Life Lately Vol. 1

Happy Friday!  This post is short and sweet, since I have exactly one favorite right now…cold-free babies!  Last week was a total blur.  The girls both started to get congested at the beginning of the week, and we ended up at the doctor mid-week to get it sorted out.  Colds are colds, but they are pretty scary when they happen to 7 week olds.  There’s been a lot of saline misting, Nose Frida-ing, and air humidifying.  Needless to say, I’m grateful for healthy babies again.

We tried to make the most of a bad situation and settle in, getting cozy around the house.  Despite the sniffles, the girls were both in pretty good moods throughout the week, so I got in a lot of sweet snuggles and giggles.

I have been really hesitant up to this point about getting out and about with the girls.  Before Addy Grace was born, I had to make a mental shift, knowing that we’d be sticking around the house a lot more than usual.  Now, she’s 8 weeks old, and I really am starting to feel that our “homing in” phase is coming to an end.  It’s time for us to learn how to get out of the house without help, and I’m looking forward to figuring this out with my girls.

Since the girls were much better by the weekend, we were able to venture out for a day-long shopping trip with my mom, sister, and grandma, and we had the best day!  It was so fun to just be out, even if it complicated nap times and feedings.  We were able to figure it out the best we could, and I had plenty of extra helping hands!

I’m in so much trouble with this one…

I love that Lacey Ruth is getting precious time with her great grandma.

Lunch at Chicken Salad Chick — a favorite!

Addy Grace with her Aunt Liv.

They were both done by the end of the day.  Fits had been pitched, and it was time to go.

We are slowly figuring out our new “normal.”  Each time things start to get overwhelming, I try to remember that we are only in a phase.  Soon, getting out and about will become second nature, and I’ll forget about how hard it all is right now.  We have a busy couple of weeks ahead of us, including our first night away from the girls to celebrate my birthday, and our first weekend away as a family.  So much to prepare for and so much to look forward to!

Two Under Two — What It’s Really Like

So much of my heart in deciding to blog again revolves around encouraging other moms who are in the same phase of life as me.  Growing up, I never thought that I would have kids so close in age.  I had planned to put a perfect 2-3 year gap between pregnancies, but that’s just not the way our family has developed.  Of course, I wouldn’t change a thing, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t really hard, exhausting days.

When I first found out I was pregnant with our second, only 9 months postpartum with our first, I devoured information.  I read blog posts and online articles about what life is really like having two kids under two.  Some posts were less than helpful and only made my anxiety worse, so I’m hoping to offer a little more encouragement to those who need it.

Here I am, only 6 weeks in, but I think I’ve already gained a tiny glimpse into what this is going to look like for our family.  It’s going to be hard, it’s going to be busy, but it’s also going to be so, so worth it!

So, from a practical standpoint, how are we making this work?  For starters, I was completely spoiled by having my husband home with us for the first 4 weeks.  He has an amazing employer who allowed him all the time he wanted to be off to help us get going on the right path.  I know this isn’t an option for many, but it was a tremendous help in the beginning for me, as you can imagine.  When he was home for us, he made it very clear that my only job was to nurse our baby — he would handle the rest, including most of the care of our one-year-old.  After four weeks, though,  he had to return to work, and I was a puddle.  That first morning, I got some great advice from a sweet friend who just brought her own baby boy home to a toddler.  She said to just do the next thing.  Don’t worry about figuring out the day all at once.  Just do what needs to be done next.  As the weeks have gone by, we’ve figured things out little by little, but there is no “schedule” at the moment, and that’s just fine for now.

Another important tip I’ve picked up, even though it goes against every wife/mama instinct I have:  Embrace the mess.  Your house is going to be a little ugly for a while.  I pick up in the evening enough to satisfy my inner need to tame the chaos, but I’m not fretting over every little thing.  Lacey Ruth plays hard all day long to preoccupy herself while I nurse baby sis, and I’m just grateful that she’s becoming better at independent play.  A messy room is a happy room!

Along the same lines, lower your expectations and expect others to do the same.  This is a hard one for me, particularly because I really really care about what others think of my family and our home.  My husband constantly reminded me as guests dropped by to visit us and the baby that they weren’t expecting to walk into our home the way it looked before Addy Grace was born.  They knew our focus right now was going to be on our kiddos and not our home, so I shouldn’t constantly feel the need to apologize for the mess.

