Saturday, January 14, 2017

August Edward: One Month Old

I can't even believe it has been a whole month since our sweet Gus Gus joined our family. Time is so weird when you have an infant. The days and especially the nights seem so, so long. Yet, they just fly by. It truly is the longest, shortest time.

I do hope to get Gus' birth story up sometime in the next few weeks, but finding time to write down thoughts has been a challenge (as can be expected). Yesterday, Callum spent all day with his Oma (my mom) and I was planning on writing this post during one of Gus' longer naps. Well, guess who decided not to sleep like at all! He had such impeccable timing. So, like I said, I really want to get to his birth story, but it's just a matter of actually getting to it. Edited to add: It ended up taking me four more days to finish this.

Here's what August has been up to for the first month of his life.


Weight & Height

Yesterday, at Gus' one month doctor's appointment, he came it at a whopping 8 lbs, 8 oz and 20.5 inches. (He was 7lbs 5oz at birth and 19 in.) That put him at about the tenth percentile for both. Callum was small, too. In fact, I don't think Callum was much over his birth weight at his one month appointment. So, I was very happy to see that Gus has been doing well. Because we did initially have such weight gain and nursing issues with Callum, I ended up buying a baby scale to have at home. I must say: It is probably the best investment I have ever made. It has given me such piece of mind and I don't stress constantly about every single spit up between doctor's appointments.

Eating

After the a few initial bumps, nursing has been going really well. Gus had no problem latching and figure out what to do right from the start. It was my body that needed a little push in the right direction. Just like with Callum, my body seems to need a little bit longer to build up supply. For the first two weeks of Gus' life, we were struggling with high bilirubin levels and his pediatrician wanted us to supplement a bit in order to flush the bilirubin out.

Of course, I was super stressed out about this and was so worried it would affect our breastfeeding relationship and my supply. Fortunately, he went back and forth from bottle to breast just fine. Plus, he doesn't seem to be bothered by the formula. While we were doing that, I was pumping like a mad woman and it all seemed to work out. In addition, it's nice to now know that he doesn't mind a bottle or a little formula in case I'm not home and he's suddenly starving. 

Sleeping

This is going about as well as can be expected. There is absolutely no real pattern or routine to his sleep schedule at all. Just when I think we're starting to develop a little pattern, things completely change.

Just like any newborn, his favorite place to sleep is in someone's arms. We generally let that happen whenever possible. After all, he is a newborn. He'll nap for a long time while I'm wearing him in the Moby, too. If I'm home alone with the boys and need to spend a little one on one time with Callum while Gus is napping, I'll put Gus down on his stomach in a little cosleeper we have. Since tummy-sleeping is generally frowned upon on this age, I always keep the cosleeper right by Callum and I while we are playing so I can watch Gus the whole time. I can generally get a good hour nap from Gus doing this.

As far as night time sleep goes, it seems to be a new adventure every night. For almost a week, I was getting a good 3-4 hours out of him in the Rock n Play swaddled. But, then Gus decided he wasn't down with sleeping by himself for more than about ten minutes. It's been manageable, but I really hope I have better news next month about his night time sleep.

His startle reflex is also out of this world. I can't wait til he grows out of that one.

Development

Callum on the right, Gus on the left.

Just like Callum, Gus seems to be a pretty strong guy. He's already managed to roll himself over during tummy time, twice. When we were at one of his doctor's appointment, his pediatrician did comment on how much of a mover he is, and we really do have to be careful. I don't even feel comfortable leaving him on his changing table for a quick minute.

Callum loves to do tummy time with Gus. He "reads" him a book while he does it, usually Babble Books since he has it memorized. Gus seems to be pretty content on his tummy, too. He's generally happier there than when we put him down on his back.

Callum reading to Gus during tummy time.


We've been getting a couple little smiles here and there. He seems to recognize my face and his brother's (probably because Callum is all up in his grill as soon as Gus' eyes are open). We see the most smiles from Gus right before he falls asleep, usually as he's eating. It's as if he couldn't be any happier in that exact moment. I love it.

