Wednesday, September 6, 2017

coming back to me.

"i did not feel like ME after having my firstborn, but it's been the most beautiful journey
 coming back to me and learning who i really am through motherhood."  

i feel those words deep down in my soul. those twenty-nine words strung together perfectly sum up the last two months of my life. motherhood is one of the best experiences, but goodness- it rocked my world in the beginning. there were many moments in those first few weeks that i didn't recognize the girl looking back at me in the mirror. it was more than the physical changes + exhausted eyes. i didn't really know who i was anymore. but - as chrissy so poignantly said - it has been a beautiful journey to re-discover who i am now.

for weeks, i was a typical new mom: uptight about every little thing pertaining to jackson. not willing to accept help because i felt the need to show everyone i could do it all. worrying about the what ifs and should haves. gah, i was a hot mess, y'all. after days of tears + no sleep, jared gave me no choice: his mom was coming over to watch jackson while i showered, brushed my hair, and took a few minutes to myself. not only did that snap me out of those postpartum baby blues, it opened my eyes to the importance of self-care.

i chopped six+ inches of hair off last night. it was a symbolic way of getting rid of the dead stuff in my life. i'm learning that a little bit of "me time" means i can give all of me to my family and be fully present versus giving them every bit of me and being stressed/tired. it isn't selfish; it's healthy.

tauren wells' song - hills and valleys - has been my motherhood anthem. it came on the radio during that first week of jackson's life. i had a moment with the Lord in the car that was so sweet. i'm so thankful that the Lord is close to the brokenhearted and welcomes us back with open arms when we've wandered.

this new dynamic is a challenging, ever-constant learning process. it's wild + messy + humbling + fun + i'm taking in every single moment.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

day date in OKC.

my new favorite photo  //  refreshing lemonade  //  the cheesecake factory
pink drink  //  animal art  //  where we had our first date!

Monday, September 4, 2017

dairy-free diet.

i mentioned this in passing in another blog post, but i recently started a dairy-free diet. for the first month and a half, jackson cried a lot. not extreme, but maybe just a little more than what's normal for a newborn. we tried everything. [and spent a lot of money trying everything!] after some research, i finally decided to try going dairy-free in hopes that maybe this was the problem.

within three days, it was like he was a different baby! i couldn't believe it. this doesn't necessarily mean that jackson has a dairy intolerance. some babies just have a hard time breaking down a protein in cow's milk. i will re-introduce a little bit of dairy when he is about six months old to see how he handles it. in most cases, a baby's digestive system has matured, so they can tolerate cow's milk.

in all honesty, it really hasn't been that hard to go dairy-free. once i learned what i can and can't eat, it was fairly easy. i also learned:

-  there is dairy in everything!  it was a little disheartening at first because i wondered if all i could eat was air. but i have a cheat sheet that is always with me so i can scan the ingredients label. 

-  while i miss a lot of my favorites [cheese + cake] - nothing matters that much when i see how much happier jackson is

-  i plan to continue a healthier lifestyle. i've always been able to eat whatever i want and not really see the effects. but having great metabolism doesn't mean that what i'm putting in my body is good for me. while i'm not giving up all the things, i am going to find a happy medium. i don't want to fill up on foods that are full of sugar and such, but you best believe when someone has a birthday, i will eat cake to celebrate! 

i actually really enjoy this new diet. here are a few of my favorite treats:

coco whip.  oh, mylanta. i've hated cool whip/whipped cream for as long as i can remember. but this stuff? it's like manna from heaven! i piled it on angel food cake [i had no idea it was dairy-free!] with strawberries.

just ranch. it tastes just like regular ranch. so good!

non-dairy burrito. i pretty much live off these burritos. it's filled with beans + rice. i dip them in the ranch, too!

cashew milk ice cream + coconut milk ice cream.  definitely my favorite treat! that snickerdoodle ice cream alllllllmost rivals my favorite ice cream ever. i will still eat these even after i can eat dairy again.

coffee made with almond milk.  it's no secret that i have a love affair with coffee. at first, i was bummed that i had to give up lattes, but then i realized i could still drink them + substitute it with almond or coconut milk. this almond milk coffee is super delicious, too! [i'm drinking some as i type this blog post actually.]

coconut water. actually i love coconut eeeeeeverthing!  confession time: up until this dairy-free diet, i thought i hated coconut. turns out it's just the texture of coconut, but the flavor? obsessed. coconut milk, coconut water, coconut ice cream - gimme all the coconut-flavored foods!


