I feel like possibly I'm having a quarter-plus-four-life crisis (what do you call a life crisis at 29?). The first few weeks with a new baby (I would say especially with your first baby), you don't have time or the mental capacity to ponder what the h-e-double hockey sticks happened to your life. Midnight and 2 a.m. feedings are the things of torture chambers, and you're basically a zombie, except instead of being ravenous for people you're just shoveling lactation cookies into your mouth at odd hours.

People kept telling me it would get better, and it did. It does get better because you learn what your baby's cries mean (for the most part), and your baby starts figuring out night and day (again, for the most part), and you eventually might only have to get up once in the middle of the night instead of three times (praise!).

Of course, don't ever underestimate the ability of your baby to poop through a diaper seconds after changing her. Not that I know from experience or anything.

So okay. You get through the first few weeks and you're like hey, maybe I've got this. It's not as scary as I thought.

THEN. Things calm down in the baby department, and things start to heal themselves in the lady parts department, and you start to feel more like yourself. That's when you come out of the fog of survival mode and start living in the land of this-is-my-life-now mode, and you start realizing that life as you knew it really isn't going back to how it was ever again. That's where the life crisis comes in.

I don't know who I am right now, and it's very disconcerting.

For example:
I was never one of those girls who dreamed of being a stay-at-home mom (I'll use SAHM for short because typing hyphens is too much work for me right now). There is nothing wrong with wanting to be a SAHM, but that was just never something I thought about. To be honest, I always thought I would hate it because I like being busy and seeing people, and the thought of staying at home with kids all day makes me feel stir-crazy.

But then I was on maternity leave for six weeks and was a SAHM, and it was awesome. This confused me. (Plug for an upcoming post about my thoughts on being a working mom! I will also answer a few "ask anything" questions I got about this topic.)

It's also strange to look in the mirror and not feel like you look like yourself. There's extra skin where there hasn't been ever in my life, and even though I fit into most of my pre-pregnancy pants, I usually can't wear them all day before it starts to get uncomfortable and I unbutton them.

I've been running lately (blog post about that coming up at some point. Hashtag so many post ideas, so little time). Even though the running part went better than I expected, I can tell my abs are shot. Like, gone. My craving for sweets is, however, still alive and well. So nice of that to stick around.

I could go on, but the point is that when people ask me how I'm doing, I have no idea how to respond. In an effort to not go off on a tangent for the next hour, I give a token smile and a, "It's pretty good. We're getting the hang of things." And they're like, "You seem to be handling it well!"

I suppose I am handling it in some respects. My baby is still alive and my house hasn't burned down, so there's that. And the fact that I can squeeze into my favorite skinny jeans is nothing short of amazing. (Seriously, it's amazing. I love those jeans.)

But mentally? I don't know. I'm not someone who likes change, and as I mentioned before, this whole year has been constantly changing. To be honest, it's exhausting.

So if you want to know how I'm doing, prepare yourself for a long answer. We can cut past all the "fine" and "good" and get to the real stuff. The hard and the beautiful and the ugly and the wonderful stuff. I think we can all agree that's the best stuff anyway.

Now if you'll excuse me, my quarter-plus-four-life crisis is waiting. 
Please pass the lactation cookies.
p.s. If I ever get around to it, I have posts I want to write about: being a working mom, postpartum running/workouts, how to budget for travel, a currently vlog (maybe with R!), and marriage. If you ever have a question or post topic suggestion, enter it here!

Pin to Present: Mounted Basket Storage


Left image via / Right image is my guest bathroom

I really don't consider myself that great of a decorator, and I'm definitely not one of those people who can find an old table on Craigslist and refinish it and make it look distressed and cool. I also usually don't end up doing any of the DYI projects I see on Pinterest, so I am really excited to share this easy bathroom storage hack! (Linking up with Anne for Pin to Present.)

