PSA: Back it Up!

Three Monday’s ago I woke up and began my day like every other week day morning. I sat down at my 2009 Macbook Pro with a strong cup of coffee and was ready to start posting updates on social media for my job. My laptop was turned off, which is odd, I usually always just leave it on. I thought perhaps it had done an automatic software update in the middle of the night. I turned it on and waited. As my computer was approaching the end of it’s dear life (7 years is ancient in Apple terms) I stepped away while it did its slow start up. 

When I came back I was met with this on my screen:

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Panic set in. 

I stupidly restarted my computer and messed around with it, googling home fixes on my phone, for a good 3 hours. I was in denial. I didn’t want to go to the Apple store. I thought I could just fix it up myself. Now I know, if you are met with the screen of confused doom, pack up your computer and go straight to the Apple store. Do not pass go, do not collect $200, just go. The more you mess around with your computer, the worse the damage gets. 

And like a totally basic 30 something woman I compared my life crisis to a Sex and the City episode – the one where Carrie’s computer crashes and she has nothing backed up and it’s told in parallel to the death of Miranda’s mother.

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I finally made an appointment and dragged myself to the mall. Ryan was off work, so he and Wyatt joined me. I still was hopeful that the geniuses at Apple would fix me right up. We sat up at the bar, anxiously waiting to hear my computer’s fate. They guy next to me had a similar issue. When his genius came back out with his fully fixed computer and chided him to back up his work everyday, I sighed with relief. Everything was going to be okay.

When my “genius” came out I was ready with my whole sob story of what happened and what I already tried to do to fix it, trying to sound like I knew what was going on. The young and confident boy (he was really young!) said, “Okay, let’s just open it with our diagnostics tools”. Two minutes later he matter-of-factly said “Yep, it’s your hard dive. It’s corrupted. And since your computer is more than five years old, we don’t service it anymore.” I stared at him blankly. He stared back. “That’s it?” I whispered. He proceeded to talk to me about the importance of backing up while I held back tears. It’s a little too late for a back up reminder buddy. You’re called a genius, why can’t you fix it?!!?!

He handed me a business card for a company in California that retrieves files from corrupted hard drives cleverly named, Drive Savers. I started to cry despite Ryan whispering to me , “Don’t cry in here, babe.” 

“But…but…all my baby’s photos are on there! I’m self-employed, all my work files are on there!” I was very upset that the kid didn’t respond with any sympathy. To him I was the idiot 30 something who didn’t back up her computer for 7 years. I could see him internally rolling his eyes at me. 

I packed up my sad little laptop and exited the store like a sad puppy with her tail between her legs. Out in the car I called Drive Savers to learn about how they could help me. When they quoted me anywhere between $1,200 to $3,200 I wanted to vomit.

Instead, I bawled. I felt like I was mourning. Everything was on that computer. There was no way I couldn’t try to get it back. Mourning the potential loss of every single photo I took.

I love taking photos in take pride in editing them and saving them and documenting everything. How could I let this happen? I emailed my boss and told him I wouldn’t be able to get much work done this week because one I didn’t have a computer and two I didn’t have any of my files. Luckily he was extremely understanding. 

Drive Savers overnighted me a fed ex box to ship my computer away in and I purchased an external hard drive so they could back up my hopefully restorable files on it. When the shipping box arrived the next day, I packed my dear little Macbook Pro into it like a coffin and shipped it away wishing for the best. 

A week later I got the call. Most files were redeemable! And my credit card had a profound balance on it. 

I’m not working on a brand new I mac and lovingly staring at all of Wyatt’s newborn photos comforted by the fact that I now have three back ups of everything. 

Backing up my hard drive was always something I said I’d “do tomorrow” about. Stupid. Do it. By an external hard drive. By some online cloud storage and do it today. 

Wyatt: 11 Months Old

wyatt11months2 How is it possible that I have an 11 month old? This summer has been flying by and Wyatt’s first birthday is only a few weeks away. I get a little teary eyed whenever I think about it. 

He is developing at lightning speed and his fun, curious, and sweet personality is shining through more and more each day.  He loves to laugh and be silly but he is also very cautious and timid. I think it’s a great mix and I can’t wait to see how he continue to grows emotionally. 

