Myles' First Birthday, Closeup // Life In Beta

Myles’ Home Birth: One Year Later

Today marks an entire year since the morning I woke up with an “upset stomach”, only to find out that I was in labor 5 weeks early. I’m still in awe of the entire process, and I find myself wishing that the exact feelings and emotions weren’t fading into distant memories. Myles’ birth was life changing for me in a deeply spiritual and emotional way. It was empowering and magical. It’s something that etched itself deep into my heart and mind, and I was forever changed by it.

Silly Myles // Life In Beta

On the anniversary of Myles’ home birth, I thought I’d share a snippet of video of him being born. (You can read his birth story here.) I didn’t share this originally because I felt self-conscious about posting it, but watching it a year later all I see is the moment I fell in love with my little boy. Any flaws or awkwardness is just irrelevant in such a beautiful moment, right?

(Please excuse my terrible video editing skills. I did blur some areas. While you really couldn’t see anything, I wanted to be a little modest.)

I’ve learned over the last year that choosing a birth plan isn’t black and white. Initially, I was so profoundly affected by my home birth experience that for quite some time I couldn’t understand why anyone would possibly voluntarily choose a hospital birth. It’s taken me time to realize how insensitive that was for me to assume. Births come in all types and shapes and sizes, and they can be just as profound no matter how they take place. It’s the journey to motherhood that changes you, not the method by which you get there, and no one mode of transportation is right for everyone.

I continue to advocate for people to explore home birth as an option. I believe women should take a proactive role in their prenatal care, do lots of research, meet with lots of doctors and midwives, and then make the decision about what’s best for their family and situation.

I feel beyond blessed to have had the experience I did bringing this little guy into the world.

SO BIG!! // Life In Beta

But even better, I love getting to watch Myles grow and change. He has a HUGE personality that just gets bigger every day. He has a corny sense of humor just like his mom and dad and laughs about the silliest things. He is stubborn and determined. He’s mama’s little cuddle bug. He loves to eat and try new foods. (His love of roasted garlic hummus was most shocking!) He is a daredevil and nothing stops him from walking or even climbing to get wherever he wants to go.

Motherhood is simultaneously the most wonderful and most heartbreaking thing I’ve ever experienced. My baby boy is turning one, and as Mike loves to remind me: every day he needs me a little less. And while I’m so proud of him for that, it’s also incredibly painful. My heart breaks when I look at his newborn photos. I love one-year-old MyMy, but I miss delicate 5-pound, 10-ounce MyMy too. I try not to think about that part, and I try just to focus on drinking in everything he is right NOW in this moment.

Happy birthday, bug-bug. Mommy and Daddy love you so much!

Our Home Sweet (Project) Home // Life In Beta

Our Home Sweet (Project) Home

I am ridiculously excited to finally be able to share this news with you. I’ve been waiting till I felt things were pretty finalized. As of this morning, I’m sure we’re going to move forward with the deed transfer, so I feel confident to tell y’all:

(1) WE’RE MOVING!, and
(2) We’re taking on our first major home remodel!!

House Back View // Life In Beta

This adorable little bungalow belonged to my grandmother. My mother grew up here. I spent the better part of my childhood here playing in the huge back yard. My heart and soul loves this house.

As it stands right now, the house is just over 900 square feet with one bedroom and one bath and sits on a half-acre of land, sharing a driveway with its neighbors. It’s got great bones and just needs to be expanded a bit to work for our growing family.

Our next step once the deed transfer is complete will be to get an equity loan. I’ve already been talking with our bank and it shouldn’t be a problem, but please keep your fingers crossed for us just in case! We’ve also been working with a builder on our plans and he feels we should be able to do everything we want with our tentative budget.

Shared Back Yard // Life In Beta

This photo was taken half way down the back yard. Our house shares a big back yard with the neighbors.

What’s in store…

  • We’re going to tear off the rear half of the house (which is on a slab) and re-build it with a partial basement underneath so we can have more storage and relocate the furnace and hot water tank down there.
  • We’re going to replace the screen-porch in the back half of the house with a combination mudroom/laundry room. (I think this may be the feature I’m MOST excited about, actually!)
  • We’re going to knock out the wall between the existing living room and bedroom in the front of the house to make one large, open living room.
  • Last, we’ll be putting on an entire second story with three bedrooms and one or two baths (we haven’t decided yet whether there’s space and budget-enough for a master “on-suite”).

