Imogen, Josh, life, Phoenix

Sedona

Yesterday we decided to take a day trip to Sedona on the fly. Neither of us have been, so basically we had no idea how congested and touristy it would be, and how you have to have a rec pass to even park on the side of the road and picnic. It was a little crazy! As different of an experience as it turned out to be than what we imagined, it was still so lovely driving into Sedona. It really takes your breath away when those giant, red-striped rocks come into view. It got down to the 60’s (!!!) in the shade, and we saw signs of a coming fall in the leaves, which is something I’ve been longing for. We did get to stop once for some roadside cider (but am I the only one who thinks it’s weird when cider is served ice-cold? I wonder if that’s how people drink cider in AZ, from my two cider-purchasing experiences here. I might be wrong.). But regardless of my aversion to cold cider we were really glad to get away (I left my phone at home, what!) and see someplace new and beautiful. The photos can’t possibly do Sedona justice.

sedona-september-web-9227 sedona-september-web-9228 sedona-september-web-9233sedona-september-web-9239It’s hard to get over all the dirt and the rocks being so red.

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So nice seeing actual signs of fall. I felt kind of nerdy taking these two photos but to me it was the first real evidence of autumn!

We turned around and headed back to Phoenix after a couple hours of driving around Sedona and taking photos. We had brought a picnic lunch to enjoy in a park somewhere, but because there were LINES of cars just waiting to get into the park (!!) we ended up scarfing down our food in a random gravel lot down the highway. Hah! Rookie mistake right? It was still nice and peaceful.

Somewhere just north of Phoenix the sun was setting so perfectly so we pulled over to take photos, because I’ve really been wanting some maternity photos with cacti. Kinda corny, but since we’re moving soon I thought it would be great to have something to have so we can show Imogen what her birthplace looked like. It’s been such a special time living here in Arizona, I never pictured myself living here but we’ve loved it.

And you can’t beat our sunsets.

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These are probably my favorite of our baby-on-the-way photos so far. Josh is really getting to be such a great photographer too and he’s so patient with me when I get super bossy about how the photos should look. Hah. 🙂

And it’s true, I haven’t painted my nails in like 4 weeks but who cares. Life isn’t always magazine perfect and that’s how we like it.

I’m 32 weeks today! 8 more weeks hopefully! It’s getting more and more real. xo

 

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Imogen, Josh, life, Phoenix

Second Thoughts

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I realize that my last post on pregnancy probably sounded like a downer to a lot of you. Sorry about that. I think there are a lot of steps involved in this whole process of learning you’re going to be a mom and preparing for motherhood, even if it was planned for! That’s probably what took me by surprise the most. I had a hard time focusing too much on what was happening to me, rather than what was happening with our kid, because I couldn’t see or feel her yet. Until, one night right before I fell asleep (at 20 weeks), I felt her flutter around.

At 21 weeks, we got to see our kid for the first time. We found out we were having a girl. She smiled right at us, right as the ultrasound tech was taking a photo. Our hearts were changed, and I couldn’t stop staring at this photo (if it’s hard to see, no worries – it’s a close-up of her little face.) The next day I flew out to Denver for an engagement session and on the plane ride there, I had this photo pulled up on my phone and I’m pretty sure I just stared at it most of the time. I don’t have words for that kind of joy.

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Finding out we were having a girl was kind of a shock – we were sure it was going to be a boy. We were set on a boy’s name. We had some girl’s names in mind, but none of them felt right.

Week 22- Josh felt her move for the first time! I realized I could feel her move from the outside and I grabbed his hand and pulled it over to feel her. One of my favorite moments.

Week 23 – I think the sentimentality caught up to me and I realized I had no photos of me pregnant. We had just left Phoenix to drive to Seattle, and I made Josh pull over and take some photos. The light was pretty harsh and I’m wearing roadtrip clothes and I’m by a barbed wire fence but maybe those are all reasons why I like them.

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We journeyed up to WA and back, making up for lost time with pregnancy photos (sorry, my instagram feed). Now I’m at 26 weeks (and 2 days!) and I’m wondering if the whole pregnancy will just rush by like I’m feeling it has already.

