Friday, December 1, 2017

A note to my Sadie June on her FIRST Birthday.

It seems like just yesterday your Dad and I were strolling the aisles of CVS, trying to kill time and calm nerves before heading to the hospital for my induction to have YOU.  It was November 30th, your due date.

We planned an evening at the Plaza full of wonderful food and a "stroll" thru the lights.  I'm not sure why I thought I was capable of "strolling" at this point in my pregnancy with you.  Hell, I had contemplated getting one of those motorized chairs the last few weeks of my pregnancy.

Since my pre planned stroll was most definitely not happening, CVS sounded like a good pit stop instead.  Dad stocked up on Oreos.  Me, well I picked myself up some chapstick.

That super soft, Baby Lips stuff Maybelline makes. Man, I loved that chapstick until your big sister pulled it out of the tube and smashed it a few days after you were born.





You have been the calm in our crazy this past year. 

You are so, so easy going unless someone tries to pry a toy of your liking from your fierce death grip you seem to have.  Unfortunately, your sister has attempted to do just that quite a few times over the past year.  But you, Sadie June, hold your own.  And I totally dig that about you. 

At the same time, you let her tackle you and tickle you endlessly.  The sound of you girls giggling is literally the best sound I've ever heard.

 I find myself fiercely protecting you due to your sweet demeanor, but then I witness one of your mini temper tantrums and realize you'll have no problem protecting yourself. 

I laugh at the fear I felt when learning you were a girl.  I thought it not possible to love another girl, but dang, I was so wrong. I love you endlessly.  You were everything I didn't know I needed. 

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You have brought so much joy to our lives, with those dimples and those two wittle teeth now poking thru your bottom gums. There is literally nothing cuter than your sweet little grin.



I thought your big sister would not adjust well to sharing her world with you, but quite the contrary.  Much to our surprise, she loves you more than she loves us! 



She calls you her chicken nugget. In fact, last week she sang happy birthday to you....instead of using your actual name, she plugged in the words, "happy birthday my chicken nugget," and I thought my heart was going to explode.




You are crazy about your dad, hell both of you girls are.... 



But you....you Sadie June, really love your mommy and you're not afraid to show it.  You scream bloody murder when I take one step out of your eyesight. 



But listen here, I'll take every last ounce of the love you have for me, because someday you'll run out the front door hollering bye to me as you hop in the car with a boy.

Your first love, perhaps. 

And my heart will ache out of fear knowing that no one will possibly take care of you the way I have.  It will feel as if my own heart has just skipped out the front door.  Someday, when you're a mom, you'll realize that your children walking around is like your very own heart walking around outside your chest, out in the great big world.

You girls carry my heart with you every moment of everyday.

When you hurt, I'll hurt deeper.  When you cry, I'll cry harder.  When you're happy, my joy will be even more bountiful. 






So like I said, for now, I'll soak up every last ounce of the love you have for me. I'll take the crocodile tears you shed when I walk out of the room.  Because someday, I won't be able to swoop you up in my arms and kiss your sweet, chunky cheeks coated in wet tears.

In an instant, all is right in your world again. But little did you know, the moment you were born, my precious Sadie June, you made everything right in my world

Happy FIRST Birthday to our precious chicken nugget.

XOXO,
Mom

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Play.

Well look at me.  Blogging twice in one week?!

I figured after the last post, I'd lighten it up a bit. 



When we bought our home a few years ago, one of the top things on my wishlist was a playroom near our living space.  I'm OCD about a few things, and toys laying around my living room is one of them. 

Yes, I've heard all the quotes about "letting them be little," and "embracing the fingerprints on the walls," as well as my favorite, "putting the laundry down, leaving the toys strewn all about and just play with your kids."




Toy chest made by Grandpa!

Well, listen here.  I'm a better mom when the chaos is contained. And my kids have clean panties.  So thanks for the advice, but I'll never be able to "embrace" stepping on play-doh or sharp blocks as I walk across my kitchen, or not doing laundry for more than a week. 

