Just Be.

{The View From The Top}

{The View From The Top}

Hello from 30K feet.

KP is headed to AZ on business and I’m stowing away for some much needed R&R. This is the first time we’ve left WJ for more than a night and despite the fact he’s like THE MOST happy-go-lucky kid in the world, to say I was nervous was a gross understatement.

I suffered horrible separation anxiety as a kid–so crippling in fact I missed school some days. On top of that, a few weeks ago my dream baby was crying and crying at bedtime and naps and waking multiple times when he was supposed to be zonked. As soon as I walked in the room he was all smiles. “Book mama? Book? Owly! Hoo hoo!”  But seeing the tears in his eyes, his cheeks flushed from crying, I was instantly transported back to my childhood and how I felt that being away from my Mama, even for an instant, was literally going to make my heart stop. I could even smell the bubblegum toothpaste that I used to use before school and to this day makes me sick to my stomach because it reminds me of the mornings I spent kicking and screaming and crying on the foyer floor begging not to go to school. I pulled him into my lap, stroked the bridge of his nose like my dad used to do to me and sang, “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine…”

I stopped, took a deep breath and brought myself back to present day. Mamas, is it not it incredible how we can so passionately and efficiently project our own insecurities, our own experiences, our own fears onto our babies?

(I had to remind myself again that he is not mine, he’s God’s. His life is not my life, his truth is not my truth. I bend over backwards to be the very best Mommy I can–I kiss his boo boos, I fix him grilled cheese sandwiches, I teach him how to love people and be kind. But at the end of the day, whether I’m tucking him in or it’s someone else, my efforts are just that–my very best efforts–which are humanly, hopelessly broken. That doesn’t mean I don’t still give him my best but it does mean I have to lay my fears at the foot of the cross–DAILY.)

But I’m happy to report that I made it out the door and didn’t cry until it shut behind me and I know he’s in the very best possible care with his Auntie Lo and Uncle Ry who love him about as much as they do TCU. And trust me when I say that’s a boatload.

So..what am I going to do on this trip? I’m going to Just Be. I’m going to sit with my own thoughts and let my mind wander without fear of WJ splashing in the toilet or climbing the bookshelf. I’m going to sleep in until nine and drink coffee in bed until ten. I’m going to write. I’m going to wear outfits that I don’t have to worry about getting peanut butter on. I’m going to turn the tv up loud and James Taylor up even louder. I’m going to resist the urge to turn around as soon as I hear a baby cry. I’m going to read for fun and not to learn how I can teach WJ to play piano before he turns two. I’m going to wear jewelry to the pool just because I can…as impractical as it is. I’m going to remember how to be a wife (perfuming, flirting, canoodling…oh my!) and not just a mommy. I’m going to remember who I was pre-babes (as much as I would die for that little boy) and God-willing return home refreshed, rejuvenated, refocused and a little bit better at giving myself a larger piece of the pie.

I’m going to Just Be.

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Styled: Ahoy! It’s a Boy!

This last October I had the privilege of co-hosting a bebe shower for one of my besties, Kristen (aka K Tosh aka Sparx aka KMT). She and I met in 2007 while working together and we’ve been thick as thieves ever since. She’s one of the people in my life who just gets me and I know without a doubt God looked down on us and said, “Those two would be better off if they had each other.”

Originally I was thinking a Midsummer Night’s Eve but eventually landed on a Nautical theme.  A few of the special touches included a pinch of surprise sand in the invitation, a brunch complete with a toppings bar ala Portage Bay, a chance to send mama a message in a bottle and write a special note to baby in a children’s book about sailing, and homemade sea salt scrub to take home.

{Invite}

{Invite}

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{Onesie for Baby Tosh}

{Onesie for Baby Tosh}

 

{Custom Pillow for Baby Tosh by Poppy}

{Custom Pillow for Baby Tosh by Poppy}

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{Message in a Bottle}

{Message in a Bottle}

 

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{Eats}

{Eats}

 

{Floral Centerpiece}

{Floral Centerpiece}

 

{Guest Book}

{Guest Book}

 

{Glowing Mama}

{Glowing Mama}

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{Signed and Sealed}

{Signed and Sealed}

 

{Homemade Sea Salt Scrub Party Favor}

{Homemade Sea Salt Scrub Party Favor}

 

{Sparx Squared}

{Sparx Squared}

KMT, you make a beautiful mama and I am honored to have been apart of your special day.

