Mine for a Moment

It’s after 11pm and I’m up late finishing up some work that could wait until tomorrow when I stumble across a picture of a friend’s newborn baby on Facebook. Although it was just 4 short months ago, I almost can’t remember what it felt like to hold Silas’ little 5lb 12oz body. I put down my computer and walk down the hall to the bedroom and like a crazy woman, pick up my precious sleeping son. I wrap my arms tightly around his tiny body and press his soft cheek against mine as I inhale his sweet aroma. I rock back and forth as my tired body and mind are suddenly enraptured with joy and sadness all at once. I know I need to put him down and get to bed, but every fiber of my being wants to embrace him until morning or longer… like high school. As I gently place him back in the bed he wakes and begins to whimper – a sound I’m not usually looking forward to at this time of night, but tonight it’s music to my ears. So here I am still holding my precious, awake son, the warmth of his little body seeping into my core, and I find myself fearfully aware of the passing of time. Every day that passes is one less day for moments like this one. God will you stop time for me? Just for a moment? He falls asleep and the rhythm of his breathing lulls me. Back to bed. My arms let go, but my heart holds tight.

Dear Lord, thank you for this soul stirring moment. He truly is only mine for a moment. May I never forget that.

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Silas Graham is 3 Months Old!

I can’t believe it has already been 3 months since sweet Silas blessed us with his presence.

These past few weeks have been crazy with daddy starting to teach again and sissy (Ashlynne) starting her freshman year at high school. I looked quite odd wearing a baby around at high school open house, that’s for sure. I’ve slowly been adjusting to having Silas to myself most of the time during the week. Thankfully, we worked it into the budget to have a nanny one day per week. It’s supposed to be time for me to work on the computer, but I usually take advantage of the freedom to go somewhere without having the get Silas in and out of the car. I’ll run errands for 1.5 hours then head home to nurse and work on the computer for a few minutes before dashing back out there door. It’s usually quite a chaotic day for having someone to help with Silas.

It’s definitely a different world trying to run a company and start a new business with my coworker being a 3 month old that loves to eat. He’s also working very hard on rolling over and has recently found his voice. That means lots of frustrated groans and even more playful screams as he tests out different volumes and tones. I’m learning to tune him out most of the time. The good thing is that we now have a pretty regular nap schedule. Sometimes it’s only 30 minutes and sometimes it’s 2 hours, but I now know that around 10, 1,  and 5 I’ll get a smidgen of a break.

As much as his little guy has flipped my world upside down, I love him more and more everyday and am beyond blessed to be able to call him my son.

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10 Benefits of Ditching Cable

One of the best decisions we have made as a married couple is to ditch our cable. Although we still haven’t completely scrapped the screen, we are making a move toward less reality shows and more reality. For now, that means some classic bunny ear antennas, plus Amazon Prime and Redbox for the occasional movie. I like to imagine a day when our television’s only job is displaying photos and homemade videos of sweet times with our family. Even by just getting rid of cable and sticking to a few basic channels, we’ve experienced many of the benefits below. I encourage you to consider doing the same.

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1. Save more money. Everyone has something they’re saving for whether it be an expensive item like a car or something smaller like a new pair of jeans. Whatever it may be, cutting cable will help you put more into your piggy bank.

2. Steal more time. Everyone wants more of it, but there isn’t anymore out there. You get what you’re given so make the most of it. If you’re like me, you could find yourself lost in shows for hours. It always left me feeling unproductive and guilty about wasting my time. If we want more time, we have to steal it from something else. Why not steal your TV time for more family/work/crafting/learning/volunteer time?

3. Be more productive. So you think you’re the master of multi-tasking huh? Many of us are dual or even triple screeners. We can often be found sitting on the couch watching TV with our computer in our lap and our phone by side. All those tasks going on at one time must make us more productive, right? Wrong. I find I’m way more productive when I turn the TV off, focusing my mind on the ONE task at hand. TV is a distraction that siginificantly decreases our productivity.

4. Enjoy less drama. Let’s all just be a little honest with each other here. We each have enough drama in our own lives that we don’t need television shows to add more. Whether you’re watching soap operas and sitcoms or the news and HGTV, it’s the drama that draws you in. It’s toxic. Run away. Run quickly away.

