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Push the Little Daisies

I was doing a television appearance once, and there was a stylist on set for wardrobe. She had some great options for everyone, but then she zeroed in on a giant beaded daisy necklace for me. “This looks like you!” she chirped, and I politely declined, all the while thinking of Drew Barrymore in the 90s. I may have tried to emulate her skinny brows at the time, but I’ve never been much for daisies.

I’ve written before about my sentimental jewelry pieces. I always wear my wedding ring, but when I travel, I also wear a little elephant necklace that reminds me of Eleanor, and a heart ring for August. I had been looking for something that would remind me of Calvin too, but nothing I’d come across had been quite right.

I associate him with flowers. I was working on a post about my entryway a few days before my due date, and I’d almost finished my setup. I went out to the florist and came back to arrange everything, but I couldn’t take photos because the sun had set. I joked with Brandon that the baby was going to arrive before I could get my shots in the morning, and sure enough, I went into labor in the middle of the night. I had Calvin, and the first thing I saw when we came back home the next day were those flowers.

Making it Lovely's Entryway

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I just got back from Salt Lake City because I was there to speak at Alt Summit again. I’m lucky to have so many opportunities to travel because of the blog, but it’s the times when I’m away from my family that I love having those sentimental pieces with me the most. I’m not a superstitious person, so it’s not about them being my ‘good luck charms’ or anything of that sort, but I have for years worn my wedding ring, my elephant necklace, and my heart ring when I fly. I like the tangible reminders of home.

I don’t like to wear too many types of jewelry at once. My wedding ring, a necklace, another ring, and something else is a lot, so I’d been looking for another gold ring that I could stack. I wanted something delicate with flowers or leaves for Calvin because of the association and I’d come across a few nice ones (along with plenty of not so nice ones), but I would know it when I found it, and I finally found it.

I wasn’t familiar with Alex Monroe before, but his floral designs are exactly what I’d been looking for: delicate, modern, and pretty, and not giving me flashbacks to nineties Drew. Some of my favorites are below and his other designs are fantastic too (mouse and tea cup ring, anyone?), but I chose that second ring. So glad I finally found my little Calvin reminder.

Alex Monroe Gold Floral Jewelry

  1. Fine Buttercup Ring

  2. Forget Me Not Fine Stacking Ring Number Two

  3. Fritillary Flower Hook Earrings

  4. Little Bluebell Necklace

  5. Little Fern Leaf Bracelet

  6. Baby Pearl Chrysanthemum Stud Earrings

  7. Floral Fayre Brooch



Calvin is nearly four weeks old already! I was always on my own with our babies before, but now with Brandon as a stay-at-home dad, we can team up on kid duties. I’m nursing and some days it feels nonstop, so I’m mostly taking care of Calvin while Brandon has Eleanor and August.

Brandon and Calvin

Nursing — I have such a hard time with it in the beginning. I’ve seen lactation consultants, I’ve read the entire La Leche League book, and my search engine history has been entirely taken over by various breastfeeding queries. Things got better with both Eleanor and August around six weeks, so I keep telling myself it will happen again, but right now it is incredibly difficult. It’s isolating and time-consuming, but the worst of it is that I dread sessions because of the anxiety around anticipating a painful latch. There are often tears, and I’m having a hard time right now.


Baby Toes

We are all doing so well though, in every other regard! We’re settling in nicely as a family of five, and the kids are sweet with the baby. Our normal morning routine has continued smoothly, we’re all sleeping as well as can be expected, and I get out of the house and see friends often enough to keep from going stir-crazy. Plus I love love love having a baby at home again. Calvin sleeps on me and is in my arms all day, and I adore his little snuggles.

August, Nicole, Calvin, and Eleanor

The good stuff is coming up: the smiles, the coos, the baby laughs. This is likely our last baby though, so while I’m eager to get past the nursing pain, I don’t want to wish this time away. There’s a lot of good stuff happening right now, too.


Ten Years

We’ve done so much together. We met in 1999. We were dating two years later, and married a few years after that. We’ve shared personal and career highs and lows, two apartments and two homes, and have two kids with a third on the way. In a few more years, I’ll have known Brandon for half of my life.


NY Hotel Shot

Happy tenth anniversary, love. We’ve done so much more together than we ever could have apart. Thank you for being there every step of the way.

Photo Booth

A Man and His Cat

August and Brandon

Snowy Day

Eleanor and Brandon

Love you.


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