Beautiful, wintery Advent Calendar by Uusi.
Just looking at this makes me excited for the holidays...

[via bloesem]


on labor and nesting and baby

Up until last weekend, thoughts of giving birth were actively pushed to the back of my mind. Throughout this pregnancy, I've skirted thinking about the particulars of labor: the pain, the hours of contractions, the loss of control, the aftermath of soreness. The pain...

The 8-hour intensive birth class we attended this past weekend made the impending birth very, very real. I entered the class thinking "how can I possibly find the strength to get through labor even with drugs?" I came out thinking "I think I can do this." Such a change. I experienced a radical shift in my perception of "me."

For most of the past 8 months I've focused too much on my low tolerance for pain, so much so that I've completely ignored the potential well-spring of strength that I have within me. At my core I am a doer. When I need to focus, I focus. When I need to get something done, I get it done. The class reinforced the simple fact that women give birth every day. And yes, it's painful. And yes, it's hard. And yes, there's the possibility that it will take a long, long time. But it's also amazing, and rewarding, and it ends. Labor is not purgatory. There's the beginning of labor there's the end. And at the end, there's a baby.

Perhaps in an attempt to put
effort in something I can control, I've succumbed to nesting. Big time. Hours have been spent folding and organizing baby clothes, reading books, making to-do lists (and then making more), looking for the best co-sleeper, stroller, diaper options, baby carrier, car seat, organic crib mattress, you name it. At this time, when I have little control over how my body (belly, feet, hands) swells and aches, and no control over when labor will start or how it will progress, I feel I can control this nesting thing. I can assemble her room, ready our house, outfit our car, fold her clothes, build my arsenal of hand-me-down tips and tricks, practice breathing, sing her songs as she pushes and stretches my belly into a new shape, prepare myself and steady my nerves.

And just remind myself that I can do this...

[images: Nikki McClure]


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Gangsta Lorem Ipsum via SwissMiss


carson too quilt

Gorgeous quilt by Carson Too. [via Seesaw]

the architecture of happiness: home

From Alain de Botton's The Architecture of Happiness:

We depend on our surroundings to embody the moods and ideas we respect and then to remind us of them. We look to our buildings to hold us, like a kind of psychological mould, to a helpful vision of ourselves. We arrange around us material forms which communicate to us what we need--but are at constant risk of forgetting we need--within. We turn to wallpaper, benches, paintings and streets to staunch the disappearance of our true selves.

In turn, those places whose outlook matches and legitimates our own, we tend to honour with the term 'home.' Our homes do not have to offer us permanent occupancy or store our clothes to merit the name. To speak of home in relation to a building is simply to recognise its harmony with our own prized internal song. Home can be an airport or a library, a garden or a motorway diner.

Our love of home is in turn an acknowledgement of the degree to which our identity is not self-determined. We need a home in the psychological sense as much as we need one in the physical: to compensate for a vulnerability. We need a refuge to shore up our states of mind, because so much of the world is opposed to our allegiances. We need our rooms to align us to desirable versions of ourselves and to keep alive the important, evanescent sides of us.

yes to pup tent heels

Pink Studio Pup Tent Heels



33 weeks!

33 weeks!

33 weeks!
Around 7 weeks left to go! This week Stella is the size of a pineapple and about 4.25 lbs.

My belly is so big at this point that it has exited my personal space and entered everyone else's. Not many people touch it, and no strangers have unexpectedly put their hands on my belly. But I get questioned about the pregnancy and smiled at more and more often these days.

The other night after I went to yoga we went grocery shopping. As we entered the store we walked past a woman on crutches standing beside a very full cart. She beamed at us and followed us with her eyes as we walked by. I was oblivious, but J turned around to look back at her and she was still looking our way. He thought she might need assistance so he went back to help her out to her car. I wandered on, putting fruit in our cart. He came back a few minutes later with a big grin on his face and said "she didn't need help. She just thought you looked so beautiful and big that she couldn't help smiling at you." It was so sweet of her to say, and I was so touched. After months of clothes not fitting quite right and restless sleep, of swollen ankles and aching hips, it's so, so nice to just be smiled at.

Happy Wednesday!


marais two-toned flats

My feet have expanded from a 7.5 to a size 8 and none of my adorable flats seem to fit anymore. I hope my feet shrink back after the babe is born. Or what will I do with all my shoes?! For now, I've got a serious case of the wants for these Marais two-toned blue cuties.