olive june: 2018
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simply loving

parts of this post were sponsored. thank you so much for supporting 'olive june'
being a mom of two boys now
every day i fall more and more in love with each one of them
it's been so magical watching them together and being able to experience these early moments again
i am so humbled to be on this new journey that God has mapped out just for us. 
i may not be great at it all the time, but my gosh, do i try. 

somewhere over the rainbow | a first birthday party {part two}

parts of this post were sponsored. thank you so much for supporting 'olive june'
yesterday, i shared photos from my niece's first birthday party in cincinnati- a celebration with close friends. here are highlights from the celebration we threw in my hometown over labor day. my parents live in the country and just put in a new outdoor area (and it's lovely: a pool, hot tub, pool house, fireplace, etc.) it was the perfect space to gather with loved ones, kick off college football, say goodbye to sweet summertime and most of all, celebrate this darling girl.

somewhere over the rainbow | a first birthday party {part one}

during my road trip with the boys in august to the midwest, we celebrated both my mom's birthday and my niece, leona's first birthday. my sister and i worked together to make her cincinnati party a fun 'somewhere over the rainbow' gathering; an afternoon spent with friends. over the years, i have fallen in love with all of their friends in cincy- they are amazing. sweet baby girl is a 'rainbow baby' ... so when we found these cute invites in june, we decided the theme was perfect.

for leona's birthady, i propose a toast! a toast to leona rose, our one-year-old. a toast to a healthy, joyous little girl, who makes us smile so much our cheeks hurt. to a little girl who makes us melt with that little head full of curls. to her- a reminder that my sister is strong and resilient and a fighter for all that she loves and all that is important. a toast to her soulful brown eyes - may they continue to shine throughout the year ahead. 

in our passport | the smokey mountains


'tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free
'tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
and when we find ourselves in the place just right,
'twill be in the valley of love and delight.
when true simplicity is gained,
to bow and to bend we shan't be ashamed,
to turn, turn will be our delight,
till be turning, turning we come 'round right.
"simple gifts" an old shaker hymn from the 1800's

nash charles | month three . things i always want to remember

piggy bank / truck / shoes : rein state

yesterday our little nash turned three months old. it's been a dream to be the momma to this boy.

with parks, i used to update all of the things on here - and although i loved that at the time, i think i am going to take a different approach with nash. my adorable blogging friend, chelsea of 'the girl who loved to write,' used to do posts about 'all of the things she wanted to remember' while she was pregnant with her son, jack- and i loved it. i think i am going to follow in her footsteps for nash's milestones and then plan to spend time (hopefully) completing all the other info in his baby book. (more on that soon- i have found the most perfect, beautiful book / it was created by an online friend of mine from texas)

honest motherhood | 'motherly' articles

parts of this post were sponsored. thank you so much for supporting 'olive june'
-gia and the blooms | cincinnati-

every morning, i open my eyes to my sweet baby boy, who is sleeping next to me in his bassinet and i stare at him. and he smiles back. it's the most tender grin; so innocent and pure. while he nurses and my husband slips quietly out of the room to prepare breakfast for parks and coffee for me, i open our blinds to let in the light and it brings me so much joy. 

 i initially started this space to share all of the things i was loving; simple inspirations from daily life. now, as a mother, i feel like it's even more important for me to share inspirations. life with two babies has definitely been a change- my time is usually given to both of them throughout the day and it's usually non-stop; often leaving me feeling extremely exhausted and sometimes even lonely. however, i already feel so much love for nash and feel like he was always supposed to be with us- and i absolutely adore their strong brotherhood bond already. and it makes all of the tiredness, the fog, worth it.

but sometimes i yearn for more. 

lately, i feel like these articles from the website, motherly, have constantly been popping up on my facebook newsfeed - and they have touched me. so much. i have been saving my favorite ones to share with you all. i hope these beautiful messages also bring you some sense of comfort. 

