The Toughest Job I've Ever Had

So, motherhood is hard. Like, really hard. I am so very tired. I'm physically exhausted, mentally drained, emotionally unstable...ha, kidding about the last one ;) But seriously, the past few days I've just been feeling so worn out. It is non-stop, and there really isn't any downtime to recoup, ever.

Grayson is in this four month sleep regression phase that I guess a lot of babies go through. He fights his naps alllll day long, and when he does nap it only lasts for maybe 20-30 minutes. At night he's fidgety and waking up more often than he has been for the last several weeks. And this lack of sleep is leading to a much crankier baby than we're used to. It's tough.

Also, he's getting so big and so hard to lug around everywhere. He wants to be held all the time, so I'm carrying around an extra 16 pounds almost all day every day. My body is in a constant state of soreness. The lack of sleep added to this has had me feeling like I might drop onto the floor mid-step from the exhaustion of it all for the past couple of days.

I think the main thing that makes it hard though, aside from the actual physical aspect of things, is the realization that my life is not my own anymore. Every waking moment of my life is spent either trying to keep Grayson, Addie, or Arsen happy. I never get the chance to do anything for myself, like ever. I can't tell you the last time I sat down and read for more than five minutes, which has always been my favorite pastime and biggest stress reliever. I can't remember the last time I got to shower, dry my hair, and put my makeup on without stopping about 3-4 times in between to take care of something. I even very rarely get to enjoy a meal without holding G in one arm or waiting until he's fallen asleep and the food is cold.

But even though this is by far the toughest, most challenging thing I've ever done, I 100% can say that I would do it a million times over for this sweet baby that I adore so much. It's absolutely a sacrifice, and sometimes I feel like I just need a teeny tiny break to keep going (today Arsen watched him and I went shopping for an hour to recharge). But even though sometimes I desperately need that break, when I'm gone I am missing him the entire time. It's crazy how that works.

I would do anything in the world for that little guy. He wears me out like nothing I've ever experienced, but it is absolutely worth it. I know with each baby it will all just multiply, but I'm sure the love will, too. This whole mom thing is continuously surprising me, but in the most wonderful ways. Toughest job ever, but most rewarding by far.

Happy Birthday Dad/Papaw!

Today is my dad's 70th birthday, and he came down to Texas so we could all celebrate...but I'm pretty sure it was more to see Grayson than anything :) Every year I have the hardest time coming up with a gift for him, but this year I knew nothing would top the fact that I finally gave him a grandchild.

Dad has been ready for grandkids for some time now, and he has been reminding me of the fact that he's getting older and wants to be around to enjoy them for years. I'm so glad that Arsen and I were finally able to give him the grandbaby he's always wanted, and that Grayson is with us to celebrate this year! So Happy Birthday Papaw Carl!!!! Hope this is your best year yet!

And...I'm Old.

I watched the VMA's tonight for the first time in, oh, 10 years? The only reason I did this is because I heard rumors of an NSYNC reunion, and I was the most crazily obsessed NSYNC/Justin Timberlake fan as a teenager. Like, room covered in posters, recorded every performance or TV appearance they ever had, seriously convinced one day I would meet Justin and we would fall madly in love. That kind of almost scary obsession...

So I watched the VMA's, and I got my NSYNC reunion, and it was glorious, although it was entirely too short. And I got an amaaaazing performance from Mr. Timberlake (and my husband got to hear me gush about how much I love him and how much I hate Jessica Biel). And that's just about the only part of the VMA's that made any sense to me.

Miley Cyrus. What the hell. I just can't even. I felt embarrassed for the girl the entire time she was on stage, but she certainly didn't seem to care. Surely she's on drugs, right? Good Lord. And then I didn't really know who probably 50% of the people were who were nominated for things. The Lady Gaga performance was...interesting. So was the Kanye one, I guess. And Taylor Swift did a great job of audience dancing. I mean. I guess I just don't get what's "in" these days.

So this is just one more thing that re-enforces how not cool I am. But I think I'm perfectly fine with it. I miss the 90s. The 90s were a time of innocence compared to this insanity. Britney Spears crawling around onstage and kissing Madonna was PG compared to Miley and that foam finger of hers. And what let's me know that I'm really super old and uncool is the fact that I just kept thinking, when Grayson and my other future bebes are old enough to watch MTV, what in the eff are they going to be exposed to? This stuff is SO inappropriate right now, I can't even imagine the madness that will be ok to be televised in 10 or 15 years!

