Wednesday, November 20, 2013

SEASON'S CHANGE


Seasons change. So do priorities. When Archer arrived I knew something had to give. After much reflection I had to admit that I couldn't do everything. So, it is with sadness, but with peace I won't be posting as often as I used to. I've truly enjoyed my blogging adventure that started a year ago and maybe one day this will become a space I can frequent more often. Thank you to all my readers, I've been so blessed to know that I've inspired many to live a bit more beautifully.

Follow me on Instagram @jlmeyer and on Pinterest for daily glimpses into my life and for fashion, recipes and DIY projects. 

Joanna

P.S. Don't you just love Archer's mobile?? It was handcrafted by the talented, and hilarious Alison Show. I recommend visiting her blog, it's full of fabulous things. And let's not forget Archer's sheets. They are also handmade by the talented Iviebaby, you can see her Etsy shop here.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

ARCHER COVE {Birth Story}

August 13, 2013 - My last day of being pregnant - 41 Weeks

ARCHER COVE’S BIRTH STORY
I wrote two versions. If you only want the skinny read Long Story Short. But if you want to long, almost every detail version read Long Story Long.

*And just a side note. When I was pregnant I was always just interested in the facts of labor, wanting to know step-by-step what happened. So, I chose to write my story in a more factual manner so that those newbees out there who are like me can see step-by-step how things progressed. 

LONG STORY SHORT
I woke up on August 13 around 3:30am feeling very crampy. I noticed there was a pattern and decided to start timing the cramps. They were about 15 minutes apart.

Things began to escalate through the am and by 8:45am my contractions were 4 minutes apart. We were packed and ready to go to the hospital. We were just waiting for things to escalate a bit more.

Well, things slowed down before they would pick up. I spent the afternoon waiting and grew discouraged because they lost frequency after all that time. Bernie, my midwife, and my labor support said it sounded like he was in a bad position. I followed their instructions on how to help him get in a better position. I could tell their advice was working. Around 9:00pm I laid down and by 12:45am I was ready to go to the hospital.

When I arrived around 2am I was already 7-8cm dilated! They called Bernie and a doula to come to the hospital. I labored with their support through the night and morning and at 9:22am I delivered my beautiful baby boy. We named him Archer Cove. He was 9lb 11oz and 19inches long.

LONG STORY LONG
Every night for almost the past month, I went to bed hopeful I would be awaken by labor pains. It was kind of an emotional roller coaster. I was now a week late and wondered if he was ever going to come.

I woke up on August 13 around 3:30am feeling very crampy. I noticed there was a pattern and decided to start timing the cramps. They were about 15 minutes apart.

I laid in bed till about 5:00am. By 5:30 my contractions were 6 minutes apart. That’s when I had my bloody show. I figured this was probably the real deal!!!

By 7am my contractions were about 4 minuets apart. Bernie, my midwife, said to call when they were 3 minutes apart. So, Greg woke up and showered. He prayed for us, it was so sweet.

We both started getting ready for the hospital. Greg went and put gas in the van and put the car seat in while I showered. He also made me eggs for breakfast - what a guy :)

Around 8:45am we were so ready to go and just waiting for things to escalate.

Around noon my contractions picked up their intensity but slowed down in frequency. I called Bernie because I didn’t know what to do. From what I told her she said it sounded like baby was not in a good position. She said I should lie down on my right side and see if the frequency picks up.

I laid on my side for 3.5 hours and my contractions were really intense and long but only 10 minutes apart. And then all of a sudden they stopped being consistent. (From this point on I could no longer talk through contractions they were so painful.)

This is when I became discouraged. Things were not escalating and I seriously doubted he would ever come out. (I know it is irrational, but at the time it felt like a legit outcome)

I reached out to my friend Amanda, my on call labor support. She agreed that it sounded like the baby needed to be in a better position. Her words were “He needs to be in a good head down straight position in order to press on the cervix to keep the contractions coming.” I clung to her instructions. I went for a walk, I got on my hands and knees and rocked, I held onto the counter and did some deep squats and then laid down. This was all happening around 7:00pm.

At 9:30pm I realized my contracts became regular again, they were 10 minutes apart and WOW did they hurt. I continued to lie down and try to sleep in-between them. 

