January 24, 2012

Worth The Weight

If you have read this little blog of mine for very long or are friends with me on Facebook, you may have noticed that I have not posted a picture of myself in oh, months. I always pictured myself being a cute pregnant person. I was only going to gain 25 pounds and be all belly. One of those women who you couldn't tell was pregnant if you saw her from behind. Well, that wasn't the case. On the day Crosbi was born, I jumped on the scale (not the wisest move I could have made) to see what my final pregnancy weight was. More than anything, I wanted to be able to see just how much I lost while in the hospital. The number below me was painful to look at. I had gained 42 pounds. Forty-two pounds! How did that happen? Actually, I know how it happened. Sitting on the couch while eating chocolate chip cookies every night will do that to a person.

The last two months of my pregnancy I really packed on the pounds and it was evident. Especially in my face. I wrote several times about how insecure I had become, how chubby my cheeks were. I hated having my picture taken. I was so insecure that when I saw someone hold up a camera, it was all I could do to not cry and beg them to not take my picture. Instead I made everyone in the room swear not to post any pictures of me online. I didn't want there to be any evidence of what I had done to myself.

Two months after the birth of my sweet girl, I regret my behavior. No, I don't regret not letting people put my photos online (the whole world didn't need to see my fat face), but I regret that I stopped taking photos of myself entirely. I don't have photos from the last 30ish weeks of my pregnancy. You won't see many of me in the hospital, and Crosbi was five weeks old before I had my first "real" picture taken with her.

When I think about that, I'm saddened. So I've decided to make another New Years resolution. I'm going to be open to any and all pictures with my baby girl. I don't want her flipping through her baby book one day and asking, "Why are there no pictures of Mommy?" More importantly, I don't want to ever have to tell her that there were no pictures because mommy felt fat. That's not the example I want to set for her. So, as part of my new efforts, you may start to see more pictures of me on this blog - chubby face and all.

Without further adieu...

New Years Eve. Crosbi stayed up until midnight to watch the ball drop with us. Such a special moment kissing my two loves as we rang in the new year.

This photo was just taken today. Crosbi made her very first trip to the zoo. Being a mommy is already so much fun. We're going to have a blast visiting the zoo as she grows.

I just love that little girl and am so excited to create many more sweet memories with her.

January 20, 2012

Imagination Library

I could write for days on why I love living in Tennessee and how I'm thrilled to be raising my little girl in the South. I secretly hope she says things like "ya'll" and you better believe we'll be teaching her "Yes Ma'am and No Sir."

One of the perks of living in Tennessee is that it's the home of Dolly Parton. No, not because we can go to Dollywood, but because of the incredible book program she has for children living in the state. In the mid 90s, Dolly created Imagination Library, a reading program that provides one book each month for children in Tennessee ages 0-5.

The vision:

In 1996, Dolly Parton launched an exciting new effort, Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, to benefit the children of her home county in East Tennessee, USA. Dolly's vision was to foster a love of reading among her county’s preschool children and their families by providing them with the gift of a specially selected book each month. By mailing high quality, age-appropriate books directly to their homes, she wanted children to be excited about books and to feel the magic that books can create. Moreover, she could insure that every child would have books, regardless of their family’s income.

Signing up was so easy. I just entered Crosbi's birth date and address. That's it!

Crosbi received her first book this month. I know I was definitely more excited than she was, but I'm sure that will change in the months and years to come. Todd and I already enjoy reading to Crosbi. We can't wait until she's picking out her favorite books and jumping on our laps to have them read to her. 

So we say thanks, Dolly! Crosbi and I are very excited to build our very own Imagination Library!

For more information about Dolly's Imagination Library and/or to bring the program to your state, check out her website.

January 17, 2012

The In Between

At 9:18pm last night, Crosbi officially turned eight weeks old. I honestly don't know how two months have already gone by. In some ways it feels like C has been here for months, but at the same time, it feels like we just met. I guess that's because we're still getting to know each other. That's a hard concept. You would think since I carried her in my belly for nine months I would have her completely figured out, but instead each day I'm learning more about her. It's funny. She's the love of my life and still a stranger.

Right now I feel like I'm caught in the in between. I'm a mom, yet I don't really know what I'm doing, so that title seems unmerited. I'm not pregnant, but I still have 15 pounds to lose to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight, so my body doesn't feel like my own. I'm spending the days soaking up my daughter, yet slightly missing the creative and social outlet of my job. I guess I don't really know who I am. I don't write this to gain sympathy. It's not a complaint. It's just a new way of life that I'm trying to get the hang of. The weeks immediately following Crosbi's birth were solely about survival. Now that I have a bit of routine (if you can call it that), I'm more aware of my new life. When they say, "A Baby Changes Everything." They're not kidding. Having a baby is absolutely the hardest thing I've ever done. There are moments during the day when I want to go in the other room and scream in my pillow. But at the same time, being a mom is the most incredible thing I've ever done. After a day of nursing, changing diapers (I caught poop in my hand yesterday), peek-a-boo, etc., I feel like I haven't accomplished a thing. But then I catch a glimpse of Crosbi in her crib as she's going down for the night and I'm so proud I could burst. Such a strange thing, motherhood.

Some days, like today, are challenging. Crosbi is just like her dad when it comes to naps. She refuses to sleep during the day. The hard part is that I can see how tired she is, but she fights sleep. Thankfully she sleeps well during the night. I'm learning I have to pick my battles. Patience has never been a strength of mine. It looks like God is going to change that.

