Homecoming Happened!

After a long 178 days (who was counting?), and watching our tiny 3 week old he left turn into a giggly, dramatic 6.5 month old over FaceTime, my husband finally came home last Friday!

This homecoming was both much smoother, and much more nerve wracking than the last. The last deployment we went through was longer, with less communication, but this one- this one, a tiny little human we made was in the middle of it. This one hurt more and kept me busier and made me wish more than once it was over yesterday.

Last homecoming happened in the morning/afternoon- which would have been lovely for this homecoming because my drama king baby is happiest in the morning. It seems the Corps caught word of how convenient this would be for me, and decided to have homecoming take place at night. In the dark. After bedtime 😅 I told my husband “follow the sound of meltdowns, missed naps, and past bedtime- that’s where you’ll find us.”

True to form, while my son behaved ALL DAY LONG, and had me thinking wow, today is gonna be a good day. Tonight will be fine, about 30 minutes before we were getting ready to leave the house, meltdown mode engaged. I walked into the bathroom and he commenced to screaming and rolling around on my bed as though he had been dunked in liquid fire. Fantastic, right? All through getting dressed, having our friends meet us at my house, getting into the car seat, and driving to the grinder, my child was in hysterics.

As I opened the hatch of my car to get his stroller out, his wails pierced the air and my friend said, “is that my kid?”

“No, it’s mine.”

*she opens the back of her car and releases the the sounds of her own child’s tantrum*

“Oh, look at that. It’s both our kids.”

And that’s how homecoming went.

I kid, I kid. (Though the above actually happened)

We met our respective photographers, laughed with friends we hadn’t seen all deployment, and waited anxiously as the night got darker, children got antsier, and jackets got pulled tighter as it got colder.

About 2.5 hours after our initial arrival (and I’ll have you know, I waited longer than most wives before heading down there), we finally watched Fox Co. return home.

My husband found us, and if last homecoming had made my heart happy, this one filled my heart to bursting.

To watch a father and son meet for the {second}first time is something truly, wonderfully both heart wrenching and lovely.

I was so, so worried that Ev wouldn’t want anything to do with Rick. After all, he’d only ever had him physically in his life for 21 days, half of which were spent in the hospital due to some mysterious infection I came down with postpartum.

It seemed my worries were unfounded though, and FaceTime had done its job- Ev reached for his daddy and smiled and laughed and made me want to cry tears of happiness (I didn’t though, because my makeup looked great and I wasn’t about to ruin it).

You know that feeling of completeness, of absolute contentment?

You don’t realize how much you miss it during deployment. You forget how empty you feel when you feel that way everyday.

But when you experience the homecoming- after the anxiety, after the wanting to puke, after the worry and wondering- when it’s happening, all of that goes away, and all you’re left with is that overwhelming feeling of contentment and wholeness.

We went home, I put Ev to bed, Rick walked the dog (our neighbors who moved in while he was gone were very confused by his presence 😂), and for the first time in nearly 6 months we went to bed together, instead of me by myself with my phone on the pillow as we talked to one another.

The next morning, the 3 of us lounged around in bed, Ev reveling in the reality of Dad being home, and as I laid there watching them, all I could do was smile and wonder I don’t think I ever saw us here. Even after all those years of dating, two years of marriage, I never imagined how good having this family would feel.

Watching your husband be a father will make you fall more in love than you thought possible, and when he takes the baby so you can sleep for an hour and a half longer, you’ll love him even more than that.

It’s been almost a week, and we’ve fallen into our same old, same old. Granted, there’s a baby now- so we eat dinner later, get up earlier- but other than that, it’s the same. Ev and I have another accomplice on our Target trips, I have another set of hands, I’m back in the gym, Rick has gone back to work, and it’s as though my child has morphed into someone different overnight. There must be something about having both parents home, because I literally just wrote this while my child was awake and playing independently (this never happens, ever).

We’ll be back in Texas to visit next month, so if you want to see us, HMU. After that, we’ll be preparing for our cross country move and the next adventure!

XOXO,

Em.

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S/O to my husband, love the SAHM

You know, I’ll never get over the fact that my first real love has become my husband, and the father to our child. Like really, in what universe does that happen anymore? How is it that we stumbled upon each other in this great wide world and just knew that we were endgame?

My husband is great. Yes, there are days where I wonder why things aren’t the same as they were almost 7 years ago. Want to know why they aren’t? Because a) we grew up. We simply couldn’t stay 14 & 16 years old forever. B) we got married. C) we had a baby. Things will never be the same, ever again. Will I miss those days? Absolutely. I think I will forever miss the curly haired boy I fell in love with, just as I hope my husband will miss the skinnier, more fun girl I used to be. We might miss those people, but I love who my husband is now, too. There’s something about growing up with the love of your life and watching them grow into themselves and become the person they’re meant to be. It’ll leave you awestruck.

If you had told me in May of 2011 that I’d met the man who would marry me, move me across the country, and father my children, I would’ve laughed at you. If you’d said the same thing in August of 2014, I would’ve told you, “I know.” If you told me the same thing today, I would tell you that I wouldn’t have it any other way, with anyone else.

I don’t think there’s any question that being a stay at home mom is work. It’s hard, sometimes. Okay, all the time for me right now. And my husband isn’t even home.

I don’t get laundry done, I don’t get the kitchen cleaned or the floors vacuumed, I am notoriously guilty of “fluffing” the clothes in the dryer 50272619432 times because I’ve meant to fold them and haven’t and now they’re wrinkly. Again.

Sometimes, I can’t even cook dinner because I’m needed by a tiny human that I nourish with my body. Is what it is.

