Wednesday, April 8, 2015

4.5 weeks

Guys, in 4.5 weeks I will be a married woman!

When we last left off (see what I did there), I had gotten my dress but that was about it. The last few months have been spent crazily and painstakingly throwing together a wedding for early May. I say "throwing it together" because that's literally what its been. I've never been one of those people who envisioned her wedding since she was a little girl, so instead of worrying about every tiny detail, I've been making decisions on a whim and just rolling with them. And I've had a lot of help from our families doing little things to pull it all together. This is going to be more "big weekend party" and less "traditional wedding", and I'm super excited for that. 

I still can't believe its so close though. At this point I'm more worried about just pulling it off. The logistics are tough (and even harder when you already have a toddler - and when everyone is coming in from out of town!), and a tiny piece of me just wants it to be over. I hate being the center of attention, and wedding planning is definitely hella stressful... and it even seems a little unnecessary considering we already have a child and have lived together, sharing everything, for years. BUT then I remember I only get to do this once. I'm excited to see B at the other end of the aisle and make that commitment by law and by God to each other. To finally share the same last name as him and my daughter. Oh, and to wear my dress for a whole day cuz lemme tell ya - it's pretty gorg!

The other saving grace is that its going to be pretty small. We didnt invite very many people to begin with, and I know many wont be able to travel to Lexington, rendering it even smaller. Those people are family, or considered family by me and B. We didn't include the obligatory bosses, or friends of parents, or co-workers. We made the decision to only include the people we believe have been and will always be there for us. That alone takes a load off my shoulders because I know, no matter what happens or goes wrong on the big day, we'll be supported in our little room filled with love!

I'd like to say I'll update again soon, but lets be real, I'll likely be back with a new last name!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

New Year, Same Me

I was kind of indifferent to the end of 2014. Our baby grew and grew and I went back to work, but overall it was just another year passed. A great year, but a gone one.
I do, however, always get excited about the prospect of a new year. What will happen this year? What wont? Will I be the same person at years end? Will I make changes and stick with them?

I'm sure there are a lot of 'self' resolutions I could (and should) make. In fact I have, though I started on most of these several months ago.
  • Eat better. Work out more. Cut back on wine (not get rid of it altogether, obvi). Go to church more. Learn new things. Read more. Get back to my hobbies. Make new friends. Tame my anxiety.
But the more important resolutions are the ones that affect the other people in my life.
  • Be more present for Olive - ie. put down the cell phone. 
  • Turn off the TV.
  • Do new things together. Go out more. Explore.
  • Be kinder. Judge less. 
  • Be ok with telling people what you think, even if they may not like it or agree. Accept when they do not.
  • Surprise B more. Work harder on our relationship.

Ollie with some of her Xmas loot.
I don't want to be a NEW me. I want to be a BETTER me. I've let my 'self' go since having a kid - something I think almost every mother does. And it's ok. You have to because there's just no time. And that little person is now more important then life itself. But now that shes less dependent on me, I get to take some of that back. Remember who I am. I like to binge watch cheesy teeny bopper shows and play video games. I like to work out in the evening and eat cheerios for dinner. I like to play on my computer all night. I love to read and write, and sew and create.

So the real resolution here is this: Find balance. Balance of being a mother, a worker, a spouse, a friend, myself.

Seems simple enough, right?

Monday, December 8, 2014

Saturday Nights

Not so long ago, the weekend meant party time. Blaine and I would break out a bottle (or two) of wine and then go out for dinner at some trendy restaurant and spend the rest of the evening closing down a bar with friends. We'd laze around Sunday morning, sleeping in late before finally getting dressed to go out and get lunch.

We were always 'going out'.

Honestly and truly, I hardly remember what this felt like.

Saturday nights now consist of an early dinner - something B and I and our sous chef Olive make together. Then, a nice long bath for Ollie and early PJ's for everyone so we can settle in for a movie before bedtime. If she's in a good mood and we're feeling really crazy, we might push her bedtime until 8 or 830 - cuz hey! Its the weekend! All snuggles and sweatpants.

