Friday, September 30, 2016

Life This Week

Hello! Happy Friday.

I have several posts in my drafts...topic ideas that pop into my head and I intend to come back and actually write them but that has yet to happen. In the meantime, I like these Friday posts to recap the week a bit and they seem to be all I can manage to post lately!

This week has felt...long. I can't explain it but I felt like the week dragged on and for most of it, I felt completely exhausted. The last week of every month now means I spend a lot of time working for Jonathan. Since I'm helping him with the administrative side of his business now, I take care of his invoicing at the end of every month which means this week, that was my main priority every day, aside from taking care of our sweet little girl, of course!

Since I needed to make sure I focused on getting my work done this week, my goals weren't super ambitious, or so you might think, but they're still things I wanted to make sure I accomplished.

My three goals for the week:

1. Complete Week #3 of Couch25K
2. Finish Girl on the Train
3. Go on at least 2 walks with Emma & Abby

I successfully completed week 3 of Couch25K despite struggling a lot through every workout. My knees are hurting bad which is probably just because I hadn't done much more than walking for the last few months. Hopefully the pain subsides here in the next week or so but in the meantime, I still powered through the workouts and it feels good to have 3 weeks done!

In my excitement over the movie coming out next week, I wanted to re-read Girl on the Train since it had been a while. Nursing Emma is a great time for me to get some good reading time in and that's exactly what I did this week. I actually finished the book this morning and now I'm extra pumped to see the movie when it comes out next weekend -- that is assuming we can sneak away for a date night, of course!

There are so many reasons why I need to make sure I get outside and walk with the girls a few times a week, but I've been so focused on setting aside an hour for me to workout that I'm not usually in the mood to head outside in this Florida heat. Abby loves hanging out with me all day and she plays quite a bit, but with a newborn around she doesn't get as much playtime as she used to and with all her energy, she loves getting outside for a walk. On top of that, we don't get out of the house much most weeks and while I don't always feel up to the production of taking Emma out and about, for my sanity, I need to make sure I get out and enjoy some fresh, albeit humid air every now and then. We were able to make it out for 2 walks this week and I'm hoping as the temperature eventually drops a bit, I'll be better about doing this more often throughout the week.

In other, very exciting news, today our Emma Joy is 2 months old! It's hard to believe it's been a whole 2 months since they placed this sweet girl on my chest and everything I'd just been through to get her out suddenly seemed like a walk in the park because I knew in that instant, I would do it over and over again if it meant feeling love like this. By now I've realized I never shared Emma's birth story and at this point, I can only hope it'll happen before her first birthday (haha). I'll post more next week for her 2 month update, but all I can say is the last two months have been an incredible gift.

I watched this video yesterday morning and I'm still laughing about it. Perhaps I can relate to too many lines in this song, but either way, it's amazing.

I also feel like you need to know about this candle we bought. My baby sister was raving about this candle to me last weekend and if this girl recommends something to me, I listen. It takes a lot for her to like something so much that she recommends it to anyone and I get it -- if something doesn't live up to the hype, you always hear about it. When she told me how amazing this candle was and that we had to see-- or smell for ourselves, I ordered it immediately. Within minutes of lighting it, I was pretty certain this is what heaven probably smells like.

That's a wrap! I'll be back next week with Emma's 2 month birthday post and hopefully more if I can find some time to write this weekend. I hope you have a happy weekend!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Life This Week

Happy Friday and happy Fall! I'm wishing it didn't still feel like the dead of summer here but it doesn't make me any less excited for fall decor, carving pumpkins and dressing Emma up for her first Halloween.

Jonathan and I started a new thing this week where we each come up with 3 goals for the week. These aren't huge, long-term goals -- just some things we want to accomplish or focus on for the week. I think with these posts each week, I'll start off by sharing what my goals were and how it went. Just another way to help hold myself accountable, I guess.

My goals this week:

1. Consume 50 carbs or less each day
2. Finish 'Thank You' Cards
3. Complete Week #2 of Couch25K

Cutting down on carbs is tough after 9 months of kinda eating whatever I wanted to. While I didn't keep every day under 50, I'm still happy with how this went. Some days I was closer to 80 and one day I was around 40. Any of these numbers are way better than I've been doing so I'm okay with it and next week I'll try to be more consistent.

I'm still completely overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and gifts we've received since Emma was born. Between our loved ones and Jonathan's clients, we've been blown away by the amount of beautiful and thoughtful gifts we've received. All of these gifts has meant a long list of people to send Thank You cards to and I've been keeping up with them pretty well. I had a few more people left on our list and I am happy to say I finished last night.

