Thursday, July 24, 2014

Three Kid Diaries :: 2 weeks in

Well hello! Since today is Evley's 2 week birthday (actually, yesterday) I think it appropriate to check-in, and to let you know how things are going around here. I'll start by saying that Evley Love is an incredible baby. Gabe and I have been blessed with three healthy pregnancies, labor/deliveries, and babies. I feel so blessed that I'm sometimes overwhelmed by emotion regarding the matter, and I wonder why & how it all happened. I can safely say at this point that I feel like my immediate family is complete; I'm content to stop having babies now. As a result, I'm appreciating and eating up these early days with Evley. I wish so badly that I could have been so calm and attentive when True was little, but I rushed him to grow. With Elle West I was a lot better, but felt really busy for having two. Now, anything that can wait will wait. I know better now. It took me three to get it.

I want to share Evley's birth story with you and hope to write it soon. This post though is just an outline of worth mentioning events over the past couple weeks. I hope you enjoy the glimpse into our lives; please leave your judgements outside and come on in...

Wednesday, July 9
Evley Love Candelaria was born at 4:27 p.m. She weighed 6 lbs, 14 oz and was 18 1/4" long.

Thursday, July 10
We brought her home at about 5 p.m., and my Mom & Dad traveled the three-hundred + miles to help out. True was super excited to have Evley and I home, and Elle West wasn't quite sure about the the whole thing. However, Grandma & Grandpa were exciting enough to keep Elle from any major melt downs.

The night was off to a rough start when I tried to lay Evley down. She wasn't content to be left in her bed (it is currently/was in our room). Things went much more smoothly once I gave into the idea of simply nursing her to sleep and allowing myself to doze off, too. We slept in our recliner all night, waking every couple hours to nurse, and dozing off again with her lying on my chest.

Friday, July 11
Gabe went back to work today, but Evley and I were able to take it easy and hang around the house. My parents picked up coffee & breakfast from the Tuning Fork here in Bayfield, and played with True and Elle West on the trampoline all morning. It was relaxing and fun for me to watch from under our apple tree. I wish I had a picture of the four of them jumping! 

After lunch, Evley and I napped in the recliner while True and Elle West took their afternoon nap, and my parents checked out a local antique store. 

After naps, my parents took True and Elle West to Durango for dinner and to grocery shop for me. Evley and I got out on a tiny walk, and then went to dinner with Gabe at our local brewery; where I also enjoyed my first beer of the summer!

By bedtime, my milk was beginning to come in. Evley had already been eating well (chugging actually, if that's possible prior to milk coming in...), but now she was content to sleep in her bed. I got up with her every 2-3 hours to nurse, and otherwise enjoyed the feel of my bed on my not-pregnant-body for the first time in many, many months! It was nothing short of amazing.

Saturday, July 12
Today was another easy day. My parents took True & Elle West to Durango again. They went swimming and had lunch; came home ready for naps. My Mom and I sat outside and had coffee during nap time, and my Dad helped Gabe with Evley's room.

We grilled out hamburgers for dinner and had a fire in our backyard afterwards. I sat by the fire holding Evley and glancing over at the full moon periodically. I had guessed that the moon would put me into labor and that I'd have her tomorrow...I was thankful for where I was at that moment, with her birth behind me and having beautiful, perfect, and healthy her to show for it. 

With each pregnancy I've worried a little more about the health of my baby. This is another reason for which I'm content with being "done"...I'd be a stress case should I be pregnant again (I imagine). I'm not sure of the odds, but I feel lucky to have had three healthy pregnancies and three healthy babies. While pregnant with True, I was clueless and therefore had no worries. Now I know more. I've heard more stories. I know more moms. I am a mom and know what my kids mean to me, and therefore worry before they are even born.

At this point, my milk was in and I was very near engorgement. Bedtime was rough on account of my hard, sore, and huge boobs. There was more milk than my skin could acclimate to, and I felt run down and tired. My bed still felt good, but I was not able to enjoy it as thoroughly as I did the night before.

Sunday, July 13
I woke up very tired. I was officially in a haze and my parents were packing up. I was engorged and sore, but Evley never had a problem latching on and eating (which was fantastic). Since the engorgement was bearable, I did not do anything at all about it (I think there are home remedies & other means out there to help with engorgement). I just fed Evley as often as she'd eat and rode it out.

