Maintaining My Sense of Self (and sanity)…

I must admit, motherhood is most definitely an all-consuming job and lately, I have been struggling with maintaining a sense of self in the process. I love my little bean so completely that I have found myself putting me on the back burner. Yep, there are times I forget to brush my teeth, to eat, and makeup…well, that has simply become an extravagance!

So, as mentioned in my previous post and to reinforce my sanity, one of my top goals for the New Year is to concentrate on myself outside of motherhood. Or rather, to not lose myself within this new role of motherhood. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE being a mother. I love watching my little bean explore the world, one finger at a time. I love providing comfort and snuggles. I love his wide, curious eyes and his sideways smile. But I have to remind myself that in order for me to be the best possible role model for him, I need to take care of myself.

You musn't be afraid to sparkle.

I typically curate my inspirations via Pinterest and then quickly forget all about them, but this year, I plan to hold myself a little more accountable by sharing my style inspirations with all of you and actually taking action…

banana republic loafers | late afternoon

…like purchasing these leopard loafers from Banana Republic (that no longer seem to be available…argh!). Although, I love the whole outfit – the distressed boyfriend jeans, the striped sweater, the chunky bracelets…very casual chic!

scarf + hat + red lipsOr buying and wearing more hats because 1) I seem to have a permanent bad hair day lately, and 2) a hat can truly pull together any look (paired with red lips and a chunky scarf and you’ve got yourself a complete ensemble!).

Triangle Symétrie BraceletAnd wearing more simple, quality jewelry like this piece.

These are all tangible, purchasable things, of course, but beyond that, they inspire me to really develop and refine my personal flair. More importantly, it inspires me to be more confident and comfortable with myself.

A couple more ways I hope to pamper myself:

Silver + neonGet more manicures….

image…learn a few tricks to get me out of this bad hair funk. The key is quick and easy!

Victoria's Secret Model's Full-Body Workout..…and (gulp) workout! Even if for a few minutes at home. This workout is a great place to start. I’ve done it a few times already and I can actually feel my muscles working.

For all you moms out there, what do you do to maintain a sense of self (and sanity)? And how do you pamper yourself?

Bring It On…

imageHappy New Year! Is it really 2014 already? I’m so excited for what this year will bring. With a new accessory on my arm – my handsome little man – I am already flying high.

I have no doubt this year will be a thrilling one!

Looking back on 2013, however, I realize that I was a bit lost. I was somewhere between motherhood and wanting so badly to hold on to my autonomy. I wanted everything and nothing at the same time – I wanted to become the best mother possible, I wanted to be that perfect homemaker (there’s that word again; perfect), but I also wanted to let loose, have fun, feel young again, and somehow rediscover my life’s purpose. I suppose I was afraid of losing myself and couldn’t grasp the fact that I could have all of these things and more (aside from perfection). I wasn’t unhappy, but I think this confusion caused quite a bit of strife within my mind.

Are there others out there who have felt this way?

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But this year, it is my resolution to let go of those petty annoyances, enjoy the small things, and to revel in motherhood. And instead of floating in a limbo of worries and insecurities, I hope to adjust my purpose and rediscover myself – a happier and more positive self. Because truly, what isn’t there to be happy about?!

Munchkin Face

Seriously, how does one NOT smile at that face?! Makes my heart melt.

Yes, this is the year of good thoughts and passionate living. It will be a year full of little giggles, sparkling eyes, and bubbly toes. But I also hope to concentrate on myself outside of motherhood; refine my style, rediscover my creativity, live a healthier lifestyle, and fall in love with myself again.

I mean, what’s not to love…?