I tell ya. The latter is SO much better than the former.

AND after we put Ollie to bed, there's still time for a bottle (or two) of wine, at home, in our PJ's.

Life sure is good...

Friday, December 5, 2014

The Best Wardrobe Advice I've Read.

When I was pregnant, I loved getting dressed. Not only for the opportunity to accessorize my cute little bump, but also because it was easy. Of course, I bought plenty of cute maternity tops and pants and dresses - but compared to my pre-baby wardrobe - the amount of clothing I had available to me was negligible.

Quite awhile after I had Olive and recovered (and lost all of that baby weight), I packed up my maternity clothes and tucked them neatly into 1.5 under bed storage bins. All of the clothing items I had worn day in and day out for the past 5 months could fit into 1.5 bins. Bras and maternity underwear included. When I turned back to my actual wardrobe, filled with hundreds (literally, hundreds) of tees, sweaters, jeans, dresses, skirts, blouses, sweatshirts, dress pants... it was overwhelming. And the irony was I didn't want to wear half of it for one reason or another. The fit wasn't quite right, or the color didn't suit me, or I bought it because it was super cheap on sale and I didn't even really like it, or the classic - I'll keep this until I can fit into it...

Getting dressed was a chore and I had to try on every outfit I put together to make sure it fit alright. It wasn't 'fun' anymore, Then, I started noticing bloggers doing capsule collections. Picking a set number of tops, pants, dresses and shoes, and wearing and re-wearing them only for a set amount of days.

This was very appealing for a working mom of a toddler who doesn't want to think so much about her clothes but still wants to look "fashionable".

I did some more research and one blog in particular said to do this -

  • Take everything out of your closet. EVERYTHING.
  • Take each piece and put it in one of three categories:
    • LOVE IT. I'd wear it right now. No questions asked. - These items go back in your closet.
    • NOPE. - Get rid of it.
    • Maybe. - To me, this was anything outside of Love it and Nope. Put it in a box and store it. If you don't go looking for any of it over the next 6-12 months. Send them the way of the nopes.

Can I just tell you how freeing this process was?

This blog (here) had for more in depth options for paring down even further and creating a perfect 37 piece capsule collection, however, I didn't need to take it that far. By doing this process alone, I had more than halved my wardrobe and the irony was I felt really, really good about it. I'm living on my LOVE ITs and having no problems feeling good about getting dressed every day.

My maybes are still hanging on the bottom rack, just in case, but over the past month I haven't touched them. In fact, I think now is already a good time to pick through them again and find a few more 'Nopes'.

If you haven't done this to your wardrobe in awhile - DO IT. If you are frustrated and feel like you have nothing to wear - DO IT. Make the tough calls and be honest with yourself. You'll feel so much better about your wardrobe when you do!

Simplify y'all!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

To be Thankful

Every year Thanksgiving seems to be a throw-away holiday. Of course, its great to get together with family and spend time in the kitchen, enjoying everyone's company and eating lots of food, but really its just kind of like opening day for the Christmas. Christmas starts lit-rally the next day with the all-consuming Black Friday shenanigans (of which I do not partake).

Other than being a great excuse to get everyone together, I myself am not that fond of the holiday. I don't really care for all the heavy food (except the Kings Hawaiian rolls. Those I'll eat my weight in.) and I actually have a pretty strong aversion to dark meat turkey and green bean casserole. That being said, I LOOOOVE the idea of Thanksgiving. We are all so busy that we forget to stop and smell the roses sometimes. We don't always stop and enjoy our child being this exact age at this exact moment, we don't always return calls or texts from old friends and family, we forget that while work is important, people and kindness and forgiveness make the world go 'round.

So this weekend I'm thankful.

I'm thankful for my beautiful daughter, who is so smart, so loving and so amazing that she makes me want to have 20 more. But only if they are exactly like her.

I'm thankful for my fiance, who is my best friend above all else. And he's such a good Daddy it makes my whole heart melt when I see Ollie smile when she sees him. And who loves me unconditionally even when I'm PMS-ing. In fact, he brings me chocolate when I'm PMS-ing. I'm also thankful for that.

