Author: Lily

You would think after having my first child I would know exactly what I was doing. But alas, I’m not that lucky. When getting pregnant the second time I felt as ill prepared or more in many aspects because I had only ever had one child, not two. I had no clue what it was going to be like. I’d have twice as much to do overnight and that freaked me out. BUT it turned out having baby #2 wasn’t as hard as being a first time Mama was, at least not for me. I was so busy worrying about how Hudson was going to change our lives that I didn’t get the whole maternity clothes thing down the second time around either.

 

Now that I’ve been through 2 pregnancies and almost 3/4th of the way there with my 3rd, I thought I’d write this post!

 

They say 3rd times the charm! So here we go. Maternity clothes FINALLY done right (my version).

 

 

 

 

  1. Maternity Black leggings –

These bad boys are important because they’re comfier than jeans, and black goes with everything. I invested in some Blanqi maternity leggings because they were 50% off (here) and I’ll straight up give you the pros and cons. Pro – the compression is great all over but is relaxed on your belly which ups the comfy factor. Con – $$$. If these weren’t so expensive I would own 10.

 

My favorite affordable leggings I actually found at Target (here) – the holy grail of everything awesome. They’re the Ingrid & Isabel brand and I’m in love. Pro – $ and comfy, Con – definitely more see through than the Blanqi, you can feel the difference in the material but they work for me so, there you go.

 

 

 

  1. Maternity Skinny Jeans –

I’ve previously only shopped maternity jeans at Ross because I’ve (up to this point) been super stingy with Maternity clothing in the past. Don’t get me wrong I’ve found some awesome pairs there, but they don’t seem to last. This time I shopped around, Target failed me in the “comfy” aspect and weren’t that flattering on me, but H&M on the other hand got 2 thumbs up + 8 fingers and all toes! Find those (here). The Target ones weren’t horrible but they didn’t fit me as snug as a pair of handy me down ones that I’d been gifted. H&M on the other hand had plenty of colors, more sizing options, styles and different fits! I loved the super skinny jeans.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Maternity Tops –

Unfortunately not wearing a top in public is frowned upon. So since we should all probably be covering up, especially this time of year, I’ll let you in on my favorite places to shop. I used to wear my regular non-maternity tops until they were unbearable my last 2 pregnancies but I embraced the maternity clothing way faster this time around. I got plain black and white maternity T’s & some fun cute styles at Target. This one in particular, from Target, I get a ton of compliments on. I’ve loved my tops from Pink Blush, and the best sweaters from H&M on clearance ($7) woo! Here’s an H&M shirt I’m eyeballing for the holidays!

 

 

 

  1. Cardigans –

I’ve had plenty of cardi’s already stocked in my closet my first two pregnancies but have since learned to style them with my ever growing bump! Pair with a solid T-shirt underneath & necklace and you’re good to go.

 

 

 

  1. Dresses –

I’ve never been that into dresses but after having 2 kiddos, not only are they super easy and convenient for church, but they’re also the comfiest things ever. I feel liberated. It’s almost as good as not wearing a top but with the whole decency thing covered. My favorite dresses have been from Pink Blush and Kimi & Kai. You can also get away with non-maternity dresses if they have the baby doll waist.

 

 

 

  1. Robe –

When thinking robes, I used to think bathrobe or the dress robe Ron Weasley had to wear for the Yule ball lol. Little did I know that they made them thin and breathable for lounging around the house. I’ve worn mine for the past 2 weeks, even though I told myself it was specifically for the hospital. It’s super convenient being comfy while I make my kids breakfast or just relaxing. Almost like one of Jakes comfy shirts but less revealing and a lot cuter!

 

 

 

 

  1. Maternity Winter Coat –

This one I thought I could live without, and I kind of survived without it my other 2 times, but now I don’t know why I did that to myself!! I was always cold going to work, grocery shopping, to holiday events, and just didn’t like to participate in anything because my bump was never fully covered. I’m pleased to say I went trick or treating with my kids, go on Target runs during snow epidemics, and don’t mind leaving the house now because I’m nice and toasty. Not to mention this coat is adorable, and I’ve gotten so many compliments. I truly wish I would have purchased it with my first babe.

