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Around Here: June

Happy June!  The official start of summer is right around the corner, which is difficult to believe!  Below are some items that have occurred around here in June, another month that is flying by much too quickly!

-after many months of consistent and steady work, I finally finished the final revisions for my long-term photography project, which I have been working on in total for over five years now.  Going into this project I never realized how much work it really was actually going to be; however, it is immensely gratifying conceptualizing an idea and bringing it to fruition.  I am now moving onto completing the next steps in this project.

-we have had a little bit of a breather this month as our calendar has not been as hectic, as in previous months, so we have had time to catch up with friends and go to our pool, which has been really nice!  We are trying to get as much rest as we can during this time.

-we celebrated Doug’s first Father’s Day together!

-we saw U2 this past weekend and it was a really good concert!

-we are finishing up our parent, baby, and birth classes this weekend!

-I am now feeling quite big, as we have only approximately four weeks or so remaining until we get to meet our baby girl!  It seems surreal some days!

-we are pretty much ready, as ready as one can be, for our baby to arrive!  Her tiny little clothes that we will need over the next several months, blankets, and bath time related items have all been washed; her car seat and seat bases are installed, thanks to Doug; we ordered the last remaining items that we need; and we started to pack our hospital bags.

-this month I shared images from our Babymoon!  We all had a great time together with many wonderful memories with our fur girl, Victory!

-began working on our Promptly Journal for our baby, which beings from pregnancy through eighteen years!

-I finished the first drafts of our two photos books via Artifact Uprising: one celebrating and memorializing our journey to parenthood and the other commemorating our Babymoon!

-we have been giving Victory lots of snuggles and love!  We have been enjoying evening walks together in her Hound About!  She even went into the nursery on her own last week!

-Victory is recovered from her recent UTI, thankfully, as we were at the vet recently for a recheck!

-Victory got her paws trimmed and a bath this past weekend and she looks, feels, and smells great!

-still using the 1 Second Everyday App to document a second each day — it will be interesting to see the finished video at the end of the year!

-continuing to work on getting fine art prints made, framed, and hung in our home, an ongoing endeavor!

-continuing to watch the second season of The Handmaid’s Tale, a really good series.

-started Sweetbitter, a good series.

-finished reading Sophie Tales, a good read, given to me by a fellow blog reader!

-listening to a myriad of podcasts, especially, at the gym and on walks!

-continuing to make incremental progress on our ever-growing to do list!

Happy Monday!

 

 

 

Our Baby Shower

In May, over Mother’s Day weekend, my good friends from law school, Taehee and Hilma, offered to host and give Doug and I a lovely baby shower!  My friends were very gracious for giving us a baby shower and they took care of every little detail!  The decorations, cake, food, and favors were all splendid!  They also coordinated some fun games and prizes that we played during the shower as well!  A good time was had by all!

Even our little Victory came to the shower and my friends were so thoughtful — they know how much Victory means to us, she is part of our little family, and her initial, “T,” for “Tory,” her nickname, was also included on our beautiful shower cake!   Most of all, we were really grateful to be surrounded by good friends and family to celebrate this really special time in our lives, celebrating our little miracle!  In addition to the many wonderful and thoughtful shower gifts, we have also received many lovely gifts from colleagues, friends, and family that have been added to our baby’s nursery!  We are very grateful.  A few images from our shower are shown below!

Additionally, Doug was so thoughtful and gave me the sweetest Mother’s Day card and necklace for my first Mother’s Day!

Further, I have not shared too many details about our pregnancy here, so I have highlighted a few thoughts below.

-Our pregnancy has been smooth overall, and I cannot complain, as we are elated to have a healthy baby.  I did not experience any nausea or morning sickness, thankfully.  However, during the later part of the second trimester into the third trimester, I have experienced a lot of heartburn resulting in vomiting, which has been uncomfortable, at times.  The doctor prescribed some medicine, which helps.  My ankles and feet have also been really swollen since the later part of the second trimester into the third trimester.  (My Crocs are the only shoes that fit comfortably right now as my feet are so swollen.)  I also get more out of breath while exercising than what I am normally accustomed to; and my bladder feels full really quickly, which are all typical.  Things have moved at a little slower pace lately due to the baby really growing during this period.  Otherwise, I feel pretty good.

-I have been sleeping pretty well, most nights, with the help of extra pillows for support.  I have had some vivid and surreal dreams while pregnant.  Victory is still sleeping with us (above our heads against the headboard, where she likes it) and I think she knows change is coming from feeling my expanding belly when I hold her.  We plan to change a little as possible with regards to Victory when the baby arrives.  Victory actually explored the nursery on her own this week, so hopefully this is a good sign that she is curious!

