With Evelyn’s due date right around the corner (July 6th), we are counting the limited days we have left as a family three. It’s definitely bittersweet…I’m sure it’s going to be hard to see Grady go from my baby to the big boy of the family. But we are also so excited to meet this little angel and watch him fully embrace his new role as a big brother.
As I look back over these past 9 months and all of the heavy decisions we made along the way, I can honestly say that I am so happy with where we are. The decision to stay at home with Grady was never an easy one, but it is the best decision of my life. I have learned so much about myself, motherhood, and happiness over these past few months. And while we have faced plenty of challenges along the way with selling the house and preparing our new home, we have also seized our opportunity to fully relish our time together. Grady and I have developed a bond even stronger than I ever thought possible…and there is absolutely nothing in this world that can replace that. He continues to push me and to teach me on a daily basis, and I only expect for him to challenge me further as the days progress. Obviously, I wouldn’t have it any other way!
I often get asked about the status of starting my business. And honestly, I just have not had the time to concentrate on that at this point. While it is still very much a goal of mine, it is not my primary focus at the moment and will likely take a back seat until after we settle into our new home with our newest addition and I have the chance to evaluate any true opportunities. The interesting thing is that I don’t feel a huge urge to dive right into something….I am perfectly fulfilled staying at home with my babies. If you had told me that 5 years ago, I would have said you are crazy. But this journey has taught me to expect the unexpected and to truly appreciate the quiet and fleeting moments in life.
I have been working on some fun projects in our new home like the new Playroom and Evelyn’s nursery, so I will share that here soon! But I wanted to just give a quick update on what has been keeping us so busy these past few months. We are finally settled and counting down the days to being a Family of Four!
It has been a long few months and we are so thankful to our family for all of their support and of course our friends who have helped to keep us sane along the way!
We had the most magical day this weekend while discovering the gender of our next little babe. To be honest, John and I would have been thrilled with either a boy or girl (especially since I am a big proponent of Team Boy these days thanks to G)…but when the confetti popped pink, it was just an insanely emotional moment to know we have been blessed with one of each. I have always dreamed to have a little girl of my own, so this is truly a dream come true for me.
We originally planned to do a super simple photo with just Grady, John,and myself to share with family and friends. But after John and I started pulling everything together, we wanted our parents to be there with all of our closest ‘friends’ (really, they are more like family) for our special moment. We threw it out there to everyone as a totally optional and small gathering….and in true fashion, they all showed perfect support and EVERYONE wanted to come! So of course, we couldn’t NOT do something special to celebrate the occasion.
Since we did Grady’s gender reveal in the Oak trees outside, we thought it would be fun to do something different and do this one on the beach overlooking the ocean. We ended up at a pavilion at Phipps Ocean Park and it was a perfect venue for our intimate affair. It was a bit too windy to do the confetti box overlooking the ocean, but there was a beautiful shaded tree that worked perfectly just a few yards away that we were able to use.
Of course my mom was my savior and helped to take the event to the next level. She handmade the garland, centerpieces, cute Beach sign, and onesie cake (as well as the reveal box). I created some signage and banners and pulled together some fun pink and blue items for the table…and I think it came together perfectly! We literally pulled it all together in just over a week after deciding to make it more of an occasion rather than just a gathering, and I honestly could not be happier with the way it turned out. It was truly special: A beautiful, breezy south Florida winter day with our loved ones.Life is genuinely beautiful when you take the time to celebrate the little moments.
I am so excited to start fully planning the arrival of our little girl! She is already so loved by so many and I cannot wait to share the beauty of the world with her.
Grady and I have been thoroughly enjoying my time at home with him. We have been staying very busy and working on all sorts of projects (and of course spending lots of time playing and exploring!). One project we worked on are these Valentine’s treats for his favorite people. We originally decided to make the large version of this for daddy as seen on Pinterest. We then thought that doing “mini” versions for some of his other Valentines could be super fun!
We found the tackle boxes and Candy at Walmart which made it really convenient. The mini version boxes measure approximately 3″ x 6″ and cost less than $3 each.
Here is a photo of the different types of candy we purchased to make the tackle boxes (we needed more options to be able to make the larger version for dad, but you could easily buy much less for the mini versions).
We created tags on my Silhouette Machine for the final touch. I love the way they turned out!
I have to say, doing these sorts of projects with a toddler around can seem challenging (and they are definitely be more work to have them involved), but it makes it so much more fun. He loved all of the colors of the candies and shaking all of the bags while I did the main sorting and compiling. We can’t wait to share these with all of his loves!
