Last Post of 2016

I wanted my last post of 2016 to be something really cool. You know, go out with a bang type post. I thought about doing an in-depth review of my year, or the typical New Years Resolutions post. Then yesterday H and I went to the aquarium with my family and as I was watching him oo and aw at all the different fish I was hit pretty hard with the obvious realization that he was my whole year. 2016 was our first full calendar year with our little guy and it completely consumed us.

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I think Wild Man and I changed a lot in 2016. We went from being 2015 people with no parenting experience or knowledge, to being these 2016 people who have this new little person in their lives that they’re completely obsessed with and want nothing but the best for. We changed the way we thought, the way we made decisions, the way we cleaned, decorated and organized, we changed our daily rituals, we changed our priorities and our hearts changed the very most. There is nothing quite as bonding as having a child together and working together the best you can to ensure that you’re sweet little one lives a good life. Its exciting and terrifying all in one, but there is nothing comparable to it and though its only been 13 months, its been the best 13 months I’ve ever lived. I turned into a different person this year (ok, last November) when I took on the title ‘mom’ and theres no greater joy to me.

Our family is small – just the three of us and in time it will grow, but I couldn’t help but think about what a great year its been with just our little crew. We have made so memories and we’ve all taught each other so much. I get real emotional thinking about the future as we add on more children, more memories, more lessons and more experiences – life is awesome! It has its downs, yes. Every year does and some are greater than others but I am feeling so fortunate to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-Day Saints and to have faith in God’s plan for me and my family. I don’t know what 2017 has in store for our family but I’m excited (and as always, a little worried) to find out. As I say goodbye to such a nice, happy year I can’t help but thank 2016 for the great memories – and definitely for the entire year I’ve been able to spend with my husband and son. Those two fill my heart and bring me all the joy and happiness I could ever wish for and the more I think about it I know that as long as I have them, then my life – and 2017 – will be good.

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

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Casual Christmas Party

Last night we had Wild Man’s work had a fun Christmas Party. There was yummy food, dessert, hot chocolate and a candy bar where you could take as much candy as you wanted (i’m set for a while on sugar now)! It was a fun evening out, but we always have a hard time leaving our sweet H – thats normal, right?

Since we don’t have a ton of reasons to get all festive this year (well, besides when I just feel like getting cute and festive) I wanted to document our outfits. I’ll be honest, when I heard the dress code was casual I was kind of bummed because I was looking forward to an excuse to get really done up. But maybe that opportunity will present itself later.

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How awesome is Wild Man’s Ugly Christmas Sweater? He got it last year through the Disney Store and I believe it was an exclusive item. Its one of our favorite Christmas pieces we have. Since I couldn’t get all fancy I decided to finally break out my new Old Navy puffy vest. Its black and white plaid and so warm. I paired it with a plain red long sleeve thermal shirt and some black leggings and black wedges.

I’m so excited to see everyones Christmas-y outfits this season! Hopefully I can share a few more before January comes around.

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

Happy Anniversary to Us!

*just a fair warning, there will be plenty of mush and cheesiness in this post because thats who i am and its our anniversary

Four years ago today Wild Man and I were married, sealed for time and alllllllll eternity in the Mount Timpanogos Temple. I still feel like the luckiest girl in the whole world because I am married to my best friend, my confidant, my number one fan, my solace, my rock, my comfort, my partner in crime and my go-to funny guy.

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When I met/saw Wild Man for the first time I kid you not it was love at first site. (it does exist, people!) That is so dorky, but its real. You guys I saw him and thought to myself, ‘I’m going to marry him’ and I found out later that when I first told my mom about him she knew he was the one I’d marry (moms are so cool). It was simply meant to be and I don’t care how silly that sounds. I just knew.

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I can honestly say that for the past five years (a year of dating – four years of marriage) that I have laughed hard and smiled big every single day because of my husband. He makes me so happy, he sets my heart at ease and he helps me see the world in a different, positive and optimistic light. He is the greatest of the great and I really do feel like I hit the jackpot in the husband department.

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In an attempt to stop weirdly gushing about him, here are some random facts about us/our marriage:

  • Our first date was November 4, 2011
  • We were married November 1, 2012
  • Our families live five houses away from each other. I always knew of him but never paid attention to him until I joined the singles ward
  • Speaking of Singles Ward – that is the first place I really looked at him and that is where my obsession with him began
  • I was first attracted to his shaggy hair and long, veiny arms
  • Our first real conversation was at his brothers wedding reception and it was about french toast (ah, the romance)
  • I told him ‘I love you’ first
  • On our first date we went to Nickel City (i think thats what its called) and one of the prizes we won was this little thin red fish that supposedly told you your mood when you held it on your open palm. I tried it first and it immediately curled up into a tight spiral – which apparently meant I was in love. Thats cute now but it was SO AWKWARD in the moment
  • We have lived in three houses – 1 basement, one town home, and now our own home

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HAPPY ANNIVERSARY buddy! I love being married to you! I love you!

