Hey there, friends! Wow – it feels like forever since I’ve sat down and written a personal update for you all. In “blog time,” it really has been forever…not since we first moved into this house last summer! As most of you know, it’s been a big few months around here with a move, a new house, and a new baby over the summer. And then along came the holidays and half our household’s birthdays; and man, it feels like I am just now catching my breath. Truth be told, life has been a bit…what’s the right word? Full? Busy? Chaotic? Exhausting? A blur? Yes, yes, yes, yes and yes. But it’s all good. Really. We’re slowly adjusting to our new normal as a family of 5, slowly starting to feel at home here in Virginia, and slowly getting our feet back under us after a whirlwind 6 months! Let me catch you up on it all!
Pssst – all the pictures in this post are from our newborn family shoot right after Jack’s birth (courtesy of Lyon Photography). Although they were a few months ago, I wanted to share a few from this special time!
So…I think the main thing you all want to know is…
How’s Baby Jack?
He’s awesome. Truly awesome. He really has the sweetest disposition, gives the biggest grins I’ve ever seen on a baby, and is a big ol’ chubby, rolly thing.
We all love him to pieces…including 3-year-old Sam. Sam was the biggest wild card in welcoming Jack into our family. Although he’d coo over other babies and had his own baby doll, we didn’t quite know how he’d take to being displaced as the “baby of the family.” From day 1, he’s been nothing but smitten with Jack, is a wonderful helper, and I just know in my heart they are going to grow up being the best of friends!
How’s Jack sleeping? Everyone always asks, so I’ll share! From about 3 weeks on he was practically sleeping through the night. He’d go from 8-3, feed once, and then sleep until morning. Everyone, from friends and family to our pediatrician, reminded us…often…how lucky we were. Well…right around Thanksgiving our luck must have run out because Jack sleep regressed to a more typical newborn schedule of waking every 2.5-3 hours and is seemingly sticking to it. Hurumph. I wish I could say that I’ve been handling it like a rockstar but really…to go from getting really decent rest to outright horrible sleep has been rather rough on me …so go easy on me if there are lots of typos in my posts 😉
And how is it being mama to three? It’s actually really, really good. Yes, there are times when I’m legitimately overwhelmed by all their various needs, especially since their ages are spread out (8, 3 and 4 months). And I seem to be constantly loosing my marbles over the noise (why are my boys SOOO loud!!), the toys, the clutter, and the clothes that seem to be everywhere. But overall, it’s good. I like the business that a full household brings, and I am my best self when I have lots to do. That’s not to say I’m doing all that great juggling it all. I’m tired. I’m scattered. And I know I’m dropping balls, forgetting things, and cutting deadlines way too close. But my mama heart has never felt fuller…so I know the rest will come in time.
How’s Life In Virginia?
It’s pretty wonderful. I definitely underestimated how good…like deep down good…it would feel to be back in our home town. Although I’ve never really wanted to come back here to live, there’s been something so incredibly comforting about being somewhere we know so well, with so many friends and family close by. My Dad will randomly stop by to say hi, I can call my niece to babysit, we’ve connected with long-lost friends, and we had both Thanksgiving and Christmas surrounded by family. These are all things we’ve never really had in 14 years of marriage.
Our home is, by far, my favorite that we’ve ever lived in. Maybe it’s because the architecture, layout and landscaping are so similar to what I grew up in. But I also think it’s because I wasted no time getting this house up and running. Although I have small projects I want to finish here and there (throw pillows, a few closet makeovers to improve function, etc), on the whole, it feels very lived in, complete, and homey…all things I can almost never say just 6 months after moving in. I am so READY to start sharing these spaces with you in the coming weeks!
My Word of the Year
As many of you know, I’ve been on a quest for simplification in recent years. Don’t get me wrong…I love the idea of simplification. But with three kids and a busy (and often messy!) home business, I’ve accepted that my ideal of “simple” is not going to happen. At least not right now. However, another word has been ping-ponging around my mind constantly over the last few months, so I decided to dive in and explore it some more. These definitions truly couldn’t resonate with me more:
- Improve by making small changes
- Subtle but accurate
- Remove unwanted elements
So, what’s the word? Refine. From the items in our home and the events on our calendar, to the clothes on my back and aspects of my business, refinement…not simplification…is what my heart seems to be seeking. I want to clear away unwanted and unneeded elements…find just the right fit, solution, offerings and pair of jeans (ha!) so that there is no excess, no fuss, no unnecessary thought, and no wasted efforts. In all things. I think this attempt to refine our home and life will ultimately result in more simplified days but in a way that feels more authentic and obtainable for our season of life.
