18 Months Old on the 29th!

It feels so weird to write this, because we are 6 months away from having an actual 2-year-old “little boy”… what?!! Entering into the official toddler months/years has been the most fun and rewarding phase thus far. Don’t get me wrong – newborns are adorable, and crawling babies are fascinating, but I think Nick and I both agree that having a walking, talking, parrot in our house is the absolute BEST!! He literally learns multiple new things every single day. Let me try and capture a few of these things I’m talking about:

The first and funniest place to start is with Moana. Most of you already know this from my Facebook posts and snapchats… but to say that Harvey is obsessed with Moana is an understatement. He asks to watch it every morning. He wakes up, snuggles, asks for milk, and then immediately asks for “Nonnana.” He knows the words, smiles while he sits there and watches it, and he even… wait for it… SINGS THE SONGS!! He knows that Moana is supposed to help Maui “restore the harp (heart).” When we try to put on other cartoons, he will not accept substitutes for his true love, Moana. We might have to incorporate this obsession into our Halloween costume plans…

Some other things that I’m really loving these days are all the questions he asks on a daily basis. And all of the matter-of-fact type statements. He says things like, “Can I have that? What is that? What is this?” and the super cute things like, “I want this”, “I need this”, “I want some mulp (milk)”, “I want a boop (book).” He loves to talk about the different body parts he knows – he will point out his feet, nose, ears, eyes, belly button, etc. I would say the thing that we laugh at the most, and we probably shouldn’t laugh at… is the S word. Here’s the funny part – we don’t think he’s actually saying sh**… he is saying “sit” as in “sit down” because that’s what we tell him every time he comes to the top of the stairs, but it definitely sounds like the bad word! And I think we encourage it when we giggle at him. 🙂

He is very pleased with himself recently, especially when it comes to climbing, running, and exploring. He goes up and down the stairs with ease, climbs on the couch and treats it like a trampoline park, and loves finding sticks and rocks on the ground wherever he goes. He likes to throw balls with daddy (future athlete maybe). At night, when we ask for kisses, he does a “kissing contest” with us, where he goes back and forth between the two of us, to see who will give him kisses the longest! It is the sweetest thing, and definitely makes me feel loved. One other thing I would like to add (before I forget) is that right now we are going through what I hope is a short-lived phase of waking up SUPER early. I am not exactly sure why it is happening… but sometimes he will get up as early as 4:00 AM… and it is basically torture for us, especially because he’s been sleeping from 7:30 PM to 5:30 AM for a solid year now. Fingers crossed that this does not last!!!

Update on me: for those of you who don’t know, I’ve decided to run the Bull City Half Marathon on October 22nd! This has been one of the best decisions I’ve made for personal reasons in a long, long time. I FEEL AMAZING. Like, I wake up every day, and feel good about my health and my body. A few months ago, I had an annual check-up, and it didn’t go super great. I was a bit overweight, my blood pressure was really high, I fainted when they took my blood, and honestly, I just wasn’t feeling that well on a day-to-day basis (headaches, fatigue). I realized that I couldn’t keep using my family/personal stress as an excuse and I decided to change it up a bit with exercise and smarter dietary habits, and I’m so glad that I did. My blood pressure is normal, my weight is normal, I am in shape for the first time in 5 years, and I feel like my overall “heart happiness” is at an all-time high. For the first time since I found out I was pregnant, and had a big revelation there, I feel like an average 28-year-old woman who thinks about her health in the long-term more than her eating disorder in the short-term. It is pretty incredible how physical exercise (conducted in a safe way) can open the pathway to better mental health. Wish me luck as I continue to train over the next few weeks!

