Wednesday, October 30, 2013


It scares me how much I love him.
Oh my heart.  Ouch.

Goodnight, rainy Chicago.


We've only been home for a week, which is crazy talk.
This world we live in is really something.
 A world where we can be like, "Oh yeah, last Monday we were in Santa Barbara in the mountains and on the sunny coast of the Pacific, and this Monday we're in Chicago wearing puffy coats."
No big deal I guess?
Ok, world.

The story of my life with Augy so far is that the more I do, the more I do.
Meaning I was so afraid to take him, afraid we'd all be exhausted and miserable trying to haul a newborn across the country and back through four different flights.
But it was so fantastic and we're already all, "What's gonna be our next trip?"
Before he crawls and walks and all that.

So here's the deal with this CA post.  It's a ton of pictures.
The back story is that the best man in our wedding lives in Santa Barbara with his wife Linzi and one-year-old daughter Hazel.
Such, such great people and friends.
Neal and Pete have a such a long-standing and meaningful friendship that means a lot to our little family.
We spent our entire trip with Pete, Linz, and Hazel and just had an amazing time.
We're hoping they're coming to Chicago this Christmastime where the tables can turn and we can host them and cook for them and be the ones to hire the babysitter.
^^^ Traveling ^^^
The big surprise was I loved traveling through airports and planes with Augy.  He slept through the near entirety of every flight and I completely melted into getting to hold his sleepy little body again like when he was brand new.

Also, this story.  When we were walking through the Denver airport Augy dropped his pacifier without us noticing.  
That is until we heard about six strangers around us gasp and practically dive for the paci.
Pretty adorable, people.
^^^ Welcome to Santa Barbara, baby. ^^^
^^^ Neal & Pete ^^^
^^^ Pete, Linzi, & little Hazel ^^^
Spending the weekend together all as first time parents was a new dynamic and pretty funny at times.
There might have been this one moment when all four of us adults were trying to put one of the babies in the baby Bjorn, and the other baby went rolling down the hill in the stroller.
One of us went running down the hill after the baby stroller and caught it before any harm was done.
It might have happened.
We might have laughed pretty hard at ourselves.
^^^Love that blue sky and water.  And baby leg warmers.  ^^^
^^^ Mountains and sunshine ^^^
This was my favorite night of the trip.  We visited the ranch where Jackie O and JFK came on their honeymoon, and it was the most romantic place I have been, ever.
When we walked through one of the restaurants, my eyes literally filled up with tears it was just so beautiful and other-wordly.
^^^ Touring the Four Seasons in Santa Barbara. ^^^
Neal & Pete both used to work at various Four Seasons properties, so we just had to go have a look at Santa Barbara's take.

^^^ The Pacific at Butterfly Beach ^^^
I have a few pictures for another post of Augy's toes touching the chill of the Pacific Ocean for the first time.
I'll post those soon!

We're thankful for such a beautiful trip and friends.
Augy, let's go flying again soon.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Great Big World

We went on a slow fall walk yesterday evening which got chillier toward the end than could be described as fun, but hey we were out there before it really gets cold.

I love this capture of Augy, which is how he basically always looks when we walk around the city with him in the Bjorn-- looking up, up, up.
I can't imagine seeing Chicago that way, from either flat on his back gazing up from the stroller, or head thrown back and eyes fixated up into the sky when we wear him.
It must be a pretttttty amazing perspective.
It's a great big world out there, doesn't he know it!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Dear Santa Barbara

 So we know how un-timely I am with getting photos up after trips and things.
Here are just a couple until I really get to it!
Rivaling my attention right now are cleaning my apartment, prepping for dinner and house guests this weekend, reading Divergent, and getting ready for my first day back to work at the hospital tomorrow.

But for now, a quick letter:

Dear Santa Barbara, 

It hurts.  
It hurts to know that people really live like this.
That is all.

Your new Chicagoan friends

Thursday, October 24, 2013

3 Months

State Street, Santa Barbara CA

We just got home from sunny southern California around midnight on Monday night.
And now it's almost Friday!  Short week for us.

Augy turned 3 months over the weekend in California, and this picture of us on State Street just makes me so happy!
We were so scared to make the trip with him, afraid he'd cry and wiggle all over the place on the flights and have crazy nights with the time change, but he was such a champ!
So, so good.

