Friday, November 6, 2015

four reasons to shop the Hello Hue pop-up shop before it closes today!

I realized that I dropped the ball on blogging about my pop-up shop happening this week. I've been depending on Instagram to spread the word, but there's a very real chance that if you don't follow along over there, you haven't heard!

So, here ya go.. Today is the last day of my pop-up shop! I still have a handful of bright and colorful paintings available.This will be the last chance to purchase anything from HelloHue Studio before the holidays, and I expect my next pop-up won't be until January or February. I put together a little no-brainer list of reasons to purchase a painting today. Just in case you need a little extra nudge. 

1). Mark one gift off your list way ahead of schedule. 

I'm a horrible procrastinator, and the thought of chipping away at my Christmas shopping list early is pretty enticing. Imagine all the time you'll have for peppermint mochas later! 

2). Add the finishing touch to your long-neglected gallery wall. 

I've got a few blank spaces on our walls myself, so no judging here. But there are several different sizes still in the shop, so I bet you could find something to fill that hole. 

3). Support an independent artist. 

After closing up my Etsy shop last February, I thought I was done painting for good. And that made me feel a bit lost. But I'm so grateful for this chance to open up every now and then to share my artwork with you. This pop-up style allows me to spend more time with my kids, but still experience the joy of creating and sharing my artwork. So thank you for supporting me in that. I completely understand that you can go to Target for pretty wall art, but the fact that so many of you choose MY art makes me feel humbled and honored. 

4). Surprise a friend. 

Gifts at Christmas are so fun to receive, but you know what's even better-- a just-thinking-of-you gift. Does a friend need a little extra encouragement this month?

Alright, I'm off to enjoy this 70 DEGREE day (in NOVEMBER, YES, I'M SHOUTING!) with the kiddos. Hope you have some fun plans for the weekend! 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

three reasons I love my C-sections.

Both of my kids are C-section babies. They came into the world after long labors, and my first peek at them was as they were held up, screaming, over a thin curtain at my chest. My first time ever in an operating room was after 30 hours of labor with Silas. I rock an awesome scar that reminds me of their arrivals each time I get dressed. While each of my C-sections had a fair amount of uncertainty, fear, and physical discomfort and pain, there was also sweet relief that the labor part of it all was over, and pure joy it was time to meet my precious babes.

I think C-sections get a pretty horrible rap in the birthing world. In every birthing book or article I read, there are only a few paragraphs dedicated to C-sections, and they're usually pretty damning and guilt-inducing. Even after discovering that my body literally cannot birth my babies naturally, I have to confess that I harbor a twinge of guilt and remorse that I can't birth a baby quite the way I'm "supposed" to. Silly, but true.

But oh gosh, you guys, I'm so thankful for C-sections. I don't care what the heck those birthing books say. As I was lying in bed the other night, my mind wandered to the days Silas and Delia arrived, and I began to think again about how our next baby will be a scheduled C-section. I felt a bit of sadness creep in, until I began to think of the reasons that I really love my C-sections. This post may be more for me than for you-- a reminder that even with all of the scary, all of the painful, and all of the unpleasantries of C-sections, there's still some goodness and sweetness in there. Crazy, I know, but let me just share with you.

[one] They saved my life... and my babies'. 

This is absolutely the #1 reason I love my C-sections. Both of my labors were long and saw very little progress. I had a 30 hour labor with Silas and barely got to 5 cm, only to go backwards. With Delia, I labored for 16 hours, and I'm not sure I even made it to four centimeters. After Delia's C-section, the surgeon told me that I have something called a prominent sacrum, where my bone structure will not allow me progress in labor and to give birth naturally. I almost sighed with relief after hearing that-- something tangible that allowed me to see that I wasn't a failure after all. There's nothing I could have done differently, my body was just made differently. 

Each time I think about my kids'  births, I get choked up at how thankful I am that we have this gift of modern medicine, and the doctors were able to deliver my babies for me. Because without C-sections, my babies and I would have died. I think of the days long ago, when this was a very real reality, and women died in childbirth with no other options available to them. And I think of the countries this very day who lose women because of this reason, and I can't help but feel a deep and profound thankfulness for this life. 

[two] More hospital time. 

