All “Eleanor” Posts

A 1st Birthday Party

So I know this is really REALLY late, but I know you are the most gracious of readers and might humor me anyway.

And it was just too special of a day not to share. Last month our baby girl turned 1 and we celebrated big…with oversized, pink, fringe garlands, cupcakes, pom poms, rosemary kabobs, pictures everywhere of our first year with Eleanor, and way too many friends for our tiny apartment. It was crazy cozy and filled with so much love for our girl. We were feeling mighty blessed indeed.

The funny thing is she liked the singing more than the cupcake and a particular RYE CRACKER she wouldn’t let go of the whole time. Rye cracker over a cupcake?! She actually might not really be our child…but, we’re not complaining.

We might be just a little in love with her.

It was the loveliest celebration for the loveliest little person. We love you, Eleanor. A thousand times, we love you.

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1 whole year

I meant to post this yesterday, but, as you can imagine, I was too busy celebrating my daughter’s first birthday! I don’t know how this year flew by so quickly. I remember Eleanor’s arrival like it was yesterday. How is she already a 1-year-old?! All the countless pictures and memories tell me it has been a whole year, but it doesn’t feel like it. It’s just scary how quickly the time goes. Needless to say, it’s been a very bittersweet past couple of days for me.”The days are long,” say other mommas who see me toting my baby around. “But the years are short,” they always add. I’ve heard this a lot this year.

Between lifting her out of her crib in the morning and laying her down for the night, I feel like I’m chasing down the clock.

They mean carpe diem, or something like it: this time won’t last forever, so enjoy the moments while she’s still small. But in my experience thus far, I feel like the days AND this year have flown (no fair). Between lifting her out of her crib in the morning and laying her down for the night, I feel like I’m chasing down the clock. I pull her from the crib, change her diaper and her clothes (sometimes twice, if I’m unlucky), and head for the kitchen. I’m always surprised: eight o’ clock already? But the glowing green numbers on the microwave don’t lie. So I scarf down some toast and we’re off for a walk, and in no time it seems, to sleep again: morning nap. If I’m disciplined, I write, read or do laundry or some dinner prep. Otherwise, I twiddle the time away on blogs and emails.

Either way, the wake-up cry or talking always comes sooner than I expect, and I head her way for diapering, nursing, errands, play, and another nap in the afternoon. And those have been my days since my sweet girl has come into my life. Well, other than the first 6 months. Those were basically spent in the nursing chair. There was a time when I thought that chair might just be my new permanent place of residence. A new place of residence that was not always easy to accept, to be honest. I would have moments of missing my “freedom.” But then I quickly remembered that in a blink she will be 5 and then 13 and then gone and it would immediately cause me to snuggle her closer, grieve a little, and swear to never have a moment of such selfishness again.

Anyway, I’m rambling. All this to say, it has been a bittersweet few days. I miss my sweet, delicious smelling, soft, newborn. I even miss the fussy newborn that we would swaddle and bounce and nurse for hours…There was a real sweetness and intimacy and rawness about that time. My baby-blue, hormonal, momma self would never have said that, but this momma today says it—with all her heart. And then as much as I miss newborn Eleanor, I am so in love with 1 year old Eleanor (she’s amazing, people. amazing) and excited to see more of who this lovely person is this next year and the year after that.

It has been my greatest privilege and adventure to be your momma, Eleanor. Each step of the way I couldn’t imagine loving you any more than I already did, because I was bursting with love, loving as much as I was humanly capable of—and then I do, I love you even more everyday that goes by.
Happy birthday, baby girl.
P.S. Daniel finally finished his side of Eleanor’s birth story a few months ago and he agreed to let me share it here on the blog, so be looking for that post in the next few days!

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Winter Cheer

Though I do appreciate and like many things about winter sometimes the dark, rainy, cold days can be long and bring me down. I wrote out this list to cheer me up and remind me of all the things I have and a few things I get to enjoy (especially) during this season.