My teenage self would roll her eyes and think I am so incredibly lame if she could see me now....I guess it happens to the best of us.

4 Months...

My oh are we already here? Baby boy is four months old today and that is blowing my mind, people. This month has been positively fantastic in our little world. Grayson has turned into the happiest little guy on the block these days, which in turn makes for a pretty happy mommy and daddy. I'm starting to really allow myself to relax into my role as a stay at home mama and I'm trying to let go of the guilt that I feel for not having a "real" job. This is where I'm meant to be right now and I wouldn't trade all these little moments for anything in the world. I feel like I enjoy each day more and more as we fall into more of a routine, and I'm pretty sure my obsession with our little G man grows each and every day.

My little guy,

You are four months old today and I can't believe how fast the time is passing us by. I feel like you just got here, yet I feel like I've known you and loved you for my entire life. This month has been a fun one, filled with all kinds of new discoveries on your part. You are officially happy and smiley more often than you are grumpy or cranky, and let me tell you, we love that.

Our house is full of baby chatter, shrieks and squeals for the majority of the day, and it still makes my heart feel like it's going to burst with love every time you look at me and smile. Anytime I walk up to you, whether you're in your swing or in someone's arms, you get a huge smile on your face, squeal and kick your legs. You really know how to make your mama feel special! I'm working on getting you to reach for me...for the most part you just wiggle your arms around and kick your legs, but you've started kinda-sorta reaching sometimes, which is precious. You've also started watching me very intently anytime I'm in your line of vision....I'm hoping all this attention you're showing me means that I'm well on my way to turning you into a mama's boy like I've always wanted ;)

You've started watching Addie pretty closely at all times, and she gets some pretty good smiles and squeals out of you. When she shakes and her tags rattle, or when she jumps down off the couch it makes you jump pretty big, but you never seem scared of her. You shouldn't be, I'm pretty sure you already outweigh her by a few pounds.

You're also a big fan of your daddy. I think he's a little better than me at getting big squeals and smiles out of you...probably cause he's a little more of a daredevil than me and holds you up in the air where you feel like you're flying. Anytime he walks into the room your little face seems to light up. I also think he's falling more and more in love with you with every new thing he sees you do.

This month you've started doing several new things that we all find oh-so-impressive and amusing. Just in the last few days you've become a pro at reaching for things and holding them in your little hands...and then immediately bringing whatever it is to your mouth. You roll over from your back to your tummy a lot now, and actually would prefer to sleep that way if I would allow it. In the past few days you've started arching your back really big and throwing an arm back at the same we have to constantly be on guard when we're holding you. You've also started planting your feet and arching your back into the air, then sliding down anytime we sit you up. Then you immediately get mad because you're laying instead of sitting.

You are getting much, much better at tummy raise yourself up on your little elbows and look around like it's the easiest thing in the world. I knew I didn't need to worry about you not wanting to do it. I'm pretty sure you are strong enough to do just about whatever you want, but unfortunately I'm pretty sure you are just as stubborn as both of your parents and want to do everything only when you want to do it.

You're also still gagging yourself pretty much all the time because you suck on two or three fingers instead of sucking your thumb like a normal baby. You haven't quite figured out that you're the one causing all the gagging. You are drooling and biting on things constantly and have been for quite some time...I keep expecting to wake up any morning and see little baby teefs sticking out.

I think the best, most fun thing this month has been making you laugh. You're stubborn with it, and I've only gotten really good belly laughs out of you on two different days. You smile and squeal and kinda-almost-maybe laugh a lot, but those really big, sweet baby giggles have only happened a handful of times. And I looooove it when it happens! Mama and daddy both spend an absurd amount of time dancing, making silly faces, and fake laughing (loudly) trying to make those little giggles come out, and most of the time we just get a sly little smile or raised eyebrows from you. Really making us work for it!

Your favorite things right now are sitting in your Bumbo chair, sitting outside on the deck where it's warm, chattering away in the early mornings or after a good nap, and being carried around so you can observe everything. Mama's arms are getting a good workout because you want to be held all the time and you are not a small baby! Your least favorite things are clothing changes, laying down and missing out on anything, and falling asleep. You rarely drift peacefully into sleep...we usually have to work for it.

