Monday, June 11, 2018

Weekend Wrap-up

Wrapping up the weekend for you on this Monday afternoon. We spent the weekend a few hours away at my mom's house, chilling by the pool. The plan was to do nothing, and we mostly did just that.

Private pool, burgers on the grill = WIN!

We had a surprise visit by cousin, whom I haven't seen in a couple of years. She's great company and makes for good laughs and conversation. We spent lots of time in the pool with some very loud and rowdy little boys (no pics because they move too fast!). Dinner was served up on the grill with sides of fresh fruit - a perfect summer poolside meal. I even convinced one of my pups to take a dip in the pool. It was not his favorite moments. I think it was more fun for me than it was for him.

With my mom's house being out in the country, we are able to see some pretty cool things like fireflies, pond turtles, bullfrogs. We don't get to see that in the suburbs where we live. We had the pleasure of watching a squirrel have his breakfast early Sunday morning.

Mushrooms! It's what's for breakfast!

We were able to get pretty close to him while he chowed down on his mushroom. I inched just a little closer to try to take a better photo and spooked him. He grabbed what he could in his little squirrel hands and up the tree he went. Lukas and Isaak thought this was quite an adventure!

We met up with my brother in law for breakfast and catching up on Sunday morning, then it was back in the pool for the day! 

A long, relaxing weekend was just what we needed, along with a change in the scenery for a minute. We headed out early Monday morning. As much as I love little getaways, it's always good to be home! 

Tell me, friends, what did you do with your weekend?

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Hitting the Road

My mom lives on a couple acres in west TN. It's pretty quiet out there except for the crickets and frogs at night. The Memphis humidity is never a picnic but she has a pool that she doesn't have to share with anyone. It's a nice trade. The drive is only about 3 hours, and we make it several times a year.  After the rough season we had over the last football season, we're in need of a bit of a break - a moment to breathe, relax, and recharge. So, we hit the road Friday morning to do just that...myself, one husband, 3 kids, and 2 pups!

Fortunately, I got a fresh pedicure and manicure the day before. You can generally find me barefoot all over the football fields so I like to treat myself at the end of each season. A cup of coffee, a massaging chair, and a nice pink color is just what I needed. 

I wasn't sure I'd like the color, honestly. I tend to like bolder colors for the summer. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I love this color. It's new from OPI, called Tagus That Selfie

We spent a couple of hours Friday afternoon in the pool. Then Theo and I got a little dressed up for a night out. A nice dinner at Firebirds (grilled shrimp & spinach salad always a fabulous choice!), a little walk around the outdoor shopping center, and then to a local creamery for dessert. My ice cream looked so good that I didn't even snap a pic before I dove in! 

PB Crunch topped with hot fudge!

We don't get many chances to get out without having to parent the kids from the dinner table. So we took full advantage of having a sitter (thanks, mom!) and stayed out until almost 10 o'clock! That's a pretty late night for us, haha!

A hot walk for me this morning, followed by a cold breakfast, and now it's time to spend the weekend lounging by the pool. Don't be too jealous - enjoy your weekend, friends!

Monday, June 4, 2018

Weekend Wrap-up!

My little family and I had a super busy weekend! We don't thrive on all the busy-ness to say the least, so we may have needed ALL.THE.SLEEP come Sunday night!

I had a closing very early Friday morning (8am, before the office even opened 😮). It was a very quick closing and my buyers headed home to go back to bed. But not before I was able to offer them this "sweet" closing gift:

Too Pretty to Eat!
I had these cookies made by a local cookie artist, Midnight Bakes. They turned out so cute!

I spent the rest of Friday preparing for the final round of playoffs in our flag league that evening and getting ready to travel for Isaak's soccer tournament on Saturday. Friday night was full of flag games. Isaak's team won their second round of playoffs, putting them in the championship game scheduled for Sunday! 

After getting home late from the fields, we got up early Saturday morning, grabbed some Starbucks and hit the road to Cookeville, TN for the soccer tournament. 

It was hot, humid and sweaty in Cookeville. We brought Lukas along, and he did impressively well in the heat and the crowds. Isaak had some tough losses but we got to finish with a family dinner at Chili's. 

It was 10p before we got home. After unloading and showering, it was after 11p before we all got into bed. That's a pretty late night for us, with another early morning on tap to get set up for championship game day. 

Championship day went as well as can be expected in youth sports, especially youth football in the south. We had some unhappy parents and coaches who felt inclined to express those feelings to my husband. (That's the nicest way I can say that!). I guess that sort of things comes with the director role. Ironically, he's never been chewed out by the winning teams' coaches or parents. Perspective. Isaak's team lost their championship game, but placed 2nd in the age division, so good day. 

