We're On The Move! (and a video)

Friday, January 8, 2016

Since we left San Diego and I started keeping this blog in 2011, we've collected temporary homes like trading cards:

Houston, TX
Tomball, TX
Seymour, TN
Knoxville, TN
Cordova, TN

It is exhausting to think about all the house hunting, packing, moving, and unpacking to which we've become accustomed. If only house hunting was actually as brief (30-minute episodes!) and simple (only 3 options to consider!) as House Hunters.

Between the annual moving extravaganzas and my husband's bald head, you'd think we were a military family, but we're not. The fact of the matter is that we're not afraid of moving to chase opportunity, step out of our comfort zones, and give new cities a shot. Many people probably chase opportunity and move once. Yeah, that would be too easy. ;)

Well, we're on the move... in three ways!

I got a promotion! It has been a recipe of mentorship, opportunity, timing, and proving myself. I worked really hard for this, but I acknowledge that the stars aligned in my favor. I'm reminded of that Seneca quotation: "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity."

We're moving to Nashville in a few weeks. I love that city, and I'm even more excited to be in the same city as one of my best friends again!

Pres is almost bipedal! She found her balance on New Year's Day, and within 24 hours, she was walking side-by-side holding my hand. She's on the move which makes this little video seem so outdated now, but what a fun moment for us!



 
Wish us luck as we finish packing up for the big move!

2015 in Review

Wednesday, January 6, 2016


Happy New Year!

The content of this blog has changed drastically over the last year. This space has always been a place to share life. No theme, no branding, no plans to become a full-time blogger (though there is nothing wrong with pursuing those things). Of course, the biggest change in my life in the last year is that it now includes a little human that I'm responsible for raising and loving. I don't consider myself a "mom blogger," but I confess that this space has become extremely baby-centric. Although things have shifted, you're still here reading, commenting, and e-mailing -- and I am so grateful for that. Blogging may be dead, as some say, but it is still a community that has given me so much since 2011. Whether you read every post or just check in every once in awhile, thank you!

As I do every year, here is a little look back at the last twelve months.


JANUARY: January seems like a distant blur. I really enjoyed (most of) pregnancy and was so excited to become a mom. When I think of January, I think of setting up her nursery, nights sitting on the couch watching my belly move, weekly movie date nights, and working long hours in preparation for maternity leave. But it wasn't all about baby. I also fulfilled a long-time goal of donating my hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths and was spotted by a blog reader while out running errands. Crazy and cool!

FEBRUARY: The last weeks of pregnancy included high blood pressure which forced me to leave the office a little earlier than planned. We geared up for parenthood with visits from some best friends and then the arrival of my parents for Operation: Baby Watch. Presley Noel entered the world on her due date and completely blew open our hearts in a way we didn't know was possible. 

MARCH: March was... ugh, guys. Can I tell you something? March was really hard. I hinted at it, but I didn't reveal the full scope of it at the time. It was not how I wanted to memorialize the precious early days of my daughter's life, and to be honest, it was only in hindsight that understood and acknowledged that I had some "baby blues." Despite it's challenges, I fell deeper in love with my family and learned a lot about myself.

APRIL: I went back to work at the start of April. Life looked so different than it had six weeks earlier, but it was such a smooth, stress-free transition back. I jumped right back in, got used to my new routine of pumping, and swooned over every photo and video of Presley that flashed across my phone. S is a stellar dad, and he is amazing at raising our kiddo. My MIL paid us a visit and met Presley for the first time.

MAY: May brought a sunnier perspective and more sleep. Hallelujah! I was finally able to breathe and laugh about some of my parenting fails. I had my first Mother's Day. We were obsessed with Presley's developing personality. It was around this time that she became more active and aware, and we started recording more videos. One of my best friends, Annie, met Presley via FaceTime and also shared the news that she was pregnant! So much excitement!

