Painted & Polished

Oct 6, 2015

motherhood // Navy at 8/9 months

“Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so."
― Mary Jean Irion

This beautiful quote was on one of my favourite blogs the other day. It resonates with me so deeply, particularly about life right now. That Navy is already 9 and a bit months old is so hard to believe. On one hand, I'm amazed at how fast it feels like those 9 months have gone by. But on the other, I'm overwhelmed with gratitude for all of the normal days she and I have shared since she arrived and what treasures each and every one of them are. 

Life with baby is a beautiful and tricky thing. It's this monumental shift in the everyday. Your world turned upside down with renewed emphasis on this little soul who, though new to you, is more familiar and more precious than you could have ever imagined. It's making every sacrifice but being willing to sacrifice a million things more. It can sometimes feel like hard work and be tiring, but then again energizing and motivating all at once. 

I sometimes used to think I had to 'achieve' certain things to actualize my worth. Before Navy I often found myself focusing on whether I was 'doing enough', 'working enough', 'earning enough', 'accomplishing enough', 'creating enough'…like there might be some moment in the future where I would know I had done enough. Enough of these things I thought were important. It's not that anyone in my life made me feel this way though….just for some reason, I made myself feel this way. Voluntarily, even though I knew better. But since she arrived, it's like I see things a lot more clearly and I am better able to act on my intentions. Her presence in my life, and my relationship with her has really opened my eyes and affirmed my convictions of what is truly important and worth prioritizing. 

Cold morning walks through the forest, Lincoln and his friends blazing the trail ahead, Navy nestled safely against my chest while I enjoy conversation with a great friend. Hot coffee steaming beside me as I fold laundry in a quiet house while my baby and puppy nap. Turning off the TV and getting lost in playtime with a little girl whose little mind is expanding by the second. Running errands while she babbles in the back seat about some story I can't wait to understand. Watching her practice her waving on every person who walks out of the rain and into Starbucks while we savour a visit with a dear friend. Holding on tight to heartfelt Navy hugs that linger a little longer as bedtime approaches. Washing dishes with Ryan as I reenact Navy's most darling and hilarious moments of the day. Being mindful to save some of my very best energy to catch up with him and reconnect after a long day apart. 

The normal day. It's my treasure and it is the priority. In it's precious moments my life will be lived and if with intention, lived well. Going to do my best to remember this comforting and encouraging thought, especially when the 'normal day' might feel difficult, rushed or even monotonous. 


Little Navy you continue to light our lives up and you bring a smile to everyone who crosses your path. You're waving to people to say hi everywhere we go. When we're out and I say "let's send a picture to daddy…say hi!" you smile at the camera and wave your little heart out. He loves getting those pictures and videos of you throughout the day. 

You're crawling everywhere, pulling yourself up on the couches and coffee tables exploring the world around you. Sometimes you even let go of your chosen support and just stand there unaware that you're actually standing all on your own. Eventually you crumple down on to your bottom or in rarer and rather coordinated instances, grab hold of your anchor before falling.

You babble and squeak your way throughout the day. Sometimes you engage me in conversations, and other times you just take in my words with twinkly smiling eyes. You're so alert and rarely miss a thing. At home, you still take 2-3 naps a day but when we're out for the day you've been known to go 12 hours without a nap so you don't miss anything. To your credit, sweet girl, you don't get cranky or unmanageable on those crazy days. Just tired, but still so pleasant which always amazes me for a baby your age.

You're still nursing frequently throughout the day and eating so much food these days and yet you are the longest, leanest little bean! You are so tall and so slender, I can't find pants that fit you to save my life haha. I've now resorted to tights for babies half your age and fiiiiiinally we can see those cute, shapely little legs under all your outfits instead of them swimming in a swath of fabric with a baggy waste band that always falls down. Such a funny 'problem' to have, but I guess I was the same as a baby. History repeating itself ;)

It is a pleasure to spend my days with you little lady. I love being your mama more than I could have ever imagined and each day just gets better and better ♡

