Monday, October 28, 2013

Perspectives on Loss and Life

Two Saturdays ago a friend from high school was killed in a motorcycle accident. I hadn't seen her since high school where we became friends through playing softball together. We were friends on Facebook, but other than that, I never thought about her. Then I saw the newspaper article about her accident, and I couldn't stop thinking about her. I have been fortunate to not have lost many friends or family members. But when it happens, it shakes me to my core.

Nothing strikes fear into my heart more than thinking about loosing the ones I love. I'm not scared to die, but I'm scared for others. I was reminded many times the past few weeks of how short life is and how fragile it is. It's so clique but we don't know when our last day will be and remembering that dramatically shifts my priorities. Life is about relationships, not how successful, attractive or popular you are. It's about investing in the lives of others and caring about people because God cares about people.

I realized that I need to make time for others. I'm naturally an introvert and it takes effort to be with others. I don't often look forward to being social, but I am always thankful when I am. God is stretching me and convicting me in this area. I can't get so tied to my agenda, that I don't make time for others. My first commitments are to my husband and my son, but Jesus has so much to teach me through others. And I hope that he can somehow use me to inspire others to get serious about Jesus.

My heart still aches for the loss of my friend, but I am thankful for what death does to wreck our lives. God is ever present in our time of need and He shows himself to be greater than we could dream or imagine.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Lancaster County Meats And Deli Brand Worksheet

This is a logo project I designed two years ago and it is still one of the favorite brands I've ever worked on. Nothing like a meat pyramid! Lancaster County Meats and Deli is a small market stand at Booth's Corner in PA. Todd, the owner, wanted something modern that would stand out among other stands. The logo also needed to be easily understood as to what their product was.

I'm going to start creating brand worksheets for all my past and future projects and share them on the blog.

I'm available to work on new logo and brand projects for the rest of 2013. Email me for pricing or more info!

Finger Painting

Get ready for a photo overload! A few weekends ago we broke out the finger paints for Miles. He loves playing with his food and this was no different. Nothing like 80 degree weather in October. I'm glad that's over!

I promise that Miles had fun even though the pictures don't show it :)

Miles had a good time exploring the texture and colors but was over it after 10 minutes. By that point he was just trying to eat his creations. I'm excited to frame one of the finished pages. It looks surprising cool. When he was done painting, we decided to paint him! Even though the clean up took longer than the play time, it was worth it.

Monday, October 14, 2013

10 Baby Essentials (6-9 months)

It took us a few months to get into our groove with Miles. He had some tummy and sleep issues we all had to work through. But once he hit 6 months and was sleeping soundly in his crib, we were a much more high functioning family. Here are a few things of Miles and my favorite things from 6-9 months.

1. Ergobaby Original Baby Carrier. While I loved having a cozy cloth wrap for Miles when he was younger, he now needs something that enables him to move around a little more. He's constantly trying to turn around to watch the world. We love the Ergobaby carrier so much. One of our favorite things to do is to explore our little city, especially on First Fridays. The crazy sidewalks and big crowds make using the stroller a pain, so we just strap on the Ergo and go out. It's super comfortable and can be worn three different ways. Plus, it doesn't cause any damage to a baby's hips, like some of the other carriers (google hip displasia and baby carriers).

2. B One Two Squeeze. These blocks are awesome. I can see these growing with Miles. Not only are they great as a teething toy, but they are very stackable and a good learning tool. Each block has a number with animals on it. I love these because they are super cute (not crazy baby colors) and easy for Miles to pick up and pass back and forth. Oh, and they make the cutest little noise when Miles is chewing on them with his two teeth - squeak, squeak.

3. Aden + Anais Security Blanket. I don't know if I would still be alive if it weren't for these blankets. Miles never wanted a pacifier, but he loves to suck when he gets tired and wants to sleep. But we did realize that he loved to suck on fabric, but I didn't want to give him a full blown blanket in his crib for safety reasons. I came across the Aden + Anais security blanket and immediately hit the "add to cart" button on Amazon. They have been such a comfort to Miles as he sleeps. He often wakes up and finds his blanket and sucks on it to fall back asleep. Sometimes he even rests his head on it (I love watching him on his video monitor). I'm completely comfortable giving this to him for naps and night time because it's made of thin muslin that is breathable. We love these so much that we have four in the rotation!