I take those days with a grain of salt and plan on being better tomorrow.

Recently, I’ve seen so many posts in mom groups (because you know all we do while nursing a baby is scroll Facebook and discuss parenting styles 😂) that sound like, “has your husband ever made you feel bad that he’s the only source of income?” And like, “my SO is upset because I don’t have time to clean the house and get dinner done before he gets home from work. We have a three week old.”

It just hurts my heart, honestly.

Do you know what my husband, who is our main source of income (this blog being my meager contribution lol), whose job is 100% harder than mine, who spends months away from us, tells me when I let him know that I feel like I’m failing?

That I feel like I’m slacking in the cleaning, the cooking, the daily getting stuff done?

He tells me I’m awesome. That I’m kicking ass at being a mom and a wife and that he loves me. That he’s proud of me, and that even though I feel like it, I’m not failing.

I think I probably expect more from myself than he does from me.

So, shoutout to my husband:

Thanks for working long hours. Thank you for sacrificing 6-8 months at a time without me, Ev, or the comforts of your own country. I appreciate how wonderful you were for the three weeks you got to experience hands-on fatherhood.

Thank you for never telling me I’m failing. Thank you for always lifting me up, even when I’m the one beating myself down. Thank you for coming home and asking what I need help with.

Thank you for being happy for me when I make it to Target. Thank you for all of the little things you do when you’re home, and all the little things you do when you’re gone, and thank you for being you.

Thank you for asking, “what can I do to help?” when you can tell I’m frustrated, overwhelmed, and being snippy. Thank you for loving me when I’m being that way. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to watch our child grow and learn from home.

I have loved you in all seasons, and in all seasons, I have thought, “there’s no way I could love him more than I do now.”

Thank you for proving me wrong, all the time.

XOXO,

The girl you called dibs on, the woman you married, the wife you made a mother, and the stay at home mom who couldn’t be more grateful.

Em.

circa 2013? I think? 😂

2014 ❤️

2015&16, respectively.

2017❤️ also, photo creds to Madison Ashley Photography for this fresh 48 shoot- which I highly suggest everyone do!

I Hold Him a Lot

I hold my baby a lot.

Even as I type this, his head rests against my shoulder and I’m swaying in the living room trying to coax him into napping.

I hold my baby a lot.

People have said, “he needs to learn to self soothe.” “He’ll never go to sleep on his own.” “He’s going to depend on you for everything.” “He doesn’t sleep through the night yet?”

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not perfect. I am currently by myself, and sometimes, he cries and I’m busy. I can’t drop everything right that moment. The only way he’ll nap is if I put him in his crib and let him fuss for a few minutes (no, he’s not crying it out. Just fussing).

But yes, I hold my baby a lot. I nurse my baby a lot. Sometimes, all he wants is to nurse for an hour at night and I’m just like, “I know you’re not hungry. Please just go to sleep.” But I nurse him and I rock him and I hold him and snuggle him anyway.

Would him sleeping through the night be great? Absolutely. Would I love it if he’d be content to play by himself for an hour so I could get chores done? Yes. Do I wish that he never cried ever? Also yes.

But the way I look at it is: he’s never, ever going to be this small again. I will never, ever look back and think, “wow. I should have held him less and let him cry more. I wish I hadn’t carried him around so much.” One of these days, he’s going to get tired of being snuggled by Mama, and one of these days, he’s gonna take himself off to bed without so much as a kiss goodnight. I’ll have to follow him in there and remind him.

It’s frustrating, I won’t lie. My mom just came to visit, and she can attest that sometimes, nothing makes my child happy except to see you going to the ultimate lengths to appease him. While I’m by myself, it’s hard. There are days when I wake up and I’m convinced I’m going to get things done and slay the day and what actually happens is a combination of nursing, rocking, playing, and soothing a baby all day. My husband just asked me the other night, “what are your plans for tomorrow?” I just kind of laughed and told him that I’ve stopped making plans because all I do is disappoint myself when I don’t get to them. (Which is very hard for me to do, seeing as how I love to plan things, and feel better when I have a list.)

Sometimes, I feel like I’m really struggling because Ev needs me, the house is a wreck, I’m trying to keep my feelings together because hello my husband is deployed and he hasn’t seen our child in over 4 months, and I’m also trying to orchestrate another cross country move.

In those moments, yes, sometimes I have to put Ev down in his crib and walk away for five minutes. Yes, sometimes he’s angry about it. But I need the five minutes. I’m not going to be a very good mom if I’m miserable. It’s just not feasible.

Being a mom is hard. Being a wife is hard. Being a mom and a wife with a deployed husband is harder. Props to all the single moms out there who do this every day of every year, because this is so difficult.

I know it’s frustrating. I know it’s hard to be the one with a baby attached 24/7, and I know it’s awful when you’re so tired that you don’t have the energy to even clean the kitchen after the baby falls asleep.

But don’t think that you’re “ruining” or “spoiling” that baby by holding him.

They’re little for such a short time. I was pregnant yesterday and I blinked and now my baby’s 5 months old. When I’m tired, and frustrated, and feeling run down, I have to remind myself of that. That my tiny baby isn’t tiny anymore, and he’s only getting bigger.

Hold all the babies. Get all the snuggles. Cuddle him for a minute longer before you put him down. Cherish the way that little hand curls around your finger. And in those quiet moments when they’re finally asleep and you’re thinking, “ugh, yes. Please don’t wake up“, realize how blessed you really are. So many people wish they could experience your worst days of parenthood. Don’t take the best for granted.

XOXO,

Em.

The Here and Now

When you’re pregnant, it’s one of the first things you hear.

