Motherhood: 2nd Trimester Update

Above is a photo Matt took of my fourteen week bump in our back yard on Father's Day. My nausea and morning all day sickness seemed to have stopped at week thirteen which I was so grateful for! The nausea was quickly replaced by constant starvation. After eating a large meal I feel stuffed for just fifteen minutes and then I am extremely hungry again. I get these "hangry" episodes where I get so upset over being hungry. Do not cross me when I'm "hangry."
Matt took this photo at week 15 on a visit to a local park that we hold dear in our hearts, he proposed on a picnic there. I haven't been bike riding like I used to, so taking walks every so often is keeping me somewhat in shape. And yes, I have already started wearing some maternity clothes. That bump is no joke! I am trying my best to continue being as frugal as possible by wearing my regular clothes as long as possible and purchasing more fluid and longer tops. Also stretchy skirts and shirts have been my best friends. It is proving difficult to save money when pregnant but we are making it work.

I took this amazing self portrait today at week 17 of this pregnancy. I have mad "skillz" right? My neighbors may have been pointing and snickering the whole time but I am having a good hair day and this just had to happen! I mean, I missed last week's bump photo because I was feeling really down in the dumps about myself so why not take advantage of feeling good and snap a selfy?

This is Matt and his dad sporting matching 'staches on Father's Day. It was nice to celebrate him on his first Father's Day! I bought him Jimmy Fallon's book Dada which we can't wait to read to Baby Ham. Matt's parents bought him a little beard oil too. We talked with his parents about what they want to be called as first time grandparents and they agreed on plain-ol' Grandma and Grandpa. My parents want to go by the German Oma and Opa so this works great! No Grandma "Surname" and Grandpa "Surname"which I called my grandparents and always felt so formal.

We had our first ultrasound at week 16! While this was such a great moment it did not even compare to hearing the baby's heart beat for the first time at week 13. I cried then. I did not cry when I saw our growing baby though which I found so strange being such a visual person. We go back at the end of the month for another check up and then on August 13th we will find out the sex of our little ham! I am very excited for that moment because we can then call our baby by their name instead of Baby Ham.

The ultrasound technician also gave us a couple of videos of our little one moving around a little:

Matt and I made a mobile a few weeks ago. It was really nice to do something for the baby together and it turned out beautiful. I used birds from the floral department at Michael's and clipped them on to some branches from the back yard. Matt used fishing line to balance the twigs which allows them to spin around in the breeze from the fan. While most mobiles I have admired during my pregnancy are in the $60 range, this mobile to a mere $8 to make.

I'll be back with an update at some point! Blogging is hard. Until then, adios amigos!


Motherhood : Announcing Our Pregnancy

If you haven't already seen on Instagram and Facebook, we are pregnant! I am currently at 11 weeks, in the second photo, and the first photo was taken at 10 weeks while we were in New Orleans for our 1 year anniversary.

Some very close friends and family have known the entire time we have known as Matt was overly excited to tell people. Matt told his brother and his co workers shortly after finding out. I chose not to tell anyone but a close friend found out the day after I took the test because a drunk girl asked, "What, are you pregnant?" in regards to why I had no drink in hand at a party. People can be so rude.

I told my parents over the phone one day because I was missing them and not feeling well at all and it just kind of came up. We told Matt's parents on Mother's Day using a card that said a little something about just rinsing the dishes off after a long day. I added in, "Especially after babysitting your first grand child! Surprise we're pregnant!"

I was very hesitant to tell people as I miscarried at 7 weeks with our first pregnancy. I decided to just let the cat out of the bag when we got back from New Orleans because I was already starting to show and I was tired of sucking it all in. While 11 weeks is just shy of the normal 12 weeks when most people announce their pregnancies, this pregnancy has been extremely different than my first so I felt comfortable announcing it a little early. With my first pregnancy I was never tired or sick just hungry more than usual. This time I get sick randomly at all hours, I'm exhausted and ready for a nap at any time, I'm starving all. of. the. time. It's absolutely ridiculous! I wake up starving, I'm starving at 10, 12, 2, lets just say every two hours I'm ready to eat again and then I go to bed starving. I think I even spend more time in the bathroom than actually working too. As I'm writing this I have to go to the bathroom.

I'm really not enjoying pregnancy in and of itself but it is pretty incredible to know I am actually growing a human being inside this little body of mine. I cannot wait to hold this little one come December. That is if the baby is actually due in December. I've been told I look further along than 11 weeks and I have yet to see a doctor as they can't see me until the middle of June to confirm the due date. I'm not too worried about it though because at that point I will only be 13 weeks along and many doctors do not see their patients until 12 weeks. I am also glad I am able to use the same doctor from my first pregnancy even though the only time I met her was after the miscarriage she was very friendly and supportive.

We are both so excited for this new journey of ours and I can't wait to share our story on A Hamilton Home.


Easter 2015

Matt and I hosted our first holiday dinner, Easter 2015. The funny thing is, we're not even religious. Why not celebrate Spring anyway? Easter was once a celebration of the Spring Equinox before it became a celebration of the resurrection of The Lord Jesus Christ.

I went through this funny faze of holiday decorating for Easter. I bought a banner, some little egg ornaments, and little bunny figurines. All to later look at and ask myself why in the world? Flowers are decoration enough! So before my in-laws came over for a delicious feast I packed everything away, gathered the daffodils from the back yard and placed them in the milk glass vases scattered throughout the house.

Soon after we moved into this house almost five years ago, I painted the window in the door that looked out onto the unsightly back porch which houses our refrigerator and animal food with chalk board paint and it has been on of my favorite touches to our kitchen. When there isn't something written in bad calligraphy up there it usually hosts Matt's to-do lists.

