Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Life Lately | Instagram Edition

Faith

I am exhausted emotionally and physically. On a scale of 1-10 (1 being horrible and 10 being the most patient person ever), I would rate myself a big fat zero in the patience department. Impatient with my husband, impatient with myself, impatient with work...just plain impatient. 

So let's just cut to the chase...I am spiritually depleted. It's crazy and, frankly, disappointing that I have to get to a place of sheer exhaustion and annoyance before I realize the reason why I'm so empty. I am not seeking God daily. I start each day running around like a crazy woman instead of spending a few quiet moments with Him...in prayer and in Scripture. I'm not calling on Him in moments of exhaustion and irritation. I find myself doing more talking, griping and complaining than praying for discernment and direction. 

I'm simply dealing with day to day stuff that we all deal with. So the thing that scares me the most is something happening...some real tragedy, heart break, storm...that will require me to draw strength from the Lord. And how much harder that trial or storm would be given that I'm empty. With an empty tank, there would be nothing to draw from. Nothing. 

As I reflect on the past year, I can easily recall all of the AMAZING and undeserved blessings that have come my way. A good husband, health, a new home, a precious healthy baby, a great career...the list goes on. The audacity of me to not thank Him DAILY for all of that...and so much more. 

I want to do better. I will do better. In Jesus name.

Marriage

2013 was a busy and trying year for us. In a year's time, we found out we were pregnant, we bought a home, and we had a baby. Often times, rather than draw closer together to work things out and communicate to make sure we're on the same page, we became each other's enemy...consuming ourselves with winning the fight. We always eventually come back together but I wonder why we don't first choose oneness rather than going through a difficult storm THEN coming together. I must remember that if one of us loses, we both lose. 

Hubby & I headed to his work Christmas party

I love my sweet daughter...she requires so much of me right now...so I tend to spend most of my energy loving and nurturing her. And in the mean time, I know my hubby is feeling neglected. So in the new year, I vow to prioritize and honor him. I need to remember that in 18+ years when the kid(s) are gone, it'll just be us. I need to nurture "us" along the way so we aren't looking at each other years from now trying to figure out why we don't know or like one another. 
  
 Motherhood

It's funny...when I was pregnant, I kept waiting for these feelings of love for my daughter to consume me. It even took me a day or two after she was born for the two of us to click. She came out and I remember feeling excited and overwhelmed...but the love came later.  I mean...I felt like I loved her but I had NO idea that I would literally fall in deep love with her. 

Baby Ryann

Being a mother has brought so much joy to my world. It's like I don't even remember my life before she came along. No wait...yes I do. It was filled with busyness. I was always on the go. So having her has made me slow down. And just enjoy being home.

Being a mother is such an important job. My hope and prayer is that I'll be a good steward over her little life. That I would set an example for her of a godly woman, wife, and mother. Raising her up to know, love, and fear the Lord. Yep...that's my prayer.

Speaking of motherhood, let's talk for a second about Kendall...my stepdaughter. 

Kendall & I enjoying some hot cocoa on a Sunday afternoon

Kendall is an extremely smart and sassy 7-year-old. She's an extrovert...not afraid to try new things and would probably talk to a fly if it would talk back to her. She's very artistic, loves music, and is already such a little fashionista. So many things to love about her yet I tend to focus on the aspects of her personality that I don't care for so much. Any time you have a blended family situation, there are going to be influences...environments, people, things...that the other parent (and stepparent) doesn't agree with. But it's never the child's fault. Never. Being a blended family is hard for us...but I know it has to be even harder for her. I know how important my influence can be when we do spend time with her...and I want to use my influence for good. I desire to be someone Kendall can trust and someone she can look up to. And not the mean ol' stepmother that is always on her about everything. 

I just have to remember to take one day at a time. And make time for her. Time to celebrate her and all of the beautiful and interesting things about her. And like Ryann, I desire to set an example for her of a godly woman, wife, and mother. Raising her up to know, love, and fear the Lord.

