tour through blogland // not really.

if you are a reader of blogs, and you must be if you are reading this, then you have seen the 'tour through blogland' post that's been going around.  if not, you must have been hiding under a rock.

the post is really supposed to be an insight to the creative process.  why do you do what you do?  how are you different from other bloggers?  what are you working on?  all that good stuff.  i've been staring at the questions since about two weeks ago, when i was first tagged by the talented katy of designs by katy and the hot mama ailee of snapshots and my thoughts.  and i haven't been able to come up with answers.  or answers that are interesting enough that anyone would want to read them.

so i'm going to do something a little different.  a state of the blog post, if you will.

the other day, some of the leaves were the most beautiful shade of yellow, and some were red the color of those apples that no one eats and they were littering the grass that was still green like summer.  it was philip's birthday and he was gone.  this has been the case his last two birthdays, which is terrible.  but you know what would be fun?  i thought.  to take some pictures of julian outside in the leaves.  send them to philip as a birthday treat.  and take some good photos of my babe.  he loves being outside, this little horticulturist of ours.  he loves the plants and the trees and the flowers, to grab at them and give them to me like presents.  i adore it.


this mamahood thing is a full time gig.  it's at 5am when someone wakes up way too early.  it's breakfast and lunch and dinner.  it's 11pm when i sneak into his room to feed him without waking him up.  so the thing is, it sometimes leaves little room for other things.

i always have such grand intentions for this blog.  i need to revamp my travel section.  it's out of date.  i dream of doing travel guides for each city i've been to rather than just sharing old photos.  i want to start sharing short stories once a month.  but that means i have to write them first, really good ones, that are worth sharing.  i want to share all my favorite restaurants in denver, because there are great ones, really amazing ones that will make your tongue feel lonely just reading about them. i need to switch out sidebar and footer links. 

but at the end of the day there isn't energy.  so here is my blog, littered with the only thing i give my energy to - my little chubby panda bear.  which leaves me wondering... have i become a mommy blog?  what constitutes a mommy blog?  and is that a bad thing?  i started this blog to share stories of our house.  and then we left the house.  we got pregnant and lost babies.  and then we finally had one.  and now that glorious little baby leaves me with little to no time to write. 

sometimes i feel jealous of mommy bloggers i know, because they are writing.  somehow, they are finding the time.  i guess this means their babies nap for more than 30 minutes [mine does not, except first thing in the morning].  this blog goes silent for sometimes for weeks at a time, because nothing happens and everything happens but there isn't time to write about it. 

but this little blog of mine is nothing.  we are not a big deal, me and this blog.  it's just thoughts i have, an outlet of creative expression so i don't implode here or spill all my secrets to the baby.  if someone else reads a post and feels a little less lonely, a little less silly, or laugh a little bit, or make life a little bit easier, then that's really all i want.  i don't get all the comments or all the followers.  but to me, it's all right.  even though i'm a writer by trade, i do this more for myself than anyone else.  i'm not working on anything special right now.  i need to go through my seattle pics so i guess i have that in the pipeline, but i'm going to need some M A J O R free time before i do anything special with this little corner of the internet. 



it's probably going to stay like that for a while. 

and i'm ok with that.

thanks for coming by to read, whether you are here often or it's your first time.  i love having you here.


this is an introduction post.

so, i've never done this before.  BUT.  there is a first time for everything SO HERE WE GO.

this blog has reached over 100 followers on bloglovin now [which is a lot for me!], gained about 30 new instagram followers and a handful of new people on twitter.  i had the great honor of meeting a lot of fabulous bloggers over the weekend at the hundred event and all of this means there are quite a few people new to this space.  so let me do a little introduction.

welcome to the world of alaina.

photo by the fab hogger + co
it's a world filled with adventure, spontaneity and discovery.  a comedy of errors at times.  based out of denver, we are a family of explorers.  around each corner is the unexpected - whether it's an exciting find in our neighborhood, a weekend getaway to a new city, the thrill of experiencing a new culture, or the beauty of the every day with our son.

we find life everywhere and i document it here in too many words.  this is my space to share and to analyze - sometimes i have a hard time processing things until i write about them, so this is where the magic happens for my soul. 

a freelance writer + editor by trade working on my first novel, i cry at commercials, dance in supermarkets, and laugh at my own jokes too loudly.  i've worked on a presidential campaign, walked the charles bridge at night, dropped out of college and gone back again, tumbled down the stairs more times than i can count, smoked too much hookah in istanbul, moved across the country with no job and nowhere to live, and fallen in love with my best friend.  i'm almost 30 and loving this season of life.  i'm outspoken and flaky.  a recovering vegetarian and hockey fanatic.  too lazy for capital letters or sunday mass.  i wish i lived in a woody allen movie. 

i'm happy you're here and hope you stay for our journey - wherever it may take us. 

we never know.
my story started as a common one. 

i was just a girl going to a state school sticking with my high school sweetheart and part time job with my grandfather's business.  but the unknown tugged at my heart, a little voice whispering in the night to explore this mighty world.  and on a whim, in august 2006, i found myself cutting ties and moving to prague for a year.  i lived with roommates, traveled, and studied eastern european language and culture.

that's when everything happened to me.

i found myself - plus a husband and my friendship soul mates.  i gained confidence and a voice.  i lived a story worth telling.  