What else is new you might ask? Well, we are having some housework done which is exciting and stressful at the same time. We got new doors, new gutters, had the house painted, and we are getting new columns in the front – so stay tuned for updates with that! I do have to say that I am extremely grateful to have Nick around for things like this. He is very good at paying attention to detail and being assertive when it comes to paying people for the quality of work they are doing. When it comes to things like this, I am the brains behind the idea and the design, and then he is the paperwork and “muscle”, if you will. Speaking of Nick, for those of you who don’t know, he got a promotion at work (which is fantastic) and that comes with a lot of new stress and responsibility for him. I am so proud of all his hard work, and his ability to balance that work life with dad life. He remains the most wonderful daddy to Harvey – taking care of him each morning when I go to school early, and he is the reason the wheels of our family and life keep turning. I would be lying if I said our busy work and family lives didn’t take a toll on our “relationship life”… I mean, come on right? It’s hard to find time to go on a date night and to be nice to each other (all of the time) when everybody is stressed – but we make it work (most of the time) and I am grateful for his love and support.

That’s all for now – I will check back in when our house work is done! Until next time… Truth. Love. Honesty. ❤

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Harvey and Luke having lunch at Picnic!

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Aunt Amanda came to visit Harvey and Annabelle!

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Harvey having lunch at Pop’s house – thumbs up!

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One Day at a Time, Step 9

This is the piece that I wrote for my Listen To Your Mother audition, and was honored to have been selected to share it with you all on stage last week! Thank you to all of my family and friends who came to support me! ❤

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Most women know that when they have their first child, the relationship they have with their own mother is going to change. Some women complain about the unwanted “advice” their moms give them, and some women are grateful for the time their moms take to help them with a newborn baby. Overall, I think I speak for most ladies when I say that the bond created between a mother and a daughter after childbirth is one unlike any other. To understand what it means to love another human life more than you love your own, and to understand what your mother went through to have you, well… that feeling is indescribable unless you’ve lived it.

For me, things were a little bit different. The day my son was born, I did not only become a mother, I became a daughter. Of course, yes, I’ve always been a daughter, but not in the traditional sense. In fact, I had already been a mother for quite some time if you want to know the honest truth. I was a mother to my brothers long before I was a mother to my own baby. My mother and I had more of a “friend to friend” relationship when I was a teenager and young adult, rather than a mother/daughter one… which is what it can be like to be the child of an alcoholic.

I learned to “mother” my siblings very well when I was in high school. I would take my two younger brothers to soccer practices, I would pack their lunches, and I would sign their parent permission slips. I would schedule their doctors and dentist appointments, make sure they had a ride home from a friend’s house, and keep the grocery lists up-to-date. I even filled out one of my brothers’ college applications! These weren’t really things that bothered me at the time because I truly didn’t know anything different. I knew my parents were loving, and I knew they were proud of me.

The first time my mom said “I am an alcoholic” out loud, I was a sophomore in college. Among some other very drastic life changes that included my parents getting a divorce, she told us that she was going to 12-step meetings. I was so happy with this news. Finally, I was going to get my mom back. I even went over to the local tattoo shop in Chapel Hill and put “One Day” on my wrist as a reminder of that feeling. But, by the time I came home for Thanksgiving break, she had fallen off the wagon for the first time, and my feelings of frustration, resentment, and sadness were growing. My mom was in pain, and I was in pain, and there was absolutely nothing I could do to cure it or to control it.

After going to treatment a few times, and continuing to build her support network in the recovery program, I could slowly see my mom coming back to me. The ways in which her alcoholism affected my life were deeper than I had realized at first, and would continue to be for a long time. When she first started talking to me about working the 12 steps, and who she needed to make amends to, I wasn’t ready for it. The day she asked for my forgiveness, I said all of the right words, but I wasn’t ready to give it. I think I was afraid that she would let me down again, that this time wouldn’t stick. Today, my mom has been sober for 6 years, 9 months, and 20 days, (not that anyone is counting!) and she has been a Mimi for a little more than a year.  I am grateful for every single second.

When Harvey was born, my mom came to Chapel Hill for the occasion. I was hesitant to ask her at first, because I just wasn’t sure how it was going to go. I had never done the whole “pushing a baby out” thing, and I didn’t know what kind of mojo I would need in the room. As it turns out, in the heat of the moment, I wanted my mom there.

