Saturday, January 4, 2020

Christmas 2019.

We stayed in San Antonio for Christmas this year. It was SOOOOO nice to relax and let the kids wake up and run down to see the presents under the tree. It's been a while since they have gotten to do that. The last 2 Christmas' we traveled. AND let's not forget the fact that I'm 8 months pregnant and wasn't allowed to travel anyhow.

My mom came over from Florida and my little sister joined us from New York. We had hoped more family would join us but it didn't end up working out that way. We had a fun week together! It always goes by too quickly! Just the same, we crammed in some good memories. We had a potluck style Christmas Eve party with our favorite dishes, Christmas games & Christmas Vacation played in the background all night. We made gingerbread houses and baked sugar cookies. We drank wine (mocktails for me) and ate too much just as the holidays should be. We played silly games and laughed all night long. Those are the moments that I really treasure. There's something so magical about Christmas.  Ty attempted reindeer and snowmen pancakes one morning. They didn't turn out too bad. Not Pinterest worth but the kids loved them!

Christmas morning was gifts from Santa, biscuits and gravy for breakfast (Ty's family tradition) and then some relaxation. I had my formal sit-down Christmas dinner that consisted of Herb Roasted Turkey, mashed potatoes, honey glazed carrots, cranberry sauce and warm rolls. Ty made homemade french onion soup for an appetizer and that was a hit!! The next day we headed down to the Riverwalk. We grabbed dinner and then saw the lights along the Riverwalk. It was REALLY crowded so we did a short distance and then went home to play some games in the peace and quiet. Scarlett had horse lessons that weekend and we all drove out to watch her. We did some walks around the neighborhood too.
I really miss having family close. It's probably one of the hardest things about living in Texas. Scarlett cried and cried when they had to leave. It's hard to think that the next time we see them might be in another year. The kids change SO much in a year and I know they love seeing their grandparents and aunts/uncles. We won't be traveling as much this year with the gym and new baby coming up so that is a little sad to think about. Anyhow, I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and that 2020 is good to you!!

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Closing Chapter 2019: The hardships, blessings & onto 2020!

Oh 2019. You weren't all that bad. Really, you weren't. But when I think back on you, for some reason, only the hard times stand out.  Coming off of an amazing year (2018) it just seemed like there was a lot of bad days. There was a lot that happened that I didn't share from this past year. I guess not wanting to come off as whiny or a chronic complainer deterred me from divulging to the public... I know there are so many others out there facing worse. But I decided to write it all out here because this is my story and it doesn't mean that it wasn't real for me just because worse is happening to others. It doesn't mean that my hardships are silly because someone else has more to bear.

It was indeed a REALLY tough year for me. The beginning of 2019 started off good. We began the process of building our new house. Which was SO fun and exciting to do. Although a bit stressful, it was a new experience and we were happy to attempt it!  Ty and I did a fun little Valentine's trip, just him and I- to La Cantera Resort. Which thank God we did because we had NO idea how crazy the last half of the year would be. We had no idea that it would be the last alone getaway for over a year or more.  Ty and I started out on the crazy journey to look into a side-business: becoming gym owners. That took months to come together and still is a work in progress. I went on a camping adventure with Scarlett and her girl scout troop. Scarlett and I made a trip back to NY by ourselves to visit and pack things we had left behind. I got a new sporty Jaguar F Pace SUV and then we celebrated 2 fun birthday parties with the kids turning 8 and 4!!! We also added another GoldenDoodle to our family. We may not have done that if we knew we'd be adding another baby shortly after!! I was also in the BEST shape of my life! I was eating the most clean I have ever eaten, I was the most fit I had ever been!! I also felt the best I ever had mentally and physically. And thank God for that because everything was about to change.

Summer hit and everything turned upside down.