 

 

 

 

  1. Jewelry –

I guess I’m not the most social pregnant person because I feel kind of frumpy. This time I made an effort to get ready the days I felt especially icky. The fastest way I’ve found to feel cuter is a simple outfit with some rocking jewelry. The best part is, I won’t have a timeline for when I’ll need to stop wearing these! I can rock them post partum too! My faves are from DownEast & Target.

HA! Got you. I’m not standing in front of a salad. I’m probably actually waiting in line at a Sodalicious right now.

 

 

Bumpdate: 29 Weeks 3 Days and feeling WHALEY huge. Get it? Whaley 🙂

Cravings: Sugar Cookies & Rocky Road ice cream.

Likes: Getting little dude to fist bump me on command.

Dislikes: He has no respect for this mamas need for sleep, he’s definitely a night owl.

 

But seriously, what have we been up to this last month and a half you ask? I’ve gone into the doctor for having contractions about 6ish minutes apart and it turns out I’m dilated 1 cm. I was told it was because I was overexerting myself and the triage nurse told me to quote: “stop chasing my two kids.” Bless her heart. I may have a problem with authority, (we’re looking into it) but I may just have no idea how to go about not “chasing my two kids.” Have you met my kids?

 

 

We’ve been trying to take it easier, but with Halloween, the last days of park playing, and last minute photoshoots with Sodalicious we’ve still been on the move. We like the fast paced life our gang, or anything having to do with chocolate as you can clearly see.

 

 

 

Currently working on some more blog post like, what’s going in my hospital bag & must have maternity clothes (finally done right, after 3 pregnancies), so be sure to keep a lookout for those in the weeks to come. But in the meantime.. here are some cute pictures of my adorable kids, just because.

 

 

 

 

I love these little moments captured of giggles and double chins (Hudson and I both currently have this adorable quality). I look back at baby pictures of these two and think I didn’t take enough. So make your cuties giggle and smile today, tell them you love them, and hug them till they tell you to let go, and then hold on tight for a second longer.

 

 

 

I’ve always been a confident person. I’m just comfortable in my own shoes, except for when I’m pregnant. My feet swell and the blood flow to my confidence muscle gets cut off via my tight shoes.

 

But I’ve known this pregnancy was different.

 

As you know, I’m not the happiest pregnant girl. I don’t “glow” effortlessly, I actually have to put in a lot of extra time to feel/look normal. I do gain 50 lbs during my pregnancies and I’m not stopping that trend anytime soon to my chagrin. (I’m at 23 lbs and counting, woo, new record.)

 

Although this pregnancy has been similar to my others, I have changed one thing more so than anything, my mindset.

 

I am determined more than ever to soak this all in. (Although I would be lying if I said I wouldn’t have this baby tomorrow if a magical genie gave me the option.)

 

 

I’m stopping more often to enjoy the kicks, knowing this will be my last time experiencing the feeling. I’m staring at the ultrasound pictures more often, wondering what my little guy will look like, knowing this kind of anticipation is unlike anything I’ve experienced outside of pregnancy.

 

But above all else, I’m trying to love myself during this vulnerable time. A time where I feel bloated, gassy, irritable, puffy and just not myself.

 

I’ve avoided pictures during my past pregnancies like the plague. They’re memories of an uncomfortable time in my life I haven’t truly enjoyed. Don’t get me wrong, I love having my babies, they are my greatest blessings. I would go through the whole ordeal a billion times over to have my kids, but the process (pregnancy) is really rough on me emotionally and physically.

 

 

So this time I’ve tweaked the way I look at things a bit. For example, I started wearing pregnancy pants in my 1st trimester. I used to think the longer you could go without wearing “those” the better. WRONG. The moms-to-be who are winning, in my opinion, are the ones who are comfortable in what they’re wearing. It’s just a shame it’s taken me this long to figure it out.  Like this maternity dress for example, feels like butter. It’s amazing. It shows my bump instead of hiding it, and I’m totally ok with it!

