Let’s Chat: May Edition

Reading Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan and Living Well Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life by Ruth Soukup.

Hoping to establish some sort of basic eating and sleeping schedule with Adeline before I return to work… I think we are making some progress here!! So far I’m seeing she likes to sleep until 9-10ish, stay awake for a while, snooze sometime around 11-1, snooze again sometime in the afternoon, and is awake again sometime around 4-6. We’ve been starting the “bedtime routine” somewhere in the 8pm hour each night.  We will see how much this holds up! 

Watching “Friends” and “Last Man Standing” with Jacob on Netflix.

Listening to Adeline’s grunty sleepy noises. All the heart eyes here. 

Clicking all over Google for every baby question you can imagine.

Wearing my pre-pregnancy jeans, lots of loose-fitting tops for easy breastfeeding, and my Happy Wrap!

Craving homemade chocolate chip cookies and tons of Dunkin’s cookie dough iced coffee. But really just coffee in general. I think I’m making up for my aversion to it in my first trimester. 

Writing in Adeline’s baby book!! It’s so fun to record all the “firsts” and summarize each month so far. I love the style of the calendar baby books and I’ve been using some of my Messy Box supplies to dress it up a bit! (See photo above)

Feeling so grateful to be Adeline’s mom. And extremely grateful for God’s unimaginable provision throughout her story so far. And on a less weighty note, feeling so good to have my body back! It feels great to be the sole occupant these days :). 


Eating
alllll the fruit and anything else I can eat with one hand. 

Praying for a smooth transition back to work in a couple weeks AND for a good “first flight” experience with Adeline later this month!! I’m also praying for the discipline to develop a new morning devotion routine. I had been doing so well getting into the Word this year, but having a baby really threw me for a loop!! I got up during Adeline’s last sleep interval yesterday morning to read and get some things done and that worked really well!! I’d love to try to make that a habit as much as I can! 

A slice of my heart in this newborn world of ours

 
Being a mom has rocked my world – little Adeline has stolen our hearts and has us eating out of her teeny tiny little hands. (You can read her birth story here!) Our lives have changed so drastically in the last three weeks, but I can’t imagine it any other way. 

Most days and nights consist largely of the same thing – feedings, sleeping in intervals and changing what feels like a million diapers – but I’ve loved every minute. 

I can’t get enough of the newborn cuddles and giggling with Jacob at all her facial expressions and noises. Watching him be a dad has transformed my world in a way I didn’t know was possible. What they say is totally true – you feel love in an entirely new and different way once you’ve had a child, and watching my husband with her is like falling in love with him over and over again. 

But truthfully, motherhood has also been incredibly hard. 

Since we are breastfeeding, I am the sole provider of food for Adeline, which means I’m at her beckon call to eat at all hours of the day and night. I’ve adjusted fairly well to the lack of sleep/increments of sleep, but I have my moments y’all. 

It’s easy to sink into bitterness in the wee hours of the morning because I have to be up whenever she needs me and Jacob does not. And, believe me, he helps so much! He gets up to change her, rock her, hold her when she just won’t sleep, etc… But the truth is, he can’t feed her (yet – I need to work on pumping so he can!). 

So in those moments I want to resent him because he can sleep or watch TV in peace, I have to choose to remember these moments are fleeting. The way she wraps her little hand around my finger and looks at me while she eats is absolutely heart-melting. I love every second of it, and these days are already numbered. 

I’m learning that parenthood is a long journey of sacrificing myself over and over again, much like marriage – but kind of harder in this sleep deprived stage at least 😉 – and I’m trying to learn to sacrifice joyfully. 

Jacob, I love you and I appreciate you so much. Thank you for dealing so patiently with my grouchy self at all hours of the day, but especially in the middle of the night. Thank you for holding her at 3am so I can sleep in peace and waking up with me all throughout the night. Thank you for the endless treks to get me water, more diapers and fresh clothes at 4am. You are an awesome dad and a sweet husband. 

Adeline, I love you, too, sweet girl. And I’m so grateful for all the cuddly moments we get together and I hope you’ll let that continue for a long time. I love being your mama and am incredibly grateful that God gifted you to us in this life. I plan on soaking up every waking moment with you and cheering you on as you discover who you are. You are beautiful, baby girl. 

