A Letter to my First Born Child

My Dear Olive,

I was 26 and not married when I found out I was going to be your mom. I must have taken 100 pregnancy tests before I believed you were true. Your daddy was excited right away, and I thought he must be crazy. What a huge responsibility had been gifted to us and I was worried. I’m just being honest here, I was scared shit-less!

 

The first time I saw your little heart beat on the ultrasound screen is the last time I ever felt alone. As you grew in my belly, I talked to you all the time. People would remark on how often I held my belly. It was some weird instinct so you would know I was there. All of the hormones and emotions were overwhelming. The most overwhelming feeling was love.

 

True to form my sweet girl, you gave mommy such an easy birth. All rainbows and unicorns. On October 24th, 2012 my heart exploded with love as you entered the world. Never in my wildest dreams could I have ever imagined feeling that way. I’ve never been the same since.

 

You will always be the little girl who made me a mom. The little girl who changed my life. The little girl who saved my life. You made me question who I was, and who I wanted to be. You made me face my past, and look forward to my future.

IMG_4828

 

You made me realize what is important in life. You showed me what unconditional love is. You showed me who my true friends were. You made me fall in love with your daddy all over again. For all of those things, I could never thank you enough. I would live through all of our newborn trials and struggles 100 times, because they taught me everything I know now.

 

It is almost impossible to believe that was all 5 years ago. I know I savored my baby time, and documented all the milestones, but it went so damn fast.

IMG_1159

 

You still teach me new things every day. I sometimes wonder how a little girl who looks just like me can be so different. You are so sweet and kind. You are so inquisitive and ambitious, and by far the most well-spoken 5-year-old I have ever met. You have taught me how to forgive those who are not kind to us. You have taught me to apologize for every mistake I make.

IMG_7724

You have tested my patience, and that has made me a more patient person. You’ve tested my strength, and made me a stronger person. You are such a giant part of who I am today.

IMG_2682

I hope I make you as proud of me as I am of you. My gorgeous first-born baby, you are amazing. It is no wonder everyone who meets you loves you. You are truly one of a kind. From your big brown eyes, to your auburn hair, to your magical smile. You make the world a better place, and you certainly make me a better person. Happy 5th birthday bunny!!!

IMG_5248

 

Mommy loves you 309020!

IMG_4751

 

Save or Splurge- Maternity

In my opinion, one of the biggest struggles during pregnancy is what to wear. I personally HATED maternity clothes. Just because I’m knocked up doesn’t mean I want to wear ugly floral prints. I want to wear the same things I normally would. So, here’s the deal. Skip the mall. Those stores are expensive and they totally take advantage of how small every store’s maternity section is. I didn’t learn any of this stuff until I was almost through my second pregnancy, but here’s the deal.

SPLURGE:

Accessories- Now is the time to up your accessory game. The right accessories can totally transform your look. Play up your accessories, and keep your wardrobe basic. Also, your accessories will serve you long after your maternity jeans are in the trash.

IMG_6335

Leggings- Good leggings will serve you well my friend. Cheap leggings will bust at the seam and look worn quickly. A couple pair of black quality leggings will carry you through.

Continue reading

The Story I Never Wanted to Tell

I entered into our second viable pregnancy on the cusp of a miscarriage. I had miscarried before, so I was not new to the feelings. However, this pregnancy I felt relaxed. Maybe that was because I was already 7 weeks along. Yep, I had gone through two full periods all while carrying this baby. Basically, by the time I found out I was pregnant, I was out of the “danger zone”. Or at least the danger zone as I had known it.

The news was shocking to say the least. I was at my OBGYN’s office for a birth control RX. The previous miscarry had been a lot on my husband and I. We had decided to take pre-cautions until we were sure we wanted to try for a second baby. Ironic that this was the day I saw the baby I absolutely couldn’t live without.

ultrasound1

No symptoms, no signs of pregnancy. A different baby, a different pregnancy. It was then that I learned, sometimes when a woman miscarries, her body will begin to ovulate “twice a month”. Often your cycle will continue through the first couple months of pregnancy. Lots of surprises that day.

Fast forward a few months and I’m feeling great. I’ve been relaxed and traveling. Spending time with family out of state. I got to announce this baby in person to so many people that I loved. Something most “out of towners” don’t get to do. Thanks to a new blood panel test, we would even know the sex in a few weeks.

I had secretly been longing for another little girl. I felt like I knew her all along. We shot our “announcement photo’s” with a little pair of pink baby shoes along ours. Even a picture of my husband digging in his wallet, lol. I held off on telling distant friends and social media until exactly 15 weeks.

img_5603

 

That’s when it happened.

Continue reading

I’m raising women here, OK?

friends

When I found out our first baby was a girl, I was thrilled. After almost two years of girl life, I wasn’t ready for that to be over. I silently hoped our second little bundle was a girl as well. Nothing made me happier than finding out I was going to be a girl mom again. Sure, I’ve had scary thoughts of teenage life with these two sweeties, but nothing could damper my happiness of raising girls. WRONG! O how wrong I was!

It’s not the drama, the attitude, the whining and crying. It’s the other girls. Apparently, we now live in some alternative universe where “mean girls” start in pre-school. Now, I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck. I was prepared to counsel my girls through middle and high school bullying. BUT pre-school, are you F’ing kidding me? This isn’t going to be the post where I rant and rave about my daughter’s experiences with “mean girls”. This is the post where I make sure my daughter doesn’t turn into one.

Continue reading

Table Transformation

image

This is my biggest re-furb project to date and definitely the most involved. Usually with my furniture projects there is no pressure. If it works out awesome, if not, I just get rid of it. I’ve only worked on pieces that were almost out the door anyways. Here are some before pictures.

(A few notes about this set. It was sold by Ashley Furniture about 8-10 years ago, it has some solid wood and some composite. The top showed the most wear, as you can see below. The composite and laminate did not cause any problems with this project.)

Continue reading

The Dreaded HOLIDAY Card

Image result for christmas cards on mantle

Once again Christmas card season is upon us. I mean, can we call it a Christmas card? Do we have to call it a holiday card? I don’t know what to call it, but I do know I’m late. My social media feeds are already packed full of adorable family photos which will inevitably become Christmas cards. I have yet to even schedule a photo session. I’m just not into it this year. Usually my Christmas cards are my pride and joy. This year there is a good chance it might not even happen. Let me tell you why.

First of all, this year has been so cray! Every day it’s something. It’s dance class, pre-school, therapy, holiday parties, birthday parties, doctors’ appointments, grocery store, not to mention someone in this house is always sick. We are off of all official kid activities this week, and I’m trying desperately not to leave the house. The last damn thing I want to do is dress my family and drag them to a photo shoot. Also, my photo shoot joy was trampled by my husband this year.

Continue reading