a grateful heart

"when you look at life through eyes of gratitude, the world becomes a magical and amazing place."
| jennifer gayle

snapshots | life lately

parts of this post were sponsored. thank you so much for supporting olive june
we traveled back to north carolina monday after a two and a half week road trip. we traveled to my hometown and enjoyed celebrations, my parent's new outdoor pool/fire pit/hot tub/pool house and spent time in cincinnati as well. here are some snapshots from our trip:

a new 'shop olive june'

i hope your week is going well. today starts a new journey / shop and it already feels so good to be back. these past few months have been a really good little breather as we adjusted and enjoyed becoming a family of four. thank you all for being so patient as i have been reconstructing my shop. i am excited to announce that i am now a brand ambassador for shop stevie/her new program called
"stevie style." this new program means that my customers will get access to ALL of her products through my website. i think this program is going to be so much better for me as a busy momma.

snapshots | life lately

parts of this post were sponsored. thank you so much for supporting olive june
every morning, around five or six, our alarm goes off in the form of a little squeal or whimper. he makes slight sounds that wake us instantly; his way of letting us know the day is ready for us all. we move slow and quiet. 

i turn to him in his bassinet next to me, smile and whisper, "good morning, my love" and i am met with a tiny grin and a deep gaze.  i gently pick baby nash up, still tightly swaddled, and feed and soothe him back to sleep. i feel like our new family routine is slowly forming and i find myself smiling throughout the day as i ponder this new life, as a family of four. 

to the new momma's | i really feel like week seven is the 'magical week' ... the time frame when you start to feel like yourself again. (something that is usually dearly missed - after about eleven months of feeling quite foreign to your own body). so if you are in the early weeks, you got this. and try to be gentle with yourself.

the love that let us share our name


if i get murdered in the city
go read the letter in my desk
don't bother with all my belongings 
pay attention to the list
make sure my sister knows i loved her
make sure my mother knows the same
always remember there was nothing worth sharing like the love that let us share our name
always remember there was nothing worth sharing like the love that let us share our name

nash's newborn photos

hello world
hello day, hello night

here i am 
glowing bright

filling the days
with joy and a smile

and i will stay
for a long long while

baby bird

"Hope is the thing with feathers
that perches in the soul,
and sings the tune without the words 
and never stops- at all.

all sweetest- in the gale- is heard
and sore must be the storm
that could abash the little Bird 
that kept so many warm.

i've heard it in the chillest land
and on the strangest sea
yet-never- in extremity,
it asked a crumb- of me.
-emily dickinson- 

read and listen + a summer playlist

may my heart
always be open
to little birds
who are the
secrets of
living
- e.e cummings

parks' big boy room

i just wanted to give a sincere 'thank you' for all of the love, messages and comments regarding nash's nursery (so sweet!) today, i am sharing parks' new big boy room with you all. we worked on their rooms simultaneously this past spring and i could not be happier with how they both came together. i had a lot of fun looking for ideas on instagram and walking around ikea (sans a toddler) trying to decide on the look i wanted to create. i love light, airy, and neutral colors with sentimental/meaningful pieces throughout. 

tiny moments

"wishing you a day of remaining in the moment. not the past or future or story. not your thoughts or anxieties or lists. but right here, right now, straight into the center." | victoris erickson

nash's nursery tour

i am so excited to share nash's finished nursery! we went with a neutral color scheme- with birch wood and greenery and sentimental pieces as accents. i think it gives this little space a simple, calm tone and i am so excited to spend endless amounts of time cuddled up with my new little boy. 

my husband and i got started on the nursery pretty slowly. we decided to turn our guest bedroom into the new nursery and kept parks in his room (with a different look / i plan to share his space soon.) because we don't have basements in charlotte (they are rare because of the red clay soil here) the guest bedroom was our main storage space ... so it took awhile to organize, purge and sell/donate all of the things we no longer needed. many winter afternoons were spent prepping the room and then many trips to ikea/putting it all together once spring came around... and i completely smitten with the way it turned out. what i learned: everything takes so much longer than what you expect. however, watching parks 'help' his dad build furniture, while i folded tiny white onesies, is something i will always remember- and cherish. we finished his room around the end of may, just in time to enjoy a few weekends together before his arrival. parks used to love to tell me where his brother's room was and loved to play on the floor and look out the window. his joy and excitement as he ran to the room always touched me - in only a way that a momma feels. i hope you enjoy this nursery tour... i poured my heart and soul into his room. 

