Sunday, November 27, 2011

Giving Thanks

Well, Thanksgiving day has come and gone, but I'm still feeling the warmth and joy of one of my favorite holidays.:) I love that we have a holiday set aside to reflect with thanks on the past year and to gather with family to celebrate God's goodness in our lives. I am not always good about focusing on the positives, but when I take time out to consider the many blessings in my life I am overwhelmed at God's goodness.
This year I am of course particularly grateful for the beautiful baby boy God brought into our family back in April. Maxfield brings incredible joy and love into our lives and being a mom is by far the awesomest thing I have ever done. I am also so thankful for Luke; he is such a loving and caring husband and I love growing up and growing more in love with him each year. God has blessed both of us with good jobs that provide for both our basic needs as well as a few extras-- this is something we have learned not to take for granted. I am also grateful for the opportunities God has given me through my art this year; He provides me with chances to exercise my talent even when I least expect it. And I am extremely thankful for my amazing family and friends. I am truly blessed!

Friday, November 4, 2011

monopoly man

I just have to share a few photos of Max dressed up for halloween. I'm still cracking up about him.:) I didn't really put much thought into his costume and wouldn't have really worried about going trick or treating, but Alaina invited us to tag along with them and it sounded like fun. I had purchased this one piece tuxedo outfit for Max for $1 at a second hand kids store and thought it was funny and when Alaina bought mustaches for her boys, I knew Max had to have one.:) The consensus after the fact was that he looked like the monopoly guy. I think he was a bit nonplussed by the whole situation, but put up with it quite well. Who knows what was running through his head about his crazy mother.:)
Before the mustache-- adorable as always.:)

working out the mustache "kinks":)

visiting Noni at work. not the most cooperative picture.:)

the completed "look":)

tuckered out. i love how serious he looks here.:)

Monday, October 24, 2011


I think this picture not only sums up Max, but also life the past several months-- funny, happy and just a touch of crazy.:) Seriously, this guy rocks my world. I can't believe he is 6 months old already! He is not quite crawling yet, although he clearly wants to.:) He does a lot of scooting and rolling and I find myself having to watch him a lot more closely. This kiddo is beyond active and I know him becoming mobile means I will be getting next to nothing done around here.:)
I'm still working 3 days a week which means he gets to spend an afternoon with Grandma N., a day with Aunt Alaina and 3 awesome cousins and then Saturdays with daddy. I think he is pleased with this arrangement.:) He is quite the happy kid. And quite the charmer; at Meijer the other day I had to stop and have several conversations with old ladies about him- all of whom he graced with his adorable smile.:)
Max is quite the chatterbox these days. Actually he's always been a chatterbox. He loves using his voice. He uses lots of different sounds and inflections. I'm pretty sure he truly believes he is communicating.:) He has also more recently added shrieking to his vocal repertoire. Not my favorite addition as it comes into play both when he is happy and when he is mad, meaning there is lots of shrieking in this household.:) (and sometimes in church).
A few weeks ago we had Maxfield baptized. This was an exciting and sobering occasion. It is awesome to dedicate Max and our raising of him before God and the church. It also brought home to us even more the reality of raising our son up in a Christian home and of the great and joyous task we have undertaken. He, of course, was quite the ham in front of church. He doesn't mind being the center of attention.:) I think he was feeling quite well dressed:

A couple weeks ago we took Max on his second camping trip in his 6 months of life. We camped at Clifty Falls. He did pretty well. It was quite cold at night, so he slept with us most of the nights (which I think made him quite pleased with himself). We enjoyed great weather during the day and were able to do a little hiking, some walking around Madison and some relaxing. We went with our friends who have a 10 month old and I think our boys wondered from time to time what possessed their crazy parents to take them camping. Overall (despite some lack of sleep) it was a great time.:) Here is Max all bundled up sleeping out camping:

And because I never tire of the adorableness of a sleeping baby here are some other sleeping Max pictures:)

At the beginning of October Luke had a business trip to Cincinnati for some training so Max and I tagged along. It was nice to get away just for a bit. We visited Newport on the Levee and I got to go to Ikea with Marge and we all went to Jungle Jim's international grocery store (which is awesome, by the way:). I also got to watch cable in the hotel. Having not had cable for a few years now, I get excited to watch TLC and the Food Network and Lifetime.:)
Another highlight of this month is that about 2 weeks ago Max's cousin Owen was born. The boys are about 5 1/2 months apart, which will be lots of fun (and possibly lots of trouble in the very near future:). Here Max is meeting his new cousin:

All in all life has been good. Busy and crazy, but good. We're starting to gear up for the holidays both at work and at home, which I always get super excited about (except for the work part of it.:) I have every intention of being a better blogger, but no promises.:) I will leave you with this picture:

Monday, August 1, 2011

the kid can roll

As of a few days ago, the kid can roll over. This is awesome. Only problem is that although he is capable of rolling back onto his back (I've seen him do it more than once) he usually gets too worked up to do so. Since he hates tummy time, this has led to quite a few frustrated tears. I eventually go and roll him back over. He then repeats the process. Although I'm sure he doesn't think it's funny, it's slightly amusing. It's also not as easy to get things done as it used to be...:)