I needed her support and nursing skills, and I think that having her with me while my baby entered this world was one of the single most significant events that either one of us has ever experienced. She has been the sweetest Mimi in the world, and Harvey is going to grow up knowing her for who she really is: a warm, loving, smart, and caring woman who has a heart that’s bigger than this room.

Now that I have my own child, and I have officially entered the newest chapter of my life, I feel ready to accept my mom’s amends. I feel like we have had an opportunity to start over, and I know not everybody gets one of those. I feel a renewed strength in our relationship and our ability to bond over my child. There is a new truth to the way we interact with each other.  I do not regret my life up to this point, you see, I would not be the teacher, coach, wife, mama, or friend that I am today if it weren’t for my experiences thus far.  If it weren’t for my mom and her new sense of self through sobriety, I wouldn’t understand the concept of beauty within our imperfections. I know that in her heart of hearts, my mom has loved me and wanted the best for me my entire life. The “Big Book” describes Step Nine as follows: “If we are painstaking about this phase of our development,” it says, “we will be amazed before we are half way through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace.”  The day I became a mother, I also became a daughter. The day I became a mother, I forgave my own mother. The day I became a mother, I also gained a mother.

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Here are some pictures from the show! 🙂

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9 1/2 Months with Harvey

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Well… it’s been a while since I’ve written a post! Two reasons for that – one being that teaching and working and coaching and mama-ing have been keeping me really busy this winter, and the other being my lack of motivation to write anything down after the election and its repercussions in my life and in this country. However, time heals most wounds and I have found my sense of self, my sense of courage, and my sense of responsibility and duty to my community and to my family again – hence I am in the writing mood today! My mom is coming up this weekend to attend the Women’s March in Raleigh with me, and I cannot wait to get out there and start mobilizing NC!

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Anyway… back to Harvey. He is almost 10 months old, and I’ve started thinking about his first birthday party already. This is so crazy to say, but he has officially been outside of my body for as long as he was inside of it!!! WHAT??!!! I don’t understand where the time has gone, and honestly I’ve been a bit sad thinking about him growing up too fast recently. He has really started to change at a fast pace, and I have days where I don’t want him to grow up anymore. I think that part of it has to do with the fact that he has pretty much lost all interest in nursing. He will nurse in the morning as soon as he wakes up, and sometimes before bed, but its more for comfort than anything. I have already cried my tears over it, and the day that he officially stops will be hard for me. My mother-in-law has told me about the last time she nursed her last baby, and how she took a moment to close her eyes and savor the memory… and I have a feeling that day is coming up on me quickly.  I have loved every single moment of our breastfeeding journey together, and truly hope that my next baby nurses as well as he did.

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Aside from all of that – Harvey continues to be the light of my life. He laughs and smiles all the time, pulls up on every single piece of furniture and/or person in the house, eats everything he can get his hands on, and is drinking from a sippy cup/straw. He has been working on standing a bit on his own, and the speed of his crawl has picked up, a LOT. Now that he is mobile, we have to keep an eye on him for sure. He has had some bumps and bruises along the way, and I’m sure we are in for a lot more of those while he officially learns to walk. Watching him play with his toys and listen to books is some of my favorite entertainment. My absolute favorite thing is his bedtime routine. After dinner, I give him a bath, and then take him to his room so that I can play him his nighttime song (Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings singing “Sweet Tooth”) and do his “grooming”. He LOVES to be groomed. He lays there, still and sweet, while I clip his nails, brush his hair, and rub lotion into his perfect skin. I do a little massage with it, and he stares at me with the deepest, most loving eyes in the whole entire world, and I swear I get teary-eyed most nights because I just don’t understand how I got so lucky. Right before I lay him in his crib, I give him a kiss and he has started to kiss back sometimes. He then lays his head on my shoulder to give me a hug, and I can promise you that my last moment on this earth will someday involve the memory I have carved of this event in my heart and in my mind. Woowee, I really need time to slow down!

