Friday, November 20, 2015

34 weeks

There are certain moments when the fact that I'm pregnant suddenly sinks in and I'm overcome with an incredibly surreal hold on just one hot second kind of swarm of feelings. That has been this week. The other night I was getting into bed (less and less gracefully these days) and I just turned (rolled) to face Dustin and said, "I'm really pregnant. When the heck did that happen?" He thought I said "how" so he was momentarily concerned and we had a good laugh.

But really, I'm feeling very shocked that Thanksgiving is next week and our baby is coming, ready or not, in 6 weeks. And don't say things like, "Well it could be tomorrow, ya know!" because if I haven't been totally clear yet, I'm in a little bit of a panic and those humorous bits of commentary kinda just make me go sdalkfjaskldjhfalwjer.

I'm trying to just see everything that's stressing me out as a great opportunity to laugh at myself. I'm stressed because our house isn't done, and I have this giant fear that once the baby comes all of these little things will really never get done. We'll have a to-do list miles and miles long, and we'll just be living in this weird limbo for years because we can never get around to crossing things off the list. There's just not enough time. I'm stressed out about the unfinished and the clutter. But then I realize that I've literally been living in clutter my entire life. Basically preparing to be a mom without knowing it. Clutter and I are besties. We understand each other. I have chosen clutter again and again, probably because I knew my future self would need this - to be happy and cozy and patient even in the clutter of new momhood. I knew there had to be a reason my room was never clean!

The truth is, expectations rarely meet up with reality. In my previous abstract thoughts about pregnancy and motherhood, I always imagined having a little girl. Not because I had a particular preference, but that's where my mind always went. But it's so wonderfully fitting that I'm going to be a little boy's, the girl with three brothers who was always surrounded by boys and legos and action figures and video games and dragons and sword-wielding stories of make believe. I am so much more prepared to be a boy's mom, and that's a fact. I knew there had to be a reason why I'm so weird! My little boy is gonna love me. 

My house will be cluttered, stories will abound, dragons will fly, and I will chill. We've got this.

Friday, November 6, 2015

featured artist: hello halsted

Every once in a while I come across something on Instagram or Etsy that really just kicks me in the teeth - because of its originality, beauty, uniqueness, or something akin to I wish I was that creative. It's the best kind of shock envy because it both surprises and inspires. I love supporting other artists, and sometimes I find something so spectacular that I just have to share it with others.

This week I stumbled upon Hello Halsted on Instagram through another Instagram account that I love, Poppy and Fern. Both of these ladies create stunning floral jewelry, but in very different ways. I long to have something from each of them; they're perpetually on my wishlists. Rachel of Poppy and Fern hand stitches her jewelry, and it's all amazing. She also has an affinity for poppies (as evidenced by her shop name), and I love everything she makes, especially this necklace.

Stephanie of Hello Halsted, on the other hand, uses real flowers - Queen Anne's Lace - to create her masterpieces. She dries, cuts and dyes them to create these stunning miniature watercolors trapped in resin. She typically makes a variety of necklaces and earrings, with occasional extras like rings. My favorites are the large circle, square or hexagon necklaces. Gorgeous! Did I mention she's only 25? Makes my year's to-do list seem a little underwhelming. She posts new batches of products in her online shop every 8-12 days, which sell out really fast. I love this method, though, because it means that she's constantly preparing fresh and exciting designs for each new batch. Follow her Instagram to feel fragrantly inspired by her sneak peeks and new batch posts, and definitely take a look at her shop - her new batch posts TOMORROW, November 7th, at 11am!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

happy halloween! {frocktober, the end}

This was the best Halloween.

We have a short but fun history of dressing up as Disney couples for Halloween. When we lived in Virginia, we participated in our church's Trunk or Treat for two years so we had to have costumes and a trunk theme. The first year we were Carl and Ellie from UP, and the second year we were Gnomeo and Juliet. It was a blast! This year we had to dress up, because coming up with a pregnant costume sounded like way too much fun...and how many chances like this will we get in life?

We decided a long time ago that dressing up as Pacha and his pregnant wife Chicha from The Emperor's New Groove would be perfect. I couldn't find much online in the way of costumes, so we figured it was a pretty original idea. We were thrilled when Colin and Victoria were totally on board with dressing up and walking around the small town of Blowing Rock during their Halloween festivities. They showed up with their Yzma and Kronk get-ups, and we were totally giddy. I love our friends. Victoria and I made our costumes (with the exception of my dress, which was a lucky find on Amazon for $20!). She actually found a blog which had pretty great instructions for easily putting together costumes for Kronk and Yzma. I made the poncho for Pacha out of fleece from JoAnn's, and my mom whipped up the weird little Pacha hat. I made my necklace out of the same material as the hat for a geometric collar, and then made the earrings out of wooden discs from Michael's that I painted dark brown. I also bought the bright green headband at Michael's. All in all it was really inexpensive and very fun to put together. 

It was incredibly entertaining seeing who recognized The Emperor's New Groove and who had no idea who or what we were trying to be. We began to realize that this movie seems to have only caught a handful of people in our exact age group. Any younger or older and it seems to have passed them right by. Which is a shame, because it's the best. 

Kronk, pull the lever!

Blowing Rock was decked out for the festival. There were hay rides and decorations around every corner. Once it began to get dark, most of the little shops were passing out candy for trick or treaters. The streets were soon full of kids and adults alike, and the temperatures began to drop drastically. We walked around and grabbed some coffee, and heartily enjoyed the many stares we received. 

We shopped around a little bit, buying some local spices and wishing we could buy every little bizarre trinket and Christmas ornament we came across. Towards the end of the night we jumped onto the tail end of the Main Street parade (which was basically just everyone in costume walking in a big line down the street). We counted it among our more prouder moments of life. 

Squeak, squeakin'. 

The night ended with us back at the house, delaying getting out of our costumes for as long as possible. After taking a few more pictures, the lure of pajamas and s'more-making finally won out. We settled in and made a fire and got cozy with s'mores and freshly made fudge. It was a fantastic day. Best Halloween ever.

It also signaled the end of Frocktober 2015. Another great month of dress-wearing. I wasn't sure how this year would go, being pregnant and growing steadily out of all of my regular clothes... but I feel pretty good about the challenge! In honor of Frocktober I will be donating quite a few clothes in the next few weeks. I'm looking forward to having a much simpler wardrobe and being a lot more intentional in what I buy and what I allow myself to keep over the years. Cheers to Frocktober, friends, festivities and the best Fall yet.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

find the fall {frocktober, days 29-30}

Outfit 1: Dress here and here
Outfit 2: Dress / Cardigan

The last few days of Frocktober were by far my favorite. Not because of the dresses or the outfit combinations, but because we were able to take off on a little vacation to find the Fall. We had long been planning to visit our friends Colin and Victoria in North Carolina, and a few months ago we finally took the plunge and bought the tickets. It's something we've been looking forward to ever since.

After our red eye flight from Arizona, they came and picked us up at the airport in Atlanta and we began the long drive to the mountains of Blowing Rock, North Carolina. Even though we were functioning on about four hours of sleep, the crispness in the air was enough to rejuvenate us. (Although I won't deny a few car naps on the way). When we finally got to the mountains the evening of the 30th, pulling into the driveway right at sunset, it was as if the mountains themselves were sighing along with us. This is the life.