Wednesday, November 30, 2016

winter maternity photo session

These photos were taken on a chilly day late January just a few days before Luka and Oliver were born. I was set on having an outdoor photo session but the weather in Alberta, as you may already know, is unpredictable. By the time it was warm enough to be outside, I was already 35 weeks along. Yikes! I wouldn't recommend waiting that long to do a maternity session. Although I was feeling a *tad* uncomfortable, the pictures turned out beautifully thanks to our lovely photographer Kelsy Nielson (who had a nasty fall right before our session began but never revealed to us how much pain she was really in. The lady's a trooper and someone I'm grateful I can now call a friend.)

Here are some of our favourites:

Dajana054 Dajana029 Dajana049 Dajana012 Dajana009 Dajana008 Dajana037 Dajana034 Dajana019Dajana021 Dajana039 Dajana031 Dajana033 Dajana044 Dajana001Dajana006 Dajana030 Dajana057

I may have been utterly exhausted after this session (I was carrying 12 pounds of babies!) but I am elated we did it. Our lives have changed drastically since that day: the boys are now nearly ten months old, have a few tiny teeth, are crawling (& in Oliver's case trying to stand), have the most contagious giggles and are full of personality. This January day seems like forever ago--being pregnant seems like forever ago and I'm grateful we have these beautiful mementos from that time in our lives. <3

Next week I'll be sharing our hospital photo session with Kelsy!

Photographer: Kelsy Nielson Photographer
Hair: Dean at The Beauty Parlour
Makeup: Nicola Gavins
Dress: Yo Mama Maternity
Vest: Anthropologie (similar)
Scott's jacket: Espy
Location: Mill Creek Ravine

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

happy 6 months, luka and oliver!


I have two 6-month-olds. It's hard to fathom! The months have flown by, but we've also had moments that felt like forever. Although it's been a crazy whirlwind life adjustment becoming parents to twins (they've cried & I've cried) Luka and Oliver have taught us about selfless love in such a short time and have enriched our lives in a way I could never articulate. Parenthood isn't for the faint hearted, but the growth you experience is incredible! Every day I'm finding strength I never knew I had and it's all because of my sweet baby boys. I often hear Elizabeth Stone's quote floating in my head and feel it in the depths of my heart, “Making the decision to have a child - it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body."

Consistency may not always be my forte but I was determined to take monthly pictures of the boys on their quilts. And I did! Just look at how much they've grown and changed since their birth day on February 3rd. They both weighed six pounds at birth and now Luka weighs 22 while Ollie weighs 23 pounds. They're my curious, fun loving, beautiful chubba bubbas. This week we started sleep training and a few weeks ago the boys started eating solids. They're also able to sit up fairly well and flash their sweet smiles at the people they know. When I sing to them, they light up and storytime is also a favourite of theirs. Time truly has wings! The NICU and all of the weeks we spent there seem like a distant memory.


Love you, my sweet Luka. Your adorable cheeky grins are sometimes too much to bear. Thank you for showing me, through your heart struggles, to live in the moment and that relationships are above anything else. Your resilience at such a young age is inspiring. You've also taught me to go in to each day and to take it for what it ends up being instead of what I want it to be. You have made life beautiful and I'm so grateful to be your mama! Happy half birthday, little dude!


Love you, my sweet Ollie. Thank you for your kind nature, innate curiosity and instantaneous smiles that light up a room. You have brought indescribable joy to my life. Having you at home to care for helped get me through the sadness of leaving your brother behind in the hospital, day after day, night after night. You have made life beautiful and I'm so grateful to be your mama! Happy half birthday, little dude!

And here they are at one month old (so itty bitty! Luka's picture was taken at the hospital):


“Sometimes,” said Pooh, “the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.” xoxo

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

embracing my postpartum body

I shared this post on Instagram and Facebook initially but then decided to share it here as well (especially since it received such a warm, kind and supportive response and seemed to resonate with so many women). Posting on Instagram and Facebook certainly seems to suit my life better now as I mother our little dudes. That said, I'll be posting a 6 month update on those two cuties here at the beginning of August. It's hard to believe they'll be 6 months old soon! I'm learning first hand that time has wings. Hope you'll come back to read it (& see how much they've changed since this post)!


