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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Let Me Tell You a Story: What July Taught Me.

Let me tell you a little story that pretty much sums up July for me.

Earlier this month, I decided to try out a weekly small group for medical wives. This is so out of my comfort zone, but I knew it might lead to new friends and, at the very least, people who are in the same position I'm in. I'm always anxious about getting lost on the way to somewhere new where I might have to parallel park (STRUGGLE), so I leave insanely early and end up sitting in the car with Jack for a solid thirty minutes. Off to a great start already, I know. 

I finally go inside only to find I'm in the wrong place and have walked in on an extremely uncomfortable situation. I felt so embarrassed and as I waited for anyone else to get there, all I could think about was getting in my car and driving home and watching Netflix. But instead, I made myself stay. 

It was great! It was awkward, as any new thing is, but it was great. I left feeling really good. So good, in fact, that I decide to tackle my first time solo grocery shopping. Since I can't push both a cart and a stroller, I put Jack in his happy baby wrap and confidently head into Target. 

About ten minutes in, Jack starts screaming. S c r e a m i n g. I realize he's starving, so I pull my cart off to the side to feed him. But it seemed like wherever I went, I was in someone's way. I'm thinking of all of those blog posts I see floating around facebook that start with "Dear new mom at Target with the crying baby" and almost cry as I realize, oh my gosh, that is me. I am her. 

I feed Jack, he stops screaming, and I carry on, warrior that I am. I've almost loaded everything into my basket when he starts wiggling a little bit. And then moving some more. And then jerking all around, laughing and laughing as he is slowly loosening the baby wrap and making it nearly impossible to keep him inside of it. At this point I say screw my list and just wobble to the checkout, pushing my cart with one hand and trying to keep Jack up with the other. 

I (of course) get an employee who tells me she's having a bad day and blames it on the assortment of things I have bought. How is she even supposed to bag these things, she asks me. Why did I get all of this stuff? Why did I buy such a variety? I just silently shake my head and focus on trying to retie the baby wrap while standing with Jack (impossible) and a sweet lady comes and puts her hand on my shoulder. "They sell the ergo baby carrier here" she whispers to me. "It's very helpful once they get big and start moving around more." I hope I said thank you, but at that moment the employee was waving a mini watermelon at me telling me that she couldn't scan it, so did I really want it? So who knows. 

I tearfully loaded the groceries in the car and got in the drivers seat, turning the car on and deciding to skip Trader Joe's. And then, I turned the car off, went back inside Target, and bought the baby carrier the lady suggested. I went to Trader Joe's, carried Jack around in the new carrier, and it was a much more peaceful experience. 

If I would have gone home before the small group meeting, I would have missed out on meeting some pretty cool people. If I would have gone home when I was having a bad day at Target, I would probably have never gone grocery shopping again and just lived off of takeout until intern year was over. 

But I pushed myself through the awkwardness and the uncomfortable, and something as small as being able to get groceries or try out a meeting turned into something huge for me. 

So that's what July taught me. It taught me that I can do hard things. 

Here's the thing about doing hard things: Once you're on the other side and they're actually done and you see the good that came from them, they don't seem so hard. They seem worth it.

What have you learned this month?

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Monday, July 25, 2016

From The Cutting Room Floor: July.

A little peek at real life in July, courtesy of my iphone, through pictures that didn't quite make it into any other blog posts...

The progression of trying to take a picture with Jack while I'm holding him. Sometimes we end up with a good one, sometimes we don't, all times I lose a handful of hair to those surprisingly strong claws tiny little baby hands.

Lots of pool time with this cute little lobster any chance I get.

Just taking a nap with brother.

He fell asleep at church and woke up in a firework tent and was really just confused about the whole ordeal.

We got some sparklers and took lots of blurry Fourth of July pictures.

And in this month's version of Chris sticking the baby places he doesn't belong, we have Jack in a diaper box. Jack thought it was absolutely hilarious and was more than happy to just hang out in a box.

This carrier is saving my life. ^^

Jack and I went to church alone together for the first time. While this is probably normal for a lot of people, I felt like a rock star.

So sitting up on his own is a thing he does now.

This was on a Saturday morning. Our neighborhood pool was completely empty. We laughed about how big of a difference it is from our rooftop pool in Orlando, which was always crowded and filled with drunk people by 10:00AM on the weekends. This is a nice change of pace.

