Monday, December 7, 2015

basic belle:: holiday bucket list

The holidays are upon us!! Coming fast -- Christmas! And then NYE will swoop in before we know what hit us!

Since it's taken me so long thus far to fully embrace the seasons we're in, I'm doing everything in my power to not miss this next one. It'll be our first with a baby and our last with a brand-new tiny single baby (waaaah why do the years go by so fast?!?), so we have to make the most of it!

Elaborations:
1. Host Thanksgiving. His side, my side, all together under our roof!
2. Cookie baking day with Grandma (#tradition)
3. Christmas Village shopping
4. Boy Scouts Gala
5. Decorating the house / lighting up our front porch
6. 12th Annual Crew Christmas sleepover. Hosting at our house again! A tradition I can't imagine ever skipping!!
7. Christmas Concert at church
8. Lilly meets Santa. Recap post to come!
9. Make a charitable contribution
10. Send Christmas cards. Hopefully checking off this week!!
11. Drive around to see lights
12. Drink hot cocoa or something similar
13. Attend NWPG holiday dinner
14. Drew - see Star Wars
15. See Kat and baby Jackson in the hospital! Anxiously still awaiting his debut!!
16. Spend the weeks leading up to Christmas on opposite coasts! West to East and in-between!!
17. Bridesmaid it up in LJ's Wedding!

What's on your list?
♥ KD

lilly meets santa

Christmas is perhaps the holiday most heavily steeped in tradition! Lilly's first visit to Santa was one I put a decent amount of forethought into -- considering her outfit, discussing with mom friends which Santa is the best one, googling Santa hours at various locations, and making sure Drew's and my schedules aligned so we could both be present for this first.

The overall consensus from close friends was that Bass Pro Santa reigned supreme. He's supposedly very realistic (I'm not a fan of fake beards - admittedly I'm a Santa snob), not expensive to buy pro prints and they let you take your own pictures too (important for me!), and there might not be as long of a line to see him. That was our initial plan, but the only snag would be getting her to Opry Mills when Drew was off work since it's 40 minutes away and I dare not try to drive out there on a weekend (the traffic!! the crowds!! the horror!!).

Then I saw on Instagram one of my favorite stationery boutiques in Belle Meade was hosting a Cookies with Santa party last Sunday!!! I love You're Invited  (they've done wedding paper suites for my high-end weddings before) and knew if anyone would employ a GOOD Santa, it'd be them! Sure enough, we got there about 30 minutes after they opened, there was ZERO line to wait in, we got to take all the pictures we wanted, he was legit as they come, Drew got to snack on a cookie, it was free AND benefitted a good cause (they just asked that patrons bring an unwrapped gift to give to the kids at the local children's hospital) -- perfect situation.
Lilly Beth wore her sweet Santa bubble to meet the man himself! It was a Grandma gift from Christmas Village -- I just can't get over how cute it is!
We had no tears whatsoever! LB did perfectly!!! We did hop in for one family picture thanks to the YI girls, but Lilly was a pro.
We're all about coordinating family ensembles these days;) #THATfamily
Framer!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

the number one thing you need for surviving postpartum life

Disclaimer:  I'm not sugarcoating this, sweethearts.

Oh, the fourth trimester! One of the most unique experience's in a woman's life -- an undignified time of many bodily fluids, night sweats, hormonal mood swings, a squishy empty baby belly, and so much more. I want to give every newly-postpartum mama a big hug and tell her it's okay, and that everything will get better. Because it does!

