by gillian claire: September 2014

9.29.2014

little reader.

IMG_0146-2IMG_0142IMG_0141IMG_0140IMG_0128 ( My First Book Fruits by Sophie Helenek )
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Hey there! I wanted to pop in and share these photos I took of Asher over a month ago. Author Sophie Helenek was kind enough to reach out to me and send Asher a copy of one of the books from her new series, My First Books.  We received the Fruits book and Asher proudly carried it around the neighborhood as I took some photos of him. The boys and I have so much fun when we get the chance to work with companies and our package finally comes in the mail!
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Even though Asher is 3 now, he really gravitates towards these simple "baby" board books because he can grab one and read it himself! He loves to look through books and point out all the pictures that he knows. It's really sweet. :) Our little boy who we thought would never start talking goes on and on and on these days and I just love hearing all of his bright and shiny 3 year old thoughts!
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You can check out Sophie's new book series here. I love that she has a "musical instruments" book! Sophie is such a sweet lady and I've really enjoyed working with her and watching her gain success with her venture into children's books!
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I hope everyone's week is off to a great start!
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We Are A Top Baby Blog

9.27.2014

random saturday stuff.

IMG_0096Hey! It's Saturday! I've been off work yesterday and today which is just lovely. As usual I imagined high and lofty things for myself (getting in some fantastic workouts, folding laundry out of my ridiculous tower of clothing in the hallway, and so on...) Instead I have basically been doing: nothing. The past two weekends I've been working a seasonal photography job in addition to my other job + school so this weekend it's great to really not do a lot.
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Asher came down with hand foot and mouth disease this week. Ash was pretty miserable the first couple of days and the rest of the week was a bit challenging because I'm trying to keep our highly contagious little guy away from other children! I pick Roman up from school on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays after taking Aaron to work and I always let the boys play on the playground for a bit but this week I had to quickly usher us all home. I was also disappointed to miss out on watching Roman at his "walk-a-thon" at school yesterday afternoon but I just couldn't bring my little polka dotted virus laden 3 year old there It seems obvious that Asher picked up the virus from Roman's school (through Roman is my guess) but still.
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Having said all that, hand foot and mouth disease potty trained my child! Ash is literally the most strong willed human being on the planet ( I will bet on that ) and I have never full out started the potty training route with him because I knew it would be something that he would have to just decide for himself. He is extremely particular and has been for years. At a certain age he refused cloth diapers, he has refused certain brands of diapers, he has to wear particular clothing and suggesting underwear to him was futile to say the least. He has a little potty and has peed in it on occasion and he has known that he has the option of choosing from a drawer full of little underwear but I haven't pushed it. His rash this week was really intense and diapers were irritating him so he decided that he would wear underwear and pee in the potty and that was that! Pretty awesome.
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Side note: I want to know, what do ya'll think of the capsule wardrobe stuff? I've gone back and forth about my feelings on it. I am just not a trendy person and usually don't fit in among the latest crazes. :) I did spend a good couple weeks really scouring the un-fancy site + feeling a little inspired. I usually find myself intrigued by all things minimalistic, clean and organized. There is something calming in that for me. I don't so much buy into the rigidness of it all ( and I'm not sure sure what's minimalistic about a $1000 three month wardrobe, am I right? ) but I do like the thought of thinking more deliberately about my clothing. I often find myself impulsively buying an item of clothing and then basically hating it after one wear. I'd love to gravitate towards owning more basics and sorting through the cluttery random pieces of clothing that seem to not flatter me and yet stick around for years taking up space in my closet.
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And as a closing "random thing" for the day: I happened upon these adorable little Foxfire umbrellas on Zulily!
foxfire_boy_umbrellas_comes_in_colours_blogThey are killing me. I have always wanted cute little umbrellas for my boys and they are only $7.99! They even have matching raincoats + boots. 
( Yup, that's an affiliate link. If you sign up for Zulily today - it's free, I earn a little cash! Thanks! )
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Happy Saturday!
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9.26.2014

happy thoughts.

IMG_0559one tiny flower.IMG_0453painting in progress. IMG_0440 IMG_0442creating art from art.IMG_0378-2brothers / adventurers.IMG_0090IMG_0087 warm days at the reservoir.IMG_0477 cows in the mountains.IMG_04452D.IMG_9592 little legs. IMG_0561IMG_0560.
Things have been busy and blogging has been quiet but I've still been making art, and in fact making a lot of it! I've been a little side tracked from the "type" of photography and creativity that I rope myself into but it's been a very good thing. I just wanted to put together a post with some of my favorite random photos lately and some favorite random happy thoughts to go along with.
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Happy Friday everyone!
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We Are A Top Baby Blog

9.15.2014

harvest.

