Monday, February 8, 2016

because babies stiiiill don't keep...

[m's birthday 3 weeks after rocco was born]

in our big bed snuggling my sleeping rocco one night after he's fallen asleep nursing... the whole house is quiet and peaceful, everyone snoozing but me... my teeth aren't brushed, my face isn't washed... and im kinda hungry? but i don't want to put rocco down in his cradle. i usually have a hard time putting him down, but on this night i just can't tear myself away from the perfect rise and fall of his chest. his steady breath and warm body are two of the sweetest and most comforting things in the world to me, and although i would happily sit and soak them in for hours, i don't get to nearly often enough!

when maddalena was a baby, i got to experience such a deep and connected relationship with her. i held her constantly [no secret that was her preference!], and had every opportunity to focus on all her needs, her every little detail. and i loved it so much. it was a challenging time, naturally! she didn't nap without me and hated to be put down... but i knew it was all so temporary and i couldn't help but close my eyes and smell and feel and memorize her as often as possible.

but! no matter how hard you try! no matter how dedicated and invested you are! no matter how many bits and pieces you swear you've permanently committed to memory! babies grow. they grow and gain independence. they get all busy and their world expands. they distract you with their new skills and tricks and you have all sorts of fun with them... and then. before you know it... all the fresh details of their babyhood have faded! and there's no going back.

and, of course, everyone knows that with each subsequent child it just gets even harder to absorb and retain and focus and be in the season while it lasts… but that doesn't change the fact that i reeally want to. i want to feel and breathe in every second of rocco. every bit of his loving gaze. his full belly laugh. his baby bear paws reaching. the weight of his snuggle. his sweet head on me as he falls asleep. i need all this stuff! i need it before he gets too busy for me. while i'm still the keeper of his world and still totally hilarious. ;) while he still fits so easily right there on my lap.

additionally, i don't want to miss a second of maddalena! i look at her now and gosh. sometimes it just hits me that i miss her!! i miss having all the time in the world for her. i miss our constant cuddles and perfect partnership. i miss the days before she discovered the art of the meltdown. and i miss not feeling guilty because i'm trying to divide myself. all. the. time. and then i look at rocco wishing i could give him all the uninterrupted everything that i gave madd. but!! life doesn’t work that way! and somehow bigger families always seem a little… better adjusted? to me. and, plus, rocco has what maddalena didn’t, and that’s a sister who adores him. :)

i really love the person my baby girl is blossoming into. i love her thoughts and her heart and her interests and the things she shares with us. she blows me away with her facets and layers. she's a natural caretaker and the best big sister ever. i'm so so proud of her!! and i know i'll love all this in rocco, too, as he grows, and i’m sooo excited for that. there's already so much i adore behind those big, blue eyes of his, and i can't wait to discover so much more of him. he’s more fun every single day and i love it. goodness, i love him!

ooooh, but i just know how fast it goes. yes, hyper-awareness is an ongoing problem for me. so, in between snuggles and household tasks and personal goals and attempts at an adult convo here and there and sometimes just needing a dang hour to watch pretty little liars [which is extra stupid now] and not have anyone needing anything... well, i’m trying not to blink. like, ever. :) and according to the latest testing by my wellness advisor [ahem, my mother in law], my hormones are currently in a state of bonkers [no, but really, what’s new], SO, no big, i’ll just be over here swimming in feelings. <3

[and now! oh, how things change in 6 months!]

and as little sidenote: i'm always happy that i wrote out some of these thoughts and moments when maddalena was a baby! although, sometimes i figure i could keep rambly things like this just as little notes in my iphone... i feel like then if anyone ever came across them, it would look like i was storing up paragraphs of secret thoughts. and secret thoughts make me uncomfortable. there's actually not much i don't share with somebody, so i figure it might as well be with whoever cares enough to click. ;) so, to reference some of my fav old gals, thank you for bein' a frieee-ee-eeeeend!

Friday, February 5, 2016

what makes me OH so happy... a sweet little princess girl on a fuzzy, dirty, handsome horse!

my precious lady just begged to ride last weekend when we went out to feed,
[it was seriously gorgeous out!!]
and although i've yet to dig out & clean up my child's sized saddle,
and aaall my almost-29-year-old casey really wanted to do was eat [what's new!] 
well, if that girl wants to be on top of a horse, i don't think i'll ever turn her down!

