Life | Parenthood

Two years & two kiddos later…

September 4, 2017

…and here we are. My first published post on my very own blog. I’ve been dreaming of this for, well, about two years now.

Two years ago, my daughter, Mila, turned one. I felt like I had finally grabbed the stay-at-home parent life by the reigns and was on a pretty smooth ride. The past year had felt like my first year of teaching all over again…except one hundred times harder (ask any teacher or any profession for that matter…that first year is hard). Everything is new and you’re learning every little detail about every little thing in order to be successful.

Our growing family had literally just moved cross-country the month before she arrived. My husband just finished up business school and was starting a new career path and I was setting up a nursery instead of a classroom for the first time. Our whole world was already turned upside down and the fact that we were jumping into parenthood took it to a whole new level.

Fast forward to her first birthday (down the road, there will be plenty of posts rewinding to that first year), life felt pretty smooth…to some degree. I had figured out the majority of Mila’s routines by this point. I could pack up the diaper bag in my sleep and had finally learned the appropriate number of snacks to bring on an outing (spoiler: you can never have too many). I had definitely stepped into parent-mode, embraced new challenges and had consumed myself in being “Mommy”.

Mila’s first birthday! No cake smash here…she only ate the blueberries on top and immediately wanted us to wipe her hand after getting frosting on it.

Something you need to know about me is I have always been a “do-er”. I need to be creating or doing something. I’m constantly inspired by others but I always have this need to put my own spin on something. I guess I need to thank my mom for this (thanks, Mom). She passed on her creative genes to me and for that I’m eternally grateful.

The flip side of being a “do-er” is it’s my own worst enemy. I can spend hours upon hours “planning out” my projects before I actually do them. I spend way too much time online (cough: Pinterest) becoming inspired and adding projects to my to-do list. My husband, Jon, is the perfect yin to my yang. He helps put things in perspective for me when I go down a creative spiral that seems to have no light.

One year when I was getting my classroom set up, I had this vision to create a global mural for my bulletin board. A large portion of my already limited classroom setup hours went into this bulletin board. Did I need to do this? Heck no. Did I almost throw in the towel about 50 times? Yup. Did I complain about the entire process to Jon? Of course. He would simply ask me, “Do you still see it?” (“it” being my original vision, not that ridiculous clown…). If I was still focused on my vision, he knows me well enough to know, I’m going to keep at it until I lose sight of it completely or successfully finish the job.

This was taken years ago on an old phone so excuse the extreme blurriness. And this was before the days I took pictures of every.little.thing like I do now so this wasn’t even the beginning of the school year. But that world map in the middle was hand-drawn…and it stayed up for the next three years.

I am naturally a project-based person (then teacher, now parent). I was proud of the time and effort I put in to planning lessons that would lead to my students completing successful and challenging projects. I’m now so proud of the projects and ventures I’ve taken on being a parent. It’s very hard for me to just sit and do nothing, even when I’m just exhausted. When it looks like I might be watching TV and “relaxing”, I’m usually only half-consumed in the show because my brain just doesn’t stop running (raise your hand if you relate!). I’ve always been like this but I feel like my brain has gone into major overdrive since becoming a parent.

During my first year home, I started writing and keeping a journal of my experiences, lists, things I needed to do, things I learned to do, ideas I had, etc. This became my outlet for keeping my sanity on the challenging or isolating days. I would write down all of my ideas on days I felt inspired (or when Mila took really long naps…). I wrote down every little thing on my mind when things were just too much to handle that day. I realized writing was helping me maintain my own identity that I felt was becoming lost some days in the copious amounts of coffee, burp cloths and messy hair buns that had become my life the past year.

Fast forward again to last summer. Mila just turned two, we were one month away from expecting our second kiddo, Tyler, and we had just moved into a new house five minutes away (we apparently find the need to move while I’m extremely pregnant…). Life was already busy, about to get crazier, and I was starting to feel the pressure build up. I was even planning on starting this blog around that time. I had actually already purchased the domain name you’re seeing today and had been casually drafting a lot of DIY posts of projects I had completed the past two years.

This was how I taught her the difference between “small” and “large”. She was actually a big helper at putting things inside the box…but didn’t understand the concept of waiting to unpack until you actually move.

Well, if life has taught me anything, it’s that things don’t always go as planned. I will go into more details in a future post for those interested, but let’s get to the point: I was diagnosed with postpartum anxiety (PPA) shortly after we welcomed Tyler to the world. I still struggle with this and always will, but since my actual diagnosis, a lot has become clear about me. I’ve always had some level of anxiety. I never would have identified it as an actual issue or problem until this past year because I always found ways to cope before and I didn’t even know it. Again, I’m not going to get super heavy in this very first post, but this is an important reason in understanding what you’re going to see here on my blog.

bonding tyler
Not the best picture quality but this was one of the first selfies I ever took with Tyler. I captured it because it was one of the first times since he was born that I felt like I was finally bonding with him.

So what is this blog about? Well, you’re going to see a lot of different things here. I’m going to share ideas, projects, recipes, favorite things, things I love to do and see, and things I’ve learned. I’m going to introduce you to the “village” I’ve found that has helped me in so many ways. I realize now that all of these things have been my coping mechanism since becoming a parent. I’ve been inspired by so many people in this online community that the least I can do is contribute to it in the hopes that I can be that inspiration for someone else.

I’m also going to share a bit about me and from time to time. At times, I might get “deep” with you about some of my experiences. Like I mentioned, writing helps me escape and cope whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed or at a breaking point. I will not be offended if you choose to skip over these posts when they come along, but again, the hope is maybe one person will relate to my particular experience and benefit from that in some way. I plan to share those posts from fellow bloggers that got me through some difficult days.

I’ll admit, part of the reason I haven’t hit the “publish” button on this post until now is I know once I do, I’m in. I’m going to (hopefully) get readers that expect things from me. I’m ready for that and I’m actually pretty good when it comes to setting deadlines, but if the past three years with kids has taught me anything it’s things rarely go exactly as planned.

In the future, I’d love to have a post scheduled to publish every day, but I know that’s not in the cards right now. But hey, like I said, I’m a “do-er”, so maybe I’ll even surprise myself. I’ve already learned so much about the world of blogging and have so much more to learn. My motto at the top of page, “life is like a classroom…we are always learning” is something I truly believe.

So, with this first (and long – thanks to those of you who stuck around) post coming to an end, I just want to say thank you and welcome to my world. My crazy, hectic, beautiful world. If you want to get to know me a little more, click here. I really do appreciate you taking time from your world to share a piece of mine.

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