Last week we settled on a name for realsies. Here’s a little bit behind our choice:

81a682fe052111e3873d22000aaa0773_7Imogen (everyone has asked how to pronounce it so here it is: Say it like “Emma-Jen.”) got her first name because of the photographer Imogen Cunningham. I remember learning about her in school and Chuck (our professor) commenting something like, how interesting it was for her to basically have the word “image” in her name, and to become such a wonderful photographer. I’ve loved the name since. I’m not hoping she becomes a photographer by naming her this. I just simply like the name and it was such a relief to find something Josh and I both agreed on. 🙂 It’s so hard!

Quay (say it like it looks. “kway”) is a family name that goes back at LEAST to my great-great-grandmother. My great-grandmother was Ada Quay, her daughter was Lyda Quay. My aunt is Linda Quay. My cousin Lauren also used the name for her daughter, Helen Quay! We both love the idea of using a family name with deep roots. It’s so special to us. There might even be more Quays in there but I can’t say for sure. 🙂

Here are some snapshots I took today to remember this season.

pregnant-week-26-5667I’ve never had a skincare regimen until now. I know, I’m 30. Basically I splashed water on my face every day and maybe a little coconut oil during the winter. But you may have heard from your pregnant friends that these nine months really do a number on your face, so I asked my MUA friend Sara for advice because she’s the best. This stuff I got at target and it smells lovely, and it’s mostly organic. It does feel like kind of a treat taking care of my skin every morning and night, rather than a chore.

pregnant-week-26-5669Super typical. What can I say, my creative juices are at an all-time low! But it’s kind of weird seeing your toes eclipsed by your growing self.

pregnant-week-26-5690Our friend Rebecca Green did the most beautiful portrait of our family for our 4th Anniversary. I cried when I opened it. It’s the most special thing we both own. We immediately gave it a home on the wall and I love getting to see it always. She’s so amazingly talented, you guys! We’ve chosen to keep this one thing private for ourselves, but it’s the hardest thing ever for me to not share her talent with everyone. So Josh said I could post this photo, this little peek at it. Becca, we love it SO MUCH! You’re just incredible! Everyone, please go look at her work!

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Me + Imogen today at 26 weeks. Black and white is so much more forgiving of the energy I clearly don’t have to pick up clothes, trash, or half-packed moving boxes.

And a pregnancy apparel note: those scrunchy-side tops used to be so appalling to me, but they’re my best friend now. They’re so much more flattering than just buying oversized, loose-fitting tent tops.

Anyway, that was a lot, but I needed to update this thing. Thanks for reading along. 🙂

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House, life, Phoenix

It’s finally almost ready!

Almost a year ago, we came down here to Phoenix for one day only to look at houses. The house we found happened to be the first one we looked at. We’re in love with our house, although we had so many changes we’ve had to make to fix it up to our dream house! Worth it!

I took this photo of Josh in the pool the day we came to look at the house. Not only did it look super rough, it’s a seriously old pool from the 60’s and needed a lot of work to get it up to working order.

Almost one year later, it is finally almost ready! It’s nearly done filling now (it takes over a day of two hoses running water into it to fill). Last night when the water level was lower, we took some photos to remember this. I can’t believe this is really finally happening!

And not going to lie.. I was also eager for a chance to process more photos with the VSCO Film Pack 02 before implementing it into my workflow. 🙂

We’re planning on swimming by tonight. 🙂 Perfect timing, since it’s been around 115 degrees lately.

The pool has been a priority for us because swimming is a perfect low-impact exercise for us asthmatic folks! I’m so excited to take this step to getting my health back, and being able to get in shape without major asthma episodes. Plus, come on, swimming is the MOST fun.

Now, to tame that jungle of a back yard so we can have some mega pool parties.

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House, life, Phoenix

Oh hi August.

You snuck up quickly. It feels like just a month ago we were settling into this house, trying to figure out the best way to make this house feel like our home right away.

