Painted & Polished

Jan 17, 2015

motherhood // Navy at 1 month

Our little Navy girl is one month old as of last Monday and I can hardly believe that much time has already passed. This first month with her has been nothing short of extraordinary on so many levels. The first few days were a high like I've never experienced. Thank you, body, for all that post-delivery oxytocin ;) I think I stayed awake for three days straight just soaking in every detail…reliving the total magic of her birth, studying her brand new little body, looking over at Ryan who knows how many times to ask him 'did we seriously just have a baby and is she seriously right here in my arms?!'. Honestly those first few days were total magic. Transformative in a way I could never have anticipated, despite how hard I tried to imagined. 

Since those first few days, we've had so many milestones. Uncontrollable crying because I've never known this kind of love and I'm positively overwhelmed by it's purity and goodness? Check. Uncontrollable crying because I've never been so humbled by such an emotional and challenging new experience? Check. Jumping for joy when this tiny little person poops? Check. Jumping for SO MUCH JOY when she smiles those perfect little gummy smiles at you? Check! Night time naps for me while Ryan tags in on cuddle duty? Check. Nursing in mall parking lots? So. Many. Checks. My heart melting into a puddle every night when Ryan comes home and can't wait to hold his little baby girl and tell her how much he loves her? Check. Feeling so grateful for time with my mom and being overwhelmed by how much she must love me because of how much I love Navy and feeling like for the first time… I really get that. CHECK. Several dinner dates out with Ryan while Navy slept in her carseat beside us? Yay for those checks! Bursting with a little bit of new mom pride pulling into my garage after Navy and I successfully completed our first full day on the road to visit my Beppe (Grandma) out of town? Check. And a little more uncontrollable crying because it's all just so wonderful and new and overwhelming and challenging and indescribable and all consuming and who knows what else but its all just sooooooo good and soooooooo much? Check check check. 

In some ways this last month feels like it's flown by. But when I stop and really reflect on it, I'm entirely delighted by what we've accomplished. While I spent the majority of most days at home, resting, healing and getting to know our little girl I feel like we also managed to squeeze in a lot of 'maybe we're getting the hang of this' firsts. And that is super encouraging to look back on. We really don't want to rush this stage, so I'm not feeling any pressure to get back to regular life at this point. And yet, the odd 'normal life' thing we've peppered in has felt like a total triumph funnily enough. Sneaking out to five guys to grab a burger. Enjoying a 30 minute soak in the tub at night while Ryan cuddles Navy. Grabbing a coffee with a girlfriend. Spontaneously deciding to go out for pizza at 7pm. Roadtripping to meet the great grandparents. Sneaking in the occasional mini walk with Ryan, Navy and Lincoln, basking in this unseasonably warm winter weather and soul soothing sunshine. All these things that used to be routine and were too easily taken for granted have felt like luxuries this past month, with little Navy being so new. And for that reason, they've become sweeter than I could have ever thought possible. 

When I look back on this first month with our baby girl, I'm going to remember these things. I'm going to remember that this was the most joyful, emotional, challenging, exciting and positively beautiful month of my life. I'm going to remember that life slowed down, that my heart grew in ways I couldn't imagine and that life had never felt so sweet or so full of potential. 


Little Navy! My how you've changed since that Friday morning we locked eyes for the very first time. Even then, straight out of the water you were strong enough to do a push up on my chest and look me and your dad. I'll never forget that perfect moment. And since your birthday you've been searching us out ever since. At first, a bit fuzzy like you were looking around us but not right at us. But in the last couple weeks it's amazing how much more you see. You look right at us, and even track another person as they come into your field of view. 

You alternate between a cute furrowed brown and the most adorable gummy smile as you learn to flex all those sweet little face muscles of yours. You smile with your whole face and whoever the lucky recipient is of that smile registers pure joy on their face in response. Honestly, if I could, I'd film every person's reaction as they see you smile at them. That *might* come close to depicting what an incredible joy you are and what joy you bring to those around you. 

One of our favourite things is when you smirk at us like you've got a little secret and then you burst into the happiest, gummiest smile that lights up your entire face. We could just about fall off our chair when you do it! 