A “few” more resolutions I have:

  • Stop waiting and start living – take more risks and go outside my comfort zone.
  • Don’t dwell on the past.
  • Have more fun! Put aside to-do lists and instead, concentrate on what makes me happy.
  • Laugh more. Don’t take life so seriously.
  • Be more patient, loving, and affectionate.
  • Put heart into everything I do.
  • Be the best mom that I can be. Have fun, treasure every moment with my little guy, and let him experience the world and grow at his own pace.
  • Do something creative every day.
  • Paint a picture.
  • Take a photography class.
  • Join a mom’s group.
  • Find studio space.
  • Run at least 2 races
  • Start yoga.

Tell me, how do you plan to love yourself more this year?

I am so ready 2014. Bring it on!

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For a little extra motivation, you can purchase this print here.

Baby Advice from a Recovering Perfectionist…

My little guy is a little over a month old now and my God, it has been such an incredible learning experience. As all mothers know, raising a child is hard. The worries, the sleepless nights, the constant crying that pulls at your heart strings… motherhood is most definitely not for the feint of heart! But that innocent and content face and those inquisitive eyes make it all so worthwhile. It still boggles my mind that I actually cooked this guy up for nine months and now he’s this living, breathing, beautiful little person. Just…WOW.

Sleepy Head copy

What surprises me most of all, however, are the many things I have discovered about myself in the process. The boundless patience and newfound ability to calm myself down, the incredible instinct to nurture and protect, the desire to be the best that I can be while allowing myself room to make mistakes, and the amazing capacity to thrive on little to no sleep! Don’t get me wrong, deep down inside of me is still this person that strives for perfection, but luckily the more logical, sane, and imperfect part of me has taken the drivers seat.

So, from one new mom to another, here are a few words of advice from a recovering perfectionist:

1. LET IT GO. That mess will still be there for you to clean tomorrow. Your post-partum belly will not disappear in a day, a week, or even a month. And your precious little package (aka…baby) will not die if slightly off his feeding schedule. Instead, get some rest! TRUST ME. Letting it go is the best that you can do for yourself and for everyone around you. (And sometimes I need to learn to take my own advice…!)

Co-Sleeping copy

2. Speaking of a feeding schedule, and for those that are breastfeeding: DON’T PANIC if your babe doesn’t feed by the books. I still struggle with this one, but it’s imperative to your sanity and peace of mind. Putting it nicely, most babies become pretty darn vocal when hungry. If they seem perfectly content after a feed, and if they are gaining the appropriate weight, there is no need to freak out. This said by the Queen of Freaking Out.

3. DON’T BE AFRAID. I’ve heard stories of mothers that are too afraid of making one little mistake to handle their own baby. Fortunately, babies are malleable, squishy little creatures. They are meant to be handled, cradled, snuggled, and often contorted into awkward positions. They will be ok, and so will you. Just give them that hands on comfort they will inevitably crave…and scream for.

Me & My Guy_edited-1

Snuggles

4. Watch out for what I have dubbed as the “MONSTER PHASE.” It is something I am currently experiencing and I cannot understand for the life of me why this phenomenon isn’t more often vocalized by mothers around the world. For all you newbies and moms-to-be out there, if you think you have a quiet, sweet baby…just wait until the 6 week mark. I will tell you now, shit will hit the fan. That innocent baby of yours will become the devil reincarnated. This may last for a few days and even up to a few weeks for some of you poor souls out there. If you hear nothing else, hear this: it will get better! Those horrific screams will slowly subside into laughter and smiles. At least, that’s what I have been told…

5. Lastly, if you do choose to breast feed, don’t ever let anyone undermine your feelings of frustration and despair. Breastfeeding can be hard. It puts all the pressure of sustenance onto one human being. Add to that the fact that you are feeding every 2 hours or so and you quickly begin to feel like nothing more than a milk machine! And yes, there may be production problems, allergy problems, and/or extreme gassiness problems. I’ve already had numerous meltdowns over breast feeding and have on occasion substituted formula just to give myself a break. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT, feel like a failure if you choose to give your baby formula sometimes or all of the time. I was a formula fed baby and I turned out ok (if I do say so myself!) so turn a deaf ear to any naysayers out there! No one knows what’s best for you and your baby but you.

