Thomas' First Birthday Party

Photos taken by Thomas' amazing Auntie Alicia.

I still can't believe Thomas is one! We had such a blast celebrating with his little friends and their families (who are luckily all our good friends). We feel so fortunate Thomas is so loved and we have a few more birthday celebrations planned with family this summer. 

I absolutely loved planning Thomas' birthday. I knew I would only get to plan his first birthday once so I really wanted to enjoy the entire process. I went back and forth on a few different themes but I decided to keep it simple. Different shades of blue did the trick and I just added a few elephant details within the decor because we love a good baby elephant toy.

I think one of my favourite parts of the decor was the banner hanging above the dessert table with Thomas' photos pinned to it. Seeing him grow from one month to twelve months just makes me so happy. I had seen something very similar on pinterest that I wanted to recreate and I'm so happy it turned out. 

I admittedly am not a huge fan of hosting events. I tend to overthink and stress about everything. I also spend the hours after the event second guessing everything and worrying that everyone hated it. So, I'm so so happy that I allowed myself to shut my mind off and just enjoy. I tried not to worry about anything once the party started (if any of my guests didn't have fun... I'm sorry but I'm not sorry, I had a really nice time haha) and I just enjoyed my time chatting with everyone and cuddling the birthday boy.

Although, I probably shut my mind off a little too much because for the first time ever I just forgot to pull my camera out. I took no photos. The heck? I'm so appreciative Alicia took photos because otherwise I wouldn't have any of these beautiful memories captured!

Cake: IGA. I picked up a vanilla cake and a chocolate cake for $10 each from their bakery.
Fondant Elephant cake topper: Made by my mom but you can order fondant cake toppers on etsy.
Happy Birthday Banner, The large decorative fans, the silver candles and a few other details that weren't photographed: The Sweet Party Shop on Etsy
Candy Bar Vases and Scoops: Party City
Balloons, the ONE balloons, party hat and the small blue decorative fans: Party On in Walnut Grove


12 Things I've Learned this Year

I can't believe Thomas is a year old. Seriously, time needs to slow down! Emotions have been high over the last couple months because so many changes are about to take place. My return to work means Thomas will be going to a daycare a few times a week. I know it'll be good for him because he's such a mama's boy but I'm actually more worried about me hahaha. No, but seriously, this transition will be a hard one. Until then I'm trying to just focus on enjoying every minute I get to spend with my little boy. I've also been doing a lot of reflecting on everything I've learned over this last year. So I thought I would share with you 12 of the (many) things I've learned over the past 12 months.

I've learned:

1. To wake up each morning with zero expectations for the day. Some days I tackle my to do list and some days I don't. Some mornings Thomas likes oatmeal and some mornings he doesn't. Some days he wants to play alone  and some days he's attached to me like a baby koala. It's just easier for all of us if I go with the flow.

2. That given a choice, a baby will always choose to poop in a freshly changed diaper.

3. That I'm actually really patient when I need to be. Who knew!?

 4. Not to buy something unless I'm okay with it getting ruined. Clothing, furniture, anything. At this point I assume it'll get stained and/or damaged.
5. That being a baby must be difficult, painful and scary. Learning life would be confusing and hard. Your brain is growing so quickly and every time you wake up things look different. Your body is always growing and uncomfortable. And on top of that you can't properly communicate what you are feeling? How frustrating.  I'd have little tantrums too. Oh, and teething is a biiiiitch.
6. There is nothing that a baby giggle can't fix.

7. That letting your baby learn how to tumble and fall is terrifying. But watching them finally learn how to balance is so much fun.

8. I will probably never get to go to the bathroom alone again.

9. That my parenting journey is uniquely mine. I can't compare myself to other moms and I can't care what other people think.

10. To be present and enjoy the small moments of every stage. Wishing away the difficult moments also mean wishing away the amazing ones.

11. There will always be crumbs on my floor no matter how often I sweep. Just when I think I've swept them all up, more crumbs magically appear.

12. That having a bad hour or a bad day doesn't make me a bad mom. We are raising tiny humans, of course there will be difficult moments. Having a rough day is normal and everyone has them, parent or not. For every difficult moment in my day there are a handful of moments that make me insanely happy. I've had to deal with some emotionally draining moments this year but I've also never laughed or smiled more in my entire life.

I know I have a long way to go in this parenting journey but so far I'm loving every second of it. What did you learn during your first year of parenthood?


Let Me (re)Introduce Myself

Hello everyone!

I've been suffering from some writer's block lately and I think it's because I overthink things (anyone who knows me just said "duh"). I often find myself second guessing everything I want to write. Is there a chance it could possibly offend anyone? Will they understand my sense of humour? Why am I posting this? I'm not an expert.

So I thought, screw it, let's start over. Maybe if I tell you a little bit about myself we can become blog besties and I can just be myself without worrying.

So who am I? Great question. I ask myself that on the regular.

I am a 34 year old new(ish) mom who is an expert at nothing and is loving life. I love laughing and sometimes I'm the only one laughing at my own jokes (other than Thomas… that kid gets me). I love listening to the same song on repeat until I'm sick of it, watching horrible television and eating anything sweet.

My husband, Kevin, is my best friend and even though we are very different in some ways, we see eye to eye when it's important. I love chatting with him about anything and everything. In a nutshell, he watches the Office with me and he laughs at enough of my jokes that it's worth keeping him around.  And he's a really amazing dad to Thomas.

Speaking of Thomas… he's my 11 month old chubby little bundle of joy. He is such a goofy kid and I love how much he laughs. He also is very quick to tell me when he isn't happy but to be fair, he gets his dramatics from me so who am I to complain. He's a mama's boy and I love every second of it. Is there anything better than kisses from your baby boy? (As I wrote that he grabbed a chunk of my hair for grip and tried to give me a kiss… I might end up bald from his attempts at kissing me but it'll be worth it).

