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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

In efforts to pick up my pieces

I've had a rough past few days. Nothing I'd like to get into---just a little 'net bullying cowards behind their computer per-say.

On one hand, I kind of feel like I'm a bit shattered into different pieces. On another hand, I just feel a little bruised I guess.

What I don't like? Is that I let some of the disgusting crap (and lies) that were said about me penetrate to my soul and that's.so.not.me

I'm a tough, roll-off my back type of chick. But, apparently I'm not. Or not anymore. And I don't like it.

Because, dude. Words HURT. They hurt, and they can cut to the core. 

My husband tells me it's just bound to happen. Mean people are just that---mean. People who are unhappy with themselves--yea, they? They pick out every itty bitty flaw you have and rub it in your face over, and over and over again.

He tells me to let it roll off my back. He tells me I'm none of those things I was accused of. He knows how to help me pick up back up the pieces and make a little sense of myself.

Because the truth is?

I can look in the mirror on a daily basis and know I'm being true to myself, true to God, and true to my family. I'm happy. I have an amazingly incredible husband, gorgeous daughter and caring family. I have people who support me, love me, and are there for me. I have friends who know my true character, readers who feel like they know me because of my honesty, and a God that forgives me when I mess up.

So those lies? I don't have to listen to--or believe. They aren't me. That's not me. I refuse to let others negativity bring me down. It's hard, and it sucks sometimes, but it's life.

And? With all that--I decided to chill out on the facebook/twitter home front for a bit. I need to clear my head. But blogging still remains. I think. Oh, and the facebook/twitter strike is not forever. Just until I feel better about the balancing act that is life.

Thanks for your constant support. Although I write because I desperately need the outlet, your support has been an awesome side bonus.

Hugs on this Tuesday morning.

[For the record, none of this happened on this blog or on twitter :) ]

Monday, November 29, 2010

Giveaway!

My beautiful blog friend, Megan from In This Wonderful Life graciously offered to do a giveaway for my Eme*Kay Creatives business!



If you'd like to enter---go check it out.

***
Good luck!


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Wounded Warrior Project

I partnered up with Fantabulously Frugal, and donated a set of momma/baby headbands that are being auctioned right now on Ebay for a great cause. The proceeds go to the Wounded Warrior Project.


Why don't you head over and check out some of the items up for auction. You won't be sorry. Who knows--maybe you'll score the headband pair from Eme*Kay Creatives? Maybe?


Happy Sunday!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Family Photoshoot---Yes, please!

My sweet little not so little brother came into town for Thanksgiving. He's been doing some awesome photography lately--and I asked him if he'd get his camera on my daughter since I typically only ever have my perspective on her. He gladly obliged--and did a whole family photoshoot too.

It was cold and windy, AND we didn't get to go where we wanted---but you'd never know it. I am in love with these photos.

Thank you brother....I'm forever grateful.

[and I apologize now for how many there are---but, dude--I wanted to show you all 70 of them and I didn't....]
























What day is it again?

Is it just me or does anyone else have their days all mixed up?! That's part of what I love about the holidays. Time kind of  gets all out of whack...and well...it's good. Really good.

When else besides vacations and holidays do you get to forget what day it is and just enjoy time with your family? 

Declan took off work yesterday, and has off today--and it's been bliss. I love when he's home, and that's a bit of an understatement. It's fantastic. I've gotta figure out a way to get him to stay home all the time, but still keep the paychecks rolling in. Anyone have any ideas on how to accomplish this? No? Le sigh.

We've been waking up, enjoying coffee and breakfast together---playing with our always smiling lady, and taking our days really slow. It's great.

Anyway--we have house full of sickies. But? We're still in great spirits. 

So, I'll leave with you with an iPhone picture from our lunch yesterday.






Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thankfulness, cookie style.

I woke up feeling extra festive yesterday. It was likely the fact that I walked down into a fully decorated for Christmas living room. Either way, I felt the strong urge to bake.

But, it's a little too soon for Christmas cookies.

