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Aug 27

A Sweet Baby Bosse Milestone

Sweet Babe,

It’s been 20 weeks with you in my belly so far and I’m still thanking The Lord every single day for bringing you our way. I want so badly to address you and your name in this post but that feels so private still and I want this time of us so intimately together to last forever, behind closed doors and away from the part of this process that feels so public already; I’m showing enough to entice strangers to ask away questions now. I never thought I’d be the woman in the grocery store who gets to show off her rounded belly to the rest of our world but I’m here and the gratefulness is overwhelming. We’ve seen you twice already in doctor appointments via ultrasounds, flipping around in my stomach, sucking your thumb and being as cute as ever. Of course we’re going to always think so though because you are uniquely ours. Some friends say you have my lips and your dad and I both think you have his long legs. It’s amazing you can even wiggle around in there with those things because it seems like space is incredibly limited. But our doctor has reassured us time and time again that your snug as a bug and I’ve been doing everything I can to protect you in your own little space away from the noise of real life.

My belly gets bigger and bigger every day and it’s a miracle to think that’s because you are growing along with me. Sleeping is getting a bit more uncomfortable since so many sleeping positions are out of the question now and I’m trying to convince your Dad we need a king size bed after all these years together. All the more room for you to join us for our late night pillow talk parties and quiet moments together as a family with your fur sister. She naps on the new rug in your room and we think she knows something special is coming to our world soon. Your Grandma Bosse is nearly done painting your room and we took down that girly chandelier and switched it up for something a bit more perfect for a little gentleman. I think you’re going to love the space we’ve been intentionally preparing for you to grow, learn, and rest in in just a few short months. You already have more shoes than I do and my heart craves the day I can fold your sweet little outfits and place then in your dresser drawer for when we bring you home. I think of that day as often as I can. It brings me joy in the hard moments and peace in the darkness, both in which I’ve had my fair share of since we were blessed with you. It’s almost as if He knew to send you to us at the perfect time to cast light on our hearts as we weather so many storms.

Carrying you has felt different than I expected. For so many reasons that will stay private for a long time. But I knew it was you the minute I discovered we had conceived and your Dad knew it too. God has a way of knowing what our hearts need and I know He sent you for that very reason. We were made to be parents to a little boy. But admittedly a part of me wanted you to be a little girl. I wanted to buy pink ruffles and turbans, perfectly placed polka dots and sundresses, and all the things I gravitate towards myself. I wanted to feel confident with motherhood and pretend I know it all so having a little girl made that part feel easy. But the biggest blessings are always anything but. I wanted to name you after your Great Grandma, a name your Dad and I have had so deeply in our hearts when we started praying for you. You would have loved her. She would have gone to the end of the world for you, just like we will too. And you know, I feel admittedly ashamed even writing this out here because you’ve changed my heart in ways I never imagined. Just like I can’t imagine my belly will ever get bigger yet it seems to every day, I can’t imagine this process and season with anyone but you in there.

You were sent our way for a reason; a beautiful, incredibly clear, calming reason. Every time I pray over you, reach a milestone with you, dream about you with your Dad, and walk by your nursery picturing us reading together on your bedroom floor, my hand naturally covers my belly and I feel a sense of peace wash over me. Every day strangers tell me to ‘soak it up, because it goes by so fast!’ and I protectively cover my belly because I know this already. The sweet stuff in life is always so fleeting and I’m no fool to carelessly let it pass me by. I don’t take photos of my belly everyday like I thought I would but I stare in wonder down at you, catch sideways views of you in the mirror, and talk to you as often as I can because I want to soak up every little bit of you before you make your debut. I’ve been fighting for joy and digging down to the roots of life these days to cultivate the good stuff in my corner and my sweet son, you make the fight worth every second. I cannot wait to hold you and kiss you and meet you and tell you to your little face how cherished you really are.

You are our adventure.

With love, your Mom and Dad

View More: http://lovethenelsons.pass.us/trouvaillechicago

P.S. If you’re half the guy your Dad is one day, you’ll bring joy to so many. Photo by Love, The Nelsons

Aug 21

The Year of Content Week 29, 30, 31, 32

Happy weekend, friends! If you’re just joining us in this series you can go here first and here second.

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Happy end of the summer! Truthfully the end of summer is one of my favorite times of the year. It feels like things sort of start to slow down with my work schedule and the seasons begin to change which brings so any changes within my heart too (I’m a sucker for boots, cooler temps and cozy nights in). This fall Andrew and I are celebrating 5 years of marriage and nearly 10 years of dating and I couldn’t be more grateful for how much we have been through and celebrated in our time together as a couple. I also have three big trips planned to Italy, North Carolina and Paris all with #sweetbabybosse on board. While my heart is waiting in anticipation for these incredible travelling opportunities the sweetest thing on my agenda is preparing for my maternity leave before the holidays to be fully present for the arrival of our son. I still give all thanks to Him when I say that.

