Throwback Travel Thursday: I <3 PARIS in the Springtime!

Perhaps it is all this talk of baby that makes me think of my original bebe.  My man.  I know, gag.  But honestly, whatever! I can’t help loving that man of mine.  And with all these mushy-gushy feelings of love and the anticipation for our first child, it got me thinking of one of the most romantic cities.

Paris.

Ah yes, Paris.  In the springtime no less.  Ry and I hit up this lovely city in May of 2013.  We held hands through the streets, marveled at art, ate lusciously long lunches, and were enamored by the beauty of it all.  These are some of my favorite photos from our time there.  If you are interested in reading more, I’ve included some of my favorite links for Paris re-cap posts at the bottom;)Paris in the Springtime Paris in the Springtime Paris in the Springtime Paris in the Springtime Paris in the Springtime Paris in the Springtime Paris in the Springtime

 

The last Paris post: C’est la Vie

Sacre Coeur 

Beneath the Streets: The Catacombs

Arc de Triomphe 

Sainte Chapelle

The Gardens of Versailles 

Versailles Inside

Au Revoir, Mes Amis!

A Nice Little “Nursery”

We are all set! Now we really just need a baby girl to come on out and greet the world;)

Our nice little “nursery” turned out beautifully.  I put “nursery” in quotes due to the fun fact that this room is still a gear locker and guest suite~ hey, small apartment but BIG function.  I don’t know if you remember what this room used to look like, here’s a peek back:

Before Guest Suite Before Guest Suite

Drum roll, please…

The AFTER! 

Baby Girl Nursery

The crib is awaiting the right time to be put together, baby is sleeping in a co-sleeper next to our bed for the first bit anyway;) The bookcases were moved against the back wall and now hold both Ev’s and her Daddy’s things.  A cute little changing table, her clothes hamper, plus diaper pails to pull double duty for cloth and disposables.

Below, I’ve started an art wall for baby girl.  The quotes make me smile, saying:

“Adventure is HERE”

“Though she is but little, she is but FIERCE”

and from our Aunt Christie, “She believed she could, so she DID”

I hand-painted the letters and love them hanging on the driftwood stick.  I know we’ll be adding to the art wall and changing it up as we go along, but for now this will make Mama happy to look at especially during those late night feedings.

Baby Girl Nursery

I created a closet book shelf for her fancier outfits, and then made tags that I laminated so that they are now dry-erase.  The green frame will soon hold photos of our wee one, and the bins below contain clothing in coordinating sizes.

Baby Girl Nursery Baby Girl Nursery Baby Girl Nursery Baby Girl Nursery

The black unit holds beige bins, filled with children’s books.  Depending on the number, I have a little library folder with all the books listed. For now…I’m sure when she gets bigger they will turn into just chuck it all in for a quick pick-up, or a great place to coral toys!

Baby Girl Nursery Baby Girl Nursery Baby Girl Nursery Baby Girl Nursery

Your first room is ready little lady. Who could have guessed you’d be born on this special island? I never would have guessed it, but now it seems like right where we are supposed to be.

Capturing Our Baby Lady: Ideas!

I know, I know, I already anticipate looking back on this post and feeling the guilt of “oh man, I did NOT do all of that” but let’s set that pressure aside and instead think that it could ALL be possible;)  It is such a fleeting time, as my dear friends have played this saying for me on repeat,

The days are loooong, but the months and years are short.

I have already started setting aside Ev’s memory box items.  We have an amazing baby album that I can not wait to share.  I have big hopes of switching our albums over to Project Life format this year, to take some of the pressure off of immaculately scrapped pages.  I simply do not think time will allow for that.  I want to capture this first year in more of a living art journal format.  I’m looking into at-home printers, but am also secretly celebrating a new Target that’s moving in 3 miles from my home.  Perhaps many a morning walk there with babes and the stroller for prints?!

Adventure on the way!

