five photos.

a friend of mine tagged me in a fun post on good old fb - the post is you're supposed to pick 5 photos that make you feel beautiful. i'm not sure where it started or why. at first, my thoughts were ugh i don't have time for this! but then i really started thinking about it. and i think it's a neat thing to do. we're always finding beauty in other things - our babies, our spouses, the outdoors, photos of others.....but not usually in ourselves.

so then i was kind of excited about this :) instead of post it to facebook, i thought i'd make it into a little post on the blog. it can be yourself alone, or a photo with your hubby showcasing your beauty as a wife, or maybe it reminds you of a beautiful time or place from long ago that you won't ever forget about. wherever you find beauty in yourself, share it. i think it's a great thing.

here are 5 photos i found (there were way too many pics and i'd be up all night if i went through them all). enjoy.

i love it when jae kisses me on the forehead.
it's just such a sincere, sweet kiss & it makes me feel so loved.

my daddy walking me down the aisle. he was trying not to cry 
& i was trying not to trip.
we're a lot alike and i love that.

this has always been one of my favorite pictures from our wedding day. i'm not even totally sure why, but it just captured a perfect funny but i'm going to love you forever even though you just shoved cake up my nose moment & it makes me happy :)

one of the very first moments as a family of three 
& the new momma role started setting in.
very surreal and very beautiful.

 this picture is from years ago. before jae, before marriage. it's from a time in my single-lady life when i wasn't sure what i was doing or where i wanted to go. i can appreciate this time more now because it hugely helped shape me & prepared me for things (and people) to come. like jae.


motherhood right now.

(idea taken from natalie jean)
motherhood right now means...

.gracie getting up earlier on the days i don't need to be up early than the days i do need to be up early. go figure.

.LOTS of mom carrying gracie around because heaven forbid she sits down by herself for 30 seconds while mom puts some clothes on or brushes her teeth.

.the beginning of baby pulling her cute headbands off. they're way more interesting to play with and eat then wear on our heads.

.lots of tears when it's either bath time or changing diaper time. both are pretty frightening things, turns out.

.seeing more & more the pain joy of letting your baby experiment with new foods and then having getting to clean up the aftermath. it's just beginning.

.tons of snuggles and open-mouthed kisses and bear hugs with little tiny baby arms reaching as far as they can around your neck. the BEST.

.the sippy cup with water to save the day! seriously, it entertains her for multiple minutes at a time, if necessary. lifesaver.

.many walks around the neighborhood to pass time and give momma's arms a rest from holding the baby.

.zo pup kisses, even after baby has pulled that poor dogs tail and ears a million times.

.waiting somewhat anxiously for baby to start crawling. she's moving around more when sitting or laying (she'll kind of scoot on her bum or spin herself around in circles on her belly) but no obvious signs of crawling yet. i have mixed emotions about it.

.eating lots of fruits (i think they're her fav), but still pureed. solid foods kind of gross her out still.

.feeding the dog puffs and yogurt melts and other various food particles because it's way more fun to throw them off the side of her high chair tray then actually eat them.

motherhood right now is: super sweet, tiring, exciting, rewarding, challenging.


a whirlwind.

june is over in 5 days.
where the heck did this month go?
i have been working both my jobs, still training at my new one, which means i'm usually clocking 40 hours a week.
i had gotten used to only 24 a week, so this 40 hours plus baby plus husband plus puppy plus church plus grocery shopping plus laundry plus.....life. well, i'm feeling a little frazzled to be completely frank.
i'm working until midnight. i'm working at 5am. i'm trying to find time to do laundry and bathe my baby and eat some lunch. and it's been harder than you might think.
i'm exhausted.
but every time i start doubting things..
every time the fear that perhaps i made the wrong choice with this second job..
i'm immediately reminded that no, this is the right thing to be doing now.
this all worked out for a reason and i'll figure out all the why's someday.
so i just keep getting up and running around like a crazy person and closing my eyes for a quick 30 second nap whenever i can and pushing forward.
'cuz what else am i going to do, right?!

and because these people - my people - they're all so worth it. 


gracie - 6 months {in photos}.

we are very lucky to have multiple photographers in our own family!
originally, i just wanted some new pictures of gracie at 6 months, but then i realized we might as well throw some family ones in there too. so jae's brother jaron did a little shoot for us a few weeks ago.

it was a little chilly and gracie wasn't super pleased by about 10 minutes into it, so there aren't too many smiles, but she was a trooper and jaron got some great ones.


sometimes life takes you places & you don't know why.

so i accepted a job offer today.

not just a new job, but a new job in addition to my current job.
sounds cray cray right? i know.
i have felt like a complete crazy person the last few days. 

when i was pregnant with gracie, i made a great effort to be able to work part time once she arrived. it was a long shot, seeing as my department just doesn't really "do" part timers. but i asked...more than once....and turns out another employee was asking for part time hours at the same time i was, and so my manager worked out a job sharing of sorts so we could both drop our hours. hallelujah, i was super happy!

