From the moment I met Caroline, I felt like I had always known her. Like we were waiting for each other all this time. And as the years have gone by, she’s become this extension of me. I’m so aware of her presence, her laugh, the stomp of her little feet. She’s just this incredible light in our lives and watching her grow into the person she’s becoming has been the best part of my day, every day.
We’ve figured out a lot together over the past two years. Overcoming food allergies and bottle aversion. Adjusting to being apart when I returned to work full-time. Learning how to communicate, first with cries and now with language. As a mom, I’ve been far from perfect, but I love her beyond measure. When I see how happy Caroline is, I feel like we’re doing something right.
It’s bittersweet, these last few months as a family of three. But I know the adventure ahead is full of more love than we can even imagine. Two years ago, we snuggled up in a Chicago hospital, wondering what the future held for this tiny little peanut. As Caroline gets ready to be a big sister in Cleveland, I know she’ll embrace it with the same love, enthusiasm, and thoughtfulness as she does everything else. We love you, sweet Caroline, and we’re so proud to be yours.
A very special thanks to Amanda Celis of Bumblebee Boots Photography. Not only is Amanda one of the most talented people I’ve ever met, but no one captures the love and spirit of a family better than her. I’m lucky to call her a friend and if you’re local, I can’t recommend her enough. Thank you so much, Amanda!
*For a trip down memory lane, read Caroline’s birth storyhere.
What I’m Wearing: Dresses, dresses, and more dresses. They require little effort and accommodate an expanding waistline. Which, by the way, happened much faster this time around. I’m pretty sure I started showing the day after I took a pregnancy test. I’m in this awkward stage where my normal clothes are too snug, but I’m not quite ready for maternity wear. Luckily, there are plenty of loose silhouettes to choose from this season that feel on trend and cover a growing belly. Currently, I’m loving boxy off-the-shoulder dresses from J.Crewand pretty much everything from the Victoria Beckham x Targetcollection (currently on sale!). I also bought a pair of Loft’s maternity crop kick jeansfor summer – SO cute!
How I’m Feeling: Much, much better, now that I’m through the first trimester. Similar to my pregnancy with Caroline, it felt like constant motion sickness all day long. But it was the exhaustion that really got to me. Throw in a big move, a new job, and one extremely active toddler, and let’s just say that I’m amazed I remembered to put on pants the entire month of March.
I’ve also struggled with bad anxiety this pregnancy. I had a scare very early on and mentally, it was hard to recover from. I didn’t know if things would be ok and even with confirmation that it was, I was constantly worried that something could go wrong at any minute. I had two ultrasounds – one at 8 weeks and one at 12 – and it wasn’t until after the second one that I could really allow myself to be happy and excited about this pregnancy. Thankfully, though, Baby Mac #2 is healthy and right on track, and I’m starting to relax (a little).
What’s On My Mind Lately: We have a lot on our plates these days, between Caroline, house hunting, working full-time, and the normal everyday life stuff that seems to consume weekends before you know it. So while I had Baby on the brain 24/7 during my first pregnancy, this kiddo is sharing mental space with about 1000 other things right now. But, not knowing if this will be my last pregnancy or not, I do want to take the time to enjoy it. I know how fast time goes, and I don’t want to rush through this experience or take it for granted.
What I’m Craving: This is probably the biggest difference between my first and current pregnancy. I’ve definitely been able to eat a lot healthier this time around and actually want salads and veggies. I could eat olives and pickles all day long, although this was also true pre-pregnancy. I don’t really crave anything sweet, but I’m loving watermelon and cantaloupe.
Favorite indulgences include pizza, tacos, and kettle chips. (Not all together, but that would be awesome.) And while I went crazy for anything spicy with Caroline, I can’t do it with this pregnancy. The heartburn is real, you guys.
What I’m Looking Forward To: Buying our first home! I can’t wait to decorate the nursery and create a “big girl room” for Caroline. And of course, meeting this new little one in November. We’re not finding out the sex before delivery, so we’re in for a big surprise on the day.
Coolest Moment So Far: We told Caroline she’s going to be a big sister, but we didn’t really think it sunk in. Like, we’d say, “You’re going to be a big sister!” and she’d smile and nod as if we had just told her she’s a good girl. But then a couple weeks ago, she walked up to me and said, “See baby!” and lifted up my shirt to plant a kiss on my stomach. That was pretty great.
Thank you so much for all your amazing thoughts, wishes, and prayers! We’re so grateful to experience this again and can’t wait to welcome the newest member of our family in a few short months.
I know, I know – it’s been ages since I’ve posted. Working full-time and raising sweet Caroline has been, in a word, enough this past year. Our baby girl (now a toddler, as you’ll see below) is everything. And truth be told, I was burned out from the blogging scene for a long time. I lost the passion for it, and that time was better devoted to my family. But, I do miss writing, so I’d like to revisit this space, if only sporadically and dictated by Caroline’s nap schedule.
So, what have we been up to? A quick recap of major events:
Returned to work full time in February 2016. Raised a baby girl into this hilarious toddler. Traveled to Ireland and California. Learned how to function on very little sleep.
Accepted an amazing job opportunity in Cleveland in January 2017. Moved our family from Chicago to Cleveland in five weeks.
Currently house-hunting for our very first home. Preparing for Caroline’s second (that’s right, second) birthday in June.
Oh, and this.
Found out our first night in Cleveland.
(A very special thanks to Amanda Celis of Bumblebee Boots Photography for the incredible photos and to April Nemeth of Little Korboose for the beautiful hand-lettered sign – two of the most talented ladies in Cleveland!)
I’m looking forward to a fresh start here. We’re ready to put down roots, be near family and expand our own. Our three years in Chicago were unforgettable. Some of our best memories and favorite experiences happened there, and it brought us our daughter.
And we made some pretty grown-up decisions, too. Prior to my job offer, we were considering a move back home. After Caroline arrived, our feelings towards the city and what we wanted for our future changed. (Despite my insistence they wouldn’t. Words = fully devoured.) I’m sure I sound like every cliche out there, but we wanted more. A house with a yard. Family nearby. Great schools for Caroline. A more affordable lifestyle overall. Cleveland was in the cards; we just didn’t realize how soon.
So here we are, almost three months in. We joined the rec center and the library. I’m taking prenatal yoga classes at my old yoga studio. Caroline is at an amazing school, and Mac found a great position downtown. And I’m finally doing the job I’ve always wanted to do, something I’ve worked my entire career towards. It’s messy and chaotic and often exhausting, but it’s so, so good to be home.
Stay tuned for a first trimester recap! In the meantime, if you have a minute, I’d love to hear what content you’d like to see in the future. Thanks so much for coming back.
This month’s Bloggers Who Budget feature is all about work wear for under $75 and thanks to one amazing sale at Banana Republic, I scored this statement shift for $53! I had stalked it for months (we’re talking since February, people) and scooped it up on vacation in Charleston. I know I’ve said this before, but I really mean it this time – this dress might just be one of my favorite pieces ever. Neon pink, 60’s-inspired, and pockets…I couldn’t have designed it better myself.
The finishing touch? This vintage pearl cuff from Candy Shop Vintage. (Yet another Charleston purchase.) Retro meets modern for a brighter day at the office.
Dress: Banana Republic ($53 after a 40% discount off the sale price; also love this one). Style Tip: Size down on this one, as it runs large! For a leg-lengthening look, go monochromatic with tights and shoes.
Boots: Gap($17 after a 40% discount off the sale price and Gap Rewards)