Sleep habits (mine, not Jake's).

I really really struggle to get out of bed in the mornings. I just love to sleep. I snooze my alarm probably 5 times every morning before work, and I don't even set an alarm on Saturdays. That whole put your alarm somewhere that makes you get out of bed to turn it off trick? Yeah, doesn't work for me. Here's why:

1. When I was 16, a young man found a clever way to ask me to Homecoming. He had written some sort of poem, then written the letters to his name all over an inexpensive electric alarm clock. Then, he gave it to my friend, who secretly snuck it to my mom and sister, who then hid it under a towel in the bedroom I shared with my sister (my room was pretty much always messy so the towel on the floor wasn't unusual). The alarm had been set for an earlier time than my regular alarm. 

When said alarm went off, I was annoyed. I found the alarm, found the off button, and went back to bed.

I figured my sister had gotten a new alarm (she was 11?) and did not have the courtesy to turn it off herself. This logic made sense at the time, even though my sister slept on the top bunk, and would not keep her alarm on the floor, under a towel. 

When I officially awoke from the dead, my mom and sister asked me about the alarm. When I realized what it was, I deciphered the clues and felt a little foolish. I told my friends at school what had happened, and they laughed, but were not surprised.

Now, I have no issues going back to sleep after being woken up at 5am by a hungry Jake.

Maybe I just need more sleep, OK?
Or maybe I just need more self-discipline....

finding my style.

I rarely talk fashion. I did a short couple of stints in maternity fashion, but let's be honest...nobody is going to be copying my outfits anytime soon, nor would I want them to. I doubt this post will be inspiring, but heck, I don't really care.

We don't talk about my style (or lack thereof) in elementary school. Let's just say that back then, kids were kids and we didn't care what we wore, as long it had our favorite cartoon characters and was comfortable to climb trees in, am I right?

In junior high, I was a nightmare. I refer to myself as the ugly duckling. I wore the same pair of americana-esque jeans nearly daily, and I wasn't all that comfortable with my style whatsoever. I liked to wear ribbons on my ponytails, and I was still learning how to use the ol' mascara.

In high school, I was kinda cute. I had some cute tops, 2-3 pairs of the same style of jeans, and a whole swarm of t-shirts. I loved me some Girls' Camp and choir t-shirts. I also loved me some hoodies. I was learning how to do my hair, and sometimes came to school with intricate hairstyles that I spent two hours coiffing the night before. I liked dangly earrings and costume jewelry. Sometimes I wore them both with my super-hero t-shirts. (Are you cringing because you can relate?) I won't lie, I liked my style! I was confident with who I was. In fact, my friends and I all wore matching Spider-Man (glow-in-the-dark!) t-shirts on the first day of our senior year as an anti-super-cute-first-day-of-school-outfit statement. We loved it.

Then I came to college, and I my "style" stayed about the same. I tried to find some cuter tops, and my skirt collection grew slightly. I dappled in winter wear in my new snowy home. But mostly I stayed the same. Same haircut, same clothes, same makeup, same Kylie.

After getting married, I decided to experiment some. I cut my hair shorter. I got bangs. I started to try to find more cute clothes, but nothing too different. I changed up my makeup a little. When I started student-teaching, I really started trying to find more "adult" clothes, since I could no longer wear my beloved t-shirts every day. It was only semi-successful, since those clothes needed to be semi-professional.

When I got pregnant with Jake, I found a new love for cute clothes. I discovered I could wear pants that weren't jeans, and were even more comfortable! I discovered that yoga pants were cuter than sweats but still felt like pajamas. I found out that I really liked to wear stripes. After Jake was born, and while I was on maternity leave, it was SO hard to get ready at first. A newborn limits things in a lot of ways. It was a struggle, but I discovered that when I did get dressed, I felt more accomplished and much better about myself.