So here I am, eight weeks into my new identity. I'm learning a lot. That's an understatement. I'm learning more than I have in my entire life. I'm learning more about my daughter each day, but more than that, I'm learning about myself. The good, the bad and the ugly. I'm learning I can't do this alone.

I can't end this post without a picture of my Tink! Seriously, I have the cutest baby in the whole world.

And just to keep it real, I have to add this photo of Crosbi laughing. It's horribly blurry, but it makes me smile. I love that girl.

As soon as I find the time, I'll be back with Crosbi's two month update!

January 9, 2012

Crosbi: 1 Month

Our little girl is getting so big! She's technically 7 weeks old today, but we're still shy of two months, so I'm still good on calling this a one month post, right? I remember thinking about my maternity leave and how much spare time I would have to document every move Crosbi made. That's not so much the case. Between diaper changes and feedings, I don't have a lot of spare time. Thankfully C cooperated in a one-month photo shoot. Well, semi-cooperated. She was done about five minutes in.

Crosbi Adelle's One Month Stats:

*Weighing in at 11 pounds, 13 ounces and 23.5 inches long.
*She's starting to smile! It's so fun, but still rare. We take what we can get.
*She's getting really good at holding her head up. She thinks she's such a big girl.
*She's sleeping great at night. Typically 6-7 hours straight after daddy sings to her.
*She loves Mr. Lion on her activity mat.
*Bath time is her favorite.
*Already a music lover. Chris Tomlin seems to be her preference these days.
*Nicknames: "Tink" (began as stinker, then stink and eventually just became Tink). Todd calls her "Monk" short for monkey. Poor girl. We call her by nicknames so much that I had to stop and think about what her real name was once. I lost mommy points that day.

It's hard to believe that 7 weeks ago I was in labor, about to meet my little girl. Time is flying!

January 2, 2012

Looking Back: A Recap of 2011

What a difference a year can make! I don't think my life could have changed as much in one year as it did in 2011. I'm a new person. I'm a mom. It still doesn't seem possible. Below is a little recap of the past life changing, crazy 365 days.


Last January began in a funk. I was dealing with some personal issues that I was ready to leave behind. I knew that 2011 had to be different. It was in January that I took a stand and made some changes. It was also when I realized I wanted to think about someone other than myself. I wanted a family. But that would happen a little later...

In January I had the honor of hosting a baby shower for Allison, one of my closest friends. It was so fun celebrating her and the upcoming arrival of her precious little guy, Brody. I decided to get more practice in the kitchen. My new food processor came in handy. I attempted to make some home decor changes too. I was kicking off the year in full speed.


Todd and I hadn't fully committed to the idea of starting a family, so we dreamed of other ways to spend our money. A lake home seemed like a great idea. Keeping with the lake theme, I continued my home decor projects and gave our guest bathroom a makeover. I didn't do a lot of my own writing in February, but I managed to give some of my favorite bloggers praise.


March was a big month. Todd and I took a much needed trip to Seattle. Little did we know I was pregnant the entire time. Although, some crazy cravings during our layover in Denver on the way home tipped us off. I found out I was pregnant the morning of March 10th, but it would be several weeks before anyone else would know. 


No blog posts or photos in April. It's almost as if April didn't exist because I was in such a fog. A certain little baby girl was making me extremely sick. I was in survival mode, but barely surviving. It was awful, but definitely worth it.


Another month of sickness, but I was able to make one exciting blog post. We finally announced to everyone that we were pregnant. Todd and I thought we might explode if we didn't get the news out. Finally we could talk openly about our little peanut. 


Another exciting month. I was finally starting to show and we found out the sex of Baby S. A little girl! We shared the big news at a special reveal party with family in Missouri. While Todd and I both thought we wanted a boy, it would only be a matter of time before we discovered God knew best all along. How silly of me to think otherwise. We wouldn't trade our precious girl for anything in the world.  June proved to be a month of spiritual growth as I realized the great responsibility of raising a godly young woman. 


I was still stressing about motherhood, but planning the nursery was a great distraction. Celebrating Suz's 30th birthday helped get my mind off things as well. Such a fun outdoor movie party. My belly was definitely starting to pop as I hit the halfway mark. I got the chance to show off my bump at my 10 year high school reunion at the end of the month.


Baby S became Miss Crosbi Adelle when we publicly announced C's name. I entered my third trimester so I got a little crafty in the nursery and Todd and I took a quick trip to St. Louis with his parents. Our last getaway as a family of two. 


My belly continued to get bigger and bigger. Todd and I began weekly brunch dates as we looked forward to Crosbi's arrival and we threw in one last trip to Missouri to see family and have our maternity photos taken.


The month began with a baby shower thrown by friends here in Nashville. The fall was filled with several fun showers. We were so blessed to celebrate Crosbi's upcoming arrival with family and friends. October was a bit stressful as we were just weeks from meeting our little girl. So much to do in such little time. But we survived!


The month my life changed forever. Crosbi's due date came and went and we were getting so anxious to meet her. I struggled with the idea of being induced, but my prayers were answered when I went into labor naturally the morning of the 21st (more on that when I post Crosbi's birth story in the coming weeks). Definitely one of the best months of my entire life.


We wrapped up the year spending lots of quality time at home getting to know our little girl and settling in as a family of three. The month ended with Crosbi's first road trip of many to Missouri for Christmas.

Todd and I will look back at 2011 for the rest of our lives. The year God called us to be parents. The year we realized we are not in control. The year we were challenged and strengthened. The year we finally understood what love is. The year we grew up.

Thank you, God for this past year. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.