We are officially done with all sports for the season and plan to spend the summer by the pool, chilling. I have some things in the work and I'll share as I go along. Thanks for stopping by! 

Friday, June 1, 2018

I was inspired

My husband and I run a youth flag football league here in our city. Two seasons a year (spring and fall), we promote and organize a draft to create 25-30 teams of 8-10 players, ages 5-12. We create a regular season schedule and a playoff schedule that ultimately ends with a championship game in each division. We have been doing this for a couple of years and we absolutely love it.  We spend a A LOT of time on the football fields (yes, even while I'm pregnant!) setting up fields, hosting refs, listening to parents, encouraging players, managing coaches, and running first aid kits to the injured and water to the thirsty.

This is us on a recent game day. This is my 10 year old (aka #lastbaby) and the only child of mine interested in sports. We are in the home stretch of the spring season currently, with the second round of playoffs underway tonight. I get the opportunity to meet and share life with so many people. Recently, I spoke with another momma about what it is to find our way in this world, especially as our children get older - deciphering what we love to do and what we have to do, and why it can't but should be one and the same. 

In all this mom life talk, she inspired to really consider what it is I love to do (outside of being a momma of course!) and pursue that, really pursue that. You'll remember a small lament in the previous post  about my recent choice to get my real estate license last year and how I'm feeling it's not quite the right fit for me. We only get ONE life on this earth, and I want to use mine to pursue what I'm passionate about: the compassion that my God has given to me for infertile couples along with a strong desire to be an advocate for female physical health. In the coming weeks, be looking for some big changes around the blog and even bigger changes in my life as I continue to look for my way in this world. 

Monday, May 14, 2018

7 Months Since

It's been almost 7 months (just a couple days shy actually) since one of the hardest days of my life: the day P & Z's sweet baby boy entered the world without breath. Each month has offered time to grieve, question, and begin healing emotionally and physically. I am making my way towards both.

Shortly after the birth, I began physical therapy at the suggestion of my OB, to restore my postpartum body. I attended twice weekly sessions for 6 weeks. My appointments consisted of functional exercises to retrain and restrengthen my abdominal wall, my hips, and my pelvic floor. I highly recommend that ALL postpartum women (no matter how far postpartum you are!) see a pelvic floor physiotherapist to offer guidance to restore strength and functionality to body after baby. I was released from PT with a clean bill of functional health, no diastis recti, and strong pelvic floor muscles. I don't even pee when I sneeze...after 8 babies, folks! Seriously, see your local physiotherapist. If you're in the middle TN area, I highly recommend Results Physiotherapy in Franklin, TN.

P and I had a lot of contact in the first couple of months following the birth, but it has waned quite a bit. P is ready to  move forward with her dream of having a child and I am in a holding period. I feel we have both made a peaceful acceptance of the passing of her little one; it's an experience that will connect us both: a story that we will each tell from our own perspective. My OB's recommendation is 12-18 months before attempting another pregnancy, and I of course need that time to physically heal. I also need the time to continue to process the experience and decide how I feel about carrying again. Initially, P wanted a commitment that I just couldn't give so soon after the birth. She asked for my blessing to search for another surrogate, and I happily gave it! I want so bad for her to realize her dream of having her very own little one in her arms.  Right now, we are both in different stages of our lives and waiting for different things.

In the waiting, I am continuing my exercises from PT and have seen much improvement. I'm at the gym on the regular and am slowly returning to a pre-pregnancy strength routine. My husband and I continue to run a local youth flag football league for our 4th season - that keeps us pretty busy in the spring and the fall! All my kiddos are growing up right before my eyes, leaving me with no more elementary school aged children at the end of this school year.

All of us together, for once!

I made a post last year announcing my jump into the real estate world. I have been working a little here and there, but I have to confess that I'm not convinced that this "job" is the right fit for me. I recently had the opportunity to speak with a local woman interested in surrogacy, as an intended parent. I have been able to share my experience and offer advice and direction. I look forward to helping her throughout her surrogacy process. I have also been able to encourage other women to care for themselves postpartum and teach them exercises that will help them along the way. In all this I realized that my passion isn't real estate -- it's my family and surrogacy and pre- & postnatal fitness. So perhaps I shouldn't have been so quick to make the realty announcement. But sometimes we don't know what fits until we try it on. Surrogacy fits me.

The idea of carrying again has crossed my mind a time or two lately, as I move farther from the birth and farther to recovery. I still haven't decided if I'll carry again. I don't know where life will find me at the end of the year (which is the earliest I'd consider even talking seriously about it!). One day at a time around here. 

Summer is coming and we are excitedly looking forward to lazy pool days and back porch popsicles. I'll pop in more often and let you know where life is finding me.