I suffered my first incident of baby blues after reading some material that the hospital sent me home with regarding SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). I found myself in the bathroom several different times that afternoon/evening, crying. In addition to racing fearful thoughts, it was sinking in that my parents were gone and that I'd be on my own tomorrow while Gabe was at work. I've suffered from a little bit of anxiety when my Mom has gone home after having all three of my kids.

My bed felt amazing though. 

Monday, July 14 
Evley woke up at 2 a.m. and again at 6 a.m. to eat. Since I had such nice stretches to sleep, I felt well rested and stayed up after her 6 o'clock feeding. I figured I'd better get started on the day if I was going to get us to the doctor by 9:40 a.m. for her 5 day check-up. Breastfeeding and diaper changes and dressing another person in the morning really adds to the time it takes to "get ready" for the day.

Gabe's Mom came over to watch True and Elle West for me, while I made the trip into Durango with Evley.

Evley WOW-ed the nurse and doctor by being back up to her birth-weight. Yep, she weighed in at 6 lbs & 14 oz! Our trip to town was a success and all went well.

I had been noticing that True was having a hard time. He was still being good, and helpful, but was throwing some out of character fits and acting out some. Elle West on the other hand was beginning to feel right with and in our family again. I'd made a point to reward and praise her when I noticed her sweetness or when she was being good. I'd put Evley down and ask Elle to snuggle or sit with me. I'd let Elle sit with us when we nursed...she noticed me pressing lightly on my boob one day (I was giving Evley's nostril a bit more room for air), and she decided that she could help by sitting next to me and ever so carefully pressing on my boob. I let her do it (still), whether it needs to be done or not. 

Back to True. I hadn't failed to give him attention up until now. But, he's different. He's the oldest. He'd gotten lots more jobs recently (which he liked some of). It was his job to check on Evley. It was his job to help Elle West. Looking into his face felt like looking into a mirror. He looked like me. He looked like he just had a baby. He did just have a baby. He was slightly pale and his eyes were glazed over; even though he'd been sleeping well. I started wondering what I could do that would be special for him.

I started thinking about how I could negotiate Target, in Farmington (an hour drive away), with three kids; 6 days postpartum and by myself.

Tuesday, July 15
I'd gone to bed wondering if going to Target was possible today, or if it was an insane idea. I woke up rested (because Evley is a doll and because my bed is amazing when I'm not pregnant). I then decided  that it was possible to go to Target, so long as I aimed for nothing else the entire day, and was willing to let go of the notion that it was possible that we'd make it back by nap time.

The four of us were ready and loaded up around 10:30. We got back six hours later, at 4:30. We only.went.to Target. Okay, so I drove through Taco Bell, too.

As well, we had two hours of drive time. And we parked at Safeway in Aztec to feed Evley on the way home. But still, it took over three hours to buy True school supplies. 

I will spare you the tedious details. But, the outline goes like this: once inside Target...go to the bathroom; buy True & Elle West hot dogs at the snack bar; buy myself an iced mocha at Starbucks; sit at a table in Starbucks and consume mentioned food while nursing Evley; burp Evley while T & E West finish lunch and put Evley in Moby Wrap; leave Evley's carseat at customer service; push E West in cart and find everything on school supply list but one thing; let True pick out a backpack, lunch box, and thermos (lunch boxes don't seem to come with thermoses anymore); search for a "desk solution" for True (he'd outgrown his desk space at home and we'd been discussing what to do); find Target employee to bring True's desk up front; check out; go with Target employee outside to load desk on truck while I loaded other items in front seat; go back into Target and get carseat; sit down at table in Starbucks and feed Evley; go to bathroom; load kids up into truck; fiddle with strapping True's desk down on my flatbed for awhile. Ahhh, pull out of Target parking lot while in my nicely air conditioned space and head for Taco Bell.

Shortly after we left Farmington it was clear that Evley needed something. So, we pulled over in Aztec for a diaper change and to nurse. That's when True said, "Oh good! I need to go to the bathroom."