...and gosh, she's such a natural! not for one second does she seem like she'll topple,
all bareback on that skinny, stubborn boy.
no, she's completely at peace and thrilled all at the same time.
and i know she's eager to saddle up soon and ride "properly,"
but hey, hoppin' on saddle-free is the best way to start, anyway, i say. :)

so, i've looked at these pictures 20 million times over the last few days,
because i can't help it! i love them!
her little expressions, the sunshine in her braid...
he is so good for her heart and that's suuure good for mine.
those two together, it never gets old.

and oh, minnie! little food stealer, proud grass prancer!
she's the icing on the cake, that little fluff.
thankful for these little moments in the sunshine with my favs.
[also, my sis was there, too, and we'll snag all the time with her we can get!]


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

obsessed: give me all the gold!

okay, first of all... i LOVE gold! love. gold everything. i can't stop with gold, and i don't even want to try.

second! once upon a time, long before i was having baby bunnies of my own, i had this mom give me her contact info via her business card... even though her job was mom. looking back i say this is way clever!! but at the time, i questioned it. you have a business card for being a mom? like, in case i have laundry questions... maybe if i need a PBJ? ooooh, baby... little. did. i. know. being a mom is a full time gig here, people! and life at the office ain't always glammy glampops... but it can come pretty close!

1. s'well sparkling champagne stainless steel water bottle - oh my beloved! seriously, everyone who sees this water bottle is like "you have the bottle that i want!" and i'm like "iii know, i wanted it, too!!" i was using a glass bottle before to steer away from plastic, which was great! but lately i am loooving the way water tastes out of stainless steel. so fresh!

2. nate berkus gold scissors - these scis babes are THE scissiest babes of all time! the scissors that my scissor-happy heart has desired since i was 4 and cut my hair and hid it under the sofa. or in kindergarten when i cut my dress because i wanted to see if my scissors would cut. or when i cut my mom's vintage barbie's hair. or cut my own hair again. see? scissors are my jam! and clearly, i'm terrible at using them, but these cut in a really straight line which is magical.

3. nate berkus gold stapler - i am completely like the office space guy over this stapler! i love my stapler. don't take my stapler! 

4. kate spade file folders - ahhhh, the organizational satisfaction that a properly labeled file folder can bring!! put some gold on it and it's like... an angel getting wings. also! polka dots!

5. gold 2016 planner - so, i've tried not having a real, tangible planner, but i missed the days of writing in one!! filling it in with info and adding in some nice doodles. using white out on your mistakes! and anyway, this one is mighty purty!!

6. kate spade little gold book - isn't she adorable?! all shiny and cute. she even says "little gold book" across the front! oh, adorable little gold book, whatever notes shall we jot?

7. gold sequined house slippers - because you. are. a. BOSS. also, they are super duper soft on the inside!

Monday, February 1, 2016

be in love with your life...

...every detail of it.

you know that jack kerouac quote? some days i think it's a daaarn high standard to set for yourself! but other days... especially when the sun comes out and warms all our faces... feeling green grass on my bare feet... soaking in every beautiful inch of my sweet babies... getting to see the way maddalena dresses herself each day [i LOVE seeing her style develop... always testing out new fashions! yes!] rocco's heavenly baby smell, tiny boy bear paws, and precious little voice... tiredly laughing with steven, my handsome goofball, at the end of the day... the smell of horses on my hands... and oh, a glorious glass of red! and then looking forward to my next morning's coffee [i always do!!]. well it's not hard to be in love those details at all. thanks, life!!

[also, not hard to love my new sweater from the happy goose shop! i am... obsessed with it. never taking it off! just like i never take off my pikos. okay, cool!]

[ps. thanks, mom, for capturing these happy shots this weekend!]

Thursday, January 28, 2016

makey thursday! making a magnolia wreath!

i have been in love with magnolia trees for so long now! i dream of my own magnolia tree, and now that we've moved... i'm working on convincing steven to put one in our yard in the spring!

so, anyway, i had a bunch of magnolia leaves around from my holiday decor... we actually picked up some already bunched up bundles of leaves on our little christmas nursery adventure in lexington! but, if you're anywhere in the south, magnolia leaves are everywhere.

