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.

That Darling Boutique

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.

Wyatt: 9 Months Old

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Wyatt turned nine months last week! Nine months!! This month has been jam packed with fun, change, and major changes for Wyatt. 

I feel like he’s closer to a little boy than a baby now. He’s so attentive to everything around him and loves exploring. My little baby is growing up. He is keeping us on our toes, but we are loving it. He’s so full of joy and this happy positive energy. It’s hard to be sad around him. 

We are so lucky to have such a happy and content baby. Really, the only time he cries is when he’s tired and when he won’t go to bed at night or in the car. (He cried the entire 2 hours home from DC yesterday, fun times)

I started my new job on May 1 and now work from home. It’s challenging but also perfect for me. The other week I was at the pool, breastfeeding Wyatt, while responding to work emails on my phone. What other job could I do that at?

It’s been a fun month for us. He’s so much fun!

Weight: 20 pounds and 6 ounces

Length: 28 inches. 

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Hair: light brown, although sometimes I swear it look blonde and then other days it’s almost red.

Eyes: Blue

Nicknames: Wy, Wy-Wy, Mr. Man, Bink, 

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Likes: Doors (opening and closing them) air conditioning vents, photographs of people, books, music, dancing, crawling, exploring, eating, shaking things, balls, Mickey Mouse, dogs. 

Dislikes: Sleeping in his crib. Getting dressed. Riding in the car for extended amounts of time. 

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

Sleep: He takes three naps a day, the longest one in the afternoon. Sleep at night is touch and go. We are desperately trying to transition him into his crib and are suffering with the crying it out method. 

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Feeding: Breastfed every three hours and eats three solids a day plus some puffs as snacks (but Maggie usually gets most of those!) He likes everything. But I think his favorites are butternut squash and blueberries.

Milestones: Army crawling everywhere. Standing up assisted. Recognizing music. Turning pages in books by himself. Kissing. Banging two objects together. Squeeling and becoming much more vocal. 

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Favorite Things: Photographs (he loves crawling around the house and looking up at all the photos everywhere and studying them) Board books, Mickey Mouse, Hot Dog song, singing, listening to music,  balls, balloons, dogs, wagon rides, being outside. 

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What I want to remember:

How happy he is when I first see him in the morning. 

How he smushes he face up against mine (it’s his way of kissing)

 

How proud he looks when he makes his way to a door and then shows me how he can open and close it.

The way he goes over to his bookshelf and pulls out all his books until he finds his favorite “Baby Faces Peekaboo”

The shrieking noise he makes when he wants us to laugh at him.

When he crawls over and grabs my ankles when I’m drying my hair or doing my make up. 

Mother’s Day was very special. He was the perfect little gentleman at lunch and dinner. 

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Memorial Day weekend was a blast – traveled to Philly visiting family and my best friend. It was our first night away with him. He slept terribly and didn’t do well in the car, but otherwise it was fun…

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3 Years of I Do

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Dear Ryan,

Three years ago we promised our lives to each other. We had only been dating a year and a half, yet we know that we wanted to share our future. They say marriage is one of the biggest risks you can take, but I had never been more sure of anything in my life. 

This past year has been one of major growth for our marriage. Having a baby together will do that.

Those same people that say marriage is a huge risk also say that you need to work on your marriage after a baby enters the picture. Once again, I disagree. 

Raising a baby together has only strengthened that promise we made to each other three years ago.

This past year you witnessed me at my very lowest points and decided to only love me more. The immense support you showed me during my pregnancy and as I transitioned into a mother made my love for you grow daily. I would have been so lost without you by my side, encouraging me, laughing with me, and learning with me.  You are the best father to Wyatt. There is no one else I’d want to (or could do) parenthood or life with. 

Although this has been a year of many ups and downs, our marriage has benefited by growing stronger and I’m so excited for what comes next. 

Thank you for all that you do every single day to make this marriage work. Thank you for waking up with me each morning and deciding to say “I do”, no matter what the future holds. 

Love you always,

Katie