With the end of summer approaching and a bit of a slower schedule ahead (and more open weekends!) Andrew and I are so thrilled to get back to Sunday mornings at church. We admittedly haven’t been in quite a while and together have been craving that sacred time together each weekend with the Lord. I’ve also been invited to join a Mom’s Group at the church which I think will be a great way to get me involved with other women going through the same things as me and on a spiritual level too. So today’s post is all spiritual! Onto my debrief!

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What has not been working: Our church offers Saturday night services during the school year and that was one of the things I loved about finding our church and becoming new members earlier this year. I cherish my Sunday morning sleep in’s so a Saturday night service worked out great for Andrew and I. When the school year ended and with it went Saturday night services however, I found Andrew and I skipped out on church a lot in lieu of both sleeping in and trying to be productive Sunday mornings around the house before a new week started. As a result, one week turned into two, and two weeks became over a month of not attending church. As much as a I try to listen to the recordings of our sermons online, there’s something about being present each week at church to really get the most of the experience and we’ve been missing that. Making excuses (and admittedly being committed to a busy travel work schedule which means I’m out of town most weekends) hasn’t been helping on the spiritual front both personally and as a couple over here in the Bosse household.

What has been working: I’ve been creating some pretty sacred and intentional boundaries with my personal and professional life to prepare for our baby in the new year and as a result I’ve been noticing quite a bit of margin coming up in my life (and this is pretty terrifying for a gal who is so used to go go go!) But the up side of this is I’ll have extra room to not only be the present and engaged mama I want to be but I’ll have time to focus on making my (and our) spirituality a priority. I think with anything in life, the more you do it and engage with people who are like minded to you, the more something becomes a habit and way of life. I look forward to bringing our son to church and learning more about motherhood from other women and men and this change of season from others who are truly connected on a spiritual level.

Short term goal: Go back to church! This weekend. I’m so excited. It’s the first time we will be attending with the opportunity to write out and say our prayers in relation to this blessing of a boy I am carrying.

Long term goal: To face my fears of being an introvert and join our church’s Mom’s Group.

Feel free to leave your experiences below and to share them with the hashtag #theyearofcontent

Happy Weekend friends xoxo

Aug 18

A Short & Sweet Trouvaille 3.0 Recap

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Well, it’s almost been a week since all of the Trouvaille Workshop attendees, speakers, and behind the scenes crew went back to their respective homes and I’m still processing the experience that unfolded in Chicago. As the creator of a workshop and the one that dreams up and manages literally hundreds of details going into the event, I often feel a tremendous amount of self imposed pressure to make sure the event delivers what I promise (and then some). For me, my workshop and the Trouvaille brand and experience, isn’t about the curated and designed meals, intentional gifts, impactful education, cultivating of friendships, or heart and mind changes the workshop offers to attendees, it’s about ALL of those things seamlessly rolled into one. I know with every single ounce of my being, that Trouvaille is different and unlike any other workshop out there for wedding planners, designers and florists. And it’s my mission to continue to prove that to many for years and years to come.

I was so blessed to have over a dozen people involved in the behind the scenes of this year’s retreat. From the HGE team (Betsi, Jess and Andrew, I adore you and could not do any of this without you), the Encouragement Crew made up of three incredible Chicago gals (thank you so much Melissa, Tara and Emily!) and the Polhemus crew who came into the city early to lend a hand and be supportive colleagues and friends, I wouldn’t have been able to pull this off without your selfless service and time. I also owe a lot to Shay Nelson and Nicole Cole who flew in from Texas and Tennessee respectively, to photograph and video the event. And the speakers and attendees! Oh goodness, I owe a whole separate blog post on those individuals because they were such a big part of this. Thinking of all the things these individuals put on hold for three, four and up to six days, just to be a part of something that started out as a dream is humbling and inspiring. I’ll share more soon!

The above photo was taken before our Welcome Dinner on Sunday. The majority of our workshop sessions and meals took place at Firehouse Chicago, a very charming and intimate little event space in Uptown Chicago. The courtyard area served us well for our dinner and one long intimate family style table served as the perfect space to create a foundation for what I know became some pretty valuable friendships and collaborations. You can catch more over on instagram where over 300 photos were shared over five days but the professional photos will be well worth the wait. Shay, I love you. I can’t wait to see (and share!) all of the incredible details, moments, partner contributions, and more because I know you captured them all as beautifully as they were.