-I have read some baby books, but I have not gone overboard.  We have taken many classes to help us prepare, with one more class remaining this month; however, I do not think one really knows until they are experiencing it, in the thick of it.  I am sure we will have lots of learning ahead of us!

-It is a truly a wonderful and incredible feeling to feel our baby moving.  She is pretty active these days and, fortunately, she does not keep me up at night, which is an added bonus!

-Doug has been really great; he has been really supportive; we attend all of the parent, baby, and birth classes together along with Doug going with me to all of our ultrasound appointments.  Doug also helped me with pediatrician, nanny, and school interviews as well.  We have had quite a few ultrasounds in which we have had the opportunity to see our baby quite a bit, even in 4D, with several more ultrasounds to go!  (We have seen a glimpse of our baby’s face and little body — the ultrasound technology is pretty amazing!)  Doug has also helped me prepare everything for the baby.  I could not have done it without him!

-Most of all, we are excited and grateful to meet our little girl and we hope for a smooth and uneventful delivery and recovery!  (We are very thankful to have wonderful doctors and care during this time.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photographs: Charleston, South Carolina, Folly Beach Babymoon

We went to Charleston recently for our Babymoon, and I finally had time to finish culling and editing the images from our Babymoon, our fifth vacation with our sweet fur girl, Victory!  (The time goes by much too quickly!)  You can view a snapshot of our vacation here.  (You can also view our vacation last year with Victory to Charleston here; you can view our vacation two years to Lake Michigan here; you can view our vacation from three years ago with Victory to Quebec City here; and you can view our vacation four years ago with Victory to Montreal, Quebec here.)

We rented a house in Charleston, close to Folly Beach while still being not too far from downtown Charleston; we actually rented the same house that we rented last year.  We were really fortunate in that we had nice weather while we were in Charleston and the temperatures were not too hot as well, an added bonus!  We all loved the beach.  We spent a lot of time resting and relaxing there.  We went to downtown Charleston a few times and again enjoyed the quaint shops along with Jeni’s ice cream!  We also went to the  Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, which was beautiful!  We greatly enjoyed slow and relaxing days compared to our norm.  We took nice long walks in the morning and spent the days at the beach reading and relaxing, followed by nice dinners with our fur girl at local restaurants, (Firery Ron’s/Home Team BBQ being one of our favorite restaurants, which also welcomes furry family members) and then we took long walks on the beach watched the sun set in the evenings with our fur girl, Victory!  (Victory got much needed rest after her dinner and beach excursions, as evidenced below!)  Victory loved the beach.  She loves walking on the beach and dipping her little white paws and legs in the water!

Most of all, we are grateful for our time away together.  We enjoyed spending time together; getting away; having a change of scenery; and having days where we had no plans and were able to take each day as it came.  Even after a really long drive home, due to horrific traffic, Victory, of course, spotted her exit to her house, and she loved coming home, like always!  We are really grateful and thankful for this special time in our lives.

Below are a few images from our recent Babymoon; and here is a short iPhone video of Doug and Victory!

Happy Tuesday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Around Here: May

Happy May!  The weather has warmed up here and it has been nice to get outside and enjoy the sunshine!  Below are some items that have occurred around here in May, another month that has flown by much too quickly!

-continuing to work on the next steps concerning my long-term photography project; I am making good progress with the revisions in this home stretch, and hopefully all remaining revisions will be made by the end of next month, fingers crossed.  I have been working so hard to finish these tedious revisions before our baby arrives.

-earlier this month, my good friends from law school gave Doug and I a baby shower, which was really lovely commemorating this special time in our lives!  A good time was had by all!

-we took our last trip to Pups in the Park with our fur girl, Victory, as a ‘party of three!’  We had a great time together, as always!

-we were happy to go to our pool for the first time this year, which opened over Memorial Day weekend!

-we also enjoyed seeing friends over Memorial Day weekend!

-continuing this month with our parent, baby, and birth classes that go through next month — we have only a few more classes to go!  And, if all goes as planned, the hospital is permitting our fur girl, Victory, to come to the hospital, post delivery, to meet her little sister!  We are so happy to include our precious Victory, our fur girl, in order to have our entire family together during this time!

-I am now feeling quite big, as we have only approximately seven weeks remaining until we get to meet our baby girl!

-we have a few last items to get for our baby that we will take care of in short order; otherwise, we think that we are in pretty good shape to start!

-I am almost done editing our images from our Babymoon!  We all had a great time together with many wonderful memories!