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( asher with apples, september 2012  / tree, recent )
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Fall is just around the corner and contrary to popular blogging belief, it's honestly a really hard transition for me. Fall used to be my favorite season and it definitely brings back good memories of years past; hoodie sweatshirts, cool evening football games, walking to the neighborhood Starbucks, holding hands with gloves and cuddling with a boy I hoped to marry. There are still nice things about fall, I suppose. But as the years have passed and I've grown in age and in responsibility, fall has come to mainly mean this: warm weather is over and winter is coming fast.
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I really, truly do not enjoy winter. It's dark and long and full of dreadful things like toes that never warm up and being stuck in the house with two wild-banshee boys. All roads will turn into black dirty mush , my hair will be wildly static and my hands will be forever dry-heat-air dry. I'll force my feet out of flip flops and into my moccasin boots, prepared to earn their yearly salt stain stripes. As usual, winter isn't going to ask my opinion; it will just proceed to dump it's frozen, miserable feelings on me regardless. 
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First though, we are getting this short little window of still warm, okay feeling days. I'm trying though failing daily, to find that little bit of peace and joy in the harvest season that is now: an old dreamy photo of my little boy eating an apple; leaning back and finding the beauty in the changing trees right by my house, shopping for warm clothes and finding the absolutely perfect pair of black pants.
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For me, the season that is here right now, is just another reminder that the good and the bad and the ugly will ebb and flow whether we like it or not. I guess the goal might be to strive to find that bit of plenty to hang onto. So that when times are dark and rough, I can close my eyes and grasp that feeling of lying in the grass on a hot summer day, still smell the leather interior of my dad's convertible, and still see that fair-skinned baby picking up apples one by one in the backyard long after he's grown.
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I guess I'll just keep moving and living as the world spins me into winter, whether I like it or not. I'll keep trying hard to gather my harvest little by little, memory by memory, day by day. Winter may freeze things up for a while but it can't take away these good, happy things, always glowing summertime warm in my heart. 
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<3
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"Harvest" is the September writing prompt of The Mommy Blogger Collective. In addition to a monthly writing prompt, the collective hosts a monthly blogger featurette. This month we are featuring Courteney of The Titled Blog. A few words from Courteney --- Hello! I’m Courteney from “The Titled Blog” I live up in Canada (in Abbotsford, British Columbia - just East of Vancouver) with my husband, one year old daughter Lucy, a pug named Minnie and an angry flame point siamese cat named Bigsby. My blog has evolved over the last 7 years from random rants and social commentary to lifestyle and now most recently to being a mom. My daughter was born with a lot of health problems and I often write about the challenges that have come with having a baby that has spent a good chunk of her first year in and out of the hospital and how to deal with those challenges head on. When I’m not blogging, I work as a photographer with my own business (Courteney Rodda Photography) sing in my jazz band “Courteney Rodda and the Other Guys” and most recently I am sewing for an awesome local company making baby moccasins called “Minimoc” You can also find me on Instagram, where I post too many pictures of my daughter, dog and cat. /// The Mommy Blogger Collective /// Christina, Courteney, Dena, Erica, Erin, Gillian, Katie, Misty, Nicole, and RenĂ©e. ///

9.13.2014

little people, big world.

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i've always loved taking photos like these since roman was itty bitty: pictures of my boys with the great wide world around them.
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my favorite people who really are still so, so little.
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and when you stop and think about it - aren't we all really?
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just small specks trying to somehow exist on this crazy big earth of ours.
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9.09.2014

hey there.

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ok guys, it's been a little while. i have been so busy and just haven't had a bit motivation or thoughts or feelings of wanting to write or share here. i've been in a blogging void, really. which is nice and necessary but this morning as i was culling through some emails and thinking over some blogging opportunities i realized i may as well touch base here before my blog just falls off the face of the earth!
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i'm starting to build up my infamous personal wall of stress. it's ridiculous really but i see those little bricks stacking up before my eyes and realizing that i need to take a minute and start to deal with all these little things that hindering me from getting things done. i'm much better at ignoring the situation at hand than i am at diving in and dealing with it. school, work, my kids, money ... even little things that are on my to-do list like sending a birthday card to my grandpa: all these areas are starting to just tumble into a pile of stress and i feel overwhelmed.
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this morning though, i'm off work and SO thankful. tuesdays and thursdays are the days that i usually work at 9 am and don't get home until 9 pm after school. so today i am just sitting here, so stinking happy to not be working and hoping to get a few things done and get back on track for myself. we'll see though; it sounds like an easier said than done situation!
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maybe i'll be back soon to share more. i haven't picked up my camera much lately besides for a project that i did for a class, which is what the above photo is from! it ended up being pretty neat to think outside of my box and photograph in way that isn't my go-to. i've been painting and drawing and feeling inspired artistically in different ways than usual and it's a good thing i'd say.
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meanwhile if you have any great stress reliving tips or fabulous words of motivation ... i'm all ears. :)
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