Thursday, November 19, 2015

Thursday Thoughts

My heart is heavy as I sit here, thinking about the chaotic state that our world is in. If you're living on this planet, how can you not be affected by the events taking place, and that have been taking place, for years and years (and from the beginning on time)? It doesn't seem right that I'm enjoying a salad while my baby naps peacefully, while others are fleeing their homes for their very lives, not knowing where they will end up or if they'll even have food today. 

My mind has a difficult time reconciling the injustice of it all. The sadness. The pain. The gravity of loss. The total fear. The reality of evil. What can we do? It feels wrong to turn on the TV and relax, while so many don't even have a bed to sleep in. I look at my young son. He is clothed and warm, safe from harm. He has toys and books. He knows how loved he is. Far too many children don't have any of those things. 

I was deeply impacted by this photographers project documenting where refugee children are forced to sleep. Regardless of your opinion on the issue, the stories are real. The children are real. No one should have to live like this. I read every single one. My heart breaking over and over. 

There are hurting people as well as evil doers all over this Earth. We live in a fallen world. Sin is here. I keep reminding myself that the story isn't over. This is just part of a much bigger plan. God's design for mankind isn't finished. This world was not created to be our permanent home. There is hope. Jesus is the answer!

I've been really enjoying and have been so encouraged by their Bible reading plans and devotions for women. I haven't been going in any particular order but I'm currently going through Philippians. Today's reading was just what I needed, reminding me that I am a citizen of Heaven, not Earth. With all of the plagues of evil and chaos, Romans 16:20 gave me hope, "And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen." Our God is the God of peace. And one day, soon, He will put an end to Satan and every form of evil. What a glorious day that will be! 

The only answer I have to the "What can we do?" question is to pray. Pray for the people who are displaced. Who are hurting. Lost. Forsaken. Pray for the orphans and widows. Pray for those trapped in the horrors of sex trafficing. Pray for the mothers pondering abortions and pray for those willing to provide abortions. Pray for the homeless, the hungry, the broken. Pray for those with addictions. Pray for those plotting harm and carrying out wickedness. Most of all, pray that every lost soul would find Jesus Christ. He is the true hope and the answer for this world. 

And, love your loved ones. Hug your spouse, your children and your family, tighter. They are a gift. And every day you get to spend with them is a gift.  

Friday, November 6, 2015

Monthly Marshall Moments: Nine

Our Marshall is nine months! Which means that he has been in our lives as many months as we anxiously awaited his arrival. I am amazed by that! 

Taking photos of a newly crawling nine-month-old is no joke. My photo shoots (and diaper changes) have started to feel like Olympic sports! He continues to grow and change and do so many things. He is quite proud of his new mobility and gets around pretty fast! 

October and November have been unseasonably warm (so far) and we are loving these extra days outside. A couple weeks ago, Gigi came to visit! We had a fun playing and spending time together. 

One gorgeous Saturday afternoon, we went to the park and took family photos. The many faces of Marshall crack me up! 

The leaves have proven to be good for something - beautiful colors for photos. Marshall really liked picking them up (and trying to chew them). He is such a cutie, if I do say so, myself! 

Just waiting for bath time...

Has mastered sitting up, rolling and flipping over
Newly crawling! And interested in everything he can get to
Likes frequently pulling his right sock off (and chewing on his toes)
Loves paper, newspaper, junk mail and tearing it into pieces
Likes to stand and pull himself up (not walking yet)
Absolutely does NOT like having his nose, face or hands wiped
Cutting 4 teeth
Likes to go grocery shopping
So much personality

I love this photo I snapped of us, at the very end. His giant smile and happy eyes melt my heart into a million pieces. We do have fun together! It's so amazing to recognize traits from each of us in Marshall. He is the light of our days!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Oatmeal Add-ins

What's better than warm oatmeal on a cold morning?

Oatmeal is one of my favorite things to make for breakfast, but I like to make it "fancy." By that, I mean adding fruit, nuts and other delicious add-ins. If you have 3 minutes and a microwave, you can easily transform regular 'ol oatmeal into the "fancy" kind that you'll pay $4+ for at your coffee shop.

1/2 cup of old fashioned oats in a microwave safe bowl
Add 3/4 cup of your choice of milk (cow's, almond, flax, coconut, whatever) 
Microwave for 3 minutes
Carefully remove from microwave (it's HOT) 
Add in your choice of toppings, stir and enjoy! 

Here are some delicious combinations that I like:

- Dried cranberries, sliced apple, chopped walnuts, agave

- Chopped walnuts, blueberries, juice of half a lemon, honey

- Pumpkin seeds, sliced banana, pecans, maple syrup

Use whatever you like and whatever you have! Cheers to better breakfasts.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

A Sunshiney Apple Day

Today was such a beautiful fall Sunday! We had to get outside and enjoy it. Perfect for a trip to Whittier Fruit Farm to pick some golden delicious apples. 