I immediately sent a text to my sister begging asking her to do something fun. She replied back asking if I had any heart cookie cutters. Well, duh--of course I do. Two, in fact. She mentioned how she found this oh so cute recipe for Turkey cookies and that we should totally try it.

In true Katie fashion, I documented.


Welcome to our turkey factory:


 Try not to die. They are so cute, aren't they? Four cookies in ONE. FOUR.

Cuteness in every bite.

Don't they look so cute all lined up like that?! Like a little turkey army.

The plan? We packaged them all up in cute little bags--tied with an orange ribbon, and then I made little tags, "Thanks for all you do!" Declan's taking them into work today to give to his team of employees. 

Just call me the morale booster. Kidding. Sort of.


It was fun. If you're wondering, all that pretty-colored icing goodness is done with homemade royal icing (colored with food dye, obviously). We used the bottles like you saw in the first image to apply the icing. The sugar cookies are also from scratch using a delish, simple recipe.

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup melted butter (mix into sugar--let cool)
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
*
Blend until smooth
*
Add:
5 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder

Mix.

Form into a ball, cover in saran wrap--and refrigerate 2 hours before making cookies.

For the rest of the info on the turkey cookies, go here

****

With Thanksgiving here, my brother flying into town tonight, lots and lots of time with people we love, turkey, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, family photos, and endless amounts of Black Friday shopping (yes, I'm *that* girl)---I'll see you in a few days.

Have a beautiful, special, magnificent, lovely and memorable Thanksgiving. 

I know I have lots to be thankful for.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Don't hate....Decorate.

Get your tomatoes ready. Because after this? You're gonna hate me.

I used to think I *LOVED* decorating for Christmas. But, I'm pretty sure I've always fooled myself into believing this.

It's not true.

I really dread it.

In fact, it's one of those tasks where I have to carve out a day (aka: last night), and beg my husband to comply. 

Not to mention, adding a child to the mix, well--changes things. Of COURSE I want to have the house decorated, but the process of getting there? I totally loathe.

Like last night. 

Declan has to drag up 29308390283 totes full of more Christmas Decorations then I know what to do with (seriously, I have a problem with the purchasing of Christmas Decor. Help....). Then, I have to open said totes and go through them. The 'have to keep things neat' side of me is starting to get all anxiety-ridden because "omigah! My house is going to have pine needles all over forEVER!" Totally not true, but in the moment---ahhhh. I hate it.

Seriously? The pine needles. EVERYWHERE. Drives me bonkers.

Then? This year---I decided I wanted to tone down on some of my decor. I wasn't into the whole 'sparkly' thing this year. Earthy and vintage was my goal. 

So, it left me with a whole lot of scratching my head and thinking "what the H am I to do?"---and problem solving. Yea. Let's call it problem solving. [Because I like to make things like Christmas decorating challenging.]

Declan did the whole fluffing and pulling/prodding/re-forming of the tree (yes, we have a fake one, so sue me), as I huffed and puffed around the house all stressed out over the chaos that is Christmas, and laughed and quoted as ELF played in the background*. 

I'm pretty sure I've fooled myself over all these years into thinking that I liked Christmas decorating, when really? I like the result.

I do NOT like the process. 

Not one bit.

I've also realized? That the vacuum is my best friend. Because, the pine needles--oh the pine needles. They almost give me a panic attack.

So, there. I said it.

I see post after post in my reader of people proclaiming their love for Christmas decorating--and here I am, all ba-humbug and such typing how much I loathe it. 

The good news is? It only happens once a year.

Don't even get me started on the day we have to take it all down. Because I hate that, too.

***

*The one good thing about decorating is we always watch Elf. It is, for sure my #1 favorite Christmas movie (Declan's too)--and we may or may not quote lines from it the entire year. At least in the middle of the chaotic decorating I can let out a hearty chuckle now and again. Because, dude, Will Farrell? Freakin' hilarious

And oh? We normally decorate for Christmas on black Friday. But this year we have plans, my brother is coming into town, and other things going on so we did it a few days early to allow for the max family time possible. 

