Thursday, October 20, 2016

Becoming a Mother- #TogetherWeMother Series

This is part two in an ongoing series I'm taking part of- #TogetherWeMother. I'm joining up with ten other mothers to share our collective experiences on a monthly topic. I'm really excited to be a part of this, and I hope you'll check out all of the other posts too, linked at the bottom. This month's topic is all about the moment we found out we were going to become a Mom.


There are these moments in our lives- markers- where there is a distinct before and after. Sometimes it's hard to even remember what life was like in those "before" times, everything seeming so much more full in the after, and then other times it might be hard to even look back. Life is funny like that- you don't always realize when it's happening, but sometimes you get lucky and are able to experience these transformative moments while acknowledging them at the very same time.

I can still remember the day I found out I was going to become a mother. We were living in our tiny home downtown and had just returned from a weekend away. Hank and I had been together for years at that point and our life was easy and breezy as newlyweds. He was touring with his band, I was teaching high school English, we were content to live in our little home and do as we pleased like the young twenty-somethings we were. But soon babies became a part of our conversation. Was this the right time? Did we really want to go for it? I'd known I'd wanted to be a mother forever, but actually putting that dream into motion seemed a bit scary.

But then suddenly there we were. It was early, maybe 5:30am, when I woke up excited because it was finally the day I could take a pregnancy test and maybe, possibly know. I opened the packaging quietly (small house, teeny tiny bathroom, Hank still asleep), and took the test. Minutes later...there it was...the faintest line. A positive. A yes. A YES! I can still remember waiting a minute, sitting there on the fluffy, white bathroom rug. I read the instructions over again. Maybe the line meant negative, maybe I wasn't seeing it correctly. I couldn't be! But yes, it was positive. There was a baby growing inside of my body, everything we had dreamed of, and there I was, in that very moment. Life was about to change. And there we were.

I ran down the hall to our bedroom, heart pounding, jumped on the bed and woke up Hank- "WE'RE PREGNANT!"

And so it began.

That morning has been the most distinct before and after I've ever experienced in my life, and definitely one of the most beautiful. It's so much more than that moment too- it's the past seven years all rolled into one, overarching feeling- I am a mother. It changes you, whether you grow the child inside of your body or meet your child later. Who you were before is still there, but even in that first moment, you start to change.

When you begin to live completely for love, nourishing someone else, responsible for keeping them safe and warm and fed, something shifts. Your heart grows in ways you might have never thought possible, and in my case, I grew a greater love for myself too. As time went on, I saw myself in a new light- through the beautiful warmth in my children's eyes- and that on its own has been one of the most life-changing and profound experiences of my life. Nursing my newborn as we stared at one another, playing with my one-year-old on the floor as he laughed, holding his hands as he looked up and smiled, learning to walk. Later having two babies snuggled in bed, one on each side, two very different people but both with the capacity to love so hard. And they see me- they really see me, and through them I have learned what it means to love unconditionally and without boundary.

Today I have those two babies in bed with me, but now their hands are on my belly, feeling their little brother or sister move around, 19 weeks and growing by the minute. When I first learned I would become a mother I never dreamed of this. I couldn't have ever imagined two little boys here, with another sweet baby on the way. I couldn't have ever envisioned how I would have changed and grown myself, from that very moment sitting on the bathroom floor, taking a silent moment to let it all sink in. I think back to that morning and I can't help but feel emotional and grateful, and in awe of how far we've all come. The before sure was sweet, but the after couldn't be any better if I dreamed it up myself.

Be sure to check out the inspiring women also taking part in this project, and read their posts as well:

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

October/Fall Faves

a photo from Adie and Addison's wedding this past weekend! I was 17 weeks here. :) See my dress here and boots here.

I love doing these link round ups. It's almost as fun as actually buying all of the cute things! Fall is the best time to stock up on new items, and right now there are a ton of great sales going on. I've been on the hunt for a couple cute maternity items that will get me through the next five-ish months, so I'll include some pregnancy-friendly links below too! Enjoy. xo

First off- Shopbop is one of my favorite places to get Free People and other brands I love. And right now they're having a BIG sale- 25% your entire order under $500, or 30% off your entire order over $500 with code MAINEVENT16. I just got a bunch of great things I've had my eyes on forever and it kind of felt like I had an employee discount with such a big sale. Sale on sale works too, and a TON of good stuff is already marked down- I got a Chloe bag I've had my eye on forever, for basically 50% off. Crazy.

