by Emily Wenzel | Sep 8, 2017 | Personal Posts
Our anniversary is this weekend, and the last week of August marked the start of about six straight weeks of crazy around here. But August was surprisingly easy going, and full of snuggles and family time. It was great to get a little break from work, and to spend time with my favorite people!
1. I’ve been looking for a new hobby, so I tried cross stitch. It was pretty fun! I’ve got an embroidery kit waiting for me to start next, but they didn’t include any instructions! Anyone have advice on how to embroider?
2. Our wildbird sling is currently hanging out with a friend, but before it left, we got some extra snuggles in it. I can’t wait to get it back soon! It’s the perfect fall color.
3. Little miss started regularly going to her nanny in August, which has been a godsend for all of us. I was able to get in and out of the post office without tears and without too many delays. The first day I dropped her off, I felt SO SO weird!
4. Shadow had a little growth, and so when he got it removed, it was cone of shame for a few days. He wasn’t impressed with it. Luckily, the growth wasn’t cancerous or anything, and he’s still doing great.
5. Lola likes to lay down on Shadow’s toys or bones, and then just stare him down. She’s kind of a punk like that. Shadow used to get in big trouble when he’d bother her, so now he just lays there and gets right up in her face! He’ll slowly inch his way closer until she gets annoyed and leaves. He’s still hopeful that they’ll be BFFs, but Lola likes to keep him hanging.
6. Most afternoons, H comes home and we go for a family walk, but when the weather was too hot or too smokey, we try to have some family hang time. On this day though, I had to get a little work done. The view from my desk is pretty distracting though. I love watching these two play and read together!
7. We finally got to try out swinging! It was a huge success, and she usually giggles and kicks her legs the whole time she’s in the swing. Of course, she was distracted by a couple dogs when I took this photo. We’ve been trying to walk through the park on our evening walks and stop for a little swing session. Shadow plays in the splash pad, or stares longingly at the squirrels while N swings.
8. We didn’t do anything big for my birthday, but we grabbed dinner at South Perry Pizza and made sure to get a couple selfies afterwards on the back patio. Thirty has been pretty awesome so far, and I’m so lucky to have these two beautiful people in my life.
9. My mom’s birthday is a few days after mine, so we spent some time picking out the perfect recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks. We went with the marble cake, which was perfection.
10. Nanny time means I get a chance to get out to a coffeeshop sometimes and do work alone and in peace. It also means I work 1000x faster than I ever thought I could. I’m amazed at how much I can get done during a nap or the afternoons when little miss is at the nanny.
11. On the way back from visiting my parents at their place for my mom’s birthday, we stopped for a break at the rest area. Someone wanted some snuggles…
12. …but then decided she wanted down to practice walking through the grass. Slow down, kiddo! I’m not quite ready for you to walk yet! At least my wrap makes a good scarf too?
13. When you get a package in the mail, but the paper it’s packed it in more fun than the gift.
14. Once upon a time, the skies were blue, the weather was perfect, and we went walking around Manito. That hasn’t happened in a while, though. September has been kind of lame.
15. Post-wedding reflection selfie at the Davenport hotel. Every time I shoot a wedding there, I find a new little spot to shoot in!
16. These two drinking at the Lantern. On our way back from dinner there, we ran into my old German professor and a college friends’ mom having drinks at the brewery. South Perry, where it can take you 30 minutes to walk 3 blocks. We wouldn’t have it any other way, we love this neighborhood.
17. Practicing her standing skills at the window while waiting for Papa to come home from work.
18. Random neighborhood kitty who decided to take up residence on my front porch. She then moved to the back yard and harassed our dog through the fence. Don’t worry, she was reunited with her people shortly after – and Shadow was very confused by this bold kitty!
by Emily Wenzel | Aug 14, 2017 | Personal Posts
Tomorrow is my birthday, and I’m hoping to take a few minutes to reflect back on the last year, but first I wanted to get this post up! With the heat wave in July, we didn’t get much done. Basically, just tried to survive and then it got smokey and I gave up on blogging.
1. This beautiful PN Wovens wrap is our favorite thing right now. N has been getting better with the back carries, and after I was gone at Maranda & CJ’s wedding at the end of June, she wanted lots of snuggles. Boom.
2. This picture cracks me up, because she loves strawberries. They’re probably her favorite food right now. I don’t blame her! We speak two languages at home – German and English – and so we’ve got baby books in both languages. This one *might* be helping me improve my German too. [And yes, that’s a 10lb weight in the background. We use it to prop the door closed/open at times. Old house problems, my friends.]
