Breakfast thoughts.

Breakfast is one of the few weekday meals that I get to really enjoy and savor. The boys are usually sleeping, so I sip coffee and enjoy the quiet, thinking about what I need to do for the day. This particular morning I thought a lot about this blog and what it should be.

When I first started writing, I was a new blog reader, and I think I tried too hard to emulate the blogs I enjoyed so much. Although putting together and writing posts was fun, not all of them were from the heart. If there is one thing I’ve embraced at this point in life, it’s just being comfortable and confident with who I am. As a new mama, there are endless opportunities to question or doubt yourself, and because I’ve taken my husband’s lead, I’m focusing on trusting my instincts. 

So, what do you have to look forward to? I will just share things as they come. Currently, I’m unhappy with my squishy postpartum body, so perhaps I’ll share how I intend to remedy that. (Operative word here is intend because we all know how I feel about donuts.) I’m really into this whole capsule wardrobe idea and that could be because Most of my clothes don’t fit, but perhaps we will give that a go. I’ll share what’s cooking in my kitchen and any fun home projects that can be accomplished for $0, or somewhere in the extremely cheap price range. We did a spending freeze for one month, so maybe I will write about that. Maybe I will just write about my gorgeous twinkies and post photos because a large portion of my day is spent admiring them and taking photos of them. 

I’m not saying that I’m the craftiest, an amazing cook, a fashionista, or a parent extraordinaire, but I am looking forward to sharing all about what we are up to and how I’m making the most of each day. That hasn’t changed, and I hope it never will. Finding the beauty in the greyest of days is a part of who I am.

Happy Friday!

xo

Advertisements

Enough.

Some days you feel like a rockstar, like someone is setting them up so you can knock them down. You get through your to do list with ample time and make plenty of time for smiles and laughter. 

Some days you are chasing an impossible schedule, can’t remember what you need to do and just feel like a failure. 

I am enjoying one of the latter today. I have chosen to be 5 minutes late to work so I can snuggle my babies for one more moment and write this post. Make time for what you love, right? 

You are always enough. Take it easy on yourself, I know I am.

xo

Nearly Three Months In…


Here we are, nearly three months in to being a family of four. We have had a blast and feel so lucky to be parents to these handsome boys.

My thoughts about being a mom to twin boys? I have heard people say things like, “twice blessed”, “twice as much love”, “double the love”, but for us, it’s all we know. Since we struggled for so long, I am just tremendously happy and humbled to be a mom.

Just like with one baby, we have some nights in which sleep is a distant memory. We have days when you look at them and wonder where the time went and how the heck they got so big. Unlike singleton mamas, there are days when I wish I had four arms, so I could snuggle and comfort them both at the same time. That is probably the hardest thing. I’m rarely alone with the boys because I have an amazing support system, but when I am and they are both fussy, it’s hard to know that I can’t make them both feel better. But, this comes with the territory, and it’s just one more thing to figure out and overcome. You just try things and figure out what works. Isn’t that motherhood, in a nutshell?

At this point, I’m easing back into work, struggling to get my body (or something close to it) back, and loving being a mama. Life is settling, getting out is easier, and I care again about things like socializing and washing my hair. It sounds crazy, but I swear to you that I was averaging a shower every other day and washing my hair three times a week. For those that know me, you understand how crazy that is. I normally wash my hair everyday, even though I know it’s not the healthiest for my hair. Anyway, I care again!

Things I am looking forward to, and my mini Summer Bucket List…

Getting out in the sunshine a few times a week! With the babies, the days fly by, and I can’t tell you how many times I have had the best intentions to get out for a walk, only to realize that my day was gone.

Reading for pleasure!  I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t reading about baby development or sleep training.

Cooking a meal once a week! I’ve been doing a lot of sandwiches, pasta, and finishing up our freezer meals. As y’all know, I love to cook and I miss it.

Going to a family friendly outdoor concert! My husband and I are big fans of going to outdoor concerts and we love music. In fact, Saturday mornings are my favorite because we bathe the boys, listen to music and eat breakfast together. We are introducing the boys to our favorites. Anyhow, a family friendly, daytime outdoor concert would be amazing.

Hiking! It’s one of the reasons we love living here, but we haven’t been able to get out lately.

Camping! I know this one is a bit more ambitious, but I really feel like it’s a possibility toward the end of the summer. Let’s talk about that again toward the end of the summer.

Tackle a home renovation project! An extremely cheap home renovation project. Being home just motivates me more, and unfortunately we have no money to put into the house right now. Maybe we will find something we can afford to tackle, and I can share all the details with you.

Writing a post once a week! It would be really lovely to write a little something once a week, to carve out that time for me and you. I’d also love to see how this blog evolves. Like parenting, I’m not making any plans, just trying to go with the flow and listen to my heart.

With that said, it feels great to be back here and to write a little something.