By 10:30pm they were 6-7 minutes apart. At 12:35 they were 4-5 minutes apart. I began bleeding and Amanda encouraged me to call Bernie.

Bernie agreed I should head to the hospital. So, I woke Greg up and said I think its go time!! I wasn’t sure how I was going to get to the car, let alone the hospital with these crazy contractions. Greg packed up the car and we drove – thankfully it only took us about 25 minutes to get there.

Once I got to the hospital I began shaking uncontrollably – the nurses said it was normal and it was just hormones. They wheeled me up to the labor and delivery and began a round of antibiotics because I tested positive for StrepB. They checked me and I was 7-8cm!!!! I was SOO happy! They asked if I wanted a doula – I took them up on the offer, which was honestly the best decision of my life! But, more on that later.

Around 3:00am I moved to the birthing tub to labor in the water. I was in the water and just wondering what was going to happen next. I felt silly, but I asked the nurse what we were waiting for, like what happens next. She just said, we are waiting for you to feel like you have to push. At the time I thought, well that doesn’t tell me much.

I was there for about two hours and than I rotated from rocking on the john to being on all fours on the bed.

Finally my water broke at some time around 8am. I moved to the bed so Bernie could check how dilated I was. At this point I was exhausted. I was loosing stamina – it had been over 24 hours. At the end of every contraction I would yawn and practically fall asleep.

Because I was at 9cm for almost two hours and I was barley hanging on Bernie suggested I be given some Pitocin. I consented, I knew at this point the baby needed to come out and it couldn’t possibly get any more painful.

That was just what I needed. The urge to push finally came and with my husband, doula and Bernie encouraging me (and placing the oxygen mask on my face) I pushed for an hour and out my beautiful baby boy, Archer Cove came. He was 9lb 11oz and 19inches long and very awake.

So there is the long version of Archer Cove’s birth story. I felt the need to write it all down for my own memory.  But I also hope it helps other women who want to deliver naturally. Even with a big baby you can do it - don't doubt your body. Just give into the pain and trust that soon you will be holding your precious, long awaited baby in your arms. 


A FEW REFLECTIONS . . .

This was the most difficult and painful thing I have ever done in my life. The entire time all I kept thinking was either I was going to die or that I was adopting my next child.

I didn’t realize it until after, but I'm so glad I psyched myself up to do an un-medicated birth by hearing other woman’s stories. And honestly, knowing that God designed our bodies to do this and millions of woman have gone before me allowed me to keep going even when I thought I was going to die from the pain. 

I chose to educate myself by surrounding myself with friends who had done this many times and who were passionate about it. I also watched The Business Of Being Born and the supporting episodes More On The Business of Being Born. I highly recommend doing both of those things.

One thing is that despite the pain of contractions coming frequently, you do get a little break to regroup after each one. In between I would often start laughing and say something funny about the situation. That is how I cope – laughter. I hope it helped my doula and midwife enjoyed my birthing experience as well because they were awesome.

On that note, if you are going to do natural childbirth, GET A DOULA! If you want to know more about them, just ask me and I’ll tell you a thousand reasons why.

Also, if you are going to labor at home you need support. I had a few close friends texting me and helping me cope via laughter the whole time. But also to help me know “yes, that is normal.” I cannot imagine doing this without them, including my amazing husband who sat by my side the entire time.

I am so grateful Archer's birth went well and only a few times did we have to veer from my birth plan. As difficult as it was I would do it again in heart beat.


Do you have your birth story blogged? If so leave a link, I'd love to read it!
Joanna

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

I'M STILL HERE


My sweet little Archer Cove arrived on August 14! Since than I've considered it a successful day if I can even take a shower, which means blogging and many other things have suffered. But, I'm still here and I hope to be back soon! I am currently working on writing my birth story and when I have a moment to think about things besides a hungry baby and dirty diapers, I'm dreaming up some posts to share with you!




Monday, August 19, 2013

ZUCCHINI {Bread}


This zucchini bread is delicious and simple - and healthy because it has zucchini it it, right? I love it warmed with a thin layer of melted butter on the top.

