Monday, August 29, 2016

The Old Days

Every now and then, I let my mind wander back to the old days, the old me.

I remember sitting on my roof outside my window late at night watching the big Kansas thunderstorms rolling through and talking on the phone. I can smell the rain on the shingles still warm from the day. 

I remember the glorious feeling of going to sleep late on a weekend night and knowing that the next morning, I had nothing I had to wake up early for. I could sleep as late as I wanted and roll out of bed at my leisure. 

I remember driving down the country roads with the windows down and the radio blaring, breathing in the sweet air of a summer night and getting hit on at stop lights. 

I remember leisurely taking an hour to get ready, and still never managing to be on time. 

I remember going to the store. Alone. Or wandering the mall. Or eating dinner and not standing up EVEN ONCE during the meal. 

I remember when my stress was caused by whether a boy called me, who was dating who, or if heaven forbid I didn't have plans on a weekend night.

It's not that I was selfish, it's just that in that phase of life, I was living for me. I wasn't responsible for anyone else's life. I was spontaneous. I was a hopeless romantic. I was a dreamer. I couldn't have known any different until that part of my life was over. 
It's easy to romanticize the carefree parts of the past when those days are behind you. I always hoped for a big life, one that would matter. I couldn't have known just how small a big life can be. I'm not out saving the world with the Peace Corps like I once planned. I haven't traveled. I never did make it to Africa and I haven't solved the human trafficking crisis. 

These days more often than not, I'm summoned from my lunch to offer moral support while my child poops. I'm getting juice, changing diapers, and crying tears of exasperation when my three year old is completely out of control despite the fact that I try to be a good parent. I'm escaping to Target for the sole purpose of leaving the house. I'm spoon feeding, making sandwiches, folding laundry, refolding laundry when little hands find it, cleaning the bathrooms while my big boy "helps" by spraying water ev-er-y-where.. Picking up and putting away and sweeping and wiping just to do it again in 14 hours. I'm trying and failing to match my husband's dress socks correctly, and trying and usually succeeding to keep tabs on where everyone's everything is. 

I'm being woken by a tiny voice asking if we can snuggle. I'm listening to the soundtrack of sweet toddler songs and baby babbling filling my home. I'm answered with "I wub you too" and I'm covered in slobbery, snotty kisses. I'm singing "you are my sunshine" on a loop and I have a baby permanently glued to my hip. I'm climbed on and clung to and asked to be held. I'm skipping pants and makeup, sneaking in showers, and yet my husband still tells me I'm beautiful. 

You know, sometimes my mind does go back to those simple days. And it lingers there for a minute or two, or maybe even a whole afternoon depending on the kind of day we're having. But without fail, it comes back to my here and now, my boys and my man, and I would choose this life over and over and over. Someday I'll sleep in again and I'll wish for that tiny voice to wake me up early. I'll travel the world and long for the days of playing Legos in my living room all day long. I'll miss the tiny laundry and the fingerprints  on the windows and mirrors. I'll get in the car and not buckle a single carseat, and I'll miss having someone to lift into the cart and chat with through the store. I'll miss having my bag overflowing with diapers and wipes and hot wheel cars, and having an excuse to always carry Teddy Grahams. The days are long, but the years are far too short. I haven't saved the world just yet, but the hopeless romantic and dreamer in me is still alive and well. The greatest dream I've ever had is now my reality. I'm living it right this second, and I'm head over heels in love.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Milo Highlight Reel

3 year olds are funny, funny people. Some of the things that come out of this munch's mouth have me rolling. 

When he says his prayers, he always includes select cousins and his Aunt Sarah. It's usually "please bless my bed and daddy's and mommy's bed and Otto's bed and Jaxon's bed and Colton's bed and Hudsy's bed and Sarah and Ruby and Gaby and Madison and Zoey". He LOVES his people!

When Otto gets out of bed, it's always the sweetest reunion of smiles and hello's from these two. Brothers are the best!

