Thursday, December 29, 2011

goodbye 2011, hello 2012

2011 was my first full year of blogging... 
and oh, what joy it has been documenting my life and loves
and sharing what makes me feel
warm & happy
with anyone who visits.  

Here are some highlights from this past year...such a wonderful year...

January started with finally announcing my pregnancy -- my first baby bump alert!  I was so excited to be pregnant with our baby boy, Cormac Landon.

February was rather uneventful, but I did have a lovely Valentine's Date with Hubby and rocked the bump:
March brought a long weekend trip to NYC.  We've been there quite a few times, but this time was especially fun with a few NCAA basketball wins for the Wildcats.  Another adventure I'll never forget!
Some Time Square love:

April and May brought some beautiful baby showers as well as my final few months preggo.  I was HUGE ...but not too huge to put the finishing touches on the nursery.  In June it was ready for the reveal party and to be unveiled on the blog.  I had such a fun time creating this space for the little one...okay, and for me!

In July I turned 30!  Oh! The horror!  Really it was not that traumatic.  I think my thirties will be the best years ever.  Plus, I was ginormously pregnant, so I had other things to worry about.  Like peeing every five minutes. Also in July...Baby was born!  I announced the birth and told the whole gory/beautiful story eventually.  I blogged a LOT about my pregnancy and new baby...mainly because they were/are such amazing parts of my life.  I adored being pregnant and hope to someday share another birth with world.  But meanwhile, I will enjoy every minute with this guy...

July and August I was in survival mode, so I didn't blog all that much...except for the occasional new mommy rant.  Those first eight weeks were really tough, but oh so sweet in so many ways.  I now look at brand new babies and feel a tinge of sadness that Cormac will never be that teeny tiny again! Then that feeling passes and I am grateful for the sleep I now get. :)

In September we travelled to Europe to visit my parents who were living in Prague doing ministry for a year.  Those two weeks were incredible...and busy!  I didn't post much about our two weeks there, but I did share some photographs in this post.  Here are a few more...

Some pretty important guys in my life...

The Bjorn has been a lifesaver on many journeys.

It was hard not to love the city of Prague!

My dad baptizes Baby Cormac.  Welcome to the family!

October, November and December were spent doing a little baking, a little confessing, a little adventuring and a lot of figuring out how to be a mama.
Whew.  What a year.

What will 2012 bring?  One can never be sure.  I can say that we just purchased a big old house built in 1859 that we will begin renovating. Feeling incredibly blessed and excited about this new project!

  Little Baby Mac will {God-willing} grown into Little Toddler Mac which is sure to bring many adventures!  I am already planning his epic 1st birthday party.  (Yeah, I am that obsessive.)
Also pretty confident I will drink lots and lots of coffee.  That is a given.  
Oh, and we have some travel plans looming which include:  my first time in New Orleans, perhaps a weekend in Hotlanta, and a June trip to Toronto to visit the set of the Anne of Green Gables movies.

 If your heart just skipped a beat, too, then we are kindred spirits, you and I.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

five months : a gift

dear baby boy,
You are five months old now.  I thought when you were in my belly, warm and protected and literally a part of my body, we could not get any closer.  but then I didn't know you.  I didn't know your smile.  I didn't know your joyous shouts and your passionate cries.  I didn't know the intense stare you have when you are trying to figure out my words and my sign language.  I didn't know your energy.  I didn't know your strong pull on my hair or your gentle touch on my face.

I didn't know I would think about you constantly, even when away from you.  that in a room crowded with people yours is the only voice I would hear. That even when someone else is holding you I would gravitate towards you like our hearts are attached with a string.

I didn't know how fulfilling my job would be to love you, teach you, feed your body with food and your mind with knowledge of your importance and of God's love for you.  What I thought I knew about being your mom barely scratched the surface.

All I knew when you were in my belly is that I wanted you.  I meticulously planned {as much as a mama can} your existence.  Your father and I waited until the time was right in our marriage to start a family, when we knew we could financially take care of you, and there was nothing else we wanted but you.  Then we prayed you would come to be...and you did, with no delay.   Some babies are pleasant "surprises" - but you were intentional.  An intentional gift.

A gift I am especially thankful for right now, during this season when there is such a focus on gifts.

I thank God for sending the ultimate gift - His Son.  I thank God for sending you, my son.  Both saved my life in more ways than I can express.

