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Monday, February 29, 2016

Goodbye, February. Hello, March.

Goodbye, February. 

Goodbye, winter (what we had of it, anyway!).

Goodbye, deciding what order our rank list should be in.

Goodbye, maternity leave-I will miss you greatly.

Goodbye, having a tiny little newborn who sleeps 18 hours a day.

Hello, March. 

Hello, Match Day!

Hello, finding out where we will be moving.

Hello, working out again.

Hello, spending more days in the sunshine.

Hello, having a chubby little baby who has his own little personality.

Hello, Springtime.

PS: Happy Leap Day! 

What are you saying hello and goodbye to this month?

Friday, February 26, 2016

Celebrating The Leap Year.

Earlier in the year, I wrote a post about how 2016 had 365 fresh starts and new chances to be whoever we wanted to be, and someone commented and said, "I have good news for you: We get 366 of those this year." It's true! We get an entire extra day this year, one that you probably weren't planning on. So I have some suggestions for how you should spend it!

Revisit one of your New Years goals.  Did you make a goal to go to the gym more, but you've really only been twice? Go to the gym on Monday! 

Have a party you would never have otherwise. Looking for a reason to throw that obscurely themed party? Here you go! 

Catch up on something you fell behind on this month. Whether it's something boring like spreadsheets at work or something fun like an instagram challenge-whatever you're behind in, use Monday to catch up and get back on schedule!

Start a new tradition. From now on, celebrate each leap year by watching a certain type of movie or eating a certain type of food. 

Do something you keep saying you would do if you had the time. Try out that new coffee shop or donate your old clothes to Goodwill or get your oil changed or whatever it is you keep procrastinating on. Warning: If you actually do this, you will have to find some other project to keep you busy procrastinating for the rest of the year. 

Or, come home from work and go to bed early and get way more sleep than you did last year. Hey, it's your extra day. Do whatever you want. 

Happy Friday! 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Postpartum Jean Shopping: A Horror Story.

Before I got pregnant, I was in the best shape I'd ever been in. I'd finally gotten into a routine where I enjoyed working out every day, and my body was definitely reflecting that. When I found out Jack was on the way, I thought, "Great! I'll be one of those people who works out through their entire pregnancy!" 

Yeah, that didn't happen. Instead I got, "I'll be one of those people who throws up every day throughout their whole pregnancy!" Super fun.

But even if I had been able to work out, growing AN ENTIRE HUMAN wreaks some havoc on your body. And by havoc I mean it grows insanely fast and stretches and shifts everything. So that's fun. 

Regardless, two weeks ago, I was feeling pretty good-a side effect of no longer having a human living inside of you-and had gone for a long walk, which to me, was the equivalent of running a marathon compared to my physical activity for the last ten months. So I did what any sane person would do and decided to pull out all of my pre-pregnancy clothes that were packed away and try them on. 

Long story (And by long I mean me spending entirely too long staring affectionally at all the crop tops and shorts I bought literally three weeks before I found out I was pregnant) short, it was obvious that no jeans I owned were going to fit for a long time. 

I wanted to find a cheap pair of jeans to be my "in-between" jeans (in between now and what is yet to be determined, stay tuned), so I did what anyone would do-I went to Target. 

Small side note-Jack has probably been to Target more than anywhere else in his short life. I think this means I am doing motherhood right.

We get to Target and I grab the size up from what I normally wear. I think to myself, my body hasn't changed thaaaat much. 

But then I hold the jeans up, and notice how tiny they, the size of one of my legs, tiny. So I look around and then grab one more size up. Just in case. And then one more. Can't hurt. 

I then ventured into the fitting room, with its unflattering light and 360 degree mirrors (WHY). Instead of starting with the biggest ones, I decide to try on the smallest jeans. 

Turns out, I was wrong! They weren't the size of one of my legs. In fact, they fit my legs just fine! 

...up to my kneecaps. 

Okay, so, Target's jeans have gotten smaller! It's been awhile since I even tried any on. It happens. The next size up it is!

Buuuuuut it's actually not, because those are tiny too. 

So then it's just me and the biggest size jeans I brought in there. I stared at them, maybe cursed at them a little bit, and then left them on the floor. Because when I held them up, I was preeeeettttty sure they were not even a little bit bigger than the other two pairs I tried on. 

