Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Good Stuff

So, here’s the thing. Before I publish my posts, I read them through with the lens of pre-Henry, and I pretty much have become that person I think I would have despised. Seriously. So, to everyone out there that is trying to bring a baby into their lives, I am so sorry. I know it is so hard. I sincerely hope you will be able to complete your family, and just know that I am praying for you. I think this post might be the hardest one of all for you to read, so just stop now. Because today I am actually going to talk about the good stuff, the stuff that makes it all worth it.

This has also been the hardest post to write, the one where I’ve started several times, but just don’t know how to finish, because how do you put these things into words? So, here is my best attempt at describing the good stuff. 

Let’s start out with a nice sprightly tune, you might’ve heard it before, but it does a pretty dang good job at putting some of my feelings into words. It’s goes like this (thanks Carpenters):

Such a feeling's coming over me
There is wonder in most every thing I see
Not a cloud in the sky, got the sun in my eyes
And I won't be surprised if it's a dream

Everything I want the world to be
Is now coming true especially for me
And the reason is clear, it's because you are here
You're the nearest thing to heaven that I've seen

I'm on top of the world looking down on creation
And the only explanation I can find
Is the love that I've found ever since you've been around
Your love's put me at the top of the world

Because you guys, having Henry here has put me on top of the world. It’s like there’s this new  brightness in my life that I didn’t even realize was missing.  For every hard thing, every rough day, every minute of sleep that is lost, there are one hundred things that make it all worth it. Like, when I turn to Henry and start to sing, and his face lights up, and he smiles, giggles if I am lucky, and looks at me like I’m the coolest thing he’s ever seen. Or when Brandon is giving Henry a bath, and I hide around the corner to listen to Henry giggle because Brandon has made up a new song, and I peek to see that Brandon is dancing, and clapping, and doing whatever to make that little guy happy. I just want to sit down and burn those things in my brain forever, because they are the epitome of happiness. It makes me love that man so much more to see him take his role of dad so seriously. 

Because I have never felt so many things like I feel now. I have never felt this much joy, happiness, and love. It’s like I’ve gotten a snapshot of how our Father in Heaven feels for us, and it’s so overwhelming, and pure, and I can’t believe I get to feel that too.

And it comes down to this-having Henry in our family has made me whole. Before he came, there was a void in my life that I tried to fill with all sorts of things. We bought a new car, we took lots of trips, we tried to buy a house, I bought lots and lots of clothes, but none of that brought me true joy. This kind of joy. Having Henry in our family, in our lives, has closed that void and has filled me with so much life and purpose, that I knew I wanted, but didn’t know I needed. He has helped me to see needs other than mine own. I am no longer playing the “me” game that I was so caught up in, and it is so refreshing. And I don’t feel like I am giving anything up, I don’t feel like I am missing out on what the world has to offer, because I feel like I now have  the world in front of me, and I'm seeing it like I never have before- there’s never been more possibilities and potential.

And I am sorry this has all just been a mess of words that I’ve tried to organize in a way to help articulate exactly what I’ve been feeling, and how my life has changed. Because although no one talks about the bad stuff all too often (as I have so politely pointed out in my last few posts), people don’t really talk about the good stuff either, and I think it’s because there are no words that can fit these feelings. So, I guess I will end with this visual that should round everything out nicely.

It’s 9:45 PM. Brandon got little H man asleep and he’s peacefully a snoozin’ in the pack in play that is conveniently located two feet from our bed. We quietly creep into our bedroom, tiptoeing to our sides of the bed (because if he woke up now one of us will either cry or swear). We pull back the covers at the same time to eliminate any extra rustling and carefully, oh so carefully, slide into bed. We pull the covers over our heads and huddle together to say our final goodnights and I love you’s. I turn to Brandon, smiling so much my cheeks hurt, and I tell him that I have never been happier in my entire life. 

And that’s the truth folks. I am so tired. And so worn down, but oh so happy. I am forever grateful for the blessing that I get to raise this perfect little human with the love of my life. And that, that is the good stuff.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

I am calling all of you out.

I have a bone to pick with every person out there that has had a baby and knows me. Yes, every single one of you. WHY DID YOU NOT TELL ME IT WAS GOING TO BE THIS HARD? WHY? WHY DIDN’T YOU WARN ME? It was an out of the frying pan and into the fire like feeling. Everyone told me how rewarding it was going to be, and how the love I would feel would overtake me and turn me all mushy and soft, but the other stuff was kept all hush hush.  

Like, how I would be paranoid and worried. All. Of. The. Time. That I would be taking pictures of baby poop so I could analyze it later and compare it to other baby poop. Diarrhea or not? And if it is diarrhea, what do I do? Do I call the pediatrician? Do I just storm into the doctor’s office demanding answers and antibiotics? Was it something I ate? Do I eliminate dairy? Or worse, chocolate?   