1. The crazy silly things my husband will do to make our daughter laugh.

2. Reading a good book on the couch late at night with my tea, after everyone else has gone to bed.

3. Tears — sometimes the other side of them bring the best kind of happy.

4. The smell of the earth after a good rain.

5. Cozy dinner parties and too much wine (especially with my girls).

6. Embarking on a new project (mainly canning and sewing these days).

7. Eating the first cookie, slice of bread, etc. that I pull out of the oven.

8. Seeing my husband’s face light up just as much as Eleanor’s when they see each other.

9. Getting flowers for my home (especially in the winter)

10. Sipping wine while cooking dinner with a little music in the background.

What sorts of things do you enjoy during winter? What do you do to shake off the winter blues?

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Resolutions

Ok, so I realize we’re almost at the end of January and I’m just now sharing my new years resolutions with you. One of them being to blog more (whoops). Better late than never is such a great motto though. I’m not too much of a resolutions-kind-of-person, if that’s even a thing, but, for some reason, I have felt particularly excited about this year. I’m excited about starting fresh and (hopefully) making a few changes that will make for a healthier, happier life.

So I guess lets just get it out of the way and start with the hardest one on the list…

Better sleep habits - Ever since becoming a parent it has been made painfully clear to me how dependent and human I am (yes, I was that proud to ever think otherwise). One very real and obvious example is my need for sleep. As a parent, you lose a lot of it. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I think it’s pretty amazing I’m even functioning at the level I am, considering how little sleep I’ve gotten over the past year. But, I think that’s primarily because I have an amazing husband who lets me sleep in on the weekends (you have a much bigger heart than I do, D. I’m indebted). I also have learned to nap when she napped (early on at least, but still sometimes even now) and go to bed earlier. To let go of my “to-d0″ lists and “oh-so-important plans” and think about my family before myself, because, at the end of the day, I am just horrible when I don’t get enough sleep. Ask my husband. I’m no good to anyone. It’s hard to not be selfish and go to bed early though. It’s the only time I get to myself—those late, quiet hours of the night. It’s the only time when I’m not a mom, I’m just me… reading my book or writing or browsing the internet. It’s like the hardest thing for me to let go of, however silly and selfish it may sound. But I have to let go of it to be a better momma and wife and friend and everything. And really, when it comes down to it, I have plenty of evening time to myself…I mean Eleanor goes to bed at 6:30! I’m setting my bedtime at 9:30-10:00. That’s more than enough hours to myself.

Save more $ - The husband and I are setting the bar high and getting serious about our savings account this year. Probably the second hardest thing for me.

Start a new hobby (ok maybe two) – I joined the Portland Preservation Society and started canning! I’ve been wanting to can since forever ago and this is the year I finally took the plunge and I’m completely addicted. I’ve made cinnamon blood-orange marmalade from this book (which I highly recommend by the way) and this marmalade (it’s citrus season hence only marmalades thus far). They made for lovely Christmas gifts and I now have a deeper appreciation for marmalade. It’s a little bit of work, but so delicious and worth it! As for new hobby #2, I would like to take a sewing class. I’ve done it a handful of times and really enjoy it (I sewed our Christmas stockings this year! Post to come…) and would like to get better and more confident at it. I think it would grow in me more resourcefulness and creativity, both of which I think are essential to the good life.

Giving - I want to give more. I want to volunteer my time to help people and show my daughter the importance of giving back. So I will be actively looking into opportunities through my church and perhaps some non-profits for ways I can serve the people around me more.

Date my husband more - D and I made a goal of at least 1 date a month without baby, out of the house. I know it may not sound like much but, trust me, with how busy life gets and how demanding parenthood is, once a month sounds amazing to us.

Blog more - Get ready for more posts! I miss it too much and it’s good for my soul.

Simplify - Get rid of stuff and only acquire things that we need and that will last. Quality over quantity. We’ve already taken like 6 full garbage bags to good will (huzzah!)

