5 Months.

Well, here we are again. Another month of life for this little man of mine, and it's still blowing my mind how quickly it's passing. This last month has probably been my favorite month with him so far...but I'm pretty sure I'll say that each and every month. Life just keeps getting better and better, and I swear I fall even more head over heels for him every day.


You are 5 months old today, and mama could cry happy/sad tears. You are growing up so fast, and I love every single minute of it, but it feels like I'm going to blink and be sitting at your high school graduation. Even though I am loving this age, please, please slow down baby boy!

This last month that we've spent together has been absolutely wonderful. Our tearful, stressful times are practically non-existent these days, and even when they do show back up I feel like we both handle them so much better now. Anytime you start throwing one of your eardrum shattering fits I can generally get you calmed down in just a couple of minutes. Man, what an improvement! I feel like the two of us are getting to know each other more every day, and it's making life so much easier.

Your little personality is showing itself more and more all the time, and you're such a funny little baby. You're still really serious and studious, but you are such a cheerful little thing most of the time. Things that are guaranteed to make you smile super big: seeing your daddy when he comes downstairs when he's working, Addie showing you the slightest bit of attention, counting (for some reason the number three makes you smile every. single. time.), and a full belly.

You've been babbling your baby talk for quite some time now, but you've recently started something that makes my heart melt. When you start to get sleepy your voice will go kind of soft and high pitched, and you start quietly talking/singing to yourself. A couple of days ago when we were driving around you started doing this until you passed right out...it was like you sang yourself to sleep. So precious.

Just within the past couple of days you've started doing a couple of new things that have really impressed your daddy and me. We started trying to get you to sit up on your own a couple of weeks ago, and you could hang for maybe two seconds before toppling over. You've gotten better and better, every day, but since about two days ago you have become a pro! You don't sit yourself up yet, but once we get you there you just sit there forever. When I gave you a bath yesterday morning you sat up almost the entire time. Man, that makes life easier! You also have been rolling over immediately anytime I lay you on your back the past couple of days and pushing up into a push up position, then looking around. This makes diaper changes a bit of a challenge. It's funny how quickly things change from day to day around here.

You've also started giving some seriously good hugs. I'm pretty sure they aren't intentional, but I adore them. You also love to grab me by the hair or the ears, pull by face up to yours, and put your mouth on whatever you can. My eyes, nose, cheeks, and mouth have been getting some great, slobbery kisses lately! Another funny new thing you've done a lot of lately is fake coughing/laughing, and this silly little grunt where you shoot your arms out to the side, close your eyes, and squeal/grunt really loud. You do this both when you're mad and when you're happy. The tone just changes a bit.

At the moment your favorite things are: bath time (you loooove baths), morning walks, Sophie the Giraffe, chewing on anything (but especially hands and fingers), Addie, sitting outside, and "The Itsy Bitsy Spider". You still hate having your clothes changed, and eating has been making you mad the past few days. You want food immediately, and if it doesn't happen you are furious. This makes me nervous about your patience later in life.

I keep thinking things can't get much better, but you constantly prove me wrong. Even though every day is so very similar, each one is exciting because I never know what to expect from you. You are a beautiful, smart, silly, sweet, loud, precious little baby, and you make me so proud to be your mama. I love you more than you'll ever know.


My Inner Betty Crocker

So, I've never claimed to be a fabulous cook. I maybe could be, but I honestly couldn't care less about it. I don't hate it really, but I certainly don't relish the thought of slaving over a hot stove every day to prepare a meal. But now that I stay at home and we have realized that approximately 73% of the money we blow is on eating out, I've decided that I should make an effort to cook at home and save us some moolah.

Enter Pinterest. If I don't have new recipes to try literally every time I cook, I get so super bored that I want to cry. I can't just cook standard meals every day. I can't do it. It has to be new to hold my interest and make me want to do it. So I've started planning out our meals a week at a time based on things I've pinned. So far it's working quite well! Well, in reality we have like a good week or two where I cook at home almost every night and we save lotsa money, and then something goes wrong and we don't make it to the grocery store and we have a week of grabbing something outside the house every night. So, in theory it's working well...in actual execution, it's working ok. Eh, it's something.

My mom laughs at me because I follow all of these recipes about halfway. If I don't have something because I forgot to buy it at the store or don't know what it is, I just leave it out or substitute something kinda close. Hey, it works for me and I've never gotten any complaints. This post is just proving everything A's dad warned him about marrying an American girl... Clearly I'm just faking my way through this whole wifey thing.