Or nursing. Don’t get me started. It’s beautiful, it’s natural, it’s the best thing for your baby, yada, yada, yada. The truth-it is hard. At least for me. I cannot even start to tell you the number of Internet searches I’ve conducted that revolve around nursing.

Then there’s the sleep. Oh precious precious sleep. Henry was a good sleeper. He was the sleeper that dreams are made of. We boasted of the seven plus straight hours we were getting at night when he was just a wee babe. Yes, all past tense. And let me let you in on a little secret, SLEEP IS IMPORTANT.

Those things are just the tip of the iceberg.

And the thing is, it’s not like I didn’t prepare. I prepared the heck out of this. I read books, blogs, and the five different baby apps on my phone. I researched every last item that was on my registry, making sure I had only the best. I made dozens of freezer meals and had the pantry stocked with high in protein foods to give me the instant energy I would need during the day (because that’s what all the blogs said, duh). I had hand sanitizers placed strategically around the house, because by golly this baby was not going to get sick ever. But, my socks were still knocked off.

And I am not whining, I promise. (Why does it always sound like I’m whining?) Remember when I talked about the struggle it was to bring little Henry to our family? And how in the end I knew that it was the right time, because waiting for him taught me all sorts of lessons that I am oh so glad I learned? Let me tell you the real reason why he joined our family later. Three years ago I probably could not have hacked this motherhood business. I had to be primed, polished, and want it so so bad, because otherwise I think I legitimately would not have been able to handle it. So to get through those hard days, I think back to when all I wanted was a baby, and how I prayed for a baby, and pinned all sorts of baby stuff to my secret Pinterest baby board, and planned out how we would announce our pregnancy, and decorate a nursery. Those feelings are still raw and real, which I am so grateful for, because it helps me appreciate everything, even the really hard things.

And so what’s the lesson here? Don’t lie to mothers to be? Possibly. Or, babies are hard but oh so worth it? Maybe. I am not even sure. But, I can say this, I don’t think I have ever been more terrified, exhausted, or happier in my entire life, which I guess really sums up what this motherhood business is all about. Until next time (and I’m not going to say when this “next time” will be, because that backfired last time ;)). Oh, and since Henry’s four month pictures are just so adorable, here you go. But let me be clear, these do not accurately represent what life is like in our home. My life is not all white sheets and perfect smiles; see the video for proof of that.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The Good Old Days

It’s 2:18 in the afternoon and I just barely got around to brushing my teeth for the day. My kitchen is littered with the things I used to make myself lunch, because having to make myself lunch and clean it up just felt like too much. The screen saver for our Roku is playing, reminding me that I’ve probably watched too many episodes of Friends today, but hey, I’ve never seen the series, and I just don’t know if Ross and Rachel will ever get together.  I mean, they just have to, don’t they?! But, I feel like this post is a long time coming, so it’s about time I get it out for the world wide web to read (or like all the people who are mindlessly scrolling on their social media feeds avoiding real life, and see this, and go oh, that’ll take up a good solid 5 minutes, let’s read that. Thank you social media scrollers.)

I have entered three months of motherhood and wow. These last three months have been the longest and shortest months of my life. My days seem to take forever, but in a blink of an eye a week is gone. And I am going to try to write several posts about the feelings I’ve had and some of the things I am learning, but let’s start with a nice lighthearted topic: The things that are no longer okay now that I have a child.

1.     Slow drivers. All you slow drivers out there, do you not realize that I have a screaming baby in the car and he needs to get home RIGHT NOW. Like, can you at least go the speed limit. Wanna trade cars? If we did, I am sure you’d understand.
2.     Fast drivers. Chillax homies. Stop the tailgating. My baby just fell asleep, so I am going to milk this quiet time for as long as I can. You got a place to be? Practice patience, it’ll do you some good.
3.     Other screaming babies when I don’t have my baby. Listen yo. I’ve got one of those at home, I don’t need to hear yours. It’s my “me” time, and your child is making me feel guilty for getting out, and let’s be honest, only my baby has a cute cry, not yours.
4.     Judgmental people while my baby is screaming. He’s a baby folks! He cries. But listen, I had to get out of the house for my own sanity, and we need groceries because we need to eat. There are like 37 aisles in this store, go pick another one where my adorable little crying bundle of joy can’t be heard. Much thanks.
5.     Childless people who flaunt their childlessness. I was just there, and I feel really guilty saying this, but man, can you just keep your incredible adventures to yourself?  You just decided to pack up for the weekend and explore some unchartered territory all while posting these amazing pictures with the best captions ever, gee thanks for reminding me that my neighborhood walks are pretty much the boring-est.
6.     Families that should be on magazine covers. I get it, you guys have kids and ARE still cool. That’s pretty much the most unfair thing ever. You pick one. Kids and uncool or no kids and cool-make the choice and stick with it.
7.     The people in-between the above categories. I am sure there are things that are no longer okay about you too. Just give me some time to think about it.