When I first had Lilly, I tried to temper my expectations so I wouldn't be too disappointed or unhappy. I expected to have some degree of postpartum depression, to be sleep deprived, to be pretty jarred by a lot of crying/screaming, and to never see my pre-baby body again.
The reality of my situation was different. I was sleep deprived, but Lilly slept a glorious 5 hours the afternoon we returned home from the hospital once we got her in her Rock & Play sleeper (and I finally got a little bit of REM). I was acutely aware of my own baby's voice and crying (it's amazing how different their voices are! and how you inherently know your own baby's -- the way we are evolutionarily wired blows my mind daily!!!), and as much as the little grunts and snorts did keep me awake the first couple of nights, I found myself comfortable soothing her and wasn't so frazzled. (Granted, a week or so in, I was definitely at home rocking her in her glider while she screamed nonstop, crying to myself and wanting to just go back over to my parents' house. But we'll get to that later.) As for my postpartum body, I was shocked at how quickly my uterus seemed to shrink back down and weight start to fall off in the first two weeks (and admittedly got over-confident and assumed I'd be back to normal in just a couple more weeks' time)... but then I was irritated and annoyed that it didn't continue at that rapid speed in the weeks that followed.

What I didn't expect AT ALL was how different (than me) Drew would process the whole having-a-baby thing, and how much conflict that would ensue. I mean, I've loved this man since I was 18! For eight years of my life, he has been my best friend, my partner, my complement, my other half. How he could not comprehend everything that was going on my in head and heart and body was just unfathomable to me! But I didn't even know what I was going through... every new stage was uncharted waters for me. It was like God gave me a brand new brain the minute they handed my baby to me, and I had to suddenly figure out what that meant as far as who the heck I was now and what to do.

In those first weeks, Drew's coping mechanism for a huge life change was to maniacally re-organize our bedroom. This drove me absolutely up a wall. I have never been one with a huge knack for home organization, and when life gets super stressful, it's the first thing to go for me. So as we're dealing with a new baby who cries and eats for an hour at a time and won't go to sleep when it's bedtime, you can imagine I couldn't give a sh*t if I tried about moving the towels from the linen closet to the armoire. He left me to rock the baby and literally closed the door to our bedroom, turned on the TV, and watched it while he moved towels around and folded his clothes over and over again. (Hence the glider crying and wishing I lived at home with my parents because they ACTUALLY HELPED WITH THE BABY.)

(Let me give due credit and say, Drew was helpful in those first days. He was quick to change diapers for me, grab pillows and burp cloths when I needed to feed her, always took over burping duty, and much much more. He took off two weeks from work for paternity leave -- one week he was actually able to focus on the baby and adjusting to our new life, and the second he spent locked up studying to pass his final CPA exam to provide a wonderful life for our family. I acknowledge and TREMENDOUSLY appreciate all of his efforts, especially now that we've found our groove as parents. He is a wonderful father and husband. This is just written from my crazy-person perspective as a new mom. So take it with a grain of salt.)

Part of my coping with crazy mood swings and lack of sleep resulted in a tendency to critique literally every single thing Drew attempted to do around the baby. Lovely, right? On Mother's Day (as I irritatedly reamed Drew in my mind for not saying "Happy Mother's Day" until my parents did or getting me even a card that morning), Drew was buckling Lilly into her carseat on our way to my grandmother's house, and didn't put the overhead handle back or something silly/minor, and I curtly snapped at him: "What the hell are you doing?! Here, let me do it." Unsurprisingly, he did not take it well. He muttered something along the lines of "I'm never going to do anything for the baby if you keep criticizing the way I do EVERYTHING," and I ignored him and made him pose for photos.
(Can you tell we want to kill each other?)
Things came to a head later that day when we got into a huge fight on the way to his parents' house, and he made a comment along the lines of "I don't even know why I'm working so hard to support a family that doesn't even want me around" -- which also did not go over so well. I cried and yelled at him that I needed some "f*cking grace" and was just trying to navigate through a difficult time. I told him I didn't know what I was doing, I was trying to figure out what life looked like with all this change, I was nervous about him going back to work the next day (and us not staying with my parents for their added support), and I didn't even know how to spend my days with a newborn while trying to heal from the traumatizing physical experience of childbirth. He suggested I clean our house.

I'm assuming you know where this is going? 

I killed him, right then and there. 

