Friday, October 30, 2015

Pumpkin-Carving Party | Our Family of Four

Finding the Perfect Pumpkin
We didn't carve pumpkins last year so we were excited to tackle the tradition this year with Emily and Ava! Emily is old enough to begin to enjoy things like this.

I loved watching Matt and Em walk up and down the field looking for the perfect pumpkins! We decided to go to a small, family-owned farm near our house, and it was a short and sweet trip. The weather was beautiful and it was a popular place to be! At one point, (in the beginning) and after we were well into the fields, Emily decided she didn't want to walk any further. Wait, whaaat? So Matt and I took turns pulling the handy-dandy trailer while carrying Em! Then the other parent would push our double stroller through the mud, haha!

The Carving Part
We thought we'd save on some of the mess by doing our carving outside. We set up a table, rolled out the high chair, and had a little pumpkin party! Daddy got out his drill and dremmel tool, and I traced the faces with a marker and carved mine traditionally. Emily really loved scooping the seeds from the inside of the pumpkins. At first, she was trying to stay clean with just a spoon but then once she saw mommy and daddy using our hands, she embraced it.

This was the first year that I didn't over-analyze, search way too long for the perfect image to carve, and then stress about how to carve it perfectly. It was one of those realizations that if we can clean out, carve, and quickly clean up, the overall experience will most like be a little better. The girls did great (sweet Ava fell asleep, so it might have been a little boring for her.) Matt and I really enjoyed the perfect fall weather, the time as a family, and of course, our jack-o-lanterns!

It was a success and I look forward to doing it just like this for years to come! Happy Halloween, everyone! Enjoy this classic Colorado weather AND let's be thankful it didn't snow!!

PS. Check back for my next post about the fun recipes I tried with the leftover pumpkin seeds!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Emily Turns Two!

Our precious baby girl is TWO! I truly can't believe it. It's amazing to see her personality blossom! She is funny, daring, assertive, and sweet. We just adore her!

Emily's 2nd Birthday Party
For her party, we went to Anderson Farms: a super-fun pumpkin patch! It's a true favorite in this area, and the amount of people proved that! Wow! We took part in the activities with her cousins and some sweet friends!

Reality Check: Em actually had a full-on breakdown because we were only able to get her an hour nap beforehand. She didn't want to do anything and she only wanted Grandma to hold her. She had moments of enjoyment, but we ended up having to go for a "walk" so she would calm down. It is in these moments that we have to remember that things don't always go as planned. We expect their best at the times that make sense to us. (I mean, I kept thinking, "Em, this is your party!") But it just doesn't happen that way. We ended up taking off her new Carhartts overalls (it was hot) and she walked around in a onesie (whaattt?) because it kept her happier and cooler. Oh, the times when you smile and appreciate the things that really matter.

After that, we came back to our house to have a pink-pumpkin inspired party! Em was able to take a little nap on the way home and she as a different girl for the second part of her par-tay! We ate pumpkin cupcakes, drank punch, and she opened gifts! It was such a great time with family. We ushered everyone outside for Em to "open" her little Minnie 4-wheeler (which she absolutely loved), and as we played outside until dusk, it turned into a pizza party and bonfire. It was a PERFECT day and party! I am so thankful for everyone who helped us celebrate! Papa K even drove out from Sioux City!! Wow! We are so, so grateful!

Em's Pink-Pumpkin Party!

Emily is growing up so fast...
She is learning so much. She rides her bike (and her new 4-wheeler). She climbs almost everything she can and likes to sit at her table in the kitchen, and push her stroller around with her baby while taking her out to feed her. She LOVES to jump off of things, do somersaults, run a lot, and will be outside anytime she can. She is a sweetheart who loves giving kisses and hugs. Lately too, she has been a little more challenging at moments. She knows what she wants and it is challenging to distract her sometimes. She is obsessed with electronics (and we've really tried to keep them away from her) but she loves taking "pictchooos" and then wants to see them right away. She is an incredible joy to us. We love her more than words can describe. We are also in a season of parenting where we have been challenged the most as well. It's a wonderfully sharpening time for Matt and I, ha!

Emily as a big sis...
She is an incredible big sister. She loves Ava so fully. She plays with her, makes her laugh, tries to feed her, gives her toys when she gets fussy, and in the sweetest moments, decides that Ava needs a hug and a kiss. In the mornings, she wants Ava to wake up if the hasn't yet. She calls her "Av" (prounouced Ahhhv).

We love you, Emily Grace!! Happy Birthday to our baby girl!!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Logo Design: Heart to Chart

It was such an honor to work with DeAnza on her logo for her business called Heart to Chart! I have to say...this was one of my most favorite projects to date. Working with her (and the heart behind everything she does) was a blast! I am so thankful and so proud of what she is doing! Check out her website:

I wanted to share a little of the behind-the-scenes for the logo design process.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Ava's Birth Story

Ava Claire Preston

I have been so looking forward to sharing my birth story with sweet baby Ava. I am amazed that she is here, and even more amazed that we have TWO girls!! It has been a pretty busy month since her birth as we navigate our days, but both of the girls are napping (miracle), and so I thought I would steal this time to write the story.

My due date had come and passed. I knew what this was like because Emily was five days late. I didn't think I would be late with my second baby, but...little Ava wasn't quite ready to come until 4 days after her due date. It worked out great because I had just decided the Friday before that I was going to start my maternity leave on Monday. And early Monday morning is when I woke up...

I woke up at 2:00am with my first "contraction." With both of my labors, I "knew" when the first contraction happened that it was the real thing. I waited until 3:00am to wake Matt up, and I told him that I was in sure I was in labor and that the contractions were coming about 7 minutes apart.

