Baby Favorites


Since I shared some of my pregnancy favorites, I thought it only fitting to also share some of the things I’ve found for Teeny that I’ve really loved. This is hardly a “must-have” list, 1) because I don’t yet have the baby and therefore have no idea which items are most helpful and 2) most of these are more on the fun than practical side.

So while it’s not the most practical list in all the land, perhaps it could be helpful as a gift guide for the babies in your life. Because what baby doesn’t need a gangly, stuffed moose?

1. Zip-Front One Pieces for Baby, Old Navy, $12. Our girl’s trip to the beach was the first time that I really let myself wander into the baby section of a store. I found the tiniest, most insanely adorable, dark green pjs and bought them for Teeny to wear home from the hospital. Later on I ended up ordering our whole newborn wardrobe from Old Navy, including these zip-up jams in pretty much every neutral shade they make.

2. This Moose Belongs to Me, Amazon, $9.98. The first book we were given for Teeny and our undisputed favorite. We read this quirky book at least once a week and it never fails to crack me up. I can’t wait to read it to our kiddo after they’re born.

3. Hand Knitted Newborn Baby Beanie, StarSeventeen- Etsy, $18. One of the things I knew I must have the moment the baby comes was the perfect beanie. I wanted a soft, chunky-knit with a giant pom-pom and this one fits the bill perfectly.

4. Mary Meyer Wall Wobbles, Amazon, $19.99. Taylor was in charge of finding the perfect buddy for the baby to grow up with and after falling in love with Marcel, the star of This Moose Belongs to Me, we knew it had to be a moose. He spent weeks researching and landed on this guy. I think he’s just perfect. First test as a dad, check!

5. Duck Boots, Gap, $49.95. Love at first sight. Everyone who has seen these laughs and says, “just like Mom.” You better believe it. Can’t wait to share the goodness of duck boot life with the babe. A huge thank you to my cousin Chantelle who sent these to us!

6. Minnetonka Genuine Bootie, Amazon, $32.95. Our drafty old house requires slippers in the cooler months and I thought these were way too cute to pass on. A little pricey, but one of my splurges.

7. Classic Beaded Pacifier Clip, NomiLu- Etsy, $10. Teether and pacifier clip? Non-hideous pattern? Quality materials and nice, clean look? Sign me up. I admired these on several people’s Instagrams before tracking down the perfect one. If I had to guess, I’ll bet we order another one of these at some point.

8. Gold Orthodontic Pure Rubber Pacifier, Nature Baby, $9.95. Natural rubber and way less obnoxious looking than regular pacifiers. Done and done.

9. The Peaks- Original Modern Wool Mountain Pillow, Three Bad Seeds- Etsy, $60. This was another one of my favorite splurges. Since we got a steal of a deal on our Craigslisted Jenny Lind crib and already had a dresser and rocker, I decided to go for it with this mountain pillow. It’s by far one of my favorite items in the room and I’m so glad I bought it. It’s also the perfect back support for a pregnant lady, settled into a wooden rocking chair.

10. Baby Hairbrush, Nature Baby, $24. I mean, come on. Cutest thing ever.

11. Charcoal Swiss Dot, Solly Baby, $65. I’ve thought these were the coolest thing for the longest time and am weirdly excited about running around with my baby strapped to my chest. They just released this color/pattern this fall and I knew it was the one.

12. Field Canvas Tote Bag, L.L.Bean, $89. The term “diaper bag,” kind of gave me hives, so early on I decided I wanted something that looked as little like a bag full of baby junk as possible. A friend had bought the backpack version of this bag when she had her baby and I decided to copy her and go with this rendition. I like that it can be slung over the shoulder or worn cross-body. Options people, options.

13. Little Willard Baltic Amber Teething Necklace, Amazon, $15.99. Another Instagram inspiration. These seem like such a simple, subtle way to help your kid out in those painful, drooly months of cutting teeth.