When it was just Lara, the thrown together playroom in the pictures below worked fine.  We had a massive TV cabinet where I stuffed away most of the junk and a toy chest.  As time went on, the TV cabinet became a catch all for toys we needed to get rid of, not for actually storing a television. 

So off it went, and off we went to Ikea. 

Playroom Before


For less than $300, we now have a playroom that mom and kids can enjoy because every toy is organized because every toy has a spot.  





I'll link some of my favorite items in the event you're looking to organize your play space this winter! 


  IKEA Dog Tail Hook


 IKEA Toy Trunk Storage
 IKEA Kids Toy Storage Trunk 

 IKEA Metal Wire Photo Hanger

 IKEA White Ledge Shelf 






Pandora Disney Music all day, every day on this nifty little Bluetooth speaker. 






The best gifts are homemade gifts!  Made for Lara by a dear friend for her first birthday

 



Thursday, November 16, 2017

November.

Oh, November.  I’ve been feeling all the feels these past few weeks as November is now upon us.
This time last year I was 38 weeks pregnant.  Our house was under a massive renovation, walking was nearly unbearable due to how physically uncomfortable I was and I was convinced I wasn’t going to love this baby as much as I loved my first as I hadn’t yet connected with her.

And then, I lost my job. 

I’ve been reminiscing a lot these days as Sadie’s first birthday quickly approaches.  I’m in awe that one short year ago, it seems like things were so dark

I’m reading this book and a recent chapter really struck a chord.  It’s discussing how much growth you have when thrown into situations that seem debilitating.  Those times where you’re forced to close chapters you don’t think you’re ready to close, and start new ones.  Moments where you’re forced to take new roads, maybe roads less traveled, and you’re freakin’ terrified.  Overwhelmed, perhaps.

It’s in those moments where life changing growth happens.

Let’s just say November was a month of growth for me…literally and figuratively. 

But looking back, I would do it all over again.

I would get pregnant when Lara was a mere 18 months old, when I was in the midst of dealing with postpartum anxiety I didn’t realize I had. I would do it all again in a heartbeat just to watch my two girls roll around, giggling on the living room floor together.  I remember vividly praying to God to allow us to become pregnant when he thought we were ready.  If it wasn’t meant to be for another few years, I was totally ok with that.  But sure enough, that pregnancy test was positive a few short weeks later and I freaked out. 



I panicked, really. 

Here I was in the throws of PP anxiety from my firstborn, pregnant again!!  But God always has better plans than ours, doesn’t he? 

Because of the anxiety, Jon and I would find ourselves at church a few short months later.  I remember crying those first few services we attended because I thought my brokenness would never heal.  Then a crazy thing happened.  We joined a small group, formed life changing friendships with others who were hurting, and slowly….a small glimmer of light began peeking thru the curtain that was drawn.



I would take on another house renovation because this winter, we won’t worry about our family being cold because our windows are so old.  I feel beyond blessed every time I walk into our home. 


Blessed to have a place to raise our family; a safe, warm place.  I would do it all over again…just maybe not at 9 months pregnant. 










I would lose my job all over again if I could.  While it was one of the most excruciating experiences of my life, man, I’d go thru it all over again. The day I received the news, I sat sobbing on my couch. Horrified and humiliated.  The feeling of failure in that moment felt insurmountable. 

Shortly after, God provided me professional opportunities I felt undeserving of, and still do at times.  One opportunity in particular felt so right, but so terrifying.  Not one to shy away from a good challenge, I dove in headfirst.  This past year, returning to work after two kids, would have been so much more grueling if I wasn’t doing something I believe so passionately in.  That’s God’s work right there.  I will forever be grateful for those that helped orchestrate where I am today.

Additionally, I was to be able to take an extra-long maternity leave with my new baby girl, my baby girl who I found myself so madly in love with.



Life is funny sometimes, isn’t it? If you find yourself in darkness, hang in there. You’ll see the sun again soon.  I promise.

And try not to follow my cue….like renovate your house, get knocked up and lose your job. 

Maybe just try some yoga instead.

And a glass of wine.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

#LipSenseDropout

Well, hello!

