What a year! I feel like it was JUST October 2018 and I was sitting around waiting for a baby to come. Now, it’s been nearly a year of parenting and mothering and I feel like I have changed so much. I started my 29th year so insecure, emotional, and more exhausted than I have ever been but I’m ending it feeling so content, which is the best. I still constantly wonder if I’m doing the right thing and am still pretty exhausted, but I am SO happy with this season of my life. As is my tradition, here are 29 things that are currently rocking my world.
1. Being a stay-at-home mom. Growing up, I never saw this as something I would become. I always saw myself working but as soon as I had Isla, that all changed. The balancing act was causing me to crack and affecting my mental health. The decision to quit my job was agonizing but was 100% the right move for me. I LOVE all the time with Isla and know I will never, ever regret it.
2. YouTube. Still my main source of entertainment. Primarily, I watch videos about interiors and DIYs. When Isla is down for a nap and I’ve done whatever cleaning I wanted to, there is nothing that relaxes me more than sitting down on the couch with Max and watching a few videos.
3. My king-size bed. Finally! It only took 7 years for Chris and I to finally breakdown and get a king-size bed (this one). Nothing says, “I love you” like a bed so big you can sleep without touching. There’s plenty of room for Max too, which is pretty great. I sleep better, so it is worth more than its weight in gold.
4. Daily walks. Unfortunately, we no longer have a fenced in yard (at the moment) so Max needs to be walked 4 times a day rather than let loose in the yard. C takes most of this responsibility but Isla and I take Max on a walk every day after her first nap. It’s a nice way to get out and move my body a little. Don’t ask me how I like this in the winter…
5. Reading. Last year, I read so much! Once we had Isla, that all ended. I don’t know when I could have squeezed reading in before I quit my job, but now, I have time again. While I was trying to nap-train Isla, I read 4 books! 4! That is crazy to me. I have a couple new ones loaded on my Kindle ready to go and hope to add a couple more before the end of the year.
6. Sleep training. I hate that term. It sounds so negative. Whenever I heard people talk about sleep training and CIO, I tuned out. I am someone who has a high sleep need and losing sleep has been TOUGH for me. Isla was a pretty good sleeper for the first few months of her life and even slept through the night for about a month when I first went back to work. Then, she turned 4 months and it all went downhill from there. Finally, between 9 and 10 months, we decided to sleep train. It was so, so, so hard for me but we are all happier for it. (I might go into more detail on this in a later post if I can organize my thoughts).
7. No makeup. I stopped wearing daily makeup a long time ago, but I’ve really embraced it this year. I save a lot of money not buying new makeup and get ready way faster. I hope Isla grows up knowing that makeup is something fun and not something that is required to be beautiful.
8. Autumn. I can’t put into words how much I love it. I know I’m not alone but this year I’m embracing it even more by decorating my home more. We haven’t experienced the weather I’ve been longing for yet but I know it is coming (like, tomorrow). I have been good and haven’t purchased too many new clothing pieces, which is tough for me. I’m hoping to enjoy it with Isla by getting out and enjoying the cooler weather and changing colors.
9. Starbucks. I never shook my obsession with caramel macchiatos from pregnancy. Chris and I indulged a little too much when I was still working, but have definitely shaken that habit. We make coffee at home every day but I still occasionally treat myself every once in a while.
10. Limiting social media. I deleted Facebook off my phone a while ago and all but abandoned Twitter over a year ago. I hate how much time I still spend on Instagram but I have cleaned out my following a bit to make sure I don’t follow accounts that make me feel bad or encourage me to overspend. It’s been good for my mental health and helps me to stay more present as a SAHM.
11. Facebook groups. I know… I’m such a hypocrite, right? The only reason I haven’t deleted my Facebook account is because of the groups I am in. The Columbus Breastfeeding group helped me SO much in the early days as a mom. I found support and it helped me realize that no matter what I’m experiencing, I’m not alone. When we were sleep training, I joined a baby sleep group that has also been a huge comfort for me. I think these examples show social media acting how it was intended… as a way to provide community on the internet.
12. Fox in the Snow. It’s been a hot minute since I’ve been, but Fox in the Snow is one of my favorite places. I can’t get enough of the cinnamon roll but it’s so much more than that. C and I went on quite a few breakfast dates to FITS while I was pregnant and we would talk about what it would be like to have a baby and the times we would bring Isla along. It’s a comfortable place for us to spend time together.
13. Stretchy pants. Is there anything better to wear as a SAHM? Honestly, I live in leggings and joggers (these are my favorite leggings and these are my favorite joggers). They make it easy to move around on the floor with Isla yet can transition out of the house if we run errands. It’s been a year since I had Isla but my body is just not quite the same as it used to be so I appreciate having a little more stretch on bottom too.
