catch-up part 2 of 4

Jack ManAs the holiday shuffle concluded and the new year was upon us, we started to wind down and get back into our normal routine. We enjoyed playing with our new toys from Christmas, park dates, and breakfast donuts! A new Krispy Kreme moved in down the street and we justified biking to the store as the equivalent to burning off at least one donut.Xmas GiftsPark Jan 2016JPS DonutsDonut DayOur friends came down with their two sweet boys and we had a fantastic time catching up, going to the Dallas Aquarium, and just lounging around enjoying good drinks and even better conversation.Dallas ArbKiddos at Dallas ArbJack and Meredith started swimming lessons and absolutely loved it. Jack had been swimming prior to Meredith’s birth but this was the first time for Meredith. It was wonderful to see them both enjoy the water and their teacher Ms. Sara. Swim Class 2016In February, Jack consistently started jumping out of his crib. The hubs and I sighed then transitioned his crib into a bed, knowing that things would never be the same with a toddler not caged at night. But first, Jack and Mer spent the better part of the day and that evening breaking in this new toddler bed. Laying Jack's New BedBabies in Jack's BedJack's New BedJack's Bed NightThe transition went better than expected. There were a couple of nights Jack was up and a couple more we found him in Meredith’s crib, but all and all the transition to the toddler bed was great.IMG_0934IMG_2768At the end of February, Meredith started standing on her own and taking a few steps. Of course, she had to try her own approach to standing; we just wished it was on the floor. I applaud her independence but fear for her teenage years! Mer standingEaster was in March this year, so we were able to celebrate with multiple Easter egg hunts and Meredith’s first birthday all in the same weekend. Jack loved all things Easter and embraced the Easter bunny a lot better than Santa. Dying Easter EggsEaster BunnyEaster Egg Hunt IJack and His EggsWe celebrated Meredith’s 1st birthday with lots of cake and even more presents. They both loved tearing into the raspberry filled birthday cake.Mer's CakeMer's Bday Cake FaceMer Eating CakeJack with Mer's CakeI had a few tears at my baby turning one. The days definitely can be long but the months always go by way too fast. This sweet baby girl has been such a welcomed addition to our family. Meredith is such a spitfire, knows-what-she-wants kind of lady. Her giggle is so infectious and she started saying Mama with a purpose! Of course when she was nine months, Dada was her first word. And “Otis” and “uh oh” came in May. We love seeing her grow.  1 year MAS CollageWe were lucky enough to have my Dad and Deb come down for all the festivities. They had an Easter egg hunt for Jack set up in our backyard while Mer enjoyed taking off on Jack’s four-wheeler and tractor. DSC_0903Easter Egg Hunt IIDSC_0930DSC_0911.jpgDad & DebMeredith waited until everyone was settled in at home and things were back to our usual routine to finish her birthday month with a bang! Her first real steps/walk! She did great!!

I laugh now thinking I was worried I wouldn’t have enough room in my heart for two babies. I was worried Jack wouldn’t know how much I love him after Meredith was born. But it’s quite the opposite; not only do you love them, but you love who they are. You realize how different each one of your children really is and embrace their personalities with huge, open arms.   IMG_3929April was filled with Burley bike rides to the park and to get ice cream, of course! Biking + Park DateBiking + Ice CreamWe had many lazy weekends with lot of eggs, fruit, and bacon! And even more french press coffee! After all that fuel, we stepped outside for more play. Life is good. Breakfast Goodies

Tracter + MerWe made BBQ Pizza on our Green Egg and I recommend it to all! It was super fast and so tasty! The smoky flavors of the Egg mixed with BBQ was such a wonderful treat, making a great southern style pizza. Please try! BBQ PizzaAt the end of May, we were pulled back to St. Louis once again to wish some dear friends a wonderful life together. We enjoyed a night out for their rehearsal dinner. With good food and great friendship again, we asked ourselves why we ever left! Rehearsal NightThe day between the rehearsal and wedding was spent enjoying friends and their tire swing in their backyard! Jack thought it was the coolest horse ever!Hobs Day 4-2016Hobs SwingThe wedding weather could not have been any better and we were able to make it to two places we loved in St. Louis for part of the wedding festivities. Busch Stadium, yes, I’m still secretly supporting the Brewers, but gosh, it’s a beautiful stadium, fun team, and great fans! We also stopped by the candy shop owned by the bride’s family. How cute is that vintage sign! The store is even cuter and their chocolates are absolutely amazing! We have gotten spoiled during Easter when they send down chocolate covered eggs! My favorite are the milk or dark chocolate caramel eggs with a dash of sea salt – I add the dash of sea salt. My mouth is watering as I type. Trust me, if you live in St. Louis, try them! Or buy them here! They are delicious!T+M WeddingWith the hubs family so close, they volunteered their babysitting services and the hubs and I spent the first night ever without our babies. It was amazing to wake up without anyone to tend to! Maybe it was easier knowing they were well loved with their cousins and aunt watching over them. A special thanks to Jill for taking care of them that night! Chalk w cousinsWe spent the last day of our St. Louis trip with Papa and Grammie. Discovering the big red train downtown was the excitement of this trip! We headed back to Dallas as always, with heavy hearts, missing all things that were great about the trip: family, friends and the familiar. STL 4-2016Back in Dallas, we ended the month with Jack’s big potty training adventure! We spent may days in the bathroom wondering what was going to happen. Meredith was always there for support and I printed off a sticker chart and bought prizes to help motivate Jack for all those trips! He finally got it down and we were elated to get one kiddo out of diapers! Jack's Potty TrainingI’ll be back with the last two catch-up posts soon!!

