A Little Reminder of How Lucky I Am

Last week, I began working a very temporary office job to help out at my husband’s office. Up until last Thursday, I’ve been fortunate enough to stay at home with our girl since her birth. I am only doing 1 1/2 days a week, and my first day truthfully flew. I was busy and enjoyed having some time back in an office setting. I arrived home and Richard asked me how the first day went. I said that I did not mind it at all, but if anything, it really lit a fire under my bum to find work that provides me flexibility in my hours because I dropped our girl off at 7:15 AM and picked her up at 6:30 PM. It was a long day for her to be away from home, a long day for me to be away from her, and a long day for her grandmother who looked after her.

I never thought I would be the mom that did not go back to work because I have always worked and been proud of my professional career. But, she arrived and things changed and the opportunity was there for me to stay at home. I feel ever so lucky and fortunate that I’ve been able to spend the past couple of years with her. It was always our agreement that once she began nursery at the age of 3 that I would find some sort of steady work, so as the months tick by and we come closer to her 3rd birthday, I’ve begun to look for work and have applied for a number of part-time jobs. So far, I have not had any luck, but I’ll keep trying.

Today was my half day at the office, and when I got to my mother-in-law’s house to collect our girl, I was oh-so-happy to see her and be on the receiving end of one of her amazing hugs. (You know those hugs that kids give with every ounce of their being? It was one of those. Wow, did I feel loved!) She was excited to get home and see Daddy too, so after a quick tidy up of the children’s toys and books scattered around Grandma’s lounge, we were off to our house. As I reversed into the drive, she saw Richard’s car and said excitedly, “Daddy’s car! Daddy’s home!” It always makes my heart smile when I see our little blondie run to her daddy after he has been gone all day and give him a crazy big cuddle, and tonight was no different.

What was different about tonight though is that as I was reading her a story, she began to get upset and said, “Mummy stay home with me.” This broke my heart. It doesn’t help that I was gone for 4 days on 2 separate occasions in the past month, and now, I’m gone again. Even though I talk to her about me going to work and her going to Grandma’s, I’m still not there with her and her schedule has changed. I know she is having fun with her grandma, but as Richard and I discussed tonight, it was almost like it hit her all of a sudden.

As I held back tears and comforted her, I promised her that tomorrow I would be home. That tomorrow would be a day for just the two of us. I brainstormed what big plans I could make for us, but when I mentioned to her that we would have to the grocery store, her eyes got big and she said, “Yes! Buy yogurt. Buy watermelon. Buy crumpets. Put jam on them.” I was so sweetly reminded that I don’t need any grand gestures to make up for my time away from her. All she needs is me and the normal every day.

 

Serious love to all mommas out there! We rock! xx

 

 

 

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Our Girl Turned ONE!

It’s hard to believe our sweet girl turned ONE in December!

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We love a good party in this house, so we went a bit wild for her 1st birthday party. I’ll be the first to admit that I am by no means a crafty or artsy, so I was scouring the internet months before for help with invitations and decor ideas. We knew we wanted it to be rainbow-themed because one of her favorite books is about the colors of the rainbow, but I needed some creative help. Richard, on the other hand, has this creative side that most people don’t see, so he had some great ideas as well. With the internet and my husband as guides, I knew the party would be excellent and it did turn out so well.

The morning of was a bit of a disaster (that I really want to describe with some not-so-nice words!) because we had put up a marquee (basically a big tent) with heaters in it in the back garden earlier in the week to allow people to mingle outside as well as inside. Richard and his dad even lined the inside of the marquee with colored Christmas lights and it looked wonderful and went perfectly with the party theme. Well, the night before the party, a terrible windstorm blew in and it was actually lifting the marquee up in the air! In the rain and vicious wind, Richard, my dad, and I were outside taking the sides down from the marquee. We can look back now and laugh, but at the time, it was quite frightening to think this tent could just fly away at any moment! Richard had big plans for a back wall full of rainbow balloons, so he was gutted when it wouldn’t work out. Truthfully, so was I, as it would have looked great.

Originally, I had wanted to order a cake, but we decided to take on the task with me baking and Richard decorating. I’m so glad that Richard convinced me that we should do this. We had so many compliments on both how they tasted and how they were decorated. A few people even asked where we had bought the cakes! Score one for Team Becky & Richard!

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We had hot snack foods for the adults and kids, but the shining stars of the snacks were the rainbow fruit and veggie platters. We were really proud of these. (It’s funny the things that make you happy, isn’t it?!) I love Jelly Belly jelly beans, so we bought some in each color of the rainbow to add to the food table.

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Our little lady played with her friends and had lots of attention showered on her. We could tell she was getting tired (she had refused to nap that morning), so we lit the candle on her cake and sang happy birthday to her. She looked around at all of the people and had a little smirk on her face. It seemed it was kind of clicking that this was all for her. After the singing she went straight for a nap in the middle of her party! Haha…the life of a toddler!

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Because we had two cakes, we cut one after she went for a nap and used the other for a little cake ‘smash’ later on in the day. We did that with just the grandparents there, which was really nice for them to see her for a bit without so many other people around. However, we failed to consider that the cake was iced with fondant making it near impossible for her to do any smashing! Instead, Richard had to cut some of it and she went for it. It’s fair to say this girl loves her sweets!

