Sunday, September 30, 2012

The north shore

I'm back from a weekend trip with girlfriends. We went to Lutsen, MN and stayed at a resort on Lake Superior. Massages, wine, great food...it was an awesome weekend.

It was my first time being away from Juliet and I was nervous as hell about it...and though I missed her terribly, I was really able to enjoy myself. Erik did a great job with Juliet and had a little help from grandparents. I came home to a very happy little girl.

More photos and details of our trip to come later this week!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Juliet's 6 month photo session

Juliet's 6 month photos were taken by Gruman Photography.  The session itself was a bit stressful because Juliet was not in the best mood.  You can tell she was a bit grumpy in these photos but overall, I was surprised and thrilled that they turned out so beautifully.

I adore each and every one of these photos, smiley or not.  They capture Juliet's personality so well.  We took these at a field on a beautiful summer morning in mid-August.
One of my favorite photos from the session.  Juliet sure loves her daddy. 
I asked my sister-in-law to bring my niece to take part in some of the photos.  Both girls were pretty uninterested in getting their photo taken at this point, but we still managed to get a few good ones! I especially love the ones of my little girlie and I.

I'm so happy to have these professional photos to capture my beautiful sweet, girl.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Real party: a rustic baby shower (for my BFF!)

On Saturday I co-hosted a baby shower for my best friend, Kristin.  She is having a baby girl in mid-November and her friends and I wanted to throw a very special party for her.  Kristin has LOTS of friends and there were about nine gals that all helped out.  We had the party at my new house, which worked out well because I still have a couple rooms that are unfurnished, so they made for nice, open spaces for pretty decor.

We had a subtle rustic theme, inspired by Kristin's nursery.  We incorporated branches, lots of browns and a little splash of red, playing on the accent color in her baby's nursery.

One of my favorite elements was the chocolate dessert table, especially the beautiful chocolate cake that served as the centerpiece.

Best part of all, Kristin enjoyed the shower and had a great time mingling with her friends and family.
When guests arrived, they first saw the wish table.  We asked people to fill out a card with a special wish or piece of advice for Kristin and her baby girl.  We then hung them from twine with clothes pins. The wishes were hole-punched and tied with twine for Kristin to take home (Kristin hosted my baby shower and I stole this idea from her!).  I took maternity photos of Kristin a couple weeks ago, and displayed them in a rustic-looking frame and in an old window.The paper items were super easy and DIY.  I used paper doilies, and folded them over with a touch of glue on brown paper.  I wish I had better handwriting! The drink table for mimosas, sparkling juice, coffee and lemon water.  I found cute, red and white striped paper straws on Amazon I wrapped red baking twine around the coffee cups for a little color.  All the flowers were from the Mpls Farmers' Market, they were mostly dahlias and were absolutely beautiful. Each mason jar was wrapped with thick twine.  I made a DIY burlap bunting that said "Baby Girl". I wish I had a better photo of this, it turned out way better than I expected.  I used stencils and white acrylic paint and regular glue to adhere the triangles to twine, it was tied on each end with cream ribbon.  My friend Melanie brought long tables and all the chairs.  We put white tablecloths with a burlap table-runner, and topped with a couple mason jars filled with flowers.  The menu is always one of the most important elements of any party.

We served brunch and included:

Four different types of quiche
Fruit salad
Croissants and pastries
A cheese platter with baguette and crackers
Roasted potatoes
My friend Libby made all the quiche and they were a huge hit.   The beautiful momma-to-be.   Kristin loves chocolate and while we were planning her shower we almost booked it at a chocolate shop inside a mansion in St. Paul.  We ended up deciding against it because it is a new venue and doesn't seem to have it together yet, so instead we had a chocolate-themed dessert table.

The back-drop was simple white foam core with brown ribbon taped on it, inspired by Live the Fancy Life.
This cake was as delicious as it was beautiful.  Our friend Amy (who lives in DC and couldn't make the shower) ordered it from Queen of Cakes.   Yummy, mini cupcakes from Sweet Retreat Kristin got tons of awesome gifts.

Thanks to all the gals who helped make Kristin's shower a big success!

Vendors:

Event styling: Jenna of Eat Drink Pretty
Photography: Jenna of Eat Drink Pretty
Cake: Queen of Cakes
Cupcakes: Sweet Retreat

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Juliet: 7 months

Look at who is getting to be such a big girl! 7 months already. Wow.