Health - Eat raw greens of some kind at least once a dayno explanation needed. And get back into running…2-3 times/week. I’m a momma of a baby now folks, the bar just can’t be that high. And I’m learning that I tend toward the “all or nothing” way of thinking and there’s a little too much “nothing” happening around here. So I’m adopting a new mentality… Moving my body and exercising my heart 2 times a week is worlds better than no times a week.

Well those are my resolutions. I am really excited about them and glad to put them down here…holds me more accountable somehow. What are some of your resolutions?

Above pictures taken over the weekend at Hoyt Arboretum, Portland, OR.

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Baby Bump Shoot Continued…

I know Eleanor is here and all and therefore I no longer look like this, but I thought I’d share them anyway. Patrick did too good.

Here are some more pictures from the maternity shoot when I was almost 36 weeks pregnant with my girl…

Hope you have a lovely weekend!

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A Christmas Party

We went to a Christmas party last night. And got dressed up…

My husband wore a tie and I wore heels. And that my friends deserves all the spiked eggnog in the world.

Some peppermint bark will do though.

Love me some sparkly holiday nails

The second actual piece of maternity clothing I’ve purchased this whole pregnancy. Worth. Every. Penny. Other than the heels part, I’ve never felt more comfortable at a fancy holiday party.

Black lacy dress- {link url="http://us.asos.com/ASOS-MATERNITY-Lace-Dress/rwkd9/?iid=614223&cid=5813&sh=0&pge=0&pgesize=20&sort=-1&clr=Black&mporgp=L0FTT1MvQVNPUy1NQVRFUk5JVFktTGFjZS1EcmVzcy9Qcm9kLw.."}asos{/link}

Can’t wait for next Christmas when this babes is on the outside.

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Christmas Card, 2011

We went to beautiful, snowy Mt. Hood this weekend with some friends and decided it was much too perfect of a setting to pass up snapping a few photos for our Christmas card this year. Yes, we realize we are cutting it WAY too close. Christmas really crept up on us this year. I mean really, can you believe it’s in 6 DAYS?! Nuts.

And the winner is…

Coat and hat- Anthropologie, Beige Sweater- Target, Black leggings- American Apparel, Green Wellington boots and boot socks- Hunter

Expect this in your mailbox after Christmas sometime. Fashionably late, right? It’s how us Christophers like to roll.

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Winter Funk

Photos by Anna Aden

For those of you who get sad in the winter (this post is for you, D)…

I tend to not really feel it until April…when it’s still raining.

But for those of you that start to feel these cold, dark, and often rainy days sooner, here are a few ways I have found help me crawl out of a hole and beat the funk. This season can be bright and happy! Promise.

 

 

  • Drink many cups of tea.

 

  • Phone a friend and ask them how they are.

 

  • Paint your nails red.

 

  • Host a movie night with friends.

 

  • Make chili with lots of sour cream (I’ll post my favorite recipe soon).

 

  • Light some candles. These are ah-mazing. My favorites are the mulled wine and warm gingerbread.

 

 

  • Go snow-shoeing or camp in a yurt in the mountains.

 

  • Drink some wine for me.

 

  • Build many fires if you’re lucky enough to have a fireplace.

 

  • Read a good novel by that said fire.

 

What do you guys do to beat the winter blues?

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

There she shines…

Old slides found at a crafters HEAVEN. Thought they’d make for some very fine DIY ornaments this year. The inspiration came from Anthropologie’s holiday window display. Check it out if you haven’t already. AMAZING…per usual.

Mmmm. Oranges and cloves. Make my house smell like Christmas.

Festive treats on the coffee table…

Stockings hung…

The Christophers are ready for Christmas!

Now D just needs to get back from his trip to enjoy it all with me. Not the same without him. Sigh, 6 and a half more days never sounded so long.

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December Fifth

Today marks the day that, for the first time, I sat next to my most favorite person in the whole wide universe…

Listening to beautiful music, feeling so nervous and  excited because I knew I liked him so much already and hoping he felt the same…

I got really lucky and he did.

Happy 3 years, lover. Married—and with a baby on the way no less! I think we’re doing pretty good.

Love you now more than ever, D.

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