In other news, plans for Trouvaille 4.0 in 2016 are being worked on behind the scenes and so far, they are really remarkable. I’ll share more once some details are nailed down but with a smaller event load next year with HGE (and a sweet little babe to give lots of attention to) I’m looking forward to continuing to build the Trouvaille brand and family in an even more heartfelt and intentional way. I hope you’ll join me for the ride.

Happy Tuesday, friends. Much love to you all xoxo

Aug 3

Emily + Matt {HGE Wedding with Kelly Sweet}

Typing up this post to go hand in hand with Emily and Matt’s wedding brought on some seriously melancholy feelings for me today. See, Emily and Matt (and especially Emily’s family) become somewhat of my own over the almost 17 months we planned this celebration together. I was welcomed into their home with open arms, trusted with some monumental details, and given the most respect and level of gratitude I’ve ever received from a client. Parting ways with everyone the day after the event post clean up, was a really hard thing to do. But I digress because this was just the beginning of a really beautiful happily ever after for two special, special people.

With a half mass ceremony in the bride’s childhood church, a reception set in the perfectly manicured backyard of the bride’s parent’s home, and a sophisticated palette of neutrals, soft blues, black and gray, this wedding was elegantly beautiful yet simple enough to feel comfortable, approachable and like home. Coincidently enough, that’s just what this couple exudes and when a wedding can feel like the couple, our team can pat ourselves on the back. It’s our goal to always create weddings that reflect our clients in only the best way possible.

Emily and Matt, we love you. To the Norton and Bastion families, thank you for your love and kindness. To all of the vendors who worked so hard to make this wedding come to life (especially my team and husband who worked tirelessly that week and day of to help me through an awful week of morning sickness) thank you. This is the reason we do what we do. To celebrate love in big ways. Enjoy this incredible love story told through the stunning visuals of Kelly Sweet; these photos are some of my favorite to date.

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The couple’s wedding invitation and day of stationery was custom made by the team over at Smitten on Paper. It was the perfect way to set the stage for the big day aesthetic and wedding vibe. The suite is now available as a design over in Smitten on Paper’s site too so you can have a similar look for your event.

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After the ceremony and rose petal send-off, it was back to the private residence reception in Ann Arbor where live music and cocktails awaited guests. Inside the reception tent was a curated selection of details that Emily and I so passionately designed together as a team and it was seriously delicious. And this cake stole the show! Sweet Heather Anne ALWAYS knocks it out of the park. The custom linen from I Do Linens which was made to match the floral pattern on the invites completed the vignette perfectly.

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Cheers to a lifetime of love and happiness you two! Xoxo

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Planning, design, florals & execution: Hey Gorgeous Events / Photography: Kelly Sweet Photography / Stationery: Smitten on Paper / Rentals & linens: Special Events Rental / Gray silk runners: Silk and Willow / Custom cake linens: I Do Linens / Floral calligraphy tags: Layers of Loveliness / Cake: Sweet Heather Anne / Church: St. Joseph’s Village Church / Catering: Katherine’s Catering / Wedding dress: Watters with Augusta Jones overskirt / Bridesmaid gowns: mixed designers/stores / Men’s suits: Vera Wang / Make up: Alexandra Holton / Hair styling: Julie Jaynes / Band: Newsmaker / Reception venue: Private residence

Jul 29

My Morning Routine

A few weeks ago I posted on Instagram about my morning routine and how much joy it brings me. I am absolutely 100 times over not a morning person so I do need to make that clear. I also need to let you know my routine took a lot of trial and error to create and that’s one of the reasons I love it so much; it’s evolved as my life and priorities have evolved. But first a little back story on where this morning routine thing all came from.

In early 2012 I was really struggling with boundaries in my life. Both personal and professional. I was pulling all nighters (and all day-ers if that’s even a phrase) and saying yes to everything and everyone. I was tired and spread entirely too thin and didn’t know how to break the cycle of despair and misery. It sounds so dramatic to phrase it like that but at the time I was in a rough cycle of running on the hamster wheel and didn’t quite see how I would ever get to a more stable place of running my business and living my life purposefully.

Enter this post of Lara’s.

Reading that post was like switching on a light switch for me. So many things, so many SIMPLE things could be done to drastically change the situation I was in and it was like Lara’s post was giving me permission to do just that. I immediately bought my ticket to that year’s Making Things Happen conference thanks to a friend’s recommendation (you can still snag an early bird seat to this November’s!) and with that my journey to protect what I treasure and find balance in my life began. Actually it’s still happening as I type this to you at 6:30 pm, stirring a pot of pasta in the kitchen with the laundry machine going since we have another wedding this weekend and I’m trying to stay on top of all my priorities coming up soon. Because balance is like riding a bike, you have to give a little and take a little from one direction to the next to stay upright. But I digress.