 

I’ve also let my housework slide every so often. I’ve felt too much mom guilt before to let it spill over into this pregnancy. I try my best, but we do have plenty of lounging days with PB&J sandwiches for lunch and dinner.

 

I’ve also talked myself into letting myself be in pictures, despite my insecurities. I want to be able to look back years from now and show my kids my cute round face. I can appreciate the beauty in other strong, amazing, inspiring women who just happen to be pregnant, so why should I see myself any different?

 

It’s definitely been a learning curve, but I think I’m getting closer every day to loving this time in my life and appreciating for what it is. Stretch marks and all 🙂

 

We’re expecting again!

 

 

Although I’m so excited for our third little nugget to join us, there’s obviously always some things that come with pregnancy that I’m not a fan of. Of course there’s the nausea, and frequent trips to the bathroom, but there’s also those people who put their foot in their mouths. I’m only 18 weeks and man do some people REALLY like to put their foot in their mouths. So let me try to explain 5 things you shouldn’t tell a pregnant woman. There’s definitely more than 5 but let’s just stick to these for now.

 

  1. “I can’t believe you’re ALREADY showing.”

This one should be self explanatory, but then again, it wouldn’t be on the list if it was common knowledge. You can’t believe I’m already showing? ( Psst I’ll let you in a secret, this is my 3rd baby, and my uterus does know what it’s doing.) I can’t believe you decided to wear those earrings with that necklace. See what I did there? Maybe it’s something you’re thinking, but it shouldn’t come out of your mouth if it’s not a nice comment. Some of you may debate it’s not a malicious thing to say, but when you tell a pregnant women that, she questions why she’s showing enough to warrant a comment like the one you just gave her. How about next time you try, “I can’t believe you’re ALREADY glowing!” Ahh.. much better.

 

 

2. “You’re getting/look so big!”

Again, why? Why!? I don’t comment on your weight (when you’re not pregnant), so why comment on how big I look when pregnant. That’s kind of the point. I am growing an entire human being inside of me. Of course I’m going to look bigger than normal. Commenting on my growth stopped being flattering after puberty, and even then it was annoying. K?

 

 

3. “Are you sure you’re not farther along?”

Just no. Do you have a medical degree? If my “downstairs” doctor and my menstrual cycle didn’t already correctly guesstimate the arrival of my baby, what credentials do you have to question my answer. None. N-O-N-E.

 

 

4. “You look like you’re ready to be done.”

Gee thanks. This is just another way of telling me I look horrendous. You could have just as easily said, “You look miserable, uncomfortable, and have a resting stink face.” Yes, yes I do… but again, we don’t have to have this conversation unless I want to talk about it, and even then, cheer me up, don’t add to my pity party. How about instead of commenting on my general appearance, you just bring me a Haagen-Dazs to help make me feel better.

 

 

5. “My labor was 49 hours long, I tried to go natural, was in excruciating pain when I finally decided to get an epidural, and my anesthesiologist was a horrible jerk that had to poke me like 7 times before actually getting it right. Then I had to go into emergency C-section and was loopy on drugs for days.”

If I ask you specifically about how your delivery went, give me the dirty details, if I asked it’s because I want to know everything. But if I didn’t ask let’s just stick to, “My delivery was hard, but so worth it because of this beautiful little miracle in my lap.” I feel for first time moms with this one. They’re always told all the horror stories. Whether you try natural, elective c-section, epidural, episiotomy, home birth, hypno birth or a million other possibilities there’s always going to be someone who had a bad experience. But don’t push your opinions onto first time mamas (unless they ask). They already have so much to deal with. They love and want the best for their little one and will make the best decision they can with all the information given them, let’s not scare the already hormonal moms-to-be ya?