Weight: I’d guess around 22 pounds

Length: I’d guess around 30 inches. 

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Hair: light brown and longer. He has these cute long curls in the back that kind of sort of resemble a mullet. 

Eyes: Blue

Nicknames: Wy, Wy-Wy, Mr. Man, Binky. Stinky Face. 

Likes: Books, Photographs, Music, Playing in water, dogs, Mickey Mouse, blocks, pulling up on everything, doors, food, phones, remotes, bath time. 

Dislikes: Getting his diaper changed and getting dressed, long car rides.

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Clothing and Diapers: 6-12 months clothing, size three diapers. 

Sleep: Wyatt usually goes to bed around 7:30 and sleeps until around 4 when he gets up for a little snack and then goes back to bed until 7:30ish. The past couple of days he has been waking up at 5:00 – 5:30 for the day…I hope it’s temporary! He’s still taking 2 naps a day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. 

Feeding: Breastfed every four hours and eats three solid meals a day plus some puffs or cheese as snacks throughout the day. He’s a hungry boy.

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Milestones: Waving hi and bye, pulling up on everything on site, high fiving, sharing politely, taking a few steps assisted with our hands, “throwing” the ball for Maggie, turning book pages at lightning speed.

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Yep buddy, that sticker say 11! I can’t believe it either!

What I want to remember:

How excited he gets when playing ball with Maggie. He loves her soooo much and she could careless, unless she’s eating his scraps from the highchair. 

His big sloppy kisses he gives me on my mouth. 

The way he cuddles with me when he first wakes up from nap time (the ONLY time he wants to cuddle)

How proud he looks when he is trying something new, like trying to walk, or stacking blocks, or pulling something off a higher shelf. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   
  

   
        

Introducing: That Darling Boutique

On Friday I teased about a big announcement. I’ve been holding my breath all weekend, excited to tell you: I’ve gone and done it! I’ve opened my very own Etsy shop. I’m happy to introduce my new baby, MY store: That Darling Boutique.

I am open for business and am selling handmade ribbon pennant banners, high chair banners, tie banners, name banners, as well as all sorts of invites and other party stationary available for digital download. 

I’m full of fear, excitement, anxiety, and joy! This has been a long time coming. It’s something I’ve talked about for at least 4 years, but my fear of failure and the fear of starting always got the best of me.

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Earlier this summer I hosted my brother in law’s girlfriend’s baby shower. I know that most people roll their eyes at showers – at the tedious decorations, the details, the food, the silly games, the ceremony of opening gifts, but I love them.

I believe we should always jump on the chance to celebrating with loved ones. And regarding showers; I believe that supporting other women as they enter a new chapter in their lives should only be met with grace and joy. 

So, when I was asked to do the decorations for my soon to be niece’s shower I jumped on it! I couldn’t wait to pick out a theme and get started crafting.

It’s relaxing for me, creating something beautiful with my hands. I find pleasure in knowing that although this decor will only be temporary, the smile it may bring to the guest’s face or the added unique burst of color it will add to a fun celebration makes it all worthwhile. 

So I decided to open up a shop. To share my lovely custom designs with everyone.

Each piece is made with love and each piece can be custom-made. I soon hope to receive messages like, “I’m throwing a whale themed party, can you help me out?” Are you that person that is too busy to handle the details of a party you are hosting or just don’t know where to begin? Let me help!

In the meantime I’ve been working away on creating a variety of banners. My living room is full of ribbon and it just makes me smile!

Life is always worth celebrating! Whether it’s a birthday, retirement or graduation party, bridal or baby shower, or simply a fun summer get together, why not make it extra special? Why waste your money on vinyl or cheap paper decorations when you can get a quality custom-made piece (that you could also use again and again?) for just a little bit more money? 

Please check out and share my shop

And also follow along on Facebook.

I’m offering 15% off any order for my “Grand Opening” with the code “celebrate15” until August 15.

Thank you so much for your support!

Summertime and the Living is Busy

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Remember when summer was all about, lounging around in your PJ’s all morning, lazy days at the pool, reading through a pile of books, and catching fireflies at dusk? Those were the days.

