Monday, July 9, 2012

A Conversation: Lauren & Amanda

A Conversation Between Blog Friends:
Please meet Amanda & Baby Stella from, It's the Little Things! 
If you haven't been by her blog, you are missing out!

Lauren: Hi Amanda, I am utterly smitten to be able to chat with you, today. How are you!? I wish we could visit in person, but since you are in Kansas City and I am in New York, this lovely conversation will have to do. 
     I feel that we have so much in common. Your stunning Stella and my beautiful Scarlett both turned one in May, we both moved from small towns to cities and we both love writing, to name a few. I know it was not easy for me to move from the town I had lived in my entire life, to an new, urbanized home. Quite frankly, I hate change. How did you adjust to moving from the cornfields of Iowa to the large Kansas City?  
Stella's cake eating on left, Scarlett's cake eating on right.
(Stella beach ready on left, Scarlett pool ready on right)

Amanda: Hello Lauren!  It's a pleasure to chat with such a lovely mama as yourself.  I am doing wonderfully because my summer break just started, which means I get to spend every day with my little gal, Stella.  Now onto your question about moving to a bigger city and adjusting to change.  We love our home here in Kansas City, but to be fair, I had a hard time adjusting to life here at first.  It was scary moving to this seemingly large city from the homey and green "everyone-knows-everyone town" of Cedar Falls, Iowa.  I had many "yikes" moments, and there were times when I felt uncomfortable and lonely, or so it seemed.  

Here's the backstory.  I had always wanted to live in a bigger city while growing up.  Don't get me wrong, I had a fabulous childhood making forts in the wilderness and spending summers on my grandparent's farm, but I always craved something, shall I say, more urban.  I yearned to live in a city where I could walk to get my groceries, visit multiple museums on a rainy afternoon, and people watch at an outdoor cafe that went outside the realm of chain restaurants.  So after college and getting married, my husband Andrew and I moved from our quaint, closet-sized, one-bedroom bungalow on Main Street, to an industrial loft apartment lost in the jungle of tall office buildings and lots of concrete.  We were both eager to try something new.  Despite our desire for change, it was daunting to be in a space called home that was so different and unfamiliar from what I was used to.  I had never moved in my entire life, and Iowa had always been home.   

Now, three years later, I realize that all I needed to fully acclimate and enjoy our new home was time.  Over the course of the past three years, I have slowly broken out of my shell and have really allowed myself the opportunity to connect to this city.  Once I opened my eyes and lifted the veil of discomfort, I was able to see beauty all around me, in all of the little colorful frescos that grace our downtown buildings, and eccentric little signs that greet strangers in quaint, unknown neighborhoods.  I am proud to call it my home, no longer feeling like an outsider.  

Change has the tendency to put up walls and turn even the best of possibilities into cloudy frustrations.  As I have found out, once that change is recognized as being a positive thing, that change can do wonders.  You can't push someone into feeling comfortable, they just have to find that balance on their own in able to appreciate it more and to cultivate its presence.  Change is one tricky animal.  It feels so good to fully embrace our home here in Kansas City.  

Lauren: You unknowingly just gave me some great advice. I moved from a small town in Massachusetts to New York about 9 months ago. I completely get what you're saying about "once change is recognized as a positive thing, it can do wonders." I am starting to see that now. Although, it took me a few months to realize that. I'm a bit envious of your industrial loft apartment! How awesome is that!? Maybe someday, I will get the chance to experience that. 

     My fiancé's job allows us to travel if we choose, so we will probably get to see a few more places before we settle down. I want to be settled by the time Scarlett starts grade school. But that won't be for a few more years, since she just turned one in May! We had a Vintage Carnival themed Party for her. (View HEREAnd I was looking at the beautiful photos of Stella's first birthday party. (View HERE) You did an awesome job decorating! How was her first birthday party? She looked like she had lots of fun! 
(Stella's 1st Birthday)
Amanda: I am happy you are getting settled and are adjusting to your home in New York.  We absolutely love where we live.  It's got everything on our happy list: tons of natural light, hardwood floors, and a a very open floor plan.  The whole glass walls and no door thing took a few months to get used to, but on the up side, we never really need to use a baby monitor!  I know what you mean about wanting to settle down before little Scarlett goes to school.  We want the same thing for Stella, and where we are currently is temporary.  For how long?  Who knows.  We are going with the flow, but we do hope to have more children and so another room would be nice.  
(Amanda's Loft Apartment)
 I absolutely adored the photos of miss Scarlett's 1st birthday you posted!  Your attention to every detail was perfect and simply beautiful. Thank you for your sweet compliments about Stella's party.  I enjoy entertaining and so I made sure our little lady's special day was all decked out with things we love: french macarons, jones sodas, fresh flowers, and balloons!  We all had so much fun that day.  It was a small gathering but sometimes I think the more intimate the better. We had some local bbq, angel food cake, and lots of presents.  Her dada and I started a tradition where we will each get her our own gift for her birthday, something special that we pick out on our own.  This also made it fun for us because we did not share with each other what we got adding the element of surprise!  Andrew got her the most darling stuffed elephant rocker that she is beyond smitten with.  We finally decided on the name Humphry.  So.  Mister Humphry is now a member of this little family.  I got her some children's books about other countries and fun art supplies.  Go figure...but the English teacher in me could not resist! 