Overall, you are an absolute joy to be with and make my heart so happy I can barely stand it. You are just the best thing in the world and I can hardly remember what life was like before I had you to love. You are turning into my best little buddy and I'm having so much fun watching your silly little personality develop. I adore you, my love, and am so very thankful you are mine.



Girl Friends

I've always had a very interesting relationship with other females. I'm a pretty girly-girl, and you would think I'd be the type of person that would love to be surrounded by tons of other similar-minded women. But for as long as I can remember I've never been comfortable making new girl friends. It's why I didn't join a sorority in college, and it's why I've usually hung out with one or two girls and then several guys. Even now, I usually end up spending my time with Arsen and all of his friends rather than making an effort to find other girls to hang out with.

I've had the same best friend since about third grade (minus a year or two when she hated me in junior high), and I had a great group of girl friends that I hung out with throughout my years in junior high/high school. In my "adult" life, I've only become close with a handful of women. Of course I have lots of people who I consider to be friends of mine, but I'm talking about the kind of friend that you call on the phone and chat with on a semi-regular basis, the type that you ask to run errands with you or come over to lounge on the couch in sweats watching movies. I honestly can only think of a few girls that I feel that way about.

I think the reason for this is that I've always been insanely insecure. The older I get the more confident I feel, but still to this day I just assume that most people who meet me don't really want to be friends. I have no idea where that comes from, but it is what it is. Arsen has spent the last five years trying to convince me that people actually do like me and trying to encourage me to reach out to people to develop a friendship. He's one of those people who just automatically develops a friendship with just about anyone he meets, so it's hard for him to understand how I feel.

And it's not that I'm socially awkward or can't make conversation. For the most part I always feel like when I'm meeting someone new that I put off a good "vibe" and make a good impression. But then I never, ever feel comfortable reaching out to develop an actual friendship. I always feel like if someone wanted to be friends with me, they would make the effort. If they don't reach out first, I just assume they didn't really care for me.

Right now I'm at a a place in my life where I'm being forced to make new friends, simply because now that I'm a stay at home mom, I might lose my mind if I didn't find new mommy friends to relate to. There are all kinds of mommy groups around here, but I'm back in that same "no one's going to like me and I'm going to be the awkward loner" thing. I've met up with a couple of friends of friends already, and I have really enjoyed spending time with them...but now I'm at that point where things usually end. I'm going to have to force myself to be friendlier, to suck it up and just do it. I have no idea why this is hard for me, but at almost thirty years old I think it's time that I overcome whatever weirdness this is that causes me to be this way. Wish me luck, maybe?

Must Haves for New Mommies

Since I covered my must haves for new babies last week, today I wanted to tackle things that new mommies need. Now, a lot of my "must haves" relate to breastfeeding, because if you choose to breastfeed, it kind of consumes your world for awhile. But there are definitely a few things that I think any new mama should have on hand.

Must Haves:

  • Cute, Comfy Clothes
I'm going to be honest with you. For the first probably six weeks of Grayson's life I lived in nothing but sweats, yoga pants, T-shirts and tank tops. On the rare occasion that I got out of the house I would pull myself together, but that didn't happen that often. When you are so exhausted that you can barely function and your days are running together, it just helps so much if your comfy clothes are a little bit cute. Instead of wearing old, worn out things I tried to at least put together matching, cute-enough outfits. It's the little things that make a big difference in your self-esteem in those first fragile weeks. So before you bring that baby home, treat yourself and invest in a few new "outfits". I promise it will be worth it.

  • DVR/iPAD/Laptop
Those first few weeks are this hazy, far-away time that I look back on fondly. Everything seemed to run together and I felt like I was drunk on no sleep and a so-intense-I-could-barely-stand-it love for my new little baby. Things were amazing. But during the day he slept. A lot. And I sat on the couch holding him. A lot. And at night he woke up to eat. A LOT. And if I didn't have my iPad to keep me entertained I'm quite certain I would have fallen asleep nursing him every single time. And during the day I might have lost my mind if I didn't have Bravo and HGTV to keep me company. Moral of the story? Have something on hand to keep you awake...because it will be the biggest challenge of your life!
  • Hand Pump
If you choose to breastfeed, it can be a little tricky to figure out what is a necessity and what you don't really need. In the first few weeks after my milk came in I was seriously engorged. Getting everything all leveled out was not easy, and the only thing that saved me some days was pumping to get some relief. I didn't pump and give G a bottle for about six weeks, so it was purely to save myself. I had Arsen run out and get me a Medela Harmony Breastpump after just a couple days. It's inexpensive and does the trick. I still use it pretty often when I'm pumping to store or if he goes too long between feedings.