This month brought big milestones:

  • Juliet starting sitting, unassisted.  It literally happened overnight about 3 weeks ago.  One day she was super wobbly and couldn't sit without being held up, the next day she was all "I got this, you can let go now".  
  • She started sleeping on her tummy at night.  She decided this was the preferred method of sleep, much to my dismay.  I know once they are strong enough to roll over it is perfectly safe to sleep on their tummies, but I am a high anxiety new momma and I find myself staring at the video monitor at night and checking in on her multiple times.  Juliet continues to be a good sleeper, for the most part, and only once in a while wakes up at 3 or 4am to eat or for some soothing. 
  • Being a bouncy baby in her jumperoo.  My mom bought her one a couple months ago and Juliet would just sit in it and play with the toys.  Now she jumps and laughs and yells.  Her legs move like a little Irish dancer and I am way too entertained by this.  The iPhone videos of her bouncing are out of control.
  • Juliet started daycare.  My mom watched her all summer and boy was she spoiled.  Rocked during her naps, held all day, lots of stroller rides.  It was a great summer for grandma and Juliet and I was so happy knowing my sweetie had the best care.  The day after Labor Day I dropped my sweet girl off at daycare.  It is a great in-home daycare and good friends of ours take their little one year old girl there.  Juliet has been doing really well and making new friends.  The older kids adore her and when I drop her off in the morning they exclaim with joy, "Juliet is here!", which I find so sweet and adorable.  The only tears with the daycare drop-offs have been mine, but I've been doing a lot better the past week or so.  
Sweet girl, the best part of each day is coming home to see you.  We have so much fun in the evenings playing with toys, reading, eating yummy squash and green beans (your faves) and snuggling while you breastfeed.  Our weekends are filled with so many fun adventures; the apple orchard, long walks with daddy, visits from Grandma Karen and Uncle Justin, sleeping in and cuddling in bed and lots of family time with grandma and grandpa, aunts, uncles and cousin Chloe.  

Just as every parent I know has told me, it gets better and better everyday.  I love seeing you take in the world with your beautiful, big eyes and you make me so happy with your smiles and giggles.  Momma and daddy love you way too much, girlie! Happy 7 months!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Date night and a trip to the apple orchard

It probably seems like every Monday I come around and say I just had the best weekend ever. Well, it's because as a working mom, I now LIVE for the weekends.  I can't wait to have hours stretched out before me to spend with my baby girl, without having to worry about making bottles, getting her ready for daycare, etc.  Weekends with my little family are the best.  Always.

And this one was especially awesome because it included a date night with Erik (our first since Juliet was born) and a trip to the apple orchard where my little one took in all the sights with her pretty, wide eyes.

Erik and I woke up on Saturday morning and went grocery shopping.  He carried the girlie in the Becco Gemini while I ran up and down the aisles.  We made a breakfast skillet with potatoes, sausage, onion, green peppers, eggs and cheese and I drank pumpkin spice coffee.  It was an awesome morning.

Erik went golfing in the afternoon while Juliet and I spent time going on a walk, snuggling and lots of playtime and reading.

On Sunday Erik dressed Juliet in her Vikings jersey and the two of them watched some football while I did a few chores.  Then we said goodbye to daddy and took off to meet my family at the apple orchard. Erik is a hard-core Vikes fan, so he doesn't miss a game for anything.
 
Juliet turned 7 months yesterday!  It's the biggest cliche to continue saying this but time really does go by too fast...and you realize it so much more when you have a baby.  I try to take in every second with her and for us breastfeeding (which is going awesome and I never want to quit, ever) gives me lots of quiet, one-on-one time with her. I'll be posting a 7 month update this week.
It was a gorgeous 80 degree day at the orchard and I took advantage of the pretty surroundings to take lots of photos of my girl.My sister, Katie and her husband Drew and my dad with Juliet.Juliet and my mom.  This is also proof that Juliet is NOT a ham for the camera.  She is the opposite.  Most of the time a camera is in her face she studies it inquisitively.  She rarely smiles for photos.  I'm working on this!Juliet and her cousin Chloe were much more interested in the apples than each other.  They are both adorable little girls.  Pair them together and I can hardly stand the cuteness.  After apple-picking we had a snack, I bought vanilla ice and an apple donut. YUM.I just love Juliet's expression here.  There was raspberry picking, too!
Erik and my date night was so fun.  We stopped at Zelo for martinis, then went to Manny's Steakhouse for dinner.  It was delicious and we really enjoyed each other's company.  And surprising, we didn't talk about Juliet the whole time!  Thanks so much to my brother Joel for babysitting.

Like I said, it was the best weekend ever.  I hope you enjoyed yours, as well!