Obviously a huge part of my life right now is motherhood and it's definitely something I want to share but that feels so vulnerable. I have no idea what I'm doing. None. Each day is a new journey of emotional ups and downs and I take each day hour by hour. I'm doing my best to stay positive and patient while I guide Thomas along as he figures out this thing called life. Reminding myself (often) that he's literally learning life and even the difficult times come from a place of innocence.  We also have been experiencing some food allergies which I've been tempted to share but I don't have any answers yet so it's a very open ended situation. I would be happy to share more of my experiences as long as everyone understands I won't have any tips, tricks or advice. Sound good? Great!

I have some ah-mazing friends in my life and I can't be more thankful for all of the support I've received over the years and especially since starting this journey into motherhood. I have so many mama's and non mama's rallying around me ready to answer my stupid questions and reassure me that I haven't screwed up Thomas forever (yet).

I dabble in fitness but I enjoy just being active. I've had some body image issues over the years and I'm slowly on the path to finding self acceptance and love. Some days are better than others but I'm so proud of how far I've come.

I'm currently on maternity leave (not for much longer though… how is my baby almost one!?) from my career as a general manager. I'll be returning to work in a people development role which I am pretty stoked about. I love me some people development.

I love style but have definitely noticed my practical side shining through since becoming a mom which has thrown me for a bit of a style loop. At first I was frustrated by my indecisiveness around my style but now I'm seeing it as an opportunity to re-invent my style. I'll take you all along on my journey of pretending I know how to be a stylish mom while I'm literally dripping with drool. No seriously, how can one baby drool this much? I also really enjoy playing around with skin care and beauty products but I have no idea what I'm doing. I can create a mean smokey eye without using any brushes, just using my fingers… beauty gurus will hate me.

Honestly I just love dabbling in the creative. I used to be quite involved in theatre and I still love to sing. Currently I just sing around the house for Thomas and he LOVES it. My rendition of "Be Our Guest" brings the house down at meal times. I love photography and I play around a little bit with videography (one day I'll post another YouTube video… it'll happen!)

So that's me! Nice to meet you!

I hope this re-introduction will help me feel a little more confident opening up and being myself. I also hope it helps me get to know you guys a little more! I know blog comments aren't really a thing anymore but I'd love to hear from you guys. Tell me a little bit about who you are! Or don't, that's okay too.

Talk soon!


Why I Stopped Saying This One Phrase and How it Changed My Life

 (This photo was taken on July 17, 2016. Thomas was only 12 days old! So teeny!)

Before I was pregnant, if you had asked me how I was doing, I would almost always reply with "good! Tired, but good!". Sometimes it would be accompanied by a chuckle and "but aren't we all?" It was just something I always said because it was how I felt… I was tired. Often, exhausted. I had been tested for every potential vitamin deficiency but that hadn't given me any answers. I decided that I was just a terrible sleeper and I was probably destined to just be tired forever.

During my pregnancy I was extremely nauseous for the first 24 weeks. It was like a 24 hour hangover without the sweet sweet relief of actually throwing up. I eventually went on diclectin which helped the nausea but came with a side effect of making me even more tired. So of course, when people asked me how I was doing I would tell them I was tired. One day, after saying the word "tired" for the billionth time I realized I didn't want to be known as this tired person. Even if I was tired I would rather people focus on other things about me. I didn't want to be seen as the tired pregnant woman. I wanted to be known as the happy or excited pregnant woman, because I was those things as well.

So I decided I would no longer say the words "I'm tired" out loud no matter how I was feeling. Slowly but surely I started to notice something… I wasn't as tired. It was probably a coincidence though, right? Once the baby came I would obviously be exhausted again.

Then Thomas arrived. My adorable little nugget of joy. Let me take a quick moment to explain Thomas' sleep habits. When I brought him home from the hospital he started cluster feeding immediately. That meant he fed every 30 minutes for days. He also would only sleep on me (I would literally tie him to me so I could get some shut eye without him rolling off - see the photo above). I'll summarize the following 9 months by saying that he wanted to feed every 2 hours… every night… until about a week ago. Now we get a few three hour stretches in as well haha. I like to think of my sleeping as a lot of naps, and who doesn't love a nap?

I'll leave the topic of his sleep at that for now but my point is that I haven't really had a solid nights sleep since Thomas was born. The crazy thing? I'm still not as tired as I was before I decided to stop saying "I'm tired". I had stopped saying it because of how I thought other people were perceiving me but I had no idea it would actually change how tired I felt. That realization has made me such a huge believer in the power of words and their effect on how we feel.

To be fair, I'd been told the importance of the spoken word before but putting it into practice and actually believing in it has honestly changed my life. I've always considered myself a pretty positive person but I found as I got older the self talk in my mind started turning more and more negative. I found myself complaining instead of finding solutions. I was really hard on myself over the silliest things. I wasn't unhappy by any means but I really wasn't focusing on the positives. Since I stopped allowing myself to say this one phrase there has been a shift in my entire mindset.

This isn't to say that I never talk about what's bothering me because I'm a huge believer in working through problems. Sometimes life is just hard and it's really important to acknowledge that and work through it. I just try (keyword is try) to make sure that my words have a purpose and that they will hopefully result in a solution. There are still areas of my life where I know I need to be kinder to myself and focus more on the positives. There are still times I start venting and realize I just sound really negative. I'm working on it though, slowly but surely.

I also know that there are a handful of other words I still need to eliminate from my vocabulary and phrases that serve no purpose. Like, do I really need to say "baby weight" ever again? I vote No.