After a C-section, most hospitals require you to stay 3 or so days to recover. The days and nights in the hospital after my C-sections hold some of my dearest memories of my newborns. Some people escape to home as soon as they possibly can, but I'll take all the quiet moments discovering each other, sweet time watching Chris love on our babies, and delivered meals that I can. Especially now that we have more than one kid, that quiet time in the hospital proves all the more special-- a little pocket of peace and healing before heading home to a wild and crazy house.

[three] Learning to take it slow and accept help. 

I don't know much about the recovery after a natural birth. All I know are C-section recoveries, and I'll just lay it right out-- C-section recoveries are a bitch. Sometimes I feel like a newborn myself, barely able to walk, or even roll out of bed some days. The searing pain of my incision, the inability to lift Silas, bend down to tie a shoe, or even wear Delia in a wrap. But that's the beauty of it-- I can't do anything on my own. We have been superbly and overwhelmingly blessed to have my mom come to stay with us for the ten days following Si and Delia's births. I wish I could send a clone of my mom to each of my friends after they have babies. She's an angel-- making nutritious and filling meals for us, bringing me water while I'm nursing, doing laundry, dishes and diaper changes that I wasn't even aware needed to be done. We've also been really fortunate to have friends bring us meals and come over to entertain Silas after Delia was born.

I imagine this next part pertains to anyone in the first days of their kiddo's life. The month or so after my kids' are born is one of the sweetest illustrations of God's grace in my life. I have nothing to bring to the table. I'm disheveled, weary, and practically helpless. But heaps of goodness overwhelm me. Meals, gifts for Silas, dishes washed. Babies held, clothes folded, being sent off to take a nap. Learning to just say "thank you" and accept the much needed help is a beautiful practice when most of the time, I try to reciprocate as much as I can. Resting in His grace, and soaking in the ways He loves us through our friends and family when we're a wreck is a really beautiful picture to me of the way Christ loves us, even at our worst.

The next Wilkins baby is Lord willing, not coming for a long time yet. But when he or she does arrive, it will be by scheduled C-section. Remind me to come read this post over again. I'm sure I'll need a refresher.

And if you're interested-- this post is where I share some of my favorite tips for C-section recovery, and here's Delia's birth story, and Silas' birth story.

Friday, October 2, 2015

life lately.

Life has been busy lately. The summer went by in a hot blur, filled with splash park outings, road trips big and small, and lots of playing in the kiddie pool in our back yard. And now, somehow it's October?! This is the first week that has really felt like fall, and I have mixed feelings about it. I've joked with a few friends in person that I think I may have PTSD from last winter (remember the 10 foot tall snow piles?!). So, this is the first fall season where I've really felt more dread at the coming cold than joy at enjoying the crisp air and changing leaves. Working on getting my head on straight, but last winter may have ruined me for life. 

I owe you a big blog post about our trip to Canada a few weeks ago, but let's be real-- probably not gonna happen. Long story short, we ended up falling in love with Ottawa while we were there. A complete surprise and blessing. Still a little bit apprehensive about the move up there, but feeling more peace about it after we spent a few days wandering the city, exploring parks and coffee shops and the riverside views. 

Last week, we celebrated Delia's first birthday. We went on a family hike in the woods, ate cake, and spent the whole day just hanging out enjoying our sweet kids and feeling so thankful that God chose us to raise them. Last Saturday, we had friends over for a little celebration, and feasted on curried chicken cider soup, warm beer bread and apple crisp. She took her first steps that day, but has been hesitant to really pursue that mode of transportation, and prefers crawling at lightning speed around the house. 

Chris has been brewing a lot lately. He made two wines earlier in the spring-- a delicious off-dry (I have no idea what that means, but it's slightly sweet and floraly) white wine, and an amazing red wine, that I could drink all day (which is saying a lot, because I'm normally a white wine girl). He also made a coconut stout beer last month, using real coconut that he chopped up and roasted. And then yesterday, he started a batch of hard cider using apple cider from a local farm.  It's been such a fun hobby for him for the past few years, and hopefully we'll be able to continue with that in Canada. 

We just rejoined the Y for the fall/winter, and I'm about to go meet a friend for a Zumba class. I kind of have a feeling I'm going to pull a muscle or something, since my exercise this summer has consisted of hauling around kiddos, lifting beers to my lips, or wading in the bay. Let's hope no one is Periscoping the class (that would be like a felony, right?!). 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

moving on up.

