Saturday, July 30, 2011

Date Night & More Blog Talk

Last night, Eric and I were given a date night, which we ended up filling with more talk about the blog.  Although, going to a coffee shop, sitting outside and talking is probably one of my favorite dates regardless of the topic of conversation.  The weather was really pleasant and we ended up losing track of time, staying much longer than we had originally anticipated.

Throughout this whole "blog revamping" project, Eric has been unbelievably helpful.  His naturally creative talent, along with his knowledge and experience with creating a brand and building a website, is easily the only reason I'm at this point.  He really is so smart, and I definitely can't thank him enough for all the time and energy he has put into my blog after working so hard every day.

We made a lot of progress last night, and dove into the design and layout of the blog.  It was really a lot of fun, and I like seeing it all slowly come together.  It's getting me excited to see the finished project!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Birthday Project

For a while I have been wanting to redo this little blog to make it more appealing and convey who I am a little better, plus, the whole layout's pretty "meh" and could use a little pizazz.  So I asked Eric for his help in this endeavor since he's much more creative and understands this process a lot better.  After talking to him about it a little, he confessed that for my birthday he was going to buy me a website and help me create exactly what I want for my blog.  What a nice husband, right?!

Since then, I have been doing a lot of research and figuring out the type of blog I currently have, the type of blog I want and how to express that to all of you.  It's been a really interesting process to say the least.  When we began, Eric's goal was to be ready to meet with a designer by my birthday, August 11.  I feel like we've made a lot of progress, but there are still a few things I need to figure out before we are ready to go.  Like...

1. Figure out a new name - unfortunately, Away We Go is not available in .com and I don't want to get a more obscure domain like .us, .co, etc.
2. Come up with a tag line - It has to encompass everything I'm about in a few short words, and it's much more difficult to do than one would previously expect.
3. Decide on options/pages the site will have - this is mostly finalizing the sites organization
4. Finalize regular features - I have a lot of ideas for regular features, I just have to decide which ones I want to start off with.
5. Obtain necessary additions - Before diving into this new website, I want to have a tripod so I can take photos of myself, and Photoshop so I can make said photos look their best.

Hopefully I will be able to finalize these things within the next couple of weeks, and then it's off to make this unfolding dream a reality (fingers crossed).  I'll make sure to update on any changes that will be taking place, and you'll obviously be able to see it once it's up and running.  I have never seen the web design process happen before, so this is pretty exciting for me, and I'm super stoked to see how it all turns out.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Atticus Turns One

I'll say it again, thank goodness my father-in-law!  As I said before, I forgot to bring my camera to Atty's first birthday party, and my photographer father-in-law stepped in to save the day. 

We started by taking some photos with the birthday boy, and also attempted to get a semi-decent family photo.  These were the best we got.  I guess that's just the way it goes when you have two toddlers and a husband with a child-like spirit.

Now, it was Atty's turn to try cake and ice cream, and to answer my mom's prayers (she's been wanted to give them sweets for a while).  He definitely liked the cake but didn't seem to want to gorge himself like I thought he would.  I guess all the fruit he eats has ruined any sort of cake gluttony that may have previously existed (score for healthy moms everywhere).

Once he had had his fill of cake and ice cream, it was time to open his gifts.  We seriously discourage gifts, since he's so little and really doesn't need anything, but he was REALLY excited about the orange Henley from grandma.

After so much fun, he was in some serious need of sleep and found his pillow pet to be the perfect place to rest his now 1 year old self.

Baxter, on the other hand, didn't really like all of the attention that was being given to his brother and decided that he wanted to show off.  Eric's started his body building training now, so we can have the maximum number of years possible to live off our son's success.  Just kidding, we haven't started training him...yet.  No really, I'm just kidding.

I'm so thankful that we live so close to both of our families and that we're able to spend birthdays together, and I'm also thankful that our parents get along really well.  It is so nice to have one birthday party with everyone who loves the boys so much. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Barbershop - Atty's Turn

Well, actually, both boys got their hair cut, but it was Atty's first time.  I loved his little fro, but just like Baxter, the hair on the back of his head was barely growing in and therefore, his fro looked a little funny.  He's only one, so I have some time to figure out what type of haircut I'd like him to have.  Eric's on this kick of growing their hair out for dreadlocks, but I'm not so sure. 