  • Lanolin
Again, if you are breastfeeding, this is a must. Here is the honest truth. It kinda hurts. And by kinda I mean sometimes a lot. I don't care what people say, Grayson was a champion eater from day one and never had any issues latching, and I was still super duper sore for a solid week or two. I mean, imagine what your body is going through. Of course you are going to be raw and sensitive. I lathered this stuff on every single time he ate, whenever I showered, changed clothes, etc. It's a lifesaver. Promise.
  • Nursing Pads
This one is definitely not glamorous, but it's something that is an absolute necessity for a breastfeeding mom. You will leak. No getting around it. I literally have used these every single day since G was born. I tried using washable ones since I hate throwing away so much waste, but let's just say they didn't really do the job. I've had to stick with the disposable ones, but I literally couldn't get by without them. My favorites are the Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads. I need to buy these babies in bulk. 

  • Helpful Books
Two books that I don't think I would have survived without: The Happiest Baby on the Block and The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. If you need any help with a baby who won't stop crying or have questions about breastfeeding, these two are uh-mazing. Another great one to have is What to Expect the First Year. I love reading about the milestone's Grayson should be hitting and common issues that may arise. Great resource to have on hand!

Save Your Money:

  • Super Expensive Electric Breastpump
Now, this is totally a matter of opinion, and I only feel this way because of my circumstances. I originally was planning on going back to work and pumping while there, so I think the expensive, double electric pump would have been very nice to have. But now that I stay at home and breastfeed almost exclusively, this thing just doesn't get much use. And we spent over $200 on it! Ugh, it makes me so sad that we wasted that money. I hardly ever use it. I like to keep a couple of bottles on hand just in case I need to leave Grayson home or want to have a drink or something, but I honestly just use my hand pump probably 75% of the time. 

Being a new mommy can be super overwhelming/confusing/stressful, and knowing what is a necessity and what is just nice to have can be tricky to figure out. I hope that I'm able to provide a little guidance, because even though there is SO much info out there, I still somehow felt a little lost going into things. I also want to throw it out there to any soon-to-be or new mamas, if you have ANY questions or need ANY help or just need someone to listen to you vent about how tough this mama thing is, please feel free to reach out to me! I love making new friends in this wonderful bloggy land that we live in and I truly hope my experiences can help out others. So please, don't hesitate! 

Flashback Friday- Grown Up Edition

I had a lot of fun with my last Flashback Friday post, so I thought I'd keep it going this week. This time, I'm focusing on the things that I've done since graduating college a few years back. Right after graduation Arsen and I moved to the Dallas area and started our careers, got engaged almost immediately, got married a year later, bought a house, and had a baby. Needless to say, we've had a lot going on. I thought it would be fun to take a look back at the not so distant past. (And BTW, I was way too lazy to edit these photos, so please ignore my red demon eyes in almost every one of them). 

Arsen is a HUGE Dallas Cowboys fan, so for our two year dating anniversary I bought us tickets to go tour the new stadium. It was one of the first real "Dallas" outings we had. 

 Addie's "3rd Birthday". Since we adopted her we have no idea how old she actually is or when her birthday is. We celebrate every year on October 3rd, the anniversary of when we got her. Also, this was her "3rd birthday", because we say she was in her terrible twos when we got her :) I make her a homemade cake every year.

 One of the first OSU games we went back to after graduating, the weekend Arsen proposed. Doesn't he just look so thrilled about spending the rest of his life with me?

