Sunday, December 31, 2017

Lessons from My Daughter

The new year has always held magic in it to me. It’s a chance for reinvention, for new beginnings. My first kiss with Quinn was on New Year’s Eve nearly a decade ago and my belief in the magic was only magnified after that night.

Lately I’ve found magic isn’t reserved for just the champagne and confetti nights, it’s in my every day. My daughter, Henley, opened my eyes to it. The world is full of wonder to her. She is curious about what things are and how they work. Things I stopped considering decades ago, like what the moon and stars are, why Legos click together, or how airplanes fly.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Let Her Try

A few weeks ago, someone stole a learning moment from Henley. I watched the look on her face and realized this may be the first but it won’t be the last. In a restaurant bathroom, she tried to move a stool under the sink so she could wash her hands. It was all a little clumsy but I was right there and her gears were turning. A woman stepped in. She moved the stool, held Henley, turned on the water, got her a paper towel. All things Henley is capable of doing herself. 

At the end, I asked to Henley, “Do you want to say thank you?”. She did not. (Yes, I believe in manners and teaching gratitude BUT I don’t want her to say things she doesn’t feel.) 

Back at our table I told Quinn the story. While the woman wasn’t helpful, my assumption was she was trying to be. On our way out the door, we walked past the woman and her friends. She loudly remarked, “There’s the little girl I had to help because her mom wouldn’t.” (Inner monologue: “Oh hell, no”.) 

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Traveling with a Toddler!

We took our first family vacation in August! After a quick stop in Dallas to see my family and celebrate Henley's 2nd birthday we jetted off to Detroit > Ann Arbor > New Buffalo > Chicago > Dallas! Along the way we visited small towns like the quaint Marshall, Michigan.

I captured some of our adventures in the video below! Hopefully, it shows off how magical it felt. 

Friday, December 8, 2017

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I've been slacking a bit on my Lovely Little Blog posts but I've been fortunate enough to be sharing some of my musings on parenthood through Austin Moms Blog.

In the past year, I've tackled co-sleeping, not breastfeeding, and raising a kind child. Read 'em all here!

Let me know what you think!

p.s. Austin Moms Blog and The Domain hosted a Storytime with Santa last weekend and we got the featured snap capturing all us including Hen's serious face and our elf, Banjo

Monday, July 31, 2017

Becoming a Mom

Tomorrow, is Henley's 2nd birthday. It is amazing how much love, patience, and hope I have for one individual. When I became pregnant, I kept a journal of my every thought and continued until she turned one. That was when she started walking and my free moments became crafting, chasing, and "cooking". 

In the chaos, I haven’t written down that she loves to sing and dance. Right now she has a medley that consists of “Let it go” with twirling and wide-sweeping arm motions, “BODY” with purposeful marching, and ending with “Ooh Ooh Ooh Ee Ah”. In case you don’t speak Hen, that’s Frozen, Trolls, and Zootopia smushed together.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

I don’t want to teach that lesson….

I’m a mother to a 21-month old little girl, Hen. I won’t pretend to know what it’s like to fully raise a child. I’m just getting started. Right now I’m trying to teach Hen how to count to 5. So far, we’ve got one to three.

In addition to four and five, there are many lessons left. Many of them I can’t wait to start. For example, the first time she has a book report! I can’t wait to read the book along with her, just like my mom did. Or the first time we bake a cake together and it’s a gooey disastrous mess. But, there are other lessons I’m not so excited to discuss. Like, the first time a friend hurts her feelings, the day I have to explain that she cannot trust everyone, when we talk about infatuation vs love. I’m not looking forward to her first heartbreak or the moment I’m standing on the sideline in fear she’s making a mistake, but trying to decide if it’s a mistake she should make. Ugh. Even just thinking through all the scenarios makes me anxious.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Happy Father's Day! A love note to my husband.

My husband and I have been something special from the minute we saw each other. Through dating we also became best friends. And in August 2015, he took on a 3rd role as my co-pilot in the wonderfully crazy ride that is parenting.

Of all of these roles, he doesn’t get enough cred for his role as “Daddy”. So on his second Father’s Day, here’s a little ode to the guy that’s number one in my heart and Henley’s.


There’s possibly no sweeter sound that Henley saying “Daddy, Daddy, Daddy” each night when she wants you to come visit her in bed. Except maybe when you walk into the room and she bursts into a fit of giggles. Her love for you is grand and vast and big.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Please don't label my child.

Being kind is hard. It takes patience, empathy, consideration, warmth, open-mindedness, curiosity, and courage. Each day I work to be kind and to raise a kind child. One thing I’ve learned is that I can have a kind heart and still not be kind in each moment because I’m not perfect.

My daughter is the same way. She has a kind heart. Each morning she wakes up with the priority to take care of our three rescues. She won't eat until they have. She’s giving. At her first Easter egg hunt, she filled her basket with eggs and then went to each of the kids still learning to walk and put eggs in their basket. We left with zero eggs. In spite of that heart, she has moments that are perceived to be unkind. And this is when the world knocks her down. This is when the world holds her to a standard that none of us could meet. This is when the world labels her as “spoiled”, “selfish”, “manipulative”.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

You're not entitled to this job.

Recently, a student that I interviewed (and declined) for an internship shared that I was unprofessional. Her feedback was frustrating in her willingness to play the role of victim and not question what she may have done to contribute to being declined. 

As hard as it is to read feedback that feels unfair, I get it. She doesn’t yet know how to flip the script and replay the scene from another point of view. She doesn’t have perspective. I didn’t either at her age.  

Monday, April 24, 2017

When You Don't Feel Good at Anything...