I had another successful week of workouts doing a 21 day fix workout each day and three days of Couch25K. I completed week 2 of C25K and I have to say that getting back into running hasn't been as bad as I expected. Don't get me's a struggle but not as much of a struggle as I feared it would be. We'll see if I'm feeling the same at week 4, though!

I'm pretty happy with how my goals went this week and hope this new weekly ritual helps Jonathan and I work toward some of our bigger goals.

In other news...

I watched This is Us. I had little interest in the show until I noticed so many people raving about it on social media so I gave in. It was pretty good! I had seen a few articles saying it was the new Parenthood so we'll see how it measures up. I do know this is one show Jonathan won't be watching with me...haha.

Emma started smiling this week and my heart cannot handle it! She flashed me a smile Monday morning and hasn't stopped since. It's the sweetest thing ever.

We stuck around the house most of the week aside from venturing out for groceries and a Target trip on Monday. On one hand, this is great because we've been able to stick to somewhat of a routine and Emma has been napping in her crib more and more. On the other hand, I am getting a slight case of cabin fever. Jonathan offered to pick up formula for me on Wednesday because we were out and I told him, "No! I need to get out of the house alone. I will go get it!" It was a 20 minute outing to Publix but I was out of the house and alone so it was a nice break. I also picked up wine, so that helped.

On the agenda this weekend, Jonathan has been grilling like crazy lately so I'm going to pick up some steaks and hopefully it'll be nice enough to enjoy dinner on the back patio together tonight. Tomorrow I'm going bridesmaids dress shopping for a friends' wedding in May and on Sunday, we're planning on going back to church with Emma. I'm excited to go back and hoping the timing works out so Emma sleeps through service!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Life This Week

Hello and happy Friday! I'm a little surprised lately when I actually know what day of the week it is. The days fly by being home alone with our little one. I'm going, going, going from 5 or 6 a.m. until we get her down for the night. Thankfully, she's still sleeping through the night so I'm feeling well-rested and I'm so thankful for that but still, I've never felt so scatterbrained.

This week has felt particularly chaotic. Jonathan started out the week feeling sick and I did everything in my power to keep it from getting worse and/or spreading to the rest of us. Tuesday, he injured himself at work and while it could have been much worse, it made for quite an afternoon/evening. Wednesday, Emma and I got stranded at her doctor appointment when the car wouldn't start. Thank goodness for the kindness of two strangers who helped jump-start the car so we could be on our way. On top of all that, we've had doctors appointments and errands galore this week.

I also transitioned Emma to her crib for daytime naps and she is adjusting pretty well. She's pretty fussy when I first put her down and it can take a few minutes and a few times going back in there to settle her down but once she's out she sleeps great in there. I'm hoping this helps make it easier to move her in there at night once we're ready for that.

I've exercised every day this week. That makes two weeks in a row and I'm celebrating this minor accomplishment. I'm still doing a 21 Day Fix Extreme workout each day and this week, I started Couch25K again. I have a long way to go before I feel like I'm getting where I want to be, but it feels really good to know I'm doing something about it. When I feel overwhelmed by how far I have to go, I'm trying to focus on the reasons why I'm doing it. I got to a point a few years ago where I loved exercise and enjoyed running. I was the happiest I've ever been at that point in my life. I had so much energy and my mind was in such a good place because I felt so good. I want to be that person again. I owe it to myself and my family to be the best version of me and that's what I need to focus on. 

I made this chicken pot pie recipe for the first time earlier this week and it was incredible. Jonathan was under the weather and I wanted to make him some comfort food. I had found the recipe on Pinterest a few weeks ago and I was feeling ambitious, I guess. I rarely make chicken pot pie because it's not the healthiest of dinners, but this will absolutely be my go-to recipe in the future. 

I brought Emma in for another weight check with her pediatrician Wednesday. Our little lady is up to 9 lbs, 8 oz and I finally feel like I can really relax now because she's gaining weight like a champ. I've mentioned she struggled to put on weight in the beginning and we had to supplement from the start. At that point I decided I needed to be realistic when it comes to breastfeeding and that if we had to switch her to formula exclusively because that was best for her, I would be okay with it knowing we gave it a good try. Seven weeks in and I'm still nursing and even cut back to supplementing after every other feeding. This makes me really happy. Not only are we saving money not having to buy formula too often, but I love our time together when I'm nursing Emma and I plan to soak it in for as long as it lasts.