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

A Fairy Tale Day

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thanks timehop for this picture collage i put together 3 years ago

On August 17, 2012 Wild Man and I got engaged. I know its kind of silly to make a big deal out of every anniversary that comes around – but our engagement has always been so special to me. Yesterday was our four year anniversary of our engagement and as I was thinking about that great evening I couldn’t help but also think about how smart I am to have said YES to the perfect proposal to spend the rest of my life (and beyond) with such a phenomenal man.

You know this already – I’m a Disney fan. You may not know that Up is my favorite Disney movie. Wild Man took these pieces of knowledge and planned the most perfect, magical proposal – better than anything I could have ever dream or hope for.

He picked me up from my parents house in a barrel train pulled by a four-wheeler that his mom drove. I just thought we were going for a little ride in it and happily rode around the neighborhood. Then his mom pulled into a park, told us to get out and that we only had a one-way ticket. We got out and she left. I was confused but Wild Man seemed calm about it all so I just followed him deeper into the park. He eventually led me to a table that was covered in multi colored balloons and a few other things. In all honesty I thought a little kid at the nearby playground was having a birthday party and this was the table they’d reserved, so I was really puzzled when Wild Man went and sat down at the table. I sat beside him and he pulled out a box and inside the box was a book, our own Adventure Book (like from the movie, Up – also all the multi colored balloons are from the movie, Up, as well). We sat at the table and Wild Man had his arm around me. I read the book out loud, still not suspecting anything I just thought my boyfriend was doing something sweet for me because he often did cute things like this.

Finally, I got to the last page and there was a short, sweet message on it – he stated we’d been on many adventures and he never wanted them to stop, the last thing on the page, “Will you marry me?”

Wild Man got on one knee in front of me and I’m fairly certain I went into shock. I remember covering my face with the book and starting to cry. Of course I said YES!!! He put a beautiful ring on my finger and gave me a huge bouquet of flowers and his brother and best friend came out from behind some bushes and trees (they’d been filming and taking pictures) hooting and hollering. It was perfect.

I just feel so lucky that my husband is so observant. He paid attention to what I loved and even though he really dislikes mushy, lovey-dovey stuff, he knows I adore it and he tailored all of this to give me the sweetest, most perfect proposal!

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

What I Learned in Three Months

A few days ago my son turned three months old. I really don’t understand how time has moved so quickly and its crazy to me how big my little guy seems. Since bringing him home as this tiny, perfect newborn he has already learned so, so much. His favorite thing he’s learned is definitely that he can turn his head. Seriously his head never holds still, he is constantly looking left, right, up, down, behind him, etc. He’s really loving all this neck control.

But he’s not the only person learning new things..

WHAT I HAVE LEARNED IN THREE MONTHS

A FULL NIGHT OF SLEEP ISN’T MANDATORY: Before my son was born I never fell asleep before midnight 6.5 nights out of the 7 in the week, but I still needed sleep. I was convinced I couldn’t get things done, be productive or be even half human without plenty of sleep. I have now been sleep deprived for the whole 3 months The Captain has been around and you know what? I can totally function with only a couple hours of sleep up my sleeve. I mean ya, there are certainly some days I wish I could have clocked in a few more hours or slept in, but I truly don’t need as much sleep as I thought I did.

PATIENCE WITH MYSELF: As far as I’m concerned my baby is perfect so I have yet to lose my patience with him, but I cannot always say the same about myself, though I am learning to. Sometimes I lay in bed and feel guilty for not being the very best mom/wife I could be. Sometimes The Captains blowout laundry sits in an untouched pile for far too long. Sometimes I put zero effort into dinner. Sometimes I have plenty of time to be productive and house-wifey but I spend my time doing anything else. Sometimes I don’t know why my baby is crying and can’t ‘fix’ him as fast as we both wish I could. But thats reality and I’m learning to be patient with myself and give myself credit and positive affirmations.

