lessons learned, 2016.

No.1: Everyone says to find your tribe and I agree 100% that having a community to support you is key to living a fulfilled life. Although, I feel like most people use the phrase to be exclusionary. The kind of thought that once you find your tribe, that's it. What I have found this year, is that the way your tribe evolves and grows is almost a direct reflection of the love and light that you are putting out into the world. This year I grew closer with friends I've known longer than I've not, I've made an entirely new set of friendships, and some friendships have taken on  smaller, though no less important roles. I will say that this represents substantial growth from my perspective last year. Some experiences last year left me carrying jaded views into 2016, but I've been throwing grace around like confetti to every relationship I have and learning the importance of meeting people where they are. It's a lot easier to approach relationships with love when you aren't projecting who you want someone to be on them but instead love the heck out of them just where they are. 

No.2: Being honest with yourself isn't easy but it's necessary. We all have little stories that we tell ourselves for some reason or another. Maybe it's something to excuse away bad behavior from your past or a little lie you've convinced yourself is truth out of habit. This year I really worked hard to start chipping away at my truth and understand why I behave the way I do. Why am I quick to say no? Why have allowed myself to hold on to resentment? Why am I not motivated to create the life I want for myself? The answers (and actions you take) after asking yourself the hard questions, help you become the person you were meant to be. And if you're really feeling brave, present your short comings to someone you love and trust and have them help keep you accountable for working on better habits. I do this almost daily with Mike. I try to explain my actions or shortcomings in our marriage and then ask for forgiveness, guidance, or acceptance over and over again. It has been extremely healing and encouraging.

No.3: Fear can't run your life. I have had a lot of big ideas this year. Many, I haven't seen even a quarter of the way through. I give up before I even get started out of fear that my idea or product won't be received well. Mike and I recently took a trip to Puerto Rico. While we were waiting for our connecting flight in Tampa, I spotted a book I've been meaning to read, Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. In it, Gilbert likens her goal to live a create life as a road trip with herself, creativity, and fear. She continues to describe the trip and speak directly to fear, stating that he is welcome to come along on the trip but that he can not call the shots. While reading her words I realized that on my current journey, fear is in the drivers seat. Steering me away from opportunities, blasting the music too loud, and making it easy to lose focus. So my goal for next year is to be intentional. I want to be intentional about the life I'm creating without succumbing to fear. 

No.4: Stop saying no out of cowardice. This kind of piggybacks off of point No.3 but it seriously needs to be stated over again. This year I said no to so many things that I didn't even realize it until the last days of December. I was looking at all the creatives I follow put together their 'Best of 2016' posts only to realize that I only shot like 3 times. Three. All year. And I didn't even feel bad about it until I realized why. I was 'Cowardly Lion'ing' my life. Friends reached out to me for design work and the answer was an automatic no. Followed by something like I just had a baby or my 9 to 5 is stress enough. People reach out to me to shoot their moments and the no's followed there as well. I was afraid that whatever I did wouldn't live up to what people thought I could do. That's crazy! They were coming to me because they had saw something I'd previously done or just down right believed in me and I was shooting them down with a 'no' that was pretty much saying I know you believe in me but I don't believe in myself. That almost brings tears to type. But it's true and I'm working on kicking that habit of 'no'. Good riddance. 

No.5: Love yourself, now. Like in this moment, period. So let me share a little bit about my personal struggle. When I get pregnant, I know I am going to be sick for 10 months. And while I loathe throwing up every morning, part of me likes it because I get to stay small and not pack on the pounds. During both of my pregnancies, I delivered not weighing more than 15 pounds of the weight I started at. None of this is to brag, but to help you understand where the insecurities come from. The weeks spent breast feeding the boys are even better! The pounds drop and in no time I'm skinnier than I was before the pregnancy and I put the completely unrealistic goal of staying that small on top of an ideal that is far to fragile to attain. But of course the weight creeps back up leaving me feeling like I let someone down. Who? IDK. The Internet telling me it's natural to snapback? Y'all. Can we leave in 2016 all versions of any word that make a woman feel like she has to rush to not look like she JUST HAD A BABY? The pressure to be fit right after you have a baby is terrifying and ridiculous. I have had to remind myself constantly that how I am right now, is not only enough, but it's perfect. Belly over the top of my jeans, perfection. I take a selfie for myself in every moment that I'm feeling down right gorgeous. One with the tummy sucked in and then one with it all hanging out. I'm going to do it until I feel like both versions of myself are sexy, desirable, and bad ass. If you get to feeling down about yourself I say you do it with me. We don't have to swap selfies or anything but let me know if it helps! It's doing a lot to help me love myself as I am, right now.

