Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A Note to my Firstborn

To my SWEET, Stella-bug!

You have been such a champion over the past 4 weeks… You have successfully dropped your pacifier, transitioned to your "big girl" bed, AND moved houses.  This is the 3rd house you will live in during just 1 school year…. CRAZY! I hope we never do this again! 

I just want to brag on you…. TWO has been my most favorite age to date.  You can actually communicate in short sentences with us, you have QUITE the personality, and you are hilarious.  You have just started laughing at jokes and sometimes trying to make your own jokes as well :) 

I have been beaming with Mama pride because 2 kids in your MDO class apparently talk about YOU all the time to their parents.  You and Mary are best friends and apparently like to swap shoes during the school day.  Then we have Rhett… who is super shy and has a hard time leaving his Daddy, but apparently he feels comfortable around you because he talks about you all the time at home and you have been invited to a play date with him! (His Mommy found our email in the directory and everything!) I love that these kiddos see that same light in you that me and your Daddy do.

You are FULL of energy, you LOVE to dance, you have never met a stranger, and you make everyone feel special.  I cannot WAIT to watch you become a big sister in 2 weeks! Seeing how you take care of your animals ("ah-mals") and babies makes me think you are going to be such a big help with this baby.  My prayer is that the transition is smooth and that you and baby sister grow up to be the best of friends.  

Stella…. Your Daddy and I just adore you! We feel like you are seriously COOL and are so proud to be your parents. We love your laugh, the way you are FEARLESS, love to dance, and sing at the TOP of your lungs NO MATTER WHERE WE ARE haha! The other day at Target you were busting out "Let it Go" and moms were wheeling by smiling in our direction and another said "Well I think I know her favorite movie…" - I love how you are completely yourself ALL the time and I hope that never changes.

We love you sweet baby girl and we will cherish the next 2 weeks with you being our only little princess. 


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A New Chapter Approaching…

Sometime last summer, I stopped blogging.  It was mostly because I felt like my plate was overwhelmingly full and I was having a hard time readjusting to being in the US, being a first-time Mom, and trying to juggle being a good Mom with working from home basically full time.  I was doing my Rodan + Fields business and my slideshow business and then I was the assistant to a really amazing, high level leader in R+F.  My plate was FULL and something needed to go.  Sadly, at the time… it was this blog.  

But I have felt a void.  A void because I have collected so many stories and moments over the past year that I haven't shared.  Ups and lots of downs…. Hope and peace and uncertainty and fear of the future. One thing I keep telling my husband is what I miss the most is WRITING.  Writing has always been therapeutic for me and no matter who reads this blog, the writing helps me get my thoughts out in the open and express myself. 

You will probably think the timing of this is crazy because I am now 9 months pregnant with our second baby girl and we are MOVING this weekend… So WHY on Earth would I choose to write an entry today of all days?!?! Well that is simple. Ever since I can remember, when I am stressed beyond belief and pushed beyond my limits, I write…. and write …. and somehow the burden is lifted just a bit. 

So I sit here typing as my CRAZY adorable 2 year old naps, my house looks like a tornado blew through it, and I have a "To Do" list a mile long and I pause and reflect on how temporary this stress really is and how in 1 months time, we will get to meet our precious daughter.  

I have felt a bit guilty lately that I haven't really thought about her much - Over the span of the last 9 months we have moved,found out we were expecting another baby girl, had a family funeral, I've been to the ER with kidney stones (TWICE), hosted lots of house guests, changed OBGYNs halfway through my pregnancy,  quit my assistant role with R+F to focus solely on growing my business, dealt with a CRAZY amount of house and landlord problems, broken a lease, and found a new home with only 2 weeks notice! It.Has.Been.Insane. 

I am so anxious to move into our new home so that we can put this stressful, anxiety-filled chapter on the shelf and move forward with a fresh start and clean slate.  I want to decorate her nursery, take time to savor the movements in my belly, and daydream about what she will look like- Will she be a carbon copy of Stella or be completely unique?!!? All I know is that we will meet her March 10th if not sooner and that is SO soon! 

So I have no idea in what capacity I will be blogging but I am feeling drawn to start it up again.  Making time and space for something that is incredibly refreshing and fulfilling to me.  I hope there are still a few of you out there who will be interested in reading along on our journey. I have lots of stories to share from the past year and even more that I am sure are about to unfold as we transition to being in somewhat of a groove as a family of 3 to adjusting to a family of 4! 

Good to see you again ol' blog.  Lets start hanging out again. 


Monday, June 16, 2014

Stella Rose: 17 Months Old

Oh my how you have GROWN and CHANGED. The past 5 months have FLOWN by! This month you will be 17 months old!!! You are becoming ALL toddler these days and are super independent, vocal, hilarious, adventurous, and FULL of energy! 