I also have collected a great many ambitious memory-keeping ideas from bloggers.  I have been following all four of these blogging ladies for a year ++ now, and I love how they captured their little ones’ journey.  I especially think it’ll be important for me to do what I can as our family’s memory keeper  for the fact that our daddio will not always be present due to deployments, and our family lives so far from us.  Why would I not want to capture this adventure with the same vigor I did as Ry and I trekked across the globe?!  Here are a few of my favorite gems:

1. Weekly Baby Pictures as seen on Young House Love.  I adore this project.  I want to delve in and get as many weeks as I can.  Such subtle changes over that first year.  Such chaos from the very start, and then the wonder of watching your child grow.

2.  I followed along with humble joy as I read Elise’s story on her blog.  I’ve thought of it many times as I’ve entered the world as not just a soon-to-be mama, but as one with a military spouse.  Her Dear Ellerie letters were fantastic, raw and beautiful.  She turned them into a gorgeous book for her daughter complete with photos.  I hope to do the same.

3.  My own 52 Weeks of Happy actually was derived from reading Her Library Adventures.  Author Sophie has been capturing her daughter each week, very much like the project on Young House Love.  But she’s done portraits, tried to capture a little lady in action as she grows.  This year she’s even doing weekend photos, instead of just her girl.  I love growing into this idea.

4. Katie at Yes, I Want Cake has been doing gorgeous video interviews with her young daughter.  I adore this.  The personality, the changes, and what a tiny voice has to share is completely precious.  It is on my list to not just add a series of photos to our family stock, but videos too.

Now hopefully I’ll be sharing with you soon our own Ev.  It is an overwhelming thought to think, she’ll be here soon.  But don’t worry little one, I promise to not be so busy trying to capture the memories that I quit living them.  Let’s try for both, shall we?

The BEST Advice I Received in Pregnancy

If you are on your pregnant journey, beginning or end, chances are you’ve already heard a TON of advice…whether you asked for it or not.

I guarantee much of it was given with good intentions and love.  But I found on my own path, some of it feels like it’s out there just to scare you.  I think women in our culture are set on exposing “what it’s really like”.  In the past I guess we feel like we weren’t told the truth…no one told us how hard it was going to be.

 I don’t think you know how hard it is to be a mama or be pregnant until you are in the thick of it.  So the advice is given to prepare you.  With raised eyebrows and a frightening jubilance women have shared with me how much pain I should anticipate. How my husband and I will not recognize one another any more.  How for 4-6 months I should anticipate my world being upside down and then I can slowly get back on a path.  All you can do as a first time mama is mumble “thanks” and then go silently worry away what days of freedom you have left.  Eeeeeeeeeeek.  Serious eek.  I felt frustrated by this process.

baby girl clothing out to dry

At the end of each negative story and experience I started asking, “well, what’s good about it all then?”  Each woman would pause, and then here is were I found the good stuff.  The unimaginable love that awaits us as we greet our child.  The magic of my body growing a human, birthing it, feeding it.  These snippets today are from a few of my friends that whether they knew it or not, gave me the BEST advice I could have received in my pregnancy.  I’ve kept names anonymous, but just know if you took the time to share joy and not just horrors, I appreciate you.

Believe me. I appreciate hearing the scary part too, because it is not going to be all glitter and gloss.  BUT I think sometimes life is hard enough.  I want to be a mama that can do both~ give an honest take on where we are at, but also let others know there is so much sparkly-amazingness ahead too.

The Best Advice I Received: 

  • Love your child with everything you have.  That’s all they need at the end of the day is you and your love.  Whatever that means to you, practice it, show it, shower them with it.  Especially as an infant, you can not spoil her in this time. Snuggle, kiss, hold, love.  It is a brave new world for both you and her.
  • You will come home from the hospital and it will feel like you are living with 3 strangers. Yourself, your baby, and your husband. It’s okay. Take the time to get to know each other.
  • Educate yourself. What kind of birth do you want to have? You have options.  Do the work, figure it out.
  • I don’t think people talk about the “good” of it as much because there is no way to truly capture how much love you are going to feel. It is unlike anything you have ever experienced, so you just wait.  It is beyond words.
  • Your child is YOUR child. What worked for someone else may not work for you. That is okay too. Just keep trying to puzzle it out.  Don’t compare, don’t despair, just keep trying.
  • If baby is safe and you need a moment, take it.  Walk away.  Have that shower.  You have to be healthy too.