Likes

The easiest way to get our little man to stop crying is to turn on the water. Seriously. He loves when I do dishes and could sit in the bathroom forever while we take a shower, which has been a life saver. Gus is a big fan of head rubs, too. He'll doze right off as I rub his head. He's got the softest head in the world, too, so I could rub it forever.

He also likes sitting in a bouncy chair on the kitchen island while everyone else is eating or just hanging out. The chair has some fun lights and music, and it vibrates, so it's basically sensory overload. He's beginning to love his MamaRoo swing more and more, too.

This kid has peed more during diaper changes in the first week of his life, than Callum did in his whole life. I'm thinking we just got lucky with Callum. Either way, Gus screams just about the whole time we change his diaper. Then, out of no where, he'll quiet down for just a second, and then he pees! I've gotten better at expecting it, especially since he sort of lets me know when it's going to happen.

Dislikes

See above about diaper changes. Seriously. It's the only real time he screams uncontrollably.

Snapped mid-diaper change.


He doesn't love having his arms swaddled. I've tried to force it, but he'll grunt and wiggle until his little arms are out. He just likes to have his arms close to his face, so we swaddle them up. He also doesn't seem to be a huge fan of a pacifier. I keep trying. I'm still hoping that he'll take it. It would make our life so much easier.

He also seems to generally dislike the hours between 6:00 - 8:00 PM. He's pretty fussy after dinner and is not happy unless we're walking around and bouncing him, or feeding him.

Overall, Gus is a pretty low key baby. No signs of colic, no real extended periods of screaming. I guess we'll keep him.

How's everyone else doing?

So, in the words of our four-year-old neighbor, Bronte, "Having a baby is nice, but it's really hard." Ain't that the truth. That's exactly how I would describe life right now. We're very tired and learning how to be a family of four. Overall, I'm feeling really good. It does seem to be just a little bit easier the second time around. I have so much more confidence in myself and feel like I better understand my baby's needs. 

Callum seems to have adjusted well, too. He has his usual three-year-old moments, that sometimes drive me crazier than they should. There have been a few times where I can tell my patience is much shorter with Callum, but I seem to be pretty good at catching it and redirecting both of us. At this point, he probably doesn't even remember life with Gus. Whenever we talk about going out somewhere, he always asks if Gus will be coming along, too. He wants to make sure he'll be there. I'm so looking forward to when the two of them can really play together.

Matt's been off of work for the last two weeks, which has been amazing. We're going to miss him so much when he goes back next week. I just know things will be much crazier as I'll be spending most of my days solo with the boys.

In all seriousness, sometimes, I can hardly believe I'm the mom of TWO little boys. I can't even believe how lucky I am. Life is so, so sweet. I wouldn't trade the sleepless nights, dirty diapers, or messy house for any of it.

This post would not be finished without a big ole thanks to all the amazing friends and family we have in our lives. All the meals dropped off, play dates with Callum, and just constant check ins have been more appreciated than anyone could every know. I promise I have actual thank yous on my to-do list. But, for all my friends and family out there who have been around this past month to help us, just know that this month was better because of YOU. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Here's what we've been up to the last month.

He's here! 3:00 AM on December 6.

First family photo. Taken after Matt and I had been awake for 24+ hours.

Visited Santa.

Just a handful of the wonderful visitors we've had.

Ice skating at Center Street Park.

The sweetest little hands.

Baby's first brewery.

Watching a Packer playoff game with Dad.


Lots of love from Callum.



Thursday, January 5, 2017

A night out with the Murder Mystery Company

In case you missed it, we officially welcomed August Edward in to our family a few weeks earlier than expected on December 6! We are all doing amazing, and I promise a birth story very soon. You can also check out all kinds of pictures on my Instagram. In the mean time, enjoy this post that was supposed to be posted before the arrival of our sweet babe. :)



A few weeks ago, in what turned out to be the last date night we had before Gus arrived, Matt and I went to our very first murder mystery dinner. For those of you who have never attended a murder mystery dinner, but have wanted to, here's my advice: Do it and do it now!



