Parties + prezzies

Reed's 1st bday cake.2

Reed's party.1_b+w

Reed's 1st bday cake.1

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Cowboy Elephant.1



Just a few snapshots from Reed’s 1st birthday celebration…Many thanks to the Pastry team at the Four Seasons Hotel Austin for spoiling Reed rotten with the most delectable 7-layer cake we’ve come across in a long time. We were shocked to discover that it wasn’t fondant covering the cake, but a thick, flawless layer of creamy, pale blue frosting – I’m still thinking about that cake! What a perfectly simple party with the birthday boy and our nearest and dearest.




*12 Months…*

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Reed's 1bday ps.4// Reed Anders at {ONE} year – July 8, 2013

Our birthday boy is cool-as-a-cucumber and serene as can be. He chortles with that toothy grin of his whenever he finds something amusing (which is often!) and is most certainly his own little person. As much as we already miss those teeny, tiny, muslin-swaddled newborn days, getting to discover his own unique personality with each passing day has been a glorious process for us all. He warms our hearts with those melty hazel eyes of his and those still-chunky thighs…  Reed is so full of love and wonderment, and that curiosity sure means that he gets into everything. From the cat’s water dish (a daily hourly favourite), to rescuing glass bottles from the recycling bin and snuggling with his loved ones, our littlest guy has a keen sense of his surroundings and all of the people in it. He’s a big fan of waving ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’ – to family and to new acquaintances, to pretty girls in cafes…our mini man is a charmer and a scene-stealer, rolled into ONE!



P.S.: The past year has been immensely gratifying as a family of 5. We have grown even closer together, not only in our love for baby Reed, but also in experiencing growing pains and changing dynamics as we’ve stretched into a bigger family. All in all, we have found our rhythm together, and our home is a rewarding and loving place to live life and just BE.  I’m so proud and thankful for all of our darling loved ones in my life – for my husband and our children, for doting parents/grandparents and great-grandparents, kind aunts and uncles, supportive cousins and extra-thoughtful friends…we are blessed to have all of you in our lives. Thank-you for helping make Reed’s first year truly spectacular. 

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Birthday eve baby…

Reed_7Jul2013_sleepy bday hatWhen I have said my evening prayer, 

And my clothes are folded on the chair,

And mother switches off the light,
I’ll still be 11 months-old tonight.
But from the very break of day,
Before the children rise and play,
Before the darkness turns to gold,
Tomorrow, I’ll be 1 year old.
1 kiss when I wake,
1 candle on my cake.
We’re feeling the bittersweet moment once again of what it is to have a baby teetering on the edge of toddlerhood. While Reed has been properly ‘toddling’ for the past two months, we are still not ready for these grand milestones, no matter how much we prepare for them in advance. Last July 7th was spent watching Woody Allen’s “To Rome with Love” at the Violet Crown Cinema, and assuring all the other members of the audience that despite appearances, I wasn’t due for another week, and not to worry. I recall spicy Mexican favourites at a romantic dinner with Grant, followed by a very long walk home, and of course, my water breaking at around 4am (not-so-strangely, my water has broken with each and every child between 4-6 am).
While there will be no such wakefulness this evening (no audible boom and subsequent drenching of the bedsheets), there will be stirrings of a different kind: the nudge of my gorgeous baby boy as he awakes from slumber, grabbing his Mama to nurse in the night. These are the special moments that I get to share with Reed all to myself, the bond between mother and child that we share countless times per day… the moments that feed and uplift my heart and manage to break it all at the same time. As I watch him grow, I close my eyes and try to re-imagine all the moments there have been along the way this past year, my favourites of which have been those times when we are together, when all I have to do is hold him – to watch the rise and fall of his chest and the flutter of his eyelids as he dreams. Tomorrow there will be countless kisses when he wakes…one candle on his cake…and wishes for him to grow big, healthy and strong. For now, there is the promise of tears (of which there are already so many), gentle rocking in the crook of my arm, and  in my heart, the deepest gratitude and appreciation to the Lord above. I know now – as I did one year ago – that being Reed’s mama (and Alina and Finnlagh’s too!) is the greatest gift on this green earth. Loving my babies will always, always be enough.

From sea to shining sea…

Alina_4Jul2013Happy Birthday, America!

O Beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam,
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

-Excerpt from “America the Beautiful” by Katharine Lee Bates, 1913














Vanessa FSPony


Wishing you a happy + safe Fourth of July!




Love you to pieces…

Reed_3Jul2013.3Just some bits and pieces from our week as we prepare for Reed’s 1st birthday on the 8th. Grant and I are spending bleary eyed nights feverishly laying out the magazine, plus, I’m also crafting a few prezzies for our little meow. In fact, I’ve well and truly fallen in love with the birthday party hat I needle felted for Reed (along with his N&N crab jingle ball – he is a Cancer, afterall!). Normally, we do birthday crowns (as in the Waldorf tradition), but I am thinking that I might change it up for all the kids this year – and add this as a new item in the shop! The party hat will be for Reed’s photoshoot on Friday – goodness only knows how we’re going to get it to stay on his head for longer than 5 seconds …perhaps an elastic band and a prayer! We are planning on shooting outdoors so it’s all a matter of light and heat factors coinciding at this point. As for his cake, we’ve got Grant’s colleague Chef Javier and his pastry team preparing something…we gave them this picture as a jumping off point. Do you remember what they made for Alina last year? We cannot wait to see how it turns out!

1st bday NF party hat







Bday toys



1st Bday WIP

5 days til 1st bday

Kids books galore





Monday’s Moment

A single moment captured in a photograph. Candid and fleeting, this will always be a special moment in time…

Reed+Grant_1Jul2013// Reed + Papa

Happy Canada Day, friends! Just us hanging out with our littlest guy today, with only a week to go until we celebrate his first birthday. We had been looking forward to some time off together and a respite from the heat and humidity that has been making the past week so very uncomfortable. An afternoon of long, meandering walks in our neighbourhood…trips to the handmade toy shop for early birthday presents, relaxing patio lunches and civilised coffee breaks at our favourite local haunt. Not even a gust of dry, desert-infused heat could stand in the way between us and that classic Spanish macchiato-cappuccino infusion – the cortado. Rich, bright-noted espresso cut with gently warmed milk, served up in a 4 oz glass and topped with micro-foam, crema and a flourish of latte art: it always strikes the perfect balance between coffee snobbery chic and relaxed Havana style.

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