I said that there was no chance of his going to the bathroom...that it was not possible for me to unload everyone to go inside Safeway, to the bathroom. I told him we could pull over up the road aways and he could go on the side of the road. Or, he could hop out and go in the parking lot, except that we might get into trouble. Then I told him that he could go in my water bottle. My Pretty by JL water bottle (I sort of thought for a second that he might like that idea...)

True whined about every single option and about how bad he had to go. I'd reached my limit for our outing. The water bottle solution was the very best I could offer. He tried and couldn't go. Then he told me that he didn't have to go anymore. Then I insisted that he try again. It worked that time and he mentioned that my water bottle was, "kind of hot now." I cringed, screwed the lid on tight, tossed it on top of our Target loot, and off we went.

So, we did not make it home for naps, and of course True and Elle West lost it in the truck. Elle West did not want True to rest his head on her seat (this is payback for years of True not letting Elle touch his seat with any body part). 

After ten or so minute of extremely intense whining, roaring, bickering and such, they both fell asleep...

They got a twenty-five minute nap in the truck.

The rest of the day is a blur and I feared that I'd over done it, and that I might never (ever) leave the house with three kids again. But, my bed felt amazing, Evley is a doll, and I got some sleep.

Wednesday, July 16
Slooow is the pace for today, and Evley is one week old! A friend came over in the morning and brought coffee. The kids played and we sat in the yard under the apple tree. It was lovely.

My major and most important to do of the day was to get True's desk put together. He was thrilled with his special shopping trip, but waiting to organize his new desk was brutal for him. I started at nap time and worked on nothing else until well into the evening. I fed Evley as needed and that was it. T & E West watched a movie after their naps and I worked on his desk. I did get it done in time for him to arrange it before bed. He said that I was the best mom ever. It was fun to watch him fill it up. 

He was content after that; the glaze over his eyes went away and he perked up.

Tracey brought us dinner (the same friend that had been over this morning), chicken spaghetti, and it was amazing. And my bed felt great, again.

Friday, July 18
I walked to the Tuning Fork (Evley in the Moby, Elle West in the stroller, & True walked...I can't manage Elle on her Strider bike right now and True's bike is broken) for coffee and an amazing sandwich. Then to the park where we ate and the kids played. 

We went home for nap, and Gabe came home so that I could go for a mani & pedi here in Bayfield. I took Evley and it was so nice to be pampered for a couple hours. Evley slept in her carseat.

Saturday, July 19
I picked up our Bountiful Basket order and worked on laundry. I feel like laundry doesn't stop piling up (neither do dishes). As soon as I get a batch done it's time to start again- that is the reality of our laundry cycle these days (and dishes, and I'm not even cooking per say...just getting by; eating to eat at each meal time). 

Gabe built his new desk, which was a nice to-do to get off of his list.

I ran out at nap time, kid free, to get an iced mocha before the Tuning Fork closed, to check my mail, and to pick up something at the afore mentioned antique store for my Mom. Evley was discontented with my leaving and Gabe had probably held her the entire time (she wasn't crying, but needed held when she'd normally be sleeping at that time). I was gone for forty-five minutes.

True is becoming a pro at holding Evley. He loves to do it and takes it very seriously.

I haven't gotten over how great my bed feels to get into. I can lay any way that I want to now! I can bring my knee up to my chest if I want! It's the little things...well, there isn't really anything little about comfortable sleep, especially being a mom. It's absolutely amazing. 

Sunday, July 20
I felt really good today. I made French toast for breakfast (but mostly because we only had milk enough for that). I got the bathrooms cleaned and laundry folded (big accomplishments!). I ran to the Bayfield grocery store with Evley (didn't want to leave her again) in the afternoon, and picked up dinner at Tequila's. It may not sound like much, but I was pooped after I got all the kids to bed.

Gabe worked hard all day on Evley's room; getting it pretty much finished. I opened myself a summer ale and stood outside to cool off. I heard a racket and went to see what was going on. Gabe was fervently throwing firewood from our ginormous pile (had been delivered a fews days before) to the stack. It was around 9 p.m. and was almost dusk. I thought, really? Have we not done enough today? I just watched for a couple minutes, Gabe never looking up. It actually looked like he was blowing off steam, but if he were I didn't know about what.