“Oh, just wait!”

God forbid you complain about not being able to sleep (because, honestly, you show me one person who can sleep comfortably with a bowling ball on their bladder), because then it’s, “oh, just wait until baby’s here. Then you really won’t sleep!”

It’s common to wish pregnancy away. We spend 40+ weeks wishing it would end and that our baby would be here and then we could go on getting to know one another.

Don’t get me wrong. I hated being pregnant. I was so grateful and in love with the fact that I was pregnant, but ugh, I hated it. I couldn’t see my feet. Walking up the stairs made me out of breath. If I took too hot of a shower, I felt like passing out. Everyone said, “oh, just wait. You’ll miss being pregnant.”

I don’t. At all. The only thing I miss about being pregnant was the ability to wear whatever I wanted and not worry about the way it looked, because I was obviously pregnant and not fat.

I am appreciative of my body for doing so well this time, and I’m grateful that I got to carry my little human myself, but if I never had to be pregnant again, that’d be okay by me.

Then he got here.

And then the “oh, just wait”s started.

“Wait until he’s walking!”

“Just wait until he gets bigger.”

“Once he’s older…xyz.”

Then he got a little bigger.

“Don’t you miss when he was tiny?”

“It was easier when he was smaller, wasn’t it?”

“Do you wish you could go back?”

And it just got me thinking. I know everyone was well-meaning and meant nothing by any of the aforementioned comments other than to make conversation. It didn’t bother me. But it got me thinking about how much we look forward to something, or how much we miss something once it’s passed.

I want to live and enjoy the here and now.

I don’t want to get so caught up in missing that tiny newborn that I forget to enjoy the smily 4.5 month old I have now.

I don’t want to be squinting so far into the future that I miss the big moments of right now.

I think people as a whole have a tendency to mull over things after they’re done. We regret what we said, we wish we’d done things differently, we wonder what our lives would be like if we had made just one different choice. I think that’s part of human nature.

I’m guilty of it, too. Who isn’t? I mean, I married the boy I met at 14. What if I hadn’t? What would my life look like now?

But I did, and what does my life look like?

I’m a woman steeped in confidence, and a mother, and a wife, and I’m someone who is more capable of handling hard days than I was all those years before.

Do I have bad days? You know it, of course I do. There are days when I am not confident, when I do not feel capable of handling what life is throwing at me, when I do not feel like a good wife or mother. But the bad days don’t rule me. Because that’s all they are; a day. I wake up the next morning and it’s a new one to do with what I see fit.

The here and now is what’s important. What happened a week ago happened, and it’s over, and all that matters right now is right now.

Right now, I am 120 days into this second deployment and even though it’s hard, I am kicking it’s ass.

Right now, my child is down the hall asleep and I’m relishing the quiet of my house. (And also blogging instead of cleaning because I can’t stand the thought of cleaning atm.)

Right now, I am happy and healthy and so is my son.

Right now, I miss my husband. I miss everything he’s missed out on in the past 4 months, and I miss that he’s going to miss out on some more before he comes home.

Right now, I’m thinking that I probably shouldn’t have drank that 3rd cup of coffee at 4pm because even though I’ve done two loads of laundry and showered, I’m still wide awake and I should be asleep.

Sometimes, the here and now sucks, too. It’s not always grand. Sometimes, the list is more like:

Right now, I’m so tired I could cry, and I can’t fall asleep.

Right now, my brain won’t stop and I just can’t catch a break.

Right now, all I can think about are all the things that have gone wrong today.

Right now, I’m wondering how I’m going to even get through tomorrow.

I’ve been on both sides, and maybe on the suckish side more often than not lately. Getting stuck in a funk is usually a few days long affair for me, no matter how much “new day” I pour in my coffee in the morning.

I’m only human. I can repeat “it’s a new day; live in the here and now; don’t give up; you’re doing great; keep going; almost there,” a million times in a day, and sometimes it’s not enough. There are times where I find myself crying in the shower after spending an hour with a screaming baby who I know is about to wake up to scream some more. There are times when I wonder exactly how much longer I can have one more bad day before I really lose it. There are times where I’m just begging the day to be over so I can start over in twelve hours.

But eventually, I wake up and I have a good day. Ev takes good naps. He doesn’t cry because I stopped looking at him for five seconds. I get some housework done. Usually an amazon package gets delivered because, obviously a day is made better by that. I might get to talk to my husband for more than 5 minutes out of the day (a rare occurrence lately).

And on the good days, it just serves to remind me to enjoy the good day. I won’t dwell on how terrible yesterday was, or be anxious about how tomorrow will be.

I’m just going to enjoy today, the here and now, and I’ll deal with tomorrow when it gets here. Because who knows? Today could be the day Ev sits up by himself or takes a two hour nap. And what good will it have done if I was so focused on yesterday or tomorrow that I forgot to look up and enjoy the now?

Forget yesterday if remembering it is at the sake of experiencing today.

Stop looking forward if it’s causing you to miss the important things that are happening right this moment.

Wake up, and realize that you’re never going to get this day back.

Live in the here and now, and make every moment of it a day you won’t look back on wondering if you should’ve done something different.

XOXO,

Em.

10 Things Motherhood Has Taught Me

Nearly 5 months in on this adventure and I’d love to say it’s been the best, easiest, time of my life.

LOL.

It’s been hard, there’s been moments where I thought, “what have I done?? Why did I think having a baby was a good idea?“. I’ve cried, laughed, cried some more, gone longer than I’d like to admit between showers, and cherished every moment of it.