I also wanted to share Grady’s Valentine’s Day gift I made him for some inspiration. I love putting little baskets together so I definitely had fun with this one. Here is what I included:
- Everyone Says I Love You pop-up book (G is obsessed with pop-up’s so I love how this is Vday-oriented and shows different “I Love You” languages all over the world) from Amazon
- Baby’s First Words Book
- What do you Love About You? Book (I love the message of this book)
- Love from The Hungry Caterpillar book
- XO Magnetic Puzzle from Target Dollar Section
- Lion Jellycat stuffed animal
- Little Red Car from Ikea
- Dinosaur Puppet from Ikea
- Tiger Valentine cup from Target
- Valentine Fork and Spoon from Target Dollar Section
- Stacks of Vday candy in clear boxes (boxes are from Hobby Lobby Jewelry Section)
I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine’s day! xoxoxox
What an amazing few weeks it has been prepping for Christmas! I hope all of you have enjoyed the little moments as much as we have. It truly is a beautiful time of the year.
As a young family, it’s been super important for us to try to build our own traditions. John and I think about it often and try to make an effort to create consistent moments that our kids can look back on and feel the love in their memories. Since our extended families have drifted away from our old traditions, we both wanted something on Christmas Eve that we could start this year and build on each year as our kids grow. So, we had a full-on Santa Cookie baking day — full of Christmas music, lots of yummy decorations, a yummy warm meal at the end of the day, and our Christmas Jammies to wait for Santa.
I started with prepping all of the materials before my sister and her family arrived. I pre-made the dough 2 nights prior so that it was nice and chilled for rolling out. The recipe we use is here (without the baking soda). I also made two types of icing that morning in several colors each — one batch of Royal Icing and one batch of softer cream cheese frosting (I figured this would be easier for the kids to work with). Then, I had way too much fun setting up a beautiful display all of our our goodies and decorations (a feast for the eyes!).
I bought us all coordinating aprons from Williams Sonoma so that we could get super festive and in the holiday spirit (I love that they make them in Kids’ sizes…the kiddos looked so adorable in them!). I rolled those up and tied them in ribbons to display on a cake stand to surprise the kids with some fun when they arrived.
When everyone arrived we got to work — rolling dough, cutting shapes, baking cookies, and eventually decorating each one. I just love how the kids’ cookies turned out. The personality of each one is so fun to see.
It was a TON of work, but so worth it. It really was such an amazing day and such a fun time. The kids had an absolute blast playing in the background and they thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the process with us (and sneaking LOTS of cookie dough bites!). The best part is we all had beautiful cookies to leave out for Santa that night.
Hopefully we can continue to build new traditions with our other holidays and Christmas will also continue to evolve. It is so fun creating these moments for our kids!
Today marks a new chapter in my life’s journey. Fair warning: it’s about to get real.
After almost 10 years of working at IMG in the corporate world, I am taking some time off to focus on family during the early years and to start a little business of my own at the same time. To say this was a difficult decision is an understatement. It has been a lot of weighing options, looking at pros and cons, and going back and forth about where we ultimately wanted to be. But in the end, it’s my gut that led me to this decision. And it feels so good and so right.
I recently looked back on some journal entries I had 4-6 years ago. At the time, I was SO TORN about the direction of my life. In my mid to late twenties, I was thriving on youth and success…and I wanted as much as possible. I didn’t think I could have kids and focus on a career — I knew that either my career or my children would pay the price. The funny thing is, I still come to that same realization. I can’t have both. But what I want is so different than what I thought I wanted during those earlier journal entries. From the moment I learned I was pregnant, my entire world shifted. I know that sounds so cliche, but it is the only way to describe it. Since becoming a mother, I no longer thrive on self-fulfilling elements….I truly care only for enriching the life of my son and family.
While being the best mom I can be is obviously the MOST important thing to me, there are other dreams I am seizing at the same time. It’s been my ultimate dream to build and run a business of my own, so this opportunity is an incredibly exciting moment for me. It is definitely going to be quite a journey, and I’m not sure where it will go. Will it be a success or a failure? Will I be happy out of the corporate world or miserable? Will I have the time to be a mother and build a business? There’s still a lot of unknowns and lot of work to do, but I am excited for the challenge… and happy for the chance to be doing it while giving my son everything he deserves.
I hope to use this blog as a sounding board for my journey and I look forward to sharing it with you all. It may not be pretty, but hopefully it’s true to me.
As I close this chapter, here’s a fun look at some of my fondest memories from my decade with IMG (they could literally go on and on). I am eternally grateful for the lifelong friends I have met all over the globe and the amazing business skills I have gained along the way. I am a richer person in the ways it matters most.
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