 

If you’re pregnant now know you are radiant no matter the comments, and please don’t compare yourself to others, “Comparison is the thief of joy”. There’s always going to be someone prettier, nicer and more talented than you and me. Enjoying our lives for our strengths, weaknesses and blessings is what it’s all about. I’m not a happy pregnant gal, it’s not my forte, and that’s ok. I’m just grateful for the opportunity.

 

I’m not going to lie, writing this was definitely more therapeutic than informative. I just smile and nod when these comments come my way now. I’ve truly had all these things said to me in every pregnancy and I’d like to scream my snarky remarks and internal thoughts to those who like to say things, but it’s not worth it. I would be just as bad as the people who say these things in the first place. Some people just don’t think before they speak.  So this is my outlet. Writing it down. Hopefully you laughed a couple times or at least sympathized with me lol.

 

Or again, maybe it’s just me.. and you all have no idea what I’m talking about. I hope some of you can relate 😉 Hang in there mama.

Find some more of my wonderful photographer’s work here.

 

 

I was a wreck after I had Charlotte. A hot mess, all day erryday. I seriously had no clue how people had more than one of these cute chubby cheeked babes.

 

BUT… when we decided to try for baby #2, I was determined to do it all differently. I was not going to gain 50 lbs. during my pregnancy like I did the first time. It just wasn’t going to happen. I was going to be a put together mama, I was going to exercise every day, eat only granola and kale, and have that glow about me every other pregnant mama seemed to effortlessly achieve.

 

BUT… (again) Life doesn’t usually happen the way I plan. If you didn’t know me personally during my second pregnancy I’ll have you know I did in fact gain the 50 lbs I so vigorously said I wouldn’t gain, and he came early, HA!

 

The only words of wisdom I have for you one-child moms (maybe soon to be two-child moms?) is, enjoy it.

 

 

Everyone reacts to these situations differently but what has helped me be a “good mom”, was to see examples of REAL women around me being fun, messy, loving moms. I want to go back and breathe in every moment with my only child, but since I can’t, I cherish my one on one time with my 2 beautiful kids, that much more.

 

My advice with 2 kids, plan and then do. I was always such a procrastinator, and waited to do everything until the very last second. You can’t do that with parenthood. At least I can’t.

 

 

Plan to leave the house. Whether it be a stroll around the neighborhood, a nearby park or the zoo. LEAVE the house. My kids get tired when we go have some fun and then they’re ready for naps. It might seem hard at first but it gets easier I promise. You definitely learn you took for granted just having to buckle and unbuckle one child when that number doubles.

 

Don’t take yourself too seriously. Growing up I had this idea of what I wanted my life to be. I wanted a white picket fence, a hot husband, and kids who thought I was awesome. I wasn’t going to be a lame mom. I didn’t aspire to be a Pinterest mom until I was pregnant. I don’t know why I let myself get wrapped up in it all. But I’ve learned I’m a much funner mom when I can laugh at myself instead of get angry my Pinterest cake didn’t turn out. Laugh at yourself more often, you’re fine. If you told your kids you loved them today, you’re doing great.

 

 

I try to be a fun mom, but sometimes I’m a crazy uptight freakazoid mom. The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem right? I look at myself back then and how stressed I was about keeping Charlotte clean all of the time, making sure she was eating correctly and a million other unrealistic goals I had for my 9 month old and I laugh. It’s comical. I’ve learned a lot and my life would have been a little smoother on my emotional health if I would have just loosened the reigns. I think that’s what you learn going from 1 to 2 kids.

 

 

So here it is, are you ready? The truth know one tells you about having 2 kids is that it’s not that hard. Sure it’s an adjustment, but it’s not difficult if you have the right mindset. You’re going to do great. You’re going to love the second one just as much as the first and that seems impossible. I thought Charlotte was going to be my favorite child for the rest of forever and I was just never going to admit it to my second child haha. But that’s truly not the case. You love your children for their differences and even though I’ve known one longer than the other it’s still a draw. Crazy I know.