* Recipe yields two medium size loaves

Ingredients:
2 cups peeled and grated zucchini
3 eggs
1 cup salad oil
2 cups sugar
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon salt

Directions:
1. Combine eggs and sugar. Mix well. Add oil and dry ingredients. Mix. Stir in zucchini and vanilla. Add nuts.
2. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour in a greased loaf pans.
3. Enjoy!

Apparently making bread is my new thing. I hope you enjoyed my mini-series.
Joanna

Thursday, August 15, 2013

I LOVE PATTERNED LEGGINGS


We will just use models for the time being - these legs are made for child baring, not modeling at the moment. 

I really do love patterned leggings. Pair them with a longer shirt or dress (please do not mistake them for jeans) and some cute summer shoes and you will have yourself looking all styled while remaining comfortable in the summer heat. Here are a few of my favorites this season.

1 >> 2 >> 3 

Joanna

Monday, August 12, 2013

DIY TRIANGLE SHELVES


I'm so excited to share with you our DIY triangle shelves inspired by A Beautiful Mess

The triangles are hanging above our little one's crib and make the perfect statement as you walk in the room. The husband and I went back and forth as to what colors to paint or stain them - here are the final results and we couldn't be happier how they tie the room together! We chose white and a metallic gold and copper.

With these shelves done Project Shared Room is pretty much complete - except for a few finishing touches that probably won't happen until after our little guys arrival. Keep an eye out for a post on the whole room. I can't wait to share it all with you!

Supplies Needed:
Wood (see instructions for amount)
Miter Saw
Tool to measure angles
Hammer/Nails
Paint

Instructions:
1. Purchase wood - This varies depending on the size, amount and depth you want your triangles. We wanted three triangles measuring about 20inches per side - so we purchased 180 inches of 1x2inch boards.
2. Figure out angles to cut corners - Ours are 60 degree triangles so we had to make 30 degree cuts in the wood.
3. Using a miter saw cut the wood - for each piece of wood the angles on each end should be opposite. We used the wider of the two ends to measure the length of 19.5inches - when we put all the pieces together each side would measure 20 inches. Hold wood slats up to each other to make sure they are the same length.
4. Once all pieces are cut,  begin nailing pieces together.
5. Paint your triangles - ours needed 2-3 coats each
6. Hang on the wall and enjoy!

And to top things off, The Husband and I couldn't believe how cheap this project was. We only spent $5 on wood and $10 on paint - making our project cost a total of $15!



Thursday, August 8, 2013

HONEY WHOLE WHEAT {Bread}


This past week I made honey whole wheat bread with a couple of friends. It is a bit dense to use as sandwich bread, but it tastes delicious with some warmed butter and peanut butter. Its becoming my new favorite breakfast.

*Recipe yields two loaves

Ingredients:
3 teaspoons  dough enhancer
3 cups  whole wheat flour
2 cups + 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon  hot water
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup  honey
2 teaspoons salt
3 teaspoons yeast
3 cups whole wheat flour

Directions:
1. Stack ingredients through yeast - blend together
2. Knead while adding additional flour - knead until dough cleans inside of bowl
3. Turn speed up for three minuets
4. Pour some olive oil on counter and hands - throw dough down seven times
5. Cut dough in half
6. Smooth and tuck dough/giving it an occasional chop with your hands to remove bubbles. Once lines are removed and dough is shaped like a loaf place in greased bread pan.
7. Let dough rise till it reaches about an inch from the top of pan - or till it doubles in size.
8. Bake at 350 for 30 minuets or until golden brown.

Monday, August 5, 2013

DIY FLORAL CROWN

Anyone else in love with the whimsy a floral crown adds? I've been hoping to create one for a session and when little Brooklyn was born I knew she would wear a crown perfectly. Thus began my adventure in creating a floral crown. 

I read a lot of tutorials on how to make a one and as always, I have intentions of following the directions but at some point in the process I go rouge and do my own thing. So, my tutorial is pretty simple, as are most of my DIY's. . .

