Birthdays, fun, busyness, etc.

28 May 2015

28 May 2015
Wow, killer post title, huh? This past weekend/week/really, month, has totally flown by - in a mass of birthday fun, party prep, fun baby things, and so much more. How bout a mostly-pictorial recap?

We celebrated Kate's first birthday with a big shindig on Sunday. Aren't our decorations super cute? David found our "it's a girl" sign in the garage and we couldn't resist putting it back up for the party.

Although it did confuse some of the guests into thinking we were expecting again.....nope, we're not. :)

I was super curious to see how Kate would treat her "smash cake"...which was more of a fail than I'd like to disclose on this here blog. (Seriously, though, someone teach me your frosting-cake-ways. I can never do it right.)

After a few prods and pokes, eventually she dug right in. Lots ended up on the concrete (outside, yes, best plan ever!) and lots down the front of her clothes, but a HECK of a lot in her stomach too. It was so great to watch.

The above is a project I'm hoping to continue for Kate - and for other future children, if we're blessed with them. I had people at the party write a message to Kate, and then her dad and I did too. I'm hoping we'll keep it up from now until she turns 18 (or 16, or sometime near adulthood) so she can keep it for a very long time!

Don't worry, this is one of the TWO, and only two, projects I plan to do for each of our kids. #1 is a baby quilt, and #2 is a birthday message book. I wish I would have thought of it when she was born, but year 1 isn't a bad place to start.

(Also, I had a ton of fun hand-lettering for this project. Can you tell?)

We celebrated my birthday with my immediate family on Monday evening (Memorial Day), after a lot of party cleanup and some downtime with David's family who spent the night Sunday after the party. My bday party included a lot of pizza, lots of laughs, and some good antics from Kate.

Then on Tuesday (my actual birthday) I turned 24 -- yikes! I'm old! -- and we went for a walk, then to Lazlo's (our go-to dinner in Lincoln) for my celebration. It was really a great birthday. Simple, with the two people in the world that I love the most. 

When I type it out like that, I remember how crazy it's felt the last week or two.

Now we're off to visit David's brother in Philadelphia for a vacation, so I won't be blogging again til we get back! If you've got any must-sees in Philly, PLEASE let me know. We're looking for things to do!

Latest embroidery

21 May 2015

21 May 2015

For my beautiful and lovely friend Katherine's wedding, I knew I had to make her an extra special and fun gift, because she's amazing and wonderful and I can't seem to express that very often.

I knew I wanted something personal, but I didn't want to spend a TON of time on it, because we're hella busy and because I'm also pretty lazy (real honesty here, people). I toyed around with the idea of another type of blanket (I made a quilt for Caitlin's wedding) but like I said, time and stuff.

So -- I decided to embroider some modern sayings on some tea towels, because to me there's nothing funnier than inappropriate or hilarious sayings in old-timey mediums. Tea towels embroidered by hand seemed to do the trick.

I had a lot of fun making them - ask David, I giggled while doing some of the embroidery just because I thought I was so funny.

I started another embroidery project before these, so I'm working on getting back to it now (just a few finishing touches and I'll be finished) so I'll post it once I'm finished. I saw this really cool project on Pinterest last night and decided that it might be my next one - whaddya think?

Happy crafting!

God's beauty

19 May 2015

19 May 2015

Driving back from Omaha on Sunday night, David and I basically propelled ourselves into a thunder and lightning storm. We could see the dark clouds on the horizon, and drove straight into them - watching the clouds build, buffering through the rain, and emerged out on the other side right when we got to Lincoln.

There were a few moments of absolute peace right before and right after the storm. Moments where I was able to look out the window of our car, watching the clouds, and think peacefully.

Sometimes God's beauty just attacks me. I was trying to think of something that could be more beautiful if it were planned than a summer thunderstorm. The way the clouds were reflecting the sunset, the rolling motion, the quiet that comes right before the loud pounding of hail.

An hour earlier, Kate took her first steps - and it was a truly happy and crazy moment, one of those where time slowed down for a minute. We were at a graduation party for David's cousin, and she was pulling herself up on a coffee table. Then she decided to let go - in full sight of David and me, amazingly, although not walking towards us - and took 5 steps and then fell down.

I know it wasn't much, and it happens all the time to other people, but watching her walk was amazing. After it happened and we, of course, couldn't get her to repeat it, I thought of where she started - those little pink lines on a pregnancy test we weren't planning on taking, to a squirmy tiny newborn, to now a little person who could take steps all by herself! It was hard to believe that those moments were all wrapped up into this little person who has made me and her dad one of the happiest people on the planet.