JUNE: Another best friend, SueEllen, shared that she was pregnant which officially made 2015 the Year of the Babies! I did a little photo project with my mom and grandma which I love so much. S had his first Father's Day, complete with a card scribbled by Pres.

JULY: Work had a lot of my focus as I started a new project. By this point, life felt normal, and we had a good home/Presley routine. Summertime in the South is a special kind of oppressive, but we survived. I'm glad this blog was a place to quickly record all my mama feels or that time I was kicked in the face... twice. I also dressed Pres in an old dress of mine that was sewn by my grandma.

AUGUST: S and I celebrated nine years together (dating and marriage). Well, we celebrated as much as two, tired new parents can on any given day. ;) I traveled to Maui for a best friend's wedding with my mom as my date. The original plan was for S and I to do the honeymoon we never had, but we had a last-minute change of plans. (One day we'll get a honeymoon!) The wedding was beautiful, and I loved the special time I spent with my mom.

SEPTEMBER: I guess I would sum up September in four words: poop, sass, party hat. I turned another year wiser! (Ha.) September brought three gifts: poop in my hair, the slow blink, and a baby in a party hat -- which is one of the cutest things I've ever seen.

OCTOBER: October will go down in history as the month that Presley began sleeping through the night in her crib. That's all that matters about October. (Oh, and the hilarious GIF of Pres that I created.)

NOVEMBER: It felt like we blinked, and suddenly, Presley was nine months old. My MIL came out for a visit. I couldn't believe how quickly Thanksgiving rolled around. We had fun gearing up for Presley's first holiday season. We took a family photo early enough to send out our Christmas cards by early December.

DECEMBER: December brought babies! Feeling fresh off the infant parenting wagon, it was fun to see two of my best friends become moms. Some big changes took place at work, and the week of vacation that I had planned for the holidays was moved to January. We spent a quiet Christmas at home and FaceTime'd family so they could see Pres open her gifts. Sadly, my heart is heavy with grief from the unexpected passing of my best friend's dad on Christmas Day. Just two weeks after the birth of his grandson, his time on earth ended. It's hard not being in San Diego right now to offer comfort and to be useful -- to hug and hold my Bestie, to deliver dinner, to clean her house, to do... something, anything. But even with such sorrow, the lyric that played in my head over and over on Christmas night was: "For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn." Life is precious, and although circumstances can feel confusing and heartbreaking, there is always light with time.


We are looking forward to 2016 and all the change and growth it already has in store.
Cheers, my friends!

Christmas to Christmas

Tuesday, December 29, 2015


I love side-by-side comparisons. Last Christmas I was almost 32 weeks pregnant. This Christmas I was chasing a ten-month-old. Next Christmas I'll be painting and cutting snowflakes with a toddler. So much changes in just a year's time!

This Christmas wasn't what I had hoped it would be. The idea of becoming a parent filled me with ideas of crafts and seeing the holiday through a child's eyes. I failed to remember that the glitter and excitement of Christmas are completely lost on a ten-month-old. The tree was interesting for only a few days. Scrunching wrapping paper brought her more holiday cheer than the anticipation of opening a gift. She doesn't have the attention span to watch Frosty the Snowman. Also, I was in a rotten mood in the morning. I regret it, and I'd take it back if I could. I was up with her in the wee hours of the morning, and sleep deprivation is torture in my book. I napped while she napped and was a much better human being afterward. If I'm being honest, I was really sad to not be with my family too. My sister and brother have never held Presley. (Editor's Note: I can barely type that without crying.) My relatives have never met her. Holidays alone are already hard, but throw in a baby, and I'm the bawling emoji face. But! ... Yes, there is a "but" ... It was still a sweet Christmas! I've been really busy with work, so I was very thankful to have time off to just relax at home with my peeps. ;)

We agreed that Christmas will be different next year, because Presley will have a better understanding of it all and will want to join in the fun.

Where ever you are, whatever you celebrate, who ever you spent time with -- I hope it was wonderful.

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