Neither of the bathrooms in our house had any kind of cabinet over the toilet. I don't know if that's normal for bathrooms or not when you buy a house, but it caught me off guard. For one thing, the wall looked empty. For another, I didn't have any kind of storage for towels or toilet paper or anything that might need storage except for under the sink.

We were planning on buying and mounting a regular wooden cabinet from somewhere like Lowe's or Home Dept, but depending on what type of cabinet you get, we were looking at $100 easy. Then I saw this fun basket storage idea on Pinterest and instantly knew I wanted to do that in my bathroom.

I've been looking for the right basket for a while now, and I felt like Goldilocks or something. This basket was too big, this basket was too small... I liked the wire baskets in the original pin but was having terrible luck finding anything like that. I even Googled "wire basket" and didn't come up with anything.

Then I was wandering around Hobby Lobby, as one does, and found the perfect baskets AND they were 50% off! At only $10 each, I snatched them up. I also saw this bathroom sign (below) that was 50% off and grabbed it.
For a total of $27, I have this awesome setup on the bathroom wall! It's functional and cheap and (I think) looks fun compared to a regular over-the-toilet mounted cabinet. Granted, it doesn't hold as much stuff, but it will stay clean and won't become just another place to toss random items.

Yay! Shoutout to Jordan, who helped me hang the baskets. And to my mom (because I can't write a blog post and not mention her) who affirmed my design placement and helped me figure out how high to hang them.
Now I just have to figure out what to do in the master bathroom, because we don't have anything over the toilet there either. Maybe something like this?

What do you think? Have you ever considered using baskets for wall storage like this? 
What should I do over the toilet in the other bathroom?

The One Where I Put on My Big Girl Pants


Serious question: how long can you blame random bouts of crying on pregnancy hormones? I'm asking for a friend.

On Monday, I cried on and off all day. It was mostly just every time I looked at R or every time my mom texted to ask how I was doing or every time I read another comment one of you left on Monday's blog post. So yeah, okay basically every ten minutes all day long. I am a hot mess.

Monday night before bed, I said to myself, "Self, put on your big girl pants and get a grip for crying out loud. No one is dying. You don't live in a box on the street. You have all of your limbs." Nothing like some self-talk to keep things in perspective.

Tuesday, I woke up ready to conquer the day. R and I got up, ate, and I squeezed into a pair of jeans. (Holler!) Then we headed downtown because I needed to meet with some people and do final proofing on the current month's issue of the magazine.
R was a hit around the office, because of course, and she did so great! When someone wasn't holding her, she just chilled in her car seat or stretched out on the floor at my feet like an angel. (Okay, full disclosure: we did have some minor fussing that was for the most part easily solved by a diaper change or pacifier.) Around 10:00 we snuck out to the parking lot so I could feed her. I have now breastfed my baby in a doctor's office, at the park, and in my car and have only lost 50% of my body weight in sweat. *pats self on back* 

Note: it's not awkward at all to breastfeed a baby in the parking lot of your office building in a car that doesn't have tinted windows. Not. At. All. And there was definitely not a crazy downtown homeless person wandering the streets shouting out random things who walked right by me. And I did not quickly hunch down and lock the doors. Nope.
I left the office to go home at noon and was feeling pretty good about life in general. Getting out of the house and out of your pajamas will do that to you. Next time I'll get crazy and put on makeup! Maybe.

Before we left, I got R in a bathroom selfie for old time's sake. Remember these? RIP, pregnant bathroom selfie. It was fun while it lasted.
While in the bathroom taking this picture, R said her first words! Direct quote: "No pictures, Mom. Please." I swear to you she said it.

My plan is to head into the office at least once a week. It will be good to show my makeup-less face around there so they don't forget about me and so they know I'm working and not just galavanting around eating donuts all day (don't I wish!). I'm treasuring this time working from home until January, when I will have to return to the office, at which point you can expect another depressing post about how I cried all day long about leaving R. But I'll save that for later. (Side note: We don't yet have anywhere to take her! Anyone want to be our nanny?)

