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27 September, 2013

Seven Quick Takes {2}


I feel like I haven't blogged in forever, because we don't have much, yet we have everything in the world going on. I guess we're just a little status quo right now?  Nothing out of the ordinary.


Evie is really enjoying school and is doing well.  She hasn't had any issues with wanting / not wanting to go, no meltdowns upon arrival, etc.  She's happy when I pick her up.  The first three weeks were a struggle moving her nap from 1pm to 2pm, but now that we're on week 4, it's been fine (knock of wood)


I have a few photo shoots coming up in October. A family Christmas card, an engagement shoot and a maternity shoot.  I can't believe it's been a year since the first friend asked for some casual pictures.  I've had steady gigs once or twice a month since then and I'm picking up speed.


I rented a super fancy portrait lens for 10 days in October.  I can get my two important gigs with it.  I have been giddy about it's arrival.  I'll probably squeeze in some week night shoots with it while I have it. Anyone?


It's been almost two years and I still LOVE cloth diapering.  I've recently gotten hooked on a Facebook buy/sell/trade group to get rid of some of the diapers that didn't work for us, and to buy a few used ones in the brand that works for Evie at 33 pounds of meaty thighs.

I also love shopping on Kelly's Closet.  I needed to order a box of detergent and one more diaper.  I ended up with free shipping, a free diaper, and double reward points.  Once the holidays are over I am going to do a week long series about the different brands we use(d) and how they held up over the 2 years.

 Interested in cloth diapers? Buy from my affiliate link (and feed my addiction!) Click here to visit Kelly's Closet 

{{{Anyone want 5 used Fuzzibunz in assorted pinks and purples? I have 3 inserts for each (2 minky and 1 hemp) with no staining, along with all the replacement elastics.  Make me an offer via email: elizabeth [at]}}}


I realized tonight that it's been just about a year since I gave up cookies, donuts and cereal.  My three binge eating go-to foods.  Cutting back on those jump started my 20 pound weight loss and led me to the Primal Lifestyle, as well as spiritual direction to help what I later realized was a binge eating disorder.  I have since learned SO much about real food and about myself and how those two can directly relate to each other WAY more that the food, medical, or mental health industries lead us to believe.  I could dedicate an entire blog to those, but they're already out there. Check out Mark's Daily Apple and Mama+Baby Love


Something is wrong with my right thumb. Like seriously wrong. It's been 6-9 months of joint pain. The chiropractor thought it was jammed and unjammed it a few times but it still hurts. My primary care thinks I sprained it and gave me prescription topical anti-inflammatory cream, but it still hurts.  A friend in medical school thinks it might be a form of arthritis. Dr. Google thinks I have "blackberry thumb" which has been renamed to "Candy Crush Thumb".  And I am wondering if I have a ligament or tendon tear.

Anyone else have guesses?  It doesn't ache it just sends a shooting pain up my arm if anything bumped or jams into the knuckle joint or thumb joint.  Like make me scream in public pain.

24 September, 2013

Apple Picking

Weekends in the Fall are tricky for us.  I work Sunday afternoons, then we go to Mass as a family, and Eric stays to volunteer with the youth group.  We just Saturdays as our only real weekend day, they're often filled with football games, birthday parties, or social events. It's rare we get a day just the three of us.

I've always loved the romantic notion of apple picking.  With a free Saturday just for our family we decided rain or shine to go up to Apple Alley in Ellijay, Georgia to see what we could find.

I snagged a deal on Groupon that included admission, apples, hayride, petting zoo, apple canon, and a pony ride for $20.  Sold!  Off we went.
The forecast wasn't promising, but we got up super early to beat the 11 am predicted monsoon.  And we're SO glad we did.  It was sprinkling, but nothing to keep us indoors.  But just as we picked our last apple and headed over to the apple canon the orchard started closing the attractions due to the oncoming rain.
It came down hard, but we raced back to the market for some fresh fried apple pies and a little farmers market shopping.
We picked up a sack of apples and bucket of end of season peaches, in addition to some of our weekly staples like tomatoes, onions and sweet potatoes.  Yum!

We're bummed that we only got to pick apples and pet the goats, but we still had good family fun!  It was so nice to run around in the mountains with Evie and Eric.  

