Friday, May 31, 2013

Austin Again

Almost two years to the date, I returned to Austin to see my favorite little Texas family!

We partied {Hello Kitty style}, built lots of Legos, and visited as many parks as we could.  Since my last visit was all about new baby Selah, this time they wanted to make sure they got to show me some of their Austin favorites, including the state capitol, the famous Salt Lick, and the quaint Georgetown square.

Knowing that this was one of my big vacations this year, I was asked a number of times if I was getting to do & see everything I wanted to, but honestly, just spending time with these kiddos + their parents was more than enough for me!

Thank you Heater family for your love & hospitality!  Now, I just hope it doesn't take me two years to get back down there to see you all again.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Friday Thoughts

Sometimes, when I can say "I've had a good week", I can't help but feel like I've accomplished something big.

Between receiving good news at work, attending an amazing Influence Network class on marriage by Susie (& Will) Davis, and taking some time to plan & dream with Sam about his photography business, I have been in a happy mood most of the week.

Plus, I'm jumping on an airplane tonight to go visit one of my best friends in Texas and that feels like the icing on the cake!  So excited for a little getaway full of girl time and snuggling her two littles!

This week's links are kind of a smorgasbord, but I got something out of each of them so I had to share: 

  • Speaking of girl time, Nina from According to Nina shared her Mother's Day gift from her husband and this idea has now topped my wish list.  It's not something I would have thought to ask for, but I love, love, love the idea!
  • One of my college friends, Tyler, wrote a post this week on living an Instagram life and as someone who spent 2012 posting one photo every day for the whole year, this post really made me stop & think about whether I'm living in the moment or the future... (and to be honest, it's usually the future.)
  • Lastly, Hayley, one of the co-founders of the Influence Network, and her husband shared a video this week on how to get your loved ones on board with your vision/ideas.  After spending some time this week thinking about the future of Sam Grable Photography, it was great to hear how dreaming & practicality can work together to achieve a common goal.  Plus, it was good to hear from a man's perspective on the whole topic.

So that’s what I’m thinking about this week.  What's grabbed your attention this week.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


As I mentioned last week, Mother's Day was hard this year. 

Before getting pregnant, Mother's Day was just a Hallmark holiday that let me celebrate my mom once a year (even though she deserved to be celebrated every day of the year...) and really didn't hold a lot of significance, to be honest. 

But a year ago, newly pregnant & on top of the world, this holiday took on a whole new meaning.  Suddenly, I couldn't wait to honor the women in our lives who have loved/raised/supported Sam & I and celebrate their new title as "Charlotte's grandma/nona/nana".  And honestly, the gift-giver in me couldn't stop thinking of memorable, sentimental gifts to give for the years to come...

But then life took a different path and even though it wasn't what we had pictured last Mother's Day, I couldn't think of a reason not to still show my gratitude towards these women in my life.  So this year, I decided to gift a daily reminder of the little girl who stole all of our hearts.

It wasn't a unique or complex gift, but very sentimental.  For the women who received this notepad, I believe it brought back a lot of memories for each of them.  The feeling they felt when they first met her, held her, looked into her big brown eyes probably came rushing back in an instant.  And while that can be very difficult because we all miss her, I have also found it to be a blessing because it helps us remember all of the good times we had with her.

See, I've worried since day 1 about what it will feel like if I stop remembering all the little details about our little angel.  I never want to forget one second of the nine days we had with her and I don't believe any of our family does either, but the truth of it is, life has moved on and the memories aren't as fresh as they once were.  Even today, five months since we've last saw her, I sit here in tears because it's so difficult to see life go on around us, without Charlotte. 

And sadly, I don't think that feeling is going to ever go away, but her memory lives on...

A shadow box full of Charlotte memories.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Friday Thoughts

This week was a relatively quiet one for me.

Maybe it was due to the high emotions that I felt on my first Mother's Day. 
Or maybe it was the rainy weather & my cozy home.
Or maybe it was something else entirely.

Nonetheless, it's Friday and I'm looking forward to a few more quiet days ahead with an event-less weekend at home.  I think I hear our AppleTV calling our names...

Going along with this week's unintentional theme (quiet), even the following links lead me to a time of reflection this week (mainly about our little Charlotte):

  • Aspiring Kennedy is a new-to-me blog. Actually, I first discovered Lauren's Instagram photos of her life over seas with her husband & new baby girl and when I found out she had a blog too, I couldn't stop reading into her archives, especially when I got to the part about how she went to the hospital expecting to come home with two babies, but only returned with one. Recently, she shared some tips on what you can do for your grieving friends, all of which I could really resonate with after our loss.
  • I have linked to Lindsay's blog before, but lately she's been a little quiet herself due to finishing school & relocating to Florida, but just this week she returned with a series called "waves of wisdom - lessons from the beach" which was just what I needed to hear this week.  I really think everyone could relate to the picture she described.
  • Truth: I Love You More Than Carrots is one of my favorite blogs lately. I've shared it before, but not only is she funny, she's honest too, which is really what keeps me coming back for more.  This week, she shared about how her husband is okay "coming in third" behind their two sons, which made me think about the short time we had with Charlotte and how both Sam & I were perfectly fine coming in second to our sweet baby girl.

 So that’s what I’m thinking about this week.  What's grabbed your attention this week.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Truth: I’ve never really been the kind of person who goes to a lot of concerts.

Sure, I listen to music and sing along with the radio on a daily basis, but I've never had the desire to spend a lot of money to attend a concert.  But two years ago, when I saw Sara Bareillis perform at the Schnizter Auditorium in Portland, all my preconceived notions of how concerts were not worth it changed completely.  
Not only did I actually know her whole set of songs she played, but the show itself was just fantastic!  I remember leaving the concert thinking, “I can’t wait to see her perform again!”  And for the last couple years, I’ve been doing just that, waiting.