Thursday, August 31, 2017

a month in review // august 2017

pretty liles growing in our new backyard  //  delicious latte made by husband  //  late night blogging
mirror selfie with the cutest baby ever  //  THAT FACE. i just can't handle it!
this stuff is SO good! i'll drink it even after i stop this dairy-free diet  //  pink drink on my beeday  //  fairmount coffee co.


//  we closed on our new home! [with a newborn. yes- we are insane.] we were living with my sister-in-law and her family for about two weeks so jared could work on minor home improvements to the house we sold. it was SO fun living there. i always had someone to watch jackson, but even more so- i had people to hang out with and talk and such. i'm not gonna lie - i love our new house - but i kinda miss living there. but jackson goes to their house three days a week, so it's all good. :)

//  i started back to work full time. that first day was a little rough, but it has honestly been a lot easier than i thought! i practically run into the house when i get off work because i just miss my baby so much. i think it's easier because my sister-in-law and a church friend watch him during the week, so i can rest easy knowing he's with people we trust. i was also working part time at home and going into work a few hours a week during my maternity leave, so that made the transition easier, too.

//  i celebrated my golden birthday - 31 on the 31st! we had dinner with jared's parents, and we are going to OKC for a little day trip this weekend.

//  jackson turns two months old


::  i am having the best time decorating our new home, but i'm learning that it doesn't have to happen overnight. i work on the office + jackson's room little by little each week. this is also a good lesson in terms of buying new decor. i could drop some serious cash if i tried to decorate all at once, but i love the thrill of finding little gems that are more our personalities. [like this dino planter. obsessed.]

::  jackson cried a lot in the first month and half. i realize babies cry, but he seemed to cry a little more than what was normal. for weeks, i was afraid to take him anywhere because i knew he would start fussing and i'd have to leave. we tried everything. EVERYTHING. i finally decided that maybe it was something i was eating, so i have been eating dairy-free for a couple weeks. you guys. he's like a different baby! i feel so bad that his tummy issues were my fault, but i just didn't know. i'm just SO thankful that he is happier.

::  going dairy-free is a lot easier than i thought it would be. [although- if it weren't for jackson's health, i probably would have quit on the second day.] once i figured out what i can eat [there is dairy in everything, y'all! i had no idea.] it was a piece of cake. [sadly, i cannot have cake. now you get how dedicated i truly am.] i actually kinda enjoy it right now. mostly because jackson is doing so much better and i am losing more baby weight. holla!



-  jackson's two month check-up.
-  move into our new home!
-  launch team: dance, stand, run. - jess connolly.
-  back to work - 21st.
-  celebrate my golden birthday: 31 on the 31st.

-  blog one-two times each week.
-  keep up with medical bills.

-  prayer.
-  water.
-  10-15 minutes of 'me' time.

Monday, August 21, 2017

photos from maternity leave.

i was fortunate enough to have eight weeks of maternity leave. i worked from home once jackson was two weeks old. as if having a newborn isn't crazy enough, we started the process of selling our house + buying a new home when jackson was just four days old. [picture this: we went to look at a house + immediately said yes. but here i am - no makeup, hair a mess, baggy clothes, kinda hunched over because, hello, i just had major surgery and a baby four days ago. it was a sight to behold.] i start back to work today, and i know i'm going to be looking at alllllll the photos on my phone throughout the day, so i want to share them here, too. here are photos from my maternity leave.

 jackson's first week of life.

 week two.

 weeks three + four.

weeks five + six + seven

gimme all the coffee.

of course, i still gotta take photos of flowers. 

our new house + jackson's first outing in public [target, of course] + date night 
looking at mama + shopping with my niece and trying on prom dresses + downtown wichita

Saturday, August 12, 2017

currently | august 2017


-  this rock 'n play sleeper. it has been our lifeline with jackson. he sleeps in it a lot, and it's portable, so it goes with us everywhere!