You coo and 'speak' sooooo much these days. I can't believe how vocal you are. We love to listen to you as you tell us your little newborn stories. You swing your arms and kick your legs with such strength for a newborn, giving great animation to your storytelling. In the mornings, you grunt as you wake up and it's just the cutest thing. A gentler wake up call for me than crying, so thank you for that ;) And lately, when someone else is holding you, you're even turning your head when I start speaking. It's humbling and heartwarming to think that you're learning my voice and that it comforts you.  

Navy, we are amazed by you and we love you more than we could ever say!

Jan 12, 2015

our life lately // vol. 6

It's 1 in the morning. The house is quiet and calm, still twinkling with Christmas lights and Christmas trees who should have long since been packed away except that I can't seem to part with them and the beautiful glow they've provided as I navigated my way through these first days of motherhood. Middle of the night nursing and long mid-day naps and visits with the bounty of friends and family who've come over to meet our little lady have all been made that much more cozy by these seasonal and twinkly little friends of mine. It may seem trivial, something as simple as leaving our Christmas decor up a few days longer but this warm environment…everything that went into making this house our home over the last 11 months and seeing our space all cozy for Christmas…well it's felt like a hug really. Our little nest, the very space Navy was born in and the same space that has comforted us as we learned how to comfort her, has become this treasured part of this journey. Home has never felt more like home to me than now. 

Even at 1 am. I used to hate being up in the middle of the night. It felt unsettling to be awake while everyone else was sleeping. It used to feel lonely. But now its so much more! It's precious, quiet and tender time with my baby girl. It's midnight belly rubs with Lincoln after Navy's fallen asleep. It's the feelings of a heart so full it might burst when I look at my sleeping husband, resting after his long day's work, walking Lincoln, helping clean the house and cuddling his baby girl all night long so he can have that special time with her and so I can rest in anticipation of another night peppered with nursing sessions and newborn cuddles. It's me sleepily padding out of our room with Navy in my arms, en route to our favourite little corner of the couch, our path gently lit by the cozy Christmas lights that twinkle all night long in anticipation of these mid-night nursing sessions. 

It's all just felt like an embrace. A warm, welcoming embrace into motherhood. And I know its the people who really make this house feel like a home. And the puppy too! Let us not forget sweet Lincoln ;)  But this house…this space that sheltered us we welcomed Navy into this world…this space that's provided soothing rest when we most needed it…this personalized space, that when sleep evades us, is cozy enough to provide comfort while we wait for sleep to find us…well, I'm just so incredibly grateful for it. 

Life lately, has been firmly rooted in this space. We've been intentional about taking our time to adjust to parenthood and not overly eager to rush back to the hustle of everyday life. I've never spent so much time at home in my life, and I've never been more grateful for my home than over these past four weeks. Navy was born into this home, I've healed in this home, we've navigated the first weeks of parenthood together in this home, we've laughed and cried in this home, we've been blessed by the good company and love of friends and family in this home. Right now, as we savour these newborn weeks, this physical space feels like a vessel filled to the brim with the people and the moments I love. It has bore witness to my journey into motherhood and it has provided us every comfort along the way. So while there's been the odd errand run and social gathering, the majority of our first four weeks of parenthood and of little Navy's sweet life have been enjoyed right here at home. Life lately feels nested and rooted. Rich in everything that matters, all of which has been enjoyed in the warm comfort of our home. 

Jan 8, 2015

Navy Maya

Ryan and I with Navy at home on the day she was born ♡

Our sweet little Navy Maya was born at home on her due date, Friday December 12th, happy, healthy and entirely perfect. She has completely stolen our hearts. Its amazing, and nearly impossible to describe, those feelings of meeting her for the first time. Part of you understands that you're meeting this sweet little being for the very first time. But there's another part, deep in your heart, that recognizes her as though you've known her your whole life. The excitement of newness and the unmistakable comfort of familiarity all at once.

These last few weeks of adjusting to life with Navy have been so wonderful and all-consuming. We've slipped out of normal life and into the beautiful and hazy space that is life after the most perfect gift has arrived. I know in the coming weeks, we'll start to carve out a new rhythm of what our normal life will look like with little Navy in the mix. But for now, we are doing everything in our power to slow down, ignore the usual daily to-do's and remain contentedly lost in this new and wonderful time with our baby girl. 

