Wednesday, November 19, 2014

18 Months: Emaline Right Now

Like many parents, Nick and I started making guesses about Emaline's personality before we ever laid eyes on her. The surprising part is how much of what we thought is turning out to be true. She is sweet, loving, and affectionate. And at the same time, she is brave, stubborn, and active. She wants you to cuddle her when she first gets up and before she goes to bed. She offers hugs and kisses throughout the day. When she is upset, she will pat your back as you pat hers. Last week at her well-check (they're not called checkups anymore apparently), the nurse came in to administer shots and when she saw Emaline, turned to the other nurse and said, "She's little but this one is surprisingly strong." I was so proud.

Baby J
Ema Jo

I wish I had been writing these updates all along, but right now is such a fun age. Emaline is so busy! She zips around the house on wobbly legs. She moves from one thing to the next as though she actually has something that must get done. She talks nonstop and will attempt to say any word you ask. She has probably 50 words and it grows everyday. She says "bless you" when I sneeze (but when you fake it, won't respond) and says "okay?" if she thinks I am hurt. And for awhile now, when she hands Nick and I anything, we say, "Thank you. You are so helpful". So now she searches for things to pick up and carry around saying, "helpful, helpful" (which sounds like (hapfoo, hapfoo). Laundry, dishes, any household chores, she wants her little hands in there. 

Favorite words:
Toby (Boby)
Grandpa (Gampa or Buppa)

Her favorite things are books and music. She loves to pull my books off the shelves and carries them around the house with her all day. She will sit with her own books and turn the pages. She will hand me stacks of books and then push her way onto my lap. She sings along with the radio, even if she's never heard the song. If she is upset in the car and we put on a song she likes, not only will she stop crying, she will start singing. She dances in the living room. And I know the current kick is no screen time but Sesame Street songs on YouTube and Play With Me Sesame on Sprout have gotten us through so many long days and rough nights. 

Favorite songs to sing:
Twinkle Twinkle
Row Row
You are My Sunshine
Happy by Pharrell
Lost in My Mind by Head and the Heart
Halo by Beyonce
How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep by Bombay Bicycle Club

Did you miss: My attempt at changing the way I talk? The early days

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Guest Post: My SIL the Artist

Elise and Emaline
The final guest post is from my sister-in-law (SIL). She is Nick's sister and one of my best friends. She comes from a long line of male engineers but breaks away from the pack with creativity and ease. Elise is kind, thoughtful, laid-back, and so talented. She teaches art to kids- kindergarten through twelfth grade.

For my friend's daughter's birthday. I asked for simple flowers. Perfect.
Art comes so easily to her. She has gifted me a few pieces and at times, I have commissioned her work. She creates beautiful pieces and shares it with a casual grace that leads me to believe, she does not know how amazing she is. For my wedding and again for my baby shower, she made me a dot art photo. They are the best! I'll let her explain:

Baby Shower Guest Book. The tree reminds me of something from Winnie the Pooh.
Childlike and imaginative. Love

Wedding Guest Book. I love this hanging in my house.

Wedding. Engagement party. Baby-shower. Best friends’-kid’s-Frozen themed –birthday party. House warming. Diaper kegger.

As I inch further into my late twenties I've found that my calendar gets filled with these adult-ish mile-markers and events. I’m coming to realize that I am, in fact, old enough for all of it. With this party maturation that’s happening the ante has been upped for proper gift-giving.

I feel I've been acclimating quite well to it all and I've learned that with these grown-up events you ought to be kind and get a thoughtful gift. I can’t even remember where I saw the idea initially; maybe it was someone who brought the concept to my attention, but one way or another I began making finger-print guest books. It was all a little out of the blue, but making these guest books felt completely natural.

Birthday Party!
A finger print guest book isn't really a guestbook, but more like a sleeker evolved version of that idea. All of your party-goers stamp their fingerprint onto the work and sign their name on top. The collected fingerprints complete a picture and create a beautiful representation of all the support and love shared at that particular time and place. I love giving these guest books to my friends. They’re unique, made with my own hands, and beautifully functional. It feels great creating something special for the ones I love. I’m loving all of these new additions to my calendar.

 Bring on the parties that start at noon and end promptly at three.

Thank you Elise! And thanks again to all the creative minds who shared their craft! Your talent, though varied and unique, helps me remember why it is so important to follow your passion!

Did you miss: Rachel Running Wild? Theresa's gift? Ashley's makeup tip? This amazing song?

Monday, November 3, 2014

Guest Post: Rachel Running Wild

Today's Post is by Rachel from Rachel Running Wild! Rachel is creative, talented, and has always been passionate about local and sustainable resources. She has found a way to combine these strengths to build a flourishing brand. AND she is offering a special promo for Write to Simplicity readers! Thank you Rachel!

Hi, I'm Rachel from the blog Rachel Running Wild and the Etsy shop Running Wild Designs! My shop is a boutique of modern organic-cotton and bamboo-fabric accessories for all you hip mamas; my blog is a hub for DIY (tips, tricks, and... flops), lifestyle talk, photography, and shop updates.

promo code banner

My brand has recently been experiencing some really exciting growth and to complement the excitement, last month we added a monthly newsletter, The Running Wild Newsletter, to the brand! The newsletter is released in the first week of every month and is chock-full of foodie talk, drool-worthy photography, promo codes, behind the scenes shop updates, and as many other goodies as I'm able to come up with.

bunnie blankies

I've found that reaching out to my readers on different platforms keeps my writing voice fresh and content exciting - plus aren't monthly subscription services awesome?! exactly. That's the same level of excitement we're bringing to your email in the first week of every month. bam.
burp cloths

I grew up on a Wisconsin dairy farm and learned how to sew with my Grandma by hemming my Dad's old farm jeans. It was definitely nothing fancy and it certainly wasn't love at first sight, but now I look back at those sewing lessons with nostalgia. Since those early sewing lessons with Grandma, I've trained with a professional seamstress and from there I've filled in the blanks with self-taught instruction.
teething necklaces

I've always had an interest in sustainability and the impact small businesses can have on local economy but it wasn't until three years ago when I struck a passion for entrepreneurship that I had the idea to start my own small biz.

I've now been running my Etsy shop for a little over a year and I'm in the process of growing to accommodate wholesale orders!This process is so exhilarating but to be honest, it's also scary sometimes. There are moments when I feel so completely alone in my pursuit of this small-biz dream. I think we all have moments like these though, when we doubt ourselves and want to hide from something unknown. But the simple reminder that it's this path that's less traveled which makes the journey so much more thrilling, is what gives me the confidence to punch my self-doubt in the face and keep pursuing this adventure. This crazy, unknown adventure.

Please tell me you have these moments too??

P.S. Did you catch that promo code? Visit the Running Wild Designs shop and use promo code "hipsimplicityreader" at checkout for 10% off your purchase!