December 31, 2009

Happy Birthday Brooks.

Today is Brooks' 5th Birthday. We took him out for a fun day at the Biltmore. He is such a sweet dog. He has never thought about harming Harrison, and the two get along famously. Harrison now hugs and kisses him. I was a little worried how Brooks would handle taking second fiddle, but he has adjusted perfectly.

Of course in true Brooks form, as a family came over to say hello, he preceded to throw up right in front of them. I heard the dad say, "and that is why we are not getting a dog...".

He makes my life a little more complicated, but Brooks is the best foot warmer, floor cleaner and alarm system I could ever ask for.

Happy Birthday Brooks {oh yeah...and Happy New Years!}.

December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas to All...

Today is the day to eat whatever you want, take a nap if you prefer, don't answer the phone, go for a bike ride, see a movie, hang out with family you like, giggle with children and end the day watching Elf.

{Harrison's first encounter with Santa and he was only interested in this furry sleeves. Bummer we didn't get a family picture where everyone was looking at the same time}.

Merry Christmas from our home to yours...

December 24, 2009

Favorites All Around...

Here are my all around favorite things that I wouldn't want to live without....

1. My family - Wouldn't want to do this life without them.

2. Personalized Stationery - I love how classic this is. I have a few different sets that I use constantly. I also have a set for Harrison that we use as thank you notes and birthday cards for little friends. The best deal I have found is here.

3. A good throw blanket - We have this in heather gray and it's what I'm wrapped up in every night on the couch.

4. Bathtub - After 5 years of living in our house, I finally have this tub installed in my bathroom. It is heaven.

5. Diptyque candles - Hands down, the best candles ever. This smell is divine and will permeate every crevice of your home. Made in Paris and never a synthetic ingredient added.

6. Pike Place coffee - What gets me going every morning with 2 tablespoons of cream.

7. Clorox wipes - These are an essential in our house. They quickly clean bathrooms, kitchens, doorknobs and disinfect after someone was sick.

8. Flip Flops - Growing up in Arizona, flip flops quickly become a part of your life. These are on my feet March through September.

9. L.L. Bean Tote Bags - My friend Carla gave one of these in navy to Harrison a while ago. It serves as everything from a diaper bag, beach bag to overnight bag.

10. Table Lamps - My favorite time of the day is dusk when all my table lamps start turning on {I have them on timers}. The light is soft and comforting.

11. Burts Bees lip balm - I end my day slathering this all over my lips. It feels amazing, is all natural and smells minty and fresh.


Merry Christmas Eve.

December 22, 2009

Favorite Songs.

I love hearing other people's favorite songs. It usually leads me to iTunes to add a few to my collection. New songs on my ipod can make a mundane trip to the grocery store seem like the best car ride ever. These are songs that I can listen to over and over and usually have some significance in my life. I usually like songs that I can really feel on the inside. Here are just some of my favorites.

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1. Australia - The Shins: This song is so upbeat and happy that I love it over and over every time I hear it. It's the ultimate feel good song.

2. Nothing In My Way - Keane: My friend Tricia's husband always makes a mix CD for events in our lives {new car, baby, vacation}. A couple of summers ago he made a CD for us when we were all meeting up in Laguna for a few days. This song was on it and we would listen to it while driving along the PCH with the windows down. Every time I hear it, I think of the utter bliss I felt in those moments.

3. Three Little Birds - Bob Marley: I would sing this to Harrison when he was first born and had colic. I love the words and everything it says. Ultimately everything is always alright, and I like this reminder to just trust the process.

4. Central Reservation - Beth Orton: This song has been a part of me since my days of living in New York City. I was lonely, scared and pining for the attention of someone who had other priorities. It's weird that I would hold such a song dear to my heart, but I still hear it and think of that time in my life fondly.

5. Use Somebody - Kings of Leon: This has quickly become one of my favorites this year. I love the lyrics, I love the band and I love the melody. I usually have this on repeat.

6. Wonderwall - Oasis: I've shared the significance of this song before. It will always remind me of my son and the time I spent carrying him for 9 months. I hope he grows to love it one day too.

7. We Walk the Same Line - Everything but the Girl: This was J.'s and my song at our wedding and what played while we danced for the first time as husband and wife. The lyrics are incredible about being there for each other and taking care of one another. It always reminds me to be his best friend.