But for real, if Katy Perry’s song "Hot and Cold" wasn’t about a bad relationship, you might think it’s about me. And here’s the thing, I was that person who would read blog posts complaining about kids and think, “well at least you have a baby, stop whining about it and yada yada yada…”Oh Cami. And I'm not whining about it now. Promise. I am just starting to see another side of things that maybe I didn't quite see before. 

So, the first lesson that has become even more glaringly apparent in my new months of motherhood is: you have no idea what anyone else is going through, so don’t hop to any really judgmental conclusions (like I typically do). I feel this the most in the car while I am either tailgating or being tailgated. Or, when I see an adoracute post of a childless couple that makes me feel guilty for having a cute baby, because maybe they want one and can't, or it makes me feel guilty for sometimes missing the life I was living before my cute baby arrived. Which brings me to my second lesson, enjoy what you have. Right. Now. Find joy in what is going on this very second of your life, because I guaran-dang-tee there’s some joy to be had. In honor of finishing The Office (I know, I am pretty impressive these days, finishing TV series and everything is hard work) I changed out my board to one of my favorite quotes from the season finale. 

I sometimes get stuck in that "good old day" setting, but for reals, every single day will become a good old day, and I want to so bad remember that in the exact moment, so they're not "good old days" but instead "good days"-heck maybe even great days. 

I feel sad it has taken little Henry to help me to better see these things, but I am so glad he's here to teach me, because you gotta learn them somehow. So here’s to hoping you can learn these from me now, instead of going through your own growth spurt of sorts. Until next week! (Assuming I'll post again next Tuesday, which is the plan, but let's be real, that probably won't happen;)).

Friday, September 16, 2016

Fun Things Like Babies and Plants and Hard Things Too

I am just sitting here taking a break from dusting and putting up fall decorations in my new home, while trying to wait patiently for this baby, and I just can’t even believe my life right now. I need to sit down and just take it all in, because sometimes it feels like I am living a dream, and I just feel so so so blessed. The fact that we’ve lived in this beautiful home, that is ours, long enough to change out decorations and dust just kind of blows my mind. And what’s even more, that there’s a cute little boy kicking away in my tummy as I work my way from room to room. Seriously, I can’t even.

And this might get kind of personal, and I’ve been grappling if I should put it out for the world to read, but then I think maybe it will be nice for at least one person to read. And I also think, I need to put these things into words, because these thoughts have been bouncing around my brain for the past nine months, so here it goes.

My life has always been a dream. I would be so ungrateful if I even complained a little tiny bit, so I try really hard not to. But. But, it’s only fair that we have some rough patches and some trials, and some things that help us learn and grow and become better, and yada yada yada. (I sometimes get so sick of people telling me that I have to go through this and it's for my good. Don't you?) Those things are really the pits in the moment. Like really. And it’s always a million times easier to look at hard times once they’ve passed, and that’s what I am doing today.

So, enter this plant.
There was a time when negative pregnancy test, after negative pregnancy test, I just so desperately wanted something that was alive and I could see grow. Everything felt gray. It was winter. It was another failed fertility treatment. And it was looking so very bleak. So off to an indoor nursery we went to buy a plant. This collection of plants was the winner. It became the third member of our family and it lived in our bedroom. I watched it grow and change and kick other plants out of the pot. Really it was a Darwin’s theory of natural selection going on. It got moved to a better location. It continued to grow, and it helped me see that yes things will grow and progress and it’s okay. And there were more failed fertility treatments. And more negative pregnancy tests. And then there were doctor changes and acupuncture and all sorts of really fun things that I am just not going to go into detail about. You’re welcome.

And then there was a miracle. A blessing that I have no doubt came directly from a loving Father in Heaven. And if your inferring skills are lacking, that blessing was this baby. This same baby that’s squirming around in my tummy as I type this.

Not too long after we found out we’d be welcoming this guy into our lives, the Christmas cactus part of my pot produced some uncharacteristic like blooms, and it was then that everything just felt right. It was another little miracle, a sign that life is good and things will grow and progress and there truly is beauty all around.
It was then that this trial that seemed to have seeped into all parts of my life and had attached itself to every part of my being for the past few years felt like a blink. Like, oh, that was it. Cool. Like all the nights I spent silently crying myself to sleep never happened. And all of those doctors appointments were just fun ways to use up my sick days. So, I guess what I am trying to say is it felt okay. It felt like this was the best way to bring this baby into our lives, this was the only way, the right way, and I was now okay, even happy, with how it came to be. Because there was always someone looking out for me and knew what was best for our family. Not that it wasn’t hard, and I wouldn’t trade some of my experiences, but if I had to learn the lessons that I did at some point in my life anyways, I am just so glad that it was through this experience that I learned them. Because now I feel more equipped to be a mother, to empathize more, to have patience, and so many more things.