The show (Crime & Pun-ishment) was hosted by the Murder Mystery Company at the Astor Hotel. The Astor Hotel was THE perfect location for a 1920s-themed show. When we received our tickets, it did encourage us to dress the part for the show. To be honest, I was a little nervous about that. What if no one else was dressed up? Would we look like we were way too in it? Plus, I was 8.5 months pregnant. I've never seen a flapper in her third trimester ;) In the end, not wanting to miss out an opportunity to wear a costume overruled any fears of being the only ones dressed up. I decided to just go for it and got some simple accessories for Matt and I. As soon as we got there, I immediately wished I would've gone all out on the costumes! Just about everyone was super decked out. And, if they weren't, they honestly looked out of place. So, if you decide to go to a Murder Mystery Company show, my first piece of advice would be to dress up and do it big! It honestly seems to unite everyone at the show and makes you feel like you already know them. 


We arrived at the Astor a little early, so we grabbed something to drink at the bar while we waited. We ended up running in to a friend (Hi Erin!) and her husband, along with a couple of their friends. It was so nice to see some familiar faces as we speculated about what the night would hold for us. 

As soon as the ballroom doors opened and we were able to get in, we already felt like we were a part of the show. The actors were already in character as they checked us in and showed us to our seats. The murder mystery had begun! 

I love seeing all the flappers and mobsters in this picture.

We ended up sitting at the same table as our friends and one other couple. As we were being introduced to the events for the evening, we learned we had to work as a team with our table. So, it was so nice to already know some of the people we were sitting with! A night out with the Murder Mystery Company would be such a fun time with a large group (bachelor/bachlorette party, birthday, etc.).

Before we knew it, someone had been murdered! I was sort of waiting on the edge of my seat until this happened. The murder turned out to be a bit more comical than dramatic, which I totally appreciated.


As we all were introduced to the game and our roles as detectives, some of the audience members turned in to suspects. Here was my one little critique from the whole evening: Most of the audience members who ended up as characters did so well! They were in to their roles and totally played the parts. However, some of them were just not as outgoing and seemed a little embarrassed about their parts. It would've been great if these people would've been vetted a little bit more. I'm not entirely sure how that would've happened. Maybe we could've said whether we were interested in participating or not when we bought our tickets? Or, maybe the actors could've quickly asked as they chose roles? Like I said, most of them were great, but others were just not it to it, which sort of took away from the experience.

Someone was just MURDERED! ;)

I should mention, as all of this was happening, dinner was also being served. We were able to choose our meals when we got our tickets. (It was included in the ticket price.) Matt and I both went for a roast beef, and it was really good. In addition to the main course, we also had salad, bread, and dessert. I was definitely stuffed after it all. Drinks were not included in our ticket, which is totally understandable.

Once all of the suspects were introduced, it was now our turn to go around and talk to everyone. We had some fake money for bribery and were told that everyone had to answer every question asked of them honestly. This is where everyone got so in to it. It was so much fun! Everyone at our table was working together, taking notes, and splitting up who we should talk to in order to make sure we interviewed all suspects.

Here's Matt listening intently as suspects are interviewed.

Money that doubled with some possible leads for solving the murder.

Once we had a little bit of time to talk to everyone, a few more clues were introduced. Then, more time to interview suspects since more information was given. Finally, one more round of clues and more time to talk. After a little bit more time for discussion, it was time for our table to write down and submit who we thought the murderer was. It wasn't enough to name the suspect, we also had to write down all the clues that led us to our decision. The table that had the most detail in their answer, in addition to the correct murderer, would be the winners. Our table successfully guessed the murderer! We were not the overall winners because I guess someone had just a little more detail than we did. But, if you ask me, we totally were the winners. ;)

When I asked my husband his overall opinion of the night, his response was, "Dinner, entertainment, suspense, involvement, what more could you want?" And, that just about sums it up. It was a great night out, and definitely way different than anything we've ever done! If you're looking for a special date night or planning an event for a group of people, I would highly recommend a night with the Murder Mystery Company. It will not only provide an entertaining night, but something to talk about for weeks to come. It definitely left us with a bunch of fun memories to look back on and a night we'll never forget. 


Thanks to the Murder Mystery Company for having us! We'll definitely be back.