Perfectionist or not, the most important thing you can do is enjoy this time with your little one. Despite the screams, despite the messy house and dirty diapers and the sleepless nights, take pride in this little human you created and remember, there is a very bright, sparkling light at the end of this tunnel. It will all be worth it in the end!

Cutie Pie copyHead Shot 2Smiles copyI'm Awesome copy

ps….for all you non-mommas out there, I will get back to the basics soon! Please bare with me while I revel in babydom for just a little longer Smile

Quick Thought of the Day.

While I am still in my “overhaul” process, I quickly wanted to reach out and welcome my recent new readers – thank you for following and I hope that I don’t disappoint!

Running a blog can be such a blessing and a curse. A blessing because it gives you the opportunity to reach out to a community that would otherwise be completely unknown to you and share yourself. You’re able to put your thoughts, your passions and desires, your soapbox opinions, and every ounce of feeling out into the world the moment your are thinking or feeling them. And it provides such an amazing sense of freedom, accomplishment, and joy that there are people out there actually listening.

But on the same hand, it also produces a sense of terror…holy crap, there are people out there actually LISTENING! That thought can stop you in your tracks. It’s truly terrifying to realize that you are sending a part of yourself into this unknown world, a part of yourself that you can never really get back. Once it’s out there, it’s out there. The moment you hit “PUBLISH,” there’s this overwhelming feeling of Oh. My. God. What have I done. And that is a feeling that never really goes away.

But you quickly realize, as much as this blog gives you the opportunity to share yourself – some of which you may regret down the road – it also gives others the chance to share themselves. If my blog can offer the slightest bit of inspiration, or provide even the smallest sounding board, or simply gives others a chance to learn from my mistakes, then that is inspiration enough for me.

So thank you, dear readers, for following, for listening, and for inspiring me in return! You are all a Godsend and a blessing.

Thank you

Indeed!

Oh yes, and please, feel free to comment at any time. Don’t be shy! I get sick of my own thoughts sometimes so I would love to hear your own. If there is something you would like to see more of, or less of, or if you have any specific opinions and/or suggestions – do share! Your comments (even negative ones as long as they are constructive) are the fuel to my fire.

Xoxo.

No Apologies…

Be yourselfWith motherhood looming, I find myself re-examining myself and this thing called Life. Not that I’ve been unhappy, but I have been in a bit of a rut for what seems like years, coasting through life rather than actually living it.

Sometimes, I think I just feel so much that I become overwhelmed, overstimulated, and over-sensitive to the world around me. So I simply shut down, out of fear I suppose. Fear of failure, fear of disappointment, fear of not living up to expectations, fear of judgment.

I look at all the other amazing and inspirational blogs out there and think, “wow, why can’t I write like that? Or decorate like that? Or cook like that? Or even look like that?” Where  is my sense of style and creativity? Where is my passion? Where is my personality? And how did others get to be so lucky? These are questions I ask myself with a growing sense of dread. I will never be perfect…

But perfection isn’t what we should be striving for. Character is what we should be striving for, with all of its ups and downs, its messiness, its risks, its heartbreaks and failures, its grace, its pride, and above all, its love.

No one is perfect, no matter how hard they make themselves appear so, and I am no exception. But, taking a little inspiration from this post, I am offering no apologies.

I don’t apologize that:

My house isn’t clean 98.8% of the time. I have berated myself for this time and time again because somehow, I got it in my head that my house should be 100% magazine ready 100% of the time. This reach for perfection has led to many a tear, more than one argument, and a crap ton of needless stress. For what? So I can brag that I have a clean house? Ridiculous.

My photography skills are less than amateur. I have no idea how to work my camera most of the time, and Photoshop still requires a huge learning curve. But it is a work in progress and something that I can actually see developing into a passion.

