Sunday, January 29, 2017

New Name, New Look

Welcome to laurabird!  I have been wanting to rebrand for a good year plus now.  And apparently all it took was a little nudge from Laura.  Well a nudge and for her to do all the work.  I literally sent her an email with a few links and approved a handful of things.  The rest was all her!  Bless her sweet, helpful soul!

So laurabird...  I wanted to come up with a new blog name that reflected more of me.  tiny toes, little nose started as just as baby blog, a way for me to document my first pregnancy.  Since then, my blog has changed and become much more.  laurabird is a nickname Conor has long used for me, and I find that it fits my personality and this space perfectly.

I know I've been relatively absent since the New Year, but I hope to find the time to nestle back in here.  It's all about finding the time and the energy at the end of a long day with the boys.  And as I've said before, I really want to focus more on photography this year.  There just never seems to be enough time, but I'm determined to keep up with the little things that are just for me.  The things that bring me joy, which this space truly does!  Where else would I share the thousands of pictures I take?!

So once again, welcome to laurabird.  
I hope you stay around for awhile! 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

We're Building A House!

I'm excited to finally share this big news!  I've hinted towards it on some Instagram posts, and then some of you even noticed house plans floating around our kitchen table in a few videos.  So yes, YES we are building a house here in Utah!  This is just one of the many things that has already been keeping me busy this year!

Some people are surprised to hear we're moving since they know how much we loooooove our neighborhood.  Which is true, we really really do!  We love the people and the little pocket that we're in.  However, we really don't love the surrounding neighborhoods.  I don't take long walks with the boys, because honestly, it feels a little sketchy at times.  Plus, there have always been things about our particular house that we don't like (such as a main floor master bedroom).  And lastly, many people don't know this about Salt Lake City, but we have terrible inversions in the winter.  The air can get so so gross here!  We've always talked about moving up to a higher elevation to get out of it.  And since as of now, we plan on staying in Utah for another 2-3 years, we're ready for a new house.  We are truly thrilled with this new opportunity!

We're building up in the mountains a bit (yay for more snow!), but to do this, we are moving south of the city.  We'll be farther away from everything, which I initially had some reservations about.  However, each time we drive up to the lot, I love everything about it.  I think we will love being tucked away!  We'll be getting better air & a bit more space too.  Our lot as well as our house will be bigger, which is something that the whole family is looking forward to.  We're trying to get things moving as quickly as possible, potentially looking at a late summer/early fall move in date!  Eek!

But fear not...  this little space of mine will not turn into a design blog.  I'm not a designer nor a trend setter.  Nor a risk taker while we're at it.  But I do happen to love Pinterest, ha!  Conor & I have a similar style, and thus far we've agreed on nearly everything.  Our exterior will have a farmhouse feel, but the inside will be more contemporary with lots of whites & blacks throughout the house.  Ground breaking... I know!  I'll share things I'm loving here & there, and more I suppose if people are interested.  We'll see how the next 7+ months or so goes.

Here's a couple pics of us exploring our new spot! 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Monday Things

Monday things just because "Fri-Yay" never happened!  I have a relatively calm week ahead, so I'm hoping to play a little catch up on life.  It's been awhile since I've shared some random favorites, so here we go:

Last time we went sledding I was intrigued by all the "snow tubes" people were using.  And then I found the cutest one ever!  This peppermint candy is pumped up and taking up space in my living room until the next snow fall.  I can hardly wait!

Everyone needs this Brown Sugar Bourbon in their life!  I had some over the holidays, and hot damn!  Perfect for sipping, or perfect in Old Fashioneds (if you skip the sugar).  We brought three bottles back to Utah with us and have already realized that we should have brought much much more!  Here is where you can find it near you!

How gorgeous are these hex boxes?!  They would be perfect for any nightstand or desk.  I'm seriously drooling over them.  I don't love the price so much, but I'm thinking these would make such a sweet gift.  Valentine's day is coming up after all!

And since we're talking about Valentine's Day now... yes, we've all already bought a bag of conversation hearts, but now you need the festive tic tacs.  I housed a box in a mere few days.  So next time, I'm getting the jumbo box.  Maybe the three pack.  Because they are little drops of strawberry & cherry goodness!