This night was totally random, and ended up being one of my favorite nights EVER. In February 2011 Dallas had a HUGE snow/ice storm and the city like, shut down. I think we have like 5 snow plow truck things for the entire DFW area because it just doesn't snow that often here. Anyway, this was like four or five days into the storm, and we had all been either not working or working from home so we were getting a little stir crazy. My roommate Amelia and I put on some yoga pants and snow boots and went to grab dinner and drinks with Arsen and a few of his friends. Cut to six hours later and we're at a bar dancing our little hearts out dressed in our scrubbiest clothes. (People do NOT dress scrubby around these parts to go out, trust me.) Seriously, one of the best times I've had since living here. 

I think this was about three months before Arsen and I got married, and when we got to the bar the girls and I decided that this would be my "fake" bachelorette party. I think we found a bachelorette pin laying around or something, I can't remember the motivation. Anyway, I'm assuming our little ploy worked, because judging by this photo I enjoyed plenty of free drinks that night. 

My actual bachelorette party. Such a fun, fun night that's honestly a bit of a blur. I blogged about it, but it wasn't a very detailed post :)

Our wedding. One of the best nights of my life by far. We had so much was really just a huge party more than anything. I blogged about this too, here and here.

Our Honeymoon in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. I still think about this trip and get a little nostalgic and was just such an amazing trip and I would kill to go back to that time for a day or two. Also blogged about the honeymoon here

Am I Still Cool?

Now that I'm a mom I'm finding that I feel like my cool factor has gone down a bit. Pushing around a stroller and hauling around a big diaper bag really don't just scream "young, wild and free". I mean, obviously, because I am really none of those things anymore. Maybe young. I'm still hanging onto my twenties by a teeny tiny thread.

Anyway, I was driving home from picking up my car from the shop about 45 minutes away the other day, and it was the first time I was alone in my car for more than maybe 5 minutes since Grayson has arrived. I took full advantage and turned my music up as loud as possible and held a private little concert. Now, I may complain to Arsen about his taste in music a lot, but I do love me some ghetto hip hop from time to time. For some reason that's what kept popping up on my iTunes, and I won't lie, I was doing my fair share of car dancing. Especially to "No Hands" (Waka Flocka? Anyone?). That one gets me every time.

And right then, in that (embarrassing) moment, I realized that I am now someone's mother. Anytime Arsen and I get the chance to go out with friends and I am having a drink and dancing up on my husband, I will be someone's mother. That is decidedly not cool.

When I was pregnant and I would get the urge to dance I always felt like Fat Monica on Friends.

So at least I don't have that feeling anymore. But I do feel somehow just...uncool. Will I be able to get my sexy back? Is that something that happens? Am I not cool for even saying "get my sexy back"? Do I just need to go out with my husband and some friends and have a couple of martinis? I don't know. But I intend to find out. And something tells me if a couple of martinis are involved, it won't matter and I'll think I'm the best dancer out there. So there's that. 

As long as no one catches anything on video we should be good. 

Must Haves for New Babies

Before I brought Grayson home I did my research on what essential items I would need for a brand new baby. I was lucky and got most of what I needed at my showers, and the rest we stocked up before he made his arrival. However, now that he's here, I've learned that each baby is totally different, and some of the essentials aren't quite so important...and other things are an absolute MUST. Here are a few of the things that I highly recommend investing in before you bring baby home.

Must Haves
  • Swaddle Sacks
I suggest stocking up with several of these. There are a few different choices for types of sacks/blankets, and as the baby grows you'll discover their needs will change. When he was itty bitty we really liked the Summer Infant SwaddleMe, and now that he's getting bigger we put him in the Halo SleepSacks with his arms out. 

Keep in mind, you might get a little backed up on laundry...babies have a way of doing that to you. Babies also have a way of pooping, peeing, or spitting up on things every day. So I would have at least 3-5 of these on hand, because they truly are lifesavers. Grayson is just now outgrowing the need to be swaddled for sleep at night at three months old. If he ever wasn't swaddled before, his little arms would just flail around and keep him up...miserable for all of us!

  • Baby Swing
I think just about anyone out there would agree that a swing is a must have. The first month or so we honestly didn't use it a ton and I was worried that it would go to waste. He just seemed so tiny in there, and he never really settled in and got comfy. But now, this thing is just about the only way I can get anything done around here. We have the Graco DuetConnect Swing + Bouncer and we love it. Grayson will settle into this thing and nap for a couple of hours in the afternoons. It plays music, swings, and vibrates. I wish I had an adult version of this thing.