To see more click here.

 

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And Then He Was One…

I was a wreck the week of WJ’s 1st birthday. All I had to do was pass by a “HAPPY FIRST BIRTHDAY!” card at Target and I’d get choked up. Don’t get me wrong, we had plenty of reason to celebrate (we HAD kept him alive all this time after all) but for mama, it was also a tear-jerker to be sure. I couldn’t help but think, if there was only a way to put all those memories…the warmth of his breath as he nuzzled my neck at a 2 am feeding, the soft cooing sounds he made while we had long “talks” in the rocker, the giant smiles and bedhead I’d see when I’d go in to get him after a nap…if only there was a way to put all those precious moments in a mason jar and lock them up tight forever and ever. And on any given night I could open it up and let the sweetness out into the dark like fireflies and be right back in that very second.

While we can’t go back in time, we can do one better; we can live in the moment.

To my son on his first birthday:

It won’t be until you have your own baby someday that you’ll fully grasp the love I have for you, the depths and lengths to which I would go to for you, and just how wonderfully joyful and altogether painful it can be to wear your heart on the outside of your body. So for now, I will smother you with kisses and hugs and never let you forget just how special you are. Thank you for showing me a love I never knew existed. Happy Birthday sweet prince.

{The Invite}

{The Invite}

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{Festive Tree Decor}

{Festive Tree Decor}

{Snackies}

{Snackies}

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{Bahooons}

{Beach Ball Party Favor}

{Beach Ball Party Favor}

{Ultimate Fizzy Bev}

{Ultimate Fizzy Bev}

{Hoffmans Bakery=Magic}

{Hoffmans Bakery=Magic}

{Happy Birthday To You}

{Happy Birthday To You}

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{Pow Fam}

{Pow Fam}

Special thanks to John Crozier of Crozier Photography for the pictures. No one can capture the moment like he can. And of course, to Caskey Design for the beautiful invitation. To see more click here.

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Where in the World is POSH?

{In true new mommy fashion I have way more pics of baby and papa than of baby and me so this one isn’t great… but aren’t his spikes and dino tee TO DIE FOR? He’s so yummy.}

It is late and my boys are asleep. I’m laying in bed and can hear the rain pattering on the sidewalk through our open sliding door. KP’s chest rises and falls next to me, the warmth of his body slowly rolls towards me like fog slinking through the trees.  I glance at the baby monitor and there is my precious Warner Jameson. Tush in the air and fast asleep. And while I can’t see them, I know they’re there too. The angels I prayed for just hours before when I put him to bed are there keeping watch and bringing him sweet, sweet, dreams.

Life here at Chateau Powell has both slowed to a crawl and hit breakneck speeds all at the same time since last September. As you well know, I haven’t been checking in with you as much lately and POSHees, I sure do miss you but the truth is, I could not be more smitten with my little boy.

Before I got pregnant, I always swore up and down I would go back to work full time after having a baby. Then, when we got the happy news we were a mama and papa to be and as my belly began to swell, I thought, “I’ll play it by ear. Surely I can’t know NOW what I might want after the baby gets here.” Boy, did I know what I was talking about or what? Amen mamas?  For the first several weeks after God blessed us with what I believe to be THE most gorgeous and happy baby in the world, it took all I had to even take my eyes off him. Come December, I was wrapped up cozily in the magic of Christmas and tinsel and nightly, enveloped by the smell of a freshly bathed baby, who by then we were fondly calling Warner J. “Maybe in January, I’ll pull out my PR plan and get rolling on it….”

Well, January turned into weeks and weeks, months. My face hasn’t appeared on a milk carton yet but I’ll flatter myself and pretend you’ve been wondering where I’ve been all this time. I’ll tell you.