Milo Quotes:
"Mom you're such a silly guy"

When Trevor is hug attacking me: "dad, that's my mom! That's just enough!"

First thing in the morning- me: hi bud! Milo: yeah! It's me!

Me- Milo want to go get the mail? Milo- no, it's hot. I don't want to go get the mail. (He's right you know. Texas is on fire.)

When he gets a shiver: "that was a big coldy!"

Asking to see dad leave for work- "Mom can I see dad out the teeny tiny teeny tiny little window please?" (The peep hole)

The other day in the church restroom, I went potty after Milo, during which he so gracefully informed everyone: "Mom, you just have a bum. And I have a penis. And Otto has a penis. And dad has a penis." Y'welc for the impromptu anatomy lesson, patrons of the women's room. 

Milo likes to ask ambiguous/difficult questions.

What are you sitting?
What is my room doing?
Why is this the fireplace?
What are these strawberries?

And he's old enough now that we can crack each other up in the kind of giggles where neither of you can breathe. I live for that!

Every morning he comes to me and says, I just want to snuggle. And we fall back asleep for a while and I melt. 

He's really something else, this boy!

Monday, July 25, 2016


The thing with women is that we are under the impression that we must always be fighting tooth and nail through a body toning workout program, fill in our eyebrows, cook gourmet skinny meals, stick to a diet plan involving intense amounts of counting, and throw birthday parties full of Pinterest cakes and garlands.

It's exhausting. 

Too often we feel obligated to do all of these extras so we don't feel like failures. Try as I might to be laid back, this striving for perfection in parts of my life that aren't the most significant feels almost ingrained in me. So many things are trying to matter in life that they tend to cloud the precious few that actually do. But I'm finally starting to internalize the truth that there is nobody holding me to that pressure but myself. 

There is beautiful freedom in lowering your standards and being at peace with mediocre. When you let some pieces be good enough, other aspects will soar. 

I want my own definition of beauty and success: For my kids to know I play with them, hard. For them to know that there are no words for how fiercely I love them. I want to laugh with my husband. I want to say yes. I want to read my book in the quiet evenings. I want to dance. I want to be healthy and balanced. I want eye contact. I want to always have my babies in my arms or on my hip.  

So, I'll be over here with a jiggly bum and makeup-less eyebrows, letting the pieces of myself that have no baring on true joy be refreshingly average while I live my miraculously extraordinary life with all the love and color it deserves. 

Sunday, July 10, 2016

On Being A Baby

Otto isn't like Milo. I love Milo for all his energy and vigor and urgency with which he lives his life. But I love Otto for his more relaxed approach just as much. 

Otto is the quintessential baby in every sense of the word. He's snuggly and giggly and smiley and chunky and delicious. His first word is mama and he loves his permanent spot on my hip. He's constantly checking things out and then always coming back to his safe haven of my arms. My baby is just such a baby, and I LOVE it. 

Just today at church, Otto fell asleep on my shoulder as I bounced him and rubbed his back. Milo's sleeping in arms days were log over by this age, so I'm soaking it all in with my Otto boy. I stood rocking him in the back of the primary room with a silly smile that couldn't be wiped off my face. Is there anything better than a baby asleep in your arms with their little cheek nestled in your neck? I think not. 

We've had so much fun with our Milestone cards, ever so gradually documenting all of Otto's biggest days. Please take your time crossing your big steps off the list sweet boy. You've got all the time in the world and although I'm trying to ignore the fact that 1 is just around the corner, we sure are enjoying the ride. 

Milestone Cards-
Otto's bib and romper-

Friday, July 8, 2016

Eyes Wide Open

What do you want?

These words have been screaming in my head as I try like the dickens to round out yet another journey through the refiner's fire. Constantly I'm stumbling through the process of being shaped and molded into the woman I'm meant to be.

I have this idea of the wife and mother I want to be remembered as. I want my legacy to be one of joy, patience, unconditional love, charity, and light. I want to make my house a home, to keep my babies feeling secure and happy, and for them to always know that they were and always will be my number one priority. 

