Bits O’ This and That

8

1.  AWWWWWW – You guys, in just two weeks, I’m going to have a newborn!!!!!!  Seriously, two weeks exactly!  Because I didn’t feel well for most of it, this honestly felt like the longest pregnancy ever, and it’s finally almost time for it all to be completely worth it.  I am SO excited!

This obviously calls for a flashback, newborn pic of Brady!

Image may contain: 1 person

2.  Hospital Bag – I ‘thought’ that my hospital bag was packed, but then my closet ran out of T-shirts that fit… And the bathroom ran out of toothpaste…  And I sort of craved the snacks that I’d packed for Nate to eat at the hospital…  Oh, and I ran out of hair gel…  So I kind of raided my hospital bag a few times and now it isn’t finished at all.  Ha, ha!  Soooooo, I really need to get on that this week!   Seems that a Target trip is in my near future.

3.  Belly BUMP – At my last doctor’s appointment, my OB was concerned about my weight gain and just how large my stomach had gotten.  (I had a major flashback to my pregnancy with Brady, because this happened then too).  Turns out that – once again – I have too much amniotic fluid and a big baby.  They think that baby Kaitlyn is already measuring 8 pounds, which means she could end up being a 10 pounder just like Brady was.  And the amniotic fluid levels puts me on a slightly higher-risk status, so I’ll be watched more closely from now on.  But even if she seems to be a big girl, Kaitlyn seems to be perfectly happy and healthy!  🙂   What can I say, I grow’em BIG!

Image may contain: 1 person, closeup

4.  My Mom – My mom is seriously the BEST!  Not only did she watch Brady for the afternoon so that I could enjoy some much-needed down time (which allowed me to write this blog post AND catch up on reading some favorite blogs); but she also baked us a DELICIOUS, homemade Lasagna for dinner.  Yeah, my mom ROCKS!  I sooooo needed the break!

5.  Nursery –   Sooooo I get asked ALL the time about how baby girl’s nursery is coming along…  I’m always a little embarrassed to admit it, but we haven’t worked on it at all.  I’ve been really sick and weak this entire pregnancy, and also money has been a bit tight.  I was super bummed about it at first, but – as you know – I’m not one to stay glum for too long.  😉  I decided that since Kaitlyn will probably sleep in our room for 5-6 months anyway, I’ll give myself a year to finish her nursery.  That way, I can add a bit here and there, which will better fit into our tight budget.

You might remember that we were going to have Kaitlyn share a bedroom with Brady, but we decided to let her have her own room.  (The playroom is going to be moved to the basement, which was finished a few years ago.  Nate is working now on organizing / deep cleaning it, so that we can move the toys down there). We had already painted the playroom a lovely blue color, but we’re in luck since blue walls for a little girl’s room is totally the fad right now!  I’ve decided on an owl theme, and here is some inspiration that I’ve pinned on Pinterest lately.  (I love the picket fence and tree decals, so I’m pretty sure those ideas will be used for sure).

Owl Nursery Decal!! Adorable! Has the link to purchase! --forget putting it in a nursery I want it in my living room!:

LOVE this playroom for a little girl!  Too bad I don't think Blake would appreciate it very much if I exchanged his desire for a superhero play with with a nice white picket fence and flowers along the walls.  Darn!:

Aqua & Pink... darling nursery colors and another great way for the room to "grow up" with the little one.:

Baby Girl Nursery Art Mint Coral Owl Wall Art Kids Wall Art Girls Room You are My Sunshine Love Owl Theme Nursery Set of 4, Art Prints by vtdesigns on Etsy:

6.  Blogging After a Newborn – My goal is to blog once a week once Kaitly arrives (with a couple of weeks taken off for recovery and settling in, obviously).  I really, really, really want to document the newborn stage, despite the amazing craziness that comes with bringing a baby home.  🙂  The memories are so precious and easily forgotten.  But even if I won’t be blogging a ton at first, I do hope to keep Instagram updated.  So if you don’t already follow me, definitely click here, so that you don’t miss out on updates!!  🙂

Image may contain: 1 person, standing and closeup

7.  Easter!  – I host Easter every year, but I definitely wasn’t up to all that baking / cooking this time around.  So I provided the house (along with the ham, homemade bread, and potatoes), and my mom and sister brought over everything else.  The day was a warm one (80 degrees!), and I just can’t tolerate the heat when I’m pregnant.  So I was relieved to just be able to enjoy time with my family without having to do much work in the kitchen.

