Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Fancy Lady Gourmet :)

A few weeks ago I won a giveaway from The Fancy Lady Gourmet
I was so excited as I got to pick the flavor of cookie (orange vanilla spice shortbread) I wanted and which designs.
Spoiled much?Today the package arrived!!
It was so perfectly pristine
(and might I had made my day!)
As my Dad was visiting from out of town and leaving (which always makes me cry my head off)
I really needed a pick me up!
I didn't just get one, I got a dozen pick me ups!!

Thank you, Amanda!!
Everything about this special gift is so special.
I wish nothing but the BEST for your business!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Prayer in my Inbox

I added a folder to my inbox the other day called "Prayer"
Recently, I have realized that prayer does not just have to be spoken to someone, it can be written.
Tonight, I saw it written for me...
and I am overwhelmed.
***I have a moment in my mind that I will never forget.
My great grandmother had passed away mere moments after I met my future husband.
I had always wanted her to meet him.
I had always wanted her to do what she had done for family before--
speak her acknowledgment that this man I had met was the one.
In an odd array of circumstance, I found myself sleeping in her home for the last time the eve before her funeral.
In that evening, laying beside my sister and breathing in the last moments I would be a part of her earthly home, I prayed.
I prayed for the man I met because he asked me to.
During that prayer, I was given a vision.
I was given a vision of who this man was in his family and what would unfold for him.
When I returned from her funeral, I told this man I prayed for him and of my vision.
I'll never forget what he said,
"You actually prayed? So many people say they will but they don't."
I did and I felt the vision was my great grandmother's blessing up there in Heaven with God.
***The other day when I said the words for my own heart could not escape my insides
I had warriors praying for me.

My inbox delivered a prayer tonight.
An email from my closest Godly friendship came through in a moment that reminded me...
She reminded me of this amazing vision I had of Jesus standing in her apartment with arms spread open.
She reminded me to see THAT Jesus.
She was going boldly before me into a place that I could not touch.
I cried.
Oh how heavy this earthly body can feel.
Oh how heavenly His presence IS!

Monday, October 26, 2009

We have a self esteem down...

... I repeat, a self esteem is down...
I'm feeling a wee bit like an all around failure lately and I'm having a hard time battling the lies. Normally I'd turn to prayer, but my mind has been so bombarded with the overwhelmingly negative feelings on speed that I can't get a word up to God edgewise.

So I'm trying to figure out what happened....Maybe it started with the champagne dinner date I was supposed to have with my hus while we watched the sunset on a blanket by the ocean. While I planned the meal and had it all set, by the time he was ready to go, all I could say was, "I'm overwhelmed. I don't want to. Can we go somewhere that I won't have to worry about clean up." FAIL.

On Friday I had so many hopes and dreams for what I would do with my son. Early morning barn run to let him play in the hay and feed the goats, playing at the park--something active. I ended up with a trip to Target, a PB&J he wouldn't eat, and a tantrum over withholding the blue raspberry icee I stupidly bought and let him try. Quality time and selfless focus? FAIL.
On Saturday my favorite crafting friend and my twin from another mother was in town and we had big plans for getting our hands dirty and business talk. We had so much fun but we didn't get to accomplish 80% of what we wanted to, I REALLY messed up by shopping at Urban Outfitters with money we don't technically have, and spending zero time with my husband & son. Minimal accomplishment, realization that there's not enough time in a day, & overcharged wit all i wish I could be but FAIL to be perfect at.

On Sunday, I was just in a funk. I wanted to do all of the things I dream of! I wanted to sew and to cook and to clean and to play with my son and to do a photo shoot, and to work on some marketing ideas, and to dream and I was just OFF. I felt sadly convinced that I should not even bother trying. I am wasting my time. There is not enough time. I am using my time unwisely. I sat there and punched myself in the face repeatedly saying, "Give me more."