I found out I was pregnant.  Surprise!! The best kind of surprise you can get if you are on the fence of wanting more kids. And at 34, I was nearing that decision which was looking like no. But God had other plans for us. Baby number 3 was on it's way.
It was probably the most sick I've felt for such a long stretch of time. I went right from non-stop morning-day-night sickness, brutal fatigue to anemia.  Every time I felt like I was finally on the mend, I was mistaken.  Within a day or two, I'd be back to feeling like crap. It always puts a lot of strain on my relationship with Ty when I am pregnant. I guess I don't really feel like myself. I feel like I'm just waiting for the real "me" to return and that certainly plays into my relationships. Thankfully the first 2 pregnancies I only felt super sick for the first 4 months. This pregnancy, I wasn't as lucky. I felt like I had a short fuse 24/7. My moody temperament was probably due to hormones and the fact that I was couch bound for weeks. It is NOT easy for a person who loves to be so active, to be so idle. I don't feel like I was a very good mother for the last half of 2019. Or even a good wife for that matter. I feel as though I was just...surviving. I hope my family knows that I did the best I could for feeling the way I did. I hope they know that I am sorry for the absent moments or the sharp words. I can only apologize and make it up to them. Teaching my kids that life isn't always rainbows and butterflies, but that when we go through difficult times, we get back up and make things right.
Ty and I fought a lot during this time. 95% of this was me. And still I know it's not even my fault because my state of mind was not at it's best. Ty took over everything that I once did. Every meal, he cooked. Every bath, he gave. Every drop-off or class project, he did. Every silent night that I didn't say a word to him because I was so angry with how little I had accomplished....I hope he knows it had nothing to do with him. Those first few months I kind of went into this hibernation where I just didn't feel like myself or know who I was anymore. But then the sickness started to give up a bit around month 5ish.

I kept working out through all of that horribleness. I pushed through the pregnancy exhaustion for the first few months. I even prioritized this over spending time with my kids. For most of you, you may not know that working out and eating well is a HUGE part of my life and for many reasons. It is literally the medicine that helped me overcome some really bad anxiety and just feeling like sh*#. So to have this taken away from me was like taking away my medicine.
Unfortunately, soon after the morning sickness let up,  the anemia hit and it hit HARD.  I had this with my first 2 kids but not to the extent that I did this time and not so early on. It just goes to show how lacking something your body needs can impact you! I had some scary symptoms and it took a good while and some to get it under control. Working out was not even an option during that time. I could barely walk to the other room to work from home and then by the time I was done working, I was ready for bed. Mentally, this was a very hard time for me. I didn't get dressed, I didn't put on make-up or clean my house (which if you know me, you know my house dirty is not an option for long). I just kept my head above water, that was all I could do. All the while we were prepping for the gym, Ty doing mostly everything for that besides some design options and what little input I could give during that time. We moved into the new house on the first week of school and that was an adventure in itself. Kind of a blur now but that is a whole other story that I could tell you about involving a leak pouring through the dining room ceiling on day one!! 

I could feel my mental state and physical state sinking again- worse than the first trimester. Also if you know me, you know that I am not a big cryer. Never have been. Off and on during this pregnancy, there were definitely some tears shed in the closet with the door closed. Just complete exhaustion and defeat. And no one saw that. It was probably the only way I could release some of the stress since I wasn't able to work out- my regular stress reliever.

And so this is how 2019 was for most of the year....Hard. The last 2-3 weeks I have felt the best that I have my entire pregnancy. My anemia is finally under control and although I have those last month aches and pains, heartburn and insomnia, they are a breeze compared to what I've been through. The funny thing is,  through ALL of this, I have seen the blessings around me. And now that I am back to feeling like "me", I am able to acknowledge that. I saw my 2 healthy kids running around making me crazy with a messy house. Ha. I saw my husband who took on everything while I was out of commission. I saw the beautiful, brand new house we built go up brick by brick- room by room. The gym that we dreamt of for so long, finally becoming a reality!  I saw the little feet sticking out of my stomach with energetic kicks. I saw the gifts we were able to wrap up for our family and the food that went into the fridge for holiday dinners. I've said SO many times before that I see life as a book of chapters. Each one different and not always full of happy stories. This last chapter was so sweet and sour at the very same time. Funny how life works.
But I DO believe that great things are preceded by chaos. I do believe that 2020 will be a year of hard work, busy schedules and exhausting nights. But I just know that 2019 has prepared the foundation for us to have a blessed and wonderful 2020.

We are going into 2020 quietly. No crazy party or champagne-filled evening. No sequin dresses or confetti-filled rooms. As I look around, I know that next New Year's Eve,  everything will probably look much different. We might be having a big party or maybe we'll be watching fireworks. Maybe we'll be sipping cocktails in a room filled with people or traveling somewhere. But tonight, in this chapter, I'm sitting here next to a man who never quits me no matter how difficult I am. Watching him sip whiskey and rub my arm. Watching a couple of kids asleep before midnight under a Christmas tree still lit up in the corner of our living room-holding on to that last bit of holiday glow.  A few candles lit around a dark house. Some fireworks going off outside in the distance. And as I lay my head on Ty and close my eyes...a page turns and close out another chapter. For which I am so grateful for. There is so much to come and it's such a blessing to welcome 2020.

