snowjam


Soooo...been watching the news lately? 

Apparently, it snowed here in Atlanta. And due to a number of ridiculous reasons (you can find some of them here and here), many people were left stranded on the interstates for eight, twelve, sixteen, and sometimes more than twenty hours. It was a pretty sad situation. And I cannot even begin to express how grateful I am that I got home within an hour on Tuesday before things got crazy. Lucy was with me and the whole time I was driving I kept having flashbacks to when I got stuck on the bridge to 75/85 three years ago

But...the snow was (is) beautiful.

Here are some photos to prove it.





Lucy really loved it, too, by the way :).

our family photo shoot

Happy Monday!

Last weekend, one of my dear friends from college took some beautiful shots of our family at home. They turned out even better than I hoped and I've been so excited to share them here. I'm looking forward to decorating our home with these sweet images of us together.

Enjoy!
















If you want to check out more of Sara's work, be sure to like her on Facebook. As you can see, she's pretty stellar.

that day my friend got married

So yesterday my friend of more than 27 years got married. And what a lovely (albeit COLD) day it was! Lucy and I spent the morning with everyone at her parent's house, the same house where that scar on my knee came from, where we ate tater-tots for snack time, where we ran in the woods, where we screamed at each other over who Jonathan Taylor Thomas would like more (JTT! You know you loved him, too), where we cried over stupid boys, where we made coffee for the first time, where we laughed. A lot. Where her parents still have a 23 year old picture of us in our ballet uniforms hanging on the wall. It was pretty cool to show Lucy all those places and people who helped shape my childhood. I know she won't remember, but we will.















Cassy, I love you. You were a beautiful bride and are an even more beautiful person. Congrats to you and your new hubby! Get ready for a big adventure. I can't wait to see what wonderful things are in store for you.

two months


Another month, another ridiculously cute picture of our baby girl.

It's insane how much she has changed in the last thirty days. The one-month photo I took shows Lucy bundled in her swaddle, her perfectly round head full of dark brown hair. And now I look at this one and see a little girl who has perfected the art of melting mama's heart with that grin. A little girl turning blonde and growing long.

I'm so glad I was picked out to be her mother.

At two months old, Lucy Jane is holding her head up for about twenty seconds at a time and is starting to coo when we talk to her. She still smiles constantly (love love love), sleeps through the night, and has gained all her birth weight back and then some. We have her two-month shots coming up and we'll find out exactly what her weight is then. I'm hoping she's close to eleven pounds, but it's hard to tell because she's gotten so tall and looks thinner as a result.

Lucy loves to be held and cuddled. The sling has been a lifesaver for us! Sometimes it's the only way we can get her to relax when she's fussy. I don't mind. I hope she always wants to be close to us. Pierce gets tons of sweet, adoring looks when we go out and he's wearing her on his chest. I'm truly a lucky woman :). I haven't used our Moby wrap too much just because the sling is easier, but I like to have it on hand for when Lucy gets a bit bigger and can't fit in the sling anymore.

We're still supplementing with formula to help Lucy get the nutrients she needs and also because I'm working full-time. But I've started pumping and I hope to stock up to our freezer so I can take those bottles with her to daycare in order for her to continue getting as much of my milk as possible. Plus, I need to make sure I keep my supply healthy for when we're at home in the mornings and evenings and she nurses.

Every day is new, exciting, and sometimes chaotic (okay, a lot chaotic), but we're making it work!

Happy two months, Lucy Jane. We love you!

mommy diaries//taking it all in


Hi friends!

Today is the start of a new series on the blog called mommy diaries. I'm really proud of how well I've documented my pregnancy and the early days of motherhood, so far, and this series will just be a continuation of what's been done. The biggest difference is that I'll keep it short and sweet with a list of updates, rather than my usual Tolstoy-esque novels.

What Lucy's Doing This Week: 

Smiling every single day! It makes me so happy to know she's happy. Honestly, I never realized how much my own joy would come from what our baby girl is feeling. 

What Mama's Doing This Week: 

Adjusting to our new schedule. Baby girl started daycare with my husband's best friend's wife (got that?) who is an incredibly sweet woman and mama. They have a three-year old girl and she also watches another eighteen-month old boy. I get photo and text updates throughout the day and, since I can work remotely, I am able to stay close by in order to drop in whenever I want for kisses :). It makes me feel so good to know Lucy is being cared for by friends who love Jesus and will love her the same. So many people have opinions about mamas who work (and just about everything else), but it's good for my mental health and being healthy is crucial for me to give Lucy what she needs.

And let's be real here: having some time to myself during the day to focus on other important things has been refreshing. I know women are afraid to admit this because we think it somehow means we don't love our babies. But it's been really good for me to recharge my batteries each day.

Favorite Moments:

Again with the smiles. I cannot get enough of our sweet girl's beautiful, toothless grin! She is so lovely and tender and innocent. I hope to guard that for as long as I can. I know she'll face the messiness of life at some point, and I know it will be good for her to learn how to navigate those times, but this sweet season with her is one I want to last as long as possible. 

Mama or Papa: 

Lucy favors me right now. I try not to chalk it up to the fact that I'm nursing and she's just more familiar with me - even though it's tempting to assume that - but when she eyes me from across the room, or stops crying as soon as I hold her, or falls asleep to the sound of my singing...well...it becomes pretty clear. I'm tucking these moments away for when she truly becomes a Daddy's girl! I know that day is coming.