Dec 9, 2014

motherhood // pregnancy

Soooo many feelings these days. Which shouldn't come as a surprise for all the hormones I've got flowing through my body these days. But honestly, I'm not sure I've ever felt this reflective in all my life. And that's saying something for this … shall we say….. habitual over-analyzer ;) Something about the magnitude of this new little person joining our family has really sunk in these past couple months. As we get closer to meeting her it's like my heart and mind are competing over who can be consumed more fully with what life will be like in a few short weeks. My mind goes through all the hypothetical scenarios of 'I wonder how will we do _insert every day activity here_ with baby in the mix?' and 'do I have enough freezer food prepared for the first few weeks while we adjust?' and 'how do you actually put a baby properly in a car seat?' and so on. All that mental stuff I tend to run through my mind a million times to be sure. Sure that I'm sure, you know?

But my heart! Oh, my heart. That's an entirely different exercise. Sometimes I look around the house, say at a favourite picture of Ryan or something, and I imagine him in that picture holding our little girl on one of our future adventures. Or I'll catch myself cooking dinner, imagining what that will feel like when she's here with us. And my heart feels so full it literally aches. It aches with happiness and anticipation and wonder and gratitude and who knows what else to create such a wonderful feeling but it's alllll there. Sometimes I'll be thinking about her, so those feelings rising up and taking my breath away are somewhat expected. But sometimes, the slightest thing will trigger my heart and I'm just totally washed over by an all consuming love and anticipation. 

The nearness of her arrival has these feelings intensifying by the day and just can't help but slow down and be present to it all. It truly is such a unique and special time. 

What I want to remember about right now:
  • That though I'm so incredibly excited to meet our little girl, I'm also grateful for each minute that Ryan and I get to enjoy it being just the two of us. I'm deeply thankful, everyday, that 12 years with this man has only made my heart grow fonder of his company as we walk through life together. Thinking about this little girl joining a family who love's one another so deeply is truly a dream come true. 
  • On a lighter note, I am now officially a snorer for the first time in my life (womp womp) aaaaand the least graceful person to get in and out of bed. It's not pretty. What's more, something about the pressure of the baby on my lungs sometimes has me involuntarily grunting as I wriggle myself out of bed. I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's a glamorous life over here ;)
  • Waddling. People, the struggle is real! Baby has dropped and with her magnificent descent has gone any shred of gracefulness I had left. Only consolation for my tee-toddling gate? Baby is in great position and for that we're super grateful. 
  • Speaking of said fantastic position…her little feet are constantly nestled in my right side and it might just be the cutest thing ever. Often, when she pushes, you can feel two distinct little feet with your hands. Ryan can too! It's just amazing. I'm so curious to see all of her movements once she joins us here on the outside :) 
  • Days away from my due date, the text messages, emails and phone calls have really started to pour in. Friends and family checking in to see how we're doing. It's truly humbling to be reminded, at times like these, how many wonderful people we have in our life who love us and care deeply about us. This little girl is so fortunate to be welcomed by the 'village' of people who make our lives so love-filled and special. 
  • Being pregnant all these months has felt so slow and so fast, kind of just the way I had hoped. I say this to Ryan often. The time feels like it's gone by fast in that we're here, nearing the finish line and I can't even believe we're going to meet this baby girl of ours so soon. In the same breath, these last 9 months have been some of the most lovely months of my life. We've travelled and adventured, settled into a new home and beautiful neighbourhood, savoured tons of time with family and dear friends (old and new) and just really relished this remaining time as a family of two + our sweet boy Lincoln.

♡ ♡   Baby girl, we're just beside ourselves with excitement and gratitude as we await your arrival. Whenever you're ready, we'll be here to welcome you with arms wide open ♡ 

Nov 27, 2014


On November 2nd I got to celebrate my 30th birthday with this growing little family of mine and it was  just perfect. The overcast weather showed up as if by request, which may seem unusual but just makes my heart sing. Cloudy, drizzly days are one of my love languages I swear :) Ryan had asked me several times what I wanted to do for my birthday and, after jumping through a million mental hoops trying to convince myself that I wanted a big party or something, I realized that all I wanted was a leisurely day with my family. And so that's what we did and it was wonderful. 

In the early morning we went adventuring down by the river with Lincoln, all bundled up for the cold front. After that we went to my favourite little coffee shop cabin here in town and really caught up with each other. Its amazing what a couple hours of really talking can reveal about the person you spend every day of your life with. We do our best to catch up each day and make special time for one another, but every now and then, a day like my birthday rolls around where the conversation just flows and my heart could just burst with joy and gratitude as I get to know this man all over again. 