ITS OK TO HAVE DIRTY, STINKY CLOTHES: I used to be the person who always had a clean, fresh, unwrinkled outfit. Then I had a baby and now I often have spit up down the front of me and on those *lucky* days, poop and potty also find their way onto my clothes. So with hearing that you can just imagine the smell.. But hey, there are more important things than clean looking/smelling clothes.

MY BODY IS A WORK IN PROGRESS: I have already written about my thoughts on women post baby bodies (read post here) and I still stand by every word I said. Of course there are still days I get discouraged that my stomach is still as squishy as play dough and my boobs are usually two different sizes thanks to nursing, but I know that my body did something incredible by bringing my tiny BFF into the world so I respect it and I know that as long as/if I put the work into it and eat right, I’ll eventually get the results I’m wishing for. It may not be a fast transition, but it can happen. In the meantime I’m just going to still be proud of what my squishy belly (& my insides) did.

PRIORITIES HAVE DRASTICALLY SHIFTED: Nap time for The Little Captain is as precious as gold. Nap time is the #1 priority now and I will schedule my day around his 3 to 4 naps to keep everyone in this house happy, well-tempted and just feeling good. Plus there is nothing cuter than watching him wake up from a nap then getting to play with him for a while after he wakes up – he is the happiest little guy after a good, long nap. (can you blame him?)

EVEN TEENY BABIES LIKE BOOKS: I really thought babies under 6 months didn’t care a bit about books and reading. I received lots of books before my son was born and would mentally think to myself ‘I won’t be using these forever,’ but I couldn’t have been more wrong. We love reading time. The Captain sits on my lap and happily kicks and flails his arms around as he excitedly looks at each new page. Its adorable and I can tell he genuinely enjoys it.

MAKE UP AND CUTE HAIR CAN BE SACRIFICED SOMETIMES: I’m definitely a firm believer that cute hair and a nice face of make up can be the recipe for a really great day. I was sure I’d think the same thing once my son was here, too. I was all prepped and ready to be the mom who got ready every single day – but that has ultimately become something far from my reality. I used to spend an embarrassing amount of time on my make up and hair, but since The Captain’s arrival, I can’t leave him alone for so long and he gets bored and doesn’t like not being held for longer than 15 minutes (& i don’t like not holding him for longer than 15 minutes). So there are just some days that I opt out of any make up and throw my hair into a top knot and call it good then go hang with my little man.

I REALLY LOVE MY HUSBAND: Watching Wild Man become a father has been incredible. I always knew he’d be an amazing dad because I’ve seen how good he is with our nieces and nephews, but he’s really exceeded my expectations when it comes to fatherhood. He rocks it. He loves our son and there is something so special about the bond they have. Since we have had The Captain I’ve seen Wild Man with new eyes and its made my love for him grow even stronger. He is an amazing man and I am so blessed to be his wife for time and all eternity.

I NEED ME TIME: You’ll never hear me admit this out loud, but I do. Typically my favorite ‘me time’ is in the bath tub. That is where I relax and unwind. A couple times a week I decide to draw a hot, bubble bath and shut the door and just let myself relax and think about nothing. I fight guilt the entire time because I really hate being without my boys, but I also think the time I set aside for myself is something that helps me maintain balance and sanity.

MOTHERHOOD IS MY CALLING: I always knew I wanted to be a mom since I was a little girl. I have vivid memories of laying in bed and pretending to deliver babies/stuffed animals then proceed to ‘raise’ them. I loved it then and knew it would be a trillion times better once it was the real deal. In high school I can totally remember wondering to myself how many years after school I’d get married and have babies because I really was so anxious. Now that I am a mom and I have my first little baby, I have no doubt that this is what I have always been meant to do with my life. I love being a mom. There is no greater joy. I’m lucky to be able to be a full-time mom and spend nearly 24/7 with my son – I truly wouldn’t have it any other way.

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xoxo

ceeceesparkles

 

 

If Only I Could Have Warned You

Wild Man,

We always knew having a baby was going to change everything. I didn’t know just how much it would change me though.

There are the obvious changes we knew would happen: We’d get a lot less sleep, I’d have bags under my eyes, I’d cry more than usual (if thats even possible), my body shape would change, I would become completely attached to our child, and so on and so on.

But there are a lot more changes that have happened that I just wasn’t ready for – and they can be very overwhelming at times.

New daddys don’t give birth to the baby, breast feed the baby, stay up all night then stay up all day with the baby, change hundreds of diapers a day or cry most hours out of the day for no reason, but they still have an incredibly difficult job when it comes to pregnancy and having a baby.

You play a crucial role – a vital role – in helping me transition from a woman to a mother. And that isn’t an easy job as I’m sure you can strongly attest to! But its an incredibly important job and one I am so grateful you’ve effortlessly taken on.

