Things we’re Loving: January

Here are some things we’ve been loving this month:

Best Body Bootcamp

It’s been SO awesome to have workouts already put together. And MAN, Tina knows how to whip your butt (in the kindest way possible). I’ve been getting a few evenings to go to the gym, and it’s been totally possible to do some of the workouts at home! And my dear friend Ashley is doing bootcamp too, she posted about it here!

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Adeline is quite fond of watching me struggle through pushups. She benefits from my Bootcamp participation too- two of my goals for the first two weeks were:

  1. Drink 8, 8oz glasses of liquid per day (GOAL ACHIEVED!)
  2. Read to Adeline (GOAL ACHIEVED!)

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She likes Brown Bear and one of her books about colors- I have a feeling that the touch-and-feel books are going to be popular VERY soon!

SodaStream

I’ve been eyeing the SodaStream ever since Emily over at Daily Garnish posted about hers. I’m terrible at drinking liquids (other than coffee- see goal 1 above), but I LOVE carbonated water.

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My dad generously gifted us with a SodaStream for Christmas from Bed Bath & Beyond, and it’s fun to have a bottle of bubbly water waiting in the fridge!

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Micro Fleece

As I mentioned in my Cloth Diapering post, I was planning on making fleece liners and fleece wipes. DONE! Now we don’t have to worry about fetching the regular wipe out of the cloth diapers when we start our laundry.

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Micro Fleece fabric was 40% off at JoAnn Fabrics last week (and may still be discounted). I made a wipe solution of 1 cup of water plus a squirt of baby shampoo. Most wipe solution “recipes” say to add a squirt of baby oil, but I didn’t have any and her bum doesn’t seem to be irritated.

Coconut Oil

We won an entire GALLON of Virgin Coconut Oil from Ashley at My Food and Fitness Diaries. The Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil is GREAT!

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I’ve been using a dab here and there as “chapstick” and I’ve even put a bit on Adeline’s skin after she takes a bath. I’m planning on roasting some sweet potatoes with it later this week!

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And, because there is NO way we can ever use an entire gallon, we were able to give a bunch away to our friends!

Ergobaby Carrier

My mother in law got us an amazing Ergobaby carrier for Christmas. We got one from the Performance collection (good for smaller builds, has an easy access pocket and it’s supposed to be more breathable for the summer months).

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Adeline likes hanging out in there, and its really comfortable. Adeline is still a bit too short to sit in there on her own, so we use Emily’s Blanket Trick to help boost up Adeline. I even did my first FULL grocery shopping trip with Adeline in the Ergo (it was successful until we stopped moving at the checkout line).

Oil Cleansing Method

So… I haven’t washed my face with soap this month (aside from when I’m taking a shower). I tried the oil cleansing method last winter after I first saw it on the Meals and Moves blog, but then I just kind of stopped. Basically, I’m using a mixture of 1 part Castor Oil to 2 parts Olive Oil to “wash” my face.

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You can read about the process here. My skin doesn’t look drastically different than when I was using regular face wash for acne prone skin, but it feels so much better. I’m going to keep up with the oil cleansing method, it’s cheap, it makes my skin feel great, and I don’t smell like weird chemicals after I wash my face at night. I’m going to pick up some tea-tree oil this week to help with acne control and inflammation.

A Sleeping Baby

We struggled with sleep last week. So did some of my blogging-mommy friends: Nicole at Making Good Choices and Char at Char Eats Greens. I’m happy to say that Adeline slept much better this weekend, and Daniel and I are VERY thankful.

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It’s pretty cool to have other mommy friends to tweet with in the middle of the night when the babes just need extra food or snuggles!