I’m sure along the way I’m going to have my own set of advice I want to give new mamas.  Today it is simply what is above.  I’ll be meeting my little lady soon and I’m going to love her with all my might. I know it is going to be one of the hardest adventures I ever go on, but it is also one of the most thrilling.

52 Weeks of Happy 2015: 2

“You know that place between sleep and awake, the place where you can still remember dreaming? That’s where I’ll always love you, Peter Pan. That’s where I’ll be waiting.”  ~ Tinkerbell, from the movie Hook

Week 2 of 2015 is down, and we are still in the waiting game.  I haven’t even passed my due date yet, so there’s no pressure or worries.  BUT I do admit the anticipation has filled me to the brim.  I’m just so excited to meet her!  It’s harder to stay calm, cool, collected when you are in the place of in-between.  I posted this article on my Facebook last night, it was sent to me by my brilliant Doula.  It meant everything to me and has changed this time of in-between to one of necessity, intuition, growth, and uncomfortable beauty.  In other words, it made me feel miraculously better.  You can find a link to it here: The Last Days of Pregnancy, a Place of In-Between.

To showcase just some of it’s wonder, here is a small segment: The last days of pregnancy — sometimes stretching to agonizing weeks — are a distinct place, time, event, stage. It is a time of in between. Neither here nor there. Your old self and your new self, balanced on the edge of a pregnancy. One foot in your old world, one foot in a new world.

I am precariously balance in-between. It is uncomfortable and hard, it is a challenge that I am facing. It is the greatest lack of control I have felt in my life.  The wondering.  But I’m there, it is okay to be there.  Oh 2015, you are going to just be packed with amazing and tough realizations, aren’t you?

52 Weeks of Happy 2015: 2

On a lighter note;) Week 2 was also filled with lovely happy moments like:

The adorable knitted headbands from my darling friend Alexia. Baby E is going to be out-stylin’ her mama soon;)

My husband just being awesome.  Seriously. That guy balances me out, comforts, and gets me to laugh even when I’m feeling supremely down and out.

A last trip to Babies ‘R’ Us to secure a few final items.

Making a really adorable nursery art project.

Crying.  A lot.  That doesn’t sound like a happy moment… but they are tears of wonder, excitement, joy, anxiety, and allowing myself to feel this final stage for all it’s uncontrollable emotions.

Week 3, Bring it on. Whether we still be floating in-between or greeting baby Girl, I can do this.

My Favorite Projects of 2014

Happy Friday and thanks for stopping by! I loved recapping My Favorite POSTS of 2014 on Monday.  Today I’ll be covering my TOP 16 Favorite Projects of 2014.  

Pretty. Exciting. STUFF!  As I flipped through a year of posts and projects, I could not believe all that I accomplished, and how much I still have to look forward to making, crafting and creating in 2015.  Without further chit chat, check out these fabulous items I worked my way through last year.  If you want to read more about them, just click on the image, it’ll direct you to the original post (i’m so fancy).

1. Snowflake Banner: There are not a lot of snowflakes here in Hawaii, but I adored the making of this burlap banner for January 2014.  Adorning our staircase and keeping the seasons rotating through our home makes it feel just like that…home-y;) I’ll embrace felt snowflakes over the real-deal cold any day!

My Favorite Projects of 2014

2. Brilliant Bacon, Fig Butter, and Caramelized Onion Pizza: This was my attempt at an original recipe for my blog, and I loved the results.  SUPER tasty! I mean, c’mon…BACON.  But seriously, this was a good attempt at seeing if I wanted to add a foodie component to my blog.  I still do, but not with my own creations. Holy cannoli, the making/photography/time allotment needed alone is insane. Great lesson, and for now I’ll be sticking to posting about the re-creation of others’ delish recipes!