Ever since we returned from our beach vacation it feels like our lives have been on fast forward and I’ve barely been able to catch my breath, hence my absence from these parts. Summer is home of the longest days yet they are flying by!

Here’s a few updates from the MacDonald household:

  • Working from home with a 10 month old is like working 10 jobs at once. I feel like I’m the Queen of Multitasking yet everything always feels half done.
  • Wyatt is growing up SO fast. He’s constantly on the go and I swear he will be walking any day now. He keeps me on my toes as he wants to get into everything. He thinks the word “No” is funny. Other things he thinks his funny; chasing Maggie around the house, pulling all the books of book shelves, pulling out the toiletries from under the bathroom sink, dumping at the dog bowls, feeding Maggie all of his food, banging the TV remote on everything, and blowing raspberries on my thighs. 
  • It really is the most fun age yet though. His sweet and curious personality is contagious and each day we learn something new together. He’s such a mama’s boy!
  • I’ve taken on more responsibility with my new job; and I absolutely love it. For those that don’t know, I work for a non-profit orchestra that focuses on music education in underserved school (a cause close to my heart) It’s amazing working a job that I truly feel connected to. I’m so much happier now than I was just two months ago. 
  • After Ryan got his job offer we started the daunting task of shopping for a house. Only to find out a week later that the dream of owning our own home will be one that will have to continue to be on the back burner for a while longer. Turns out that my income cannot count toward our total household income because I’m self-employed and have only been working this job for two months AND they count one’s TOTAL student loan debt (not the income based payments we make on Ryan’s astronomical student loans). I keep telling myself that good things come to those who wait. 
  • We are experiencing some very HOT days lately and I”m so thankful that we have my Pop-Pop’s pool to go to. Wyatt loves the water and never wants to get out. 
  • Lastly, I have a special announcement I will be making on Monday!! (not pregnant) I’ve been very busy behind the scenes and can’t wait to share what I’ve been up to with all of you! Stay tuned!

As always, follow along on Instagram to follow along with our every day moments! 

Wyatt: 10 Months Old

Wyatt10months1  Wyatt turned ten months two weeks ago! We’ve been so busy this summer that blogging and my updates are a bit behind.

Busy is the best word to describe Wyatt these days.

His personality is shining through and he’s acting like a little boy. We are having a lot of fun together and he’s keeping me on my toes.

There has been so much change this past month, I don’t even know where to begin! The biggest thing to note from this month is the fact that he is sleeping through the night in his crib! I repeat, he is sleeping through the night in his crib. Miracles do happen! The baby who refuses to sleep no more!

Weight: I’d guess around 21 – 22 pounds

Length: I’d guess around 29 inches. 

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Hair: light brown and getting longer. He has a few strands by his ears that are super long. 

Eyes: Blue

Nicknames: Wy, Wy-Wy, Mr. Man, Binky. Stinky 

Likes: Books, Photographs, Music, Playing in water, Dog bowels, Pulling up on things, Mickey Mouse, eating, dogs, opening and closing doors, the piano, bells, his wubanubs.

Dislikes: Getting his diaper changed and getting dressed.  

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Clothing and Diapers: 6-12 months clothing, size three diapers. 

Sleep: Sleeping through the night in his crib! He goes down around 7:30 at night and usually sleeping until 5 – 6 am. Sometimes he still wakes  up around 3:30 – 4 for a quick snack, but that’s few and far between. He then takes an average of two naps a day. 

Feeding: Breastfed every three – four hours and eats three solids a day plus some puffs as snacks. Thank goodness for puffs, he loves them and they entertain him very well. 

Milestones: Sleeping through the night, pulling himself up on furniture, crawling on his hands and knees (not just army crawling), turning pages in books super fast, sharing food and toys with us, and waving. 

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What I want to remember:

 

How he shakes his whole body when one of his favorite songs come on (The Hot Dog Song and Peanut Butter Sandwich)

The way he eagerly wants to share everything with us.

How he can entertain himself for atleast 10 -15 minutes browsing through all of his books. 

His reaction to the ocean waves. 