14. Gemma Nest, NativeWilds, $49. I don’t fancy myself especially bashful about breastfeeding, but when a friend showed me these attractive, multi-use nursing covers, I was intrigued. Infinity scarf, cart cover, high chair cover, car seat cover, nursing cover and blanket. That’s a whole lot of uses right there for only one thing I have to schlep around in my non-diaper bag. Perfection.

I will say that I had a really, really good time picking stuff out for the baby. When I told people I wasn’t having a shower they often seemed very concerned that I wouldn’t have what I needed, but there has been something about getting to hand-pick the items for our first kiddo that has been really, really special. Like somehow getting all their belongings ready has helped me get to know them a little. I don’t know, deep thoughts and stuff.

I can’t believe we are a month from our due date. Lots of mixed feelings about wanting time to pass quickly and also savoring the moment, but overall we are both pretty pumped to meet our little bud.

What are you favorite buys for baby?

Big Fat Failure

North Umpqua Anniversary | Kali Ramey Martin, Bird is the Word (42 of 58)

It’s 5:20 a.m. on a Saturday morning and though I’d rather be fast asleep, wrapped in my warm fluffy duvet, the third trimester has brought with it a significant lack of rest, so here I am.

As I sit awake at night, I often feel a surge of more energy than I ever seem to have throughout the day, so rather than spend another night scrolling the hours away on Instagram, I decided to get up and try to clear my head.

I’ll be honest with you. I’ve been feeling like a big, fat failure lately.

In reality, I worked hard all spring and summer long, catering events and doing photoshoots. I finished all of our baby preparation with two months to spare because I wanted the last couple months to relax, enjoy my husband and the holidays. I’ve deep cleaned the house, stocked the freezer with meals and treats and have most of the items laid out for our hospital bags. I’ve gone fly fishing over ten times, camped, hiked and explored the Canadian rockies. I’ve raised a puppy this year, started a new branch of my business, survived our first harvest as a farming family and written a monthly column for the local newspaper.

But all I can see right now is that fact that I’m “not working,” not doing anything worthwhile and definitely not bringing in any income.

Nevermind the fact that I’m growing a human and have managed to walk three miles a day, five days a week for the entirety of this pregnancy. Nevermind that I’ve gone to counseling once a month since the beginning of the year so I could prepare my heart and mind for this big life transition. Nevermind that I’ve found a way to find joy and meaning in the somewhat menial tasks that make up keeping a home.

Nevermind all that. I’m obviously a failure.

The first half of pregnancy I did such a good job of living in the present. I wasn’t worried about anything, I read the single baby book we decided to read and focused on my day-to-day life. Then we hit twenty weeks and I hit the nesting wall. Suddenly everything had to be deep cleaned, reorganized and put together. I felt clear, focused, purposed. And then the third trimester came, my life slowed down and simplified just like I’d planned, and here I am having an existential crisis.

Who am I? What am I doing? Why isn’t my photography business taking off? Should I get a part time job? Are people still going to remember I’m a caterer after my maternity leave? Will I ever work again? Should I change careers? Why did I decide I wanted to be a business owner again?

And so on.

I’ve spun round and round in this broken cycle the last few weeks, but after finally verbalizing most of it last night in a conversation with my husband, I realized how silly it all sounded.

Bottom line, yes it would be lovely to be earning an income right now despite the fact that I’ll be giving birth in less than two months. Yes I look around with a bit of envy at others still totally consumed with and distracted by their work towards the end of pregnancy. But, that’s not how this “job” works, and that’s not what we planned for.

In fact, we planned for exactly what’s happening, to happen. Which means I am not actually a failure, but instead the very opposite, succeeding in carrying out the very plans that we made.

Plans to have the very much needed time and space to process my thoughts, fears and hopes for being a mother. Plans to set up, build and organize a whole new website and launch a new branch of my work. Plans to think about writing, what it means to me, where I’d like it to go in the next year and what I need to work on. I’ve had time to recover from a season of seeing my husband just a few hours a week and recoop from a long, hot catering season.

I’ll make no promises that from this point forward I’ll be able to see with clear eyes that I’m right where I’m supposed to be, doing exactly what I should be doing- enjoying my loved ones, resting, being quiet and preparing my heart. But I’m sure going to try.