Supplies Needed:
Fake flowers - make sure they have wire stems
Jewelry wire
Scissors
Wire Cutters

*If you want to wear this for more than a photo-shoot purchase these items

Elastic
Hot glue/gun
Needle & thread

Instructions:
1. Purchasing the right mix of flowers is essential - it is very easy to make a fake looking/lets be honest "off looking - almost cute, but something isn't quite right" floral crown. Take your time moseying the store and dreaming up what would look good together. Because mine is for a newborn I knew I wanted it to be simple and organic looking and a few touches of color. I also knew it was only going to be about 13inches around so I had very little space to work with. 
2. Make sure the elastic and jewelry wire match your color scheme as well.
3. Start the floral arranging process. I cut a few pieces of flowers and moss and off, leaving about two inches of stem on each so I could wrap it together. 
4. I began wrapping the wire of the moss together leaving space in-between so I could add flowers to it later.
5. Once the moss was wrapped/wire twisted together and the correct length, I used jewelry wire to add in the flowers and little white fillers. Once it was all secure I twisted the wire in the back together to close it. 

*To make this into a longer-term wearable headband...

6. Once your crown is the proper size, take wire crown and hot glue it to elastic. You may choose to add a few flowers/fillers to cover the elastic. Make sure to leave a space of elastic blank in the back so it can stretch to fit your head. I would leave at lease two inches of bare elastic. 
7. Sew ends of elastic together and there you have it! A pretty floral crown.

Monday, July 29, 2013

BANANA SWIRL {Bread}


I can tell baby is coming soon because I woke up at 6:30 am and started making bread! I normally have a freezer full of brown bananas and end up giving them away to someone who knows how to make bread. . .It has been on my blog ideas list from the very beginning. I had no clue it could be this simple!
Special thanks to my sister Lauren for telling me about this and the creator of the recipe Dessert Now, Dinner Later!

Ingredients:

Bread
4 Brown Bananas
3/4 cup sugar 
1/3 cup melted butter
1    large egg 
1    teaspoon vanilla extract 
1    teaspoon baking soda 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1 1/2 cups flour 

Cinnamon Swirl
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Instructions:
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350˚F - grease pan
  2. Using a mixer, mix bananas sugar, butter, egg & vanilla until combined.
  3. Sprinkle baking soda & salt on top of banana mixture & then gently mix in flour until just combined.  Do not over-mix!
  4. In a small bowl, mix together the 1/3 cup sugar & 1 Tbsp cinnamon.
  5. Add half the batter into the prepared loaf pan.  Sprinkle 2/3 of the cinnamon-sugar mixture over the batter.  Add the other half of the banana batter & top with the remaining cinnamon-sugar.
  6. Bake for 60 minutes - until your toothpick comes out clean
  7. Enjoy!

Life has been wonderfully crazy the past few weeks. . . hence the lack of posting. My apologies. Somethings gotta give and this time it was the blog. 

Keep an eye out for his arrival. . . 
What are you baking these days?

Joanna

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME


Yesterday, July 9, I celebrated my 24th Birthday. The husband took me out for a delicious Italian restaurant and we ended the night watching a movie on the couch. Simple and sweet.

And July turned out to be quite a crazy month. I am in the midst of a lot of projects, both DIY and photography. Now, if only I could find time to finish them all and share them with you! I will soon, I promise. 

Joanna


Monday, July 1, 2013

SUMMER WISH LIST


With my wardrobe constantly in transition and knowing I'll be going from 9 months pregnant to a postpartum body soon, my summer wish list contains items I feel will work over the next couple of months.  And even if I wasn't pregnant, my wish list would probably be looking about the same, there are just so many fabulous items out this season! 

With that said, this summer, pregnant or not, bold patterns are a great way to add some freshness and flare to your wardrobe. 