One of the most humbling experiences since being a mom is realizing I’m not perfect. Before having a child, an evening after work meant a long walk with my husband and our two fur babies typically with a stop at our local pub, dinner at home watching our favorite show, hitting up the gym, and ending with little work to get me ahead for the next day. 

Now, my evenings consist of mass chaos as I try to get a toddler + all of our stuff in the door, while also wading through 3 fur babies, getting everyone food and water, ushering fur babies to the backyard, and that’s only in the first 5 minutes. After dinner, bath, and storytime, it’s a miracle if I don’t fall asleep helping my daughter to sleep. The number of times I’ve woken up at 11:00 p.m. next to her is more than not. Stumbling to the bathroom to wash my face and brush my teeth is pretty much all I can do before falling back asleep because unlike pre-baby days I know I’ll be awake at 5:00 a.m. to start the whole shebang over again. (The totally magical, wonderfully life-changing shebang.) 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Surviving Maternity Leave.

Even though it’s been over a year, maternity leave has been on my mind lately. In addition to prepping new moms left and right at work, I recently revisited my journal from that time for a future blog. That journal captured all the emotions of my maternity leave and inspired me to share these phrases that got me through it!

Walks! Sunshine! Air!
I’m neither an outdoorsy person nor an extrovert and even I was getting cabin fever at home on leave. Daily walks became my chance to join the world and was a great way to soothe Henley. While we didn’t see many folks, being outside helped me start to get comfortable with my post-baby body and even helped me shed some of those pounds. Vitamin D for the win. 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Can I be both pro-life and a feminist?

I sat down to write this post back in January, but it’s taken me some time to work through my thoughts and emotions. As I share my role as a feminist, there seems to be an immediate misconception that I am pro-abortion. I’m not pro-abortion in fact I'm personally pro-life, which doesn’t seem totally incompatible with the notion of feminism. For me feminism is the idea that men, women, humanity - deserve equality, empathy, and love. So can I be both pro-life and a feminist?

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Babies + Fur Babies

I’m a dog mommy to Levi and Dylan. My fur babies have outfits, go out with us, snuggle on the couch, sleep in our bed, and so on. I’ve even paid hundreds of dollars over the years to fly home from trips early, because I miss them. I cried in Paris, in Paris!, because I saw a Yorkie that looked like Levi. When I was pregnant there were a lot of emotions around how our pups would adapt to our daughter. To quote Kristen Bell,

"I just don't know how I'm going to like her as much as I like the dogs,'"
..."Because I f-king love my dogs; they are my children."

Monday, March 13, 2017

The best bottle we ever used...

The other day a girlfriend asked me about bottle options for her little one and there's only one kind I'll recommend....

The Joovy Boob bottle.

There is a graveyard of bottles and sippy cups in our garage. We tried so many looking for the right one that was easy for her to hold, didn't pour out too fast or too slow, could be cleaned easily, wouldn't spill when she held it upside down, etc. Impossible, right? Not at all. The Joovy brand is 🙌. My daughter learned to drink from a Joovy dood sippy cup as well. Once again, can't dump it on the floor so we love it!

*This is not an ad. I only wish my blog was popular enough for folks to give me free stuff to talk about their product! (hint, hint)

Friday, March 10, 2017

Fed is best.

Not a breastfed baby. 

When I was pregnant I fully intended to breastfeed. I had the books, the cover-ups, and even played out conversations I would have with indignant strangers as I breastfed my daughter in public. It never crossed my mind that breastfeeding wouldn’t be my path. I shared my story in an earlier blog. In short, I decided to pump and supplement with formula after my daughter was nearly hospitalized. At 8 months, I switched to formula 100% until she was about 13 months old.

I was prepared for the stigma of breastfeeding in public. That was what mommy blogs had told me. I was completely rocked by the amount of stigma not breastfeeding would carry. I was told by friends, family, and strangers things like, “Breast is best” or “You’re not trying hard enough” or “Breastfeeding is hard”. While these comments may be true, they were unhelpful.  

Monday, February 27, 2017

a little ditty for the girl they call Hen.

Running through this world trying to feed my soul
Anything to make me whole
Just me, just me, just me
And nothing else could matter more

Heard a rap song on the radio, somehow felt just right
Met you that night
With you, with you, with you
And nothing else could matter more

Held you in my arms that August day
This is my true way
With us, with us, with us
And nothing else will matter more

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Gifts for Teachers!

So far, we’ve been lucky with the stellar teachers in Hen’s life. Each one has brought their own unique quality to teaching her and more importantly each one has loved her. We give her teachers a cash bonus each holiday, but I’m a big fan of small tokens of appreciation throughout the year. Here are my go-to gifts!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Life that I Have

The Life that I Have by Leo Marks 

The life that I have
Is all that I have
And the life that I have
Is yours.
The love that I have
Of the life that I have
Is yours and yours and yours.
A sleep I shall have
A rest I shall have
Yet death will be but a pause.
For the peace of my years
In the long green grass
Will be yours and yours and yours.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Gettin' Crafty!

I love crafting. It is the thing that started this blog after all! To me, it’s only felt natural to craft with Hen! It’s something we can do together that’s just for her and I. (Quinn wants no part of craft time!) Here are my favorite activities! I put them in age ranges based on when I introduced them to her, but we still do all of these.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Event Planning Tips.

Planning an event especially a wedding on a budget is no easy task! I've been doing it for 6 years for both private and corporate events. Read on for my top tips.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Accidental Co-Sleepers.

We are co-sleepers. It's not something we set out to be, but along the way of doing what feels right we became a family that co-sleeps. I imagine it wouldn't be ideal for every parent or every child, but it's right for us.

Here's what I love about co-sleeping...

Sunday, January 8, 2017

The Glorification of Breastfeeding

This is not a pro breastfeeding or anti breastfeeding post. It's simply a pro feeding your child post.
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