So Much To Say

…and yet, there seems to be very little time and/or brain power to get the words out. But, here we are, nearly 8 weeks in and my dear girl gets more perfect each and every day.

Harper

Motherhood has changed me in some of the best ways in my very short tenure as a mama. It has helped me gain patience (which I desperately needed), allowed me to be more kind and forgiving towards myself, and shown me that maybe I don’t need 9 hours of sleep a night (I do, but I’ll take what I can get.).

Motherhood has also given me the ability to feel much more comfortable in my own skin than I ever have. Maybe it’s a shift in perspective, maybe it’s just me getting older, or maybe I have just enough energy to care about what really matters. Whatever it is, I am grateful and happy for it.

 

 

4 Weeks In

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4 weeks… somehow it’s already been 4 weeks since our little bean made her way into the world. 4 weeks that have been amazing, challenging, incredible, exhausting, and filled with growth for all three of us. I feel like I’m starting to fall into my new role as a mother and I love it beyond measure. There is still so much to learn, but I am ready to take in all I can.

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Your mom and dad love you so much, Harper Anne. Thank you for being you – perfect, beautiful, fascinating you.

It’s a…

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…and oh boy are we excited! (Hold on to your hats, this one might be a gusher.)

We found out last Thursday and I swear to you, it’s still all I can think about. I had no idea how nervous I would be going into the appointment, but I was a mess. The opportunity to get to know this person just a little better was, and still is, so incredibly exciting to me. Our ultrasound specialist saved the gender reveal for last, which made the rest of the appointment some kind of torture. And while I am grateful to check up on the rest of baby, I was slowly dying inside when the next thing she did wasn’t the big reveal.

But alas, now we know and we can call her by name. Thinking of baby as my daughter makes my heart beat a little faster and puts and instant smile on my face. I love to imagine what she’ll look like (please have your dad’s hair!) and wonder which traits she’ll inherit from each of us.

Baby girl is also kicking up a storm these days. Not powerful enough for Pal to feel yet, but I think we’ll be there soon. 🙂

Oh, Hey.

You know, I almost deleted this little site, as 2015 has not been my best blogging year. I’m fairly certain my total since January is somewhere under 10. Let’s not go back and count though, that would just be depressing. However, she’s still here, I’m still here, and all’s well… and now it’s fall!

Fall gets me all squirrelly, each and every time. It’s started to cool off in Atlanta and though it’s been rainy and gross for what feels like weeks, I’ve been enjoying it nonetheless.

So, if you’re not already in the mood for crisper weather, cozy sweaters, and pumpkin spice everything, here are a few things I have found particularly inspiring:

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NYC in the fall via Hey Natalie Jean

Pumpkin Cake with Maple frosting via Reluctant Entertainer

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Pumpkin Chai Candle from Nest

Fall scenery, pumpkiny-mapley goodness, and the best dang candles ever? That’s really all I need to get in an autumnal mood. Fall clothes also get me the most excited over other seasons. Layers, rich colors, and snugly fabrics do it for me time and time again. Currently coveting this, this, and these.

Happy Fall and happy almost-October (my favorite month, with November coming in at a close second).

Lighting Workshop with Ritchie White

Last weekend I drove to Columbus to attend a lighting workshop my brother-in-law, Ritchie White, will soon offer through his studio. Let it be known that Ritchie has an absolute gift when it comes to photography and is crazy talented. It was a complete honor to be asked to participate, as I have wanted to find a way to siphon off a bit of his skill for years. 🙂

We started the day going over some basics – camera functionality, aperture settings, shutter speed, and even peeked inside his camera bags to see what gear he finds essential… Then we took it outside.

Ritchie gave us a rundown on natural light, where your subject should be to make the most of the lighting you have, and explained a bit about exposure. After we learned a few tricks of the trade, he set us up to take photos of Kelsey and Savannah, his models for the day.

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We played around with shadows and learned a lot about making the most of what’s around to add more or less light in a photo. After we took several shots of both girls we headed back inside to look through some of Ritchie’s shots discus what we’d done and ask questions if we had any.

Ritchie then went over shooting with natural light indoors and taught us a bit about external flash, reflectors, windows, and other sources to add light to your images. He also broke down for us where your equipment needs to be and how to use a subject’s eyes to determine where a source was, which I found super helpful.

We stayed in the studio for a bit and practiced shooting in several different scenarios, playing with reflectors, mirrors, and different backdrops.IMG_4107copy

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For our last project, Ritchie took us to the downtown area of Columbus to teach us more about using reflectors outside. We got some great shots and the girls were such troopers in the heat!

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I really feel like I learned a lot and am so happy I took the class. Ritchie is an incredible teacher and there is never a dull moment! Keep your eyes peeled for class announcements coming soon. It’s a great way to spend a Saturday  – I highly recommend it.

 

A Letter to 2013

Dear 2013,

I meant to tell the world how much you how much you meant to me weeks ago, but it kept slipping my mind. That being said, it’s never too late to be grateful, right?