My Favorite Projects of 2014

3. Re-imagined Vintage Postcards: This was an adorable Valentine’s project for my friends and family.  I love old postcards, especially when they are dated and written on.  It makes it SO special to send someone of this day a piece of love from the past.  I’ll be putting this project on repeat.

My Favorite Projects of 2014

4. St. Patrick’s Day Place mats: I really dug into my sewing machine last year.  I still have so much I want to learn, but this cute place mat pattern has become my go-to for fun table decor.

My Favorite Projects of 2014

5. The Great Porch Project: This very well may be my favorite project of the year. It was HARD. I learned HEAPS about wood working and refurbishing.  But I ended up with a table that can survive the Hawaiian elements and looks so darn cheerful.

My Favorite Projects of 2014

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Throwback Travel Thursday: Singapore

I’m bringing it BACK! I really love Throwback Thursday on social media.  For now, I’m keeping with a TRAVEL throwback theme.  However be excited…be very excited that I found some real gems of our past whilst cleaning the other day. If I can get them scanned into the computer, we’re looking at some real winners;)

Today I’m packing my suitcase and going back to SINGAPORE!

I went with my gal Christie to ring in the year 2013 with my dear friend and old dance partner, Kase.  It was fabulous to take a break from frigid Korean cold winter, and of course explore a new gorgeous place!

Arab Street, Singapore

Two of my most favorite spots in the whole city were right in the same district.  On Arab Street we found the most incredible textiles and had an amazing lunch.  Haji Lane boasted crazy creative boutiques and a chill, relaxed environment.

C and I really rallied for a great girls night in Clarke Quay, and I found the perfect spot for my Splits Around the World Challenge.  I think that deserves a series of posts in itself, don’t you?!  In Clarke Quay we enjoyed great beer and food at the Fern and Kiwi, and a lux hotel where we put our feet up and got some great sun in.

Clarke Quay, Singapore

Gardens by the Bay was another magnificent stop.  I was stunned by the natural beauty and all the amazing photo opportunities! You can also read about how we ate in the top of the trees here.

Gardens by the Bay, Singapore Arab Street, Singapore

Not to be forgotten, we also LOVED our dinner of Chilli Crabs and watching Kase perform at Universal Singapore.

I think it’s definitely time to plan another ladies-only trip somewhere in the world!

Sight-Seeing at Iolani Palace, Honolulu

Last week I crossed an item off of my Hawaii bucket list.  I have been trying to get to the Iolani Palace in Honolulu for the past year and a half! Want more information on how to make a visit?  Check out this spiffy link.  My ladies and I decided to do the audio tour, which was only $15.00 and with the movie at the beginning took us around 1.5 hours to complete.  Iolani is the only Palace in the United States, and I felt the audio tour gave a pretty good look into the history surrounding it. However I would make sure you see the movie that is part of your tour as well, to make the whole timeline fit together more seamlessly.

Iolani Palace, Honolulu

I loved that we could take photos (sans flash of course) whilst inside, and I particularly loved these stylish booties we were given to protect the floor. Bonus points to my pals for reaching down and putting them on my prego feet for me.

Iolani Palace, Honolulu

Inside, we came on a day with GORGEOUS light.  I am hunting down and pricing my next camera soon, but here are a few of my favorite shots I gathered from the tour!

Entry way staircase:

Iolani Palace, Honolulu

The throne room:

Iolani Palace, Honolulu Iolani Palace, Honolulu

Second floor stained-glass ceiling:

Iolani Palace, Honolulu

My favorite (yellow is just so incredibly cheerful! I think I need more of it in our own home) The Music Room:

Iolani Palace, Honolulu

Whilst Queen Liliuokalani was imprisoned in the upstairs bedroom, she worked on the most amazing Victorian style crazy quilt.  This is just a snippet, but the whole piece was magnificent.

Iolani Palace, Honolulu

Iolani was one of the first large properties to have electric lighting installed. I loved that most of the fixtures were still detailed with Edison bulbs:

Iolani Palace, Honolulu

Entering and exiting through royal gates:

Iolani Palace, Honolulu

 

A fantastic few hours spent in history.  I would highly recommend a trip around to some of Hawaii’s more historical sites, especially if you are staying in Honolulu!