Some days, it's hard for me to find beauty in my everyday life. I'm reminded constantly of the things I need to do, the work I'm avoiding, the piles of laundry and dirty bathroom and changing diapers that aren't the most glorious things in the world. And then days like Sunday happen - and God's beauty hits me in the face, daring me to even attempt to ignore it.

And I just can't.

7QT #35: nursing, INFP, and names

15 May 2015

15 May 2015
Another busy week gone by, another chance to link up my quick takes with Kelly. How about it?

My and Kate's nursing relationship is slowly coming to a close. I can't pretend it doesn't come with mixed feelings - I'm sometimes amazed at how much free time I feel like I have during the day now, because we're down to just nursing twice a day at this point (when she wakes up and right before bed). 

But I'd be lying if I said that I don't miss how much she used to need me, all day every day, and now she's just this little independent squeaker who loves chomping on real food and can't be bothered with boring old mom.

I'm going to miss this view, nursing her in our rocking chair right next to our bed, but I'm definitely enjoying the newfound freedom. (Babysitters! who don't have to worry about our baby not taking a bottle! and date nights, and long excursions without needing to breastfeed, and and and...)

I promise, sometimes we make the bed...
I got a new iPhone - the 6! It was a very exciting and also frustrating experience at the Verizon store. As usual, it took forever - I think we waited 45 minutes before someone actually talked to us (grrr) but the newness of the phone and the fact that it doesn't strangely shut down every 3-4 hours for no reason was worth the wait.

David and I took a selfie to celebrate that the whole ordeal was done. Don't we look happy?

Haley at Carrots for Michaelmas wrote the piece that has stuck on my heart like crazy this week:

If you're one of the 3 people on the internet who don't read her yet, please please go read it - especially if you're a mom! I was in tears by the end because, HELLO, so real. So true. So everything right on point. 

Excuse me while I go reread it quick and then I'll be back. sniff sniff

This widget has been the most fun thing on the Internet this week - find out what your name would be right now (and for many decades in the past) based on Social Security data/popularity/math things.

Hannah was the 29th most popular name for babies in 1991 (if you do quick math you can figure out how old I am! yikes!), so therefore...
If I were named today, my name would be: Layla.
David's name would be: Ethan.
Other fun ones for me were 1960's name: Ann (my mom's name!), 1930's: Gladys (gosh, I think I'm adding that one to our ongoing babyname list, I just can't help it), and 1900's: Cora (always been one of my favorite names). 

If we had named Kate her given name (Kateri) in 1991, it would have been the 808th most popular name at the time, and today we should have named her Imogen. I also put in our two top choices for boys names (nope, not gonna reveal them sorry!) and the results were crazy! Super fun to play around with, though - I highly recommend wasting some of your Friday playing with it.

This link was also pretty fun - the definition of hell for each Myers-Briggs personality type.

I'm an ambivert INT/FP, but more towards the F side. And it was scarily accurate.

(Also, this comic came up when I googled "INFP comic." #truth)

I'm looking for some more nonfiction books to read - got any recommendations? I love fiction, don't get me wrong, but now that I'm not in school I like to occasionally pretend I'm doing something scholarly by reading nonfiction works.

Problem is, I have zero experience finding them for myself, and the internet hasn't helped much by the way of recommendations. I loved all of Malcolm Gladwell's works, and have already read Freakonomics, so anything in that vein would work - but heck, I'm up for anything, really. Hit me up in the comments!

This weekend we have a wedding (tonight), a state soccer game and bridal shower (Saturday), a high school graduation (my baby sister, WHAT), and a graduation party (Sunday). Oh and I'm going to try and get some crafting done for Kate's party, because it is next weekend. EEEEK.

Hope y'all have a lovely weekend.
Linking up with Kelly & the gang - head here to check out more!

First Mother's Day

12 May 2015

12 May 2015
Well, first Mother's Day where I could give my baby kisses on her squeezable squishy cheeks.

Mother's Day last year, 2349384 weeks pregnant with Kateri, was a different experience from this year. At that point I was just hugely pregnant, ready to have my baby out in the world with me, ready to not feel like a huge cow 24/7 with swollen feet and hands and face and and and. Ahh, the joys of pregnancy. The whole motherhood aspect hadn't really hit me yet.