***

Have a great Tuesday!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Silent Sunday: My first craft fair

My sister hosted a [small] craft fair in her home yesterday with about eight local crafters we know. Honestly? We didn't know what to expect. But let me just say--it went amazing. Most of the vendors did awesome, but I know for a fact that my sister and I did smashingly (love that word) well. Smashingly.


In fact, I set up shop and created things on the spot for people. It was so much fun. 

AND--way more people came then we expected. Bonus!

My Etsy Shop


Friday, November 19, 2010

The fragments of Friday

I'm convinced that the jumperoo (of any form) is God's gift to Mom's. Hello? If it gives you even 10 minutes of time to get something done, where your kid is restrained confined to an area and you know they're safe--it's pretty awesome. Not to mention--all the jumping. Since the jumperoo came into our lives, she naps better. Case closed.

Pop Tarts even slightly over-toasted are disgusting and un-edible. The icing then gets burned creating this nasty hard-burnt-crunchy coating thus destroying the deliciousness that is a pop tart. But, err...I wouldn't know about that, since, I don't eat them. Ahem.

Last night I got devoted time in my craft room. Declan took over the baby-duties completely and I shut my door, turned on my laptop and iChatted with my sister while we both were creating [in our own houses. Technology is awesome]. See, we're cool like that. Plus, just knowing the other is 'there' kinda keeps us motivated. We have a craft fair this weekend and both needed to get lots done. We both did.

I told Declan that I wanted him to pretend I wasn't even there so I could get lots done. At one point, I yelled down to him for something and he said, "Do I hear a ghost, Emeline?" Touche....touche.

As for the blog redesign stuff I posted about the other day, thanks for your feedback. I wasn't super clear, but if you want to talk to me about doing your blog, let me know. Of course, I charge for the time--I have to. But, for the record-I'm much cheaper then any other peeps I've seen.

Oh and yesterday's post--you all made me smile. Like a million times over. The daddy-love cup runneth over in this household as I'm sure you all can tell. I do realize how blessed we are to have such a good "da-da" (as Eme says), and a good husband. I'm just an amateur photographer (duh), but I'm having all sorts of fun documenting nonetheless.

Oh and BIG NEWS in our house. 

Are you ready??

Are you sure....??

My daughter now has enough hair that she had her first case of bed-head EVER this week.

Of course I documented this momentous event.


Cuteness still abounds.

Have a happy weekend!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wet lashes

Everyone knows that Declan gives Emeline her nightly baths. He loves that time with her. She loves that time with him. It works for us.

Often times while he's doing that, I'll run around the upstairs, straightening up her room, packing orders to ship for my Etsy shop, or changing into my pj's for the night. Something. I can always find something I need to do.

But other times, I sit my butt down on the bathroom floor crouched next to the tub, and watch the interaction between Daddy and daughter that just melts me. 

This week, I was in there admiring her little bathing-beauty cutie-pieness (thats a word, no?), and a lightbulb went off.

I shouted, "I HAVE TO GET MY CAMERA!" [as if it were the end of the world]

Declan made a comment about how there will be a million and one baths to take photos of. 

I quickly responded, "But not at this age, in this moment, on this day. I HAVE to capture this". 

I ran back up with camera in hand, and started documenting my girl during bathtime.

'Cuz I know I'm not the only one in love with wet little eyelashes. Right? Right..?



I love that she plays with toys now, and splashes around--and has such a carefree little 'life is grand' except for teething attitude. It's awesome. And inspiring.

And yea. Sometimes? We do silly things like put her bath book on her head. Anything for a cute photo, right?


But she loves us just the same.

And oh...the cute, snuggly, warm, and oh so yummy smelling after-bathtime-baby is the best.

The.best.


Oh, and the last thing--and the best thing. Sometimes, I sit back and just admire these two together after bathtime, too.

And well? This photo just says it all.

Be still my heart.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

New endeavors. Again?

