03/06/2012 at 11:16 am | Posted in Everything else | 4 Comments

She was 20 weeks pregnant. She had a 2-year-old daughter.

When she was killed.

So brutally attacked (in front of her child) that her face was unrecognizable.

Five years after Michelle Young’s murder, I still can’t process it.

Much less the fact that she was a colleague of someone I’m close to. That one tiny degree of separation is unsettling.

Finally, a guilty verdict. Her husband.

How in the world do things like this happen? Why?

I pray for the little girl who will grow up without parents. I pray for Michelle. For all of the families involved.

I pray for comfort, for peace.

For healing.

Self-portrait challenge

02/09/2012 at 1:22 pm | Posted in Everything else | 16 Comments

There it is. My first self-portrait without a child also in the frame. In a shirt with who-knows-what stains on the sleeve. And no makeup. Exactly how I look right this minute. (Although I did spruce it up with the Pioneer Woman’s black-and-white Photoshop action. Love her action sets).

So, why did I post a picture of myself? Besides to show off my unwashed hair and tired eyes?

I came across Chelsey’s photo challenge earlier this week and it made me think. I focus so much of this space on my family and cute Etsy stuff and good food that I hardly ever show myself. Like, really show myself. As more than the arm carrying this or that child or the woman behind the camera.

So I’m stepping into unfamiliar territory. And I’m excited about it.

Here’s a little bit more about me:

Obsessing over … Calories! I seriously can’t stop counting them. Not in a bad way. It’s a fun challenge every day to stay near my goal. And I can’t even begin to describe the feeling of sliding into clothes that haven’t fit in months or walking a couple of miles without getting winded.

Working on … Two big conferences and a bunch of other projects at work. Sophie’s baby book. Decorating the nursery. My home. Always working on my home.

Thinking about … The fact that Lily turned four this week. When is Sophie going to cut a tooth? The Bridge Run. Healthy recipes.

Anticipating … The Bridge Run. A big wedding in May. Sophie’s Baptism. The beach.

Listening to … The Bon Iver Pandora station, to see what all the fuss is about. Finding that I like the other featured artists better.

Eating … Whole foods, like eggs, apples, bananas, greens (lots of greens), whole wheat bread, brown rice, fish, chicken. And not missing the junk too much anymore.

Wishing … That I could stop worrying so much, even just for a moment.

The light

01/24/2012 at 11:00 am | Posted in Everything else | 8 Comments
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The sound of my bedroom door creaking slowly open yanks me out of the most delicious dream I’ve ever had. I’m living in Paris with my family and we’re eating crepes and having the best time ever.

Lily tiptoes over to my side of the bed, touches her nose to mine for her morning kiss and tells me that daddy has made pancakes. “With M&M’s in them, Mommy!” She scurries away. I try to focus my eyes on the clock. 9 a.m. Marc let me sleep in. Bless him.

Downstairs, the baby is squawking and belly-crawling all over the kitchen floor. Lily is slurping up her pancakes. Marc mans the stove. The dog licks my knees.

Happy chaos. I smile.

But slowly (ever so freaking slowly), the darkness drifts in. I feel it settling over me as I rock Sophie later that morning. My insides twist up. And, as if the previous couple of hours had never happened, every single little thing starts to bother me.

The baby won’t settle down for her nap. My belly is pooching out over my pants. The house is dirty. Lily is playing too loudly. Doesn’t she know her sister is trying to fall asleep? And Marc. Poor Marc. He bugs me, but I don’t know why. Because I don’t have a reason.

I just feel bad.

I try not to snap at the people I love, but I do. I try not to bang things around as I go about my chores, but I do.

I don’t want to feel this way.

“Let’s go to the store,” I say to Lily, in the most cheery voice I can muster. She agrees, and we set off. I kiss Marc good-bye, promising to be in a better mood when we return. He looks skeptical.

And then it happens.

Lily dances to Adele in the back seat. She makes herself laugh. It’s contagious. We troll Target for all that we need (and some things we definitely don’t need). She hugs me and tells me she loves me, out of the blue.

I smile, and it feels real.

The light beats the dark.

And my heart sings.

Pregnant and homeless

01/11/2012 at 12:13 pm | Posted in Everything else | 7 Comments
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I could tell by the way she was sitting.

Criss-cross-applesauce, as Lily call is, slouching forward, arms linked underneath her belly. Perched on the grassy hill behind a man (her baby’s father?), who held a sign.

It had too many words. All I could make out as I turned the corner into the Target parking lot were “pregnant” and “homeless.”

My heart in my throat, I reflexively glanced into my rearview mirror. There sat my girls, healthy, happy, warm, well-fed.

I loaded them into the shopping cart — Sophie up top and Lily in the big basket below. They love this. Constantly trying to see and touch each other. We stopped at the dollar bins first so Lily could choose her prize for successfully sitting through her very first visit to the dentist earlier that morning. Once she spotted the sparkly tiara, it was all over.

“Mommy, please take it out of the bag … please, puh-leeeeease!”

I let her wear it immediately, explaining that we’d keep the bag so that the cashier could ring it up when we check out. Lord knows I don’t want my daughter thinking she can walk into a store, take something out of the packaging and keep it without paying for it. This kind of stuff constantly flashes through my mind.

A birthday card for my grandmother, a little ceramic birdie for Sophie’s room (because it’s Target and I always go off-list), gummy bear vitamins, toilet paper.

And something for the woman sitting on the corner outside.

I grab a big bottle of prenatal vitamins and a $10 gift card. That way, they have to at least come inside and get warm, I think to myself. And they can’t buy drugs with it. Or liquor.