Just kidding! I definitely wanted to, but I let him live so Lilly wouldn't have to grow up fatherless. But I understood why God's design involves a marital bond before you have children, because if both of us could've hit the highway and gone our separate ways at that point of time... umm, it would be very tempting.

We fought and cried some more but finally at least COMMUNICATED what was going on and why we were hurt (in so many ways). It paved the roadway for us to heal with a little more time and yes, grace. Ever so important grace.

I had to have grace with Drew for not going through the same brain-rewiring life-altering transformation I experienced becoming a mom. I had to have grace with Drew for feeling lost and like he loved this little tiny human, but also like she stole his beloved, fun wife away who might never return again. I had to have grace with Drew for working his butt off, working full time while studying to pass the final part of the most difficult exam he's ever taken, in the midst of interrupted sleep and a huge life transition.

Drew had to have grace with me for going through a personality change where I had no idea who I had become or what to do with it. He had to have grace with me for not being able to physically do what he'd like me to do or even what I would have liked to do, because I would be in intense pain from just going up and down stairs a few too many times. He had to have grace with me for not knowing what I was doing with my business, and dealing with huge projects that were crashing in on me when my plans had fallen through. He had to extend grace to me for going through a zillion crazy physical changes -- a new lumpy body that perplexed and annoyed me, boobs that suddenly became boulder-sized and painfully hard as rocks that had to be iced down and pumped and smushed in a "hamburger hold" into a tiny baby's mouth, a bizarrely potent sense of smell and the accusatory remarks that accompanied it, and more.

So honestly, the most important thing to arm yourself with postpartum is beaucoups of grace. The peri bottles, granola bars, nursing bras, baby gear, and all of that are really great, but the thing you really need is grace. Grace for yourself, grace for the baby, grace for your partner, grace for this humbling, beautiful, life-rocking transition.
And the good news is, around 6 - 8 weeks, Drew and I started liking each other again. It wasn't so hard anymore. I wasn't so mean anymore. Drew finished his exam and became a CPA! Lilly started sleeping 5 - 7 and 6 - 8-hour chunks of time. We got in a groove of taking care of baby. My May clients were happily married, one way or another. My body started to look more familiar (still different, but not so alien-foreign). We went on a few date nights and had a vacation planned! Of course, right around that point of time we had to face the news that I had type 1 diabetes and not just temporary gestational (and Lord, that was a whole 'nother battle for Drew and adjustment for all of us...), but at least the baby thing got better! 

So keep this near your heart, new mamas- and daddies-to-be:


Ecclesiastes 3

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

And this too shall pass. Much love!

hospital bag packing list

Throughout my pregnancy with Lilly, I scoured the Internet (ok, Pinterest) for months to devise the perfect hospital bag packing list. I seriously must've perused close to 100 of them, and scribbled out countless copies of my own in various notebooks and scrap sheets of paper. It was a way of coping, maniacally compiling lists upon lists! My own memory fails me a bit (since it has been seven months plus since I packed my own bag), but for all intents and purposes, here is MY list of what and what not to pack for your hospital bag (for an intended vaginal hospital birth):

{part of the bag we packed for Lilly -- we did leave the bedtime story at home though;) }


Must-Haves:

Comfy jersey knit robe. Mine was black and super soft! Helped keep me wrapped up and still feeling chic despite the obvious un-glamorous aspects of childbirthing.

Comfy jersey knit nightgown. Once again, I went with a soft black strappy option. It was easy to pull down a strap to nurse, cool enough (but warm enough coupled with the robe), loose enough to feel comfortable despite the droopy postpartum no-more-bump lumps, and once again chic. Black does wonders!!

Glasses and contacts. I wore both during our stay and get so much use out of my Warby Parker glasses now (#momlife). Contacts made me feel more like myself on the day we had a million visitors but glasses were perfect for my sleep-deprived going-home day.

Makeup! Not for everyone, but definitely helped me feel more lovely and guest-ready. I stuck with eyeliner, mascara, and Chapstick but it made a world of difference.