Have a great rest of your week!

xo

 

Why I’ve Been MIA

It’s been a long while since I’ve written, and it’s about time I get back to it, as I will have more to share and a slightly different feel here on the blog. Why the change, you ask? My husband and I are so happy to share that we have welcomed two healthy baby boys into the world. Our journey to becoming parents has been a long and difficult one. Since most of you readers are friends and family, you may know a bit about our story but for those of you who don’t, I feel ready to share it.

My husband and I will celebrate 9 years of marriage and 13 years of being together this coming fall. I have always known he was the one I would spend my life with, and we have always known that we wanted children. We decided to “pull the goalie” when we got married, hoping to get pregnant spontaneously, just like on TV and in the movies. I wanted to be able to surprise him with a home pregnancy test and overwhelm him with joy and fear all at once. For women who do want children, who doesn’t want that? Well, that’s not exactly how it went for us.

We married in 2007 and although we both wondered if something was wrong because it hadn’t happened for us quickly, we had hope and just figured it was taking a little longer for us. There is no shame in that. In the spring of 2010, my husband actually noticed that I was late and suggested that I take a pregnancy test–leave it to him to notice something like that. So much for the big surprise.

I took the test and it was positive. Suddenly, I felt the wave of joy and fear all at once. I scheduled a blood test with my doctor so we could know for sure, and that came back positive. We were SO EXCITED. And then, within a matter of days, the dream was all gone. We lost our first, sweet, precious baby. I have tears in my eyes as I write this because even though I have just delivered my beautiful boys, a woman never really gets over a loss like that. It was so short lived, but so real.

The sadness and depression that comes along with a loss like this differs from woman to woman but it’s all real and it’s all okay. I had a very hard time for a very long time. I didn’t want to talk about it with anyone and I felt ashamed. I didn’t want people to feel sorry for us because I kept reading that miscarriage is very common, so I felt like I just needed to get over it. Seeing that a friend was pregnant made me happy but also so very sad, and that made me feel horrible. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t move on from this, but I couldn’t. Watching TV or movies was hard because if a character lost a baby or became pregnant, I’d cry. Sometimes I’d ask my husband to go to functions without me and just tell friends that I was sick because I just couldn’t pull myself together.

For as hard as it was on me, my husband struggled too. He struggled with trying to help me pick up the pieces, with being strong for me even though he was sad too. He didn’t know how to help me because I didn’t know how to help myself. He did everything he could. He was my rock, he held me when I cried and consoled me when I needed it. Truthfully though, he was worried. Worried that I wouldn’t bounce back from it.

Eventually, it got better. 

After the miscarriage, we began learning about tracking my cycles and getting the timing right. After a year, nothing. We sought treatment at an infertility clinic and they told me I needed to do IVF, and they showed little to no compassion for the pain I felt. My experience at the larger clinic was too much for me to handle at that point. The doctor didn’t know my name without looking at my chart, and I cried after every appointment. I completely withdrew from a Western medicine approach, and I turned to acupuncture. I gave that a full year as well, and although I noticed benefits, there was no pregnancy. Everyone says that stress is your biggest enemy when trying to conceive, so we took a complete break from additional treatments. 

Within a few months, things began moving in the right direction on their own. October of 2014 my husband found our forever home. We quickly got our first home ready to sell and prepared for the real estate roller coaster of buying and selling. Luckily, our home sold quickly and for a great price, and our forever home didn’t cost a small fortune. We were left with a profit and knew it was time to face the infertility issues. I had heard of a great doctor that had a smaller practice, and in my heart, I knew this was a part of the answer. 

We moved into our new home in January, and by February I had made appointments with a naturopath, the new infertility clinic and with a new acupuncturist. I began doing Pure Barre three times a week and was determined to give my body the best possible chance of conceiving. I felt like I had my dream team assembled, and for the first time in five years, I felt positive about our chances. It took months to get there but we did it. 

I have two clear as day memories of how we achieved (what I felt was) the impossible. The first was hearing our doctor tell us firmly but with compassion that we needed to undergo an aggressive round of IVF. He showed emotion but hope for us, and he didn’t sugar coat it at all. I felt ready to hear it and ready to do what was necessary. The second was once treatment had begun. I was a little over halfway through treatment, when my doctor advised that it wasn’t going well and that I needed to prepare myself for the possibility of stopping this treatment and starting up again in a couple months. My favorite nurse held me as I cried and she reassured me that this cycle wasn’t over yet, there was still hope. My doctor increased the dosage of my medications and we continued. I was devastated and for the first time, I reached out to friends and family for support. I welcomed prayer and positive thoughts, and I felt no shame. My cousin, my hero and inspiration, suggested affirmations and visualization, so I did it. We gave it our all. 

My next appointment showed progress. It wasn’t a miraculous turnaround, but it was progress, and it was enough to keep on going. We finished out treatment and I underwent the egg retrieval and egg transfer. I only produced 4 eggs that round, very few for someone my age and in good health, and only 2 of them fertilized. We transferred the 2 and now I sit here writing this with my 2 baby boys in the pack n play next to me. 