Life Lately at 39 Weeks

Our Life Lately…

I’ve hit 39 Weeks TODAY! Whoot! I can say I’m feeling like this little lady is a bit heavier to lug around, but we are still doing just fine.  I’ve really worked to stay calm, cool and collected as the days continue on.  Of course I’m eagerly awaiting the holding, snuggling, and SEEING of her, the anticipation is TOUGH!! But I also know she’ll debut when she is ready, so until then I’m spending most of my days relaxing and walk, walk, WALKING.

39 Weeks Prego

We had breakfast on the beach on Sunday, and walked through sand and surf.  I keep my runners on now though to support my ankles and knees.  I can tell my joints are more loose!

The fridge and freezer are packed with yummy eats, and I have laid out all my hospital items…now to get them in a bag;)  We’ve been to two more birth classes and are feeling very thankful with our choice to attend them.  I’ll be sharing more of this story later.

We also wandered around our neighborhood a ton, and took a walk through the Hoomaluhia Botanical Gardens.  I’m getting really pumped for family picnics and perhaps even camping (?!) there.

Hoomaluhia Botanical Gardens Hoomaluhia Botanical Gardens

I’ve started taking what Ryan calls my “FEAR NAPS”.  I am not normally I big napper.  I totally was all first trimester, feeling completely exhausted all the time.  However in my third I’ve found it harder to nap and then get a really solid night’s sleep.  But my Doula kindly reminded me that babies tend not to show up after you’ve had a full night’s rest.  Normally they are arriving or throwing you in the midst of labor after your most exhausting day.  So, she recommends napping every day I can.

I see her point;) So, any day I think of not napping, Ry says, “but what if this is the night?” FEAR NAP.  I run upstairs and promptly attempt some shut-eye or at least quiet rest for an hour.  I am incredibly thankful I can do this.

There we are.  Week 39.  I’ll be keeping you posted on what develops with Baby E.  Until then, I’m working away at some pre-scheduled posts, and yes…walking some more.

My Favorite POSTS of 2014

2014 was a banner year for my blog.  I feel like I learned a great deal more about how to keep this little corner of the internet all mine.  I wrote 276 posts. I made my first editorial calendar, hit my posting goals, and found myself with endless things to share.  I took a brilliant blog course and tuned into the fact that my blog is very much a lifestyle blog.  I started it to capture our lives and share our stories with our friends and family.  I’m going to keep doing that.  However I also have new dreams for it along the horizon, and will be sharing them slowly but surely as 2015 unfolds.

One of my favorite things as I look back through 2014 was surfing through all 276 of those posts and picking my TOP 17.  It was harder than I thought! But here they are, click on the image to go directly to the post, or just enjoy the captions;)

1. The Bishop Museum

I chose this as a top fave because it was our first real jump into Hawaiian history and culture.  I love moving and living all of the different places we do because of the new surroundings we get the chance to experience and soak up!

My Favorite Posts of 2014

2. Same Me, Stronger I’ll Be February 10th-16th 2014 Post.  I completed two 30 days of Hot Yoga in 60 day challenges this year.  That’s a whole lot of HOT yoga (before I was pregnant!).  I found a new appreciation and dedication to my practice.  I also fought the fear of going upside down.  I used to HATE inversions, now I’m learning to let go and see the strength my body has if my mind will get-outta-the-way! I can’t wait to get back to vigorous classes after baby arrives.

My Favorite Posts of 2014

3. Love Where You’re Living: I wrote this post for a commentathon, but it was truly a turn in my writing-style.  I wanted to open up more this past year on my life and experiences, and hope that those could in some way reach and help others.  This post was my starting gate, and I have not looked back since!

My Favorite Posts of 2014

4. Paradise Cove Luau: I love this one purely for personal reasons.  It was a beautiful experience to share with Ryan, and one of the special moments in our Hawaiian living!

My Favorite Posts of 2014

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