**If you are a praying sort of person, please keep a little boy named Amir and his family in your thoughts. Amir is a little boy who got hit by a car on Saturday. In the last update that I received, he was in critical condition. My sister-in-law knows Amir’s aunt and her family. Please keep them in your prayers, I can’t imagine all of the emotions the family is facing. We are praying for healing for Amir and we are also praying that God surrounds them with love so that they do not feel alone in this difficult time.**

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Things we’re Loving: January

Cloth Diapering

I don’t define myself as a super “crunchy, granola or green” type of gal, but I do really like cloth diapering! I’m all for helping the environment, but I mainly wanted to try it to save a little moolah!

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Note: we don’t currently pay for our water- for whatever reason, our landlord covers it. Whenever we move out of our current rental house, I’m sure the cost of washing our diapers will certainly have an impact, but I’m pretty sure we’ll still continue using this cloth because we like it! And sorry for all of the links- cloth diapering terms are CONFUSING, and I wanted to provide links to different terms and various products. I’m not getting paid for any link clicking, they are just provided for convenience!

When we Started

I think we started using gDiapers when Adeline was 5 or 6 weeks old. She was just a squirt, weighing just 6lbs 11oz when she was born. Newborn babies have SO MANY wet/dirty diapers in those first few weeks. Like, 12 diapers a day. So we happily used our gifted newborn size diapers (from showers and FROM THE HOSPITAL- TAKE THEM HOME WITH YOU!) until we felt comfortable with diving into the world of cloth.

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Adeline at 1 month, still in disposables

gDiapers

We started with gDiapers because our good friends Ashley and David used them with their daughter Lydia. Here is Ashley’s post about cloth diapering! I really liked the gDiaper system because you really only have to wash the cloth insert unless there is an absolute blowout. The gDiapers are considered a hybrid cloth diaper (because you have the option of using a disposable insert- regular diaper meets cloth diaper. But it can also be used solely as a cloth diaper). Plus, the gDiapers have a nice, trim fit. They fit our little peanut well, and her cloth-diaper bum still fit into her 0-3 month clothing!

disposable inserts(source: gDiaper website)

If you look in the picture above, there is the colorful cloth shell (the cover), a snap-in plastic liner, and in this photo- the woman is putting in a biodegradable disposable insert. Before Adeline was born, I bought 2 gDiapers brand new and I bought 3 gently used gDiapers off of eBay (when I say gDiapers- I mean the whole thing- cover, liner and cloth). We did use some disposable inserts, but we also had 5 gCloth inserts. With just 5 cloths, we weren’t able to go 100% to cloth diapering with just the gDiaper system. We could do about a day of cloth, but then the next day would be a disposable day (when the cloths were being washed). The only downside to using the gCloths was the drying time. I usually dried them in the dryer on a SUPER low setting, but we still had to let them air dry for several hours before using them.

Purchasing more Diapers

I really liked using the gDiapers, and I wanted to commit to using cloth, so I needed to get a few more diapers and inserts. I thought about getting more gDiapers, but they are pretty expensive. They always seemed to fit her funny, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to stick with the “g” system long-term.

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I also knew that I probably wanted to invest in some diapers that would grow with Adeline (the gDiapers come in 3 sizes).

ALVA baby Diapers

I actually purchased a 6 pack of ALVA baby diapers before Adeline was born. They are EXTREMELY cheap pocket diapers from China. The ALVAbaby.com website is a pain to navigate, so I actually purchased my ALVA’s off of eBay! I’m pretty sure we got this bundle of 7 diapers and 7 microfiber inserts for under $40. Compared to the price of gDiapers ($25-$30 for TWO diapers), this was a STEAL! The ALVA baby diapers are super adjustable- you can adjust at the waist and the rise (length) of the diaper. These SHOULD last us until Adeline is potty trained!

Cloth Diapering

HOWEVER- these diapers are my “last resort” diapers. They work well, but I really don’t like tossing the entire cover and the insert into the wash. You stuff a microfiber insert INTO the fleecy pocket of the diaper.

