Motherhood Update: Annie at 9 months

The other day we were driving home from Franklin and Annie decided she had had enough of her carseat. She started to fuss and threatened actual tears real fast if something wasn’t done. Taylor started singing “Old Mac Donald had a farm” and she instantly stopped crying and watched us oh so seriously from her little mirror. After we got done with all your basic farm animals (cow, chicken, dog) we stopped singing because what animals were left? Then we heard an “ugh” from Annie as if to say, again. More. Encore. Next thing I knew Taylor was singing Old Mac Donald had a giraffe, e-i-e-i-o! I would sing the song and he would make the most hilarious, and terribly accurate, animal sounds to match each one, including a fish, llama, frog and butterfly. Taylor was beaming and Annie was giggling and on that ordinary afternoon drive home I was reminded what a special season we’re in as a family.

Motherhood Update: Annie at 9 months

Eating: Milk is still her #1 but she is super interested in anything we’re eating and wants to try everything – unless it’s peas. Her favorites include avocado, black beans, any and all pureed fruit and strawberry yogurt, which leaves her smelling like Fruity Pebbles.

Sleeping: She’s been a champion sleeper, typically out from 7:30am-7:00pm, but teething has got her sometimes waking up for a snack around 3:00am. I may be half asleep but I have tried to find the joy in the extra time spent with my girl when the rest of the world is sleeping.

Doing: Annie spends most of her waking hours smiling at whoever she’s with and looking through her books – she loves to pat each page. She also has started waving at anyone and everyone, which is especially hilarious when we’re out and she waves at every car and person we pass. Our pediatrician joked that she could be a Wal-Mart greeter for the baby aisle. Oh, and she loves to give wet, slobberific kisses and press her cheek against your’s to show love.

Saying: Hiiiii, Dada, and a whole bunch of gibberish that does not include Mama yet.

Favorite songs: Jesus Loves Me, Old MacDonald and Good Day Sunshine (The Beatles).

Latest biggest milestone: She has been army crawling for a couple of weeks now. She started at a snail’s pace but now she is able to get wherever she wants to go in record time.

Sweetest thing she does: When she’s sleepy or needs to calm herself down from a fussy spell she rubs her neck with her chubby, little hands.

Hardest part of this age: The more food she eats, the smellier the poops.

Favorite part of this age: I love our morning routine and how thrilled she is to see us in the morning. She talks to herself until I go in to get her. She’s usually on all fours, looking at the door, waiting for us to come pick her up to start the day. Once she sees us, she grins the biggest grin and squeals with joy. After a quick diaper change we head to the kitchen where she helps me make the coffee and then she gets squeals as I feed her strawberry yogurt.

Annie at 9 months, is, in one word: JOYFUL

sometimes you can’t have both

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I’m not sure when I became a neat freak. I remember the days when Mom had to practically bribe me to pick up the clothes strewn across my room but oh man sometime between middle school and marriage I changed. I like the house to be clean. Tidy. No mess in the kitchen and no clothes on the floor. My husband called me Monica Geller the other day because I told him I couldn’t rest until I at least took care of the dirty dishes in the sink. Yep, being an adult is weird sometimes.

Beds made and floors cleaned – I’m a happy girl.

No one told me I couldn’t have that and a child too, but it wasn’t long before I realized I would stress myself into a heart attack if I continued in my neat freak ways. Annie is only five months old but she is a messy little princess. She drools, knocks things over, poops on EVERYTHING and grabs everything in her reach – and she’s not even crawling yet. Her latest obsession is laughing at herself in the mirror and then kissing herself, and whoever is holding her, by kissing the mirror. I cannot express to you how much joy she gets out of doing this and how magical it is to be apart of.

The other day Annie was playing in the living room with Taylor so I was busy trying to fold the massive mound of laundry on the twin bed in her nursery. I was furiously folding tiny onesies and towels, noting the next item I would tackle on my tidy to-do list before she needed to eat again when I noticed the mirror. It’s an antique mirror that hangs above the rocker and her favorite to laugh at and kiss while I’m holding her. We start most every day singing songs and giving kisses in the mirror and I noticed every square inch was smudged. Smudged with the remnants of sweet, drooly baby kisses.

That’s when I realized that maybe I can’t have both right now. I can either spend time doing laundry and making sure all the mirrors are sparkling or I dance around the kitchen like a lunatic to make my baby girl belly laugh. I can either embrace the mess or miss this sweet season that goes by too fast.

I choose drooly kisses and smudgy mirrors.