Because the reality is, all those people I’m looking around comparing myself to, the ones with the steady jobs to distract them and the incomes to entertain them, would probably kill to be able to do what I’m doing. Or at least to have the choice.

So after I *hopefully* fall back asleep tonight, and then wake up in a few hours for the day, I’m going to tell myself how it is. How lucky I am to have a whole ‘nother day laid out before me, with the opportunity to call the shots. To be present. To take the space and quiet I need to feed my soul and invest in the things and people I care about. How that’s what I wanted. What I planned for. And what it means for me to be a success right now.

Because I’ll probably, hilariously, look back at this short season of life and long for it someday. When my world is crazy and I can’t seem to catch my breath. And I’ll laugh at the time I sat at my computer at 5:20 in the morning giving myself a pep talk on enjoying the quiet, wishing desperately for just five minutes of that kind of peace.

So let’s do this thing, am I right? To infinity and beyond!

Weekly Roundup

Blueberry Fields | Kali Ramey Martin, Bird is the Word (10 of 19)

Every morning I go on a walk around the three mile loop near our house and tell my self, “I’m going to write a blog post today.” And then before I know it, it’s Friday and all I have are some silly little links to share and another week has passed without me producing any sort of intelligible writing. It’s a weird season of life, this one. Anyway, some things that really made me happy this week:

I didn’t watch the CMA’s, and rarely get an opportunity to watch awards shows as a whole since we don’t have TV, but I always like to check in and follow along anyhow. Last night, after perusing Instagram I quickly learned that he-who-can-do-no-wrong Justin Timberlake had teamed up with one of Taylor and I’s very favorite new artists, Chris Stapleton. And let me tell you, the results were magical. Watch this. And then this. Is it just me or did Brad Paisley have a little “Adele Dazeem” moment there?

Not sure if any of you are sports fans, and honestly it’s taken me a few years to come around to podcasts in general, but I’m a huge fan of Bill Simmons and am so glad he’s back on the air after his beef with ESPN. I just listened to this podcast where he talks about how everything went down and found it really honest and refreshing. Have a listen.

It’s no secret that I kind of love everything Pendleton does, and am still kicking myself for not pulling the trigger on one of their Portland Collection dresses a few years ago, but when this collaboration with Portland’s Poler Stuff was released, I got so excited. I love that they make an effort to partner with so many different brands and on so many different levels. Everything from large corporations like Nike and Subaru, to little local operations like Poler. Go getcha some.

I’ve begun my annual watching of terrible, terrible TV Christmas movies but being my third or fourth year at it, am having trouble finding new material. Any favorites to recommend? I favor the ABC Family and Hallmark channel types. Don’t judge me.

The stinking L.L.Bean Christmas catalog gets me every time and makes me dream sweet dreams of sugar plum fairies and flannel pajamas. Here’s a few things I wouldn’t mind in my stocking this year: Wool Fedora. Sherpa-Lined Wool Jacket. Lined Poplin Shirt Jacket.

We are going to be spending the weekend at the hospital touring the Birth Center and doing our Labor and Childbirth classes. Eek! I can’t believe this day is here already. What are you all up to?

Happy Friday!

Weekly Roundup

Blueberry Fields | Kali Ramey Martin, Bird is the Word (5 of 19)

In addition to my list of weekly list of links, I’m going to share a few things that “freaked my week” as one of my favorite podcasts likes to say. Here they are, in no particular order, because sometimes you need to make a list of good things when you are wide awake at 3 a.m.:

  • Giving Cash a bath in the tractor wash pit at the farm.
  • Sleeping in an extra hour and a half wrapped in our down comforter like a burrito.
  • Eating chocolate chip cookies out of the freezer, one at a time.
  • Discovering yoga for labor and relieving some of the pressure on my back.
  • Foot massages with Burt’s Bees Foot Lotion.
  • Our annual viewing of Mike Wazowski.
  • Waking up to Teeny’s cross stitch in the hall outside my bedroom.
  • Hanging the vintage postcards we bought on our Montana trip last year when we first started talking about having kids.
  • Spending my insomnia hours going through the archives of my favorite blog.
  • Texted photos of my friend’s daughter enjoying the birthday gift we gave her and a video of my other friend’s daughter losing her mind at Frozen on Ice.
  • Watching the first NBA games of the season with my love, knowing soon we’ll be watching as a family. #ripcity #dubnation
  • Burying my face in fresh, clean puppy fur and thanking my lucky stars for the last year we’ve spent together.
  • Listening to the rain and wind beat against my windows, while I stay toasty warm thanks to a recently serviced furnace.