We hope we can squeeze in a little more Fall Fun, like a corn maze and a pumpkin patch before November craziness begins!

Looking for some yummy things to do with apples? Try my grandma's applesauce recipe!

17 September, 2013

Mommy, snuggles!

Typically the bath and bedtime routine is Eric's job.  With him not getting home until 6:30 most days he only gets an hour and a half with Evie before her bed time.  He's gladly taken on this chore. It's their special time together.

In the Fall two nights a week this duty falls on me.  Eric is at Church for two nights leaving me with a full day of parenting, including bed and bath time.

Evie's normal routine includes a bath, putting on jammies, and having her hair brushed.  As some point I bring up a bottle give hugs and kisses and bless Evie.  Eric continues with a book some nights, and then prayer time while rocking Evie as she drinks her bottle.  Then he/I put her in her crib, turn on the sound machine and head down stairs.

But tonight as I got Evie out of the tub and wrapped her up in her hooded towel she asked for snuggles.  So I wrapped her up extra tight and gave her a big squeeze.

I toweled her off, got her dressed and while I was brushing her hair she said, "Mommy! Snuggles!" over and over.

Finally I asked her if she wanted to snuggle in my bed.  This is something usually reserved for lazy weekend mornings.  She was insistent and we'd had a rough evening, so I obliged.

I needed Evie snuggles, too.

I ran down for her bottle, snagged her blankie and scooped her up for a few minutes of snuggle time in our bed.

We quietly sang our bedtime prayers, thanked Jesus for our blessings and asked Mary to protect us tomorrow.  All the while a steady stream of tears rolled down my cheek.

See, Evie and I have had a rough week or so.  Not the first time, and most certainly not the last.  She's going through another patch of testing her boundaries and is taking it out on me.  Sunday she slapped me across the face during Mass, and then pulled my hair so hard I choked back tears.  All before she let out a scream of terror.  (Of course, during the Eucharistic prayer).  Later, she ran across the parking lot after breaking free from me. And then flailed out of her carseat while I tried to buckle her in. (you know, all in front of the off duty cop patrolling the church parking lot).

It hurt.  Not so much physically, at this point that pain was gone.  But, emotionally.  My little baby is growing up into a kid who is learning boundaries, acceptable behavior and how to make good choices.

So tonight, when those innocent blue eyes looked up and asked for mommy-snuggles I had to give in.

For just a few short minutes tonight the week of battling her hitting, screaming and hair pulling washed away and my not-so-tiny baby and I laid in bed and snuggled.

13 September, 2013

Evie's Big Girl Room -- Inspiration and Plans

When Eric turned two his parents took him out for Chinese food and read him his fortune cookie fortune which "said",
"You will sleep in a big boy bed tonight"

And that was it, on Eric's second birthday he moved into his big boy room.

In keeping with what his parents started, we've talked about moving Evie to a big girl room around her second birthday in November.  I'm not really in a rush, since she's still doing great in the crib and I want to keep her contained as long as possible.

But literally, no sooner did the paint dry on her nursery did I start hunting down room theme ideas for her eventual new room.

Since we did something gender neutral and timeless for the nursery, I wanted something feminine and more grown up for her big girl room.

I also didn't want anything too trendy, or that involved a character of sorts.  Mostly, I wanted something that she can grow with until her tweenage years. It took almost a year, but I finally found it!  Pottery Barn Kids for the win!

Nana and Grandpa agreed to purchase the quilt for Evie's birthday and surprised us with a few of the extras for her Christmas gift.  We can't wait for Evie to get them!

Pottery Barn has partnered with Sherwin Williams for coordinating paint colors.  We'll do this Light French Grey on her walls, with possibly a slightly darker grey on the back wall. (We had this look in our master bedroom in the apartment and I love it). I'd been toying with painting giant chevron on the back wall, but not after I found this quilt pattern. Also, I'm afraid the chevron trend will see it's end soon.

We inherited Eric's "big boy" bedroom suite, which is actually a nice unfinished softwood head board, foot board, dresser, night stand and toy chest.  
Over the next few weeks / months we're going to refinish this furniture to be a distressed white look.  Something like this:

Fortunately my parents have the tools and the know-how to help us make this a reality without spending an arm and a leg.

