Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015 Reflection Exercise

I found this Reflection Exercise on Mother Mag yesterday, and I thought it might be a healthy way to say goodbye to such a heavy year. If you're interested in participating, I'd love to read your take on 2015!


What 2015 accomplishments am I most proud of?
Overcoming crazy nursing hardships by trusting my mama instincts and not giving up, being there for Edie's first steps and first words, giving up more unhealthy eating habits, sharing the hard stuff with you all with the hope it might make someone feel less alone.
What are some takeaways from those triumphs?
The best things often require the hardest work, I am stronger than I ever knew, I no longer matter to myself the way I once did because my babe matters so much more--and that is so freeing.
In which areas did I struggle most in 2015?
Postpartum depression/anxiety, lack of self care, and marriage.
Which of these difficult situations did I overcome? (Or work to overcome?)
I'm working on myself and my marriage through individual and couples counseling and lots of anti-anxiety exercises.
Which friends supported me most this year?
Nataley (always), Sam, Krystal, Tara, Cherry, my dad.
Which friendships changed and shifted?
All of them! Being a mama changes everything, but I also made new friends because I'm a mama.
What are some new skills that I learned?
Worked on continuing to develop my photo skills, and daily learning/adapting to motherhood as it changes all the time!
What are some things I’ve learned to accept about myself this year?
My body, for sure. Still working on accepting that I can't be a perfect mother and working through guilt.
Name 3-5 positive memory-making experiences from 2015.
1) Finally seeing Edie gain weight and nurse well after all of our hard work.
2) Maiedae Mixer--first night out by myself!
3) First La Leche meeting--realizing I had found my tribe and starting to feel okay that I didn't have it all together.
Name a couple of negative memory-making experiences.
1) Edie falling off the weight chart and all of the medical testing/fear/anxiety/tears/arguments that followed.
2) Hours of pumping for very little milk.
In which areas did I see the most personal growth and change?
Oh my. I think that was all this year was about. I've never felt so challenged. I've never felt so incapable and strong at the same time. I thought there was no way I could keep pushing forward so many times and then I'd wake up the next morning still here, doing it. I thought the guilt would swallow me whole and then Edie rolled over for the first time, crawled, stood up, walked, talked. She did it despite the fact that I was convinced I was failing. She changed every day and I changed with her.
What did I learn about myself in 2015?
I'm stronger than I ever knew and also so, so vulnerable.
What am I most grateful for in 2015?
Unconditional love and grace, from the Lord, from my daughter, and from my family.
What did I gain in 2015? What did I lose?
I gained confidence in my instincts. I gained a toddler and lost my baby. I lost quite a bit of weight. I lost my mental health, and my marriage almost followed. I gained a new support system through LLL and counseling.
What things do I want to leave behind in 2015?
Anxiety and fear. Apathy about my marriage.
Which things do I want to take with me into 2016?
Confidence, vulnerability, the desire to move forward and get better.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Holiday Style

I wore this dress on Christmas day for the drive to Tulsa and dinner at my dad's house. It's comfy enough to travel in! Aside from that, I don't really have much to say other than I am SUPER awkward at this whole style post thing, haha. Seriously, solo photos are so weird! 

Dress // Shop Sosie
Boots // Shop Sosie

Can you believe the year is almost over? Lots of changes coming to this space in 2016!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Our Christmas in Photos

I thought I'd share a little look at how we spent our holiday week. After Daniel got off work Wednesday we ventured out to a house we kept hearing about to look at Christmas lights. The Stewart family goes all in when it comes to Christmas decorations--oh man! They had tons of lights, inflatables, a popcorn cart and a train we got to ride! Edie loved it.

 Our little family of three spent Christmas Eve and Christmas morning at home. We went to church for the candlelight service, wrapped gifts, and cooked up a yummy steak dinner, and in the morning we watched Edie enjoy what Santa left her and got out of town wayyy later than we had planned because toddlers call the shots and there is definitely a learning curve to traveling with one. We spent the rest of the weekend relaxing in Tulsa with family as it rained and rained and rained, and last night we returned home to a flooded neighborhood. Thankfully the water didn't reach our house (we were concerned--the yards were under) and it has slowed down a lot this morning. Does anyone else just feel totally off after a trip? I'm sitting here on my couch trying to remember what we even do on a normal day. I need a vacation from the vacation or something.

Edie changed during the trip, too--she learned lots of new words! Girl regularly started saying "tractor," "turkey," "bear," "joge" (George--Curious George), "hat," "bye," and "Mag" (Maggie, my brother's dog). She's learning so much every day, it's crazy!

I hope you had the merriest Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

12 Days of Christmas Crafts: Toddler-Friendly Trees

Edie is a bit of a wild child. She is running around grabbing at things and knocking things over constantly. Because we're blessed with such a spirited babe, we decided not to put up our Christmas tree this year. For the sake of everyone's sanity and safety (I was not feeling broken ornaments all over the floor or a toddler belly fully of fake tree crap).

But I still love Christmas and want a place for Santa to leave presents tomorrow night, so I needed to come up with another type of (indestructible) tree. Here are two! And one of them is even specifically for toddlers to trash and decorate and repeat. :)

Floral + Tape Christmas Tree

Pick up some greenery and whatever flowers you like, grab some masking or washi tape, and tada! I just put ours up this morning so it isn't totally dead and shedding on Christmas morning, and I taped it up high enough so that Edie can't reach it. 

Felt Christmas Tree

This one took a bit longer than my other crafts and I didn't even make intricate, pretty ornaments. But felt isn't the quickest material to cut, and there's a lot of cutting here. I also bought felt to cut out a snowman for Edie to decorate (eyes, carrot nose, hat, scarf, buttons--we can keep him up through the winter!), and since I made this tree I've been entertaining all kinds of fun felt projects we could stick on our wall in other seasons.

Merry Christmas Eve Eve!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

12 Days of Christmas Crafts: Edie Ornament, Day Five

Edie just saw this and got REALLY excited. :) She's squealing like a maniac. Girl has healthy self esteem.

This is a super simple, silly little craft--all you need is a decent size photo of your little, some cardboard (I cut up a diaper box), tape or glue, and some sort of string or twine. Cut out and fashion the cardboard to the back of the photo, poke a hole, and yay! You have a fun gift for the grandparents or something to hang on your tree for years to come to remember your babe at this age. 

So, I'm sure you've figured out that I won't be sharing all twelve crafts on this space, but I have done at least that many and I probably owe it to this little series for keeping me accountable! However, I might have one more for you tomorrow if I can pull a few things together. This season is just kinda of INSANE, and even more trying to shop and get stuff ready with a toddler on my hip. But she's worth the extra time and effort :)

Saturday, December 19, 2015

12 Days of Christmas Crafts: We Made Snow! Day Four

Okay mama friends and non-mama friends who want to feel like little kids again (so fun!), I'm kind of proud of this one. It's SO easy and fun! I planned to show Edie how to play with it and hoped it would distract her so I could get a few things done but I ended up sitting on the floor building a snowmama and snowbaby for I have no idea how long. This stuff has an awesome consistency and doesn't stick to your hand because of the coconut oil. I didn't try chilling it because I used ice cold water, but that could be fun, too!

Here's what you'll need:
-1-2 tbs coconut oil (depending how much you're making)
-1-2 cups baking soda
-1-2 cups water

Mix coconut oil and baking soda and then mix in water. If it's too runny, dust in more baking soda until you get a dry-ish play-doughy consistency. 

Seriously, so simple! And baby/toddler-safe, too. No yucky ingredients!

Let it snow!