition is to cook dinner at home rather than go out). We talked to my huge belly (I was 39 1/2 weeks pregnant!) and told her that perhaps she could come out and we could meet her. We didn't realize we only had one week until that request was fulfilled! There was so much love in our world then, and it didn't even compare to the love that fills our world now. Everly Eden, you make my world beautiful. 
And to all the Valentine's haters: Just.Stop. It makes you seem bitter. (If you want a thoroughly entertaining view on the problem with Valentine's Day click here! "Less complaining. More sexy rumpus.")

xo Sue

PayPal Cash Giveaway

Feb 12, 2014

It's been a while since I've shared a giveaway here! I've almost forgotten how to do them... This month I've joined together with some fantastic ladies to bring you this giveaway (I mean seriously, who doesn't love cash?!)- I hope you love it as much as I do! Enter through the fancy little gadget at the end of this post and cross all your fingers that you're the lucky winner! xo Sue

$110 PayPal Cash Giveaway | Kara Ramblings of a Marine Wife | Alex Radiating Sunshine
Becky Rebeckann's Random Thoughts | Katie Going Coastal | Elizabeth The Young Retiree
Jen Beebeebelly | Rhea Rhea Et Cetera | Kari This, Too
Stephanie Army Crafter | Sue As It Seems | Jane Poppiness
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Life in Watercolor

Feb 10, 2014

I'm not the first to mention it, and I won't be the last, but this app is beautiful. The Waterlogue app is my new obsession (see below!). I've had so much fun taking special moments from our lives and turning them into watercolors. Everly's newborn pictures and my maternity pictures were especially gorgeous in watercolor. I've already ordered prints of my favorites to frame and put into a gallery wall when we move. I've always wanted to be an artist because I love how watercolor looks. Now I have these. I still wish I had this kind of raw talent though. Wouldn't that be amazing?

xo Sue