  • Diaper Genie
Good Lord Almighty, I had no idea the amount of diaper waste we would have. I considered doing cloth diapers for a hot minute, but decided it just isn't for me (I wish it was, I think it's a noble thing to do). But since we just use regular diapers, we have like, hundreds of those things to toss. It's so nice to have this sitting right next to his Pack n' Play, where we change the majority of his diapers, and I imagine it keeps the house from smelling quite unpleasant.

  • Pack 'n Play
We have the Pack n' Play Playard with Newborn Napper and it has been a worthy investment. We have put this thing to good use in the first three months, and I'm pretty sure it will continue to be something we use daily. When G was teeny tiny and we weren't putting him in the swing, he napped in the little napper almost every day. The changing table was also used multiple times a day. 

We have this sitting in our living room, where we spend most of our time, and it seriously gets used more than anything else we have. Now that he's bigger we've taken out the napper and the changing table and he just lays inside for diaper changes and naps. We also packed it up and took it to Oklahoma when we went to visit and he slept in it at night with no issues. Highly recommend something like this!

Save Your Money:
  • Bottles (if you're breastfeeding)
I spent so much time picking out the perfect bottle....and I still have yet to use them. I got a few Medela bottles with my pumps, and since that is what I pump into and what I store my milk in, that's what he eats out of on the rare occasion that he gets a bottle. He is not a picky baby, so he took those just fine. All of the others I got are literally going to waste and taking up valuable cabinet space.

  • Tons of Adorable Outfits
This one makes me sad. Grayson has several things that he never got the chance to wear, because honestly, there just was no need to put him into a super cute outfit. We didn't go anywhere for the first six weeks or so really, so he spent all of his time in onesies. The little pants and shoes and everything are so cute, but for us, they just didn't fit with what we had going on. And now, it's over 100 outside here in Texas. I would feel bad if I put him in layers of clothes and shoes...we still pretty much stick with a cute collared onesie for our outings. Next baby, I'll plan for lots of cute outfits starting around two or three months I think.

There are a million other things that are valuable to have and make life easier for you and baby, but most of them are somewhat common sense. These are my personal "must haves" that I don't think I could have survived without. It's seriously amazing how much little babies need AND how much space their stuff takes up. I'm already trying to convince Arsen we need a bigger house ;) Good thing they're so darn cute, right?

The Lonely Only

Something I'm not totally sure my blog readers know about me is that I'm an only child. Even though people usually think that must be a pretty sweet deal, in all honesty, I've always wished I had a sibling. Anytime I'm on Facebook or something and I see adorably sweet posts about how much people love their brothers and sisters, it always makes me feel a little like "woe is me...I'll never know what it's like to have that relationship with someone....". 

I'm not entirely sure why I'm an only child. I know my mom had a miscarriage before I was born, but other than that I know of no other attempts to have another baby. My parents didn't have the world's best relationship, so I'm assuming it had more to do with that than anything else. From a very, very young age I was painfully aware that they probably shouldn't be together, so my guess is that they just didn't have the desire to bring another kid into the family. (Side note: I adore each of my parents and now that they are divorced they are good friends and get along wonderfully.)

There were (are) certainly perks to being an only child. I pretty much always got to do what I wanted. If I wanted something in particular for dinner, I got it. If I wanted to go see a certain movie, we did. I always got to sit in the front seat (other than the time we had that foreign exchange student, but that's a story for another time). I didn't have to fight for anything. I just got it.

Birthdays, Christmases, and all other holidays were awesome. Instead of needing to divvy up gifts among several kids, I got them all. My mom is a wonderful gift giver (dad is more of a check writer, which is just as good) so I would sit in the living room surrounded by beautifully wrapped bags and boxes that contained just about everything on my wish list. I always got a yummy cake and she would cook my favorite dinner.

And of course, all of the attention was on me, all the time. I was a dancer growing up, and I literally feel like my mom's entire life revolved around driving me to dance class, competitions, shows, etc. But the downside to this was....all the attention was on me. All. The. Time. I wasn't allowed to do half the things my friends were. I had the earliest curfew of anyone I knew. And my parents either had some weird sixth sense that told them when I was doing something against the rules, or they had someone following me. It was creepy. And super annoying.