Lovies, I am finding a new normal. Instead of scouring fashion blogs and retail sites all day, I spend my time rolling around on the floor playing airplane and navigating pillow obstacle courses (slowed to a crawl). I’ve exchanged my Diane Von Furstenberg for sweats covered in drool (at least for a good chunk of the day anyway) and I hit the library kid’s section and the baby swings at the park more than Nordstrom. While it may sound a little less glam (and you’d be right), there is nothing like seeing my smiling boy’s little face when he wakes with bed-head from a nap. Or the feeling of a big, wet, open mouth smooch on the cheek. Or being here for all his big firsts–first roll over…first banana (which he hated by the way)…and at the rate we’re going (breakneck speed), soon, his first steps.

Now, I promised you I wouldn’t turn this into a mommy blog, and I stand by my promise. And while this POSH mama isn’t going back to work full time, she isn’t quitting either. In fact, business is booming and I could not be more thrilled. I have some fabulous new clients I’ve totally fallen in love with and have a couple exciting new prospects on the horizon. I’ve been praying long and hard about what God might want for my life and well, let me tell you…he’s been opening doors left and right and I can’t help but think my booty best get to walking through ‘em??? I haven’t quite figured it all out yet…Do I get a part-time nanny? Do I get an intern or an assistant? Do I limit which days of the week I work?  Do I work from home or set up shop at Starbucks? I don’t have the answer so the answer is, take it one day at a time.***

So what’s next? With so much time away, I’ve been thinking a lot about POSH. I’m approaching it with fresh eyes and have enlisted the help of some of my most trusted–my nearest and dearest–to help me give POSH a bit of a facelift. I don’t plan on any major changes but I think a little lipstick never hurt and a new season of life calls for a different shade. My style has evolved since becoming a mommy and there is no reason POSH shouldn’t evolve a little too. Not only do I want to freshen things up around here and let some light in, but I have never felt more called and convicted to be giving back. A couple weeks ago, at a client’s house, it hit me like a freight train how I want to begin using POSH to help the broken, the weary…the world. I’m so excited I could just burst but all in good time…

As I said, life moves much slower around here so don’t expect the makeover reveal and the skinny on POSH philanthropy in the next week, or even in the next few weeks. But do know I will be spending lots of QT in the kitchen whipping up something delightful which I hope to unveil just as soon as I can. In the meantime, if you think of me, or even as you read this, would you stop and say a prayer? New opportunities, new phases, new risks…well they can be downright scary and I could use a bit of courage. And maybe a dash of self-grace too. I appreciate you, my small but most fabulous fan base, sticking with me. Thank you for tolerating my personal ramblings over the last few months and forgiving me for not keeping you in the loop when it comes to Nordy’s Double Points days. My life has been turned upside down, a snow globe flipped, twirled and shaken. But sweet friends, fear not. The dust is beginning to settle and the scenery is more magical than ever.

Stay tuned…

 

***I want to take a moment to say I realize how truly, truly blessed I am I even get to choose whether or not to work and to have the support of a devoted husband who works his butt off so that I can live out my dream and take care of our baby boy.

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POSH Paleo Pt 2

{My Fridge Has Never Looked So Healthy}

Welcome back. Picking up where we left off. If you missed POSH Paleo Pt 1 you can find it here.

I was able to pick up The Paleo Diet, The Paleo Solution and Everyday Paleo at the library within a couple of days and I devoured them. I was blown away by just how misinformed I had been. Whole wheat bread? Turns out it’s not so whole. Reduced-fat milk? It’s actually missing a lot more than the fat. Now, let me be clear. The biggest thing I took away from my reading is it’s not that these foods are inherently bad, but what our culture has done to them over time (read processed) has made it such that there are far more efficient ways to get the nutrients you need from them like fiber and calcium without all the extra junk. We were sold.

