Something To from Bron Bates


Our post today comes from the lovely Bron Bates of Baby Space. Bron lives in the land down under with her fifteen-year-old, five-year-old, and sweet baby girl. She was one of my maternity style inspirations and is currently rocking one of Sakura Bloom's slings for the Sling Diaries. I hope I look half as gorgeous when Violet is fifteen! Thanks so much to Bron for sharing your lovely picks with us today. xo, Lauren

make: papier mache unicorn bust
wear: poplin halter suit
live: Utzon crimson wave willow chair
read: Olivia and the Missing Toy
play: Omm nesting dolls

Something To from Shari Lott


Today's Something To post is by the lovely Shari of Spearmint Baby. Her blog has been a long-time favorite of mine for nursery inspiration, and lately I've been eating up her idea boards! Shari's youngest, Rexford was born just days before Violet, so I've always felt a special connection following along with her and her family. Thanks so much for sharing your ST picks with us Shari! xo, Lauren

wear:  star sandal



Well, we've officially survived our first week at home as a family of four, thanks to a LOT of help from my mom, dad, sister, and brother-in-law, and a TON of generous friends and family who supplied us with home cooked meals and yummy takeout! I don't think we've had to fire up the stove, oven, or grill once since we've been home. Lucy is an angel and I am so so thankful for her sweet temperament and easy going personality. And thank you so much to all of you for your kind words and well wishes!

I wanted to also take a minute to thank the lovely people at for being super thoughtful and sending a gift for Violet. It made her feel so special to receive something just for her amid all of this chaos of settling into our new normal. She is completely in love with the gorgeous personalized wooden name puzzle that sent for her. She's crazy into puzzles and spelling her name at the moment, so this was a definite hit. And the really funny thing is that my mom randomly bought her the same gift in a different color palette without knowing that Violet had already received one - what are the odds!? Great minds I suppose? She loves and plays with both of them, so it ended up being a happy accident :)

And one more big thank you to our guest posters this week - Reichel Broussard of Copy Cat Chic, Kristen Krason of 6th Street Design School, and Bridget Hunt of Tales of Me and the Husband! So sweet of these ladies to help me hold down the fort during this big adjustment in our life. You can stay tuned to more guest posts next week from a new group of lovely ladies - namely Shari Lott of Spearmint Baby, Bron Bates of Baby Space, Jess Craig of IROCKSOWHAT, Esther Garfield of Buy Modern Baby, and Katie Stratton of Katie's Pencil Box. Hope you all have a happy weekend!

xo, Lauren

Something To from Bridget Hunt

Today's guest blogger is the lovely Bridget Hunt of Tales of Me and the Husband. Bridget is the mama of adorable little Parker, and step mama to four others! She's also super chic and stylish and completely gorgeous to boot. Thanks to Bridget for sharing your finds with us today! xo, Lauren

make: eraser stamping
wear: Prefresh Lincoln tee
live: notebook stripe pouf
read: Big Red Barn
play: tool bench

Something To from Kirsten Krason


Today I'm happy to welcome the lovely Kirsten Krason of 6th Street Design School as our guest blogger. Kirsten has two adorable kids - Jett and Jane, and I was just recently thrilled to feature her daughter's gorgeous nursery over on Apartment Therapy. (The rest of her home is pretty much perfect as well). Thanks so much Kirsten for sharing your Something to picks with us today! xo, Lauren

make: Charley Harper paint by number kit
wear: polka dot dress / bow sandals
live: giraffe bust
read: If I were a bunny...
play: Melissa & Doug grocery cart

Something To from Reichel Broussard


Today's lovely guest blogger is Reichel Broussard of Copy Cat Chic. Her blog is a must read if you're into creating a beautiful home but are on a budget. She's got the best taste, and I'm so excited to follow along as she decorates her new home. Here are Reichel's picks:

make: Belted Shelves
wear: Ring
live: Vintage Stool
read: A Small Surprise by Louise Yates
play: Little Ozzie

Violet meets Lucy

I was so excited when I found out that we were having another little girl. I have a sister and we're very close, so I was thrilled to be able to give that gift to Violet. Having a sister for me is like having a built-in best friend for life who understands you better than anyone else and loves you no matter what.