I DO NOT jump out of bed with a smile on my face every morning. In fact, there are some days, even weeks, when just getting out of bed at all is a struggle. More often than I care to admit, I wake up grumpy. Grumpy as hell. Sometimes, I remain grumpy all day. And yeah, this makes me feel pretty damn guilty, which makes me even grumpier. But hey, I wouldn’t be able to appreciate my happiness without a little bit (or a lot…) of grumpiness thrown in there, right?

I cook only because I have to, not because I like to. And by no means do I cook gourmet meals. Or even attempt to. I’m a chicken and rice kind of girl. Like, salt and peppered chicken in a skillet and a box of flavored rice. Sometimes I’ll go out of my way and mash some potatoes instead. To give myself a little credit though, I do try to go fresh and organic as much as possible. And I always have a side of veggies.

My closet is NOT full of brand name clothing. Kohls, Old Navy, and Target have become my staples (actually, I recently discovered Steinmart, which will now be added to the circulation). This isn’t to say that I’m not into fashion – I actually do try to keep up with the trends, but in a casual, comfortable, and frugal kind of way. And honestly, I’m in yoga pants more often than not these days, so…don’t judge.

I snack far too often on cookies rather than carrots. I like my carbs. So what? Particularly in this last trimester of pregnancy. I dream of cookies. But every darn time I have that delicious morsel, that little voice in the back of my head screams at me, “don’t you want to fit back into your post-pregnancy clothes?! What the hell is wrong with you? Carrots, carrots, carrots! Cookies are the devil!” And then, because I feel so damn guilty, I grab another cookie.

I work out spontaneously – at best. I love going for a walk on those beautiful, sunny days. Before I was pregnant, I would even break into a run. And on those not so great days, I will very occasionally motivate myself to go to the gym, but that is only because I ate those extra cookies…otherwise, like most people, I count cleaning the house as exercise.

And I am scared to death of becoming a mother. Sometimes, I can hardly take care of myself, and very soon I will have another human being totally and completely dependent on me. This innocent, tender-hearted being for me to shape and mold and build into a man. Hopefully, a good man. No, a great man. And, dear God, that is a great responsibility that I can only hope to live up to. Where do I even begin?

But that last point there, that is really why I am re-examining my life. Because while I know I will not be perfect, I want to be the best version of me that I can possibly be. And I don’t think I am there yet.

You see, I want to live my life with pure intention and joy, rather than basing it around to-do lists and petty insecurities. I want to find enjoyment in the small things, rather than enduring them with machine-like intensity. And I want to stop hiding behind this façade of perfection, let go of my fears, and embrace this messy, chaotic life…because heck, life is only what you make of it! To me, that is the greatest lesson one can ever share with a child: to live life to its fullest.

So, with ALL of that said, my friends, I am going to take a week or two off in order to give myself and this little blog o’ mine an overhaul. Because I believe that a part of living with intention is writing with intention, and I think I have been failing in that respect.

Of course, there will still be plenty of posts about fashion, home décor, and DIY because frankly, that’s where my passion lies. But I will be writing only about what truly and honestly inspires me – not about what I think you want to hear – with the hopes that it will inspire you too. I also hope to insert a little more of my very imperfect self: my beliefs, my frustrations and heartaches, my fears and insecurities, my progressions and successes, and little tidbits of my daily thoughts. ME.

Because truly, what’s the sense in writing if not from the heart? The very best I can offer you is myself and for that I have no apologies.

XOXO. I will be back soon.

What’s On My Registry…

With just a little over two months to go and a baby shower coming up next weekend (woo hoo!) I wanted to share with you a few things from my registry.

Now, if you’re expecting and anything like me, you were – or are – absolutely clueless as to where to start. I actually began creating my registry at about month 3, researching some of the big ticket, gender-neutral items. And of course, in perfect Kristen fashion, I began stressing. I finally calmed down once I discovered the gender of my little bean (around week 22) and realized Aha!This should actually be a FUN process, not a stressful one! So, keeping my registry private, I then went a little crazy and began adding whatever struck my fancy.