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DO NOT leave any of the microfiber cloth hanging out- it will wick the moisture up from the diaper and all over baby’s clothing! Also, you CANNOT place the microfiber insert on TOP of the fleece- it will leak everywhere (speaking from experience!)

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I have re-used the cover before, the fleece liner helps to pull the moisture onto the microfiber cloth insert, so the fleece feels pretty dry even after a wet diaper . But again, I really don’t like tossing a whole cover+insert into the laundry. They are pretty cute though, and I do like how adjustable the leg openings are! I have a feeling that feature will be necessary for when she starts to move more.

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Flip Diapering System

I saved the best for last Smile These are our current favorite diapers! The Flip diapers are the perfect mesh between the adjustability of the ALVA diapers and the ease of use of the gDiapers. I purchased 2 new Flip covers and a 6 pack of BumGenius microfiber inserts off of Cottonbabies.com. (!!! Cottonbabies.com still has a sale going on for 2 Flip diaper covers for $20 !!!) The Flip diaper is an “All-in-Two” diaper, and it’s also considered a hybrid diaper since you can use it with disposable inserts.

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I loved our Flip diapers so much that I purchased 2 more Flip covers from the “seconds” section of Cottonbabies.com (basically on clearance because of some blemish, and they don’t sell them for full price).

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We can use our ALVAbaby inserts AND the BumGenius inserts in the Flip diapers. Flip also makes their own inserts, but we purchased the BumGenius because they were cheaper (same material- standard microfiber). As you can see above, the Flip diapers also have an adjustable rise and an adjustable waist, so the diapers should grow with us! They DO NOT have the adjustable leg openings, but the elastic fits well around Adeline’s legs (she’s got a bit of chunk, so it may not work as well for skinny-legged babes).

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The only important step in using the Flip diapers is to make sure your cloth insert is tucked under the flaps of the cover, otherwise the moisture will wick out of the diaper and on to baby!

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I like that the Flip diapers could be used with a number of inserts. The BumGenius inserts have a snap for adjusting the length (which makes them pretty bulky, but they still work fine), and they should be able to grow with us. But, if you wanted to use another type of insert it wouldn’t be difficult to just lay them in the Flip cover.

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Microfiber Inserts

There are *some* websites that say to NEVER place the microfiber insert up against the baby’s skin, but Adeline has never had an issue with diaper rash or excessive stinky-ness of the diaper. HOWEVER- the microfiber inserts do feel wet at each diaper change. I’m cutting up some fleece that I purchased at Michael’s to make some fleece liners to lay on top of the microfiber inserts. That way, her bum will feel dry!

Recap

Whew! That was a TON of information, so here is where we are at now (after we moved on from the gDiapers):

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  • We have 13 microfiber inserts (7 ALVA and 6 BumGenius)- that means that I do a FULL load of cloths every other day (the microfiber inserts dry quickly).
  • We have 4 Flip covers and 7 ALVA pocket diapers (but we rarely use the ALVA’s).
  • We still use disposable diapers at night, mainly because we still have them from baby showers. I think I’ll start using the ALVA diapers at night. I’ll be sure to post if we make that transition
  • I’m happy with our “stash”, although I am cutting up fleece to make liners so that Adeline’s bum stays dry. I wouldn’t mind a few more microfiber inserts (or other materials) so that we could do diaper laundry less frequently.

Washing

As far as washing goes, after a diaper change, I put the dirty cloths into a grocery bag hanging in Adeline’s room. (Poopy cloths/covers get put in their own grocery bag and get tied up so they don’t stink up the house). Regular garbage (wipes, disposables from the night) go into one bag, cloth stuff goes into the other). I use a grocery bag for dirty cloths when we’re out of the house too.

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I throw all “cloth diaper” laundry into the wash and do the following:

  • Cold Rinse so stains don’t set
  • Warm or Hot Wash with a tiny bit of unscented detergent
  • Cold Rinse to remove extra detergent
  • Tumble dry on low heat for the cloth inserts, air dry for the covers.