These days you:

- Live on Spaghetti O's and blueberries
- LOVE dipping sauces like ketchup, hot sauce, and hummus… and you just like the sauce, not the item that goes WITH the sauce 
- Love playing at Splash Pads and swinging! 
- LOVE to dance… especially to worship music :) 
- Sing your ABC's, Old MacDonald (E-I-E-I-O), and Ring around the Rosie (Ashes! Ashes!)
- Take your lovies everywhere… When you wake up you scoop them ALL up to come with you. 
- Still don't like the car
- Still want a bottle every morning and evening and pacifier during naps and bedtime (We will cut you off eventually) 
- Your special treat every day is a cup of ice from Sonic - you are rarely quiet unless you have that cup of ice! 
- You can say: Daddy, Mommy, "Nana" (banana), "Tetta" (Stella), "Bahbah" (Bottle), NO!, "Mo" (More), baby 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Thoughts on Whole 30

I have received a LOT of questions about the Whole 30 Diet so I thought I would do a post explaining it and how we have liked it so far. 

First of all, my friend Ashley DARED me to do this 30 Day Challenge and I am not one to pass up a good challenge. I will be honest, I had NEVER EVER done a diet before.  Unfortunately, eating disorders ran rampant in my high school and so I have tried to stay as far away from calorie counting as I possibly can so that I would never have to walk through that struggle.  BUT I feel like I had taken it too far- Cokes, FAST FOOD, and eating whatever I wanted...Whenever I wanted.  For the first YEAR after Stella was born, I was able to blame the extra weight on Stella and after that, it was just plain laziness so I knew there had to be a middle ground somewhere. So I decided to take on this challenge! 

Instead of all the foods I CANNOT eat (because that overwhelms me) I just focused on what we COULD eat.

The first week was awful.  My system was shocked at how many greens I was eating and I was honestly a bit on edge and cranky.  My saving graces were afternoon Sonic runs to get unsweet tea and my Lara Bars! I LOVE these! For lunch, I just subsituted lettuce for bread on my sandwiches, almost making them a wrap! Not as filling, but still good. 

I started on a Monday and had a doctor's appointment that Thursday and the nurse practices PALEO (Very similar to Whole 30) and gave me some advice.  She said if I took it TOO FAR and was too strict on myself, it would become a "Fad Diet" that I would swear on my life to never do again after the 30 Days were up! She said for her and her husband, they practice Paleo during the week and take weekends off.  Why?  Because you aren't going to UN-DO all the healthy eating you have practiced during the week with 1 cheeseburger on the weekend.  So this was great motivation for me because I knew if I could make it until Friday, I wouldn't feel guilty eating whatever I wanted on the weekends! (Now its not smart to binge-eat, but if I wanted to splurge and have ice cream or pasta, I had that freedom)  She also told me that she had a few non-negotiables in her weekday dieting: Creamer in her coffee and red wine if she needed a glass after a long day.  I have adapted this to MY Nonfat Chi Tea Lattes from White Rock Coffee after my Boot Camp workouts (NON-negotiable after a 5:30AM workout) and also red wine if I have had a long day.  (She did mention that red wine is the "healthiest" alcohol- good for your heart and less sugar than white wine.) 

If nothing else, this "diet" has really been a lifestyle shift for my family.  We are eating MUCH healthier and I am much more conscious about what I buy at the store now.  LOTS of fresh fruits and veggies have taken the place of fruit snacks, trail mix, and goldfish in the afternoons.  I also RARELY find myself craving "Fast Food" anymore and I used to eat it frequently.  AND I am pleased to say, that unsweet tea has now replaced my cravings for COKE!! I had a Coke this past weekend and couldn't even finish it because it made me feel so bloated. I never thought I would say that! 

Some of my FAVORITE things to make now are spaghetti squash.  Recipe HERE.  And then Taco Salad... we do ground beef, corn, lettuce, tomatoes, and sliced up avocado topped with Salsa from Chili's :) Its YUMMY!!!  Logan's favorite lunch these days is tuna salad and my favorite snack has become apples with almond butter from Trader Joes.  
Who are we?!?! I don't even recognize us! Haha! We do NOT keep a scale in our house for said reason listed in the first paragraph, but I have noticed that I feel better and my pants are buttoning up a lot easier than they used to ;) So I would encourage anyone to try it and not be HARD CORE about it, but be REALISTIC.  When you do challenges like this it really makes you take a good hard look at your eating habits and sometimes just a tweak or two can make all the difference in your diet! I am not an expert by any means, but I feel like if WE were able to do this, ANY family can! 

Monday, March 3, 2014

The Little Moments

I want to remember and cherish these little everyday moments that I have with Stella. I know she's going to be grown before I know it so I thought I would make a list today. 

Stella Bug Quirks:

1. Stella always walks up to me and holds her arms above her head for me to pick her up and then she gives me love pats on my back and rests her head on my shoulder. 

2. When she's eating something she REALLY likes or is drinking out of a cup the "grown up" way she SLURPS like a little dog.  Terrible manners but its adorable! She will literally get her tongue out and lick the water/ juice/ milk in the glass. 

