Sunday, September 13, 2015

Goodnight Silas...

“Goodnight stars, goodnight air, goodnight noises everywhere.”
-Margaret Wise Brown, Goodnight Moon 

While my last post was about Silas' newborn photobook that I will treasure forever, it's not actually my favorite book right now. A few weeks ago a surprise package showed up on our doorstep, and inside was this gorgeous storybook that my sister had written for Silas.

Inspired by the children's classic, Goodnight Moon, Callie had written a story featuring the details of Silas' room. The poetry is amazingly clever (love the rhyme about sprocket and rockets!), and the verses are illustrated with photos that either my mom took when she visited in February or from our professional newborn shoot with Erin Drago. And, surprisingly, (because great minds think alike!!) Callie picked the same cover photo that I did for his photo album.

I hope that she doesn't mind if I show you a few snapshots. We are just so in love with this book. It sits next to the rocking chair, so that I can read it to Silas as part of our bedtime routine. I love that Silas can feel a bit of love from his aunt each night before bed.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

A photobook to treasure...

"Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose."
~The Wonder Years

As I posted back in March, we splurged on a professional newborn photo shoot by Erin Drago here at our house when Silas was just thirteen days old. I was so excited with how the images turned out, and as I mentioned in that post, I hoped to create a photo book of the pictures. However, this was the only thing on my maternity leave to-do list that just didn't get done before I went back to work full-time.

But I am finally checking it off the list! And, I could not be more thrilled with the book that I ordered from Artifact Uprising. I can't wait to show you!

Although usually I'm a Blurb girl for my travel books, I knew I wanted something of heirloom quality for this particular project. I read so many good reviews of Artifact Uprising and thought this would be just the project to start with.

While sometimes I design photo book pages in PhotoShop or InDesign before publishing, this time I wanted the photos alone to tell the story, so I decided to stick with the provided page layouts. Artifact Uprising's online book-making software makes it easy to upload photos in bulk, but I was simply overwhelmed with trying to pick the best image from the tiny thumbnails in the interface, while at the same time pick the best page layout. So needless to say, I started and stopped this project several times before completion.

A few weeks ago when I decided to give it another go (thank you once again, One Little Word project for encouraging to get things done!!), I tried a new approach. As I scrolled through the photos in iPhoto (where I had already given them a star rating and could easily magnify them to see them better), I chose the best photo from each "scene" along with up to four accompanying images. I then uploaded the photos in small batches to the online software, and chose a pair of page layouts accordingly.

I'm on the Artifact Uprising email list, so I waited a week or so until I happened to receive a coupon code for 10% off and then placed my order. The book arrived on my doorstep about a week later. 

It is gorgeous... with its matte paper pages and crisp colors. I absolutely love it and can't wait to flip through the pages with Silas as he grows older. A moment of newborn life captured in time...

Stay tuned because you may see that cover image again in the next post!

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Random thoughts from 6+ days nursing a sick baby...

“Much of your pain is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self.” 
-Kahlil Gibran

Double ear infection, double pink eye, fever over 101° F, a runny nose, and an overall grumpy baby. It has been a long week.

Here are the random thoughts that have been running through my head...

Mama vs. Daddy
When he's happy, Silas will do anything to watch and be with Daddy. When he's sad, he wants nothing to do with anybody but Mama. Which means it has been the "Mama show" around here all week.

I remember the lactation consultant explaining, "when baby's hungry and his tummy hurts, he comes to Mama, and she makes him feel better. It makes sense that when something else hurts, he wants only her. He knows she will make him feel better."

Project Management
Because I feel fine, I had great aspirations to get things done during my days off from work. However, the only thing I have been able to finish off lately is a bag of M&M's or a package of raw cookie dough.

I finally put my finger on why I'm feeling like I can't get anything done at home, even when I feel like I've used my time wisely. My time these days comes in 10-minute chunks ... This is the season of "fringe minutes" rather than "fringe hours".

I also realized that I get through life one project at a time... maybe it's about time that I start thinking of cooking dinner and sweeping the floor as projects.