My Brest Friend pillow. I brought a Boppy and hated it. You don't really need to bring a nursing pillow (they have plenty of flat normal hospital pillows if you're ok with those), but the My Brest Friend helped me exponentially while getting the hang of breastfeeding in the early weeks.

Beautiful comfortable button-front-top pajamas. I wore these home on our discharge day and they were perfect! (Jersey dress also totally appropriate for going home. DO NOT BRING JEANS!)

Toiletries. The obvious necessities! Hairbrush is definitely a must-have! And makeup removing wipes.

Fluffy towel. Hospital towels are thin and non-absorbent. Loved having my fluffy beach towel to dry off after my first postpartum shower.

Pillow from home with non-white pillowcase. Hospital pillows suck. Extra blanket optional.

Nursing bras (2). I like Coobie bras (I get them here when they're on sale!) and the Stella bras from Target! 

Nursing pads. (These are the best!) I started leaking while I was in the hospital.

Lanolin (small tube) or coconut oil. Helped with painful nipples in beginning stages of breastfeeding. No need to get too crazy; I only needed to apply it a few times the first week.

Pillow + fluffy blanket + towel + jacket + change of clothes for your husband. 

Snacks! I brought trail mix, mini Clif bars, and coconut water, and all were great and got consumed. Drew brought mini Kit Kats too... They were also eaten.

Phone + charger. Lifeline!

Baby pajamas, swaddling blankets, cute newborn hat, and going-home outfit. Not too much, but enough.

Modern Family seasons on DVD. It was nice to have the distracting noise even if I didn't pay attention to it.

Socks!!! These were everything to me during labor. Cold feet, hot body. Childbirth!

Flip-flops!!!! Necessary for getting around everywhere. And showering.

Hair ties and Chapstick -- must have!!

Carseat, installed.


{definitely NOT taken when I was in actual labor}


Don't-Bothers:

Underwear. I know it's weird, but you're going to be rocking mesh hospital boyshorts for the entire hospital stay. No use getting good stuff gross!

Pregnancy pillow. Totally unnecessary postpartum!

Extension cord or surge protector. Really?

Laptop. Maybe if you're being induced or fearful of / expecting a really long labor, but we had no time or brainspan to mess around with computers.

Diapers or wipes. Totally not needed; they furnish it all. (Take home what they give you!!!)

Fancy delivery gown. I wanted one, but I was grateful to discard the bloody hospital gown for a clean one post-birth.

Pacifier. Two words: nipple confusion. Wait until you've established a breastfeeding routine, around 3-4 weeks.

Baby mittens. They're a choking hazard for babies. Totally unnecessary.

Water bottle. They'll keep you hydrated, don't you worry!

{Lilly Beth in her Infanteenie Beanie & swaddling blanket we were glad to have brought!}


Happy childbirthing, y'all!!

Monday, November 23, 2015

the baby is seven months!

I am slightly horrified that month 6 passed by as quickly as it did -- where did the time go?! 



Wearing:  A lot of 9-month clothes, but some 6 - 9 months. Just about totally done with Size 2 diapers -- we're a couple blowouts away from banning those around here. You hate socks and shoes and kick them off 24/7.

Talking: Lots of babbling with your sweet little voice, giggles (mostly still for Daddy but a good amount for me and our other family members), lots of squealing and raspberry-blowing.

Moving: You've started rolling to get places and REALLY want to crawl/scoot. We put you on the carpet in the Dellingers' living room and you turned 180 degrees.. just in the wrong direction! You're very active in baby yoga class, too.

Sleep: We lost the battle of bedtime this month, thanks to your new case of FOMO (fear of missing out) and disruptions in our normal schedule. You're back to bedtimes at any old time -- 10pm, 10:30, 9:30, etc, but you do still mostly sleep through the night and wake up around 7am. We had a couple weeks of nighttime wakings (thanks to a mini-cold and some possible teething pain), but we seem to be moving beyond that again, PRAISE THE LAWD! You do still sleep in your own crib in your own room (but we had a couple nights in the rock & play, which you barely fit in anymore, when you were sick). You still almost always take your 2-hour morning nap, but you rarely nap at Grandma's -- too exciting there!

