Capture the Everyday: books you're reading

03/31/2011 at 9:28 am | Posted in Bloggy, snap happy | 14 Comments
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When I saw this week’s Capture the Everyday photo challenge, I wanted to hide my head in the sand.

Because, books?

I used to be an avid reader. I used to shun the TV to hurry upstairs and read in bed. I used to buy hardcovers because I simply couldn’t wait.

Books and I used to be tight. Before I became a mom.

I know, it’s no excuse. And, actually, I dipped my feet back in the water just after Small Fry turned two. I tackled Eat, Pray, Love (which I’d begun the very night I went into labor). I devoured Rockabye: From Wild to Child. I cracked the spine on Ferris Beach (but didn’t finish it).

But since I became pregnant, this is the extent of my reading:

stack of magazines

Don’t ask me why. You’d think a book would be the perfect escape from the sickness and discomfort. But there’s also something infinitely satisfying about reading magazines. And watching bad TV.

Reading books just feels like too much work right now. I don’t have the energy to become invested. And I can barely keep my eyes open past 8 p.m.

But. I can’t wait until books are once again a big part of my life. Because they will be.

You know, when the kids are in college.

Okay … your turn! What are you reading right now? What are your favorite books? Any suggestions for my reading list?

Capture the Everyday from Adventuroo


Under-eye roller, I love thee

03/30/2011 at 9:20 am | Posted in Belly to Butterfly | 8 Comments
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(Belly to Butterfly is written by my sister, who authors this lovely blog).

I am all for the organic craze…milk, eggs, apples…if we can afford the organic option, it’s in our cart.  I even tried sticking to a chemical-free beauty regimen but when I found myself (and those circles under my eyes) feeling blah & unattractive I reached for science.

Honestly, I knew there’d be some changes after having a baby, but I thought I’d lose the bump and go back to being (and looking like) me.  Not so lucky…and probably not so realistic.  There are still signs of pregnancy mask on my face, my hair is thinner and has all these little bits that like to pop up (and sometimes even curl a little) and now that I can sleep on my belly again my eyes are two puffed dragons…minus the magic.

I recently got my hair cut and when Christie (looking annoyingly cute with her makeup and funky cut) asked what I wanted I simply replied, “I want to look like I care about my appearance without actually having to do anything.”  She came pretty close and my new best friend, Paul Mitchell, and his thickening spray gets me the rest of the way.

You know what it really comes down to for me…wanting to feel good about myself, even pretty or at least interesting looking, while also being comfortable.  This is a tall order and even taller when you have a toddler underfoot & my workday involves sandy parks and climbing up narrow ladders in a pirate ship.  But it’s important to feel good about yourself and to even have fun with what you were given.  I like expressing myself with clothes and although it takes a little more time and energy, I want to start putting more thought into it.  Because when I do, I feel good, and when I feel good, I feel like me.


The making of a nursery

03/29/2011 at 2:09 pm | Posted in baby sunshine | 10 Comments
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Say hello to The Eliminator.

preparing baby's nursery

That’s my new name for Laura, who, just a few short weeks ago, kicked my procrastinating butt into gear.

Armed with questions like “Are you really going to use that?” and “How long has that been sitting in the closet?” she helped me get rid of A LOT of stuff. And from that day forward, I’ve been on a mission to eliminate more.

Like the greeting cards. I seem to have kept every card I ever received. Ever.

So, if you wrote me a thank-you note in 1998, I’m sorry to say it’s finally hit the trash. Of course, I kept a few treasured cards and letters. And photos. Oh, the photos! There are negatives upon negatives stored in boxes upon boxes. Blurred photos, bad photos, photos stuck together. I kept them all. Because, you know.

I’m proud to announce that I’ve consolidated more than a dozen photo boxes down to three. THREE!

And seeing all of this space opening up in the baby’s closet makes me so happy. Like I can breathe.

Here’s a shot of the closet, about half-way through Operation: Elimination.

nursery closet

And, here’s a broader shot of the room, after the Invasion of the Baby Clothes:

nursery and baby clothes

So you can see why “nursery” is my new middle name. I’m obsessed with getting that space organized and ready for baby. And I can’t wait to get to the really fun stuff: decorating.

Here’s a sneak peek of the fabric we’ll use on the windows (from IKEA). And when I say “we,” I mean The Eliminator. Thank goodness one of us got the crafty gene.

IKEA fabric for child's room

I absolutely cannot wait to post the “after” photos. Soon, I hope. And we’ve also just finished a fun project in Small Fry’s big girl room. Gotta keep the boss lady happy!


03/28/2011 at 8:38 am | Posted in PPD, pregnancy, Small Fry | 18 Comments
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You. My sweet girl.

Sprawled on the floor, playing Lite Brite.

Running, jumping, squealing, digging in the dirt.

Carrying on secret conversations with Dora and Teddy.

Belly laughs, little arms wrapped around my neck, dirt under your fingernails. Wayward stickers dotting your clothes. Pockets full of rocks.

Your dad’s mouth and determination. My brown eyes and easy laugh.

Our first baby.

The embodiment of love. Faith.

Everything I need to know, to believe in, is standing right here in front of me.

I can do this again.

Because you are simply awesome.