8. Long Way Around - Dixie Chicks: I love them and this song reminds me that doing things your own way...always turns out to be the best in the end.

9. When You Were Young - The Killers: This song makes me feel young and happy. I can't explain more than that.

10. You Are My Sunshine - Elizabeth Mitchell: My mom sang this song to me when I was little. Now that I have my own little sunshine, I totally get. I love this version of the song and have it on all of Harrison's playlists.

Enjoy and Happy December 22nd {one of my favorite numbers}!

December 21, 2009

My Favorites.

Everywhere I look lately there are lists of favorites, so it got me thinking about my own favorites. This week I'm going to be sharing my lists of favorite things. Today I'm starting with my top 10 beauty musts. Please note that I don't take myself too seriously, and I'm far from a beauty connoisseur. These are just the things that help me feel somewhat put together....

1. Shu uemera eyelash curler. I've tried going days without curling my lashes and people usually comment on how tired I look. Now I never forget to take a quick 30 seconds to curl my lashes. It brightens your whole face.

2. Aviator sunglasses. Besides the fact that the AZ sun is beyond intense, I like to wear these like a hair accessory. Especially when I've thrown my hair in a ponytail...and I can plant them on top of my head. I have a pair of Kate Spades, but my next pair will be these classic Ray Bans.

3. "Diamond" stud earrings. The fact that diamond is in quotes should tell you that you can find a quality pair of cubic zirconia and wear them with pride. People always ask me if my pair are real and I just laugh and say, "it's a long story..." that usually confuses them and they stop asking. I put these on almost every day while wearing yoga pants and a t-shirt, or just running to the grocery store. It keeps your look polished without having to do much. Nordstrom has a good line of cz studs.

4. I have hereditary dark circles under my eyes, then add sleep deprivation into the mix...I can look downright scary. I NEVER leave the house, let anyone come over or show my face to anyone outside this house, without putting concealer under my eyes. It changes my whole look. The few times I haven't put it on because I was too lazy or caught off guard, I was constantly told that I looked like I wasn't feeling well. My favorite is Bobbi Brown beige.

5. Lancome definicils mascara is the only mascara that can make my lashes look practically fake. I've spent years trying a million different brands to try and avoid paying $25 on mascara, but I always come up short and go back to my old faithful.

6. I've shared before how much I love hair accessories. When I haven't washed my hair in a few days and I want to look presentable, I throw a jeweled hair clip on with anything I'm wearing and feel better. I just treated myself to a few of these lovelies at anthropologie.

7. My new favorite lotion is Yes to Carrots body butter. I've seen it for years and wondered what it was, but didn't try it until it was on sale at Target. Now I'm hooked! It has no parabens, phthalates, or animal products, does not test of animals and uses all organic fruits and vegetables in their products. I've also used the yes to tomatoes and yes to cucumbers lotion and they all smell incredible. It doesn't have that bath and body works strong fruity smell {which if I had to wear all day would put me in the nut house}, it's subtle, natural and fresh. I'm obsessed.

8. My husband bought me this Serge Lutens perfume for our recent anniversary. I saw it at Barneys and declared it just had to be my signature scent. It reminds me of French women and has a deep amber smell that I absolutely love. I mix it with some lighter notes of orange and vanilla to create a different smell as well. I will wear this for the rest of my life and my children will think of me whenever they smell it.

9. This 1 1/2 inch curling iron has been the best thing to happen to me since Baby Einstein videos. I can let me hair dry however, and then use this to curl my top layer. It looks like I've blown out my hair with a round brush and it's taken me a 1/3 of the time. I use the 1 inch smaller one sometimes for a dramatic look.

10. This bobbi brown lip gloss is always close at hand to throw on before I get out of my car. It has the perfect texture and the color is strong without being overbearing. I use the color brown which is like a brownish pink and mimics my natural lip color. I feel so confident when I'm wearing it.

Come back tomorrow for more favorites...

December 15, 2009

Back in the Swing...

We are all finally done being sick. The past week may be one of my least favorite stints, while being a mother. I never could have imagined how hard it is when everyone gets sick at the same time. Thank God for family members who were willing to come over and watch Harrison so I could feel miserable in peace.