So there we have it. 2016 seemed to really fly by without much of an impact but I guess all it took was a little bit of reflection for me to truly feel the weight it dropped on my shoulders. Here's to chipping away at making 2017 the best year yet. 

+ Photo above taken by Stephanie She

Dear Leo.

Since I didn't write you any letters and have definitely felt guilty for it, I figured I should definitely document how you made it into this world. If we were to take your story all the way back to the beginning, it all started with a bit of a surprise. 

Your dad and I knew we wanted to have two babies pretty close together. Our plan was to start trying again in December but being the schemer that I am, I started to think how much cooler it would be if I could surprise him with the news at Christmas. I mean, there isn't a better gift than another baby, right? So I consulted my girls (your aunts Vanessa, Tierra, and Ryan) and we all concluded that it was a great idea... if I could pull it off. I waited for your dad to make a day work trip and then off I went to get my IUD taken out. My doctor told me not to get my hopes up. That it could take a while to get pregnant after you come off that type of birth control. 

It literally took a month. When your dad was playing with Dean, I would be as stealthy as I could to take a test. I hid pregnancy test boxes all the places I knew he'd never look (if you need to hide something for him, underneath the bookshelf is your best bet). Once I got the positive I knew I wouldn't be able to keep it to myself. Your aunts were the only ones to know and then I couldn't take it anymore. So much for making it to Christmas. I put the positive test in a little bag that I keep pens in and then I made my way downstairs where your dad had a sleeping Dean in his arms. I handed him the bag and asked if he could get one of the pens for me. It took a few pulls out of the bag before he got to the test. Holding your big brother, he started to cry happy tears. Then we stood there holding each other and crying as he tried to put together the pieces of how I could possibly even be pregnant so I filled him in on my little scheme. We were both overjoyed. 

Your time in my belly went so much faster than your brothers, probably because we were busy chasing him around. It was no less special though. You and I would still have our quiet time where I would sing you songs and tell you all the things I was feeling. I'm not sure why in my head I feel like mama's and the baby they are carrying have telepathic powers but I swear I felt like you were listening without even having to say a word. I felt more confident this time around. More secure. 

Well the weeks and the months flew by and we were left staring the week of your due date in the eyes. I was over being pregnant at this point. I loved our time together, but I was tired of the aching and peeing 100 times a night. I just wanted to meet you. On July 29th we suspected that your time was coming soon. The night before, I felt contractions all through the night but didn't bother waking up your dad to get his hopes up, your brother was a whole week late after all. The next morning I casually mentioned to him that I thought we were getting close. We counted contractions through the entire day. The contractions were getting stronger but weren't extremely consistent until your dad went to get your brother from daycare. They were about a minute long and 8 minutes apart when they made it back to the house so we called your Gigi to come get your brother, just in case. 

By the time she arrived they were 7ish minutes apart. We agreed that since we live a little further from the hospital (and it was rush hour) that I would go ahead and call my doctor and tell him they were 5 minutes apart. He told us to come on in. Oh. Crap. This is happening. We packed Dean in the car to head to Gigi's house and I cried. Not that I was sad about bringing you home but this was my last day, hours even, of just having your big brother as my only baby. Your dad held me for a while and then we got back to loading up the car and headed on our way. 

We got to the hospital at 7:30pm. From the beginning, it wasn't how I remembered before. We went into a little office to register and then they sat me in the lobby to wait for my room to be ready. It felt like forever. By this time I had stopped timing the contractions because they were 5 minutes apart, for sure, and they hurt way too much to keep fiddling with that stupid app. I swear we sat in the lobby for an hour (it was at least 30 minutes) before we got to our room. 

The nurse came in to check how far along I was and then the disappointment set in. 1 1/2cm. An entire 8 1/2cm to go. By now, it's around 9pm and I'm thinking it's going to be a while before I make any real progress but dammit, this really hurts. We talk with the nurse and because we figure have so much further to go, we'll save the epidural for later but try some other pain medications in the meantime to try and alleviate some of the pain now. Long story short, one shot in each butt cheek, some pills, and a bunch of hot packs later nothing is helping and the pain is getting worse. I wasn't stalking the clock (it seems not to move when you are going through contractions) but now it's around 11pm. The nurse checks again and boom. 8cm. What. The. Heck. No wonder this hurts so bad. 