5. Play more games. As a child, I learned to play Gin Rummy at the kitchen table, monopoly on the coffee table, and darts in the garage. Although those moments were few and far between, they are some of my fondest memories. How often do we play games that don’t involve screens? The face-to-face fun an interaction has been replaced by face-to-screen entertainment, and kids around the US are growing up without knowing how to hold their own at a card table. It’s a tragedy.

6. Increase your knowledge. Look, I understand that television can be educational and that YouTube videos are the new encyclopedias, but life is so much more fun when we learn through apprenticeship. I have many dishes that are better than my mom’s macaroni and corn casserole (sorry, mom!), but I make it frequently because it reminds me of when she taught me how to make it. From shooting hoops to changing a tire, life skills are meant to be shared through relationships and learned by doing. So turn off that TV and teach someone something.

7. Be more rested. It’s 8:55 pm and you’re absolutely exhausted. Thankfully, your show is almost over then you’ll head to bed, but then it happens. Your show ends and instead of a commercial, it goes right to the next show. You don’t look away quick enough and all of a sudden you’re hooked, glued to the couch for another hour. It’s happened to the best of us. We can’t stand the thought of missing out on something. Sleep is precious. Get more of it.

8. Exercise your imagination. Don’t watch your stories, create them. Build a fort (without looking it up on YouTube first), climb on in, and tell a tale of adventure and mystery. Create Christmas crafts without guidance from Martha Stewart. Let your brain run free without constant input and see what the output is. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

9. Soak up Vitamin D. When I was growing up I spent most of my summer in the sun jumping on the trampoline, shooting hoops in the driveway, splashing in puddles, and stomping in the creek. Now the glare of the sun reflects off my iPad so my love for sunlight has dwindled. It’s sad, but true. It’s so difficult to avoid curling up on the couch in our air conditioned homes, remote at the ready. If you don’t have cable, chances are you’ll find yourself seeking outdoor entertainment more often.

10. Experience deeper connection. If you’re anything like Casey and me, you come home from a long day and veg out on the couch in front of a mindless show. Maybe you even sit on opposite sides of the room, or even in different rooms because you don’t like the same shows. Shutting off the tube leaves room for conversations that drive deeper emotional connection. Oh and if you have a TV in your bedroom, get rid of it and (ahem) find a way to entertain each other.

Now ready to kick cable out your door just yet? Try one day per week, tube-free Tuesday or if you’re really brave, turn it off Monday – Friday. Let’s see what life we can get back by cutting back on TV.

Have you ditched cable and seen an impact in your life for the better? Would love to hear from you in the comments.

A Disappointing Surprise for My Husband

The moment had arrived. It happens once every two or three years, but when it hits me, something must be done fast.

You see, I’m pretty cheap when it comes to caring for myself. I make my own shampoo, conditioner, lotion, face wash, etc. partly because I like being as natural as possible, but the main driver is saving money. That’s the same reason I never get my haircut. (There might be some laziness in there too.) I see my sister-in-law twice a year and each time she gives me a little trim. It doesn’t help that my hair grows super fast, especially with these prenatal vitamins I’ve been taking for the last year. Although I love my long hair and saving money by avoiding cuts, there always comes a time once every two or three years that I can no longer stand the length and frantically start trying to schedule a chop.

I’m not sure if it was from Silas constantly clamping on to my hair, his spit up in it, or just the additional time it takes to wash and dry when time is more precious than ever, but two weeks ago I knew the time was now. I reached out to my friend, Annie, who had expressed interest in chopping her hair recently. She was in! After a few recommendations, we had back-to-back appointments scheduled with an affordable stylist in town. Sneakily, we both decided to keep our plans to ourselves, not even telling our husbands.

So last Tuesday we packed everything but the kitchen sink, and headed to the salon, babies in tow. I would watch Silas and her 9 month old while she got her haircut, and then she would watch the babes. If cutting 9 inches of hair wasn’t enough of an adventure, watching those two kids in a salon lobby was. Details aside, we both went through with the cut and were pretty pleased with the overall experience, although next time we will opt for babysitters for sure.