I have been doing so well and right now I just feel STUCK.
Stuck in my hopes and dreams and the fact that reality beckons me.
I want to be a selfless mother and wife and all I find is a hunger to feed a selfish need to be more than who I am.
a heavy heart today and a mind swirling in darkness just fighting for a prayer to get out there!

images by beth retro

Friday, October 23, 2009

Mesh Panties & Medicated Ointment. NOT awesome.

The hus and I were recently on a desperate hunt for the Midge's crib blanket.
I'm talking a serious hunt....undoing the boxes of packed up baby clothes, going through the garage, and emptying out every cabinet.
The problem with doing such a thorough search is the opportunity to find buried memories.Memories like this basket from hell.
Technically, I think it's the basket from the Garden of Eden since that's where, thanks to Eve, we were sentenced to painful childbirth...
po-tay-toe, po-tah-toe
Funny how right when I could start to entertain the idea of another cherub
pregnancy's pitchfork stabs ya right in the va-jay-jay.
No joke--this basket of "goodies" actually makes me cross my legs in pain.
There are plenty of only children in this world....

(Would you believe me if I said the name of this blog came from the trauma this basket caused?
Well, it's true)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Gorillas with Goodies

Is it silly that I can't wait for Halloween?
It's not about the dressing up (even though the Midge will make a good SOLID gorilla)
It's not about the candy (who am I kidding, it's 79% the candy!)
It's really about this chance to be with my family--the one I made with my husband.Last year I had a little Lobster who couldn't walk around and trick or treat.
This year, I have a little Gorilla who has no idea what Halloween or candy is but he sleeps with his giant, plastic pumpkin candy bucket.
This year, he'll walk around to houses, collect little treats (that I will eat, tell my Hus to restrict me, then get mad at him when he does what I asked), pull my babe around in a radio flyer wagon, and just BE with MY boys.
We've been invited to one adult Halloween party and one collection of adults + kids party to trick or treat. The truth is, they don't interest me this year. I want to be selfish.

For a very.long.time I have tried to be everywhere and to do everything.
I had a conversation with a dear friend yesterday where I realized I just want one thing to do, not two. For this upcoming day in particular, I want the one thing I do to be seeing my Midge walk with Daddy, smile when he gets a treat, sign "please" because he wants to try something, see him gobble a treat or too, and watching him fight the costume I'm forcing him to wear.
THAT sounds perfect.
I just accepted (little late, huh?) that there will always be something to miss out on, but I just have to choose which one will make me feel like I'm missing less.
I'm getting to this new phase of life where choosing my son and my family over the things that I thought DEFINED who I was, who I could be, all that I could juggle, is infinitely more peaceful.

For Halloween the choice that makes me miss less is saying I will only be in one place.
I will trick or treat in the early eve and tuck my tired baby into bed.
Right when the adult party starts, I will not leave to pretend I'm childless for a night.
I won't squeeze being a parent and having a social life into one night.
I want to be the one that tucks him in and then sits on my couch next to my husband just knowing our baby is sleeping and I'm right there if he cries.I'm just not interested in the juggling act right now.
I spent so much of his first year of life trying to be everywhere and do everything and I don't feel like I have to anymore.
It's not even that I can't do it, it's that I don't feel like it--I don't want to.

Walking dichotomy-
I always want to be invited.
I always wish I could say yes.
I have always hated saying no. I
am just now feeling unbelievably OK with being left behind because in other ways, I am moving ahead.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Did they just call him FAT?!

The living room is humming with the sound of Cars again
and the voices of three women oogling over one little toddler.
As my two guests get up to say goodbye they pick up my wee one and give him hugs.
I glide over to the hallway table to grab the remote to turn the AC off.
It was then I heard it...
a quiet little comment from one woman to another
"He's solid, isn't he?"

Um, did they just call my kid fat?

I wanted to bust out with my pediatrician proven statistics:
"Excuse me, he's 75th percentile for height and he's 51st percentile for weight. That is NOT fat. That is tall and lean."
Echoes from the earlier conversation were starting to jump start my nerves,
"Oh, my doctor said my son is falling off the charts with his weight. He is just so active."