As excited as I am for their relationship in the long-term, I worried a little bit about how things would go at first. Violet has always been a bit of a mama's girl. She loves to do everything "herself" but with mama standing by within arm's reach. Only recently has she started to even run off and play with her cousins at family gatherings.

I felt that their first time meeting would be very important and so wanted it to go well. Violet made it very clear to us that she wanted to hold her "baby sistuh" first and then Kevin and I could hold her. I wasn't sure how we were going to pull that one off, but it actually ended up working out on its own the way things sometimes do.

When Violet arrived at the hospital to visit, Lucy was back at the nursery getting bathed, so it was just me and a few family members when she entered the room. She was really concerned about me - why I had an IV in my arm, why I had "boo boo's", and why I couldn't get out of the bed. She was completely freaked out for about ten minutes, but eventually got distracted by other things and calmed down. My dinner arrived and she decided to feed me - always my big helper :)

Luckily we had the sweetest nurse - a mother of six and just back from maternity leave herself. When she wheeled Lucy in from the nursery in her bassinet she said, "Special delivery for Miss Violet!" Violet completely lit up - it was just perfect. I couldn't thank our nurse enough - she was sooo incredibly thoughtful.

I love this face:

Then came the all-important moment - Violet got to hold her baby. Check out this anticipation:

Violet was so gentle and so sweet and sooo in love. She now wants to hold her baby Lucy all of the time. She literally glows while she's holding her. The other day she was gazing down at her and she said, "Mommy, her SO bootiful!" (and then I died)

I also worried about if Violet would be jealous of her sister as I'm nursing and have to say no to Violet a lot, but so far she just seems to be more upset that I can't physically do everything I normally can - like carry her up to bed or sit and play on the floor for a long period of time. We've slowly been figuring things out, like reading books while I nurse the baby or snuggling in bed and watching cartoons on the iPad in the morning. I'm still looking for ways to make her feel like she's not being left out or neglected, so if anyone has any advice I'd love to hear it!

xo, Lauren

P.S. Tomorrow I'm going to start posting a series of guest posts from some of my favorite bloggers to give myself a little "maternity leave". I'll post here and there as well, but I hope you enjoy the lovely and talented group of ladies I have lined up for you!

Lucy's Birth Story

It's amazing how similar these photos look to the ones that were taken on the day of Violet's birth, and yet how incredibly different both experiences were. When I was pregnant with Violet, I was terrified to give birth. I had absolutely no idea how something the size of a watermelon was supposed to exit my body. I mean it all makes sense in middle school health class, but when it's a seven pound baby in your own body? Less convincing to say the least.

This time around, I was less nervous about the actual labor and delivery (having the knowledge that yes, it was physically possible and that yes, epidurals are truly like little miracles, and that, no you don't get a medal for giving birth without pain relief) and instead more horrified of going through the painful recovery again. With Violet I had a lot of internal and external tearing, ice packs and witch hazel were my best friends, I had to sit on a donut for weeks, and didn't feel completely free of pain and discomfort until literally a year after giving birth. I assumed this time around it would be more of the same, and to be honest some days I was rooting for a breech baby so that I could get a C-section.

I also thought that I would have a better idea this time of when to head to the hospital. Well, let's just say that the second time around things happen a little bit faster. I woke up on Sunday morning and it felt like any other day. Still massively pregnant, still no contractions - I figured this baby was going to be a week overdue like her big sister. I talked to my in-laws that morning on the phone about the fact that the baby's baptism may have to be rescheduled and snuggled on the couch with Violet while we watched some Sunday morning cartoons on the iPad. I was having some mild contractions, but nothing that felt real yet. That started to change around 10:30 AM. The contractions began to get more painful, and I found myself having to really focus and breathe through them. I started to time them and they were about fifteen minutes apart. After realizing that they were coming regularly and intensifying, I told Kevin that this might be it. Then I called my parents and let them know what was going on. My mom said she'd be right over, but I told her to take her time - I wasn't going anywhere any time soon. That was mistake number one.