after my year in the czech republic and wandering through europe i moved back to denver and the love of my life joined me from LA.  we played it safe in denver until 2008, philip and i both itched for a new adventure.  so we quit our jobs, i left school, we packed up a uhaul and drove it to brooklyn.  it was there that we kicked off our life as newlyweds, living in carroll gardens until we decided to buy a house. 

in september 2009, back to denver we went, where we scored our dream home in the highlands.  i stated a blog, went back to school and we embarked on our careers.  it wasn't too long before the thrill of something new once more was calling us - and we started trying to for a baby.  eighteen months later in june 2012, we suffered our first miscarriage

life once again began to feel stagnant, and when philip was offered the job we'd dreamed about back east, we jumped at the chance to start somewhere new once more.  so off to boston we moved in december of 2012. 

just in time for the blizzard that was nemo and the boston marathon shootings, we lived in the city through the it's banner year.  we took full advantage of our location to travel - to new hampshire, manhattan, and montreal - where we found out about our second pregnancy in february 2013.  it was march 2013 when we lost baby number two

but it wasn't long before we started traveling, laughing and seeing the light once more, and while traveling through thailand in august of 2013 we found out about baby number three.  two days later we were making emergency flights home after i was struck with food poisoning.  our hearts nearly exploded with joy when we got back to boston and learned that baby number three had a solid heart beat.

the next nine months were spent eating more meat than i'd care to admit, learning more about my body than i ever thought possible, reading and re-reading ina may gaskin, and analyzing each kick to my uterus.  it was during the last snow of the season on march 25th, 2014 - two weeks before his due date - that little julian andel was born.  if you're looking for a birth horror story you won't find it here - nothing but awesome things to say about natural childbirth, my hospital birth with a midwife, and breastfeeding.

a new baby changes your life - but most of the time they don't make you move.  unless you're us.  after lots of late night talks and soaked through tissues, philip and i decided we were leaving boston and heading back to denver to raise julian. 

and so here we are.  renovating our highlands house and hoping to move back in early fall 2014.  i'm spending my days being a mama  - wearing my little monkey everywhere i go and trying to avoid sleep training like the plague.



the hundred: download.

what a weekend it was.  filled with all the good stuff. 

it started out all dramatic, with tears at the airport, frantic phone calls to check on the minibar status in the hotel room, and high speed car chases [ok, not a chase, but we did drive really fast to the airport before we found out my flight was delayed].  i even almost made it onto the airplane without any spit up on me, but julian made that right before i went through security and gave me a good glob right in my hair, thankyouverymuch.  but it's ok.  i wouldn't have been myself without it.

philip rocked the boba [our newest carrier - we both LOVE it!] to security so my boys could say a proper goodbye.  you'd think i was being sent to the biggest loser ranch or something the way i was carrying on.  i felt guilty saying goodbye to julian to go to something that was 100% just for me.  not a weekend getaway with the husband, not a family event, not something my boss was making me go to.

i turned around to wave one too many times as i made my way through the security line.  the kindly TSA dude who checked my ID [and politely did not comment on my cracked iPhone screen when i showed him my electronic boarding pass] asked me if i was ok.  i told him i was leaving my son for the first time for the weekend, and his blue rubber gloved hand found his way to my arm.  he looked at me in the eyes and said it's going to be fine.  you're going to have a great time.  he didn't even know where i was going - so i took it as the universe telling me to lighten up a little.  i wasn't being deployed or something.

but kindly TSA dude was right.  everything was ok.  and i did have a fantastic time.

with christie of kikimac and katy of designs by katy
i had a big hotel bed all to myself [ok, i shared it with my breast pump, but still].  i had tips on blogging from kendi everyday.  a keynote speech from curt steinhorst on distractions.  a professional writer's class from annie fitzsimmons - national geographic's urban insider [she was AMAZING!].  a photography class from jenni of j. noel photography.  a panel of experts on social media from lesley weaver at bungalow mag to beth dotolo at pulp design studios to megan wood from lily jade.  an unexpectedly fun prop styling workshop from casey wiegand and the hostess herself and probably one of my blogging idols, lauren of aspiring kennedy

kendi skeen of kendi everyday
annie fitzsimmons of national geographic's urban insider
lauren of aspiring kennedy
it was a perfect first weekend away from julian.  i was busy enough to not dwell on diapers and frozen breast milk every moment of the days.  i learned so much, made so many great new friends, and came back with a notebook full of ideas for the blog and for writing.  it was fantastic.

right in the middle, looking so studious.
the takeaways more just what i learned in classes.  from joules wellies + bags to a flawless love ophelia robe to minnetonka mocs [and so much more!], the weekend was filled with graciously given goodies.  rumors were floating around all weekend that this may be an annual thing - and if it is, i could not encourage you MORE to go check it out for yourself.  you'll see me there again for sure.

and if you haven't already checked out the blogs of our hostesses - do yourself a favor and pour yourself another cup of coffee and click on over now.

megan of megan k graham [formerly known as across the pond]
lauren of aspiring kennedy
grace of camp patton

real quick: anyone else think it's beyond awesome that this event was put on by four moms [well three moms and one mom-to-be]?  and that most of our speakers were women?  i mean, talk about empowering and enabling creative women and business-oriented women.  these women all made things happen for themselves, started their own businesses and made names for themselves.  there was no cattiness or bitchiness and it was GREAT to be around so many confident women and talk about blogging without people rolling their eyes :)



*all images [except second to last] courtesy of paige budde of awake photography.