I'm going to start hunting for frames for a gallery wall since she has so much wall space and I have some great portraits of her.  

I inherited some old country-wood shelves from MY room growing up that we may refinish to add to the walls. We'll see how they look painted.

My last piece of make over inspiration includes these ruffly lamp shades 

I have had my eye on this lamp shade from a favorite blog for years now, just waiting for the right location.  We happen to have two white lampshades from our apartment that will be perfect bases for this DIY project.

But first -- cleaning out the JUNK guest room to make it Evie's room!

It might be December or January before we get this totally done, but we look forward to sharing the fun with you as we go along :)

Follow this room's inspiration on Pinterest

05 September, 2013

An Anniversary Session: Meet The Smiths + What I Learned

Amy and I met a few years ago in a Human Geography class at Georgia State.  She was getting her undergrad in social studies and me a Masters in social studies education.  She's since become a nurse and me a grad school drop out. Life is funny that way, huh?

Our relationship has since transcended into the blogging world and now a few traded photography sessions.  She did our maternity session with Evie and our Buergler family photos last Christmas.

You might know her as Amy from The Charming Blog where I've occasionally guest posted.

You can imagine my excitement when she asked ME to do her and Duncan's one year anniversary photos!

She had a few criteria:
  • Atlanta themed location
  • her wedding dress
  • Duncan's beard
I'm glad we were able to make it happen despite being rained out a few times, her waking up sick the morning out the shoot, the hazy day, and it being about 1927% humidity the day of the school (you think I'm exaggerating).

I think we managed a few good shots!


  • I exclusively used my Tamron AF 17-50mm F/2.8 SP XR Di II VC but I regret not using the nifty fifty for casual portraits. It's a much sharper lens.
  • We started about an hour and a half later than scheduled. The sun was bright and hot and it shows. That harsh sun is hard to edit. I wish I had a scrim diffuser and assistant.


  • It was nice working with a fellow photographer. She knew the poses they wanted and they worked fast.
  • Due to the heat, humidity and Amy not feeling well we cut the shoot short.  Head shots are (hopefully) another day!


  • I took about 1/3 of the shots I had in previous shoots for about the same amount of final looks.
  • I did better slowing down to check lighting, composition and pose IN camera. Though using adults vs children could have a lot to do with that.
  • Thanks to a blog article I read, I remembered to bring bottled water for me and the clients. So so so thankful for those wise words!

I am still working to build my portfolio.  Discounted photo sessions at a location of your choice along the GA-400 corridor are still available. Please email

04 September, 2013

Evie's First Day of School!

 Last year we were abundantly blessed with a nanny-share with one of my co-workers.  It was ideal and fantastic.  The kids were well attended to and in the comfort of someone's home.  With the other mom having her third this summer and the nanny needing a little more lucrative work, we parted ways.

Eric and I were hoping to recreate that in-home nanny experience for Evie this Fall.  We had a college girl nanny this summer, and then a friend of my sister's was lined up to watch Evie from August through December.  Unfortunately for us, fortunately for her, she landed a dream job to start in early September.  After only a month I had to scramble to find something.

Thanks be to God, as I was driving to work one day I saw a little church post a sign that they still had openings in their Mom's Morning Out program.  Quick Google search landed me the details I needed:  the right location, the right days, the right hours, and the right price.

I called around to a few other programs to see if they had openings but this church still had the best combination of things we were looking for.  So we went for it!

I went on a tour with Evie and it was perfect.  It's small, play based, and exactly what she needs!  After meeting Evie they invited her to register for the 2 year old class since she's old for her grade, and this year's 2yo class is young for their age.  I think it's going to be a perfect fit.

Today was her first day and she did GREAT!

A little apprehensive this morning getting ready and taking pictures, but the second she walked in her classroom she gave the teachers her infamous "hey" wave and took off for the "house" center.

The teacher said she did really well today.  They colored, played on the playground and spent a good bit of time just playing with their new friends in their centers.   She already brought home some art work.

Obviously, she had a great day ---

No sooner we were out of the parking lot was she out!

We'll see what school and car naps do for her nap/sleep routines.