Thursday, July 25, 2013

sand and salt and blues.

Playing catchup here is tricky, because I don't know where to start. But I suppose this is as good a place as any: our annual California trip.

This year we extended our stay a little longer than usual. For the first part, we stayed in an amazing guest house in Solana Beach. I was in love with the laid-back vibe and the great colors/textures. We spent a day at the ocean with my family, went strawberry picking and to Balboa Park, and celebrated my beautiful niece's high school graduation.

The second part of our trip was spent mostly at the beach (with a day trip to Venice and the Getty thrown in for good measure, because heaven knows I get way too restless sitting by the ocean for too long). Naturally Margo adored it all: the cold water washing over her feet, jumping waves with dad, digging hands and toes and toys into the sand, and also having grandma/grandpa/aunt/uncle at her beck and call to play.

It was such a relaxing week away from everything. Cheers to California, yet again.

And now for an overload of iPhone photos, because lugging around my big camera with everything else required for a toddler wasn't happening.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

there's no room to write it all.

Despite what this blog may show, we're all still alive and kicking. There is so much to share but for now here's a quick update on each of us and an honest look at life lately:

Clint switched jobs at the beginning of this year (commercial real estate broker at a great new company). He has been working long days and often long nights, yet still manages to be a top-notch father and husband. I'm so proud of what he is creating and you better believe I love that he now wears a suit six days a week.

Margo is a full-blown toddler. She walks everywhere (here's a few seconds of her first steps), says a bunch of words including blueberry and polka-dot, and is obsessed with babies/dolls. I'm willing to bet her favorite day of the week is Tuesday when she gets to hang out with grandma and cousins while I work.

I spend most days mothering my favorite aforementioned sidekick, sometimes cleaning, hardly cooking, squeezing in work, lunching with friends. Sounds rough, right? It's kind of amazing. But for the past several months I have also been working long hours every night on design projects, which leaves me basically no free time and might be turning me loony. So what if I'm sleeping less than I did during my intense college days? Diet Coke makes everything better.* Try not to judge me if you see me and it looks like I've aged ten years in the past six months. I'm kind of enjoying this nonstop work.


p.s. I recently did an interview with Lunchpails & Lipstick where I share a few things about myself, work, and family - including our favorite daily tradition with Margo. I hope little things like that will help us remember and look back fondly on this hectic time in our life.

*The first step is admission. I promise to quit soon.

Monday, April 8, 2013

nothing really holds a candle to you.

Margo's first birthday party couldn't have been better. With family gathered around our home to celebrate and dote on her, she was absolutely content the whole time. I did my best to keep things simple with good food and a few decorations — pompoms, cupcake toppers with a mugshot of that chubby round face, and oversized B&W photos hanging around (I still haven't taken down that poster).

She was very serious and enthralled while opening her presents. And even though my cake-making skills proved to be subpar, naturally she loved all that sugar. After several minutes of licking frosting off fingertips and then double-fisting the cake into her mouth, she started reaching out to share with her cousins sitting around. As they joined in to eat a little cake themselves I couldn't help but watch and think how lucky this girl is to have such incredible, loving family in her life. It was definitely a sweet moment — and a really great day.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

one year old.

Happy 1st birthday Margo! I can't quite figure out how this day arrived so quickly, but here it is and here we are. We made it through the first year of her life and came out with smiles all around.

Early this morning we filled up her crib with balloons. She thought it was just about the coolest thing and was even entranced enough to let me put that big pom-pom party headband on (of course now she wants absolutely nothing to do with it). She also learned how to sing "happy, happy..." so now she can join in at her birthday celebration happening later this weekend.

How we love this little girl. She looks so much like her dad but might have more of my personality — particular, dramatic, and a bit feisty. At 12 months old Margo is:
- standing on her own and occasionally brave enough to take a step or two
- repeating all kinds of words, some much more coherent than others
- still quite the unpredictable napper
- obsessed with her grandmas, riding her ladybug around the house, the animal alphabet poster in her room and a couple specific books, sitting in chairs, dancing to music with dad, and staring out our big windows all the time

It's been a wild and wonderful first year.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

simple truth.

For the last few months I've been doing photo styling for Simple Truth - open and honest foods that represent the joy of eating closer to the way nature intended. Here's a small handful of some favorite images.

My love for food combined with making things look pretty... needless to say this is a fun project on my plate.

photos by Angela Hardison for Simple Truth

Thursday, January 31, 2013

dark / light.

(No idea what's going on in that photo of me, but it seems fitting. Also - will I ever stop wearing stripes?)

On the last day of January, about a month too late, some reflections that have been on my mind:

I turned 28 in December — a birthday and then right afterwards, a new year. To be honest last year was one of the hardest years I've had. I feel weird and slightly guilty admitting that, considering I had a baby and she's the best thing in the world. But even with that constant joy the reality is there were days (weeks, months) of tears, exhaustion, frustration, darkness. Lessons of patience and selflessness. Trying to balance my desire for creativity and adventure with the responsibility of being a parent. Fitting in work while paying adequate attention to my little family and home. Things not going as expected time after time. So many extremes, so many changes, so many struggles I never knew there would be. And while all of this sounds dramatic now, it was very real at the time. The ups and downs took their toll on me and I had been feeling the weight of it all.

