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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

From the Cutting Room Floor: October.

The biggest event this month was the hurricane. Gainesville ended up being fine-not even a bad storm! But my little bub helped me prepare just in case.

Pretty sure that Gatsby might think he's a cat. His favorite place is perched balancing on the top of the couch.

Jack's new favorite activity: Crawling all over the house and ripping the doorstoppers off the wall. PS: I know they are a choking hazard. I took them away from him after I took the picture. DON'T YELL AT ME.

He may be nine months old, but he still gives those sweet little newborn snuggles when he's tired. I'll cherish them forever and ever.

My Bible study girls and our baby boys! 

Always standing now. A l w a y s. Send coffee. Lots and lots of coffee. 

Days off are a treat.

We went to Cracker Barrel (because fried okra, duh) and then sat in the white rocking chairs and played a very intense game of checkers. I won't tell you who won but OKAY fine it wasn't me. 

Days off are our favorite, but getting to meet Chris at the hospital for lunch is our second favorite. 

This is so blurry because it's a screenshot from a video, but I had to include was his face when he realized he could stand up on his own with his new toy and it cracks me up every time. 

October, you've been a beautiful one.
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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

What October Taught Me.

Life is short, live it well. A very good friend of my family passed away last week suddenly and very unexpected. It was obvious at her memorial service last night that she had touched so many peoples' lives. She lived life well. When we were leaving, my friend said, "It just challenges me to do better. She did so good." 

It's one thing to talk about how short life is and how we need to live it to the fullest when we're talking about going on vacation or going out on a Friday. But it's another thing to really, really think about it. Life is short. Every single day counts. Live those days well. 

It just doesn't get as important as the people you love. You can't beat time spent with friends and family. I think we get in our head that there is a certain level of importance...our job is high up there, our success, our to-do lists. But in what world does having a clean kitchen rank as more important than making memories with our loved ones? 

When your family truly needs you, drop your busywork and be there for them. When your friends want to come over for dinner, don't worry about your sticky floors and piles of laundry. Have dinner anyway. When you get a day off and you could either catch up on your to-do list or go to a pumpkin patch, my goodness...go to the pumpkin patch. 

You can't make more time, but you can make the most of the time that you have. You would think I would be a pro at this by now, but nope, still learning it daily. I don't get as much time with Christopher as I would like. It's not complaining, it's just a fact. Residency is a time-killer.  But. I do get some time. 

Sometimes taking advantage of that looks like planning a little day trip, and sometimes it looks like binge-watching our favorite shows on the couch all day. Either way...Whether you're working way more than you want, or you have the exact opposite schedule as your friends, or you're drowning in homework...we all get some time. It's up to us to make the most of it. 

What has October taught you?

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Friday, October 21, 2016

40 Weeks With Jack: Forty In, Forty Out.

Jack has now been on the outside as long as he was on the inside. This is so crazy to me, and honestly freaks me out a little. Because yes, time flies, but I also feel like Jack has already been around forever! So now when I look back on I think, no wonder it felt like I was pregnant forever...BECAUSE I WAS. 

Moving on. 

Week Thirty-Seven: 

we were just hanging out and watching tv, and boom-you decided you could pull yourself up on your knees // you also starting loving riding on chris' shoulders // you puked everywhere, so we left church life this //just sitting around like a grown up // you're the happiest baby with your toys //just some casual baby yoga. 

my little snuggle buddy // as soon as you could pull yourself up in your crib, you would get SO grumpy if someone didn't come get you immediately. That face. It kills me. // family pool days are my favorite things in this world // the happiest guy in your swing! // you sit up in the grocery cart now, and it makes shopping so much easier! // you outgrew all your clothes, so I obviously bought you a new fall wardrobe that is a billion times cuter than any clothes I will ever own. 

Week Thirty-Eight: 

We went to the beach and had the best day ever. 

the ocean one day // the pumpkin patch the next // and buying hurricane supplies the next day. Florida is weird. // all clean and snuggly after your bath

you get the best bedhead // introducing you to pumpkins // so happy // and one day, you just decided you could stand up. 

Week Thirty-Nine: 

matching, down to the brand of the jeans // my sweet little babe, so snuggly when you're sleepy // now that you're on the move, you love to pull all the books off the shelf. 

Week Forty: 

we've been getting some chilly weather, so you get to swing all bundled up // my little bff // Gatsby thinks he's a human, and you think you're a dog // so happy to be all sunscreened up and going to the pool

I cherish these nighttime cuddles more than I can say // taking your fitness very seriously // can't stop, won't stop buying you clothes with animal ears on them // and so it pull yourself up on anything you can find and stand up. 

There you have it...the fastest and slowest and best 40 weeks of my life. 

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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Let's Have Coffee Together.

First things first, if we were having coffee, I would be drinking out of this mug that looks like Gatsby. For obvious reasons.  

If we were having coffee together, I'd tell you that I really, really want to chop my hair. Long hair is nice and pretty and all of that, but 1) mine is either in a braid or a bun on top of my head 98% of the time, and 2) I have so much hair that it takes about two days to dry, which is approximately how long it takes to get dirty enough to need to wash it again (blonde hair probs). 