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Knowing I had kept my plans a secret from Casey, I was anticipating the big reveal. I knew he was getting sick of my long hair being in the way and was going to love my new ‘do. Let me tell you, being a new mom doesn’t leave you with many opportunities to feel pretty, but this styled cut had me feeling that way. Now all I needed was a plan to surprise Casey, and capture his excitement.

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I knew he would be coming home soon so I positioned my phone just right to be able to capture the moment when he walked through the door. I touched up my look in the bathroom, hit record, and rushed into position as I heard the garage door open.

Casey walked through the door and expressed his shock. “You got a haircut!”

I began walking toward him, expressing a warm embrace with a “You look amazing. I love it!”

This is what I got instead…

He turned toward the fridge, away from me, and questioned “From who? Did you cut it?!”

What? Did I cut it? Are you kidding? I couldn’t help, but wear the disappointment and hurt right on my sleeve. It had been almost 3 years since I had my haircut. It was 9 inches shorter. I actually PAID to get this ‘do. I look good! Or at least I thought I did. I just knew he was going to think I did. And maybe he did, but his lack of enthusiasm or maybe his confusion, left me feeling ugly and unloved.

Stupid. I know, but that’s what expectations can do to us. Clearly hurt, I told Casey what I had expected and how I was feeling. He did his best to sincerely apologize, but the moment was gone. There’s no recovering from that. He can’t erase it, go back in time, and rush in the door with a warm embrace and compliment. The moment was now covered with the image of him walking away while pondering if I had actually cut my own hair.

So although I accept his apology, and totally understand how he just had his mind on something completely different when I caught him off guard, I’m still disappointed that the much anticipated moment was such a #fail.

Have you ever had a disappointing moment like this in your life?

10 Secret Facts for New Moms

We all know that being the mom of a newborn is a special time, especially when it’s your first baby. Everyone talks about the precious coos and the gummy grins. You may even hear about the lack of sleep and crying, but there’s a lot of facts about becoming a new mom that you may not hear. Don’t worry. I’m hear to fill you in :)

Disclaimer: Do not read the below if you are on the fence about becoming a mom unless you have a solid sense of humor. Just read this. Motherhood is incredibly amazing and a truly joyful time. It’s so worth it, and you should start working on having that baby or adopting. Now close this page and get back to looking at cute baby photos on Facebook.

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10 Secret Facts for New Moms

1.  The moment your head hits the couch or the pillow for a nap, baby wakes up, and you suddenly feel 10x more tired than before you tried to nap.
2.  An open diaper means you will get peed on, and that’s if you’re lucky. The not-so-lucky get a little more.
3.  A fresh diaper means baby will poop, not matter how long you waited to change it. See my side note below.
4.  No matter how hard you try to avoid it, someone will sneak a paci or a thumb in your baby’s mouth and there will be no going back.

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5.  When hot food hits your plate, baby will become desperate for milk, even if you strategically timed your last feeding to be right before dinner.
6.  You will forget your nursing cover when you need it the most, and find yourself improvising with a blanket or even a burp cloth.
7. The moment you brag about you’re baby sleeping a long stretch at night, they will immediately stop and go back to getting up every 2 hours.
8.  When you put on your last clean outfit that still fits, you will inevitably get pooped on right before you leave the house. That leaves you the options of staying home or going out in your PJs. (Sorry, Charlotte. I just couldn’t wear PJs to your shower.)

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Yup. That totally happened on my last clean skirt just as I was about to leave.

9.  At some point, you will end up sleeping on a towel over your sheets or just on the comforter because you’re too exhausted to change the sheets in the middle of the night after a pee or puke accident.
10.  Even if your little boy is in all blue or baby girl is wearing the cutest bow, someone will repeatedly call him and her and her a him.

BONUS FACT:
Driving as a new mom may be more dangerous than driving drunk. Lack of sleep + cute baby in rearview mirror = extrememly reckless driver!

Side Note: I stopped in the middle of this blog post to go change Silas who had been unsuccessfully trying to poo for the last hour. The moment the clean diaper hit his bottom… before I could even get it closed, you guessed it, he had a blow out. Fact #3 in action right there.

I’m sure there are lots of facts that I’ve left off the list. I’d love for you to share yours in the comments!