it's been going well - i work 3 days a week. not bad at all. it was a bit of a stress to figure out babysitting for those 3 days, though (without having to send gracie to daycare and pay a bunch of money), and while i am SO grateful for our families that have graciously stepped in and take such good care of our baby girl while we're away, it isn't exactly ideal for us. while i also don't exactly hate getting a few hours away every week and being with grown-ups, it would be less stressful and just easier in general for me to be home with her and not have to worry about others having to watch her (and potentially future babies) for us.

but then there's that pesky little business of money. income. bills. debts.

and then also there are dreams. a functional, usable garage. storage. being able to eat out once a week without worrying about money. being able to buy gracie everything she needs and even some wants too. buying groceries every week without worrying how much the total will be and if there's enough in the bank account to cover it. maybe actually getting a date night that involves more than just sitting on our couch after gracie is asleep and sharing a carton of ice cream (don't get me wrong - i love ice cream!). 

in the end, the numbers just don't quite add up, and it's not realistic for me to stay home. at least not at this point in our lives. so i must work.

so anyway, back to the 3 days a week i currently work....it's been good. but jae and i are constantly trying to think of ways for me to (eventually) be a stay at home momma. open up a boutique? sell stuff through online stores? make little kid accessories to sell? join one of those companies and possibly make decent money by bugging my friends to buy stuff from me all the time? learn how to cut hair? nanny a bunch of kids that aren't mine and possibly go insane from it?

nothing really seemed to feel quite right or make sense. so we kind of nixed each idea one by one.

one night a couple weeks ago, i was rocking gracie to sleep, trying to clear my mind. the thought came to me that maybe my answer to this job stuff was to go back to working a job that has evening and weekend shifts. something i could work while jae would be home with gracie that wouldn't require a babysitter. it wasn't just an 'ah hah' moment. it was like a 'duh why didn't you think of that before' moment. the next day, i checked online for job openings at my current facility and other ones close by home. there were a couple PRN/part time ones that looked possibly promising, so i said what the heck and applied for them.

i got called in to interview for both jobs this past tuesday, and was offered one of them (the one i felt more sure about all along) today. and i accepted.

between the time i applied, interviewed, and today, jae and i have been going back and forth about what to do. and if i was to get one of these jobs (we both felt like i would definitely be offered at least one of them), how on earth we'd make it work. because not only would i have this new job, but i'd keep my current job and try to work both. at least for the time being. and then, maybe someday, this second part time job that offers hours during the times that jae can be home would turn into my main job and i could eventually only work that one. the problem is, jae often gets called in to work on saturdays or has to work late during the week, so it's not super promising that he will always be able to be home when i need to work. so then we're back where we started. it's so weird that it seems to make so much sense but it also seems to be so crazy and backwards that i'm trying to figure out how to be home more yet i'm applying for and then accepting a second job. i mean, someone explain that one to me.

i was almost wishing i'd not get offered either job and then my mind would be made up for me and i wouldn't have to make any decisions. i was terrified they'd call with an offer and i'd have no idea what to tell them.

it doesn't exactly make sense. but it kind of does make sense. either way, it is what it is and i start working my second job in a week and a half. on mother's day, of all days. ha! oh the irony.

like i said....CRAZY PERSON. that would be me.
clearly gracie thinks her momma is crazy too.
i'm banking on the hope that someday it'll make sense to both of us.



we are already here.
well, actually we've been here for almost two months now.
gracie is eating solids!
we're slowly introducing more and more and she's doing so good!

so far she's tried sweet potatoes, carrots, squash, green beans, peas, rice cereal, prunes, applesauce, pears, peaches, bananas, chicken, turkey, prunes, pumpkin and maybe one or two more that i can't remember. i've even tried giving her some little puffs to see how well she can pick them up and get them to her mouth. she's not too bad at picking them up but not so great at figuring out how to get them in her mouth yet. and when i tried putting one in her mouth so she could see what it was, she made some awesome disgusted faces until it fell out of her mouth. so i'm thinking she's not quite ready for those yet :)

she loves fruits mixed with her cereal for breakfast.
the meats and veggies are growing on her still, i think. heck, veggies are still growing on me.

she's getting the hang of eating and for the most part gets her tongue out of the way so i can actually put the spoon in her mouth. it's kind of just hilarious. i'll say open! and hold the spoon up and she'll open her mouth and move her tongue around, waiting for the spoon.

she just gives us this look like i'm not sure what that was but i think i want to try more.
the cutest!


six months.

baby girl is halfway to her first birthday.
i absolutely love watching her grow and learn and seeing more and more of her personality.
i absolutely hate the thought of her getting older and not being my baby anymore.

*eating more and more foods every day (and liking most all of them!)
*loves watching the Zo pup and tries to grab her tail and play tug-o-war with her rope
*just this past week or so she's been sitting up by herself like a pro
*her ankles and wrists have some seriously deep dimply chubby skin and i love it
*she laughs and squaks and yells and giggles
*she loves playing with toys - her ruffly butterfly is her favorite
*she seems to be seriously teething now (something her momma is not ready for); though none have popped through yet
*she loves to find her toes and pull them up to suck on them whenever she can
*she throws her tiny arms around your neck and gives hugs. or at least her best version of a hug. and buries her face in your shoulder/neck. sweetest thing ever
*she is SO SWEET

15 lbs (33%)
24.5" tall (12%)

happy 6 months, my sweet gracie jane.