3. Another wedding, another afternoon of pumping. The ladies at Commellini Estate were super sweet and found me a private space to pump, but that didn’t stop me from wanting to die in the 102 degree heat. I guess the pump was cooler than snuggling my little lady? I’m really thankful the weather has gotten better.
4. “The girl with the wooden phone.” N loves to chew on this little wooden phone from Haba.
5. We went down to Portland mid-month, since H had a conference and I needed a smazak. Especially since Tabor is changing owners soon, I needed to say goodbye to my favorite Czech couple in Portland. While killing time with N, we wandered over to the Portland Art Museum, and listened to a guy play a piano for a while.
6. One of my favorite pieces of street art in Portland, it’s by the Portland Art Museum.
7. Have baby, will travel. N loves hotel life — it’s probably all the bed snuggles and the hotel pool. 🙂
8. Home again, and just starting to fit into 9-12 month clothing. She’s excited to wear this cute outfit that her German auntie gave her when we visited in May.
9. July was a month of naps. This guy was napping hardcore in the middle of the living room after a couple days at boarding while we were in Portland.
10. N has been rolling over and quasi-crawling in her crib for a few weeks now. Which is great, except she was having a hard time going down for naps. When she went from chatting like crazy to silent the other day, I poked my head in to check on her and found this. [She normally sleeps on her side.]
And like that, July was a wrap!
by Emily Wenzel | Jul 18, 2017 | Personal Posts
I’m having a moment where I can’t believe that it’s July, that this week marks four years since we moved back to Spokane, and that June is long gone.
We took it pretty easy in June, and did a lot of hanging out around the house, soaking up the nice weather, and going for walks. I’ve been trying to use my phone less, so I don’t have as many photos, but I did find a few for our recap.
1. I was scrolling through my phone early in the month, and saw the photo I’d taken with N when she was just three weeks old, so I decided to replicate it. I’m even wearing a similar outfit (an Everlane tee and black running pants. Basically, my work from home uniform).
2. We started practicing our back carry in June, and are now regularly back carrying. On Sunday, we went up to Eleven Acres farm on Greenbluff, and picked raspberries, while baby wearing. I seriously don’t know how we would have done it otherwise!
3. Continuing our theme of recreating photos from December: on the day that N was born, I spent the morning at the car dealership. I took a photo in the full length mirror in their bathroom. So, when I got my oil changed the day before N’s half birthday, we recreated the photo.
4. Cloth diapers make for fun little bums under summer dresses!
5. Lola has been getting a bit tired of having her tail snagged by tiny little baby hands. [N loves our pets. She squeals with joy when she sees them.] so she took to hiding on some of the blankets I had tucked on the bottom shelf of the bookcase. Poor kitty.
6. Shadow, on the other hand, thinks that this whole food thing is the greatest. He’s more than happy to help clean the floor up after dinner. Lately though, N has gotten better about not throwing all her food on the floor, which has made him a bit sad.
7. We’ve been hitting up Manito on the regular lately with some friends for stroller walks, and the fresh air has been good for both of us. N naps most of the time, and I get to chat with friends. Win!
8. I’m ever so thankful for venue owners who let me show up early and give me a quiet space to pump. Not every part of motherhood has been fabulous, but I’m so grateful my body has been able to nourish this tiny human for so long!
And just like that, it’s July!
by Emily Wenzel | Jun 8, 2017 | Personal Posts
Between traveling most of the month, and recovering from traveling, I didn’t get April’s recap post up. So now I’m looking back at all these photos and I can’t believe that April was SO long ago. Ack! It’s June, and we’ve had really summer-like days lately. So crazy!
1. I started off the month with my first wedding after having N. Oh man, I was freaking out. I was so nervous – it’d been so long since I’d photographed a wedding, and I was worried how N would take it. She’s really only been away from me for a couple hours, and I was gone for a whole day (I think it was 11 hours). But! Cecily & Ted’s wedding was wonderful, and as you can see, she napped like a champ for her papa. [Sleep sack, bassinet]
2. I took N over to my parents’ place for a couple days for some quality grandma and grandpa time, and we went over to IKEA with my mom too. It was our first solo trip (further than over to Couer d’Alene) and she was a rockstar. We’ve had a few solo mama/baby nights since she was born.
3. We cut down the giant maple in our backyard, and Shadow thought the wood was a playground for him! One of our neighbors took most of the wood for his fireplace, and a few friends grabbed some too. Our yard looks so different now. We are going to put in another tree or two next spring, we just have to decide what we’re planting (I’m leaning towards plum and peach trees). Any thoughts??