I love my hair short like this, buuuut I'm not that thin anymore (post-pregnancy probs, amiright?), so I'm a little bit worried that if I chop it my face will look like a balloon. The round kind. 

In reality, I will probably talk about this worry for a few more weeks before randomly calling a salon I've never been to and demanding an appointment within the hour because haircuts always MUST happen on the same day I make the decision. Living on the edge over here. It's an exciting life. 

I'd also tell you that in my quest to eat healthier (and combat the holiday goodness that upon us), I bought a zoodler. It turns a zucchini into a bowl of noodles (or zoodles). So far I've made zoodle pad thai and garlic parmesan zoodles. I just have to say something to all of you who say you don't even notice you aren't eating pasta: You are liars. Dirty, dirty liars. It's not bad at all, it's even kind of delicious, but I am very, very aware of the fact that I am eating zucchini and not pasta.

I'd tell you that our first family trip to the pumpkin patch is happening on Friday and I can barely contain my excitement. All the fall things AND A BABY. HELLO HEAVEN. Spam you with pictures, you say? Okay, okay. If I must. 

In all seriousness, I'm feeling so thankful. I've posted on some more serious, opinionated, and heavier topics recently, and I'm so thankful for the space to write and talk and listen and learn. If you read this blog, I'm feeling very thankful for you today. 

Now let's get a second (or third, who's counting?) cup. Tell me what's going on in your life! 

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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

It's Okay.

The last twelve months have made up the best year of my life, hands down. But it's also been a very trying year in a lot of ways. 

Having a new baby (no sleep ever), Match day (having no idea what state we'd be living in), ending one season and starting a new one (emotion emotion EMOTION), and a few things just too personal to share with the whole world wide web. 

It's been the best year ever, peppered with a lot of, "Wow, this is pretty hard" kind of things. 

Because of that-both the good and the bad-I've felt pressure to act and feel a certain way. For example, if someone asked how I was and I said exhausted, wouldn't it seem like I wasn't happy about having a new baby? Or if someone knew I was going through a rough circumstance asked how I was and I replied, great, we're going to the beach this weekend! Wouldn't it seem like I wasn't taking whatever was going on seriously? 

This is stupid, of course, because it comes from a place where we all know we don't belong: Caring entirely too much about what others think. But, stupid or not, it's something I've been learning. So I thought I'd share a few things, just in case you need to learn them, too. 

It's okay to have happy days during hard times, and it's okay to have sad days during happy times. 

It's okay to cry over how behind on your to-do list you are. It doesn't mean you aren't savoring this season of your life. 

It's okay to hate how exhausted you are. It doesn't mean you don't love your life. 

It's okay to be frustrated with your job. It doesn't mean you aren't thankful for it. 

It's okay to be overwhelmed by just how much work taking care of a baby is. It doesn't mean you don't love that baby, or that you're a bad mom.

It's okay to take a break. It doesn't mean you're a quitter. 

It's okay to go out to lunch and go shopping and just have a great freaking day. It doesn't mean you aren't taking the hard circumstances in your life seriously. 

It's okay to feel confident in your accomplishments and to celebrate the tiniest of successes. It doesn't mean you aren't still working hard. 

It's okay to ignore pressing matters for a bit and take a coffee break instead. It doesn't mean you're irresponsible. 

Maybe that seems like a bunch of jibberish to you, or maybe you need someone to tell you that they way you feel is okay. If that's the case, let me just tell you: it's okay. it's okay. it's okay. 

What are you learning is okay? 
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Monday, October 17, 2016

Letters to Jack: Nine Months.

Baby Jack, 

The first time I woke up in the hospital after you were born, I looked over to see your tiny sleeping body next to me and thought, through exhaustion and pain, "I couldn't possibly love you more than I do in this moment." And I was wrong.

A few months later, I came home from one of the first times I'd ever been apart from you, and you started babbling and giggling at me for the first time. My eyes filled with tears and I knew it wasn't possible to love you any more than I did at that moment. And I was wrong. 

We went to the beach with you a few weeks ago, and it was one of the best days I have ever had. The weather was perfect and you loved the ocean. I watched you scoot around trying to eat seashells and thought to myself, I will never be happier than I am today. I will never have more love in my heart than I do in this moment. And I was wrong. 

I know that my entire life will look like this. Over and over I will come to the conclusion that I couldn't possibly love you more, and over and over I will be wrong. 

I know this because on Thursday, we had a really crappy day. I was sick. You broke your car seat while we were out, and I didn't have my wallet and couldn't buy you a new one. So I spent an hour in a parking lot trying to balance holding you and figuring out a way to fix your seat. We got home and you skipped your nap. I had a lot of work to do, but a project that should have taken me thirty minutes to finish took me three hours because you screamed every time I left your sight.

