I keep thinking back to last year at this time. I was so unaware of what lay ahead of me - the good and the bad. What a difference a year can make huh? It's been a whirl wind for sure. And even with everything I have to be thankful for this year (and I really am thankful, I swear) I just can't help but want to go back. So, while this above little round-up is definitly a dream, my real dream is that I am back in Hawaii with my dear friends. My friend Caitlin, my other friend Paige and myself were all pregnant that year. We were on the brink of the greatest adventures of our lives (parenthood) and everything was exciting and new, and we knew nothing of loss. So this year a new dining room table would be nice, and that dress would be a lot of fun to wear but I'm really just thinking of friendship and the experiences that connect us forever. And I am thankful for that.
I hope everyone had a safe and fun Halloween! Yesterday, we bought a house in Dallas! We officially live in Texas... we still can't really wrap our minds around it yet. After we signed the papers we went to our new home to dress up and celebrate Halloween with our little Dalai Lama. And yes I shaved my head. :) Actually, that's a lie. I really wanted to but Conor convinced me to keep my hair. It's just makeup.
I have been visiting my family in Portland for the last little bit before we settle in to our new place in Dallas. It has been so nice to see family and go around to all of my favorite old spots. Photos from left to right - 1. Visiting Sauvie Island pumpkin patch - we are not used to this Portland rain! 2. I attended an Etsy Photo Styling workshop at the Ace Hotel in downtown Portland hosted by Chelsea over at Frolic Blog. It is always nice to meet new creative people and learn a few tricks of the trade. 3. I met up with some friends from Kinfolk and had ice cream at Salt and Straw (one of my absolute favorites!) We also ate dinner at the little indian restuarant right next door, Bollywood Theater, and it was pretty awesome! I recommend it. 4. My niece and nephew in their home made costumes. Fantastic Mr. (and Mrs.) Fox - my sister is wildly talented and creative. She made both costumes the night before (even hand stamping the little red apples on Mrs. Fox's dress from a stamp she carved herself!) She puts me to shame! It has been a really nice week!
We are officially on our way to Dallas. Conor is driving there with all of our stuff as I type this and I am sitting pretty (and cozy) at my parents house waiting for him to get our new little house set up. I always know moving is going to be hard but it's funny the way tears creep up on you and you find yourself crying over something you didn't even realize you would miss. Thursday we had one last beach day. Conor surfed with his best friend Wilson while I ate my favorite breakfast burrito on the beach and Henry munched on some sand. It was warm and I could tell the boys were having a lot of fun. It was a great day to say goodbye to the Pacific Ocean ... for now.
I have been wanting a lot of new things lately. And it seems as though the more new things I buy the more I want. I have been thinking about this a lot latley and trying to focus on being happy with what I have. I decided to set some new goals to distract me from focusing so much on what I don't have. We are going to try out some new diets. And we are going to make some things for our new house. When you step back and start focusing on what you love to do and the people you enjoy being around life starts to seem really full again. With that being said, my next post is probably going to be about this really cool mid century furniture store I just discovered! ;) Everything there is just sooooo tempting!
Forest Image found here.
So I have been taking it really easy on the blog lately. Life got all crazzzzuh on me and I just had to give myself some room to breathe. And honestly I have been enjoying it. I used to think that I absolutely had to blog everyday or something terrible would happen...Not sure what exactly but I blogged like the sky was falling. I guess I was afraid that people would forget about me if I stopped blogging. Well, lately I have gone days without blogging and guess what?! The world didn't stop spinning and I still have work flowing in.
It's given me a lot of time think about all of this work / home life / balance stuff. While, in Palm Springs at Design Retreat 2012 I had a lot of time to talk to other girls (I should say women but I just think of myself as a girl so that's what I call them) about being a freelancer and a mamma and how I balance the two. Out of the 20 girls there only 2 of us were moms (both new moms at that) and one other girl is expecting (so excited for you Alyssa!!) Most (not all) of the other girls expressed that they eventually wanted to have kids but that the thought totally freaked them out. A question/answer session was devoted to the topic! It was so funny to hear them ask about the day in the life of a freelance mom. "So, what time do you get up?.. Do you wake up to crying, or how do you know when to get up??.. So, then, do you like,... feed the baby??.. Does it get boring? Do you ever get out? Who watches the baby while you work? So, when do you ever sleep!?" I just had to laugh. No one can prepare you for the insanity of being a mother. It occurred to me that the more we tried to "prepare" them for how utterly hard, exhausting, time consuming, and un-ending it all is the more I felt we strayed from the true beauty of being a mother. Don't get me wrong, some days I honestly want to run screaming from my home and hide in a dark hole and just take a freaking nap! But quite frequently (more often than those dark hole seeking times) my eyes well up with happy tears just at the sight of my sweet baby. I am so proud of him and love him so much. He is my best work.
I got an email today about being a freelancer and thinking about possibly having a baby. Advice wasn't necessarily asked for but I'm going to say this anyway - totally do it! It is the best thing that has ever happened to me and I literally thank God every day for it. Don't worry about how you are going to pay for it, you will find a way to make it work. Don't worry about being too old when they are grown, they will love you regardless. Don't worry about not being able to take on as many projects as you used to, there is always another project waiting for you. Don't second guess your ability to raise a child, you will love that little human so much you won't let yourself fail.