This time, there was another little boy there, about 4 years old.  While he waited for his turn, he would play with Baxter, making him laugh.  It was really cute.  There were actually a lot of different people there, some for appointments and some just coming in to say hi to someone they knew.  It reminded me of what a stereotypical barbershop is like, and I thought it was really neat.  Although, I did feel a little out of place being the only white person around, and not being very familiar with anyone (it seemed most people lived near the barbershop and came frequently).  The mom of the other boy was very friendly though, and we talked about how it was Atty's first haircut, how different they look afterward, and how fresh haircuts make them look so nice.

I really want to immerse my boys in this community.  I like going to the salon myself, but it isn't the same.  I hope that the boys are able to find somewhere they like and become familiar with the people there.  I know that it's important, even though I may not fully understand it, but that's just an element of a multi-racial family. 

Woah, I am on my way down a rabbit trail, and multi-racial parenting is a post in and of itself.  Back to Atty's haircut...

At  first Atticus wasn't too keen about the whole chair and cape, but he warmed up just a little bit, never getting too comfortable. 

Overall he did really good, and only occasionally burst into cries for it to stop.  More and more, I am realizing how great my kids are, and I am not trying to brag.  Promise.  It's just that I tend to plan for the worst but so far, they have done well in every situation we put them in.  I guess I'm just one proud momma :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Fall & Pinterest

I can't lie, fall is definitely my favorite season of all.  The only downside is that winter just happens to follow close behind.  Really, if I could live in a place where it was fall nine months out of the year, bon voyage Michigan!

I am trying hard not to think about fall yet, since it's only July, and I am really dreading winter, but every time I log on to Pinterest, I see oodles and oodles of ridiculously adorable fall outfits.  It makes it really hard not to think of fall pieces I'd like to add to my wardrobe, and contemplate some new "go to" outfits.

Don't believe me?  Well, maybe you do, but I thought I'd share some of these pretty outfits that have me dreaming of crisp, 55 degree weather and the smell of burning leaves.

Oh, be still my heart, they are all so wonderful!  Come October, I shall be rocking these looks, or else I'll get all Scarlett O'Hara up in here (as God as my witness...).

Monday, July 25, 2011

Weekend Wears

This weekend, for us, was a lot of fun, we spent time with lots and friends and family.  It really was a perfect summer weekend.  Friday night we had some friends over for dinner, and to play Wii (per Eric's request).  We have been loving You Don't Know Jack, which is not your typical trivia game, but we think it's super fun.

Dress: F21  /  Belt: F21  /  Jeans: H & M  /  Sandals: Charlotte Russe

The first half of Saturday was a mixture of relaxation and projects, followed by an evening at the lake.  A friend's family has a cottage on a lake and we were there for the afternoon/evening.  It was a lot of fun, and the sun decided to make an appearance just as we arrived. 

Shirt: Thrifted & Altered  /  Shorts: H & M  /  Belt: Thrifted

Sunday was spent with family, taking naps, playing games and eating delicious food.  And, as always, we ended the day with our traditional movie night.  We watched Cedar Rapids.  Have you ever seen it?  If not, it's a really fun watch.  There was some crude humor (it is an R rated comedy), but I enjoyed John C Reilly and Ed Helms a whole bunch.