What’s the plan for 2020?
While I want to refine our home and my wardrobe, the word refine will also play a major part in driving my choices and decisions for the blog. If you saw my Insta post on New Year’s Day, you saw that I have big hopes for this little corner of the web in 2020. This time last year, I was filled with many of the same dreams and plans, but a cross-country move and a new baby didn’t allow me the mental bandwidth (or time!) to make much of it happen. But I’m now ready to shift into gear and bring a lot of these ideas and plans to life! With the concept of refinement leading the way, I am anxious to strip away the excess and time-sucking aspects of my business and hone in on the best content and products you need!
Starting today, I am back to posting twice/week (hurray!). Honestly, one post/week was already proving challenging with a baby and toddler under foot, but I have plans coming together that will allow me to work a little more consistently so that I can be here more often. I’m also striving to bring you more organizing content and Cricut tutorials (my two most popular topics), shorter posts (I swear I’m trying!), regular personal updates (look for these coffee breaks the first Friday of every month), and new products and courses that will help you create the home and crafts you love! While 2019 was the year of sitting tight and holding steady (from a business perspective), I am ready and hopeful for 2020 to be the year of plans and dreams realized!
Mom Hacks that Are Seriously Saving My Sanity Right Now
The last few months have honestly been a bit of a blur. Here are some small easy things that are helping me keep my head above water that might help you through a busy season too!
- Swig coffee mug (it’s like a Yeti, just a little cuter!) – Without fail, every time I pour a hot cup of coffee (my life line these days!), someone needs me. And by the time I pick up my coffee again, it’s warm. And I hate lukewarm coffee. So I splurged on this “fancy mug” while in a boutique around the holidays, and it’s my favorite thing ever. Now, I can close it up any time I get pulled away, and when I do finally get to sit and sip, my coffee is still piping hot!
- Bags of chopped onions in the freezer section – Does everyone know about this and I am just suuuuuper late to the game? It’s not that chopping an onion is all that hard, but on busy weeknights when everyone’s starving and I just can’t seem to get dinner on the table fast enough, being able to throw these right into a hot skillet is a big time and hassle saver!
- Grocery Pickup – I’ve already sung the praises of grocery pickup here, but I have to just reiterate that it’s pretty much the best.thing.ever to not have to drag my children through the grocery store. I tell every Mom I know to try it just once, because it will seriously change your life!
- Order online, pickup in store. This is essentially the same thing as grocery pickup, just for other things and stores (I used it a bunch over the holidays.) For me, my brain can’t focus in store aisles when I have a screaming baby and a wandering toddler in tow. Even with a list, I am constantly forgetting things or walking around in circles unable to find what I’m looking for. Ordering online and picking up in store ensures I get the items I need, without having to pay for shipping and deal with wasteful boxes/packaging over and over.
- Staying off social media – I will admit that I suffer from a pretty hearty lack of self-confidence. Well…nothing will shake an already shaky Mom/Blogger/Creative/Spouse more than continuously comparing her self worth, capabilities, and productiveness to another’s social media post(s). I was tired of feeling like I wasn’t enough, so I stepped away from all social media for the month of December and instantly felt better. Although I did feel in the dark about things (it really is amazing what you learn on social media!), my mood, attitude and overall disposition noticeably improved. I don’t know how long I’ll stay away, but the break has been refreshing!
Helpful Posts for January
With the New Year here, I’m sure most of us having organizing and decluttering on the brain (I sure do! Our donate pile keeps growing and growing!). I have a few fun DIY organizing posts coming up in the next few weeks, but I also wanted to highlight these past posts that are both timely and helpful in case you need some extra motivation or help in the decluttering department!
Alright friends! Although I didn’t quite capture everything going on here in the last few months, I hope you enjoyed this snapshot of what life’s like around here these days! I hope you and yours had a wonderful holiday season and very Happy New Year! Thanks for sticking around with me all these years, and I promise, 2020’s gonna be a good one around here!Posted In Life, Virginia 2