SaveSave

Monday, November 21, 2016

Sesame Street Live Giveaway

Updated: Congratulations to Lauren Hankins! She's won the four tickets to a Sesame Street Live show in Milwaukee.

Last year, we took Callum for his very first Sesame Street Live experience. To be honest, I was not really looking forward to it. I thought it would be a situation where I would be desperately searching for a cash bar. But, it was totally the exact opposite.


We had such a wonderful time and we all enjoyed the show so much. In fact, we left with the soundtrack and I am not even joking when I say that we listen to it every single day in the car. I can not wait to go again this January. The songs were so much fun and the I could not believe the dance moves of the actors in those big (and I can only imagine, very hot) costumes.

I am so thrilled to once again have four tickets to giveaway to one of you to the upcoming shows in Milwaukee! Sesame Street Live's "Elmo Makes Music" will be at the Milwaukee Theater on Saturday, January 14 and Sunday, January 15. In "Elmo Makes Music," the new music teacher’s instruments go missing. Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Big Bird, and more come to the rescue and discover instruments they never knew existed. Children learn that everyone can make and enjoy beautiful music together! 



The show runs for 90 minutes with a 15-minute intermission. When we went last year, Callum was just over two and was definitely entertained the whole time. He had no problem at all sitting through it. In fact, I'm pretty sure he clapped and danced the whole time. In addition, after we saw the show last year ("Make a New Friend"), we had so much to talk about with Callum. What I thought would just be a fun couple hours of entertainment, turned in to an educational opportunity that we still talk about today.


I really can not say enough wonderful things about these shows, and if you've ever taken your kids to one, I'm sure you'd agree! If you're interested in winning a four-pack of tickets to a show on either January 14 or 15 in Milwaukee, enter using the Rafflecopter below. Giveaway closes next Monday!

To learn more about the show or to purchase tickets, click here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sesame Street Live Giveaway

Last year, we took Callum for his very first Sesame Street Live experience. To be honest, I was not really looking forward to it. I thought it would be a situation where I would be desperately searching for a cash bar. But, it was totally the exact opposite.


We had such a wonderful time and we all enjoyed the show so much. In fact, we left with the soundtrack and I am not even joking when I say that we listen to it every single day in the car. I can not wait to go again this January. The songs were so much fun and the I could not believe the dance moves of the actors in those big (and I can only imagine, very hot) costumes.

I am so thrilled to once again have four tickets to giveaway to one of you to the upcoming shows in Milwaukee! Sesame Street Live's "Elmo Makes Music" will be at the Milwaukee Theater on Saturday, January 14 and Sunday, January 15. In "Elmo Makes Music," the new music teacher’s instruments go missing. Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Big Bird, and more come to the rescue and discover instruments they never knew existed. Children learn that everyone can make and enjoy beautiful music together! 



The show runs for 90 minutes with a 15-minute intermission. When we went last year, Callum was just over two and was definitely entertained the whole time. He had no problem at all sitting through it. In fact, I'm pretty sure he clapped and danced the whole time. In addition, after we saw the show last year ("Make a New Friend"), we had so much to talk about with Callum. What I thought would just be a fun couple hours of entertainment, turned in to an educational opportunity that we still talk about today.


I really can not say enough wonderful things about these shows, and if you've ever taken your kids to one, I'm sure you'd agree! If you're interested in winning a four-pack of tickets to a show on either January 14 or 15 in Milwaukee, enter using the Rafflecopter below. Giveaway closes next Monday!

To learn more about the show or to purchase tickets, click here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, November 14, 2016

35 weeks (Alternative title: Over It)

This is your fair warning: I'm about to whine for a bit. I recognize everything could be worse and it's really not that bad, but sometimes, a girl's just gotta whine for a bit. If you're not in to it (which I totally understand), scroll to the bottom of the post for some baby products I'm looking forward to trying this time around.

Here we go.

These last two weeks have been rough. I feel like I was strolling right along just fine, and then BAM! I'm super pregnant and feeling it. I've received so many comments, too, about how I just seem to have popped. Plus, this last week and a half or so has just been a difficult week in general. Daylight saving times hit us like a ton of bricks. The the election on Tuesday (enough said). Then, on Saturday, Matt's dear cousin, Laura, passed away after a year-long battle with cancer. There's just been a lot of stuff to deal with, making these fast few weeks just that much tougher.