But all the perks of being the one and only couldn't even come close to the perks of having siblings, and I've always been aware of that. I missed out on a relationship that seems so special, and I wish I knew what it was like. All of my friends couldn't stand their siblings when we were growing up, but now I know how much they love and cherish them. I wish I had that.

I wish I had someone to call and cry with when my parents were going through their divorce and I was caught right in the middle. I wish I had someone to talk to when I was just a little girl and I would hear them fighting. I wish I had someone who could relate to me on all the levels that only someone who grew up in the exact same circumstances as you could. And when I think about my parents getting older....I so wish I had someone to go through that with.

I know I've been unbelievably blessed in so, so many ways, but to all of you lucky ones out there with brothers and sisters to love, I'm so envious. I hope you appreciate the unique and special relationship that you get to share, no matter how annoying it was growing up. I can't wait to give our little guy some annoying younger brother or sister to complain about someday...I know he'll be glad I did.


Writer's Block. Every (blog) writer's worst nightmare. I've never had this happen to me, at least not to this extent. I feel like my mind is so baby-consumed at all times, that when I finally have a moment to sit down and write I just completely zone out. It's awful. I'm not really sure how to fix it.

I think I'm a little confused about the direction I want this blog to go in as well. I haven't ever really had a certain "niche" that I fall under, but I feel like it's rapidly turning into a mommy blog. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, and I might be OK with it happening....I'm just not sure that's what I want. But since it seems like mommy things are all that consumes me these days, it's just about all I think of to write.

I've been searching around for some blog writing prompts online. I feel like if I could just get a little spark of inspiration from somewhere I'd be good to go. I haven't found a site I love or anything yet, but hopefully soon. So if things get kinda random around here for awhile, please bear with me. I'm just trying to figure it all out in my new world. Everything's changed for me offline, so why not online as well, yeah?

I've been writing a lot of kind of deeper, thoughtful posts, and then just leaving them in draft status. This has always been a pretty carefree, light-hearted place, and I don't really want to change that. I like making people feel good and occasionally even give them a reason to laugh here and there...I'm afraid if I get too "deep", it will change the whole mood of the blog.

Goodness. I've seen other bloggers go through this kind of thing, change their "brands", change their focus and whatnot...I just never really thought I would be there. Hopefully I find some motivation somewhere quick so I can stop having all these thoughts bouncing around in my overloaded mind.

Anyone have any super-helpful writer's block cures? I would love the help. For reals.

Flash Back Friday- The College Edition

I never participate in the whole #TBT or #FBF thing on Instagram...I honestly just never think about it, plus I'm really not a hash-tagger (Too cool for school? Maybe.). But, it does seem kinda fun, so today I thought I would dedicate a post to #FBF. Just some classic photos from my past that make me smile. It was surprisingly difficult to find photos where someone in the picture doesn't look at least slightly intoxicated....says a lot about my early twenties. So basically this could be a lot more fun, but most of the people involved are professionals now so I have to think about them I guess ;) On with the photos!

My best friend Rachel and I....we probably have about a million photos together, but these are from the brief period of time that we lived together. It was definitely a crazy time in my life, and Rachel had to put up with me while raising a 4 year old daughter (my Goddaughter Averi). BUT, I would like to think that I had a great influence on Averi during the time we lived together because now that she's approaching her pre-teen years, she is basically a little mini-me. It's Rachel's curse in life to be surrounded by slightly spoiled little shopaholic drama queens. Poor girl. 

This was my sophomore year of college...the first time I attempted it. These girls were my best friends at that time in my life, and we had some fun times together figuring out life right out of high school. So crazy to think that it's been 10 years this month since we met!

Halloween 2007 at OSU. I had just started hanging out with these girls, who I met through some hilarious circumstances. Basically the tall brunette next to me and myself were kinda-sorta dating the same the same time. We both knew who the other was, and we weren't each others biggest fans, obviously. And then, somehow she, her best friend Katie (the redhead on the end who is now one of my very best friends) and I became inseparable. Needless to say, neither of us ended up with that guy ;)

These are just too embarrassingly hilarious not to include. That hat is so ugly I can't believe I ever owned it...and who doesn't love two little white girls acting super-hood? Sadly, Katie, Laura and I have several photos in similar poses...and the almost kissy-face is a college girl classic, am I right?