When the contractions were about ten minutes apart, I called my doctor. She told me that I could continue to labor at home for a bit or come into the hospital - it was my call. I decided to stay home a bit longer (mistake number two), as I remember feeling more uncomfortable laboring in front of strangers at the hospital the last time around. I wanted to stay in the comfort and privacy of my own home with my own little family for as long as possible. Plus my parents weren't there yet to watch Violet. Violet seemed pretty oblivious to what was going on - I had put a movie on for her and she was pretty into it. At one point I sat down during a really painful contraction and got in trouble for sitting on her baby doll :) I apologetically hopped right's amazing what you'll do for your kids - even in the middle of a contraction. I snuggled up with her and stroked her soft curls, and was hit by a wave of emotion. Our whole world was about to change. I couldn't fathom how I was going to split my time and my energy and my heart between two children. I found Kevin and cried in his arms for the life I was leaving behind and for the new life I was about to give birth to.

Before I knew it, the contractions were 2-3 minutes apart. I was floored by how quickly they were hitting me and called my mom to see where they were at. Apparently convinced by my "take your time" speech, they had stopped for food on the way to the house. When they finally got there, I was in a lot of pain and ready to get the show on the road, but suddenly Violet seemed to realize something was up and started clinging to my leg begging me not to go. She kept saying, "But I like you Mommy!" Heart breaking to say the least, especially with all of those hormones surging through your body, but the contractions won out and I tore myself away, walked out to the car, and threw all of my things to the ground as another contraction hit me full force. I managed to drag myself into the car, and we were off. I was pretty against anyone talking in the car, but Kev and my mom quietly worked out a plan to drop him and me off while she parked the car. I'm really glad she was along to do that - I don't know if I would have been able to make the walk from the parking lot and I definitely wouldn't have wanted to head up to labor and delivery without Kevin. I also remember telling Kevin to remind me to leave the house earlier "next time" - laboring in a car sitting upright with a seatbelt on is just awful.

When we got to labor and delivery I suddenly remembered the "holding room" from the last time around. They check you to see if you're dilated/progressing and it's pretty much hell on Earth. You have to get changed into a gown, have a bunch of monitoring equipment strapped to your belly, and lie down on the bed while they do an internal. Plus there was another pregnant woman and her entourage in the room and they were watching TV and chatting - sounding so relaxed and sooo not where I was at at that point, and like I said - laboring in front of strangers is completely uncomfortable for me. But I knew it had to be done, so I gritted my teeth and did what I had to do. I made sure to inform the nurse that I wanted an epidural ASAP and pretty much wanted to punch her in the face when she giggled at me. My doctor was busy with another patient, so the nurse did my internal and I was five centimeters dilated. They admitted me and walked me over to the delivery room. I again begged for the epidural and got another giggle and was reminded that they needed to get an IV in me and get blood work before they could administer one. This did not make me happy at all - the contractions were right on top of each other at this point and I was terrified that I wouldn't get the epidural in time.

Luckily they hurried things along. I got the privilege of having my IV inserted by some sort of trainee and being informed that my veins were "valvy" which apparently isn't a good thing - the expression on my face at that point made Kevin think I was really going to start throwing punches. Luckily the (terrified looking) girl with the needle got it in on the first try, valvy veins and all, so her face was spared. I got also got a shot of Stadol, which took the edge off of the pain and made me feel more relaxed and a little loopy - kinda like I had one too many glasses of wine.

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, the doctor arrived to administer the epidural. At this point I couldn't stop my body from pushing during the contractions and it took every ounce of my focus and strength to keep my body still while he inserted the needle. I was pretty much crushing Kevin's hands with each contraction - I'm surprised they didn't end up broken or at least bruised. Thankfully the epidural started working pretty quickly and a beautiful feeling of relief washed over my body. My sister and mom came in and my sister began to take some photos at my request. I felt so lucky to be able to have her here to share this experience with me, all the way from Australia.

My doctor finally arrived to check me right after the epidural took effect, and it turns out I was fully dilated and effaced! I'm very proud of the fact that I made it so far without pain medication, and managed to do so without punching any walls, or cursing, or flinging myself on Kevin like I did during my labor with Violet. I think since I knew what kind of pain to expect, I was able to stay more calm this time around and breathe through the contractions. With Violet's birth I panicked because I was completely unprepared for the intensity of the pain. It felt like I was drowning and couldn't get my head above water. This time I was able to rest during the short periods of relief that I was able to get in between the contractions, and I knew that each painful wave would have a peak and, thankfully, an end. That and the knowledge of the relief that the epidural would bring helped me through it all.