You are awesome. I had no way of knowing what to warn you of when I got pregnant, but you stepped up to the plate with ease and bravery and for those 39.5 weeks you made me feel like the prettiest, most special person in the world and helped me still feel as normal as possible and made me feel understood and valued. I was sick my entire pregnancy, and the entirety of that time you were understanding beyond belief and oh so caring. If I didn’t get stuff done around the house or if I had zero energy, you never brought it up or made me feel like less of a person because of it. You always expressed that you loved me and were so, so patient (and still are).

That is exactly what you’ve done since The Little Captain was born too, but I would be willing to bet that its even harder this time around. Like I said earlier, I had no idea just how much I would change during this whole process of becoming a mommy and having our baby boy here.

I wish I could have warned you about the changes I’d go through so you wouldn’t be so caught off guard like I was.. (like I assume you were too?)

I’m Self Conscious Even more than I was when I basically had a beach ball in my belly. My body doesn’t look like what it used to. My stomach may have shrunk back, but its weirdly loose and flabby and to be honest, sometimes I worry I’ll never be able to get it toned up. I feel this pressure to always try and get dolled up so people don’t think I’m a lazy stay at home mom, now. There are all these new moms with tiny babies on social media who appear so put together and are looking glamorous and perfect just days after child birth and I feel pressure to look like them. Its pressure I put on myself, no one else makes me feel like I need to be Little Miss Perfect but I really can’t stop thinking about how I need to be that person. Ugh. I also hate that I get next to nothing done around the house nine times out of ten. I feel like I let you down and fear that I’m not as organized, put together and well-rounded as I hoped I’d be. All of this is hard hard hard on me.

I Need Help But I don’t want to admit it so I probably won’t ask. I hate that I don’t fully know every single thing about motherhood and that sometimes I have to ask for help and advice. It can be embarrassing. You always hear that being a mom will come naturally to a woman – and thats true on most fronts, but there are still some things I just need help with. This is going to take getting used to and somehow I’ll have to realize asking for help doesn’t make me a bad mother. Thankfully you’re a skilled mind reader and can offer the help/get me help before I need to drop my pride and ask. Thanks for that.

I Need Protection I feel so vulnerable right now. I will tell you exactly how I’m feeling, but I’m too overwhelmed to tell anyone else, so it’s very easy for me to feel walked all over, taken advantage of and treated poorer than I deserve. I need you to stand up for me when I’m not brave enough to do so and speak up for myself. Maybe it makes me sound pathetic, but I love knowing you can be my voice when my own voice won’t sound. You have always made me feel protected but now that our son is here I am so much more grateful to know that you put your family and our happiness (& my sanity) first.

I’m Attached To the new baby and you. We have this new, perfect family and I don’t like the idea of the three of us ever being separated for longer than a couple hours (& even then its tough). And it doesn’t make sense but even when I have been holding the baby all day and I’m tired and covered in spit up, I get anxious and feel empty when I haven’t had him wrapped snuggly in my arms for a long period of time – and when he is in someone else’s arms this mother bear in me comes out and I have to watch everything going on. I’m assuming this is a new mom thing. But I can’t guarantee the crazy hovering/over protecting/stressing out is going to end anytime soon.

I Worry I’m literally full to the brim with worry. I can’t sleep at night because I constantly have to make sure the baby is breathing. I worry about the kind of mother I’ll be. I worry about your well-being. I worry that someone won’t wash their hands before holding our son and he’ll get sick. I worry that I’m worrying so much that I’m not getting the sleep I need. I worry that people are talking about me behind my back. I worry about everything and you’re the only thing that can calm me down and bring me back to a good mental, stable  place. Please never lose this talent.

I Cry If I didn’t cry enough during pregnancy, I only cry more now. I hate the term, but postpartum depression is real. I’m even more willing to bet I have full fledged postpartum anxiety. I have always been an emotional person, but this whole ordeal has made me 100% more emotional. When this happens, I just need you and my baby.

I’m Crazy and Don’t Always Realize It I still don’t realize it so this is a hard paragraph to type out. But I know I’m irrational and am surely not easy to communicate with. Have I mentioned how much I value your saintly patience?

You are the best. Thank you for helping me with this huge step of becoming ‘mommy’. I couldn’t have done it without you.. Or at least not as easily. I applaud your patience, your understanding and the diligent, hard work you put into this family.

