by gillian claire: July 2013




love, asher ;)

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foothill hikes + time with my littlest.

IMG_3718IMG_3720IMG_3730(photo of asher and i taken by a girl who offered to take our photo as she was running by!)
the other day, in hopes of getting some nice photos of asher, i packed him up for a little hike in the foothills by our house.
it's amazing how peaceful and quiet it was there, just he and i.

away from his brother and out in nature where this boy belongs,
he was calm and gentle and quiet as a mouse.
he stopped to notice all the bike riders and all the runners (rummm! he says)
and stopped to notice each tiny ant on the ground.
and of course, he carefully selected rocks to throw into the brush.
watching my sensitive and passionate newly two year old stop to do all his baby-turning-boy things,
 i stopped to remember in my heart the great love that i have for this soft, wonderful, darling second baby of mine.
as we headed back, he pressed his body against mine as i carried him, and we silently enjoyed our last drops of peace and beauty and wonder together. 
tucking it somewhere in our hearts, 
to keep.
before heading back to the chaos and noise 
that is our everyday normal around here. ;)
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happy things.

i feel like i have much to write about and many pictures to sort through and share.
not to mention lots of things to do; like organize my house + figure things out for the fall.
for now i just want to share a few of the happy things in my life right now:

IMG_3437IMG_3436witnessing my baby discover two. i have never actually felt happy about either of my boys turning a year older, but i am genuinely so pleased and proud to watch asher become two :)
IMG_3551-2IMG_3561watching this brother relationship grow.
it's still rough waters over here between these two a lot of the time. but with all the change in our family and with asher getting just a little bit older, i have seen so much goodness + closeness between these two lately :)
i have to remind myself during the frustrating moments, that being able to see love unfold between my children is wonderful and worth it.

ellablog12finishing up this session on my photography blog.
because i absolutely adore these portraits + because finally seeing the finished product of a photo shoot does an artist's soul good.
IMG_3482(photo from our trip to the smokey mountains before the move)
when asher sleeps in the car! with all the traveling + driving that we've done lately - you can only imagine how wonderful it is when this wild and spunky little boy is fast asleep in the backseat.
 asher sleeping, roman playing quietly, starbucks in hand + the radio turned up: these have been some of the best moments in my life lately.
worst moment you ask? driving to find something on a craigslist ad, getting lost, asher screaming bloodly murder because he wants "out", roman screaming because asher is screaming... and basically many variations on that theme that have played themselves out in our car over the past month ;)
all the new beauty out here. mountains, wildflowers, rainbows, and big skies. i love being able to live right by the foothills of the mountains ;)
IMG_2079this husband of mine - who always works hard to make our lives cushy and comfortable.
i can always depend on him :)
i have known aaron for thirteen years now, and it's just plain crazy.
here's to many more years + many more adventures + many more happy things to have
and cherish together. :)
what are your happy things right now?

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IMG_3548IMG_3546just a couple quick photos of my little boys,
with the aspen tress
on their great-grandparents' back porch.
happy friday everyone!
this weekend we will be traveling back to my grandparents' house again for a night of visiting/playing/doing yard work and ... watching HGTV when the boys are asleep of course!
we are still hunting for jobs.
and spending lots of time on the free section of craigslist!
man, i think we have hit the jackpot of all cities when it comes to the free stuff people are giving away here!
other than that, it's still days full of park + library visits and little boys playing in laundry baskets with toys strewn all over the living room floor!
man i feel like a little kid in the midst of summer. i know that work and school will bring good things like more structure and productivity to our days (oh, and money.) but i'm just not ready to give up the good life yet!
vote for me today??
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roap trip / new life adventures.

