My good friend Hollie of Blog-o-Hollic is doing something wonderful this month. She’s hosting A Month 4 Moms blog series with great posts every day on all sorts of different topics for moms. Today she’s graciously asked me to guest post about taking care of your husband/marriage. Head over to check out my post and the other posts from earlier this month!
One of the first things I wanted to do when we moved in was get our photo wall up in the living room. I love a good photo wall. I think it’s a way to really personalize a room. We had a photo wall in our apartment in the city but I wanted to make this one a little larger. I used all of our existing frames and borrowed a few from my mom. Using Young House Love’s newspaper template idea, I cut newspapers to the size of each frame and taped them up on the wall to see exactly how I wanted everything to hang. I measured about two inches between each frame. Luckily my mom was here to watch E because it took quite a long time. Once I had the newspaper frame outlines taped up, we began to hang each photo starting on one side of the wall. Philip used this Hang & Level Picture Hanging Tool from Home Depot that was a lifesaver. I was skeptical at first but it saved us a lot of time.
I’m really happy with the results (click to enlarge if you want to get a closer look at the framed photos):
Starting from the left we have a print of the state of Illinois that Philip’s brother got us a few years back. I think it’s really cool and you can find one of every state here. The gorgeous city/sea picture was taken during a hike when we were in Cinque Terre, Italy in 2009. The Lincoln Square/Loop print was a Christmas gift from Philip and is from a little art store in our old neighborhood. Then we have some family pics and three little prints we got during that same Italy trip. The waterfall picture was taken in Big Sur during our California road trip in 2011. I found the cardboard “M” in the dollar section at Target a year ago and was waiting to do something with it. I painted it green using acrylic paint and attached it to the wall using sticky velcro strips. I like that I can change the color of it with paint anytime I want! Then there’s more family pics and the heart print that I made. Here’s a post from awhile back about how I did it. The cypress tree photo was taken on our trip to California. There’s also a little print of the Chicago city skyline (can you tell we have take a lot of pride in where we live?!).
So it’s done, at least for now! I’ve got a few more things I want to do in our living room but it’s a sloooow process (re-covering lampshades, a new, more kid-friendly coffee table, chairs, a new side table, shelves above the tv). I wish I had unlimited time and money and could knock it all out in a week!
After a rather long hiatus, I’m starting to blog again. There’s been a LOT of change in my life in the last few months and I’m excited to be writing again. Here’s a quick recap of the whirlwind that’s been the last six months:
- Our baby boy Ethan was born at the end of August
- Resigned from my job in advertising to stay home full-time with Ethan
- Bought a house
- Moved from the city to the burbs
Whew! That’s quite a lot. September and October are mostly a blur as I was dealing with new baby sleep deprivation and getting acquainted with being a family of three. I still can’t believe I have this perfect little person in my life and yet it feels like I’ve never known anything else. The love I feel for him is all encompassing and I can’t imagine our world without him. He brings me such joy.
My life is completely different than it was six months ago and while I wouldn’t change a thing, there are definitely things that I miss from when I worked full-time. I miss catching up in the morning with the girls and going out to lunch. I miss grabbing a random Starbucks at two in the afternoon just because we needed a break. And I miss being able to wear tops not made for breastfeeding or too nice to risk being spit up on, ha! It was a hard decision to leave an office full of people I really cared about but, for now at least, it was the right choice.
This Fall we started to consider moving. Philip works in the suburbs and the long commute was wearing thin. We were quickly running out of space and I was dreaming of being able to take Ethan on a walk without having to drag him and a stroller up and down two flights of stairs. We spent a few months searching (house hunting is not fun) and then found the perfect place. It’s in a wonderful neighborhood and has plenty of room for us to grow. It was built in the 60′s but it’s been rehabbed so it has the charm I wanted without us having to do any updating. It’s got huge windows that let in lots of light and original hardwood floors. I love it. I’ve got so many decorating projects planned and I hope to document them all here. I think we’ve adjusted to the move really well. The first week here we kept commenting to each other about how quiet it was! The first time I took Ethan for a walk I felt almost a little freaked out in the park by the emptiness and quietness. Such a change!
