Well Hello There [Alternate Title: We’re Alive!]

We’re very sorry for the long hiatus from posting; we had really good reasons, we swear! First of all, and most importantly, Mera gave birth to a beautiful and healthy baby boy! More on that in just a moment. Almost concurrently – and far less joyously – I broke my right arm badly enough to require surgery, bringing all house projects, typing, and solo hair-washing to a screeching halt. Seven years of roller derby, but it was the perilous combination of my own carelessness and a flailing child at the local skating rink that finally sent me to the Emergency Room.

It just don't seem right

Ewwwwww!

I’d had big plans to share progress in the Rambler while Mera had an RHW maternity leave, but the combination of a broken wing and remarkably poor voice recognition technology proved lethal to my good intentions. Here’s an unedited snippet of this post that I dictated into my computer:

We’re very sorry for the unexpected hiatus from blogging, but we had really good reasons we square exclamation point I went ahead and broke my arm. Her right arm, Which pretty much brought all projects and wanting to a screeching halt. Seven years of playing roller derby without any broken bones, but I couldn’t withstand the perils of whaling kiddos at our local skating rink.

Those darn whaling kids! Anyway, onto far cuter things!

From Mera:  August James Gilmore arrived at the beginning of the month, weighing in at a hefty 9 pounds.  My water broke in the locker room at the gym, and forty crazy minutes later Gus was in my arms!Red House West || We're Alive!

Gus is hale and hearty, and sweet as can be.  We’re smitten!

Red House West || We're Alive!

While Katie is healing and I’m cooing at my baby and getting through these days filled with everything but also nothing, we won’t be posting on a regular schedule.  We’ll pop in now and again (all the more reason to subscribe so you’ll know when we’re posting), and we’ll resume our regular posting schedule in a few months.

Thanks for bearing with us! xoxo

Do You Do Hostess Gifts?

Summer is barely waning, but we’re already starting to see intimations of the holiday season on social media and in stores. The days of gift guides, holiday table setting posts, and wrapping paper round-ups are just around the corner.

We’re always mystified by holiday hostess gift ideas on blogs–showing up to a dinner party with a fluted cake plate or a hammered copper tea kettle seems a bit much. But then again there are times when we’d like to bring something more original than a bottle of wine or flowers.

What’s the best host/hostess gift you’ve received? What do you typically bring as an offering?

What I’ll be Wearing Postpartum

*I’m writing this a few days ahead of schedule in the hopes that my baby has either just been born or is being born when this post is published.  Wish me luck!*

During the first sticky weeks after our baby boy arrives I’ll be wearing sweatpants and my bathrobe full time (Katie and I both have the lined version of this robe).  Once my hormones level out a little and I’m able to be up and about, I’m looking forward to wearing normal clothes again.  Normal, but with forgiving waistbands and the potential for quick-release boobs.  Here are three outfits I’m planning to sport.

The pants in this first ensemble are Madewell jeans, but they have an elastic waist.  YES, PLEASE.  I own the blanket cape, and it is lovely, heavy, and has a beautiful drape.

Fall Outfit 2

|| 1. Blanket Cape  || 2. Chambray Shirt  || 3. Earrings || 4. Booties  || 5. Watch  || 6. Pants  ||

With the addition of a nursing tank, this super casual get-up will probably be my maternity-leave uniform. I own the shirt already, which is flannel but thin and super soft.  I bought the earrings a while back after seeing them on Cup of Jo and they are perfect for everyday wear, so long as baby isn’t too much of a grabber.

Casual fall outfit

|| 1. Shirt  || 2. Shoes  || 3. Earrings || 4. Jeans  ||

I’ll wear this outfit when I want to feel a little more stylish, but still completely comfortable. If sleeveless turtlenecks aren’t your thing (totally valid to insist on sleeves on your arms if there’s a sleeve on your neck), these pants would also be cute with a boatneck breton and chunky heels like these or these.

Fall Outfit

|| 1. Sweater  || 2. Pants  || 3. Bracelet  ||  4. Loafers  || 5. Earrings  ||

What are your casual fall staples? Any favorite online retailers we should be checking out?