quick weekend trip

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A month or so ago, my brother and sister-in-law mentioned that they were going to be meeting my sister in Asheville for the weekend and wanted to know if I wanted to come too. I considered it, but ultimately decided not to because we were actually just up in Asheville for our anniversary, and we saw Amy then too.

So, AJ and Molly decided to stop in Atlanta and have lunch with us on their way up to North Carolina. At lunch, Molly reminded me that her offer for us to join them still was on the table.

And I was tempted.

Then Paul tells me he has to work on Saturday because he is just swamped these days. And I thought about it, and decided that there weren’t many reasons why I shouldn’t go to Asheville. Besides, I’d get to spend more time with AJ, Molly, Amy, and baby Drew!

It was about 2pm, and I drove home and quickly packed. I also had to finish up a few things for the birth center, and I was out the door by 4pm. I had to stop for gas (the light was on!) and also for some diapers and wipes (I didn’t have enough clean cloth diapers to last all weekend, and didn’t have any sposies on hand). I was done with those errands by 4:30 and I headed for the highway… straight into Friday rush hour traffic. Oops! Forgot about that! Oh well. Between traffic and the horrible rain/hail storm I encountered at the tail end of my trip, it took me about an hour longer to get there, but we made it. Savannah slept most of the way which was really nice!

We had a wonderful weekend. On Saturday I met up with Kesed, a blog friend that I met for the first time a few weeks ago. Her daughter Lyric is only 3 weeks older than Savannah. Lyric also has low muscle tone issues and scooted like Savannah, and didn’t walk until late like Savannah, so Kesed was a definite encouragement to me when I was stressing about that!

Giving Lyric a hug

Savannah is very generous with her hugs – it’s adorable! She’s also generous with her kisses:

Giving her cousin a kiss!

This is baby Drew, my brother’s son who is only 12 weeks old! I really enjoyed seeing him again, and also LOVED getting to talk about childbirth, breastfeeding, and parenting with Molly. Our parenting styles are very similar, which is always nice! AJ’s best friend Chad had come along for the trip, and the poor guy kept getting caught in our conversations about all these topics.

Drew is a very happy baby…
AJ and baby Drew

And I can’t believe how much Savannah is growing up!
Little lady

Here are my siblings and me, with Savannah and Drew. Do you see any family resemblance?
The kids and their kids

On Saturday evening after everyone was done with their various activities of the day, we went to the McDonald’s by Biltmore because it doesn’t look like a typical McDonald’s – there’s a baby grand piano in the eating area! It was pretty cool. Afterward, we decided to drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway to get some cool pictures of the sunset. I’m pretty happy with the ones I got!

Sunset over the Blue Ridge Mountains

Watching the sunset

Toss the baby!

Amy

I love my sister. I pretty much think she’s the awesomest person ever, and I wish I could somehow make it so that she lived close. :-)

Happy Drew!

Drew is absolutely adorable, and I am so jealous of his dimple!! His daddy carried him around in the pouch sling, and that just melted my heart – love babywearing daddies! I can’t wait to watch this little guy as he grows up. I wish they lived closer, too…

I love this picture of Savannah, even though it’s a little dark…
Mommy and Savi

Savi loves her Aunt Amy too. (She calls her “An’ Mamie” – adorable!)
"An' Mamie" (Aunt Amy)

We had a great weekend, and I’m glad I went. I really love Asheville, and the mountains of North Carolina in general. We’ve talked about moving there someday, but not anytime soon because I can’t imagine trying to sell our money pit house in the current economy/market.


An explanation of my absence

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I was playing around in WordPress tonight and realized how long it’s been since I messed with my website. Looking through my most recent posts, I see that they have been rather sporadic.

