Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Keepin' It Real: Workin' Too Much

Linking up with Corinna over at Track 8 for this week's installment of Keepin' It Real Mondays!

I saw my baby for a total of 45 minutes today. NOT. ENOUGH. 

Working is the worst sometimes. Today I was stuck at work for an extra hour and a half- the hour and a half that I normally spend with Emmett before he goes to bed. It was a hard, sad day for both of us. 

I love that little boy so much. I just have to remind myself that I do it all for him. I work so that I can provide for him. I'm reminding myself now but it's not really helping. He's growing up, changing, and learning new things every day, and I'm missing it. Some days that's a really hard pill to swallow. 

That's real life for me today y'all. I promise a more upbeat post later in the week!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Five Faves (2?)

I'm linking up with Grace over at Camp Patton (no one's surprised, I know). She's hosting Five Favorites for Hallie and y'all know I can't resist a good link up!

1. This boy ya'll. He's perfect.

2. These girls. Love them! My sister Shea has been with us for almost a month now and will be heading back to college in a few days. I have really loved having her! Lucia will be back to take her place for another month or so, and then we are on our own for child care. Anyone have a recommendation for affordable, awesome childcare ideas? What works for you?

3. My husband has been waking up with the baby most mornings lately to let me catch some extra z's and it is changing my life. For the first time in a year I don't feel like a crazy half dead zombie. What a man I have.

4. The Fairy Blogmother is my hero this week. I was messing around with my blog layout the other night and I don't know what happened but all of a sudden the beautiful design Erika put together for me was gone and I couldn't get it back. DISASTER. I emailed Erika and she had everything back to beautiful in less than an hour. She's amazing! She added my About Me blurb at the top there too and we're working on a couple more little changes. I can't say enough good things about her!

5. This weekend my sisters and my friend Rachel and I are gonna hop into our Spaceship Coup for a trip to California to see JT and Jay Z. I can't wait to spend some quality time with those ladies and I can't even talk about how excited I am to see JT. I'm a fan girl y'all, big time. I'm leaving Emmett with Ray for the weekend (for the first time!) and we're all a little nervous. They'll do fine of course but I'm really gonna miss them. I know I know, Cry Me a River.

Keepin' It Real: Rainy Days

I'm linking up with Corinna over at Track 8 (a day late!) for Keepin' It Real Mondays!

Over the weekend we FINALLY got some rain! It was so amazing. Emmett loved the rain, and loved the mud even more! I grew up in Georgia, where it rains almost every afternoon in the Summer, so I played in the mud all the time as a kid. I have so many happy memories of making mud pies and running around barefoot in the wet grass. So fun!

I feel so bad for little Emmett being stuck in the house all Summer, living in this desert with hardly any grass to speak of. So when it rained and the temperature finally cooled off, I let him outside to play in the mud to his little heart's content! He was one dirty, happy little boy!

Splashing in the puddles!

Mom, I'm gonna eat this rock. 
Mom, I'm really gonna eat this rock.
No Emmett, no! Don't eat that rock! 
Ahhh I'm just kidding.
The best.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Finally, Peace

The last few weeks have been hard. Okay, the last few months have been hard. At times I felt like they were the hardest few weeks of my life. Work has been incredibly stressful, Emmett has been teething and then sick and then teething and then sick, so we haven't slept much. Money has been tight. But it was more than that.

I've been angry, frustrated, sad and stressed out. I've never been angry before, but over the last few weeks I felt angry almost all the time. Not about anything in particular, but about everything. I couldn't explain it, and I didn't understand it. Poor Ray didn't know what to do. He'd tell me to just let it go, but I didn't know how. It came out of nowhere and I didn't know how to deal with it. I let it take me over, and my family suffered so much because of it.  I would snap at my husband and even at Emmett. I was having trouble sleeping- I'd wake up in the night full of anxiety and fear. I worried all day and all night about nothing and everything.