At this point everyone is in a frenzy. I'm screaming to Mike that I don't want to have this baby naturally, cause.. ouch! The nurse is frantic because they anesthesiologist is tied up with other patients and there are whispers going around that an epidural just might not happen. Enter my doctor who is as happy and calm as if none of this is happening around him and about 8 other people. It was a packed house. Finally the anesthesiologist enters and my doctor lets me know that I can get it but he's not sure how much it will help at this point. And while I've done most of the hard work already (we were ready to push pretty much) I wanted any relief possible even if it didn't kick in until the week after. I just wanted the drugs! The hardest thing I've ever done in my life, is get an epidural while trying to hold in a baby that clearly wants to come out. And as hard as it was and as much as I wouldn't choose to go natural again, I'm in awe of how our bodies are made to perform miracles. I got the epidural, took a breath for 2 minutes, pushed about four times (they said you could have come on the first push but the nurses weren't ready), and there you were. Painfully broad shoulders and all. 

12:11am, July 30th, 2016. You are here. Every single pain, worth it. Every time I had to get up to pee in the middle of the night, forgiven. You are calm and sweet and everything I prayed for. Your dad was my rock in getting you here. I can't wait for you and your brother to fully experience this extents that he will go to for your happiness and well being. Bunny, I would have split in two if you weren't by my side. 

The first time your big brother saw you. I am not sure if another moment will ever be as sweet as this one was!

The first time your big brother saw you. I am not sure if another moment will ever be as sweet as this one was!

Your brother, Gigi, Grandpa Gregg, Granny, Papa, and aunts (aforementioned) were all there is the next few days to meet you. They agree you're perfect. You were love at first sight for all of us but your big brother in particular has claimed you for his own.

This is a daily occurrence now. He can not get enough of his  Yee-Yoh .

This is a daily occurrence now. He can not get enough of his Yee-Yoh.

Dear Leo, Welcome to the wolf pack.

10 Tips for Traveling With an Infant.

After testing it out, it's time that I share with you our 10 tips for traveling with an infant. Earlier this summer we took Dean, then just over 3 months old, on a total of four flights and two four hour car rides within about a week and a half. I did all the research I possibly could on Pinterest and asked friends for their tips as well so I wasn't completely freaking out the entire time but could feel in control. Here's what we learned. 

  1. Anything can be a toy, but packing a new toy is a good idea. This was one of the tips I took from Pinterest. Before our trip I went and raided Target's infant toy section. I found a few items on clearance (like Sophie the Giraffe, that he still loves to gnaw on) and then put them away so that during our flight they were new and would be interesting to him. This was particularly useful as the plane was getting ready to descend and he was getting restless. We also found that an empty water bottle that you could squeeze and make noise with got the job done too after the novelty of his new toys wore off. 
  2. Find and use the family bathroom. This one seems obvious but when the family bathroom is occupied (by a man and his dog) and you've got a fussy baby it may seem easier to just go into the women's restroom alone and get the changing done with. Don't. It is so worth the wait to get the extra real estate. If baby screams during diaper changes you don't have to see anyone's looks, you can take a potty break too, and if you're traveling with someone they are there to help out. I may never use the regular restrooms again.
  3. Never be more than a minute away from a babies food. This one is a super win for breastfeeding mama's. However, I stopped breastfeeding so for us, our go to are the ready made bottles (we love these!). Having ready made bottles were a dream come true when Dean was over travel and ready to eat right in the moment. In addition to our ready made bottles we had disposable nipples ready to go as well. We still had enough from our stay at the hospital to get through our trip, but will be stocking up soon because this combo is perfect for running around town as well. We also had formula in a formula dispenser for just in case situations. My fear was that TSA would take our ready made but we made it through with 3 bottles for each flight. I had them in a separate bag that was easy to access that made going through security pretty easy. 
  4. The window seat is a baby's best friend. Dean loved staring out the window and propping him up on our laps so he could enjoy the view was one of the things that calmed him the most. Additionally, if baby is in the window seat you don't have to deal with people needing you to get up every time they need to stretch their legs or use the restroom.
  5. Curious George will always come through in the clutch. Whatever show your kids likes, keep it queued to get to it fast. While Dean may be a little too young to really get shows, Curious George is one that he will always settle down and look at. This came in handy on our road trip in the car for keeping him entertained after we passed the three hour mark. 
  6. The closer to nap time the better. This was a godsend for us. For the most part, Dean slept through his plane trips. We would keep him up through the process of going through security and getting ready to board. After boarding, we got him fed and he slept pretty soundly the entire way. While this also meant that flights were at odd ours like 5am and we had to be out of the house by 3am, it ended up great because he was still so sleepy!
  7. Stay humble or get humbled. No matter how amazing things are going, don't get cocky. This was my downfall. Dean was incredible on his flights and although we went completely across county he never adjusted to the time change which meant he stayed pretty much on his schedule from home. It was awesome, until it wasn't. One night about half way through the trip he decided he wasn't going to sleep. At all. It was the first time since his first weeks that I felt defeated. We muscled through it and things did look back up but I will never assume things will be perfect. Ever. Again.
  8. Pack Excedrin and don't be ashamed to use it. Seriously, I get headaches. Especially when I'm tired and my baby is fussy. In public I think we don't give ourselves enough grace so we add to the stress by just trying to keep everything together. Hand baby to whoever you may be traveling with, walk away, take the pills and return a new woman. 
  9. Organize your diaper bag for quick changes and access to the necessities. When I was pregnant my big splurge for myself was this Pacapod Firenze Diaper Bag. I caught it one sale and while even then it was still pricey, it was worth it when it came to organizing all of Dean's things so that we weren't digging into a bottomless pit when it was time to feed, play, or go through security. I plan on doing a review of my bag soon and how we used it to get through security quickly! In the mean time, here is a more budget friendly version
  10. Forgive yourself in advance for whatever may happen and screw what other people think. Your baby just hates flying and the person sitting next to you is disgusted? So what. That person is a jerk and your kid has just as much of a right to fly as they have to take their shoes off and expose their nasty feet or encroach on your arm rest. You are amazing and are doing your best and for every person who doesn't get why you are flying with your infant, there are three mama's or grandmother's on your flight who get it and will lend a helping hand. You got this!