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Now onto the link-y goodness.

This is the toy we got for our friend’s daughter’s birthday that has resulted in the most adorable texted pics and cleanest mirrors in the land. I think this will stay at the top of my list for kid gift ideas. Reasonably priced, nice quality and teaches your kids to like CLEANING. Win.

I tried this on when my mom was in town last week and It. Was. Heaven. I didn’t expect to like the green color so much, but it’s really lovely. Does growing a human put me on the “nice” list this year? Santa?

I went to Target today to buy a couple new bras because pregnancy, and couldn’t resist throwing these in my basket. Christmas babies are da best.

Speaking of Christmas, I randomly got a craving for a peppermint mocha this afternoon and I already have all of my holiday cards addressed. Three cheers for nesting! The last two years I’ve ordered my cards from Artifact Uprising who currently has a 10% off special on holiday options. Recycled paper and cute kraft envelopes, swoon!

But not to get too ahead of myself, which recipe should I use for my first ever Thanksgiving pumpkin pie? Keep it classic or go for something fancy like this one, complete with pie crust leaves?

I’m not forgetting about Halloween, though I’m pretty sure the amount of candy I consumed in the first trimester more than covers this year’s indulgence. I think I’ll be eating popcorn and watching the Blazers Saturday night instead.

Happy Friday! Happy Halloween! Everyone stay safe and dry out there this weekend!

This Old House

Life on the Farm- Vol. 3 | Bird is the Word (24 of 46)

Having lived in our house for nearly a year, which I feel is the minimum required time to really to know a space, I thought it was high time I post some photos of our little farmhouse’s transformation. I forget sometimes how much work was done for us and though it may not be my “forever” home, I never want to forget to be grateful for this beautiful place I get to live, so let’s dive in!

These before photos are from a walk-through we did with my in-laws long before there was even a glimmer of hope we’d get to move in. I’d had my eyes on the place for years, but had been told time and time again not to get my hopes up and that it was impossible for us to live here. But I knew. I knew from the moment I set foot in the door that me and this house were meant to be and so I nursed a secret, quiet hope that someday we would be united. And nearly a year later we were painting walls and fixing toilets and laying new floors.

Outside (Before): house-side_14508167026_o sideyard_14551392513_o backdoor_14344683829_o backyard_14344834157_o

To be honest, we haven’t done too terrible much to the outside. Last fall we did a major yard clean up, hacked some of the overgrown yard back to a somewhat manageable state, trimmed trees and cleared the beds of weeds.

Taylor built me some beautiful garden boxes this spring which have produced quite the summer’s bounty and I filled the back patio with fresh herbs for clipping. We enjoyed our green grass until this summer’s heat sucked the life out of it and now we are thoroughly enjoying the return of the green as the fall rain sets in. I can’t wait until the house looks fresh and clean again from winter rains. Right now we are still kind of covered in a coat of dust from the fields, inside and out. But such is life on the farm!

Outside (After):

Bedrooms (Before):
The bedrooms in this house all looked pretty much exactly the same before we got our hands on them. Dark, dingy carpet, outdated light fixtures and way too many window coverings. We tore out all the window treatments, coated the rooms from top to bottom in a layer of Behr Coastal Beige and replaced the fixtures with these from Home Depot (these in the smaller spaces). We refinished hardwood floors in the bedroom downstairs and in one of the rooms upstairs, and carpeted the two larger bedrooms (and hallway) upstairs since their hardwoods couldn’t be salvaged. Once we found out about Teeny Martini, we installed a window a/c unit in our bedroom window and thank God! we did. I’m not sure I would have survived the summer without it. The downstairs bedroom became my catering room, storing all of my items out in the open to be easily accessed and hauled out to the car.