I always struggle with how to start posts after long absences.  Do I apologize?  Do I acknowledge the absence?  Do I come up with some elaborate explanation?

I've decided to do all of the above.

First and foremost, I'm sorry.  I realize I haven't blogged in nearly three months.  Explanation?

I decided to sell lipstick instead.

Lipstick.

Just let that sink in.....

I joined the "dark side" (as haters would call it) and dove into multi level marketing in hopes of becoming one of those elusive females to pocked $60,000 a month selling makeup.

All while driving a beautiful new car also gifted to me by the company.

I had visions of mornings spent sipping lattes in my zebra print office chair, wearing hot pink lipstick mind you, watching my bank account get deposit after deposit for doing nothing. I mean, isn't that how this whole multi level marketing thing works?  You pay a little enrollment fee and voila, you're quitting your job to make a killing sitting on your ass.

I know this will come as a major shock to all of you, but i'm here to say, folks, that's most definitely NOT how it works.

Multi level marketing is hard work, y'all.  You have to put in a ton of time, energy, passion and creativity to see that elusive financial reward people speak so freely about.

You have to learn an entire company as well as their products all on your own, no built in orientation or easy training courses to take those first few weeks of "employment."  You have to hustle, day and night.  You have to have DRIVE. You have to study not only the products themselves, but learn how to market the products in a way that convinces others to not only purchase, but join you in selling them as well! Listen, that's no easy feat.

These girls (or guys) have to have tremendous passion about what they've chosen to sell, whether that be leggings, an at home workout program, killer face cream, magical toothpaste....or LipSense.

And here's the thing, I just didn't.  I'm passionate about a number of things in my life, but LipSense wasn't ever going to be one of them. And that's totally ok.

I have very limited free time these days and I want to ensure I spend that time in a way that makes me happy.  In a way that fulfills me.





In saying all of that, this goes out to all those women who do have a passion for their MLM product or business, let's all quit hating on them.  Please.

One thing I've learned since jumping into the world of MLM sales is that to some, this is a career, their livelihood.  These women put a ton of behind the scenes work into their business, whether it's a side biz or full time job.  And you know what, good for them!

If they're finding killer success and they reach out to you to ask you to join them, tell them no. Or heck, tell them yes.  But don't make fun of them for working their ass off doing something they're proud of.

Did you know there are entire Facebook groups out there hating on these girls?  You want to talk about cyber bullying, well let's get real here people, that's a form of it.

If you don't want to wear their leggings.  Don't.

If you don't want to join their workout program.  Don't.

And if they add you to a private group without asking, get over it.  Don't get your panties in a wad, just leave the damn group.

No need to shame them.

Selling LipSense may be one of the few things that brings them joy.  And in some cases, puts food on the table for their families.

Every single day, I'm grateful to have an amazing career I'm super proud of. I don't need to sell LipSense to financially support my family, but listen, some people do.  And now that I've been there, tried that, I know how hard these girls are working behind the scenes.

So next time you have the urge to gossip about "all those women on your newsfeed selling stuff," don't.

Because listen, she's excited about her little side biz, and heck, isn't that what we're all chasing? Happiness. Financial freedom. Something to be proud of.

So instead of getting annoyed, show some support and buy a tube of her LipSense instead.    


XOXO,

Anne #LipSenseDropOut Xenos


Sunday, June 11, 2017

SJ || 6 Months



Tonight, as I fed Sadie her bottle, I had a flashback to the moment we learned SHE would be joining our family.  Her nursery is the same room where Jon and I sat, listening to the words, "It's a GIRL!," play out on a voicemail from the OB office left earlier that afternoon.

Her big blue eyes and her coy little grin, a grin that takes over her entire face, producing the most adorable dimples I've ever seen, bring me more joy than I ever thought possible. 

This weekend has been one that I'll tuck away in my mind, to pull out when the girls get older and they're screaming at each other for stealing one another's clothes, or boyfriend for that matter (...if Dad ever lets them date).

