life lately.

Hello again! Besides being buried in snow, I am enjoying my last two weeks at home with {jv} before heading back to work in March. I decided to round up what has been going on in our lives and put all of the random bits I want to share with you in one place. You can skip the parts which don't pertain to your life and dive into the parts that do. I would rather give you one long post than ten short posts, so here goes nothing! xoxo {av}

-My sweet friend, Bree, shared this post recently and it really got me thinking. I had been feeling guilty about not giving up anything for Lent, but this post changed my perspective. Like New Year's resolutions, Lent is a time to make positive changes and get rid of negative habits. This post inspired me to do just that -- during Lent and beyond. 
-I truly thought I was going to be one of the lucky ones who made it through pregnancy with no stretch marks. I made it through 37 weeks of pregnancy without a single one -- only to wake up one morning with what looked like a road map on the underside of my belly. Though I was religious with stretch mark creams and kept my weight gain in control, I have to remind myself genetics are to blame. This post was a particularly encouraging discovery during an early morning breastfeeding session. Stretch marks or not, women's bodies are beautiful things. The end game is the important part -- and I'll happily sport my stretch marks because I am the lucky one to have {jv}.
-Speaking of bodies, this snowy winter is killing my return to running. The cabin fever is real, folks. We haven't found a gym in our new community and don't have a full set-up at home. Until the snow melts, I'll get my exercise carrying all 12 pounds of {jv}. Does that count? ;)
-I was so honored when Monica included me in her round-up of 3 Instagram Accounts to Follow. I loved reading her description of my feed, though I can assure you we still have a long way to go in decorating this new house. (Thanks again, Monica!)
-{cv} and I are both reading French Kids Eat Everything. As a lifelong picky eater, I am determined not to pass along my eating weirdness to {jv}. Though he is exclusively breastfeeding now, time is flying and he will be eating "real" food before we know it. We shall see what the French have to say and how we might be able to employ their wisdom in our house.

-In the coming months, I will be completing a Patio Style Challenge with Home Depot! Look for a post soon about my inspiration for our nautical backyard oasis. Though we still have a few feet of snow on the ground, it is exciting to start planning for warm summer nights out on our deck.
-I am on the hunt for a sturdy yet attractive coffee table for our living room. We currently have a "ghost" glass coffee table, but it doesn't fit in our space anymore. It also wouldn't be ideal when {jv} starts pulling up on furniture later this year. I'm thinking a square leather tufted ottoman would be great. If you have any favorites, be sure to share them below ;)
-Because {jv} arrived shortly after we moved into the house, I didn't have a chance to share much about our build process. I am hoping to share more of that in the coming months, especially for those who will be building once warmer weather arrives. If there is anything in particular that you'd like to hear about our build, shoot me an email or share it in the comments below. I loved the process so much that I would build a house again tomorrow, so I hope I can take the fear away for those about to begin their projects!

