Saturday, December 27, 2014

Year in Review


This year was full of change. We had two big life changes in particular; we moved and we have a new baby on the way! Each change began with lots of tears and devastation, but we came out on the other side of both and are happy and healthy. Our new home feels more like home than anywhere we've ever been and baby girl is doing well and growing; we're ending this year on a good note.

Last year I wrote down some goals I wanted to keep (you can read them here) and I did pretty well with most of them, but let a few get away from me. I didn't get to make my quilt and with having to move, saving was pretty impossible; every few years, we get a good chunk of savings and then we have to move and come up with rent and a security deposit so it disappears. This year was pretty hard financially with the move, our TV broke, Logan needed a new car seat, I needed new glasses... life happens and it gets harder to keep up with it all. The hardest thing has been all of the medical expenses with this pregnancy but somehow we hang in there and for that I am grateful.

This year I am not going to write down any goals for myself other than to be the best wife and mother I can be. I want to go in to the new year with the goal to live each day the happiest I possibly can.

What I do want to do is take some time to look back at a few of the wonderful memories we made as a family a midst all of the transition, hard times, and months of feeling sick!
Disneyland- February 2014. We had such a great time  watching Logan's reactions to everything.. it was her first time there being able to walk around herself and join in on a dance party! 
Duck Park- March 2014. This was a hot day! It was Logan's first time feeding the ducks and huge geese. We spent a few hours there, just the three of us and it was perfect.
Trips to the Farm- Spring, Summer and Fall 2014. Underwood Farms was our home away from home for most of the year. We had many play dates and lots of mom and Logan dates. We bought gorgeous produce to bring home, rode the cow train a million times, fed animals, pet goats, enjoyed the Harvest Festival, and so much more. I can't wait for them to open up again in a few months so we can go enjoy our farm days!
Road Trip to Monterey, Santa Clara and Gilroy- July 2014. We took a long road trip up to visit my dad for a few days and stopped at the Aquarium on the way. The rest of the weekend was hot hot hot (110 degrees at the garlic festival and we also were soaked in sweat when we visited a little zoo near my dad's). This was our one and only getaway this year and it was just enough to refresh us and I love the memories we made.
Three Year Wedding Anniversary- August 2014. Our one year anniversary was spent moving, our two year was spent at home, and this year we made it out to lunch! We're getting better at celebrating!
See wedding photos here and here.
Big News!- November 2014. Logan talks about baby sister being in mama's tummy and we're so excited to have Wesley join the family! I am antsy to see her in a week at my next ultrasound; I had been going to my OBGYN once or twice a week and saw her each time so I've missed her these last three weeks!

Through the ups and downs, it's been a wonderful year! I met a girl who has become one of my best friends, I rebuilt some old friendships, I believe this year was my year of growth; I feel happy, I feel connected, I feel at ease, I feel so much love for the people in my life, I feel like I have become who I am supposed to be right now.

Happy New Year friends!

xo
-Ali

Friday, December 26, 2014

52/52


A portrait of my child once a week, every week in 2014.

Opening up every one's Christmas presents in the morning sun.


If you've been reading along, then you know that I won't be continuing this portrait series in to the next year; it's really become more of a chore than anything. As much as I love being able to see her grow from week to week, there's just a lot of other things that I'd rather be focusing on. I am going to make it a goal to blog about more meaningful things in the new year and not have my entire blog be all photos of Logan because I haven't written anything else in between portraits.

**You can see all of her portraits by clicking here if you missed any**

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and we'll be seeing you next year!

xo
-Ali

Friday, December 19, 2014

51/52


A portrait of my child, once a week, every week in 2014.

She's been sick with a runny nose and a cough off and on since the first week of November. This morning she woke up with a more severe wet cough and a fever so I took her to the emergency room; she has a double ear infection and bronchitis. I'm grateful she's getting antibiotics on the first day of her new symptoms so she can start feeling better as soon as possible. There's nothing more horrible than being in the ER with your sad sick baby.

Have a good weekend guys.

xo
-Ali

Friday, December 12, 2014

50/52


A portrait of my child, once a week, every week in 2014.

I'm expecting some two year molars to make an appearance soon with the way this girl has been chomping on her fingers, toys, and straws.
xo
-Ali

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Where We've Been


There's been many times over the last several months where I am in the middle of something and I think, "I'll sit down and blog today.. I'll write about so and so.. yes, that's what I'll share." Though I have many of these moments, I just don't have the time to follow through and honestly, if I do find that I have time, I'd rather be taking an hour or so to myself while Logan naps sitting on my butt and catching up with my favorite TV shows. This whole end half of the year has been crazy; so many changes, so many emotions, so many doctors appointments, keeping up with my Etsy shop, dealing with illnesses and trying to keep up relationships; I'm exhausted.

I'm feeling like we've been so busy and so overwhelmed with what's been going on in our lives this year that we have not had any time for each other other than a brief dinner time and television watching for Rory and I after Logan has gone to sleep. I am aching for a getaway, a break and I don't see one happening for a while (definitely not until next year). Employers started calling them "mental health days", I'm ready for a few. I am ready for lots of smiles and sweet moments, just the three (four) of us.