I think miscarrying, as terrible as it was and how I wish I’d never experienced it, has granted me the unique ability to enjoy even the painful moments of being a mother. Because even though he’s been crying for 2 hours and nothing can stop it, I’m running on 3 hours of sleep, and there’s baby vomit in my hair (that’s falling out in copious amounts, thanks PP hormones), I know that I might never have gotten to experience it at all.

It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster since giving birth and starting on deployment, but the ups and downs have taught me so much about being a mom, who I am, and what I want in life.

Here’s the top 10 things I’ve learned in the past 4.5 months.

1. Don’t Lose Yourself

I might still be struggling a little bit with this one, honestly. Maybe it’ll get better once Ev is bigger. But I have to remind myself everyday that I am someone besides Everett’s mom. I was really losing who I was in the day to day. I woke up with Ev, did everything with Ev, went to bed with Ev. Heck, I couldn’t even shower alone.

It’s hard to admit, but it was making me sad. I know that I was prepared to sacrifice lots of things when we decided to have a baby, but being alone and dealing with deployment really messes with your head sometimes.

I finally had to move Ev out of my room and into the nursery, where he sleeps for at least half the night (😂) everyday. Sure, it’s a little tiring getting up and walking down the hall every 2-3 hours at night to feed him, but he goes to bed and I can shower alone, lay in bed alone, watch TV alone, clean the kitchen alone.

It might not be the easiest choice since he’s not sleeping through the night currently, but it’s made me mentally feel more invested in myself, and that’s what’s important. I can’t take care of anyone else if I’m not taking care of myself.

2. Bad Days Are Normal

Not everyday is a good day, ever, whether you’re a mama or not.

Sometimes, the baby wakes up at 4 am and refuses to go back to sleep. There are days where he’s going to cry nonstop unless you’re holding him, and sometimes, even then.

There will be days where you feel like you’re drowning in baby clothes, baby toys, diapers, swings, bottles, whatever.

There might be a day where you just lose it. You just sit down and cry with the screaming baby because you don’t know what else to do. Those days suck.

But it’s okay to have one every now and then. It doesn’t mean anything other than that you’re human, and you need a minute to pull yourself together. And because you’re someone’s mom, you’re gonna do it. You’re an expert inherently at pulling yourself together and getting through the day.

So don’t beat yourself up for the bad day you had yesterday. One day, he’s not going to cry because he wants you to hold him. One day, he’s not going to want you to sing the same song for the fifty billionth time in a row.

Love all the days, even the bad ones.

3. Don’t Forget To Take Care of You

This one? Easier said than done. Especially when your husband is deployed and you’re home 24/7 with no actual need to get out of sweatpants. Or put any pants on, really.

Except, there is a need.

I am the absolute Queen of undone hair, no pants, and doing nothing.

For a while, it’s great. And then you start to realize that you don’t really remember the last time you were actually dressed, and you kind of start to feel bleh, especially with the new and (un)improved postpartum body.

So yeah, 9 times out of 10, my hair is still undone and 10 times out of 10, I have no makeup on. I don’t have time to do those. But I do have time to get dressed. So I do. Maybe not everyday, but 5/7 days, I put real people pants on, and get out of my pajamas. It makes me feel like I at least did one productive thing, even if I really didn’t. But sometimes, getting dressed is the biggest thing I accomplish on a bad day.

It’s a small thing. Probably made smaller by the fact that I won’t put a bra on, but hey. Baby steps.

4. Ignore The Mess

Absolutely harder to do than it sounds. 100%. Especially for me.

For someone who hates clutter, my house is always full of it. It’s full of nonessential items that I could throw out and not think about it ever again. I won’t do it, but I probably should.

When you’ve got a baby and little help, sometimes you go a while between cleanings. I’ve been home for almost a month and I am just now starting to get on top of the mess that is my home. I dusted a ceiling fan last night and was like, uber proud of myself. That’s sad, and I know it. No need to point it out.

Even though my house is a mess and it’s hard to ignore, sometimes I just have to, because there’s a little person who needs me more than I need to vacuum. And sometimes, I need sleep more than I need to clean. And that’s okay.

There will come a day where I can clean my house top to bottom and Everett won’t even look up from his playing besides to get away from the noise of the vacuum. There will come a day where I’ll miss when he needed me so much, but instead I have a clean house.

So until that day gets here, I’m just going to try and pretend that I don’t see the mess.

5. Accept The Skin You’re in Now

Being pregnant sucked. Giving birth? I’d totally do it again. But being pregnant? No, thank you. I hated it.

And thanks to being pregnant for what felt like forty years, I’ve got a new body. It’s not my favorite, to be frank. There are stretch marks everywhere. I didn’t even know I could get stretch marks behind my knees, but they’re there.

I’ve struggled with my body for a while. I miss being 120 pounds, fitting into size six jeans, and not wondering if that dress would zip.

So postpartum body has me a little peeved, sure. I weigh almost 30 pounds less than I did when I got pregnant, so that’s great. Thank you, breastfeeding. But nothing will ever look exactly the way it did pre-baby.

When I say accept it, I don’t mean to stop working on yourself. I’m not. I’ve still got 25 pounds to go before I get to where I want to be. What I mean is, accept the fact that you’re never going to have that pre-pregnancy body back.

And while that might suck a little bit, remember: you carried life, dude. I literally grew a human inside my body. I don’t know about anyone else, but my kid wasn’t tiny either. So yeah, I’ve got stretch marks and the boobs that come with breastfeeding are more a nuisance than a blessing. But hey, it’s where I’m at now, and I’m just going to accept that.

6. Realize You’re Different Now

This is probably the biggest one. So many people I went to school with are like, “you got married? You had a baby? But we’re so young!”

