December 30, 2011

.You're Watching Me.

I see you watching me. Each morning, I’ll be sitting at my vanity and you’ll be playing contently and babbling with your toys. I'll be fiddling around in the kitchen while you sit in your bumbo.  I'm working on the computer as you jump around in your jumperoo.  Then I hear silence, and when I look to check on you, you’re watching me. I smile, you smile. I talk, you watch my mouth make the words. Sometimes, you’ll put your hand to my lips and feel while they move. I laugh, you laugh.

I know this is just the start.

From now on, you’ll always be watching me. Watching what I do, how I do it, why I do it, when I do it. You’ll be watching what I value, what I spend my time on, what I invest in. You’ll be watching my reaction to situations, how I behave in circumstances, the tone of my voice, the way I treat others. You’ll listen how I speak about and to people. How I describe my beliefs. If what I say matches what I do. You’ll watch if I’m consistent, or flighty. Flexible or neurotic.  You’re the ultimate form of accountability. If I mess up, you will see it, process it, remember it. This recall will come around and impact you in some way. Whether my actions affect you positively or negatively is up to me. You are a blank canvas, and through us you will learn how to love, how to be angry, how to communicate your feelings, how to relate to others. We are raising a human being, one who will one day have a bearing on the world.

Do I feel pressure? Sure.

But I also feel empowered and blessed to have this opportunity. I look forward daily to the challenge. There’s no class to learn about love and life. I'm ready to show you what I know, but not only are you learning from me... I’m learning and growing from you.

Aibileen from The Help expressed this sentiment best when she made sure to tell little Mae Mobley every day, “You is kind, you is smart, you is important.” I hope I always remember to point out your best qualities, your strengths, and remind you that no matter what you ever do, you are important to me.

{P.S. A fascinating article on How to Talk to Little Girls via A Cup of Jo}

December 28, 2011

.The First Noël.

It was one of those weekends where staying in pajamas all day was perfectly acceptable.  Where morning coffee, biscuits, and doughnuts was not judged.  Where it was full of Facetime and Skyping with far away family.  Where full bellies in need of rubbing groaned in satisfaction, yet over-indulgent discomfort.  Where the itinerary alternated from home videos, to phone calls, to holiday movies, to reading baby and grown up books, to playing, to conversing while never leaving the couch.  Where the {finally} cold rain sprinkled outside our windows.  Where family exchanged more laughs and hugs than presents.  Where we got things we needed, wanted, and more.

It was an ideal first Christmas for this little family.

December 26, 2011

.The Day After Christmas.

 After Christmas, I usually fall into a post-holiday funk.  Sure there is still New Years, but that holds a level of pressure unlike the previous holiday.  In order to combat these feelings, this December 26th I made plans to sleep in (G was ambitious and went hunting early morning instead), spent time reading newly gifted books, took Dylan to get fresh air, had an afternoon date matinee with G, and dinner with friends.  It was one of those days that flies by in such a blur, yet when you lay in bed recounting events, you feel full and happy... wishing the dark sky promising the return of reality is nothing but a ruse.

December 25, 2011

.Merry Christmas Day.

Wishing you and your family
a joyous Christmas
and a happy and healthy new year.

{Card design from the highly recommended Tiny Prints}

December 24, 2011

.Christmas (Later) Evening.

Waiting on Santa is hard work.  Last time we checked, he was in Brazil and is headed to Rio de Janeiro.  Dylan is fighting sleep (in great anticipation I'm sure), so cuddled up we all go to bake brownies in our Christmas jammies and watch a classic.  

.Christmas Eve.

It's here.
Our first Christmas as a little family.
These days are my favorite.

December 22, 2011

.It is Tradition.

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.
.Norman Vincent Peale.

Although my shopping is all done, this week has been more frantic than anticipated.  Tomorrow {finally} starts my holiday leave, so I'll be back soon.  Until then, I am writing about Christmas traditions here for The Style Stork!

December 19, 2011

We Played Games with Babies

Game night full of baby girls and Taboo is the perfect mix of play date and grown up fun.  Add eating yummy cheese, crackers, and grapes all night during the friendly game competition, and you have my idea of a great Saturday night.

December 17, 2011

.Give Her Courage.

 "... she will have these stories and images to look back on, and I hope they always give her great courage to face the world."

* Quote from Ryan of Pacing the Panic Room

December 16, 2011

.Santa Baby.

Yesterday, we took Dylan to meet Santa.  She handled the strange, white-bearded man much better than we expected.  Although she's small, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful source of cheer; the innocence, the whole-hearted belief.  The experience was a bit overwhelming for mama, keeping sleepy baby girl happy during the wait with crying children all about, but we survived.  It's a tradition that I wouldn't want Dylan to miss out on, an important childhood rite of passage. 

Now to spend the last weekend before Christmas scrambling about for last minute necessities.  It is unusually warm down here and doesn't feel at all like December, but Christmas is officially here.  I am welcoming the chaos of the holiday and the great music that accompanies it.

December 13, 2011

.When Dylan Met Her First Cousin.

This weekend, Dylan got to meet her very first cousin.  Theodore was born just this November, so we've been anxiously anticipating our trip to Florida to visit the new family.  Theodore was precious and so new; it was a reality check on just how much Dylan has grown, because to me she's still just my little bebe.  We exchanged new parent tales, hilarious and nerve-racking, and no matter how stressful the story was, each ended with a smile and feeling of devotion for these little loves.

I can't wait to raise these darling children alongside one another.


December 9, 2011


It's been a week since Dylan had her first try of solids at 24 weeks old.  She has been a great sport, and reacted exactly like I expected to this change.  Curious.  My girl is a curious one...  a persistent one.  Traits I hope she carries forever.  Rice cereal was a hit, but sweet potatoes have been a transition after six months of milk.  We'll keep working on it, but the look of puzzlement on her face as she tries out new textures and flavors is priceless.  Granted, she gets about as much in her hair as she does her mouth, but she'll get the hang of it.

This weekend we're finally meeting Dylan's first cousin, Theodore!  We can't wait to meet the newest little Tyler.

December 8, 2011

.This Weekend.

This weekend, my mom and her husband came from up north for a quick visit.  Our time was full of watching The Holiday, eating too many cookies, pizza and games, waking up to a homemade mama breakfast, shopping, taking a hundred pictures of Dylan, and generally spoiling baby girl with kisses.  Mom even took a few family pictures of us for the first official Tyler family Christmas card.  It made me realize just how much more fun the holiday season will be from now on.  Getting to experience this all through Dylan's young and unaffected perspective will I'm sure, serve as a way to help us appreciate this magical time of year even more.

December 5, 2011

.My Happy Place.

Full of light. Full of fresh faces and late showers. Full of tiny fingers and toes and wet kisses. Full of crisp air and clear skies. Full of "I love you's." Full of grateful words. Full of discovery. Full of knowing smiles. Full of possibilities. Full of warmth and giving. Full of sacrifice and compromise. Full of plans. Full of the wholesome, innocent good. Full of dinners by candlelight. Full of surprises and laughs till you cry. Full of encouragement. Full of grace beyond understanding. Full of open deadlines.  Full of handholding and stolen kisses.  Full of trying to cram 35 hours of living into 24. Full of those with wisdom. Full of mid-twenties' anxieties. Full of research, studying, observing. Full of playing and reading. Full of parallel learning.  Full of color. Full of correspondence. Full of challenges. Full of heart-shattering, unconditional love.

My happy place is full of "us" and not "me."
There is no other way I'd ever wish it.