My mom came to visit and we found the Lilly store. Just look at this magical mug collection! Need them alllllll.

My favorite Timehop of all time, ever. Cue instant heart explosion.

Pro tip: While including your baby in cooking dinner sounds cute in theory, he will dump your bowl on the floor the second you look away. He's already decided to do so here. Just look at that face.

Jack can see himself in the camera when we take pictures now, and he stares at himself, sticks his tongue out, and sometimes laughs at himself. It's hilarious and adorable.

On our way to a rain or shine farmer's market that was all packed up...because of the rain.

I'll leave you with this...Jack has started holding onto Gatsby's tail while he falls asleep. Gatsby absolutely hates when anyone touches his tail, but he allows it because he loves Jack.

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Friday, July 22, 2016

Two Months in Gainesville.

Two months of being homeowners (SO ADULT) and it still feels like a dream. Sure, in this dream we are also exhausted and overworked (Chris, not me) and have a teething baby, but STILL. We have a house. LIVING THE DREAM. 

I still get all teary-eyed when I think back to the weeks leading up to Match Day, how I wanted to match in Gainesville so badly, but was afraid to let myself even consider the possibility. Because we all know if you really want something, there's no way you're getting it, right? No idea why I think like this. 

Fast forward to now, waking up in a perfect little house in our perfect little city. I still feel like I'm on vacation in a new place, but I know it will just continue to feel more and more like home. 

Waking up and going to this beautiful yellow corner to get a cup of coffee and then having my choice of rooms to drink it in is a far cry from waking up in our studio and walking to the kitchen (which was actually just part of the den which was actually just part of the bedroom) and having the choice of either drinking it in bed or in the one chair we had. 

I'm just overflowing with thankfulness over here. I thought I'd share some of my favorite things about my new life in my new city. 

Skies like this. It's not a big city, so there aren't tons of building and lights. Meaning that the sunsets are stunning and the stars are clear and it's just beautiful. 

Having an outside area that's all ours. That hammock is my happy place.

This little munchkin having his own room. Jack having his own room to nap in has been a GAMECHANGER. 

Having room to workout in my living room. And by workout, I mean roll my yoga mat out and quickly have it swiped by Gatsby, who's napping needs are more important.

An excuse for DIYs. Mourn with me for a second...I bought an unfinished dresser so I could paint and stain it the colors I had in mind. It. Took. So. Long. And it was like, a thousand degrees outside while I was doing it. It was waaaay more work than I had in mind. But I did it! And I loved how it looked in Jack's room....for a whole two weeks before Ikea recalled it because it was literally killing kids. Now all my hard work is hidden away in a closet. 

Being able to get all of Jack's books out of storage! My baby shower was a "bring a book instead of a card" one. It's been so fun to get to read these to him!

Like I said, overflowing with thankfulness. 

There are phases in life where you just stop and say thank you, and this is one of them for me. I'm so thankful we're here, I'm so thankful for this house, I'm so thankful for my family. Life is busy and sometimes a little hard, but it is so, so good. 

What's making you thankful lately?
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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Baby Jack: A Birth Story (The End).

We left off with me riding the epidural high-those magic pain-free moments after hours of pain. Magic, I tell you. 

My parents came by and my dad remarked that it was so nice to see me so calm and relaxed. I think what me meant was knowing you, I'm shocked that you're not a terrified bundle of anxiety right now, and he was right.

I don't know how to explain it, but the night before Jack was born will forever be one of my favorite nights. I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that it was nighttime, so everything was just more quiet and peaceful. The lights were softer and there wasn't so much noise. 

It really felt like the night before Christmas, or a big vacation. Christopher and me just hanging out, dozing for twenty-minute stretches every now and then, watching house hunters (the only channel that would come through haha), eating way too many popsicles, and browsing the humor section of pinterest. 

Around 3:15AM I woke up to a popping sound. I threw a pillow at Chris to wake him up and told him I thought my water had broke. He told me it had (perks of being married to a doctor!). 

I fell asleep, and woke up to the nurse telling me she wanted to try a practice push to see how my body was reacting to the epidural. I did what she told me, she screamed at me to stop, and ran and got the doctor. Within minutes the room was full of lights and nurses and my favorite doctor. I figured that meant something was about to happen, so I texted my mom, "Wakey wakey, we're having a baby!"