It’s been so wonderful to have the space to house family and friends and even take on a roommate in the form of our future sister-in-law!

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Bedrooms (After):
I’m only giving you a peek at the catering room and our bedroom, as Teeny’s room isn’t done and the other bedroom is currently occupied by our soon-to-be SIL, but I’ll give an update on those rooms once they are a little more put together. Between the Craigslist dresser and the new bed I got for my birthday, our room has had quite the upgrade in the last couple months. Since I took these photos, I found some curtains, but I still need to hang the new copper wall sconces and find a chair for those middle of the night nursing sessions. Thinking maybe the striped one in the living room will make it’s way upstairs.

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Bed. Nightstands. Quilt (in Ivory). Pillowcases. Throw Pillows (Joss & Main, old). Euro Pillow Covers. Dresser (Craigslist). Metal Letters. Moses Basket + Stand (Craigslist). Lamps (Target, old). Bench (family heirloom).

Bathroom (Before): 
This one kind of cracks me up because things don’t look all that different in the two pictures. In reality, I took an entire container of Comet to the bathtub, we painted every square inch Behr Ultra White and I hung a few things on the wall, but to tell you the truth, I kind of liked the vibe they had going on in there and did my best to imitate it. Being the only bathroom in the house, this baby is a workhorse and I wanted it to be simple, functional and easy to keep clean.


Bathroom (After):
Shower curtainRugArtwork above toilet (on opposite wall).

I still need to find a roman shade I like for that window and maybe replace the fixtures at some point, but overall, this bathroom works quite well for us. We do have a half bath downstairs, but I’ve hardly done a thing in there besides paint so I’m not bothering to show it.

Office (Before):

I was so thrilled this house had a quirky little space in the back corner of the house that could easily become a pretty great office. It has a roomy closet and that gorgeous built-in you see above, and even came equipped with a manual pencil sharpener, which everyone seems to comment on. But the walls were dirty and covered in cobwebs, the carpet was ripped, stained and musty and the blinds on both windows made it dark and gloomy.
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Office (After):
Ripping up the carpet, we found the original hardwoods were in immaculate condition, especially in this little room. The dark wood trim looked new and bright against freshly painted walls and ceilings, and a schoolhouse light added a little class to the place.

Taylor made the wall mounted shelves for me and I was thrilled to discover that my antique pantry, originally rescued from a Minnesota farmhouse, fit perfectly against an open wall. It works really great for me to have an entire space where I can hide away and get some work done, especially when there’s a lot going on in the summertime. The views out the window aren’t half bad either, especially around sunset.

Desk. Chair. Wall-Mount Shelves (2″x6″s and brackets from Home Depot). Aqua Shelves (Craigslist).

Dining/Living Rooms (Before):
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Biggest issues in this front room: terrible carpet, super heavy window coverings on every window, dingy walls and outdated light fixtures. We painted every square inch besides the trim, ripped up the carpet and refinished the original hardwoods, swapped out light fixtures, and happily removed every single window covering. The light in this room is incredible, especially in the winter, and I’m hard pressed to leave it every day for my morning walk.

Dining/Living Rooms (After):IMG_3306IMG_3307 IMG_3310

Though there are plenty of things I’d still like to change as far as furniture goes in both of these rooms, I’m also very content with the way we’ve made use of what we have. We inherited two large area rugs from Taylor’s grandparents, and though they’re not what I probably would have picked out on my own, they’ve been a perfect temporary solution.