Aug 11, 2015

motherhood // Navy at 5/6/7 months

Well, the intention with these posts waaaaas to post every month but perhaps the more accurate portrayal of motherhood at this moment is that I am just now, finally getting around to this overdue endeavour.  Many times recently, I've attempted to unleash this tidal wave of emotion swirling in my heart and mind but you know, life. Life with baby to be more exact. And that's ok. Something about motherhood has me seeing my priorities so clearly. So that's meant loads of time with the little lady during the days, time with Ryan when he gets home from work at night and peppered in between I've managed to take care of life's essentials and actually squeeze in a couple productive weeks of work.

alas, my little journal got neglected but I'm here now and I'm here to write. and friends, words shall be written!

(side note: I'm one paragraph in and the epic struggle I'm having deciding on appropriate punctuation given that I have no emojis at my disposal on this medium is a clear sign that I have a serious problem with those little cartoony delights. the extrovert in me rejoices in how expressive they are. and so in their absence, the extrovert in me feels somewhat handcuffed at the moment.)

Anyway, to motherhood right now! I can sum things up pretty quick (but you know I'm still going to elaborate) by saying it is THE best. It is the best best best. Motherhood right now is my heart exploding every time I look at this little human and try to comprehend where on earth she came from. I've concluded heaven. So, not earth I guess. Yes Heaven. How she is part me and part him. And how parts of the two of us came together in such a perfect little package. It's all just beyond me.

I joke sometimes (but am secretly serious in the way I'm sure other mama's & papa's understand) that I often feel like grabbing a bullhorn and announcing in whatever store I might be in, the following:

"Helloooooo and may I have your attention please. The MOST adorable, single cutest, positively hilarious and entirely scrumptious human being is sitting in this here stroller. I'm not sure if you've seen her yet? But if you haven't, it's worth a look. After all, this is the last time you will ever lay eyes on someone so completely delicious and divine. This is your chance. Look now or forever wish."

But I refrain. Probably to the delight of my fellow shop goers, unbeknownst to them.

Still, it's how I feel. This little person has absolutely stolen my heart and all those cliche's about a mama's love I now get and feel like I'm feeling all of them simultaneously. Perhaps this is a particularly juicy phase when it comes to all the mushy love stuff and I should be stockpiling stores of it for when we enter toddlerdome? I'll bookmark this post for future reading should that be the case.

Regardless, I am relishing in how sunny life is with her right now and with us as a family of three + fur baby. It is good. And I am grateful. Overwhelmingly grateful.


Month five (and a little bit of six) was a tough one with you fighting those viruses for 7 weeks. It was a long haul but you were incredible tough through it all. Even with your skin so inflamed and your whole body in such pain, you were as happy a baby as you could be. You and I were up almost every hour of the night those 7 weeks. It was tough but your dad and I worked tirelessly to keep you as comfortable as we could. Just looking back through all the pictures of that time (lots of pictures I had to take to show the doctors when we were working to get answers) and I get choked up. My heart breaks all over again thinking about you in pain and I'm just so grateful that's all behind us. 

Once we were able to get some creams to help calm your skin (even though the virus was still running it's course in your system), we got out and resumed our daily adventures and you were thrilled about that! Lots of walks in the woods with friends and family, coffee dates and zoo dates with our favourite people, playtime for you to practice your rolling and scooching, jolly jumping and exer-causing. We weathered the last several weeks of those viruses with great support from the village that loves you so much and slowly but surely life started to resemble normal again. 


Sooooo many developments around the time you turned 6 months! First of all, the viruses finally started to clear. And with that, your system seemed to fully recover. Back to your normal self, you decided rolling around was a means of travel and that was definitely the real start of you realizing moving is more fun than sitting still. Although I should note that you've always been on the move as much as possible. You'd rather be sitting up and looking out at what's going on than ever laying on your back or snuggling in towards whoever is holding you. We love that about you.

At six months you started fake laughing and coughing and you'd do it over and over again once you realized it cracked us up. Adorable. You also really started to giggle. And baby girl we're just fools for your giggles. We'll do anything to make you laugh and your laugh is like medicine in return. We can never get enough. 