I don't know what's wrong with me but I cannot sit still. Well, okay--I can sit still, but my brain can't. Better yet, my creative side cannot lay dormant for long. You aren't surprised are you?

So yea.

Lately I've been dabbling a little bit in blog (re)design. 

It's fun! 

Below are some small examples of some of my recent projects. 

***

This is an old friend from high school's photography blog. She's just starting out, so she needed a little help giving her blog a facelift. I did the header, and all the other color/design details.
Visit the rest of the site.

*
Below is my friend Gina's blog. She let me play around with her little corner of the internet, and well--it turned out pretty cute. I also did some extra's for her--you know, sidebar stuff, background, colors, and all that jazz. 
Visit the rest of the site.

*
Mine. Complete overhaul as you can see. 
Duh, mine.

*

Here is my sweet friend Lindsay's blog. For her, I did the header and sidebar to match the other deets she already had chosen to use.
Visit the rest of site.
*

I completely created this blog from scratch for a friend I taught with last year. Her dad has just been added to the heart transplant list, so this is where they will document his journey. I really enjoyed making this for them.
Visit the rest of the site.
***

So there you have it. Some of my new creations. I go from headband making to blog-creating. Eh, I'm weird. (Oh, and still totally doing headbands still. Go shop for Christmas! Hurry!)

Have a happy Wednesday!

{Since I know I'll have a few people ask, if you're interested in a blog design, feel free to email me for details and I'd be happy to talk to you about doing your blog.}

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Marks of motherhood

One of the marks of motherhood are tired, sleepy eyes. Although, not all the time. But, once you have kids you realize there will be times (okay, lots of time) where you don't get sleep.

There are nights where you're up holding a wide awake baby, trying to coax them back to sleep.

There are nights when you're nursing a sick baby back to health.

There are nights when your kid is going through a growth spurt and ohmigosh, wants to eat around the clock.

There are nights when your poor baby has tummy pain, of some sort...and your night is filled with rubbing their belly, doing bicycle legs, and giving them mylicon-- making sure everything is a-okay.

Or there will be nights like I had last night, when it is obvious--so very obvious beyond compare that her little teeth are shifting under those gums and trying to make their way through those tender little gums.

Where she wakes up in sheer agony, and I hear shrieks and cries of pain like I've never heard out of my happy little lady before.

I go and scoop her up because I know, I just know she's in pain. It's rough. The night was rough--but it was harder for me to see her struggling so much.

You know? I'm told that if adults had to go through the teething process that we'd never make it. It's too difficult. Go figure.

So, last night, as I was in the rocker, holding her--stroking her head, feeling her warm cheeks, and rubbing her back, I thought Yep, this is it.

This is motherhood. The unpredictable nights when new things are happening to your little one. The sacrifice of your own sanity sleep to make sure they're comfortable and being soothed. The rough nights, when in a moment of "holy crap I'm gonna die I'm so tired" you realize that you're holding the sweetest little gift God ever could have given you. Then you stop. You realize how blessed you are.

And just like one of my favorite fancy bloggers, Miss Kelle Hampton puts it---those are the nights you earn another badge of motherhood. You've done good.

When she's in pain, when nights aren't 'right' or feel off---yep, you better bet I'm there. Earning another unseen badge of motherhood.


Because my reward is in smiles, and happy feet.


Happy Tuesday!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Hi. It's me.

I swear, it's me. Katie.

My blog may look a little different but the person behind it is still the same. I assure you.

I've been playing around with some blog facelifting and such, and welp--I decided to give my own blog a go. Considering my husband used to do it all for me, I'm pretty pleased with myself.

I was scared. I was oh so scared. But, somehow, I made it work.

I'm going for a winter'ish (duh) theme. But not trying to be over-the-top Christmas'ey and such. Hopefully I accomplished just that.

So, I'll show you around a bit if you don't mind. Some things are different here.

You'll notice the pages at the top? See them? Now you can easily find out how to contact me, my etsy shop, info about our little family, and even Eme's progression pictures right there. Easy, peasy. I really like how it frees up so much room on my sidebars. A more simplistic, less chaotic look, don't you think?