a grateful heart

while my husband and toddler enjoy a week at the beach with family, i am having a 'staycation' with baby nash at home. and i am cherishing every second. although i have missed them since the moment they left (minus all of the toys- i don't miss picking up toys- all day long!!) but i miss them both very much. however, being able to have a quiet week with my second baby boy has been so nice. and i feel so thankful. a soft blanket/wearing our pajamas while enjoying old mad men episodes and reading for hours while he nestles into my chest. i have been hiding my phone and have listened to records and have made iced coffee every afternoon. it feels good to sip while i gently rub my newborn's soft head and just take in the day; loving on my son above anything else. 

to be still and to slow down. 

i hope you have all been well, my friends. 
and that you have been following the paths that feel good and true and sweet. 

i can only hope to feel as grateful as i do at the moment 
and deeply live life.

parks and nash meet | hospital photos


this post is full of photos documenting what might just be the very best moment of my life so far. our early june charleston proposal, our entire wedding day, and the crisp winter morning i first saw parks/became a mom for the first time are up there... but this one has my heart. our photographer | stephanie wiseman photography did the most incredible job of capturing the moment; the moment my two sweet boys met for the first time. i know i will cherish these forever. here are just some of the images of the time parks met his little brother, nash. i hope they will be the closest of friends and i look forward to watching their bond grow as they create memories over the years ahead.

our baby boy | nash charles

on tuesday, june 12, 2018 we welcomed our sweet son, nash charles monaco, into the world. 

ways to become more grateful

my boys bought me fresh flowers from the farmer's market for mother's day weekend

motherhood | has taught me

"Jesus taught that providing shelter for the shelterless, food for the hungry, and clothing for the naked are sacred acts. they're also the hallmark activities of mothering. when we do them for the right motive for those in our homes, it's as if we have done them for Christ Himself. (matt 25:31-45) 
-jen wilkin

i have learned

the notes section of my phone is full of quick flashes in time~ moments, a love letter to my husband, people to forgive, lyrics, books to read, names of our future children, it's all there. lately, i have been using my notes section to write down things i have learned and am trying to live by them. our lives are worthy and they are beautiful and they are homemade. however, our heads are tricky creatures. by writing down my thoughts regularly, i am able to set a tone for my days.

my bedtime routine

"rest nurtures creativity, which nurtures activity. activity nurtures rest, which sustains creativity. each draws from and contributes to the other." - kim john payne author of simplicity parenting

april moments

i am pretty sure april was the fastest month- ever. i was talking with my husband the other night and we both agreed. it was full of working hard to get ready for baby and some traveling to visit family and friends. upon arriving home, we have spent some mornings at home together, wrapped up in our bed. my husband's arms wrapped over parks' little body makes me realize that all i am ever journeying to is being beside them, taking in their lives like a person who takes in the ocean for the very first time. 

it is beautiful and vast beyond words.
it's all there is, all the possibility for more is just extra. 
kind of like, more heaven

a 'my favorite things' party

i recently attended a 'my favorite things' party with some dear friends in greenville, south carolina. this was the second annual and i really enjoyed the evening. i brought my clothes/shop and we all mingled, enjoyed food + drinks, and then shared our favorites. the concept is that everyone brings two things that they love (we all went around and shared why/passed the item around) and then you exchange gifts. each gift was around $25 and included one/both of that person's favorite thing(s). the sweet hostess, alissa, always does such a wonderful job of making us all feel so welcomed and even created little swag bags for each of us with some of her favorite things. she made the best dill pickle dip (perfect for a pregnant momma!) and sparkling strawberry lemonade cocktail - i highly recommend them both!

a third trimester checklist

twenty-seven weeks 

simply loving

"pause and remember. if you empty yourself of yesterday's sorrows, you will have much more room for today's joy." -jennie young

a few beauty favorites

parts of this post were sponsored | thank you so much for supporting 'olive june'
"be your own kind of beautiful"

an easter basket for parks

easter is coming soon and so is the easter bunny... even before i became a mom, i loved making my husband an easter "basket" each year. now, as a mom of a toddler, i really enjoy creating a basket for him. however, i think this is the first year that parks will actually understand what is happening (yay!) next year, i might take a toy dump truck or wagon and fill the back with treats but here is what i created for this year. 