may have been a tad bit cranky (as I was SO uncomfortable and nauseous), but I really did still enjoy the day.  🙂

Image may contain: 1 person, sitting

8.  Team Pink – Has anyone tried the new, Starbucks pink drink?  I have absolutely no idea what it tastes like, but it’s just so pretty that I want to order one…  Hmmmm, maybe there’s a Target AND Starbucks trip in my near future??  😉

(Source)

9.  What have YOU been up to??  🙂  

Mommy’s Baby Boy

10

It hit me all at once the other day that Brady will very soon no longer be the baby of the family.  I was sitting in the middle of his bedroom, wrapping his Big Brother present, when I was overcome by a sudden, intense emotion.  I took in the gray, jungle-themed nursery, remembering how I had decorated it with such excitement and anticipation.

And now here we are…  My baby boy is almost 2 1/2 years old, and his whole world is about to change.  He’s about to have a baby sister, and – as a result – he’s suddenly going to be asked to share his parents.  To share his Mama…

The tears and sobs couldn’t be held back.  I just sat there and cried hysterically.

This little boy is my entire world.  I love him with a fierceness that I can’t explain, and his happiness means more to me than anything else.  Honestly, even now, I can’t imagine loving another child as much as I love him.  I know that I will!  But I just can’t comprehend it (just as I couldn’t have understood a mother’s love until I became a mom).

And although I know that having a sibling will be the most precious gift we could give him, I also know that this transition could very well be a difficult one for him.  He’s not going to be the baby of the family anymore…  Mama is going to be pulled in other directions now and won’t always have time to play, cuddle, wrestle, or run.

Honestly, I’ve already been pulled away just a bit.  Okay, a lot.  I have so many more pregnancy aches and pains this time around.  I can’t go out and run like we used to.  I can’t roll around and wrestle on the ground.  Sometimes just a simple walk up the street feels like too much.

And my belly is so big that he hasn’t been able to snuggle on my lap for weeks.

Nate does his best to cover for me and takes Brady to the playground or on walks when he can.  I’m grateful for the help.  But I also ache at having to miss those precious moments.  And I wonder if Brady is already missing time with his Mama… when things are only about to get worse.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling

It’s a strange mix of emotions rushing through me these days.  Guilt.  Excitement.  Sadness as I mourn Brady’s loss of ‘only child’ status.  Pure joy at realizing our little family will soon be complete and that Brady will have a sibling to share growing up with.  Unbelievable anticipation at the thought of being so close to meeting our beautiful, baby girl.

I know that having a sister to share holidays, vacations, birthdays, and just the every day simple joys with is going to be incredibly special for him.  I know that, because I grew up with that.  And that’s an incredible experience that I want him to have.  And so I try to focus on the fact that he will be receiving a very special gift.

When I was only weeks away from delivering Brady, I worried about how having a baby would impact my marriage.  And guess what, we’re okay!  Sure, things were more challenging at first, but I’m proud of how we rose to the occasion and kept our relationship first.  Our marriage thrived as we became more accustomed to our new normal.

So I know that everything will be okay this time around too…  But for now, I’m definitely holding my little guy a bit closer and trying to make sure he feels surrounded by love!

Image may contain: 1 person

Big changes are coming for everyone.  But if we hold each other close and stand together, the changes will be nothing but good!  Love never fails.  🙂

The Third Trimester Life

6

Have you seen those memes that say something to the affect of “When you’re pregnant, shaving your legs is an Olympic Sport”?  I always thought that meme was funny.  Maybe even clever.

But now that I’m three and a half weeks from my due date, I’m not finding it so humorous.  😉  Forget shaving…  I can barely handle putting on my pants.  Between  Kaitlyn practicing future ballet moves and digging her chubby toes into my ribcage, the sciatica that’s sending intense pain down my lower back and legs, the exhaustion and breathlessness of anemia, and the ginormous belly?  I can’t bend or get comfortable or walk.  I’m at the point that I have to sit down to just put on my makeup, because I don’t have the energy to stand.  I have to sit down to prepare dinner.  I have to sit down to put on my shoes.

I even have to sit down to eat chocolate if I want to enjoy it!

 :

I do have this really awesome, penguin waddle going on though.  It’s totally sexy.  I feel like a confident, watermelon-toting Victoria’s Secret model marching down the runway.  Nate seriously can’t take his eyes off me…  (Although I have my suspicions that he’s sympathetically grimacing in pain while he watches me hobble by.  My belly looks as heavy as it feels these days.  I’ve officially passed the cute stage…  left behind the watermelon smuggler phase…  and now I’m entering blimp territory).   