I’m really looking forward to sharing the progress with you all. I’m taking lots of photos and later this week I’ll show you want the inside looks like so you can see where we’re starting. I’m anxious to see the transformation, and even more so, I’m excited to see my kids grow up in this house that’s been in my family almost 50 years.

Code Header // Life In Beta

Site Launch:

I’m excited to share the newest site I worked on with Leigh-Ann of Freckled Nest Design … introducing!

Red Typewriter - Design by LA of Freckled Nest, Development by ME // Life In Beta

Red Typewriter is a fashion, culture and lifestyle magazine for women who love making the most out of life.

Platform & Plugins

For Maryann’s site, I developed a 100% custom theme for self-hosted WordPress and used several plugins including:

  • Multiple Post Thumbnails
    We needed the ability to show a couple different thumbnails based on what featured area(s) of her site a post was displayed. This plugin allows Maryann to set two featured images for each post.
  • WordPress Popular Posts
    Red Typewriter’s footer uses this plugin to display thumbnails of the most popular recent posts.
  • WP Gallery Custom Links
    WordPress’s built-in gallery only allows thumbnails to link to either the image file or media page. For Maryann’s Pressfolio, we needed to link to PDFs instead, while at the same time keeping the gallery easy for Maryann to update. This plugin did the trick!
  • WP Subtitle
    Maryann also requested the ability to have a deck on each of her posts. Deck was a new term to me in terms of what it means in print layouts (check it out), but this WP plugin worked perfectly for us!
Myles' getting ready for his birthday // Life In Beta

Currently: Almost a Year

Working On // Myles celebrates his first birthday on April 17th and his party is on the 19th. His birthday is very emotional for me. I’m so happy he’s growing big and strong, and his personality gets bigger and more fun every day. I love that. But it’s also so bittersweet. There’s a part of me that wishes he would stay little forever. Being a mother is simultaneously the best and most painful thing I’ve ever experienced.

Watching // We rented Anchorman 2 and just finished watching it. Uhhhm. I don’t even know what to say. It was just plain strange. We also started watching Game of Thrones finally. (We’re behind the times.) Mike is super into it, but I feel like it’s kind of  slow start.

Reading //  I’m loving Stephanie Pearl McPhee’s new book, The Amazing Thing About the Way It Goes: Stories of Tidiness, Self-Esteem and Other Things I gave Up On(Tell me that isn’t the best book title EVER!?)

Thinking About // Remodeling. More news about that soon, if all goes well! I’ve been spending far too much time at lately.

Loving //  These bibs are amazing (they catch dropped food, then un-snap for easy cleaning) and I just got Myles two more of them. I’m also hooked on the South Park: The Stick of Truth game for Xbox. I’m normally NOT a video game person, but this has been my favorite way to unwind in the past week.

Weekend Plans // I’m (hopefully) meeting with our builder tomorrow to answer our last few questions before moving forward on our top-secret project. Then I need to get my driver’s license renewed, run some errands, and do some cleaning. (What a glamorous life I lead, right!?) I’m hoping I’ll have a chance to try out the new Hoover SteamVac Carpet Scrubber I bought. Between the pets and kids, our carpet could use it!

Cactus Windowsill // Life In Beta

The Old is New Again

I know you’re never supposed to blog about why you haven’t been blogging, but I feel like this time, it’s worth explaining.

I’ve been playing with the idea of moving this blog to a new domain, where I could start fresh and have more focused content. I’ve also debated over re-branding my business. I’ve spent months going back and forth and in the meantime, I stopped generating any new content on either site.


(These two midgets keep me pretty busy too…)

I decided for now I’m going to stay at Life In Beta. I’ve had this domain for so long that it’s become home. It might start to evolve, but I guess it doesn’t make sense to abandon it.

I tossed together a new theme (based on the default WordPress Twentyfourteen theme) to inspire me to post more. I’m still going to work on refining my content and re-categorizing old content (eventually), and hopefully I’ll get back to a more regular posting schedule soon.

Are you doing any website spring-cleaning or re-branding? How did you make the decision to make a change?