There are a ton of different washing instructions, but this method works well for us!

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Any questions about anything?!

Happy Diapering!

Cloth Diapering

3 Months Postpartum

I’m continuously amazed at the human body. God designed our bodies for carrying, birthing and nourishing a child. How weird is it that 3 months ago, there was a tiny human inside of me?!

Baby and mom

I feel good. I’ve fully healed “down there” (no more stitches!), and my 6 week postpartum checkup (FOREVER AGO) was A-OK! Since my 6 week checkup, I’ve started Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy. My doc referred me to The Center for Pelvic Floor and Core Rehabilitation here in Cincinnati. I’ve only been a handful of times (scheduling is proving to be difficult), but I’m really glad that I decided to go. I put a sample of my exercises at the bottom of this post (skip it if you don’t want to read about female anatomy)

Exercise

Anyways, my pelvic floor is getting stronger, which is exciting because I’m starting Tina’s Best Body Bootcamp next week! I still have to be mindful of jumping exercises, but I’m excited to have a routine to follow! We’ve still been taking walks, though not as much since it got COLD outside. I’m making it a point to actually USE my gym membership now that it’s chilly.

Weight and Body

Here are a few comparison pictures (I’m also using the 3 month photos as my “beginning” place for Bootcamp“):

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And here are the differences in measurements:

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I’m definitely not complaining about any of those stats. Like I mentioned in Adeline’s 3 month post, she’s getting heavier (yippee!) but I need to build up some serious shoulder strength if I’m going to do lots of baby shoulder presses during playtime! Even though my stomach is flat, I still have trouble with core exercises such as side planks. I’m working on challenging the muscles, but I’m still being cautious enough to stop if something doesn’t feel right.

Thoughts and Emotions

I wrote about my feelings of losing my “old self” in my birthday post. I also wrote about our struggle with Adeline’s 12 week growth spurt. Aside from feeling stressed when I’m pulled in too many directions, I am feeling good. If you are expecting, or if you are a new mom, FIND MOM FRIENDS! Even if you are just a part of a forum on a baby website- it helps to have shared experiences with other women. It’s pretty fun to “talk” to some of my internet mom friends in the middle of the night via Twitter. It juts makes you feel good knowing that there are other women in the same boat as you Smile

Okay, so that’s the end of the post- if you want to read about specific pelvic floor exercises, read on…

Continue reading “3 Months Postpartum”

3 Months Postpartum

Private Selection makes Entertaining Gourmet!

I have failed at telling you about this awesome program I’m in called BzzAgent. Recently, I participated in a campaign for Private Selection brand gourmet products (available at Kroger).

Private Selection has TONS of great options for serving up gourmet goodies to your friends and family. The holiday season has passed, but the gatherings of loved ones has not! Show up to your next party with pinwheel sandwiches made with Private Selection brand cheeses- choose from flavors like Buffalo Monterey Jack Cheese or Blue Marbeled White Cheddar.

We made some holiday-themed stuffed peppers for a dinner with friends (red and green bell peppers), made with quinoa, lentils, more peppers, onion, turkey bacon and chopped Private Selection brand Olives. We topped our peppers with Garlic and Herb cheese (YUM!)

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We also used our Basilico pasta sauce on top of EVERYTHING!

Private Selection brand offers TONS of more gourmet options for entertaining. We weren’t fans of the Private Selection Brand Water Crackers- we even took them to our small group one night, and we brought almost the entire box back home with us.

Anyways- you should absolutely sign up for BzzAgent, and you should definitely look for Private Selection brand items at your local Kroger!

Private Selection makes Entertaining Gourmet!

3 Months

Another month has absolutely flown by! We had many people tell us to make it to the 3 month mark- apparently it’s when most babies and parents transition out of “survival” mode. I feel like we’ve been out of pure survival mode for a few weeks now, and I think we are all enjoying the transition to “real life” with a baby.