4. Life Factory Bottle. I don't feel too comfortable having a ton of plastic things for Miles, so I searched out glass bottles. I was scared that one tumble and the bottles would break, but we have never had an issue with the Life Factory bottles. They have a silicone holder which protects the glass and makes it easy for a baby to hold on to. What's great about these bottles is that they are versatile - you can buy a sippy cup attachment and lids so they can hold snacks and other fun items as your child grows.

5. Melissa and Doug Bug Jug. Melissa and Doug toys are always so cute. My parents got the Bug Jug for Miles to play with at their house, and it's one of his favorite things. Each bug makes a different noise when you shake or squeeze them. But Miles' favorite part of the entire thing is the butterfly's antenna. He shoves those black elastic pieces in his mouth and is so content. It's weird I know, but it's his thing!

6. Fisher Price Precious Planet Blue Sky Jumperoo. I never wanted a huge hunk of brightly colored plastic in my living room, but look at me now. We borrow this Jumperoo from my sister-in-law and Miles loved it for two whole months. Once he started to craw and pull up, he didn't want to be contained anymore, but he likes to stand on the outside of it and play with the toys. It was awesome having a place to put him for 20 minutes while I needed to do a few things or use the bathroom. I need a new solution now that he's so mobile!

7. BlaBla Knit Doll - Luigi the Frog. We bought this stuffed animal for Miles when he was just 2 months old. He really doesn't show too much interest in it right now, but we love it. I'm secretly hoping that this will turn into his lovie. Luigi the Frog is just so darn cute. I shouldn't even tell you that we took forever to choose one of the BlaBla dolls. We even returned the first one we got because we changed our minds - poor Albert the Donkey.

8. Britax Roundabout 55 Convertible Car Seat. At 8 months Miles started hating the car which is no fun for anyone. It was getting harder and harder to actually get him in his infant car seat, and I couldn't even lug him around in it because it was too heavy. So we made the move to a convertible car seat. The Britax Roundabout was easy to install and it seems comfortable for Miles as he no longer despises the car. He has a lot more room and can even see out the back window since it's not quite as reclined as his old seat. I was worried that it wouldn't fit in my small Mazda 3 but there's plenty of room. But both my husband and I are on the short side, so it might not work for someone who is 6 foot.

9. Fish Tank. For Miles' half birthday we pulled out our old fish tank and filled it up with two brand new goldfish. He loves to stare at it and the fish even come over to the side to say hi. It's a good distraction when he's getting fussy and restless. We don't have this fish tank, but I wish we did. I mean come on, a fish hotel, how cool is that?!

10. Touch and Feel Books. You should see the smile on our little guy's face when we pull a book out from his toy bin. He gets so excited and stops whatever he is doing to craw over to the book. But he loves to hold the book and turn the pages, and then stick it in his mouth. We don't let him do this to most of the books because we don't want them to get ruined since he will use them for many years. But with his touch and feel books, we let him do whatever he wants to them. He loves to pet the puppies and kitties and bite the cover. It's so awesome that he has a love for books at 9 months! I hope we can continue to nurture a love for reading as he gets older.

This is the best age yet! Miles just turned 9 months on Friday and he's such a joy to be around. He still has his moments and melt downs, but overall he is a happy baby. I get so excited for him to take his first steps and have his first birthday, but I'm trying to slow things down and enjoy him each and every day.

What are some of your baby's favorite things?

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Early to Bed, Early to Rise

I have a confession to make....I go to bed really early - like 9:15 early. I try to stay up later, I just can't do it. I get really cranky when I am tired and try to force myself to stay awake, so it's not worth it. I blame my sleepiness on waking up with Miles once or twice a night, plus I get up at 5:15 for the day. 