I don’t even know how it’s possible that the 9 months aren’t up yet.  This third trimester really has been never-ending.

50 Funny Pregnancy Memes That Will Make You Pee Without Even Sneezing:

However, during this time, I’ve also mastered the art of kicking things into the air and catching them, which is quite impressive.  Bending down to pick things up is SO two months ago.  Even Brady is in awe of my mad reflexes.  I’m thinking of submitting a tape of myself and applying for America Ninja Warrior.  (I’ll bet being a mom has prepared me for most of the obstacles.  As for the warped wall, all they need to do is put a cup of iced coffee at the top, and – let me tell you – I’d make it up there in record speed.  Not even sure if my sneakers would need to touch the ground to get me up there…).

Image result for warped wall

In all seriousness though, this pregnancy has been completely different than my pregnancy with Brady.  I was so energized and active during that third trimester.   Of course, in between the energized activity, I did have time to nap and rest.  That doesn’t happen these days…  This time around, things have been much harder, because I’m constantly chasing after an ever-energetic little tyke.  (I feel like I’m even chasing him during the moments that I’m sitting down to pee.  I don’t know how that’s humanly possible, but – trust me – I do it.  Bathroom breaks are seriously no longer breaks…  It’s like trying to relieve yourself while being locked in a restroom with a wild monkey).  

Thanks to the added exhaustion and physical exertion, my body doesn’t seem to want to cooperate, resulting in more uncomfortable and painful pregnancy symptoms than last time.  And most times, my strong-willed toddler cooperates just as well.  😉   His favorite words right now are “in five minutes, Mama” or “no thanks.”

 :

The more I reply with “No, Mama, needs you to listen now,” the more he seems to retreat into his little toddler world of Mickey Mouse, icecream, bubbles, and puppies.  Seriously, men get a bad rap for selective hearing, but toddlers have turned that into an art.  They really do live in their own little world!  I say “green beans,” and he hears “icecream”.  I say “time to change your bum,” and he hears “time to dump out all the blocks and play.”  I say “time to put your coat on,” and he hears “let’s dance”.

 :

It’s a good thing that he’s cute, lovable, absolutely hilarious, and my entire world.  Because he’d be in trouble otherwise.  But, you know, despite the insanity, I just can’t imagine my long, exhausting days without him!  And he really is SUCH a good little boy.  He’s just, well, a toddler.  We’ve all had to go through that stage and drive our mothers a little crazy.  It’s like a requirement for growing up…

But yes, three and a half weeks.  That’s it.  That’s all that’s standing between me and meeting my precious baby girl.  And then, this will ALL be worth it… right down to the hairy legs, swollen feet, and out-of-control hormones.

For now, I’m going to do my best to see the humor.  To focus on our beautiful prize.  To be the best preggo mom that I can possibly be.  And to practice that sexy penguin waddle.  After putting in all this effort to learn it, I don’t want to forget how to do it just because I’m not pregnant anymore!  😉

50 Funny Pregnancy Memes That Will Make You Pee Without Even Sneezing:

Pregnancy is SUCH a blessing…  but it’s also a tough – often uncomfortable – journey.  Do you have a funny pregnancy story to share?

 

 

Cupcakes!

7

I usually focus on quality of content when writing my posts (or at least whenever possible); but for a little while, they’re definitely going to be a bit more conversational.  Kind of like we’re sitting down at a cafe and catching up over a decaf latte.  Most will be short and sweet, I think; because this preggo mama is tired…. and soon to be the proud (and exhausted) mama of two.  But at the same time, I don’t want to stop blogging during this busy season.

So hang in there if this kind of content isn’t your fave…  😉

Anyway, let’s talk CUPCAKES!  I’ve missed decorating and eating them, to be honest.  🙂  I have turned down a few paid requests as of late, because I knew that I wouldn’t be up to baking a ton in April.  But when a special family member decided to get married on Saturday during an intimate, family-only ceremony; I just couldn’t say ‘no’ to the last-minute request for some wedding cupcakes.

I only had a day’s notice; so I decided to go with a simple, elegant look.  I went with a tuxedo-affect by baking and frosting cupcakes with chocolate buttercream and lemon buttercream (not pictured).  The lemon cupcakes were also filled with lemon curd, which is always a big hit.  For both colors, I frosted in a rosette pattern and then lightly sprinkled with pearl accents.