Baby Giraffe No. 4 : horizontalBaby Elephant

Baby White Tiger No. 2Baby Monkey No. 1

Like these guys from the Animal Prints Shop. How can I possibly resist baby animal prints for the nursery?!

Over the last month, I finally began weeding through the crazy and finalizing the registry to go public prior to the shower. And believe me, it is hard to weed through the millions of baby products out there because, well, it’s baby stuff – it’s all pretty darn cute! It’s easy to get lost in the cuteness of it all and fall into the opinions of everyone else. But what kept me sane was the thought that the registry was for me, not for everyone else. It was – is – a way for me to stay organized and keep track of what I think is best for my baby, my lifestyle, and my home.

So without further ado, here are a few of my favorite things from my registry:

newborn bundlegood morning sunshine gPants

gDiapers.

In my attempt to go a bit more organic/natural with baby products, I’ve been contemplating cloth diapers but figured that it would be way too messy and time-consuming to keep up with the laundering and sterilization of it all. And then I came across these beauties! gDiapers give you the best of both worlds: a reusable diaper cover made of 92% cotton, 8% spandex with a snap-in pouch of breathable nylon, and disposable, biodegradable inserts that are composed of cellulose rayon, fluffed wood pulp, and super absorber (all chlorine free, latex free, perfume free, and dye free). They come in sizes from newborn to large and a variety of colors and patterns. The bottom line is – they are safe, environmentally friendly, and most importantly, pretty darn cute!

originaloriginal

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Boppy Bare Naked Pillow with Pillow Protector and Organic Slipcover

Again, this is my attempt to go organic. You don’t have to go with an organic slipcover and there are many other options available. However, this is a time where I have taken the opinions and advice of others into account – Boppy pillows are supposedly an essential! These suckers not only provide the perfect ergonomic support when feeding, but they also transition into props for tummy time, play time, and learning to sit up. Meaning it is money well spent!

Bestever Lamb Plush Play Mat Set

Ok, this is neither organic nor essential but it’s super cute and I couldn’t help myself. And it looks insanely comfortable! Sometimes, you just gotta give in to the crazy, ok?!

Britax B-Agile & B-Safe Travel System

I did A LOT of research on strollers and read WAY too many reviews, but this is the stroller that I determined best fit our needs. Is it perfect? No. I’ve come to the conclusion that there really isn’t one perfect stroller out there! I would love for it to have more urban wheels and for the car seat attachment to be a bit smaller and lighter, but after testing it out at Buy Buy Baby and comparing it to others, it does seem to ride exceptionally smooth, folds and compacts easily (with the push of a button), and has multiple adjustments to keep baby comfortable. And per the reviews, it’s extremely durable and should last for years to come!

Bundleme Hat, Mittens & Booties – JJ Cole Collections

Again, just because it’s so darn cute! And with an end of October due date and Winter on its way, I think it is pretty essential…

For all you mommas out there, what are some of your favorite, can’t-do-without products? Do you have any must-have advice for us mommas-to-be?

Left My Heart in Washington State…

Ahh. There is something so incredibly refreshing about the crisp, cool, foggy mornings of Washington State. I was lucky enough to visit at a time in which the weather was absolutely and utterly perfect. Low 60’s in the mornings with a dreamy fog that would break around 10:30 every morning, sunny 70’s in the early afternoon, a non-humid 80’s in the late afternoon, and right back down to the low 70’s in the evening.

Washington 2 w Watermark

Washington 3 w Watermark

Four generations of family (one just happens to be in my belly…)!

And the constant smell of the sea hanging in the air – glorious. What I loved most of all though, was the backdrop of the mountains against the blues of the sky. As soon as that morning fog began to thin, you could see the beauty of Mt. Rainier breaking through, bright and clear and dominant.