It's been quite a week around here, but that just makes me more thankful for the fact that we're off to spend the weekend at the beach with some friends of ours. That's right. We're dropping Abby off at her grandparents' house tonight and we'll be off with baby Emma to spend a few days relaxing and spending some major quality time together. It's our first little getaway as a family of 3 and to say I'm looking forward to it would be a huge understatement. I have big plans. I want to drink mimosas on the deck Saturday morning. I want to re-read The Girl on the Train (the movie is coming out soon and I want to refresh my memory before we see it!). I want to go on an early morning walk on the beach with this little family of mine. I just can't wait. 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

What We Do Everyday

We've had a chalkboard hanging in our kitchen for a while now that I try to update every now and then with a quote or scripture I feel like we can relate to at the time. Honestly though, it's been blank a lot lately and that's because not only do I have a hard time deciding what to write on it at any given time, but I also never seem satisfied with how my handwriting looks so I end up erasing it and leaving it empty for a good while.

I actually desperately want to replace the chalkboard with this felt letter board from Letterfolk but my husband seems to think the price is outrageous. It is outrageous, but alas, it is on the top of my wish list.


Back to the point of this post. Last week I started reading Better than Before by Gretchen Rubin. She also wrote The Happiness Project which I loved, so when I saw she had a new book out about making and breaking habits, I thought it would be a great read for me right now. In the first few pages of the book, she shares "The Habits Manifesto" and starts it with this phrase:

"What we do every day matter more than what we do once in a while."

I know this isn't a groundbreaking concept and it's not something we don't already know, but my thoughts kept coming back to this phrase all afternoon (and honestly, every day since then). I knew it needed to be up on our chalkboard and I didn't care how sloppy my handwriting was. I put it up right away and it's been up ever since.

Why did this thought resonate with me so much? I guess I like that it applies to everything in life. When I started this book, I was kind of thinking of habits more specific to getting back into a healthy lifestyle because that is a high priority for my in life right now. Exercising occasionally and eating healthy some of the time isn't going to get me where I need to be. Yes, this is a given, but I can see myself repeating this phrase on the days I feel I'm losing my discipline or will power and it helping me stay on track.

This phrase obviously relates to eating healthy and working out but I can't help but apply to so many other things in life.

I can take this thought and apply it to my how I approach my relationship with my husband and really, anyone close to me. My actions and words on a day to day basis matter more than the occasional grand gesture. Date nights are great and we absolutely need to make sure we are intentional about making sure we get out just the two of us every now and again. But our marriage will benefit more from daily communication, building each other up and spending quality time together (even if the only quality time we can carve out is sitting on the back patio with a glass of wine during the 15 minutes before the baby wakes up).

I can apply it to spreading love and kindness to strangers. Yes, I want to volunteer more and I want to perform the occasional random act of kindness and it's important to still do those things, but if I make an effort to do small things and spread kindness in my day-to-day interactions with people, that makes a difference too.

I can apply it to my faith. I don't want to pray only when things are tough. I don't want my only time with God to be when we make it to church on Sunday. I need to walk in faith every day. I need to talk to God daily and not just ask Him for what myself or others need, but I want to pause throughout the day and thank him, too.

This is a unique time in our lives. We are settling into new routines, new roles, new responsibilities, new priorities. I guess this phrase is just something I needed to hear right now to help me be the woman, wife, mother that I want to be.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Life Lately

Hello! I started writing this post last Thursday and have been planning to come back every day since then to finish it. Here I am almost a week later finally making my way back here to write again. I am trying to get some kind of structure built into our days and prioritizing my to do list so I can be as efficient as possible while Emma is napping throughout the day but some days are not going to go at all the way I hope they will and sometimes that means the things I want to do don't make the cut.

Getting into any kind of routine with a newborn is a lot to ask for, so I am trying to be patient and realistic in the meantime. We are making progress and over the last week or so, I feel like we are starting to get into the swing of things here.

I started meal planning again last week and even though I can't say we had a delicious dinner on the table every night, I did manage to ease back into cooking with two delicious crockpot meals and I have a few go-to manageable meals planned for this week so we're off to a good start. When we're not cooking, we end up eating out or eating terribly at home so I've been trying to stick to healthier, simple meals with a protein and some veggies to get us back on track.

Speaking of getting back on track, I promised myself this week would be the week I started working out again. It's only Wednesday, but it feels good to say I've exercised every day this week so far. I'm getting back into it with the 21 Day Fix workouts because I know I can find 30 minutes every day to knock out a workout and I can count on getting my butt kicked in a short time with these for now. I know I'm not at a place to start going to a gym again, so this is a great start for me. We have a treadmill at home so I'm thinking next week I will start Couch to 5K so I can ease back into running as well.