2013, you were just what I needed. What’s more is, you didn’t start off that way. Or, I didn’t know to trust you yet. I wasn’t in my best place at the beginning of the year – anxious, deeply unhappy with my job and feeling a little lost. It didn’t feel appropriate to complain because, I had a job, with benefits, and it gave me what I needed to meet my basic needs. I felt that should have been enough to keep me happy, but that wasn’t the case. It was a job I wasn’t very good at with a company that wasn’t a good fit for me, and after a week-long business trip to Florida, I knew it was a job that would leave me running in circles forever. A week after the business trip I had an interview at a company that was perfect for me and fell in love with the job before it was even mine. It would have been something of a heartbreak if I hadn’t received an offer. Everyone I saw milling about the office was happy. I had forgotten people could go to work and actually like it… really, really like it. Needless to say, I did receive an offer. Before my new job began, I was able to take a week off and meet my newest nephew. Things were starting to fall into place and I could feel it. The ease and happiness the new job brought me would have been enough to keep me happy throughout the rest of the year, and it was only February. But 2013, you had even more goodness in store for me…oh yes you did.

In May, Pal orchestrated the surprise of a lifetime for me and proposed by way of scavenger hunt. It was perfect. A few clues, delivered by friends (and one stranger), led me to a candlelit path, a heart-shaped pile of rose petals, and my pal waiting for me behind a tree. My heart melts to think of it all. We celebrated as a group at an incredible restaurant nearby and had the most perfect night.

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Six short months later, we were getting married. I may have had bronchitis and only a whisper of a voice, but our day had come. Husband and Wife. A beautiful room filled with candles, flowers, our family and friends (with a picture by the tree where he popped the question). I could not have asked for more. He looked so handsome and I had my perfect dress. We danced all night long, with a short break for the most delicious, gorgeous cake I had ever seen.

Cooper and Co Photography

Cooper and Co Photography

Cooper and Co Photography

2013, though I spent the last few days of you recovering from the flu, the week before that we were in Dallas with our Grubbs side of the family. It was splendid, as it always is when we’re there. Laid back, fun, an all-around good time. Even when we were couch-bound, coughing, and feverish from the aforementioned flu, I knew it could have been worse – we were in good hands, that was for sure.

Even though you’re already a few weeks behind us, 2013, you will forever be one of my favorite years. Thank you for being so giving and bright.

xoxo,

Me

I Think I Wanna Marry You

Nine days… N I N E  D A YS… 9 DAYS!

We are now into the single digits of this countdown. Time to get excited, in case you weren’t already.

My life this week has been lists, errands, CrossFit (A real humbling experience after two months, I tell ya.), more lists, and a few more errands still. We are getting things done and I am feeling content (aside from my sore, screaming muscles). Not to worry, I am giving myself ample recovery time pre-wedding – as no one wants to see this bride hobble down the aisle like a rickety old pony that is soon to be put out to pasture.

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Now that this week is finally drawing to an end, I can officially let the excitement take hold! Office pumpkin carving competition tomorrow! Martha & Shaun’s wedding weekend! Crying/laughing/having the best time and seeing one of my best friends as a beautiful bride! Then waiting anxiously for Wednesday at 6pm so I can bask in all that is a lengthy wedding weekend of my very own! This must be what it’s like to have all your favorite things rolled into one. It sure feels like that to me. Now, if only I could find a last minute flower girl dress for Queen Elizabeef.

 Festival Feet

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Friends, that time of year is upon us. That time of year when we strap on our favorite sandals to walk around well-known neighborhoods with drink in hand while perusing some fine (and plenty of not-so-fine) local art. That time of year when the air is warm, a bit humid, and most everything has a light dusting of yellow. And I just love it.

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Last Saturday Pal, myself, and our friends, the Sandins, did just that. (That fellow in the plaid is the littlest Sandin. Good company, that one.)

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We walked, Sawyer had a blast pushing his stroller in the grass, and we were lucky enough to run into people we knew here and there. Funny how festivals can make a big city feel like a small town.

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Sadly I didn’t bring anything home with me, but plenty of pieces caught my eye. If I had my way our home would be filled with a terrible amount of tchotchkes, in all shapes and sizes.

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Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think the clothes sold at festivals are meant to be worn solely at festivals. Bright, cheerful, but not so easy to pull off for the everyday.

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Bring on the springtime, Atlanta. I’m ready.

Mini Post: Something Pretty

My great plans of posting a recipe last night went out the window when a transformer blew in our neighborhood. Though inconvenient–thoughts of ruined groceries that I just bought and worries of how in the world will I fix my hair sans blow dryer if this thing isn’t fixed by morning; it did offer a good reason to get in bed at 9pm and catch up on some reading by flashlight. Fortunately, even with a thunderstorm-filled night, power is on and all is well in the fridge and with my hair. So, with little time to get in depth this a.m., I leave you with Seven Henrietta Street. It’s a beautiful little film for Kate Spade that made my morning. I found it here.