I'm thankful for the opportunity to get together with all my immediate family as well as my grandmother and great aunt and uncle this weekend. Olive gets to meet her great-grandmother which is so amazing.

I think that covers the big ones. And the most obvious. But it still needs to be said, because sometimes, we don't say it enough.

OH, and I'm thankful for wine. I don't really think I need to explain this one. I mean... I have a 14 month old. Of course I'm thankful for wine.

So that's that. Remember what is truly important this weekend y'all, because it could all be gone tomorrow.

Happy Turkey Day Weekend!

Monday, November 17, 2014


Currently I'm....

Yes Please by Amy Poehler. I adore her. So far its been a quick read, and an affirmation she is exactly who you think she is. Simple life lessons and reminders abound. Love.

Listening to:
Billie Holiday radio on Pandora. She's soothing and non-distracting at work. Plus I'm in a 30's/40's music vibe since Boardwalk Empire ended.

Super into this TV Show:
I have a few. We never miss some older shows like Big Bang Theory, Modern Family, Nashville and Sons of Anarchy (quite a range, eh?), but I'm loving newer shows like Resurrection, the Flash, and Gotham. We are also binge watching Once Upon a Time's first few seasons!

My nail color is:
Loreal Color Riche Breaking Curfew. Only it looks more black than purple since I kept chipping it and adding coats! Ha!

This cute and cozy ensemble. The glasses I'm sporting are actually Gamma Ray computer glasses cuz I've been getting killer headaches staring at dual widescreen monitors for 8 hours a day. They seem to help. And bonus... they're cute!

Almonds. The Blue Diamond kind. Specifically the cherry pie flavor, but I'll take the bold honey dijon or apple pie too. I haven't tried the salt and vinegar flavor yet, but I'm guessing if I did, I'd be obsessed with that one too. Also, I'm loving radishes. I don't know, don't ask questions.

Mixing my coffee with:
Peppermint Mocha coffee creamer. "I'm so shocked!" ... said no one, ever...

This season. We are moving into the holidays and I can't get enough of being with Olive and B and sharing our time together.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Toddlers are Picky Mofos

Is it just me, or are toddler's picky little mofos?! Mine is. And she's very... VERY fickle.

(Healthy, well-balanced meal, right? It would be if she ate more than just the pears...)

I'm sure this isn't true for all toddlers. Some lucky moms and dads have kids that eat everything and will try anything. Olive, however, is the exact opposite. Anyone else have one of these?
I don't know where she gets it from. I never was, even as a baby, a picky eater. Neither was Blaine. According to my mom, I used to sit in my high chair and eat onions and potatoes. Raw. (For the record, I still love raw onions and potatoes.)

The puree food stage (we started at 4 months) was my first indicator this feeding thing was going to be tricky. She hated things I was told she'd love (thanks What to Expect...)... carrots, peas, avocado.. all on the 'disgusting' list. Actually, pretty much all vegetables made the list. She loved fruit though and I wondered if it had anything to do with the insane amounts of it I ate when I was pregnant. Then I recalled the asinine amounts of sugary candy I also ate because it was the only thing I could (and wanted) to stomach at times, and worried she'd be a sweets fiend. Thankfully, that thought was kiboshed (for now) when she carefully picked at her first birthday cake, ate a few bites, and decided she wasn't interested. (Seriously? Who is this kid?)

As we moved into finger foods, (my least favorite transition, as I was constantly sure she was going to choke on EVERYTHING) she seemed even LESS interested. At least with purees I could get her to eat chicken or turkey... now with table foods? Hell to the no. That shiz went directly on the floor. And we don't have a dog, so that meant more clean up for me. Thanks Bean.

Olive also decides each day if she really truly likes certain things. For a week straight girlfriend would down diced peaches like they were the nectar of the Gods. Then, one day, she put one in her mouth and spit it directly out whilst making the (cutest) most disgusted face you've ever seen. We continued to try diced peaches for a few days to no avail. Then, one evening a weekish later, B put a few on her plate, and we were back to nomming them like there's no tomorrow! What gives, tiny person?

