Memorial Day Weekend came and went without much fuss. It was the one year anniversary of my heart attack and, because I was afraid that would trigger my anxiety, my therapist suggested I make plans to help keep my mind off of it. We decided to go on a little picnic, head over to the Museum of Life and Science, and then go to a cookout/BBQ at our neighbor’s house. MLS is one of my favorite places to take Sebastian because there’s so much for him to do and see, and every time we go, he’s a little bit older and a little more aware of the things around him. This is what I wore for our outing. I’ve been wanting a pair of scallop shorts for a while now, and J. Crew did not disappoint. These are great!
We have the most amazing photographers, hands down. We first hired Thad and Sarah Lawrence of 2 & 3 Photography for our engagement and wedding photos way back in 2011 and we’ve been using them ever since. They’ve yet to disappoint, and this year was no different. It’s our first year as a family of three so we wanted to make sure we captured us as a little family with Sebastian and Mia. They certainly delivered once again. Just look at how cute we all are! I’m so exited to share a few of these gems with you. Enjoy!
Sweater: Loft | Skirt & Necklace: J. Crew Outlet | Boots: Banana Republic | Watch : Target
You’ve no doubt heard the saying, “it takes a village to raise a child.” I heard it often and believed it, but I never fully appreciated it until I had my own kid. Sure, I was part of others’ villages as I babysat for friends and encouraged my young nephew to say ‘excuse me’ after he burped, but I didn’t realize how helpful your village is when caring for your kid, yourself, and your family. When my son was born, I was lucky to have my mother stay with us for a few weeks to help take care of us. She’s pretty amazing, and the fierce love she has for her family can’t be beat. Then I had to go back to work, which meant I had to rely on someone else to take care of my sweet baby boy. I think this is one of the feelings that is hardest to resolve as a working mother. I often felt like I was abandoning Sebastian, and watching him grow up in photos, and leaving him for someone else to raise. I still haven’t quite reconciled these feelings completely but I’m working on it, especially as I let go and know that I really don’t have to do it alone.
With all of that said, the point of this post is that I’m so thankful for the caregivers in Sebastian’s life. From his father to his grandparents and aunts and uncles, our friends, and his daycare teachers, I’ve learned that it truly does take a village.
In the beginning we were lucky to have found a great daycare for Sebastian. His teachers were considerate, attentive, and seemed to really care about his well being. When we switched to the new daycare, I expected more of the same and was a little disappointed when the teachers didn’t go “above and beyond.” In the grand scheme of things, however, they’re doing a great job. Sebastian is never hungry, he hasn’t had any injuries, and he always has a smile on his face when I pick him up in the evenings. Oh, and one morning when I walked in the door to drop him off, the 3- to 4-year-old kids saw us and starting yelling, “Good morning, Sebastian!” It was adorably sweet and made me feel better about leaving him there because I knew he was surrounded by folks who cared about him.
So, I’m really grateful that there will always be someone there if I need them to take care of Sebastian. And not just take care OF him but really care FOR him. It speaks volumes to the people I have chosen to be in my community. But more on that next week 😉
While I try to practice gratitude every day of my life, I like to spend the month of November reflecting on and giving thanks for all the wonderful things in my life. In the past, I’ve highlighted tangible things like handwritten mail and flowers, as well as more abstract concepts like laughter and family traditions.
This year, I struggled a bit to figure out what I wanted to highlight. Not because I’m ungrateful for the wonderful blessings in my life, but because I feel like I’m always thankful for the same things – family, friends, food, etc. – and I don’t want to repeat all of those things to my readers, even though I truly am grateful for those things every single day.
I decided that for this year’s gratitude posts, I would highlight some more specific examples of what I’m thankful for. And when it comes to family, I’ll start with my husband, Nick.
I feel like I could write a book about all of the reasons that Nick is awesome. He truly deserves all the praise he gets and then some. One thing I really admire about him is that he works really hard to create a fulfilling career for himself and to take care of our family. Luckily, this doesn’t mean long hours away at some job, but rather putting forth his best effort both at the office and at home. Sometimes he’s recognized for it, and often times he isn’t, but he always gets the job done.
I’m also extremely grateful that he keeps me going when my anxiety starts to get the best of me. Getting enough sleep and not having a ton of things to worry about really helps keep the anxiety away. Nick knows this so he does a lot to let me keep my much-needed routines. Little things, like preparing Sebastian’s bottles so that I can go to sleep early if that’s what I need that day, really do go a long way. He takes care of the budgeting and the finances, making sure we’re on track to meet our goals and keeping me from blowing all of our money on food. And I never hear him complain.
Finally, I’m incredibly thankful that he’s so good at making me laugh, even when I don’t always feel like it. If you’ve read any of our conversations, you’re already familiar with his dry sense of humor. It’s completely opposite of mine, and I think that’s why he gets me giggling so often. Laughing is one of my favorite things in the world so having someone by my side every day that can crack me up with just one look is a real blessing.
Look, it’s not always rainbows and butterflies with us but we have it pretty darn good. We love each other very much, we agree on (and even dislike) the same things, and we want the best for each other, no matter what. I’m super lucky to wake up next to him and our awesome little guy every day.
And for that, I am super thankful!
I realize I missed the entire month of October with blogging. The truth is I had a difficult couple of weeks at the beginning of the month where my anxiety flared up and got the best of me. Sometimes it hits me so hard that I go on autopilot and it’s a small victory to make it through each day without a breakdown. And that focus on survival doesn’t include things like blogging. But I feel I’m finally out of the fog and it’s time to make time for writing. Thanks for sticking with me!
One reason I’m back to the blog, though, is talk about a big change that is coming up.
After a lot of discussion and budgeting and more discussion, I’ve decided to quit my job at the end of the year to focus on my health and my family. I’ve had a lot of medical experiences this year from giving birth to having a heart attack and I never really had a chance to fully recover from either episode. I had a six-week maternity leave, which anyone who has had a baby – as well as new research on postpartum healing – can tell you this is not nearly enough time, and I was only out of work for a week following the heart incident, so it’s really no wonder that my anxiety has been front and center for the past six months. But not only is this time off for taking care of myself, but I’ll have this awesome little guy around to help me get better!
And I can focus on watching him grow for a while, something I feel like I’ve been missing out on ever since I had to go back to work.
It won’t be all fun and games, however. The plan is to take time to get back on my feet and, when I’m ready, I’ll start fresh with my career, which is the other half of my big decision. I don’t know exactly what I want to do yet but I *DO* know that I want it to involve writing, both for my blog and professionally. I’d love to write for magazines, other blogs, and even for news & academia outlets. I love writing and it has taken me more than a decade to be able to say that I’m a good writer. I am a good writer, I’ve just never given myself permission to believe it so I’ve never pursued writing as a career. Until now. And my next post will talk a little more about how I came to these decisions.
So, tell me: have any of you made any big decisions – whether it was to quit your job to stay home with your children or to start a totally new career with little to no experience – and if so, how did it turn out? I love hearing others’ experiences and I certainly need all of the encouragement I can get. Thanks!
Hi, I’m Nikki. This is where I blog about my life and style. I’m a wife, a new mother, sushi lover, coffee drinker, and a social justice warrior. Welcome to my little corner of the world where I try to lead by example!