Big-girl bed

11/30/2010 at 6:09 pm | Posted in Small Fry, snap happy | 20 Comments
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Sunday was a monumental day in our house. And weird.

I remember putting together Small Fry’s crib (rather, watching Marc do it while I ateĀ  a snack) like it was yesterday. I was hugely pregnant. In fact, she was born less than one week after we assembled it. Little did we know we wouldn’t actually need the crib for another month or so. But still. I wanted to get that sucker ready.

Taking it down Sunday just about broke my heart. I ambushed Small Fry to capture forever the sight I usually see when I open the door to her room after she wakes:

She looks pretty broken-up over losing her crib, huh?

My folks gave us a bed that hadn’t been getting much use in their new home, and we are so grateful. The headboard is from my childhood bed. And the beautiful quilt was made by Small Fry’s Auntie Julie. She hand-embroidered each of those little creatures. Isn’t it amazing?

Julie’s mom embroidered the adorable sham, and I found the fish pillow ages ago at Pottery Barn Kids. Been holding onto it for this very moment. The polka dot bed skirt is a recent steal from Target.

I think it’s safe to say Small Fry totally loves her new bed. And mama loves all the snuggling. I’ve already fallen asleep in it a couple of times this week. It’s a dangerous thing, letting a constantly sleepy pregnant lady get horizontal. I could doze off on the kitchen floor if you’d let me.

I was so worried about this big transition. About Small Fry adapting. And she’s doing beautifully.

We coordinated the arrival of the big-girl bed with a visit from the paci fairy, who brought Small Fry a rad Handy Manny toy in exchange for her pacis (to be given to babies all over the world who need them, of course). Everything went off without a hitch, and she hasn’t seemed to notice that her beloved pacifiers are gone.

Of course by writing this, I’ve officially jinxed us.

Since some of you have asked to see more of Small Fry’s room, I thought I’d throw in a few extra photos. We’ll keep making little changes to her space as the baby’s due date approaches. You know, to big-girl-ify it even more.

Thanksgiving recap, with a side of Kanye

11/29/2010 at 12:45 pm | Posted in family, Love, snap happy | 10 Comments
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I love being in the kitchen with my mom.

When we cook together, we just have fun. Everything else floats out the window once we dig into our back-and-forth, pass-me-this-can-you-measure-that routine. And we keep each other’s secrets. Like how I made her handle the turkey all by herself because the sight of that raw flesh made my stomach lurch. And how we forgot about the green bean casserole in the oven.

Thanks, Mom, for tackling the bird, while I focused on other pressing matters. Like cheese.

One of my all-time favorite Thanksgiving traditions is watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The Rockettes and the old-school turkey float are my favorites, but I even enjoy the overdressed lip-syncing teenage superstars. Too fun. (Although I will confess I fast-forwarded through a few of the acts this year. What was up with Kanye and those chains? In the Macy’s Parade? Really?)

This year, Small Fry was finally old enough to watch it with me. Well, the bits that kept her attention, that is. Like the Sesame Street float and the soaring Snoopy balloon. And Santa of course. When he came on the screen, she stopped what she was doing and crawled up onto the ottoman to get a closer look:

Our dinner was beautiful and delicious. No fuss. I didn’t even iron the linens (which may be a criminal offense in the South). The five of us sat around our rumpled table, grateful to be together and thinking of our loved ones who were scattered from Massachusetts to Florida.

Before we sat down, Marc sang a little blessing that his grandmother taught him. Much to our surprise, Small Fry squeezed her eyes shut and swayed to the song. I grabbed my camera in a hurry so most of the shots blurred, but this one captured the moment. She is too funny.

And here she is playing with her Papa on the floor after dinner (which, for her, consisted of a sweet potato biscuit and one bite of mac-and-cheese):

Here’s our little family huddle. No dress, tights and hair bow this year. Just blue jeans, hearty food and lots of love.