This makes me happy because it is four of my very favorite girls in the world, in my very favorite bar from my days at OSU. Sadly, Dirty's is no longer open. I would imagine it was shut down because of a health code violation or something, but I'm not sure. It was literally the dirtiest bar I've ever been in...the floors were made of some tar-like substance that ruined many of my shoes, and there were never paper towels...and sometimes not even toilet the girls bathroom. But they had huge, cheap drinks, and I had some of the best times of my college career in that bar. 

Spring Break 08 in Panama City Beach, Florida. I had so much fun on this trip with these girls. Gotta love those faces...

College roommates at OSU. Apparently we really loved that exact pose. 

These two are from the first weekend I hung out with A. Probably one of the most fun weekends I can remember. It was all excitement and giddiness and flirting and all of the fun that goes along with the first little bits of a relationship. We have been inseparable since that very first weekend. 

Our first Halloween together. A didn't buy a costume and found this in a friends closet right before we left to go out. If I remember right Katie and I bought him a costume while he was at work that night, like a dress and gloves or something? It's kind of a blur, but needless to say he didn't choose to wear what we got.

I just LOVE this picture of me and Katie. It captures exactly how I remember most of our nights out in Stillwater. Such a fun time in my life.

HA. Another one that just makes me laugh. I can't tell you how many pictures of A and I have Katie photobombing in the background.

For the first year or so of mine and A's relationship we were almost more of a trio than a couple. I have more fun memories with these two than with anyone else in my life. This picture makes my heart happy. 

Well, that was fun. For me at least. Now, don't forget to enter to win $50 to Walgreens from Dr. Smith's! You've only got one day left! Good luck...I hope you win ;)

Sprucing Things Up

I love decorating. I love home decor. I love crafty little projects. I love working on crafty little projects to decorate our home. Seems simple, yeah? Somehow, with a wittle baby, it seems like it's been about 18 years since I have done anything remotely crafty at all, and just as long since I've done anything new to our house. So since my mind is a big ol' jumble and I can't ever remember exactly what it was that I was thinking I wanted to do to (insert random project here), I think I'll make a little list to keep me on track in the fleeting moments of free time I get in a day. I plan to DIY as much of this as possible...or thrift and re-do. Now that I'm a stay at home mama I gotta save that $$$!

  • Buy new plants for the pots on our front porch...and keep them alive. Not crafty, but good Lordy it needs to be done.
  • Add light fixtures to the front columns of the house. 
  • Line the flower beds with rock or brick.
  • Paint the front door. Black? Dark Gray? Black/Brown? Red? Who knows...
  • Rug for the entry.
  • New light fixture for the entry.
  • Sofa table to replace our 1987 super shiny hand-me-down.
  • Paint the banister on the stairs.
  • Get black and white wedding photo canvas for gallery wall by stairs.
  • Paint kitchen walls something other than gross golden-yellow.
  • Brighten up kitchen with more colorful accents.
  • Paint credenza in garage and move to breakfast nook area.
  • Organize kitchen cabinets...somehow.
  • Paint accent wall behind TV Darker color? Stripes?
  • New shade/blinds for back door.
  • Tear out deck in backyard.
  • Tear down tree in backyard.
  • Have concrete/brick patio put in. 
  • Add sod, small trees/bushes to backyard.
  • Tile floors to replace blah linoleum in laundry room and half bath.
  • Add shelf above washer and dryer.
  • Paint laundry room.
  • New faceplates on light switches throughout house.
  • Add something above bed in master bedroom. Gallery wall? Large piece of art?
  • New light fixture by shower in master bath.
  • Paint cabinets in master bath.
  • Tile floor to replace linoleum in upstairs bathroom.
  • Paint walls in upstairs bathroom.
So. That should keep me pretty busy. I've got several other little bitty projects I want to work on for random decor stuff, but those are the real "house projects" that I want to accomplish. I've got loads of inspiration gathered on Pinterest and Houzz, so I should be good to go.

I'm hoping this will keep me accountable and ensure that I actually get one or two of these things done in the next few months. I mean, some days I'm lucky if I get to brush my hair, so we'll see how it goes. Wish me luck! 

Also, don't forget to enter to win a $50 gift card to Walgreens from Dr. Smith's!