 

You’re not going to know how you get more accomplished somedays having 2 kids then you ever did with just 1. Or maybe that was just me? Maybe I was a late mom bloomer. But I did not get a lot accomplished with just one child. I kid you not, we do more, play more, and clean more efficiently now then when it was just the 2 of us. I’m thinking it might have something to do with 2 kids being able to entertain each other.

 

Long story short, it’s fun, chaotic and super stressful somedays but rewarding like you can’t imagine. You’re not going to have it all together all the time. It’s OK, and the sooner you learn/accept it the better. Take it from me, and that’s the truth.

 

– Signed A Recovering Perfectionist

 

 

 

 

 

Shout out to Evelyn Cervantes Photography for capturing my cute babes and their wonderful personalities, find more of her work here.

 

 

 

Similar to Her Dress // My Dress

 

It was the middle of the night, the first time you had hiccups. I giggled at the squeak. It was dark and your fuzzy hair was the softest thing I’d ever felt.

 

I remember your chest against mine, and how your head fit perfectly under my chin.

 

…. and thinking this is joy.

 

 

 

I read a lot of books on how to prepare for a baby. What to eat. How many lbs to gain. What to expect. The delivery. The placenta. Post partum tears. Episiotomies. Witch Hazel. Cribs. Nursing. And all the millions of things I thought I needed preparing for your arrival.

 

I knew what to do, I was prepared, or so I thought.

 

Holding you for the first time was the scariest and happiest thing to ever happen to me.

 

I was scared I would miss something after a longer-than-normal hospital stay and I wouldn’t be enough. We came home and I was on edge. A crazy happy looney newborn of my own sort.

 

 

 

I did not sleep when you slept, even though everyone counseled me to do so, I didn’t do anything except hold you. I couldn’t. I’d stare at you all day and watch you sleep all night. When you cried I got excited to hold you in my arms again and rock you in your room. I’d never been more excited to forego some sleep.

 

I wanted to watch you grow and crawl and play. Those first smiles melted any anger I’d ever held towards anyone. Your laughs made me want to be a better person. The first time you said you loved me, you made me well up inside and I knew this was the happiest I’d ever been.

 

You think you’re happy now sweet girl, and you are. But then they hand you this tiny person in your arms and the seams of your heart unravel. Slowly then suddenly your heart doubles in size. It came so naturally loving you. The feeling overwhelms you entirely and you feel as if you’re going to burst out of your chest. It’s truly indescribable.

 

 

So today I write to you, my beautiful daughter on this Mother’s Day:

 

You made me a mother. And I will love you more than anyone could ever try to.

I’d cross all the oceans in the world for you.

You will move mountains.

And make mistakes.

I’ll admire and beam during your highest highs and will love you more during your lowest lows.

I will always be a shoulder to cry on, a person to talk to, a friend, and your biggest fan.

But I will also teach you hard lessons, and I know you’ll think you hate me.

Have courage and be kind.

Don’t ever be afraid to speak up. You don’t have to be loud but you do need to be brave.

Not everyone you encounter will like you, and that’s ok.

Love yourself immensely because you are amazing.

 

Love,

 

the girl you made a mother

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shout out to the amazingly talented Erin K Photography, for these beautiful photos I will cherish forever. Find more of her work here.

 

I’ve been binge watching Grey’s Anatomy recently. I love that show. It’s definitely up there with FRIENDS and House in my opinion. And I read something the other day from the one and only Meredith Grey that got me thinking.

 

It really stuck with me… so read it in your best Meredith Grey voice to get the full effect.

 

So do it. Decide.

Is this the life you want to live? Is this the person you want to love? Is this the best you can be? Can you be stronger? Kinder? More Compassionate?

Decide.

Breathe in.

Breathe out. And decide.

 

Why are we so afraid of change? Maybe you’re scoffing at that sentence. “I’m not afraid of change.” But maybe you are. Maybe we all are. When is the last time you tried something new? Is this the life you want to live?

 

The answers to those two questions for me are “Yeah I tried a new dish at the same place we always go to just last week,” and “Of course it is, I love my life.”

