First Comes Love

First comes love.

Then comes Marriage.

Then comes…

Baby in a baby carriage.

The first picture was taken in August 2015. The last, in the same location, Thanksgiving 2018. The pictures are only 3 years apart, but it feels as if they’re light years. So much has happened between that first picture and the last. Those events truly made me see the big picture and they continue to remind me to see the big picture. I’m so beyond grateful everyday for my little family.

Xoxo,

Marissa

Lumberjack First Birthday Photo Shoot

A few weeks before my little one’s first birthday, I decided to have my favorite photographer Mark from MnM DFW Photo do a photo shoot of his cake smash.  I thought this would be more intimate and less overwhelming for O.  With the help of my mother in law, we picked the perfect spot at a local park, set the scene and let Mark photograph away.

We were already collecting items for his birthday so we just utilized those items as props.  We then styled and staged everything, to perfection.  I’m completely biased, but I think we nailed it.

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The chalkboard sign is from Sparkle and Glisson, you can check out her Etsy shop here. She designed the sign based on O’s birthday invitations and I had it printed on a board poster at Walgreens.  I’m seriously SO in love with it!

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My mother in law found the crown here and I added the plaid “1”.

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I love how Mark was able to capture all of O’s facial expressions and personality.  I will forever cherish these photos.

Seriously a huge thank you to Mark from MnM DFW Photo for the amazing skills behind the camera.  Please, if you live in Dallas/Fort Worth go check him out.

 

Xoxo,

Marissa

Lumberjack Bash

Flannel up for some fun our little Lumberjack Oliver is one! My baby turned one this last week. Que all the tears.

Two months ago, I could not for the life of me figure out what “theme” I wanted for his birthday. I really liked, “Donut Grow Up,” but I felt like it was a lot of work for so little reward. I googled pretty much everyday, “1st birthday themes.” Then one day I stumble on a lumberjack birthday. I was hooked. I started pinning, planning, buying and making everything lumberjack. I had a ton of help from my mother in law, who saw my vision and made it even better than I had imagined. Read on for all the details of this Lumberjack Bash.

I started with the invitations that I found here. Full disclosure, I didn’t design this invite, but I do love it. I absolutely love zazzle.com.

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Next my mother in law and I started collecting things for the decorations. A lot of the stuff is from Hobby Lobby, but we collected everything piece by piece.

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I found a lot of the food inspiration on Pinterest.

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“S’mores” Giant marshmallows, dipped in melted Hershey’s bar, then dipped in graham cracker crumbs.
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Every Lumberjack needs protein, and ranch dip
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“Acorns” Oreo truffles shaped like acorns and the tops dipped in graham cracker crumbs
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“Catch of the Day” Goldfish

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The “stump” cake was made by our local grocery store Market Street
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“Firewood and Matches” Swiss rolls and pretzels dipped in red melting chocolate.
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“Animal Droppings” Milk Duds and Peanut Clusters
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“Lumberjack Cookies” were made by the amazing MellowTreats
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“Lumberjack Lager” Apple Cider and “Lumberjack Cocoa” Hot chocolate

We set up a photo-booth, It wasn’t used as much as I hoped, but I’m still glad it was there.

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I wanted a way to display a ton of O’s pictures from the year so I made this adorable wreath. Man, he’s such a character.

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It was O’s first birthday, so of naturally, he had to have a smash cake.

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Planning and executing this party was such a blast. I can’t believe I have a one year old!

Be on the lookout for the “Lumberjack” Smash-cake Photo-Shoot by the talented Mark of MnM DFW Photography.

Xoxo,

Marissa

To the Woman Experiencing Loss

To all the women out there who’ve experienced loss.

I know what it’s like to cry out of the blue when something baby related comes on.

I know what it’s like to get overly angry in a store when a parent completely ignores their misbehaving child.

I know what it’s like to feel like your life is over. That everything that was, can never be again.

I know what’s it’s like to not be able to relate to other people. (Even people who may be experiencing the same thing)

I know what it’s like to feel so alone. Like the world is still spinning, but you’re not on it. People’s lives go on all around you. People get married, baby’s are born, birthdays are celebrated. And you’re all alone.

I know what it’s like to feel guilt. To feel guilty that you couldn’t make a proper human. Guilty that you couldn’t give your family a grand child. Guilty that you just weren’t good enough.

I know what it’s like to long for support without actually having to tell people. To just want someone to say it’s going to be ok. Nothing more, nothing less.

I also know what it feels like to share your story. Sharing my story was hard, but it removed heartache. It removed guilt. It made me realize, that I was given a second chance. That my life wasn’t over. That people were all around me, ready to encourage me. That my story could potentially help others in the future.

If you find yourself in a situation like mine, I want to be the first one to say, I will ALWAYS be there for you. I don’t care if we’re complete strangers. I don’t want you to feel all alone. I promise I’ll support you and comfort you. I wish I could read minds so I could reach out to you, because I know it’s hard. I want you to know, I’m here and I’m sorry you’re enduring this. I’m genuinely sorry and I feel for you.

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I wrote this in June and just let it sit, (Like the other 85 or so drafts I have half written.) but it deserves to be posted.

Today I had my annual check up at my Ob/Gyn. I brought O with me because I knew all the staff would want to see him. (It was a risky move, I know) In the waiting room O decided he had, had enough and started demanding a bottle. As Murphy’s law would have it, as soon as I was done putting the bottle together and it was in his mouth they called me back. I loaded O into his stroller and back we went. We stopped quickly at the scale, then into an exam room.

