Tuesday, June 14, 2016

In Bloom

Phew. I've been away for a while. The last 15 months have been a season of winter for me. A long, beautiful period of stillness and preservation, recovery and discovery. On the face of it I feel like I don't have much to show for all the time that has passed, but at the heart of it I know that so much has changed. In truth, only time will tell what might bloom from the seeds that have been planted. And while I can't say for sure how those changes will manifest, I do know that I feel different. And in feeling different, I've never felt more myself. And in feeling more myself, I've never felt more...brave. Sounds strange, right? But here's what I've finally figured out: when you are driven by something that you are so passionate about, that you so wholeheartedly believe in, it becomes bigger than your fears. And though it may not completely drive your fears away, it will give you the courage to face them. Move past them. And one day conquer them. No matter how long it takes. For me, I discovered that our kiddos and our hopes for them and the newfound dreams that we've dreamt up for our little family of four have become that thing. The thing that gives me courage.

It came to me one day out of thin air. This idea that maybe the qualities and characteristics I wish for my kids to have I should endeavor to solidly embody myself first. I mean, how can I expect them to uphold certain values and live life boldly if I don't show them by my example, right? And from that seed of a thought, I realized a dream, a hope, an endeavor that is indeed greater than the fears that I've held onto for so long. I've come upon a purpose so profound that I feel compelled to see it through to completion. And here I am. Pretty much standing at the doorway to my next chapter.

So I know that I've been away for a pretty long time. A lot longer than I anticipated. But I am so happy to be back because in the time that has passed I've felt a pull toward some new ideas that I can't wait to share with you going forward. Ideas that are more relevant to where I am in life right now and reflect more of the design aesthetic that I'm drawn to -- both with the blog and with Hunter Crew Paper. We're at the beginning of what I know will be a great adventure. I'm pretty excited about where we're headed. And I'm glad you're here with me.

What exciting things have you guys been up to lately? I'd love to catch up! In the meantime, here are a few of my favorite moments from the past year!

Hugs and kisses...and then more hugs!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Best

Little things can make a big difference. You may think that one little change or one simple decision won't have an impact on your life, but it can because if you keep making that same decision over and over again, that one little thing can accumulate into a big thing that might unwittingly become part of your character. It can become a new habit that might shift your perspective and maybe even change your personality. 

Today I am reminding myself that making the decision - however big or small it may seem - to be my best me at each moment of the day gives me the greatest chance for every moment that follows to be the best too. Big or small. Isn't that the most comforting thought?

Friday, March 6, 2015

Life, Lately, With My Two Littles

It has been forever, has it not? I hope you have all been staying warm in all this snow. I just wanted to pop in and give you a little update on what's been going on lately.

I'm happy to say that renovations have been officially completed...well, for the kitchen and bathroom anyway. We are already in the midst of taking steps toward starting on our next projects. Exciting! I know I'm long overdue in posting some renovations pictures, but we are still miles away from being done with reorganizing, unpacking and decorating, so it may still be a little while before I can truly call it finished. I can't wait to share pictures when it's all done!

Aside from dealing with all the renovation stuff, life with two has been moving right along. Getting into a rhythm with a newborn is hard enough between setting up routines and nursing/pumping and sleeping/napping. But then add in a toddler who is able to verbalize his needs and wants...and then just for the heck of it throw into the mix laundry and cooking, trying to stay organized, finding time for myself and for creativity and one could easily slip into some degree of fatigue-induced insanity. Easily.

What is undeniable is that these two kiddos bring me ridiculous amounts of joy.