Anyhow, I can promise you that the following recipes have been tested by me and the husband and have our approval. Granted, I may not have followed them 100%, but close enough to be able to recommend them. If you're in a pinch for dinner ideas, give these a try. Here's an entire work weeks worth of dinners for you. Yep, you're welcome!

Chicken Ranch Nachos (I made them tostadas)

♥ Two Years ♥

Today Arsen and I celebrate two years of wedded bliss. If we're being real, of course it hasn't all been blissful, but there is without a doubt no one else out there that I'd rather be doing this whole marriage thing with. He's my best friend in the world, the person who can make me laugh like a lunatic over the most ridiculous things, the person who can infuriate me more than anyone else on this planet, the most thoughtful man in so many ways, the best dance partner ever, and the most wonderful daddy I could have hoped for for my little boy.

On the 19th of this month we will have been together for five years total. It's crazy to think that in just five years we've both graduated college, moved to Dallas, started our careers, gotten engaged, bought our first house, gotten married, gotten pregnant, and had a baby. That feels like a lot for just five years! I can't even imagine where we'll be five years from now.

So Happy Anniversary to the love of my life!!!

Thanks for working so hard for our little family, and for putting up with my sometimes spoiled, sometimes irrationally angry, sometimes needy ways. And also for helping me create the most gorgeous little baby I've ever seen in all my life. I adore you and you know it. 

Well This is Lame....

So I've been basically stuck in bed for the last 2 1/2 days. Apparently I have mastitis, which is this crazy infection you can get while breastfeeding. So that's been great. Thankfully my mom is here watching Grayson for me, because there is no way I could have done it myself over the last couple of days. I pretty much feel like I have the flu, plus intense pain at the area where the infection is. Just when you feel like breastfeeding couldn't get any easier, something like this comes in and knocks you down a couple notches....boo! On top of that, Arsen has been working insane hours all week. Yesterday he worked from 7:30 am to almost 11pm...plus he doesn't stop to take a lunch or dinner break or anything. Luckily he's here at home, so it's not as bad as it could be, but we still don't see him at all and he is working SO hard. This hasn't been my favorite week, I'll just put it that way.

Also, this past weekend my mom and I went to a bunch of garage sales and resale shops and loaded up on things to get crafty with. I've been searching for something fun to do that could help me contribute some money, and I really love refinishing furniture and things. I'm working on a credenza/buffet type thing for my kitchen right now, and I decided it would be fun to do this for some profit as well. So we got all of this stuff, I got all excited and started working on things on Tuesday and morning...and by Tuesday afternoon I was in bed feeling horrible. Just a minor setback, but frustrating for sure.

On the upside, I've been able to enjoy lots of good cuddly naps in bed with G. I rarely take the time to just lay and relax, and this has forced me to do just that. I'm getting majorly antsy, but I know it's best to just let things run their course. I've got my antibiotic from my Dr. to start this afternoon, and hopefully I'll be back to normal in a day or two. One of my best friends from my hometown is coming to visit this weekend, so I'm looking forward to some fun with her. She and I typically will sit around for hours just laughing and talking about all the crazy things we've been through together, so it should be a good relaxing weekend.

Since I didn't have much of an update or anything, I'll just leave you with some of my recent favorites from Instagram. If you don't already, you can follow me on Instagram here. Fair warning: it's mostly baby/dog pictures :)

I Believe...

In being kind to everyone. I truly do not see the need for all the cruelty in our world. I don't understand bullies. I don't understand how anyone can intentionally put someone down, hurt someone's feelings, treat someone poorly...I just don't get it. It breaks my heart, and I hope that one thing everyone who knows me can agree on is that I am a kind person.

In forgiving....and forgetting (even though it's much harder). Something I've learned in life is that holding onto grudges really does nothing but weigh you down and keep you trapped in the past. The person you are harboring this negativity toward most likely doesn't even have a clue. It always hurts you more than it could ever hurt them to hold onto those feelings. Even though sometimes I struggle with this, it's also something I always strive for.

In equality for ALL people. Prejudice of any sort just really gets under my skin. I honestly believe that, at our very core, we are all the same: black, white, gay, straight, American, European, whatever. I literally could not care less about any of that. If you are a good, kind person, I like you. I believe everyone should be treated fairly, everyone should be afforded the same rights, and everyone should just get along. Some of the people who mean the most to me in this world could not be more different than me, and it absolutely breaks my heart that they might be judged just for being who they are, or that some people might think that because we are different we shouldn't be close.

