Friday, January 31, 2014

Confessional Friday Linkup

Hi everyone! Linking up with Leslie over at A Blonde Ambition for today's Confessional Friday...and today it's all about introducing ourselves with a bio. 

I'm Elizabeth...30 year old hailing from Virginia (Northern VA, to be specific...which if you know anything about VA, this area is very different from the rest of this beautiful state!). I've lived within 25 miles of our Nation's Capital (DC, the District, Washington...etc) my entire life. I was born and raised here, went to college here, and have lived here always. And both my parents were born and raised in DC and Northern me, it's rare to find a native Northern Virginian! As you can probably tell, I'm proud of where I come from. My Mama always said "Always remember who you are and where you came from" and I always do! My husband was born and raised here as well...we met in college in 2005.

And were married on May 15, 2010

Sean's an amazing partner and father. He won me over with his humor, candidness, sense of hard work, and confidence. We are total opposites - where I'm more introverted and shy, he's the life of the party. Where he's all over the place, I like things orderly and planned out. But it works and we wouldn't have it any other way. He's a physical therapist and is the Director of a physical therapy clinic here in Northern VA.

On October 7, 2012 we welcomed our son, Conrad Cayce, whom we love so much more than we ever thought we could. Spending my days chasing after him and watching him grow are priceless.

I work for a large retirement community in sales and I love it. I've worked with seniors for about 16 years (my first job was as a server in a dining room at a home when I was 14!) and couldn't ask for a better career (except for maybe being a stay at home mom!).

My little sister, Cayce, is my best friend

And my parents are awesome...they've been married for 37 years!

My Mom is the most generous, loving, and best party-hosting woman I know! She's constantly looking out for others and I don't know what I'd do without her. My Dad is so hard working and takes such good care of my family. They are amazing parents!

I love having this blog as a place to write about what I love best: my family, my son, and being a mom! Looking forward to getting to know everyone :)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Span of 83 Years

Last week my sweet grandmother, affectionately called "Gampi" by her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, passed away. At 83 years old, she had lived quite a life. 5 children, 8 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren. She moved 10+ times as a Naval Captain's wife (his true "commander"!), hosted countless parties, holidays, and dinners, was Cotton Queen (she hailed from Memphis, so of course!), and taught her legacy countless life lessons.

She taught us how to ice skate

She taught us how to set a proper table

How to make the best martini ever

She taught us how to accessorize...we loved playing dress up

Speak softly but carry a big stick

How to polish silver in record time

She taught us how to speak English properly...and reminded us over and over

How to drive stick...on her huge truck of a diesel Mercedes no less

She taught us how to lose gracefully...while planning your next attack

All the "yes m'am" and "no sir's" you could imagine

She taught me how to knit. All I know is how to knit a scarf, but it's something!

If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all

She taught us how to enjoy Big Band; I still have my radio set to one of these stations

While our family is extremely heart broken by the loss of such a small, strong, woman, she left us with thousands of great memories:

Crabbing off their boat on the Chesapeake

Going to dinner theaters and musicals

Paddle boating on the water at Sandy Point park

Making sure the "breakfast fairies" left us breakfast whenever we spent the night. I later learned this was so we could feed ourselves so we wouldn't wake her up in the morning - smart lady!

Swimming in their pool and then relaxing afterwards on the porch hammock eating watermelon

Researching our family genealogy and hearing stories and seeing pictures of all our ancestors

Baking cookies - snickerdoodles were our favorites!

Going to Navy football games at the Academy

Christmas mornings and her white frosted Christmas tree

There are so many more that they would take another lifetime to re-live. I hope she is looking down on us now and smiling proudly at those she left behind and I hope to make her proud each and every day until I can see her again.

Monday, January 20, 2014

My First Full Year of Motherhood

Throughout 2013 our family obviously was very busy with the new addition to our household! We started off the year celebrating and loving on our new little guy and then I went back to work in the beginning of February. Four months of being with Conrad 24/7 and then all of a sudden handing him over to someone else for 10 hours a day?! Rude awakening. As I've mentioned before, this is the worst part about being a working mom. But hey, the baby's gotta eat! Here's some things I wish I knew before but learned well in 2013:

1. I can survive on >6 hours of sleep per night OR sleep/wake/sleep/wake off and on for 8+ hours. The husband, however, tends to be a bit more grouchy when forced to do this. I realize there are reasons why women are moms as men can't handle the lack of sleep too well.

At least he got some sleep!

2. Breastfeeding is HARD. And you know what? If you end up not following through for the whole recommended year, it's OK. Your baby will survive. Just like those that breastfeed their child until they're 18 don't like to be judged, neither do moms who only do it for 3 months.