-I am now working on finishing two photos books via Artifact Uprising: one celebrating and memorializing our journey to parenthood and the other commemorating our Babymoon!

-around the house, we completed our gardening and mulching!

-we also got our decks cleaned and our deck furniture set out, which we have been using!

-we got our rugs cleaned; and our house windows get cleaned next month!

-we have been giving Victory lots of snuggles and love!  We are doing our best to get her ‘ready’ for her little sister’s arrival.

-Victory, unfortunately, had a recent UTI diagnosed last week and she is now on the mend with antibiotics, thankfully.  (She has a history of these pesky infections, unfortunately.)

-Victory tried out her soon-to-be little sister’s Bugaboo Fox buggy/stroller, pictured below!  (Victory also tried out her little sister’s crib when we were first getting her nursery together!)  Doug picked out the color scheme for our Bugaboo Fox and we got the last one in stock; and once our baby is old enough, the bassinet will be swapped out for a traditional type stroller seat in the blue mélange color that also attaches to the Bugaboo Runner!

-since the weather has been nice, we have enjoyed taking Victory for rides in her Hound About!  She loves getting fresh air and going for long rides, while I walk, albeit a little slower these days!  We are also keeping up with going to the gym together.

-still using the 1 Second Everyday App to document a second each day — it will be interesting to see the finished video at the end of the year!

-continuing to work on getting fine art prints made, framed, and hung in our home, an ongoing endeavor!

-continuing to watch the final season of The Americans, a really good series — the last episode of the series airs this week, which is difficult to believe.

-continuing to watch the second season of The Handmaid’s Tale, a really good series.

-started the second season of the The Path, a good series.

-listening to a myriad of podcasts, especially, at the gym and on walks!

-continuing to make incremental progress on our ever-growing to do list!

Happy Tuesday!

 

Pups in the Park!

On Saturday evening we took Victory with us to Pups in the Park at the Nationals!  This is our fourth year attending Pups in the Park with Victory — the time sure does fly by!  This is our last time attending as a ‘party of three,’ which is difficult to believe!  The weather cleared up in time for us to watch the game, thankfully!  Victory also looked adorable in her Nationals’ jersey!  We saw one other sheltie at this game, a sable sheltie!  Victory was brave as she sniffed some other dogs attending the game!  Victory also enjoyed some snacks during the game, which she loved!  We had a fun time together.  Victory spent yesterday resting all say as she was so tired from her outing!  Below are some iPhone photos from our visit!  We look forward to going back for more games next year!  If we are able, we might try to go to Bark in the Park at the Baltimore Orioles in September — we will have to play that by ear!

Happy Monday!

 

 

Loving: Maternity Wear

Happy spring!  It finally feels like spring around here and we are loving the sunshine and fresh air!  Below are some items that I really have loved wearing while growing our baby.  After much looking around quite a bit, I was not a fan of maternity clothes, so I have done my best to wear my regular clothes by sizing up, in most cases.

 

 

1. Hatch Bikini — This was the only one of three ‘maternity pieces’ that I purchased during this pregnancy, which Doug got for me this spring.  I absolutely love the Hatch Bikini.  We got it for our Babymoon and to use at our pool this summer.  It is extremely comfortable and fits one’s growing belly well.  Although this exact bikini is not available any longer, there are similar Hatch bathing suits here.

2. DKNY Underwear – I did not purchase any ‘maternity underwear.’  I use my current underwear, which still fits well (I did not size up), while pregnant, even during this final trimester.  I highly recommend this underwear regardless if you are pregnant!

3. Wacaol Bra – I did not purchase any ‘maternity bras.’  I ended up sizing up with my usual bra, and it worked out well, thus far.  However, I did purchase the Emma-Jane night bra for postpartum, which is quite comfortable also.

4. Tom’s Shoes — My feet and ankles have been quite swollen during the later part of this pregnancy.  I have loved wearing my Tom’s shoes, as they accommodated my expanding feet well, which is hopefully short lived!

5. Ingrid & Isabel Maternity Shorts – Since our baby is due during the summer months, I had to get maternity shorts for ease of comfort.  I found these maternity shorts by Ingrid & Isabel to be very comfortable and they are inexpensive as well.

6. Ann Taylor Loft Top  – I never found any maternity tops that I fell in love with.  Thus, I sized up on the type of tops I would normally wear from Ann Taylor and Ann Taylor Loft, for example, which has worked out well, thus far.

7. Lululemon Align Pant – I love Lululemon’s pants.  I sized up and keep wearing these pants, which is getting me through this pregnancy.