Did you see that little advertise tab? Yea. That. Don't go and get all freaked out on me.

My thoughts are this. My blog gets read by a lot of people. No, no, I'm no MckMama, but I do get close to 800 unique readers a day. There's a lot of people visiting. My google friend connect is rising (over 600 now, wowza), and I have a high amount of people come from outside, non-blogger sources too. [Hello? Who are you?? Can you please say hello sometime? K. Cool.]

It's a good place to get your name out there. Plus, the readers here (hey, that's you!) are all so amazingly wonderful. Really. Whether you have an Etsy shop like myself, a blog you'd like to promote, or any other business of some-sort. Check it out. You know you're working with a loyal long-time blogger, and I have new posts up about six times a week.

Plus, you know how I am all about promoting other moms and their businesses. I think its rad.

Enough said, I think.

So. Back to the basics....do you like the new look?

***

Happy Monday!



Sunday, November 14, 2010

Silent Sunday

Being this cute is so not fair.





Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday Bits and Such

Oh hallelujah, it's Friday.

Today and tomorrow we're looking at some gorgeous weather around here. After these two days of nice weather its pretty much gonna plummet in terms of weather, and get freeze-your-toosh-off cold. Since I'm a coat-hater, the next few months of winter get me a tiny bit down. The whole darkness thing? Yea.

Can I just tell you that all week, sometime around 4:30-4:45pm, I'll
be working on something at home and look around and realize I'm in
COMPLETE darkness in my house. I hate that the darkness comes so early. Hate, hate.

On that note, the whole time change thing somehow did not affect my kid. Now all the other moms getting up at 5am with their babies want to throat punch me [ducks]. All I mean by that is her final wake up time is still somewhere between 8:30-9:15, even despite the time change. Oh, and to make you feel better, I still get up with my 6 month old anywhere from 1-3x a night. So don't hate. I rarely get any sleep. Well, I mean, I get some-but it's chopped up into itty bitty pieces. I'm convinced that moms just don't sleep. It's almost enough to convince me to just keep having babies because I might as well get this whole lack-of-sleep part of my life over with, so, you know, in 25 years I can finally get a good night's sleep.

I am going to try to get Eme's Christmas photo done in these next two glorious weathered days. If our photoshoots go anything like Wednesday, it'll be a big fat fail. Literally, even with the help of my sister, we couldn't get the kid to smile. She smiles 99% of the day, yet that day? Wasn't having it.

I woke up yesterday morning with sore ribs. I hurt. It felt like I'd worked out hardcore, and between you and me (and the whole internetz), I definitely did not. It wasn't until I remembered the way I contorted my body to try to get a good photo of the baby the day before-that I realized that was maybe, just maybe the culprit of my sore ribs. My sister posted this picture to twitter saying "She'll do anything to get a good shot"--and well, then it clicked. That ground was hard, yo.


Somehow, I managed to drop a pant size. MAYBE, just maybe it was a random thing. But, I bought that same brand of jeans only 2 months ago and they were a size higher. They are a bit snug around the belly but fit so good everywhere else. I'm pretty sure I'm one of those ladies whom breastfeeding makes them hold onto extra weight. I have a few other friends like this, and my OB/GYN told me that's the case for some women too. I mean, don't get me wrong, it helped me lose the initial 25 lbs fast, and shrunk the uterus down like whoa. But, still. Well, I've been nursing much less than normal because her solids intake is much higher. Maybe that's why? Who knows. But either way, I'm not complaining. I also, for the record, did nothing to lose any weight, if I in fact did lose weight. [Did I tell you I refuse to step on the scale? Slightly terrified.]

On that note, the Christmas bug is starting to hit me. I'm being VERY intentional about ordering handmade this year. Because us momtrepeneurs need business more than Old Navy or Walmart, right? So, I've started receiving some of the gifts I've ordered in and I feel really good about the fact I'm helping other mom's and small shop owners like myself, rather than those big guys with a filthy amount of money.

