Tuesday, May 31, 2016

lucky number seven.

My favorite things:
  • The backyard. I love sitting on my blanket and watching Mom water plants and Beau play with his ball. It's nice and shady in the morning so we spend a lot of time out there before it gets hot. 
  • I like babbling and hearing how loud my voice can get and making raspberries on someone's shoulder. 
  • My baby gang! I've got some pals that I've known since I was about 2 1/2 months old and we get together for park dates almost weekly and they are my faves! 
My least favorite things: 
  • Teething. I'm working on my 6th tooth and it's the worst. 
  • Not being able to see Mom. As long as I have eyes on her, I'm happy.
Apparently no matter how much I wish it would slow down even just a little, the months are flying by and this little ham is getting bigger and bigger every day. Just a few months ago, she couldn't even hold her own head up and now she has teeth and eats real people food and she's a hop skip and a jump away from being mobile. I wished for time to move so quickly when she was a newborn because everything about her terrified me and I just wanted her to be big and self-sufficient. Now I'm wishing for time to slow down because I know the sweetness of the little baby phase is short lived and I'm finding I love it much more than I thought I would. 

This past month, I finally felt really comfortable in my role as a Mama. We tried new things and hit milestones and it didn't all feel like I was playing the role of 'new mother', pretending to know what I was doing. I actually kind of knew what I was doing! And when I didn't (and don't) which is about half the time, I felt comfortable shrugging and letting it go or making decisions that felt right for us. That might not seem noteworthy, but it's been a slow journey towards confidence in mothering for me, so it felt like a victorious month!

Here's what we've been up to this month:

Our backyard hangout. 

We frequent the zoo in the mornings when it's quiet and not too hot and we visit our faves. (Also there's a baby boom at our zoo: a baby giraffe, a baby tiger, and two baby gorillas!)

We hosted our Annual Derby Party and Eva was quite the hostess. 

The early morning wake up crew loving on their Mama.

...and Dad gets the evening shift of snuggles. 

I could watch this baby sleep all day. 

Eva grabbed this little lady off the shelf at Target and chewed off the tag, so we brought the little babe home. 

She's not the most natural first time mother... 

...but she's catching on. 

These two... Heart. Eyes. 

Mom discovered Snapchat this month! 

Now that she eats real food, Beau knows the best spot in the house. 

First time in a big pool! 
Eating cucumbers from the garden.

A behind the scenes shot of the monthly photo model and her BFF.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

wine and cheese and girl talk.

A few weeks ago, my friend Amanda asked me to help her host a wine and cheese pairing to feature on her blog. Now, Amanda is a foodie and I am not. She loves to cook and bake and use ingredients that don't come in a box and I could happily live on nothing but Lucky Charms and corn dogs for the rest of my life. This is not an exaggeration. So when she asked me to help her with the pairing, I did my very best to act like a grown up and come up with a legit wine list. It was a good challenge and I got quite the education on wine pairings. I even snuck a homebrew paring in there! Once we had the cheeses and wines (and beer) ready to go and Amanda had everything she needed for a beautiful set-up, she invited a bunch of girls over to drink and eat and be merry.

I'm going to take a moment right now to encourage you to click over to Amanda's blog, Saying Something Clever, and read the write up of our lovely wine and cheese pairing and to see more gorgeous photos by Amanda Lenhardt. And then, once you finished reading all the interesting things we have to say about wine and cheese, keep scrolling and enjoy her other fabulous recipes, many of which I've had the pleasure of enjoying because she is not only a good cook, but a good sharer, as well. And then, when you're good and hungry and feeling very jealous because Amanda shares her good food with me, go follow her on Instagram @uhmandatodd and she'll fill your feed with beautiful pictures of the things she makes. You're welcome.)

It was such a magical little evening. After we tasted wines and talked all about which ones we liked and which we weren't crazy about, we all gathered on blankets laid out in the lawn and enjoyed the short lived coolness of a Spring evening in Florida.

Some of us knew each other well and others were just meeting for the first time, but soon we started sharing our hearts and our lives with each other and it didn't take long for it to feel like we had all been friends since way back when. In just a short hour or so, we went from introductions to that most sacred of conversations; girl talk.

Once upon a time, when I was in high school and college, it used to feel intimidating to be surrounded by a group of girls I didn't know. I remember feeling anxious and immediately comparing myself to them and feeling like I was coming up short. And usually you could tell by the guarded conversation and side eyes we were giving each other's outfits that everyone else felt the same insecurities. I am thankful for the ways I've grown comfortable in my own skin and discovered the real beauty is in building other women up instead of tearing them down and learning from them and appreciating our unique stories instead of comparing myself to them.

That night, surrounded by beautiful girls who come from all corners of life, sitting stretched out on blankets in a backyard in Florida, wine in hand and laughter on our lips, I felt honored to be a girl and get an evening to relish in the sweetness of girl talk.