So I threw them left them in a nice little pile on the floor and told Chris I was ready to go. To which his response was, "try some more on!" And when I told him none of them fit, he said, I kid you not, "Just try a bigger size. There has to be a size here big enough to fit you."

Upon hearing what his brain had accidentally let him say, he quickly rephrased his response to, "Do you want to go get a drink?"

That's better. 

Moral of the story: Leggings forever. 

PS: This is all in good fun. While I do think Target's jeans are incredibly tiny, I am not delusional and do in fact know that my body made an entire human six weeks ago. The fact that the jeans did not fit is understandable. 

PSS: I found some that fit at Banana Republic. In case you need some, too. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

What February Taught Me.

February is a short month, but the last 23 days have felt pretty long to me. Probably because of how much change was squeezed into those 23 days. February has been a month full of new normals, adjusting, changes, and lots of learning.

So far, February has taught me...

That getting out of the house (often) is absolutely essential when you have a newborn. Cabin fever is real. Let's just avoid it.

That sunshine has magical powers, and a day spent in it can fix just about anything. 

That if you're feeling down, a fresh haircut can turn that around. 

That making time to have fun is extremely important. Things like taking vitamins and exercising are important for your health, but spending a night getting dressed up and laughing and taking blurry pictures with your people also does wonders.

That being a mom isn't always going to look like what I assumed it would. I don't think I'm ever going to fit any type of cookie-cutter "mom" description, even the ones I had in my own mind. So far, that's been a good thing. I'm learning it's way more important to figure out what works for you and just wing it when needed than it is to try to force yourself to fit into a certain mold.

That you NEED to laugh every single day. 

What have you learned this month?

Friday, February 19, 2016

Four More Weeks.

Four weeks. That's how long lies between us and finding out what the rest of our life looks like.

That sounds a bit dramatic, and really, it is. There will be a ceremony and someone will hand Chris a box, and inside of that box will be an envelope with one of 18 cities listed inside of it-the city where we will be relocating and starting the next big part of our life. Chris will stand in a circle with all 100+ of the other med-school students in his class, and with everyone's family and friends looking on, they will all open their boxes at the exact same time.

So yeah, a little bit dramatic.

Match Day. Everything has been leading up to this. Chris' undergrad, applying to and choosing where to go for med-school, away rotations, long shifts at the hospital, applying and traveling and interviewing for residency spots...the last 7+ years have all come down to this. A moment that I will share with approximately 400 other people as I find out what that little box has to say about our future.

A big part of me is excited-a new city, a new house, new adventures. I'm so proud of Chris, who has worked SO hard to get here. I'm so excited for him to get to start his journey has a doctor. For him to truly get to begin his career. I'm excited to see what life will look like in our new place.

A smaller (but perhaps louder) part of me is absolutely terrified. Knowing that I could end up in a town a few hours away or a town across the whole country and not having any indication which one it's going to be doesn't do much to relax me, you know?

Until we find out, I'm taking comfort in the fact that the things about me that I love are moveable. I'm a wife and a blogger and a mom and a writer, and I can be those things from anywhere. There isn't a corner of the whole world I could move to that my parents wouldn't come visit, because I'll have their grandchild with me. I'm trying to have tender roots (a concept I learned from my friend Yelle) that can be picked up and planted anywhere. I'm trying to remember all that stuff I said last year about learning to love the unknown.

The bottom line is this: I'm excited and I'm terrified and I'm proud and I'm sad, and in four weeks, none of that will matter, because the piece of paper on the inside of that envelope on the inside of that box is going to say what it's going to say. To me, that is equal parts freeing and maddening.

Four weeks. Twenty-eight days. Until then, I'll be haphazardly balancing somewhere between relaxing and enjoying the moment and wildly panicking about the upcoming news.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

