Excuse the silence around here.... I knew that working for a magazine there would be times where work got a little crazy. Especially around press time. Well this last week and half have been one of those times. Working at Verily is exciting and stressful... and then when the dust settles you see all of your hard work come together into one beautifully printed piece and it is so rewarding. We are going to print tomorrow and I am still on the stressed side of things but looking forward to the reward side.
My parents have been in town enjoying the hot Texas sun, swimming with Henry in the backyard all morning and afternoon while I work. It's been nice having them around. I like those guys.
I was too busy to mention this earlier but Fox and Anchor was featured in two of Blogshop's goodie bags this last month - Brooklyn and Chicago. I was excited because DesignLoveFest is a favorite blog of mine so to see something I designed on there is a huge compliment. See all of the cute goodies given at Blogshop here.
We are expecting! Yup, that's the big Riley family news. I'm 18 weeks and feeling great! Due October 22. We have been sitting on the news for a while because we had a misscarriage this last October (another blog post entirely) but things seem to be going really well and baby is healthy and kicking! We have been trying to tell Henry about the new baby but so far he is just really interested in belly buttons and not babies. I can't wait to see him interact with a sibling. He is going to make this very interesting for sure! We are over the moon excited to be a family of four!
You know how they always say, "When it rains, it pours!" and you always think, "Shoot! How do they always know!?" Because they are always right. Things come in waves and we are just little people standing on the shore. The good comes rushing in and knocks you to the ground and the bad sucks everything out from under you including the sand under your feet. Either way...you find yourself falling down.
At Verily we just wrapped up our first full issue and started work on our second! The first magazines came back from the printer today and let's just say the whole team was in a dreamy state of pride for what we had accomplished. We are very excited to share the first issue with you - I am particularly excited to show off some of the hard work I have been toiling away on. I couldn't have done it with out some serious help - my graphic designer Loren, my design intern Haruka and a handful of other seriously talented photographers and designers helped put the visual side of the magazine together. I am so thankful to them and happy with what we came up with!
While starting in on the second issue I have also decided to take on another exciting side project. I have been turning down a lot of freelance projects lately to focus on Verily full time but a project came along that I just couldn't say no to. It's one of those projects that you just know you want to be part of because it is fun and happy and makes you feel good about yourself - hence the romantic, girly yet very bold moodboard above. I can't wait to share more about it but for now here is a visual sneak peek of what it will feel like.
On top of the excitement going on at Verily (we are talking dinner parties and editorial shoots galore!) and this new fun project, we have even more excitement coming our way! Big changes are on the horizon for the Riley family and we couldn't be more thrilled. Can't wait to share that news with you either! But let's just say for now, I am that awkward kid on the beach, with goggles on bigger than my head, just laughing as each new wave comes and grinds me into the sand. And I keep on taking wave after wave with a smile. Because when it rains it really does pour!
Have you seen the blog Montreal Bobo yet? These sisters are making some pretty cool stuff and I love their blog. I got a cute little package in the mail the other day... needless to say my camera is looking a whole lot prettier these days with that blue camera strap on it! And as someone who spent many, many... many of her college days in a ceramic studio I appreciate these simple moon plates with imperfect edges quite a bit. They are beautiful! Just thought I would share this gem of a shop with y'all. Perhaps you can find a last minute mother's day present here. (and yes, that's right, I've only lived in Texas for 6 months and I already say y'all... actually whenever I talk to anyone with any sort of accent I sort of adopt it. It's really annoying to me, I'm always worried the person I'm talking to is going to think I am mocking them, but I'm not, I just can't help myself! The other day I answered the phone and immediately started speaking with the heaviest southern accent upon hearing the woman's voice on the other end... I about dropped out of my chair I was so embarassed.)
We are starting this week off with the need read greed series. This week we are taking a look at what Kylie from The Flybird blog needs, reads and greeds. I met Kylie while going to school in Hawaii... she is a one of three identical triplets. Her, and her husband Spencer, are an unstoppable creative team. If you like pretty pictures with lots of adventure take a look at their blog! It is full of inspirational images! Together Spencer and Kylie travel, run a photography and production company and do lots of humanitarian work.
Thank you so much for being on the blog today Kylie! Can't wait to meet up with you and Spencer again someday soon!!
I've been invited to be part of a fun little photography project. Spilled Milk- is a collaborative photography blog. 18 mothers from around the world are prompted by a weekly theme reflecting some aspect of parenthood and the complexity and beauty that comes with raising our kids. I love looking at these beautiful pictures and thinking about how wonderful and exciting it really is to be a mom.
Some days are hard. Sometimes the screaming and the crying make me want to scream and cry myself. If you have ever had days like this too (and if you never have, well, then I don't think you are human) read this blog post. It made me chuckle out loud to myself. I especially like the part when this parent talks about wanting to hold anyone under water who says, "enjoy every moment! it goes by so fast!" I hope it makes you laugh too... Because we have all heard someone say that. And we are trying to enjoy every moment, we really are! But some days are just plain hard! Because that's what being a mom is. Making a sacrifice for someone you love more than life.