I have, however, recently discovered her love of anything in a pouch. When she was little, I'd squeeze the contents onto a spoon and feed her, but now miss independent just enjoys feeding herself with them, which is about the only way I can get her to eat her veggies (not plain of course, we are talking hidden in some delicious fruit combo pack).

Are we the only one with the worlds most picky eater? How do you get your toddler to eat and try new things?

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

I got the dress... now what?

So. Wedding planning. We've barely started. BUT - I got the dress. Yay!

Who knew that would be the easy part? I hadn't really started any planning when my mom came to town for a few days and we decided to just go 'see' what David's Bridal and a few local shops had to offer. My mom picked out this fairly heavily detailed and form fitting Oleg Cassini and I wanted no part of it... me, thinking I wanted a really simple, perhaps A-line dress...

"Just try it on," she said, "It's so pretty!" she said.

Cue me rolling my eyes and letting the perky wedding dress helper take it to my fitting room to appease her.

Five dresses later, I tried on said dress.
There were tears.

You see that in movies all the time - that you just 'know' when its the right dress and you start crying and so does everyone around you.
Bullshit, I always thought.
But it's not. At least it wasn't for me. I was completely overwhelmed by the beauty of the dress and how it fit me perfectly, like it was plucked from wedding dress heaven exclusively for my one year postpartum body to make it look like I was a supermodel. Ok, maybe not a supermodel, but I could instantly envision myself walking down the aisle, and I just knew I wanted it to be the first thing Blaine saw his wife in.

Since they had it, and in my size of all the luck, I brought it home with me. Now its hanging in the front closet avoiding B's curious eyes, and hoping that I find the perfect venue so we can ACTUALLY set the date.

Probably a good place to start, huh?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Whooooaaaa, hey, hi...

Hello there!

Its been a minute. Or a month. Or 9. I'll be perfectly honest here - not that much has changed in the past 9 months since I blogged last... except this:

She's almost one. We have a toddler. So there's that. At this time last year I was in labor. Now shes walking and trying to talk. She's headstrong and has zero patience like her mommy and daddy. She's lazy like me and sleeps endlessly, She already tries to dress herself, and is always playing with clothes. She's super funny. I know everyone says that about their kids, but she loves making other people laugh, even if that means bonking her own head with a plastic shovel. Little comedienne, that one. She's also a lover and hands out hugs and kisses like they're candy - especially to other tiny people. She is obsessed with Frozen and Minnie Mouse. And I'm still in awe of how, at the end of the day, all she wants is me and daddy. Preferably together. And 100% of our attention.

As you can imagine shes the tiny little love of my life. But by stroke of complete serendipity and luck, a job fell into my lap and I went back to work (part-time) as a marketing director for a local manufacturer about a month ago. Daycare sucks. We are still getting used to the routine, and it breaks my heart that there are 3 days of the week she spends most of her day with a stranger. That being said, the socialization is great, and she loves being around other kids. Shes super independent too, so that helps.

You'd think with a toddler and work I'd have LESS time to think about this whole blogging thing, but the opposite is actually true. I'll be honest. Before I returned to work, I had no intention of returning to blogging. The life of a SAHM is busy and hectic and messy at best. I rarely wore real clothes and when I did, they really werent fashionable and thought out with additional accessories. I truly admire all you SAHM's that get up, get dressed, do your hair and makeup, and still take your adorably stylish daily outfit photos religiously. I.. am not that mom.

So going back to work, I had the pure joy of realizing - I get to get dressed again!! Its been awhile since I've been inspired, and paring through my months-neglected Bloglovin' feed has reminded me how much I love fashion in the first place.

Soooo what does all this mean? It means I'm going to attempt to blog again, but it isn't going to be the same blog it was before. I'm not sure who, if anyone, is reading these days, but my guess is if anyone has stuck around it's probably other new moms, family oriented ladies, and maybe some young professionals. For now, I'm going to just talk about what feels right, and what I want to share. Maybe it's an outfit, maybe its my latest toddler struggle, or maybe its my thoughts on a new marketing trend. I dunno. But I have missed doing this and I hope I can start building your faith in me as a blogger again!

