Oh my goodness, November was TOUGH.
Early in the month, I started to feel the stirrings of what I thought was a lupus flare…which actually turned out to be the flu, which then devolved into a very persistent sinus infection. I missed two days of work, languished through a weekend, and worked two half days (during which I grossed out all of my colleagues with my sniffling, coughing, laryngitis-ridden self) before I finally waved the white flag and went to the doctor.
Just as the antibiotics kicked in and I started feeling better, I fell down the stairs. And we’re not talking a dainty, slightly embarrassing slide down a few steps on my butt. I FELL.
Head over feet over knees over elbows, I bounced all the way down our stairs until I finally crashed through our baby gate, breaking both the gate and (I’m pretty sure, considering it’s been three weeks and I’m still wincing every time I sneeze) a rib. (In my mom’s words: “What are you, Job?”)
Bright side: I somehow managed to avoid hitting my head, and THANK THE LORD I was NOT holding Henry when it happened. Dark side: Why am I so prone to FALLING??
And over Thanksgiving break, just as my rib was starting to feel a little better, my cough and cold came back.
Since I’m still breastfeeding Henry, my options when it comes to cold medicine and pain medicine are pretty limited, so I’ve been trying to soldier through with hot tea, ibuprofen, and a sunny disposition. But it’s tough. After I stopped on my way to work for a jumbo-pack of Emergen-C and no less than four different varieties of cough drops, I had to remind myself that I really have it pretty good – illness, clumsiness, and all.
For starters, this is my very favorite time of year. I listen to Christmas music on the down-low all year long. I love the family, food, and festivity of this season. Christmas this year is even sweeter, with memories of last year (when I was pregnant and it was a delicious secret) still fresh in mind and now with sweet Henry to join in the fun.
And Henry is perfect! He is healthy, happy, so smart and sweet and funny. He grabs everything he can get a hold of, he wants to taste everything he grabs, he smiles and coos and is on the very edge of his first real laugh. He likes to keep an eye on me, and he looks for me when I leave his line of sight, which makes me feel like I must be doing something right.
And my job is amazing. We’re working now on our brand new website, which is so exciting – all the strategy talk and training has really re-kindled my love for what I do. I recently set up a more business-oriented twitter account (read: less snark about reality TV and more talk about branding and marketing), and I’m following along with some really interesting weekly conversations (#brandedu and #strategycar, if you’re interested). I am reminded constantly of how lucky I am to be doing what I love in such an amazing environment.
So there you have it. During my month of radio silence, I was soldiering through a coughing, sneezing, achey-painey, am-I-being-tested kind of November – but it’s December now. My house is decorated, the streets are paved with Peppermint Mochas, the thank you notes are written and the crib is assembled.
My chin is up and I’m ready to enjoy this Christmas more than ever.
Let’s recall my list of October Goals:
• Get back to a blogging schedule
• Finish all of our thank you notes
• Assemble Henry’s crib
• Book our family photo session with my sweet friend Alyson
The lesson here is this: I am laughably terrible at meeting personal goals.
I got one of those done – our family photo session – and I am THRILLED with the results so far! The others? Not so much. Although I am blogging more than I was…so maybe I get half-credit on that one.
Before Henry got here, I was so on top of my thank you notes! And now, I am shamefully behind. SHAMEFULLY. If I owe you a thank you note and you are silently judging me for my tardiness, I am right there with you. I owe you a thank you note AND an apology note (which will ALSO be shamefully late).
But honestly, you guys, I come home from work, I see Henry’s sweet face, and all I am motivated to do is snuggle him until he won’t abide any more snuggling. And then it’s time to sleep. This month, though. This month, we’ll get it done. I’m throwing down the gauntlet.
WE WILL FINISH OUR THANK YOU NOTES BEFORE THANKSGIVING – or else I’m not allowed to have any pie.
Henry’s nursery is not at all finished – we really only use it as a diaper changing/dressing room at this point. Since he’s still sleeping in the pack ‘n play bassinet in our room, we haven’t been motivated to put his crib together (or decorate in any other way) yet.
I know it needs to happen – but my snuggling excuse holds here, too. Who wants to assemble furniture when you could talk in a goofy voice to the cutest baby in the world?
As you can see, I’ve still got October goals to get done – so instead of compiling a list of unlikely goals for THIS month, I found you some pretty November 2013 desktop wallpapers:
Happy November, friends! Enjoy your Starbucks red cups and your pumpkin baked goods and your boots and sweater weather. If you need me, I’ll be hanging out with my baby and procrastinating everything else on my list.
