Monday, July 30, 2012

A work in progress

Our family reached a major milestone yesterday. We attended church for the first time as a family of four. I was so excited to get the kids dressed up, pack the diaper bag, and fall into our new Sunday routine now that Davis had clearance to attend the church nursery--until we got there.

I was worried about how he would react- he’s never been left with someone he doesn’t know, let alone in a room he’s unfamiliar with. Turns out he was a total champ. And I was the one who cried like a baby.

Literally, I had to go to the bathroom and compose myself.

It’s funny- I swear I’m still carrying around emotions from the hospital almost one full year later. I can’t seem to let them go. Part of my tears were happy tears because leaving him means that his doctor thinks he’s healed. But leaving him brought back memories of where we’ve been, doubts that we’d ever live a “normal” life or that he would get to participate in these activities, and fear about what happens if he gets sick.

I realize some of this is highly irrational and I’m quite confident my husband thinks I am crazy. I don’t completely disagree with him.

I was talking to Kristin about it and I really feel like what we went through with Davis changed me as a person. I think about the hospital all the time and I cry about it more than I’d like to admit. The fear and the desperation that I felt those 28 days made a dent on my heart and my sense of security that I sincerely cannot seem to fill.

Even though I get to look at that beautiful, thriving child every single day.

Even though I see the x-rays and tests that show he’s ok.

Even though I truly believe in my heart that he is ok.

I can’t let it go.

I hope that changes over time. Maybe I’m just grieving the loss of the part of myself that could live free of doubt and fear. Or maybe I don’t really want to forget because it reminds me to be grateful for every moment, every single day.

Either way, I’m a work in progress. At least now I can relish the small victory of my sweet boy who gets to grow up knowing what it’s like to spend his Sundays at church. For now, that’s good enough for me.

Friday, July 27, 2012

My little secret

I’ve been keeping a secret from you. I wanted to share it but didn’t for safety reasons (which unexpectedly reveals the other secret that I am a paranoid maniac, but that’s neither here nor there).

Matt has been on a business trip and I have been on my own with the kids for the past three weeks.

Twenty two days to be exact.

Single mom to a lovely (albeit high maintenance) three year old and 10 month old who decided to start walking and climbing stairs upon his father’s departure. Which translates to- I haven’t sat down, or slept a full night, in 22 long and tiring days.

Until Wednesday night when my love returned home and life went back to our happy normal.

In all honesty, it wasn’t that bad. But it is hard to do everything yourself and not have any time for yourself. I’m lucky the kids have been healthy and that they have the best little dispositions. They are such little troopers, and were always extra sweet to me when I had my moments. Being a single mom is no joke people. If you happen to know one offer to help them NOW.

Oh, and in the essence of full disclosure, I finally gave in and started drinking on Sunday. That helped. As did these moments. MELT MY HEART.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Not the Perfect Mom

Sometimes, more often than not, the solution to my anxiety is merely just to simplify.

A few weeks ago I began the process of planning Davis’ first birthday party. I’m not sure why I call it a process when it is truly a JOY; I guess because it’s a process nonetheless.

As I was thinking through all of the details: time, guest list, food, drinks, theme, invitations, etc. I started to feel my anxiety rising and I couldn’t figure why planning such a happy and blessed event was actually causing me stress.

I had decided on a sailboat theme (boyish enough for the hubs and cute enough for me) and I was feeling all sorts of undue stress trying to figure out how to theme everything for the party. I call it PinDrome (aka Pinterest Syndrome). Suddenly my party was going to be a complete failure unless had monogrammed sailboat party favors, a nautically-themed menu, and perfectly coordinated outfits for the children.

This raised several questions:

1: Good enough for whom exactly?


2: What the heck was I doing theme-ing his party? I am not a theme-y person. I didn’t pick a theme for either child’s nursery, I’ve never chosen one for Madelyn’s parties, yet here I was trying to figure out how I was going to incorporate the obviously necessary sailing rope into my tablescape.

So I dropped the theme. And it’s incredible how my anxiety instantaneously vanished. Suddenly, all I had to do was buy some cute plates and napkins (doable), get food on the table (doable), and plan on enjoying the moment with my family (DOABLE).

I’m not a theme person and that’s ok. I can appreciate them from afar, but it’s too much for me. I need simple. I truly believe in every aspect of my life that less is more. And if it’s stressing me out, I probably shouldn’t be doing it.

So, we’re having a late afternoon barbecue with our closest friends and family. We’re going to eat with our hands on an old tablecloth and talk about the many ways in which my sweet boy has stolen our hearts. And I will spend the day focusing on what matters, the amazing family Matt and I have built, and will not give one thought to what everyone else is doing.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Form AND Function

I am a form over function girl. I don’t care how it works, or even if it works for that matter, as long as it looks good. This is (just one of the many reasons) why I won’t wear crocs- have you ever seen an uglier shoe in your life? I don’t care how comfortable they are. I’d rather wear my stilettos and be uncomfortable all day yet still have some dignity than wear plastic shoes that look like they were made out of tire rubber.
But sometimes, when the stars align, you find the perfect marriage between form and function. And let me tell you- I have found THE ONE.

Enter, the maxi skirt.
Maxi entered my life last week and we’ve been having a mad love affair ever since. Shauna posted about a skirt she found at TJ Maxx on Instagram and after seeing how cute and flattering it was I knew I had to find one for myself. Well, I found two. And I am obsessed.
Why I haven’t participated in this trend sooner I do not know. It could have made my life a lot easier.
All I have to do is toss a tank top over maxi and immediately I give the illusion that I am totally put together and stylish, yet I feel like I’m wearing pajamas. These are so mom-functional- I can move around freely and comfortably, no one sees my underwear when I bend down (which is often), and because I look so cute, I am a much happier mama.