Everything else can wait.

xo

 

Happily Married: Back to the Beginning

It was about this time three years ago when I was strung out on my parents’ couch, un-showered and on some powerful pain killers, that I met my now husband.

Yep.

I’ll explain.

I went home to have all four of my wisdom teeth removed early on a Friday morning. My train of thought was to get the awful surgery part over and done and then sleep it off on the couch. My sweet parents escorted me there and back, making sure I actually made it to the car (pain pills get me, y’all) and then safely into my favorite corner of their couch. Truthfully I don’t remember a whole lot other than waking up in the car on the drive home and trying desperately to tell my mom a story about my dentist (???) but physically couldn’t even come close thanks to all the gauze and who knows what else in my mouth.

So glamourous.

Saturday morning I woke up on the couch, still in my yoga pants and oversized sweatshirt I had wore into surgery the morning prior. I must have been with it enough to take my hair down and bra-off but not coherent enough to bother doing anything else like shower or sit up.

I told you, glamourous.

I was alone in the den with HGTV playing in the background and then a guy I didn’t know walked in. Correction: a cute guy I didn’t know.

GREAT.

While a lot of the details of this day are foggy this particular one is not. Seeing this cute guy walking towards me I was suddenly very aware of how special I had to have looked so in what felt like slow motion, I attempted to pull my hair back in some sort of ponytail and “fix” my bangs. I’m going to guess that didn’t improve my looks. Next thing I knew he had a bowl of cereal and was sitting on the other end of the couch.

“Hi,” he said.

Indistinct mumbling from me.

Taylor was his name and he was a friend of my brother. I had heard of him before – my family knew him for years but we’d never met – so I connected the dots and tried to smile. He wasn’t anything like I thought he would be – he was better – and I couldn’t believe this was how we were meeting. Nathan was taking him to the airport later but wasn’t up yet so he decided to come talk to me.

“Do you like House Hunters? I love it,” I managed to mumble out, apparently. Because that’s what you talk about when you’re on pain killers and meet a cute guy in your living room.

Awesome.

He finished his cereal while I attempted to look alive – I nodded off twice – and then he said he would see me later. I just knew he would never ever EVER want to see me again after our winning first encounter and didn’t give him more thought.

A couple weeks later we ran into each other and in front of several people I did not know I awkwardly announced: “Look! This time I’m wearing clothes and not strung out on drugs!”

I can’t make this stuff up.

As if all that wasn’t enough to make him run for the hills, my dad decided to jump in the mix. Dad, who up until that point had never meddled in my love life saw something there and for whatever reason, called Taylor. He told Taylor it was about me and his initial thought? Something was wrong. I was sick/dying/moving overseas. NOPE. Dad told him he should call and ask me out and – WAIT FOR IT – if things worked out he “couldn’t pick a more perfect son-in-law or match for his daughter.”

If your jaw is on the floor you had a similar reaction to the one I had when Taylor told me on our third date.

Taylor did call and we talked non-stop for the next two days, including a 6-hour delay from BNA>LGA for a work trip so I knew I had to see him. We went on our first date the day I got home from NYC. He prayed at dinner and we talked like old friends well past midnight as we strolled in one of my favorite parks. We both agreed it was the best first date we’d ever been on and I knew it was only the beginning of our story.

He later told me he liked me from our first meeting on my parent’s couch, jumbo-sized gauze cheeks and all. Love is spectacular like that. xo

Married Life: A letter to my husband after we’ve had a baby

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To my husband after we’ve had a baby,

It was impossible for us to know what any of this would be like, this new season. We went into labor and delivery rookies, relying on our childbirth classes and Google for our limited knowledge. You calmed my nerves and held my hand through every contraction. You prayed us through the scary parts and ugly cried as we met our baby girl for the first time. You told me how proud you were of me and my “superhuman strength” and you helped me with well, everything in the tough days after when I felt like my strength had left me.

So here we are now, with a 5-week-old who has a smile just like your’s and you still tell me how proud you are of me. Of us. Of our little family. Day in and day out, you tell me how beautiful I am even when my hair is 97% dry shampoo. You turn your head when I eat five of the lactation cookies we both know I made just so I can have cookies. You never protest when I tell you I need Starbucks and to walk around Target for a couple hours. Never speak a word of my mood swings. Never flip out when I say I’m crying for no reason or because “she’s growing too fast.” You listen to me. You help make the major changes not seem so major. You take me on dates because you know we need time to focus on us. You love me just the same. No, scratch that, you love me more. You carefully push me to be the best version of myself. This new version of myself.