These tips really helped us get through traveling with our babe with our heads not spinning. If you have any other questions drop them below and I'll respond there or in an additional post. 

Baby's First Month Essentials

We recently hit the first month mark with Dean and I figured I would share what made our first month a little bit smoother than I expected or bought us an extra minute or two of sleep! When I was researching what things to get before babies arrival, I read reviews and these are things that I saw came highly recommended or I bought late night on Amazon after realizing it was absolutely necessary! 

ONE // These zip up onesies are what we bought to bring Dean home from the hospital in. I scoured Etsy for weeks on end looking for the perfect set to bring him home in but after reading posts from a few experienced moms they recommended something easy so baby doesn't have to deal with the extra fuss. It was so easy to get him dressed to come home (he slept through it) and they are perfect for taking him to the doctors office because our pediatrician requires him to get down to a diaper. Seriously, at least buy one. They are always on sale online. I have yet to find them in store but they are worth ordering online. I will make sure Dean always has at least two in every size. 

TWO // This was one of those one a.m. Amazon purchases. Long before Dean was born I bought myself the Solly Baby wrap (next item) but it wasn't easy for Mike to put on and wear with confidence. For us to get something done or to soothe Dean this is the easiest way. The Baby Bjorn One was the perfect carrier for Mike to get use out of. We got the mesh one and its light and easy to wear. This also makes running errands super easy! Dean recently started to dislike being confined to his car seat/stroller so we take this every time we leave the house just in case. 

THREE // This is the wrap that I got for myself. I came across them on Instagram, dove into the rabbit hole of their entire feed, and decided to try one out. I love it! I can wear Dean super close to me (this wrap is more feels a lot more like skin to skin than wearing him in a carrier like the Baby Bjorn) and it's a sure fire way to get him to go to sleep if he's being fussy. There is a bit of a learning curve in wrapping it but it's definitely worth it and the brand has video tutorials on their website.

FOUR // This was another purchase we realized we needed during a late night feeding session. Dean had a bassinet next to our bed (that is now kept down stairs in the living room) but we all seemed to like being a little closer together. For Mike and I, having him in the bed is easier to put him down after feedings without waking him and I think he likes being able to see us. This co-sleeper was a happy medium to having him close without feeling like I could roll on him in the middle of the night. This is one of those things that is worth purchasing and seeing if it works for you! 

FIVE // I had Amazon Prime before Dean was born because I have the tendency to shop online a lot. It's always been great for buying things that you need soon but don't necessarily want to go to the store and pick up. Yep, I'm that lazy sometimes. In the first few weeks of Dean's life leaving the house didn't even seem like an option so this was perfect. I ordered bottle nipples, bottles, a bottle drying rack, extra pacifiers (where do they all go?!), and so much more. Prime offers free two day shipping, cheap one day shipping, and now even offers same day shipping in some areas (Atlanta included)! Seriously, at least get a free trial and use it during the first month. Thank me later. 