Eating: Mostly breastmilk, but you've tried rice cereal (LOVE IT), sweet potatoes (HATE IT), avocado (lemon face at first, but now you dig it!)... and that's mostly it. We kind of suck at introducing food to you. Sorry, sweetheart.

Soothing:  Binky is still our BFF. Sometimes when you wake in the middle of the night, that's all you need to go back to sleep. You can fall asleep on my or Daddy's lap, and you rub your eyes when you get tired.

Health:  As of last appointment, you're 17lbs, 26 inches long, and have a 17.2" circumference head. We had some issues that may require estrogen cream; going back Dec. 3 to follow up and see.

What We Call You:  Lilly Belle, Lilly Boo, Boo Boo, Boosicle, Baby Boo, Honeybear, sweet love, Beauty, LB, Lilly, Drama Llama.

Milestones:

- You're definitely at the grabby stage -- you've picked up and knocked over two Starbucks red cups already, and go for Daddy's glass at dinner on the reg.

- You love bath time! It is your favorite time, as long as Daddy's facilitating it. You learned how to splash and have such a blast with it.

- You're moving past the "stranger danger" that came up around 5 months. You're happy to be in almost anyone's arms and looooove your Aunt B. She's the baby whisperer!



- You know how to hang up phone calls and go to new pages on my Safari browser on my iPhone -- that touchscreen is no match for you!

- You've started reaching up for me to hold you! It's so precious.

- You love animals!! You adore "petting" your kitties -- i.e., grabbing chunks of their fur and pulling it out. They put up with it because you're so cute. :) You also smile at and adore Grandma & Grandaddy's dogs -- Zuzu comes and licks your feet when you cry, and Pretty tries to lick your face to Grandma's chagrin.

- We celebrated your first Halloween and can't wait for your first Thanksgiving!



- I spent the longest period of time away from you this month, when Daddy & I were attending the BSA Gala and then had an adults-only party that Friday night. It was painful for me (pumping sucks), but you did marvelously. I'm nervous and sad to leave you next month for 4 days while I'll be in CA for a wedding, but I know you'll do great.

- You still love love love your little white bunny Great-Granny got you for Halloween. Bunny needs a bath like WHOA (you're constantly eating him and he's all matted and drool-soaked), but it's sweet to see you snuggle him.

Monday, November 9, 2015

november

November has historically been one of my favorite months -- very much still fall weather, the anticipation of the loveliest holidays, my favorite holiday itself, usually a travel month, slow on the workload. We're not doing our traditional trip to south Georgia this year, but with it being Lilly Beth's first Thanksgiving, I think we'll be able to make some really lovely new traditions!

(flower cousin time)


Aspirations for the month ahead:
  1. Make the most of fall decor (until I'm so sick of pumpkins I never want to see one again -- granted, after a pumpkin-themed shower I'm almost already there)
  2. Host Thanksgiving at our house (ideally for both our families)
  3. Go for walks around the neighborhood and nearby trails to take advantage of the crisp weather
  4. Dress Lilly in her turkey pjs as much as humanly possible
  5. Burn the rest of my pumpkin-scented candles
  6. Be intentional about planning the holiday season -- Advent, holiday parties, church events, festivals, how we're going to decorate, cookie baking days, gift planning, etc. Legitimately work on my holiday binder a la my sister Dani.
  7. Encourage a game of football in the yard
  8. Watch (part of) the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
  9. Work on planning for 2016:  Budgeting, Goals, Business
  10. Attend church on a consistent basis / read devotionals and scripture every day before I scroll instagram and all the life-sucking social media accounts
  11. Enjoy time with the Boudreaus while they're in town
  12. Buy my plane ticket to CA for LJ's wedding
  13. Eat healthier, cook more, and make Lilly's solid foods (tonight we're going to try sweet potatoes!)
  14. Order Christmas cards! Can't wait to see the images from our 6-month photo shoot!
(poppy + lilly in june / poppy + lilly in november)

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

showering jackson henry

On the 17th, we celebrated baby Jackson at our house! I've been planning Kat's baby shower essentially since my own shower six months ago. 
paper goods + polka dots galore!