Now, I'm actually starting to get rid of the t-shirts (even in weekend-wear). And by t-shirts I meant the ill-fitting, generic ones, not the cute, layer-friendly ones. They only make appearances as pajamas or dirty-work shirts. I wear skirts to work on occasion. I own a pair of leggings that I wear with dresses. I own two new little knit dress! I'm adding blouses and a blazer to my collection of cardigans and basic T's. I wear my skinny jeans with confidence! I have lots of stripes, and I love them. I am buying less basic black, and adding more color to my wardrobe. I'm wearing what I like, and what feels comfortable, and not worrying too much about trendiness. And I'm feeling more grown-up and cuter.

The only down-fall is that I'm so not creative when it comes to work clothes. I'm still a jeans girl at heart, and I am don't like wearing skirts in the winter. I won't lie, I'm excited for the day when I'm not working an office job and can play with clothes a little more.

one little word.

Last year, my word was "Moments." I feel like I truly embraced that phrase, especially through blogging. I documented more of the little moments in many ways, and I tried to appreciate them more as they happened. Those little moments turned into the best parts of 2012.

This year, TJ gave me my word. It is "persevere."

Persevere through the things that I can't control.
Persevere through the trials we face.
Persevere through the situations that are less than ideal.

Truly, life last year was difficult. And honestly, I'm really OK. I'm still going to revel in those little moments. I'm still going to try to live each day to the fullest. I realize how blessed I am. So when I remember my one little word, I will whisper back, "with joy in my heart."

five months.

Dear Jake,

Slow down Mister! You've grown so much this month. You are not an "easy" baby by any means, but you are learning how to be by yourself, take regular naps, and more. According to some information I found on a baby website, we chose the wrong time to sleep train, but it was necessary, so we're trucking through it. Before now, you wouldn't nap for Dad unless you were laying on his lap. Now we're all learning how to sleep train, and it's going alright.

Your first Christmas happened! I made you a fleece blanket, and you got spoiled with toys from Grammy and Grampa Pond, and clothes from Auntie Kyndra, Grandma and Grandpa Hassell. You're becoming a little more interested in toys, and like to grab at the ones on your play mat. You love the little ball rattle we got you, because it's easy to hold and makes noise. Of course, everything goes straight to your mouth.

At five months you:
-Can sit up on your own! You're still a little wobbly and fall front, side, or back, but you can do it! You actually did it for the first time on your 5 month mark.
-Can roll from back to belly, with effort.
-Still suck on your first two fingers, but now refuse the pacifier...unless you're super tired and decide you want it.
-Make all sorts of funny faces. You love to laugh and think Dad is especially hilarious.
-Love to talk. Your babbling is the cutest.
-Love your baths. You splash and get so excited.
-You do not like your car seat. You strain at the harness, trying to sit up. We don't like it either because carrying you in it is dang heavy! At 4 months, you were 17 lbs. I'm guessing you're around 19 now. 
-You always try to sit up if you are even slightly reclining.
-Even though you are still a chunky boy, you're getting tall! 

I'm sure there are more little tidbits, but that's probably enough. We love you!

love always,

4.5 months:

5 months:

the boy and his dad.

Jake is 5 months old, and I can hardly believe it. Time went so slowly in the beginning, and now it's gone when I blink. My baby is no longer so helpless. He has changed so much, and it makes me want to cry and laugh all at once. If motherhood were an emotion, it would be that.

Although I know that my little boy loves me, and loves to see me, he and TJ have a truly special bond. I think they are going to be so similar someday. Jake loves his daddy more than anyone, and his daddy calls him his best friend. I love watching the two of them together. Nobody can get Jake to laugh or smile quite like his Daddy can. Daddy is the most fun person in the world. I hope they can remain best friends for a long time to come.

four months.

Dear Jake,

Your mom is at it again...procrastinating. You're actually 5 months now, but here's your 4 month update. You are growing so much! Your personality peeks out more and more, and here's what I think: you will be one goofy, yet stubborn kid! Heaven help us when you turn 2, because you already have a strong opinion of how you like things.