I felt so hopeless, so helpless, and so alone. I was angry at myself for feeling so awful all the time and for being so awful to my family. All I ever wanted was to be a wife and a mama, to have a family and to love them. I love Emmett so much, but all of a sudden the time I spent with him felt exhausting and I was so overwhelmed. I was racked with guilt because I wanted to be a good mom to him, to love every minute with him, but I couldn't find my way back to that.

I felt like such a failure, and hated myself for it. I wanted to be better for Emmett, my sweet baby boy who deserves me at my best. Everything felt so dark, so bleak. I didn't know how I would get through each day.

I wondered if some of my anger and sadness might be hormonal. I thought it was strange how deeply the little problems and frustrations in my life were affecting me, and how strong my reactions were. I felt like I had no control over myself and my emotions, and I didn't like the way I was behaving. I felt out of control, which was scary and only added to my stress and frustration.

And then this week everything changed. I felt a peace come over me that changed every aspect of my life. I am able to really, truly enjoy the time I spend with Emmett again, and he's even started sleeping better. I'm in love with my husband again. I'm able to leave the stress I'm feeling about work at work. I finally feel like my normal, happy self again!

Last weekend I got my first period in over 22 months. Just over a year after Emmett was born. I had a feeling that some of my crazy emotions were related to the stress that breastfeeding was putting on my body, and now I know that is true. My body felt sort of.. out of whack some how, and now I feel like myself again- physically and emotionally.

I've read about the effects that weaning can have on your mood, causing mood swings and even depression, but I never thought that was happening to me. I was breastfeeding still, not actively weaning, so it never clicked. Now I know I was stuck in a fog of depression and anxiety, and I'm so glad to be on the other side of it.

I remember reading this post before I had Emmett and told myself to remember it when it came time to wean, but I still didn't put two and two together. I wish I'd realized what was happening sooner. Maybe I could have done something to ease the pain I was feeling or at least helped my family to understand what I was going through.

Have any of you mama's experienced depression related to weaning, or know someone who has? 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Our little boy is walking!!!!!!!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Keepin' It Real {6}

On Saturday we all woke up from our naps (Emmett got up at 5:15 that morning after being up 3,000 times in the night so we were TIRED), piled into the car and met some friends for lunch. We ate at one of our favorite happy hour places, Z Tejas. Emmett was restless in his high chair while we waited for our food, so we let him get down and walk around a little bit. Yes, I said walk! He's walking now!

He kept going over to the table next to us to smile and wave at the nice man sitting at the end of the booth. It was really sweet and fun to watch him making friends! After we ate while we waited for our check I let Emmett down to walk some more. He walked straight over to the next table, smiled and waved, and then laid his little guacamole-covered hand right down on that nice man's white shorts...

Here he is outside on the bench, where I took him directly after washing him off in the bathroom:

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

How We Met

Inspired by Grace's link up (and adorable love story), I've decided to write the story of how I met my man.

I moved to Arizona care of San Diego in April of 2010 (or was it 2009? Yes, it was 2009). That's a whole story in itself but I'll spare you. I was trying to get away from an awful situation and thank God I did. Anyhoooo back to the good stuff.

I went to stay with friends of friends (the most wonderful family) in San Diego for a few weeks, and during that time I made plans to visit other friends of the same friends in Tempe, AZ for a week or so. The who and why is all very complicated but suffice it to say, I came to Arizona at the end of May to visit for a week. The first day I arrived I went with friends to a graduation party. I felt right at home with all of the people I met and made friends right away. I met Ray that night, but that part is all very fuzzy. I blame the Arizona heat and the beers and the ensuing dehydration. I'm from Georgia where we basically breathe water all day so I never ever ever drank water in my life. I drank plenty of sweet tea of course, but water was foreign to me. Again, anyhoooo..

A few days into my week in Arizona, I began to realize that I needed more time here. I needed to stay. The family I was staying with had extra space and four children (grown children) my age, and they approached me with the offer to let me stay. They told me that they sensed I was meant to be in Arizona for a while, just like I did. Isn't that amazing?