My daughter is smarter than me.


At some point in my life, I will talk about something other than my child. But not right now. No, right now she's pretty much all I sleep, eat, and breathe. So now that we've cleared that up, let's get right back to talking about my baby, like I said.

Lucy continues to amaze me every single day. She doesn't do much outside of the typical newborn behaviors. (Is she still considered newborn at seven weeks? When does this transition happen? Oh, who cares.) But still...she's amazing. Truly. My favorite part of the day is when she first wakes up from a nap or when she's a little milk drunk. She just lies back in my arms or on my knees and looks around, her eyes alight with wonder and curiosity. She smiles constantly, which pretty much guarantees a broken mama heart because it's absolutely the most adorable/heartbreaking/wonderful thing I've ever seen. Sometimes I just watch her watch the world, and it's astounding. I wonder what's going on in her mind and I imagine all these emotions and memories nestling into her brain and making themselves at home so that, one day, she'll be able to draw upon all the love we've given her. It's crucial for her to have some extra just in case when she's in the middle of a fight with her boyfriend, or crying over a test score, or feeling homesick when she's away at college. So we're trying to fill up all the stores she's got.

Yesterday, I held her in my arms and watched as she turned her head from left to right, fixing her eyes on something I could not see, a huge grin on her face. She followed it around the room, her smile growing larger with each passing second and I said a little prayer that she would always view the world with such joy. My mother says Lucy sees angels and I believe her. I hope she always can. I hope we teach her so.

My friend Susan shared a blog post on Facebook this morning that spoke directly to this new mama stuff. And I realized after reading it that God has answered the prayers I so fervently prayed while I was pregnant. Like I wrote in my last post (and in many others), I long to see myself the way God sees me because it's the only way I can be the kind of mother He has called me to be. I used to pray that being a mother would give me that ability...only, at the time, I was just asking God to help me love Lucy the way He loves me (which I do, in my very messy, human way of loving). Instead, He showed me His love by revealing how much Lucy loves me. Hers is truly the kind of unconditional love God offers. My little girl sees me as I'd like to be seen. She knows my heart the way no one else does. 

Sometimes I wonder if Lucy smiles so much or stops crying as soon as I hold her simply because I meet her needs. Is it just instinctual for her? "Oh hey! You're the woman with the boobies and I like those. Boobies are my favorite!" I'm sure that's part of it. But I have no doubt that babies are incredibly intelligent. They may not be able to communicate as articulately as we do (or don't), but they feel and think and act. THey learn. And, most importantly, they understand. And it fills me hope and comfort to believe that my sweet girl knows who I am even when I forget how good God has made me. Even when I feel like a failure. Even when I'm afraid. Lucy knows the truth.

She's a smart cookie, that one.

truth


Happy new year to you and yours! I hope it was as lovely and relaxing (and if not relaxing, at least as lovely) as ours. We just sat on the couch drinking coffee, talking about our hopes for 2014, and cuddling with our little girl.

If you follow me on Instagram, you might already know how I felt about 2013. It was a rough one. I remember feeling a terrible sense of dread during the last week of 2012 and I couldn't shake it no matter how hard I tried. I think part of it was my own fear taking over, my own confusion about what was going on in our lives at the time (new house, lost job, uncertainty everywhere) and another part was the inkling that the next twelve months were going to test me in ways I had never been tested. 

But I made it through. We made it through. And for 2014 my prayer is that I will hold onto the truth of what God has shown me about myself.

That is my word for this year: Truth.

When first considering what word I'd choose to represent the journey of the coming 12 months, I thought about courage and faith and healing. But the word truth settled on me like a comforting blanket. It encompasses all the other words I want to be. Without truth, I can't have courage. I can't be healed. I can't have faith. 

This year, I long to see myself the way my Jesus sees me. The other day, I was listening to a podcast by our pastor, Andy Stanley, and something he said filled my spirit with an incredible lightness. It was one of those things that kind of releases you in a way you didn't realize you needed releasing. He said that before the Spirit comes to dwell within us, we are slaves to sin. We are like Adam. And what's true about him is true about us. But when Christ comes into our hearts and offers redemption, what is true about Him becomes true about us. His goodness. His love. His strength. His faith. We are now filled with the ability to be everything He was on earth and more. And isn't that true? Isn't that what Jesus told His disciples before He died? 

Every day, I look at my husband and our daughter and I feel afraid of messing it all up. All my life, I've been an expert at guilt. I think I was always so afraid of disappointing God as a child that I never let myself be okay with mistakes. Or being human. Every negative emotion or thought meant something must be wrong with me. And I've carried that with me through every stage of life. But I don't want to anymore. It's such a heavy load, one I want desperately to release so I don't pass it onto my baby girl. She deserves all that is good and pure and TRUE. And who will she learn those things from if not from me? From us? 

This year, I pray for truth above all else. I pray to see myself the way I truly am and not the person I'm afraid of becoming. Last night, I read something in the memoir The Middle Place where the author discusses her relationship with her outgoing, loving, Irish-Catholic father:

"In my case, he sees me as I would like to be seen. In fact, I'm not even sure what's true about me since I've always chosen to believe his version."

This is the kind of relationship I want with Jesus. It's the kind of relationship I want my daughter to have with me. This is my greatest hope for 2014.