Friendship

This is an exciting season for many of my friends. This year has brought new babies, new homes, and new jobs for some of our closest friends. 

Baby Ryann & her new friend, baby Gabby

This year has also been trying for many of our friends....job loss and death among the hardest trials. 

Through the good and the bad, I want to be there for my friends. Just like marriage and motherhood, friendships have to be nurtured. I pray all of my friendships continue to grow and that I would be the kind of friend that makes others feel important and loved. 

Style

When I became pregnant, I was pretty excited about styling my baby bump. Months 3-6 were fun...the baby bump was still "cute" then. And then I kept gaining weight. And more weight. And nearly 45 pounds later, the only thing I wanted to wear were yoga pants and my hubby's t-shirts. 

Headed to dinner with the ladies
Outfit inspiration here

Early on, much of this blog's focus was around fashion and my personal style. Since I've lost most of my baby weight, I'm thinking it's time to get back out there...putting fun outfits together and showcasing them here on the blog. I have to say that I envy mom bloggers who seem to have time to be a wife, mom, work a full-time job, AND put on clothes, take pics, and blog about their outfit of the day. Seriously...who has time to do all of that?! Anyway, I adore clothes, shoes, and all things girly, so I'm hoping to bring that back to the blog more often.

Work

Well...work is work. I'm grateful for a job. A good paying job at that. Not much more to say on that except that I need to be more positive and encouraging in the workplace...a light. Rather than allow myself to get sucked in to the gossip and complaining that comes along with my profession and the constant change that seems to be happening with my company.

Looking Forward

I'm excited for the new year. With a new year comes a desire to start fresh, to be better, mend relationships, get in shape, etc, etc. I do want to set some goals for the year. Not as many as I set (and failed at) this year. Just a few. And I want to make some much needed changes to the blog...refocus a little. So I hope you'll stick with me.

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Monday, December 23, 2013

Month {3}


This month has been bittersweet for me. Bitter because I went back to work on December 9th and sweet because my baby girl turned 3 months on December 17th. The transition back to work wasn't as hard as I thought it would be - mostly because she has been with my mom for the past 2 weeks. There was definitely no shortage of Grandma lovin' - my mom took great care of her.

She'll do half days on January 2nd and 3rd and will officially start daycare full-time on the 6th. Still on the fence about daycare. I hear the first week is the hardest but, after that, we'll settle into a routine. That's what I'm looking forward to at this point.


Anyway, enough about daycare. Before I share milestones and pics from the past month, I have to tell you about our bottle feeding dilemma. While I was on maternity leave, I had become really lazy about pumping and bottle feeding. Nursing her was just easier. So about 3 weeks before I went back to work, I realized I needed to start pumping and storing....and getting a bottle routine down. Well baby girl wasn't having it. Initially, I thought she was refusing the formula (I occasionally supplement), so we put expressed milk in a bottle and she still refused the bottle. She would literally scream until I gave her what she wanted...the boob. I did what most mothers do in a pinch...take to the internet. I went to babycenter.com and read about a mother who was preparing to go back to work so she was trying to get her baby to take a bottle and he went a whole 15 hours without eating...15 HOURS! I went into panic mode...the thought of my girl being that stubborn and not eating for that many hours scared the crap out of me. It made the thought of going back to work that much harder. So I reached out to my pediatrician and she reminded me that I'm the parent, this was basically a battle of the wills, and I just needed to keep working with her. I started out giving her a bottle once a day and increased it to 2 then 3 bottles...and about a week later our bottle feeding boycott was over. And with a week to spare before I had to be back at work. THANK GOD.