Women, I am going to throw Mr. Potato head at you!Yah, Midge has a little belly but it's freaking cute!

No, my kid isn't as active because I don't let him run around public restaurants screaming
(oooh, maybe I do sometimes when there aren't really people in there--shhh!)
My kid is smarter and funnier and cuter and....

"Woahhh, freako!" I internally scolded my inner protective lioness.

I smiled. I hugged.
"Come on, Chunker," I said to my baby, "Lets go eat some cookies!"
And he signed "cookie" to me and off we went into the sunset.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A.Love + Frenchie & Flea

Who is A.Love and what has she done with Allegra?It recently came to my attention, not that I'm very shocked, that I am two different people so me thinks it time to connect some dots!

Have you heard of a little blog & etsy store called Frenchie & Flea?
(No?! Shame on you! That can be remedied though, just click above!)

Well, I am the Flea...the other half...the allegra of emily & allegra.

I know--I sign everything A.Love here and I'm strictly Allegra there.

No real explanation other than when I started this blog I was (still sorta am) in hiding.
While A.Love is definitely NOT an alias--everyone who knows me knows A.Love is Allegra--it has been hidden enough while I try to re-establish my voice and run from invasive family.
(Boo for invasive family but boo-ya, I totally dealt with it--sorta dealt with it--anyhoo...)

Just here to connect the dots but I probably just confused you!

Happy Tuesday Confusion!

Oh, and if you're in the mood & have an Etsy store you'd like restyled--check out our F&F giveaway!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Pack it Up & PLAY!

I am working on a project....
converting the nursery into a toddler room!
I really thought it would be somewhat emotional for me but it's actually all.

For those of you who have followed me for awhile,
it's not secret that adjusting to being a mom has been really tough for me.
In fact, at the pediatrician's last week, the Dr said,
"I'm about to ask you something personal. Most people who have an 18 month old start seriously considering a second baby. Are you thinking about it yet?"
Not one to blow sunshine up anyone's skirt about the mommy role and what it's done to me I said,
"I just started liking my kid. I'm not thinking about a second yet."

The Dr. laughed at me and just said, "I love how honest you are. I guess we'll talk when Midge is 2."
The truth is, I can make a lot of things look pretty.
I can get on a stage in most settings and turn it on as required.
I could not do that when it came to being a mom.
Becoming a mom rocked my world.

Don't get me wrong, I have always LOVED my son
but the truth is-
I would have given anything to get in the car and drive away at certain moments.
So while I have always LOVED him, I truly LIKE him now.
I MISS him when I'm at work. I want to WATCH him when he sleeps. I want to BE with him because he makes me happy.
I don't really know what changed but it's like I can't get enough of him.
I use to F I G H T this need to be ME amongst all the other roles I have: wife, mom, sister, friend, daughter...
but now I can SEE my windows of opportunity to do what makes ME happy and & simultaneously get genuine JOY from being my son's mother.
SO--I have been packing up the nursery.
The bed has been converted to a toddler bed.
The hus and I are in full "Lets make a little boy's room" mode
Since we moved into our house the day we brought the Midge home from the hospital, we didn't get to build a nursery.
No looking back and feeling sad about it. Time to be in the now and make a room that HE can love to be in.

So happy!