That weekend I pulled out the trash can, and like a drill sergeant at boot camp, swiftly kicked out anything that didn’t qualify. If it wasn’t opened it went to the food bank and the rest met it’s fate at the bottom of the Glad bag. I threw out Doritos and Fruit Loops and Goldfish crackers and even the sugar and gluten masquerading as health food like Trader Joe’s Multigrain Pancake mix and Kashi cereal. When we were done, our pantry and fridge looked like it belonged to the Cratchett family. The plan was to follow the menu included in Everyday Paleo for 30 days–breakfast, snack, lunch and dinner and I’d prep food every day at least a day in advance. That was more cooking than I had done in my entire 30 years of life. To make things a tad easier I borrowed a food processor from a friend (which would turn out to be a lifesaver). With my menu plan in hand, I headed to the store. When it was all said and done I had spent enough to buy this and had bought things I had never even heard of. Jicamawhut? At least the purse I’d know what to do with…

I’m not going to sugar coat it, it was tough–I spent alot of hours in the kitchen and we had to up our grocery budget substantially. But the reward was worth it. As with any goal, I started out singing and dancing around the kitchen all happy pants while cooking but about two weeks in I was begrudgingly throwing fistfuls of green leafy crap into the processor and mumbling under my breath, “friggin’ Paleo…all I want is a piece of friggin’ pizza…surely there was a caveman equivalent to pizza…” About the time I wanted to give up I noticed something. Several somethings in fact. I was getting fewer headaches and migraines. My skin had started to clear up. I wasn’t feeling as tired and sluggish. My pants were no longer cutting of my circulation ala muffin top. I just felt clearer.

And the longer time went on, the better I felt. The headaches stopped altogether. My skin had cleared up completely. 2 pm energy crash was non-existent. The pounds were falling off. This is to say nothing of the long-term health effects (reduced risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and more) this change of eating would surely have as well. Sure I’d have a craving every now and then but for the most part, I felt fuller and happier than I had felt in quite some time. I looked forward to our one treat meal for the week, it was something to be savored and while still bringing me that same old high…afterwards I’d start to feel some of those after affects from pre-Paleo days.  It was then that I realized, this wasn’t just a 30 day challenge but a true life change. When I began, I wasn’t sure I’d want to trade in the old model but with every day that passed, I was surer and surer this was how we were meant to eat. I felt it from inside.

I started to see that maybe that was my problem all along. Eating better to feel better wasn’t ever motivation enough. It was always about those 10 extra pounds or a dress I needed to wear to a special event. For the first time in my life, I GOT IT. Like really GOT IT. We should honor our bodies because it’s the only outfit we’ll have for a lifetime–and who wants to spend a lifetime feeling like crap when there is so much more out there to relish, gulp up, swirl, slice into?

At the end of our 30 day challenge, not only had the headaches stopped, my energy sky-rocketed and my skin completely cleared up but I had also lost 11 lbs.  I am happy to report that to date I have now lost almost 30 lbs since the start of this whole journey. I went from 155 lbs to 127 lbs. I am slack-jawed to think I am wearing sizes I haven’t worn since high school, let alone before I even got pregnant. My thought was to write this post when I had reached my long-time goal weight of 125 but then I remembered, it’s never been about the pounds, it’s been about the process. The process of learning to feed my body the fuel it needs, savoring new tastes, and feeling better than I ever could’ve imagined. Paleo may not be right for you but it was the exact right thing for me.

Nowadays, we still aim to eat Paleo during the week although now I prep a single breakfast for the whole week, make enough dinner for it to be lunch the following day and I wing snacks (fruit, nuts, beef jerky) to make things more manageable. I use eMeals for menus because they have a Paleo option. While I have aimed to eat organic, local and humane for quite some time when possible, my next goal is to become more serious about eating that way 100% of the time as well as educating myself better about regular practices in the food industry and danger zones like GMO. We still enjoy a treat meal or two on the weekends but as you’d come to learn in the Paleo reads, it takes awhile for gluten and dairy to get out of your system so I have to decide if it’s really worth it. I suppose I could be more hard-core with it but I have found a balance that works well for me and ultimately, that’s what it’s all about.

Here are a few tips if you’re considering Paleo:

1) Do your research. It has to be right for you and your body. Also, if you share with people what you’re doing, you’re going to get some strange looks. Our culture is quite “brainwashed” when it comes to really knowing what’s healthiest so I felt more comfortable not only knowing all the research behind it for myself but also so that I could share with others if they asked.

2) Get a food processor. Saves you loads of time.

3) Make sure you have loads of Tupperware in various shapes and sizes.

4) Be willing to spend some extra time in the kitchen. I spend about an hour a day prepping.

5) BE PREPARED. Prep your food for the next day and have plenty of snacks and back-ups on hand in case you fall behind.