I haven't exercised regularly since I don't know, May, maybe? It's been rough and Monday I felt pretty discouraged trying to keep up but I need to start somewhere and I don't want to be in the same position 6 months from now so I need to push through this initial struggle to get myself where used to be.

In other news, I am a little late to the game, but I am finally starting to get into podcasts. I have already finished the first season of Serial and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to that one. It's been great to listen to while I nurse Emma throughout the day and now I'm itching for other podcasts to get hooked on. If you have any recommendations, please share!!

We've been letting Emma sleep through the night for about a week now and she's been pretty consistently sleeping from 9:30/10 PM to about 4/5 AM every night which is an incredible blessing. I don't want to get too comfortable because this could change any day, but I'm feeling well-rested and a little more like myself lately.

Now feels like a good time to share some random photos from the last few weeks.

We've been parents for about 5 weeks and it's been an incredible adventure so far. It's funny how quickly you fall into new routines, new patterns and responsibilities without thinking too much about it. How quickly you can't imagine life without this sweet child in it. How quickly you realize that this time is so precious and so, so fleeting. How incredibly full of love you feel for this child, your husband, your blessed life. How no matter how tired, emotional, hormonal, overwhelmed you feel, it's all so completely overshadowed by the joy. So much joy.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Emma Joy: One Month Old

Our sweet Emma turned one month old on Tuesday! This last month has been incredible. We've received such an outpouring of love and support from friends, family, neighbors and clients of Jonathan's. Emma is so loved and Jonathan and I have been grateful to have so much support and encouragement during this time. 

The last few weeks have flown by and we are trying to soak in every fleeting moment because our little lady has already changed so much. 

Emma Joy, 

You're one month old already! How is that possible? Every day you become more alert and aware of your surroundings. Your daddy and I love watching you as you take in our faces and the little world around you. We can't believe how quickly you've already grown. 

You're still wearing newborn size diapers and most of your newborn size clothes. You have such long, skinny limbs that most newborn pants are too short for you but anything bigger is super loose around your tiny waist. 

You've been such a trooper as we've had visitor after visitor the past few weeks - all people we love coming by to love on you. You are loved by so many, sweet girl. You don't mind all the attention and you snuggle up in the arms of whoever wants to hold you. You've been sleeping great since we brought you home and you manage to sleep through whatever chaos surrounds you, which is usually Abby barking or chasing Taylor cat through the house. You'll have a lot of fun with Abby later, but for right now, we're glad you can sleep through her noise. 

You're nursing so well now and at your one month appointment yesterday, your doctor and I were so relieved to see you're up to 8 lbs, 14.5 oz which is right where you should be. You lost so much weight after we left the hospital, your doctor had mommy supplement your feedings with formula or breastmilk from a bottle. I feared if you didn't start gaining some weight back, we might need to switch you to formula completely but it looks like that won't be necessary now. Your doctor even said we can start cutting back a only give you a bottle every other feeding. Mommy is so happy to know you're getting what you need from me and I hope we can keep this up. We're figuring it out together, little girl but my goodness I am relieved to know you are growing like you should be.

Mommy has been waking you up every few hours at night to feed you because if I didn't, you might sleep right through a meal. Now that you're where the doctor says you should be, she says I can let you sleep at night until you wake up on your own. Thank goodness because it's hard to see you sleeping so peacefully and having to be the one to wake you up. Last night we let you sleep until you woke on your own and you made it to 4:30 AM! Waking up to your sweet little sounds at 4:30 this morning was a joy and I'm one well rested mommy today. You might flip the script on us and wake up several times tonight, but right now I'm going to celebrate what a great little sleeper you are.

You love being swaddled and if you're fussy, we can typically count on a good swaddle to calm you down and you'll be sleeping within minutes. You love to snuggle but usually don't mind being in your bouncer or swing. You have the hiccups quite often and you are not a fan. You don't exactly love bath time but you never scream at us. You mostly just look a little disgruntled and uncomfortable but as soon we wrap you up in a towel, you're a happy girl again. Daddy and I love bathing you and getting you in your jammies together and snuggling with you after a bath is our favorite.

You make so many adorable little noises that we can't get enough of - little squeaks come out when you yawn and you make lots of little grunting noises when you're hungry or gassy. We can't get over your chubby cheeks. Your daddy and I kiss them so many times a day - we just can't resist!

The last month with you has been a dream come true for your daddy and I. We're soaking up every sweet second with you. We love you, Emma Joy!