People say that quitting your job and leaving the corporate life is brave, but I think sometimes keeping your job and going to work every day is the brave thing to do. Or maybe I'm just saying that because that's what I'm doing. But someone has to pay bills and health insurance and put money in the retirement fund.

I've already realized that being a working mom is going to be hard. So, so hard.

It will be hard, but it won't kill me. Each day will get easier, and I just need to pull up my big girl pants and do what I have to do. I appreciate your comments and emails more than I can say. If I've learned one thing in the past 6 weeks it's that community is so important. Texting someone to say you're thinking about them may seem like a small thing, but it can make someone's day, just like it made mine!

So that's where we're at right now, less than a week in. We're doing okay. We'll make it.
Because it really is true what they say. She's so worth it.

p.s. I wanted to remind you guys that I have my "Ask Anything" form open still, so if you have a question or a post topic suggestion, feel free to ask! I didn't get to all the questions that were asked initially, but I do plan on going back through those soon and picking out a few. Feel free to enter something below if you have anything you'd like to see me write about!

It's Over


Sometimes I get embarrassed of this blog and the things I write on here. I feel like I'm a little too dramatic and emotional, and I make too big a deal out of things that really aren't that big a deal. Like maybe I should skip all this blogging nonsense and write in a journal like a normal person instead of sharing my thoughts with strangers on the internet.

But I also feel sometimes like honest feelings should be shared more, and often I write something I'm nervous about (this, for example) and realize that other people feel the same way. It's nice having people who can relate to what you're feeling. It makes me feel not so alone, even if I am being a tad dramatic.

So here's somethingtoday, I'm feeling sad.

On Friday, I went in for my six-week postpartum checkup. I don't know what I was expecting, but I was a little caught off guard by how anticlimactic it was. My doctor came in, examined down there, took my blood pressure, weighed me, asked me if I had any questions, then proclaimed me healed.

"You're good!" she said with a smile.
"So... I'm good. Like, healed?"
"Yep! All healed."
"So. I'm... done then. I'm good," I repeated like a moron.
"You sure are!"

It was weird walking out of the doctor's office. For the last 9 months I've gone at minimum once a month, more like once a week near the end, and now I'm just... done. I wanted to ask her if we could meet for coffee or something next week. I might not have postpartum depression, but I think I have separation anxiety from my OB.

I work about five blocks from the doctor's office (which was super handy for appointments), so after my checkup I brought R to the office to say hello to my coworkers. I also needed to pick up my laptop, because as of today I am back at work full time. I'm working from home for the next few months (PRAISE THE LORD), but still it's back to work for me.

On the way home after leaving the office, I cried.

The last year of my life has been trying to get pregnant, going to see an infertility doctor, getting pregnant, being pregnant, buying a house, having a baby, and then adjusting to this new life. And now, it's over. I'm healed and I'm back at work, and it's just all over.

It's not that I'm not excited about having a baby and watching her grow. It's not that I don't love feeling more settled in our new house. It's not that I actually mind my job, because I'm lucky enough to sincerely enjoy what I do. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens this coming year with all of its changes.

But for today, at least, I'm sad that this season that has been my life for the past year is over.

And maybe that sounds dramatic and silly. Maybe tomorrow I'll wonder if I shouldn't have just skipped the post and written this in my journal. But maybe there's someone who can relate to mourning the loss of one season of life. It was a hard season, filled with anxiety and stress and lots of tears. But it was fun too, and it was exciting and new, and today I'm allowing myself to feel sad that it's over.

I found this quote online from ND Wilson's book Death by Living that was sort of sad and encouraging all at once. I'll end with this because I can't think of anything else really to say but I feel like this post needs an ending.

