Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Treasuring the Present: Pajama Parties

Tracey Ann is not sleeping well these days.  We've been readying a lot about how she is at an age where her brain is developing on overload, and her mind, in all likelihood, cannot turn off when she lays down to go to sleep.  Also, it is possible she is teething, but we're not sure.

That being said, today I am treasuring these late nights where Daddy and Mama and Tracey Ann have pajama parties in Mama and Daddy's bed.

We are getting much sleep, and I will be glad when this season is over... but today I am treasuring it because it is sweet and beautiful.

Some nights, we even have both Lexie and Lloyd in our bed, too.  Our entire family on our little (and getting littler) queen-sized island, safe and warm and happy -- and awake.

Our whole crew...

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Monday, September 29, 2014

Lessons from College

My freshman year of college was amazing. 

So many new friends, new experiences, new traditions -- it was so exciting.  Once I joined a sorority, I remember gushing about how amazing college was, and one of my older sisters commented that freshman year is awesome -- and every year after is different.

I remembered thinking she was crazy.
She was completely correct.

Freshman year of college was amazing -- and it was one of a kind.  All the freshman lived in one location on campus, and we were hungry -- hungry for friendships, for college life, for learning, for everything.
Sophomore year was very different -- all about our respective fraternities and sororities, which was a very special year in its own way.
Junior year was when I (and many of my classmates) studied abroad.  It was a wonderful year of being an upper-classman, really working hard toward one major, and totally knowing the ropes.
Senior year was about savoring the last year.  It was about memories with your friends for the last time -- sort of a time when I grew out of the sorority, lived off campus, and began to make plans for post-college.

Nothing was ever the same as freshman year.

This lesson from college is why I am not naive enough to believe I will always be able to dote on my children the way I can dote on Tracey Ann these days... but, at present, I LOVE to dote on Tracey Ann.

She is just my little side-kick.  She is my favorite hobby, the best book I've ever read, the most rewarding project I've ever worked on.  I love to just spend hours and hours and hours with her.

I know I will love future children in intense and amazing ways... but the seasons of life will be different from when I just had one little eight-month old of whom to take care.

There is no doubt, I will love my children equally -- but this is a very special time when I can devote my full attention to one growing, curious, perfect baby.

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Saturday, September 27, 2014


How have I been so late to the party on discovering The Duggars -- the family behind 19 Kids and Counting?

I had it on this week while I was in the kitchen... and now I am completely addicted!

I have heard of the family, but now I am fully on their bandwagon.

Here's one clip about their family -- but it only features 2 of their 19 children, so make sure you tune into more.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Manna From Heaven

When I headed back to work this fall, I struggled with the fact I didn't have an entire freezer stocked full of breast milk.  I had maybe a dozen bags -- maybe, and I had major anxiety as to whether the breast milk would hold out and whether I would produce enough milk on my work days to restock the supply.

My first week back to work, I was able to pump about 10 ounces/day, and Tracey Ann drank 15-20 ounces/day.  It doesn't take a math genius to understand that this wasn't going to work.

I quickly encouraged the nanny to cap the milk she was giving to Tracey Ann during the day at 15 ounces, and I started downing Mothers Milk Tea like there was no tomorrow.

I started trying to pump at night, and early in the morning, and more often during the day...

I was completely stressing out about the breast feeding situation.  I was actually crying over spilled milk... and frozen milk... and pumped milk.

Then, as time went on, and many prayers were spoken, I realized that with one ounce here, and an ounce-and-a-half there, I was just about breaking even each day.  Did I have a huge stockpile of breast milk?  No.  But, like manna from heaven, did we have enough breast milk for each day I was gone?  Yes.

I struggle with not having a massive milk bank, but what a lesson in building my faith each day -- every day we have what we need for that day.

Great is Thy Faithfulness.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Abbie's Bridal Shower

Tracey Ann and I went to Michigan last weekend for my childhood best friend, Abbie's, bridal shower.  My mom and I hosted the shower, and it was so much fun.  Abbie came in from New York, I came in from Colorado, and everyone else was from Michigan.

There is something so special about your childhood best friend getting married.  I was called "Brookie" more times at the shower than I have been called in the past five years.

What a great time.

The house is ready...

The party can start.

My mom and Abbie, the bride-to-be

Abbie, her Grandma (Grandma Rockwood) and Tracey Ann

The blushing bride-to-be

Tracey Ann loved the party

So many lovely gifts

Is this how Aunt Abbie will wear her veil?

Our little party girl just wanted to be a part of everything.

Tracey Ann's first "Selfie"

Kolbs, Rockwoods, Sandens -- we all grew up together.
From piano, swim team, girl scouts we saw a lot of each other for many years and now we're all over the country (and some girls not pictured here).