Lauren: I agree that sometimes the more intimate the gathering, the better. I went a little over the top with Scarlett's first Birthday Party! It was a bit overwhelming but we still had fun. Those touches you added to the party were beautiful! If we collaborated, we could definitely pull off party planning. Haha. What a sweet idea to give Stella a gift from both of you. 

English Teacher, huh? I suddenly feel the need to go over my grammar. ;) What grade do you teach? Was this your dream as a child? 
(Scarlett's Party)

Amanda: Too bad we don't live closer, otherwise I think we would make a great decorating team!  And don't let my English teacher title freak you out.  I am probably the worst speller I know and am constantly having grammar issues.  I teach 8th grade...yes, infamously emotional 8th graders
English, but here in Missouri we call it Communication Arts.  it's the same thing, really.  It was always my dream to teach but as far as what subject, that was always hard to narrow down.  I could have just as easily gotten into history or art.  What about you?   What was your dream job as a child?  it's so fun to think back to those days when we were so innocent and carefree when it came to what we wanted to be when we grew up!  

Lauren: Well, since I was little, I have always wanted to be film director/editor. I can remember making my little sister and her friends practice scripts and perform them while I taped them with my dad's old 80 lb video camera. I would boss them around and make my friend carry a huge cassette player behind me for soundtrack. Oh those days....Thinking back on this makes me chuckle. I could have chased this dream, I guess, but I would have had to move to California or New York to really pursue it. My itty bitty town was hopeless for that type of career. Sometimes, I wish I had followed my dreams, but somehow, I landed in banking instead. And now, I chose to stay home raising Scarlett. Although it's not a permanent job,  it is the best job I could possibly ask for until she starts school. She walked for the first time today and I got to see it!! It was precious. Melted my heart.
    So what about your hubby? Where did you two meet? And do you want more babies?

Amanda: That is so neat you have always been drawn to film.  I love {in a crazy obsessive kind of way} experimenting with and taking photographs.  My husband is always reminding me that it's ok to just "be in the moment" and that I will survive a day without technology.  We are good for each other like that.  And I am just thrilled for you that you got to see, first hand, in the moment, your little Scarlett walk for the first time!  I am sure that is a moment you will never forget and always hold close to your heart.  

More kiddos, you ask?  Absolutely!  Andrew and I have been together 10 years having dated since freshman year in high school.  We have literally watched each other grow up and have built this amazing bond along the way.  He is my best and closest friend, and I look up to him in so many ways.  One thing we have always enjoyed talking about together is what our future will look like, and that picture always has lots of children in it.  By lots, we mean around 4.  Ideally, we would love to have them relatively close in age so they can grow up together and be buddies.  We both love the idea of having a large family to go on many traveling adventures with.  Traveling is one of our passions and we hope to cultivate that passion within our children too.  This year we have many trips abroad in the works, and we are quite excited!  What wonderful traveling experiences have you had or hope to have in the future?  Have you been abroad?

     (To Be Continued...)


  1. Blog friends are the absolute best!

  2. holy cow... i've been following your blog for a while now, but this is the first time the music has started playing! what the world is happening?! Also, do you like damien rice? i lololove this song & he sounds absolutely dashing singing it! who is singing this one? it sounds amazing, too!



  3. So cool that you got to meet someone through blogging. You never know where your next friend is waiting to be found.


  4. What a great idea - this post! It was so much fun reading! Isn't it great when you meet people you just instantly click with?! I loved reading about your similarities and differences and your advice for each another.
    Scarlett and Stella are two beautiful babes! That's for sure! :)
    Hope you're week is going well!

  5. What a great post!!!! So cool getting to know you both better.

  6. this is such a fun post! so much more entertaining than a standard guest post! i admit to being a "lurker" on your blog, so it's awesome that you linked up to tip-toe thru tuesday! blessings!

  7. Thanks for sharing this with us at tip toe thru tuesday! Your conversation post was so much fun! New follower!
    Andies cohost for tip toe, Kim

  8. Nice read! I like the suggestions.


Thank you for all your comments & kind words!! I reply in the comments section so check back if you have a question :) xo