"The world never slows down so that we can better grasp the story, so that we can form study groups and drill each other on the recent past until we have total retention. We have exactly one second to carve a memory of that second, to sort and file and prioritize in some attempt at preservation. But then the next second has arrived, the next breeze to distract us, the next plane slicing through the sky, the next funny skip from the next funny toddler, the next squirrel fracas, and the next falling leaf. Our imaginations are busy enough capturing now that it is easy to lose just then. But some moments cut so deep they cannot be forgotten. They scar (for ill or good). They usually touch life itself, or some glimpse of what life could and should be. Or the opposite. Starting lines and finish lines; glory and grief in between."

Texas with Three


This past weekend we took our first trip to Texas as a family of three. Before we left, we stopped to get gas and took the most awkward family selfie ever. As Jordan says, "At least everyone's eyes are in the picture." I guess that's considered a win? I especially like how my head is perfectly placed just floating above the car seat.

Before this trip, the longest we'd traveled with R in the car was the half hour home from the hospital, so we had no idea how she would do in the car for three hours. But she did great! She passed out and just slept the entire time. Per usual, I kept reaching back to poke her and make sure she was alive, which caused her to stir and then we were like, "Dang it! Stay asleep!" I have problems.

On the way there, Jordan and I discussed our marriage using some of the questions in the study guide of the new Francis Chan study.
And by discussed, I mean our conversation went something like this:

Me: *Asks question*
-Long pause-
Me: So what do you think?
Jordan: Um, sorry what? I was looking at the color of that car. Isn't it weird?
Me: Why aren't you thinking about the question I just asked?
Jordan: Oh. I thought you were just talking out loud to yourself like you do a lot.


(Not to make Jordan look bad... we did have a really good discussion using the workbook. It just took a bit to get started. And to be fair, I do talk to myself a lot, so he's got a point.)

We also saw this sunset on the way in. No filter and all that jazz. Sunsets are my favorite!

Anyway, we made it without any trouble, and we arrived at my parents' house and got to introduce R to my grandparents! Isn't this picture just the best? So much love.
My parents have a crib set up for R in the guest room. It's the one all of us kids used when we were younger! R did great sleeping in a new crib in a new house; she's really such a good baby. It was fun to have so much family around all the time to love on her. Jordan and I barely held her all weekend.

The reason we were in town was because we were hosting a bridal shower for my soon-to-be sister-in-law. I was in charge of games, and we played this one. A hit as always.

The wedding is October 11, and I don't have anything to wear. I need something that's nursing friendly and also post-baby-stomach-bulge friendly while also being outdoor-wedding-in-October friendly and cute. Suggestions welcome.

We wanted to leave early on Sunday so we could beat the Sunday afternoon traffic (yes, that's a thing), but that meant we completely missed the Bears/Packers game at noon. Both of us happened to have our t-shirts, so we sported those for a family picture. I said, "R is going to be a Bears fan." And Jordan said, "Not if I get to her first!" So we'll see what happens with that.
All in all, it was a wonderful weekend in Texas. We've made a lot of trips to south over the last seven years, and it was definitely weird (in a good way) to have R there with us this time.

Here's to many more weekend road trips as a family of three!

The Hierarchy


Yesterday, I called my mother-in-law on her day off to see if she could watch R for an hour or so while I went grocery shopping. Our fridge was in a dismal state, and I wasn't feeling creative enough to make dinner out of half a jar of salsa, some spoiled milk, and two swigs of orange juice. In this instance, Pinterest failed me.

I have gone grocery shopping with R, so it's not that I couldn't do it. But this was a Code S situation. S for starvation, of course, and I knew I would be able to grocery shop faster by myself. So I dropped R off with Jordan's mom and went on my way. While at the store, I got a text saying R was sleeping away and to not worry about her and just take my time.

I ended up having two completely baby free hours, during which time I did the following:
1) Went grocery shopping
2) Drove back home and put all the groceries away
3) Vacuumed the living room
4) Folded a giant pile of laundry

On the way to pick up R, I started thinking about how sad and pathetic my free time is right now. I mean laundry? Vacuuming? Teenage me is crying somewhere.