And now, some links --

I picked up one of these floral planners in the Shopbop sale. I'm so excited for it to arrive!

Another Shopbop grab from the sale- I'm loving the Out 'N About Booties so much.

Great ankle boots: these and these.

On my dress wish list - one, two, and three.

So expensive for a freaking sweater coat but SO cute.

And another sweater I'm loving- especially in gold.

This comfy looking hoodie is great.

These are my go-to pregnancy leggings. They're not maternity, but they are perfect for it! The unhappy reviews totally don't make sense to me because I can't sing these pants' praises enough!

Also, these maternity jeans are my favorites. They're pricey, but you seriously only need to invest in just one pair- they'll last you your entire pregnancy and beyond.

I really love this necklace!

Some fun Target finds: these overalls, this top, and this sweater.

For maternity, one of my favorites is ASOS! Also, this dress isn't maternity but would be perfect.

And finally, how great is this bag? Love it for Fall.


Friday, October 7, 2016

Read. Watch. Listen.


So I finished this book last night and all morning I've been preoccupied thinking about it and processing it. Have you read it? There's so much to say- and it's hard because I don't want to say too much, but I also feel like I have a lot of thoughts about it. The biggest thing is how much I enjoyed reading it. And not in a "oh this is such a fun book!" kind of way but in an up and down, all around, every emotion kind of way. I related so much to so many parts of this book. I cried numerous times. I felt elated and then really really sad. It was almost like reading someone's diary- but while the author's struggles may not be my own personal struggles, there were so many bits that had me nodding my head saying "me too" on one level or another. I think anyone would be able to find even some part of her story relatable. It was a gripping book- the author is VERY vulnerable throughout, and it inspired me in so many different ways to be more raw and real...and to speak my own truth. One word of caution though, towards the end of the book God becomes a big part of the story. I didn't mind one bit, but I know that some people may be turned off. For me though it was just part of the bigger picture and I thought it was just beautiful. And yes, that was a very vague book review, but that's how I like them. I hate knowing too much. So I'm just gonna say- go read it!


If you have HBO, you have to watch the sneak preview of the Divorce premiere that they just released. It's a new series starring Sarah Jessica Parker, and I think show will definitely be a big hit. I loved it. I thought SJP's acting was spot on, and the story (all about you guessed it, divorce!) is great. I also thought it was so interesting how my perception of her character shifted a few times just in this first episode. I hadn't seen the trailer beforehand- I just logged into HBO Go to watch Six Feet Under (my new obsession, so good!) and this was at the top. I watched the trailer after, and I actually would recommend seeing the first episode and THEN seeing the trailer like I did! Have you seen this yet? What did you think?


I'm in such a music rut right now. This happens every so often and it usually precedes a great new musical discovery or just going back to old favorites. Right now I've had the Spotify 90s playlist on a big loop while I'm doing cardio, but I'm over it. I need new music! I can remember the summer my friend showed me The Gaslight Anthem- it was such a fun time of musical new-ness, I basically devoured all of their albums over the course of those few months. I want to find something to fall in love with like that again! So rather than share something here, I'm asking for your suggestions! What is your current must-listen music right now? I love every genre, from country to classical, so I am all ears!


Thursday, September 29, 2016

Our Current Favorite Children's Books

We are in such a fun place right now with books- Henry is officially reading on his own and Charlie is loving it more than ever. If you've been following along for awhile you know what a big role reading plays in our lives (see our special hashtag on IG here), and the rotation of books on the boys' nightstands is always changing. Together we picked out these five books to share with you all- they're our current go-tos for bedtime and everything in between! I hope that you pick some up for any kiddos you have in your life, and enjoy the happiness to come.

1. The Pout-Pout Fish. This book brings the LAUGHS every time we read it. The first time we read it (the blub, blub, BLUB part- you'll know what I mean when you read it), they were dying from laughter. Each each time we've read it they laugh just as much. I love it. It's a cute book with smart writing, and a great addition to any home library.

