When Love Isn’t Enough

Today is the ninth Valentine’s Day David and I have celebrated together. Being that it’s the same week as my birthday, Valentine’s Day has always taken a backseat to that. However, if nothing else, it’s a good reminder to stop and reflect on our love story and how far we’ve come.

It’s been over 12 weeks since David and I have had some quality time together. And before that, date nights were tough to plan around our busy schedule. Having kids have definitely changed things in our life. We don’t have the freedom we used to have, and that has taken some time to adjust to. In fact, we probably haven’t completely accepted it fully even now.

When we were younger, I think we took for granted all the things that came easy. The biggest of those being our love for one another. It was so easy to love David when it was just us. Everyone knows the feeling of easy love. The butterflies in your stomach, the giddiness when they text you. Those beginning-of-the-relationship-feelings seem so far away nowadays.

It’s a strange feeling when you realize that love isn’t enough. Love may start a relationship, but it’s not enough to keep it going.

Over the years, and throughout all of the changes, my love for David has transformed in a way that I never thought was possible. I am, of course, in love with him, but more than that, I’m proud to be his wife. I have deep respect for him. I understand him. I put him before me because I want to. His life and my life have become so deeply ingrained that not only do I not want to imagine my life without him, but I literally can’t!

David and I have grown up together. We’ve seen the very worst and very best in each other. We’ve supported one another. We’ve gone through some of the most life-changing moments together. It’s so much more than love, it’s everything.

The best part of all of this, is that I still get giddy when David texts me and feel butterflies when we do get to spend time together. Everyday life can certainly weigh on us, but this is the life we created together, and I am so grateful for that.

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A Reflection Back On My 30th Year

Wow. I turn 31 today, and that doesn’t scare me nearly as much as I thought it would. Life is good.

I should start by saying that I do not feel 31 in the slightest. My thirties always seemed to be such a far away thought. I don’t feel old enough to be in my thirties, let alone old enough to have a mortgage payment and two children. Don’t get me started on the fact that David and I have been together for nearly nine years and will celebrate four years of marriage this summer. Where is the time going?

This past year has seen some life happen. Last year on this day, David and I were celebrating my 30th birthday in the Bahamas. This year, we have been homeowners for almost a year, have two babies, and I’m in the midst of launching a business.

I aspire to be as honest as possible on this blog. We are truly blessed to be in this place in our life, but this year has been anything but easy.

My pregnancy with Reese hit me hard, emotionally. Last summer was nearly a wash for me. I was struggling with depression, unhappy at work, and was allowing those feelings to swallow me. I was frustrated with myself.

As I look back on those hard days, I try to be grateful for them. I know that the good days are better because of the bad ones.

As I head into this new year, last summer is constantly in the back of my head. I don’t want to feel like that ever again. So I choose to be happy. I choose to be grateful. I choose to make decisions that I know may be difficult, but will be worth it.

It’s true when they say that you feel more grounded in your thirties. Sure, it’s only been a year, but despite the hardships, I feel more confident than ever. I’m excited about this life that David and I have built for ourselves.

So cheers to 31 and to another year of life! I’m so ready to see what this year has in store for me.

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The Quote That Changed My Mind

It was this quote that solidified my decision to take the plunge and start my own business. Maybe that seems silly to you, but for me, quotes have played a key role in my life for as long as I can remember. I have been storing away quotes since I learned to appreciate them in whatever way I can. I have a “note” dedicated to quotes on my iPhone. I have endless screen shots of them that I’ve found while browsing the web. I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to quotes.

Words are powerful. And I might be corny enough to admit that.

I truly believe the universe gives you what you need. I promise I’m not nuts, but this is how I try to live my life. It’s all about a shift in perspective and allowing signs to play a role in your life. For instance, every time I see a cardinal, it makes me think of my grandma. Or if I’m stuck in traffic I try to think “Okay, I’m supposed to be late for a reason”. Perhaps I avoided an accident or something.

I try to be open to these messages because they, more often than not, they come at meaningful moments.

When I opened my Instagram about a month ago, the first photo that popped up was one with the quote “Nothing changes if nothing changes.” In that moment I was struggling with going back to work. I was seriously debating returning and trying to launch my business. But this quote struck me. I have been “trying” to do that exact thing for years and had nothing to show for it.

I sent the quote to David and he got it right away. I knew then that I wasn’t going back.

I’m fortunate to have a support system around me that is helping me in these first few months. I’ve had some great conversations in the past few weeks and afterwards, I’m more confident than ever that I made the right choice. Things are falling into place – things that I used as an excuse before are figuring themselves out.

Nothing changes if nothing changes. And since I’ve accepted this, everything has changed.

So if you’re in a similar situation, hoping and wishing for things to change, take the fact that you read this blog post as a sign. What needs to change for you to have everything you want out of life? DO IT!

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My Breastfeeding Journey

breastfeeding

Breastfeeding to me was always the only option. It’s kind of like deciding to go to college – there was no real decision ever made, it was just something I was going to do.

With Finn, I had no clue what I was getting myself into. I’ve said it before, but Finn and I were never a great pair when it came to nursing. He had trouble latching from the start, and when he did latch and it became painful, I started to shy away from it. I purchased a nipple shield at the suggestion of the lactation consultant, and looking back, that became an even bigger problem.