We all have a list of items that we use to fill up our free time, and every day we make choices. It's a hierarchy of sorts. The things we do have been ranked higher than the things we don't do. Just because it's ranked higher doesn't mean it's more fun, but it's been deemed more immediately important in that moment.

Life with a newborn (or a child of any age, I imagine) is a constant internal debate. I want to do this, but I should do this. I need to do this, but I would rather do this. And actually, life as an adult is a constant debate of wants vs. needs, so let's not pretend you have to have a kid to understand this concept. It's just that with a baby, your free time is chopped in half and then handed back to you in tiny pieces of varying lengths.

Sometimes the boring chore comes out on top because the dishwasher is full and the sink is overflowing and you don't have any more spoons. Sometimes sleep wins out because you wanted to read a book before bed but instead you fell asleep rocking your crying baby. Sometimes weeding the garden wins out because the amazon called and they want their jungle back. And sometimes (praise!) your hobby wins out because you love scrapbooking so dang much and gosh darn it you just need some craft paper in your life today.

And, okay, let's be honest. Sometimes staring at your baby and taking eight hundred pictures of her doing absolutely nothing wins out because see: photo above. The cuteness. I die. You are welcome for not spamming all your social media accounts on a minute-by-minute basis. The struggle is real.

Yesterday, the chores won because I didn't want to eat a dinner that consisted of only sticks of butter, and I had spilled chips on the living room floor and didn't want ants running around everywhere. But today? Well, today blogging and baking lactation cookies has won, because I love writing on here and because I can't blame my chocolate cravings on pregnancy anymore and I'll take any excuse to eat cookies.

And all the breastfeeding women said amen.
p.s. here's the cookie recipe I used.

Month One


R is one month old today! I can't believe it went so fast, blah blah blah. BUT SERIOUSLY. And at the same time, it's like she was always here. I mean what did I used to take pictures of? Nothing quite as cute, that's for sure.

Nine months ago, this is exactly the sort of post I would have skipped over, but since finding out I was pregnant, I'm all over reading about what other people's babies are doing. So I wanted to share a little bit of we've been up to this past month.
When we brought R home from the hospital, my mom said, "So do you know what to do with her?" And I was all, "Duh, Mom. Yes I know what to do with her."

But actually, Mom, what do I do with her?

I literally texted one of my friends to ask her what babies sleep in. Do they sleep in nothing? Just a onesie? Wrapped in a blanket? Just kidding I know they sleep on their stomachs surrounded by bumpers and large stuffed animals.

That was a joke.
This past month has been a blur of feedings and dirty diapers (oh, the diapers) and sleeping in bursts. These days I'm very excited if I get three straight hours. I do try to nap when she naps, but sometimes when she's napping I want to act like a human and shower or make a hot lunch or even work on my scrapbook, so I don't always nap when she's napping (read: she's napping right now, and I'm writing this so take what you will from that).

It really is crazy, this parenting a newborn thing. I think the best and most comforting advice I've gotten so far came from my mom (who else?). She told me that R is a brand-new human and has to learn everything, so there's no possible way we can mess up this early. So just do what we think we should do and learn together! Brilliant.

There have been a few hard days. Like, really hard, where I wasn't sure how I could continue on. Not in a dramatic depression way but just in a "this is my life now and it's overwhelming" kind of way. Because having someone depend on you for literally everything all the time is tiring but kind of awesome too.

And it DOES get easier. People kept telling me that in the very early days, and it was extremely comforting. It's still not easy at all, but it's easier than it was before. Because every day we learn things about her, and that makes it easier to know what she needs. It makes it easier to know what to do with her, which we definitely did not know anything about when we brought her home.
With that said, here are some things we've learned about R this month: 

1. She has an uncanny sense of when she's just been changed and knows the precise moment when the fresh diaper is on to blow it out. She's pooped through a new diaper multiple times while still on the changing table. You're welcome, Pampers.