6) Allot for it in your budget–eating fresh isn’t cheap but I would argue it’s 100% worth it.

7) It’s a lot easier to eat out than I thought. Most menus offer salads, fish/chicken and veggies making it a snap.

8) Treat yourself. I enjoy yummies at the occasional party or some dark chocolate or coconut milk ice cream. Most people follow the 80/20 principle unless they physically can’t handle it. For me, I’ve found that dairy has been causing my acne all these years so I have to be careful with that. MAJOR BUMMER.

9) Think about what you CAN have versus what will be a downer for your body. You can enjoy all the fresh fruits, veggies and lean meats that you want. Experiment and have fun with it! I was amazed at how many things you can still enjoy with a few substitutes.

10) Good resources- The Paleo Diet, The Paleo Solution, Everyday Paleo, Paleo Indulgences, Practical Paleo, Mark’s Daily Apple, PaleOMG, eMeals, my Instagram or Facebook pages if you want to see some of the yummy meals I’ve enjoyed.

 

This has been my soapbox over the last six months so if you have any questions or want to know more, I’m happy to share. Just ask!

 

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POSH Paleo Pt 1

{My Addiction Hits An All Time Low}

Paleo has changed my life. No lie. Before you think this is another one of my overly dramatized rants, hear me out.

If I’m blessed enough to call you friend, you know that I LOVE LOVE LOVE to eat. Cheese, pasta, fries, bread*, chips, steak, cheeseburgers, potatoes, giant turkey sandwiches, nachos…I could go on and on but in the event you skipped breakfast and you’re so hungry your stomach is eating itself,  I’ll do you a favor and stop there. The point is, I treated my diet like a wild free for all weekend in Vegas but without the spike strip of  a Monday morning to bring it to a screeching halt–no limits, all of the guilt and I preferred not to talk about it after it happened. One time, to satisfy a (birthday) craving, I actually went to Burger King for the burger, Wendy’s for the Frosty and McDonald’s for the fries–who does that?!

Now while I did take better care of myself when I was pregs (because it was about somebody else and as you’ll hear, a wake-up call about how I too often put myself last) I had spent the last fifteen years of my life feeling (and looking) quite unhealthy. I lacked any semblance of balance and had gained and lost the same 20 lbs over and over and over. The results of my addiction had manifested itself as an expanding waistline, fatigue (can you say 2 o’clock crash?), migraines, acne for days, and perhaps the worst symptom of all–a shattered self-image.

So what changed? A hair salon, a Facebook status, and a particularly stressful Christmas. Do you ever (and I hope you do) have those times in your life when you feel like God first whispers to you, then talks, then shouts something into your life? That was Paleo. My beloved girlfriend from high school and hard core Crossfit queen had recently put a call out on Facebook inquiring about the lifestyle and whether or not it was worth it. I followed the post because I, too, was curious about the “caveman diet” but as all hopeless and insecure folk often do, was ready to sit back and watch (and maybe even partake in) the bashing. Surely people would reply saying it was impossible to maintain, completely flavorless and far too strict. Quite the opposite. People raved. And raved. And raved. “But what about baking?” she’d ask, or “What am I supposed to put in my coffee?” I watched as my disdain for yet another “diet” began to unravel.

Later that week I was getting my hair done at a new salon. The stylist, out of nowhere starts telling me about how she’s been feeling so great because of…you guessed it…Paleo. She rattled off a bunch of books she’d read, how much more energy she had and how surprised she was at all the options. Poised to thump her down (politely) like the whack-a-mole game, I asked lots of probing questions. “What about rice?”…”Don’t you miss cheese?”…”How do you live without french fries?” Her answers were good.

Score so far. Paleo-2 Lacie-0.

Fast forward a few weeks later. We had family coming to visit for Christmas and wanting to appeal to everyone’s appetite, I headed to the grocery store to stock up for a myriad of tastes. I piled my cart high with everything from gourmet cheeses to Coca Cola. Then, for Christmas dinner I bought a huge family size Stouffers lasagna because lasagna was a tradition we started when KP and I moved out here on our own several years ago. It’s easy peasy convenient (no need to climb out of your pile of presents to cook for hours and hours), makes for great leftovers (when your curled up on the couch watching movies on the days between Christmas and NYE) and paired with steaming hot french bread*, it can’t be beat. Well, long story short, Christmas didn’t turn out exactly like we had planned. Little boy was very sick with an ear infection and after a trip to Leavenworth, our family ended up getting stuck in Cle Elum on Christmas night. Lasagna (and most of the other food I bought) was a bust.