When I look at this picture I realize this was the picture I had in my head when Augy was born, of what life would be like with a baby as we became a family of three.
So when those first few weeks after his birth turned out to be crazy exhausting and demanding and painful and all-consuming, I got scared.
Maybe people could see it in my eyes, or maybe people are just smarter and kinder than I sometimes give them credit for, but almost everyone I talked to in those early days said, "Don't worry!  It gets easier.  It gets more fun as time goes on!  Just make it to 3 months and everything will be different."

How. right. they. were.
My body is not in pain anymore, I only get up once in the night, he's starting to take scheduled naps, feeding is quick and easy (and finally not every two hours), and I can eat and shower and keep up with life.
He is the most wonderful thing that has happened to us, but I can tell you that in those first few weeks, caring for a newborn did not feel like the most wonderful thing that could happen to a person.

Not that it's easy now.  Of all the ways motherhood has been described over the centuries, I've never heard easy, but we are having a blast.
Thankful that we have such a happy, easy-going baby to ease us into parenthood.
I mean, look at that smile!
After he goes to bed at night, Neal and I sit around watching videos of him on our phones that we've taken that day.
Just a little in love!

Happy 3 months, Augy bear!!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Nursery Tour

Nursery tour today!
When I was pregnant with Augy and planning his nursery, I loved browsing nursery tours that I found on Pinterest or blogs.
So helpful for gathering ideas and inspiration.

I felt completely lost for awhile when it came to his nursery.
But whenever it was that the urban Chicago theme idea came to my brain, I knew that was it.

Obviously we have so much love for this city, and it holds both our story as a couple and is the place where our son's story begins.
I think cities are just a fun, classy nursery theme anyway, even if you don't live in an urban setting.
Maybe Paris for a girl or New York for a boy?

Chicago for us & for Augy.

I used lots of maps in his nursery, an assortment of vintage, needlepoint, transit lines, neighborhoods, and a points of interest map.
My hope is that he can one day take any or all of these maps and use them in various places in his adult life, like in a dorm room or an office or an apartment or a home.

A shout out to my friend Kirra who was a huge help and support in planning the nursery.  She found the dresser and the rug, two of the main anchors for the room.
 She and I had a shared secret Pinterest board that we constantly updated with ideas for months.
I totally recommend doing this!
It was such a fantastic help for my brain which can easily become overwhelmed or paralyzed when trying to design a room.

A shout out also to our lovely friends Tim & Asharae who came into town just four days after Augy was born and took photos of us together in his nursery and of all the details.
I'm so, so grateful for their friendship and how they blessed us with these beautiful photos!
Most of the photos in this post are theirs.
 You can see more of their beautiful work at Grain & Compass.

In this post I tried to note where I found each piece in the nursery, and if it's still available I tried to include the link.
This was so helpful for me when others did that on their posts when I was planning my nursery.
If there's something I left out, feel free to ask!

So, here it is!  A nursery for August Wells.

Grain & Compass
Grain & Compass
Wall color: Grey Owl by Benjamin Moore
Grain & Compass

^^^ Artwork over the crib ^^^
 The Chicago nursery print was used as decor at my baby shower and then gifted to me by Kirra. The print can be found at this Etsy shop (the shop has really cute ones for lots of other cities too!)
The Chicago neighborhoods map was a gift to me from my colleague Joy, and of all the maps in the nursery, this one is my favorite.  I love the colors, the style, and the fact that I've never seen it anywhere else.
She bought it online, but I'm not quite sure where.
^^^ The crib ^^^
The crib is a white Jenny Lind.
The bumper was one of the first purchases I fell in love with and built the nursery around.
It was buried in the back of a sale shelf at Pottery Barn Kids.
The sheet is Land of Nod, and can still be found here.
I love their sheet collections!  So funky, so colorful, so fun, modern, and stylish.
^^^ A second sheet ^^^
I have a second sheet on hand-- this mint green one also from The Land of Nod.
It's a calmer, more soothing alternative in the nursery while satisfying my current obsession with navy and mint combinations.
I honestly don't need three crib sheets, but I'm still dreaming of getting this crib sheet from Dwell Studio at some point, because it's just made for this nursery and I can use it for more babies, boy or girl.
Grain & Compass
^^^ Map next to the bookshelf ^^^
I've really loved this map of Chicago for awhile now, so I was really happy to be able to use it in the nursery.
I first saw it at Papersource, but this one is purchased from a little boutique on State St. called Posh.