8. Lululemon Align Crop Pant – Since I love Lululemon’s pants, I sized up in the Align crop pant as well for exercising and it has worked well as well, thus far.

9. Lululemon Tops – I found a few Lululemon tops that have worked well during this pregnancy with my expanding belly.  Although the exact top that I found this past winter is no longer made, that has been working well, I love the Lululemon tanks that have a built in bra.

10. Isabella Oliver Dress – I purchased this maternity dress and I love it!  The dress is comfortable; the material is very well made; and it looked quite flattering!

11. Nordstrom’s Pajamas – Long – I discovered these pajamas last fall and I love them — they are super comfortable!  They have worked well during my pregnancy and for hanging in around the house; although I ended up sizing up during the third trimester, as my belly has really grown.

12. Nordstrom’s Pajamas – Short – These pajamas are getting me through the summer months.  They are extremely comfortable!  I sized up as I am using them during my third trimester and they are great to wear during the warmer months.  They work really well!

You can view other things I love here!

Happy Tuesday!

Snapshot: Charleston, South Carolina, Folly Beach Babymoon

We are back from our babymoon!  We are getting back into the swing of things after being away!  Doug was kind enough to drive both ways, the entire way, including a difficult drive on the way home through Northern Virginia.  We were very fortunate in that we had really nice weather while in Charleston.  It only rained one day, thankfully!  The temperatures were in the mid to high seventies, so it was really wonderful, as it was not too hot and humid!

We rented a house in Charleston, close to Folly Beach while still being not too far from downtown Charleston; we actually rented the same house that we rented last year.  We all loved our time together.  We spent a lot of time resting and relaxing there, and we took each day as it came.  We went to downtown Charleston and we also did make it to Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, which was beautiful.  We greatly enjoyed slow and relaxing days compared to our norm.  We took nice long walks in the morning and spent the days at the beach reading and relaxing, followed by nice dinners with our fur girl at local restaurants, and then we took long walks on the beach watched the sun set in the evenings with our fur girl, Victory!  (Victory got much needed rest after her dinner and beach excursions, as evidenced below!)  Victory loved the beach.  She loves walking on the beach and dipping her little paws and legs in the water!  (On our last evening walk on the beach, Victory did not want to leave the beach and dug her paws in the sand because she loved it so much!)  We are really grateful for this special time in our lives.

Below is a snapshot containing several iPhone photos from our babymoon.  Once I finish editing the images from our trip, I will put a proper blog post together to share in the next week or two, I hope.  Stay tuned.

Happy Thursday!

 

 


Around Here: April

Happy Spring!  We are still away on our trip, but here are some items that have occurred around here in April, another busy month that is going by much too quickly!

-continuing to work on the next steps concerning my long-term photography project, and I am making good progress with revisions in this home stretch.

-enjoying date nights together!

-continuing this month with our parent, baby, and birth classes that go through the next several months!

-as of late this month we are already at the beginning of the third trimester.  The time is flying by so quickly and we are appreciating every moment.

-our baby’s nursery is finally complete with a simple and modern feel!  We put a lot of time, effort, and love into creating a unique space for our baby.  We still have some other items/supplies to get for our baby, but we are getting things in order!

-we believe we have settled on a name for our baby; however, we want to meet her first to make sure we feel the name is fitting for her!

-we are in South Carolina with our fur girl, Victory, as our last trip as a ‘party of three,’ while I can still travel, commemorating and celebrating three special milestones simultaneously: our babymoon; our 10-year wedding anniversary; and my ‘big birthday!’   A photo of us is shown below.  We are having a wonderful time together!  The weather has been beautiful!  Victory loves the beach; and we have enjoyed a slower pace of life, including long walks in the morning and lazy days and evenings at the beach with our fur girl!  We also have enjoyed nice dinners at some local restaurants in Charleston, where furry friends are welcome, too!  (I will share more once I have had a chance to cull and edit our images once we get back home.)  We are grateful for this time together!

-we have still been doing some spring cleaning around the entire house this month purging items while utilizing the Marie Kondo, “KonMari” method!  We have made some good progress!

-we have been giving Victory lots of snuggles and love!  We are doing our best to get her ‘ready’ for her little sister’s arrival.

-since the weather has been a bit warmer (when it was not snowing), during certain points this month, we have enjoyed taking Victory for rides in her Hound About!  She loves getting fresh air and going for long rides, while I walk!

-still using the 1 Second Everyday App to document a second each day — it will be interesting to see the finished video at the end of the year!

-continuing to work on getting fine art prints made, framed, and hung in our home, an ongoing endeavor!

-started the final season of The Americans, a really good series.

-started the second season of The Handmaid’s Tale, a really good series.