Dude, we’re all in our twenties now. I’ve been married for more than two years.

Us settling down and starting a family is normal. We aren’t kids anymore. This is normal. This is what people do.

But very few of my friends are at this same point in their lives. And that’s okay, too, because we’re all different.

Being a parent propels you into a different kind of club. You’re no longer the person that gets late night calls to parties, or the person that drops everything to do whatever her friends are doing. You’ve got responsibilities and a little human that depends on you now.

There’s nothing wrong with keeping up with the friends you’ve always had. It’s good. You just have to remember that you’re part of the parenthood club now, and this membership doesn’t really expire.

7. Take Pictures

This one seems pretty obvious. But for real, take pictures. Take videos.

It might not seem like a big deal in the moment, but one day, you’re going to wish you’d captured it. We live in a world full of technology; use it.

They grow literally so fast in just a month. Take pictures and that way, when they’re big and annoying teenagers, we can look back at those itty bitty newborns and reminisce on the good ol’ days. And then we can say, “okay, we’re going out, see you when we get home,” and we can enjoy that season of life, too.

8. Breastfeeding Is Hard

In case anyone was wondering, breastfeeding was a 3 person job in the beginning. Me, Ev and Rick we’re all trying to figure it out and more than once I thought, “wtf. This is hard. Why is this so hard?”

The answer rests largely on the fact that there was a tiny baby who didn’t know what he was doing and a first time mom who didn’t know what she was doing either.

We figured it out though, and you know what? It’s great. Yes, it’s sometimes frustrating to be used as a “pacifier”, and yes, sometimes (all the time) I wish I could have way smaller boobs. But I don’t have to drag around formula or bottles or anything.

You’d never think that nursing was empowering, but it kind of is. Especially in an age where people are okay with the Victoria’s Secret fashion show, but not okay with nursing babies.

So, just because I feel like listing my accomplishments because I’m proud of myself to making it 4.5 months of EBF, I’ve nursed:

  • In California
  • In Texas
  • In an airport
  • On a plane
  • In a car
  • At a college football game
  • In restaurants
  • At a soccer field
  • In Walmart
  • Covered
  • Uncovered

There’s probably a few more but hey, those are what I remember. I’m proud of myself for sticking with something that was hard at first, and being almost halfway to our goal of a year.

9. Days Can Get Really Long

A day is 24 hours. Everyday. All year long.

Except when you’re nursing or your baby is growing through growth spurts or you’re having a particularly bad day, it seems sooooo much longer.

You wake up looking forward to bed time. Trust me, I’m there. Hopefully that passes.

I’m currently running on coffee, dry shampoo, and leftovers like my life depends on it. Mostly because it does.

10. Take a Minute

Being a mom is tiring. Sometimes, the minute the baby falls asleep, you want to, too.

But take a minute. Take a shower, or sit down and eat with both hands (Lord knows how rarely that happens now), or just lay in bed for a second.

Maybe it was a good day, or maybe it was a bad one. Maybe he went to sleep in 10 minutes, or maybe it took 2 hours. Maybe you’re tired and want to cry, or maybe he rolled over for the first time and you’re sending that video to everyone you know.

Take a minute and look at your life.

Sure, you’d had 4 cups of coffee before 10 am, and sure, that might be spit up on your shirt.

But you’re blessed. Do you know how many people wish they could experience your worst days of motherhood?

Take a minute to take the day in. Commit to memory every laugh that baby had today, every thing he did new for the first time.

Then let it go.

Take a minute, and then know that tomorrow is a new day.

Good or bad, it’s a new day, and all you’ve got to do is take it one day at a time, and raise a good person. That’s in the day-to-day; it doesn’t happen overnight.

So those are my top ten.

It’s been 4.5 hard, long months. But I wouldn’t trade them for anything. I love it more than I can say.

I’ve got to get back to raising my good person now, though. Til next time.

XOXO,

Em.

Untitled.

It’s been awhile. Well, not really. I’ve written a lot since my last post, but 99% of the time, I’ve hit “delete” instead of “publish”.

I can’t exactly pinpoint why. All I can really say is that it’s really hard to publish your innermost thoughts and emotions when you’re having so many.

I write a lot. Always have. It used to be poems, stories, etc when I was younger. And then I found my voice and started putting it here. But lately, I’ve been stopping myself from sharing the things I write because I worry about having to talk about what I write with the people in my life. I don’t want to talk about it. I just want to write it down, get it out, and leave it like that.

I have to preface everything by saying: this is hard. Deployment, parenting, day to day life, is just hard. And I knew it would be, and I promise I’m doing okay- really. So after you read this, don’t feel compelled to text me or call me asking “is there anything I can do?” Because no, there isn’t. I’m okay. I just need to put my words out there and also I really dislike social calls, so just leave a nice comment if you really feel the need to encourage me instead of calling or messaging.

Anyway.

This is hard. I’ve just got to be 100% real right now, because I need to be for my sanity’s sake. I feel like I’m floundering. I know deployment is more than halfway over. I know it’s got to end eventually. I know if I take it a day at a time I’m going to wake up one morning and go to bed with my husband that night. I know those things. I tell myself those things all the time.

Most of the time, they work. But right now, they don’t.

I’m tired. So bone-achingly tired. Not for sleep (though, honestly, I could use a good uninterrupted 8 hours). But just mind and soul tired. Reasons I’ve cried in the past week? I’ve still got some raging postpartum hormones and so I’ve cried over Netflix shows. I’ve cried because my child has cried all day for no reason, unless I was holding him. I’ve cried because my bed is really empty without my husband at home, and while I appreciate all the legroom, I’m dying for him to be back. I’ve cried because I just need to cry sometimes.