Til then, keep an eye out for a new look too. A fresh beginning usually starts with a makeover, right?!

EDIT: OH EM GEE! Addendum, I totally forgot - HA. I also managed to get myself engaged in July! My goodness. Most of you probably thought B and I were already married anyway (it feels that way to me too ;))

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2013 in Review: Our Birth Story

Ok y'all, hold tight because this is going to be a long one. I wrote this awhile back, and now in the blur of having an infant, I'm trying to recall all the little details. But as the year has drawn to a close, I want to share the crazy experience in 2013 that has now changed my life forever - Olive's birth story!

It all started Tuesday, September 10th... I was relaxing in the blow up kiddie pool on our deck (don't judge, its HOT in Kentucky!) reading a book and waiting for Blaine to get home from work. I was leaned waaay back with my head resting on the side when I felt a strange pain in my back. It was weird feeling, but quite dull. Was it a contraction? Or was my back mad at the way I was laying in the pool? I couldn't tell, so I stayed where I was. Within the hour it happened another two times. I had never had any Braxton Hicks contractions so I wasn't sure what it was 'supposed' to feel like. I finally gave up and got out of the pool for fear my water would break and I wouldn't know it. I changed and pulled out my exercise ball until Blaine finally arrived home. I told him what happened, but with no kind of consistent frequency, we wrote it off as Braxton Hicks-or just really early pre-labor. It didn't happen again until a few hours later when we were on the couch after dinner. We began timing them as they seemed to be getting a little stronger and more frequent. Still, they were quite far apart and inconsistent. We stayed up late to continue timing, and finally went to bed around midnight.

I slept alright until around 3am when the pain began getting much worse. B and I started timing once again. My water still hadn't broke, but I had read that for many women it doesn't, so we were going solely on my contractions. As the sun came up we were having several contractions per hour but they were all over the place and only about 30 seconds in duration. B set me up on the couch watching Harry Potter, and he went into work for the morning. I continued to time each contraction - they were still inconsistent but we were having at least 5 per hour, and the duration was around 45 seconds each. When B came home around lunch time, we ate and called the hospital to see if we should come in. The nurse said as long as we were having five per hour we should at least come and be checked out. Around 3pm we loaded up the jeep with our hospital bags, but ended up leaving them in the car thinking we wouldn't be staying.

They checked us in and the nurses checked my dilation and my cervix. I was only 1-2cm and 80% effaced, so they had us walk the labor and delivery floor until our midwife could arrive and check us. Once she did, she determined that we were definitely in early labor, but we still had a ways to go. She said it could take anywhere from an hour to a week to go into the active labor - whoa! She said we could stay there and continue to walk to try to get labor going, or we could go home and continue laboring in the comfort of our own home. I knew if they admitted us we could be there for a loooong time, and I wouldn't be allowed anything to eat or drink besides ice chips, so we opted for option number 2 and headed home. We stopped at Applebees for curbside to go along the way, and as we waited for our food my contractions were starting to get really intense. Awkward is definitely sitting in the bar area of an Applebees whilst in labor. Ha!

Anyway, we got home, ate and got ready for bed. Alisha (our midwife) had recommended I make a little cocktail of extra strength Tylenol and unisom to try to get some sleep. It worked for a couple hours, but I was once again up at 2am timing contractions that had become, much, much more painful. Some even bringing me to tears. B drew me a bath in the morning which helped my back pain significantly, but it was clear we were progressing in the labor. Many of the contractions were upwards of 1.5 minutes, and I even had one that last for 4 whole freakin' minutes! Around 9am Wednesday September 11, we decided it was time to go back to the hospital. The pain was getting to be too much and too often. This time upon arrival, we brought our bags in with us, praying this was going to be the real thing.