Being this pregnant and the mom to a toddler, it definitely was a lot of work.  But it was worth it.  I had a blast, and it meant a lot to be able to contribute to the wedding.  (Plus both Nate and Brady had a blast taste-testing for me.  😉  Brady actually gets excited now when he sees cupcake tins, because he knows that I’m about to make something “dewishush”).

17498560_10158557365460245_3646412843712332738_n

And then, since I was in cupcake mode (and there were unfrosted cupcakes left), I offered to make the cupcakes for my dad’s birthday party on Sunday.  Again, these were ultra last-minute, so my creativity was restricted by the supplies I had on hand.  I decided on a light sprinkling of fun, rainbow jimmies and opened a box of matchbox cars as toppers.  (After all, what guy can resist cars, even if they’re the matchbox variety)?

untitled-3 (1)

It’ll be months before I have the time and energy to make cupcakes again, so I’m glad I got to practice my hobby over this past weekend.  🙂

Now for a serious question…  What is your FAVORITE cupcake flavor??  I’m pretty sure I always go for chocolate cupcakes, unless pumpkin with cream cheese frosting is available.  

So Close!

7

Tonight was one of those nights…  You know, one of those nights that leave you walking on the brink of insanity and defeat.  A night during which you consider the ramifications of just running away for the evening and leaving the chaos and destruction behind for your husband to handle.

I just turned 40 this year. I'm grown. I still do this lol.:

“Have fun, Nate.  I’m going to the spa.”

Don’t worry, I didn’t do that.  But man did I want to!

I have officially stepped over the “awwww, what a cute preggo belly” stage and into the “oh my goodness, I am going to die” stage.  I feel like a beached whale.  I can hardly tie my shoes, the pain in my upper thigh is pretty intense, anemia makes it impossible for me to catch my breath or energy, insomnia cuts into my sleep, and I hurt my right foot so it’s painfully swollen (which means I had to cancel my pampering, maternity pedicure.  SOB!).

On top of all that,  my toddler is going through the terrible two’s.

This third trimester is wayyyyyy harder than my pregnancy with Brady.  I remember telling Nate that I couldn’t understand why so many women complained about the third trimester, because it wasn’t that bad.  This time around?  I’m like, “Ohhhhhh, so that’s why!

Every pregnancy really is different, and it’s just more demanding physically when you’re chasing after a toddler.

Pregnant forever! LOL! #pregnancyhumor #funnypregnancy #pregnancymeme:

I am definitely in survival mode right now.  We’ve had to push off decorating the nursery for now, so that we can focus on the necessities.  (Sometimes finances and free time just don’t cooperate, so you have to go with the flow).  But on a positive note, I have purchased all the supplies I need for Kaitlyn (other than clothes), and I’m just about done packing my hospital bag.

So we’re getting there.  We’re so close to meeting our baby girl.  And I have to say that I’m ready to not be pregnant anymore and to meet my baby Kaitlyn!  🙂

I think that the blogs going forward (until things settle back down) are going to be more ‘day recaps’ than thoughtful articles, because my creative writing abilities are going to be on strike for awhile.  🙂  BUT hopefully I’ll still be recapping… and focusing on the positive.

Even if I do feel like a beached whale.  😉

Image result for pregnancy meme:

 

Taco Shepherd’s Pie

15

I started cooking for Nate well before we were married.  After all, it is said that a man’s stomach is the way to his heart.  If my curly locks and bright smile weren’t already sealing the deal, I might as well add a few hearty, home-cooked meals to the list too.  😉  My mom graciously allowed me full use of her kitchen, and I had such a fun time ‘playing house’ and preparing meals for the guy that I was falling in love with.

Image may contain: food

One of the very first meals I made for him was actually an original recipe that I whipped together after reviewing a few similar recipes that I’d found online.  (I love adding my own spin on recipes or making them my own.  Oftentimes, I’ll follow a recipe completely the first time I make it; but if it’s good enough to make again, I’ll change things up a bit if it needs a tiny bit of tweaking).

One of my favorite meals growing up was Shepherd’s Pie, and I decided that I wanted to make my flavor-loving hubby a bolder, more spicy version.

Image may contain: food

This is a recipe that has become a staple in our house and is one that I make from memory.   It all starts with a good-quality taco seasoning packet (preferably one that doesn’t contain fillers.  Grab one that only contains spices and seasonings that you recognize and can pronounce).