SIX // Oh, the Mamaroo. This is one of those purchases that I admittedly wanted because they have gotten really popular. It seemed as if every mom blog I read had one for their infant and they all sang its praises. I lucked up and found the previous model (they just released a new one) on sale at a children's boutique so I didn't feel bad about spending the dollars. While Dean was not too big of a fan of it when he was younger, once he hit the 3 week mark this has been my saving grace for taking a quick shower or putting him to sleep while I catch some extra z's in the morning! It is pricey so cross your fingers to find it on sale or put it one your baby shower registry!

SEVEN // We lucked up and moved into a neighborhood with great people when I was about six months pregnant. They brought us gifts when we moved in and for our housewarming and I seriously thought they couldn't get any better. That is until they dropped off homemade and frozen lunches/dinners and it was a GOD SEND! Seriously your brain is so foggy when you first get home with a newborn the last thing you want is to have the bewildered 'So what are we going to eat' conversation. If you're expecting or know someone who is stock up on frozen foods (or easy to reheat homemade dishes) and gift them to the new parents/yourself. They/you will be eternally grateful.

EIGHT // These swaddles were another item I had heard about just because they are super popular with mommy bloggers. However, they also come with a pricey price tag. I put a bunch of them in different patterns on my registry and got most of them! I don't have any other swaddle to compare them too but these are super soft (and get softer every wash)! They are also pretty big so they are good for draping over the couch when we are hanging out, using as blankets, or placing on the floor for tummy time. 

NINE // Our UPPAbaby Vista stroller system is seriously our best investment. We have the stroller, the car seat, the bassinet, and the toddler seat for when he gets a little older. The cool thing about it as well is that you can attach another seat once another baby comes into the picture and since Mike and I know we want another in the near-ish future this was huge for us. It rides super smooth and he falls asleep on every walk we take in it. The car seat by UPPAbaby is by far the easiest thing to install and makes trips that less stressful because it clicks right into the stroller. 

So there you have it! My top nine essentials for getting through the first month a little bit easier. I hope this helps some expecting mamas or mamas in those first few week trenches. Let me know if you get something off the list or have other things that worked amazing for you!!

 

What They Don't Tell You About Being Pregnant v.4.

Oh, there will be aftermath. 

Holy crap I wish I knew that there were things that you needed to know about life/body after baby. Not just the typical 'you'll need to take it slow and your body may be a little weird' advice. I'm talking feet swelling to the size of Shrek's to becoming a drama queen of epic proportions. Let's break this down a little further. 

1. The Tears- When Dean was born he had to stay in the hospital a few days longer than I did. I was warned while carrying him that women could be a little emotional while pregnant but no one warned me of how your feelings magnify within mere moments of having your baby. Sure, people told me I could be depressed and to call someone or a help line if I had depressing thoughts of hurting myself or the baby but what they didn't prep me for is how to understand your feelings when you're told you can't see or hold your baby for 24 hrs after birth (I swear the birth story is coming) or how you'll cry and want to curse everyone out when they dispatch you to go home and your babe has to stay. It get's better. Eventually you will get to bring your baby home but then you may find yourself crying on the toilet while looking at pictures of him in the hospital while he sleeps in the other room. I don't think I cried as much in the last four years as I did in the five days or so of our hospital experience. So. Many. Feelings. 

2. Walking on Clouds- A.k.a big fluffy swollen feet. This one came as a shock to me as I didn't have much swelling or tremendous growth in general while pregnant. I bought a pair of flats in a size eight as opposed to my usual seven so that they were comfy through the work day but that was about it. So when I looked down after a day of walking around the hospital and taking care of Dean while he was in the nursery and my feet were swollen into the shape of my shoes I was a little puzzled. Turns out it's completely normal and takes a few days to shake. I am happy to report Shrek now has his feet back. 

swollen.jpg

3. College Body - So this one was a pleasant surprise and I've debated about even mentioning it. After having Dean, I'm guessing I have breastfeeding to thank and not gaining a lot during pregnancy (not intentionally, read here), I am down to a weight I haven't seen since I was in college. I'm not going to lie, this was pretty amazing and it feels good to get into jeans that haven't fit in so long or that I bought hoping I'd fit them one day (why do we women do this?!). The hard part, keeping the weight off now that I don't have acid reflux to keep me from eating everything in sight. The reason I slipped this one in the post was not to brag but to tell you that you don't always have to expect the worse when it comes to your post baby body!