The doctor broke my water at this point and told me to let her know whenever I was ready to push. It was surreal to me that everything had happened so fast. I was going to meet my daughter.

At first the epidural was quite strong, so I really couldn't feel much of anything, but gradually I started to feel pressure and decided to call the doctor back in to get this show on the road and meet my little girl! The room got quiet and I was given an oxygen mask. I found it all very calming - the steady whoosh of the air through my mask, the gentle stroking of my mother's hand through my hair, and Kevin's strong solid hand holding onto my own. I took a deep breath and bore down until I felt like my face was going to explode. I got words of encouragement from my nurse and doctor, and pushed again with all of my might. After only a few short minutes I couldn't believe it when they said that Lucy would be out with the next push. It had taken me a little over an hour to push with Violet, but this little girl made her appearance in only about fifteen minutes. I laughed with overwhelming joy as little Lucy was lifted into the air and placed on my chest.

Our Lucy Vivan was born at 4:49 PM and was absolutely perfect in every way. Six pounds, ten ounces, and nineteen inches of sweetness. I can't tell you how amazing it was to be able to keep her after giving birth. I felt my heart swell in those first precious moments with my second born, her skin touching mine, and I recalled a beautiful thought of one of my favorite writers, Melissa, written after the birth of her second child, "the greatness of our love is not divided among our children, but rather multiplied, indefinitely between them". How very right she was.  xo, Lauren

Introducing Lucy Vivian


Sorry for the silence this week, but there's been a good reason! Our little Lucy Vivian was born on Sunday, April 14th at 4:49PM. She weighed in at 6 lbs, 10 oz. and is 19.5 inches long. She's our little angel, and we've all been enjoying resting and getting to know each other. 

I've got some fun guest posts lined up for you next week and I'm working on the birth story in between feedings, diaper changes, and chasing Violet :) Hope you have a lovely weekend! xo, Lauren 

Then and Now


1. April 2010 - 36 weeks, 2 days pregnant with Violet
2. April 2011 - Violet is 11 months old
3. March 2012 - Violet is 1 year, 10 months old.
4. April 2013 - Violet is 2 years, 11 months old. I am 39 weeks, 6 days pregnant with baby number 2!

Happy Friday all! And happy due date to me :) Nope, still no baby. xo, Lauren

Still Pregnant.

So I'm still pregnant and still sick. I think maybe my body is waiting to get well before it decides to bring a new life into the world? I have been sleeping better thanks to my amazing midwife who prescribed me some Robitussin with CODEINE. Oh how I wanted to kiss her! It's definitely not as powerful as the cough medicine I've had when I'm not pregnant, but it's just enough to take the edge off and allow me to get a little shut eye.

So far my maternity leave has been going pretty well. I've gotten a lot done around the house and have been enjoying some one-on-one time with Violet. Plus my sister and her family are here from Australia and we are all sooo thrilled to see them! This is the first time she's seen me pregnant in person - with Violet she didn't arrive until after I'd given birth, so it's kind of fun to have her feeling for kicks and such!

I've been trying to love on my adorable nephew as much as I can with this big belly and cough - he is the happiest, sweetest little man and I am so so in love with him!

Tomorrow is my due date, and if I haven't had this little girl yet I'm having an ultrasound and non-stress test, and they'll schedule an induction date for me. I've heard some horror stories about inductions so I'm a little nervous about that...wish me luck!

xo, Lauren

Lovely Birth Announcements


Since I started my maternity leave a bit early, I've had a lot of time to sit around and think about this new little addition to our family. (At least when I'm not chasing Violet around that is) I've been checking out birth announcements on Pinterest (seriously what did we do before Pinterest?!) and am trying to decide what I'd like to do for our new little girl. Here are a few of my favorites:

This lovely birth announcement by Brooke Schwab is one of my all-time favorites. Simple and sweet but lots of fun details:

I love that with this option the recipient gets an actual photo of the babe, but the important information is still there on the envelope:

Another version of the above, these pretty hand-painted notes would be perfect accompanying a photo:

This one doesn't include a photo, but the design is just so stunning that it almost doesn't matter:

And this one as well. I think this is letterpressed, but you could get a similar look with simple printing:

Which would you choose? I'm planning to design them myself (or have my sister help - it's nice having a graphic designer in the family :)) and print them online. I was really happy with Vistaprint when I had my business cards done, so I will probably use them again this time around. They're really affordable and are always running great deals on Vistaprint products. Every little bit helps, especially since I'll be going without a paycheck for so long! Things were so crazy after I had Violet, I never ended up sending out birth announcements and have always regretted it a bit. I hope I can get it together with this little one!

xo, Lauren

This post was sponsored by Vistaprint. Sponsored posts are purely editorial content that we are pleased to have presented by a participating sponsor. Advertisers do not produce the content.