After everyone had gone home, a dark cloud (not just the Seattle kind) had settled over Chateau Powell.  The presents had been opened, Ken and I were knee deep in the flu, and I had a fridge full of well…crap.  The straw that broke the camel’s back ended up being a particularly filling trip to Qdoba. Now, I don’t mean to blaspheme here–I keep them in business but we were just DONE. We looked at each other on the drive home and I said, “I just can’t do this anymore. I can’t eat like this.”

I hopped online when I got home, reserved some books at the library (it was crucial to me to do my research first) and Ken and I committed to 30 days of clean eating. We put some ground rules into place–we’d allow a treat meal a week and Ken said his coffee creamer was a non-negotiable. We shook hands and agreed if we didn’t feel better and look better at the end of our challenge, we’d drop Paleo like a hot steak queso burrito.

We’d begin the following week.

 |Stay tuned for more on our Paleo adventure|

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All in a Day

For Christmas, Warner J. got the sweetest of presents.

It was a book from his Auntie Kiki called All in a Day. I don’t know WHAT it is about children’s books but nowadays I can’t read one without bawling like the babies for whom the books were intended. Perhaps it’s the precious pictures or harkening back to the simple messages like always help a friend in need (Fox and the Hounds) or you’re special simply for being you (On the Night You Were Born).  The other morning was no different. Bebe and I were snuggled in his chair under a blanket reading his special new book and before I knew it, I was crying. Perhaps it was this page…

Or this one…

This last year has been a doozy. 2012 brought the lowest of lows and the highest of highs. While we lost our home, we also brought our beautiful baby boy into this world. The Mr. and I shared some other wins and losses that are a bit too private for my POSHees but trust me when I say this year saw me at my worst and my best.

Today as we brush gold glitter fallen from ornaments out of the cracks in the table, I am thoughtful, reflective and to be perfectly honest, a bit tired.  Last New Years, I had some thoughts on how I wanted to approach resolutions. This year, my plan is simple. Take it one day at a time. Not only am I starting to realize this is the best approach for a mommy but as I stare 2013 in the face with all it’s unknowns, it is the very best I can muster. And, I’m ok with that.

“When the sun rises on a new day, it brings with it a new world of possibilities.”

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34

Wishing you all a bright and beautiful New Year; a year you take one day at a time. XX

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Connecticut

Like many of you, I have sat and watched in horror as detail after detail has been uncovered about the recent shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. And, like many of you, I have debated about whether or not to add my “two cents” to the conversation (which, in my opinion, should not be about mental health or gun control but about something far greater) and especially whether or not here on the POSH Blog was the appropriate place to do so. After all is said and done, here are two truths I know for sure. 1) There is not a single syllable I could write that would in any way take away the pain the victims’ family and friends must be feeling, or take away this tragic event altogether which are the two things I wish I could do most 2) Sadly, something like this will inevitably happen again and it will again happen in the least likely of places to the least likely of people. Why? Because we live in a broken, broken world that has a hurt that cannot be healed this side of heaven.

To say anything seems trite. To say nothing seems insensitive.

So here I sit. Typing and retyping my confused, trivial thoughts. Here is what I’m left with:

About a week before the shooting, we dedicated Warner at church. Unofficially, that means we got all gussied up and stood before our church family and promised them and God that we would do our best not to screw him up.  Officially, it means is that we know we have merely been graced with the chance to be in Warner’s life and that he ultimately belongs to God. We, recognizing our own brokenness, committed his sweet little soul back to his real Father in hopes that one day, he too, would put his faith in Christ. We asked God to bestow in us all the wisdom possible to raise Warner to be a man after God’s own heart. We prayed and smiled and took pictures and ate a big lunch. It was quite a lovely day.