Even though most of the time while one of them is doing this

I'll turn around to find the other one doing this

Yes, most of the time when I have the pair of them home with just me it's pretty lively around here. This is my view on any given day...and I mean, the look on her face pretty much says it all

I wouldn't have it any other way. But the one thing that I am quickly learning is that multi-tasking with two kiddos at home just doesn't work for me. As women, I think we are built to excel at multi-tasking. In fact, for many of us our multi-tasking prowess gives us a great sense of pride. I know that it always has for me. But now with two littles, I am finding that multi-tasking just leads to frustration. As Hunter and Nora grow up, I want them to know that the time we carve out to spend together is precious. More precious than anything else. I want them to know by my actions that when I am playing with them or putting them to bed or doing anything that requires my attention that there is nothing else I'd rather be doing. And I am learning that the key to that goal is simplicity.


Simple thoughts and simple actions. In other words, when I am doing something, I want to think about and do just that one thing. And do it the best that I can. To completion. For me, the first step toward reaching that overarching goal is to keep my daily goals simple...and realistic. I have to ease up on myself by loosening up on the unrealistic expectations I have for myself. Something I've been trying, and am finding success with, is choosing to focus on the top three most pressing tasks out of the dozen on my daily to-do list. Only now, after having two littles can I finally admit that getting nineteen things done in a day is unrealistic. Not to mention that the frustration that comes from the pressure that I put on myself to get through all of it, perfectly, is unfair as well. This is just one example of how practicing intentional simplicity has resulted in more productivity for myself (and my family) and less frustration with myself (and my family). And I definitely need more of that.

At the end of the day, I want to soak in every moment with my family. I want to be intentional with my time. For them. I want to live every experience with gratitude. And as I slowly start to build work back into the formula, it is so clear to me that intention and simplicity will be the key to happiness.

It's not easy, but it's so so worth it. I mean, look at these munchkins....

Happy Friday, everyone. Hope you have a great weekend!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Refreshing My Memory

We are finally! seeing the light at the end of our renovation tunnel. The final product is shaping up to be really, really beautiful and we are so (SO!!!) excited to get back into the house and start enjoying it. But first, we have a tough final push ahead of us, starting with some major cleaning and rearranging this weekend. (And I am so thankful for the smooth postpartum recovery I am experiencing this time around. I'll share more on this in a later post, but suffice it to say for now that remembering what it was like after Hunter was born, it was easily one of my major points of anxiety during this last pregnancy. That I am feeling this good at this point is nothing short of a gift from God.) So, in the hopes of keeping my spirits lifted and my sights ahead to the fun part of redesigning and reorganizing our new spaces, I thought I'd flash back to this post and remind myself of the ideas I had for the new nursery! 

Ahhhhh, just looking at the inspiration board is fueling my motivation to get up into the mess and the grime all over the house and wash it clean away! 

Happy Friday, everyone! Hope you have a great weekend!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

...And Then There Were Four

She's here! On Saturday, January 10th at 8:19 in the morning, this little bundle of sweetness joined our little family.

Life as a family of four has been an adjustment so far. Being away from home during this time has been a blessing in so many ways, but it has also come with its fair share of challenges. Juggling all the early emotions of life with a newborn while managing renovations and schedules and feeble attempts to shoo away daunting thoughts of a post-renovation mess is admittedly harrowing at times. And while Hunter has been a champ in welcoming his new sister, I can see that he's going through some things that I can only guess he's trying to work out in his own way. Now, as renovations come to a close, I know we have a lot more adjusting in store for us as we prepare to move our little family back into our home. I'm excited, but scared at the same time.

But we won't think about that stuff for now. For now, I'm just going to soak it all in. I'm going to try my best to remember these moments forever. My toddler and his innocent and unabashed dancing when he hears his favorite songs. His sweet voice as he finds his words to express himself (and he's pretty darned good at it!). His tiny, birdlike kisses when he comes to crawl into my lap. His puckering as he falls asleep while sucking his thumb and clutching his dear Bear Bear. Running into our arms at full speed when we've been apart for any length of time. His sweet, sleeping baby face whenever I creep in to check up on him during the night. Even his pouts and little tantrums when he doesn't know how to express himself. And then my sweet, sweet Nora and her irresistible babies' breath. Her insanely delicious newborn scent. Her squeaky little newborn cry. Her wriggly arms and legs and her teeny tiny toes. Her angelic little sleeping face. Her random, but frequent, smirks and full-on open mouth smiles. This little piece of heaven who loves to nestle in my arms and settle in for a good, long rest on my chest.  I know this might sound crazy (and before Nora arrived I don't think I ever thought I'd ever utter these words. Ever.), but the more I think about it, the more I wish time would stop so my littles could stay exactly this little forever.