The Wailin' Jennys popped up on my Family Folk Pandora station the other day, and I am loving them!  Perfect for lazy train & Lego afternoons with my boys.  Give them a listen!

If you have the day off today, lucky you! Enjoy!
For the rest, go get that Monday!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Looking Forward: 2017

I'm having a bit of a slow start to the year as far as organization is concerned, but I'm getting there.  Each year I like to have a goal or two, as well as a little mantra to keep in mind through each passing month.  I'm still working on the wording, but essentially this year it's "don't sweat the small stuff".  So often I let the tiny things really get to me.  I can easily deem it a bad day before 10am.  I want to let go of all those little things, and instead focus more on the big picture.  This will be difficult for me, but hopefully it becomes more natural throughout the year.

So that's the mantra, now the goal.  I want to really focus on my photography this year.  I have loved looking back on my top nine pictures from the year (based off instagram likes), and seeing the growth.  Now technically Conor took the top 2, but all that tells me is that people love seeing pictures of me, particularly me in a bikini... frolicking!  Please sense my sarcasm here (I promise I'm not narcissistic!).  I did the camera settings, Conor simply pushed click.  Okay maybe he does more than that; he really is learning his way around my camera too!  And I love that he is willing & capable to take pictures of me & the boys.  I don't want to be missing from their documented childhood memories!

I was surprised to see that my darker/moodier photos were among the favorites, because often I think light & bright is the way to go.  I want to challenge myself in this new year.  Refine my skills, develop my style more.  But the one big goal is to finally learn my editing software!  I have Photoshop Elements, but I do not use it at all.  I want to take that next step.  And once I'm there I will switch to shooting in RAW.  The only thing holding me back really is time.  I'm never on my computer until the boys are in bed, but I want to dedicate some time to it.  Photography has brought me so much joy and a sense of accomplishment.  It's something I can do for just me!  A way to challenge myself.  I think youtube tutorials need to become my new best friend.  Here's to hoping I can stay awake late enough to get some editing done each night!

Happy New Year friends!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Our Holiday Getaway

I'm here!  I didn't plan to take such a long hiatus; apparently, I am easing myself back into the new year.  Finn has been working on his two year molars for weeks now (and still nothing has poked through), and therefore his sleep is awful.  I'm so so tired every single day.  By the time both boys are in bed, I really don't want to do anything but lay down.  But here's to a new week.  I've got a massive to-do list staring me down, so I really need to be quite productive.

Way back in 2016, we spent the last week of the year up in the Pacific Northwest with my family.  My parents still wait until I'm home to celebrate Christmas, which I just love them for.  There really is nothing like being "home for the holidays".  I love walking in the door to all the familiar scents, sights, sounds.  It just feels like coming home.  The fireplace now holds many new stockings as our families have grown, and the sight of them all cramped together is one of my favorites.  I love thinking back to all the Christmas mornings of years past in the same family room.  

However, our week didn't go as planned at all.  My dad got very very sick while we were there.  He ended up spending some time in the hospital, which was hard for me to see.  I was happy to be home though.  Even though I didn't necessarily do anything, or help in any way, I felt like I could.  I was there.  I was part of the conversations.  I could give him hugs and be there.  I would have been devastated to be states away if this had happened at another time.  Living away from family is hard.  I want to be there when my parents need me.  So while his illness totally changed our holiday, I was just happy to be there.  It makes you enjoy all the simple moments much more.

We still made it out to the lake house where everyone relaxes.  It's good for all of us!  My dad was still able to be the boys.  Reading books, playing games, even tossing around a football.  The temperatures were freezing during our stay, but we still made it outside each day.  The lake was frozen over, perfect for morning walks & sleds.  And the massive snow banks allowed for fort building.  Liam called all the birds over in the mornings, and we nibbled the best maple bars in all the land.

 My dad is on the mend now and should be totally fine!  We already miss him like crazy, as well as the rest of the family.  The boys can never have enough cousin time, and this trip we were lucky to have the Montana cousins join us for a night at the lake!  I'm itching to be back and feel like we need a re-do visit.  I will be jetting home as soon as Conor's next work trip is planned.  

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