4. N started sleeping in her crib in April. And I didn’t sleep for a couple nights. We’d had her in our room in her bassinet (which has been, hands down, the best thing we got for a baby. We love this thing!). When she took her first nap in the crib, Shadow didn’t know what to do. He’s been sleeping on a dog bed in our room, and has been napping with her about 75% of the time. So now, he sleeps on the landing outside her room, or at night, sometimes sleeps on the rug in there, instead of on his bed.
5. Trying to write emails with a little kid is kinda like this. Naps are unpredictable, and so sometimes I pull her into my lap so I can try and finish one last email. 😀
6. I was playing the piano for N, and she started fussing from her seat. When I picked her up, she immediately reached for the piano and started pressing keys. She adores music!
1. We got a little rash guard for N for summer swimming (and we went in Germany too), since she’s got such fair skin. H burns really easily, and so as cute as those baby swimsuits are, I didn’t want to take any chances. Both of these are from Primary.com, which is one of my favorite places to shop for N.
2. All packed up and ready to head to Germany! Is there any interest in me writing a post about traveling with a baby, and how we did it? Let me know!
3. Feeling so very mom and quite German, strolling around Nymphenburg Park on a sunny day in Munich.
4. Last year, I had H snap a photo of me in Athens in front of some gorgeous flowers. I was just a few weeks pregnant with N at the time, and it was one of the few days were I didn’t feel sick. This year, we snapped a bunch of photos in front of some lilacs at Nymphemburg. I still need to send off the film ones, but I love this little family selfie of ours.
5. I took N’s 5 month photos on her quilt before we left, but I wanted to snap a couple on the actual date while we were in Germany. H grabbed this behind the scenes photo of me being a total “momtographer”. I took them on film, so who knows if they’ll turn out! She’s a total wiggle worm right now, so I could see them being a total blur. 😉
6. Normally, when we go to Germany, we stay just with family and we’re always in the same places. But this time, we wanted to take a couple days away and go somewhere on our own. I decided I wanted to see what “real” Bavaria looked like, because I love Leavenworth, so I found us this AirBnB in Schwangau, which is where Neuschwanstein is. We didn’t make it to Neuschwanstein, but the view from both the balconies was pretty stellar.
7. The view from the other balcony. We walked from this little village to another little village and had cake one day, and took the long way back along one of the lakes while N slept in her stroller. I didn’t take a photo of the cake, but it was AMAZING.
8. We picked up this “cuddle book” in Germany for N, and it’s quickly becoming one of her favorite things. I’m hoping she loves books as much as I do.
9. Cheeks. Such good cheeks.
10. We did a lot of traveling in May, and I was always impressed by how well N did. Sure, she had meltdowns. But don’t we all have meltdowns when we’re tired and in a foreign country?
11. Baby toes!
12. Lola got this new cat condo thing a while back, and has completely ignored it until recently. Now she sleeps in it – surrounded by all her toys – all the time.
And that was it! May was a great month, we had a total blast traveling (uh, we went to Seattle too. I’m not sure why I don’t have photos of that?) with N. But I’m also glad to be home for a while. I missed my pillow!!
by Emily Wenzel | Apr 20, 2017 | Personal Posts
N was less than 24 hours old, and we were alone in our room at the hospital. H had gone home to check on the pets, and after a night of constant checks, the room was finally peaceful. I reached over to grab my camera, and I snapped a few dozen photos of her. Brand new.
It’s hard to describe how I feel when I have a camera in my hands. Things are more clear, focused. All the noise falls away, and I’m left with just the images I want to create. The artist and her canvas. From the moment I realized I was actually in labor, I felt like I was sprinting toward the finish line in a race. N didn’t just show up two weeks early, she came roaring into this world in a whirlwind that left my head spinning for weeks. But for a few short minutes, I was able to focus on her tiny fingers, her eyelashes, her little dimples.
She’s a giant now, compared to that day. And the list of things she’s taught me in the past four months would fill a novel. I thought this transition to motherhood, to working at home with a baby, would be all about showing myself grace. I was wrong. Oh, I’ve had to show myself plenty of grace, it’s true. But N has taught me that being present is the most important thing. I can write emails while she naps, or check my Instagram feed after she goes to bed at night, but these precious moments with her? They’re flying by. So I set my phone down, and I look in her eyes. I snuggle her close when she needs me. I’m trying to live each moment as it is. I’m trying to extend that presence to all aspects of my life. To focus on my meals when I’m eating. To listen to people when they’re speaking. To be present in all aspects of life.
Everything is different now. It’s messier, more exhausting, and yet, it’s exactly the same. The days blur together in an endless parade of giggles and emails and laundry. The giggles are new, but the endless emails and laundry have always been here. We’ve gone to IKEA, H has taken a business trip without us, and N’s been to three states (Washington, Oregon, and Idaho). She’s got her passport, and is preparing for her first trip to Germany.