 

BUT if I’m being completely honest with myself, I could answer those a little differently. Have I been out of my comfort zone lately? No. Do I want to live “this” life, yes, but could I be doing more, CERTAINLY! Don’t you just want to go out and help someone now that you’ve agreed you could be doing more? I do. I know I’m capable of more, I could be better, more patient, more giving. But how likely is it that we are going to go change everything we could improve in ourselves overnight? Not likely.

 

So start small. Be Bold. Be Good. Be Patient. Be Kind. If you are already all of those things, choose something else. Pick one new thing to be this week.

 

 

I chose to Be Bold this last month. I’ve brought dinner and have signed up to bring dinner to more people in this last month than the last 3 years combined. Maybe that’s not a big deal to some of you. But it kind of is for me. Planning ahead, committing to making/bringing someone dinner when somedays I can hardly get my own dinner on the table at a reasonable hour is hard for me. Signing up and volunteering is hard for me. We all have strengths and weaknesses and this is definitely my insecurity. I am not the best cook. I make things that are edible, but everyone else seems to have Gourmet dishes compared to my simple meals.

 

But with some positive affirmations, I’m being Bold, putting myself out there and saying screw it. At least I’m trying right? So here’s to being something different this month. Positive Affirmations folks, they’re kind of magic aren’t they?

 

Speaking of positive affirmations, my favorite hands down are visual affirmations. Que the Graphic T shirt! I must own a hundred. Ok maybe not a hundred, but still. You can pick up this cute T-shirt I’m wearing or choose from a ton more, here. (PS you can use code BESTORY to get if for $15.95 w/ free shipping this weekend 04/28-04/30). I love these T shirts because of how effortless they are. There’s nothing easier or cuter than jeans and a tshirt. If Jake had one wish, it would be me in jeans and a t-shirt everyday for the rest of my life AND World Peace (#namethatmovie). Rock it with a statement necklace, and a fun purse, or just add a baseball hat and be out the door!  Anytime I want to wimp out on a new experience I look in a mirror and tell myself I got this, because I went through labor twice and everything else is cake, and because my shirt says I can haha. So Be Bold, Weird, Happy or Kind. But be something. Decide.

 

It’s funny how being a mom influences everything I do EVERY DAY; Life’s awesome that way. One day you’re the kid, and the next you have the kid and you’re wondering how you ever lived without these little ones running around biting your ankles.

 

If you know me, you know I’m all about them deals. With that being said, I will most definitely pay full price on things I feel I need, that in my opinion are worth the price tag.

 

I also like looking presentable. I mean who doesn’t? If I’m leaving the house with my kids I try and look cute. Gone are the days where I used to sit in front of my closet and stare at my clothes for lengthy amounts of time, trying to find the perfect outfit. That’s a luxury I no longer have.

 

So now I’m all about comfort, convenience and how easily I can it can go from a regular everyday “mom outfit” to “Night out with Jake” without much extra effort on my behalf.

 

 

(Here’s me and the kids trying to act like we know what we’re doing.)

 

In the pictures above, we were actually just hanging out with friends. Sometimes I see pictures with perfect makeup, perfect hair, smiling children and it’s kind of intimidating. But I’ve finally realized you can look cute without having every hair in “perfect” place. You can actually see a bit of Bowen’s shirt and leg in the last picture. (Ps he’s Charlotte’s betrothed.) This is real life. 2/3 smiles is a win in my book.

 

So I’m here to give you an example of how I do just that in a few short minutes. I picked this beaut Ivory Tunic from Cents of Style because of how easily it could go from mom life to date night. I love how flattering the fit is and I don’t love shirts that are tight on my stomach very often (thank you kids).  They also have 9 other colors. I know right, you’re welcome. PS. Use the code TOPSTORY and it will make each tunic $19.95 + FREE SHIPPING. (The code is valid 3/24 – 3/26.)

 

I’m also trying to really hard to have only items I absolutely love in my closet, and it’s definitely easier said than done. Quality over quantity friends. Always.