well, we are finally settling down in our new home. the past couple weeks have definitely been packed full. it is crazy to me that we only left our last home less than three weeks ago! during that time, we have embarked on a three day road trip from ohio to colorado staying overnight in kansas city, misouri + colby, kanas, settled in at my grandparents’ house, toured many condos, taken two 90 mile trips to the city we are now living in, stayed in another hotel for a couple nights while aaron had orientation for school, did a lot of yard work, bought a condo, managed to collectively as a family to break a weed whacker, two glasses and a massive glass coffee table at my grandparents’ house, watched a lot of house hunters, bought a loveseat at a thrift store and moved in to our new home.
it has all been a mixture of many emotions. i think the hardest part for me right now is actually settling down. the roadtrip did my gypsy heart much good and now the task of finding jobs and figuring out school schedules all seems a little too realistic and responsible and ... real life to me. of course these things are necessary to life and they too are good. but these weeks of traveling and wandering around and doing as we please, yeah they have been good as well :)
i just wanted to share a little bit of our journey with you all! i have so much going through my mind and so much to say about it all. but here is just a little taste via some of my instagram photos!
you can find more by following me on instagram @bygillianclaire

our first stop 200 miles in at a gas station in martinsville, illinois
rest stop in selina, kansas for stuffed animals, starbucks + wendy's.
a glimpse into our very packed and getting messier by the day car // my sleeping mama's boy :)
a rainstorm as we were arriving at my grandparents' house // condo shopping

evergreen, colorado funevergreen2
roman playing soccer at the playground near my grandparents' house // view of the foothills less than a mile from our new condo // target shopping for new towels + pillows on our first night in our new home // roman in our empty future bedroom!
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(words written last night while putting asher to sleep.)
a letter to my second so the night before his second birthday:
oh how easy it is to forget, that once we were one. my skin wrapped snug around yours, my heart keeping you and giving you life. those last slow, sticky summer days feel so distant now, but I still remember the way you rolled around inside me and how i would dream of your golden hair and pouty lips. and how i would cry just thinking of touching your slippery soft baby newness for the first time face to face. how quickly your birth day came and went, and with it hundreds of days have trickled past us as well. but please know that i remember when you were still my secret kept safe inside, a quiet prayer of goodness and love.
and i know that you remember as well. the way you twirl and twirl my hair, the way you wrap yourself around me all night. the way you sing when you say mama. the way your eyebrows turn up when you need me. i know then, that you remember our secret; our love.
and please also remember that i believe you are a wonderful, passionate, delicate poem of a child. i will always, always believe in you.
i love you, my beautiful one :)
IMG_3476IMG_3458-5IMG_3469IMG_3471IMG_3463-2                                                                                                            We Are A Top Baby Blog


IMG_2454IMG_2453i love photos like these - little hands holding little things.
tiny fingers touching a pinecone, trying to say a new word and then offering it to mama.
it's more than just that - it's discovery and the newness of life.
it's magic, these little things.
last night, as i put asher to sleep, we just savored the moment together, face to face, looking into each other's eyes. asher would take a moment here and there to silently wave, and point and give a thumbs up - never breaking our gaze. i brushed his face softly with my fingers until his eyes gently closed. 
magical moments like these are such gifts to me.
where everything else becomes background noise, and all i can see and feel is love for these little boys.
sometimes the magic feels like too much and weighs too heavy on my heart, simply because i want so badly to save it forever. i want two little boys falling asleep with me; one waving and saying, "hi mama!" in his pip-squeeky voice and the other drifting off behind me with legs and arms tangled up around me
 in the best ever hug.
these are the moments where i'm so blissed out, it's like this is IT.
 this is life. wonder. beauty. 
in the everyday, sometimes it is hard to tap into this feeling, this life magic.
but i hope that i will never stop trying to slow down and savor this beautiful life.
that right now looks something like two little boys running down the pavement
 to meet their mama after an evening run;
smiling faces, happy squeals, mountains in the background,
hearts full - all of us.
such a gift.
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moving + random memories of fall.

today is the last day in our house! of course even though we have so much to do still, i also have a last minute photo shoot that i need to wrap up. while trying to free up space on my computer, i edited these photos of asher from last october.
oh my little ashey dash - exploring the yard in fall.
 with his moccasins (which i love, but he HATES), and his little baby striped leggings. he is 15 months here.
my, how time flies. and how thankful i am for these little memories saved forever.
our chapter of being in this house and living in this town is coming to a close.
in ways, it is sad to go,
but we are looking onward to a brand new adventure full of many new and wonderful memories of this life to savor together.
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