The most beautiful love story of all time is right under my nose, and I fully intend to soak in every raw, exhausting, breathtaking moment of it. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Baby Gear With Gugu Guru

When it comes to baby gear, I'm not one for extra. I have my tried and true items that we swear by, and I try to keep things pretty minimal. Unnecessary products complicate something so simple and natural as babyhood!

Registering for Milo, I had zero idea what I would actually use. As we registered the second time for Otto, I had a few items that had saved my life with Milo that I registered for and you'd never guess it but it turns out that babies are completely different. Who knew? With Milo, we used a lot more bottles and he was not very interested in solid food. He was crawling at 4 months and walking at 10. Otto on the other hand never takes a bottle and loves solid food (not even purees anymore). Otto at 9.5 months just started scooting and I have a feeling we've got a good amount of time before walking happens! Their sleep habits are different, their babywearing preferences are different, and juggling a baby and a toddler at once looks a lot different than just one baby!

I wish I'd been more aware about what I would actually use with both boys, and also what was worth spending some decent money on. We've tried to do baby gear on the cheap for the most part, but I've gone through enough diaper bags, fumbled with enough awful car seat buckles, and run with my beloved jogger enough to know that some items are absolutely worth the money. So what's a momma to do when it comes to her baby registry?

Enter Gugu Guru. This is a service that hand picks registry items for you based on your personal preferences. Further, the Gugu Guru Concierge service uses a personal shopper to curate a specific registry for you based solely upon your needs and what you love. Talk about a life saver! There are a million and one brands and variations for everything "baby", and I've read enough Amazon reviews to make your head spin. My personal favorite aspect of the Gugu Guru registry is that they specifically select high quality, trusted brands while offering products at various price points.  Until you've actually used a product in your own personal life for you own personal baby, you never quite know what you will or won't need and love about it. With Gugu Guru, you can trust that you're receiving the best suggestions for you. With Concierge, you can rest assured that what you're getting will fit your needs and preferences. Without the headache of unnecessary items or shotty ones you actually need to function and find yourself replacing time and again, you're free to love on your baby, which is the whole point of this whole motherhood thing!

As with everything in motherhood, your own personal intuition is your best guide. You'll figure out how you and your baby want to sleep, eat, and play. And using products best suited for your personal parenting style will make life all the more enjoyable and sweet. 

Be sure to check out Gugu Guru and Gugu Guru Concierge to make your baby registry the perfect fit!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Of Teeth and Tangled Hair

Teething bracelet and necklace are both from Nuby. Functional jewelry for the win!
Those pesky teeth, I tell you what. Otto boy has the telltale runny nose on full blast currently and I can see those top 2 teeth getting ready to poke through. So far he's been a little less dramatic than Milo (about everything) so hopefully these 2 won't be too awful. In the meantime, teethers are scattered throughout the house and you can find him gnawing on carrot sticks all the day long. 

This little teether bracelet is the best. It straps onto him and vibrates with every movement, which he thinks is hilarious. Otto isn't a huge fan of actually wearing it, but Milo had a similar bracelet toy that he never took off. To each their own, but he certainly loves playing with it and biting down with his sore gums!

And then there's those two little hands, always hunting for something to pull at, grab, poke, and explore. It just so happens that the targets most often within his reach include my hair and any jewelry I may be wearing, so let's be honest- this gray necklace is 75% for him and 25% because it's fun and I love it and he can't break it. PLUS it's specifically meant as a teether, which makes it all the better! 

And let's not talk about how I took scissors to and 6 inches off my hair on Saturday because it's hot and Otto's arms are getting longer and longer and who even has time for haircuts anyways?

Life with babies is magical. I can't get over how much I'm LOVING doing it all again, and it's all so different this time around. Otto boy is 9.5 months old and just started hobble crawling 2 days ago. It's darling and that sweet boy can take his good time to be mobile! My boys are turning out so different, but at the same time so similar. Nothing I love more than my front row seat to see it all unfold!

I received this product for a review, but all opinions are my own.