I just frickin' love the way Sadie giggles when Lara gets real close to her face, so close their noses could touch, and says, "tickle tickle tickle!"  I'm actually kind of shocked Lara hasn't smothered her by now.

Sadie doesn't realize it, but whether she likes it or not, teacher Lara will always insist on "reading" to her.

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One thing teacher Lara doesn't seem to quite understand is the art of sharing.  On the regular, she takes Sadie's toys from her, which doesn't phase Sadie one bit, only to tell me that, "Sadie is sharing."


And she's dead serious. 
Stealing and sharing....right now, they're one in the same in our house.


And on that note, let's move onto Miss Sadie June's 6 month update!




Sadie June: By the Month


Sadie Weighs .....Close to 16 pounds!
Sadie's Height.....Not sure, but my guess is 25 inches


Sadie is Wearing.....9-12 months, and can even rock an 18 month outfit on occasion!  Baby girl is growing like a WEED!

Sadie is Sleeping....pretty well!  We continue to give her a couple tablespoons of cereal in her nighttime bottle, and that seems to do the trick.  It also helps if we feed her some baby food for dinner an hour or so beforehand.  Sis goes to bed around 7 each night and every now and again, she'll wake around 4 and need a bottle, but rarely.

Sadie is Eating.....7 oz on the regular.  And loving all the baby food!!  She put down an entire container of sweet potatoes yesterday!  Today, she tried green beans and the jury's still out on if she liked it or not.  She loves carrots and seems to favor any type of fruit.  I'm trying to get more consistent on feeding her 2-3x a day, but dang, I forgot how hard feeding is at this age!  It easily takes a good 30-45 minutes to get thru a serving. 

Sadie Loves.....when I kiss the bottom of her little feet!!  And seriously, I could just eat 'em.  Chunky little baby feet are just EVERYTHING.  Can I get an Amen!?!?

Sadie Hates....hmmmm....again, a tough one as the kid is a freaking angel baby.  I'm going to go with strangers.  She is totally a momma's girl and I totally dig it.  I'm just soaking it up because #toddlerhood is just around the corner.  And she will not like me one minute.  Love me the next. And the next minute, throw something at me.  So yes, I'll take my little baby loving me and only me!



Sunday, May 14, 2017

Love, Mom.

To My Gorgeous Daughters,

Today is Mothers Day.  This morning I opened my beautiful ceramic plate adorned with your purple hand print forming the petals of a painted on flower. Your baby sister's tiny footprints decorated another piece of artwork honoring me. You and your daddy made me the sweetest book, each page decorated with photos of you and I over the past couple years. We colored in your Paw Patrol coloring book, ate breakfast and all rushed off to Church.  After church, we picked out a beautiful tree that Dad planted in our front garden as you ran thru the green octopus sprinkler in the front yard.

This whole day has been spent honoring me.  Thanking me.  But the truth is, you're the one I want to thank.

Before you came into my world, I thought I was so tough.  I drove fast, I drank too much and cursed like a sailor. I never slowed down to soak in the world around me. I was selfish. I judged. And if someone hurt me, I sure as hell didn't forgive.

But then, I became I mom.

I grew you in my womb. I grew and I grew and I grew.  And then one day, at the break of dawn, I laid on an operating table scared to death.  I had my abdomen sliced open, my organs pushed around and then, I heard your cry.  In that moment, my world changed forever.



For the first time in 28 years, I had a purpose so much bigger than my egotistical self.  I had a daughter of my own.  It was now my job to teach you, but little did I know you'd teach me more in these two years than I could ever teach you.

You've taught me the true meaning of love.  Not only how to love you, but how to love others.

You've taught me empathy.

You've taught me patience, boy have you taught me patience.

You've taught me how to be selfless.  

You've taught me how to slow down, to soak in all these moments of joy.

Watching you, in your Paw Patrol hat and sparkly princess sunglasses, run thru the front yard playing in the sprinkler.  Man...these are the moments.  The joy I feel watching you grin from ear to ear is indescribable.

Everyday I spend loving you girls, teaching you, worrying about you, disciplining you, and loving you girls some more.  All in hopes that you'll grow into strong, courageous, brave young women.