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The other really cool thing about Harvey these days is that he sleeps through the night, in his own bed. Although I was sad to move him out of our bed, having our evenings back has really given Nick and I the chance to bond again – in a way we hadn’t realized we were missing! We can actually sit on the couch and enjoy some TV or reading time. I look forward to our family time as a tripod, but I also really look forward to that time on the couch with just the two of us. We recently watched a movie called, “The Lobster” and I will spare you the strange details about its synopsis (although I do recommend the movie to people), but there were two take-aways from it that I thought were funny: 1. Children are given to couples to help strengthen their relationships (in the movie) and for us, that has been 100% true. I love who we are as parents and partners. 2. If Nick were to go blind in a world where people are required to have partners who are exactly like them… I would go blind too so that we could be together forever ❤

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Upcoming News: I am currently writing/editing a piece that I am submitting for the Raleigh “Listen To Your Mother” performance this May. I went last year for the first time, and was blown away by the stories of motherhood that brave women can tell, and I decided to give it a go! My audition is in a few weeks, and I will keep y’all posted on whether or not I’m selected! I will post my essay either way for you all to read.

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The Fourth Trimester

Wow. I can’t believe it! Harvey is 12 weeks old, as of yesterday, and our 4th trimester is over! What a doozy. I wish I had the time and energy to write about every single moment… but time and energy are sparse these days (I’ll tell you why at the end of this post).

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Some of the highlights:

Harvey is a smiley dude. I knew that when my nugget started smiling (and occasionally laughing) it would bring me joy… but nobody told me it would MELT MY HEART over and over again. I can’t get enough of it! I’ve found myself doing all kinds of ridiculous things to see that toothless grin of his. Every time it happens, I feel as if I am enjoying a special moment in time that forever bonds us together.

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Harvey loves his jumperoo. I decided to put it together a few weeks ago, when I realized that his head control was really good, and he has had so much fun figuring that thing out. The other reason I put it together is because he loves pushing down with his legs (as if he is ready to stand up) and I thought it would be a great way to practice that. I did find… however… that his favorite time to poop is while he’s in the jungle jumperoo… so Nick and I have spent a little time cleaning not 1, not 2… but 3 “blowouts” up from that thing. Also, I realize, that it might not be the jumperoo that he likes, as much as the pooping part… haha!

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Harvey loves to travel. We went to Philadelphia a few weeks ago to visit some friends, and Harvey flew like a champ. He literally didn’t make a peep the entire time, and it really gave us some confidence before we embark on a much longer flight to Seattle later this summer. We also head to the beach with my family on Saturday and I cannot WAIT to put his little feet in the ocean for the first time! Hopefully, he will like it better than he liked his feet in the Eno River.

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Some of the lowlights:

Alright, I am going to simplify this story as much as possible… but I want you to understand that when it happened, I was f***ing devastated. I have been pumping once a day, since Harvey was born, to help keep a good supply of milk, and to start storing some away for when I have to go back to work in August. Well… a few days ago, our freezer (which is brand new) decided to die (we will NEVER buy Samsung products EVER again) and I therefor lost over 100oz of frozen breastmilk in the process. Holy s***. I had no idea that I would feel the pain and anger and frustration and sorrow that I felt if that were to ever happen to me. Pumping is not easy. It’s annoying, time consuming, and flat-out lame… but you do it for you baby, especially if you’re a working mom. When I lost all of that hard work, I sobbed as I had to pour it down the drain. What a waste. I also read lots of stories from women who had similar experiences… sometimes losing things like 500oz or 1,000oz when their power went out, etc. In reading those stories, and doing more research on my own, I found out that the actual chemical, hormonal, and emotional bond I have with my breastmilk is a legitimate cause for such suffering when a loss like that occurs. Mamas, my advice to you: spread your supply out if you can. Store some at work, some at home, some at daycare, and some at your in-laws’ house. Don’t let something like this happen to you! Lesson learned… the hard way.