Washington w Watermark

I love Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley that I am lucky enough to live in, but there is something so invigorating and mysterious about the Northwest. And with the beloved family that I get to see so rarely now thousands of miles away, I think a big piece of my heart remains in Washington.

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With the picturesque landscape and sweeping sea still in my mind, I thought I’d throw together a space inspired by nautical living…

Nautical Living
 
 
 
…and crisp neutrals, natural textures, and pops of blues and corals give this space just the right touch!

26 WEEKS & A LOVE LETTER

It’s hard to believe that I’m already so close to my third trimester! Yep, today is the 26th week and I’m beginning to feel it – the ever-growing belly is getting in the way, the outie is making an appearance, and my feet are actually starting to ache from the extra poundage I’m now carrying around.

26 Weeks Funny 1

I love the excitement and anticipation this pregnancy brings, 100%, but I must admit, there are some days when I simply freak out. There’s so much to do! So much to buy! So much to read up on and understand! And heck, it’s not always easy facing (or dressing) that bulging belly in the mirror.

26 weeks Funny 2

But after about 30 minutes of panic, I calm down and remind myself that this is a magical process. There is a little person inside of me! A little person that is wholly mine and completely dependent on me. A little person that will become my whole world. Sure, it’s scary, but the joy and wonder he will bring is insurmountable.

26 Weeks

So, while I’m on a bit of a lovey-dovey role, I thought I’d write my first love letter to our little man…Greyson (that name seems to have stuck!).

Dear Little Greyson,

I can feel the movement of your tiny hands and feet now – my, you are an enthusiastic one! Every kick and flutter brings me a joy that I cannot even put into words. They are a constant reminder of this magical little being growing inside me. I often wonder about you, what you will be like. What kind of man you will grow into. What your personality will be like. What kind of life you will lead and where your heart will take you.

I also worry, as all moms do. I’ve been thinking a lot about what kind of mother I’ll be. I do know that I will do my very best to be there for you, to guide you, and to understand you. I know sometimes I will fail, but my heart will always be in the right place – with you. It already is and always will be.

I can’t wait to meet you and to watch you grow – but not too fast! The world is at your fingertips, as you will soon discover, and I look forward to seeing that sparkle in your eye and that sense of wonder on your face. You can do anything and be anything you want in this world, that is something I hope to instill in you. But in the meantime, I’ll be content with you as my little man for as long as you will allow it.

3 more months and I will be giving you the first of many hugs and kisses to come!

Love always, Mom

YOU ARE A BADASS! (or so I keep telling myself…)

As you may have noticed, I’m a bit of a blog browsing fiend. I love reading about what’s trending on the West coast, discovering new perspectives, styles, and taking in all the glorious eye-candy the web has to offer. It’s addictive. It gets the blood boiling and the creative juices flowing. But it also awakens that little green monster called envy.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m fairly comfortable with myself – I have a sense of style that fits me and my lifestyle pretty well. It’s lived in. It’s 1 part put together, 1 part messy, with a dash of fabulous and a pinch of crazy for good measure. All in all, it works for me. But sometimes I feel like it’s just a little too cautious; a little too comfortable. Sometimes I wish I was a tad more fabulous or had that extra dose of crazy (although I’m sure there are many out there that think I have more than enough crazy on my plate!). And that’s where the green monster comes in.

via | life is for deep kisses

I touched on this subject many moons ago when I first began writing this blog…

…I actually begin to lose my point of view, and “my voice” begins to sound like someone else’s. I begin writing differently, to fit the mold of what I think other people want to hear or see, just to gain more followers. And so the competition begins…

I’ve stopped writing posts for weeks, even months at a time because I’ve felt that downward spiral of losing myself. I actually become disappointed with how I choose to live my life because heck, there are so many people out there that are doing so many bigger and better things! I’m a pretty competitive person but when I begin feeling overwhelmed by all the greatness surrounding me, I just kind of…quit. No, it’s definitely not my best quality.

comparison

Indeed!