But the truth is, I wasn't strong, nor brave....nor courageous before you.

You girls make me strong.

You make me brave

You make me courageous.

Someday, many years from now, you'll think you're so tough.  You'll drive fast, you'll drink too much and curse like a sailor. You'll never slow down to soak in the world around you. You'll be selfish. You'll judge. And if someone hurts you, you sure as hell won't forgive.

But then, you'll fall in love and have babies of your own.  And you'll become soft.  You'll become empathetic.  You'll learn the true meaning selflessness.

You'll do more laundry than you ever could've imagined.

You'll still drink your wine, but just a glass because you're too tired after one to even think of having another.

You'll love deeper.  You won't sweat the small stuff.  You'll forgive.

You'll be more vulnerable than you could've ever imagined. And it'll scare the hell out of you.

And maybe motherhood will break you, as it did me.  You may wake up one day and feel like you've lost your mind.  You may be scared, so so scared.  But honey, you'll be ok.  Because that little girl will give you purpose. She'll give you a reason to keep fighting.  Heck, you'll even be crazy enough to have another!



So while today is all about honoring me, sweetheart, I want to honor you.  You make me better.  You soften my tough edges, you slow me down. Every single solitary day, I thank the Lord for choosing me.  For choosing me to be your mommy.

That in itself is the best gift I'll ever, ever receive.


Love,
Mom

Monday, May 1, 2017

SJ || Five Months

Phew.  Well, that was fast.  April flew by in a whirlwind of new routines and lots of rain.  Lots and lots of rain.

As of May 3rd, I've officially been back to work for a month, and I can honestly say, I've never felt better. Yes, it's definitely hard leaving my kiddos and some days are harder than others.  However, I feel very much at peace knowing that they're in wonderful hands.  It's because of these hands that I get to take on a new career that has reignited a fire inside me that I was worried was gone.

I plan to share more details about what I'm up to professional, but for now, let's just talk all things Sadie (and Lara, of course).  This little soul is such a blessing to our chaotic world.  


Lara has had a tough, tough weekend.  She decided she hates her bed. Like, vehemently hates it.  She wants nothing to do with her bed, or really her room in general.  Saturday night was filled with lots of tears, and not just Lara's tears.  During the knock down battle that ensued with bedtime, she decided to pick up her sound machine and proceeded to bang it over and over again on the inside of her door.  All the while, Sadie snoozed away in the room next door.

I know this too shall pass, but when? 

Speaking of time passing by, how is this little one quickly approaching half a year in our lives?!?!?! 



Sadie June: By The Month

Today, Miss Sadie June is officially 5 months old!



Sadie Weighs .....13 lbs, 13 oz (34th percentile)

Sadie's Height.....24" (21st percentile)


Sadie is Wearing.....I squeeze her into my favorite 3-6 month items, but mostly 6 month and up 

Sadie is Sleeping....ON HER TUMMY.  Which totally freaked us out in the beginning, but per the doc, because her head control is so strong, we're not to be concerned.  Over the past week or so, she's been needing a bottle in the middle of the night (somewhere between 2-4:00 am). We just started doing a little cereal in her bedtime bottle and we're hoping that will do the trick.  


Sadie is Eating.....6-7 oz and still eating every 3 hours or so.  More big news on the eating front...baby girl is working on solids!  We tried peas and surprise surprise, she hated them.  And listen, I don't blame her.  When it comes to pureed peas, it's like I'm feeling my child her own diarrhea. Otherwise, just a little rice cereal.   

Sadie Loves.....being tickled in her little neck rolls.  And baths, she loves bath time.  She acts so relaxed, and that's a far cry from her sis.  She's our little water baby and I can't wait to see her test out the pool this summer!

Sadie Hates....this is always the hardest one for me to answer month after month, because she is literally the most easy going kid.  She's had a terrible, I mean terrible (like bleeding) diaper rash and that doesn't even seem to phase her.  The only time she really cries is when she's hungry. Or loud noises.  She hates anything that surprises her.


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