There is something so special about your best friend meeting and adoring your baby.

The happy couple 

Many friends

Both Abbie's grandmas

Lovely gifts

Grammy, Mama, Tracey Ann (I LOVE this picture)

Abbie, her mom, and both her grandmas

Such a great group

Tracey Ann was happy as long as she was a part of everything

Many gifts

Aunts and Grandmas

I love this picture --
Brooke and Abbie all grown up

Mr. Rockwood came when the party was over, and gave Tracey Ann her first piano lesson.

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Monday, September 22, 2014

Where Ya Goin?

Hi Mama!

Where are ya goin?

C'mere, Mama!

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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Great Minds

Great minds really do think alike.

Both Hubby and I realized this week that we were in need of an adult date night, outside of the house, with just the two of us.

We probably have needed one for awhile -- but with my having been out of town last weekend, and stress of being a part and then catching up at home, this week a date was REALLY NEEDED.

So, trying to be a good wife, I contacted a family from church and arranged for them to watch Tracey Ann on Saturday night, without Chris' knowledge.  What a great surprise.

Trying to be a good husband, Hubby contacted our nanny and arranged for her to watch Tracey Ann Friday night, without my knowledge.  What a great surprise.

Great minds really think alike!  We decided that, even though we had two dates arranged, we only needed one.  We had a great date Friday night.  Dinner in Glenwood Springs with dessert to go, then we picked up Tracey Ann and came home for a redbox movie and dessert in bed.

Great date!  Great Hubby!

We must do this again!

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Friday, September 19, 2014

Pure Girl

Our little Punkin is pure girl...

complete with already trying to play with Mama's chapstick...

and loving her fancy shoes

Thank Heaven, for Little Girls!

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Thursday, September 18, 2014


I do not want to write this blog post, but I want to remember where I am right now.  Sometimes time lessens the memories of tough situations... but I want to remember these tough feelings in the future.  I dream of a day, down the road, when I can relate to a younger woman feeling the same way, and this post will help me remember.

I hear a lot about "Mommy Guilt" but I, fortunately, have not really struggled with it while I'm at work.  Maybe its because Tracey Ann hasn't (yet) displayed separation anxiety while I'm gone.  I try to focus on work when I'm at work, and focus on Tracey Ann when I'm home.  I'm doing what I have to do for our family and we are blessed to have a loving, Christian nanny staying with her during the day.  I haven't suffered "Mommy Guilt".

That being said, I am drowning in "Wife Guilt".

On the days when I work (outside of the home), I am a horrible wife.  I only do what absolutely HAS to get done and nothing more.  Many days, I don't even get done what has to.  Dog gets fed, but not walked.  Clothes get worn, but not put away.  Baby gets fed, but adults don't.

I have seen blogs and articles about the mom who "stopped trying to do it all."  Really?  Well, what, may I ask, did you stop doing?  Maybe I can follow your advice.

Let's see...

Did you stop exercising?
Did you stop cooking?
Did you stop showering?
Did you stop doing laundry?
Did you stop feeding the animals?
Did you stop grocery shopping?
Did you stop doing the dishes?
Did you stop talking to your friends?
Did you stop having pillow talk with your husband?
Did you stop sleeping?
Did you stop blogging -- clearly not because I'm reading this on your blog?
Did you stop vacuuming -- just pretend the dog hair piling up is expensive carpet?
Did you stop eating?
Oh, maybe at work...
Did you stop going to important meetings?
Did you stop meeting deadlines?

... what exactly did you stop doing when you say you stopped trying to do it "all"?

I am full of anger because I am not the wife and homemaker I want to be.
I am angry because I, in dramatic and emotional moments, see the downfall of the American family, in my own home, because I cannot give my family my full and undivided attention.
I am angry that formula and breast pumps exist because it gives me the option to work away from my baby -- this wasn't an option 150 years ago.

I am ashamed of the piles and piles of clean laundry that doesn't get put away.
I lay awake telling myself it is important that I sleep because I have to work the next day, but I am so disgusted at the fact I walk past empty boxes every day and can't manage to break them down and put them in the recycling pile.
I tell myself how important it is that I spend time with my husband, like on a date (and at-home date, but still), focusing on each other and I never sit still long enough for us to have a conversation, let alone reconnect or have a date.

I feel like I am being pulled in 90 different directions and I am failing at everything -- except work.

My family, which I say is my top priority, gets the last bit of energy I have each day, while my colleagues get the nice me.

Someday, I hope to sit down with a young mother and share with her my wisdom.  I hope to have a great testimony of God's faithfulness -- how He taught me joy amidst a difficult season; how I learned to seek Him for my priorities, and work as though working for Christ...

But today, I am drowning in wife guilt.

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