Now that we're better, Harrison and I loaded up gifts in the red wagon and delivered goodies to our neighbors today. He was so happy to be outside and was practically screaming with glee on the ride as he pretended to talk on my cell phone.

Yesterday he was on my every last nerve. Then today I can't get enough of him.

I guess that's how this job goes...

December 12, 2009

Birthday Gratitude.

Today marks my 34th year and I have a lot to be grateful for. Unfortunately, this week the stomach bug has passed through our house and I'm just now on the mend. Luckily I still have much to be happy about...

  • Friends that have reached out to wish me a happy day. It's so simple, but it means a lot when it's your birthday.

  • White twinkling Christmas lights everywhere right now.

  • Parents who are willing to get sick by coming over and helping me with Harrison.

  • A sick husband who is still trying to make my birthday special.

  • Brooks, my french bulldog. He doesn't get a lot of credit these days, but he is the best foot warmer when I'm sick in bed.

  • Being happy and healthy {in general} at 34.

December 6, 2009

I ♥ December.

This weekend was spent doing Christmas activities. We went to a x-mas party, where there was a light parade. We ate cookies and sipped hot chocolate. It was really cold out {45 degrees} and it was fun to finally feel Winter here in the desert. We only listened to x-mas music and even turned the heat on for a little while.

Today we bought our tree. I never thought I'd do it, but we decided that it made more sense to buy an artificial tree this year. We just couldn't imagine life with a one year old tipping the tree over or spilling water all over the wood floors. I could just see him picking up the fallen needles and putting them in his mouth. It came down to convenience.

Luckily we spent money on getting a good one, so now I just have to buy this and I can pretend it's real.

Happy December....this is my favorite month of the year.

November 30, 2009

Magic Moments.

When I experience moments of quiet connection with myself or with my loved ones...I call them magic. They are the moments that don't happen all the time, so when they do, you take notice. It's usually when Harrison stops playing for a moment, climbs in my lap and touches his forehead to mine. Or when my husband and I are in the same room, doing separate things, and he looks over and smiles at me. They can take your breath away, bring tears to your eyes, or just make you smile from the inside out.

Today's magic moment was sitting in the car with Harrison outside of the baby store. I like to watch him when I give him something new to eat, so I sat in the back while he ate his alphabet cookies. He would take a tiny little bite and then offer me a soaked bite of mushy cookie. I would oblige and thank him profusely. He took such a delight in feeding me for a change. We sat back there for quite some time while the rest of the world buzzed around us. It was quite. I was totally present, memorizing every detail of his little face and gestures for my memory bank. Nothing else mattered. It was just me and him...eating cookies.


November 29, 2009

Goodbye Pumpkins...

Better Homes and Gardens Christmas 1966...I love this!

December I feel you sneaking up on me. Pumpkins have now disappeared and I suddenly see lights on trees, jolly santas and snow scenes. I love Christmas...every year it feels magical all over again. I love getting Christmas cards from friends and seeing their cute families. I love Christmas cookies and peppermint coffee drinks. I love wrapping gifts and seeing them stacked under the tree when I pass by. I love hearing this song over and over and over....

This year is going to be a different kind of Christmas than I've ever known before. Harrison's eyes sparkle when he sees blinking lights, and he's in awe of animated moving reindeer. I won't be putting out my glass jars filled with vintage ornaments, but it's going to be a wonderfully exciting holiday season.

November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Gratitude.

This Thanksgiving, I'm feeling incredibly grateful for....
  • My true blue friends that I've known for years, and can trust to be there for me implicitly {you know who you are}.

  • Having one year of motherhood down, as a stay at home mom....I've never known such hard work.

  • For my sense of humor. I was at Target this week and laughed hysterically overhearing a little old man on his phone say {imagine a New Jersey accent}, " old dog....where you been all week?"

  • The values that my husband and I share. We have had our share of struggles lately, but the core of who we are is so similar that it keeps working.

  • Footed pajamas on my son.

  • The way my house smells {smells are a huge deal and can make or break an environment for me}.

  • Last, but not health. Never take for granted the fact that you can walk, run, pick up your children or hug your spouse.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

November 24, 2009

TV Debut.

Apparently I was on the Today Show this morning hugging Stephanie Nielson. It's strange sitting in your PJ's watching TV only to see yourself on the screen {I'm on around minute 1:10}.

