12.20.2013

friday foto: sisters.

Just one more post before this week is up! I'm pinching myself over this photo, and it's too sweet not to share.
Polka dots. Sisters. Love.

For more Friday Fotos, start here

12.19.2013

from the mailbox.

Before we dive into Christmas week - it's almost here! - I wanted to share with you our Christmas cards that were made possible with some pretty photos, shot by Jenna Beth Photography, of course!
Taken back in October in our friend's courtyard, Jenna brought to life Mari's twinkle and smile, and captured some precious pregnant moments for our family. A longtime family friend, Jenna has been shooting us for a few years now, and like last year's card and the card before it, these cards were one of my favorite projects that I look forward to all year long.
Totally inspired by the photography, I went with one of Mari's best shots - oh, the excitement over rocks - and played with navy, white and raspberry. I paired the cards with my favorite Paper Source envelopes, in night.

I wish everyone a wonderful holiday, and look forward to starting the new year, newly inspired by our own Jenna, with lots more to share and lots more to write.

Merry Christmas, sweet friends, near and far.

12.16.2013

hello, world.

This is Jenna Corinne.
Our second daughter arrived last Sunday, and I've spent the last week marveling over life, the sweetness of newborns and the adaptability of big sisters. All over very little sleep, of course!

Jenna looks a lot like Mari in the very early days, but their labors could not have been more different. This time, which I hear is common with the second, was indeed much easier for me. Jenna was also a fantastic labor partner - with 9lbs., 1 oz. behind her, she helped get herself out.

I've felt so much love in the last week, from family and friends, near and far. To open up our refrigerator and see it stocked with food and love nearly brings me to tears. To introduce Jenna to her cousins and dear friends for the first time ever does the same. Feeding her by the twinkle of the Christmas lights warms my heart in ways I just cannot put into words.
And then there is Mari. Who, in one week, has grown up so much that I get choked up just thinking about it - a mix of beaming pride, love and wanting to stop time all at once. She's just amazing and is the sweetest big sister you can imagine.

I wish everyone could experience a newborn at Christmastime. There is something so magical about this new life, and to get to cherish it by the glow and warmth of the Christmas tree, the arms of loved ones and the true spirit of the season is one of my life's three greatest gifts.
{photo by Bella Baby Photography}

12.06.2013

friday foto: christmas spirit.

We're still hanging on over here - just a few more days to go before my due date - and with each passing day, I'm finding more and more Christmas joy to share with Mari. Even when you think you've got no steam left, Christmas and kids have a way of lifting you up and filling you with a second wind, and so much love.
Last weekend, we got to work around the house - the advent calendar was filled, nativity scene was placed, stockings and wreaths went up and the goodness of fresh Christmas tree filled the house. It may have taken us about four days to get it decorated, but we did it and to share it with Mari, who this year, was basically in charge of the whole production, made everything so magical.

Before we did all that, we made a gingerbread house - our first in this house - and someday, when I'm not nearly 10 months pregnant, I'll do this all from scratch. In the meantime, an $8 kit from Target was all we needed to kick off the first weekend of December.

I didn't think it'd be easy, but I remember gingerbread house decorating being way easier than this. It's probably because I had a wonderful mother who did everything from scratch so everything would be just right.

But, even with finicky frosting and heavy gingerbread that really didn't stand a chance, Mari and I ate a lot of sugar and had so much fun. While it practically fell apart the next day, Mari is so proud of it and we're going to keep it around as long as it lasts. Which probably isn't much longer, but like Christmas, it's about the memories we created, along with lots of gum drops and peppermint, that will always make us smile. Oh, to watch her fall in love with gumdrops! There just isn't much better in life.

Hope you find something holly and jolly to make your weekend extra special. Manhattan Beach Christmas Fireworks, perhaps?

And, I'll surely keep you posted on the baby front. Follow me on Instagram for insta-updates!

For more Friday Fotos, see last week's post.