The last few weeks I feel like I’ve really hit my groove. Somewhere amongst the busy mornings trying to get out the door and the late nights cuddled on the couch watching Big Brother with David, I realized that I’ve been feeling quite content lately. Throughout most of my twenties, I felt like there was always something more to reach for or work towards. For years I’ve felt like something was missing, and didn’t really know what that thing was.
I came to the realization that I’ll be 30 in just six months, and instead of dread, I feel quite accomplished. I have a strong marriage, a beautiful son, a loyal pup, a loving family, a steady job, and a growing blog and business.
The last few months I have prioritized this blog and the social media outlets that accompany it. The growth has been slow, but steady, and this outlet fills my soul with joy and pride. I often bump into people who mention my blog and how much they enjoy it – whether it be a peer who enjoys my style or a distant relative who just likes to keep up with us! It’s a simple thing, but it makes me so happy! I love being a “blogger”.
Years ago, I would have thought that being a young working mom would’ve been boring! My Friday nights usually dragged into Saturday mornings and I was soaking up every ounce of the day. Nowadays, Friday nights in are my favorite, and quality time with my family is more fun than any party I’m invited to. This season of life suits me well. I enjoy the stability, the lack of drama, the consistency.
dress – old navy(comes in 9 colors/patterns and as low as $10 – you need like 4 of these this summer!)
I really think that Finn’s age has me feeling great as well. He is so much fun these days. He is learning, chatting, walking. I can’t believe how much he has grown and I am really enjoying this age. Everything he does makes me smile, and that’s no exaggeration. From playing in Juneau’s water dish, to pointing at all the “mmbuurrds” (birds) in the trees, he is the sweetest boy. Even his tantrums make me laugh because they are just so darn ridiculous!
I know the future holds more children, a new home, and no doubt some hard times, so before that stress sets in, I’m letting myself enjoy. It’s nice to reflect on your life in the moment and realize you ain’t doing too bad.
Holy last week in July! Where has the time gone?! I just had a reminder on Facebook this week that a year ago I went back to work after maternity leave. I can’t believe it! They weren’t lying when they said that once you have kids life just flies by.
A lot has been going on in the Gregory household lately. We were on vacation last week and came home to a broken air conditioner – yikes! I don’t know why I forget each year, but summer in Virginia is no joke. It’s brutally hot and there is no escaping it. Poor Juneau can only last outside long enough for a bathroom break before he wants to escape to our apartment.
All this hot weather has me dreaming of fall. I can’t wait for crisp mornings and sweaters! Plus, in case you missed it (and I’m sure you haven’t) the fall clothing I ordered from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale makes me crave fall even more!
My little baby is growing right in front of my face. I love watching him learn new things. He constantly surprises me with what he does – for example, he brought me my sandals the other day and helped me put them on my feet. Such a small thing, but the fact that he knew the concept behind wearing shoes just blows my mind! Haha!
This is harder than anyone told me! Unfortunately our offer was denied on the last house I mentioned, but we are staying positive. It just wasn’t meant to be! We are keeping an eye out but we don’t want to let this process stress us out. Buying a house is a huge decision and there is no reason to rush it. We will find the perfect house for our family. Like David and I always say, things always work out!
Last week, my parents, both of my sisters, my niece, David, Finn and I traveled to Fairfield, Pennsylvania to watch my cousin get married to the sweetest girl. It was a beautiful wedding and it was wonderful catching up with family. We got to meet my other cousin’s son, Miles, too. It’s nice to have another baby boy in the family.
We stayed a few days after the wedding and we were able to visit nearby Gettysburg and the Baltimore Aquarium. We did the driving tour of Gettysburg, which was awesome. I highly recommend it, whether you’re a history buff or not. The Aquarium was a huge hit with the babies. Finn stood around looking at the fish with his mouth wide open. This boy is going to love the water just like his daddy!
Emily and Natalie headed back to Charlottesville with us on Wednesday and we spent the rest of the week relaxing around town. It was so nice to spend some quality time with them.
Have you had enough of the #NSale yet?! Me either. I keep checking back regularly to see what has been restocked. Let me tell you, my persistence has paid off! I landed some really great items from the sale. I’m sharing exactly what I bought in today’s post.
BTW, I wanted to let you know that I earn a small commission from each sale that is generated through Simple & Inspired. I use affiliate links, so if you purchase something through those links, I can make some money!
I listed my favorite picks from the sale in this post, but what I thought was adorable and what I actually needed in my closet varied tremendously. I went a little shoe crazy this time around, but one can never have too many shoes!
Tory Burch Janey Pumps
My splurge item! I stalked these for days before they were restocked in my size and color. I’m so excited for these! I love the block heel, the height, everything!
When you’ve got thick legs like me, skimping on leggings just won’t do. I’ve heard amazing things about these leggings, and the fact that they are high waisted doesn’t hurt either. Grab these now! They are usually $55 and on sale for $35!
Another item I stalked for days before I could get my hands on it! This cardigan is one of the most popular of the sale. If it’s not available in your color/size combo, keep checking back. It’s typically a $75 sweater, but it’s on sale for under $50!
