July 1, 2015

Wednesday Whim - Minimalist

 all images via Adrien Leyronas

When it comes to photography, sometimes less is more. French photographer and current Network and Telecommunications student, Adrien Leyronas has proven just that. Focusing on a singular subject matter within his composition gives a clean and refreshing perspective in his photographs. Removed are the busy distractions that sometimes overpower the beauty in the simplicity. As viewers, we see the dreamy photographs that take us into a softer, quieter world.

For more, check out his Instagram account.

June 30, 2015

Reality Check

Well, hello there! As you have noticed, I placed my blog on a break to tend to this new baby of mine (AKA: Brandon). I didn't have a plan as to how I would handle writing a blog while focusing on a baby. This especially became clearer when Brandon decided to enter the world earlier than anticipated. For me, it turns out that the answer is to do one thing at a time. If I cant do what I want to do well then I need to wait until I can. I didn't want to do either only partially well. Since having Brandon, I have mustered all my tired energy and efforts towards Brandon and I have unplugged from all aspects of work.

Now, I'm feeling more and more like myself so I thought I would gain traction again with an update. Are you ready? 'Cuz it's a long one...

originally posted on IG

As of tomorrow, my little one will officially be two months old. Cray-zee! I have a two month old already? Wasn't it just last week when I wrote that I had a baby? And wasn't it just yesterday when I posted he turned one month? Like so many parents before me, I gained one of the biggest loves of my life but I have lost all sense of time.

So far, motherhood is all that people have described it to be PLUS more. There is plenty of the good, the bad and the ugly. When Brandon is good, he's fabulous. I can ooh and aah over him with the best of parents. I love seeing how much Brandon has grown. He has an intoxicating baby smell that I wish I could bottle up and save. I love seeing my husband with Brandon and hearing them have their own conversations. And I love the sounds Brandon makes as he discovers more of the world around him.

Yet, there is a dark side. 
I can get a bit bitter when he decides to wake up RIGHT after I set him down to sleep. I get annoyed that sometimes all I feel like is a "milk lady" to his constant feeding. My heart breaks when I see him in pain (as he was recently diagnosed with baby acid reflux). We have done more laundry for Brandon than we have done for ourselves. And when he's fussing and crying and both the husband and I have tried the usual suspects (wet diaper? No. Hungry? No.) to no avail? That's when the true test of patience and endurance comes into play.

 originally posted on IG (1, 2, 3, 4)

Over the last two months, I have accumulated a ridiculous amount of photos on my iPhone. I am now one of those people whose phone is filled with baby photos. I have taken a photo each day since Brandon entered the world. My phone is nearing its capacity (again!). People thought I took a lot of photos before...wait until they see what I have now.

Parenting is tiring.

I am tired. My husband is tired. Tired takes on a whole new meaning with a newborn. I thought I was tired when I was a student cramming endless statistics into my head so I could write my in-class midterm paper or staying up all night for last minute study sessions for a final exam the next day. I thought I was tired when I had to start waking up earlier when I changed jobs that had an earlier start time at the office. Nope. None of those nights compare to parenthood. As my husband jokes, "sleep is for the weak."

Zoe Saldana said it best when she said, "I'm a woman now. My body has changed forever. It's softer...and stronger." Yup, it sure is. Giving birth is unlike anything else in life. There is no comparison that I can give to describe the experience. (My birth story coming soon!)

Although I am embracing my role as a mother, I miss my routine pre-baby. Of course I don't miss the stress of a bad day at work but I miss the day to day grind, the silly conversations with co-workers, my morning cup of coffee as I sat at my desk, and even my drive to and from work where I had that small window of time where it was just me.  

What it comes down to is missing parts of me that I understood and that I was confident about. I knew how to do my job well and I knew how to have a work and life balance that worked for me. Now, I have a new role as a mother but it's a role that I am unfamiliar with. 

Despite all my reservations about motherhood, I am learning everyday and (hopefully) getting better each day, too. I'm finding pockets of time to do things for me and balancing time for baby and time for a life outside of baby. Above all else, I am discovering what works for me and tuning out what I think I should be doing because of what I read or see. I'm trying to trust my own instincts.

Have you ever heard that babies have different cries? And that as parents, you will learn your baby's cries? To be frank, I thought this was just what parents said to each other to make themselves feel better. But, I stand corrected (for the most part). After getting to know Brandon for almost two months now, I can tell when he's screaming because he's tired, when he's angry or when he's hungry. I'm not always right but there's something to be said about decoding your baby who speaks a different language. 