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Harvey is going through a phase (we hope). This phase is called, “I am only happy when somebody is holding me.” Unless there is a very small part of the day where he is exceptionally happy… like the jumperoo time… he pretty much screams the second somebody puts him down. Wooweeeee… my back is starting to hurt!!!! Luckily, I have the Ergobaby carrier, and he enjoys going around in that… but somedays, bedtime can’t come soon enough! Thank goodness he (usually) sleeps through the night. I also want to add here that when I say sleeps through the night, I mean something very different from what most people mean. I am going to write a separate post about it someday, but for now I’ll say this: the three of us co-sleep. And by co-sleep, I mean bed-share. Harvey sleeps between the two of us every night, and it has been the most effective way that we’ve found to combat sleep-deprivation, nighttime feeding stress, and overall evening chaos. I never thought I would commit to it… but again, I will write about it more some other time! 🙂

In other news:

We celebrated our first wedding anniversary on Monday! Woohoo! Nick has been, and is still, my very best friend. I love him more today than I did the first time I told him so, over 8 years ago. They say that the first year is the hardest… and the two of us were like, “yeah right, we should go to Italy and have a baby and get this whole family thing started!” ……. HAHAHA!!!!! As if our year had not been crazy enough… Nick and I decided to buy a new house! YES! We are officially crazy (the whole energy and time thing). I can’t wait to write a big post about it in the future, but for now, I’ll say this: it is our dream home. We can’t wait to raise our babies in it… and it has more than one bathroom.

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Overall:

Life continues to be an adventure… one that I’m grateful to experience. We have amazing friends, an incredible family, and more support in this life than we could’ve ever hoped for. I keep counting my lucky stars because I know that it could all change in an instant. I’ve never felt that more than I do in these most recent days, after national tragedy strikes. I get to go to sleep tonight, with my loving husband, and my sweet baby, and that is more than most people can say.

Love to you all. ❤

A Much Needed Weekend in Atlanta

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Yesterday, I had a long car ride home from a weekend in Atlanta to think about and reflect upon the past few days. It was nice to have this opportunity to gather my thoughts and to have my moments of gratitude because, quite frankly, time is starting to move at a break-neck pace, and the closer I get to meeting my nugget, the more I wish time would speed up.

Before I get into my weekend and why I “needed” it so much, I want to say thank you to Nick, who has been (even in his recent sickness) unconditionally and entirely supportive and loving towards me throughout the past 8 months. I am 34 weeks and 1 day pregnant, and with each new day, starting to feel bigger and bigger. My ankles and knuckles have disappeared (my wedding ring is permanently stuck), and although I know they are not going to come back until after the baby comes out, Nick still sits next to me on the couch every night and tries to rub the fluid out of them. He showers me with compliments, even though he knows I don’t “hear” them, and offers to let me go shopping for things like new shoes because my feet don’t fit into my old ones anymore. He sees me struggling with my self-esteem and with feeling too needy at times, and still greets me with a smile and hug at the beginning of each day and at the end of each night. He thanks me for carrying and growing our baby, and tells me that he can never repay me. I know that it is not always easy to love somebody that doesn’t love themselves all the time. I wouldn’t be able to do any of this without him, truly. I love you, Daddy Nick… thank you for everything.

So, now on to me. Things are starting to change pretty quickly as far as my body goes. Physically, I feel fine. And I continue to say and think that I am grateful for this because I know that a lot of women do not. I’m not going to lie… at the end of the day, I am a bit sore, and my swelling feels slightly “tight”, but it’s not painful. It’s just… different. More than anything, it’s hard to feel like my old self. My self-esteem is starting to take a little hit. Its hard to wake up in the morning and feel “pretty” when my feet and ankles and now, calves, are twice the size they were last week. The skin on my finger is bulging out around my wedding ring and my face is swollen and puffy. I haven’t been able to color my hair… so the two-tone black/orange look is starting to annoy me, and the big purple stretch marks that are covering my entire stomach are enough to make any woman a bit sad. Also, I know you all who read this are aware that I struggle with an eating disorder and my body image… so being pregnant and gaining a lot of weight is constantly on my mind too. And by “a lot of weight” I mean it… a lot. I’m way over the “goal” I had set for myself and the one that women are “supposed” to gain for my height, age, and pre-pregnancy weight. So it’s hard to escape the mindset of “you did this to yourself” or… “you wouldn’t be so swollen if you hadn’t gotten so fat” or “your blood pressure is high because you’ve gained too much weight too quickly.” I have to constantly remind myself to stay as present as possible, and to appreciate this opportunity I’ve been given to grow a child inside me. Mindfulness practices after mindfulness practices help… but also, talking about it does too. I want to chronicle this. Just because I feel like I have no room to complain because my pregnancy journey has been relatively easy compared to some, doesn’t mean that my feelings aren’t real and that the “physical” effects of pregnancy have to be greater than the “emotional” ones. Also, none of this means that I am not enjoying my pregnancy, or that I am not cherishing this time in my life. I am absolutely enjoying being an expectant mom… I am maybe just starting to look forward to having my baby in my arms and not worrying about what feels like “petty stuff.” Although I am fully aware of the fact that my concerns will shift and change with each new phase of expectancy, infancy, motherhood, and beyond.