It was a trying and tiring day. There was no trip to the beach, no one around to help me out, no happy, well-rested baby. But as I wrapped you in a blanket and rocked you to sleep, I kissed your chubby little cheeks and my heart exploded, just like it does every day. And I knew, deep down inside me, that I couldn't possibly love you more than I did right at that moment. 

And I knew, deep down inside me, that I was wrong. 

Happy nine months, sweet little love. I have never loved you more than I have today, and I promise I'll love you even more tomorrow. 
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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Today I Learned I Will Never Be Exceptional (And It's Only 5:00AM)

Have you ever stumbled upon something that just instantly made you so angry that you feel like you truly might explode? Sometimes I wonder what I would do in those situations if I didn't write. Maybe I actually would explode. 

I was writing a post that had the word "assume" so many times that I started questioning if it was actually even a word because it looked so weird (you totally know what I'm talking about), so I Googled it. And I'm not sure how, but the first thing under the definition was an article named, "I Look Down On Young Women With Husbands and Kids and I'm Not Sorry." So obviously I clicked on it...

...And now my skin is on fire and my heart is pounding too fast and I can't feel my hands and RAGE RAGE RAGE. 

So here we are.

First things first, apparently this was a big deal almost two years ago and I just somehow managed to not hear about it. But just in case you're like me and don't know what I'm talking about, here are the highlights:

"Every time I hear someone say that feminism is about validating every choice a woman makes I have to fight back vomit.

Do people really think that a stay at home mom is really on equal footing with a woman who works and takes care of herself? There’s no way those two things are the same. It’s hard for me to believe it’s not just verbally placating these people so they don’t get in trouble with the mommy bloggers.

Having kids and getting married are considered life milestones. We have baby showers and wedding parties as if it’s a huge accomplishment and cause for celebration to be able to get knocked up or find someone to walk down the aisle with. These aren’t accomplishments, they are actually super easy tasks, literally anyone can do them. They are the most common thing, ever, in the history of the world. They are, by definition, average. And here’s the thing, why on earth are we settling for average? If women can do anything, why are we still content with applauding them for doing nothing?

You will never have the time, energy, freedom or mobility to be exceptional if you have a husband and kids.

I hear women talk about how “hard” it is to raise kids and manage a household all the time. I never hear men talk about this. It’s because women secretly like to talk about how hard managing a household is so they don’t have to explain their lack of real accomplishments."

I am not even going to list all the reasons I find this outrageous and completely disagree with it. Okay actually yes I am. But only a few things that I just have to say, because I could literally type about this all day and then this blog post would be eighty pages long and you'd never read my blog again. But a few things:

1. I guess this author was just magically beamed down from the heavens and not born like the rest of us? Either that, or she truly believes that her mom did nothing and lost all chance at ever being exceptional once she was born. 

2. We currently have a woman running to be the FIRST FEMALE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES who has both a husband and kids. Whatever your political views, and think we can all agree that is pretty exceptional. 

3. I would also like to know why someone who has never had a baby is qualified to say it is literally the easiest task ever? If you think that, please go read my friend Chelsea's birth story. Then pop back over here and tell me about how easy that is. 

I think the reason this bothered me so much (besides the fact that is just a bunch of nonsense) is that there is a perception of wives and/or moms that I feel like I have to work to not fall into. The following things are things I have actually thought recently: 

If I put that I'm a wife in my instagram bio, people are going to think I don't have my own identity. 

If I post too many pictures of Jack in a row, people will think I'm only a mom. 

If I write too much about being a mom people are going to start unfollowing my blog because they can't relate to me. 

If I say how fulfilling motherhood has been for me, it will seem like I am talking down to my friends who don't want kids. 

^^Also all nonsense. 

So hi. I'm Chelsea. I'm a feminist (And I strongly believe that if you are someone who does not describe yourself as a feminist, that you don't know what the word actually means). I am married to the love of my life, and I freaking love being a wife. I have a baby, and I freaking love being his mom. And yes, a lot of my identity is made up of the man I married and the baby I made. Why? Because I get to do life with the people I love most in this world every single day, and my love for them is a big factor in making me who I am. 

I do dishes and cook dinners and do laundry, and you know what? Sometimes I DO think those things are hard. I also have a job. I pay a mortgage. I take care of myself, AND two other people. I'm sorry that somehow that is not on the same footing as one person taking care of herself. 

Yes, I am busy and tired and sometimes tied down by a baby (hey, you never wake a sleeping baby!), but I still think I have the time, energy, and mobility to be freaking exceptional. 

I consider myself a feminist all. day. long. And because of that, this article makes me sick. 

To my friends who have kids: You are not simply average.

To my unmarried friends: You are exceptional. 

To my stay-at-home mom friends: You are world changers. 

To my career-minded friends: You are incredible. 

To my friends who are in love with their significant other, to my friends who truly love being single, to my friends who are unemployeed, to my friends who are stuck working a crappy job to make ends meet, to my friends who are human beings, who are alive, who are making their own choices for their own lives: You are your own person. And that person is magnificent. It is full of world-changing, exceptional, non-average, outrageous amounts of potential to be anything and anyone you want to be. 
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