Dress:  Thrifted  /  Belt: Target  /  Jeans: BDG  /  Earrings: Etsy

Compared so some of my previous weekends, this one was pretty relaxing.  I love filling my time with fun things to do, friends and family, but having a few hours here and there just to relax is the cherry on top of a perfect weekend.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Peek into Our Sunday Mornings

Every Sunday morning for the last year, Eric and I have gotten muffins, made french press coffee and just relaxed.  It is a "family tradition" that we have grown to love, and still do with the boys.  Although, it's a bit less relaxing now.  This morning was no different, and I thought I'd offer a little peek into it.  Plus, how cute is that picture?  Atticus will suck his thumb and snuggle anything that's soft; a pillow, blanket, or even Bella.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Summertime & Watermelon

Is it truly summer if you don't eat your weight in watermelon?  Well, that's how it is for me.  I could live off of watermelon during the summer, and it's especially good on those wicked hot days.  The boys, taking after their momma of course, can't eat it fast enough.  Eric decided to share some with the boys, which led to two little birds constantly squawking for more.

Although this was an after dinner snack, which we usually don't do, I couldn't get too upset.  I have to be thankful that my kids can't get enough of fruit, as opposed to junk food and candy.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Heat Wave

Now, I will preface this by saying that I know it's a lot hotter in other places right now.  It's just that this temperature is wicked hot for Michigan.  I can't remember the last season it has been this hot.  And apparently we're just getting started.  I know I shouldn't be complaining, but it's the polar opposite extreme to winter.  Both heat and snow force you indoors, it's just that we have sunshine instead of gloom right now.

But can I just say that you can layer more and more clothing to help stay warm, but you can only take so much off?  We don't have central AC, so we try and use a couple of window units to cool the whole house.  We are able to make it a lot cooler than it is outside, yet I still sweat in shorts and a tank top.  I really can't imagine having to be outdoors.  Lord help those who work landscape, construction, roofing or any other job that requires you to be outside.

I must find some way to come to terms with my state's seasons.  I don't think my utopia exists, so moving away doesn't really solve my problem.  The worst part?  In six months, you'll probably be telling me to shut up about how I wish for warm weather.  When I get to that point, would you be so kind as to remind me of this post?  I honestly think I should print out these recent weather forecasts to avoid complaining about the cold. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Second Child

Have you ever heard people talk about how the second child gets less special treatment than the first?  I really thought that it wouldn't be a problem for me, because darn it, I wouldn't let it happen.  Well, I had my first experience with it this week, and it made me feel just awful.

When Baxter was about to turn one, I was almost in denial.  I could hardly believe it, but for Atticus, that shock wasn't there.  It was still pretty weird, him turning one, but the disbelief wasn't present.  And then there was Wednesday, when we celebrated his birthday with our families.  Now granted, I had to bring a bunch of food and load the kiddos and everything else up by myself, but I still should have been on top of it.  On top of what?  Oh, I forgot any sort of decoration (which I had for Baxter's birthday), and I even forgot our camera.  How could I forget that?!  Thankfully, my photographer father-in-law brought his and I will be getting copies of the photos he took.  But can you imagine if he hadn't brought his camera?  There wouldn't be a single photograph to capture Atticus' first birthday.  Man, even writing this makes me feel like such a lousy parent.

I want all of our children to feel special whether it's the first time something has happened or the fifth.  Every child should feel just as valued as the first, no matter what.  And it's our job as parents to make the effort needed to make each and every one of our children feel that way.  I know that as time goes on, things will take place that don't elicit as much excitement for us, but our kids shouldn't be able to tell.  The first day of kindergarten should be a huge deal, or the first t-ball game or the first sleepover, etc, etc.

So I can't let this incident get me down.  I just have to make even more of an effort in the future to give the same treatment to both boys as they experience new things and move into new stages.  I think this is why you also hear people talk about avoiding anything huge for your first, because you're going to have to do it for every kid that follows.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Green Day

Last Friday, the boys and I had a couple of play-dates, and once we were home for the day, I decided it was time for some new photos.  We were just hanging out,  playing on the floor, so what better locale for a kiddo photo shoot? Although, after looking through them I realized that I had inadvertently dressed us all in green.  Oops.

Lately it seems like I have been coordinated the boys' clothes more and more.  I am generally okay with coordinating, matching, not so much.  They are not twins, and so it just seems a bit over-the-top to me.  If anyone likes to dress their children in matching outfits, I say go for it, it's just not for me.  Although coordinated seems to be becoming my cup of tea (don't tell Eric).