Getting started on my Messy Box

Messy Box Review

Have you ever had a grand idea – something that seemed so great at the time, but quickly became overwhelming later when you tried to bring it to fruition? That’s how I feel about scrapbooking. I love the idea of having all of our memories in this adorable book filled with stamps, stickers, pretty paper and photos… but I have so many questions. Where do I start? How do I start? How much stuff do I need? Where do I keep all the stuff when I’m not using it? How much will this cost? ETC. Anyone else??

At the same time, though, I love the thought of doing something with my hands and having a tangible project at the end of the day. This blog is in a way its own scrapbook – it documents so much of the seasons of my life (and my family’s) and I’m so grateful for that! But again, I’m looking for something tangible.

Then I stumbled across A Beautiful Mess’ Messy Box subscription… and I was intrigued. They send you a monthly box with a few scrapbook papers, lots of stickers and paper cut outs and basically a beginning and end for your project. I asked for a subscription for my birthday this year and last week I got started with my first box! Everything they sent was soooo cute, and having only so many supplies helped me scale down the overwhelming idea of “scrapbooking.”

Messy Box Subscription

My plan with the Messy Box is to highlight just a few things from each month – whether one big thing happens (like my baby shower in January) or several small things happen (date nights, having friends over, a day trip somewhere, etc.). I’m so excited to use my hands to feel creative and document our lives in a fun, small way that we can look back on. This will also be a great way to document #albrechtlittle’s life in small increments, as we don’t plan on sharing much of it via the internet (sorry guys – more on that another time).

Messy Box Subscription

Messy Box Subscription

The Messy Box works like this: subscribe for $19.99-$24.99/mo (depending on the duration you sign up for in the beginning) and get scrapbook goodies sent to your door each month! So far, this has made me actually print photos – something I never do thanks to my iPhone – and create a couple pages highlighting my shower! Everything in the photos above was from the January box.. so I need to get to work on my February and March memories!

Are you into scrapbooking? How have you made it a more manageable task? I’m looking forward to my six month subscription to see if it helps me make something huge a little smaller and more doable for me. 🙂

PS – A Beautiful Mess has no idea who I am and did not sponsor this post. I just wanted to share this with you and show you how I’m getting creative with my memories outside of the internet! Let me know what you think!!

Let’s Chat: March

New England Winter

Somehow it is already March and today is exactly one month until my due date!!! Writing that out both gives me a jolt of fear and incredible excitement. What a fun season for us ahead!

I’m going to start a monthly “let’s chat” series to document snippets of what this season of life looks like, as I imagine it will greatly change with our expanding family. This will hopefully be something that’s fun to read, since it will be just like we’re hanging out around my table in the morning with coffee and scones, chatting about life together. But this will also be a fun thing for me to look back on as seasons change!

So here we go.

Reading Savor: Living Abundantly Where You Are, As You Are by Shauna Niequist, Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty and More or Less: Choosing a Lifestyle of Excessive Generosity by Jeff Shinabarger. I’m also reading through Leviticus and Matthew with the SheReadsTruth Bible in a Year plan.

Hoping our #albrechtlittle comes a little early… I’m ready to start applying all that I’ve been reading and talking about! Enough planning and learning – it’s time for action! Plus her nursery is adorable (Jacob set up the crib last night!) and ready for her to come home to it! The realization our “spare room” turned “nursery” will actually belong to someone is pretty crazy.

Watching season 4 of House of Cards – it came out last week and I’m slowly letting myself work through it when I need some down time.

Listening to Michael Hyatt’s Blow Up Your Blog! Podcast and Ben Rector Pandora radio.

Clicking these awesome posts for this WordPress plugin newbie (1, 2, 3), this morning routine challenge, and 4 books you should read to make the most of your money.

Planning for my maternity leave at work! We’re getting down to the wire with me needing to have things documented for the worship leaders who will be leading while I’m gone and have everything scheduled for April and May, like all upcoming service volunteers and songs.

Packing my hospital bag! I worked on laundry this weekend and have laid out everything we will be packing other than toiletries. I’ve got a list of those to pack when the time comes.

Waiting to get my hair cut this week!! It’s been wayyy too long, so hopefully this will get me feeling fresh before #albrechtlittle arrives!

Eating lots of strawberries and too much chocolate.

Feeling very swollen (hands, legs, feet, etc.) and generally LARGE. Ready to have this baby. Tired of having numb hands!

Praying for clarity in this new season with all of these life changes happening all at once. God has done so much work in my heart over these last nine months – I am eagerly anticipating all he will do over the next nine.