And I so feel for the women out there so desperately wanting to bring a baby into their lives. I wish I could offer some words of encouragement, something that can help you through this, but when I was there, those things just made me want to punch people in the face. But, I do feel for you, and I do pray for you, and I so hope you can feel like your family is complete one day.

And, here is my plant today.
There was NO way it was getting left in Denver, because it’s a reminder of where I’ve been, and where I can go, and that things will continue to grow and progress, and even pass away, and it’s okay. Because there is always always someone, an all-knowing Father in Heaven, who understands the scheme of things, things that we can’t comprehend, and He is looking out for me, for you, for us. And all I can do is put my trust in Him and know that everything will be better than I can even imagine for myself. And yes it is hard, but I don’t think I would always want it to be easy either. Because, boring ;). So, I so hope that when you find yourself in one of those bleak, gray moments you can remember that one day it will be okay-great even.

Disclaimer: I don’t want sympathy, I don’t. I don’t want people to be mad at me either. I just want people to read this and smile-so by golly you better smile at some point while reading this. Okay? Okay :)

Thursday, August 11, 2016

One Heck of a Party

Hellllo out there. I have re-entered the personal blogging scene solely to document one heck of a party.
Right now I am exactly seven months and 3 weeks with child, which equals 35 weeks, which is kind of a big deal (at least to me). Around this time of baby growing, if you're lucky a good friend will throw a bash to celebrate the future arrival of your lil' peanut. And my older, wiser, and much cooler sister, Tenille, did just that. The walls of Facebook erupted with praise when the first pictures of this epic event were posted, because it was just that, epic. It's being described as "Pinterest-worthy", "Intense", "Very cute", "Perfect!" and "Beautiful". Serious. All direct quotes there. Although I personally wasn't able to take any photos, I've rounded up some of the best shots from the party, so you can see the evidence for yourself, and I am sure you will agree that it fits all of the previous praise it received. Enjoy!
My mom and sister made these delectable bath bombs for party favors, and they are awesome. 
My mom did all of the flower arranging. She has mad skills. 

Every single one of those desserts were to die for. Like, for real.
I promise there were more than five of us, but I'd hate to post a picture of someone who didn't want it posted, especially since most of the shots I have are pretty candid and mostly of people eating... ;)
See what I mean. It was just the best combination of succulents, arrows, foxes, flowers, and teepees around. So, thanks Tenille for making it a day to remember. Above all, I just so appreciate everyone who helped welcome baby Smith-he is already so loved. The support and love that was shown really just means the world to Brandon and myself-so from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Being Chopped Down.

Right now I am sitting on my 8 by 8 patio in my puffy vest and maroon sweater and just entirely soaking in what the 2nd day of October should always feel like. At the same time I am beyond ecstatic that my little garden is still going strong. Yes, the small freeze we had did bring on some causalities, but I still see a future with fresh tomatoes in my pico and spaghetti, which is almost better than a new sweater from J.Crew, almost.

 While out here I took a pair of scissors to my beloved basil plant. See, my basil plant has been a little adolescent lately and decided to erupt in miniature flower stems. Now, I don’t know much about plants, but I do know that when those little sprigs start popping up the plant stops producing and thinks that it has reached its full potential. (It’s like when those older folk no longer need to acknowledge social norms and can spout out whatever crazy things they like. When you reach that point, that’s when you know you’ve made it.) Little does my plant know, I have bigger and better things planned for it. I know that it can do better, be the best little basil plant on the block. So, I went through snipping off those little sprouts and piling them like trophies.

I can only imagine the amount of energy and resources my little plant went through to achieve that “flower” status, only for me to chop it right back on down. But do I feel even a little bit bad about it? No. Actually, I took pleasure in the entire process. I wish it realized how much better I was making it. How much more it can become. How many more tomato and basil pizzas it can supply for my liking.

Through all aspects of my life I see this principle at work. And oh am I frustrated when I get chopped back down again and sometimes again. It’s those moments that my basil plant pops into my mind and I take a big breath in, I let it out, and I accept that I have not reached my full potential-which I know is obvious, but sometimes just plain dumb. After accepting it I press on, because let’s be real for a second, why would we want to settle for anything less than the best we can be? Because we all know that anything less than the best is a felony.

With that inspirational tidbit from Vanilla Ice I say, Happy October to you, and don’t be afraid if you get a little chopped down too.