I love you, I love you, I love you.

xoxo

ceecesparkles

  
 

The Day We Found Out

Every March, Wild Man’s extended family has a huge family reunion in Bryce Canyon. This year was no different. We were trying to get pregnant and after doing some calculating, I found that if I was not pregnant, I would start my period on the second to last day there. I wanted to be really hopeful and faithful that I was pregnant and not pack any ahem, lady supplies, but I also really didn’t want to have that awful experience when you start and have absolutely nothing. So reluctantly I packed the stuff.

If I remember correctly, the reunion lasted four days, maybe five. Typically, at least three days before my period would start, I’d start to feel very crampy and sick. A couple days into the trip I realized that I hadn’t felt any cramps – but I chalked that up to being too preoccupied by family and activities to notice them. Finally, the second to last day came and I just awaited that sign that it had begun.

I waited and waited and waited…

It was time for bed and still nothing. Of course, I got really hopeful, excited and anxious. But I didn’t even tell Wild Man because I was so scared about jinxing myself. Besides, it wouldn’t be the first time my period started a day late or so. So I forgot about it and went to sleep. I’d probably start the next day.

But I didn’t. The whole last day as we had a few last activities, packed and said our goodbyes, I kept waiting for the cramps then the real deal. But nothing. I felt totally fine with no signs of it coming. Again, I felt that rush of hopefulness, excitement and anxiousness.

We got home from the reunion and still nothing. This time I mentioned to Wild Man that I didn’t start yesterday and hadn’t started today and it was almost midnight. He asked if I was pregnant. I didn’t want to say yes, but I think at this point…for some reason I just kind of knew. But I’d seen a negative pregnancy test before and felt that disappointing blow even when I was sure I was pregnant. Even though I think I really did know, I kept saying that I’m probably just late this month.

Wild Man talked me into taking a test. I’d read somewhere that your have the strongest levels of the pregnancy hormone in the morning, so I decided that the next morning I’d wake up early, run to the store, buy a test and come home and take it. I should have known I wouldn’t really do that. Morning came and I was tired and I don’t think I really fully woke up to my alarm. So I missed that chance. That day I went to the store and bought a test. I’d take it the next morning.

The next morning I woke up early due to huge amounts of anxiety. I was now several days late and that positive feeling in my mind was only getting stronger but I was too afraid to admit that to Wild Man or even myself.

I took the test and sat it on the counter. The test said to wait 2 minutes before getting my answer. I set a timer, left the bathroom and laid in bed for what felt like an eternity. The entire time I laid in bed I just prayed over and over, “let this be the answer we want, let this be the answer we want.” Then the timer went off. I have NEVER felt my heart race like it did in that moment. I walked slowly into the bathroom, now totally nervous to look at the test. As I approached it, I started reminding myself that if it was negative, it was ok and I’d be ok. I started to doubt that good feeling I’d had for the last few days. I looked down at the test…

It was positive.

The whole world stopped. I checked the plus sign over and over. I compared it to the sheet of paper explaining what a positive sign looked like and I stared at the sign to make sure it wasn’t just my imagination playing tricks on me. Then I walked right outside the bathroom to a carpeted area and literally flopped on the floor and started to sob. I cried for a while, the whole time holding my stomach. I remember at one point even talking to my stomach, saying ‘hi’ to my little person in there. I was beyond thrilled and possibly in some kind of wonderful shock. I prayed and thanked Heavenly Father over and over and promised I’d try and be the best mom I could possibly be. Then I cried some more, still there in the hallway, holding my stomach that now held a little baby.

There were a million creative ways I wanted to tell Wild Man. I’d seen such cute ways to announce a pregnancy to a new father on Pinterest and other blogs so for a moment I thought about how I’d like to tell him. But then I looked at the clock. It was 8:15am and he wouldn’t be home until a little after 5. There was no way I could wait that long to share such exciting news. So I announced the pregnancy to him in the most boring way possible. I texted him. I said, “guess what?” He knew I was taking the test that morning, so he texted back, “Pregnant?” I sent a picture of the positive pregnancy test and started sobbing, again. Then I got another text back that said, “PREGNANT!!!” Thousands more messages were sent back and fourth about how excited we were, etc. I just cried a lot that day (& may or may not be crying thinking about that day…) When Wild Man came home from work he walked in happily and said, “Hi, pregnant one!” Then, for the first time, he came over and started talking to his baby in my stomach – something he does all the time, now. I melted and at that moment I knew our lives would never be the same and we were the luckiest people, ever.

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

“Sometimes the littlest things take up the most room in your heart.” -Winnie the Pooh