We still love our couch and get a ton of use out of it, but it was so great to find the ticking stripe chair on Craigslist (for only $50!) and to “borrow” the rocker from Taylor’s childhood room for a little more seating in this room. We’ve also really loved having a coffee table for the first time in our lives and I love the little baskets full of Cash’s toys (and soon to be diapers!) that we’re able to stash underneath. I’ve yet to master the mantle arrangement, having to work around that built-in nook, but I’m determined I’ll find the perfect set up someday. Perhaps at Christmas time when my Nutcracker collection makes its grand debut. Though the rocker and pouf have been transplanted to the baby’s room and the striped chair will probably end up in ours, I’ve been keeping my eye on Craigslist for the perfect wingback chairs to take their place. I’d love something I can get recovered in a nice textured linen.

Couch. Reading lamp. Side table. Coffee table (borrowed from MIL). Glass lamp (thrifted). Fire screen (Target, old). Ticking stripe chair (Craigslist). Pouf. TV Stand (IKEA, old). Dining Table (custom made). Chairs.

Kitchen (Before):
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The kitchen is probably my favorite room in this house. It has the best moody light, a large window that overlooks the driveway so I can watch my husband and pup playing in the side yard, and a ton of storage and counter space. The giant, two-compartment farmhouse sink doesn’t hurt either. But before we got our hands on it, this kitchen was DATED. Stained linoleum, metal pulls on the cabinets that had long come undone, hideous light fixtures and curtains everywhere, and ancient appliances. Despite the fact that I convinced my in-laws to let me keep that vintage fridge with it’s built-in egg cartons, it sadly died on us earlier this summer.

Kitchen (After):
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Though it was already my favorite room in the house, the kitchen is definitely the most “complete,” in my mind, even though there is still a ton I’d like to do in there someday. Before moving in we painted the walls and ceiling, changed all the metal pulls out for oil-rubbed bronze ones, put in a new, vintage-style vinyl floor and some gorgeous bead board in the nook. We changed the light fixtures and replaced the sink faucet. We were also lucky enough to get a brand new oven and dishwasher, which were later joined by this beautiful GE Artistry model fridge once our vintage fridge bit the big one.

The hutch of dreams, which my MIL and I drove down to Bend to pick up, houses my canned goods and supplies and serves as an extra pantry space. We originally intended to put a small kitchen table and chairs in the nook, but now I can’t imagine anything other than that big beautiful hutch taking up that space. Almost a year in this home and my little kitchen is full of memories of good meals, long days of prep and hundreds of loads of dishes.

Someday I’d love to take out the upper cabinets and replace them with open shelving, swap out the old countertops for butcher block, put up some white subway tile and install a nice, big apron sink in front of that window, but for now I am perfectly content here in my little white sanctuary.

So there she be! Our little old farmhouse. It’s been pretty fun to put my “nesting” instincts to good use and clean and organize all the corners of our home this fall. So sincerely looking forward to welcoming a new little resident in December.

Weekly Roundup

North Umpqua Anniversary | Kali Ramey Martin, Bird is the Word (1 of 1)

Taylor and I spent last weekend on the banks of the North Umpqua celebrating our 7th wedding anniversary. We stayed at this historic fishing lodge where we enjoyed great meals, no phone service and a three hour nap on Saturday afternoon. Saturday morning we spent on the river with local guide, Tony. He was super patient and knowledgable, and took us through the basics of Spey casting, which Taylor picked up right away and I, of course, struggled through for a few hours before finding my rhythm. Typical.

We’ve ordered the last of the “necessary” items for Teeny Martini’s arrival, but I’m obsessed with these baby duck boots from Gap and keep hoping if I tell enough people about them, they’ll magically appear at my house. Hint, hint.

Every night we read a book to the babe and so far anything by Oliver Jeffers has completely stolen our hearts. This Moose Belongs to Me is by far our favorite. We were lucky enough to be gifted Once Upon an Alphabet as well, and figure we’ll probably end up buying them all at some point. Super creative illustrations and hilarious storylines.

This is kind of old news at this point, but did everyone watch the Felicity Reunion video EW did? There’s nothing like starting your day out with a little Ben Covington, am I right? Also, is it just me or does Keri Russell laugh like a pirate?

One of my favorite blogs posted the information for this class a couple weeks ago and in light of my recent news, I’m thinking it might be a good idea. Anyone else struggle with digital file organization?