Marshall was quite serious and very observant the entire time. We couldn't get him to smile or look at the camera. There was too much to see! 

I think he will enjoy it even more next year when he can walk around (gah!) and even pick the apples. I can't imagine that yet! 

I love making memories like this, with my two favorite guys. All the heart eye emoji.

I think I need to bake an apple pie...

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Monthly Marshall Moments: Eight

My little pumpkin is eight months old. Every month, I think he can't possibly get any cuter, but somehow he does! His smile is getting bigger and brighter and his laugh is music to my ears. Marshall is a sweetie pie and a charmer, with a growing personality. And his cheeks are simply kissable! 

He definitely likes to play and keep busy, especially with someone by his side. I love watching him inspect new objects, turn things around in his squishy little hands and discover the world. 

I had the best time introducing Marshall to bubbles. The pure wonder and expression on his face was priceless. He didn't know what to do. Then he tried "catching" them and would look for it when it disappeared. So precious. 

He is a ray of sunshine most mornings. I don't know where he gets that from! When he awakes up, we're happy to see each other and he's always ready to play. 

Andrew finally has an Eagles buddy to watch the games with. The cutest fan around! 

This summer and fall has been so much fun. We're trying to enjoy the remaining warm days and get outside as much as we can. I'm hoping for a mild winter so we can still enjoy the outdoors! 

Sitting up all the time with excellent balance
Moving around while sitting up, swivel style (not crawling yet) 
Enjoys eating baby food a couple times a day
Does NOT like his face and hands cleaned 
Starting to get teeth! Two poking though on the bottom and two on top soon
Likes to go for rides around the yard in his red wagon
Likes playing with blocks
Scratches his head/hair when he's tired 
Had his first cold :( 
Likes to be held and carried around

I know I'm going to miss this age so much. I keep saying how I love him at this stage. Well, at every stage. It's so wonderful to watch him learn new things and become more aware. I know he'll be crawling and then walking before we know it. Right now, I'm perfectly happy that he's not completely mobile yet. But, I know it will just keep getting better and better. 

Happy eight months, Marshall, you are the joy of our lives!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Home Office Tour and WeWork

Since becoming a work at home mom (yay!), having a dedicated work space and home office is vital. Earlier this year, after my son was born, I left my full-time job (which I loved) to be a stay at home mom (which I really love even more). Now, I am a freelance graphic designer and art director. For me, it's the best of both worlds. 

Almost two years ago, I did a complete home office makeover. Including building a custom desk, reupholstering my office chair, painting a chandelier, making burlap message boards, and other fun DIY projects. My combination office/craft room/reading and relaxation spot is one of my favorite rooms in our home. A few things have changed, but much has remained the same. Here is a tour of my work space and a few must-haves that I included in the design. 

My biggest must-have was a large desk with ample work space. Enough to accommodate two computers, a sewing machine, tools and still have room to work. My husband and I built a custom desk that spans the length of the room. It's awesome! Believe it or not, sometimes I still wish it were larger. I tend to make a mess when I get creative and there never seems to be a shortage of papers, folders and miscellaneous items.

Another must-have was plenty of storage. We used deep cabinets from IKEA as the base of our desk. We also brought in a large storage hutch from another room to keep craft supplies. Everything has a place and can be stowed out of sight! 

In addition to my desk chair, I wanted a place where I could sit and read, journal, sketch and just relax. This comfy chair and little side table is one of my favorite places to sit with a cup of tea and recharge. 

One of my most favorite elements of this room is the chandelier I spray-painted bright red! It definitely lights up the whole space and makes me happy. No more boring crappy lighting. I also bought a pretty little mercury glass lamp for my side table, which casts a warm glow in the evening. Proper lighting can make or break a room. Especially when you're trying to work. 

If you spend a lot of time in a room, you should surround yourself with things that inspire you and make you happy. I have all types of items in my work space that make me smile. Milk glass vessels, antique cameras, jars of buttons, ribbons and supplies, photos of family and friends, cards and keepsakes, inspirational quotes. Being surrounded by pretty things makes me enjoy working and crafting (and even paying bills). 

Your space doesn't have to be huge and it doesn't have to be perfect. It just has to be someplace you like to be and can accomplish what you need to get done. Functional as well as fun. As simple or as fancy as you like. As long as the basics are there - a desk, chair, (electricity if you need to be plugged in), paper, pens, etc. Maybe sunlight and fresh air are all you need some days. A change of scenery. A coffee shop. A bench at the park.

If you don't have your own work space or would like to network and connect with others, WeWork offers shared office locations around the globe. They also offer discounts and benefits to their members. If you run your own business, or you're a freelancer like me, sometimes a professional office space is beneficial. To learn more, visit I have not had the opportunity to use one of their office spaces yet, but I definitely plan on keeping them in mind.