Grain & Compass
 ^^^ Maps above the bookshelf ^^^
The large yellow map is a vintage map of the Chicago transit system, also purchased at Posh.
The small embroidered one is a map of the CTA's elevated train lines.
This was also purchased for decor at my shower (from this Etsy shop) and then gifted to me by Kirra.  Kirra and her husband Taylor noticed that the seller originally did not have the newest line, the Pink Line, included in the piece.
Taylor insisted that I could not have an outdated map of the L lines, so Kirra contacted the artist and had her custom add the Pink Line so that the map is up to date and accurate.
I kinda love that story.

Grain & Compass
^^^ Stuffies ^^^
I found the blue elephant at Anthropologie when I was pregnant, and knew instantly I wanted to buy him to be Augy's special little lovie.  We affectionately named him "Trunks" and he's sitting on the shelf waiting for Augy to get big enough to love him.
Next to him is the giraffe we've named "Skinny" from Pottery Barn Kids.  He was a gift for Augy from my Dad.
Grain & Compass

Grain & Compass
Grain & Compass
 ^^^ Bookshelf ^^^
This is the white Expedit shelving unit from Ikea.  The wire mesh baskets are from Crate & Barrel Outlet.
The nursery doesn't have a closet, so this was my way of creating enough storage space for the little babe.  I use the baskets for diapers, lotion and wipes, burp clothes, towels, toys, and laundry.
I have stacks of blankets folded in some of the cubes, as well as rows of books.
Thankfully, this piece still has room to grow with baby as he acquires more toys and books.

Grain & Compass
^^^ Moving around the room clockwise, here's a view of the window wall and the wall opposite the bookshelf. ^^^
Lamp and throw pillow from Ikea, Pottery Barn rocker borrowed from a friend.
Grain & Compass
Grain & Compass
Grain & Compass
^^^ The view from the nursery windows. ^^^
Grain & Compass
 ^^^ Shadowbox ^^^
I've had this shadowbox from Pottery Barn since our first year of marriage seven years ago, but I found it a new home in the nursery.
It's fun to display his ultrasound pics, a card welcoming his birth from a dear friend, a Chicago photo taken by The Youngrens, and the "3" symbolizing our new family of three.

Grain & Compass
Grain & Compass
^^^ Dresser & changing table ^^^
The dresser is a mid-century piece found on Craigslist.  I love the mid-century style for a boy nursery!
The rug is from Urban Outfitters, the lamp is from Target, and the wire caddy I found at Home Goods.
I store my diapers, diaper cream, and lotions up in the wire baskets;
Perfectly in reach for me, perfectly out of reach for baby.
Grain & Compass

^^^ Changing station ^^^
The gray stripe changing pad cover is from The Land of Nod.
The second cover (you really truly need two of these!) is the chamois cover in ivory from Pottery Barn Kids.  This one is super, super soft and I love how pampering it is against baby's skin.

Grain & Compass
^^^ Decor ^^^
The "A" is from Anthropologie.
 The hoop embroidery was a custom gift from my friend who is the artist behind Little Stitch.  This gift I just about died over and is one of my favorites in the nursery!
Grain & Compass
^^^ Chicago onesie ^^^
We used this Chicago flag onesie to announce our pregnancy to family last Christmas.  I found it on Etsy, but unfortunately I can't find the listing anymore to link where it's from.
Grain & Compass
Grain & Compass
^^^ Rocking horse Vespa ^^^
Best for last.  Neal's brother (Augy's Uncle Blake) made this for Augy and gifted it to me at the shower my sister-in-law Cassie threw for me.
It is so, so, so special to us and is by far our favorite piece in the nursery.
Grain & Compass
Grain & Compass
Grain & Compass
Grain & Compass

Don't think for a second that this nursery hasn't become somewhat more lived in in the past three months since Augy's arrival.
For example, I daily try to overlook the obnoxious mobile that I now have attached to the crib because Augy just loves it so!
Sometimes we store his stroller in there when we're too lazy to put it in our storage next door, and on and on the list goes.  But it's still my favorite room in our place and I am so very happy with how it turned out.
Happy nursery planning to you!