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A Typical Day

Adeline’s third month of life was basically lived in 3 hour chunks. During the day, she eats, plays for a bit and then sleeps. The cycle starts over again, and we have established a fairly predictable daytime schedule. In the past two weeks (week 11-12), she has gone longer between her daytime feedings (eating every 3-3.5 hours), and she has also been awake longer which has been a lot of fun. Here’s a quick rundown of a “typical” day of hers at 11 weeks (times are approximate)1 month

  • 8am: Wake Up, snuggle, watch momma make breakfast
  • 8:30am: diaper change, Nurse, burp, etc.
  • 9am: Playtime (we usually practice sitting, play with toys, read books, take a bath, head to meet friends, etc.)
  • 9:30am: Morning Nap (usually 45min, sometimes 1.5 hours)
  • 11am: diaper change, Nurse, burp, etc.
  • 11:30am: Playtime!!! (We usually head out for a walk towards the end of this playtime- the stroller ride helps to lull her to sleep and it gets Silas and I some outside time!)
  • 1pm: Naptime (tends to be the longer nap, about 1 hour)

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  • 2pm: diaper change, Nurse, burp, etc.
  • 2:30-4:30: Playtime, watch mom prep dinner. (An afternoon nap is hard to come by on most days)
  • 5pm: diaper change, Nurse, burp, etc.
  • 5:30-7pm: A weird, cranky awake time (of course, right when Daniel gets home from work)
  • 7pm: Top-off feeding
  • 7:30pm-5am: SLEEP
  • 5am: diaper change, Nurse, burp, back to bed.
  • 5:20am-8am: SLEEP

And then the day starts over!

Breastfeeding and BabyWise

Adeline nurses for 10-15 minutes on one side at each nursing session. Towards the end of the day, she may nurse off of both sides (my supply tends to be lower at the end of the day). For her “top-off” feeding around 7pm, I try not to let her fall asleep while eating (but it sometimes happens because she’s typically pretty tired).

Adeline

We have a good eater and a good sleeper. Anyways, the whole reason I wanted to try a BabyWise schedule is that it is supposed to help the baby feel “secure” about the daytime schedule- they begin to “expect” feedings, and that is supposed to influence longer nighttime sleeping. I was hesitant about implementing BabyWise at first, but it seems to really work with Adeline’s natural schedule and it has worked really well for Daniel and myself as well!

Stats

We don’t go back to the pediatrician until her 4 month appointment, but I’m guessing she weighs around 11.5-12lbs. She has outgrown some of her 3 month clothes (especially onesies with feet attached), so we have some 6 month outfits in her dresser. She’s getting too heavy for me to do shoulder presses with her- good thing Tina’s Best Body Bootcamp starts soon! Momma needs to work on those shoulder muscles!

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New Things

We got her ears pierced! I’m pretty sure I said I would never get my baby girl’s ears pierced, but she got called a boy a few times, and we just decided to do it. She can always choose to never wear earrings again if she wants to when she’s older. We got her ears pierced at our pediatrician’s office- now I’m on the hunt for tiny, sparkly stud earrings for her to wear when we can change them.

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Adeline has been LOVING sitting up. We started using the Bumpo chair this month, and she likes being pulled up by her hands to a sitting position. Although all she really wants to do is suck on her toes…

She is still TERRIBLE at tummy-time, but her head control is getting pretty good! We are still doing tummy time with her because, hello, that’s the position you have to be in to crawl!

DROOL! There has been a noticeable increase in drool. She spits up a decent amount, but now we have DROOL too! She really likes blowing bubbles, and even though it makes a slimy mess, it’s pretty darn cute.

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She can also bring one or both of her hands to her mouth, and if she happens to grab onto something, she brings it to her mouth. I have a feeling everything is going to be covered in slobber soon…

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This month has been a breath of fresh air. Not without difficulties, but we’ve just had more time to enjoy our little girl and it’s so fun to see her personality emerge!