2. Gaston. This is the best book ever and aside from it being one of the kids' long-running favorites, it's my most favorite kid's book too! The illustrations are phenomenal, the story is so enjoyable for kids and adults alike, and there's a totally sweet message too. If you get one book from this list, let this be it! And great news, there's a second book in the series coming out this February.

3. We love ALL Mo Willems books in this house, but recently The Pigeon Needs a Bath has taken front and center as the favorite. Another book that will have your kids laughing so hard, and you'll be right there too. I love books like this that appeal to all ages, and it's just a sweet, funny story that keeps little ones entertained from beginning to end.

4. Leonardo the Terrible Monster. This is another Mo Willems book but totally different than the Pigeon series. It's a cute story about choosing to be a good friend. And like all Willems books, the illustrations and story are equally fantastic.

5. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone- the illustrated edition. Henry and I are about to start this, and it will be our first chapter book that we'll read together! We're both so excited. I've had the book on hand for awhile, and the other day he spotted it and asked if we could start it. So fun, right? I'll keep you posted on how it goes.

Happy reading! xo

ps. see my boots here (my most favorite ankle boots ever), and my dress here! It's so incredibly comfortable- and perfect for Fall. :)

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Baby #3

Some of you may know that Hank and I have been going back and forth about having another baby for the longest time. You could ask me one week, and I might tell you "hmmm, maybe...but not now." Or another week it would be more of a no. That week would probably be characterized by the boys being crazy and me feeling like adding another child to the mix would be insane. But then we went to Switzerland and had 10 days all to ourselves...and had all the the time in the world to make a baby. Haha! Sooo, we ended up bringing home the best souvenir there is- a Swiss-made baby!

We are SO excited. We found out right after the 4th of July and I probably wasted a million tests taking them way too early. Switzerland had been the first time since having Charlie we just didn't prevent getting pregnant, so it was almost a little unbelievable to me that we actually came home with a baby. I had a sneaking suspicion though, so I kept buying those dang tests and taking them days before I should even be doing so, until one morning I saw the faaaaaiiintest line. I'm talking barely visible. I immediately brought it out to Hank and was like, DO YOU SEE THIS?! AM I CRAZY?! And he confirmed the faint line. I of course took two more (maybe three), and lo and behold, the line was definitely there! AHH!

So here I am, 15.5 weeks pregnant and due March 2017. We are definitely finding out the sex of the baby, and if you asked me today, I'd tell you I think we are having a third boy. Before I got pregnant I SO wanted a girl, and if we had a girl I would be over the moon, but once I actually became pregnant it was such a calming thought to know that whatever sex we are having, he or she is already growing and thriving! We're just excited to meet this little person that will be the most welcome addition to our family.

I'll be back soon to talk more about how this pregnancy has been different/the same from my previous two- I have so much to say about it. I'm just SO excited to finally share the news. I entertained the idea of not telling at all, and just showing up online with a baby one day (haha), but it's been hard for me to want to post anything without talking about it, so I'm really happy to be out with the news.

March (and this baby!) will be here before we know it! 


Board gifted by Letterfolk.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Weekend Links

I am SO excited that it's Fall. It's my most favorite time of the year and it's finally here! I feel like I should post only Fall-related links today, but I'll spare you...for now. Here we go--

Watch this, it's important.

How to pick the fastest line at the grocery store.

Did you watch the This Is Us premiere last week? If not, DO IT! I'm so excited about this show.

Wishlist: one of these scarves, these boots, and this sweater. I also really would love to try out a pair of these skinnies.

This school replaced detention with meditation.

And speaking of meditation, here's a 6-minute one for better sleep.

Wrap me up in all of these, please.

Love this: Don't Put Off Your Girls' Weekends.

Scientists discover children's cells living in mothers' brains. So interesting.

We all know a Brock Turner.

Well then: Anthony Bourdain Wants To See The Pumpkin Spice Trend ‘Drowned In Its Own Blood'.

A pretty painting. And some amazing prints.

West Elm is having a huge 20% everything sale. Here are my top three faves: one, two, and three.

I really enjoyed reading this post from my friend Jen! I love Canada.

I Used To Be A Human Being.

Anthropologie love- this dress, this sweater, and these pillows.

Have you ever worn this brand before? I recently picked up a dress on sale and really love it. The quality is great.