Hope you have a fantastic weekend everyone! Get out there and do (or eat!) something fall-ish. For me.

A New Piece of the Puzzle

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Exciting news around here!

Bird is the Word is expanding. Yes, yes, I’m having a baby. And am quite literally expanding. Hardy har. But I also want to share that we are adding a new branch to the BW tree…photography!

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Since it’s beginnings two years ago, I’ve felt like I should hold onto the concept of Bird is the Word with open hands. I have loved catering and all the experiences I’ve had and evenings I’ve shared with you lovely folks, but as we jump into a new family dynamic, it feels like it’s the perfect time to make some adjustments.

I’ll still be catering events, I’m just going to be a little more selective about the type and number of events I take next year. After my three month “Maternity Leave” (until March or so), I’ll be booking events of 50 people or less. I feel like I can really knock it out of the park for 50 people. Create a special day, evening or moment that they’ll never forget. Put on events that live up to not only the expectations of my clients, but also the ones I set for myself. It’s really important that the work be special and enjoyable for me because it’s a lot of work for one person and I’ve had one too many nights spent driving home exhausted and frustrated with the limitations of a group too large. I’m really looking forward to the clients that will come my way in 2016! It feels good to know your boundaries and to know that you can really excel within them.

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I’m also going to pursue freelance photography as a new piece of BW. Photography has been something that has very slowly and quietly become one of my great loves, and I finally feel confident enough to add it into the mix of my “career.” I’m hoping to do a wide variety of work, but focus mainly on these areas: Family, Adventure, Agriculture, Lifestyle and Food. You can see some of my current work here.

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Anyway, if you all wouldn’t mind spreading the word around town, or getting in touch if you have photo needs, I’d love to get you more information!

Thanks for coming along on this journey with me so far and as we dive into this new chapter. You’re the best.

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Hard to Good


I had a bit of a revelation the other day. Don’t get too excited, it was one of those total “duh,” moments where something you’ve been trying so hard to figure out just kinda suddenly comes into focus.

I’ve been thinking so hard about how to enjoy this whole baby having process. Not the labor part, mind you. I’m not that much of an optimist. I expect that part to be rough. What I mean is the first few months that people so often to refer to as “survival mode.”

Something about that term has always seemed so depressing to me. Like there’s no other choice but to turn into a wacked-out, sleep deprived, leaky-boobed zombie while you count down the hours of the day until the baby goes to sleep again. I don’t want that. I don’t want to waste those precious first few weeks lamenting all the things I’ve lost- sleep, hair, modesty. I want to beat the odds and find a way to be present and relish in all the beautiful moments that come amidst the hardness.

I’ve been thinking so hard about all of this and trying so hard to figure it out, when I suddenly realized I was already doing it. With my dog.


Now I’m not trying to pretend that my 11 month old puppy is the same as having a newborn. At this point he’s potty trained, mostly sleeps through the night and doesn’t usually cry incessantly (unless he thinks we are going to visit his “cousin” Shadow). He doesn’t require carrying, I don’t have to feed him with my body and I didn’t have to give birth to him. Not the same.

But I did spend some sleepless nights getting up to teach him how to use the bathroom. I’ve spent more 2 a.m.’s than I’d like to admit cleaning up some form of bodily substance. I’ve taught him tricks and commands, which he may or may not choose to follow. I’ve fished countless dead mice out of his throat and I’ve chased him across a grass field, desperately crying out his name and begging him to come inside. We’ve had moments of absolute love and affection and moments when I, shamefully, have taken great pleasure in banishing him to his kennel.

Last week was a tough one. He’d been sick and up several nights in a row, throwing up around 2 a.m. He pooped on the floor, which maybe only happened once or twice when he was a puppy, and is really just the most disgusting thing ever. He’d been jumping up on the counter and stealing food. Stealing things out of the garbage and spreading them all over the house. I’d washed his bed and collar at least three times. I’d had it.

I was so frustrated with him that, embarrassingly enough, my husband made a comment about the way I was treating him. I was humiliated.