This year I got to enjoy all the spoils of being a full-blown mom...changing dirty diapers, dealing with a fussy baby at brunch, enjoying an afternoon nap with a thunderstorm in the background, etc. etc. I also got hugely spoiled and blessed with a joint Mother's Day/birthday/Kate's bday/Father's day present...a real live flat screen TV! We're living the high life around here, y'all, now that we aren't watching Netflix each night on my tiny Kindle screen.

Huge shoutout to my incredibly generous & thoughtful husband who knows just how to win my heart time and time again...Netflix on our own TV and a clean house to come home to. He's amazing and I couldn't do this mom thing without him.

As the internet is wont to do, there have been a plethora of amazing links, articles, and videos surrounding the holiday this last weekend. Lots of times I don't stop to think about the fact that I'm a mom now - Kate's so much a part of our family life that it can be weeks before I realize again - wow, I'm a mother. How did that happen?

But the truth of it all really hit me this Mother's day. It's not easy to do, and by no means am I claiming to be even average at being a mom. But it's now one of the most central parts of my identity. And I really, truly love it. The hard parts. The messy parts. The times when I feel like I just can't endure another short nap, or a flailing diaper change, or a cry in the middle of the night.

I also love the sweet moments. Kate waving at me from the front door. Her happy and excited face when I get her up from a nap. Her snuggling into my chest (rare as it may be) when she's fallen down and needs a kiss.

I've realized in this almost-last-year that motherhood is truly written into my vocation and on my heart more than I ever anticipated before I became a mother. And for that I am so, so grateful.

11 months

11 May 2015

11 May 2015

As I'm finally getting around to writing this, her 11 month post, my once-tiny, once-snuggly and immobile baby is pulling books off of our bookshelf with abandon. Because she is 11 months old and is basically headed off to college - or at least that's what it feels like to this mama.

I have basically zero accurate stats because we don't have a well-baby check until after she turns one, so here are some guesses!

Weight: around 23 lbs, according to our home scale

Height: no idea, but I don't think she's gotten much taller lately

Firsts this month: saying mama & dada somewhat regularly, moving moving moving, & being destructive (not new, but more intense than before)

Nicknames: nothing new

Other things to note:
- We have a big eater on our hands, folks. If I let her, she'd stay contentedly in her high chair all the live long day eating anything and everything we put in front of her. So far her favorites are: anything. But really, it's cubes of cheese and strawberries. But seriously, she'll eat anything.
- On the same note as above, even though she's a huge eater she has no chompers to help her out with that. She's got some major powerful gums though because no food is too big for her to attempt!
- I don't think I'll ever get tired of watching her little brain work. I'm perpetually fascinated by her play structure - as random and unorganized as it seems - even though she is getting smarter and more engaged by the minute.
- She's definitely attached to Lola, her stuffed bunny, and it makes my heart melt.
- We've only got one more sticker, so there's only one more post of these coming! Sad and amazing and surprising all at the same time, I know. Thanks for sticking it out with me these last 11 months!

All the love, baby girl.

It's (gonna be) already May?

06 May 2015

06 May 2015

Life's been a tad overwhelming lately. Hence, blogging has taken a back seat.

I managed to catch this shot of a beautiful storm-filled sunset the other night, which reminded me that I was behind on taking Kate's 11 month pictures, and then I got promptly overwhelmed with everything I'm behind on in life, and had a mild panic attack.

Luckily it's been a few days since then, and my panic attack has somewhat subsided. But I still have a little bit of a shudder every time I happen to look at our calendar for May, because hellooooo crazy month.

So far the month of May includes:

  • 4 graduation parties, 3 of which are our siblings
  • 2 bridal showers
  • 3 weddings (one of which I'm a bridesmaid for)
  • 2 birthday parties (mine and Kate's!)

And tons of other time commitments and parties and social events. It's enough to make an introvert like me go straight into a tailspin of social commitment phobia.

So I've been trying to soak in moments like the one above. When it's just me and David and Kate hanging out together (as much as an almost one year old can "hang out"), enjoying our relatively quiet nights.

I've been working on some sewing projects, which I can't reveal yet -- but don't you worry, they're worth the wait. I've also been trying to actually keep up with housework in addition to the added busyness of work right now, and it's just a lot to handle.

Isn't it always this way though, around the beginning of summer? It's just a transition for me still going from school-related end of the year things to being-an-adult end of the year things. I'm guessing it'll take me about 5 years to get used to it...right when we start sending Kate to school. Oh well!

How's May going for you? Lovely, I hope?

P.S. Anyone else listening to the new Mumford & Sons album besides me?

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