This is what happens when Small Fry gets her cousin's attention from across the table

03/24/2011 at 2:27 pm | Posted in family, just plain fun, snap happy | 5 Comments
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Capture the Everyday: a favorite nook

03/24/2011 at 9:30 am | Posted in snap happy | 17 Comments
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built in shelves

This week’s Capture the Everyday assignment is so fun: a feature I love about my home.

One of the biggest reasons I fell in love with our house is the nook factor. There are a bunch of neat little spaces like the one pictured above. Interesting windows. The world’s largest fireplace. A rocking-chair porch.

Our realtor said it had character, and I said “sold!” (Much to Marc’s chagrin; I don’t have much of a poker face when it comes to buying houses or cars. Or anything, really.)

I especially love these built-in shelves because they greet you at the very top of the stairs. They used to be dark and brown, but we slapped on a few coats of paint (green!) and brightened things up. I’ve switched out the contents of the shelves a billion times, but now I think I’ve found my zen. Favorite photos, beloved keepsakes and lots of color.

I scored these little cabinet knobs from the Anthropologie sale closet and was instantly smitten.

cabinet knobs from anthropologie

What do you love best about your home? Is there a spot that just makes you happy?

Capture the Everyday from Adventuroo

Pigs and cows and ice cream, oh my!

03/23/2011 at 12:01 pm | Posted in About town, Small Fry, snap happy | 6 Comments
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holding a chick at farm animal days

There are few things Small Fry loves more than farm animals. Our access is limited to a few special times each year: the state fair, visits to Nana, and Farm Animal Days.

We battled throngs of school groups and frenzied toddlers (like my own) to check out this year’s event, and it’s easy to see that Small Fry loved every single minute of it.

Especially those baby chicks.

holding a baby chick at farm animal days


And staring at goats. Minus George Clooney.

enjoying farm animal days

And jumping off hay bales.

jumping off a hay bale at farm animal days

And OF COURSE eating ice cream.

eating ice cream at farm animal days

If you live in or near the Triangle, I highly recommend checking out Farm Animal Days next year. It’s free, educational and just plain fun. Small Fry is still talking about the “big, big mama cow” and the wacky turkeys that “gobble-gobbled” right in her face. And I’m wishing I’d asked for an extra cup of Howling Cow to go.

Were you there? What did your little one enjoy most?

32 weeks: fluffing the nest

03/22/2011 at 8:15 am | Posted in baby sunshine, pregnancy | 9 Comments
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My newest obsession?

The nursery.

Purging the closet (which is stacked to the ceiling with perhaps every single photo I’ve ever taken), sorting bins of baby clothes, cleaning, making lists.

I can’t get enough!

But I still feel like I’m behind the game. At this point in my last pregnancy, a cute room was nearly ready for Small Fry. Granted, the crib arrived and was assembled just days before she was born, but everything else was set to go, staged like a catalog shoot. Diapers, wipes, butt cream, clean and folded clothes.

I just haven’t felt the same sense of urgency this time around. And, honestly, I’m glad about it. That first experience taught me SO many things, among them being the simple fact that newborn babies really don’t require that much “stuff.”

A place to sleep, milk, clean clothes, diapers, bath soap.

It’s kind of refreshing. But at the same time, I do want to be prepared. To have as little on my plate as possible after baby arrives.

Hence, the maniacal nesting.

Is it nuts that I’m actually having fun with this?

Hello there, little one

03/20/2011 at 8:56 pm | Posted in baby sunshine, pregnancy | 17 Comments
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Seeing this face Friday blew my mind. Our baby.

Sucking its lower lip, just like big sister did in the womb. Wiggling around, making it hard for us to get a good look. Responding to my laughter. And waving a little hand, as if to say hey mom I’m doing just fine in here.

It was awesome.

Eight weeks to go. And a new feeling for me, slicing its way through the fear: excitement.

I cannot wait to hold this child against my chest. To find out if “it” is a “he” or a “she.” To hear, smell, breathe in my baby.

Cannot wait.

Friday goodies!

03/18/2011 at 9:50 am | Posted in just plain fun | 2 Comments
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(Bella is ready for the weekend)

I’m off this morning for my 32-week appointment, and I’m super psyched to get another ultrasound. Cannot wait to lay eyes on this ninja in my belly!

We’re also going to hang with some farm animals today (photos coming, I promise) and host Small Fry’s first-ever SLEEPOVER. Her bestie, who happens to live next door, is coming over this evening for what I’m sure will be an interesting night. Because of the state of the nursery (read: disaster area), they’ll be sharing a room. And Marc and I will be sharing a bottle of wine.

Kidding. Really. Although it’s tempting.

Small Fry’s excitement over this most momentous of occasions is contagious. She’s asked me about her sleepover every single day for the last two weeks. I can’t help but get excited too.

Here’s what else has been making me smile lately:

10 Ways to Piss Off a Pregnant Woman by Amy Morrison, who authors pregnant chicken

Love in a styrofoam cup, thanks to Chick-fil-A

– Miss Banshee’s recap of the Bachelor finale

– This lovely, spring-y ribbon from How About Orange makes me want to take up sewing

– It’s tournament time! Go Heels!!

I’ll be back Monday with a new belly shot and the ultrasound picture. Maybe we’ll see baby holding a drumstick.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

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