Man, I love this kid.:)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Max adventures

How can my little man be almost 3 months old already?!
When did this change happen?:)

I will not lie and say this has all been easy, (in fact probably at least the first 5 or 6 weeks I wondered what the heck I had gotten myself into:) but Max really does make being a parent a pretty awesome experience. We have loved our little guy more than we ever could describe or imagine from the very beginning and getting to know him and his personality more every day is an absolute joy. It has definitely taken awhile for me to feel like a human being again, but Luke has been an incredible support and a terrific dad. Between breastfeeding challenges, health challenges and lack of sleep the first few weeks were hard especially while I was still recovering from the C-section. The past month or so, though, we have kind of gotten into the swing of things and are starting to have a slightly more established and reliable schedule.:) I started back to work part time last week and so far that has been going pretty well.

It's been fun to see Max's personality evolving. This kid loves to smile and is quite a laid back and happy fellow. He is an incredibly good sleeper and has become a good eater.:) He's been sleeping 8-10 hours at night, which has been so awesome and usually only wants to eat about every 4 hours during the day. When we got the go ahead to let him sleep as long as he wanted and to let him tell us when he's hungry, I was thrilled because I had been having to set an alarm to wake him up every 2ish hours. And trying to nurse a baby that is basically still asleep is no fun especially when you want to be asleep yourself.:) I could tell he was going to be a good sleeper (pretty sure he gets that from his dad:). It's funny how your entire world becomes wrapped up in and revolves around this tiny person. But at the same time you absolutely wouldn't have it any other way.:)

I'm sure he wonders what kind of crazy world he was born into (or maybe just what crazy parents he was born to:) as here are a few of the activities we have engaged in over the past few months:

Bath time:
This may not sound extreme, but someone was not a fan of bath time the first few times. Although you would never know that now that he has discovered he can splash.:)

Photo Shoot:
My sister-in-law Christy does photography and took some great photos of Max. He cooperated when he was alseep.:)

At a month and a half, Maxfield attended his first (probably of many:) music and arts fest. We hung out all day in and out of my studio and the Harrison Center and got to stay and hear "company of thieves" in the evening. He was great! (Although he did cat nap a bit during the show:) He also got to rock his Ramones t-shirt that Luke and I picked out for him just a few weeks before his birth.

As with bath time, he was unsure about this initially and opted for pretending to sleep anytime I put his feet in the water. This eventually led to him actually sleeping and so our first couple of attempts at the pool were unsuccessful. More recently, though, he actually started smiling at the pool. I perceive this as approval.:)

Max got to experience camping for the first time over the 4th of July. We had a big family camping trip, which was tons of fun. Max did great. I'm sure it helped that there were lots of aunts and uncles there to give him extra love. By the look of this picture, we apparently wore him out.:)

He also got to go on his first boat ride at the lake house we stayed at with Luke's family, but I failed to get a photo of him in his life jacket.:) I'm sure there will be many more adventures in the near future. Clearly we have been busy the past few months. Max is an absolute trooper and acclimates well to just about anything. He is growing and changing so fast already. I just want to enjoy every moment with him and for him to always know how much he is loved.

Friday, June 24, 2011

week by week

I promise to update more later, but just wanted to share these week by week photos of Maxfield's first 8 weeks. This little guy is one happy, growing boy. We are loving having him around.:) Of course how can you not love this face?!:)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

little man makes his appearance

On April 25th at 2:55 p.m. we were excited to welcome Maxfield Atticus into our family. He weighed in at 8 lbs. 12 oz. and 21 in. long. I must say he was definitely bigger than I had expected. We are quite enamored with the little guy and although running a little shy on sleep, we are excited about this transition in life.

The labor and delivery of little Max did not go at all as we had "planned" or expected. Since he was late coming (9 days overdue) we went into the hospital on the evening of Sunday the 24th (Easter Sunday) to begin preparation for scheduled induction on Monday morning. After some irregularities with Max's heartbeat during contractions, the doctor decided that it would be best to induce me late Sunday night. After laboring through the night I starting pushing mid-morning on Monday and had high hopes of delivering him before noon. However, after pushing for 3 hours and making progress things pretty much stalled and my doctor decided that he was just really too big for me to deliver that way. He was also facing the wrong way, which added a great deal of discomfort to the entire situation.

Around 2ish in the afternoon I was moved over to surgery for a C section. It was quite the thing to go through and is still sometimes hard for me to think too hard about without feeling extremely overwhelmed and emotional, but the end result of a healthy baby was so worth it. I think Luke and I both felt a bit traumatized, but we made it through and are just thankful for great doctor and wonderful nurses and God's protection for Max and me.

We were in the hospital for 4 days total and were very impressed with the great care we received from all the nurses and staff. I'll still be recovering for awhile, but seem to be making strides every day. I'm so thankful for Luke, who has been taking such good care of Max and me. He's had even more responsibility from the start because I was confined to bed for a few days and when I wasn't I still required a great deal of help any time I got up. He had to get used to changing diapers immediately and to having a baby in one arm while trying to accomplish things with the other.:) Max loves his daddy; Luke is usually more successful at calming him down than I am.:) I feel incredibly blessed by the love, support, patience and care he has shown to Max and me. I'm so thankful to have him in my life.