About an hour or so later, I felt like we should text my family and wake up my mother-in-law to let her know. It was interesting because I wasn't sure what to do but I was pretty sure we needed to probably head to the hospital soon. I felt crazy for wanting to head there so quickly, but I was getting to the point where I was unable to really know what to do next, other than go. I kept thinking about laying back down or getting in the bath, but the contractions were coming much quicker and they were getting really intense. It was also this sense that it was time. Matt started packing the car and he would come and check on me in between trips outside.

Matt was wanting to know how to help but I wasn't able to talk much. We laugh about it now, but I think he was getting a little frustrated with me. I just had to breathe through each they were coming surprisingly quickly. Matt packed the car as quickly as possible and he helped me get dressed. It took awhile to get out the door because I had to stop for a contraction every couple minutes. I was having a hard time finding the "in-between" each of the contractions. I kept thinking to myself, "I am just not handling this very well..." We would soon know why...

We got in the car, and I knew I couldn't sit in the front seat the whole way so I jumped to the back to have more room. I was literally on my hands and knees in the back seat with my head buried in the car seat, ha! Our 20-minute drive actually went relatively quickly. Matt kept saying from the front, "Just keep letting me know you're still OK!" I just stared at the red button of the carseat buckle...and focused on breathing.

My mom met us at the hospital and she swung the back door open to see the funny sight of me in the back! They got a wheelchair and it took awhile for me to muster up the strength to get in the chair, but finally I forced myself to sit down. They wheeled me into the waiting room of the birth center and I felt another strong contractions coming on so I hopped out of the wheelchair and into a waiting room chair...on all fours. Haha! The nurse came out to get me and was surprised how quickly my contractions were coming.

In triage, they ask lots of questions, have you change into a gown, and get a monitor on the baby. This was all so challenging for me because my contractions were right on top of each other. Matt was so great as he just encouraged me through each one, helped me get dressed and answered all the nurse's questions. Within minutes, the nurse checked me and I was dilated to a 10! What!!? I couldn't believe it! I was ready to have our baby!! I was amazed that I had labored to this point completely naturally! Wow. Here we go!

They quickly got me into the delivery room and I really still wanted an epidural. I really just wanted some relief for the pushing stage. They were going to see what they could do, but couldn't promise anything because I was already fully dilated. Our doctor came into the room at this his cycling clothes! He had rode his bike to the hospital and made it in time! The nurses told him he had very little time to change, and told me that the anesthesiologist would be in soon. Within a short time, I was getting a dose of medicine in my back. It wasn't an epidural, just a single dose for some relief.

By this time, Val had made it to the hospital. My mother-in-law was dropping Emily off at our sitters and wasn't going to be able to make it in time! It was all happening so fast!

Within a few minutes after the medicine started working a little, I pushed around three to four times, and our baby Ava was here!! We saw her (and her amazing head of dark brown hair) and loved her more than we could imagine! I couldn't believe we had another daughter, and it was such a sweet gift for her to be here; healthy and beautiful!

We were snapping pictures, they were weighing her, and measuring her...and I was just trying to take it all in. I was just so shocked it went so fast! From start to finish, it was five hours! Amazing! Praise our Father for His provision and blessing of my delivery. We are so, so thankful!

Ava Claire Preston  |  Born on February 9, 2015  |  6:59am  |  8lbs 1oz  |  20 inches long

Later on that day, we brought Emily to meet her sister Ava. She did great, but was definitely a little unsure. All she knew was that there was a new baby and mommy and daddy were holding her. It's been so special watching her learn more about Ava and love on her!

We are so happy and thankful. The first few weeks have gone great (except a flu-bug that entered our house). Matt was able to stay home with us for a week, and my mother-in-law stayed with us for awhile as well. We've had so much help from friends and family, and we are just so grateful.

A special thank you to my amazing husband, Matt (who is such a solid rock for me and our girls), my mom (who is always, always there) and sister, Val (who has so much knowledge) for being in the delivery room and encouraging me along the way...and of course, the rest of our family as well for their help in the past few weeks!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Our Girls' Bedrooms

One of my favorite things has been decorating our sweet girls' rooms! And, I guess I should say it's been more like decorating rooms for Emily, and then updating the room for sweet baby Ava.

For Sweet Emily

Because we were moving Emily into her "big girl room" and using the nursery for Ava, we wanted to update it a little a create a space that felt a little older but that would still feel girly and fun! I moved many things over from her nursery that were obviously personal to her, and then added some things as well. Now when we say, "Emily, do you want to show them your room," she gets so excited, grabs their hand, and leads them in, spins around, and gets this huge smile on her face. I'd say that's all that matters, then. She loves it, and she's happy. Yay!

Crib: Bye Bye Baby
Teepee: Gift from My Parents (my mom sewed it!)
Hobby Lobby:
Height Chart, Letter "E," Triangle Wall Art, Lindsay Letters Print, Shelf/Frame with Photos
Various Antique Stores:
Mint Changing Table, Gold Lamp, Radio Flyer Trike

For Sweet Ava
I struggled as first as I was thinking about keeping the nursery mostly the same for baby Ava. In my mind, we created the space for Emily and it took a little bit to be able to know that it can also be personal and beautiful for our new baby girl as well. It was quickly that I agreed with Matt. He said, "Sweetheart, you are pregnant and you have a one-year-old. I think you should not expect yourself to create something brand-new. The nursery is beautiful and Ava will love it." He was 100% right.

As time went on, I was actually so thankful for more time in this nursery that we have created with such love, intention, and work. To be able to "pass it down" to Ava was a gift. We added things that were uniquely for her, and kept the things that made complete sense to do so. Check out more pictures of the original nursery