Here I am, one month shy of an entire year since I’ve posted here. How sad is that! I love coming here, sharing my thoughts and photos, not only with you, but for myself and for my daughter to look back on years from now.

Being absent here for almost a year can only mean one thing — 2015 was complete craziness. Not only was I absent on my blog, but in a way, from my own life. My days were spent sitting at my desk in an office, working my full time job, and the majority of my evenings were a precise routine of picking up Finley from daycare, making dinner, being a mommy, and then parking my rear end on the couch to work again, this time on freelance projects, the minute Finley went to bed. It was all I could do to keep up. Nothing else mattered. It wasn’t unusual for me to have up to 20 ongoing projects at all times. Everything else seemed to had to  get pushed to the back burner. I would often tell myself that there would be no way I could maintain that lifestyle forever, especially as Finley got older and would have more “activities” in the evenings or when we, God-willingly, bring another child into this world. Plus, I just know there is so much more to life than only doing things to make extra cash.

Here’s the thing, I LOVE my freelance work, I really do. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t do so much of it. But it’s still work, and it’s still taking away from the other things that fill my heart with joy. Freelance work has slowly started to make even my passions feel like too much work — because doing something for “fun” would take up the precious time I had so little of to get my money-paying freelance work done. Even coloring (and I LOVE coloring!) seemed to cause anxiety because I couldn’t finish it fast enough and I’d always feel like I wasn’t using my time wisely enough. That is no way to live, my friends! We only have one life to do all the things that make us the happiest and bring us the most joy.

So, moving forward in 2016, it’s my goal to be more intentional about what work I add to my plate, to focus a whole lot more on me (hello, exercising and making time for eating clean!) and my family (hello, toddler swimming lessons+dance class and date nights with my hubby again!), and doing the fun things that don’t necessarily put money in my pocket. Expect to see more personal photo projects of my two favorite subjects this year too!

With that, before Finley’s third birthday in 19 days (howwwww!?), here’s what her second birthday looked like! Wait til you see how much she’s changed since then…!

2nd Birthday Theme: Vizslas+Sprinkles
“Colorful sprinkles, vizlsa kisses,  & a little girl’s wishes — Finley is turning two!”

2nd Birthday Collage


20 minutes in the life of a (busy) 15 month old

Those of you who have children understand how busy they are. Their attention span is short and they move from one thing to another within seconds. (Sounds sorta like myself… haha) I followed Finley around with my camera for awhile after we got home from work+daycare the other day. Despite her business, she was such a well-behaved, sweet little girl as she played nicely by herself all evening. As I watched her, I reminded myself how lucky and fortunate I am to be blessed with a daughter like her…

Her “zebra” blanky and nuk are her go-to items.


If the baby gate isn’t up, she beelines for the steps. And then Lucy runs ahead of her and thinks it’s playtime!


Once she gets to the landing, she giggles and crawls super fast to the next flight. (still has the blanky in hand…)


Silly faces as always. And a sure tell sign of a 15 month old at the end of the day—dirty clothes!


Peeking around the corner.. I think she thought daddy was home!

Once she’s to the top, she peeks around to make sure I’m still following her..

Digging for toys.. (blanky in hand)

And then straight to our bedroom to see if the bathroom door is open so she can explore in there! WHY do babies always want to go to the grossest areas of a house?!


Got distracted when she saw the laundry room door was open so went in there instead. And then in true baby fashion, had to close the door! (*don’t mind the disaster of clothes everywhere!) And, still has the blanky..


Peeking out.. 🙂


Then I put her up on our bed for a few photos..


And she got kisses from Lucy!


Stripped down to her diaper to get ready for dinner and in the meantime, got her hands on a water bottle…


So much more fun than REAL toys!


Keeping the water bottle close by..


A silly face that looks like a face of frustration..


Forgot about the water bottle and moved on to a plastic easter egg. (please pay no attention to the dog-nose-and-baby-hand-smeared, nasty-looking window!)


And then realized the Bose stereo was on the window sill.


Finally made her way to her toy corner to play with real toys!


Scooting into the smallest space she can find. 🙂


And coming out with her glowworm baby!


Trying to make it light up and play music..


Finally, time for a cruise on her princess car next to her sidekick..



in our closet.

Anyone else itching to purge your (& your baby’s!) entire wardrobe in order to make room for new, pretty spring pieces!? I literally have stacks of clothes ready to drop off at Goodwill. The warm sun (well, thoughts of it here in Minnesnowta…) and fresh air makes me want to ditch the big sweaters and long down jacket — NOW! Welcome to my life again, pretty white tops, maxi skirts, and sandals! I’ve already had moments of weakness excitement for spring and clicked “buy now” a couple times without looking back. (#onlineshoppingaddict) Here’s a peek at some of the new items in our closets…


happy birthday, baby!

It’s one of those moments in life when my feelings clash… like it was just yesterday that she was born, yet at the same time, it feels like forever ago! I will be saying the same thing on her 25th birthday, no doubt. (omg, I’ll be 55 then!) Regardless, I cannot believe my teeny-tiny-newborn-valentine-baby-girl is one year old today. More posts about my first year of raising a daughter, thoughts on being a mommy to a one year old, along with a first birthday party recap, will happen in the near future, but for now, an infographic in celebration of her big day! Happy Birthday, baby girl!

(Visit my etsy shop (or click on image!) to order your own infographic like this and more!)


one year.

One year ago today…

One year ago today, I went to work and moved all my stuff into a new office. An office with a gigantic window two feet from my face.

One year ago today, Cory had to pick me up from work early because I had a migraine with an aura in my vision so couldn’t drive (or look at a computer screen). I blamed my migraine on the adjustment to the extreme brightness from the window in my new office.

One year ago today, we went out to eat at a Mexican restaurant. A Mexican restaurant where the food was in front of us just five minutes after ordering. (in other words, it was disgusting.)

One year ago today, I stayed up late to lay on the couch and watch Perks of Being a Wallflower and I just felt “off”.

One year ago today, I took the photo on the left… And 12 hours later, began having contractions.

One year ago today, was the last day of my “old normal” life. 😉

Exactly one year later, I took the photo on the right…

FEB 13 2013 & 2014

If there was only one quote I believed in, it would be this:

“The days are long, but the years fly by.”

If you want time to be put into perspective, have a baby. I still can’t fully believe the baby that was in my belly exactly a year ago, will be ONE tomorrow. It’s so weird, exciting, and even sad all at the same time! She will always be my “baby” no matter how big she gets, no matter how sassy she is, or how old she is. There’s just something special about your first baby…