Waking up while the house is still and quiet allows me to get focused for the day. This is my time, my time to study the Bible, drink a cup of coffee and relax. When I was younger, I hated mornings but now they are my peaceful blessing.

Anyone else with me?!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Updating Etsy Shop

Did you know that I have an Etsy shop (Oneleven Creative) where I sell my homemade, professionally designed paper goods? Well I do! It's one of my favorite aspects of my work. It's so fun working directly with a customer to make them calling cards, wedding invitations or birth announcements they will love.

Here's a preview of a few new calling card designs I'm adding to my shop. And now that it's October, I guess it's time to start getting my Christmas designs together!

Not the best photo, but it was with my iPhone!

Monday, October 7, 2013

My Everyday Look 10.7

I do not consider myself to be super stylish, but I do like to look put together for when I actually leave the house. This outfit I wore to church and then out for a walk at a local park. Please ignore the crazy flip flops that don't do anything exciting for the outfit. And isn't a cute baby really the best accessory.

I think I want to start sharing some of my outfits so that it motivates me to put a little bit more thought into what I wear. I always feel better and more confident when I like my outfit. I like to think that unlike a lot of other bloggers my clothes aren't expensive or new, so it won't be about running out and buying what I wear, but about inspiring you to use what's already in your closet to enhance your own style.

I know how lame my pose looks in the last picture. But cut me some slack, it's my first style post!

Black Blazer: Target (last season)
Ivory Lace Tank: Marshalls (3 years ago)
Mustard Maxi Skirt: Brickyard Buffalo

Friday, October 4, 2013

Coffee Date 10.4

I'm so happy for it to be Friday. This week was busier than most.

I've been missing our coffee dates for a few Fridays, but I'm glad we are back together now. Let's drink some iced coffee since it's been in the 80s for a few days in OCTOBER. Where's the fall weather I love? 

I hope we would sit on the living room rug on the floor while we watched Miles climb on everything. The past month he has been learning new things so quickly. It seems like he was just learning to army crawl and now he's moving fast and pulling himself up everywhere. I know it's hard to have a deep conversation while being constantly distracted, but we will try.

I would tell you that I'm trying to be more intentional with my friendships. In the past week, I've had two play dates with friends and their children. It's been good to socialize during the day. It's been good to step outside of my selfishness and delve into the lives of my friends. But it's work. I'm not naturally an outgoing person, and I'm content to spend the day loving on Miles and waiting for Mike to get home from work. But God calls us to be in community and to love others. I'm praying for God to change my heart and to give me a passion for deep relationships that glorify him. Won't you pray that with me?

I would tell you that selfishness is creeping its way into my heart again, into my marriage and into my care for Miles. I think that being a mother is a beautiful calling from God, but it's also draining. I have less time to actually get things done and higher expectations for everyone in my life. It's a juggling act that I need to accept that I'm going to drop some balls, and give others room to not have it all together. There's beauty in imperfection and in not getting it right – that's where grace can shine. 

I would tell you that I'm getting excited for Miles' first birthday already. I think I want to throw a lumberjack themed party at my house in January. The only problem is that we have a small row home and not enough space for our friends and family. But I desperately want to host it at our house. We're still trying to figure out the logistics. 

I would confess that I haven't really done my hair all week. It's been back in a ponytail for the past three days. I would probably even complain about how hard it is to have the bathroom and shower right beside the nursery. And that is my excuse for the ponytail. The bathroom location has to change in our next house! 

I would share what I've been learning in church and small group about Jesus' humanity. This sermon series on the man of Jesus is blowing my mind. I'll do an entire post about what I'm learning soon. 

We would talk about how you are, what you're struggling with and how God's working in your heart. Once our coffee cups were empty and time has passed quickly, I'd walk you out to your car and give you a huge hug goodbye. 

Until next week my dear friend! 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Inbox (0 Messages)

While I'm in my office watching the monitor to see if Miles is actually going to nap, I thought I'd share some good news. My email is cleaned up, with no emails. You know what that means - I'm caught up on all my work!

Happy Thursday all. Check back tomorrow morning for our coffee date!