I fell in love with a paper goods suite off Etsy via Pinterest. Even better, once I was ready to bite the bullet and order them, the seller designed an updated suite for the 2015 season and it was even cuter!!! It had a lovely neutral but still thematic color palette and the most precious design elements. 

I'd always wanted to throw a fun fall party, and this was the perfect occasion. I had big dreams of a legit autumn gender reveal party last fall but between huge weddings, buying and moving into our house, and pregnancy exhaustion, it never happened. With Kat's early December due date and love for the season, the fall "little pumpkin" party was a perfect fit!
Party Details
Theme:  Little Pumpkin
Color Scheme:  Orange, Cream, Pale Blue, Gold/Taupe, little Black
Location:  Our House
Date:  Saturday, Oct 17, 2015
Paper Goods:  Miss Pok-A-Dot via Etsy
I put Drew in charge of the main course of food and perused favorite pumpkin sides and sweets on Pinterest for the rest of the menu. Some of Chad's family has celiac disease so I made sure to include a few gluten-free options (as well as some sugar-free, in case anyone else was diabetic or wanted a "skinny" version of treats -- I'm definitely a lot more attuned to potential dietary restrictions now).

Menu:
Beef Chili
Chicken Chili
Chili Accoutrements
Chips, Guac & Queso
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Brownies (gluten-free & reg)
Pumpkin Dip (skinny & reg)
Peanut Butter Cake with PB Frosting
Apple Cider Punch
For decor, I tried to focus on a few key areas that would be seen and photographed rather than going too overboard and stressing out. I learn so much about party planning with every event I host or attend! The main areas I decorated this go-around were the mantle (which was the backdrop for the couple opening gifts), the food table (where everyone so often congregates), and the front porch/entrance (got to make a good first impression!!).
The back deck was an important part too, but didn't get as much attention until last-minute. We haven't spent as much time out there as we used to in our apartment; perhaps next year we'll scrub it down really well or stain it and work on making it more entertaining-friendly. It did serve us well for what we needed this go-around-- we had a perfect day of weather and clear skies, so it was lovely for the guys to drink autumnal beers and chill out there while we girls were catching up and mingling indoors! It also made for a great photo backdrop with the parents-to-be.
We had around 30-35 guests (hailing from the corners of East and West Tennessee). Made way too much food (we'll be eating chili leftovers for weeks!!), but everyone had a great time and Kat & Chad seemed to get a nice haul of goodies for baby Jackson!! 
Grandparents-to-be!




Baby Jackson -- we can't wait for your debut! xoxo

Friday, October 23, 2015

the baby is six months!

Lilly Beth has been in the world for half a year!!



Wearing:  You fit in 6-month and 9-month clothes. You seem to have gotten a lot longer all of a sudden lately -- your little roly-poly legs are lengthening out. Still in size 2 diapers (and one snap down on a one-size cloth diaper). Been wearing your black cat Halloween bow top and orange leggings a lot, your "Boo" onesie (passed down from the Boo-dreaus, haha), and the pink "princess" dress Grandma made you. You love when people fawn over you and comment on your big bows -- you'll coo and smile demurely as if you know they're talking about you!

Talking: You talk ALL the time. You have the sweetest voice and blow bubbles and squeal and make all kinds of cute sounds. When Grandma & Grandaddy watched you last weekend you started chatting up the Dracula bobblehead figurine they have for Halloween decor. I tried to get you to do it for me, but you won't.