So what's ahead for 2020?? I can't say I know. But I have a feeling it may be an amazing year!! Happy New Year friends!!! Now we are off for a little family hike.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Livingroom & Kitchen Tour During the Holidays

Living Room Sectional:  Savesto Sectional from Ashley's Furniture (Expect a lot of fluffing if you buy this sectional as it's down-filled)
(I will preface this by keeping it real and say their customer service, in SA anyhow,  after you purchase terrible. It took weeks for delivery and they delivered wrong pieces 2 times. Then we got the wrong cushions and went through our extended warranty program for that which was actually much better. Now 3 months in, a piece of the sectional caved in when Ty sat down and we waited for them to once again come fix it a month after we called on it. Moral of the story, if you buy something from here, get the extended warranty and just go through them because it's worth it). Or buy from someplace else lol.

Living Room Rug: Hermann Ivory Area Rug from Birch Lane -I Love this rug so much and Wayfair customer service is amazing! I've been buying from them and sister companies for years now.

Kitchen Stools: Milana Bar & Counter Stool from Wayfair. These stools seem to be great so far. Sturdy and kid proof as long s they are old enough to sit on stools. The kids are pretty rough with them and they have grippers on the bottoms so they don't scratch the wood floors.

Sofa Table: This was purchased from a furniture store in NY called "Taft's" about 6 years ago but here is a similar one: HERE from Birch Lane.

Kitchen Pendants: Similar Jar Pendants HERE

I'm still waiting to have my kitchen hardware installed and I'm getting a couple new runners but for the most part, this space is finished. We opted to stop the backsplash at the cabinets because I think I am going to do some white shiplap or wood texture above all of the cabinets. TBD. Most all of my decor is from HomeGoods, Target and World Market. The glass and black side table next to the couch is also a HomeGoods steal for $70. I don't get too expensive with that stuff. In the living room I'd like to get a square ottoman/coffee table if I can ever decide which one will fit all year round. This space will dramatically change come spring.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Holiday Home Tour: Scarlett & Maxwell's Room

 I let both of the kids have their own tree this year. Michael's had a great sale on trees in the beginning of the holiday season so I grabbed them both one. Then I got to decorate my own tree how I wanted. Scarlett got a flocked tree and she stuffed that thing to the brim with colorful decor. It is such a "Scarlett" personality tree and I just love it. We got Scarlett a canopy bed online and I bought some inexpensive sheer curtains on Amazon to run through the poles. Give it a dreamy look. I bought her some textured pillows and blankets from HomeGoods & Target and layered them on her bed. She still wanted horses incorporated so I left up her favorite picture and a couple horse things throughout but made it a little more focused on pinks and textures.  She picked out her room color so I went with it. Her room is pretty simple and the kids don't keep many toys in their room. They now have a playroom which is wonderful. Their rooms stay clean so much longer. I still need a fun rug for her room.
Maxwell wants a superhero room. So it is transitioning to kind of a vintage superhero theme, but for right now, it's more focused on Christmas- as you can see. I bought that metal M above his bed from The Home Store so long ago and it's still just as cute. Maxwell decorated his tree with lots of rustic pieces and I gotta say, this kid is definitely my kid. He placed things so organized and was very strategic about how each piece was put on the tree. Everytime I go into his room I look at his tree and think about how he's such a little organizer, just like me. Often he will re-organize rooms throughout the house just for fun. Then he will come to me and show me proud as ever! Maxwell got the ride on car when he was a year old. It's still available on Pottery Barn Kids. The rest of his decor is from when he was a baby and is mostly from HomeGoods. The Where the Wild Things are crown is from his first birthday (sob)  and it now sits on his first teddy bear which now has only one eye. The Discover the World sign is from Etsy. The bedding, superhero sign, Christmas decor and Cars & Trucks basket are all HomeGoods. Once Christmas is over, I plan to keep the reds throughout but again, it will change a bit. I also want to get a cute rug to add some texture.