In some ways, the busy nature of having her has helped me. I’m more focused. I tend to waste less time on social media, because I have things to get done. I’m behind on getting my garden planted, but hey, we got some April snow, so it was kind of a blessing. I may not be multitasking as much, but I’m a boss at prioritizing and getting things done. I’m finding a new balance in 2017.
by Emily Wenzel | Apr 7, 2017 | Personal Posts
It’s April this week, and it finally feels like spring is on it’s way to Spokane!! Looking back over my March photos made me realize what a busy month it was. We got a lot done in March after hibernating for most of January and February. I’m sure some of that was because of N’s arrival, but I think a lot of it had to do with all of the snow!!
March started with a couple of sunny days! Or at least, moments of sunshine. N’s room faces west, so we get the most glorious sunshine in the afternoons. It’s really amazing. N isn’t a huge fan of the sun streaming it, because it lands right on the glider and sometimes blinds her. Oh gosh, I have to rave about the glider we got. We ended up buying it secondhand from another mama, and it’s been seriously the best thing we’ve purchased. if you’re planning on having a baby, buy the best glider you can afford. I promise, it’s worth it. I spend so many hours in ours!! Anyway, there’s just something about soaking up that sunshine while nursing my babe. Sometimes I just want to rush through those moments so I can get back to whatever we were doing, but I remember that she’s only going to want to snuggle me for so long, so I’m trying to soak up the moments — and the tiny baby toes.
We’re heading to Germany in May, and so we decided to fly down to Portland for a single night (we’re crazy, I know) to test out this whole “flying with a baby” business. It was a good learning experience, for sure! N did pretty well on the flight, and we learned a ton from our adventures. Portland is a fantastic airport for kids and mamas. There is a lactation/pumping room near the Alaska gates (just past security). We popped our heads it to check it out — it’s roomy! — but didn’t need it this time, plus they have a nice family bathroom near the Starbucks and the Alaska gates, which is where N and I grabbed this quick selfie. Also: hallelujah for babywearing. We went to Portland without a stroller, but with two baby carriers! N didn’t nap very well, with all the travel and new adventures, so being able to snuggle her in close meant she would nap on us. She even slept through her first adventure at Powell’s, but don’t worry, we bought her a book to commemorate it.
Since we knew we were staying in downtown Portland, we traveled extra light — no stroller or carseat — and just took the MAX down to our hotel. Surprise, surprise, our super travel baby was bored and slept. It was a little annoying at times, but for quick trips, I think it’s great to travel so light (we were still carry on only, even with bring N’s travel crib along). She was pretty worn out from the trip – we all were – and napped a lot the next few days. She doesn’t normally fall asleep after nursing that often, but she did that week. Lola and Shadow also decided to come snuggle up in N’s room while she napped on me. I took advantage of the free hour to start reading a book, The Secret Life of Violet Grant, which I ended up devouring and stayed up late to finish.
March also was the end of my maternity leave, and I started working again regularly, instead of just trying to keep up with my emails. Thankfully, H has been able to make his schedule flexible and has been home one afternoon a week, but I end up working late in the evenings too. That’s not going to work long term, so I’m working out a plan for the summer. Eventually, I’ll even actually get things together and do work. Anyway!! Of course, I swear, on the days when I needed to get a bunch of work done, N would realize that. She won’t nap and she’s super fussy, and needs to be held all the time. So, mama naps and baby wearing are the only way I can get even the littlest things done.
I had my friend Alyssa (check out her Etsy shop) make this sweet Gonzaga headband for N, and she wore it all through March Madness! She was very unhappy to find out we didn’t win the championship, but she’s a Zags fan for life. She was super fussy during the final 4 game, until I turned her around to watch the game. Starting her young! 😉 In business news, my new business cards and thank you cards arrived from the printer, and I can’t wait to send them all out to my couples and new clients this year!!
Miss N was wearing her Gonzaga outfit a lot for March Madness, we were super happy about that, for sure! My brother came up for a day to help us build a real fence around our veggie garden. We had put up some fencing last year, after we realized that Shadow didn’t know the difference between the garden and the grass, and just ran through all my plants. 🙁 But he started jumping that little fence, and we had to build a new one! Shadow, being the quirky pup he is, decided that the pile of sawdust from the table saw was a great place to lay down. Crazy pup! Lastly: some gratuitous chunky baby legs. N had such skinny legs when she was born, but now it’s all rolls! I can’t believe how fast she’s growing, and I am so thrilled that it’s April and spring is here!!!
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