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Friday, July 29, 2016

Goodbye July, Hello August.

The magical summer month known as July has come to a close, and when the sun comes up on Monday, it will be bringing August with it! August is such a fun month because at the begining of it, I am 100 percent SUNSHINE AND SUMMERTIME TEAM SUMMER FOREVER, and by the end of it, I am FALL FALL FALL IT'S COMING YES FALL. 

Luckily, life in Florida is special and there will be pool days (probably) well into October, so summer never really ends. But there's just something about the end of August that has me drinking pumpkin coffee and perusing pumpkins at Hobby Lobby. I have a problem. I know. 

But for now, I'll continue on in full-blown summer mode. Popsicles and pooltime and sunshine until late at night. 

I'm not saying goodbye and hello to a lot of things this month, and that makes me really happy! Because it means that I'm moving into a more settled season of life. After years of planning and looking ahead and weighing different decisions and counting down, I cannot tell you how good it feels to just be here.

So goodbye, July. Goodbye to a month that tested me and pushed me, that made me fall in love with my life, and that showed me I'm way stronger than I think. 

And hello, August. Hello to a month of soaking up the sunshine at the pool with my little family whenever possible. To checking out way too many books from the library and to setting new goals. To lots of snuggles from my chubby little guy and to continuing to push myself and make a life here. Hello to making a thousand and ten memories. 

I have a feeling it's going to be a really good month. 

What are you saying goodbye and hello to this month?
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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Twenty-Eight Weeks With Jack: Allllll of the Pictures.

There are a lot of reasons why I love blogging, but one of those is that I have an excuse to document parts of my life that I might not otherwise. I love that I'll have all these little daily moments to look back on. 

Week twenty-five:
all smiles // having way too much fun with snapchat // starting to recognize yourself in the camera // trading toys with the fox

you just want to grab everything in sight now // sleepy snuggles // that little tongue // you love your car seat toy

the sweetest swaddled babe // you take after me and love cozying up in as many blankets as possible // your little personality is shining through more and more every day 

Week twenty-six:

sometimes you just pass out in the middle of playing // the happiest // such a little ham for the camera // always staring in awe at Gatsby

one of my favorite pictures of you // getting so big, but you're still just so tiny // teething has hit full force and you're wanting more and more snuggles // just looking like a full grown toddler in your overalls 

so happy // so suspicious! // always laughing, always yanking my hair out // working on your poses for the camera 

just a grumpy old man in his boat // so happy to be outside // adventuring around in your new carrier // contemplating life with grandpa 

my three favorite guys // teething snuggles // always so suspicious about what's going on around you // you are truly the happiest baby I've ever seen

Week twenty-seven:

ready for a pool day // so smiley // so snuggly // I swear, you know exactly where that camera is

things are getting messy around here, and I know it's only the beginning // I turned my back for one second, and this happened // you had no regrets // snuggling your puppy 

weekends at the pool // you can sit up on your own now!

Week twenty-eight:

so silly, so happy // you've started army crawling! // four AM sleeps in my bed // my happy guy 

your facial expressions still crack me up. I imagine you thinking, "yes? can I help you?" // happy camper indeed // passed out on the couch // I bought you some toys since you sit up and play on your own now, and you are loving them

the sweetest face // you get so happy when chris comes home from work // sleepyhead // jack in the box! 

morning selfies // just snuggling a fox in a bowtie // my two little foxes napping // you love your stuffed animals

Best twenty-eight weeks of my life, hands down. Life is messy and full of snuggles and naps and teething and toys and it is absolutely perfect. 

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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Books I Read in July & Whether or Not You Should Read Them.

Despite getting a library card and checking out entirely too many books, I somehow only read two books this month. And by somehow, I mean "it's really hard to read a book while holding a baby who wants to rip out all the pages." Haha. 

Anyway, here's what I've got for you this month. Hopefully August will be full of way more good reads. A girl can dream, right? 

The Dinner by Herman Koch

Plot: "A summer's evening in Amsterdam and two couples meet at a fashionable restaurant. Between mouthfuls of food and over the delicate scraping of cutlery, the conversation remains a gentle hum of politeness - the banality of work, the triviality of holidays. But the empty words hide a terrible conflict and, with every forced smile and every new course, the knives are being sharpened... Each couple has a fifteen-year-old son. Together, the boys have committed a horrifying act, caught on camera, and their grainy images have been beamed into living rooms across the nation; despite a police manhunt, the boys remain unidentified - by everyone except their parents. As the dinner reaches its culinary climax, the conversation finally touches on their children and, as civility and friendship disintegrate, each couple shows just how far they are prepared to go to protect those they love." -via Goodreads

My thoughts: Everywhere I saw a review on this book, people raved about it. I was so excited to read it...but I didn't like it. At all. It was one of those that I probably wouldn't have even finished if I hadn't heard such good things about it. 

About halfway in, I thought, "Have I liked a single thing about this book yet?" And the answer was no. And then the answer continued to be no. I didn't like the plot, I didn't like the characters, I just didn't like the book. I think the way it's laid out is an interesting concept, and that's about all I liked. 

Sorry if you loved this book or if you're one of the people who recommended it to me. This is me right now...see number six.

Should you read it? I wouldn't. 

First Comes Love by Emily Giffin

Plot: "Growing up, Josie and Meredith Garland shared a loving, if sometimes contentious relationship. Josie was impulsive, spirited, and outgoing; Meredith hardworking, thoughtful, and reserved. When tragedy strikes their family, their different responses to the event splinter their delicate bond.
Fifteen years later, Josie and Meredith are in their late thirties, following very different paths. Josie, a first grade teacher, is single—and this close to swearing off dating for good. What she wants more than the right guy, however, is to become a mother—a feeling that is heightened when her ex-boyfriend’s daughter ends up in her class. Determined to have the future she’s always wanted, Josie decides to take matters into her own hands.
On the outside, Meredith is the model daughter with the perfect life. A successful attorney, she’s married to a wonderful man, and together they’re raising a beautiful four-year-old daughter. Yet lately, Meredith feels dissatisfied and restless, secretly wondering if she chose the life that was expected of her rather than the one she truly desired. 
As the anniversary of their tragedy looms and painful secrets from the past begin to surface, Josie and Meredith must not only confront the issues that divide them, but also come to terms with their own choices. In their journey toward understanding and forgiveness, both sisters discover they need each other more than they knew . . . and that in the recipe for true happiness, love always comes first.
Emotionally honest and utterly enthralling, First Comes Love
 is a story about family, friendship, and the courage to follow your own heart—wherever that may lead."-via Goodreads

Favorite quote: “But there is one constant, one thing you can always count on: that not only does love come first, but at the end, it is the only thing that remains.” 

My thoughts: Emily Giffin has a talent for taking emotionally raw, normal life stories and making them compelling enough that you want to read a whole book about them. When I finished this book, I felt less like I had read a novel and more like I had just been hanging out with a slightly dysfunctional (aren't they all?) family for a week or so. 

I enjoyed it. It wasn't my favorite book ever, but it was a nice pool read.

Should you read it? Yes, if you like Emily's other books. 

What did you read this month?
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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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