The rest of the day was leisurely and included a lovely lunch with my family (those who are still nearby that is (we miss you Chad, Karly & Miranda!)…My Dad was able to fly back from a project in Montreal to be there to celebrate for the day, which was so special). 

Overall, I spent most of the day reflecting on the immense gratitude I feel for this life I've been given. It's easy to get bogged down with everyday life and sure, I experience worries, concerns and frustrations as much as the next person. None of us are immune to those real life things. But when I really stop and reflect, I am truly overwhelmed with gratitude. And any worries or frustrations I might have been feeling seem to melt away as I consider the bigger picture and how blessed I am. Every now and then, a special day comes along that seems to engage my heart and mind in this understanding even stronger than the day before. My birthday was just such a day.

Oct 31, 2014

our life lately // vol. 5


Oh goodness! Has life ever been busy and wonderful lately. Its seems the closer we get to little baby's due date, the more our errands, conversations, interactions and events are influenced by the excitement over her arrival. A couple of weekends ago was no exception. On October 18th my mother-in-law and sisters-in-law hosted the most beautiful baby shower for our family and baby girl. So many of my family, family-in-law and friends were able to be there. And those who couldn't be there were so thoughtful in sending heartfelt messages, cards and even gifts in their absence. Honestly, it was a lot to process. It reminded me of the overwhelming love I felt at our wedding, looking out at all the faces in the church who had showed up to witness our ceremony and support us in our commitment. 

To be in a room surrounded by so many women I love and respect was an overwhelming blessing. As I did the gift opening, I remember saying 'I am going to have one seeeerrriously long and incredibly cathartic cry to myself later tonight because this is overwhelming'. And it was. The decorations were stunning, the food was incredible, the gifts were beyond generous and the genuine authenticity of beloved women of all ages coming together to wish us well in this new journey was a beauty all its own. 

Later that evening we met up at home. Ryan had had a long day and I was feeling that good ol' pregnancy tired that's been sneaking up on me from time to time on days when I've exerted myself more than normal. But regardless of how tired we both felt, something in us wanted to spend a little time in her nursery. So we sat on the floor while I recapped the shower for him. Slowly, in the low light of her sweet little nursery, we unpackaged gifts, read cards and reflected a bit on the magnitude of this little person joining our family and the many people already a part of our extended family who chose to shower her with love that day ... before they've even set eyes on her. We both agreed, we are so very blessed and grateful ♡

Oct 16, 2014

Creating Character in Our Home ~ 14/31


A while back, while reading Young House Love, I fell in love with their idea of a custom console table for their Ikea Karlstad sectional. This was back in our previous home, long before we had a Karlstad of our own. Regardless, the idea stuck and I couldn't wait to make one of our own once we moved into our current home. 

The upstairs entertainment room in our current home is quite large with 9'4" ceilings. It was definitely one of the selling features of the home for us considering how small our last entertainment den was. That said, this spacious room comes with a challenge: as much as I love them, spacious and lofty rooms sometimes lack coziness. It's the catch 22 of moving into a larger space. You'd like a bit more space to spread out in but you miss the coziness your more cramped quarters seemed to come by rather naturally. 

This has kind of become my mission with this particular room: embrace the gained square footage we've always wanted (and are glad to have) while decorating in a way that makes the room feel intimate, cozy and relaxed. And one of the most effective decorative principles I've found is working wonders with this mission is scale. Furniture has to be just right…not too big and not too small. So once we decided on the components that would make our Karlstad just the right size, it became quickly apparent that though it was expansive, it wasn't quite deep enough to balance out length of the room. That's where our custom console came in. It bumps the couch into the room by about 14" while providing a great landing spot for lighting, drinks and movie snacks. 

Ryan built the console to run the exact length of the couch, which gives it a nice custom feel. And while I don't have plans (he kind of winged it….hello Mr. Handy!) or progress pics to share, I can say it took us about one full day of work split between a couple weekends. The Kreg Jig got a serious workout and I made my first attempt at white washing as a finish. More on that later. He was also kind enough to heed my request for a couple of decorative cubbies for me to store….more baskets! The poor man. He's so patient with my basket habit ;) 

Overall, we absolutely love the piece. It's fits our space just the way we wanted it to and it's another DIY project in our home that reminds us how much fun it is to tackle projects together as we work to personalize our space.