At six months, you started to sit up without us having to support you and you even took a couple mini-crawls. You didn't get far, but it was clear crawling was just around the corner. Also, with the rash and those tough nights behind us you started sleeping in your crib consistently like a big girl. Those long nights of sleep in your own space were clearly a welcome relief to you as you caught up on so much lost sleep, and I was particularly thankful for them too! We all needed the rest and we were grateful to be getting it. 


Navy you are such a character at 7 months! Your personality is really starting to reveal itself and we just can't get enough. You can push yourself up into sitting position now from laying down, you can crawl (not fast yet, but you definitely cover some ground when you want to) and just this past weekend you pulled yourself up into a standing position on me and then 10 times in a row on the couch!! Ryan and I were in shock. We should have know you would be on the move soon, considering your robust physicality from day one. Still, it's just the most amazing sight to see your teensy little body moving here and there.

Physically, your body looks like a shrunk down adult. It is the cutest thing. You don't have one roll on you. You're the longest and leanest little bean. And just like your body, personality wise you seem to be a bit of an adult soul too. Everywhere we go, friends, family and strangers alike all seem to comment on how having you around is like having another person in the group vs. a baby in our midst. You fit in wherever we go and rarely require extra special/baby attention. You are so flexible, easygoing and happy. It is just the greatest pleasure to spend my days with you baby girl ♡

Jul 24, 2015

our life lately // vol. 10

Hello my little journal! Let me blow the dust off these keys so we can catch up a little. It's been too long!

May and nearly all of June we're a couple of challenging months to be sure. I'm not typically one to wish time would pass faster but those two months challenged my feelings about that. Navy came down with a rare collection of viruses and a terrible viral rash that though painful, was thankfully benign. It took us a while to see the right doctor who was able to finally diagnose her and calm our very frazzled nerves. Those two weeks of waiting and referrals and misdiagnosis were awful, I can honestly say. My first experience watching Navy suffer was more emotional than I could have prepared for. But instead of reliving the stressful moments which I'm so thankful are behind us, I'm finding it to be more edifying to reflect on what I've learned instead.

Most importantly, I learned that holding my breath through experiences like that does me no good. And in the beginning, that's what I was doing. We were furiously searching for answers, trying to make sure our little girl was getting the care she needed. And that was honourable and the right thing to do for sure. Other things in life pale in importance when the health or safety of a loved one is threatened. But holding my breath (literally and figuratively) waiting for this storm to pass, for Navy to be back to her usual self only added to the tension of the situation. I wanted the whole ordeal to just be behind us and for real life to resume so I could forget it and how scary it was.

But as I knew then even though it was hard to practice, and I very much know now, life is meant to be lived in each moment. It doesn't mean that every moment is easy. Far from it. But interspersed in those scary seven weeks, were beautiful moments. Every single day, there was beauty to be enjoyed if I was willing to see it. And tomorrow is never guaranteed. So regardless of hard a day might feel, I'm going to do my very best to see the good in it wherever I can. Once I started being mindful of my attitude in this regard, I found the weeks she continued to fight the viruses a lot more bearable. I also found my vision cleared and I was able to more assertively and confidently take action when I had too. My worry was replaced with gratitude for the good things and resolve to do something proactive about the challenging things. And that shift in countenance felt very good.

In early July we took a super quick trip to Vegas for the TPT Convention for my mom and my educational resource business. What a blast! We were there two days and it was a complete whirlwind. Ryan was papa on duty, ducking back to the Venetian convention centre at lunch time so I could nurse Navy in between sessions. It was the cutest. They had some serious quality time together (some shopping, sightseeing and even a solid day at the UFC Fan Expo haha :) and my mom and I left thoroughly inspired and motivated by the speakers and sessions we attended. 

We got back from Vegas absolutely exhausted in that 'soooo worth it' kind of way. Navy was amazing on the plane again, thankfully. So grateful for every flight she manages to take in stride. She's such a flexible and easy going baby. But even with a cool little cucumber of a gal, travelling with a little one in tow is certainly more work than when it was just the two of us. But we keep finding it to be totally worth it. Ryan and I were just chatting about this the other day … the adventure outweighs the inconveniences and challenges. So in that spirit, I hope we do our best to say yes to adventure whenever possible of the course of our lives. It's worth it. It really is. 