Back to the wonderful third trimester symptoms. I'm so uncomfortable almost all the time. It is hard to sit. It is hard to lie down. I'm out of breath just getting dressed. Bending over is just about impossible. Baby has been moving like crazy, too. For the most part, it's amazing! But, it's like he knows just when I've gotten comfortable, and then he digs his head in to my hip or rolls over my bladder. Matt and I were watching TV the other night (Stranger Things! OMG! So good.), and my belly was just bouncing and moving like crazy. I told Matt to feel it and he said it felt like this kid was boxing inside of me. Seriously. That's how intense the movements have been.



Sleep has also been much harder to come by. I feel like I am up every hour to go to the bathroom, because of acid reflux, or to roll over. Getting in and out of bed is such a project in and of itself. Thankfully, despite my disrupted sleep patterns, I haven't been too exhausted during the day. I just really wish I could have one full night of sleep.

I will say, I do think I am in better physical shape at this point than I was when I was 35 weeks pregnant with Callum. At 35 weeks with Callum, I was taking daily walks but had stopped running. This time around, I am still taking barre several times a week, which I think is really helping with my overall muscle tone. Despite feeling in shape (relatively), I still just feel huge. I hate the way all my clothes fit and just feel generally icky about my current appearance. I know this all comes with the territory, but it is still always an adjustment. We're taking our family Christmas photos this weekend, and I am hoping that seeing those will help me see myself through a better light.

The newborn anxiety has also totally set in. I feel like it's so much worse the second time around because you know what you are in for. Labor is hard and postpartum recovery is no fun. The "fourth trimester" is full of struggles. And, unfortunately, I am not blissfully ignorant about all of that anymore. Don't get me wrong: I am so excited to have this baby! We hoped for it for so long and it is hard to believe that the day is almost here. But, I now know just how difficult the newborn period is. It is an adjustment all around and I feel like I'm bracing myself for that crash landing.

I've been trying to soak in as many moments as I can with just Callum. I'm well aware of the fact that his world is about to be turned upside down, and that kind of breaks my heart. In a way, I feel like I'm in a little bit of a mourning period. We're saying goodbye to his days as an only child, and it fills me with all kinds of guilt and sadness. After we are all adjusted to life as a family of four, I know he is going to be an unbelievable big brother. We talk about the baby all the time. He has said how he's going to teach the baby to play hide and seek, share his toys, and even help burp the baby. This past weekend, we were washing and putting away baby clothes and he loved helping me find matching pairs for all the tiny socks. So, I think we are doing our best at showing him what's to come. But, there's really no way to fully prepare him. He is so social and always wants to be around other kids. Unfortunately for Callum, babies aren't nearly as exciting as another three-year-old is.

The big question: Are we ready? I think we're as ready as we'll ever be. The nursery is stocked with clothes and diapers. I've packed my hospital bag. We've discussed several options for care for Callum when it's time to go to the hospital. So, now we wait.

A few detail shots of baby's room. I painted the statement wall with my own two hands while I still had that second trimester energy.

New Baby Products with Number 2

We really didn't need to buy much when getting ready for this new baby. After all, we still have most of the essentials: crib, car seat, clothes, etc. Still, there are a few new products on the baby market that I am looking forward to trying out this time around. Here's what's on my list.



1. Wooden teethers - Not only are they so much cuter than the plastic rings, they are much safer, too. This particular teether is made from non-treated wood and finished with a non-toxic vegetable seed wax.

2. Dock A Tot - With Callum, the first few weeks at home were rough. I think much of that was because we didn't have a co-sleeping option. I wish I would've researched it more before Callum was born, instead of just listening to all of the scary warnings about it. This time, I hope to have baby next to me safely in the Dock A Tot. It is also super easy to move all over and ideal for travel. It designed for newborns all the way up to eight-month-olds, so it should be a great option for a while for visiting friends and family, too. Not to mention, it takes up much less space than a pack n play.

