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Guest Post on Dallas Mom's Blog Adoption Week!

20 November 2014

Hey there, shawtys!

I just want to say thank you for following along on Instagram and Facebook as I've been adjusting to my unexpected but amazing new job. I have a few things I am excited to share here soon now that I am getting more settled in. Ya know, post Black Friday madness.

In the meantime, I am very grateful to Dallas Mom's Blog for including me as a contributor to their Road to Adoption series this week. I purposefully did not write much on the post-placement process of adoption while we were in it or even near it. It is a very important and worthwhile process, and also can feel like a little much when put on the plate of a new parent. At the end of the day, it just is what it is and approaching it positively was good for our family. I hope I did a good job of communicating that properly on our guest post. Please check it out and get to know some other awesome adoptive families and organizations being highlighted on their blog this week!

Room Tour: Heidi's Boho Nursery Hangout

09 September 2014

Heidi's room was such a source of catharsis and creative outlet when I was adjusting to our fast moving adoption. It was a fun mini project and it's even better now that we all enjoy hanging out and playing in it. Sarah Greeman of La Maison Boheme was gracious enough to cover our house and the new addition of Heidi's room for Houzz when we were about a month in, so I thought it was time to share some very rough pictures of our updated room! 

The little changing area and drawers were a thrifted find painted in Annie Sloan chalk paint in Paris Grey. I just did a clear wax on top to keep it looking more modern and less rustic.I really loved that there was no sanding or VOCs since I was painting outside while running in and out to tend to a baby. All safety precautions still in play of course, but a few less things to worry about is good when you're on little sleep!

The prints above the table are from the John F Kennedy Library (the wonderful online gift shop, although I would love an in person visit one day!), The Pink Pagoda store (lovely Dallasite) and my grandparent's photo album. The pictures below are from their trip to Hawaii where my grandfather was inducted as president of the National Association of Accountants, which is now the Institute of Management Accountants. I really enjoy peppering my home tour posts with fun facts. My grandma, Nannie, is super crazy pretty and also Heidi's number one gal. 

Cute gallery wall that is now triple Command strip adhered to the wall thanks to overzealous baby proofing.

Another Annie Sloan project was painting this little side table as a catch all for Heidi stuff. I got the idea from one of my favorite tutorials, the DIY inlay dresser on Little Green Notebook. I love inlay furniture and I don't think I would confuse anyone with my version but I do love the more worldly look it gives to the room. 

Also, her little elephants are long gone now from that spot now that the swaddle days are over. :o) We do have a bit of an elephant theme going in the room, though. Elephants remember people, are known for being one of the most empathetic animals and will adopt young outside their own to their families. All things we believe in over here. 

Heidi's daybed has been great as an extra seat in the room and the duvet is from Biscuit Home. The pillow is from our favorite burp cloth hookup, Wren and Rumor

The elephant piece was a wonderful surprise gift from local artist Wheron. I love his stencil work and he heard about our elephant theme and made this very special contribution to the room. I love his cactus pieces, especially with Heidi's bedding, so expect to see a few of those in the next update. :o)

Next to the window is an instagram on wood print from our summer kickoff trip to Austin. The Heidi print is from Naomi Wilkinson on Etsy

The first grade photos of Markus and I were funked up and enlarged by our wedding photographer, Danny Hurley. They always get a laugh! The white elephant head was from West Elm. I love the star curtain rods from local business Antique Drapery Rod Co and the curtains are from Jonathan Adler for JCPenney. 

The rocking chair was a Craig's List find and gets some good use. The bongos are very heavy in the play time rotation these days.

I love the little good night detail on the crib skirt I found on sale at Land of Nod right after we finished our home study. This, the wall color, the rugs and the duvet were all purchased before Heidi arrived and were my gender neutral kick start. It's been fun to add some girly elements in without it looking too overboard!

Her aden and anais star sheets are a favorite of mine since her bedtime song is Billy Bragg and Wilco's "California Stars." The woven basket above keeps all of the towels and sheets. I have another one for burp cloths and bibs - life savers! 

I did save the best for last on the tour! The picture near her bed is a family portrait of Me, Markus, Heidi and her birthmom. I am happily sharing more about the picture and our wonderful friend who gifted it to us on our Austin adoption agency's blog today. Please go check it out the story and keep my friends at Adoption Advocates in mind should you ever be interested or referring someone to adoption resources. 

Thanks for checking out Heidi's room! She is, of course, the only thing we need but it is nice to have a spot we love to play with her and where she is happy to rest her head at night (most nights!).

The Right Time to Get Married

04 September 2014

One of those purposefully polarizing articles made its way around Twitter this summer. It had, of course, one of those judgmental, preachy titles meant for inciting reactions and click throughs. I think it was "Why You Should Get Married in Your Early Twenties." The smart, composed group of women I tend to agree with online were up in arms. Isn't keeping our twenties to ourselves for expensive shoes, downtown apartments, trips to Europe and table dancing what we fought our way into equal standing for? Who would want get married in her early twenties and miss out on everything? It was really only in seeing this article and the response that it really hit me that I was the girl these women were talking about, the poor sap who married in her early twenties.

Next week, I'll be 29 years old with a baby and five years of marriage under my belt. I met Markus when I was 21 and knew after our first date I wasn't going on another first date ever again. I would have accepted a proposal after our first month of dating, but we waited eight more just for the sake of not rushing into things. After a longish engagement, I was locked in at the very beginnings of 24. 

When I married Markus, we didn't have nest eggs, advanced degrees or passports with proof of our sowed wanderlust stamped all over the inside. We just had each other, and that was more important to me than accomplishing any of the above strictly on my own. I had more than a completed list of things people will tell you you're supposed to do in your twenties before you get married, I had someone who ferociously believed in me. It's made me more fearless and opened more doors to experiences I could have never enjoyed had I been insistent on our own lives, apartments and bank accounts until I was a certain age.

Married and life just beginning in September, 2009 photo credit Danny Hurley

I've been asked how I knew I was supposed to marry Markus so quickly and how I was, as someone who values my independence and lack of interest in conformity, so certain about getting married young. If I had to boil it down, I would say I believed in our marriage and the timing of it for three reasons

  • I knew and liked myself for who I was.
  • I was ready to try selflessly loving someone else for who they are.
  • I was with someone who inspired me to be the best version of myself every day. 

I didn't just feel happy all the time or wanted to capture the feeling of butterflies in my stomach forever. I felt with Markus in my corner I was going to do something great, and I felt like I was encouraging him to a better life for himself as well. Why stop great from happening because society is telling you to?

Just like I don't consider my independent life over (while recognizing it is different) because I am a Mom, I never thought I would have fewer personal opportunities because I was married. I think life has been more than accommodating of letting me have this and that at the same time simply because I've politely said that is how it is going to be and I'm willing to put in an extra mile to make it work.

Cheers to continued adventures! Photo credit: Kate Mefford

I don't advocate getting married young or old, but I have to say that marriage has taught me more about myself, love and understanding than anything else. I have such a deep admiration for Markus that I walked in ready to do everything to make it work, and it's shown me how many other things work out when you put that kind of effort in as well. Looking back on my twenties, I am more thankful for the lessons and love in my marriage than I am regretful of anything I could have missed, with nothing immediately coming to mind.

So, am I dishing out advice on the Internet or warning you not to take advice on the Internet seriously? Either way, I hope you find amazing love, first from yourself and also from someone you admire. I hope it hits you in a way that you forget about what is ideal or convenient and you go all in. I'm not a huge risk taker, but this is when I put all my money on black and I wake up to the jackpot every day. I'm a big believer that it's what we all deserve. 
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