I have it rehearsed. When I’m asked about being a mom the answer out of my mouth is almost always, “I love it now. The first three months were brutal. I was just in survival mode.” Some people, like my mom for example, are just newborn people. They love the squishy babies that are so easy to hold and sleep in your arms. I, on the other hand, found the first three months to be exhausting. No doubt because being a new mom is the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through – breastfeeding, food schedules, lack of sleep, lack of adult interaction.
Time has since left me wondering why I thought it was so hard. Finn is mobile now, and I mean really mobile. He wants up, then wants down, then wants to climb the stairs or shut the door in my face. He throws food off of his high chair and is starting to throw tantrums. Why oh why do I prefer this to those early days?
I think the most obvious conclusion is that in those first few months, everything was new. My life changed drastically the moment Finn came into this world. I was learning everything, and most of the time on very little sleep. Even after Finn started sleeping better, I was waking up to pump to ensure he had enough to eat the next day. Breastfeeding was another challenge in and of itself, which only added to the stress.
I’ve put together a list of tips that helped me get through the first couple of months with a newborn. I like to be honest about this type of stuff, because reading about how much women love every moment of being a mom is straight up bull shit.
Newborns give you really good days and really, really bad days. Try to keep it all in perspective. I remember feeling incredibly overwhelmed on a bad Finn day fairly early on. Suddenly, I looked at him and thought ‘I may be learning how to be a mom, but he is learning how to be a human’. He had it tougher, no doubt. Cry away little human.
Put Others to Work
Ask them to make you food. If your mother-in-law wants to vacuum, let her. Let your dishes pile up. Ask your husband to take a night feeding. Your body is going through a lot – let it heal!
I found that others wanted to help me and my little family in those first few months. I was reluctant, because I felt like I had to do it all. However, my body let me know that I was doing too much and told me I had to sit down and relax. It was hard for me to loosen the reigns, but once I did, life got easier. Let your family and friends help – and as a reward, let them snuggle the baby 🙂
Get Some “Me” Time
There will be an internal struggle each day between wanting to get sleep, wanting to get things done, and wanting to just chill and watch Netflix. Be sure to relax and give yourself some alone time. I remember getting my nails done with my mom a week after having Finn. David had the baby and that hour was pure bliss. Throughout the next few months I allowed myself to stay up way later than I should have because I simply needed some time alone. I wrote a lot, and caught up on some television shows. It was only a few hours at a time, but it was exactly what I needed.
Break Out of Your Routine
Each new day can blur together in those first few weeks home. Get out of the house, even if it’s just for a few hours. Go for a walk. Go shopping. Plan a trip!
Plan a trip?! Don’t call me crazy! There’s no better time! Baby will never sleep more than they do those first few weeks. Traveling may be a little more extensive, but Baby can fly for free and you don’t have to take any PTO since you’ll be on maternity leave!
Forget About the Baby Weight
One of the hardest things for me was the extra belly weight I was carrying around for months after giving birth. Everything I read said that with breastfeeding, the weight would melt off. That wasn’t the case for me. I had an extra 10-15 pounds on me most of last summer, and I had to buy a lot of new clothes once I went back to work since I was no longer my pre-baby weight nor in maternity clothes.
The Virginia heat made it more difficult for me since all I wanted to do was wear a bikini and sundresses. I had never felt more uncomfortable in my own body than I did those first few months postpartum.
Now that I’m a year out, my body has bounced back better than I could have ever imagined. I weigh less today than I did on our wedding day. If I had known this last summer, I wouldn’t have given the extra weight a care in the world. My advice to you? Relax! If you are breastfeeding, you need those extra calories to feed your baby. Your body just went through a huge traumatic experience, give it the time it needs to recover.
What I would give for a little extra Finn snuggle right about now. He is such a busy boy, and even though he gives plenty of hugs, he will hardly sit in my lap for more than a few seconds. Take it in! Cherish it! Your baby will grow right before your eyes.
Finn and I are heading back to Charlottesville today with my sister and niece in tow. David headed back last night because he had to work today… boo! We had the absolute best time in Pennsylvania this weekend and I’m looking forward to showing my sister around Cville. Plus, we are heading to Nordstrom on Friday to shop the Anniversary Sale in person, and I can’t wait to grab a few things. (ICYMI, here are my top picks and home decor picks).
The reason of the trip was my cousin’s wedding, which was absolutely stunning! They got married overlooking Liberty Mountain Resort, and the view was tough to beat. It’s always so fun to see family, drink too much wine, and dance the night away.
As a mom of a newly walking toddler, nothing really beats a maxi dress. When I started looking for the right outfit for the wedding, I knew I needed to grab something that would be appropriate for chasing a little man around. I found this maxi dress on Forever 21’s website on a whim. (I think the last time I bought something from them was in college!) But I couldn’t really beat the price and it is downright adorable!
I pulled out my floppy straw hat a few weeks back for a night at the winery, and I forgot why I ever put it away. It’s so adorable to pair with a casual maxi dress or to wear to the pool.
Hope your week is going well! It’s almost halfway over!