We have several projects going on now still, and I love when Josh gets an idea and decides to do it right then and there (even if it means that everything in the house ends up covered by a thin layer of drywall dust without warning) but it’s nothing we can’t clean up afterwards. So first up, Josh cut out a piece of our kitchen wall and put in a built-in shelf! I’m in LOVE with how it looks. He also painted a chalkboard wall just for fun. It makes our kitchen look much different I think.

Once we knew we were going to be able to have our pool renovated this month, we tackled our jungle of a back yard. We have aloe growing out of our ears, guys. We decided to transplant a ton of the offshoots with a little help from farmer internet. We were so proud of ourselves but now the transplants are looking utterly pitiful. We tried, little offshoots. We tried.

But somehow the one that we potted and moved indoors is loving his life. Spunky little aloe vera.

And you read correctly before. Your eyes did not trick you. Our pool is getting a makeover. Naturally there have been complications with it being unused for years, and it being an ancient pool to begin with. We’ve had to have all kinds of whatnots added here and there, lots of drilling, lots of neighbors loving us I’m sure. Hopefully everything will be done this coming week!

I’ve been feeling a tiny bit out of control lately, feeling like I’ve bitten off more than I can chew. We had a great dinner together last night and talked about our plans for next year, how I’ll cut back weddings and I’ll have to raise rates (I haven’t done that in almost 2 years), and how we are going to make it both being self-employed, etc. It’s scary but it’s exciting. I ended up overbooking myself this autumn (not double booking, but just overbooking, not allowing myself any time off or time for other projects). I know myself and I know that I have to keep several different projects on the horizon to keep from getting burned out on one thing. Thank the Lord I have Josh, he’s so level headed and encouraging, and such a huge help to me. We make an awesome team. I love him more every day.

Today is the first time in awhile I’ve just taken photos around the house for the fun of it. And it was fun actually.

Today’s been a little discouraging because a publication had promised to send us our usage fees for using photos without permission and had stopped responding to our correspondence. Today was the deadline we had asked for compensation by and it came and went without any acknowledgement. The hot head in me is so angry and ready to hold a grudge, pursue legal action, and let it get under my skin. I prayed about it today and feel a strong conviction to just forgive them. To just let it go without gossiping about them, without contacting them again. I feel peace knowing that whatever happens that I did all I could to make a peaceful agreement, and sometimes people will steal from you and you just can’t force them to make it right. It’s a hard, hard thing to keep yourself from taking offense against someone else but I’m really going to try and move on, and hope their conscience grabs them some day. Forgive us our debts as we try really hard to forgive our debtors. (and if I’m being honest, it doesn’t feel saintly. It feels defeating.)

Well, since it’s August I made a little playlist on spotify of some songs that are inspiring me lately, if anyone cares to listen. 🙂 Click here –  there are several new + old songs on there. I love the idea of making a new playlist for each month, since music is such a nostalgic tool! If anyone else has a playlist to share please do. 🙂

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Josh, life, Phoenix

Date day!

Sometimes, you just have to be intentional about your time together. We planned yesterday as a Date Day, and I loved my time with Josh!

Started off with lattes and breakfast at Lux.

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We stopped by the library and TOTALLY SCORED with movies and CDs for the week. Our library is so great. We also got free passes to the Phoenix Art Museum, and headed there afterwards…. buttttttt it was closed. Oh well! Decided to head out instead to the Chinese Cultural Center we kept seeing signs for.

Our GPS took us in a huge circle trying to find the Chinese cultural center, but it ended up being a really sweet drive through downtown neighborhoods. Yesterday was perfect outside!

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When we got to the Chinese cultural center, it ended up just being a shopping center with asian-style buildings. What? Oh well, picked up some treats for ourselves and for some special guests coming this weekend! 😉

We stopped at some antique shops and poked around. It’s one of my favorite things to do, and we used to do this alot when we first started dating.

We visited two new antique malls: Antiques on Camelback, and Zinnias on Melrose.

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We’d packed a lunch and drove up to Squaw Peak to eat. Yesterday was actually pretty hot. I’m so glad for the shaded picnic areas there.

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We had some almonds and pistachios we threw out for all these cute little chipmunks. They were super brave and came so close to us. SO CUTE.

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I’m so glad we took the day for ourselves. 🙂

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