And finally, I am halfway through this book and LOVING it. I will share more when I finish it this weekend, but I can't recommend it enough!


Thursday, September 22, 2016

Finding Your Village- #TogetherWeMother Series

This is part one in an ongoing series I'm taking part of- #TogetherWeMother. I'm joining up with ten other mothers to share our collective experiences on a monthly topic. I'm really excited to be a part of this, and I hope you'll check out all of the other posts too! I'll link them below.

When I was pregnant with Henry I remember hearing the phrase "it takes a village" and not really connecting with it. What do you mean a village? There I was stressing about how breastfeeding would work or how I would ever sleep again, or even just imagining giving birth to this child, that I couldn't imagine how anyone else would ever play a role in a raising my baby. It seemed complicated enough trying to figure out to even integrate our immediate family into the hospital room post-birth. So imagining a village? No. I knew I had my people- the women I'd grown up with over the years, my best friends from college, the ones I'd text in the middle of the night- "Are you up? 8 months pregnant is no joke- I can't sleep!" and they'd be right there across the line, offering up their own anecdotes, laughter, tears. Those were and still are my people, but unfortunately we were far away from each other, with just phones and the internet to keep us connected between visits. But as time went on, I realized the value in having that support right there in person, too.

I had moved to Prescott years earlier, thanks to meeting Hank, and had wonderful friends I met through him and teaching, but once I became pregnant for the first time I started to worry I didn't have any "Mom friends." We live in a small town so I worried even more it wouldn't be possible to find "my people," let alone my people who also happened to be first time expectant Moms. And that's not to say that you need to only be friends with those who share your same storyline, but I recognized then that I was missing that in my life, and there were times while pregnant I would feel sad knowing that I didn't have anyone right there who knew exactly what I was experiencing.

Time went on, and Henry was born. I didn't feel like anything was missing, because I had our friends and family surrounding us, but when Hank went back to work and I was home alone with Henry all day, sometimes I would think how nice it would be to have my people right there. So I kept putting myself out there. I would take Henry to storytime at the library, music class at a local church, walks downtown. I'm good on my own, and I wasn't actively seeking friendship, but I felt like the best thing to do was to stay open. And one day at the library, I spotted a tall blonde, with a little boy around Henry's age sitting in a stroller. She looked so sweet and when our mutual friend introduced us, I immediately knew we'd be friends.

Fast forward to five years later and that meeting in the library has turned into one of the most cherished friendships in my life! It's amazing how that happens- you meet one person and then meet another, and suddenly you have a little group. We were all new Moms, all figuring everything out together, and our daily walks and talks and playdates were exactly what I needed.

But trying to pinpoint a moment where I realized I needed this in-person, physical village? It's hard. I don't often think about it, but sometimes I'm hit so hard with the love I have for these women who have become such a big part my family's life. It's years of building relationships, sharing experiences, going through things together. It's having my second baby, and seeing their faces in my hospital room, or at our house days later. It's the meals dropped off, the texts to check in, the "get your butt out here and walk right now" when I got quiet and sad after having him. It's going through terrible life events- sick parents and death- and knowing you have these women to lean on. It's dropping your kids off in a pinch and never ever having the feeling that you owe them something- it's just what you do for each other. It's long walks talking about everything, our stroller wheels crunching over Fall leaves as we stroll around the square. It's weekend excursions and family dinners and after school playdates. It's texting each other saying "Today is the WORST day" and knowing it's safe to be vulnerable and real and let it out. It's the "me toos" and "been theres" and it's knowing that I have these women behind me, cheering me on, lifting me up, and doing the same for them.

Regardless of where you find it, having a team is important. It's so hard to be in a new place, trying to meet new people. It's tiring thinking about starting over with new friends, right? Believe me, I've been there. I'm no expert, but if I could impart anything I've learned from my own experience it would be to get out there! Sign up for everything. Mommy and me yoga, prenatal yoga, music class, Stroller Strides, anything related to your interests. I guarantee there are other parents there who also would love to meet like-minded new friends. But most of all, be yourself. Like attracts like, so if you want to connect with those who will best connect with you, there's nothing better than being exactly who you are. You'll find your people, I promise.


Be sure to check out the inspiring women also taking part in this project, and read their posts:

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