The rest of our weekend was a bit of a roller-coaster, complete with an emergency trip to the vet and a certain someone transitioning to a big-girl bed. But more on that later.

How was your holiday? Wonderful, I hope!

Thankful

11/25/2010 at 8:29 pm | Posted in family, Love, Small Fry | 6 Comments
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for my family, especially these two
for the baby growing inside my belly
for my friends, near and far
for health, safety and happiness
for love
for a beautiful Thanksgiving Day

Wishing you and yours the happiest of Thanksgivings!

Swell Stuff {Laura Loving art}

11/24/2010 at 9:49 am | Posted in Swell Stuff | 1 Comment
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You could not miss Laura Loving’s booth at the Country Living Fair last month. Seriously. I was drawn to all of the bright colors and vivid prints like Small Fry is entranced by string cheese or a really inviting mud puddle.

And not only is Laura’s work beautiful, but she was one of the friendliest, most exuberant artists I met that day.

How perfect would the poppy or owl print be in a child’s room? Or the NYC scene (above) hanging over the mantel in our living room? Just saying.

I read this about Laura’s art and couldn’t agree more:

“Simply put, Laura Loving’s art is happy.”

chock full of … awesome

11/23/2010 at 3:16 pm | Posted in family | 4 Comments

I am one proud big sister!

Well, I’m usually always proud of Laura. And protective. So much so that she used to give me Mother’s Day cards. But since we’ve both had children, our relationship has changed. In a good way. Meaning: Now that I have an actual kid to mother, I’m a less overbearing big sister. At least I like to think that’s the case.

So, what has me all puffy chested over my little sis? Her NEW BLOG!

Laura is so very talented with a needle and thread, paint brush, glitter … whatever you put in her hands, really. And she’ll use her space on the Web to show us her projects, share tutorials, and dish on her favorite recipes (she’s as creative in the kitchen as she is in her craft room).

Oh how I can brag!

But, really, what I like best about Laura’s site (besides the photos of adorable baby O) is that she’s keeping it real. She talks about what goes wrong with her craft projects, the mistakes that happen and how to fix them. Hers is not one of those craft blogs that will make you feel inadequate by its perfection. Because we all know that not every project is flawless, right?

I hope you’ll stop by Laura’s blog and show her some love. She’ll still be contributing over here as she has time. And you also can find her on the Twitter.

Yay sis! So proud.

Pear Tree Greetings: holiday giveaway!

11/22/2010 at 1:52 pm | Posted in Bloggy | 24 Comments
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I am already so excited about Christmas, I can hardly stand it. There. I said it.

Yes, I’m one of those people.

Seeing the holiday displays at Target in October gave me a secret thrill. And this is the longest I’ve waited to start listening to holiday music. Pity my husband. Seriously. He has to live with this.

So it goes without saying that I’m thrilled to offer you an awesome giveaway from Pear Tree Greetings. One lucky reader will win a $30 gift card!

Pear Tree has a gorgeous collection of holiday cards. Pictured above are some of my favorites. They’ve also designed a beautiful collection that benefits the American Cancer Society. One hundred percent of sales goes to the ACS. And, through Pear Tree’s Operation Gratitude, teachers can work with their students to decorate cards for members of the military. How wonderful is that?

I can’t wait to pick out our Pear Tree Christmas card. That is, after we take the perfect family portrait this weekend. Dreaming big.

To enter to win this giveaway, just leave a comment below with your all-time favorite holiday movie. Mine? An even tie between Christmas Vacation and White Christmas. Love me some Bing Crosby.

For extra chances to win, you can do any of the following (be sure to leave a separate comment for each):

– Follow Pear Tree Greetings on Twitter
– Like Pear Tree Greetings on Facebook
– Like pretty*swell on Facebook
– Tweet about this giveaway, using @pretty_swell and @PearTreeGrtngs

This giveaway ends at noon on Monday, Nov. 29. I’ll choose the winner at random and announce that afternoon. Have fun!

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Natalia is the lucky winner! Thanks for playing, y’all!