30 Things to Say No to For The Best Year of Your Life.

1. Saying negative things about yourself.

2. Worrying about the future so much that you miss out on how good right now is.

3. Saying yes out of guilt.

4. Pushing snooze more than once.

5. Thinking that being kind means letting others walk all over you.

6. Never making a plan.

7. Saying no to things just because they weren't a part of the plan.

8. Constantly comparing your life/progress/self to someone else.

9. Buying things you can't afford.

10. Being afraid to try new things.

11. Procrastinating.

12. Never putting yourself first.

13. Voicing negativity more than positivity.

14. Skipping breakfast.

15. Doubting yourself.

16. Trying to force yourself to like whatever is popular at the current moment.

17. Needing to go out and spend money in order to feel like you had a fun night.

18. Caring too much about what other people think.

19. Missing out on the world around you because you're looking at your phone all the time.

20. Letting menial tasks pile up just because you don't like doing them (hello, laundry).

21. Being too busy to enjoy the little things in life.

22. Judging others.

23. Settling for less than.

24. Rudeness.

25. Being uninformed about what's going on around you.

26. Never putting yourself first.

27. Gossiping.

28. Being so serious all the time.

29. Making excuses for why you're not going after your dreams.

30. Beating yourself up over past mistakes.

Also read: 30 Things to Say Yes to For The Best Year of Your Life. 

What do you say no to for a better life?

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Letters to Jack || O N E M O N T H


Happy one month of being alive, little guy! You've had quite the month-you've gone from not even being born yet to the hospital to your new've met so many people and learned so many new things. You've become so much more alert and started following people with your eyes, really being able to see's so much fun to watch. I wonder what your little mind thought about all the change this month.

One month in, and I can truly say that you've changed me forever. Of course, I knew that would happen. But now that you're here, it's a whole new world.

To be quite honest, I was a little worried for you. Your dad and me weren't planning on being parents so soon, and while we tried our best to get ready for you, we didn't exactly know a lot (or anything, really) about how to be parents. I worried if you would be able to tell, or if you would somehow miss out on things because of us. I don't worry about that anymore-we may still be winging it, but I like to think the amount of love we have for you makes up for that. You may not have been born into a family that had been preparing for your arrival for years and brought you home to a top-of-the-line nursery, but a lot of babies are born to people who don't really love each other, and you'll never have to worry about that.

Before you were here, I spent a lot of time wondering what kind of mom I would be. Mom. That word still sounds so weird when I say it in reference to myself. And really, I still don't know how to answer that question. I still don't know if I'm a "good" mom, because who knows how to define that?

But I do know that as long as I'm around, you will be fiercely loved. That you will always have a snuggle partner in me. That you have two parents who love each other like crazy, and who love you more than anything else. That you will grow up learning how to have fun. 

I know that long after you've outgrown the snuggle stage...when you're not a baby and you don't need me as much anymore, I will still be your biggest fan, no matter what. You will grow up in a house that teaches you the important things: That pizza is always an excellent choice for dinner, that taking adventures to new places is more important than buying nice things, that nothing brings more happiness than having a puppy, and that you can do absolutely anything you put your mind to. You'll move mountains one day, my little love.

Happy one month to you. Your funny little personality and your snuggles and your side eye have made this the best month of my life.

I love you, my little wild thing.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Things I'm Getting Good at.

via Megan Elizabeth Photography
A month ago, my life changed drastically when Jack joined the party. Side note: Time is so weird. I kind of feel like I was just in the hospital with him yesterday, but I also feel like he's been hanging out with us forever. All that time I spent teaching myself to savor every day last year is really paying off. 

Anyway, I've had roughly a month to get used to this new normal. I say "roughly" because the days in the hospital and the first few days at home, my only goals were survive and get through the day with as little medication as possible. A month into this thing, and I've noticed that I've gotten pretty good at some new things.

Things I'm getting good at: 

Drinking my first cup of coffee really, really fast. I don't mind reheated coffee, as long as my first cup was fresh. It amazes me how much faster my coffee gets cold now that Jack is a part of my mornings. I fix a cup, sit down and pick him up, and bam, it's somehow been long enough for my warm mug of energy to be cold and gross. I, of all people, appreciate the routine of savoring a cup of coffee, but for now, that first cup gets chugged. Let's face it, I need the caffeine jolt anyway.

Typing with one hand. I am extremely proud of how I've kept up with my blog throughout pregnancy and having a baby. Before he was here, it was about working hard to get ahead of schedule. Now that he's here, it's about snuggling a baby with one hand and typing a blog post with the other.

Being okay with incomplete things. I don't like leaving things unfinished. But I also don't like not sleeping. And lately, it sometimes comes down to choosing one or the other. So whether it's a to-do list that only got half crossed off or a dishwasher that didn't get loaded, if it means getting some extra sleep, you best believe I'm leaving it as it is.