When we left Hawaii in 2012, we had dreams of getting back there someday, hopefully sooner than later. We had fallen in love with the warm breezes, daily rainbows, awesome surf, and we found friends there that quickly became our family. Hawaii had become home for us, and it was hard to leave. But Boston would be a fun place to live for a few years while the Navy sent Chris to grad school. And then maybe we could get back to island life, or at least someplace similar, like San Diego.

But it will be at least few more years before we can get back there. Because next summer, we are most likely moving to... 


Yeah, not exactly Hawaii, and not even a place that most people know is an option for Navy folk like us. When Chris came to me with the possibility over a year ago, I felt like my head was going to fall off. What?! Canada? And not even on the ocean? How can they do that to us? And then we experienced this past winter in Boston, with record blasting snow falls, 10 foot high snow piles, barely able to get out of our driveway, and below freezing temps, I just about collapsed into a useless heap when I thought about moving even further north. 

(Just about? More like definitely collapsed into a whining pile of jelly.)

But it looks like we have no choice, and Chris is the only guy in the US to fill this one position in Ottawa, so up to Canada we go. Most likely. We don't have our orders yet, but let's just say we are already researching snow boots that will keep our toes from falling off, so we're pretty well sure that's the verdict. 

Here's the thing though. For as much as Canadian winters terrify me, and I never in my life expected to live in Canada, we have only heard wonderful, lovely, encouraging things about both the job Chris will be filling, and the area where we'll be living. So, this summer, I decided to put on my big girl panties (as they say) and quit whining (mostly). If God has us destined for Canada, then he must have some great things in store for us up there. So here we are now, doing our best to embrace the inevitable, trust God, and make the best of it. 

When we found out that Ottawa hosts a hot air balloon festival each September, we decided to make a trip out of it and head up there to check things out. We'll be driving up this weekend, and I'm praying that God will start to grow an excitement in our hearts. I'm praying that He will prepare a church family for us, and friends that become family, and also that maybe they'll experience the most mild winters they've ever had during the two years we'll live there. 

Also, I might sneak in a prayer that I can eat all the poutine I want without gaining a pound. 


Kind of. 

Monday, August 31, 2015


It's been awhile since I've written a blog post just to write. I know that in a few years ago, I'm going to click back and miss the gap where I didn't write. I know this because I look back on blog posts from 2010 or 2013 and I love reading the thoughts that were in my head at the time. It'd be nice to say that I resolve to start blogging more frequently, but let's just take it one post at time, because all I can commit to these days is keeping my kids alive, and maybe getting some food on the table at the end of the day. Any deep or witty thoughts are all buried somewhere in my subconscious, I think. Or buried under a pile of toys.

For now, let's start small. Today, a list.


reading: "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" by Marie Kondo (we're determined to purge and simplify before our next move in June!)

watching: Heroes on Netflix

anticipating: flying to the Influence Conference in two weeks! (four full nights of sleep!!)

celebrating: Delia slept through the night for the first time in MONTHS on Friday night (and then slept horribly last night, but ya know, I'll take what I can get)

eating: tons of peaches from our visit to Ward's Berry Farm on Friday and dreaming about the peach and raspberry jam smoothie we got while we were there.

loving: this tank maxi from Brass Clothing which rocks my world and makes me feel pulled together and slammin' in about 2.5 seconds

feeling: thankful for all the time off that Chris has had this summer, and a bit anxious about his return to school in a few weeks

wearing:: dress:: brass clothing // gold leather cuff:: nickel and suede // bag:: vintage from an Etsy shop that no longer exists

Friday, August 28, 2015

standing for life (let's break the silence and jump in.)

As a little girl, I spent countless hours inside the walls of my local crisis pregnancy clinic. Not the most conventional place for a kid to hang out, but my mom was the director of one (now three!) in Maryland, and I loved spending time there. I spent my sick days on the couches where women were counseled and prayed for on other days of the week, I played with the tiny plastic models that showed how a fetus grows-- even the tiny 13 week model which fit perfectly inside my little palm had itty-bitty baby features. I stole candy from the receptionist's desk and flipped through magazines in the waiting room. But more than all that, I grew up hearing of the tough decisions that so many women have to make when they are faced with an unexpected pregnancy, and listening to the joy in my mom's voice when some un-named client decided to choose life for her unborn baby. At a young age, I knew the horrors of abortion, and the developmental milestones for babies in the womb. Deep in my heart, a fierce love for the unborn imbedded itself. 