Shopping for pieces that better suit this new mama body of mine is a humbling experience. I won't lie, it's been an ongoing period of adjustment and acceptance (our bodies change so drastically post baby). There've been some tearful moments over the past few months while standing in front of my full-to-the-brim closet realizing most of what it contains doesn't fit these days. Twenty extra pounds will do that. Some left over from pregnancy the remainder a result of emotional/stress eating (because this motherhood journey isn't always easy & did you know you can't continue to eat the same amount of food once you stop breastfeeding without major consequences? Yup, it's true. I, well really my ass, did the research for you). 

Ultimately I'm proud and amazed by how my body was able to grow, birth and feed my two little dudes. In fact, I felt like a warrior during childbirth and at the end raised my arms in the air victoriously and shouted (& I'm not making this shit up. Scotty wrote it all down in case I forgot) "Yesss! I'm 40 years old and just gave birth to twins vaginally!" That's how damn proud I was and still am.  I've never felt more powerful or beautiful than I did in that moment.

So instead of whining, complaining & bemoaning the fact I have extra junk in the trunk, I've decided to press in, breathe, focus on healthy habits and accept my new frame. Most importantly I'm practicing self compassion and offering myself extra grace these days. As women we can be so hard on ourselves. 

When I'm laughing, singing, reading or playing with the boys the last thing on my mind is how my body looks. All I care about is their well being & happiness and that they see me happy, too. 

This is not about being thin (which I've never been anyways), it's about being healthy. I'm also not obsessive (& will NEVER give up my foodie title). I just want to feel strong, powerful and comfortable in my own skin. And I'm confident I'll get there. 

Anyone else go through or are going through a postpartum body slump? Or any kind of self image challenges? How did you work through it?

Friday, March 4, 2016

luka & oliver: month one


Time has wings! I can't believe our little dudes are a month old. Even weeks after their birth, it still boggles my mind that Scotty & I made these perfect little humans. 

What I've been loving lately:
  • their squishy faces & bodies' 
  • their tiny squawks, squeaks & snorts 
  • their big little sneezes 
  • their alert soon-to-be blue eyes following my voice 
  • the way they snuggle into my chest
  • the way Oliver purses his lips, sticks out his tongue and makes funny faces after a feed 
  • how Luka's smile & sweet disposition turn everyone around him into a mushy mess 
  • can't. stop. smiling or covering their perfectly wrinkly foreheads in a million kisses
  • seeing how much our family and friends love and care for them
Every day I look at their sweet faces and think to myself, "Wow, these are *our* babies! They were so worth the wait and all the pain we endured over the years because I can't imagine my life without them in it." I'm beyond grateful IVF worked for us and helped make a seemingly impossible dream a reality. 

Becoming Oliver & Luka's mom is the best thing that's ever happened to me and seeing Scotty in his new role as a dad makes my heart feel things I never knew possible. I couldn't have asked for a lovelier life. ❤️ 

p.s. Aren't the boys' quilts beautiful? They were lovingly made by their Aunties Cathy and Caroline. I'm going to attempt a monthly picture of Ollie and Luka on the quilts for the next year. Attempt is the key word here. (;

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

say hello to our sweet boys...


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

nursery update: paint, cribs & art!

We've made some great progress in the nursery over the past few weeks. The room is our walk in closet/dressing room and frankly, I had serious doubts it would be large enough to fit two cribs much less a change table or glider. What a relief it was to see the space open up once Scott took out three huge clothes racks, my makeup table, a bench, a chair and two large dressers. In retrospect, we had way too much stuff in there. He also removed the bifold closet doors (to be replaced by sliders) and the door to the room (a white barn door will go up instead).

This is the room during the mass exodus of clothing (I purged 7 bags of clothes!):


And here it is after in all its newly painted two crib glory:


We chose Behr's Dolphin Fin for the walls, the perfect shade of light grey with no discernible undertones. It's soothing and calm. I love it so much, I asked Scott to paint the remainder of the house the same hue. Not sure when that might happen with twins on the way but a lady can dream.