Some days are hard and some nights we don’t get much sleep between the diaper changes and feedings. Some days I don’t get a shower and walk around for hours with dried milk and spit up all over me. You never hesitate to jump in and finish dinner when she decides its time to eat – again – and you never complain when I pass her to you with a dirty diaper the second you walk in the door so I can pee. You change basically all the diapers and have learned to make the best half-caff coffee. You wake up extra early to clean the kitchen while I feed/pump/feed because you “don’t want me to have to worry with it.”

And so I thank you.

For telling me I’m a good mom. For loving me. No matter what I look like or how I feel. Thank you for always thinking I am the prettiest. The best. The sexiest. Even when I don’t feel like it. I am going to work hard on loving myself the way that you love me because the way you love me is the greatest way of all. I love being your wife and I love doing the parent thing with you. I thank God every day for this sacred season and I know the best is yet to come.

I love you more. xo

Annie’s Nursery & Impromptu Maternity Shoot Faves

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Decorating a nursery can be tough – especially since you’re designing it for a little person you’ve never met yet! These days there are so many color and design options that go far beyond the traditional pink or blue so yes, it can be a little daunting, albeit so much fun. From the minute we learned we were having a little girl, I dreamed of a light and airy space filled with pastel hues and vintage nursery rhymes. I am so thankful for my oh so talented parents who took all our ideas and helped us create this fairytale of a space for Annie. Once the nursery was all set I talked Taylor (okay, and Buddy) into taking some fun pictures around the house to document life before Annie arrives – I thought I would share some of our favorites. Major thanks to Mom who used her new Nikon like a champ and acted as our photographer for the morning. Happy Monday, lovelies! xo

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Monthly Pregnancy Update: 32 Weeks

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It’s crazy to say “I’m having a baby next month” but Lord willing, Annie will make her arrival next month! We’ve been so busy with work and working on the house that when we do have downtime we take full advantage of spending time just being together. People keep telling us to enjoy the calm before the crazy fun so we’re soaking in lazy nights with long dinners and Netflix, spending time with good friends, late night movies and sleeping in a little on Saturdays. My OB told us at our last appointment that Annie’s heartbeat sounds “super happy” and everything is going just as it should be. Also, super excited for my dear friend Beth who welcomed her sweet baby boy to the world yesterday, making it all the more real that I’m next in line! God is so good! xo

Baby’s size: A head of lettuce (who comes up with these anyways?)

I’m feeling: More pregnant but still pretty energetic for the most part. There are times when I feel like I could fall asleep standing up but usually after a snack or a 15 minute disco nap I’m good to go again. The heat and humidity is not my friend but I am so thankful for swimming pools and AC. I can’t even begin to imagine how pregnant women did anything before AC was invented!

Foods I could eat forever: Anything with cheese, any and all fruit, and Sonic ice. Yes, it counts.

Foods I cannot imagine eating: Hot dogs.

Currently wearing: Workout shorts, sundresses and sometimes my boyfriend-fit maternity jeans.

Pros of July: Childbirth classes with my sweet husband who’s going to be so great at the whole dad thing.

Cons of July: My wedding band no longer fits. Also, THIS HUMIDITY.

Looking forward to: Our baby showers!

Favorite scripture at the moment: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” [ John 14:27 ]

Friday Faves

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[ It’s the most wonderful time of the year ]

Can you believe July is already here? Not sure how that happened but I think it’s safe to say time goes by faster and faster all the time! This week our contractor wrapped up his work – PRAISE! – and now we Taylor can focus on the final touches in the kitchen, i.e. paint, paint and more paint. My parents are coming for a bit to help work their HGTV magic and we couldn’t be more thankful because home stuff is daunting, am I right? The highlight of this week was attending our first childbirth ed class at the hospital, where Taylor calmed my nerves by volunteering to experience the weight of a full term pregnant belly. HA! Oh how I love him. For the long weekend we plan to spend some time working on the house, relaxing with family and hopefully getting my hands on some sparklers at some point. Whatever your plans for the 4th include I hope you have the most wonderful time and safe travels! xo

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[ My first time at Thistle Stop with the best company ]

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[ Star student ]

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[ Gorgeous “just because” flowers from a sweet friend ]

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[ How Buddy beats the heat ]

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[ Obsessed with this special delivery to Annie from her Aunt Amy ]

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[ Excited to meet Baby Owen soon ]