Image may contain: 1 person, sitting, eating, child, food and indoor

It’s comfort food…  It’s quick…  It’s hearty…  It’s ridiculously simple but packs a ton of flavor…  And it’s a bit spicy without going overboard.  (Even my toddler loves it)!

If you try it, I hope it’s a recipe that you enjoy!  🙂

Image may contain: food

TACO SHEPHERD’S PIE

1 lb ground beef

Packet taco seasoning

2 cans (15 oz each) corn, drained

4 cups potatoes, mashed plain (preferably fresh and still hot)

2 Tablespoons chopped green chiles (more if you like a lot of heat)

1 Cup shredded cheddar cheese

Salt and Pepper to taste

 

Prepare ground beef and taco seasoning according to the packet’s directions.  (While the meat is cooking, boil, drain, and mash your potatoes).

Pour the prepared taco meat into a 2 quarter casserole dish and top with the two cans of corn.

Stir the green chiles and cheese into the hot mashed potatoes and season – to taste – with salt and pepper.  Spread onto the taco meat and corn.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until hot.  Enjoy!  🙂

Week 31 Recap

6

How Far Along – I’m now 32 weeks preggo!  How is this going by SO fast?!?

Baby Name:   Kaitlyn Marie

First and Second Pregnancy, Comparison Pics:  

THEN –  (2014)

No automatic alt text available.

NOW (2017) –

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling

I’m Craving / Disliking:   The same as all along.  Nothing specific, although I’m loving carbs and the occasional sweet treat.  Still not a huge fan of chicken.

Exercise:  Ugh, it got really cold again, and we ended up with about a foot of snow.  So structured exercise hasn’t been that great, although I’m still counting life with a toddler as a daily workout.

Awkward Moment:   I bent down really fast and tore a hole in my pajama pants.  (I’m talking a top to bottom, right along the crotch area, type hole).  Granted, I was home with just Nate and Brady at the time, so it could have been much worse.  But still, it was a little awkward.  There’s nothing like ripping your pants in front of your husband to get the mood going, if you know what I mean.  😉  (That’ll teach me to wear non-maternity pajama pants for this long).

A Moment I Don’t Want to Forget:  This isn’t a moment that I don’t want to forget as much as it’s a moment that I won’t forget…  I thought, for sure, that I was going into early labor during the snowstorm.  It completely freaked me out and made for a long day.  It looks as though I lost my mucus plug (TMI?), and I mistook it as my water breaking.  (And on top of that, I had some pretty bad cramps and some serious nausea).   Sooooo, it was a long afternoon of waiting, as getting to the hospital would have been quite the trip.  In the end, I just rested for a day or two, and I ended up feeling much better.  Phew!

Something I Miss:  Last week I said that I couldn’t drink decaf coffee anymore, because it was giving me heartburn.  Thankfully that doesn’t seem to be the case, as I’ve been able to drink it now.  I do miss having the energy to be the upbeat, fun mom that I want to be!   Thankfully toddlers are flexible and just learn to go with the flow.

Sleep:  Insomnia has returned…  I had about two hours of quality sleep last night, and I’m feeling it today.

To-Do List Completions:  I deep-cleaned half of the cabinets in my kitchen and hope to finish the project over the next day or so.  (To help me watch Brady while I cleaned, I ‘borrowed’ a nine year old from my church.  She did a great job, and I got a ton of cleaning done).  I also started my hospital bag!  🙂

Purchases:  No new purchases this week.  I’ve come to the determination that if needed, I can decorate the nursery over the summer (since Kaitlyn will be sleeping in me and Nate’s room for several months).  I’m trying to stretch my budget as much as possible right now.  Ha, ha.

Symptoms:  Insomnia, occasional heartburn, back pain, shortness of breath, exhaustion…  and just overall starting to feel as though I’m ready to be done with the pregnancy and to be able to hold my baby girl.  Typical Third Trimester complaints.  🙂

Final thought:    Only 7 weeks until my C-section!!!  🙂

Hacked? — NOPE!

4

Hey Guys,

My account may have been hacked…  I just noticed that I commented on my own blog post yesterday (which I totally didn’t do.  I was out with a friend at the time).   I’ve changed my password and settings, and I’m hoping that takes care of it.  But if you notice unusual activity on this account, then it obviously didn’t work.  I’ll be keeping an eye on things, and hopefully I won’t have to create an entirely new blog.  (SOB)!