 

I went from mom outfit to date night by adding some heels and another necklace. Simple as that. No unnecessary time standing in front of my closet. You could also pair it with a cute fitted jacket and lose the hat if it’s not your style.

 

Ps this shirt is a tunic, which is meant to be longer. Which also means you might be able to wear it if for some reason, let’s say, your stomach decides to grow 😉 Dual purpose!

 

 

Ivory Tunic: Cents of Syle | Hat (something similar): Forever21 | Choker (something similar & on sale): H&M | Dainty Necklace (something similar): Bohme (larger selection in store) | Black Jeggings : Hollister | Heels: Ross

 

I’d just like to end with saying that after I had my kids I didn’t feel 100% myself. I didn’t love clothes on me and walking the fine line between mom, wife, and me was hard. But it’s doable. Take baby steps. Go buy yourself one thing you love. Just one. Go for a walk. Do something for you. Everyone has to start somewhere and as long as you’re trying, you’re doing the best you can.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I remember being a first time stay at home mama with Charlotte and life being all sorts of confusing. I wouldn’t see anyone during the winter because I barricaded myself in the house. I didn’t want Charlotte sick and lets be honest, I let her dictate my life back then. I would make sure to come and go around her nap time schedule, and being home to nurse. Fast forward sometime and that is most definitely not the case with Hudson ha! Poor kid naps whenever he gets a second. I’m definitely on the move more with two than I ever was with one.

 

So whether you’re a first time mama or a cooler veteran, I’m hear to let you in on my winter time secret. We LOVE going to the library! Our local library has story time, play time, jumping up and down time, songs with frogs, zoo days, etc. Charlotte got to pet a skunk, a giant piggy and a hedgehog. They really didn’t bring the zoo to us, but it felt like it!

 

The coolest thing I’ve recently found is called the Community Exploration Card. What is the Community Exploration Card? I thought you’d never ask! Check it out below!

 

 

 

About the Community Exploration Card

 

The City Library opens doors to the community with the Community Exploration Card! Library cardholders can visit a number of Salt Lake City’s cultural centers for free by checking out a card from any branch of The City Library. With the Community Exploration Card, four people will be admitted to Discovery GatewayThe LeonardoNatural History Museum of UtahRed Butte Garden, and Utah Museum of Fine Arts (closed for renovation until spring 2017).

 

The Community Exploration Card is valid for general admission but not for special events or exhibits. A limited number of cards are available for check out at the beginning of each month and must be used during that month. To provide equitable access for everyone, cards are limited to one per household in a 12-month period.

 

So there you go!

 

But I should tell you a few details before you go running off to your local library…

 

There are only 4 Salt Lake County Libraries that carry these. The West Jordan, Sandy, Whitmore and Hunter Libraries. Each location ONLY has 4 cards that they give out that month and they’re first come first serve on the 1st of every month. (I know for a fact that the Sandy and West Jordan Libraries are out but I was told Whitmore library had 2 left as of 3:30pm today)

 

🙂 EEK!

 

Good luck, and may the odds be ever in your favor! I hope you all get out more than I used to. It’s so much more fun getting out doors instead of being cooped up and the best part is that it’s FREE! Woo!

 

 

 

 

I remember when I was dating Jake, I felt like I had all the time in the world. We would hangout, eat food, watch tv, go wherever we wanted whenever we wanted and that’s how it lasted for quite some time. We planned trips and didn’t pack until last second. We just generally took our time with life, aka procrastinated. Fast forward a couple years and you know what? That doesn’t fly around here anymore. I’d love to say that having children magically cured our bad habits, but it didn’t. Life’s not that simple.

 

 

Although I wasn’t magically cured of my bad habits, I have learned a few things I WISH I could have implemented a long long time ago. Some article I read once upon a time said productive people had 10 basic things in common (which honestly is probably not entirely true, but it made for a good title, and a good starting point.) Here are some of the things I can remember off the top of my head.