The exam room I’ve been in dozens of times. The room where I was told I was having a second ectopic. The room I almost passed out in before I was rushed to the ER. It’s also the very room we celebrated our little yolk sac that is now O. I’ve sat in that room too many times to count, but today it was different.

I was holding my miracle baby in that room. I was no longer in a newborn fog, like the last time. Today, something just clicked. It was like I was looking at my baby for the very first time. It was like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I don’t know why but he looked so grown up. And I was so blissfully happy. I wish I could have freezed that moment in time. My favorite nurse showed off O to everyone, while I changed into a gown and I could hear all the oohs and awwws coming from the hallway. I was so proud and actually took a moment to reflect. (which I never do anymore.)

I was hit with gratitude. I down play what I’ve been through because I know some women have it worse, but every time I walk into that office I remember. I remember the very first time I walked through those doors. The first, of dozens of lab draws. The anxiety that I had every single time I stepped foot in there, literally until the day before I gave birth. The anxiety never went away, until today. Today, was the first time that this place gave me a breath of fresh air. It felt like after almost 3 long years, I was free.

The Dallas Zoo

20180909_122827The Dallas Zoo holds a very special place in my heart.  It was basically love at first sight.  My very first trip to the Dallas Zoo was 5 1/2 years ago.  It was our last day visiting Dallas (I still lived in Utah at the time) and my (now) in-laws took us here.  We’ve been at least a dozen times since and every time I get giddy with excitement. The spaciousness of each of the animals homes is spectacular.  They have a whole African Savannah section and it looks like you could be in Africa.  They have 2 places where you can feed animals.  The first is the giant tortoise and the second (and by far my favorite) is the giraffes.  If you hang out long enough you are sure to find an animal being fed or a keeper encounter.  All the animals always look and act happy.  Plus a lot of the proceeds going to conservation, so really it’s a win, win.

 

I love the zoo and koalas so much, that last Valentine’s Day, Cody even adopted Gummy the Koala for me!

 

We went there shortly after my first ectopic pregnancy, which helped me get out of my depression.

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We went there last year, when I was 22 weeks pregnant. The then pregnant hippo, wouldn’t let me out of her sight and begged for me to stay.

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This last weekend we went and it was O’s very first visit!!! My longest time friend and bestie’s family joined us for a day of fun.

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Honestly, O was more interested in all the people than animals, but we still had a blast.

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Unfortunately there are no more koalas, but now I have an excuse to visit their new (old) home in San Diego, so I guess I’ll get over it…eventually

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Basically, I can hardly wait for the day that O enjoys going to the zoo and we can go every weekend!

 

 

Xoxo

Marissa

5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Having a Baby

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Having a baby for the first time is the most nerve racking thing I’ve ever done. Newborns are scary as f***! They need you 24/7, 365! You are literally in charge of keeping a very vulnerable tiny stranger alive! I knew all of these things, but didn’t realize the magnitude until I was neck deep in the middle of it.

Looking back 9 months, these are a few things I wish I had known before day 1.

Everything your baby is going through is a phase.

Whether it’s crying nonstop, teething, refusing to eat, not sleeping through the night, rolling over, or crawling. It is just a stage and it will pass. Some of these phases will pass like a kidney stone. Others at lightning speed, but I promise they all pass. Hold the baby, embrace the cuddles. You’ll blink and they’ll be crawling and refusing to cuddle.

Babies eat A LOT and at the same time have tiny stomachs.

My son at one point wanted to eat every hour on the hour. Every time I said, “He can’t be hungry still, I just fed him.” He was indeed hungry and scarfed down his entire bottle. Tip: you count time of feedings at when they started eating, not when they finished. So if they take 30 minutes to eat and they eat every 2 hours you only get to sleep/eat/have alone time for an 1 hour and 1/2. May the odds be ever in your favor.

You will never be in control again.

(See above) The sooner you figure this out, the better. Up until now things have probably gone your way or you’ve at least had a good grasp on your life. I hate to break it to you, but kiss that goodbye. Whether it is the unexpected quick delivery or a traumatic birth. Planning on breastfeeding and it not working out or breastfeeding and discovering your baby can’t tolerate anything you eat. Whatever it is, that is the moment you lost control. I thought I had a grasp on this, I did not. That tiny human is in full control, at all times. Embrace it, the sooner the better. Deep breath and repeat after me, “You are no longer in control.”

Sleep deprivation is real.

You will learn to live with it. How, you ask? I have no idea, but you do. I lived with it for 7 1/2 months, you will live. Anyone who is asking you as a new parent if you’re getting any sleep is just being mean. Those people should be cursed with sleep insomnia. Just roll your eyes and walk away.

You’re relationship with your partner will change.

For the first 7 months we lived in pure survival mode. My husband and I had more arguments about parenting style than I can even begin to tell you. It was always little stuff, but when you’re more exhausted than you can ever imagine, the little stuff escalates fast. In those moments, try and remember you’re a team. Forgive always and admit when you’re wrong.

Bonus one

You will never love someone or something as much as your child.

It’s cliche, I know, but it’s true. I find myself just staring at my son all the time. When he’s in the room I have a really hard time concentrating on anything else. He is the most beautiful thing in the world. My greatest accomplishment and he is enough. I want to be a better person for him and because of him. I wouldn’t trade him for anything.

xoxo

Marissa