So I stayed. I went back to San Diego to get my things and made the move to AZ just at the beginning of Summer. It was a tough decision for me because I love my family so much and the thought of staying away from them for an undetermined amount of time was very very VERY difficult for me. But I knew it was the right move somehow, and all of the people around me seemed to know it too. I had so many emotional discussions with my dad about it, and he kept reassuring me that he felt like there was something for me in Arizona (little did we know..), so I felt a little better.

I spent the Summer meeting people, mostly through the family I was staying with, and I was able to make a lot of really wonderful friends in a short time. I felt so welcome and at home here. I continued to see Ray pretty often in groups, but I wasn't interested in dating AT ALL during that time so I really didn't notice him.

Over the Summer there were boys in our group of friends that began to show interest in me. In particular, Ray's best friend (sorry Joe!). Our group is full of very big, loud personalities, and these boys were no exception. But there was one boy who stayed in the background, never trying too hard to spend time with me or talk to me or get my attention, and after a while I began to notice. In the end that's how he got my attention. He'll tell you that was his plan all along, but who knows.

I developed a little crush on him, and eventually got his number from his best friend (again, sorry Joe!), and we started texting back and forth. We hung out in groups a lot and over the next few months we began to spend time together without the group. I was really hesitant because like I said, I wasn't interested in dating anyone at all any time soon, but I knew that Ray was special so we took it really slow. I had a really hard time with the whole thing because I guess I knew that dating Ray meant staying in Arizona, and staying in Arizona meant staying away from Georgia and my family.

Our very first photo together.. It's great, I know.

In the end, obviously, we began dating and after a year he proposed. After another year we were married, 9 months and one day later Emmett was born, and now it's been a year since then! Ohhhh there is so much more to the story but I don't have a clever ending so this is it!!

And now, because I can't resist:

This is my "stop taking pictures of us and making this brand new sort of dating thing awkward!" face.
Ohhhh 20's parties are fun but the costumes are sooooo unfortunate. For me. Ray looks great.
Ohh that unfortunate growing-out-your-bangerangs stage.

The day we got engaged. Swoon. Also I need to find those sunglasses!

Ray's first trip to meet my family in Georgia. Here we are at my favorite FAVORITE restuarant, Veracruz with my little brother who is not that little anymore AT ALL. 

In my parent's front yard. Ray's hair is amazing.
In the Huddle House in my hometown laaaate at night after the bar. Those were the days!
And there you have it! The story of how it alllllllll began.

New Flooring Project

The weekend before Emmett's birthday party, Ray and his parents decided to tackle the biggest eyesore in our house... The landing between our front door and our stairs. We have wood floors downstairs and carpet upstairs, but the landing remained carpeted. It was stained and torn, and it stood out like a horribly sore thumb. The landing is the first thing people see when they walk in our front door, so we've been talking about changing it since I moved in after our wedding.

When Ray told me his parents were coming over to rip up the carpet and lay hardwoods, I was ecstatic!   As I mentioned here, it was tough keeping Emmett entertained outside the house while they worked, but we love the new landing so it was totally worth it!

Here are a few before and after photos, but be sure to ignore all of the mess!

See what I mean? That carpet was nasty!

Carpet is gone! Woohooooo!

Pulling up staples for days.

In order to fit the face of the landing with flooring and trim, they decided to square it off.
Progress at the end of day one. It already looks so much better!

Day 2: Beginning to lay the flooring.
Finished! And verrrrrrrry dusty. 

Seriously. Dust for days slash weeks.

Ray's parents are amazing! They are always so happy to spend a weekend helping Ray with a project (see our kitchen renovation here), and they always do such a great job!! We got a lot of compliments on the updated flooring at Emmett's party, and we are so happy with how everything turned out!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Keepin' It Real {5} + Our Weekend

 I am linking up with Mary Beth over at Annapolis & Company today for her weekly Our Weekend link up!

My kid hates Sundays. And afternoons. But especially Sundays.

He always has. Every Sunday, our sweet baby boy turns into a fussy, clingy mess. He only wants to be held. He wants to nurse all day. He won't nap. Ray used to have friends over on Sundays to watch football games. Once we had Emmett Ray's friends stopped coming. They couldn't hear the game for all the crying.