Where are you shopping this summer? Here are links to the items on my wish list...
1>  2>  3>  4>  5>  6>  7>  8>

Friday, June 28, 2013

{35 Weeks} AND PREGNANCY FASHION


IPhone {VSCO Camera} pictures from the past month
35 weeks and what I’ve learned about pregnancy fashion 

1.      Don’t expect to feel amazing, BUT don’t give up on trying!
2.     Comfortable, slip on shoes are a MUST – I found mine here.
3.     Motherhood Maternity isn’t all that bad – at least for bottoms. I’m now the proud owner of a pair of skinny jeans, stretchy pants and a pair of shorts, all from Motherhood.
4.     Dresses and Maxi skirts are still one of your best friends. It’s worth purchasing a few of these during your second trimester because they will grow along with the rest of your body. Yes…as your stomach gets bigger so does the rest of you…sad, I know.
5.     Let’s talk about makeup – getting a mac makeover and switching to their products has tremendously helped me feel better about my fuller face. Don’t skimp on good make up. Like my sister used to say, you only get one face, so treat it well. Look out for a product review in the near future.
6.     Do your hair! The days I look in the mirror and cry about the way I look are the days I did nothing to my hair…It’s as simple as that.
7.      Basic tank tops – Target has a tank called “long and lean.” These are my new favorite. The straps are a bit thicker and they are fitted and long.
8.     Purchase undergarments that fit you well. Your bra and panties have a lot to do with how smooth things look.
9.     Accessorize. There are many days when the only thing I feel good in is my skinny jeans and a black tank top. BUT with a real cute necklace, rings, earrings and maybe even a headband I still can feel like I’m styled. And don’t forget about having a cute bag!

All that to say, being styled in your third trimester is going to take some effort, but it is totally possible. And it’s okay if you wear the same thing multiple times a week – no one who has ever been pregnant will judge you.

Can you tell I needed a pep talk? I mean, who doesn’t when you are 35 weeks along?

Monday, June 24, 2013

PROJECT SHARED ROOM {Half Way There}


We've made progress on project shared room, our side of the bedroom is finished! This past month I was finally able to find a few the perfect pieces I wanted for our room. 

1. Wall Art - The husband and I went back and forth about what to do with the empty walls surrounding our bed, do we building shelving or hang wall art? We ended up with wall art and I couldn't be happier with our little collage! The large matte wood frame and the funky gold frame are both from Target. The artwork in the large frame is from here. The white shadow box was an item we've had for a couple of years, originally from Marshalls. I like the option of having something we can easily post new pictures to. The combination of wood, white and gold on the grey wall really ties everything together.

2. THE DRESSER! - I searched for months on craigslist, at thrift stores and garage sales. I was ready to give up. I knew I wanted a mid-centruy modern dresser that was buffet style and needed to fit under our window. Finding something cheaper than $500-$1,000 was looking impossible. And then, I found this beauty on craigslist...all ready re-purposed. It was the perfect size, price and just so stinkin cute! 

3. The Light - After getting an very expensive estimate from an electrician, we ended up having the husband and his dad hang the light. It is so nice to have light coming from the ceiling. If you missed my last post on the room, the light is from here.

4. The Orange Bowl - I love little details. I've been searching for the perfect bowl to put little baby things in. This past weekend I found this at the thrift store. I love the burnt orange color and aztec detail. 

5. THE OTTOMAN! - This one deserves all caps and an !, too. Why are ottomans so expensive!?! Once again, I've been searching everywhere for the perfect ottoman for our chair. Just two days before I told the husband to be mentally prepared if I end up spending $100-$200 on an ottoman. I knew it was crazy, but I wasn't finding anything cheaper. AND THEN I struck gold. I found this little brown leather beauty at the thrift store for $2!!! I'm all about repurposing items, but sometimes it is so nice to find something that doesn't need any TLC.

6. The Pillows - I'm pretty sure the yellow pillow from Target and the black and white pillow from Ikea are the two most popular pillows in the U.S. I flipped the Target pillow over to the geometric side and moved it from the chair to the bed - it is like new. On our last trip to Ikea I was happy to find the black and white item wasn't out of stock. 

Things are coming along! Now for the really fun part. Baby's side of the room. Can't wait to put it all together and share it with you guys.

Happy Monday!
Joanna



Friday, June 21, 2013

MICHELLE {Maternity Session}


"You musn't be afraid to dream a little bigger darling." - Inception

So much of being a photographer is letting yourself dream and letting yourself create without fear. This is my goal for the coming months. Shooting according my photographic style and helping my clients dream along with me. Message me if you are interested in dreaming a little bigger for your next photo shoot.

Joanna

P.S. Isn't she lovely? I can say first hand, her beauty flows from deep within.