Thanks for reading, friends!


one month


Meredith turned the ripe old age of one month this past weekend, and yes, another monthly addition of photos will be bestowed upon us all. We switched up the animal; Jack had an elephant, Meredith has an alligator. It’s real exciting stuff over here!

One Month Collage

This month has made me realize a couple of things, “pregnancy brain” or the phrase “you’ll forget everything and do it all over again” is completely, completely true!

I thought I was prepared for this homecoming. I was even eager to leave the hospital! Heck, I left a day early. But when I got home, the rush of emotions arrived with me and I caught myself crying to my husband what have we done?  What have we done! on numerous occasions. The tears and the walking zombie returned, as well.  New emotions came flooding in about Jack’s transition; I worried Jack was not getting enough of my attention and tried extra hard to make sure Jack felt loved. Mostly crazy talk.

But there is a silver lining to all this… With Meredith, I find my walking zombie state, though present, doesn’t seem to last as long as it did with Jack. We were able to get out and enjoy the days. Plus, realizing babies DO sleep a lot, I was able to step away from Meredith, leaving Jack and I plenty of one on one time together.

Meredith has given us a couple blissful nights of 4-5 hours of sleeping, but her routine tends to be fickle at best. She’s attached to her mama and would like nothing better than to be with her 24-7, which someday I’m sure I’ll want back. She’s starting to visualize the world around her, following faces, watching her crazy, loving brother, who runs in and out of her view all day … always trying to share his snacks or nuk. She also started cooing and smiling this week, appropriately starting right after Jack danced in front of her while I was making dinner. He’s such the entertainer in the household!

Though these day can be tough and long, and sleep deprived, I have to remind myself just how fast this phase really does go…


Happy Week, Friends!

pictures of who?

Weird, I know… more pictures of Jack. I think I’ve spent 99% of my maternity leave just staring at him.

Though these pictures are from my iPhone and less artistic in nature, this is my wonderful view lately… and it’s awesome.

Jack's Expression

welcome home

Welcome Home

We were welcomed home by signs, balloons, flowers, and even Tiff’s treats! All wonderful items from wonderful friends and family.

We got discharged from the hospital on Thursday; it was a scary scene saying goodbye to our wonderful nurses and staff members at the hospital. But, we knew it was time to start our new life as a family of three. We got Jack all dressed up for his ride home (thanks Seth & Natalie).

going home JPS

He didn’t seem as nervous as his parents to leave the hospital. It was honestly one of the most nervous feelings I’ve ever had walking away from the hospital and stepping foot into the real world. The hubs drove home with two hands on the wheel, staying in the slowest lane. I, on the other hand, spent most of the drive white knuckling the door handle and looking back at Jack. So little. So cute. Why the heck did they let us leave with him?

Car seat

Since then, I have no concept of real time, what day it is, or even what was on my old to do list. Everything seems so arbitrary, because now, I have a kid to take care of. No Keeping up with the Kardashian’s on Jack’s schedule.

The last of our visiting family all left Friday, and now I find myself concerned with diapers and what’s in them, when I last fed him, and if its time to take more Motrin. I guess that’s why most people refer to this time as a parent as “the fog,” that period of newborn life that you are completely deprived of sleep and the outside world… just to keep up with this little person’s needs.

I’m not going to lie, it’s hard.

Really hard.

There are times I questions people’s sanity of having more than one, but then Jack makes me love him all over again, with the way he looks when he’s all swaddled (I think he looks like a sumo wrestler) or his sweet face all drunk after eating. It’s amazing how thankful I am when his gives me 3 1/2 hours between feedings. Last night I cheered to Paul that it was 5:45 am! 5:45 am, Paul!! Never in my life have I been more excited about 2 1/2 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Mainly, I take pictures of Jack when I get him up for feedings and spend my days questioning what I did to deserve such an amazing gift. He’s amazing. God is so good. Tears. Lots of happy tears.

Jack completely swaddled

Jack One Arm swaddle

Jack unswaddled

I have a new found love and respect for another amazing man, the one I picked to be my co-parent in this new adventure and whom Jack will get to call dad. (Yep, tears. again.) He has been amazing at trying to keep the wheels from falling off the house and especially, me. And has done extremely well at both. It’s been truly amazing to see him with Jack and take charge of so many things around the house. Or just be there at 2 am or 4 am or 5 am to ask if I need a glass of water while feeding Jack.

Paul & Jack

We’re surviving. We can do this. We are survivors. We might even be parenting?!

I am so truly blessed to have these two men in my life. I know it will all get even better but want to make sure I stop and enjoy this crazy, sleep deprived, tear filled, what-the-hell-am-I-doing time, too.

Happy what-ever-day-it-is, Friends!