See honey, we all benefit when mommy goes shopping.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

My Life as a Mom

It is 1:30 p.m. and I just finished the cup of coffee I began at 6 a.m. this morning.

I had to fish my toothpaste out of my own urine because someone* thought it would be funny to throw it in the toilet with reckless abandon before I had flushed.
*I'm talking about you, infant

I just threw my duvet cover into the wash because said infant also had a major hand-in-poop incident this morning while on top of my bed.

And I just got back from running errands and found these on my feet.

At least I no longer have to worry about losing my mind… I can now safely assume it’s already gone.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

How I'm Becoming More Efficient

There are days, more than I'd like to admit, that I feel extremely overwhelmed with everything that needs to get done. Life is busy. Being a working mom is hard. I constantly feel pulled in 20 different directions and often wonder if any of them is getting the best of me.

Lately I've been trying to streamline my life so that I can spend less time worrying about things that really don't matter and more time with the people that do. Maybe some of these can help you guys too!

Three of the four above photos from my favorite fashion/beauty blog
1. I am the girl who always opens up her closet full of clothes and swears she has nothing to wear. To add to that, I have to get dressed every morning with a three old begging for cereal and a nine month old climbing up my leg, so as far as I'm concerned, the fact that I leave the house in more than yoga pants is an accomplishment.These days, whenever I come up with a cute outfit or see one online that I like I take a picture of it. That way when I can't think of what to wear I just scroll through my "outfits" photo roll and pick one out. You would not believe how much easier this has made my mornings.

2. Matt and I have declared Wednesday night "home maintenance*" night. After the kids go down we review our budget for the week/month and then we clean house. It's been a huge help because previously, I got anxious every single time I saw something dirty wondering when the h*&^ I was going to find time to clean it. Now I know- it will get done on Wednesday, and I instantly relax.
*Someone please send me a better, slightly less lame name for this

3. I buy gifts when I see good things on sale- not when I need them. That way I avoid running around like a crazy person at the last minute. When my favorite jewelry is on Zulily I stock up. Or when Tiny Prints runs a good sale on thank you cards, I buy some nice universal ones that would work for a variety of occasions.

4. I keep lists in my iPhone for everything, especially the grocery store and Target, and as soon as we run out of something I add it to the respective list. No more scrambling around to see what we need from the store.

5. And lastly, my planner. Duh. Every night I sit down and plan the next day. I even write things like "send Kristin a card" or "daily devotional" because it helps me focus on what I want to spend time doing, and what I find personally fulfilling. For me, when it's scheduled it gets done and I like that.

Monday, July 9, 2012

EC Love!

I'm not a big jump-on-the-bandwagon kind of girl. I know what I like and the hot new trend doesn't usually influence me much (with the exception of the mint skinny jeans purchased in NYC for which I fully blame Pinterest).

But the rage around the Erin Condren life planners totally roped me in. I got one last year at the tail end of my pregnancy with Davis and just received my new one for July 2012-July 2013 a few weeks ago.

I love school supplies. Pretty pens, nice paper, it always signals a new start for me just like it did when I was in school. But as much as I love these little accoutrements, I LOVE planners and this planner does not disappoint.

It has separate sections for morning/day/night for each day which is great for me because I essentially plan my day around "before work/work/after work." I sit down every Sunday and plan our menu in this based on any activities we may have and every night before bed I plan the following day. And looking at all of these bright colors really do make me happy, even though I realize that sounds ridiculous.

It has laminated tabs, a nice big pocket in the back where I keep stamps and extra labels, and a zipper pouch where I store my fancy gold paper clips. There are tons of blank note pages in the back which I use for planning parties, bible verses I want to refer back to, or our house to do list. Not to mention, they are fully customizable down to the colors, design, text, everything.

I'm not sure why I'm rambling on about the details when you can find them all here, but nonetheless, there they are, and THERE is my beautiful new planner!!

Erin and team also threw in tons of beautiful gift labels for FREE which I obviously love. I use these all the time- on teacher gifts, delivering food to friends with new babies, etc. It's amazing how put together a gift looks with a nice personalized label. I realize these things are superfluous wants and certainly not needs, but often you can find 50% off vouchers for Erin Condren on One Kings Lane, Zulily, Plum District, and other deal sites, which makes it totally worth it.

I'm linking up to one of my favorite blogs, Meredith over at the Tichenor Family, so you can check out everyone else's planners. She also has way more pictures than I do so take a look around!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Recent Kitchen Successes

In the event that you, like me, are always looking for something new to make for dinner, here are a few dishes I've made recently that we've found quite enjoyable.

Dig in!

1. Grits' crock pot pulled pork- super delicious, super easy. We made this with the accompanying quick slaw recipe and my classic corn casserole and ate the leftovers for three straight days with no complaints.

2. Roasted corn risotto from this post by Kate. Love her Menu Monday posts and this dish was a total hit. We served it with hamburgers and a big salad.

3. I've now completely hooked Matt and Madelyn on these cookie balls and have to make them every single week. They are delicious, totally healthy, and thankfully all you do is throw everything into the food processor and freeze.

4. Pepperoni pizza quesadillas. I didn't say these were all going to be healthy, folks. 

5. And lastly, peach salad with basil oil. Make this tonight and you will thank me tomorrow.
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