Apr 28, 2015

our life lately // vol. 8

When I scroll back through my blog or my Instagram account, I see I have so very many pictures of Ryan and I, Lincoln and now Navy. And oh how I love them. I realized today, however, that these digital memory vaults store a very tiny fraction of images of my friends and other family members  though, especially compared to how often we enjoy their company. We are so blessed to have a seriously healthy number of friends in our life. Many I've known virtually my whole life as well as several other's I've had the good fortune of meeting more recently. That kind of relationship security is something I count very high on my list of blessings. Knowing I have a friend or family member eager to visit virtually any day at any time, well, it makes a girl feel pretty loved I tell ya. 

Anyway, I think somewhere along the line I decided it would be ridiculous if I snapped a picture every time I met up with someone, considering I knew it was going to happen again real soon. But today! Today I broke my 'don't be crazy, snapping pictures all the time' rule and I snapped a couple pics to document our morning with my sweet cousin Danielle, who has only within the past year and a bit moved back to Calgary from Switzerland. She is a mom of four (4!! As if you could tell, given her porcelain skin and energy for dayyyyyyys) and I absolutely cherish her. She is a light to everyone around her and I am always better for enjoying her company. 

Ryan has been working pretty long hours lately, and we certainly miss him when that's the case. But I've come to understand that life ebbs and flows that way and that's ok. Because with these kinds of wonderful family and friends nearby, our days always seem to be filled with community and connection, joy and a deep sense of belonging. 

In Irish Wolfhound related news, Lincoln is a ham. The moodiest most dramatic pup, I swear. Today, as I attempted to take a couple glamour shots for his Instagram account (where's the laughing emoji when you need it, hey?) he appeared to be getting antsy for his supper. And then, I snapped this photo ⇡. It's almost like he was trying to tell me something haha. You'll be happy to know he was fed shortly after ;)

In friend/family related news, I am rethinking my 'Carli don't be silly and take pictures to document EVERYTHING' rule. Because these pics are fun, goshdarnit :)

Apr 25, 2015

our life lately // vol. 7


Navy, my mom and I were THE luckiest girls in all the land a few weeks ago. Ryan was going to be out of town (in Phoenix, the lucky duck) for work one weekend. Coincidentally, it was my mom's cousin's 60th birthday party that same weekend in Chilliwack. So the three of us flew out to celebrate with our family out there and to enjoy the beautiful BC countryside. 

My mom has said, for years now, that she would love it if I made it out to BC to meet my cousins on her side (technically my second cousins). And while a couple of us had met in passing, yearrrrrs ago, it honestly felt like we'd never really spent any time together. So when my mom invited Navy and I to finally make the meet-up happen, we jumped at the very sweet opportunity, packed our bags and got ready for a weekend of family and fun. 

To say our my cousins in Chilliwack immediately felt like family is an understatement. Kindred spirits is more like it. My mom's family out there are simply the most hospitable people I have ever met. Just the most gracious hosts with the warmest hearts. 

⇡ Our little cabin at Auntie Alma's ⇡
⇡ Martha Stewart eat your heart out, Auntie Alma knows what's up ⇡
⇡ My mom's cousin's daughters, so my second cousins, my mom and I. But let's just call these girls my cousin-sisters, because sisters feels more like it. Though some of us hadn't met until this weekend and others had met only once, it turns out we are kindred spirits through and through. I just love them to bits. ALSO! Danielle has since had her baby!! A sweet little boy named Nash who we can't wait to meet! ⇡
⇡ Navy making herself comfortable in our cozy cabin ⇡

For me, the good life is all about the kind, wonderful people I'm fortunate enough to share mine with. So when you get the change to go on a little adventure and spend time with some especially wonderful people you just happen to be related to, well you gotta count your many blessings, I say. I left this weekend with new friendships forged and a deep gratitude for the loved ones, near and far, that make my life feel so incredibly rich. 