I cried because a friend told me, “you’re doing great.

Am I? I mean, am I really?

Sure, I tell myself I’m doing great all the time. I literally hype myself up 24/7.

I’m doing great.

I’d like to see other people handle this as well as I am.

If I can do this, I can do basically anything.

Hey, I cooked real food today. Go me. I am awesome.

You’ve got this. One day at a time, one foot in front of the other.

Honestly, if you lived in my head, you’d be a pretty positive person all the time. I’m my own cheerleader.

But even though I know that I’m doing better than some, and I’m going to be okay- this is still hard.

I’m frustrated. I don’t think there can ever be anything as absolutely frustrating as being married and having a husband who’s a great dad, and not being able to depend on them. Not that it’s his fault, because it’s absolutely not. He’s doing his job, and I’m grateful for it. But it’s just knowing that he’d be such a help if he were here, and knowing that he can’t be that sucks. Being a single parent when you aren’t single is…unfair, for lack of a better word, though it makes me sound entitled and bratty.

The other side of that coin is trying to be patient with someone who doesn’t understand you in this stage of life at all. I love my husband. But he left when Ev was 3 weeks old, and now he’s going to be 5 months old before the end of February and my husband had no idea what day to day life is like for us. Again, not his fault. Not blaming him in the slightest, because I appreciate what he’s doing and know that if it were up to him, he’d be here. But he doesn’t understand why I’m frustrated at the end of the day when Ev has cried for most of it, or has refused to take a nap all day, or because dishes from last night are still in the sink or because I forgot there was a load of laundry in the washing machine for three days and was only reminded because I had to wash clothes covered in baby puke 🙃 He doesn’t understand that I’m 350% touched out and don’t want to be used as a human pillow for naptime even though it’s the only way Ev is going to stay asleep; if I hold him, which in turn makes me cry some more.

I feel like I’m just…sucking. I know if I looked at it objectively, I would see that I’m not. I know that if I were anyone else, whose husband wasn’t in the military, who didn’t live in a state she hated, I’d be like, “wow, she’s awesome. I can’t believe she’s doing so well, all on her own.” I know that. But just knowing that doesn’t change the fact that I just feel like I’m slacking. My house is a wreck. I’ve been back in California for almost a month and you want to know how many times I’ve vacuumed and mopped my floors? Once. There’s still a suitcase that needs unpacking. My bathrooms need cleaning, laundry is overflowing, and I just can’t seem to get on top of it all. And I’m trying so freaking hard. But my kid takes two 30 minute naps a day (if I’m lucky), and is his father’s child, meaning he requires 110% of my attention while awake or he acts as though he’s been abandoned. That’s just enough time for me to load/unload the dishwasher, wipe down the counters, and maybe start a load of laundry I’ll forget about for 3 days.

He sleeps pretty well at night, but by the time night gets here, I’m so tired and have zero motivation to do anything other than shower and crawl into bed until he wakes up, like he does every 2-3 hours.

And I know: just be positive. It gets better. It’ll be over before I know it.

I know, those are all the things people say. They’re all the things I tell myself on a daily basis. But you know what? They don’t mean anything lately other than to say “you’re being negative. It could be worse. You’ve gotten this far, suck it up.”

Having bad days during deployment is normal. It’d be weird if I didn’t have bad days. But I’m so sick and tired of bad days. I’m sick and tired of waking up and looking forward to nothing but nighttime again because that’s the only time everything is quiet and an hour can pass where I’m not needed by anyone.

Life doesn’t suck right now. I know that. I’m blessed beyond belief and I thank God for all He’s done in our lives.

I just feel so many things right now. I feel frustrated, angry, sad. It’s not all bad, either. I’ve been happy, in a good mood, conquering deployment, too. It’s just that the crappy feelings are the more prominent ones right now. It’s the kind of “so-much-feeling” that it keeps you awake at night, no matter how much you want to sleep.

I’m going to chalk it up to a bad month. I’ve had a bad month, this 4 month sleep regression is a beast, I just need a break, and tomorrow will be better.

Tomorrow’s gotta be better, right?

The sun’ll come out tomorrow.

XOXO,

Em.

Here Comes 2018, and my Obnoxious, but Obligatory, Resolution Post

I mean, my title says it all, right?

2017 has been a rollercoaster.

I gained friends, lost them, got pregnant, visited home, Rick got promoted, I had a baby, contracted a mystery infection, embarked on deployment #2, my husband reenlisted (orders, wya?), and so much more.

I felt good about myself, bad about myself, wondered what the heck we were doing, irrationally wondered if my husband would still love me when I was someone’s mother and not just a wife (pregnancy screws your mental faculties, y’all), discovered stretch marks EVERYWHERE, and lost motivation.

Since becoming a Mama and starting this second deployment, my goals are different. They used to be things like blogging consistently, keeping up with laundry and cooking, staying in the gym (lol at this; it didn’t happen. My husband throws me off every time he comes home). I used to commit myself to finding purpose in my day to day life. For the first 6 months in California, I felt a little useless. It was the first time in 3 years I hadn’t had a job and been working. I’m blessed now that we’re capable enough for me to stay home with little Ev, and now I’m not hunting for a purpose. He wakes me up every 2-3 hours. 😂

That being said, I think my goals for 2018 and all the years beyond are more realistic for myself.