That animals are the best thing in the world, and everyone should have a special one (or five) in their life. I don't know what I would do without my Addie Jane. Since she came into my life almost four years ago she has turned my world upside down, in so many (mostly) positive ways. I never had a "real" pet before Addie, and since the moment I fell in love with her, I've fallen in love with all animals. I'm now one of those people that cries at the ASPCA commercials and wants to adopt every at risk dog or cat that I see. I just had no idea how "human" pets could be, how their little personalities shine through, how they become such a huge part of your life, and of your family. I would have a million pets, if only that mean husband of mine would allow it.

In embracing the curves that life throws you. Life is a funny thing, and you never know what's going to happen. It's easy to dwell on the negative, to see new challenges as something too tough to handle, and to feel as if you're a bit lost sometimes. But every time in my life that I've faced a major change, either by my own choice or not, something great has come out of it. In the moment sometimes you can't see it, but later on you see why it all happened.

That everything happens for a reason. This is a weird one for me, because I have a strange outlook on my thoughts on God and faith and all of that. I'm quite sure I believe in God, although I'm not sure I think He's necessarily what most Christian people think he is. I'm pretty sure I believe that He's up there (wherever that really is) watching over us and protecting us and whatnot. In all honesty, my feelings on the whole God/church/faith thing are a little...scattered? Shaky? Regardless of all of that, I do somehow believe that everything does happen for a reason. The positive, the negative, everything.

In chasing your dreams. I think that everyone should be brave enough to go after what they really want in life. I mean, as far as we know, we only get one of these things, so we might as well make it count. That's why I moved to LA when I was 20 and wanted to be an actress, and why I eventually moved back so that I could live out my "college life" dream. Now that I'm a wife and a mom, I'm trying to figure out what my new dream is, but I promise you when I figure that out, I will definitely be chasing it for all it's worth.

Bouncing Back After Baby

I'm still suffering from some major writer's block lately, so a few days ago I decided to go through the random drafts that I have saved and see if there was anything in there to inspire something. I saw this "Bouncing Back After Baby" post that I started a few months ago, and after I stopped laughing, I decided to go with it.

When I decided to write about this particular topic, I had the mindset that I would be working out, eating right, and basically doing everything possible to try and get back to where I was pre-baby. Now, more than four months after G's arrival, I've come to a realization. I am not a work out, eat right, be disciplined kind of girl. Honestly, I'm scared to even begin working out because I heard it affects your milk supply, and I'm doing everything in my power to exclusively breastfeed for the first six months. And the healthy eating? I do for the most part, but I also eat an absurd amount of cookies, sno cones, candy, etc.

But, I am currently a few pounds lighter than I was before I got pregnant (what the what?!), so I do have a few suggestions for you based on what's worked for me.

1. Forget to eat a lot. 
Don't worry so much about this one, the baby really takes care of it for you. Your life will be so full of feedings and diaper changes and trying to keep a little baby entertained and not crying that you will look at the clock and realize it's 3 pm and all you've had to eat is a PB&J six hours ago. Don't get me wrong, I'm hungry a lot, and I try to eat consistently, more so for feeding Grayson purposes than anything else. But in reality, there are so many things to keep you busy that sometimes eating is just the last priority in your day.

2. Have a fussy, particular baby. 
Thanks to Grayson, my thighs look better than they have in probably 8 years. This is because my little angel baby can only be calmed down and put to sleep in a very specific manner. First, I must turn him on his side, snuggle him up tight in my arms, pop his pacifier in, put my face against his, and sing, shush, or hum. Then, I proceed to do hundreds of deep lunges until he finally calms down and/or passes out. I literally probably do a thousand deep lunges every day. Sometimes I switch it up and do side lunges, but generally it's just your regular old deep lunge. Thanks baby G, mama's thighs and daddy appreciate your pickiness.

3. Don't sit down.  
There for awhile, I spent a lot of my day sitting on the couch. Grayson slept a lot, and he slept best in my arms. So naturally, I spent hours each day watching HGTV or Pretty Little Liars while he napped. However, now my little love takes just a few short naps each day, and the remainder of the time it's up to me to keep him entertained. He's not really a sit on the couch and chill kind of baby. We walk around, we go outside, we play on the floor, we play in the Pack N Play (me standing up beside it, obviously), I wear him around and do housework....and when he does finally sleep, or spend some time in his bouncy seat or his swing, that's when I have to do the dishes, make the bed, clean the house, work on projects. So yeah. Just don't sit down. Like, ever.