Oh, hey--anyone know where I can find some good toddler bedding?
I really. don't. like cartoon characters and standard cars/trucks/sports stuff.
I like brown, green, patterns that aren't so A BOY IS THIS.
I just want some good, solid bedding that leaves room for my son to figure out what he loves and not me making that choice for him!
Let me know!!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

baby j

On Friday, my day off from my prescribed 9-5, I went out and had a baby shoot.
While the October weather had me sweating in 92 degree heat, baby J was all cool and calm.
I have to say, the nerves that piled up in me over this shoot were unreal.
I laid up the night before doubting myself--what if I didn't get the parents what they wanted?
what if I would have an off day?
what if I couldn't do this?!
None of it really made sense to me.
My Hus encouraged me. My soul sister prayed for me (have one of those? they're key! :)
The two people that knew how nervous I was were totally on my side.
THIS is what happens when I let fear get in the way:
I crumble.
The thing is, I love photographing babies.
It is so pure, so unfiltered, so raw.
There is so self conscious anxiety of the double chin, the wrinkles, the wind...
it's just love.
It's what we were all meant to be.
There is something in me that is frightened by being paid to do something I love--like take pictures of babies!
And while you all must be thinking, "Woah! Don't hire her!"
The thing is, once I was there, once I was with baby J and his 'rents...I was so OKAY.
The camera melted into my hands and the play began.
Not a moment of awkward doubt--not a second of fear when I was in action.
What a perfect little subject.
Only one baby J and I was trusted to commemorate his 6 months of life!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Hanging In There

I heard a song on the radio today that made me fall apart.
Fix You by Coldplay.
This song can make me cry every time I hear it, but the weight of the night before seemed to slam into me this morning.

I think the only place to rightfully start this story is to say, we are all OK.
(Nothing worse than a story that starts heavily and you don't know the ending)

I brought my son home from school yesterday after taking advantage of a day off from work to rest.
I nursed my aching throat, ears, and body with sleep, cider, and one good Christmas movie.
(I can't help it--I'm there!)
When I picked him up, one of his teachers told me he'd had a rough day.
He didn't go down for nap time and he kept rubbing his belly. He didn't eat his lunch. The only thing that soothed him was having her massage his tummy.
I was grateful for attention to him. Now it was my turn. I would watch this little boy and love on him with all I had.
My sore throat and aches would have to wait until the Hus flew home to take care of me.

I sat my midge on the couch and we turned on Cars.
Nothing wraps up a busy day at school like Ning-Ning (aka: Lightning McQueen).
I pulled out a blanket and huddled in the corner and watched him hold his cup of milk.
I love watching him watch Lighting.
He gets so enthralled--so in a zone--I get moments to appreciate his perfection in that kind of stillness.
That's when it happened.
His little arms and legs started to tremor and I had no idea what to do.
His head twitched.
I called out his name
He looked in my direction and seemed to become still again and alert.
I panicked.
What WAS that?
Did I just make that up?

It was 4:50 and the Dr's. office was about to close.
I called. I gave the symptoms: tremor, warm, hasn't eaten....
They told me to take him to the ER.
Even though the hospital is literally across the street--I didn't want to go.
He was OK now, right?
I had NO ONE there to help me physically.
I chose my last lifeline: phone a friend.
I hopped in the car and drove him in.

2.5 hours later they confirmed it was not a seizure.
One abdominal x-ray later and we find his stomach full of gas clouds.
He has an intestinal virus (and bonus a cold with an ear infection in both ears...thanks for the thorough exam!)

I was boiling hot, full of adrenaline, and felt so alone.
The hus' phone was dead--all he knew was that we were at the ER--and he was on a flight home.
A prescribed clear liquid diet and follow up with the pediatrician, there was nothing else I could do.

I told the nurse, "I feel crazy for bringing him for gas!"
She kindly told me, "Adults come in by ambulance with the amount of gas that's in his tummy."
By the end, my Midge was running around the ER in his diaper and converse making the staff say,
"So this is base line, huh?"
Yah...this is my Midge!