Our beautiful family photos by Alyson Willis Photography are even better than I hoped they would be.
We’ve been Netlifxing the final season of Friday Night Lights at my house, and this Friday Night Lights Soundtrack Playlist is just what I needed to extend our binge into my workday!
I love to surprise my friends with a Starbucks gift card when it seems like they could use a latte – and now Starbucks has made it even EASIER with Tweet A Coffee.
It’s taking all my willpower not to buy this Utility Bag from Kate Spade Saturday.
If you want to be updated more often on all the STUFF I WANT, follow me on Pinterest – that’s where I keep the running list of things I’m eyeing.
I hope you had a Happy Halloween! I LOVED seeing all the cute trick-or-treaters in our neighborhood last night. My favorite was the little Thomas the Tank Engine who got SO EXCITED when I recognized his costume.
My least favorite? Definitely the kid who was way too old to trick-or treat AND who wasn’t even wearing a costume AND who asked for extra candy for his “friend” who was “grounded” AND who didn’t even SAY trick or treat! Get outta here. And ok here’s some candy, please don’t egg my house.
One of the things I miss most about college is all the reading. As a creative writing major, most of my homework was made up of reading, then giving my opinion on what I read. It’s hard to believe I ever complained – what a sucker I was.
The list of books I want to read is constantly growing, so I decided to take what is becoming my usual course of action - I created a Pinterest board to keep track of my ever-expanding literary wish list.
Looking at my list, it’s clear that I need to carve out time to actually READ these books. I’ve always been a little resistant to e-books, but I can definitely see the appeal now that I spend so much time with a baby in one arm and my phone in the other – and reading these would likely be a much better way to spend my time than my current routine, which is to play Candy Crush until I run out of lives and then idly browse Reddit.
When I was little, I read books like I was hungry for them and could never get full. I want Henry to be a reader, too – so I can’t send the message that we automatically reach for video games whenever we have free time. I’ve got to start walking the walk again.
So without further adieu – here’s the list so far:
I Only Mark The Hours That Shine - This is the diary of “Little Edie” from Grey Gardens. If you have ever seen Grey Gardens, you know that Little Edie and Big Edie were fascinating (if a little tragic) characters. Pair those two eccentric birds with my penchant for abandoned houses and old money socialites, and this book is a perfect choice to feed my fascination.
The Immortal Life of Henriette Lacks - I first heard about this one on NPR. From Goodreads: “Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of the most important tools in medicine… Yet Henrietta Lacks remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave.”
A Matter of Life - I’m a big fan of Jeffrey Brown’s other comics – this one deals with “memories of three generations of Brown men: himself, his minister father, and his preschooler son Oscar.” A quick read that I’m sure will tug on my heartstrings just like his other autobiographical collections have.
The Carter Family: Don’t Forget This Song - I got onto an old country kick when I was on my maternity leave with Henry – my favorite station on Spotify was The Carter Family. This book is a graphic novel biography of the Carters, which is just so right up my alley.
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore - I can’t remember where I heard about this one, only that I was fascinated right away. From Goodreads: “Global conspiracy, complex code-breaking, young love, and the secret to eternal life — mostly set in a hole-in-the-wall San Francisco bookstore. The Great Recession shuffles Clay Jannon from his web-design drone job to night shift at Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. Curiously, few customers come in repeatedly and never buy. Analysis reveals astonishing secrets…”
What’s on YOUR to-read list? Any recommendations for me?
Honestly. Seriously. JOSH. You’re the number one undefeated championship best.
You’re the best husband. You hold my hand, you help me when I’m lost, you cook my dinner, you tolerate my crazy, you don’t judge me when I change clothes seven times each morning. You let me browse the notebooks and sweaters and travel coffee mugs in Target even when we’re just supposed to be getting toilet paper and you’re in a hurry to get home and watch the Panthers.
You’re the best friend. You make me laugh every day. You introduce me to great new music (and you don’t USUALLY make fun of me for my preferred playlist). We can talk about books and movies like real hoity-toity intellectual types, and we can get a little bit tipsy and heckle the Bachelorette like the gossip podcasters we were born to be. Every single day with you is the best day yet.
You’re the best dad to our little man. I love you more every time I see you with Henry. I love the way you talk to him, the way you’ll do anything to make him smile, the way you to play guitar for him when he doesn’t feel good. I love to think about how tall he’s going to feel when he rides on your shoulders – how big and strong and unbreakable you will always seem to him.