2. On a related note, we know that she sometimes has tummy problems and gets very, very upset while trying to fart, poop, or burp. The grunts she makes when trying to poop, you guys. Oh my gosh. We're more used to it now, but for the first few weeks, Jordan and I would take turns sprinting to the nursery because we were sure she was choking to death on my breast milk.

It should also be noted that when she's too quiet, we take turns sprinting to the nursery to poke her and make sure she's alive. Hashtag new parent problems. Just the other day Jordan was like, "We really need to stop being paranoid that she's died just because she's asleep and not moving." The struggle is real.

3. She doesn't really like taking naps. This girl fights sleep and likes to be held. She also loooves her pacifier and cries whenever it falls out of her mouth. We waited until three weeks on the dot and then stuffed that thing in her mouth so fast, nipple confusion or not.

She slept in the bassinet for the first week, and then at six days old we put her in her crib in the nursery, and that's where she sleeps. We don't have a baby monitor, but her room is right across the hall, and we keep both doors open and can hear her when she cries (or grunts, see: above).

4. She has an umbilical hernia, which basically means that when her umbilical cord fell off the muscles didn't grow together correctly and her belly button is a serious outie. I'm talking freaky looking. It's nothing serious and doesn't hurt her, but we do have to keep an eye on it, and my pediatrician referred us to a surgeon at the children's hospital downtown just to check it out because it looks like it's gotten larger over the last few weeks.

5. She hasn't been given a bottle yet because the thought of pumping and storing milk overwhelms me and I'm procrastinating. The first week home she didn't gain any of her birth weight back, and I spent all day crying about it. But when we went in for her checkup, she'd gained nearly 2 pounds! So I can rest easy now. Although I really should start pumping soon so I can build up a stash for when I go back to work.

6. R is still wearing newborn clothes and diapers, which is awesome because I feel like we're getting our use out of them, but some of them are starting to get a bit snug so we might be moving up soon to the 0-3 category.
7. Overall, R is a very sweet baby. We've had some seriously fussy days/nights, and tears have been shed by all. One night she was up from 2-5 am, and I got a total of 3 hours of sleep and it was truly as terrible as you imagine. But overall she's really quite lovely, and I spend a good chunk of time just staring at her. She smiles in her sleep, and it's the freaking cutest thing ever because LORD HELP ME THE DIMPLES. Amen.

So that's what's going on in our world. I have gotten out and about on my own a few times, which was really weird, and you better believe I did that annoying mom thing and started missing my baby after approximately 15 minutes of being away from her. But I can be away from her and the world won't end, so that's a good thing to discover.
When my mom told me that I would start feeling like my usual self around 3 weeks pp, I thought she was a loon. But of course she was right, and so my one-month advice to all you new moms or soon-to-be new moms are the comforting words I myself received from many a mom friend:

You will feel like yourself again soon. And you are doing a great job, and it will get easier.

On to month two!

Project Life: June & July


It's been a while since I shared my new Project Life pages! (See all my Project Life posts here.) In case you need a refresher, Project Life is a hybrid brand of scrapbooking that combines your traditional photo album with scrapbooking paper and stickers. I've found it to be much simpler and easier than filling out a giant paper scrapbook (like my wedding album, which took me a full year to complete but that I do love so much!)

A few people have actually started their own PL albums after seeing mine, and I've gotten some fantastic ideas from seeing their pages. (See: Miriam's book and Beka's book)
^^^ I really like how this spread turned out. I used that picture from the Bahamas and divided it into four 3x4 squares instead of using one 6x8 sheet.
^^^Of course I had to document the story of running into the OBGYN in line for pizza.

^^^That July calendar was downloaded from this site. I am obsessed with her monthly hand-drawn desktop calendars and thought I would use some of them in my PL album.

^^^Epic 30th birthday party! See more pictures here.

^^^My favorite pages always end up being the 4 squares of 3x4. I think it's fun to mix in photos with text and scrapbook paper. Those 3x4 quote card downloads are available for free here.