Jolly and bright

11/21/2010 at 9:12 pm | Posted in About town, Small Fry, snap happy | 4 Comments
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Small Fry and I had a blast at the city’s Christmas Parade on Saturday. Marc was away, so it was just us girls on the town.

Small Fry danced to the music, shouted whenever she spotted a snowman and really surprised me with her patience. She waited more then three hours to see Santa … without much fuss. And when the big guy finally floated by, Small Fry informed me that she was being good because Santa could see her. When he waved in our direction, she was elated.

The parade is quickly becoming one of my favorite holiday traditions. And it is the reason I now have Christmas music on loop in my car. Yeah. It’s the parade’s fault.

Boone!

11/19/2010 at 11:21 am | Posted in Friends, just plain fun, oh the places we go | 8 Comments
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Our little adventure in the mountains was so much fun last weekend, I just had to share more photos. Kinda wishing we were heading back up there today. The weather was gorgeous — sunny and crisp — and tailgate was a blast. I love Boone. Walking around King Street, hitting up the candy barrel at Mast General Store, cheering for the ‘Neers at The Rock. Too fun!

Pictured above are the boys loading up the truck with tailgate provisions. And, here’s what happens when you give the Deputy your camera (there were about a half dozen shots in between these two):

Chilling at tailgate … just before burgers and dogs came off the grill:

I ate every bit of this. And only felt a little sick.

Isn’t he cute?

See all of us girls reflected in the Deputy’s sunglasses? This was Kelly’s idea. Love how it turned out.

Back at the cabin. Minutes before I hibernated on the couch.

Hope you have a happy weekend! I’m really looking forward to catching up with old friends tomorrow night. And …. stay tuned for a fun giveaway on Monday. Just in time for the holidays! xo!

You Capture: what inspires me

11/18/2010 at 11:26 am | Posted in oh the places we go, snap happy | 15 Comments
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For this week’s You Capture, we were challenged to demonstrate what inspires us.

My immediate thought, of course, was Small Fry. She inspires me every day to whip out my camera, as any reader of this blog knows well (thank you a million times over for enduring epic toddler photo posts).

But I really wanted to wiggle out of my comfort zone with this challenge. And I got lucky. We traveled to the mountains last weekend, which opened up my eyes. And my lens.

Being in a new place always inspires me. Usually to the tune of a couple hundred photos. Which is exactly what happened last weekend. None of these shots is edited. My surroundings were that beautiful.

Pictured above is sunset on our first evening. I couldn’t get enough of that gnarly tree in the landscape.

And this shot of our friends Kelly and Ed just makes me smile. Their expressions. The pretty light. Just love it.

Here’s the Appalachian State University football stadium, otherwise known as The Rock (a fact that, if I didn’t add it, would surely disappoint the hubs). Let’s just say the walk from our tailgate to the stadium was a bit hilly. And this mama took it slow (thanks to Marc for holding my hand). But when I looked up at the top of the very last hill, this is what I saw. It stopped me in my tracks.

This is the underside of the bleachers where we sat. Patterns intrigue me. Although people must have thought I was crazy, standing in the middle of a crowd pointing my lens straight up. I almost made someone drop his nachos. Don’t tell.

Check out more inspiration over at I Should Be Folding Laundry today!

Photobucket

Photography exhibit in Washington, D.C.

11/17/2010 at 4:22 pm | Posted in Friends | 6 Comments
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My very good friend Amy Joseph just launched her first color photography exhibit in Washington, D.C. Her black-and-white work is spectacular, and I can say firsthand that everything she shoots turns to gold. I will always be grateful to Amy for photographing our wedding, as well as Small Fry’s infant portraits.

If you live anywhere near Washington, you MUST check out Amy’s exhibit, “land lines,” at Busboys & Poets (2021 14th Street NW). There is a reception this evening at 5:30, and the exhibit runs through the end of the month.

Here’s a peek at more of Amy’s beautiful work from the exhibit:

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