Well, last Friday, she finally returned to Portland and put on an even better show than the last!  With just her voice, a few instruments, and a more intimate venue, Sara Bareillis put on an amazing concert for all who attended.


(As you can tell from some of the pictures, we were really close to the stage!  Like four-rows-back close!  And in between almost every song, she would talk to the audience like we were life-long friends.  I’ve never been to a concert where that’s happened!) 

Again I knew most of the songs, which is always a plus, but with an new album coming out this summer, she threw a couple of the new songs that I instantly fell in love with.  In fact, my favorite song of the night was her new single, “Brave”.  It’s a beautiful song that reminds me that life isn’t always easy, but if you remember to be yourself, that’s all anyone can really ask of you. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Friday Thoughts

Another beautiful Friday? I'll take it!

This week brought some new projects at work, many walks to soak up as much of this great weather as we can, and (most importantly) Sam's birthday!

We didn't actually do much on his actual birthday (the 7th), but we have been celebrating since last Saturday, so I hope he's feeling some love.

As for the weekend ahead...

My adorable niece is turning TWO on Sunday! I'm having a hard time believing this could actually be true since it feels like just yesterday we got the call to head up to Portland because my SIL was (finally!) in labor.  Regardless, watching this little one grow over the last couple years has been amazing! Sometimes I'm convinced she's the smartest toddler I've ever met! (I may be a little biased...)

This weekend also brings Mother's Day, which happens to fall on what-would-have-been Charlotte's five month "birthday". When I start to think about celebrating my first official Mother's Day without my baby girl, I get pretty sad and, honestly, a little angry she's not here with us anymore. I am really hoping I can make the family gathering that is planned, but I'm also prepared to give myself grace if that can't happen...

Speaking of moms, this week's links come from some of my favorite online mamas:

  • I’ve linked to Jessie’s blog before because when she writes, I sometimes wonder “is she writing this just for me?”  (of course I know she’s not J)  This week, she wrote about wanting to be on the front lines of this incredible battle we’ve been placed in and the beauty that comes when we join others for one purpose – loving others through Him.  
  • One of the things I love about this online community is the way we are invited in to watch others grow & learn in the roles they've been given - like becoming a mom.  This week, as Ashlee celebrated her little guy's first birthday, she shared her thoughts on what she has learned in her first year of motherhood and I can tell you now, I plan on returning to this when I find myself in a similar role.
  • Another mama that writes from her heart is Natalie from The Busy Budgeting Mama.  I have only just begun following her blog, but already admire her for both her honesty and beautiful writing.  So when I read her mommy confessions this week, I knew I had to share with you all.  Sure, I'm can't relate right now, but appreciate knowing that everything isn't always roses for everyone else all the time.

 So that’s what I’m thinking about this week.  What's grabbed your attention this week.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

2012 Photo-A-Day Book

Remember that photo-a-day project I did last year?

Well I finally took all of the pictures and created a photo book.  Because this project carried me through some of the best + worst times of my life, I really wanted to commemorate the year-long project.

In the past, I have usually found myself at Shutterfly when I want to create anything photo related, but because all my photos were already all together on Instagram, I searched for a site that would pull directly from the source.

Enter: Keepsy.

For just $22.75 + shipping, I received a 7" x 5" photo book with 36 pages full of each month's prompt and all the respective photos.  I opted for more pictures on each page (since I had over 360 photos) and while most of the pages have anywhere from 13-16 photos, the color & clarity was still what I would have expected as if I had chosen fewer pictures on each page.

Before purchasing, I hadn't heard or read any reviews on the Keepsy products, but since their price was right, I thought "what do I have to lose?".  And thankfully, the book was just what I was looking for!

So if you're in the market for a photo book full of your latest Instagram photos, check out Keepsy.  And come back & let me know if you end up ordering from them - I'd love to hear what you think!

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post, I just liked the product enough to share about it.  These views and opinions are purely my own.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Friday Thoughts

What's better than the last day of the week? 

A beautiful forecast for the weekend ahead!

The weather app on my phone says it's going to be in the 80's for the next few days and that warms my soul! (pun intended :))

I'm also looking forward to a couple relaxing days as the last few have been packed with meetings, meetings, and more meetings at work.

My little space here has obviously reflected my busy week (sorry for the silence!), but between meetings, I've read some great posts that I couldn't wait to share this week:

  • Last month, I shared a little about life without Charlotte & more specifically my milk supply.  This week, my friend Rachel shared about an organization called Eats on Feet that connects women who have "extra" breast milk with women who are in need of the nourishment for their child.  Even though I didn't use this organization myself, it's exactly what I would have wanted instead of throwing it away.
  • Our hope is to expand our family sometime in the next year and while excited & looking forward to that time, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't terrified too.  Thankfully, my friend Lindsey wrote a beautiful post about being silent after she found out she was pregnant with her second child & I really resonated with what she had to say.  Our first pregnancy wasn't an easy one and with that comes a lot of unknowns for the pregnancies to come.  I think we'll probably keep our next pregnancy a little closer to ourselves for as long as we can before sharing it with the world.
  • And speaking of future pregnancies --- Pamela from Our Love Nest posted a list of things she wanted to remember for the "second time around" on this crazy pregnancy train.  As I mentioned, I am excited to be pregnant again and look forward to referring to this list when the time comes around.

So that’s what I’m thinking about this week.  What's grabbed your attention this week.