^^^Here's the first spread of August! I've been trying to work on a page or two of August while R is taking a nap so I don't get too behind. I still need to add in her name and stats on the right page with stickers or something. The right page is actually a 6x8 page, but I am trying to get creative and use different sizes of photos so I don't always have to pay to print out a 6x8 photo, because those can get expensive.

Have you started on a Project Life album? I'd love to see your pages!

What do you find to be the hardest part of scrapbooking? 

For me, it's probably how long it takes me to get the layout right. I'm forever switching out pictures and stickers and paper until I find something that looks just how I want it to. I never know what I want it to look like until I see it. I've actually already gone back and made adjustments to previous pages because every time I looked at them I knew something was off but didn't know quite what it was. I'm super picky about everything being just so in my scrapbooks!

A Lady Okie House Tour


Jordan and I moved into our house at the end of June, so we've now been living here for two full months. It honestly feels like we've been living here for longer than that, and I absolutely love having my own house. It's been especially wonderful now that we have a baby. My family has been over a bunch recently, and having two bathrooms is kind of a mind-blowing concept.

Our house is still a work in progress, and there is still furniture to buy and walls to decorate. But I thought it would be fun to show you guys around our house! The picture above is a view of the front door and part of the formal living room. I bought that futon frame for $20 at a garage sale and then paid $200 for a good mattress, and I'm telling you that thing has been well worth its money! I actually used it as my bed for the first three years I lived in Oklahoma.
^^^ This is the formal living room, aka the room that is mostly empty because we don't have enough furniture to fill it. The previous owners had a pool table, a flat-screen TV on the wall, and a beer keg in the corner. We are not that cool. In the corner is the $20 desk I got from the thrift store and one of our kitchen chairs because I don't have a real desk chair. Classy.
^^^The built-in bookshelves in the second living room, aka heaven. I cannot believe I own a house with built-ins. This is literally a dream come true for the bookworm in me. The fireplace is gas and real wood-burning! Hello, winter snuggles.
^^^The kitchen! Natural light for the win. Number one on my must-have list was a house with lots of natural light. The previous owners painted all the wood in the whole house white, so I have them to thank for me being so stylish.

Speaking of stylish, please note the very suave oven handle. No, your eyes are not deceiving you. That is a piece of twine! Jordan ghetto-rigged me an oven handle after ours melted off. That's a thing, apparently. 
^^^Kitchen table area! I guess in the picture I cropped off the bench on the side closest. So there are three chairs and a bench in all. We aren't sure where the fourth chair ran off to. I bought the whole set at a garage sale for $75 back when I first moved to Oklahoma. (Are you sensing a pattern with our hand-me-down furniture?)

^^^Our bedroom. The door is the bathroom. WE LOVE HAVING OUR OWN BATHROOM. This cannot be overstated.

What? A picture of a cute baby? I have no idea how that got in here...

^^^While Jordan was in Nicaragua for a week in July, my mom came and stayed with me. I went to work every day, and while I was gone she organized my house and decorated! I would come home, and she'd give me a tour of all the things she'd done. It was amazing! My mom has (in my opinion) fantastic taste and did such a great job. There would literally be nothing on any wall if it weren't for her. We had those hers/his frames above our bed in our apartment, and I had that wooden frame (from Hobby Lobby) and used twine and mini clothespins to hang the pictures.
^^^The necklace holder I made eons ago is still kickin' it. Tutorial here.

^^^This is our most recent addition. Jordan helped me hang this above the dresser in our bedroom. I actually only had to buy the top frame. I had everything else already!

^^^I am slightly obsessed with this print from SheReadsTruth. They have some gorgeous prints you should definitely check out!