Life is so sweet. There are peaks and valleys in everyone’s life and we’re on a peak now. There are definitely days that are more than challenging or where I find myself feeling discouraged or frustrated, but there are also lots of really happy, positive days. I’m constantly thanking God for all He’s done for us. There are moments in life that you want to bottle up and save on a shelf to be able to relive whenever you want. Those moments are happening every day and I’m trying to savor each one because I know they will be gone all too soon. Moments where I’m dancing around our living room with my baby boy and he’s giggling uncontrollably. Moments when I go to his crib in the morning hours and his face lights up as he reaches for me. Moments when he wraps his chubby little arms tightly around my neck and snuggles into me. I think the word “thankful” doesn’t even describe it.
I’m looking forward to writing again. To have my own little “project”. To be able to capture some of what is happening in my life. Life is busier now, but I’ll try to keep up with it here as often as possible.
I used to spend my day staring out the window at skyscrapers. Here’s my view this morning. Not nearly as glamorous, but still looks pretty good to me.
Our baby boy Ethan was born 4 weeks ago today (on a rare blue moon!) and I’ve been wanting to document the story before I forget the little details (it’s a bit long though!). It all happened so fast and of course not at all like we had expected, but that’s pretty much how life goes!
Four weeks ago I was finishing up my last day of work before taking off almost two weeks to relax and prep for our baby boy. We had found out less than two weeks earlier that our little one was in a breech position with his butt down instead of his head. My doctor had scheduled a c-section for September 13th, a day before my original due date of September 14th. We thought there might still be a chance he would flip and come on his own and I wanted to make sure I had a little break from work beforehand. I had been so busy in August that I had a whole list of all the things I planned to get done before he came (if you know me well, you know that I am a huge planner). That last day of work I went to lunch with the girls and said goodbye to everyone in the office. I felt somewhat emotional that day, knowing that my life was going to change pretty quickly. Little did I know how quickly!
I got home that night at 6:00pm and felt pretty shot, maybe a little more so than usual but just figured it was an emotional day and chalked it up to that. I remember feeling really excited that I could just sleep in the next day and rest – ha! Philip got home and his office had thrown him a wonderful book shower that day so we sat and looked through all the books he’d received. Around 8:00pm I remember feeling what felt like little kicks really low and I even had Philip feel them. It felt like little pops. We figured since baby boy was breech maybe his little legs were moving around differently than normal. I just remember it was somewhat strange. Right at 9:00 I was laying on the couch watching tv and Philip was on his iPad when all of a sudden, there was a HUGE gush! I knew instantly what it was and jumped up and yelled, “My water just broke!” I was totally panicked and ran to the bathroom. Then I started crying hysterically. It was kinda ridiculous. I found out later that with breech babies water breakage can be a lot more intense (sorry, I know this is kinda TMI) because of the baby’s position and I felt like all of the fluid in my belly was just pouring out. I was seriously freaking out. I was yelling things like,”the house is a mess!”, “Sarah and I were supposed to get pedicures”, “I had my whole list of things to do!”, “I still need slippers for the hospital!” (side note: my aunt came to the hospital with wonderfully comfy pink slippers for me!). Philip was super calm and I remember him kneeling before me saying, “It’s okay, it’s okay, we’re gonna meet our baby soon!” Later on he told me that he was pretty panicked as well, but did everything he could to stay calm.
One of the biggest things I keep thinking about is who our little baby is going to look like. Will he have blue eyes like Philip, or brown like mine? Whose face will his look more like? Maybe he’ll be a combo of both of us? Will he have curly brown hair like me or straight blond hair like his daddy? I’ve had a few friends share pictures of themselves as babies before their own baby arrived and I thought it was a fun idea, so I’m sharing some here today!