3. MamaROO - With Callum, we were lucky enough to have a family member lend us their swing. (Thanks, Sarah!) So, we were in the market for a swing for Baby 2. I looked at quite a few options and kept a close eye on local buy/sell/trade sites. When I saw a like-new MamaROO come up for a sale at a really great price, I jumped at the chance. So far, I can tell you that it is really easy to move and take the seat off to be washed. I also love how low to the ground it is (so Callum can easily see baby) and that it takes up much less room than a swing.

4. Grocery cart hammock - As we wait for our new addition, one of the main things I'm stressing over is how I'm going to get every day tasks done with two kids. Grocery shopping towards the top of the list. With this cart hammock, it will be much easier to fit both Callum and a baby in the cart. Shopping with Callum and a baby in a car seat will leave just about no room for the actual groceries. I'm thinking this little contraption will help solve that.

5. Matching pajamas - This one is totally just for fun. With two boys, I'm so excited to get them in matching pajama sets. Finn + Emma has some super cute ones that aren't too matchy, like the ones shown above. I'm sure Callum and his brother will thank me in their college years. ;)

Is there anything I'm missing? Have you tried any of these? Let me know what products were essential once you added that second baby to your family. I have a few exciting sponsored posts coming up in the next week. So, I'm sure I'll check in again before Baby gets here. Either way, it won't be long now! I truly am so looking forward to meeting our sweet little guy. My heart is bursting already.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

A Trip to the Jurassic

For those of you who do not personally know my kid, he is officially dinosaur-obsessed. He was a T-Rex for Halloween, loves to run around "roaring" everyone, and could spend hours watching Dinosaur Train. In fact, the other day he actually asked me to teach him how to read his dinosaur book. (If only it was that simple.)

So, when I saw that Jurassic Quest would be in Milwaukee (for the very first time!), I knew we had to get there. Last weekend, Matt, Callum, and I did just that. You guys. I am not even kidding you when I say I felt like I was in the movie Jurassic Park. It was so unbelievable!  It definitely put our one T-Rex at the Milwaukee Public Museum to shame.



Jurassic Quest dubs itself the largest exhibition of life-size, moving, museum-quality dinosaurs in North America. The exhibit features more than 50 animatronic dinosaurs that you can interact with. You can even ride a few of them. It was just so cool. The dinosaurs were moving, roaring, and even swinging their tails back and worth. Plus, they were most definitely life-size. Many of them made my six-foot-plus husband look like a little ant.


When we first walked in, Callum was waaaaaay overwhelmed. Like way overwhelmed. We quickly found some baby dinosaurs that he could ride and get close to. That helped a little bit, but he was still a little nervous of the huge roaring, moving dinos, and I totally can't blame him. So, we made our way to the back of the expo hall where they had a bunch of activities geared just towards little ones. I look forward to going back when he's a little older and we can really get in to the different types of dinosaurs and learn so much more about all of them.


We spent most of our time there with the friendlier dinosaurs. There were dinosaur-themed bounce houses and slides, an area to do some excavating, little jeeps for the little ones to drive, and even the opportunity to ride a real-life moving dinosaur. We easily killed a couple hours here and totally wore Callum out. (Thank God for bounce houses! Amiright?) P.S. Watch a video of Callum riding a triceratops here. How cool would it be to have one at home and just ride it around the neighborhood?

I will say that the line for some of the activities was looooooong. I would stand in line while Matt and Callum would go do something else for a bit. The line was especially long to ride the dinosaurs. I think I waited for 45 minutes, and the place didn't seem especially crowded. So, I would definitely recommend getting there right when everything opens and getting in those lines right away.


This post would not be complete without a huuuuuge shout out to all the staff at Jurassic Quest! These awesome people lifted kids on top of dinosaurs and strapped them in, were literally run over by the jeeps with the tiny (very inexperienced) drivers, and were so patient with all the kiddos.  Everyone had a smile on their face and respected the fact that this was a new, exciting experience for every one of the kids, even though the staff was spending their ENTIRE day doing it. I really don't know how they did it. I was beyond impressed.