About a year after I attended that first MTH I met the incredible Nancy Ray who served alongside me as a speaker in Chapel Hill. And I listened in awe to her talk about her morning routine. This girl has it going on! Early wake up time, a moment of silence for her heart, time with The Lord, I think maybe there was even a work out in there? In short Nancy had a morning routine that sounded pretty darn good and I wanted my own slice of that. I wanted the Nancy Ray Morning with a side of fries so when I got home from North Carolina that first time I was a speaker I gave it a shot. I actually gave it a shot for over a year, trying my best to fit all of Nancy’s essentials into MY day. And well you can see where I am going with that. I failed miserably.

Nancy’s day works wonderfully for her because she’s figured out what she needs to start her day off on the right foot. For me to try and fit Nancy’s ideal morning into my life would be like me trying to fit perfectly into Nancy’s custom tailored wedding gown. Or vice versa. Again it hit me one day when I realized Nancy’s point isn’t that her day is the solution for everyone but that finding a day that works best for YOU, is.

So I changed my thinking a bit. And here we are!

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• My number one strategy for having a restful, joyful and productive morning is to leave my phone downstairs. Either on our main living level on silent or even in the basement studio. Sometimes I even turn my phone off completely. For me, my phone and my email can bring me anxiety if I have it near me at all times and it shouldn’t be near me when I’m spending time with my husband or doing things outside of my work. Literally it comes down to physically separating myself from it. When I don’t I fall asleep with my phone in my hand aimlessly scrolling through instagram, I find it hard to fall asleep, I often have pretty vivid dreams and/or insomnia and then even worse, I grab my phone as soon as I wake up and lose track of time in the morning. Starting my day in social media and in my email before I’ve even said good morning to my husband, 10 times out of 10 never ends well. Also just because some people have asked before, my husband does usually keep his phone in our room or in our hallway on vibrate in case there ever in an emergency and someone needs to reach us.

• My second strategy for making the most of my mornings is doing little things to plan ahead the night before. Ashley Brooke and I roomed at a conference together a few years ago and she told me about her childhood memories and nightly ritual of ‘setting herself up for success.’ Her parents would set a timer and for ten minutes she would purposefully prepare for the next day. Pack her backpack, lay out her clothes, whatever. Since then I too have tried to do this as often as I can because the stress of everything hitting me like a ton of bricks in the morning isn’t worth it. Some of my favorites? Downloading my to do list in a notebook on my bedside table pre-sleep, laying out my towel for my bath (I have a hot bath every single morning), picking out my clothes based on the weather and what I have scheduled for the next day, getting a water bottle filled and iced to have on my bedside table so when I wake up it’s there, and making sure Andrew sets his non-phone alarm for 6:30 am. Each day varies a little in terms of when I get up but feeling in control of my morning puts me in a better mind set for the day. Oh! And I make our bed 99% of the time. Andrew and I do this together actually and we still think we’re each better than the other at fluffing the pillows.

• My third strategy is to treat my morning time as leisure time rather than a busy whirlwind of time to prepare for the day ahead. My love language is quality time (and Andrew’s is not!) so I love to take our two hours together in the mornings and treat it as a reward for the day (and he goes along with it bless his heart). Everything from talking in bed before we get out of it, snuggling with Zoe on the bed after she’s woken up from hers, lighting a candle on my bedside table so the scent relaxes me, and even listening to the radio together while we get dressed and then make the bed, is so sweet. Sometimes one of us is off before the other with events or meetings but when we are home together I treasure this time and try to look at it as a gift to be enjoyed together.

• My fourth strategy is a recent one I’ve adopted and I’m not sure if it’s an early mama to be nesting thing or just my organized tenancies but doing a little bit of house work each day rather than devoting an entire Sunday to cleaning house, has been a huge blessing. I used to feel so busy and spread thin that our house would literally look like it was lived in by a family of 6. Dishes everywhere, laundry piled up, the bathroom a mess, work things across the tables, couch, and anywhere but my studio. This made (or rather makes) it very hard to focus on my work and left me feeling very far from at peace in our own home as I was constantly distracted by the mess and chaos. I read a post from Emily recently about her ‘farm chores’ and so loved Emily’s similar approach to doing a little bit each day to treasure more of your time. Laundry on a Wednesday morning? If it’s a quick load why not! A quick push of the vacuum after dinner on Friday? Sure. Running the dishwasher over night so it’s ready to unload in the am? Brilliant. These little yet very intentional steps have saved me tremendous amounts of time and in turn I have come to value our home a little more as a relaxing retreat.

So there you have it! A little glimpse into my morning routine. I would love to hear more of yours too!

Photo by Kelly Sweet Photography.

Xoxo