Stephanie continues to inspire me and makes me want to be a better mom. It is incredible what she has overcome in the past year, and it's a blessing that she is able to celebrate with her family this Thanksgiving.

She makes my "hard" days look like a piece of cake.

November 23, 2009


I think I'm finally recovered form Harrison's first birthday.

To see details go here.

November 18, 2009

Cuddle Bug.

This week I'm enjoying cuddling with a one year old in footie pajamas.

Party pictures coming soon...

November 13, 2009

On a Friday...

Last year on a Friday, within a day of today, I learned the pain of bringing life into the world. I learned the amazing strength God gives to women in pain and the emotional ride of being in labor. I remember not believing he was mine when they gave him to me {I was sure he'd have brown hair...not blonde}. I've never felt so amazing after it was all done. I felt like Superwoman.

I wish I could go back and do it all over again in slow motion, so that I could really take it all in.

Happy Friday the 13th.

November 12, 2009

Man Shops Globe.

In between getting Harrison's birthday party together {wait for's going to be so darn cute!} I'm currently obsessed with the show Man Shops Globe . It is on the Sundance channel, but the episodes can also be found On Demand if you have Cox. He is the buyer at large for Anthropologie and each episode he travels to a new destination to find unique items for the store. Being that the store is one of my favs and he's traveling to places like Paris, Holland, London, and India...this show is Amazing! You get to see where a lot of the items in the store come from and where they get their ideas for products.

He seriously might have the coolest job...

November 9, 2009

Almost a Year...

In less than a week, my little Harrison will turn 1 years old. I'm feeling so many emotions about it. Since I found out I was pregnant, I've been on such an incredible journey...

First, they told me that my baby might have Down Syndrome. I did what anybody could do in that situation, I prayed and dug down deep for acceptance of God's plan for J. and myself. An ultrasound revealed a perfectly healthy baby, but they still only gave me a 1 in 50 odds {originally it was 1 in 19}. I trusted my intuition that this was a healthy baby and let my fear go the remainder of my pregnancy.

Then I got gestational diabetes and had to completely change my eating. The last two months of my pregnancy were a struggle because my diet was so restricted and had to track my blood sugar constantly. It ended up being a blessing in disguise....I learned so much in that time.

During my labor, his heart rate started dropping and they were getting a little concerned. They wanted me to deliver ASAP to alleviate any complications. I ended up pushing for a hour and half {I've never been that exhausted in my entire life}. When he finally arrived and they placed him on my stomach, he was blue and not crying. I was nervous. He never cried. I was terrified. We never did hear that first cry that people refer to as a "relief" that everything is OK. Luckily he came to in his own little way and we had a healthy baby.

I had terrible postpartum and really didn't enjoy the first 2 weeks of his life. I always feel sad about that, but am so grateful that I got help when I did. My husband was a saint during those dark days...never judging, helping immensely and loving me unconditionally. I struggled personally with not being able to breastfeed on the medication, and worried about how it would affect him physically. If I only knew then what I know now....that it doesn't really matter.

I now have this amazing little boy who captures the heart of everyone he meets. He not only didn't have Down Syndrome, but God graced him with winning the genetic lottery {I can say this because I had nothing to do with it}. He is a child of God and I was just chosen to care for him. I feel so lucky and honored to be his mom. He has illuminated parts of me where I didn't even know light could go.

It's a challenge and a miracle all wrapped up in one sweet smelling, soft haired, rosy cheeked, physically active, giggling package.

I am Blessed.

November 7, 2009


I've been a long time reader of Stephanie Nielson's blog, and consider her one of my personal heroes. You can only imagine my delight when last night I had the honor of meeting her and Christian. Here are my take aways from our encounter....

  • She hugs everyone...and I mean really hugs.

  • Her eyes are the most beautiful color and some of the prettiest I've ever seen.

  • She is incredibly down to earth and genuine {telling us about future shows they'll be on, giving us the scoop on Oprah, yet hanging out in downtown Mesa}.

  • We had to put sanitizer on our hands before meeting them.

  • She is calm and graceful.
  • She has a great sense of style {she wore one of my personal favorites...a dress over jeans}.