-Though they arrived at the end of January, I didn't get {jv}'s birth announcements out until last Friday. (Oops?) We ordered ours through Minted -- partially because of their addressing service and partially because I didn't have the creative energy to do them myself. (I normally design our holiday cards, but we sent the birth announcement in lieu of those this year.) I promise to share a sneak peek of the ones we chose soon!
-I broke down and splurged on a few of these KicKee Pants Footies. Made with bamboo, they are the softest and coziest outfits {jv} wears. Not only do they wash beautifully, they also have non-obnoxious prints and patterns. If you've never purchased anything from, you can get a pretty sweet deal until February 28th (20% off of $50+, 25% off of $75+, $30% off of $100+ with the code FEBLOVE). When he's not in his KicKees, we still love our Old Navy Footed Sleepers -- and were excited to see a few new colors for spring!
-Babywearing is something {jv} enjoys 93% of the time. (The other 7%? Well, let's just say that's the time when he is too fussy for his own good.) We have an Ergobaby and a Baby K'Tan, but I recently added the Solly Baby to the mix. I like each of the carriers for different reasons. The Ergo is great for grocery store runs and longer wears in public. The K'Tan is perfect when {jv} is being a fusspot and I would love for him to fall asleep. The Solly Baby is the most "fashionable" of the bunch. It works well when {jv} wants to be held and a nap is out of the question. (Also, am I the only crazy person with three different babywearing methods?)
-Everyone said babies came with lots of stuff and they were right. We added this BABYBJöRN Balance Bouncer to our "stuff" repertoire last month. After hearing about it from a friend and reading countless reviews, we took the plunge. This bouncer was a bit of an investment, but it is a chair he can use for the next two years. It also packs flat, which will be crucial on road trips. Before we added this wooden toy arm, we made sure {jv} was a big fan. It was a God-sent when I was trying to finish up the birth announcements last week. It definitely gets my seal of approval.
-Seeking advice from you seasoned moms out there: I head back to work in just shy of two weeks. Like many moms, pumping is my least favorite thing to do. Any advice on how to building a supply for daycare when {jv} is on a pretty consistent nursing schedule? He nurses every 2.5 to 3 hours during the day and doesn't have the most reliable of napping schedules, so it is difficult for me to pump during the day. Thankfully, he is sleeping from 11:45 until 6:45 on a pretty regular basis. Is my best option to wake up in the middle of the night? My hope is that you have more creative / less exhausting answers. Many thanks in advance!

two months of motherhood.

Two months ago, I became a mother -- and two months ago, my priorities entirely changed. I knew life would be different after our little one arrived, but I had no clue how much. 

In the delivery room, my OB said that {cv} was in charge of getting me to slow down. She knew it needed to be said. I have always been a busy body. Even in my last month of pregnancy, I was going at full speed to make sure we got in our house before the baby joined us. Looking back on it, the month of November was a complete blur. I remember the exhaustion, but I also remember the elation of seeing everything come together. When {jv} made his grand entrance, he came two days after his due date. Truth be told, I was aching for a few extra days to get things done around the house. The sea of boxes had to wait.

I honestly thought I would jump back into my life as I knew it before, only with a baby in tow. I imagined I would be back to running, blogging, and everything else without a second thought. I couldn't imagine how I would fill a day with a newborn, but I was absolutely wrong. I am writing this post ever so quietly on my MacBook, while {jv} sleeps in the crook of my nursing pillow. He is the reason my productivity went from an all-time high to an all-time low... and for the first time in my life, I could care less. 

If one image could capture this shift, it would be this Instagram. My world stops when he needs me and, sadly, he won't always need me. When he is 16 and running out the door for a date (!!), I will ache for these quiet moments. This is why I am giving myself a pass. The sea of boxes (though they're somewhat artfully hidden) will get unpacked on a quiet Saturday, long in the future. I will get the mountain of thank you notes done one day soon. (To those still owed one, I promise your gift is very much appreciated.) While my to-do list isn't getting any shorter, {jv} just keeps getting bigger and I don't want to miss a minute of it. 

The most surprising thing about motherhood is truly my ability to let things go. I will always thank my son for giving me the gift of peace. I don't let problems fester anymore; I confront them. I am slowly but surely conquering my severe FOMO (fear of missing out). His arrival, coupled with my looming 30th birthday, remind me that life truly is short. I want to fill my days with things that matter, not petty things. If that is what I've learned from two months of motherhood, I can't wait to see what the future teaches me. xoxo {av}

P.S. A word to those non-mothers who see friends like me get swept up in the baby wave: we're still here. Don't think we've lost our heads, though maybe we have just a little. The truth is that we may not want to dump stories of long nights and messy diapers on you. Why? Because we want you to have babies one day too! We want to hear about all the things you're doing in the "real world". Keep in mind that this is a season of our lives, not forever. Though she may look tired and a bit ragged, the friend you love is still hidden under there.