At four months, here's what's new:
-You are trying so hard to roll from your back to your tummy. You get about halfway and get stuck.
-You suck on your first two fingers, but not your thumb.
-You're teething and drooling everywhere.
-You love your tongue.
-You talk and shriek in response to us.
-You are in the 80th percentile for height and weight, and still in the 99th+ for your head size.
-You get upset around large groups of loud people, as evidenced by Thanksgiving and the family Christmas party. You hate it when people get in your face when you're already uneasy and upset.
-You hate being put in your car seat.

You are such a joy, little boy! We love you!


4 months:

3 months:

 2+ months:

 2-3 weeks:



It wasn't until I started thinking about this post, and then my eyes felt the prick of tears and my throat tightened up. That's the thing about the death of a loved one. Even if you know you will see them again, it hurts to lose them. Even if you know they're in a better place. I think it's more that mortal sense of missing them, and perhaps a little regret with could-haves and should-haves. But it will be OK.

Last week, my family lost someone very dear to our hearts. Iona Mae Klinger has been in my life for as long as I can remember, and was like a third grandma to me. She is one of the most generous, classy, and independent women I ever had the pleasure of knowing. She had a way of making you feel like the most important person in the world, all while putting you in your place.

Iona was always generous. As the reverend at her funeral said, she loved nice things, but she loved to give. When I moved away for college, she sent a laundry basket full of canned goods, non-perishables, and spices. She was generous with monetary gifts for my graduation, wedding, and baby. Iona gave and agave, and she gave of herself. She could make you feel loved with just one "I'm sorry, baby" and one of those big, soft hugs.

I hope to be a woman like Iona. Strong, independent, generous, and kind. I hope to live my life, like she did: with grace.

on his level.

One of my favorite things to do with Jake, when I remember and have the time, is to get down on the floor and "play" with him. These first few images were from a Saturday morning that I was at home with him, TJ was still sleeping, and the light was beautiful. I couldn't resist getting out my camera to capture him in his element (messy floors and all).

I've always loved those big, bright eyes. From the day he was born, it seems, he's been watching his world, drinking it in through those big blue eyes. Even others have noticed how aware this baby is.

I don't mean to jump the gun, but I think this will be one curious little boy. He is so determined and attentive already. He's got a constant need to be stimulated.

I love getting down to his level, and trying to see what he sees. I hope that I remember to do this always. Not just physically, but emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Try to really understand him, and respect his views. 

I want to listen to him, and to be present for him.

 I'm so in love with this sweet, spunky, happy, opinionated, and determined little boy.

Oh, he is certainly the light of my life.

Lowering my expectations.

This may sound depressing, but it's not. Basically, I'm tired of being disappointed in myself. I'm tired of breaking commitments, of not fulfilling my own high standards. I'm tired of saying yes to too much. I know that I can improve, and need to, but right now I am going to prioritize.

I'm going to be ok with the fact that the wreath on my door is season-neutral. Someday I would like to decorate for each holiday, but I realize that it isn't important right now.

I'm going to be ok with the fact that my body isn't exactly how I'd like it to be, because I feel alright in my skin. I'm not going to criticize myself for not exercising like I think I should and I really just don't have the time or motivation. I would much rather spend my mornings asleep and my evenings with my husband and son, since I have to be at work in between.

It's ok that my style is kind of plain and simple. I am still finding my style and learning what I like. Simple suits me, I'm learning. And even though I'd love for it to evolve more... I don't have the budget but that's ok! I have more than enough clothes to suit my needs.

Guess what? Most of the meals I've made recently have included vegetables. Also, I have been able to spend 20 minutes some nights to pick up/do dishes and it feels good. I have done some sit-ups and leg lifts a couple times a week, with Jake, and he loves it. I've been writing pretty faithfully in my little one line a day journal since Christmas.

Small victories are helping me to come across that change I've been mentioning. It feels good to change.

(If by some small chance you haven't already read Drops of Awesome, you should do it. Stat.)