We were disappointed to find that my dilation was they same, though I was nearly 100% effaced upon arrival. Unfortunately, we also learned our midwife had the day off and we had no idea who would be delivering the baby! Thankfully I wasn't super stressed about this development, as I wasn't THAT attached to our midwife. The nurses had us walk the halls once again, for 2 whole hours this time, and then checked my progress. I had dilated to a full 3cm, which was promising, but still, we were making slow progress. They sent us back out to walk and about 20 feet from our room - my water finally broke! They checked me again, and I had already dilated to 5cm.

That was all they needed. We were finally admitted for the long haul (aka, delivery!). I decided immediately to get the epidural, as the pain was immense and I was running on about 6 hours of sleep in the past 48 hours. We knew we had a long night ahead of us! The epidural was scary, and while it didn't hurt as badly as I anticipated, it was definitely an uncomfortable and odd sensation. Once it was in, however, I felt like a whole new person. They inserted a catheter and I no longer felt a thing from the waist down. My contractions were magically gone - as was any feeling in my legs. I was able to take a solid nap, and even relax and watch some TV while B went to the cafeteria and got dinner.

After awhile, a doctor arrived and told us my dilation was stuck at 6cm, and my contractions weren't strong enough to help it move along. He inserted another device to more easily monitor the contractions (I was feeling very much like a science experiment at this point), and he recommended we consider using Pitocin to help me progress quicker. He also mentioned that if it didn't work, we would have to look at other options, which was terrifying. After monitoring for 1/2 hour, they administered the Pitocin at 9:30pm and checked me every 1/2 hour and dosed me as needed. I began dilating quickly at that point, which I was thankful for as I was starting to have a lot of lower back pain, even with epidural. The doctors and nurses thought the baby had turned 'sunny side up' and that was causing the pain, though they assured me they could still deliver that way, and she could also still flip before she came through the birth canal. I attempted to take another nap to no avail, due to the pain. Instead I turned Passenger on my iPhone and listened to his album on repeat to help me relax.

Around 11pm, I was getting an unbearable urge to push. For me, this was waaaaay worse then the contractions. It wasn't painful as much as it was just completely and utterly uncomfortable and nearly impossible to go against. By 11:30pm, the nurse and doctor (who actually was the first doctor we saw at our clinic before we switched to our midwife!) said we were fully dilated and about ready to push. We were able to do a few practice pushes and they prepared me and the room for delivery and the arrival of our baby girl.

The pushing was incredibly hard, but it felt so good to be able to follow the urge. Around 11:50pm we were ready to go. I was incredibly focused on the task at hand and barely opened my eyes for the majority of the delivery. B held my hand and my leg when I pushed, and everyone was fairly quiet. Being our first baby, I wasn't sure how I wanted delivery to go. It turned out the quiet was EXACTLY what I needed! I rested between pushes and it was as serene as it could have been. By the fourth contraction, the 3rd push, baby girl came right on out. We heard her beautiful little cry and I finally opened my eyes. They set her on my chest and I could.not.believe. she was actually here. 54.5 hours after feeling my first contraction, Olive Grace was finally here at 12:30am on the dot, Thursday September 12. She looked nothing like I expected - but was so much better. Completely beautiful with a head full of dark hair and steely blue/gray eyes, all 8lbs, 13oz and 21 inches of her was here.

It took a minute for the doctor to take care of me, as I did tear during the delivery, but I was thrilled to be able to immediately try to feed Olive - she was rooting right away. I had no idea what I was doing, but we were successful, even without the lactation consultant! Soon B took her to the nursery to have her checked out and once my epidural wore off they moved us to the Mother-Baby unit at nearly 3am. After being checked out myself and settling in, we caught a short sleep and they brought Ollie back to me around 5am for our next attempt at feeding. Over the next couple days we had an excellent hospital stay. It felt like we were the only people in the world in our little hospital room. We had the lactation nurses at our disposal, every meal was brought to me, and we were able to spend time getting to know our new little Bean in the comfort of the hospital. The nurses were all fantastic and very helpful. By Saturday morning though, we were beyond ready to be discharged and bring our Bean home!

It was a crazy week to say the least, but looking back I would do it a million times over. This little girl is the tied for the best thing that has happened to me (with meeting her Daddy of course ;)

2013 definitely changed my life forever!

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