My little Talia turned TWO.

Talia is everything I wish to become: 
// // // // // // // // // // // // // // // // // //
She is a lover and a fighter.
Her desires are simple, yet profound. 
She loves friends and is wary of strangers.
Her dancing is the most wonderful thing to experience.
She smiles when she means it.
She only talks about things she actually knows about.
& she looks adorable in everything she wears.

Happy Birthday Talia,
 you indescribably magical person you.


A Birth Story: Part 1

Almost two years have passed since a light named Talia entered this world.
It is still a bit hard to believe that a little person is breathing and dreaming in the next room. Also that I have taken upon myself the weighty responsibility of mothering a child.

Memory 1: It was my third or fourth visit to the office. They put the cold jelly on my stretched skin and the little person inside me lurched.  Jake sat next to me and we both smiled at the nurse's small talk. She put the microphone to my belly and we listened to a whole lot of static. Then, very faintly, a heart beat. It grew louder as the nurse pushed the microphone over the spot and I looked at Jake and cried. (I felt silly for shedding tears, but I really shouldn't have.)

As far as pregnancies go, mine was a walk in the park.  I complained quite a bit though because I felt the changes I was experiencing were unfamiliar, uncomfortable, and unflattering. I was a stranger to pregnancy and though I had read quite a few books, some things were still unpleasant surprises. But isn't that how it goes.

Memory 2: Figure drawing class was on the fifth floor that summer. We parked by the duck pond and those endless stairs to BYU campus would loom at me and Jake would gently tug my hand. In class, all the students stood the whole three hours. I did too, at first. Then I moved to a stool, then a drawing horse, then a stack of pillows.
The teacher would joke about my "parasite" every once in a while.

The weeks leading up to her birth were almost unbearable. It was late summer. Each day I hoped she would come early. Jake's mom flew in and took me to City Creek, where we walked around for hours. My father in law came the week after and drove us around his old neighborhood in his truck. I bounced around in the backseat, holding my tummy and trying to participate in conversation.
That night, as we ate pizza with family, I felt a cramp. Ten minutes later, it came again. I knew.
I nudged Jake and whispered what was happening. His eyes lit up and we discreetly timed together.
We went home and tried to sleep. At three in the morning, I timed again and the contractions were five minutes apart. Jake got up and put his clothes on.

Memory 3: Debating in the car, with the air conditioner on and the stars twinkling outside, whether I should call my parents at this hour. (We did.)

Once admitted to the hospital, the contractions began to swell with a power I had never felt before. As we waited for a nurse, I curled up in the paper gown and let my body breathe. She came, and I was measured at a one and a half inches dilated. If I dilated one inch in the next hour, I could stay, if not, we would wait it out at home.
It was obvious to me that it was time and I was confused as to why it wasn't as clear to anyone else. 

In that hour, I learned much about those contractions.  I learned that there was a pressure outside of me, creating a motion deep within my body. I learned that I was small and that what was happening here was big. Very big.
I was frightened, despite all that I had read, despite all the confidence had felt, despite Jacob's tightening embrace with each of my sobbing breaths.
No amount of preparation could have given me a peek into the vast movement of birth that I was now entering.

Memory 4: Staring at the bed railings, seeing my knuckles turn white, not being able to block or stem the overwhelming pain.

The nurse returned, and she was surprised to find that I had doubled in diameter. A sense of urgency entered the room as preparations were made for a birth. My body was shaking and I found I could not stand. My veins were too small for the standard IV needle. Agony came and went with the consistency of waves on the beach and the heaviness of molten lava. I was given an oxygen mask as my vision began to turn white. The anesthesiologist was summoned and he finally, delicately, inserted the IV.
I looked at Jake, and his look affirmed my plea. I requested an epidural.
A thick blanket of peace fell over me and my reeling helplessness faded as the words sat there in the air.



This week, I went to an appointment for Talia with a scarf on my head, I wore a dress to do the laundry, attended church with a stain on my Mexican dress, and killed my feet wearing booties to the zoo.

Because priorities.

Brands: H&M (scarf, wool hat, booties, striped blouse, skinny jeans, gold cuff), JCrew (green sweater, corduroy pants, belt), vintage (unicorn leather bag), Target (grey liberty print dress), Lulu Lemon (menswear striped tee), Flor de Luz (Mexican dress), Banana Republic (leather heels), Kate Spade Saturday (circle cross body bag).   


Summer at the Playground + FP Moccasins

My husband and I love to support local business and have had many good experiences participating creatively in our community. So when I had the opportunity to review a product from one of my favorite local companies, I jumped at the chance.

Freshly Picked, a company famous for their baby moccassins, focuses on products for children and their mothers. Susan Petersen, the CEO, is someone I admire for her hard work, humor, and willingness to help others. In an interview with Monica Lee from Smart Creative Women, she opens up about many topics including how her company came to be and tips on growing a small business. She has also recently been on Shark Tank, and now sells her moccasins live at Soel Boutique as well as online.

As Talia is an active toddler whose shoes are usually worn clean through by the time she grows out of them, I thought a day outside would be an excellent measurement of the quality of FP moccasins, and their ability to take wear and tear.


Black and White works in the summer too, right?

Brands: Kate Spade Saturday (circle cross-body bag), Soel Boutique (floral trousers), Forever 21 (faux leather trucker hat), Etsy (swim bottoms), H&M (striped blouse, black pants, wool hat, bikini top, knit floral top).


Summer Mixtape Side B:

[illustration: Victoria Legrand of Beach House]
Falling // Haim
Walking Through that Door // Future Islands
Polish Girl // Neon Indian
The Mother We Share // Chvrches
Sprawl II (Mountains beyond Mountains) // Arcade Fire
I Belong in Your Arms // Chairlift
A Walk in the Park // Beach House


Bemidji Lake

We had so much fun with Jake's family last week.
We spent a day in Minneapolis, three at Lake Bemidji, and a couple in Grand Forks, North Dakota. There is something so distinct about the Midwest. The sky is always looming and lovely, there is a rustic feel to even the newest buildings, and though the sun shines startlingly bright, there is always a gentle, humid breeze to soften things up.