We are so lucky to have you for our very own. Happy birthday, Josh. I love you very very very very very very very much.
It’s been a while, but I’m back to tell you all about my favorite things from this week!
• “But the wild things cried, “Oh please don’t go – we’ll eat you up – we love you so!” (This sweet print also comes in onesie form…which I also love.)
• Pancakes and French Fries posted this adorable tale of a sassy little go-getter named Elizabeth.
What a lucky girl I am, to be a member of this amazing family. After a (too short) weekend in Virginia to wrap up my little brother’s (too short!!) visit to the states, I am feeling recharged and so, so blessed.
Harper Lee wrote “You can choose your friends but you sho’ can’t choose your family…” – lucky for me, this ragtag bunch is exactly who I would have chosen if I could have.
I used to spend a good chunk of my downtime browsing Pinterest for cute haircut ideas or wardrobe inspiration. Now that Henry’s here, I’m still on Pinterest a lot – but I’m busy finding adorable clothes and accessories for him. I was never into dressing up my dolls when I was younger, so I’m a little surprised at how enthusiastic I am about baby fashion – but here I am, anyway.
Some of my favorite finds from tonight:
For more in ridiculously cute baby fashion, follow my “Henry” board on Pinterest. Let my addiction be your entertainment.
It’s no surprise that time is flying. My pregnancy felt like it lasted at once a lifetime and a heartbeat – like it would never end and like it was over in a flash. Now that Henry is here, time has ramped up to warp speed. I find that I am clinging to every minute with Henry, treating everything as if it were a Moment. I feel guilty every time I look at my phone or check Facebook or start laundry. Any time I put him down to sleep, I wonder if I should be holding him instead, because he’s only going to be so little for so long. I am assigning big significance to every little thing. And most of all, I am in serious denial that I already have a two-month old little boy at home.
And yet, the proof is in the pictures. Either Hobbes is shrinking (my mom’s preferred theory) or our little man is growing, growing, growing. Of course he is. He’s a healthy, happy, two-month-old baby, and life is still happening no matter how much I would love to press pause and snuggle up to baby Henry forever.
Look at that fat little face! He’s got chubby arms and chunky legs and he gets heavier each time I pick him up. He smiles a lot – especially at his dad, who has a whole arsenal of tricks to coax a grin from Henry – and I can tell he recognizes me when I change his diaper or pick him up after work. He likes music, Hobbes, ceiling fans, and bathtime. He does not care for loud sneezes or the cold air that inevitably follows his warm bath. His nicknames are Hank (and Hank the Tank, and Hammerin’ Hank), Henry Beans, and (my favorite) Toots McGee.
He is such a good baby – sleepy and hungry at all the right times, happy otherwise. He’s sweet and he loves to snuggle and he’s so handsome I could cry. I never knew it was possible to love somebody so completely – Josh put it best when he said I love Henry with my whole body. It fills me up to the point of tears, and it makes me act like a total clown as I sing and dance and make up poems in pursuit of the tiniest little baby grin (which, let’s be honest, is just as likely to come from gas as it is to come from my antics).
In short, it’s a blast. The sweetest roller coaster I’ve ever been on. Life was wonderful before Henry got here. But it didn’t come close to this.
On Sunday, as I leaned over my birthday cake to make a wish for my 28th year, I realized I don’t have anything left to wish for. A healthy family and more of the same, and this will be the best year yet.
It’s the same old song every year, but what a sweet song it is. Apple cider, pumpkin bread, crunchy leaves and sweater weather – there’s a reason this seems to be everyone’s favorite season. My maternity leave is over, and I am (slowly but surely) cracking my knuckles and rolling my shoulders and getting to work – I’m all set with my list of goals for the month.
• Get back to a blogging schedule (can you say you’re going to get back to something you never actually successfully got to in the first place?)
• Finish all of our thank you notes
• Assemble Henry’s crib
• Book our family photo session with my sweet friend Alyson (which is a great excuse to buy this adorable sweater one-piece for Henry)
And here’s a little bit of goodness to get you revved up for the month:
• This spooky October desktop calendar from Free People on flickr.
• This beautiful jewel toned scarf from She Does Justice
• Sufjan Stevens’ Illinoise album (absolutely perfect for crispy autumn evenings)
• This delicious Spiced Apple Toddy candle from last year
Happy October, friends.