-  jared. he has been so helpful [and understanding/forgiving/amazing] since jackson was born- especially when my hormones were all over the place.

-  all the help everyone has given. i haven't really mentioned this on the blog, but it was a real struggle in the first few weeks with jackson because i couldn't figure out why he would cry. i thought babies slept a lot, but if they are unhappy, they make sure you know. now i can go thru a list of things and can usually soothe him. had it not been for our families to give us tips/advice, i would have gone crazy. [well... crazier. :)]


-  fresh flowers sitting on our kitchen table.

-  a sugar blossom candle from target.


-  a cute baby human lightly snoring as i hold him at the moment. [or as the moby wrap holds him. haha!]

-  in the name of love - kari jobe.  //  this song is my JAM right now.


-  cupcake wars. we just got hulu, so i'm finding the most random tv shows + binging.

-  younger. don't judge me. it was the only thing that seemed good at the time. and then i got hooked.


-  when i made the graphic for this blog post, i legit had no idea what month it was. such is life with a newborn.


-  lots of coffee. because i'm a new mom + because it's freaking delicious.

-  a dr. pepper as i type this blog post. i quit pop many moons ago, but husband found a leak in our toilet- just one of the many things he's had to replace/fix in the seven days we've owned our new home- so it's going to be a long night. i realize that's a horrible excuse after i typed that out. feel free to judge me on my poor drinking/tv show habits.


-  jess connolly's book: dance stand run. i am on the launch team. i'm not typically a fan of many current christian authors because i find their content too fluffy, but i love me some jess connolly. i'm a total fangirl. i have only read one chapter of the book, and i just know this is going to be something special.

-  jackson just fell asleep, so i might actually get to finish this blog post on the same day i write it!

-  FALL.

-  my birthday, which is at the end of this month. y'all know what that means? CAKE.


-  this pin is my life.
-  all the home decor posts.
-  this gorgeous home featured on design*sponge. it's in my city!
-  amanda summed up my thoughts perfectly.


the cutest dinosaur socks from forever 21. a cozy sweater. cuddling with my baby boy. decorating our new home [despite the seemingly never-ending repairs]. strawberries + nutella. finding the prettiest lilies in our backyard. taking walks with jackson. date night with husband. finding other moms who won't judge me for all the things moms are judged for these days. taking "me" time every day.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

life lately.


jackson turned one month old yesterday. i'm simultaneously baffled that time has flown so quickly while also thinking that it has felt like ten months instead of just one. those first two weeks were so dang hard, y'all. i wanted to soak up all the little moments, but i was so deprived of sleep. i was getting about two hours each night, then jared would take him in the early morning so i could sleep for another hour.

i cried every single day for those first ten days. on the tenth day, i broke down. jared asked me if i was depressed, and after talking thru it, we realized that i just had some baby blues mixed with the stress of taking care of a newborn, recovering from an unplanned c-section, and selling/buying a home. [more on that below] once we talked, it was like the clouds lifted. i felt better. i even brushed my hair- which i hadn't done since jackson was born.

the past week has been glorious though! jackson has slept three to four hours at a time, which in turn gives me about seven to eight hours of sleep a night. it may not be consecutive, but it's more than enough. the first time he slept more than two hours, i immediately checked to see if he was still breathing [first time mom probs] and then woke jared up to tell him i got over two hours of sleep. hahaha!

breastfeeding is going very well! we finally have a good routine with feedings. real talk: i always naively believed that because i am small-chested that i'd have a hard time breastfeeding a child. i was wrong! i am so, so happy that jackson latched really well from the moment they placed him on my chest. of course, there were a few days the first week that i dreaded nursing because oh, mylanta - sore nipples are no joke.


i mentioned something about selling/buying a home. since jackson was four days old, we have been in the process of selling our house and buying a new home- WITH A NEWBORN. yep, we are are insane. we close on both homes next friday. and we've been living with jared's sister and her family - this is awesome because a) her family is the best! and b) i have had so much help with jackson. it's a win-win. except for the part about buying/selling a home with a newborn. because that mess is bananas. stress levels with a new baby are at a ten, but add this other craziness and it's off the charts. insanity, i tell ya.