Both are gifts I don't deserve, but am ever grateful for.

I love you, crazy boy...happy five months!

*  *  *  *  *  *

Well, tomorrow Hubby, Baby Mac and I celebrate our first "Christmas" together, close on our "new" house, and then it is off to Minnesota to see my family - so excited for the time with them...and for Cormac to meet all his cousins!

Merry Christmas to everyone!

Monday, December 19, 2011

be our guest : guest room redo

No matter how small your house is, it is important to have a place for guests to stay 
and feel cozy and comfortable.

Before having our baby, we had a guest suite...which, being the largest bedroom, then became the master suite with the arrival of Baby Mac.  
So we were left with only the pullout sofa bed to accomodate visiting loved ones.  Hubby thought this was acceptable...particularly since we don't have frequent overnight guests. Me? Not so much.  I adore having a guest room in my home.  I don't care if it only gets used once a year...still totally worth it.
Plus, in October both my mother and sister were coming to visit.  
Joy! Wait - panic!  
Where would they sleep?
So, I had to get creative.  
We currently only have 3 bedrooms - 1 master, 1 nursery, 1 office.
Obviously, the office was my only choice.
So now we have an office/guest suite.
This works really well actually...the room has an attached full bathroom that hardly gets used.
I just ditched my own desk space to make room for a comfy daybed.
No biggie, my Mac is portable! :)

Here is the room {before}when we first moved in:

Here it is {after}my quickie recent redo:

 Changes I made were: 
- new window panels {Ikea} -- white brightened up the space!
- lavender-gray walls {Valpsar - London Coach}
- black iron daybed {Ikea - found on clearance for $59!!}
- gray throw {West Elm}
- white bedding {Ikea and West Elm}
- gray and white rug {Ikea - $19!}


hubby's office space {before}
and {after}



So to conclude my guest room tale
the visits from my mom and my sister went grandly.
They had a comfy place to lay their heads...
and I have a guest room again!

Does anyone else feel me on the need to have a guest room?

Much love -

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

some firsts...

'Tis the season for lots of baby "firsts." 
We decided to start getting Cormac used to eating solid mushy foods, so a couple weeks ago we started him on cereal.  I thought he would be quite gung-ho about it, 
considering his bottle makes him quiver with delight, 
but the very first time eating from a spoon was, well,
{sorry for the poor picture quality -- bad light and no matter how I tried to edit these they look as bad as that rice cereal tasted.  Because yes, I tasted it.  Blech.}

Okay, so maybe solid foods didn't start off so well...but I assure you that now every morning he eats his oatmeal with gusto!  Plus, I don't try to give him so much at once.  Hey, it is a learning process for both of us, right?

Another first:  first time going to the mall to meet Santa!  I swear, my baby boy does enjoy some things.  He does smile.  He just needs to, um, get used to things first.  Unfortunately, Santa had many other babies to make cry, so there was no time for him to warm up to Old St. Nick.  Plus, we weren't paying customers.  I stood behind the "paparazzi guardrail" and snagged a few shots of Santa looking jolly and Cormac looking cranky, like this one:
One final first: Baby Mac endured his first time going for a brisk run in the jogging stroller...well, at least without screaming and crying.  Hurrah!
Here's what has *this girl* making her cranky face -- wrapping presents.
Buying presents is much more fun than wrapping them.
Anyone have any tips to get me motivated?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

fleaing and beyond

 What a beautiful weekend for a flea market!  
My lovely friend Laura and I adventured downtown to check out The City Flea holiday market.  It was smaller than expected but a fantastic location.  

Various booths sold handmade wares,
such as these sassy feather clips:

It was cold, so Laura designed a gorg earwarmer:

My find for the day was this vintage jar - j'adore!
 After we headed to our local urban market, which was teeming with folks enjoying the beautiful, albeit frigid, sunny day...

Hit up the wine shop for a tasting...

Four Italian wines tasted...and generous pours!

 These people we met mistakenly thought I was a professional photographer...uh, because my friend told them I was...ha! :)
Then we got some delicious Vietnamese food...
 ...and Vietnamese coffee!
{it brews in the tin on top...and that is a layer of condensed milk at the bottom of the glass - sweet goodness!}

A fabulous day of 
fleaing, wine and delicious eats!
Hope everyone had an equally lovely weekend!