I went to the laundry room, polished off my beer, grabbed my gloves and went out to help. He probably just wanted it done before the work week, or need the space open for parking, or just wanted it to be done. Anyway, I didn't ask any questions and it probably only took about a half hour for us to finish it up. I broke a nail. 

The night was going fine. My bed felt great.

Monday, July 21
Then True came in at 3:30 a.m. I fed Evley and didn't put True back to bed like I normally would. Gabe let True in bed, to lay by him. I didn't sleep well on account of it. True didn't sleep well. Gabe didn't seem to have trouble.

The day started and I stayed in my pajamas. I focused on checking email and doing a little desk work. It was good to get it done, but I didn't shower & dress until 3:30 p.m. I hadn't gone outside at all. This is a problem for me.

By the time Gabe got home and I'd made dinner, I was a hurtin' unit. Gabe made a comment about my being "bitchy" to True that morning when I told him to, "Lay still and sleep or go back to your own bed." My tone had been bitchy, and it ended up that I had hurt True's feelings. He'd wanted me to turn toward him and snuggle. I wanted to sleep.

From there, I suffered my second (and worst) case of baby blues. I cried and got mad. My being upset, upset Evley. She refused to eat. She acted starving, but like she couldn't latch on. Finally, I put her in the Moby and went on a walk. It was somewhere close to 8 p.m. and it was tough to make myself get out. 

Evley was calm in the Moby. But, it took her hours after that to calm down and eat well. Gabe had gotten True & Elle West ready for bed. 

Once she finally went to sleep, Evley slept for six hours before she woke up again to eat. I felt terrible about it because I attributed it to how upset she'd been, but on the other hand, it was just what I needed. I had to take all three kids into Durango in the morning for Evley's two week check-up.

Tuesday, July 22
We got out of the house on time; with just enough time to grab an iced mocha from the Tuning Fork on the way. I hadn't had one the day before and am convinced having one may have helped me along...now is not the time to practice discipline in the way of what I'm consuming. I don't have a tendency of overdoing it with coffee or junk food. So, if I want it I just go for it.

The trip to the doctor went really well. Evley gained another 9 oz, weighing in at 7 lbs & 7 oz! The doctor was thrilled and so was I. The goal would be for her to be back up to her birthweight by tomorrow. True and Elle West did relatively well, and we all survived another outing beyond Bayfield.

I stopped at the Tuning Fork again once we got back to Bayfield...and let True run in for an Italian soda. He'd been good.

At nap time, Esther came over and took this month's style photos of Evley and I (starring Miss Evley Love!). You can check out the year's style posts by clicking here, to see what I mean...watch for this month's post next week. The shoot went really well. Another big day fairly well over.

Evley and I both slept great!

Wednesday,  July 23
Happy two week birthday, Evley Love!!! Today we took it eeeasy! We went for coffee and a picnic at the park with Tracey and her girls. We sat in the grass, in the shade, for a long time. Then I worked on this post, at nap time, and until I couldn't take it anymore and called it quits for the night. I know better than to wear myself out. I'm hoping to avoid future instances of baby blues and/or depression by just stopping and taking care of myself.

Thursday, July 24
I was tired last night. I do not want to upset Evley in such a way again (like I did on Monday). She has been so sweet and agreeable; it's so dumb to wear myself out and create such chaos at home. But, it can be a tough thing to figure out. In this way, three is easier for me. 

What's next? We might just get to move into Evley's room this weekend! Here's where it's at...

If there is anything that you are wondering about, that I did not mention...please feel free to ask in the comments!! This post, like usual, is much longer than I planned on! I hope you are doing well and enjoyed the update :)

X O X O X, JL

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

photo love :: 22

LOVE
noun--strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties :: an assurance of affection :: the object of attachment, devotion, or admiration 
verb--to hold dear :: to like or desire actively :: to take pleasure in :: to thrive in
{Source definition, in part, merriam-webster}

{Photo take by Emily on Instagram}

love... summertime :: Southwest Colorado :: baby girls in swimsuits :: that swimsuit & that baby girl

X O X O, JL

Friday, June 27, 2014

Paige Denim + a favorite old top + OPI Liquid Sand + horseshoe necklace + shades of blue = mySTYLE june {38 wks pregnant}

