We got home last Thursday and have been making the transition into this new phase of life. My mom came and stayed with us for several days cooking and cleaning for us as we learned how to take care of this little guy. She was incredibly helpful and it was such a blessing to have her here. I love my mom so much!:) Luke starts back to work next week, which will feel so weird to me being on my own during the day. Hopefully I'll be up to the task.:) Max is overall a pretty happy kiddo and he's even a decent sleeper. We are so in love with him and while slightly biased, think he's just about the cutest thing we've ever seen.:)

Welcome to this world and to our family, Maxfield!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

come on little man!:)

Apparently I've made the little guy too comfortable in there.:) He doesn't seem to be in any kind of hurry to join us here in the outside world. I told Luke he's already showing signs of our personalities-- he's clearly a home body and doesn't like to rush into anything.:) The waiting is definitely tedious, but I know it will be worth it when we get to finally meet him. Come on buster, your mommy and daddy want to hold you!:) (and i'm pretty sure there are several aunts and uncles wanting to meet you as well:)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

happy thoughts

-I'm so happy to see that the spring weather has decided to stick around.

-I'm so addicted to the Iphone Luke surprised me with a couple weeks ago.:)

-I'm so in love with Luke, an incredibly supportive and thoughtful husband.

-Most of all I'm so excited that I get to meet my son soon!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

life inspires art

A couple of recent paintings inspired by the past 9 months. Life has a way of affecting what flows from the paint brush.:)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Getting Ready

We are under the two week mark here and getting excited about our new addition. I started my maternity leave this week in order to get some extra rest and finish getting things ready for the little man's arrival. I'm enjoying being able to put my feet up and focus on the final details.
The past couple of months we have been busily preparing his room. Previously our second bedroom had been a guest room/library/computer/put stuff in there we weren't sure where else to put room.:) So it has been quite the overhaul. We got rid of some furniture, organized our closets better and moved some bookshelves etc. in order to make it all workable.:) We were given a few hand-me-down items, so not everything completely matches, but we are happy with the result and it feels good to have things ready to go. We still have a few minor details to finish, but it is for the most part done. We decided not to paint the room since it we are still renting, so we bought a wall decal and some other things to decorate the room without having to paint. Etsy is a great place for decor especially if you aren't sold on all the theme stuff at baby stores.:) Here's a few pictures of the progress-- some of these aren't very good, but you get the idea.:) (also, in case anyone is concerned, in accordance with safe sleep standards we will be removing the crib bumper when he sleeps in there:)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

4 Years

Today marks 4 years of marriage for Luke and me. It's hard to believe. It both feels like we just got married yesterday and that we've been married forever.:) It's been an awesome 4 years full of lots of joys and challenges, but most importantly lots of love. I'm so thankful for such a thoughtful and caring husband-- someone I look forward to seeing every day and to spending time with. I look forward to starting our parenting journey in the next few weeks and to many more wonderful years together!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

time for an update?:)

At the of Marge, here is a preggo pic:

The "bump" is long gone and it's a full on belly these days. (I tried to blame it on the horizontally striped shirt I was wearing... pretty sure that would be a stretch though. Literally:). I guess that's what happens as you enter the third trimester and head down the home stretch. It's hard to believe.
Things seem to be progressing well. He (did I tell you here it's a boy? I can't remember...:) is extremely active. Particularly when I am trying to sleep. I assume this is something I should get used to.:) I'm looking forward to meeting the little man.
We have slowly been making progress around here getting rooms in order and going through things. The re-purposing of our second bedroom has taken some time since we never fully organized it after our move.
The ice storm here has given us an unexpected extra two days in our week at home with no obligations. I think God knew I could use some time to relax, get a few things done and get a little extra sleep. I'm definitely grateful for the respite. Plus tomorrow is my normal day off, so I feel like I really scored.:) 3 days off in a row rarely happens for me unless I plan it months in advance.
I was happy to find out last week that it will be possible for me to cut back to part time at my job after I have the baby. I wasn't sure this would be a possibility and had prepared myself for the worst. God has been answering a lot of prayers. It will be nice to keep my job and benefits, but still be able to spend most days with my son.
Life has been extremely busy the past several months. I had three consecutive successful open studio nights. I sold some stuff, met some people and made more than enough money to cover my studio rent. This does not always happen, so it's always encouraging and a welcome blessing.
We had a very nice Christmas. We were able to spend time with both of our families, as well as have some celebrating to ourselves. Luke surprised me with an awesome new easel! One that I both desperately needed and wanted. I love it already. It is much sturdier than my last one and has the ability to hold paintings from about 6" to 6+' if necessary. Plus it takes up less floor space in my small studio. We received all kinds of cool stuff (both for us and baby:) this year. I now have an awesome rocking chair for the baby's room. We also have a new favorite board game from Marge and Philip called Pandemic. It is a strategy board game about fighting epidemics that is played co-operatively against the game. Tons of fun.:)
the easel