It's a Beautiful Life

Apr 22, 2014

This last week Aaron's dad has been here visiting us and it's been so much fun. We went to Comic Con, the park, the toy store, too many yummy restaurants, and had an Easter egg hunt. It was such a fun time. At first Everly wasn't too sure of her Grampy. She loves to wave to him through Skype but seeing him in person was a different story. The first day she was wary but by the last day she was reaching out for him to pick her up and blowing him kisses every few minutes. She even gave him a great big kiss before he got on the plane. It was so sweet! 

One of the funnest things for me was having someone else behind the camera for once. Usually it's me and I'm never in our pictures but Grampy picked up a disposable camera and followed us around with it. I love disposable camera pics. They're a little bit grainy and remind me of pictures taken 30 years ago. The pics at Comic Con didn't turn out because of the overhead florescent lights. Yikes! But they're not perfect and that's what I love about them! Plus there was the added delight of going to drop off the film and picking it up. I haven't done that in years. I'm so used to instant pics and seeing them immediately. I think I'm going to make it a goal to take more pics with disposable cameras because these are too precious.

On Feeding Babies

Apr 16, 2014

Last week Everly and I went to Louisiana for my friend Taylor's wedding. I was a bridesmaid and E was a flower girl (and seriously the cutest flower girl there's ever been). We went down a few days early to help Taylor with all the wedding prep and it's a good thing too- there was so much to do! But because we're awesome we were able to pull it all together and the wedding was beautiful. To say that E enjoyed herself would be an understatement. She walked down the isle carrying a rock, not because that's what she was given to carry but because that's what she wanted to carry. It was adorable. She also ate sausage and cheese from Wisconsin (Taylor's home state), lots of pretzels dipped in chocolate, and a brat that was far too big to finish. It was such a fun week! 

While I was there I had an experience that's been on my mind the last few days. One afternoon Taylor and I took a break from the wedding prep and sat at the kitchen table together. I scooped up Everly and started breastfeeding her and Taylor picked up her little boy Brantley and started bottle feeding him. We rocked our babies and talked about whatever we were doing at the time and fed our babies. As we were doing this I realized how awesome it is. We both get to feed and nurture our babies and it didn't matter that we weren't doing it the same way. We were both doing it with love for our children.

There's very much a mom-war out there between breastfeeders and bottle feeders. Not ALL of them of course, but definitely more than there should be. People have their own reasons for how they feed their child. I'm not going to explain Taylor's reasons for bottle feeding Brantley because 1. they're no one's business and 2. I shouldn't have to. She's caring for her son by giving him food. Isn't it wonderful that she can do that even when she doesn't have breastmilk to give? And I get the question often now: When are you going to wean her? My answer? Before she goes to college. It's a stupid answer for a stupid question. I don't have a date that I'm going to wean. It's not something I'm thinking about right now and I'm sure Everly will let me know when she's ready to do it. She doesn't breastfeed as often as she did when she wasn't eating solids but she still does it 3-4 times a day and I'm fine with that. In fact I love it. Like Taylor, I'm feeding my baby in the best way that works for us.  

I really loved that I could be with my sweet friend and we could love and care for our babies together. It was really cool when I thought about it. If you breastfeed or bottle feed or mix-n-match it know this: you're doing the best you know how. And you're a good mom.

xo Sue

Floral Love

Apr 14, 2014

Can you tell I'm a bit obsessed with flowers? I've started buying them randomly from the grocery store just because I like to have them in our home. These lovelies were a gift from my sister-in-law for my birthday. She just gets me! After they started to wilt just a touch (over a week later!) I decided to make a flower mandala out of them. I'm taking a Sacred Pregnancy course in postpartum care right now and one of the things we focus on is honoring. This flower mandala was made to honor me as a mother and a birth worker. I used colors that I love and flowers that I love to create something beautiful for myself. I'm pretty sure I nailed it! 

xo Sue

DIY Floral Crown

Apr 11, 2014

Remember this lovely little number from my Birthday Week? It's not really a secret that I'm obsessed with floral crowns (see here, here, and here for some examples) but up until now I've only made them with faux flowers. I like them to last a while! For my birthday I decided to make my first fresh floral crown but these are the steps you can take for a quick DIY with fresh flowers or faux. A lot of my faux ones become more complex/involved than this, but this is a good place to start if you're a beginner. This is what I do if I want to whip one up in five minutes! 

1. Take some green florist wire and cut it longer than you need. Measure it around your head for an accurate size and then wrap the ends so they stay put pretty well. I usually measure 5-6 inches longer than what I need for this.
2. Cut up your flowers! If you're using faux cut the pieces you want off the stem. Same goes for fresh.  You can leave the stems longer than you need and cut them down while you're working. Once you've done this a few times you'll get a good idea on that too! 
3. Take your green floral tape and start wrapping! Line up the wire and the flower stem and wrap them tightly with the tape so they're secure. You can put the flowers as close or far apart as you like. 
4. Admire your handy work and wear your beautiful crown out somewhere! Yes, you'll probably get looks (I know I always do) but you'll look great so who cares? Also, if you're making fresh floral crowns I recommend doing it only an hour or so before you plan to wear it. This one held up well but by the end of the night some of the flowers were starting to wilt. I was glad I made it right before I left the house. 