I’m just dying to meet him! Only a few weeks to go!
Baby boy is due one month from today! I can’t believe how fast time has gone by. It’s moved much faster than I could have imagined. This past weekend our friend Catherine (who was also one of the hostesses for my shower below) was nice enough to take maternity pictures of the hubs and I at Welles park in our neighborhood and I wanted to share our top five favorites. I plan to frame one or two to put in the baby’s room.
I’m feeling pretty blessed lately! Three of my sweet friends, Beth, Catherine, and Sarah, threw me an absolutely lovely shower this weekend. There were so many Pinterest worthy details – I’ve never seen anything like it! It meant so much to celebrate baby boy with all my friends and see how much he is already loved. I’ve been thanking God all weekend for blessing me with these wonderful friendships!
Here are pics! Catherine hosted the shower in her home and handled the decor. She is an amazing stylist/designer and I think she should also be an event planner!
This past weekend my sweet husband Philip surprised me with a little weekend getaway. We’d been talking about wanting to do something fun just the two of us since the baby is due eight days before our five year wedding anniversary. I knew he had something up his sleeve but it was so fun to wake up Saturday and head out for a surprise destination. We ended up in Lake Geneva at Grand Geneva Resort and Spa. Our room was lovely and we had lunch in the cute little town and spent the afternoon lounging in the pool. Late that afternoon he had booked us a couples massage which was amazing. It was SO relaxing and just what I needed. We ended Saturday with dinner at a steakhouse (if you know me, you know I’m a meat and potatoes girl) and headed back to the city Sunday afternoon.
I’m usually the planner and have planned most of the trips we have gone on (I just love planning trips!) so it was extra special that he did this as a surprise. Philip is my best friend and we love our time together. We’ve been talking a lot more lately about how things are going to change when the baby comes. Even though we are so excited, we also want to soak up this last time we have together “just the two of us”. Can you believe baby boy will be here in a month and a half?!
This past weekend my mom and dad came up to visit. Philip was out of town for the week and it was a great time for my mom to come up and help me get our apartment organized and more baby ready. We also wanted to work on the nursery! I wanted to get enough done to make it a fun surprise for when Philip came home (we had planned ahead of time together what we wanted to do and he was fine with me getting things started – and there’s still lots of things I need him to do!). It’s been really hard with my back and hips in pain to do much so my mom was a tremendous help. While my dad went fishing and visited my grandpa, my mom helped me re-organize our kitchen, wash baby’s clothes, organize his room, and start decorating! My dad hung bookshelves for me and my parents put the crib together. I am so thankful for them and we wouldn’t have made nearly this much progress without them!
I was going to wait to post any pictures until everything was completely finished but I love it so much that I have to share now! I really wanted a space that felt soothing, fresh, and cheery. The space will also serve as a guest room for visitors so I wanted to make sure it didn’t feel too “baby” or too cluttered. It’s coming together perfectly and is everything that I envisioned. Philip and I love it!
So we still have to put more prints on the wall above the crib and dresser and add a few other details, but it’s getting close…
The room so far! Yes, I do have the bumper on there now but will take off once he is in the crib. When I post pics of the finished room you’ll be able to see the full crib and the bedding is just too cute! The painting above the futon was painted by Philip’s friend years ago and is of him and his two brothers. I think it works perfectly in the room.
This past Saturday I was blessed with a beautiful baby shower thrown by my mom, good family friend Kellie, and longtime friend from college Jenny. When I walked in my mouth must have dropped because everything was so coordinated – it looked like a Pinterest photo! My grandma, aunt, cousin and good family friends all came to celebrate our sweet boy. I was humbled by the outpouring of love I received from them and from family who couldn’t make it but sent cards and well wishes. Here are the pictures from the day…
Kellie graciously opened her home up to host the shower. I was seated at the plate with the little nest and egg.
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