September 30, 2011

Vintage Western - First Birthday Party

Some photo highlights from Beckett's first birthday. We went with a vintage western theme. It was a great time.  Enjoy!

He was suspicious of the cake.

Ben & Sam

September 29, 2011

Beckett Laughlin - 1 Year

A year ago this week I was in a state of shock and awe. (Sorry if that conjured up images of the last presidential administration for you.) Beckett, all pink and with a lopsided head, came to us three weeks early. I had only washed the cloth diapers that day and my parents had to finish putting his room together while we were in the hospital. It was an awesome surprise.


The last year has been chalk full of cliches. It is true that you have never loved anyone or thing as much as your own child. It is true that watching them grow and become independent before your eyes makes time pass at a frightening pace. And it is true that when you have a helpless being under your care you begin to worry about things you wouldn't have thought twice about in your childless years. There have also been surprises - too many to even mention. (What? All babies don't just go to sleep? You actually have to bounce them down EVERY time?) What has become clear over the last year is how much I was missing before I had Beckett in my life. I look back on my twenties and (very) early 30's with fondness, but I had no idea how much more fulfilled I could feel as a person.


And so he grows. There are still only the two bottom teeth, which are so cute I don't care if he ever gets any more. He stands for long stretches and cruises around the furniture, but no independent steps just yet. Today I think I almost had him saying "more" to ask for more cheese. It sounded like "ma-r." He's got "mama" and "dada" down pat and pulls them out when he wants to tug on our heart strings especially hard. Speaking of patting, he enjoys beating on just about everything he can get his hands on. Lord help the neighborhood girls if he plays the drums, he already has blue eyes and blond hair, they wouldn't stand a chance.

Happy Birthday, Beckett. Thank you for teaching me so much over this first year of our lives together. I hope I can return the favor.

September 17, 2011

Hogan McLaughlin - Fashion Designer

{Hogan putting the finishing touches on one of his dresses}

I have been meaning to post about my amazing cousin Hogan McLaughlin for a while now and in the meantime he just kept climbing the rungs on the ladder of success. So now i have much to tell you. I have posted about my dear Hogan before - back in 2008, when he was accomplishing so much in the dance world. He has now changed tracks and is thriving in the world of high fashion. He has good taste in worlds.

He recently completed his first amazing collection - view it on his website. And this week some of his creations were featured in an exhibit on the style of Daphne Guinness at The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York.

 {My copy of the Homicidal Heiress}

So here's the short version - Hogan is a talent. He dances, he draws, he sings, he designs.  Daphne Guinness is a fashion icon and an heiress of the Guinness Family - yes, like the Irish stout. I don't know her, but she's clearly an intellegent and wonderful woman, because when Hogan sent her some of his drawings in a book he put together called the Homicidal Heiress, via Twitter of all things, she recognized his talent right away.

Since Ms. Guinness opened the door for Hogan, he is being recognized for his talent, hard work and vision. It seems a balance by the Universe that a Guinness should assist in the fame of a McLaughlin, since our family has done so much to assist the Guinness fortune over the years.

Now allow me a moment to gush. I am the second oldest of a very large, inordinately close, extended family. Last time I counted there were 32 in my generation. I could write a post similar to this one on how proud I am of each of them. But this is Hogan's post and I am just thrilled he is getting so much well deserved attention of his great talent. So cheers to you, my dear. I always knew you were destined for greatness. We love you!

Here is some recent press on Hogan that will give you an example of his talent and eloquence -

A lovely interview on I Want To Be A Coppola - here.
An article w/ photos in New York Magazine on the FIT exhibit - here.
Photos in Vogue Italia (!) of Hogan and his sister Lucy who is STUNNING in some of Hogan's creations - here.
An article in (read the last 2 paragraphs) - here.

September 14, 2011

One of Those Moments

Beckett has responded to "no" for a while now, but I wasn't sure if it was the actual word or the tone of our voices when we say it. And last week he clapped when I said the word clap, without making any physical gesture for him to copy. Then yesterday when I was reading him his bedtime story, I read the line "I love you when you give me kisses," and he turned around from facing the book and gave me a big open mouthed, wet, baby kiss. It was seriously amazing.

It makes sense. We are constantly kissing this kid. Pretty much if I am holding him, my lips are attached to his face. And we're always saying, "kisses!" in ridiculous voices. So now it's clear. We really have to watch what we're saying. Because he gets it. He can't say it back yet, but he knows and if he doesn't he will soon. Shit just got real, people. I mean, shizz...shoot...ugh.
September 7, 2011

BRAS - Breast Research Awareness & Support

My father-in-law is an interesting guy. He's mostly retired from a long career in marketing, but dons many a hat, such as inventor and arts website curator. He and my lovely mother-in-law love to entertain and when we visit them it is just as likely that we will have brunch with a variety of interesting characters or be entertained by a bluegrass band comprised of high school students, as enjoy a quiet meal, just the five of us.

So on a recent visit it was no surprise that they were visited by a gentleman and his two kids who immediately went out back to the pool. The adults stayed to socialize. Over the next little while I learned about Chip (the gentleman) and his wife's cutting edge business and my interest was piqued.

They run a facility called BRAS - Breast Research Awareness and Support - here in Louisville, which provides women with an alternative to breast cancer detection and the dreaded mammogram. The technology is called thermography. And it's essentially as easy as having a photo taken of The Sistas and waiting a day for the results. Totally pain and agony free. There's no smashing or mashing and, best of all, no radiation exposure, which accumulates over time - think of that the next time you're at the dentist...yikes.

It's so great to hear about an innovative new front for detecting breast cancer. The fight has a new ally. Check out their FAQ's for more info.
September 5, 2011

Beckett Laughlin - 10 & 11 Months

I've been remiss in posting monthly birthday photos of Becks. We are already in our second week of 11 months and you know what that means, a - First Birthday Party!! - is right around the corner.

I really can't believe I'm about to have a one year old. It feels like he just arrived and he's been here all along, at the same time. Sometimes I'm shocked that I have a child at all.

More to come on the par-tay. But here are a few snaps to catch you up. 

B at 10 months. He's the fastest crawler in the west. He was super into standing and cruising along along the furniture, but he has learned that he can get around so well on his hands and knees that there is no real point in trying to become a biped. Maybe next month...

I'm not in the habit of posting blurry photos to the Manifesta, but this just describes Becks at 11 months so perfectly. Curious. He is everywhere and interested in it all. After months of wearing mostly just a onesie due to the warm weather, in the last night or two I've put footie pajamas on him because it's a nice chilly temp by the time the morning rolls around. He is amazed by his sleeves and tries to pick the little frogs off of the fabric. It's pretty precious.

So next up - 1 year and possibly a walker. Time is like water through my fingers...who said that originally? Likely someone.