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It’s hard to believe that our gorgeous and clever daughter is already ONE! (Honestly, I feel like I can definitely be inducted into the ‘parent club’ now because I have actually heard myself say, “I can’t believe how fast she is growing up!”) She keeps us on our toes and always laughing. She adds joy to every day, and I love that I get to spend my days with her. We love to watch her explore and pick up on how things work. She chatters non-stop and is saying “hi” and “Daddy” and a million other words that we don’t quite understand yet. She loves to eat and especially loves it when Daddy shares bites of his breakfast (either cereal, bagels, or crumpets) with her. She is becoming strong-willed and won’t hesitate to let us know when she isn’t happy. (The first tantrum, which stemmed from me not peeling her satsuma fast enough, was definitely a bit of a shock. Wow!) We’re so proud to be her parents and love when she gives us kisses and cuddles.

It was really nice to have so many of our friends and family there to celebrate our little girl turning 1, so a big thank you to all of them for coming! I think we were surprised at how many people we could fit into our house and it was definitely cozy, so maybe we should also thank them for being so accommodating and not flinching when not everyone had a place to sit!

I’m so happy we threw a party to celebrate her birthday (because let’s be honest…it’s really for the parents anyway). It was the perfect way to wrap up her first year of life that has been such a fun and wild ride for all of us!

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!

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 Photo by HDC Photo

Although Mother’s Day was celebrated in March here in the UK (and I was definitely treated like a queen for my first!), it is being celebrated today in the US. So, I’d like to wish my beautiful mom a very happy Mother’s Day! Also, happy Mother’s Day to all of the other moms out there!

I feel extremely lucky that Mom visited us for two weeks in April and that the little one and I were able to take her out for a special afternoon tea to shower her with love. We had a lovely Saturday afternoon of just us girls! (Blog post to come reviewing the tea!)

On this special day, I want to take a moment to tell her again how much she means to me. I’ve always appreciated my parents, but when I hit my mid- to late 20s, I gained a whole new appreciation for them, their marriage, and for everything they did for me and my brother. That appreciation increased even more once our daughter was born because now I truly see and understand how much a mom emotionally, physically, and mentally invests in motherhood and in her children.

I’m forever grateful to have been raised by such a strong, loving, and beautiful woman. She has set an incredible example for me to follow. I only hope that I can be as much of a mother to our daughter as my mom was to me. And, I am so thankful that I now can call my mom an incredible friend. I miss her terribly, so the time we do have together is very important and I really cherish every moment of it. Her visit showed me that not only is she a great mom and wonderful friend, but also an amazing grandmother. Our girl loves her Noni something fierce and I could tell she enjoyed Mom’s visit just as much as I did.

I love you, Mom. Thank you for everything. We can’t wait to see you again in a few weeks. Happy Mother’s Day! xx

 

Life lately.

Oh, hey…it’s me! It’s been ages since I’ve written a post, hasn’t it?!

I’ve been settling into motherhood and life as a stay-at-home mom. It is amazing and it is hard and it is beautiful and it is exhausting and it is invigorating all at once. I love being a mom. I honestly absolutely love it, despite how difficult it can be sometimes. I love spending my days with our darling daughter. She is such a joy. Her toothless grin makes my heart burst with love.

She has this amazing giggle that will turn even the worst day completely around. The best part of her laugh is you never know exactly what will bring it on, so sometimes she downright surprises me with it. And, I love that. I love the fact that it seems like she understands what her dad and I are saying and that she moves her mouth in a way that makes it appear she is trying to talk to us.

I am constantly in awe of her. I love watching her grow and learn new things. At the same time though, my heart is breaking because our little girl is not-so-little anymore. She turns five months this week. How is that even possible?!

Last week, she was having a particularly tough day due to teething. She woke up from her nap, and I could tell she was still tired. We snuggled up on the couch together and she fell asleep on me for a couple of hours. At one point during her nap, I found myself in tears because I want her to learn and to grow and to explore, but at the same time, it is so hard to really grasp how quickly she is growing up.

So, in between loving and learning, I’ve been thinking a lot about this blog and decided to stop thinking and to actually start doing, so here I am ready to share our little life again. I don’t plan to turn this into a blog that just focuses on parenthood, but it will most definitely come up quite frequently because our girl adds such an incredible dimension to our life that I know I will want to write about that. My idea is to write from the heart and go with the flow and see where that takes me.

 

I’m really excited to write because it is something I truly enjoy, and I hope you’ll enjoy reading what I have to share here in my little corner of the internet. So, thanks so much for reading (especially you, Dad)!

We’re parents!

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Photo by two for joy photography

I wrote this post over two weeks ago and am finally posting it. Those of you that follow me on Instagram know our darling daughter made her way into the world in December – 13 days after her due date! 

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I’m typing this solely with my left hand while I hold a sleeping snuggly nearly 8-week old baby girl with my right hand. This little one has brought so much love into our lives, even more than we knew we could give. You plan and plan for baby to arrive, but you really have no idea what her arrival will bring and how she will fit into your life, and all that nursery decorating and pram researching is your little way of preparing for what is a complete unknown.

I’ll admit that I wasn’t one of those women who dreamt of being a mom. I knew if I found my true partner in life then having a child might be a possibility, but it wasn’t something I thought would be what made my life complete.

I think back, though, to her first day of life. She lay sleeping in the small cot next to my hospital bed. Every noise she heard caused her to startle, and Richard and I would laugh while she continually awoke and quickly fell back to sleep as she adjusted to the world outside of my belly. We sat there with our hearts bursting with love and I remarked that having her here with us just made sense. At that moment I knew she was always meant to be in our lives. She just fit. Our little family felt complete.

Yes, we’re still figuring out how to be parents (and we know that learning will likely never end!), but I’m so happy to have been given such an incredible opportunity to raise this sweet girl with my amazing husband. When we got married, we both said we couldn’t wait to continue our adventures together and now we get to share those adventures with our daughter who is already showing much interest in exploring the world around her. We’re sure she’ll add so much to our lives and to our adventures.