Isn’t that baby shower cake just the cutest? And those paper airplanes and stars? They’re just small details from my baby shower that took place a month ago and I’m in love still.
So, as you’ve noticed, it’s been really slow on the blog of late as I prep for the arrival of our very first babe in just two weeks and I guess now is a good time as any to say that I am officially going on maternity leave! I will take a break from blogging in order to adjust to all the newness and embrace the life of motherhood. Since blogging is a very time-consuming thing, I’m not exactly sure when I will start up again, but I hope sometime in early summer or late spring. The Shop will stay open a while longer, but will be closed for just a wee bit as we get closer to the due date and for a bit afterwards. Once the Shop hits vacation mode, you will be able to sign up for an email notification via Etsy when it is back and running.
And just to share a few snaps from our maternity love shoot to make this blog post even sweeter:
Photos by Angela Shae.
UPDATE: the Shop is now back up and running! Stop by!
Our little one is finally here! Welcome, Henry James! Born 04.14.14 (on his due date, of course) at 11:43 in the morning; 7.4 lbs and 21″ long with a head full of long dark hair. We are beyond ecstatic. We are throughly enjoying how he has transformed our lives and are wondering how in the world life existed before him. Oh my heart.
POSTED: March 31, 2014 UNDER: Personal
Decorating for Christmas is probably one of my most favorite things to do. I’m always dying to do it earlier and earlier each year because I love the warmth it brings into a home. My husband and I find ourselves drinking too many cups of tea by the Christmas tree talking about our past year and what we hope to accomplish in the next. Christmas has always been a time for us to reflect on what we have already, on what’s happened and what’s coming, and so forth — but most of all, it’s a reminder to us of what life really is all about. It’s not about ourselves and who we are, it’s about God and His Son, and who they are and what they did for us. It brings us back to the simple things and encourages us to be braver and stronger to stand up in a world where Christmas has become not about them. As much as I love seeing the twinkle lights on the tree, the wreath on the door, the smell of gingerbread cookies being baked in the oven by my sister, the prettily-wrapped presents piling up under the tree — it would all be nothing without grace.
POSTED: December 19, 2013 UNDER: Personal
Last Friday the hubs and I got to find out who we are having. Since then, I’ve been going crazy buying adorable baby things for his first year. One of my favorite outfits is the one shown above for next year’s fall and early winter. It feels almost unreal that there’s a little someone on the way, but somehow, seeing our home littered with baby things sure makes it seem more real. Come on, little fella, bake faster; we want to hug you and hold you and smooch you all over!
POSTED: November 18, 2013 UNDER: Personal
You probably have already read the happy news here about our little family of two welcoming our third member in the spring. Going off from that post, it’s true that things will be changing for me and Anastasia Marie.
I started this company as a full on custom stationery + cards design service, but I’m going to be toning that down now. I remember being asked a couple years ago if I would ever consider shifting gears and letting some things go and I confidently said “no.” But once expanding our little family became something more of a reality, my whole view changed.
I love getting crafty — working with paper, glue, and glitter like it’s my job (oh wait, it is…) and as I confidently said “no” to letting it go, I’m confidently saying “yes” now. No, that doesn’t mean Anastasia Marie is no longer going to exist, but we are definitely taking a whole new spin on what Anastasia Marie is. My husband and I talked it over, made decisions that are best for our family, and I’ve been implementing them these past several months as we prepare to get taken over by babies.
So what is this new reality? Anastasia Marie’s main focus will no longer be 100% custom. There, I said it. I will still be taking on a limited number of custom projects per year (this past year was my first year doing that), but my goal here is to free up my schedule a bit and make things more flexible. I want my family to come before business. I never want to a mama who has to tell her kids “no, leave me alone today because I have deadlines to meet.” Running my own business has proved to be a job that goes beyond the average 8-5 schedule. I’m constantly thinking about deadlines for custom projects, what I can do to spice things up more, scheduling, new blog content, etc. on top of actually getting the projects themselves done, packaging up orders, answering emails, etc. I find myself after these 3.5 years still neglecting certain aspects of my life because I’ve been so goal-oriented without thinking how it may affect things + people around me.
I’m hoping that by not having to juggle so many custom projects at a time means that I can actually work the amount of hours I planned to work that day. It means that if family life beckons, I can postpone the release of a new product until the following day. It means that I can stabilize my days and do what needs doing around the home and with the family. I hope to be able to have that time daily to share with my little ones and nourish them, take care of the home, have dates with my husband, and have personal time for myself where I can continue to grow and have that little break to take a hot bath every now and then. So no, for me it’s not taking a step backwards, but taking a step forward. I might not be superwoman (you never know, right?) but I definitely know that I won’t be able to manage a full on custom stationery business and an expanding family. I have decided that what matters is not how big + successful my business is, but how enriched my family grows up. That’s where life is and that’s where I’m going. I want this business to support my family life, not take away from it.
So you might have noticed that there have been lots of new packaging supplies showing up in the shop lately — and that there isn’t too much new of any of my usual things, like cards, stationery, and rubber stamps (it won’t be like that for long, no fear). This is all part of the new Anastasia Marie. The shift started months ago, and will continue on for some months still as all my brainstorming earlier this year comes to a full reality.
So on top of what’s already in the shop, get ready to start seeing more of my signature 3D layered cards, but simplified variations that are more budget friendly. I’ll still be keeping the intricate ones around for those that love them. I will also be adding enlarged ones that will become available as wall art for your baby’s nursery or for your own creative space. There will be more packaging supplies arriving soon, like washi tape, glitter tape, gift tags, etc. I’m hoping to spend the winter finalizing all the bits and pieces and then have the last of these goods debut in the spring right before the baby arrives. New items will continually get added seasonally after that.
Feel free to check out the Shop to see what’s new!
NOTE: and just to clarify, no, it doesn’t mean that I’ll take forever to respond to your emails and messages. No, it doesn’t mean that I’ll stop posting updates on social media and adding new content to my blog on a regular basis. No, it doesn’t mean that the quality of things will go down the drain and I won’t be focusing at all on the success of Anastasia Marie. Far from it. All those things I plan to keep up with the same consistency and devotion as before. I do hope to improve and simplify the way I go about those things, but not quit altogether. Here’s to the new Anastasia Marie!
It’s been a whirlwind of excitement over on this end. In the beginning of August, the hubs and I found out that we are pregnant! We’ve been hoping and praying that God would send us a little babe and I’m thrilled to say that we are 16.5 weeks into the pregnancy and loving every moment of it! It’s pretty hard keeping a tight lip about this sort of thing, but we decided early on that we’d play it safe and wait until I hit the second trimester before we spilled the beans. And boy, are the beans spilling now!
Okay, so maybe there are some things I don’t love — like the lack of energy I experienced in the first trimester and the constant bathroom breaks I had to take right in the middle of only the important things it seemed — but I’m not complaining because I would much rather choose any of those over constant nausea. I had perhaps five minutes of that total and couldn’t be more thrilled. I have a bitty bump that seems to grow with every week, and honestly, it seems a little bigger than what I thought it would look at 16 weeks. But who cares, right? There’s something precious growing inside me — and please belly, keep growing!
I’m really looking forward to our first ultrasound in four weeks when we find out the gender. I want to know just for the sake of knowing. I know that most folks find out in order to prepare for either a boy or a girl (and I guess we’ll be doing that as well in many cases), but I’ve never been the patient sort to wait months to find something out.
On a more business side, things are really going to be changing for me. I’m sharing in a separate blog post about what changes exactly, so you can read all about that tomorrow.
POSTED: October 24, 2013 UNDER: Personal