Here are some pictures of my heart's treasures, if you're in the mood to look!

These two...my loves...my heart. I love you forever and ever and ever and ever........

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

2015: Rebuild With Intention

Wahoo 2015!!! I hope you all enjoyed a beautiful holiday season and find yourself as amped as I am to crush it in 2015!

2014 was a big year of change. So many amazing things happened for our little family in 2014. We bought a house, Hunter started going to preschool full-time (which I am still happy/sad over), HCP saw a bit of a boost in business, we embarked on a crazy adventure to renovate our home through the holidays and most importantly, we found out we were going to welcome a little baby girl to our family! 

Through it all, we held on to the intention of keeping it simple and focusing on the things that matter. I wanted to pare down and simplify our lives, not only in terms of our physical space, but also in all the intangible ways - to get to my core and to get more centered on what's important so that I can better focus on the things that matter. When I look back on 2014 I feel proud of what we've accomplished because paring down in all these ways proved to be more challenging that I anticipated. And even though 2014 ended up being the "year of deconstruction", what we gained as a result is immeasurable. We are stronger than ever as a family unit. I have become a more centered person, more fulfilled and more focused because as it turns out, when there is less clutter (both physical and personal) it's easier to prioritize when things get hectic. These truths couldn't be pronounced now as we continue to live out of a suitcase during home renovations with only our bare necessities and a little peanut who will join our family any day now. 

So in 2015, as we prepare to reenter our newly renovated home and to deal with all the changes that will surely come with settling back in, finding our routine, figuring out life as a family of four and growing my business I have only one, simple goal. To rebuild with intention. To mindfully and gracefully stay focused on the things that matter so that we can rebuild with purpose and intention.

Happy New Year, everyone!! Hope it's off to a great start!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas Shenanigans

I've been a bit out of touch these last three weeks. Apparently living out of a suitcase while renovations continue on our home is a lot more of a time sucker than I anticipated. I don't know why I thought life as we knew it would go on uninterrupted. Though we're at the house everyday and are excited over all the progress that has been made to this point, not having any alone time as a little family isn't always easy. But I have to say that though we've had our fair share of inconveniences, overall we feel blessed to have our parents close by. And being able to spend quality time with them in this way over the holidays has been particularly special.

It's hard to believe that we are already looking at our last week of 2014! This is always one of my favorite times of year. I love taking a few quiet moments to reflect back on the past year - accomplishments, failures, efforts, celebrations - and looking ahead to my goals and hopes for the year to come. I'll be back in the next week to share my reflections on 2014 and my thoughts on 2015 as I do every year, but for now as we head into our last week of 2014, I wanted to share a few snaps of what's been going on over here lately.

So our house has kind of been in shambles (scary at times with giant gaping holes to the outdoors) but is slowly coming together...

For instance, we're finally heading into the fun part of interior decor!

As one of the benefits of staying with family, I get to pop out once in a while for some fun alone time...like walking the High Line! Oh, NYC, how I love you. My heart will forever belong to this city.

We celebrated my cousin's beautiful wedding!...And I cut my hair (not the greatest picture, but I haven't had hair this short since....junior high?!). Perm and color be gone! It was fun to give it a try, but I'm definitely feeling a lot more like myself now.

...And, of course, photobooth shenanigans ensued

Last, but not least, we celebrated a beautiful Christmas with our families.

I hope that you all are enjoying the holidays as much as we are! From the bottom of my heart I wish you and your loved ones all the joy in the world during this blessed time of year...from our little family to yours.