THEN, i saw a faux magnolia leaf wreath being sold "at a discount" for $70. s-e-v-e-n-t-y dollarssss! i thought to myself... wait wait wait. wait. i have real dried magnolia leaves. can't i just... make a wreath?

well the answer is YES! i can make a wreath! and i did! and everyone should! haha. okay, but only if you want to. anyway, i kind of browsed around the 'nets for how anyone else might have crafted up a wreath, and ultimately i didn't go with any one way that i saw.

what i did do was go to the craft store... purchase a foam wreath form, some floral wire, and a little more glue for my hot glue gun. love that thing! hadn't used good ole hot glue in ages!!

make a magnolia wreath

...yay! i love how it turned out! 

my wreathing approach was to glue one leaf in place and then wrap the wire around the stem, as well. i started with a front layer, then did an outer layer, then an inner layer, but was also kind of filling in where i saw fit. the wire-wrapping was pretty easy with the first layer, but took some finesse for the other layers... i just wanted my leafies to be ultra-secure!

now, honestly, i don't know how many leaves i used. i didn't count. i really didn't. enough to cover about a 12" wreath ring pretty well! and i probably could use a few more, if i get a chance, to cover the very back so that if you peek behind it you don't see the ring as much... but it's not an emergency. 

all that to say... gather yourself *a lot* of magnolia leaves! fill a pretty basket full! and i had obviously let mine dry naturally. they didn't curl up too much, but a little curliness on the edges gives the wreath some fluff and life! you can even wet some and kind of flatten them out, if you're careful. or! just get to wreathing before they dry and let it dry in wreath form!

...and hang her where she makes you happy!!
now, i think i feel a wreath kick coming on! ;)

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

when you bust on out of snow jail!

on day two of the very snowiest snow weekend, we decided that maaaybe it was time to break free of our hibernation! clearly, we needed to be romping on more snow-covered lands with more snow-playing people, and so! we ventured over to join the farm party... naturally!

[ps! how preciously adorable is this snowy farmhouse on a hill? that farm is really my favorite part of the view from our house... i can't ever get over how much i love it. and covered in snow! what a postcard! i'm dying to just knock on their door...]

...gosh, i love how gorgeous and perfect and cozy and adorable everything on the farm is when it's covered in snow! like, the barns! oh, barns in snow are just the loveliest, i think. 

anyway, we built the cutest frosty the snowman [maddalena's official name for him! custom top-hat courtesy of my brother! i was mostly on face and buttons duty, myself.]. then the boys threw their ridiculously hard-packed snowballs at the icicles dangling from the roof, and when i tried i just accidentally hit a window. haha. and and!! we sledded! we didn't have a sled, but we made it happen with cardboard boxes, a baking sheet, and candle wax. weeeeee! also, little minnie, who just loooves a good snow romp, even if she can barely make her way through it... she ended her day with a nice, warm bath after collecting bunches of completely solid iceballs all through her fluffy fur. and rocco?! slept through the whooooole thing!

so, while i'm now definitely ready to have warm feet/animals/air/etc, little snow adventures like these are always such memorable ones. thanks for the snow party, fam!! oh! and thanks, mom, for letting me steal pics off your iphoney. as always! :)

Monday, January 25, 2016

when you wake up to SNOW!!

snow! snow! snooow!!!

i mean, when forecasters mention snow around here, i don't take it toooo seriously. we usually get flurries that melt away by afternoon or slushy ice stuff that's not too cute and just makes it hard to drive... or walk... so! when we woke up on friday morning, i could not believe my eyes. because this! this is legit snow! soft, powdery, white snow!

that snow kept coming down for so much of the day, and it was so so so beautiful. even though i totally, definitely, unquestionably remain 1,000% a summertime girl, it was extra fun being snowed into our new home for the very first time. it was one of those things that i had pictured us doing together when we bought this house, and i was feelin' aaaaallll the cozy vibes!

maddalena loved playing in the snow with daddy, whose natural first inclination was to make a bunch of solidly packed snowballs and hurl them at me. oh, thanks so much, babe! and sweet mr. rocco was just like maddalena first was about snow... a july baby at heart! oh, his precious face... he was like, "why are you doing this to me??" that's okay, i'm sure he'll be a little more excited about it next time this happens in 13 years. ;)