(Side note: I cried when Scotty called me in to see the room after he had finished setting up the cribs and then I gave him the biggest hug. Seeing our baby boys' wee beds made everything feel so real for us. Can't wait to meet these little dudes!)


Last week, my good friend Christine came over to help put together an art piece using the Hygge and West Daydream fabric I've coveted for ages and a canvas from Michael's. Christine was extra careful to make sure the fabric was cut evenly and that the corners were stapled perfectly tight. Plus, she didn't staple my fingers once! I'm beyond happy with how it turned out (and grateful to have such a crafty pal). Every time I pass by the nursery I can't help but smile at this sweet addition to the room.


Next up on my honey-to-do list (thank goodness for Scotty!) is to hang up the grouping of art below, install a display shelf, a mini reading nook and the missing doors. I'm also waiting for two of these beautiful blankets to come in the mail. You'll have to wait to see which ones I picked (:


Oh! and we still need to pick up our West Elm glider, choose a lamp and an ottoman. I bought the patterned one below at Home Sense and am waiting to see how well it coordinates with the glider. With a $50 price tag, I'm hoping it works.


Wish us luck! After the slight scare we had this past weekend (you can read more about that on Instagram or Facebook), I'm not sure we have much time left before these babies' decide to arrive. Here's to hoping they stay put for at least another 3 weeks!

In case you missed it, you can read about the initial nursery planning here. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

my 7 month pregnancy update

Hello third trimester! Where has the time gone? Every morning I wake up and get a surge of excitement knowing that in less than two months I'll have these babies in my arms and our family will finally be complete after years of infertility. Life is good!

Here's the latest on all things pregnancy:

How far along... 29 weeks 5 days.

Eating... everything! Since I got a prescription for Losec, an acid reflux medication, my love affair with food has returned. And that makes me so damn happy. I want to eat ALL the food and sometimes I do just that (hello two dinners!).

Feeling... exhausted. I've had to cut back on my social activities these past couple of months. I can only handle walking Lucy and one errand/meet-up per day.

Names... we finally agreed on names after months of vetoing and making fun of each others choices. Sadly Milo, Cass and Arlo did not make the cut.

Cravings... so many! Ice to start. I am obsessed with eating ice. Even just writing ice makes me want to crunch on some. Add to that: chocolate milk, pomegranates, avocados, makimono rolls, Mexican tortilla soup, potato pancakes, clam chowder, coffee crisp chocolate bars, bacon, sweet potatoes, egg nog and steamed milk with chestnut praline syrup from Starbucks.

Weight gain... 26 pounds. Thankfully most of it's babies and belly.

Mood... pregnancy hormones have hit me with a vengeance recently, poor Scotty. And they are SO the boss of me! Overall I'm pretty upbeat, happy and excited but I've also had a couple of days where I've been in a slump, bursting into inexplicable tears multiple times. During these episodes, you can find Scott and Lucy hiding in the laundry room.

Anxiety... I mentioned to a former radio colleague that my anxiety has been rearing its ugly head. She had this brilliant response: "I panicked the entire 40 weeks and didn't stop until I was holding my healthy little baby in my arms. Then an entirely new panic set in. I remember a friend of mine telling me to trust. Just trust. And I clung to that... every time there was a weird pain, strange sensation and after every ultrasound. I know you are the kind of person that is doing everything right at this moment and I hope you can get some comfort from that."

    Favourite moments... at our last ultrasound, the technician, without being prompted showed us the boys in 3D. WHOA. Seeing them in 3D blew our minds and I uttered the word, "Wow!" about a million times. It was beyond cool. Both babies are healthy, super active, and are measuring a week ahead of schedule. (You can see them below, I think Twin B looks like me. The middle picture of them touching heads hits me right in the ticker box and makes me love them even more.) They both weigh about 3 pounds which makes me happy. Every time they move I get a wave of serotonin and burst of total joy. Love this part of pregnancy!

    Aches or pains... horrid restless leg syndrome keeps me up at night (or is that insomnia?) and my ribs feel like they're about to split apart but other than that I'm doing okay. Uncomfortable, but okay. I've been using Japanese mint oil on my legs and that seems to help, may try drinking coconut water too.