road tripping with a toddler | ten tips


thank you to Cybex for kindly sponsoring this post. all opinions are 100% honest & completely my own.
-twenty-seven weeks with my sweet summer boy-

in april, parks and i will be making another trip to the midwest to see family and friends. it's about an eight-hour drive, without stops. this can easily turn into an extra hour or two with a toddler, which sometimes means we have to get creative. parks loves the car (he always has) and enjoys looking for every school bus and truck along the way. however, he does get restless from time to time. hopefully, these toddler survival tips for a road trip will help you on your next adventure.

simply loving

parts of this post were sponsored | thank you so much for supporting 'olive june'

questions to ask when decluttering

creating exactly the home you imagine is a big project. yet you may find your greatest challenge comes before you can even start. how do you make space for beauty and pretty things? maybe it's nesting for our june babe (although i would argue that i am a natural 'nester') but i have been in full purging, selling online, donating to local charities, giving away to friends/cousins, and organizing mode since the new year began- and it feels really good. i love this new mindset and how our home is slowly beginning to feel- it feels more like us: more cozy, more simple, more intentional. things i used to think we 'needed,' we actually don't- and it's so freeing. as a result, when i go to a store/thrift, i am buying more consciously and more carefully- pieces i really adore.

hosting a baby shower | five tips

letterboard | letterfolk

one of my favorite things to do for my loved ones is to throw small, intimate gatherings - especially to celebrate an upcoming baby. last weekend, my husband and i threw a couple's shower with two other couples for dear friends, who are planning to welcome a baby girl in early may. it was lots of fun and they were so appreciative of everything. most of all, i hope it was memorable! 

here are a few detail photos and some tips i have for hosting:

tiny morning light

"when life gets blurry - adjust your focus."

simply loving

"be curious. not judgemental." - walt whitman

shipt | groceries delivered for free!


thank you to shipt.com for kindly sponsoring this post. all opinions are 100% honest & completely my own.
"slow down and everything you are chasing will come around and catch you." - john de paola

i recently tried shipt, a membership-based online grocery marketplace and i am so in love. through a convenient app, shipt offers a quality, personalized grocery experience by delivering fresh foods and household essentials from target / stores to your doorstep. my first experience was wonderful and i am so excited about how much time i am going to save, thanks to this service. are you interested in getting your groceries for free, too? scroll down to the bottom of this post for a special link to get $10 in free groceries and two weeks free delivery. 

weekend snapshots | mr. and mrs.

"the people we surround ourselves with either raise or lower our standards. they either help us to become the-best-version-of-ourselves or encourage us to become lesser versions of ourselves. we become like our friends. no man becomes great on his own. no woman becomes great on her own. the people around them help to make them great. we all need people in our lives who raise our standards, remind us of our essential purpose, and challenge us to become the-best-versions-of-ourselves." - matthew kelly 

a baby product | summer infant baby pixel 5.0 inch touchscreen color video monitor

thank you to Summer Infant for kindly sponsoring this post. all opinions are 100% honest & completely my own.
 as we start to plan for a new baby boy this summer, i plan to share some of my favorite newborn + toddler products with you all along the way. this stage, the planning and getting ready for a new sweet little one, is so exciting for me. 

today i am sharing my favorite baby monitor from summer infant. it is the baby pixel 5.0 inch touchscreen color video monitor. there are so many things that i love about this monitor, but most of all, i really love the sleep zone virtual boundary feature. this is a new innovative technology that helps alleviate some of the nighttime and nap time worries for parents. this monitor allows you to set a boundary box around your baby's safe space to alert you when your child exists their immediate surroundings. whether your child rolls into a corner or is plotting an escape, the sound alert will help you to keep baby safe. how amazing is this feature? we didn't have this when parks was a newborn and i am so glad we will have this peace of mind with our second babe. 

parks james | two years old

by far the most notable thing about you, one i hope will stay forever, is how delightful you are. you are so spirited, easygoing, and happy. friends, your teachers, other moms- so many people comment on what a joy you are. i wish i could take credit for this but your personality, my love, has been all you from the start. you were born with kind eyes- i saw them the very first time i looked at you.