Well, we’re all snuggled warm and safe right now, riding out the March snowstorm.  🙂  Stay safe if your in Storm Stella’s path!!

Nicole


UPDATE –

Sooooooo I had given a family member my old laptop awhile back, and I was apparently still logged into WordPress.  So they commented on my blog, but it showed up as me.  HA!  Oh my goodness, I was freaking out this morning, and it turns out that it was just a nice comment from a family member.

I can breathe now!  My account is okay!!  🙂

We Had a Pickity Day!

4

I’ve always appreciated eating out with friends and enjoying good food in a nice atmosphere, but – as a mom – I now treasure it.  Sitting down and eating a meal without having to wipe fingers, faces, floors, and walls?  Enjoying a delicious dinner that I didn’t prepare (and that I don’t have to clean up for)?  Holding a conversation that doesn’t revolve around Curious George, poop, or “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”?

I’m in!

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, closeup

So when I realized that both my sister and I were interested in making reservations at Pickity Place for a mom and daughter’s afternoon out, I jumped right in and made those reservations.  I NEEDED a mom’s afternoon out…  And quite frankly, I never need an excuse to go out with these two ladies.

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people standing, snow, tree, outdoor and nature

I also don’t need an excuse to eat at the Pickity Place.

It’s more than a restaurant.  It’s an experience.

Image may contain: tree, house, sky, plant and outdoor

Located in Mason, New Hampshire, the quaint cottage was inspiration for Elizabeth Orton Jones’ illustrations that appeared in the The Little Red Riding Hood book.  Dinner guests can buy copies of the Little Golden Books at the restaurant bookshop; and there is also a replica of Grandma’s bedroom, complete with the wolf taking a nap in Grandma’s bed.

Image may contain: bedroom and indoor

During the spring, summer, and fall months, the grounds are absolutely beautiful, filled with flowers, a greenhouse, drying herbs, and birdhouses.  (Although everything was coated in white – and it was an extremely cold day – for this visit, the wooded area was still beautiful.  The location is definitely in the middle of nowhere, which makes for a peaceful escape).

It’s a bit like stepping back in time…

Image may contain: indoor

Behind the restaurant, there is also a whimsical gift shop, filled with little treasures that include tea cups, tea pots, spices, candy, delicious dip packets, soup packets, pasta, jewelry, and fun plaques.  It’s such a treat to explore, and it always smells so amazing.  (There were samples of a bacon and cheddar dip that was out-of-this-world delicious).

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, standing

Oh, yes, and then there’s the restaurant…  🙂

The  luncheon is $21.95  (plus tax), but it’s five courses (and beverages are included).  Everything is from scratch and incorporates herbs that were grown on site.  I’ve been three times now, and – quite frankly – I always leave saying that it was one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten.  The freshness and exceptional flavor just can’t be beat.

Image may contain: drink and indoor

There is a new, set meal plan every month (although you can pick between two entrees), and there are three meal times offered (11:30, 12:45, and 2:00).  There are three, smallish dining rooms with intimate tables.  It feels rather like having a tea party (although there are always some men eating there as well, because the food is just so good.  I really need to bring Nate with me some time, because he definitely would appreciate the quality of food served)!

(source)

For my beverage, I chose the lavender lemonade, which was absolutely delicious!  It was refreshing with the perfect hint of sweetness.

Lavender Lemonade

(Source)

The dip of the month was Spicy Jalapeno, and I honestly wasn’t expecting to like it.  But oh my goodness, you guys, it was AMAZING!  It was sooooo creamy with just a hint of spiciness.  Sooooooo delicious!!

Image may contain: drink and food

March’s soup of the month was Tortilla, which was spicier than the dip (but not too spicy).  It was fresh, very flavorful, and perfect for a cold day!

Image may contain: food and indoor

The salad of the day was a Matchstick Potato Salad with bacon, and it was served with  warm slices of whole wheat bread.  Absolutely indulgent and incredible!

Image may contain: food

For the entree, we could choose between Maple Dijon Glazed Brisket or a Spring Vegetable Ravioli.  I decided on the brisket, which was served with glazed carrots atop a slice of corn bread.  The brisket was sooooo tender and full of flavor.  Oh-my-goodness, SO good!