Caring zero percent what other people think. Okay, realistically that number is probably still somewhere around seventeen percent, but I'm working on it. Historically, I care entirely too much about what other people think of me-even strangers. The past month has changed that. The first time we took a big trip out of the house to see other people, my hair was super frizzy and I looked like I'd been awake for three days-and I did not care. Sure, I had the thought, it would have been nice to be able to fix my hair and makeup for today, but that was quickly taken over by the thought of it's so freaking nice to be out of the house, who cares what I look like. Old me would have worried that moving away from you when you look like you're about to touch my baby would offend you, new me is just like, BYEEEEE.

One month of learning new things down, forever to go. Happy Monday!

Friday, February 12, 2016

I'm Feeling Rich.

photo via Megan Elizabeth Photography
I'm feeling pretty rich lately. Not the money kind of rich (although, wouldn't that be nice?) but the true kind of rich. The kind that has nothing to do with your bank account and everything to do with your life. The kind that doesn't go away when you spend it. For me, it's a bunch of little things, and some big things, too.

It's finding brand new pens in nice colors that also write great (easier said than done!).

It's creating yesterday's post and feeling my heart just swell with joy while I look at picture after picture of Jack and realizing that this is real life. It's realizing just how happy I am about that.

It's feeling good enough to make a to-do list and know that at least some of it will actually get done.

It's going to the mall and walking in stores you've never even really noticed before and looking at tiny little clothes and laughing over just how small a seersucker suit can be.

It's second cups of coffee because Publix has started carrying my favorite creamer again.

It's sunny and 75 after a week of weather that made it feel like the North Pole had relocated to the sunshine state.

It's a Friday night with no plans.

It's the little things (and the not-so-little things) that just make days good. The things that make you happy. The things that you can't manufacture, and the things you can buy for just a few dollars. It's waking up and knowing that life is just good. It's knowing that no matter what your bank account may say, you're truly, truly rich in life.

What's making you feel rich lately? 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

One Month With Jack. AKA, All of the Pictures.

Week One:

This was the first picture I took of you in the hospital...something that you made very clear right away is that you LOVE your hands. You need them by your face at all times. Swaddle or no swaddle, you're gonna find a way to get those hands where you want them. 

In the hospital, we just took turns holding and staring at you. It felt so surreal that you were here, that you were real, and that you were ours. 

We took you home, and you fit right in. You loved your new house, and getting to meet your big brother, Gatsby. 

We bundled you up for your first doctor's appointment (you did great!), and you decided to show us what is one of my absolute favorite things about you: You give the world's best side-eye. It is hilarious. 

Your first week brought a very, very important day (other than, you know, being born and all of that): Your first trip to Target. You found it relaxing, so obviously you take after me.

When you were a week old, you flashed us a smile. You actually smiled at me in the hospital when they were wheeling us to our room, but I managed to get a (blurry) picture of this one. It will probably be my screen saver forever. 

Week Two: 

You got your first bath. You hated every single second of it, but didn't mind being wrapped up after. 

You made it pretty clear that you're not the biggest fan of sleeping at night. However, you're a huge fan of snuggling, and will go right to sleep if you're snuggled with us. 

I discovered the magic of baby-wearing, and it has been life changing. You feel like you're being snuggled and I have both my hands. It's a win-win. 

You continue to crack us up with your hilarious little facial expressions.

 Megan came and took your newborn pictures. 

You went for your first outdoor walk in your lasted about 90 seconds before going to sleep. 

Week Three: 

You keep flashing these sleepy smiles when you're milk drunk. Also, you still need your hands right by your face.

 We discovered that if we put you in your raccoon suit, you sleep much better. I don't know what kind of magic it has, but it makes me call you a wild thing and say things like "let the wild rumpus begin!" and "I'll eat you up, I love you so!" Every time you wear it. 

Your second doctor's appointment was much better than your first, because it included your first trip to Chick-Fil-A!

 We got dressed up and Chris took us on a date to my favorite sushi place! You were worth it, but 9 months without sushi was hard! 

 Grandma came to visit you and took you to Chili's!

 We introduced you to our favorite hang out spot in the sunshine-the rooftop!

Week Four: 

You watched your first football game with Grandpa, which just happened to be the Superbowl. 

Side-eye game: Still strong.

This is my favorite face you make. It makes me laugh out loud every time I see it.

Happy one month, little buddy. Thanks for making us a family.