4. Breastfeed a hungry baby
Grayson has been a champion eater from day one. I'm pretty sure anything and everything that I put into my body is immediately sucked out at his next feeding. I know breastfeeding is supposed to burn like 500 calories a day or something crazy, but I'm pretty sure he burns, like, all of mine. I'm kind of afraid the minute I stop breastfeeding I'm going to gain 20 pounds.

So that's what has worked for me. Simple enough, yeah? In all honesty, I do try to take good care of myself since I'm responsible for the nourishment of a sweet little baby, so my meals are usually healthy and balanced, I take my vitamins, and drink lots of water. But I guarantee all of the energy spent taking care of that little man is better than any workout plan I could possibly come up with.

Letting Go of the Past

When I look back on my life, I can say I've lived a pretty great one up to this point. Growing up I always felt secure and loved by my parents. I knew I would always have whatever material things I needed. I was blessed with many good friends. Sure, I wished my parents would have gotten along and I always wanted siblings to make things a little less lonely, but for the most part I have to say I had a good childhood.

Things got a bit more complicated when I entered high school. Due to some pretty dumb decisions on my part, I spent the majority of my time in high school in a toxic relationship. The guy I was with was older and out of school. He was into some not so great things and didn't treat me very well at all. Looking back, I feel as if I wasted more than three years of my life, that I missed out on so many things that most high schoolers experience, that I let him ruin so many meaningful things for me....

The funny thing is that when I think of that time and of him, I don't feel bad for myself or have anger or resentment for what he did to me. Instead, I feel sad for the innocent, naive girl that I was then. It's like I'm looking at someone else's life whenever I think back to that time. Before I was with him I had never had a boy treat me poorly. I had never had a boy put me down, or disrespect me, or break my heart. I had never been cheated on, never been lied to, never been let down over and over again.

When I look back at that time in my life, it seems so far away. I can honestly say it was by far the worst three years of my life. I struggled immensely all that time with severe depression, I'm sure partly because of the things I was dealing with, but also because in my earlier years I was just prone to that. When I think of that time, for the most part, it's almost like there was a dark cloud covering everything. It makes me sad for the girl that I was. I want to give her a hug, tell her that someday it will be so much better, that she'll meet a man who respects her and treats her wonderfully and will never lie or cheat or hurt her heart.

When I look back at that time, I sometimes still get angry at him. For taking advantage of a younger girl  who thought he was funny and cute and had never been with a "bad boy" before. For taking my innocence and for hurting me repeatedly for years as if it didn't phase him at all. I no longer feel any of the pain, not even an ounce. I think somehow Arsen undid any damage any previous guys caused by loving me so completely. But the anger I still feel, not for myself, but for that innocent girl I once was. She deserved so much better.

It's (almost) Fall, Y'all!

I cannot express to you how much I truly adore fall. It's my favorite season by far, and I am so incredibly excited that it's almost here! The great tragedy of my life is that I grew up in Oklahoma and now live in Texas, neither of which get much of a fall season. It will remain HOT, probably in the mid-high 90s for at least another month. Once we get into October it starts barely cooling down. October-November are really my only chance to enjoy the fall season that I love oh-so-much, and it usually is only a few weeks of glorious fall weather before we hit just cold. But, oh how I plan to soak up those few weeks I do get!

I'm not sure what I love most about fall. The clothes? The crisp, cool air? The anticipation of the holiday season? It's all wonderful. I know I sound slightly cheesy and absurdly euphoric right now, but I'm not kidding when I tell you I've been getting butterflies anytime I think about the fact that this demon season we call summer is almost over.

I can't wait to put on jeans, boots, a sweater, and a scarf, and step outside into something other than pure misery and suffocation. I can't wait to make chili and stew and hot chocolate and curl up by a fire. I can't wait to put Grayson in cute little jeans and sweaters and not worry about him sweating buckets anytime we step out of the house. I can't wait to head back to that glorious land of Stillwater, America for OSU's Homecoming in October. I can barely handle the anticipation!

So as you can see I'm a bit excited (understatement of the year). I'm so super incredibly ridiculously jealous of all of you who get to start enjoying my favorite season without me in the next few weeks. I dream of someday living somewhere that I will actually get to enjoy all four seasons instead of WINTER, three weeks of spring, SUMMER, three weeks of fall, WINTER, etc. I've decided I will require two homes: one on a beach, one somewhere in New England, perhaps? I've honestly never even been that far North, but I imagine that it's just amazing. Please don't kill my dreams and tell me otherwise, mmk?

Happy Tuesday (that feels like a Monday)!!!