  • I’m going to blog when I blog. I love writing. It makes me happy. But I’m a busy person right now, and it’s okay if I go a few months without posting, and then write 6 new posts in a week. Plus I might be working on something besides the blog this year 😉
  • I’m going to stay in the gym when my husband comes home. For real, this time. I’ve written it down, it’s on the internet, so it must be true.
  • I’m going to try my best to keep up with life, and give myself grace when I don’t.

Life is busy. Especially so when you’re single-parenting it with an almost 3 month old who needs you 24/7. There are going to be days when finding a clean T-shirt is nigh impossible, when all my child does is cry and cling, when I get sick or when I feel like I’m failing. And I’m just going to remind myself that I’m not.

I’m not failing. I’m kicking deployment’s ass, I’m taking care of my son, I’m doing my absolute best. And even on days when I’m not doing my best? I’m going to tell myself that it’s okay, that the day is going to end, and I get to start over tomorrow.

Hopefully the new year will bring the end of deployment, a move, a healthier lifestyle (I want it known my husband said he’d eat vegetables. You all just read it. Hold him accountable), and a happy family. I’ve been married nearly 2 years to my best friend, with him for nearly 7. I’ve got a dog, a cat who thinks he’s a dog, and a happy baby. I’ve got a great husband who doubles as a great daddy. This year hasn’t been bad. But next year is going to be better.

I’m just declaring it.

I love my life, and the direction it’s heading. Merry Christmas, y’all.

XOXO,

Em.

Join the Club

The mom club, that is.

I’ve found something that intrigues me, and therefore I will ramble in a semi-coherent blog post that I will rewrite 4 times before deeming that it makes enough sense for you to read. You’re welcome.

Joining the mom club involves a strenuous process, no matter how you go about it; biologically, adoption, surrogacy, IVF.

The entry fee is also pretty exorbitant: your body, your sleep, your hobbies, your free time (at least for a while).

But the payoff for joining? A tiny little human that’s half you. Sleepy baby snuggles, wobbly toddler runs, belly laughs and first words. Totally worth it.

There’s something about the mom club, however. It’s very secular. You’ve got the clubs inside the club. There’s the crunchy moms, who don’t vaccinate, breastfeed til 4, make their own baby food. There’s the working moms who formula feed, do BLW, hire nannies or daycare. These are all just examples, by the way. Not every working mom or any other mom necessarily does any or all of these things. But then there’s all the moms in between.

In its secularity, the mom club can become very confusing, and very lonely. I’ve often wondered if I’m doing it right or where I’m supposed to fit in, and Everett’s only a little over two months old. Is breastfeeding exclusively the best thing? (Science says yes, gut says yes, but being a mom makes you wonder about everything.) Is having him sleep in his own bed 97% of the time the right thing? What about the fact that he won’t take a pacifier?

Being a mom is stressful. Breastfeeding is probably the most stressful thing I’ve encountered to date, simply because I’ve got to trust my body that it’s doing its job. That he’s getting enough and that I’m not starving him and that cluster feeding is normal when it happens. Then there’s the waking up throughout the night, and the times where he cries for reasons I can’t figure out. Or the fact that he REFUSES to nap during the day almost 100% of the time.

On top of that stress, there’s the stress of the mom club, too. When you’re already in an odd category- being married at 18, a mom at 20, and stable in your life, while most of the people you went to school with are broke college kids stumbling around at frat parties- becoming a mom puts you in another category completely.

Just like when I got married, I’ve heard all sorts of things. “Oh, was he an accident?” No. In fact, he decided to show up the week after we decided to stop trying. (Sorry for the roller coasters and the partying, little Ev 😂) “But you haven’t done anything or seen anywhere!” I’ve done the things I’ve wanted to. I’m still doing things I want to, albeit on a different timeline. I’ve married my best friend, given birth, lived somewhere new. And I’m not big on traveling anyway. “You’re so young!” Thank you, Janet. I appreciate your eyesight. Now my children will be grown by the time I’m 45 and I’ll go back to doing whatever I want, whenever I want.

The odd category makes it hard to find mom friends. They’re all either older than me, and therefore wiser (this is my sarcasm, age has nothing to do with wisdom). More often than not they’re haughty and full of themselves, and assume I’m some single teenage mom instead of a happily married woman. So then the mothers closer to my age, while some are also in the stage of life I’m in, most are women I can’t relate to at all, besides the fact that we’ve both had babies.

Right now, motherhood is kind of lonely. Maybe it’s because I don’t have my husband home to navigate parenthood with. Maybe it’s because I’m antisocial, and don’t like pretending to be friends with people who aren’t comfortable with me without pants on. Maybe it’s because going anywhere requires planning and starting to get ready an hour before we need to leave, and hoping my spawn is in a good mood.

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy motherhood and I’m absolutely blessed to even be on the journey and in this club. I’m just navigating the waters and realizing that the island is a little farther than I thought, I think.

Mom friends, wya? I’m gonna need one of y’all to step up and bring your kid out with me to lunch or sit on my couch and watch Netflix. Email me for a friendship application 😂

XOXO,

Em.

Who I Was & Who I Am

I’m just dwelling on things as my 2 month old (😭 omg because how did he become 2 months old already) naps for the 3rd time today.

I saw someone post a picture on Facebook that read, “I was made to be your mom.”

It’s a sweet sentiment, I’ll admit. But then it got me thinking.

I was blessed to be my little Evvy’s mama, I wholeheartedly believe. I believe God knew just where my life was going to take me, and knew I needed Ev before I knew I did.

But I don’t believe I was made only to be someone’s mother.