Not pictured:
-Guest and master bathroom. Nothing to see there. They are standard-sized bathrooms with one sink, a toilet, and shower.
-Third bedroom. Where Jordan's computer is and also all the random boxes of stuff we haven't found  a place for yet.
-The laundry room. BY FAR my favorite room in the house! That sounds weird, but you would know why if you saw it. It's huge! I love it. You could fit a twin-sized bed and a closet in there. Unfortunately, with the angle of the room and door, I can't get a picture that does the room justice, so you'll just have to picture it for yourself.

And that's basically what our house looks like.
Hope you enjoyed this little tour!

Thoughts on Postpartum Weight and Recovery


This past Monday, I was 3 weeks postpartum.

I debated about writing a post about postpartum weight and showing pictures of my stomach on here because, well because it's kind of personal and my dad reads this blog (hi, Dad!).

But if there's one kind of pregnancy-related post I personally always enjoy reading about, it's when bloggers share about their postpartum recovery. It's fascinating how different people carry babies and recover after having a baby, and I was interested (and, let's be honest, nervous) to see how my body would react.

I'll start out by saying that this experience is obviously personal to me and is not a reflection on anyone else's pp journey. I knew this before, but over the past three weeks I've realized it really is ridiculous to compare your recovery period and post-baby body to anyone else. There is no "should" here. Saying you "should" be back to a certain weight or "should" be able to fit into your pants by a certain time or "should" be exercising is putting ridiculous expectations on yourself that no one else is putting on you! I'm talking to myself as much as anyone else.

Pregnancy and labor are different for everyone, and if you have an "easier" experience (easier, of course, being relative), you will probably have an easier recovery.

I carried R for 38 weeks, 4 days, and gained 30 pounds when all was said and done. I don't own a scale, so the only numbers I have are when I go to the doctor's office.

Starting weight: 135 
Ending weight: 165
At two weeks pp, I went in for a checkup and weighed 143.

Over the past three weeks, I have not done anything to assist in weight loss or stomach shrinkage. I'm breastfeeding, so cutting calories is definitely not an option at this point. I need to keep up my food intake for little R! 

Labor really drained me, and for the first week I needed help with remedial tasks such as sitting up. Taking a shower left me with shaky legs, and my tailbone was insanely sore for a while (actually it's still sore, but who's asking?). Basically for the last three weeks I've been sitting on the coach, so I am very thankful my body has been doing pretty well on its own. I would think part of that is because I was in good shape when I got pregnant. Part of that is probably genetics, which is why it's silly to compare yourself to others. We're all different!

All that to say, I wore Jordan's gym shorts and my dad's XL t-shirts for basically the first two weeks pp, so it wasn't until recently that I've been trying on my own clothes, and let me tell you: I see now why people talk about standing in the closet crying because none of your clothes fit.

And I know, I just had a baby three weeks ago! I'm not saying I expect my clothes to fit perfectly, and I promise you that I am not fishing for compliments. But it's one thing to know in your head that you just had a baby and another to put on your own t-shirts and still look like you're four months pregnant.

It's not so much the number on the scale or the fact that I may or may not be able to button my pants. It's about the flabbiness that is my stomach and my legs and my butt and my arms. It's about the fact that I put on clothes I've worn forever and they fit differently and it's weird and sad. I'm just being honest. I have a small number of shirts I feel comfortable wearing; the rest are still being shunned in their drawer.

I don't plan on trying to run until I'm cleared by my doctor, but I won't lie and say I'm not itching to get out there. It's going to be terrible, and I probably won't make it to the end of the block, but I don't even care. Registration for the 2016 Oklahoma City half marathon opens in four days, not that I'm counting or anything. I also plan on starting over with my pull-up exercises, and I have some Jillian Michaels DVDs to try out as well. So we'll see what happens. I won't be blogging weekly updates or anything, but I might post progress updates once in a while if any of you find it remotely interesting.

It's nice to finally start feeling more like myself, even if I look in the mirror and don't necessarily think I look like myself. It took nine months to stretch myself out, so I guess I can at least give it nine months to do the opposite.
p.s. On Monday I'll be taking a break from baby stuff and sharing a house tour, so be sure and come back!