Sick Day(s)

I've been sick with bronchitis the past week or so, and it's been tough going. There are a couple of nights I wanted someone to shoot me with a tranquilizer gun and not wake me until it was over. Between being 39 weeks pregnant and hacking up my lungs, sleep has not come easily. I ended up starting my maternity leave earlier than I wanted, but it definitely was the right decision. Luckily a few things have brightened my days and kept me going:

1. Hot tea + honey
2. Watching these two together. Violet wanted to "be a Daddy". Can't really blame her at the moment for not wanting to be me - smart kid :)
3. Cinnabon. Nuff said.
4. A flower from my Violet
5. Pretty fresh flowers waiting to be planted in the ground. So happy that Spring is here!

I think I turned the corner yesterday and will maybe kick this thing before the new baby arrives. Thirty-nine weeks, three days...xo, Lauren

P.S. You can follow me on Instagram @alovelylark. I'll probably be snapping a lot more shots now that I'm on maternity leave and will have a new bambino soon...

Easter 2013

Our Easter morning was super fun - it was Violet's first time having a chocolate bunny!!! She loved it, but the funny thing is that her reaction to a box of raisins was no less than her reaction to the chocolate or candy. Two (almost three) is fun like that.

We've been slowing trying dairy with her and on Easter we felt like it was time. She's been doing great and I'm so excited to get to feed her like a "normal" kid. It's actually been hard to break out of the non-dairy thing, we've gotten so used to it! She downed some of her Grandmom's homemade chocolate covered eggs like a boss:

And I've been fending off Easter egg decorating requests for days since Easter. I'm going to be honest and admit that was a bit of a nightmare (for me at least) this year. I should have just put her outside naked with some glitter and egg dye and said have fun kid! It was a serious mess and I'm surprised that our poor egg-dyed table lived to tell the tale. I blame it mostly on myself - I wasn't as organized as I should have been and pregnancy brain was in high gear. I mean, I overflowed the SINK people. I didn't have the eggs ready and in my haste to boil them and cool them down I just stuck them in the sink and left it running while I ran back out to set up the other goodies. Then I heard the sound of water splattering all. over. the. floor. Yeah. It was a good time at 38 weeks pregnant. 

So anyway we managed to get her wild curls tamed and then on the way to her Aunt's house for the egg hunt, out it came. Sigh. She still looked adorable regardless of course and everyone's hair looked pretty rough after egg hunting in the rain anyway. At least I got one good pic of my handiwork beforehand: 

She was absolutely smitten with her new baby cousin and got a lot of practice for our new arrival. Thirty-NINE weeks here people - I'm sooo ready! Unfortunately I am currently down for the count with bronchitis, so I started my maternity leave earlier than I wanted to. I also am suffering the loss of my laptop and with it, Photoshop, so there are your reasons for the tardiness of this post. I'm currently working from our desktop and using Pages as a substitute, but it just isn' the same. The good news is that I'm getting a new MacBook Air (hopefully ordering today - squee!) and maybe (fingers crossed) new Photoshop?! I was working with cs3, so I'm excited to see what new features might be available in a more updated version.

Oh and the best part - as she was opening her eggs she had somehow managed to find all of the money-filled eggs and only one with candy. The look on her face was so disappointed each time she opened one up. She said, "Mommy, no candy - only money" in the most dramatic, devastated little two-year-old voice ever. Probably one of the few times I'll hear that in my lifetime, am I right?!

So there you have it - a belated Easter post. Better late than never, right? Hope everyone had a lovely holiday and week! Now I'm off to go vegetate on the couch and get rid of this bronchitis before the baby comes. Keep your fingers crossed for me! xo, Lauren


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