So I then fall into a bit of a despair and think to myself, “I just can’t do it.” Or “I’ll never be good enough. Or simply, “who do I think I am?!” Whaa, whaa, whaa. And then at some point along this journey of despair, I suddenly decide to take the high road. With tail between my legs, I will myself to find some semblance of composure, tell that whiny voice in my head to shut the hell up, find the motivation to start over, and then move on with my day. Just like that.

I recently picked up a book called You are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero and it’s actually been a huge motivation in my most recent journey back to the high road.

It’s quirky, humorous, sometimes a little self-deprecating, and most importantly, real. Basically, it’s a book that slaps you right in the face, shakes you around a little, and tells you to suck it up. Because we all need that confidence boost every now again, right?!

It’s not always an easy process; trusting your inner-voice, convincing yourself that the future holds that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow while still keeping your feet and happiness in the present (dammit, I want that pot of gold NOW!). Particularly when the present isn’t always that techni-colored rainbow.

But, not to sound too sappy or cliché, you can’t enjoy a rainbow without bouts of rain and yes, that’s a metaphor for Life.

You’ve got to appreciate the good with the bad. Remember, it’s all about perspective – you make your own reality and build your own truths. So, you can simply create a positive reality and choose to be happy. It’s that easy!

happy

I have this quote hanging by my bedside – the first thing I see in the morning. A reminder that yes, it really is that easy! (although not always easy to remember when your dog eats your couch, or after your computer crashes and you lose a huge chunk of data, or when you’re so bloated that you have to resort to wearing leggings for a week…)

Oh, and here’s another little reminder:

Words to remember....

I’m just going to cross out “Beautiful” here and replace it with – excuse my language – “fucking awesome!”

Hope that gives you a little confidence and motivational push on this Tuesday morning. You ARE a badass!

TWO DOGS & A CAT: A LOVE STORY

I recently read this post on the Elements of Style blog and I found myself agreeing enthusiastically with Erin’s love (aka obsession) for her furry children. I just happen to have 3 of my very own: Mattie, a maltese/yorkie mix (a morkie!), Ollie, a giant of a mutt (some kind of hound mix), and Simon, an adorably fat cat. While Mattie is blatantly the spoiled member of the household, I love each of them equally in their own, crazy, stupid, and oftentimes frustrating ways.

Mattie-Lu Poo 2

Ratty Mattie-Lu

And very unintentionally, this post actually has amazing timing – as of this evening, Mr. Ollie will be sent off to bootcamp for no less than two weeks in order to better learn the ways of the human world!

Ollie

Yes, the amount of money and effort we spend on these creatures can become a bit absurd…between Mattie’s Vineyard Vines collars, fastidious eating habits, grooming, and in-home pet sitter; Ollie’s training classes & daycare, his amazing ability to injure himself wherever he goes, and the number of things he’s managed to destroy in our home (couch cushions, chair cushions, throw pillows, shoes, the list goes on…); Simon, well, he’s luckily a bit of an angel; and the general vet bills for all…I’m quite sure we could have purchased a second home!

Simon Face

Little Beggar

Add onto this the fact that it is next to impossible to keep the house clean….

But in the end, they are worth every penny (although I often have to remind myself of this!). They provide comfort and stability, attention, and unconditional love. They supply an endless stream of entertainment and laughter, and through the best of times and the worst of times, they are a constant, tolerant companion.

(I know my husband is snickering as he reads this….ok, ok, I’ll admit that Ollie has been a bit of a struggle – hence the ensuing bootcamp – but as much as I’m looking forward to a well-behaved dog, I will miss his neurotic antics!)

Yes, I know this is a bit outside of the design and event realm, but this is a little insight into my world, and with a non-furry child on the way I thought I’d show a little love to my furry ones in the meantime!

And for all you other animal lovers out there, here are a few more great reads:

What’s not to love about these crazy critters?!