The way he tossed away a regular pacifier with disgust when I tried to give him one while down at the beach (instead of getting his beloved stuffed wubanub all sandy and wet)

 

 

 

 

 

 

   
  

   
        

First Father’s Day (Ryan Takes Over the Blog)

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My (Not So) Perfect Father’s Day Post:

I have to admit that when Katie asked me to write a short blog post about my first Father’s Day, I googled things such as: “First Father’s Day Quotes” and “Father’s Day Poems,” in hopes of finding something heartwarming, touching, and inspiring for that “Perfect Father’s Day Post.”

As I scanned the results page, looking for that perfect arrangement of words and/or phrases, I quickly realized that my desire for that perfect post was truly just devoid of emotion, relying on other people’s thoughts and experiences to convey my own. So as it is now Father’s Day eve and Katie is sitting on the couch, waiting for me to be finished so we can binge watch more of Season 4 of Orange is the New Black, I am going to keep it simple.

These past 9 months since Wyatt’s birth have been a roller coaster of emotions and I have a new appreciation for the phrase “they grow up so fast.” I swear every day that goes by Wyatt’s eyes get a little bluer, his hair gets a little longer, and he introduces you to a new skill that he has learned, such as locking you out of the bathroom. Even though he is growing up so fast – I swear tomorrow morning he will wake up and start having actual conversations with me – I still cherish every single moment.

These past 9 months have also brought our family many changes and challenges. Some days are good and some are not so good. Still, nothing beats that feeling I get when I walk through the front door after work, make eye contact with Wyatt, and hear the resulting shriek of laughter and see the look of joy on Wyatt’s face. That takes away any challenges that day might have brought. That helps you get up in the morning. That makes it all worthwhile. So this Father’s Day, I pledge to continue to cherish those little moments with Wyatt.

Lastly, I would like to end this post with somewhat of a quote. Don’t worry, this isn’t anything that I discovered through my google search. It is actually a quote that I saw in my Judge’s chambers the other day that partially came back to me while I was writing. Although I do not fully remember the quote, I do know that it contained the idea that in the end, you won’t be measured by your wealth or the amount, size, and value of your possessions. What you will be measured by is a time that your actions helped a child. I hope that my actions and choices continue to help and guide Wyatt through this great big world. I will always be there for you Mr. Man.

My Hope as a Mother After the Orlando Tragedy

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I’m still reeling from the tragedy in Orlando. Powerless, frightened, sickened, frustrated, and devastated. These are all words that aim to describe how I feel. But there are no words to truly convey how the surviving victims and their loved ones feel. My heart simply aches for our country.

Where is our future headed?

We know the facts. That this was the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. That 49 were killed and 53 more were injured. That the killer easily obtained an assault rifle despite his history with the FBI. That there have been 141 mass shootings (more than 4 people involved) in 2016 already.

But what makes a tragedy so tragic is the fact that the consequences leave us with a hole that no statistic, justification, apology, speech, vigil, or prayer can fill. How many more holes can our country take before we are so fragile we crumble?

Many people question why one would choose to bring a child into such a scary world. To me, as a mother, that answer is simple. Each and every child is a hope for our future. Each boy and girl has the potential to create change – every little act of kindness as the potential to domino into a life altering change.

As a mother, I look into my innocent baby’s eyes and hope that he will be one of the good ones. I hope that he will always choose love. Hope is a powerful weapon. But it takes more than hope. It takes action – from us all.

Love is not a singular activity. In order to bring change we must act together. As a society we must love one another, help one another, accept one another.

Teaching acceptance, kindness, and love start at home. As a mother I aim to teach my children these basic moral codes. I promise to tell and show my children how to choose love every day.

But we are more than our singular homes. One day our children will leave our homes and the power to teach goodness will not be solely in our hands as parents. These principles must continue to be taught in our schools, our places of worship, and our places of work. It takes all of us. Not just parents, not just teachers, not just leaders. The power to bring about change takes all of us. Straightforward concept, right?

Yet, we are failing. Why is such an easy task, to be kind, accepting and loving, so hard to achieve?

As a mother I promise to never stop searching for that answer. I promise that in every step I take I will choose love. Together I believe we can move forward to peace, I won’t let go of that hope.