    Exercise... I'm still walking Lucy every day, but the distance has decreased from 7 km (in the first and second trimesters) to 3 or 4 km. I've also stopped going to the dog park and walk her exclusively in our 'hood now. Scott was worried that if anything happened it'd be hard for emergency workers to find my pregnant ass in the wilds of Buena Vista park. And he's right.

    Missing... eating copious amounts of sashimi! And oysters. And prosciutto. Also, being able to put on socks without looking like I'm rehearsing for an SNL physical comedy sketch (so awkward!). Missing my fully functioning brain, too. Pregnancy brain is very much a real thing. There have been days where I probably should've remained silent and used gestures and pointed at things to communicate. The stuff that comes out of my mouth is pure crazy talk and oftentimes beyond embarrassing.

    Excited about... seeing the little dudes at our next ultrasound on January 4! Plus, Scott started painting the nursery this week. Hope to have a nursery update posted soon!

    Seven more weeks, peeps (yep, 37 weeks is considered full term for twins). This pregnancy is flying by and we are so not ready. Insert maniacal laughter here.

    Tuesday, December 1, 2015

    and so the nursery planning begins...

    ajennylindcribgrahamone alphabet_grandetuscanylinenaqua

    I've been bitten by the nesting bug. Big time. These past few weeks have seen me perusing the internet like a mad woman searching for inspiration for the boys' nursery (who am I kidding? I've had ideas and plans brewing in my head for years). The truth is I'm trying to focus my energy on my excitement vs. being scared shi//less about having two babies. And part of what gets me all kinds of excited is picking out decor for our little dudes. We're staying away from the whole themed/coordinating nursery and making their room, which is currently our dressing room, an extension of our bedroom. Since the two rooms are only separated by a door, the colours will remain in the same palette as our bedroom: grey, white, cream and aqua with perhaps a bit of black to ground the space along with some natural elements (wood and rattan). My goal is for the space to feel calm, fresh, modern and charming.

    Here's what we have so far:
    • We recently purchased two white Jenny Lind-style cribs and the Bookhou laser cut birch alphabet. I've had my eye on both of these items since we first started trying to get pregnant. I can't tell you how good it feels to finally get them! Plus, I love the juxtaposition of the vintage crib paired with the modern font of the alphabet. 
    • The swatch of aqua linen fabric is the colour of the existing roman blind in the room. We had it custom made with a black out lining by Tonic Living a year ago. It'll add a touch of colour to the mostly neutral space and keep the room dark enough for the babies to sleep for long periods of time (here's to hoping!). 
    • I spotted the contemporary yet classic Graham glider at West Elm a couple of months ago and tested it out this past weekend while in Calgary to see if it was a winner (read: comfortable & on budget!). It was both comfy and serendipitously on sale so we ordered it in this colour. If the glider hadn't worked out, we would've attempted this DIY rocking chair hack, which is both utterly genius and affordable.


    What I would most like to incorporate in the nursery is the Daydream fabric/wallpaper tiles designed by Julia Rothman for Hygge and West. I've been enamoured with it for eons but am not sure if I want it on one of the walls or as a throw pillow or crib skirt (neither of which I know how to make). Then again it may be most economical to buy just a yard of the fabric and stretch it on a canvas like my pal Christine did in her lovely nursery with some cool Ikea fabric. Thoughts?

    I'm digging this cloud pillow from Land of Nod and elephant basket from Zara Kids. This faux fur pom pom pillow also caught my eye as did these alphabet and pom pom bins. Every nursery needs a touch of whimsy, right?


    Here are some inspiration photos of nurseries which feature the Jenny Lind crib (can you spot the alphabet art in the room below?). I also like this nursery inspiration roundup. You'll probably be able to tell by these pictures that eclectic, modern, non-themed nurseries are my jam.

                                                       Nursery sources: 1. // 2. // 3. // 4. // 5. // 6.

    This is truly the fun part! A whole new room to work on. Plus, I have a very tight deadline so procrastination isn't allowed... this time. I'm hoping my next nursery post will feature a before and after of a painted room, so stay tuned.

    P.S. Any advice on what you feel is absolutely necessary to have in a nursery? Or what is essential gear for babies in general? I'm all ears (and frankly a tad overwhelmed by all the stuff that's available).
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