And that's it my bloggy friends. That's everything you need to know to make a beautiful floral crown! Of course you can always modify this in many ways. Yours can be fuller or more sparse depending on your preference. For the really big flowers I usually pull out my glue gun and some plain headbands. I've found they stay a lot easier that way. Enjoy! 

xo Sue

April Intentions

Apr 9, 2014

In March we double succeeded at taking a family pic! The first was on by birthday and the second was the day after. We found hats at Target that were too cute to just walk bay. Everly is starting to really like hats- for about 30 seconds. As for reading one book a week... I'm ashamed of myself. I haven't even come close. Maybe one book every two weeks? In my slightly pathetic defense I had no idea when I set that intention how busy my life was about to get. Also in my defense, I read to enjoy myself and not because I have to. If I have slightly less time to read I'm not going to stress. That being said- two of my BFF's got me books for my birthday (Elusion from Amber and Half Bad and Panic from Jess) and I'm taking all three of them with me when E and I go to Louisiana for our friend's wedding this week. Everly will probably not allow reading on the plane but I can dream!

I accomplished two out of three for my March Intentions. I painted! I pulled out my mom's easel that I bought her about six years ago and I painted a bunch of random watercolor pictures. I'm not very good. We'll leave it at that... But it was a lot of fun! I also celebrated Birthday Week and it went on for a full 10 days. I think that's a new record. There's nothing that makes you feel loved like people celebrating you, am I right? But I failed on my sugar detox. I want to try it again but I realized I need to do it when life isn't so chaotic. I've got SO much going on right now that feeding myself at all is an accomplishment. I didn't have the time or energy to detox. I did try it for a few days but it was not great. I'm okay with it though. The intention was there and it definitely got me thinking more about the foods I put into my body. It's a step in the right direction!

March was amazing but so very busy. I can't believe it's over already! And today being the 9th of April... that's just unreal to me. And so I'm only setting one intention for April, because it's all I need right now.

  • I will SLOW DOWN. The amount of work I have isn't going to go away but Aaron and I are figuring it out so I have set work times to focus and get things done quickly. This leaves me a lot more time to spend with him and Everly and in turn makes all of us happier. Of course there's always the occasional interrupt to that plan but for the most part I'm going to take a breath and step away from my computer intentionally each day. I love love love my work and I'm so lucky to have it in my life but this past month has shown me that if I don't stop and take a breath I'm going to burn myself out. 

As it works out, we've got two fun events planned for April that will help with the slowing down and spending time doing things I love! This week Everly and I are headed to Louisiana (as I mentioned earlier). I'm a bridesmaid and she's a flower girl although there's a bet going on if she'll actually walk down the isle. I'm guessing not since she doesn't like large groups of strangers, especially when they all look at her. She'll be adorable in her dress either way! 

The other thing that we're eagerly anticipating is Aaron's dad coming to visit. We haven't seen his parents since last June when we moved back from Japan! Sadly his mom is stuck with work but the Salt Lake Comic Con FanX is next week and we talked him into coming out for it. We're going to pack up the tiny lady in the Ergo and brave the masses. We went to Comic Con in September (the first one in SLC) with Everly in tow and it was crazy fun. We're SO excited that Chris is coming out to visit. Everly loves her grandparents so much and it's going to be so fun to get them together again. 

Basically this month is going to be awesome. And probably over before I can blink. 

xo Sue

Be Your Own Hero, Baby

Apr 7, 2014

To My Everly,

One day, my sweet lady, you will realize that no one else can fight your battles. One day you'll see that you're strong on your own. You'll have your share of heartbreaks and joys. You'll experience growing pains in a hard way. You'll also experience beauty and light and love. Everly, on the days you feel these things, these difficult and sad things, I want you to know that you are deserving of beauty and light and love. I want you to know that no matter who you choose to be, no matter who life helps you become, you are enough. Just you, little E. You are kind and smart and wonderful. You are bright and you are brave. You are good enough exactly the way you are. I will always be here loving you and cheering you on as only a mama can. Your daddy will be here too. But you are strong enough to do this life. You are smart enough to make your own choices. And you are brave enough to take it all on and more. You can be your own hero, baby. You're already mine.

Love Mama

(Blog) Design Love

Apr 2, 2014

Take a look around- do you love my new design? I'm infatuated. It was done by the phenomenal Fran of Freeborboleta Designs. I know, I know, half of my job is to do design and websites (currently making about a billion of them!). So why on earth would I have someone else do my personal blog design for me? Because I was SO sick of doing it myself. Don't get me wrong, I love designing for Sacred Pregnancy and the beauty and energy I've put into the new sites we're about to launch has been amazing. I'm so proud of the work I'm doing there! But when I looked at my own personal blog I was feeling defeated. I was hating it. It didn't have the vibe I was going for and I simply didn't have the time to fix it up. 

I've always been a big fan of Fran's designs. She does such an excellent job of catering to what the client wants and not just doing the same design over and over with slight variations. She took my jumble of "ums" and "maybes" and turned it into this beauty! She has this wonderful survey you fill out when you book your place on her design list and mine was like "well I really like the font of this but I also like the font of this and they're not similar at all" and "this picture is so pretty and this one is so dark and edgy and I love them both." I'm sure when she got my survey she just laughed- and I wouldn't blame her one bit! I think the gist of the survey was that I wanted something new, fresh, fun, whimsical, and a little bit earthy. I've really evolved as a person over the last few years and I wanted it to reflect where I'm at now. I'm very much about herbal, natural, and lovely things. The picture used in the header was one I sent to Fran. It was taken at the Sacred Pregnancy retreat I went to in February but made into a water color (thank you waterlogue!). I didn't think to use it until Fran sent me her mock up and suddenly it all came together. 

I am so thrilled with this beautiful new design! And best of all, Fran was a dream to work with. If you're looking for a new blog design you should check her out. You won't be disappointed! 

xo Sue