Every weekend we're optimistic. We make plans to do fun things, we invite friends over, we try to sit down and make a weekly meal plan. But then Emmett skips his second nap, which is quickly becoming obsolete, and all hell breaks loose. It's all we can do to survive until dinner time.

It's not all bad though. There are a few giggles and hugs and smiles here and there, mostly when we bribe the boy with watermelon, and we start to think things are turning around. But then he throws his watermelon rind in my face and yells "up up up" and then he's inconsolable again.

We take trips to the grocery store just to get out of the house and kill time. The whole time we're out he's happy and content and even quiet. But the moment we set foot in our house again, he's miserable. I wonder if he's just over being in the house after a long week, but we've spent a lot of time out of the house the last few days, so I'm not sure if that's it. Maybe we'll never figure it out.

All I know is, we have to keep being optimistic. Keep hoping the next Sunday will be better. Who knows, maybe this weekend will be the best one yet!

So Emmett, a little less of this:

And a little more of this, mmkay:

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Popsicles (Of The Homemade Variety)

Because Emmett's birthday falls in the Summer, and we live in Arizona, and we're in the middle of the world's hottest heat wave, I thought it would be fun (read: necessary) to serve popsicles at his party. And as I am super crafty and really know my way around the kitchen and everything I do is Pinterest-worthy, I decided to make my own. So you know, go ahead with the praise.

I started with Pinterest, of course. I found a few recipes that looked good, bought this adorable popsicle kit from Crate & Barrel (there are cheaper kits, but I'm a sucker for everything C&B), and filled my fridge with fruit and juice.

I made a few different kinds, starting with an easy one- lemonade layered with strawberry lemonade with tiny bits of strawberries. Pretty hard to mess up that recipe.

Then I did this awesome recipe for chili lime watermelon popsicles, minus the chili. These might have been my favorite! So yum and I'm a sucker for watermelon with sea salt. I also made these, and my mom made some really similar to these but miniature for the kiddos.

But the biggest hit were these watermelon mojito popsicles my mom made. My mom loves a good mojito, so when she got to town a few days before Emmett's party, she made a batch of mojitos with plenty extra to freeze for popsicles. So yum!

All in all the popsicles were a hit, and a great way to keep everyone cool in the 118 degree weather!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Keepin' It Real {4}

Linking up with Corinna over at Track 8 for Keepin' It Real Mondays!

I've been sort of wracking my brain for some Keepin' It Real moments from the past week, but I'm striking out! I mean, of course we've had our moments, but today my head is so full of joy and pride and love for my baby boy! The crazy and hard and just plain weird things that happen on a daily basis are escaping me because I'm just so happy.

We had an amazing weekend, full of family and friends and celebrations. We are so lucky to be surrounded by people who love us and support us, and who make our life so full. Emmett is so very loved, and I am overjoyed.

It's been a tough year, maybe even my toughest so far. Things have not been picture perfect, and although my family and my little boy are all of my wildest dreams come true, this year with them has been difficult and overwhelming. Life isn't what I imagined it would be. But you know what? I'm okay with that. I'm so much more than okay with it. Today I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.

Little Emmett took his first real steps today. He's been pushing furniture around the house for a while now, and taken one or two steps by accident here and there, but today, he really walked. 10 steps, all on his own, twice in a row. I cried and laughed and squealed so much he wasn't sure whether to be excited or afraid! He's such an amazing little boy.

In Keeping with the Keepin' It Real theme, here are a few choice outtakes from the weekend:


Baby's 1st brain freeze.


I'm also linking up with Mary Beth at Annapolis & Company for her Our Weekend link up!

A Year Ago..

My baby boy is a year old today! I can't believe we've had him for a whole year. He is such a huge source of joy in our lives, and I am bubbling over with love for him today!

Here are a few pictures from the day he was born:

 We had such a great weekend celebrating our sweet Emmett boy. I can't wait to share some photos from his birthday party!


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