Showered with Love










 


I’m writing this post sitting in our spare-bedroom-soon-to-be-turned-nursery surrounded by the evidence that we are loved. I spent the last forty minutes reading through the cards I received at our shower this weekend with tears streaming down my face – friends, thank you for your sweet words of encouragement to both Jacob and me. I am incredibly grateful for all of your friendships and your support as we wade into the waters of this delightful and scary new season!

When we moved to New Hampshire two years ago (almost literally!), we moved to a place we had only visited for a job interview and honestly hadn’t previously ever thought twice about. We didn’t know anyone, we didn’t have any family closer than a 14 hour road trip and we were anxiously hoping to make some friends. Oh, how God blew us out of the water.

Some dear, dear friends of mine threw us a baby shower this past weekend. There were about 60 ladies who showed up to shower us with their presence and their baby gifts, and even more who regretfully couldn’t attend that day. To say I could feel the love would be the understatement of my life.

I spent a good chunk of my afternoon yesterday sorting our new baby goodies, showing everything off to Jacob and rearranging the spare room three times. I’m excited to share our makeshift “guest room/nursery” sometime soon – I’d just like to see the floor first. 😉

Tera, Jolie, Angela, Victoria, Amy and Kaitlin – thank you for moving heaven and earth to create the most beautiful baby shower I have ever seen. Thank you for the details (vintage decor, beautiful flower arrangements – even in the bathroom, handmade guestbook canvas, book page centerpieces, mouth-watering treats, the handmade wooden blocks!) that made the church feel like a haven for all things girly and cute. Thank you for the hard work, planning, physical and emotional labor, money and time you invested into making me feel loved and ensuring our baby would be celebrated. I cannot say “thank you” enough to feel like I’ve adequately expressed the depths of my gratitude. You guys are the real deal.

Now here’s to the next couple weeks of organizing, washing the tiniest clothes, making lists and purchasing the last few things we need, and soaking up our final days as “married without kids!” Oh, how life is changing! We are ready and waiting!

25.

Another year full of firsts and lasts. Today is my 25th birthday! My quarter of a century, I’m-officially-halfway-through-my-twenties birthday. And so much has happened.

This past year I changed jobs, leaving my first out of college “real” office job to come on staff at our church as a Worship Arts Pastor at our new campus. I was (and still am) blown away by the ways God ordained every small step in that process – I love getting to use so many of my gifts in my profession. And what a privilege it has been to stand up with my peers and lead us all in proclaiming the truth of Scripture, confessing our need for God, and showing up week after week to worship through corporate services. I am wowed by all God has done in my own heart through this job.

I got my very own guitar for my birthday last year – an incredible gift from Jacob and my parents that showed their investment in that season of my life and their belief in my success. I didn’t think it was possible, but my love for music has absolutely skyrocketed because of that guitar. I wrote my own songs this past year and mustered the courage to share them with friends and our congregation. Again, a “secret dream” I had been harboring for a long time, really even unknowingly to myself.

We found out we are expecting our first child in August last year. A shocking and, again, incredibly forming experience for us. I don’t even recognize parts of myself because of how much God has changed me over these 7 months of being pregnant so far. I loved being pregnant during Advent and anticipating the coming of the baby Jesus while also waiting expectantly for our own child to make her appearance this year. It has always sounded so cliche to me, but I can only imagine how much God will change me through motherhood. I haven’t even met our daughter yet and he has already done so much work in me because of her.

We received life-changing, world-turning news that threatened to leave us bitter and without hope. But again, God works patiently in our hearts and has done so much already. We still have some serious work to do in our hearts and in healing, but without the bitter, life couldn’t be nearly as sweet. For everything there is a season, after all.

This past year I read a ton of books, invested in deeper friendships, failed miserably with other friendships, laughed, cried, sang like nobody’s business, cooked and meal planned better than the year before and became (slightly) less OCD about having a clean house. God reignited my love for Scripture and grew me in the discipline of meeting with him. Jacob and I watched way too much Netflix, finally canceled the gym memberships we never used and got serious about saving money.

As I look to 25, I see motherhood, a strengthened marriage, further discovery of our giftings and how we can put them to work, new and old friendships blossoming, the humbling beginnings of parenthood and deeper relationships with Christ that infiltrate every thought we have, decision we make, and word we speak. God, I am looking to this year with expectant hope that you will be ever near to us and show us your glory, your plans, and your love. We are waiting with hope.