Clothing
top: An old one that I bought, from Blu in Durango, over six years ago. The color & beadwork were undoubtedly meant for me, and I had to have it regardless of its size large. It was on a clearance rack and I was barely pregnant with True when I found it. It is non-maternity. I had it taken in by a seamstress even to wear during pregnancy. It's a piece that I can only wear in the third trimester and have worn with all three of my babies...although I've darn near out grown it now! I've lent it to two different friends for their pregnancies. This top has had a good run, but I'll sure be sad to see it go. The brand is Blue Angels and I can't find them anywhere online. Let me know if you come across them! I'd love a postpartum replacement!!
jeans: Paige Denim, Skyline Ankle Peg Maternity Jeans - these jeans are amazing. Absolutely the most comfortable maternity jeans I've ever had. And perhaps more important, they don't make me feel like I'm wearing maternity jeans. I'm living in these and leggings right now.
shoes: Yes, TOMS is making sandals now!! I L.O.V.E. these shoes. Find the details in April's post here.

Accessories
necklace: A delicate silver horseshoe & chain. This was a birthday gift from one of my closest friends several years back. I love large/chunky jewelry, but haven't wanted anything competing with my growing belly lately. I put this necklace on toward the beginning of the month and haven't taken it off. Unfortunately, the shop where Chloe bought this piece is no longer in business. But you can find a very similar one in a gold finish here and in sterling here.
earrings: Sterling silver & turquoise hoops; from a personal estate collection sold at Toh-Atin in Durango.
bracelet: Native American beaded cuff. Find the details in March's post here.
anklet: Pretty by JL Wish Anklet. Details can also be found in March's style post.
toenail polish: OPI Liquid Sand in their "Tiffany Case" blue.  

Photography
All photos are by & property of E. Lee Photography :: Visit her Website and on Facebook to see more of Esther's work & to schedule your own shoot. 
{click on each image in this post for a better view}


I am in love with the photos from this shoot. It might be because I've been putting very little effort into my appearance this month, but I dressed for the shoot, and I feel like these photos bring me back to life. Well actually, I think it's the highlights that probably brought me back to life this month! I've felt like a million bucks since Cassie put them in a couple of weeks ago. I may as well just consider them part of my natural hair color because it's what feels honest!! I gave my natural color a year long run. I'm glad I did, but I'm more glad that it's over. Anyway, I darn near always dress and accessorize to the same extent daily. But, I don't always wear mascara and lipgloss, and I only curl my hair a few times a month tops. This month I only applied the extras for my sprinkle {a baby shower} and for this shoot. 

Other reasons that I might love these pictures so much are because this is the last time I plan on taking maternity photos, because it's summer and I love summer, because of what the shades of blue & green do for my soul, or because of the location. The location is special, close to home, but not quite home yet. I need to finish writing, and you reading, A True Story to fully express and disclose the level of special that the location holds for me. Anyway, I will. But for now we have these photos.

This month has been an interesting mix of busy and relaxing. My Mom helped me with my kids in a way that allowed me nearly a week of one on one time with each. It was wonderful and I can't thank her enough for it. It also means that they each got one on one time with Grandma, which was terribly fun for both True and Elle West, and for Grandma! 

The busyness mostly comes from my last minute nesting urges. Evley's room won't likely be done before she arrives, but I'd been putting off getting her things together until it was. At last I put an end to it and just dug into my less than fun to dos. I cleaned out all of Elle West's clothes; grabbing what I could for Evley. I washed everything new and old. I gathered everything up from the shed {digging around in the shed is not a favorite task of mine} that I had stored and can use right away...and washed it all. And finally, I set up Evley's little crib and dresser in Gabe and I's room so that I have somewhere for her and her things when we bring her home. You know...it's just nesting. At least I feel ready instead of doomed and overwhelmed. Really, the feeling is what is worth most because the details involved don't actually matter that much in the beginning. It all comes together eventually and doesn't even necessarily make sense to have things ready in advance. Ready is sort of an illusion.