Apr 22, 2015

motherhood // Navy at 4 months

Oh sweet goodness, our little baby girl is four months old.  I feel like four months means that you're really, officially out of the new born stage and ouch. It kinda hurts to think about that. I remember the early days with a misty-eyed nostalgia already, as crazy as that sounds. They were so sweet and so sacred. And raw, too. Fumbling our way through the first steps of parenthood, bleary eyed and sleep deprived. My body healing from the physical challenge of my life, my spirit bursting with pride and a new found sense of self assuredness from rising to meet that challenge. All consuming love like I've never known, and overwhelming responsibility that was exactly that…overwhelming. 

For all its ups and downs, those first couple months felt like the honeymoon stage of parenthood. We were caught up in the whirlwind of new parenthood and pretty much nothing else mattered. I remember being discharged by our midwives when Navy was about six weeks old and though they were so gentle and patient in wrapping up our postnatal care, I couldn't help but feel like we had been swiftly ushered out the door of the coziest newborn bed and breakfast when in our hearts, we weren't ready for the vacation to end. So. I decided then and there to savour the newness of the experience that remained in my heart and held on to the "newborn" stage a little longer. Sure, we got out and saw friends many days of the week. Antisocial, we are not (haha). But I didn't rush back to real life, to sleep schedules, to meal planning, to trying to sneak a little work in here and there during naps. No. We relished in our baby honeymoon a little longer and it. was. glorious. 

And now, here we are. With a little four month old daughter and life as parents is starting to feel more and more normal. The honeymoon, insofar as you'd mark it on a calendar, is behind us. But the very best parts of it…it's essence… lingers like a fragrance in the air. It was a season for me to learn to be present and to learn to be still. To not worry so much about the "to-do's'' and the "should do's" but to savour the "probably won't happen again"s and the "this is what life is all about"s. 

We're finding a happy balance these days, and I am intensely grateful for the collected wisdom I've received that decided to take up permanent and unflinching residence in my sometimes overachieving and stubborn heart; it is a wisdom that guides me as I try, moment by moment, to be the best mama I can be. 


Navy, you are a spicy, energetic, seemingly extroverted (wonder where you get that from ;) happy little girl! You are rolling around these days and not just back and forth. Oh no. You've determined that rolling is a means of transportation and you are going places! I have a feeling you plan to keep us on your toes. You insist on standing on our laps…very little sitting for you! You Jolly Jump and Exer-saucer as long as we let you. And then, when we pick you up, you insist on Jolly Jumping some more in our arms. 

You have energy for days, and because you're rarely cranky, I sometimes forget you're such a young baby and you need your naps. These days I'm focusing a bit more on making sure you get your precious sleep, whether in my arms, in your stroller on our long dog walks or in your beloved swing.

We're back out walking with Lincoln daily now, and you love our walks. Most of the time you're in the stroller, but recently I've started wearing you in your carriers occasionally. You seem to really like them, most especially when you are facing outwards. Hello extraverted tendencies! :) 

You speak in a variety of voices these days. Sometimes soft coos, sometimes croaky squeals and more recently bubbles with sounds. You smirk when you blow bubbles, like you know how cute you look. And cute you are, little lady.

You follow us around the room from your exer-saucer and jolly jumper. You reach out for toys with both hands. When we're out at the dog park lately, you grab your feet with each hand. It's very yogic of you ;) You light up when you see Lincoln coming over to give you kisses and your eyes flutter with delight as he does. It blesses me to no end to see how tender and affectionate he is with you, and how much you seem to enjoy his adoration. You will be great friends. 

You've started playing with us, and that has just got to be the cutest! We'll kiss your neck or pretend to gobble up your hands and you throw your neck back or extend your hands up like you want more. It is so rewarding to see that little smile stretch across your face because of something we've done. 

You absolutely melt our hearts and we fall more in love with you each day. What a special little soul you are. 

Painted & Polished. All rights reserved. BLOG DESIGN BY Labinastudio.