by gillian claire: April 2015

4.29.2015

lifebankUSA + a carseat giveaway!

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Anyone who has read my blog for a while has seen my sponsor LifebankUSA pop up here and there and I'm here again with them today! I am such a strong believer in choices as a parent. Today more than ever, we are simply bombarded with choices. I've learned that no matter what you choose, someone will disagree with you. I've also learned not to be too hard headed in my decisions because lo and behold, I might just change my mind someday. I know I can't be the only parent who does things that they claimed they would never do at one point, right?
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Here are a few facts about cord blood banking + LifebankUSA!
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++ LifebankUSA is a private cord blood banking company and one of the few companies that additionally offer placental tissue banking.
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++ Collecting and storing stem cells from a newborn's umbilical cord and from the placenta at birth could one day be used to treat serious illness that may occur in your child or a family member.
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++ Stem cells from cord blood have been used to treat over 30,000 patients worldwide!
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++ Saving placenta blood in addition to cord blood preserves a significantly larger amount of stem cells.
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++ LifebankUSA offers many payment plans to help spread the cost of private stem cell banking and to make it more affordable for families.
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Right now, LifebankUSA is giving away 3 Graco 4-in-1 Car Seats on their Facebook page! Be sure to check it out! These are similar to the model we have for our boys and I love how much protection they provide especially going into the older years of carseat use. 
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As usual, I can't end a post about newborns without sharing one of mine: here's Asher at 9 days old. :)
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nine days.

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*I was compensated for this post. Thanks for supporting my family by reading along. I truly appreciate it!*
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We Are A Top Baby Blog

portraits of ash.

IMG_5694-2 ( asher, 3 years 9 months )
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Oh my heart! I snapped these pictures the other day after Asher and I had a grand adventure. I'm finishing up my final for my Photo 2  this semester so I bought Asher a new outfit at Old Navy and took him out into the neighborhood looking for fun and good spots for photos. We truly had such a wonderful time together. It felt like the old days when I had just one baby and simple walks to the dumpster behind our house were enough adventure for one day. Life with 2 is busy and I hope to strive harder to find the beauty in the little things with my boys: discovering caves under pine trees, running from landscaping sprinklers, looking for secret paths and making wishes on dandelions.
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similar portraits of asher from the past here + here.
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We Are A Top Baby Blog

4.27.2015

chasing the moon.

IMG_4722( dad + me )
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     Last Monday, April 20th, I was driving home from work and saw the most amazing crescent moon. April 20th was Easter last year and even though I have the flightiest memory imaginable, I remember that the 20th was Easter and I remember vividly the events that occurred in my father's last week of life because time seemed to stop and tick by slowly and deliberately. As I drove home last Monday, I decided to drive up the mountain road behind my house to the little spot where I scattered flowers on my dad's birthday last year, to think of him under the light of the biggest most beautiful moon. 
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     The raw emotion of trying to find a spot closer to him flooded over me and as I drove higher up the road, I watched the moon start to sink below the mountain peaks. Staring at that last little sliver peeking out as I drove over the dam, I felt panicky wanting the moon to hang on. It's the same panic I felt last year, hearing the words of many telling me that my dad was passing away but wanting him to hang on, filtering through the events that happened but desperately wanting it to not be true. As the moon sunk low, I felt gypped. I wanted my moment; to climb in the night and feel the stillness of the huge Colorado sky, to feel comforted by that quintessential crescent moon hanging over the mountains and to feel my father in the stillness I'd find there. As I got to our spot, the moon finally slipped away and the light that brought me there was gone. When I pulled into the little parking lot at the spot I was looking for, I realized that 4/20 to me is different than to the community up there who were dancing around with light sabers, smoking weed to celebrate their made up holiday and adding the perfect punctuation to my disappointment. 
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     It was then I realized that I was silly to try and chase the moon. I'm grown up now and I should know that I can't always catch the things I want. I know tragedy and big pain and have struggled with the best of them. I can't catch the moon and I can't hold onto it's light. I can't have my dad back on Earth with me. As hard as I freaking try to wish these things into reality for myself, they will not come true. 
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     Driving down the mountain that night, crying and sorting through ideas too big to ever truly understand, I felt a weird sense of truth washing over me. It's the sort of thing that only happens after losing someone close to you,;you figure things out on a deeper level than you ever have before. I do know that I'll find the moon again, that every night it will be back, standing strong in the sky. I also know that when I take a step back from the giant pain of losing my father, when I climb down that mountain a couple of steps, he's there shining in my life as well. In everything I feel my father; I feel him close, I hear his laugh, I feel his approval wash over me when something goes right in my life. It almost seems that a person is more alive after they die. Before, my dad was a person; he existed in constant phone calls and texts, Thursday night dinners at Namaw's house and Christmas Eve sleepovers. He still exists, but now he is scattered everywhere. In the wind I feel his memory, in the future I feel his presence and I see him right there in front of me when I look into my babies' eyes. He's with me somehow everyday and every night he's shining with the light of the moon. 
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     I can't catch him or pin him down but if I sit back and close my eyes, I can feel his warm glow, and I always, always will.
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4.10.2015

happy friday!

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i'm just itching to put a blog post up but can't seem to coherently put anything together so i thought i'd share these photos from a personal project i've been working on! i finally got around to trying free-lensing and i am in love. the randomness and dreaminess of it is just soothing my need for something different in photography. the photos here are very consistent with my usual style of photography but i've also been pushing and trying some new things lately and it's been so refreshing and fun. i'm taking a class this semester that consists of building a semester long project and i've been putting a lot of work into it. i'm trying to push myself as an artist and it's an ongoing and wonderful journey.
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happy friday friends, thanks for stopping by!


We Are A Top Baby Blog

4.06.2015

jogger pants; yes please.

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     Hello friends, it's been a while! I wanted to pop in this Monday morning and share these pictures of my sweet 7 year old modeling the outfit that FabKids sent us recently! I am a huge fan of the jogger pants trend and can't get over how adorable they look on Roman! I'm also so pleased with how perfectly these pants fit because, as I've mentioned, finding pants to fit Roman's body type has been a real struggle this year! They will get us through the rest of the chilly days that may happen this spring. It's been super warm here in Colorado but we also had a snowstorm last week so you never know! Also, this color blue on him - sigh! It brings out his sparkly blue eyes. :)
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     Cheers to a happy Monday! I'm itching to update my blog so hopefully I'll be able to put together a few posts this week. In the meantime, I'm loving being back on Instagram - you can find me here: @bygillianclaire! Leave a comment if you follow me so that I can follow you as well! <3
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Be sure to check out FabKids for yourself! 
Use my link to get 20% off your first outfit with free shipping!
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( Roman's faces here - hah! )
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outfit: c/o FabKids, shoes $3 Old Navy clearance (score!)
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We Are A Top Baby Blog
 

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