And then January came. I was trying to determine my new focus or goals and nothing seemed to sit right. Suddenly one morning as I pulled open the curtains in our bedroom, it came with the sun pouring in. Light.

Light. My word for this year is a welcome contrast to what was. It has meaning on so many levels for me, and it's already made a difference.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

let your hearts be light.

We've had a wonderful holiday season. Just as expected, things are so much more magical with a little one around. Margo is enamored with all the decorations and has loved standing on the couch, staring at the tree and bright lights. A few times she got away with an ornament or two.

Our Christmas morning was simple and sweet. Margo quickly decided opening presents and getting new toys was the greatest thing ever. It must have tuckered her out because for the rest of the day she took several long naps in my arms (she never falls asleep on me, so it was my favorite gift all day.)

A belated Merry Christmas from our little family to yours!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

moving much too fast.

(Oh...hi. I unintentionally disappeared from blogging for the month of November. I'm in over my head with work and such, but can't stop thinking that I owe it to my little girl to keep documenting her life. Plus I always miss sharing bits and pieces of my world.)

These photos were taken over a month ago when Margo was scooting everywhere. Now she's almost 9 months old, crawling on all fours and pulling herself up on everything. She says dada all day and one time even let out a mommmmyyy for me while throwing a fit that I was leaving the room. Also worth mentioning: she started clapping when I pulled up these photos of her. So far nothing makes this child happier in life than looking in a mirror, at a reflection, or photos of herself (uh oh).

More soon. It's the best month of the year and I refuse to let it slip by without proper celebration.

Friday, October 19, 2012

you win just a little but you win.

This month is flying by, and we're trying to enjoy the calm before the holiday craze sets in (I can feel it coming). Five senses for today:

Little pumpkins all around the house.

I wish I was still tasting the Hatch chile + sweet potato soup I had at House of Tricks a couple weeks ago. It was amazing, topped with cream and cinnamon. So glad soup season is here.

Magazine pages being ripped apart. My not-so-little-anymore baby is already entering the destruction phase, getting into everything and making messes left and right.

Pear ginger.

Paint. I'm working on a small project for Margo's nursery (which I'll hopefully share soon).


Happy weekend!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

sixtieth surprise.

Both of my parents recently turned 60 years old, and my sister Anna decided we should throw a little surprise party. So we did, and all of my siblings were able to come into town for their birthday celebration. I made a photo timeline with important family dates, which turned out to be a great conversational centerpiece.

It was a fun night with my absolute favorite people. (More party details and family photos over here.)

A couple of the above photos were taken by Tiffany Haynes.
p.s. Margo holding the happy birthday sign is from a funny little clip that was in the family video my sister-in-law Kathryn put together. The grandkids were interviewed and since she can't speak yet, I wrote her answers on a chalkboard. Here's a really short video snippet of her hilarious round face and smile.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

peanut butter pumpkin granola.

October has arrived! Making this granola was the perfect little celebration yesterday. Like many others, when fall begins to roll around I start searching for recipes with pumpkin. I was really wanting some pumpkin cookies, but since I've been eating almost completely gluten-free for the past couple of months, this was a smarter option. It's healthy (hello quinoa and flaxseeds) but managed to satisfy my craving... for now anyway.

The original recipe was found here but I changed up the ingredients a bit and also added peanut butter. And then per her suggestion, paired it with apples and almond milk (plus another touch of honey) for a delicious breakfast.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Granola
adapted from Skinny Taste's Pumpkin Granola

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed & dried
3 1/2 cups rolled oats (I used gluten-free oats)
1/2 cup ground flaxseeds
1/2 cup pepitas
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tsp coconut oil
2 tsp pumpkin spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 325° F. Spread oats and quinoa out on a baking pan. Toast in the oven 10-15 minutes, stirring once. Remove the toasted oats from the oven, pour into a bowl and add the ground flaxseeds, pepitas, and pecans.

Reduce oven to 300° F. In a second bowl, combine honey, pumpkin puree, peanut butter, oil, pumpkin spice, cinnamon, salt and vanilla. Pour over oats and stir together. Spread back onto a baking sheet and bake an additional 25 minutes, or until golden. Makes about 6 cups.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

the apple never falls far from the tree.

This happened a few weeks ago: Margo's first baby food. She had been grabbing at everything on my plate, and since she's 6 months old and has two bottom teeth, I figured it was time. We started with homemade applesauce with a touch of cinnamon. It was basically her favorite thing ever. In between leaning forward and grabbing at the spoon for more, she kept giving me these looks like "why have you been holding out on me?!"

Someone loves food. I wonder where she gets that from...

Monday, September 17, 2012

summer warmed the open window.

Good things on a Monday morning: polka dots, tiny flowers picked from the weeds in our yard, and amazing peaches (both the delicious Utah fruit I had for breakfast while working and the little baby attached to my hip).

My days are full and happy lately. I was going to say that September is off to a wonderful start, and then realized it's already half over ;)