14. Carpet. This is probably an unpopular opinion and I used to be the same way. I loved that out first house was all hardwood floors but I realized, they weren’t really practical. I am so glad we live in a house with carpeted floors in the living room and bedrooms because it is more comfortable and safer for Isla (and us).
15. Valspar Swiss Coffee. I’m on a mission to paint my whole house white. Did you know now all white paint is equal? I carefully selected Valspar Swiss Coffee for Isla’s nursery and I love it. It’s white but warm. So far, it covers the walls in 4 rooms in our house and I’m not stopping there.
16. Quitting my job. I wasn’t going to include this as I thought listing SAHM covered it. Quitting my job has lifted this huge weight off my shoulder and made room for other things. I find that my house is cleaner (not necessarily that I have more time for it chasing a crazy baby all over) and I have the emotional/mental space and energy to do more things. I bake more. I read more. I’m more active. Leaving behind my income was terrifying but there is more to life than money and as someone who had the ability to walk away from it, it was the right choice for me.
17. Baking. Like I mentioned above, I have been baking more. I am boring AF when it comes to sweets, so there’s nothing exciting here. I love me some Bisquick strawberry shortcake and banana chocolate chip muffins. Also, baked oatmeal has made remembering to eat breakfast much easier.
18. White bedding. I’ve wanted all-white bedding for a long time, but talked myself out of it over and over because of my pets. Well, I finally bought a white bedding set from Brooklinen and I love it! So far, it is holding up (despite one scary moment concerning some dog puke). It is so crisp and makes out bedroom look way more put together.
19. Blendon Woods. It is pretty cool having a huge park like Blendon Woods in your back yard. We’ve only made it out a couple times with Isla because it has been sooo hot but I know we will spend more time hiking and exploring when the weather cools off a bit. The kids’ area is amazing and I am sure Isla will love it when she’s a little older.
20. Fried chicken and biscuits from 101 Beer Kitchen. This is right up there with the Cloud Nine Pancakes from Northstar. Breakfast food is my favorite food and the fried chicken and biscuits from 101BK are out of this world. I even love the arugula and watermelon salad that comes on the side.
21. My plants. Sadly, I lost my aloe plant during the move BUT the rest are thriving. Knock on wood but my plants seem to be doing much better since the move. We definitely get more light in our new house and I’m probably a bit more attentive now that I’m home more. Part of me is tempted to add more but with the cat trying to eat them and the baby trying to destroy them, I should probably quit while I’m ahead.
22. Our deck. Our back deck is small but, man, it is way better than the patio we had at our last place. There are beautiful trees around it and it gets great light throughout the day. We still have some work to do on it but we added an Ikea sofa and some string lights and it is a pretty great place to relax once the baby is in bed.
23. Reading with Isla. I love doing everything with Isla but reading is probably my favorite. At this stage, she is super into books and will even pull them out and flip through them herself. The best part, though, is when we read to her. She sits in our laps and uses one hand to turn the page while the other rests on our hand, wrist, or arm. It melts my heart every time!
24. DIY. Thanks to YouTube, I feel a bit more comfortable doing some things around the house myself. Chris and I have a couple projects in the pipeline and I’m excited to learn how to use more tools and display things in my home made by my own hands.
25. Our new home. I started looking at houses just to see what was out there but we pretty quickly starting getting serious and started going to showings. The plan was to sell our house first then take our time finding a new one, but as soon as I walked into our house, I knew it was what we were searching for. The last four months have been a dream. We are slowly working through each space and turning it into our own, but in the meantime, we are enjoying it as is and loving our neighborhood.
26. Being a mom. I feel bad saying it, but I never really liked kids when I was one. I don’t know if it was being the youngest or what, but I despite knowing that I wanted kids, I wasn’t sure how I would fit into the mom role. As soon as Isla came, I felt like a mom. I have never had a role that has challenged me so much but nothing has ever made me happier.
27. Our fur babes. They have been constants in the crazy changes of the last year. I am typing this while both are curled up beside me on the couch. Isla also adores them and follows them away the house squealing with delight (they are not huge fans).
28. CJB. My constant support. My best friend. There isn’t much else to say.
29. Isla. You are my second half. My baby. The love of my life. I didn’t know you were missing until you were here, but now, I can’t get enough of you. You are constantly making me laugh and bringing magic to life’s everyday moments. I love you!
Onward to my 30th year. I can’t believe I’m entering my last year of my 20s. I think it’s going to be a good one!