With ten days left until my due date I'm physically ready to meet our new baby girl, and I'm over the top excited to meet her in every other way, too! The anticipation has not ever lessened for me from one pregnancy to the next. You'd think having another baby when you already have two might somehow feel less like waiting for Christmas to the 100th power {when you're seven} than it did for the first baby. But it doesn't feel less like that at all. It still feels just like that. It's nothing short of torture actually. But, I'm doing my best to act, and therefore be, calm.

In next month's style post you'll get to meet miss Evley Love and I just might be wearing pajamas ;) Esther is looking forward to that and, as always, I owe her a big thanks for capturing my pretty this month. 

X O X O, JL

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Save the Date :: 5th annual family 5k walk/run



Save the Date for the 5th Annual Family 5k Walk/Run in Durango, CO!

Find the family friendly event details & sign up for a team HERE and ---->


Stay tuned to the PRETTYblog for the schedule of fun & awesome list of prize giveaways... Oh, and for the amazing brunch menu that will be provided by Serious Delights Bakery!

X O X O, JL

{As always, 100% of the event's proceeds will benefit Durango Pregnancy Center & Best for Babes Foundation.}

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Velvet strapless dress + Born sandals + Wild Hearts Forever + Freshly Picked + romantic updo = mySTYLE may {33 wks pregnant}



























Clothing
dress: Velvet strapless dress - non-maternity. I ordered this {and one in green} about 2 years ago from Garnet Hill. It's no longer available. This one would work while pregnant I bet, and this one is just stunning for post baby.
linen shawl: Garnet Hill - non-maternity. 2 years old & no longer available.
shoes: Born Myndy Sandal. So, the spring following having Elle West, I went on a nursing compatible shopping spree at Garnet Hill. Though the shoes have not a thing to do with nursing, I had to have shoes! Mine are in magenta, which is no longer available, but at least the style is. You can't go wrong with Born shoes...they are so comfortable and super stylish. If I were getting a pair now, I'd probably go for these gladiators in green!

Elle West: My baby girl is wearing an embroidered halter dress, which was a gift when she was brand new. We are excited to finally wear it this summer! Let me know if you find one like it, so I can link to it here! Her shoes are a loved pair of Freshly Picked moccs in bubblegum suede. They used to be bright and bold. But like favorite blue jeans, they've dulled and softened with wash & wear. I want these shiny ones for baby Evley. 

Find a link to a darling headband like Elle West's below {under accessories}. I looove this headband, and that it was a Christmas present, to her, from Daddy. She loves it too!

True: My favorite boy is sporting his Wild Hearts Forever - chase the call of your wild heart tee. I special ordered a few of these in larger sizes than offered, for the big kids on my list, this past Christmas. I'm not sure if that is still an available option or not...the shirt's graphic & saying sure does resonate with us, so I'm super glad that the gals of Wild Hearts Forever were so accommodating with sizes!! Be sure to check out their variety of stylish kiddo tees & onesies here

And how handsome is that tee with his black Wranglers?! This kid l.o.v.e.s. black Wranglers. Not just any I might add. They've got to have brass {instead of silver} snaps. The silver snaps come on the different version of Wranglers sold at Wal-Mart...we've tried them. He likes the kind sold at BootBarn and ranch stores. Who in the world would notice the snaps, but True?! It's the style/cut he cares about, but he describes them by way of snap color. Have I created a monster - or - is that just his wild heart?? Anyway, I'm over the fight when he now runs out of clean "brass" snapped Wranglers; when there's a huge stack of other colors/styles of jeans clean. From here on out I'm just buying the kid what he likes; variety free. On his feet are snow boots. Hand me downs. He loves them and will wear them throughout the summer, and has done so since the beginning of time. Another fight not worth fighting. Regardless, the kid looks good, and that's his style.

Accessories
hair: Mine - "top knot" by Cassie at the Wild Horse Salon in Bayfield. Elle West's - styled by Cassie, too, with a Native American beaded headband from Waci-ci in Ignacio. If you're in the area, find Cassie & schedule an appt. at the Wild Horse Salon here.
necklace: Carico Lake Turquoise strand from Toh-Atin in Durango.
earrings: details in last month's post here
bracelet: details in January's post here
anklets: Pretty by JL - Customize mine here & Elle West's here.