Embracing the Present Moment
A sick baby meant extra days at home with him. Even though he wasn't feeling the best, I tried hard to savor these unexpected moments... him falling asleep in my arms, sweet cuddles to make it feel better, and even the night that he wouldn't fall asleep anywhere but on top of me.

However, now that Rob's got a sore throat and runny nose, and my eyes are itchy and bloodshot (thanks for sharing, son!), it's almost impossible not to wish these days away.


Sunday, September 06, 2015

Summer of '15

“All in all, it was a never-to-be-forgotten summer — one of those summers which come seldom into any life, but leave a rich heritage of beautiful memories in their going — one of those summers which, in a fortunate combination of delightful weather, delightful friends and delightful doing, come as near to perfection as anything can come in this world.” 
-L.M. Montgomery, Anne's House of Dreams 

As this summer comes to an end, we're checking off the last of our summer bucket list items.

I posted a list on the refrigerator back in early June, hoping to get Rob excited about some fun activities this summer. He was quickly on board and planning how we could make each adventure happen.

Here's how we spent the Summer of '15!

1. Swim with Silas. We went to the neighborhood pool twice and even took a dip in Lake Bistineau while in Shreveport.

2. Visit Shreveport. Where Silas met dogs for the first time, went to the Farmer's Market, celebrated Luke's birthday, and had fun hanging out with family.

3. See grandparents... Grandma Theresa, Lovey and Papaw, Great-Grandpa Tom, and Mimi

4. ...and aunts and cousins. Aunt Stephanie and the Bunch boys as well as Callie and Luke.

5. See fireworks. At Barnet Park for Fourth of July.

6. Dine al fresco. Many times at Chipotle, Sonic, and Chick-Fil-A.

7. Visit Dottie's Toffee. Yummy toffee ice cream made right here in Spartanburg.

8. Take a hike. A Sunday morning hike to Little Bradley Falls was life-giving in so many ways.

9. Celebrate our 31st birthdays. Mine and then Rob's a few days later.

10. Celebrate Silas' half-birthday. First solid foods!!

11. See a movie at the drive-in theater. Spontaneous trip down to Greenwood, SC.

12. Roadtrip!! Up to Columbus, Ohio for a long weekend.

13. Party it up at Mike and Amy's wedding. Well, if you count sleeping through it...

The only thing on our original list that we didn't do was "grill out." Rob is scared of fire, and after an unfortunate incident with a mouse living in our grill a few years back, I am scared of opening our grill. We just weren't willing to face our fears this summer.

Now we have to decide what to put on our bucket list for fall...

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Art in Public Places...

"The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection."

Silas and I had some time to kill in Dublin, Ohio this past weekend while Rob performed his groomsman duties for the wedding of our best college friend, Mike. After a quick internet search of "things to do in Dublin," I was intrigued with the Art in Public Places Cell Phone Tour sponsored by the Dublin Arts Council.

I had hopes of hitting some of the highlights, but with a few hours to spare in the morning and then again in the afternoon, we made it to quite a few of the sculptures. At each location, there is a phone number to call to hear more about the piece, usually told by the sculptor himself.

Although Silas slept through the first few stops at Coffman Park, he was a willing photography subject at most of the sites. I used the GPS for directions to some of the stops, but I wasn't afraid to make a u-turn and pull over on the side of the road if we drove by one unexpectedly.

One Scene by Daisuke Shintani
Injection by David Middlebrook
Narrow #5 by Shawn Morrin
Ascension by Brian Russell
Watch House by Todd Slaughter
Leatherlips by Ralph Helmick
Sanguine Standing Stone by Joseph Wheelwright
Tree of Life, Future Tense by Mary Jo Bole
Jaunty Hornbeam by Joseph Wheelwright
Field of Corn (with Osage Oranges) by Malcolm Cochran
The Simulation of George M. Karrer's Workshop by Brower Hatcher
Dancing Hares by Sophie Ryder (not really on the official Dublin Arts tour)

So thankful for this little guy who goes along with my "harebrained" ideas. I hope that he will always be up for adventures like this with me.

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