3. Anything you read in baby books you can find on the internet. I have about 5 different sleep method books and 3 different baby first year books and used none of them. And guess what?! Conrad slept through the night after 8 months without some sort of crazy rigid method. He eats well without some sort of crazy eat this first then that. Do what works for you and whats healthy for your baby.

4. Doctors don't always have the answers and YOU are your child's advocate. If you think something's wrong or not right, keep pushing on Momma!

5. Think your lifestyle was different than your single friends before? Hey, at least you could still join them for happy hour. Get ready to host wine night at your house instead and pray they don't mind toys all over the place and you wearing two-day old yoga clothes covered in spit up. Hey, at least you have wine.

6. Speaking of wine, it's my new best friend. Mama can always use more wine when she gets a lot of "whine" from the baby. HA, see what I did there?
Looks like C-Rad would like some wine too!

7. You will be judged for anything and everything you do. You learn not to care.

8. If you don't believe in yourself, you'll drown in self-doubt and worry. But you know what? There are worse parents out there than you (read: Britney Spears? entire cast of 16 and pregnant?) so try your hardest to do right by your child and the rest doesn't matter - the matching clothes, perfect nursery, and right on target schedule are all meaningless as long as your baby is healthy and happy.

9. Schedule? What schedule?! Let go.

10. Don't compare yourself and your child to others. Do what works for you and your family; you'll drive yourself crazy trying to keep up with everyone else!

11. The dishes can wait. So can the laundry, vacuuming, and bed-making. Oh, and the baking, organizing, and polishing silver?! Forget about it. What can't wait are the moments your baby laughs, walks, and talks. What can't wait are the cuddles, book-reading, and block building. These are important.

12. I used to think I wanted to work up that corporate ladder right away - time was money. But now, time is time and you can't get it back. "I wish I had spent more hours in the office" - said no one ever.

13. Never underestimate the power of a good cry. Or muffled scream while hiding in your bathroom. Hey, whatever relieves your stress.

14. Take care of yourself! Don't be afraid to ask the husband, friend, neighbor, grandparent to watch the baby while you get a mani, go to the gym, drive to Starbucks and veg for an hour. You deserve it and shouldn't feel guilty.

15. Guilt! Oh the guilt! When your brain is telling you that you aren't doing enough, tell it to back the bus up and take a look at the beautiful child you carried for 9+ months and brought into the world. Did you feed him, clothe him, cuddle, kiss, and play with him today? It's enough.

16. Remember who your partner is when raising a child and learn to trust in them. Sean is an amazing father and I don't doubt his abilities for a second and appreciate all that he does and should probably thank him more as there are Dads out there that do absolutely nothing.

17. Take pictures, lots and lots of pictures! Every day if possible.

Oh, the outfits! Not enough days for them all...

18. Frozen foods, crock pot meals, and take out or delivery were the best things invented. EVER.

19. Now that Conrad is older, I try to make time in the morning before he wakes up to shower, do my hair, and makeup. After all, I'm still a real person and feel better when I'm put together (even if I'm overwhelmed on the inside, hey, at least I look great!) even if I'm at home by myself.

20. In order to do the above it's best to go to bed early. Sure, I'd love to stay up late and read or catch up on shows but at this point...who cares if Emily Thorne ever gets her Revenge on the Grayson family, she doesn't have a 14 month old to take care of.

21. If you don't have time to see friends and family as often as you'd like, still text and call or email them to keep up with their lives. Technology is great so take advantage of it!

22. There's always tomorrow. Or later today. If you didn't get it right at this moment, your child won't break or be scarred for life.

23. It's ok to want to run away sometimes. You know you're not really going to do it so imagining you're on a tropical beach without the baby and hubby can be a nice vay-cay for the brain.

24. Even when your little one is screaming and crying or throwing a tantrum, cherish him, love him. Before you know it, he'll be out of the house and on his own. Take advantage of every second.

Attempting to keep it together 24/7,


Monday, January 6, 2014

2014...This Year

This year...

A bad habit I'm going to break:

Going to bed too late!

A new skill I'd like to learn:

Bake a gluten-free pie. 

A person I'd hope to be more like:

I have a friend who is a real "go-getter" and always advocates for her family and child no matter what...I want to be less of a push-over!

A good deed I'm going to do:

Visit my grandparents/keep in touch with them more often.

A place I'd like to visit:

Anywhere with my girlfriends! A best friend and I have been trying to take a girls trip for over a year and it just hasn't happened.

A book I'd like to read:

Ok...nerd alert...I'd like to re-read the Harry Potter books

A letter I'm going to write:

To my aunts in SC, just telling them I miss them

A new food I'd like to try:

Indian! I've eaten it before but there's a place near my house I'd like to try 

I'm going to be better at:

Learning to say "no"

What about YOUR 2014? Lets make it OUR year!