And then there are days like today. Conor and I took our shiny new bikes down to the lake for our first ride! We have been looking forward to getting bikes for some time now! Henry screamed and cried when we forced his Mickey Mouse helmet over his cute dumbo ears and buckled it under his squishy little chin. He somehow managed to get his legs up over his bike sit and kick me in the back during the entire ride. He cried and screamed in the car on the way to the farmers market. While at the market he ran away from us and hit small doggies in the face. We made one last stop at an estate sale on the way home and as Conor bargained for some new furniture I chased Henry all over the front lawn. Tired and out of breath I finally scooped him up kicking and screaming and started towards the house to tell Conor I couldn't take another second when an old man stopped me. I noticed that he had been watching me and as I got closer he said, "that was my favorite part of being a dad! and a grandpa! I loved chasing my kids and grandkids around.." Reliving his past as he watched me chase my crazy Henry around that lawn made this man smile bigger than the moon! It was as if I had taken him right back to the best days of his life. I could see it in his eyes. "My wife and I had 5 kids you know! and chasing them around like that was my favorite!" I said a few polite words and hurried along to find my husband. As we crossed the street to get into our car I saw him helping his cute little old wife down the stairs... no children with them, no grandkids at their heels. Just the two of them. I sat in the car and wept.
Yes these days are hard! and they are long. And sometimes I'm pretty sure the best days of my life were in college when I was wild and free and everyone I lived with was over 21 - and I could sleep under the stars on the beach all night if I wanted to and not have to nurse anyone at 5:30 in the morning if I didn't want to! But when I think of all of this being history ... when I imagine Conor helping me down stairs because I am too old to do it myself, and all of our kids have kids of their own.. my heart aches for these long hard days! And I say a silent prayer that God will somehow make these days last forever. Now, writing this, I question my sanity a little. Because it is hard. But something inside me tells me I will be just like that old man someday. Yearning for the days that my babies were little. Wishing and willing to give up anything to go back to even the hardest day.
This last Saturday was such a treat. Just a simple day spent with my family eating out, exploring our city, cleaning up our little house and meeting friends at the park. It's been quiet on the blog lately because the last month has not been such a treat. Well, not that it hasn't been sweet - it's just been chaotic and busy...
After accepting the art director position at Verily I quickly realized I had a lot to learn! and there is a lot more that goes in to directing a magazine than I previously thought! I've had to learn so much about communication. Working on a team with 5 other women forces you to learn everyone else's communication styles in order to work harmoniously together. It also forces you to be way more direct than you ever (EVER) wanted to be. I find myself writing 2 sentence emails with no punctuation and pushing send with out thinking twice about it. Before, in my freelance career, I used to vacillate over every word, every use of punctuation.. wondering if the recipient would get the wrong idea, wondering if they would think I was angry or not understand that I actually was angry but trying to be polite! ha! Now? I just write the damn thing and push send! No time for second guessing!
I've also had to learn how to manage people. I have a graphic designer who helps me layout the magazine and I just recently hired an intern to help me run the visual content on the Verily website (the website I've been re-designing for the past month, you'll see it soon!) I've never been anyone's boss or mentor before so this is a totally new ball game for me. I'm finding that I enjoy it a lot more than I thought I would. The girls I work with are incredible! But this is not to say that learning how to MANAGE has not been CA-RAZY!
Aside from my busy new job - Conor recently quit his job which moved us to Texas in the first place and accepted a new position at a new company. We are staying in Dallas which is good but him changing jobs was scary and hectic. In the end it turns out it is so much better for our family. Conor is so much happier at his new job and it makes all the difference in our home. We now have a nanny working for us 5 mornings a week (who by the way is the reason I can wake up in the morning, god bless her!) And all of this is why we are now able to spend Saturdays lazily brunching at places like Odd Fellows and exploring Dallas - a city that we have lived in for 6 months and until this past week I saw very little of. We weren't spending much time together because Conor's job forced him to work 24/7 and any free time he had to watch Henry I spent working on my freelance projects. I think we are glad those days are behind us.
I hope to be blogging more moving forward but I am finding that a lot of my energy is going in to staying organized for work and taking care of my two boys. I mean just take a look at that tired daddy (up above) and that happy lime munching baby and tell me you wouldn't want to skip everything else in life to hang out with them too!? And then there is this gem of a photo (below) that I somehow snapped accidentally. I know it is blurry but it reminds me of something I would pull out of an old Polaroid land camera... the colors, the sun spots... that tiny little face peeking over his daddy's shoulder! It's everything.
I recently had the opportunity to work on a fun project with Casey Leigh! She is incredibly sweet and was so much fun to work with! And talk about southern charm! Her slight southern accent is as beautiful as she is! Casey put together a Pinterest board (go here to find links to the images above) and I created this mood board as a jumping off point for her new branding and blog design. Once we got all of the branding elements and original art in place for her blog we brought Ana Degenaar on board to help us implement the design. I am convinced that Ana is the best BLOGGER designer in the entire world! (She is also just a great designer in general too!) If you are on blogger and you are looking for a new design go to her website right now! She sells beautifully thought out templates and does custom work as well! She is the best!
Jump on over to Casey's blog to see her new blog design! It is definitely minimalistic and clean which is what we were going for! I am so excited about how it turned out and can't wait to work with these lovely ladies again in the future!
Today's Need Read Greed is by Promise Tangeman. I kinda think Promise is a big deal! I have been following her as a designer for a while now and I love her clean, crisp design asthetic. She somehow manages to make designing look so simple and easy - which is a true sign of a great graphic designer. I also love her personal style - she is definielty not affraid to be herself! Promise is the brains behind SiteHouse Designs which is a truly great option for any small business owner or creative professional as far as creating and hosting a website. If you are in the market you should check it out. You won't be sorry! Thanks Promise for being part of Need Read Greed!
P.S. Thanks for all of the encouraging words about the new job at Verily! It is exciting to say the least! Also we have had over 100 applicants already for the graphic design position! If you applied thank you so much! We are thrilled at all of the amazing talent pouring in! If you haven't applied yet and want to, please do. It's not too late.