That Friday, as I sat shell-shocked on the couch, drowning in a barrage of media coverage, our lovely day was about the furthest thing from my mind. That is until, I clicked off the TV when I heard Warner stirring from his peaceful nap. Baby boy must’ve been very hungry because he was crying a bit when I came in. I peered over the crib and into his dark, soulful eyes. I wiped his sweet chubby cheeks wet from tears, scooped him up and started to say to him as I often do when he cries, “No tears baby boy. Your mama will always come for you.” My words caught in my throat.

Warner is not mine.

He was not mine the day I found out I was pregnant. He was not mine the entire nine months (to the day!) that I carried him, and he was not mine when the nurse laid his tiny, swaddled body in my arms. He is not mine, he is God’s. Today, tomorrow and always. I would step in front of a train for my son in a heartbeat but there will come a day that I can’t come for my sweet prince. A day that I can’t wipe his tears or scoop him up in my arms. A day that I can’t be enough for my precious son.

But God can and always will be enough.

I had often heard, and can now attest to the adage that, “having a baby is like wearing your heart on the outside of your body.” Boy, ain’t that the truth. I want to protect Warner from every hurt, every scrape, every possible danger and yet my ability to do so is mediocre at best. What hurts me the most when thinking about the shooting at Sandy Hook is how terribly guilty the parents must’ve felt about not being there with their children in their last moments. To hold them, to comfort them, to wipe their tears and scoop them up in their arms.

“No tears baby boy. Your mama will always come for you.”

I can’t ease the loss anyone must be feeling and I can’t protect Warner from every hurt of this world. But God can. And He will. He is enough. And in the midst of this horrific tragedy and really every day forth as a mommy, I find solace in and thank Him for that. I thank Him for being all that I’m not and more.

In the end, maybe I am writing purely for selfish reasons–to try to make sense of another senseless act of this mixed up crazy world– but I am writing nonetheless because I am imperfect, broken and hurting, as is every soul that is part of the human condition.

My deepest, humblest and most sincere condolences, prayers and love to the victims, their families, the community of Newtown and all those affected by this terrible tragedy.

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:17-19

A few bits I have found particularly healing hereherehere, here, here and here.

 

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Styled: Bebe Warner’s (Literal) Crib

Hello POSHees! Well…I am in the throes of mommyhood and loving every minute (even the 3 am ones because Warner J.’s face is quite precious in the moonlight.)

Anyway, as I said here, we were done with the nursery the week before the fire but I hadn’t quite gotten around to taking pictures so you’re just now seeing a glimpse of my little one’s digs. We didn’t opt to paint again because after all the hard work this summer, being tossed out of our house and the baby due any minute, we found ourselves quite taxed. And frankly, sometimes there are just more important things (a lesson I am getting kicked in the booty with repeatedly now that I’m a mommy.)

The inspiration was to blend a little bit of me (chic) with a little bit of the Mr. (outdoorsy). I originally found the idea on Pinterest then just ran with it. The result was a sweet, modern nursery with all the proper country trimmings. For little Warner J., it felt absolutely perfect.

{Color Palette}

I’ve never been one for super frilly decor or pastels for that matter. With a baby boy on the way, it gave me a chance to really think outside the blue box. The orange and grey felt playful yet sophisticated.

 

{Warner’s Digs}

It can be tricky when you’ve purchased everything for another space to find a new spot for it in a different room but overall, I was really pleased with how it turned out.

 

{Tiny Hands}

A little touch I added afterwards, I hung “small” (you know my kid was 9 lb 13 oz right?)  hand and foot prints using these kits.

 

{Baby’s First Bike}

I know it’ll be awhile before he can ride like the wind but I couldn’t resist this adorable tricycle in just the right colors.

 

{A Few Personal Touches}

I stocked his bookshelf with lots of love and lots of fun little surprises.

 

{Something to Grow On}

This little treat came from one of my baby showers thrown by my besties Ash and Kristen. I think it’s a great reminder to always be growing and challenging yourself.

 

{A Little Love Diddy}

Ken actually sang me this song on my 30th birthday. I included it in the nursery because it says a little about raising your kids right and it has such a special place in my heart. My boy is sure to have his daddy’s love for music.