And because this is my blog about my journey as a freelance graphic designer, wife and mother I am going to attempt to share more about my daily schedule with Henry, how I approach day care, how I balance (or totally fail at balancing but learn from my mistakes), how I eventually want to have more kids and anything else you might want to know about. So if you're interested comment below or send me an email. Oh, and just FYI right after the above picture was taken Henry dove to the ground and shoved an old cigarette butt in his mouth! So... there's that.
Quite a few months ago I received an email from Promise Tangeman and Alyssa Yuhas inviting me to a design retreat at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs. There were a lot of names on the list that I recognized as fellow designers... designers that I admired and looked up to. I was flattered that they invited me and I nearly jumped out of my chair with enthusiasm to go. Then, I second guessed myself and considered not going... I have emailed several of these girls about projects and about blogging but I had never met any of them in person. Meeting 20 new girls all at once seemed very intimidating, especially these girls - so on top of their game and as talented as they come. But I had so many questions I wanted to ask, and so many projects I want to collaborate on, and so many things I wanted to say... I just had to go. Plus I was dying to just let my hair down and have a good time. So I swallowed all of that stupid fear and I went.
I am still nursing. Henry can't get over the boob. He loves it. So I had to take him with me. And I couldn't just leave him alone in the room all day long while I nerded out with my new design friends so I had to take Conor with me too. I felt a little awkward showing up with my husband and my baby. It was kinda like when I moved to a new school in 4th grade and made my mom come with me and sit by the playground while I met new kids and played. You know, so if anything weird happened my mom was right there to back me up. I promise I'm not that scared of meeting new people... but it was sorta nice to have my boys there, waiting for me to come home after late night dinners and pool side chats. It was really nice actually. I love those boys.
The entire weekend was nice. I think it was so nice because it was all just for fun. No one paid an entrance fee. No one needed a ticket to get in. No one was "leading" the group. There were no exclusive events, sessions, seminars, lectures. No one was there to make money or sell their product. Everyone was simply there to enjoy each other, learn from each other and talk about the ups and the downs of being a freelance designer. I felt like everyone had something to bring to the table. Even the girls I considered "more experienced" designers were asking as many questions as they were answering. We hung out by the pool, we totally geeked out over Star's (my new favorite person) web developing skills, we told funny stories about our personal lives and gave each other friendly advice about our professional lives. We ate out and we took a lot of pictures. We complimented each other. We inspired each other.
On the ride home I wrote 10 pages worth of new ideas. Over the last few days I have been working harder, not to compete with these girls but because I am inspired by them. I guess my point is that if life hands you an oppertunity to surround yourself with inspiring, talented people jump on it. Even if it seems scary. Take a risk. Go outside of your comfort zone. Take your husband and your baby and your mom with you if you have to, but show up! Be nice, and share what you know. It will all come back to you. I am so glad I showed up because I definetely made some really cool friends and I loved every minute of it.
Thank you girls for being so awesome! I can't wait for the next oppertunity I get to be around each and every one of you again! Until next time - babies totally exhist, get your mom to QA that f#$%er, cut everything your doing in half, and say no when you're spreading yourself too thin! Love you all to the moon and back!
I figured it has been a while since I shared some of my food favorites with you. I am so craving donuts right now. Also, this weekend was a blast. I got to meet so many creative and talented ladies at a design retreat in Palm Springs...I'll be sharing more about that later this week. Happy Monday!
I know things have been a little dry around here lately. It's because I have a lot on my plate. Moving, a big personal thing (good and scary but very personal so I'd rather not share about it right now) raising this young babe, working on all my projects and sending my husband off on business trip after business trip... it seems like this crazy thing we call life is going to bowl me over. So, I've kinda taken a step back to really soak this time of my life in. My baby took his first steps this week! How awesome is that?! How amazing!? I just teared up typing it! Things are messy and confusing and wonderful and I just don't want to miss a thing right now (cue Armagedon sound track here). Life is hard and sometimes things can be very discouraging and kick us flat on our backs but it's the little things - like Henry placing one foot in front of the other, then grinning a big baby toothy grin up at me and clapping his pudgy little hands that makes every hard thing seem worth it. So, please excuse me while I take some time off. PS - I seriously plan on blogging more this week, but I don't know that I will ever post multiple times every day of the week ever again. Those days might be long gone my friends.
Also, I just wanted to say thank you for all of your kind words on my last blog post! And to answer some questions that came up after the last post - we move a lot because of Conor's job. We get asked all of the time if he is military and NO he is not. I am so grateful for those men and women who do serve in our military! That is one huge sacrifice that they and their families are making for us!! I am so thankful! No, Conor got offered this awesome job as he was finishing school in Hawaii (where I have basically lived for the last 8 years of my life). I can work from pretty much anywhere so when Conor got offered this job based out of San Diego we moved here. The job required him to travel 2 weeks at a time, and he was not home for very long between each trip. Taking care of Henry and working all night all alone was just getting too hard. We are moving again to Texas because in Dallas he will not have to travel. We are hoping to make Dallas our home for the next few years so all of your encouraging words and tips on fun things to do in Dallas are sooooooo helpful!!