4. Gun Shy- I saved this one for last because well, it's a little TMI. If you are lucky enough (or unlucky, I guess however you choose to see it) to need stitches after baby is born due to tearing you will be scared to do anything other than pee for a while. Everything is sore (hey- you just had a baby come out of there) and every move you make that exerts any kind of effort feels like you are going to rip at the seams, literally. I won't tell you how long it was before I felt free to go again but it was a while and things do go back to normal. I promise!

This series was one of my favorites to write while pregnant! I think I may continue as things come to mind or as other friends start expecting. If you have had a little one and want to share something no one ever told you on the blog just let me know and I'll create a post to share we. We've gotta help each other out!

What They Don't Tell You About Being Pregnant v.3

Figuring out how to tell your boss you’re pregnant is scarier if you google it first.

So you’re pregnant. You’ve told your parents, your best friends, and close family but there is inevitably one person left looming over your head that has to know. Your boss. Perhaps, your situation is nothing like mine and telling your boss you’re knocked up could easily fit into one of the painless categories above because you two just get each other. This was far from the truth for me and I’m going to paint a picture for you that explains why.

Finding out we were pregnant was one of the best days of my life. We had a pretty strong feeling that I was but we kept taking test until we got the green light. I’ve never seen my husband smile in such a way until he saw that glorious pee stick. As momentous of an occasion this was it was shadowed by one small detail. This detail came in the form of a conversation with my boss at the time that said I had till December to find another job or I was gone. I cried in the office as he sat there. I cried to Mike when I got home and to my mom over the phone. I had no idea what to do, where to apply, and how to stop being so depressed. How do you tell a person that just threw the biggest fork in your road that you’re pregnant?

In my case, you don’t. A caveat to this news was that if I ‘show and prove’ through September I could keep my job (for as long as I kept showing and proving). It was exhausting but I did it. Took more trips into my work territory and threw up in more hotel bathrooms than I care to count, but in September I got the word that my job was still mine… for now. Some of the stress was relieved and I was able to get back to enjoying the amazing gift that God had given to my husband and I. I was really feeling like myself again.

And then it got better. A previous manager recommended me for a new position (within the same company) and I got it! I still remember jumping up and down in excitement outside of a San Francisco restaurant as they told me the news. But now I was faced with telling a new manager that I barely knew that I was four months pregnant. So, as most people do now on a search for ultimate knowledge, I googled it. All I got in return was articles, posts, and message boards from women stating they got fired, or mistreated, or shamed. Great.

The baby was getting bigger and after two weeks of working and bonding with my new team I knew it was time to share the news. Palms sweating and heart beating fast I walked into my manager’s office with fears of being looked down upon and or fired. Guys, it couldn’t have gone any better.  He hugged me and congratulated Mike and I. He didn’t ask about what my plan for maternity leave was and it honestly felt like I was talking to a friend more than a boss. It was amazing.

This post turned out much longer and much more serious than I intended but the moral of the story is that the Devil (and Google on occasion) is a liar and will fill you with so much fear you don’t know how you’ll see straight again. With good times come some rain storms but you can get through them and what is meant for you will be yours. Also, googling anything about your pregnancy fears, probably not a good idea. Just don’t do it. 

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Dear Baby: Aug 3rd

Your dad and I found out about you yesterday. We took about five tests and it felt a little more real with every one. Your dad got frustrated with faint lines and decided to run to Walgreens to get one of those fancy test that now just tell you straight up, pregnant or not. Neither one of us are good at waiting so the next 8 months are sure to be an adventure. I slipped off to take the test and it only took about a minute before there it was. Pregnant. I held the little test in my hand and smiled.

Before I came out of the bathroom I tried to wipe the smile off my face so that your dad couldn't tell what the test said. But I couldn't keep it in. I was beaming. I passed him the test he smiled and pulled me in and we couldn't stop giggling. We are so excited you're coming. 

By the way baby, mommy had a bad week. Your dad had held me in his arms as I cried and told me we had you so there was no need to be sad. This was before we knew for certain but your dad could just feel it. I know that in trying times in your life he'll hold you the same way. I'm telling you this to let you know that you are coming into this family surrounded by people who will love you and to two parents who love each other so very much. 

Ps: your grandma's were the first to know and excited is really an understatement. You're going to bring so much joy.  

Bonus: Mike and I as kids. Baby, if I must say so myself, you've got some pretty good genes!