However, there are days and nights where he just screams and I can't tell what the eff is going on. Those moments are extremely exhausting and frustrating. Minutes feel like hours and you wonder if the end (of his screams) are near. No one Instagrams those horrifying hours. No one.

As you can tell, there is a lot of good mixed in with the bad. Parent life is wonderfully challenging. It's not glamorous. It's not easy. I love meeting other newbie parents who understand that #thestruggleisreal. It's like a secret code only we know. We look at each other and either say "oh, I remember that" or compassionately say, "it will get easier." Being a parent is unlike anything else I've ever felt or been a part of. The concept of how difficult parenting is is understandable but there's nothing like the actual experience. I suddenly have different conversations with friends who have been parents before me. It's a bond that I didn't realize could happen.

Life with baby is all consuming. Sure, life is not as convenient as before. We can't stay out past a certain hour. We can't make plans in an instant. And sometimes eating together while baby sleeps is not as simple as it sounds. But, we have this wonderful baby that has bonded us together. 

So, that's where I'm at lately. Taking things in day by day and discovering more each day about what it means to be a parent and how to live a new chapter in life as an expanded family. 

June 1, 2015


the husband holding baby Brandon in the hospital

{Fade in}

Though I rarely delve into deeply personal posts on this blog, there are certain occasions I feel like showcasing moments that mean a lot to me. Today, that moment is my amazing husband's birthday!

Happy Birthday to my main squeeze! 

I am not posting this to offer a glorified portrait of my marriage or family. Actually, we are far from that idea of perfection. I'm posting this to spotlight the man in my life who truly makes me a better person. He's the father of baby Brandon, a hard working individual who works full time AND is still focused on finishing school and he maintains a sense of humor through everything. He is the one who stays positive when I go to the negative. He is the one who stays calm when I freak out. And he is the one that cheers me on when I feel like I'm running on empty.

I'm surely biased, but this man is deserving of all the goodness that may happen today. Not because he's my husband, but because he's simply a wonderful person. 

We are not perfect. We still have a lot to learn. But, I'm so honored to live and learn with him.

{Fade to black}

May 27, 2015

Wednesday Whim - Flower House

 images via Country Living via Flower House (photography by Heather Saunders)

Finding beauty in things that are not obvious? That takes some talent. When florist, Lisa Waud of Pot & Box, saw this abandoned home in Hamtrack, Michigan she saw potential. She planned to transform something ugly into something stunning. For $500, Lisa bought two properties next to each other and planned to fulfill her vision.

In advance of an exhibit planned for October, 2015, several florists collaborated to transform one of the rundown houses into a floral wonderland. This juxtaposition of beauty and beast took 48 hours to create using 4,000 flowers for one floor of the house. This preview showcases the story of the Flower House where florists will once again gather to fill the other house (15 rooms) with flowers (an estimated 60,000-100,000 flowers will be used) The spotlight will also be cast on a deconstruction project with Reclaim Detroit and the launch of an urban flower farm for Pot & Box. According to Lisa Waud, "the hope is that this deconstruction and land repurposing will inspire others to see abandoned structures as platforms for art and business, and to use them in an environmentally responsible way."

May 26, 2015

Family Outing

I admire those who can (seemingly) "bounce back" after a major lifestyle change. You know the ones - the folks who go with the flow, manage changing expectations and never seem to miss a beat. 

I am not one of those people. After having baby Brandon (two weeks early, no less!) I have taken everything day by day. Eating in between Brandon's sleep and feeding schedule. Showering when the husband (or anyone) is around "just in case the baby cries." Napping...if I can. Yet, all of this feels like a futile attempt at trying to catch up to whatever "normal" I had before baby. The simple things seem like a huge accomplishment. The truth is that I have a new normal now. A life with a baby, which means incorporating his schedule with mine. The challenge isn't taking care of the baby. It's adapting to a new lifestyle.

According to the husband, we're simply going to recapture our normalcy by doing things we still love...just with a baby in tow. First up? Brunch at one of our neighborhood joints. Simple but effective. On a typical grey SF day, we ventured out on our first (non-medical) family outing and enjoyed every minute of it. All 90 minutes of it.

Smile! Let's remember this moment

Because a day without a baby photo is no longer normal


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