 

  1. They woke up early
  2. They had breakfast
  3. They made their bed
  4. They avoided technological distractions for awhile
  5. They made a to-do list
  6. They tackled their hardest chore first

 

I obviously must have not been paying close enough attention because I can’t remember all 10. I also can’t say that I do everything on the part of the list I do remember. But these have resonated with me and I can say I truly strive to do them, because being a mom unfortunately doesn’t come with an instruction manual.

 

I love my sleep with a passion. I need it to function, it helps keep me in a good mood, and does various good things to my mental well-being which in turns helps people who come in contact with me.  BUT I have found that sacrificing a little sleep is definitely worth it. IF I wake up early, I have a few precious moments to myself. I can usually get ready in 20 minutes, if I’m not interrupted. I can start a load of laundry and start picking up odd end things scattered around the house. I’m also in a happier mood when the kids wake up because I’ve started my day calmly and I’ve already been productive. I don’t wake up early every day, but I do when I want to get things done! One of my favorite quotes from Hitch is by Mary Ann Radmacher..

 

“Begin each day as if it were on purpose.” – Mary Ann Radmacher

 

Making my bed is definitely another good one. There’s something about making my bed that makes me want to keep my room clean, which means steering my little ones towards other activities bright and early. I love that it helps jumpstart my day, and I wouldn’t be embarrassed if someone stopped by and wanted a tour of my house. (I have weird what if scenarios like that in my head quite often..) PS This also doesn’t happen every day, and it was actually unmade recently when a friend came over and I survived fyi.

 

Off topic, but putting on pants makes a difference too haha and it was definitely not on that list. Maybe that’s weird of me to mention, but it’s completely true. I’m going for full disclosure here. If I’m just lounging in sweats, I’m probably going to stay lounging. If I make the conscious decision to put on pants, things are about to get real, stuff is going to get done. At least the intent is there! The way I see it is I’m probably not going to sit on the couch all day in my uncomfortable jeans thus giving me time to be more productive. (But if I’m wearing my jeggings it really could go either way.)

 

Last but not least, I couldn’t survive being a mom without lists. Whether it’s a mental list, a list on my phone, or a good old fashioned post-it note list. Lists are my jam. Sometimes I add something to the list, just so I can cross it off. I love crossing things off, it gives me a little rush of awesomeness. Once upon a time I thought I didn’t need to write anything down, but now I know mom brain is a thing. Look it up if you don’t believe it.

 

If you’re reading this thinking I get nothing accomplished in the big scheme of things and my insights are ridiculous in comparison with others, I agree with you somedays. Somedays it feels like nothing I do is enough. But it is, and we just have to keep telling ourselves it is. I may clean the same toys 462317930 times a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, and it may seem like a crazy impossible task with two munchkins running around undoing everything I just did. But I’m here to remind you that we are a tad hard on ourselves sometimes, especially as mothers. We set the bar up too high somedays. We mean well but we need to set attainable, realistic goals and be happy with them.

 

 

I’m going to let you all in on the real secret on how I get things done and how I’m productive. I was saving the best for last. Somedays I make the smallest simplest list. My house looks like a tornado hit and I look like a hot mess. But I accomplished what I set out to do.

 

Make Charlotte laugh ✓

Give Hudson your undivided attention during Char’s nap time ✓

Snap a cute picture of your adorable children interacting with each other ✓

Tell them they are your definition of amazing ✓

Teach them something new today ✓

 

 

When I take the time to make memories with my kids, when I play with them like I did back when I was a kid myself, that’s when I get the most things done as a mom. That’s when I feel the most productive. Those are the things that matter. And those moments fuel the fire that makes me want to be better in every aspect of my life. That in turn makes me want to be productive, accomplish more, and give them more of my time, love, effort and everything else under the sun. Whatever you’re getting done during the day is enough if you’re really trying. Your kids are safe, loved and warm. That’s what matters in my book.

 

Special thanks to
Photo Credit: Alyssa Tsuchiya & MUA: Studio Miranda