One thing I had to mentally prep for before Addy Grace was born was to plan to just be home for a good, long while.  Getting out of the house at the moment takes both Luke and me, and there is just no other way right now.  While I would love to be able to grocery shop and have lunch with friends, there’s no way I can do this right now with both girls in tow.  Breastfeeding is a 24/7 job at the moment, and I can’t really do that job outside of the house very easily.  But, being that I’m feeding baby #2, I know from Lacey Ruth that this phase doesn’t last forever.  Getting out will become second nature, and we will have a life again…one day.  Just not now, and that’s okay.  I’m enjoying the process so much more than the first time around, knowing how quickly this phase passes and how FUN it gets soon!

One thing I’ve learned to do for my own sanity is when I start to feel like the walls are closing in on me, Luke and I go out for a drive around town.  We make these “mini dates” with the girls in tow.  In fact, Addy Grace usually uses this time to get in a good nap, and Lacey Ruth is nice and quiet in the back.  Sometimes, we stop by Sonic, grab a milkshake, and drive to up-and-coming neighborhoods to take a look at houses and dream a little!

Reality:  There are hard days.  Days when everything feels monotonous, and I wonder if I’m really cut out for this.  Or, days when I’m wishing away time, hoping things will get smoother down the road.  But, I’m trying to keep everything in perspective and remember that these days really are precious, and I don’t get them back.  The time I have with them right now is meaningful and a daily opportunity to point their little hearts to Jesus, and I’m so very privileged to have two little girls to call me Mama!

First Post — Our Family

I really didn’t think I’d ever care to blog again after stepping away several years ago.  Loved it but didn’t think I’d pick it up again after so long.  But, I’ve missed it.  And, with the addition of a husband and two sweet baby girls to talk about and chronicle, I’ve decided that this can serve dually as both my creative outlet and personal journal.

That being said, I’m thrilled you’ve found our little space on the web and are willing to follow along.  Let me introduce you to my people!

 

My name is Suzanne.  I am a 30 year-old wife and stay-at-home mama, and we live in north Florida.  We love being here.  I’m a local and have lived here my whole life, and my husband is from Georgia.  We have an incredible church family and wonderful friends.  Before my oldest was born, I taught elementary school for almost eight years.  I loved teaching but always knew that my calling would change once my babies were born.  Staying at home isn’t at all what I envisioned it would be, but it’s also infinitely better (most days — let’s be honest, rough days are real).  Once my kiddos are off to school, I’d love to be able to work from home in some capacity, but I haven’t quite figured out what that might be yet.

I have aspirations of learning calligraphy and hand lettering, one day keeping a clean house, and having a hot meal on the table for dinner.  Life looks a little different than that right now, but I’m honestly loving this season and soaking up each moment I get with my girls.

We try to live out our faith in our everyday lives.  We believe the Bible is truth and count our relationship with God to be the most important relationships we have.

Hubby

I met my husband, Luke, in the Fall of 2012.  We attended the same “Young Adult Singles” Sunday school class at church.  It was May 2013 before we went on our first date, and we ran full-speed ahead after that.  We pretty much spent every available moment together from then on out.  We were engaged in March 2014, married in November 2014, bought a home in April 2015, welcomed our first baby in January 2016, and welcomed our second in June 2017.  To say that life has moved at lightning speed is such an understatement, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.  I love this man.  He is so much more than what I envisioned for myself growing up, and I feel totally undeserving each and every day that I spend by his side.  I am oh-so grateful to call him mine.  He was so worth the wait.

Lacey Ruth

Oh, my sweet baby girl.  She’s 17 months old right now and the joy of all joys.  This girl made me a mom, and I will be forever grateful for that.  Lacey Ruth is spunky, affectionate, and way more outgoing than her Mama.  She really is her Daddy made over, and I love it!  Each stage with her is better than the last, and she is so FUN right now.  I can’t imagine it getting any better, although I know that it will!  She is busy, as most toddlers are, and she definitely works to keep me on my toes.  She is a girly girl and would rather have a babydoll in hand than anything else.  She’s also an amazing sleeper, sleeping about 12 hours at night and still taking two naps during the day.  I appreciate this more than ever, now that I’m busy with a newborn.

Addy Grace

This sweet little one surprised us by arriving a little bit early.  Her birth was certainly eventful — a story I hope to share soon.  She may not have come exactly like I had planned, but I wouldn’t change a minute of her precious arrival.  In many ways, we are still getting to know her.  So far, she seems to just exude peace and joy.  She is content and easygoing.  She, like her big sister, is also quite the sleeper.  She’s working hard to gain head control and is doing really well for a 6 week old.  She’s also a great eater and is gaining weight steadily.  She gave us her first real smiles recently and now smiles for us all the time, especially when we sing to her.  I’m a big music lover and am hoping that she’ll share this love with me!

Welcome!

Thank you for stopping by and getting to know our family.  My hope is that this little space serves to encourage others and to share what our life looks like as a family of four, with two under two!