-finished reading Around the Next Corner while at the beach!  (If you are a ‘dog person,’ you will enjoy this novel!)

-listening to a myriad of podcasts, especially, at the gym and on walks!

-continuing to make incremental progress on our ever-growing to do list, which feels quite large currently, but we are making progress!

Happy Friday!

 

Gone Fishing…

 

We are headed back to Charleston, South Carolina with our fur girl, Victory, to commemorate and celebrate three special milestones simultaneously: our babymoon; our 10-year wedding anniversary; and my ‘big birthday!’  We are very much looking forward to lazy and relaxing days together by the beach!  The blog will be back with regular content in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, if you are in a blog-reading mood, you are warmly invited to visit the archives — the links are shown below.

Dog Related posts

Dog Rescue posts

‘Dog-Centric’ Artists Interviews

For Artists posts

Photography posts

Personal posts

Victory Related posts

Tips for planning and vacationing with your furry family member

Additionally, if you are interested, here are some links to some of our previous vacations — Nova Scotia, 2011; Nova Scotia, 2012; Vermont, 2013; Vermont and Québec, 2014; Vermont and Québec City, 2015Lake Michigan, 2016; and Charleston, 2017!

Happy Spring!

 


Our Baby’s Modern Nursery Reveal!

We finally finished our baby’s nursery after a few months hard work!  A few images of our baby’s nursery are shown below.  Our finished baby’s nursery is somewhat similar to our initial nursery inspiration board!  After much research, I selected most of our selections and made sure Doug liked the selections as well before ordering; and Doug helped me immensely with the baby furniture, hanging of the art, hanging of the mobile, cleaning of the rugs, and rearranging of things in the house to make room for the nursery — it was definitely a team effort!  It was quite fun pulling the items together for our baby’s nursery!  We are quite pleased with the results!  We wanted to make our baby’s nursery something that she can grow into, while incorporating art and fun elements as well to create a space that has good energy, feels welcoming, bright, modern, clean, relaxing, and peaceful.  (We wanted to get the nursery done before I get too big and uncomfortable).  Additionally, we are in the process of getting the final baby supplies we will need for when the baby arrives.  We are slowly getting there!  We do have a closet and dresser full of cute clothes, though!  (Please note, when our baby sleeps in the crib, all of the stuffed animals and pillows will be removed for safety purposes!)

We have brought our fur girl, Victory, into the nursery a few times, and she is quite skeptical at this point.  We know that she knows that something is happening with all the work we have been doing in the house and in the nursery on the weekends.  Victory is quite an attentive and aware little sheltie girl!  We will keep trying.  Our Bradley birth teacher told us to treat Victory similar to an older sibling, in this case, and to do our best to prepare her (as much as we are able since we can’t explain in words/sentences to Victory what is occurring) and continue to give Victory her own attention so that she feels secure and continue with this course of action when the baby arrives.  We have incorporated Victory’s ivory Tempur-Pedic Orvis dog bed in the nursery, so she will know that she is welcome, always.  It took her a while to get used to coming into my office each day, so we hope, similarly, that we can get her into the nursery every day, at some point, as well.  Victory has been an integral part of our journey, and we cannot imagine life without her!  She is truly a loyal and loving little being!  After the baby arrives, we imagine Victory will be right there with us during this next part of our journey and we would not want it any other way!  It will be an adjustment for us all; however, we are truly excited for this season!  The time is flying by so very quickly and we eagerly await the arrival of our baby girl!

 

 

Our final selections, with links, are shown below!

 

Links: (1) Crib (three in one convertible crib) in Washed Natural; (2) Organic, Non-Toxic Mattress and Waterproof Cover; (3) Dresser (with changing table) in Washed Natural and White; (4) Bookshelf in Washed Natural (and we collected various children’s books); (5) Glider (in Grey); (6) Side Table; (7) Fitted Sheet; (8) Crib Skirt; (9) Blanket; (10) Felt Mobile; (11) Changing Pad; (12) Changing Pad Cover; (13) Painting 1 (pink abstract); (14) Painting 2 (blue abstract); (15) Panting 3 (landscape); (16) Frames; (17) Rug; (18) Small Table Lamp; (19) Floor Lamp; (20) Clock; (21) Diaper Caddy; (22) Basket; (23) Hamper; (24) Fox Pillow; (25) Charlotte the Dog Doll; (26) Lucy the Lamb Doll; (27) Cheetah; and (28) Panda (similar).

Our sweet fur girl, Victory, is pictured below in our baby’s crib when we were first getting our baby’s nursery together!  We love her so very much!