Moving: You're squirmy and back-arch and flail when you get overtired or fussy. Particularly during feedings.

Sleep: 11 - 12 hours at a time in your own crib in your own room. You sleep in my bed from 7:30 - 9:30am most mornings after your first breakfast, too. 

Eating: 100% breastmilk. We're going to attempt more solid foods next week... waaaah! 

Soothing:  Binky (binks as I call it) is our BFF. Amy (Drew's sweet coworker) made us some new vinyl Lilly print monograms since the originals wore off (these binkies are WELL LOVED and much used!). You also suck on your fingers regularly, and enjoy gnawing on my "droolery."

Health:  Great health! Going to the doctor next Tuesday to get weighed and more vaccines!

What We Call You:  Lilly Beth, Lilly Boo, Boosicle, Elbee (LB), Lillian, Bunny, Little Tiger,  Sugarbear, Honey Boo, Baby Boo, Drama Queen, Drama Llama

Other Highlights: 

You were demure and coy with your boyfriends at Mrs Laken's birthday party, wearing your sweet pink Grandma dress and giant bow.
Our first attempt at cloth diapering was a struggle -- soaking sheets and stinky PJs. 
You finally started enjoying bathtime, thanks to Daddy's involvement and calm demeanor.
You're obviously a pretty modest baby since this is the only way you'll eat in public. If I'm trying to feed you uncovered, you scream and arch your back and make me spray everyone within a three-foot radius. (Yikes.)
Your jumperoo is not your favorite, but you like it better lately, esp when we play music and aid in bouncing you.
Family photo before Daddy had to dash off the be in a wedding.
Your first pumpkin patch visit at Flying Ghost!
Go Big Orange!!
Loving yoga with Mrs Lucy these days!
You met your great-grandmother Mary! This was actually my first time "meeting" her (in 24 years), too, so it was a big day for all of us. She lives 30 minutes away from us, so maybe we'll be seeing more of her in the months to come.

First visit to the zoo! Unimpressed by the joeys.
Flailing!
New gold shoes!!
Naps on Mama are fewer and farther between but sometimes inevitable. I soak them all up.
Grandaddy -- endless entertainment.
We survived several weeks of Daddy working out of town. Nothing cheers you up more than spotting him!!!




Monday, October 19, 2015

lilly-boo sees the zoo!

Last Wednesday morning, Lilly & I met up with my best friend Laken and her one-year-old, Henry, at the Nashville Zoo. (Knocking out that fall bucket list, y'all!!) We've been to a petting zoo before (at Magnolia Plantation in Charleston back in July), but this was her first time to see elephants and giraffes and visit our local exotic animals. Of course, being a 5-month-old, she really didn't notice or care about the animals... But it was lovely catching up with the Chances and basking in gorgeous weather outside!


We had a day of perfect weather. There wasn't a cloud in the sky, and it was perfectly crisp in the morning (ideal for sipping our lattes, which are really a mom morning "must") and warmed up by the early afternoon.


Of course I had to capture Lilly beside my favorite exhibit -- the flamingos! She totally matched their color palette in her Lilly "Tusk in Sun" baby shift dress. (Because you have to wear elephants when you go to the zoo!!)



Another newer favorite exhibit is the interactive kangaroo petting zoo! Winding pathways with real baby kangaroos (joeys!) hopping around being adorable -- so cool!



We only got to spot the elephants, zebras, and giraffes from afar, but Henry adorably would sign for them to come closer. Age one is so much fun!! (Even if Lilly couldn't care less about the animals, I enjoyed myself and she liked the scenic stroll.)



Henry's favorite exhibit -- the snakes and fish!


Nothing like childlike wonder, y'all!

We definitely can't wait to get back there with Drew when we have a free weekend! You can walk through the whole thing within 3 or so hours, so it's a nice, unintimidating excursion to take with little kids. We were pretty wiped out after we got back, admittedly. Lilly took a great nap that afternoon!