valentine's day | gift + date ideas

"late spring" from felicity part II called Love

Finally the world is beginning
to change, its fevers mounting,
its leaves unfolding.
and the mockingbirds find
ample reason and breath to fashion
new songs. They do. You can 
count on it. 
As for lovers, they are discovering
new ways to love. Listen, their windows are open.
You can hear them laughing.
Without spring who knows what would happen.
A lot of nothing, I suppose.
The Leaves are in all in motion now
the way a young boy rows and rows
in his wooden boat, just to get anywhere. 
Late, late, but now lovely and lovelier.
And the two of us, together- a part of it.
-mary oliver-

in our home | practicing hygge

"the true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life." 
- william morris

our gender reveal | boy or girl

"and she loved a baby boy so much- even more than she loved herself."
// the giving tree

simply loving

i literally melted yesterday when i got to 'meet' our second baby at the twenty-week ultrasound. he/she was very active/wiggly and unlike big brother, is measuring on the mark and is not super huge (yet!) parks was almost ten pounds and was measuring three weeks ahead at this appointment / august 2015. i am just so thankful that our sweet baby is healthy and is doing well. 

thrifting | what i look for

last weekend i went thrifting both on friday evening- solo (it's one of my favorite ways to take a mom-time-out) and then on saturday morning with my boys after some pancakes and a veggie egg benedict at a local cafe. parks is a really good stroller baby and my husband doesn't mind walking around, in fact i think he really enjoyed it. my sweet husband spent most of his time looking for old vinyl records. i love to create a home that blends both new and old pieces into each space. here are some of the things i look for while i thrift. however, more than anything, i just try to take it all in- one booth at a time, at my own pace. although i love to spend time walking around alone, my mom is my favorite person to thrift with because she is very patient and loves to stroll for hours like i do (plus, she's extremely sentimental and nostalgic- just like i am.) when parks was first born, we spent a lot of that winter strolling local flea markets and reminiscing while i wore parks in my solly baby wrap. those are memories i will always cherish, along with watching downton abbey and finally enjoying some glasses of red wine again. 

valentine's day for him | with jord watches

JORD Wood Watches. thank you for supporting the companies that help support olive june. the opinions i have expressed in this post are 100% my own.
 valentine's day is right around the corner and today i am sharing my favorite gift for the man in your life. my husband is a huge 'watch guy' so i was really excited about getting him one of these JORD watches. JORD watches are hand-crafted from 100% natural wood and they pride themselves in exceptional design and superior quality. not only do i love the style, but the quality is excellent! they are made with scratch-resistant mineral glass. how do you all like to spend valentine's day / what gifts do you usually give? starting this year, we are going to start a new tradition. we have decided that every year we are going to order takeout thai, are going to pick up a six-pack of craft beer (i obviously won't be partaking in that part this year...) and then we are going to do games, play our record player, watch a movie- a night at home together. regarding gifts, i would be happy with a bundle of eucalyptus and am absolutely loving this cute heart top- but i am always happy with something simple; even just a card with a sweet note. time together is so much more important to me. however, my husband deserves so much after helping out with parks so much lately and for taking such great care of me throughout this pregnancy.   

parks' second birthday | dinos + donuts

this past weekend, we spent a morning with our loved ones celebrating parks' second birthday. it was quite bittersweet and i cannot believe that he is already two. for his second birthday, we went with a dinos + donuts brunch to incorporate his love for his beloved jellycat dino, moe moe, and his deep fondness for donuts- aka 'nonuts'. planning his party was a lot of fun and i truly enjoyed the process. i am overjoyed with how it all turned out and am excited to share this special day with you all. i feel like he knew we were having a party for him that day and he loved playing with the other kids that came to celebrate. this past monday, january 15, was his actual birthday and we celebrated with a trip to 'my gym,' dancing/playing with his #2 balloon, lunch at an old school burger joint + a strawberry shake. i also wrote him a letter that day, a letter to my son | today you turn two.  oh, your momma loves you so. having family and friends together while celebrating someone you adore so much is going to be one of my favorite past times... i just know it. and sweet parks- i hope you loved your little birthday gathering, too.