Don’t freak out on me or get me wrong, here. I love being his mama. I enjoy my nights that contain a lot less sleep than before, I cherish sleepy baby snuggles, I adore his little talks. I don’t think there’s a woman on earth who could be a better mother to him than I am, because he’s mine. I grew him for 40 weeks (and 2 days 😂), I’m the one who breastfeeds him at 2 am, he has my nose and eyebrows and I love him to bits.

Before Ev, I was someone’s wife. I was also someone who blogged a bit more frequently, went to the gym more frequently (at all, currently), cooked actual meals, and did her hair and makeup.

Before that, I was someone who worked two jobs, moved cross country, laid on beaches, and slept later than 9 am.

Who am I now?

Well, I guess that’s a loaded question. Right now, I’m a mom and not much else because he’s so dependent. I mean, heck, I took my first shower without my baby since my husband deployed when I got to my mom’s house.

So yes, I’m someone’s mom. My day revolves around what my child wants/needs because, well, they’re only little once.

I’m someone’s wife, too, but when you’re across the world from each other, sometimes it doesn’t feel like it. You get used to doing everything by yourself and for yourself.

Right now, I’m someone who reads books to keep herself awake during a midnight nursing session. I’m someone who treasures nap time because it means getting laundry done. I’m someone who runs on way more coffee than she used to, and goes to the gym way less. I sleep less, write less, cry more, pray more, and want less.

I wasn’t made to be someone’s wife. I wasn’t made to be someone’s mother. I was simply made to be who I am, which extends to being a wife and mother. While I love the roles I fill, I’d like to think my worth extends beyond them.

XOXO,

Em.

One Month Down on #2

We’re one full month into deployment number two and to be honest…

It’s been a lot easier than I thought. (I’ve probably jinxed myself now, but oh well.)

The first 3 weeks were spent in California, just me and little Ev. I can’t say it was the easiest thing, doing the mom thing all by myself, but it definitely could’ve been harder. I survived the first bout of cluster feeding- which, just so you know, felt like it would never end. I think that was the hardest part, the continuous nursing and never sleeping and trying really hard not to feel like a terrible mom when he cried because I had to put him down to shower, or eat, or feed the animals and there was no one else to hold him.

But it did end! And my happy baby was back and sleeping well again and my sanity was restored (for now).

Then we got on a plane and flew almost 2,000 miles to Texas, where we’re spending the holidays. I was totally preparing myself to be that tired looking mom with the newborn who screams the whole plane ride while getting a mix of sympathetic and annoyed looks. However, my kiddo slept the entire way basically, and take off and landing didn’t seem to bother him a bit.

We’ve been in Texas for about a week now and are simply enjoying being home. Ev may not have been born here in the greatest state, but he got here as fast as he could 😉

It’s nice to be back in our little town, but it’s strange to see all the changes. There wasn’t a restaurant there when I left almost 2 years ago, and that store stands where there used to be an empty lot. I find myself having to plug addresses into my GPS because I’ve forgotten which exit to take, or making a few wrong turns before remembering which street I actually need to get to.

But while my town is different, and I don’t have a key to the front door anymore, and my old room has become a guest room, there’s still that overwhelming sense of “ah, home.”

It’s nice to feel at home again, even if it’s just a short while. I’ve got a house in California, but without my husband in it, it doesn’t always feel like home. Home is wherever he is, and right now, he’s a little out of reach. So being back in my mom’s house, back in the bedroom I spent my high school years in, back in the town where you can’t go anywhere without seeing someone you know, it’s a nice feeling. It’s nice to walk into your old nail salon and have them be excited to see you and the new baby, and it’s SO nice to be near an H-E-B, and a Whataburger, and be able to pick up a pint of Bluebell.

Ev is almost 2 months old now and there’s such a strange feeling when you look at his age in days. Currently he’s 52 days old, and that’s such a short time. I’m amazed at how young he is and how he’s only been on the outside for just 7+ weeks, and yet I feel like he’s always been here.

Isn’t it awesome how God knows what you need before you do?

After last November, I didn’t think I needed or wanted a baby. Not then, anyway. And now, I don’t know what I’d be doing without him. He’s the best distraction from lonely nights, and his grin or the way he tries to talk makes my heart happy when I’m missing my other half. I don’t know if I’d be handing this deployment as well as I think I am if I didn’t have him.

That being said, I still miss my husband. A lot. It makes me sad that he’s missing so many firsts with Ev, and I worry about what our family dynamic will be like when he comes home.

What I loved most about him right before he left, though, was that while he was figuring out how to be a daddy, he didn’t forget (or let me forget) that he was my husband, either.

He was changing diapers and snuggling with Ev on the couch while I cleaned or showered, and he was still reminding me that we’re more than parents, too. He stopped me in the kitchen while I was cooking dinner one night and kissed me for more than 2 seconds, and when I asked, “what was that for?” (because at 2 weeks postpartum, no kiss is leading anywhere 😂), he looked at me and said, “I just hadn’t kissed you like I loved you a lot in a while.”

I miss him for moments like that, too, because he’s more than just a daddy to Ev; he’s my best friend, my partner in basically everything.

Having a few moments to myself is few and far between right now, and when I find one, like now, while Everett is sleeping, it’s when I have time to be a little sad. Because deployment is sad, and hard, no matter how well you’re handling it or how distracted you are.

And just like I said over a year ago during deployment number one: it’s okay to be sad. It’s okay for me to have bad days every now and then, especially now that I’ve got someone other than my dog depending on me. It’s okay for me to not be able to smile at people one day and then be able to feel like I’m kicking deployment’s ass the next. It’s okay to feel the things I feel, as long as I get up and dust myself off the next day.

So, we’re one month down with several more to go, and here’s hoping that they fly by.

XOXO,

Em.