So, as each new video has appeared on my screen this summer, detailing another horrific aspect of Planned Parenthood's deception of women and profiting from selling baby parts, I've felt more and more helpless and horrified. I've been surprised at the silence around this issue on my Instagram and Twitter feed, and felt scared into silence myself. I realize that not everyone who follows or reads along with me shares my beliefs and I guess I was worried about offending or saying the wrong thing. 

I think it's easy to say that if you haven't been in xyz situation, than you don't have a right to speak to it. Truth be told, I haven't had an unplanned pregnancy or faced raising a child in a single parent home. But why should this keep me from raising my voice, speaking out against the murder of innocent lives, and advocating for better resources for pregnant women in need? Women deserve to have better resources than abortion. Unborn children deserve better than to have their lives ripped away from them and their body parts sold for profit. And so, I decided to break the silence on my own Instagram feed, and use the most powerful weapon I know to use. 

Each day this week, I've been praying for a different aspect of this abortion and life issue. I've been posting prompts over on my Instagram feed, inviting others to join with me in prayer for men and women hurting from abortion, for abortion workers, for our government officials. I've lost several hundred followers, but mainly, I've been greeted with a hunger from the women in my Instagram community who are ready to pray, to speak out, to do something about the atrocities that are occurring in our nation. Maybe you are one of those men or women who are ready to get involved. 

Today, I'm inviting you to pray with me about how you might jump in. God might be calling you to open your home to foster or adoption, or He may want you to start small and set aside a monthly donation to your local pregnancy clinic. I've listed some links below to help kickstart some ideas for you. Get creative, do some research, and find out where God is calling you. 

Donate to your local pregnancy clinic.  Just a little over $1 can help provide free prenatal vitamins for a woman who has chosen life, and $300 can provide a life-altering ultrasound to a woman feeling pressure to abort. 

Volunteer at a crisis pregnancy clinic.   Take a free training class to become a counselor, or if you're a nurse, you can donate your time to provide free STD testing, pregnancy tests and sonograms to abortion-minded women. Or even do something as simple as spending some time in the office helping fold brochures and praying over the work that is being done there. 

Donate to And Then There Were None, a ministry that provides counseling and resources to abortion workers wishing to leave the industry and heal. 

Love on and support young pregnant mamas through a ministry like Embrace Grace.

Pray and fast with 40 Days for Life or join a vigil this fall. 

"He has told you, O man, what is good: And what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" Micah 6:8

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

{his and hers} jord wood watch review

Chris and I had the opportunity to work with Jord Wood Watches on a review of their gorgeous wooden timepieces recently.

When we went to choose our watches, we loved that there were so many options to fit each of our styles. Chris immediately zeroed in on the Dover Series' Koa wood options. This gorgeous and strong wood comes from acacia trees, and the word "koa" also means " warrior" in Hawaiian. When we lived in Hawaii, his ship squadron's nickname was "Koa Kai"- the warriors of the ocean. So, it was pretty much a no-brainer for him to choose the Koa and Black Dover Series watch. Chris isn't much of a jewelry guy, but the beautiful wood grain, exposed gears, and reminder of our time in Hawaii means that it rarely leaves his wrist these days.

My own choice, the Cora series Lavender and Maple watch, was a pretty simple one to make. I love the colorful face, and casual elegance of the maple wood. It pairs seamlessly with shorts and tee, or perfectly with a date night outfit.

Both of our watches are incredibly lightweight, so even with all that comes with a day with the kids-- fixing breakfast, changing diapers, playing trucks, giving hugs, wiping tears, kitchen dance parties-- we barely notice our watches on our wrists-- until it's almost naptime, of course. Then we may be checking our watches a little more frequently. ;)

Take 10% off your own Jord Wood Watch purchase with the code HELLOHUE10 at checkout- good until September 2!

Wooden Watches by JORD