In truth, I have been SO busy recently! There are many little things (like Savannah’s 2nd birthday coming up *gasp* next week), but the biggest reason is this:

Atlanta Birth Center logo

Isn’t that a pretty logo? I didn’t design it, but I really like it.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned Atlanta Birth Center before, but I am too tired to go back and look. So I apologize for repeating myself. Our wonderful city doesn’t have a birth center, which is sad. Birthing options for women are limited to hospitals and questionably-legal homebirths. Hospitals and OBs have their place, but for a normal low-risk birth, they are a bit overkill and can actually make things worse by introducing interventions that aren’t needed, and not being patient and trusting women’s bodies. A birthing center is a place staffed by midwives that allows women to labor and deliver in a place that is comfortable and encourages a birth as intervention-free as she wants/needs. To me, it’s the best of both worlds – hospital vs. homebirth. I am anxious to see one here in Atlanta.

I’ve never been on the planning team for such a big project before, and it’s quite exciting. I was one of the early volunteers and have thrown my whole heart into it. I offered my skills as a graphic designer, and found myself in charge of the website and the social media. I put my energy into social media first – Facebook, Twitter, etc. (I’ve realized that I tend to do better if I focus on one thing at a time!) We had about 300 fans on our Facebook page when I took it over, and now there are over 800! It’s very exciting. I took a class on Facebook Pages for businesses and I really enjoyed learning more about how to utilize Facebook’s tools and apps to help promote your business. This goes back to marketing, which is a huge aspect of graphic design and something I’m interested in. I “hired” a team of volunteers to help me update the Facebook page, and have had a great time getting to know those ladies better.

In the meantime, I was also on the website design team, and one by one people dropped off and I found myself the lead of that, too. I couldn’t do both, so I handed the Social Media team off to someone else and have been focusing on getting our website designed and maintained.

So what do you think of Atlanta Birth Center’s website? There is, of course, a lot of tweaking that needs to be done but overall I am happy with it. I have put countless hours into it – and my perfectionist nature won’t let me leave it just “okay”. :-) I have really enjoyed it, though it’s a lot of work.

I’m also trying to get our blog off the ground. I have “hired” writers and you should start seeing those posts rolling in. I have been busy coordinating people and posts, proofreading and editing, and managing people. In my free time, I have been reading a lot on blogging and SEO, which is a whole new world for me. I never intended to make a profit from twentysixcats and so while I have been in the blog world for a long time, I haven’t really taken the time to learn all the ins and outs of getting readers to your blog. We’re not trying to monetize the birth center blog, but we do want the content to appear in search engines as a way of spreading the word about our project.

If you’ve talked to me recently, you’ll quickly figure out that I don’t talk about much else other than the birth center. To be honest, I’m putting so much time to it that I just haven’t had time for other things. And you know what? I’m loving it. It’s filling the inner corporate-Ashley, the one who loves meetings and fresh notebooks to take notes, and sitting at desks working hard late into the night. I’m grateful that Savannah plays so well on her own. I moved my computer to the den so she can play and I can be right there to interact with her in between answering emails.

So yeah, I hope that explains my absence some! I am not certain about the future of twentysixcats – I’m sure I’ll come back to posting regularly, but I don’t know when that will be. I don’t anticipate my birth center work letting up anytime soon. :-)

(And if you want to show your support for our project, we’d love for you to “Like” our Facebook page and also help us spread our message and blog content through various social media and blogs! That would mean a lot to me!)


pictures at almost 2

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I don’t take enough pictures. Savannah will be two in a few weeks, and this morning I took her outside for an impromptu photo shoot. She actually let me put her hair up today! (She usually doesn’t like me to touch her hair.) Look how long it’s gotten!

Running

Happy to be outside

Happy to be outside

Inspecting the birdfeeder

Adorable

Our grass really needs to be mowed….

Hiding!

Tall grass

Tall grass

Tall grass


World Breastfeeding Week 2011

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This morning I put this image up as my Facebook profile:
Getting a snack

In honor of World Breastfeeding Week 2011, I changed my profile pic to one I took this morning of Savannah getting some mama milk. :-) I am so thankful after a really, really rough start that I had the support and resources to push through and have made it almost 24 months of breastfeeding!

Check out some more sweet breastfeeding pics at this link.