 

{Bookworm}

One of my favorite memories as a child is going with my mom to the library and letting me pick out stacks and stacks of books. Warner and I have already started to read together. I can’t wait to enjoy all the old classics with him in my lap.

 

{Baa}

I snagged this little guy from Homegoods. The minute I saw him, I knew I needed to take him home. Not only does he match perfectly but he’s a good reminder of the Shepherd who cares for each and every one of his flock.

 

{Lighting the Way}

This used to belong to Tim’s father. Tim was Ken’s brother-in-law and passed away from cancer in 2008. He and Ken were very close. This is a small token of the power of friendship.

 

{Words to Live By}

I came across this little box at Homegoods as well…I knew it would be a perfect place in which to tuck away some of Ken and I’s favorite verses. We read them to our little man from time to time in hopes he’ll one day write them on his heart.

 

{‘After’ Family Photo}

The frame for this picture we got from our dear friends, Mike and Lori. They sent it in a care package after the fire and we were so touched, I had to include it in the nursery. The picture as you can see is from our recent family photo shoot.

 

{Hoot Hoot}

These little fellas are just another beautiful addition. They are gifts from my sister (the little owl) and my cousin and his wife (the big owl). I think it’s just amazing that they both got Warner little owls and they just happen to match the nursery perfectly. Bliss.

{Pillow Talk}

 

I picked up this on one of those beautiful and whimsical days in the summer. I was walking around downtown with frozen yogurt taking a break from work and happened upon it in a little boutique in Kirkland. Again, I saw it and knew it would be perfect instantly. Don’t you love finds like that?

 

{Ch-ch-ch-changes}

 

God bless IKEA. I got this beauty there, picked up some handles and chalk paint at Home Depot and voila! We keep a pad on the top for changing and all this diaper necessities right there in the handy tin.

 

{The Hunted}

While KP was holding out for a real deer head, I stuck to my guns and opted for this Restoration Hardware version covered in French dictionary pages.

 

{Rock-a-Bye Baby}

 

{Through the Barn Doors}

 

{Furry Friends}

Ah, one of my favorite parts of the nursery! The headboard and crib. KP fashioned the headboard with the help of one Mr. Crozier and the crib I ordered here. The crib skirt I found on Etsy.

 

{Cozy Carpet}

For one more touch of the outdoors, I brought in a sheepskin rug. It is the softest thing I’ve ever felt and I’m pretty sure the pups think I bought it just for them because they’ve taken a liking to it as well.

 

{‘Before’ Family Photo}

And here is where it all began. A snapshot of our family of three-to-be.

 

“First we had each other and then we had you and now we have everything.” XX

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Getting Schooled in Mommy-hood

First of all…I was going to title this post “What I Learned My First Week of Mommyhood” but left to your own devices to do the math, I knew you’d realize that Warner J. is actually  three weeks old today and that I really meant to write and post this almost two weeks ago <sheepish grin>. Perfect segue way to my list of what mommydom has taught me so far…

1) Give yourself grace. Learn to be happy accomplishing two things on your to-do list instead of twelve.

2) Pray. Pray hard. Pray often.

3) Hope and dream but when the rubber meets the road, you have to let go of all expectations–about labor, about birth, about breastfeeding, about parenthood. I truly thought I had done that. I hadn’t. That’s the thing about the unexpected; if it’s entered your mind long enough for you to let go of it, it’s not unexpected anymore.

4) There is no room for, “I did it last time, it’s your turn.” Enough said.

5) Priorities=God-first, spouse-second, kids-third. Period. End of story.

6) Listen to your gut. When trouble arises, often the solution ends up being the first thing you think of to try. Trust yourself.

7) Savor every moment you can. Look at your little baby and let yourself be so captivated by them you can’t breathe.

8) A searing hot shower and a little Pandora can do wonders for your mood. Take that time for yourself. It’s so worth if you come out of the steam a little more patient.

9) Be intentional with most of what you do…with everything from your “I love yous” to your nap times.

10) Having a baby is a little like having your heart broken and put back together on the outside of your body…painful yet beautiful. Painful because as much as you want to, you can’t protect them from everything and beautiful because it’s hard to imagine doing anything more worth it. XX

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