I had the prayers of our friends on the lines coming through to me via text messages.
I had offers to come sit with me while we waited--but tall I could do was be in that moment, wipe the literal sweat from my brow, and rock the screams away with the gentle hugs and swings of my body clutching his.In this crazy moment, all I could was pray.
In this moment that I was reaching down and pulling my little guy up with all I had, God was doing the same for em.
The outcome is good, my God is great...
Like a true woman, I am just now digesting it and will rethink it through a million times.
I am so tired.
I am so in awe.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


I've got a sore throat. Boo.
It's raining outside. Yay. (Until I have to get the Midge in and out of the car)
The candles are lit. Serene.
I'm sitting in our cooooold living room in my peacoat and scarf still (oh, and my super fugly cold weather socks!)
The baby's asleep, the hus is working on his biz, and I just spent 52 mins on the phone with one of my besties talking Polyvore and all things Blogish.
So despite the sore throat (that I can't stop whining about)
and aside from the fact that I never got my puffy cheetos that I have been craving today...
what a nice night.
I love the sound of the rain falling, the hum of my husband's keyboard, the flicker of the apple cider smelling candle light....
What a good life!
And--I've clearly got nothing to say.
Sweet Dreams!

Baby Love

My friend came over on Friday for a little maternity shoot...I'm so happy she did.
The song, Capri by Colbie Caillat will always remind me of being pregnant with my son.
Her entire first album reminds me of his birth and singing him to sleep.
I will always cherish this song and the memories of carrying his life within me...even if it was 99.9% difficult for me, I have this one very fond memory.
Enjoy listening :)

Monday, October 12, 2009

4th Anniversary Photo Shoot

"I’m still learning what love is
Everyday I wake up in your arms
I’m still trying to figure out what works
How to set off all your alarms

I’m still learning what love is
When I’m walking close to you
The best way to hold your hand in mine
The best way to comfort you

Guess it may
It may always be this way

I’m still learning what love is
Every time you look at me that way
I’m still trying to figure out just how
You can still look at me the same

Even though I may not get it right
All the time I will always try
And I will always stand right by your side

I’m still learning what love is
Everyday I wake up in your arms
I’m still trying to figure out what works"

~Rosie Thomas, Guess It May

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Choice 3: Letting Go

Choice 3
Letting Go
The Commitment Phase
Letting go sounds so easy--when I think of putting down a pan or throwing a ball.
Letting go has never sounded easy when it came to releasing my burdens.

People always said, "Happiness is a choice."
I always wanted to hit those people.
(Sorry, Hus)
I just didn't feel like choosing to be happy, choosing to let go, made sense.
Of course I want to let my ish go but what did it mean to choose to do it?!

I'm starting to get it.

The book describes a cycle that our human nature tends to gravitate to,
a big giant, non-ending circle of Guilt-->Anger-->Fear-->Depression
and then it just starts all over again.

Been there, done that.

So What's Holding Me Back from choosing to let go?

The beatitude for this choice is "Happy are the meek"
"Meekness actually means 'strength under control'. It is surrender, submitting, agreeing to do what God wants done in my life."

I had never known that that is what meek meant. What I thought meant weak meant controlled strength. Oh, how I want that! It sounds so peaceful, so serene, so...beyond what I am capable of on my own!

"Problems far too big for me to solve are piled higher than my head. Meanwhile my sins, too many to count, have all caught up with me, and I am ashamed to look up." Psalm 40:12

I love this passage.
I have been so stuck in this. So frozen in, "God, I can't come back to you again. I don't deserve you!"
Oh, but I do!! I deserve Him!

...being afraid of what [I] might have to give up.
Part of my control issue is fear of losing my freedom but, "true and lasting freedom is choosing who controls [me]."
Will it be what others think of me? Will it be the unknown future? Will it be the unchangeable past? Who will I give the power to control my heart?

"If [I] focus on the problems--the individual tasks involved in making [my] dream a reality--[I] may never make [any decision]. Make the decision; let God worry about problem solving."
I don't need to think about how it will work out, I just need to make a decision and know that God will work it out!

& Doubt
"It's not the size of your fatih that matters; it's the who or what you put your faith in that matters."

So I guess, what am I waiting for...
"Look! Here I stand at the door and knock. If you hear me calling and open the door I will come in, and we will share a meal as friends." Revelation 3:20