Photography
All photos are by & property of E. Lee Photography :: Visit her Website and on Facebook to see more of Esther's work & to schedule your own shoot. 
{click on each image in this post for a better view}

Could it really be the last day of May??! In complete honesty, that is just fine with me!! That means that we get to meet sweet baby Evley in just over a month! I'd hoped to post this earlier this week...for no other reason than that Esther took the pictures two weeks ago, and that I've had the pictures in my possession, and so that I didn't feel crunched for time, and to not wait until the last day of the month again. Ah well, here they are and what a way to end May!

I loved this shoot. Or, what came from it I should say. The shoot itself was a fuzz stressful for me because I don't like trying to keep my kids clean. They aren't that sort. Elle West is/can be for sake of photos because she loooves to be in Esther's photos. So, she was pretty easy. True did his duty, and was then soaked from head to toe within sixty seconds of being turned loose; getting him to stay close in the first place was a little more of a challenge than I cared to deal with on that particular thirty-three-week-pregnant-day. But, the results were stunning and, as always, I'm so happy to have these pictures. Esther is great with kids and her boys were there to help, too; making us smile extra.

The location was again in Bayfield, at Little Pine River Park. You don't get a feel for the creek that's there from the photos I posted. But, the creek is like a natural lazy river that's perfect for kids to play in, and is the reason for the park. It will become a hotspot where Moms & their kiddos get together to cool off this summer. It's a gem that Bayfield residents have been enjoying for generations. 

Esther and I thought it was time to have a shoot with the kids, and before baby Evley arrives. I thought May to be quite appropriate & perfect, being the month of Mother's Day and all!! Elle West and I dressed up a tiny bit to celebrate, and because dresses are nice and comfy for me these days. I will likely sport them throughout the month of June for the same reason {nice & easy to hitch up to walk in the creek with, too!}.

As part of the celebration, Elle West and I had our hair styled before the shoot. Cassie, over at the Wild Horse Salon, has been helping me with some simple styles and products to help my hair seem less boring to me. I'm lazy with it, but still somehow think it should look un-boring! I might just bite the bullet and have a little blonde put in this month. Regardless of that, Cassie always does a great job on our cuts and going in for a style was no exception! She showed me how to do the top knot, and I've been able to reproduce it simply at home. It's a great style for summer.

Elle West actually was not scheduled for a style. I had her hair up in a little pony tail; one that looked cute with her headband. But when we got to the salon, she kept asking to have her hair done {Cassie cuts her hair, too}. I told her no and that hers was already done, a couple of times. Well, I'm pretty sure that she sabotaged/leveraged the situation by putting a comb in her hair and making a mess of her ponytail. In the process she also broke her hair tie. Cassie popped her up in the chair and took a curling iron to her hair. She even added a little product for volume. Elle West was delighted, and also happened to look adorable in the end. Yet another fight that didn't make sense to fight!

I've been loving our weather overall this month. We've had some super hot days and some rainy ones. I've enjoyed both immensely. Our backyard looks a touch like a jungle as a result of the rain, which just makes it even more fun and lush to sit/play in + has meant spending less time watering. Yay! Since school is out for True, we've just been lounging around our small town. I have a feeling that we will do more and more of that as my due date draws nearer!

I hope you had a wonderful May and that your summer is off to a great start!

X O X O, JL

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

photo love :: 21

LOVE
noun--strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties :: an assurance of affection :: the object of attachment, devotion, or admiration 
verb--to hold dear :: to like or desire actively :: to take pleasure in :: to thrive in
{Source definition, in part, merriam-webster}

{Photo taken by me on Instagram}

love... this time of year :: riding bikes :: that she has him :: that he loves her :: that she let him get {& stay} on :: small town Bayfield :: True Gatlin & Elle West :: that they're mine

X O X O, JL

Friday, May 9, 2014

Treat Yo Self :: OhDierLiving

{Products, People, Places}


{treat you self cake topper, by OhDierLiving, on Etsy}

I saw an image of the above cake topper in my Instagram feed last week and fell in love. Maybe "in love" isn't quite right, but let's certainly say that the innocent little cake topper spoke to me in a very serious way. Not only does it shamelessly demand that one take care of themselves in ways that no one else can {very much inline with my [PBfNM's] motto & mission}, it's also shown in my very favorite color...um, and on cake.