12 Week Growth Spurt

Adeline hit her 12 week growth spurt right after Christmas. As if Christmas wasn’t crazy enough with staying at a new place and being in lots of different arms, the growth spurt hit and it hit HARD. We had about 4 days (which I realize isn’t that long) of someone else’s baby. Adeline was very fussy, just wanted to be held, and she ate a LOT (I have a feeling the “girls” are going to feel like they’re going to explode as her eating gets back to her more normal schedule).

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These few days were really rough. Daniel was home for the especially fussy days- and it was great to have a second set of arms. The only downside to having him home? We were BOTH stressed and tired at the end of the day- and we definitely bickered a lot. One thing that really helped us to understand why our child was going “crazy” was reading up on the “Wonder Weeks”. It just kind of helped us to realize that Adeline’s frequent eating, lack of napping and general fussing had “purpose”. She also had a fever during the growth spurt and she’s still dealing with a runny nose. Whew! I’m hoping that we learned some better ways to cope with the upcoming growth spurts- I was one stressed-out momma.

I’ll be back later this week with my 3 month Post-Partum update!

3 Months

Join me at Bootcamp!

I’m so excited!! I just signed up for Tina’s Best Body Bootcamp round 4! I decided to take a mere $25 of my birthday money to join Tina’s Bootcamp. I am stoked!!

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(source)

I’ve been reading Tina’s blog for a while now, and my nearly 3 months post partum body is craving some new workouts. Check out her FAQ page for more info, you only have until Monday night to register!!

Join me in #bestbodybootcamp for the New Year! http://bit.ly/TGimAh

Join me at Bootcamp!

Another Birthday, Another Me?

Well, today is my 25th birthday. I have a few minutes to type while the babe is sleeping, and I wanted to try to capture my feelings on my quarter of a century birthday. There aren’t any pictures in this post (Adeline’s 3 month post is coming on Monday, get ready to be smothered with cute-ness), and please excuse my introspective ramblings…

I would never have imagined that I would have gotten married at 22 and that I would have a baby right before I turned 25. God works in some special ways, I can attest to that. This year has been full of ups and downs. The biggest surprise of this past year was definitely find out that we were expecting a baby, and the rest of the year was filled with preparing for the little one. In some ways, I kind of felt like this past year wasn’t really mine. I suppose part of that feeling comes from being pregnant for 40 weeks (aka a LONG time), and now, even though Adeline is here, I still don’t feel like my “old” self.

I suppose I never will be my “old” self again- I’m a mother now.

The moment a child is born, the mother is also born.  She never existed before.  The woman existed, but the mother, never.  A mother is something absolutely new.
-Rajneesh

As smooth as this transition to motherhood has been, and as much as I love my daughter- a part of me is still grieving the loss of the days as just being “me”. Life will never be the same as it was before Adeline came into the world, BUT, I wouldn’t trade my life now for anything in the world. I have a husband who loves and supports me (who makes me laugh, who comforts me when I cry, etc.) I have a beautiful, happy and healthy baby girl, and God has surrounded our family with the love of friends and family.

I think it’s pretty natural to get sentimental at this time of the year- as we say “goodbye” to the holiday season and start preparing for a “New Year, New You”. I’m taking some time today to look back on this past year and to say THANK YOU to God for bringing me through this journey. I’m waving goodbye to my “early twenties” with a smile. I’m constantly trying to give up my struggles, insecurities and anxieties about my past and my future to God so that I can be present in the now.

So, I’m entering into my 25th year as a “new” me. I’m embracing the changes that have come into my life. I’m a mom. But, I’m still a Child of God, a Wife, a Friend, a Daughter (and more).

Thank you so much for all of the texts, Facebook messages and in-person Happy Birthday wishes. Here’s to twenty-five FANTASTIC years, and cheers to many more!

Another Birthday, Another Me?