They also have two shows that run regularly throughout the day: one featuring baby dinosaurs and one featuring walking dinosaurs. We were able to catch the end of the baby dinosaur show, and it was so worth it. They talked about all about the different types of baby dinosaurs they had, and then they walked around with tiny animatronic dinosaurs that you could pet. It was so crazy! The baby dinosaurs seemed so real! They would nuzzle you or nip at your clothing. They weren't puppets because the people carrying them had both of their arms wrapped around them. I was pretty convinced that they were actual baby dinosaurs. It was pretty exciting, even for me, to suspend reality for a bit and imagine they were real. 


We spent about three hours exploring Jurassic Quest before nap time called and we had to get our tired toddler home. But, I totally wish we would've had more time. If Jurassic Quest is back next year, we will definitely be there! With Callum another year older, I'm sure he'd be a little less afraid of the larger dinosaurs and even more in to everything. 



Long story short: Jurassic Quest is an awesome experience for kids and adults of all ages. There was more than enough to do to keep everyone busy for a long afternoon or even the entire day. Even if your kid is not super in to dinosaurs, they'll have a great time at Jurassic Quest.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Thoughts on Turning 30

Today, I officially say goodbye to my 20s and stroll into a new decade. Hello, 30s!

First off, let me say that I by no means consider 30 'old.' It's just one of those milestone birthdays, and I feel it begs some thought and reflection. On one side of the coin, I'm a little sad to say goodbye to my 20s. Although not without their challenges and sadness, my 20s were amazing, and I'm choosing to focus on the positive.

I met, fell in love with, and married a man who is the perfect ying to my craziness, I mean yang. But seriously, I couldn't have asked for a better partner in life. He supports everything I do, and just about everything good in my life is because of him. We've built a wonderful life together, and I so often pinch myself to make sure it's all real.

Our wedding day. April 14, 2012. Photo by Alex & Natalie Nelson.

And, I'm crying already. #blessed But, really, so blessed.

Careerwise: I finished school, found one job that I loved, and then another job that I loved. I started my college career as a physical therapy student, and was pretty lost when I realized that wasn't for me. But, somehow, it all worked out, and my work journey has landed me in a role I truly enjoy. Not to mention, both organizations that I worked for made it possible for me to spend more time at home as a mom. Everyday I am grateful for my work-life balance. Because of it, I cherish every single day I am able to stay home with Callum, while still appreciate every day I have at work.

Working part-time also gave me the opportunity to begin this little blog, which has led to many fun opportunities. The best part of blogging has been meeting so many wonderful people, now friends, along the way. It also gave me the opportunity to become a part of MKE Moms Blog, which has been an unbelievable adventure. I can not say enough amazing things about all the wonderful and inspiring moms I have met because of it.

Obviously, the most life-changing adventure of my 20s was becoming a mom. After having Callum, there is just no doubt in my mind that I was put on earth to be his momma. He challenges me, inspires me, and makes me laugh every single day. As much as I enjoy some time away from him every now and then, a little bit of me always aches to have my arms wrapped around him.



And it would be wrong not to mention the amazing community of friends I have. I can't help but think of that nursery rhyme, "Make new friends, but keep the old..." I am so lucky to say that I have friends who have known me since way before my 20s, and they continue to mean the world to me. We are all spread across this country, but every time we are together, we pick up right where we left off. On the other hand, my life would be incomplete without all the amazing friends I have made in the past few years. I have so many people I can count on every day, and I am a better friend, wife, and mom because of them and their influence on my life.



I guess what it all boils down to is this: my 20s were filled with so much love, laughter, and happiness. I somehow managed to carve my path and build a wonderful life with my family, amazing friends, and community. Don't get me wrong: It has not been without it's challenges. If a genie came through with three wishes, I would definitely take her up on it. But, all in all, life is oh so sweet.

Today, on my birthday, I am filled with so much gratitude. I should be counting my blessings each and every day, but that rarely happens. It feels so good to take a moment of reflection and recognize how blessed I am.  Not that I am any sort of expert, but if I had to give any advice for everyone else in your 20s: Your life is your life. Do what makes you happy, and f*$# the rest. Seriously. Life is too short for anything else.

Goodbye to my 20s. I can not wait to see what the 30s have in store.