I instantly commented on the IG photo with, "Love this. Want a t-shirt & wall hanging in it too ;)"

William, the cute architect gone woodworker replied with, "we could do that."

I let him know that I'd be in touch on Etsy to talk specifics. OhDierLiving makes a variety of cool typographic wood signs, have a look here, and I've already got a t-shirt that I love from them. The sign wasn't on my list of needs, or wants for that matter, for the month. But, it was a spontaneous splurge that I couldn't bring myself to pass up.

Taking care of Mom has been coming up lots lately in my world. It doesn't so much relate to Mother's Day either. Although, today it came up again. So I find telling you in lieu of Mother's Day weekend appropriate.

I really noticed it about a week and a half ago when I took Elle West to the doctor. It wasn't the first suggestion, but it was the lest subtle of all previous suggestions regarding the topic. We saw Dr. Zemach, one of my favorites at Pediatric Partners of the Southwest in Durango. My guess is that he's in his late 40s or early 50s. He's a nice height, handsome, and has buzzed, lightly speckled gray, but mostly really dark hair. He speaks with a lisp, and is so charming that one might think {between the charm & the lisp} that he might be gay. However, he often times mentions his wife in quick yet attentive conversation.

After Dr. Zemach finished examining Elle, and diagnosed her ear infection, he gave her a job. He said, "Your job today is to take care of Mom, okay."

She said, "Okay."

He continued his instructions to her in sort of a sonnet-esque way by saying, "Because Mom always takes care of us, but who takes care of her?" After that he was pretty much done and out the door.

His words lingered with me a little longer, or a lot, and I began answering his question to myself.

Who takes care of Mom?

Well, the initial and obvious answer for me was/is, Gabe. I stay at home, and he works to support us. Alright, well who else takes care of me? It's sort of easy and complicated at the same time. I instantly thought about Gabe and money, but what about emotional care. Or, money aside, physical care. My friend Emily and I have talked about this before...we draw what we need, as moms, from a variety of sources. There isn't any single person who can satisfy all of our needs. And, what can be so tough is that we don't necessarily get to choose who it's from, or when. We are continuously under demands to attend to the needs of others. Yet, most times the moments in which we need something, there's no one but ourselves to demand it from.

So, who takes care of Mom?

We need a reserve inside us, in which we can draw from, in time of need. What/who feeds our reserve varies from husbands, friends, parents, siblings, our kids, articles/books, exercise, creative expressions, encounters/interactions with complete strangers, and ourselves. Really the list goes on and on. But, the odd thing is, no one really takes care of us but us. That's the answer to the question. Once a mother always a mother, and we are in charge of not only our kids' care from that point forward but, also our own. It's sort of a big deal.

Our care needs range from knowing when to keep quiet, when to talk, when to reach for someone who understands, when to buy new underwear, when & if to buy designer jeans, when to eat, when to sleep, when to get our hair cut and/or colored, when to call our daughters or moms just to talk & cry, when to have sex, when to just stop, when to GO, when to listen {to them, the birds, the wind, ourselves...}, when not to listen, and when to treat ourselves.

If we don't care for ourselves, if we don't set appropriate boundaries, and if we don't treat ourselves when we need to...then there's a pretty decent chance that the need won't be met at the moment in which we need it to be.

Not everyone needs a cake topper or Treat Yo Self sign hanging on their wall, and I'm not suggesting that they do. But, all Moms need a regularity of sources feeding their reserve in which to draw from. And all Moms need to know how to reserve the important bits, get rid of the rest, and how to draw from her reserve & when. We need to take care of ourselves in order to best take care of the ones we love.

I can't say for a second that I've mastered it. But, the Treat Yo Self sign that I've got coming will be a nice and pretty reminder. That's my Mother's Day gift to myself this year. Happiest Mother's Day to you, and a genuine thank you to the many who feed my reserve. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend with the Moms and/or kids they love.

X O X O, JL

*I won't likely post a follow-up once I receive my sign, but WILL share a pic on Instagram. You're welcome to check-in @prettybyjl for a peek! Check out OhDierLiving on IG @OhDier.
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