We got lucky that it worked in the first round. That we persevered. That we were surrounded by love and support. That we had the best possible team. 

So many women have a longer, more difficult road, and my heart goes out to them. So many women don’t have a happy ending to their story, and my heart aches for them. This is just one story, my story. I found comfort in reading other women’s stories, and so for that reason alone, I’m sharing mine. 

xo

Take Me Back

IMG_2557.JPG Some days you wake up and know exactly what you want to do. This morning I awoke to the sun shining in all its summer glory, and all I wanted was a frothy latte and an almond croissant covered in powdered sugar. I longed for quality time with quality people, wished that today could be a Sunday, and that perhaps my morning could include a patio and fresh air. Take me back to last summer, to a Sunday morning with my best friend and my Dad. Take me back to a morning with laughs and conversations about travel. Take me back to a morning of leisure and not fussing with my phone, not worrying about the time, and only enjoying the moment. This photo was taken at Honore Bakery in Ballard and it reminds me of how lucky I am to have such incredible people in my life. Isn’t it funny how a simple image with no people in it can evoke such emotion and hold such a memory? xo

Currently.

READING…The Red Tent by Anita Diamant on loan from my most trusted book resource. I also read Molokai by Alan Brennert recently, another loaner from a friend, and my morning reading has been Better Then Before by Gretchen Rubin. These are all great reads!

 LISTENING…Alabama Shakes does it again. Their new album Sound & Color has such soul!

EATING…GF & DF. I had to do some allergy testing recently and my doc wanted me to go ONE MONTH without gluten or dairy. I am just over the two week mark and here to tell you that it is not easy. Cooking at home is just fine, and most meals I have made have been delicious, but eating out is extremely difficult. I’ll post more on this topic later and share some recipes. Below is a coconut curry with carrots, black rice and baked tofu.

DRINKING…almond milk lattes. My normal coffee order is an Americano with half & half, but clearly I can’t do that. I tried almond milk in my Americano but it just wasn’t doing it for me. Enter almond milk lattes — true love.

SUCCEEDING…at working out! You guys, I’m pretty proud of myself. I have been using this app EveryMove to track my activity, and I have been getting a solid 4 days a week in for the last couple months. I’ve mostly been doing Pure Barre, at least 3 times a week, and I feel stronger than ever before. I’ve also been doing some hiking and walking to mix it up a little. I’ll share more later for those of you that don’t know about Pure Barre and EveryMove. Below is a pic from a hike to Wallace Falls.

IMG_3503

FAILING…at blogging. For whatever reason, my life has been pulling me in many directions but not here. I’m prioritizing and doing my best, but I do miss it, so I’m going to try harder and do this in baby steps.

LOVING…our PNW weather. We have been getting so much sun already! It’s glorious and I’m enjoying every bit of it. Well, toady isn’t particularly nice, but I swear weekends have been amazing.

WAITING…for our trip to Peru! Yep, we are off to Peru in June, and I couldn’t be more excited. My planner tendencies have loved getting ready for this trip. I know, I have a lot of “I’ll share more” stuff in this post. I will though! I’ll share our itinerary, sites we are excited to see, people we are excited to see, and how I’m packing. Below is our group Pinterest board for the trip.

IMG_3578

WEARING…kind of a capsule wardrobe. A few weeks back I removed everything from my closet that just took up space, and I was left with the best options for me and the things I actually wear. I didn’t plan it and didn’t shop for it, so it’s what I’m referring to as an accidental capsule wardrobe. If you don’t know what a capsule wardrobe is, check out this post over at un-fancy.com.

 xo

Spring Hair

IMG_0384If you follow me on Instagram, you are aware that I cut about 10 inches and have a whole new look. Not only do I love my new hair –it literally takes 10 minutes to dry now– but I chopped my hair for a good cause. I have been donating my hair every 2 years for the last 10 years. This last one marked my fifth donation, and it feels just as good each time.

I have donated to a few different organizations; Locks of Love, Pantene ProV|Beautiful Lengths, and the latest, Children With Hair Loss. My hair grows very quickly and this is something that I can do without issue to give a little something to people suffering from hair loss, whether it’s caused by cancer, Alopecia, or other diseases and disorders.

IMG_0385

When it comes time to make the cut, simply pull your hair back in a low ponytail and cut about a 1/2″-1″ above that so all of the hair stays together. Make sure you are comfortable with the length, and that the length of the ponytail meets the requirements (organizations differ, so be sure to do your research). You can braid the hair, or just secure it with another hair tie at the bottom of the ponytail. Put your hair into a plastic freezer bag, then fill out the form that can be found online and put it all in an envelope to send off. That’s it.

It takes at least six ponytails to make just one wig, so if you feel inspired by these people, please DONATE. I promise that you will not regret it. Clearly this isn’t for everyone, but if you thought about it but never took the plunge, I urge you to go for it.

Happy Friday!

xo