A nipple shield is exactly what it sounds like. It’s essentially a piece of plastic, like the top of a bottle, that you suction over your breast to help the baby latch. For me, it just became another thing I needed to have when Finn was hungry. I had to clean it between each feeding, and it made the process a little longer, and a lot harder.

No doubt the shield did help Finn transition to a bottle. At about 5 weeks old, I chose to start bottle feeding exclusively. I just did not like nursing with him. He got breast milk for the first eight months of his life. I pumped every three hours for eight long months until my body stopped producing as much milk and I took it as a sign that I was done.

With Finn, I was not as confident with nursing. I lived my life in a three hour cycle, knowing that I had to be home to feed him or pump every three hours. It was predictable, yes, but it wasn’t sustainable. When I stopped pumping, I started to enjoy motherhood more. Looking back, I realize I put way too much pressure on myself and made feeding Finn my entire life rather than making it part of life.

Breastfeeding was the biggest thing I dreaded when I found out about Reese. Again, I didn’t think about not doing it, but I figured it would be the same story as last time. Lots of trial and error until I finally gave up and started pumping again.

But Reese latched right away, and she was a great eater from the start! It gave me so much hope that maybe I would be able to nurse her after all. The first few weeks became very painful. I was wincing every time she latched on, and the lactation consultant told me that it would be this way for about a month.

I kept pushing through the pain, and around the five week mark, it stopped hurting and became second nature.

It was so easy to nurse her, that I barely took my pump out at all. I have some milk stashed in the freezer since I was overproducing and had to pump, but I haven’t made pumping a priority this time around. I think I’m so reluctant to pump since I did it for so long with Finn. I hate pumping – being stuck to a contraption for however long, cleaning all the parts, keeping track of the breast milk and how old it is. It’s just a hassle, and nursing became easy.

Now I’m dealing with the complete opposite issue. Reese won’t take a bottle! I’ve tried several different kinds and flows. I’ve had different people try while I’ve left the room. I’ve tried it when she is super hungry and when she is content and happy. She doesn’t want it! I’m okay with that at this point because I’m home with her, and being able to nurse actually makes it so easy to feed her anywhere, anytime. I’ve breastfed in public many times, something I never thought I would do before.

However, there will be a time in the very near future when I want to go out without my kids and having Reese take a bottle will be imperative :).

I’ve seen both sides of the breastfeeding journey and at the end of the day, my takeaway is the same – breastfeeding is hard! It hurts, it’s time consuming. Growth spurts happen and cluster feedings make you feel like you can’t do anything else with your day. It’s my entire world at this point in my life!

That being said, I’m grateful for the ability to breastfeed my babies. It truly is amazing to know that my body gives them life!

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Reese’s “Schedule” At 10 Weeks Old

I’ve mentioned before that if Finn taught me one thing when he was an infant, it was that babies benefit when they are on a schedule. Once we started implementing one with him, he was so happy, started sleeping through the night, and it was so much easier to schedule our day around his!

When Reese was born, I knew a schedule would be necessary for everyone’s sanity. Fortunately, Reese was a great eater from the start. At her first doctor’s visit she had already surpassed her birth weight, so feeding on demand was no longer needed.

By her first week, I was getting her on a routine. Feed, wake, sleep. The idea behind this is that a well rested baby eats better and can stay happy and fall back to sleep easier.

Of course, babies are unpredictable, and as soon as we got into a good routine, Reese then hit a “leap” or developmental period that threw her off and caused her to want to nurse all day long.

Regardless, we continue to follow the feed, wake, sleep cycle, which is loosely based off of the Baby Wise books.

By around 6 weeks old, Reese was waking up twice at night and going right back down. We started a bedtime routine that put her to sleep right around 7:30pm.

By 8 weeks, she was waking up once around 2 or 3am and waking for the day around 7am.

This is a very typical day, but we’ve had a lot of non-typical days as well. There was a week where she wouldn’t nap in her crib at all, and then wouldn’t nap in her crib unless I nursed her to sleep. The last few nights she’s been waking up around midnight to nurse, and then again around 4:30am. Regardless of how many times she wakes at night, she goes back down after eating at night, which I’m grateful for.

Finn was sleeping through the night at this point, but I’m trying not to compare the two. We are doing things differently with Reese, mainly I’ve been exclusively breast feeding because Little Miss doesn’t seem to want to take a bottle! I’m also trying to remind myself that she is only 10 weeks old! I’m truly enjoying the breastfeeding this time around, so I don’t mind the middle of the night snuggles.

Here’s a rough outline of our “typical” day:

7-7:30am – Wake for the day. Change diaper, eat, wake time.

8:30am – Down for nap number one.

10:00am – Eat, awake time.

11:00am – Down for nap number two.

12:30pm – Eat, awake time.

1:30pm – Down for nap number three.

3:00pm – Eat, awake time.

4-6:30pm – Sometimes we get a nap here, sometimes we don’t. Usually I end up wearing her while she “naps” on me.

7:00pm – Bedtime routine begins. She usually nurses for about 30 minutes and goes down.

2:00am – Middle of the night feeding.

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