And then… just in time… as if the universe knew that I needed a boost… I was surrounded with some of my favorite people in the whole world over the weekend. Lots of strong, empowering, amazing, independent women who have been role models to me throughout my entire life, came to my aunt’s house and reminded me that I can do this, and that I have a support network who is ready for me whenever I need them. They shared such beautiful words of wisdom, showered nugget with gifts and love, and were so attentive in asking me how I was doing, how I was feeling, and how things have been going. They listened to me, loved on me, comforted me, and reminded me that I am doing the best I can, which is more than anybody can ask for. Their genuine care and curiosity was so refreshing for me, and was the extra little “something” I needed to get me through this week.

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I was nervous that Saturday wasn’t going to “go my way” from the beginning when I got out of the shower, started to get dressed, and the two different pairs of boots that I had packed to wear with my dress did not fit on my feet. Like, they actually wouldn’t zip (I am still mourning this fact and the fact that we have to purchase new shoes for me to wear for the next few weeks) but my aunt Molly immediately ran upstairs and found two pairs of shoes to offer me for the day, and even suggested that we go shopping if need be. Every now and then, you need those little reminders… where people would literally give you the shirt off their back if you needed them too. It also helps that my family is amazing. My mothers, grandmothers, sisters-in-law, aunt, cousins, etc… all of them, love me AND my baby, and are right there with me, every step of the way.

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The universe was at it again on the way home… we drove right past the biggest and brightest rainbow I have ever seen 🙂

 

I have 2 Valentines

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February 14, 2016

Dearest Nugget,

My darling child, how can I possibly write the proper words with which to express my love and admiration for you?  In just a few short weeks, your father and I will get to meet you, in person, for the very first time.  Although I cannot possibly predict the future, I already know in the depths of my heart, that day will be the most magical one of my life thus far.

I chose to write you this letter on Valentine’s Day because I have hit a big milestone in my pregnancy with you. Today, I have officially been carrying you for 30 whole weeks! We are 75% done with this journey together, and although I am anxiously awaiting your arrival, I am going to cherish the next 10 weeks or so, because they are so vital to your growth, nourishment, and protection.

What do you look like, little one? Do you have blonde hair and blue eyes like your daddy? Or do you have my brown hair and brown eyes? Will you be taller than us? Are you going to be funny like you dad, or will you be musical like me? Is math your favorite subject? I have so many questions for you, and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life getting to know the answers to them, just as I get to know you.

Although I have lots of questions for you, there are a few things I already know are true. You like to read books! Your daddy has been reading you books ever since your Aunt Lisa gave us your very first one… Brown Bear, Brown Bear.  Every single time you hear his voice, and the story he is sharing with you, you perk up. You squirm around in my tummy, as if you are trying to get closer to the source. It’s incredible to witness. I hope your love for knowledge stays with you all the days of your life.

Guess what else you like? Yoga! I have been going to pre-natal yoga classes most Friday afternoons with you, and believe it or not, as I move into new and challenging positions to prepare myself for your birth, you move into fun positions too. I smile a lot during these yoga sessions because I have a feeling that you are going to work with me, as much as you can, to make your entrance into this world a peaceful and empowering one.