Though the second half of this year was nuts, it's really been since October that we've been put through the ringer. October 1st was the day that I officially knew what was happening with my body for weeks already; we were going to have another baby. We were thrilled and grateful and also a little nervous because what would life be like with two, but excited nonetheless. Fast forward to my first appointment at eight weeks.. the doctor saw nothing inside the sac that was visibly there. She said "it may just be too early, but let's see you back here in a few days." My heart was broken. I was thinking missed miscarriage for that week I had to wait. There was a lot of crying in this house and I didn't think I'd be able to survive if it was in fact a miscarriage. To me, life begins at conception; a life is a life no matter how small and new. I felt that I wouldn't be able to cope with my body rejecting a life.
At the next ultrasound Rory, Logan and I all waited anxiously for some news.. she saw something! Relief? Well, she saw something but couldn't really see a heartbeat yet. Another week of waiting, another week of emotional turmoil.. then, a heartbeat.
Everything with Logan was so easy; she was so active in all of her ultrasounds, she never gave us any fear that we may lose her. This is a whole new experience, one that I never wanted or expected to go through. I've been at my doctor's office for ultrasounds and blood-work almost weekly for my entire first trimester which has been both emotionally taxing but also reassuring; to be able to see how she's growing and thriving gives me a sense of calm that I really needed. She's ok and I am so grateful.

We've been sick with colds, sinus and tonsil infections, and good ole morning sickness. We've thrown a birthday party, baked for Thanksgiving, gone to and from countless doctors appointments, somehow kept up with all of those bills ($50 co-pays each time!), and we are still pushing through.

This year was an absolute roller coaster ride full of epic highs and lows; we were so distraught with having to move and here we are in a gorgeous home, we felt the joy of the news of a new baby and felt the heartache of possibly losing her to joy again in her health and growth. I feel like we've gotten through the worst of it and now is the time to start feeling at ease about everything. Now is the time to feel good again about being settled, being healthy, being with friends and family at Christmastime, and to look forward to a weekend getaway in the near future to celebrate it all.

xo
-Ali

Friday, December 5, 2014

49/52


A portrait of my child, once a week, every week in 2014.

She wasn't too in to taking pictures today.

Happy weekend everyone! I plan to ignore all phone calls, texts, and notifications... we need a serious break from everything and plan to be hermits this weekend. After being so sick for months, Logan was sick, throwing her a party, a sinus and tonsil infection for me, another round of sickness for Logan, Thanksgiving, and general busy life stuff, we need to check out!

xo
-Ali

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

All She Wants for Christmas


It's a little bit of a challenge having a little one whose birthday is exactly a month from Christmas; you really have to think about spacing out gifts and everything she needs I've already bought throughout the rest of the year. This is the first year I've struggled a bit with Logan's wishlist for her birthday and Christmas. I keep an active list for her on Amazon that I update every month or so and now that her birthday has passed, I don't have much on it for Christmas ideas. My mom even called me last night wondering why I had so little on her list and what could she get her for Christmas.

For all gift giving occasions, I still very much want to stick to the four gift rule (something you want, something you need, something to wear, and something to read).. this year I am switching it up a bit though because we need another book like we need a hole in the head. Logan's playroom and bedroom are filled with books.. a lot that she hasn't even looked at yet, so this year we are keeping books off of all our lists!

Today Logan told me she wants Santa to bring her a car and a snowman.. this is what I'm thinking for her as she already got a power wheels for her birthday, has plenty of toy cars, and has two Bumbles and two Frosty stuffed animals (and no.. no Olaf. Logan has no idea what "Frozen" is):

want: 
1. Melissa and Dough latches board - Logan has always liked doing puzzles and I've wanted to get these for her for a while. I like that it's a different kind of puzzle to strengthen her fine motor skills.. Rory doesn't think I should encourage her to learn how to undo locks ;)
4. Hape babydoll cradle - this is what my mom ended up getting her after our phone conversation last night. Logan has a baby doll that she loves and she has been "putting her to sleep" a lot lately. We have a soft storage basket for all of her stuffed animals and she dumps them all out to use the basket as her babies bed.. she says "Shhh baby is sleeping." I thought she'd like to have an actual crib for her baby to rest in. Thanks mom!
5. Teepee - I kind of want to put this under the "need" category BUT since we already have a teepee, I guess I can't. You may remember that we built Logan a teepee this summer before we moved.. well, the teepee we made really was not meant to be moved. It definitely didn't hold up well and the PVC pipe we used does not stay put on our hardwood floors. We did try and get rubber feet for the pipes, but we could not find any that were wide enough. The teepee we currently have doesn't hold up well to play and I would love something that she can be wild in. Also, we're renters.. it's inevitable that we will move again eventually and our DIY teepee will not survive. Hoping Santa brings this one for Logan this year!

need:
2. Yellow and white dot sheet set - With the new baby coming in early June and now that Logan is two years old, it's time to start planning a transition to the big girl bed that my dad got her. The next several months will be spent making Logan a big girl room!

wear:
3. Footed pajamas - Logan's closet is stuffed with clothes that will get her well in to next summer so she really does not need any sort of clothing gift this Christmas. I did see a cute idea on Pinterest (of course) that was a Christmas Eve gift; everyone gets new pj's to sleep in that night and these cute Scandinavian print jammies from Old Navy would be perfect.

I'm sure I'll be scouring Amazon and other mama blogs for other ideas.. if you have any I'd love to see!

xo
-Ali