  • When receiving compliments, she listens and really takes them in, then thanks the giver.

  • Her inner beauty is so radiant and powerful that it overshadows any scar she has.

She is such an inspiration.

It was a highlight of my 2009 to meet her....

November 6, 2009


I haven't done this in a while and, being that it is November and the month of Thanksgiving, I suppose it's time for a reminder of what makes me smile....

  1. My son's love of music....any melody makes him dance and move.

  2. That everyone under this roof is finally better after we all took turns being sick.

  3. Going here with two of my favorite people tonight {without husband or baby!}.

  4. A big backyard with lots of green grass.

  5. Christmas music playing in stores....this year I get to experience the holiday through a 1 year old's eyes.

Happy Weekend.

November 1, 2009

James Dean.

This James Dean is even cuter than the real one {if that's even possible}. Despite feeling a little under the weather, in typical Harrison fashion, he rocked his outfit and made the girls on the street swoon over his cuteness.

I already can't wait for next Halloween...

October 30, 2009

The Challenge.

I love this little guy to pieces, but this week has been tough.

He started the week by falling face first into the side of the tub resulting in a swollen/bloody lip. He has whined and cried every day wanting nothing but to be held. At play groups, he is pushing kids away from a toy he wants and takes it for himself. Yesterday he turned off the computer in the middle of me writing an email. Then last night he woke up and was awake from 10:30 pm till 2:00 AM!!! I finally threw him in the car and drove around our neighborhood for 20 minutes. By the grace of God, he finally fell asleep, but was back up at 4:00 and at was HELL.

When people would say that being a stay at home mom was the hardest job in the world, I used to think, "what's so hard about it?". Now I feel ridiculous. It's the most challenging job I've ever had and it lacks the praise of traditional work . My husband and I have been "discussing" my need for more validation. Some days just feel lonely....

We had a play date at our friend's, who set up a little pumpkin patch for the kids. Harrison liked eating the hay like a little farmer. This was just minutes before he knocked a playmate to the ground for the walking toy he wanted. He's kind of becoming a little punk.

Happy Halloween.

October 20, 2009

Key to Life...

I love this quote sooo much and it hits me right where I'm needing it lately. I'm looking for a little more "happy" in my life. Nothing major, just the run of the mill life stress has gotten me a little blue lately.

I miss being young and having sleep overs with my friends and laughing until our stomachs hurt. I miss daydreaming out the car window while my mom drove me to dentist appointments after school. I miss eating whatever I wanted and not worrying about it.

Life gets so complicated and we lose simple happiness sometimes....I'm going to try and win it back.

October 16, 2009

Happy Friday.

I can't believe it's Friday already. I've been a non-existent blogger this week. Here's what I've been busy doing....

  • Attending first birthday parties for Harrison's friends.

  • Helping my husband pick out glasses {finally....he's needed them since I met him...8 years ago}.

  • Taking Harrison for daily walks.

  • Going to the Barneys grand opening party {I don't mind that I didn't make the best dressed list. I was just happy to be wearing mascara, lipstick and shoes that killed my feet}.

  • A Zoo trip with good friends.

  • Making Harrison's birthday invites.

While consistently chasing around an active, almost walking, 11 month old. That age shift happened Wednesday....we are now one month away from a year. I feel weepy every time I think about it.

It's supposed to be 100 degrees this weekend. Where are you Autumn???

October 9, 2009

Living and Loving.

Harrison loves this toy. It's his means to upright mobility right now. This toy makes it's rounds around our house constantly...all the while playing music. It has banged into every corner, runs over anything in it's path and brushes up against our custom baseboards. I secretly love the havoc it's wrecking.

This week has been so inspiring for me. Seeing Stephanie on Oprah and watching her strength and kindness left me in awe. She inspired me before her accident, and now she just has me utterly amazed. I loved hearing about the energy in her house {warm, relaxed, peaceful} the midst of so much going on. It's what I aspire to have for my family.

I used to be more uptight about things. Now in an effort to create a happy and relaxed home, I want the corners to get beat up and kind of like seeing scratches in the wood floor. It means we're living and having fun. I spilled coffee all over my {expensive} leather handbag on Wednesday and didn't even care. What happy freedom.

Besides, with a happy little face like this one, nothing else really matters.

Have a beautiful weekend....