Image may contain: food

And our dessert was Expresso Cheesecake, which was perfection.  That’s all I can say…  Perfection.  Amazing, smooth, sweet, incredible perfection!  (I washed it down with a  decaf mocha coffee).

Image may contain: dessert, drink, food and indoor

It was a beautiful afternoon out with my mom and sister, and Pickity Place outdid itself as always!

Image may contain: 1 person, standing, tree, snow and outdoor

What a delicious day!  🙂

 

 

 

When Being Mommy Hurts

6

There’s no easy way to explain the fierce love that a woman experiences when she becomes a mom.  I was trying to explain it to Nate the other day, and he kind of just looked at me with a slightly confused (or maybe concerned) look on his face.  It just doesn’t make sense when you’re trying to explain it.  But to a mom, it’s reality.  And quite frankly, to every mom reading this, I needn’t go on.  They know what I’m talking about already.

They just get it.

I guess if I were absolutely required to express these emotions and feelings with the help of words, I would say this:  when I became a mom, it was as though a small, treasured piece of me left my body.  And that piece of my heart began to beat on its own, protected only by a beautiful, tiny person that it now lived in.

Image may contain: one or more people, baby and closeup

This happened the moment I set eyes on my baby boy.  Suddenly, my own self came second.  My whole world (my whole need to protect, and nurture, and care) began to revolve around someone else.  But it didn’t feel like self-sacrifice.

Because that little someone else was a piece of me.

When Brady was in my womb, I constantly prayed over him, worrying about every little thing that could go wrong, and dreamed about the day that he was born.  Then, and only then, would I stop worrying; because then I would physically be able to hold my perfect baby boy in my arms.  Then I could physically protect him with my super-human, mommy strength  and always know that he was okay.  Because I would make sure that he was okay.

But once he was born, I quickly realized that my womb had been a safer place than this world we call home could ever be.  At least then I could carry him in perfect warmth and protection.  At least there, no hurtful words or angry bullies or harmful environments could touch him.  He was safe inside his mommy, soothed to sleep by the sound of my voice and rocking of my movements.

Image may contain: 1 person, closeup

But suddenly, he was living in this often hurtful, cruel world.  Suddenly, that small piece of me was detached and wasn’t always with me.  Suddenly, I was forced to sometimes leave that piece of my heart with someone else and to trust that he was being cared for the way that I would care for him.

It’s terrifying.  Absolutely terrifying.

My little guy is only two, but there have already been moments that have made me want to whisk him away to a safe place where nothing hurtful can ever touch him.  Kids have already been mean…  He has already faced challenges that made me want to swoop in and solve a problem that he needs to solve himself.  He has learned that sometimes life hurts.

But he is still so sweet and innocent.  Still such a baby.

As he grows, I will have to learn to slowly let go.  To trust that I raised him to be confident, even when the bullies taunt.  To know that God will continue to guide him, even when he isn’t snuggled in my arms for a Bible story.  I will have to be strong enough to let him take flight on his own, knowing that I taught him right from wrong.

As a mom, I look back on my own life with a new sense of respect for everything my parents faced, from letting me cry when my first job overwhelmed me to letting me travel thousands of miles away from home for college.  They knew that fire makes gold burn only brighter.  They knew that those hard moments were only molding me into a stronger, bolder, more confident woman.  They knew that quitting wasn’t an option, and so they guided me and stood with me.  But they didn’t hide me.

They held my hand and let me step out, so that I could learn to shine.

I’ve already come to realize that being mommy is going to hurt sometimes.  Because that little someone who holds a piece of me will hurt sometimes.  And every fiber of my being will scream out to protect and shelter.  But sometimes I’ll have to let go of my baby’s hand, even if it may result in cuts and bruises.  Sometimes I’ll have to trust him to someone else’s care, so that he can learn independence.  I’ll have to watch him attempt challenges that test his endurance, patience, and will.  And sometimes, I’ll have to watch him take a leap, even if he may fall.

Because he may also be ready to fly.

Image may contain: 1 person

He’s only two, but I already know just how hard it will be for me to ever see my little guy struggle or hurt.  But at the same time, I also know that the hard moments only strengthen us and prepare us to be strong.  To be confident.  To be leaders.

Sometimes, it’s the tough moments that propel us to greatness and to a more meaningful life than we could have imagined.

One thing I know for sure is this…  As fiercely as I love my baby boy, there is One who loves him even more.  And so I can only raise him the best I can and then trust him into the arms of the Savior who can – and will – always be with him.

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, child, stripes and closeup