Walking across the parking lot to my car, I stand on tip-toe to see if they’re still there. I can’t quite tell.

I load up the girls, stuff our bags into the back of the car and dispense of the shopping cart. As I get closer to the corner, I can tell.

They’re gone.


I drive the long way out of the shopping center, along a back road they might be walking.

No luck.

I wish I’d rolled down the window and said to wait. Or at least gestured that I’d be right back. My gift wasn’t much, but it was better than nothing.

Because I simply can’t imagine being pregnant and homeless.

You Capture: my 10 favorite photos from 2011

01/05/2012 at 11:14 am | Posted in Everything else | 5 Comments

I know I’m missing one. Or seventy-two.

This was a hard task, choosing my ten favorites from last year. But I sure did love the excuse to take a little stroll down memory lane.

What an awesome year.


The cheeks. The hat. Enough said.

Lily and my pregnant belly. I always loved this top-down view.

Little beach feet on our babymoon to the coast, just weeks before Sophie was born.

At 38 weeks pregnant, I took this photo after one of Lily’s naps. She loved to feel Sophie kicking in my belly. I think they were already communicating.

Newborn Sophie, putting up her dukes.

Marc always had a way of soothing Sophie to sleep out on the porch, in the red rocking chair. I keep a copy of this photo on my dresser. See the tiny toes peeking out?

Our beach girl getting ready to float in the intracoastal waterway. She can’t get enough.

This is one of my favorite captures because the moment is so pure. Lily’s glee took over her body, and in the middle of running on Nana’s farm, she just threw her arms up in the air. I’m so glad I had my camera ready.

Miss Thang sitting up by herself for one of the first times. That face.

Sister love. Heart strings go pop.

And I had to include one honorable mention shot because it makes me laugh every single time.


Because I'm weird

11/10/2011 at 12:57 pm | Posted in Everything else | 6 Comments
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I would rather tap out a text or write an email than talk on the phone any day. And as a result of this, my long-distance relationships suffer. I hope these people (you know who you are) never forget that I love them and would do anything to wrap my arms around them right this minute.

Sometimes I am nicer to perfect strangers than I am to my own family. That sucks, and I hate it.

Whenever I receive a card or letter, I love to keep the envelope too.

I am extremely introverted. When I walk into a party (or any other type of gathering, be it social or professional), I clam up immediately. I’ve also trained myself to push through it. Put a smile on my face and force one foot in front of the other. I don’t want to be a wallflower. I’m just wired that way.

I worry constantly about keeping everyone happy. To the point that I make people unhappy in the process.

Broccoli? I love it. Lima beans too.

Writing this blog is like walking a tight rope. I might tip over at any given moment from sharing too much information or offending someone. It’s a little nerve-wracking.

I’m the worst story- and joke-teller in the history of stories and jokes. I can write a blue streak, but in person, I always bomb. Cue the blank stares.

I embarrass myself, by myself. Like, if I’m singing ALONE in the car and I mess up the lyrics, my cheeks flush and I look around to see if anyone (all of the imaginary people riding with me, right?) has noticed.

Spontaneity is not easy for me. I’m a planner. And I worry that it offends people when I try to schedule them in. It’s an accomplishment for me to pick up and do something on a moment’s notice.

I get defensive really easily. People think it’s funny. It is.

I’m gullible. Oh so gullible. To the point that I once believed to be true some Prince song lyrics that would make the man himself blush.

I am really, truly a happy person. Some people seem to think this is an act. It’s not. I love my life, I feel blessed and I like to let it show, especially here in my little corner of the internet. Annoying? Maybe. But real. Definitely real.


09/16/2011 at 1:55 pm | Posted in Everything else | 3 Comments
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Getting older, staying classy.

And always silly.

Because you’re never too old for the silly.

(P)in love with: yellow

08/16/2011 at 12:42 pm | Posted in Everything else, Swell Stuff | 5 Comments
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// via ohdeedoh //

Confession: I’m prone to gazing at my Pinterest boards. They just make me happy.

Last night, when I should have been sleeping or showering or reading a book, there I sat. At the computer. Pinning.

And I began to notice a lot of yellow among my picks, which is a color I adore but use very little in my wardrobe or home.

Time for that to change, I think.

Pinterest says so.

yellow handbag

// via Francesca's //

yellow lamp

// via Design*Sponge //

yellow dress

// via eShakti //

upholstered chair

// via The Sweet Survival //

(P)in Love With: letters + numbers

07/29/2011 at 9:37 am | Posted in Everything else, Swell Stuff | 2 Comments
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Pinterest is a gigantic clearinghouse of incredibly clever DIY project ideas. I find a new one every day!

Aren’t these lovely?

antique dresser(love + antique dresser via Sweet Home Style)

potted plants(house numbers // source unknown)

nursery(letters over changing table via Project Nursery)

(P)in Love With: floating plates

07/26/2011 at 9:46 am | Posted in Everything else, Swell Stuff | 6 Comments
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dining room with plate art(via Apartment Therapy)

I’m embarrassed to admit how much time I’ve spent on Pinterest since joining on Friday.

It’s bad. But so, so good.

Looking at my boards makes me happy. And discovering so many wonderful things — design ideas, DIY projects, kids’ style, food, fashion — has made me feel more inspired than ever. Maybe it’s because I’ve been living and breathing all things baby for three months. Who knows. I just feel more like ME.

And I’d love to share my finds with you. Say hello to “(P)in Love With,” a new feature through which I’ll showcase some beauty from Pinterest.

This week? Floating plates. So lovely!

dining room with plate art(via 6th Street Design School)

blue piano with plate art(via Classy Clutter)

Are you on Pinterest? Are you addicted, too? I’d love to follow your finds!

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