still alive

No, I did not fall off the face of the Earth. Yes, I am completely obsessed with a certain little nugget. And as soon as I figure out how to do it justice, I will write all about the adventure this month has been! For now, ooh, ahh, and cry your eyes out over this little dude (err wait– is that just me?!)

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10 Things

10 Things I Want My Son to Know
 
Be brave. Every day is a new adventure. Some days will be easy, and others will be scary, but that’s okay! You are strong and capable and prepared for everything that comes your way. And on days that you don’t feel like you are? That’s what I’m here for.
Being smart doesn’t make you a nerd. If anyone tells you otherwise, just brush it off and know that this person will probably peak in high school and spend the rest of his life working at McDonald’s.
I don’t know everything. Even though I will probably spend most of your childhood pretending that I do, I don’t have all the answers. There will be times when you will have to find them for yourself.
Be a gentleman. Or I will cut it off.
You are going to do great things. Whether you aspire to be a prima ballerina or feed a third world country, know that I will always, always, always cheer you on.
 
Work hard for the things that you want. It builds character. So many people grow up with a sense of entitlement, like the world owes them something, and I think it’s kind of sad. Handouts are for losers. Your father and I have worked hard for everything we have. Don’t be ashamed to accept hand-me-down furniture and live on Ramen Noodles for a while– everyone starts somewhere. And after you bust your butt for a little while to buy your first couch or TV or whatever? Just think how proud you’ll be.
You will always be my sweet little boy. Period. Even when you’re 6’4″ and all grown up, I will still think of you as my little man.
Never stop exploring. Whether it means simply venturing outside of the sandbox or driving across the country, do everything you can to experience the world around you (but be responsible and please don’t give your poor mother a heart attack). The teacher in me will be the first to say we learn best by finding things for ourselves. The mother in me will need to be reminded of that once in a while =]
Be kind. It’s the oldest saying in the book, but you should always treat others the way you want to be treated. Hold the door open. Tip generously. Send thank-you cards. It’s the little things that mean the most.
I will always love you. Even when you do stupid things (you will) and I freak out (I will), know that there is nothing you can do to make me stop loving you. You are my heart.
 
 

Maternity Pictures

We finally got around to doing our maternity pictures this weekend, and they turned out really well! We seriously can’t thank Jonathan enough for taking the time to be a part of this. With a little amateur editing on my part, here are a few of our favorites:

I conveniently left out the pictures that feature my fourth chin, and the unflattering shots of my fat pregnant, lumpy backside (wouldn’t you?). We took close to 300 pictures that day, and trust me– some of them are not pretty!
Believe me when I say I paid for this day in more ways than one– my feet were swollen like an ogre’s, and my uterus was Braxton Hicks-ing out of controlllll for most of the night. On the bright side? There are only five-and-a-half weeks to go! 
Daddy and I are waiting very patiently impatiently for your arrival, Little Man. We love you so much already we can hardly stand it ❤

on family.

Family gatherings always have a way of making me feel like I’m ten years old again. It doesn’t matter how old we get, we all seem to fall back into our childhood-selves as soon as we walk into my mom’s house. Even if just for a second, there we all are– it’s the late 90s and everything is just as it always was.
Adam and Jake are always on the verge of doing something really stupid. There was the time they locked themselves in their room and pulled all the hair out of our cat’s tail.. the time they threw walnuts at the windows to see if they could break them.. the time they put on brand new socks and walked in the mud, just because. The living and breathing manifestation of Step-Brothers (Will Ferrel and John C. Reilly, in all their glory), their brilliant ideas never cease to amaze. I’m sure if their Batman and Red Power Ranger costumes (circa 1998) still fit, they would wear them with pride as often as possible.
While Madison and Jerome maintain that they hate each other’s guts, this picture is proof that there was a time when they were total BFFs. Only 18 months apart, these two were always together– and then middle school happened and I guess being best friends with your little sister wasn’t so cool anymore. While they put on a front like they hate each other, I’m pretty confident they’re lying. Ten years from now, when they’re done being weird teenagers, they’ll be holding hands on a dirt pile again somewhere and we’ll all say “I told you so.”
The first and the favorite (naturally), I will always be the first to boss everyone around. Grown-ups call it nice things like “micro-managing” and “being assertive,” but let’s call a spade a spade– I was a dictator. Summer vacation usually consisted of me forcing my younger siblings to play endless games of “house” and “school,” and tattling on them when they didn’t play right. And though it’s been years since our last game of “house,” the Angelica in me always rears her head when the situation calls for it. What can I say? Old habits die hard.

And then there are these crazy kids. Since remarrying a few years ago, my mom added two more little nuggets to the bunch. It’s kind of funny to think about where they’re going to fit in with the rest of us– what stories will they have to tell in ten or twenty years? I’m sure Little Man will be giving them a run for their money in no time.
Now that the big kids have started leaving home, it’s rare that we’re all in the same place. And even though we’re pretty good about getting together for the holidays, we didn’t quite make it this Easter. My mom still made a yummy spread of all our favorite foods, Madison and Jerome still pretended to hate each other, and the little guys still managed to steal the show.. but without Adam and Jake, it wasn’t quite the same. 
Somewhere between the Batman and Red Power Ranger costumes, the dirt pile, and the two-millionth game of “school,” we had something pretty special. If you had told us then, we wouldn’t have believed you. But now? Now I know it was.

beginning.

I’ve been contemplating blogging for a long time.
But each time I work up an “imgonnadothis” attitude, I start thinking about how ridiculously egocentric it makes me seem to assume that anyone might even remotely care about the things I may or may not post for all the world to see.
Here’s the thing– I don’t really care if three people, three thousand people, or no people read this. I kind of don’t care if it makes me egocentric to think that anybody would. I know that there are at least three blogs I anonymously follow, and it makes me feel good to know that there are at least three other twenty-somethings going through the same things I am. 
So even if there’s just one person out there who anonymously reads this– and who is subsequently made fun of by their husband for being a creepy stalker [true life]– this is for you.
Otherwise this is just for me, and that’s okay too.

——-

“One of the illusions of life is that the present hour is not the critical, decisive hour. Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year.” [Emerson]