Milestones
12.8 pounds
Still wearing 3 month clothes
Size 2 diapers
Eating every 2-3 hours
Sleeping well...6-8 hours a night followed by a long morning nap
Seems to recognize mommy and daddy and gets excited when we enter the room
When on her back, she waves those arms and kicks those little legs like no other
Holding her head up well
Brings her little hands together and opens and closes her fingers
Loves her playmat and is trying to grab at the little toys on it
Rolled over for my mom last week - she hasn't rolled over for us yet
Still quite the little chatter box - always cooing
Squints when she enters a bright room (random but it's kinda cute)
So smiley and happy...trying to get her first giggles out


And to celebrate her turning 3 months, my mom and I took her to get her ears pierced! Like the bottle feeding, it was a slightly dramatic experience. She doesn't like to be "handled" so holding her head still and having a needle stuck through her little ear lobes didn't make her very happy. Thankfully the screaming only lasted for a couple minutes. I couldn't imagine her being any cuter than she already is but the earrings make her doubly cute! 


I really couldn't ask for a sweeter baby. I love her so much!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Ryann's Nursery











Glider & Ottoman {Gift from parents} // Pillow // Table {similar} // Vase, Flowers & Lamp


Maternity Photo by Team Howard Photography // Frame



I've been meaning to post pictures of baby girl's nursery for awhile. Since we're snowed/iced in here in Dallas this weekend, I figured I'd tackle it today. 

It's funny...I spent so much time fussing and rushing to get her room done when I was pregnant...and she hasn't spent one night in her room. A lot of people told me not to worry too much about getting it done because she likely wouldn't spend much time in there the first few months. I don't regret getting it done though...one less thing I have to worry about later.

I blogged about the nursery inspiration and furniture rehab projects here & here. I initially started with a color palette of pink, mint, black and white. But decided against mint and eventually threw black & white out, as well. I settled on pink, white, and turquoise for the base colors with pops of gold. It was also important for me to create a space that I could easily transition to a big girl room once she grows out of the crib. And I have to say that I'm pretty pleased with how it all came together. 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Oh, December 9th...You came way too fast!

The weeks leading up to Ryann's birth were pretty hectic. Work was hectic, home was hectic (I was in major nesting mode at that point)...life just felt hectic. So other than being super excited to finally meet my baby girl, I was really looking forward to unplugging from work and just being home. Since I graduated from college 8 years ago and started my career, I have never had more than a couple weeks off at a time from work. So 3 whole months off seemed like a dream. 

Fast forward 12 weeks. The time is here. This Monday, December 9th, is the day I go back to work after a 12 week maternity leave. When I had Ryann nearly 12 weeks ago, I remember thinking December 9th seemed like a year away. But it went soooo fast. And I find myself experiencing a plethora of emotions. Glad to be getting back into the swing of things, anxious about getting caught up on all of the changes that occurred while I was out, nervous about how she'll survive without me responding immediately to her every need, but mostly sad about having to leave my girl. I've never been away from her for more than 4 hours at a time since she was born. So the thought of being away from her for 8+ hours everyday just makes me plain sad.  

Thankfully my mom will be here with her for the rest of this month. I wish that could be more of a permanent care option because, next to me, I know my mom would take the best care of her. But my parents live on the other side of town so daycare is the best option for now.

Speaking of daycare, I can't help but think about the fact that no one will pick her up every time she cries or give her the hugs and kisses I would give her if I was home with her all day. I think about some of her "firsts" that I'll miss while at work or traveling for work. It pains me to know that she'll be exposed to all kinds of icky germs that she might not be exposed to if she was home every day. 

My list of worries seems endless. But then there's God. A God that reminds me in Matthew 6 that worrying won't add a single hour to my life...instead I must trust that just as He provides food for the birds of the air, He will protect her, loves her more than I ever could, and has a plan for her precious life. 


My mom also reminded me the other day that many working moms don't get 12 weeks off to bond with their babies. So, for that, I'm grateful. Grateful for paid leave and a job to go back to. Can I get an Amen for paid time off!?

I can say with full confidence that the past 3 months have been some of the most challenging, yet most exciting and rewarding months of my life. I'm so in love with my sweet girl and, rather than wallow in worry and fear of the unknown, I want nothing more than to redirect that energy toward making the most of the time that I do have with her...mornings, evenings, weekends, and all of the little moments in between. 

Monday starts a new chapter in our lives...I'm reluctantly buckling up for the ride...but buckling up nonetheless.

It's yours, Lord. It's yours. 

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