You are not going to be a picky eater. I know this because I have not had any aversions to food since you’ve been growing inside me. In fact, I eat pretty much anything I want, when I want. Even sushi!!! And guess what? YOU LOVE IT! When I finish eating, particularly dinner, I can feel you rolling from side to side, before settling in for a nap after being fed. You, like your mommy, enjoy your sweet treats after dinner, and love to show me so with your movements.

Although your interests might change as they develop throughout the years, there is a certain fact right now: you are a fan of soccer. In fact, since you’ve existed, you’ve attended approximately 50 boys’ soccer games and just as many practices. Before your arrival in the next few months, you will attend approximately 40ish girls’ soccer games and practices as well. That fact, is not one to which many babies can attest! If you grow up to love the game as I do, you will have quite an impressive resume, being that you loved the sport before you were born.

The most important thing I already know about you, is that you are loved beyond words. Your father and I dreamed of what it would be like to have you, long before you were a little nugget in my belly.  The year before your birth, daddy and I had many amazing adventures, including our wedding at the farmer’s market, and our incredible trip to Italy.  All the while, we discussed how much fun we would have bringing you along with us, on our hikes, camping, to the beach, and to work in our yard and garden. We knew, all the while, that the greatest adventure of all would be our transformation into your parents.

As we await your arrival, sweet baby nugget, I hope that you can feel our love. You give us more strength than you might realize, tiny as you are. We are already proud to be your mommy and daddy, and hope that we make you feel as such every day of your life.

All my love,

Mama

2016, Here we come!

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This week, the three of us rang in the new year in Atlanta with family and friends. My goodness, how we are blessed! These days, it really does feel as if there are three of us, not just two anymore. The more my belly grows and the more movement I feel on an hourly basis, the more I begin to incorporate “we” and “us” into my discussions of what “I” am doing. After all, it is not just me or me and Nick anymore… Nugget is fully with us at 24 weeks, and the countdown to April has started to speed up.

We had the pleasure of spending New Year’s Eve with Nick’s sister, Emma, in Atlanta at a restaurant called Ladybird. We had dinner and (everybody but me had) drinks and got to hear a live band who played some pretty awesome Outkast covers. As the clock struck 12, I couldn’t help but picture the year ahead. 2016 is going to be, by far, the healthiest (both mentally and physically), craziest, scariest, most wonderful, most challenging, and most rewarding year of my life to date. We are only 4 days in, and I already know all of these things for a fact.

On New Year’s Day, we had brunch with Nick’s sister and then made a trip to IKEA for the last desired items for Nugget’s room. I will post the finished product in a week or two, when we have everything put in it’s place and put together. We also got to spend time with my cousins, my aunt and uncle, and my brother, Brian. It was good to catch up and spend time with my family after the holidays, and I am looking forward to my next trip down there because my sweet aunt, Molly, is throwing me a baby shower for Nug. 🙂

The weekend was topped off with a FABulous wedding for my dear friends Chris and John. I love all weddings, but I REALLY love camp weddings because I’ve known my camp friends since I was little. I’ve known Chris and John since age 12 or so – and we spent several summers together working at Mikell while we were in college. John and I are famous for singing and playing guitar together and Chris and I got our camp tattoos together in 2008, the summer after we raced through the 7th Harry Potter book while at camp (very nerdy, we know). Not only did I get to watch these two special people exchange wedding vows, but I got to see all of my other childhood/teenage/college friends who know me better than anyone else in the whole world (and love me anyway, I might add). Spending time with them always means the world to me, and it always recharges my batteries. The wedding was incredibly beautiful, and leaving such awesome events gets harder every time, especially because I have to say goodbye to everybody for months at a time.

These next four months are going to FLY by. My second semester at school starts in two weeks, as do our birthing classes, AND my third trimester in pregnancy. I am “leaning in” to 2016 with a clear mind, open arms, and full heart. I can’t wait to see what this year will bring!