And then, to make matters worse, we dropped him off at a kennel for four days while we went on vacation.

Mom guilt, the struggle is real.

Despite the fact that I sobbed the entire 20 minute drive from the kennel to our rental house in Sisters- pregnancy hormones, man- I think the time apart brought me some much needed perspective.

All the hard stuff about “raising” Cash, and it has been hard, and smelly, maddening, disgusting and exhausting. All the hard stuff is also why the good stuff is good.


Like how he’s finally started to come inside when called. How he’s figured out that being a labrador retriever includes actual retrieving. How he meets me at the bottom of the stairs in the morning and jumps headfirst into my ever-shrinking lap for a snuggle. How he walks three miles by my side every morning, stops at all the right places and works so hard at resisting the siren song of the neighbor’s dog as we pass by. How he lays his head in my lap in the evenings and reaches up to give me a kiss when I rub his velvet ears.

When we picked him up Sunday afternoon, I felt released from the burden of being the “angry mom” I’d been the week before. We had a fresh start and I was determined to show Cash the respect and patience he deserves.

And the last couple days, being Cash’s mom has been an absolute joy. I’ve found myself saying “please” and “thank you,” and gently reminding him of the rules instead of making harsh demands when he heads for the garbage. I’ve found myself reaching down to pet him when he wanders by, just because I love him. I’ve taken him with me to run errands and realized I’m thinking up things for him to do just because I think he might enjoy them.

Even though I still have to do things I’d rather not- clean up the four Costco boxes he shredded and spread all over the living room, deal with the dog hair in the tub from his Sunday night bath, and force antibiotic eye drops into his eyeballs every morning and night- for some reason, it feels different. Instead of wishing the days away, I’m realizing that I’ll never have this same experience again in my life. My first dog, at eleven months old, being every bit the crazy teenage pup that he is.

And that’s how I’m going to enjoy this baby.

By remembering that I get one or two chances to do this in my lifetime and those first three months with this kid, no matter how grueling they may prove to be, are literally a once in a lifetime experience. Not that I have to be perfect, and not that I won’t forget now and again and spend a few days in zombieland, but I think if I can set my sights on that fundamental truth, me and this kid, well, I think we’re going to be okay.

Because amidst the diapers, breast pads, witch hazel and lanolin, sleep deprivation, exhaustion and inevitable frustration of first-time parenthood, amidst all of that hardness will be the beauty of watching this little person spend the first days of their life.

The hard stuff is why the good stuff is so good.


Weekly Roundup

Essential Oils

It’s Friday. And it’s pouring rain outside. Cash and I just got back from a walk and we are both a little soggy. But the world is green. And smells so good. And I’m pretty much happy as a clam, so sitting down to share some of my favorite things from the week only seemed fitting.

After seeing the book lauded on a few of my favorite Instagram accounts, I used my Amazon rewards points to order the Yellow Farmhouse Cookbook by Christopher Kimball.  I’ve yet to fully dive in, but the entire chapter dedicated to “Farm Breakfast” has me drooling already.

I’m sloooooowly easing into my fall yard cleanup and as bending over is an ever increasing challenge, I’m thinking I need some of these babies to help me out. Any ideas on where to find some this cute?

Don’t judge me, but I thought this lip sync battle between siblings, Derek and Julianne Hough, was the funniest thing I’ve seen in a long time. Skip this one, Mom. But seriously, Ha! This one kills me, too. I’m holding out hope that all my friends will organize a surprise Lip Sync Battle for me one day. You better believe I’ll be ready.

I jumped on the bandwagon with essential oils after several months of research and ordered a starter kit through one of my friends from Young Living. So far I’ve only been dififusing but I’m working on a list today of cleaning and wellness products I’d like to make. This blog has been an excellent resource. Any experience with oils?

I’m a little obsessed with knit infant socks. While I haven’t been able to pull the trigger on any yet, convinced I’ll stumble upon the perfect pair, these ones are at the top of my Etsy shopping cart.

I hope you all have super cozy weekend plans, involving apple cider and something that takes all day to cook. Happy first weekend of fall!