I made a carrot cake using a box mix and topped it with violets from the yard. It was such a pretty cake and I'm not ashamed that it was from a box, because man did it taste good. Growing up holidays were so exiting but also extremely difficult for me. My mother would put way much onto her plate as everything had to be homemade and perfect. It stressed me out so much I'd often end up in tears because I had done something incorrectly in helping my mother out. So I decided to make some things easier on myself so that I wouldn't make the people I love feel the way my mother had made me feel. (No worries, she doesn't read by blog.) I bought pre made rolls too. I spent the most time on the green beans because green beans have to be made a certain way on the holidays! They require fresh snapped green beans sautéed in garlic, butter, and sun dried tomatoes and slivered almonds are added. Matt made a lovely pork loin cooked in a creamy wine herb sauce. I also made scrumptious deviled eggs for the first time and placed them on a thrifted milk glass and gold egg plate. My in-laws brought a delicious spinach salad, potato salad, and strawberries.

I was really excited to use the heirloom dishes we were given my Matt's parents too, now I just need some cloth napkins!

I can't wait to host another holiday dinner!

Early Spring 2015

This spring has been absolutely marvelous! I don't know if I was too busy in springs past to notice every little budding tree, how the grass is all of a sudden green, or even to actually enjoy rainy days. This spring I have taken things a little slower, I have much less on my plate regarding work and social gatherings, and I am so grateful for this slowness because it has made me appreciate my life so much more. When I was a teacher I was constantly busy with grading artwork, filling out nonsense paperwork, going to ball games, driving two hours a day, and then complaining about how awful most my days were. I'm not entirely sure that most my days were as awful as I made them out to be but I can say I am much happier with a job without extra obligations or an emotional toll. Perhaps this is what has made me appreciate the spring of 2015 more, or the fact that we own our home now and can plant all the plants. Matt planted a pink Dogwood in the front yard and I couldn't be happier about it. We have plans for peonies from his parent's too, the same peonies we used at our wedding so that will be extra special. I planted some bleeding hearts and white caladium in the back yard but nothing has popped up yet which worries me.

The yellow crocus were the first to pop up this year!

 The hyacinth were looking extra raggedy this year and have already passed until next.

These little purple crocus were not in our yard last year, or they didn't bloom, I'm sure glad they did this year!

Our neighbor's house has been vacant for several months because it is not fit to live in. This is so sad because most the houses on our street our decent. Anyway, they left tons of trash, carpet, even a rotting cabinet in their yard. I took to it and threw everything on the front porch so it wasn't in my sight, I destroyed the rotting cabinet and threw it over the fence to find a little snake hiding underneath. It was not very nice.

We have wild violets all over our yard, I love them so. Who needs grass?

 This is what a single, or two, hyacinth bloom looks like. So tropical like!

 I've been on a milk glass craze, I think I have enough now.

Springtime sunsets can't be beat, especially while enjoying Andy's.


Personal Art: Lyndi & Kyle Tiggemann & A Painting On Design Sponge

Last year I finished this portrait of my friends Lyndi & Kyle Tiggemann. I created this portrait for their wedding gift and I am so glad I did! I really like how it turned out in the end. It is always a struggle to get every detail right in a portrait of someone you know and this one was of two people! You don't want to get something wrong which could end up hurting the feelings of the person you've drawn when  you've drawn a nose too big or the eyes too small. I really can't wait to do another couples portrait.

The Tiggemanns hung their portrait up in their living room which I so much appreciate. Kyle's twin, Blake, also did a full figure portrait of them with their pup Pete in oil paint. Once, Lyndi said she thought people might think they're vain but I think they just have creative friends who find them attractive enough do draw and paint!

Sometimes you don't know where your art ends up when given to another. I've been in friends' homes before and can't find a portrait I did for them anywhere and it breaks me a little bit each time. Recently though, one of my paintings was photographed in my friend Casey Bovee's home which can be seen in her house tour featured on Design Sponge. I was elated when I saw the painting on one of my favorite blogs as I had no idea it would be included in the tour! You can't even imagine how happy I was! 

Looking back on it I'm upset that I did this in oil. It is by far my best oil painting but I am just not an oil painter. I've kept those supplies just in case but I really want to stick to graphite from now on. Here are some photographs of that piece, the first is a truer representation of the painting while the second is captured more beautifully by photographer Matt Douglas


Happy Valentine's Day!

1. A little red heart hanging on our back door.

2. Scrabble pieces above the kitchen sink to greet my sweet heart each morning.

3. A transparent pink heart garland hanging in our dining room. Made last year using this tutorial which I revised to make into a garland.

4. Heart doilies stuck to the front windows.

5. A "peony" heart wreath made with tissue paper peony flowers, burlap ribbon, and a heart wreath form. The sun has created this ombre effect on the petals over the years making it even better.

6. This sweet card for my darling from Amanda Wright of Wit & Whistle and a subscription to the new show Better Call Saul.

7. A sweet pin I made for the Valentine exchange at the Galentine's Event put on by the lovely ladies of  Coterie Creative and Frolic Vintage.


Personal Art: Sam Shakusky & Suzy Bishop

I recently finished a portraits of Sam Shakusky and Suzy Bishop from Moonrise Kingdom. These are the first portraits I have done with plans to make prints and open an Etsy shop. I really love how they both turned out, however I received a more positive response over the Sam Shakusky portrait. I assume it is because of the amount of detail in his outfit. I struggled a bit with not receiving as much positive feed back, or feedback at all, over the Suzy Bishop portrait. I understand that she is not as detailed because her outfit is less interesting but I'm not sure what else it is. She is one interesting looking girl. Maybe it is her nose, that was pretty tricky to get. Maybe I didn't get it at all.

Do you ever struggle with putting your work out there? It is so intimidating.