This is the part where you all get to hate me. 

I looked back later at what time I sent the text. I texted her at 5:35. 

Jack was born at 5:58. 

The first time I held my little bub.

I shouted, "He's so tiny!" When the doctor was handing him to me, and the doctor laughed and said, "No he's not!" But he was just the tiniest little babe I'd ever seen up close, and it was insane to me that his itsy-bitsy arms and legs could already move. 

When he was placed in my arms, I felt a rush of emotions, but they were different than the ones I expected the feel. It was less of an, "I suddenly love you" and more of an, "I'm so happy you're finally here, I've always loved you, you've always been a part of my life and I'm just so glad we're together now." I felt relieved, like we'd been waiting for this moment for much longer than 40 weeks. I felt pride and love and just a downright connection rise up in me and overflow from my heart, and it was perfect. 

It's such a strange experience. One second, this baby is an unseen, unheard face inside of you, and the very next second, it's a moving, crying actual part of this world. It's the strangest feeling.

Our first photo as a family of three. Chris is beaming, I am fading, and Jack is pretty mad about the whole being born thing. 

I'll spare you details, but there's no sugarcoating it: Birth sucks. An epidural wearing off sucks. Recovery sucks. But there are absolutely no words to describe the magic of waking up as a family of two one day and starting the next day as a family of three. There aren't words to adequately explain the feeling of holding something that is half of you and half of the person you love most in this world. 

When it was time to come go home, it felt like we were doing something wrong. Like, surely they weren't about to let us leave the hospital with an actual baby. Surely someone was going to stop us and say, "Yes, but can you really take care of him?"

But they did let us leave, and we went out into the real world to start our life as a perfect little family. And while I still feel pretty clueless, it's been six months, and we're still going strong.

This looks like he's crying, but he's really not. He still sleeps like this, sucking his little bottom lip in. 

Home the first day, after the first shower that felt so magical, letting Gatsby get used to his little brother. 

And that is the story of how little Jack Isaiah Jacobs came into this world.
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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Things I Believe in This Week: Books & Floats.

Pool days and hot pink floats. I firmly believe that weekends are for fun, not for boring adult responsibilities. Most recently, I believe that weekends should be spent in the pool, on a hot pink float if at all possible. I'm currently working on growing a money tree so that my weekdays can also look like this. Stay tuned. 

Getting a library card. I got a library card last week and it has already brought me so much happiness. Getting a library card is one of the best improvements you can make to your life, and it's free. Free books, something to do when you need to get out of the house but don't want to spend any money, a free place to go when you need to feel creative, the ability to read things you wouldn't normally read without the risk of spending your money on something you might not love. Again, why doesn't everyone have a library card?! I don't understand. 

Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone every now and then. This might sound a little prideful, but I am SO proud of how much I've pushed myself since moving to Gainesville. When it comes to new people, I am extremely introverted, and when it comes to new places, I am extremely anxious. But I've tried my best to forget that and just throw myself into life lately, and I have to say, I feel much happier for doing so.

Making your life a place that you love. I've been thinking about this so much lately! This keeps rolling around in my head: It's my life, I'm the one who has to live here. It's challenging me to make my whole life a place that I love, no matter what anyone else may think of it. I'm the one who has to live here, I might as well enjoy it!

What do you believe in this week? 

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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Nine Moments Every Book-Lover Has Experienced.

I'm a book-lover, and that's putting it mildly. I think "almost dangerously book-obsessed" might be a better term, but let's stick with book-lover, because that just sounds better. 

As any true book-lover knows, reading is an emotional rollercoaster full of its ups and downs. Please laugh and cry along with me as we take a look at some of the most common moments we've all experienced in our reading journeys...

When your favorite character gets killed off. 

When the couple you've been rooting for since the first chapter kisses. 

When you find out the character you were hoping was fake dead is actually real dead, and there is no justice in the world. 

When you hate yourself for guessing the twist way too early.

When you don't guess the twist at all and are genuinely surprised. 

When you finally get your hands on a book that everyone has been raving about...and you hate it.

When you read a book that turns you into a fanatic. 

When you finish reading one of the best books of your life and have the biggest reading hangover that won't let you make it past the third or fourth page of a new book, because nothing will ever be as good. 

When you catch yourself wondering how your favorite characters are doing or where they're at in their lives...and you have to remind yourself that they're not actually real. 

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