3. When she's in her high chair and you smile at her she will lean her head ALL the way to the side and give a squinty, 2 tooth, mischievous grin. 

4. When you wake her up after naps or sleeping through the night, she will bring 2 of her animals with her... usually by their ears, until she wakes up a bit more. 

5. She dances ALL THE TIME. If there is music, she is walking around, bopping up and down, and typically waving her hands and arms around in the air.  The church nursery has consistently told us that you love dancing during baby worship time. 

6. Clapping.... Its hilarious but if we are listening to LIVE music in the car and the audience claps at the end of the song, I can look at you back in your car seat and you are clapping along. 

7. For SOME reason you have really fallen in love with the " Ring around the Rosie" game and you walk or crawl around in circles while we sing it and you can actually sing "ASHES, ASHES" which is SO random and so cute! For a good 20 minutes at a time we can find you wandering the halls singing "Ashes! Ashes!" well after the game is done. 

8. Although majority of what we feed you winds up in your bib, seat, or the floor... We can always count on you to eat EVERY.SINGLE.BITE. of your PB&J sandwich or anything with Nutella on it. So we do know you are capable of eating. You just choose what you do and do not want to devour and definitely have a sweet tooth!

9. Your babbling never gets old. Sometimes I really think YOU think we are having a conversation.  You will just talk and talk and talk... especially in the car or first thing in the morning when Daddy brings you to bed with me. One of your favorite things to say is "Ah Weeeee" and we pretend you are saying "Ah, Oui!" which means "Oh yes!" in French. 

10. You have an affinity for markers, chap stick, bows, and your toothbrush.  You walk around with them in your hands or mouth all day long. 

These are just a few of the cute things that you do every single day that warm my heart and make me smile. I just love you baby girl! 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Hearts Day!

We started eating chocolate at 9am.... because... well, why not!??!? Happy Hearts Day! 

Abby & Stella

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Thoughts on Motherhood

I have been struggling with this blog as you have probably noticed.  I have SO many words trapped in my brain... So many reflections, struggles, thoughts... and yet NO time to do it.  It almost seems like I have SO MUCH to catch up on that I can get paralyzed and just don't post at all.   But writing is therapeutic for me so this afternoon I decided I would get some thoughts down on paper and see how it felt. So here we go! 

Motherhood did not come naturally to me. 

I think my friends and definitely my parents would correct me on this and say "YES! You are a natural! You are a GREAT MOM!"  The thing is, I know am a good Mom.  But it wasn't something that clicked for me, especially at the beginning. You hear stories about how you see your baby for the first time and everything changes and you have never loved something or someone as much as you do in that moment.... Well call it the hormones or my traumatic birth experience, but the beginning months were rough on me.  This baby turned our life upside down and it took time for me to get to know her.  She was a perfect stranger to me. She couldn't play, interact, and didn't have a personality really at all.  I found myself feeling guilty that I was so bored with her.  I could only read baby books for so long or stare at her on the play mat before I felt stupid... It just didn't come natural to me. I felt like I was forcing it or even at times, faking it.  I carted her around and sure, I thought she was ADORABLE and loved dressing her up, but for me, my goal each day was to feed her and try to stop her from crying.  I started feeling the "Mommy guilt" because I didn't have this grand attachment to her like I thought I would. I also didn't feel any different as a person.  I thought I would morph into a "Mom" and somehow feel like more of a woman after having a baby...but I was still ME... with a cute pet. 

But around 8 months, I started to turn a corner.  I noticed a little spunk emerging from Stella.  She started turning from my cute accessory, to my silly sidekick. I started calling our outings "Adventures" even if we were just going to the grocery store. She LOVED riding in the shopping carts and taking it all in and my heart started to swell as I watched her learn new things and take in the world around her.  She started crawling. Babbling.  Flirting with strangers. BELLY laughing. And WALKING. And NOW I can't get enough of her.  

I have been told that some people are "Baby Moms" and others are "Toddler Moms." I think it is safe to say that I am not particularly a "Baby Mom." In fact, I am in no rush to have another one (Lord willing) because I shudder to think of going through all of that again.... I am fully content and present and LOVING where we are at right now in toddler-hood.  Stella may not be able to really talk to me, but she can communicate.  She has started walking over to me and lifting her arms up.  And I know she is reaching up for ME.... because I am her MOM and she LOVES me. There is no better feeling in the world. 

So in case anyone still reads this dusty old blog and has struggled with any of these same sort of thoughts, but has been too embarassed or nervous to share them, know that I have NO idea if we are normal or not...BUT there is someone else out there in the world who has felt the exact same way.  If you are struggling and have a newborn - SOAK up the snuggles and enjoy the fact that you can actually get stuff done without cleaning up every 30 minutes .... AND KNOW, it is only a phase and they will be 1 before you know it! 

That's all I have for today...but it felt nice to share.  Thanks for reading! 


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