Speaking of which, did you see how I have some pony tail holders now? Also, a ridiculously cute Thanksgiving-colored adult headband. This is my shameless plug.



Have a beautiful weekend!


Thursday, November 11, 2010

When sadness and overwhelming happiness collide

I honestly thought Eme's little six month birthday milestone was hard. I am totally becoming one of those mom's I used to internally criticize.

I'm the one now wishing for time to slow down now.

I'm the one trying to savor every second.

I'm the one who can imagine the day of her birth like it was seconds ago.

And yea, I'm the mom who cries when she puts away her newborn clothes in totes.

I'm so that mom.

On Tuesday night, Declan and I were laying in bed talking right before falling asleep. I told him how I have this overwhelming sense of what felt like sadness, [or maybe it was happiness?] that was just overcoming me.

Half.a.year. She was half a year old the next day.

I laid there and sobbed. Big, messy, wet-the-sheets tears.

Declan was sweet as usual, and told me that it's good--she's meant to grow, she's perfectly on track, and she's happy. She's so happy.

I knew all this. It's good. She's wonderful--and seriously, one of the happiest babies I know.

I was more sad that I could hardly remember my tiny little 6 1/2 lb. baby. She literally grows everyday in front of my eyes.

I hate that I forget.

...and I hate how fast time goes.

So, I did the obvious thing on her 6 month birthday. I sat there and went through photos of the day she was born. When she was just seconds, minutes old.

I marveled at the fact of how little and squishy she was, and how her face has changed so much---and how she's such an interactive, fun little girl now--and how that's only going to keep changing and developing.

I wasn't sad, or overwhelmed.

I was thrilled.

I love watching her story unfold in front of me.

So, I'll revel in the moments.

May 10, 2010

November 10th, 2010
[Because I know people will ask, her onesie was made by my sister!]

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

6 Months Old


[Getting her picture is getting harder and harder--all she wants to do is play with the owl now, eat it's ear, chew on it's foot....etc.
This was the most decent shot we got out of like, a billion.]

Dear Emeline,

You are six months old today. Six.

Every month I am shocked at how fast the time goes---but half a year?? I cannot even believe it. We've watched you grow and change into such a gorgeous little six month old. It's been the best experience of my life being your momma.

You are a busy little girl. You can get anywhere you feel like going simply by rolling, or getting up on your knees and pushing off. You haven't quite figured out crawling yet and I'm perfectly okay with that. You love your toys, you love to grab at people's faces, and you will smile BIG at people you know and love. You are a sociable little girlie.

The newest thing this month is the constant babbling. Your most favorite is "Da-Da", and the sweetest thing is when you whisper it (yes, whisper) when your Daddy holds you or takes you up to bed. You also say "na-na", and sometimes "ba-ba". You love your voice and are pretty much talking most the time we're at home. When we go out, you are pretty perfectly quiet (at a restaurant and such), and we appreciate that, too :)

This month you also can sit very steady on your own. So, we've graduated you to the front of the shopping carts, and sitting in the high chairs at restaurants. It makes life SO much easier, and you love to look around. Happy baby=happy mommy.

You weigh 16lbs 13oz, are 26" long and your noggin is 17". You are growing perfectly and on track with where you're supposed to be. You are wearing size 3 diapers, some 3-6 month clothes, and mostly things 6 month are fitting perfectly now. You have a very few 6-9 month things that fit.

You're eating solids twice a day now, but you're still a small eater. You eat some fruit in the morning, veggies at night, and nurse in between. You are nursing a whole lot less then you used too. You always sleep about two 5.5-6.5 stretches at night, plus maybe another 2 hours or so. You nap twice a day.

You still love bathtime and all the one on one time you get with your Daddy. You two are seriously adorable together.

Your blonde hair is coming in more thick this month (and its very light!), and your eyes are still icy blue. You are a stunning little lady.

You make our hearts melt everyday. You are a blessing from God. You're a reminder that good things come in small packages, and you.are.loved.

Always,

Momma

***

How you looked this month: