Coming back after a big break in blogging is always strange. I toyed with the idea of stopping blogging all together. It isn’t that I don’t love it. It isn’t that I am lacking ideas for blog posts. It has just been really, really hard to keep myself together over the past few months, much less blog. Heck, even Instagram and Facebook have become too hard to keep up with lately. So, for a bit, it was just easier to STOP.
I’m not complaining though… these trials and difficulties have come from one of the most amazing life changes. My newest addition graced us with his presence this past November. After a tough (but not terrible) pregnancy and the holidays with an infant… I’m actually looking at the blog again with fresh eyes and renewed hope. Today I released the 2016 Blog Planner to my current newsletter subscribers. (I’ll be sharing it here on the blog next week. ) Prepping and planning the newest edition of the blog planner has given me so much inspiration for this New Year.
I’m looking forward to sharing more next week… in the meantime, here is what has happened over the past few months:
I had several parties that I either hosted or attended. One of my favorite was one that was actually thrown FOR me… my baby sprinkle! The beautiful Pitter Patter in PDX theme was simply amazing. I can’t wait to share the photos and DIY information about the party my amazing friends threw me.
Boy… life has been BUSY. Being pregnant, being a mom and working full time basically took up all of my waking hours over the past few months. I had a hard time doing much of anything, but I made effort to do some of our yearly traditions such as having our annual Halloween party (at 38 weeks pregnant!), going to the annual Apple Festival, enjoying a trip to the pumpkin patch and so on. In there we also moved houses! I’m so very glad we did it all and that I put myself and my family first in this season of life. I took photos along the way with intentions of blogging, but never quite got around to it. Some of the events and projects that have occupied my time will end up on the blog in 2016 (including LOTS of house projects!) but, many of them will remain in my files or printed and shared in albums with just my family. I’m pretty pleased about that.
I was very, very pregnant. The last three weeks of my pregnancy I was told by basically everyone that it was going to happen ANY MOMENT. My first son came five days early so I was very prepared for my second to come around that same time. I moved into a new house and I threw our annual Halloween party just crossing my fingers that the baby would stay put until those things were over. I worked until the day before my due date and spent the whole day on my due date enjoying every kick and spending time with friends.
I was induced at 40 Weeks and 1 Day. I’ll be sharing my birth story on here soon, but let me just say… it was so much easier than the first time around! I’d love to introduce the newest addition to my Well Crafted family. Here on the blog I’ll be calling him X2 and can’t wait to share more of this little guy here on the blog and on Instagram. I’ve been really focusing on my mental health with this postpartum period. I’ve been trying to take it easy, sleep as much as possible and be intentional with my time. I suffered from Postpartum Depression with my first and really hope to avoid it this time around. The recovery has been good and I’ve mostly been spending my time nursing and pinning a ton of ideas on Pinterest. I’ll share my postpartum story here on the blog sometime soon.
We’ve had a beautiful holiday season with lots of friends and family. I’ve been spending as much time as possible soaking in my newest addition, enjoying time with his big brother and just getting to know our new version of family. I’ll be heading back into the office soon and want to get as much out of this time as I possibly can before I head back to work full-time.
I wish you all the happiest of New Years and hope that you’ll join back in reading the blog for A Well Crafted party, home, recipe, life, family and so much more.
Cover photo by Moments by Macey
This weekend we’ve been celebrating my little man’s 4th birthday. I’m a huge fan of birthdays and celebrating birthdays. Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you that I go a little nuts around birthdays. Not just my own, but everyone near and dear. I believe it is important to celebrate many occasions in life, but the one that marks the day life began is pretty special to me.
Each year around my son’s birthday I reflect on the days and hours that brought my little guy into the world.
I also realize how much my world has changed since that moment. For me, meeting my little man and introducing him into the world was sort of a re-birth of my own. I became a new version of myself. My entire world changed in those moments. Which is why each year around this time, I take a moment to treat myself and celebrate my own little “birth” day.
Today it was a treat of coffee and a moment of reflection and tears. In the past I have gotten a pedicure, new lipstick or something equally small, but satisfying. While I will always make sure that my celebrations do not take place of my son’s celebration (it is his day after all!) or take anything away from my husband’s contribution to the whole thing (his world changed that day too!), I do want to make sure that every year around this time I take a little time and reflect on how my world changed and treat myself in honor of that day.
Below are ten easy ways to treat yourself in honor of the day you became a mom. I should stress that I don’t believe that this is for moms only nor just for mothers who gave birth. This could easily have been titled “10 Ways to Treat Yo Self in Honor of the Day You Became a Parent” and work just as well. Heck, for some people it won’t even be on your kiddo’s birthday but possibly on an adoption day or the day you became a step-parent. The 16-year-old girl in me that used to get so upset around my birthday because it was “MY DAY” wants to also stress that while I believe it is important to remember our own contributions in the coming about of our children, and how our own worlds changed in those first few days of becoming parents, it is still a celebration of our kid’s birth and celebrating our own little changes shouldn’t take away from celebrating the day they came about. Anyways, here are ten simple ways to commemorate your “birth” day!
We’ve been doing a lot of camping this Summer to get away from the Portland heat. Our camping supplies have grown over the years from fairly basic sleep on the ground in sleeping bags to quite the array of convenience camping items. (Pregnant camping needs to have some conveniences!) Someday I’ll share a list of all the camping items we’ve found indispensable, however today I sort of have an ode to three items that have become camping essentials for our family and are not found in the camping section!
I have not ventured to check out all of the camping stores out there, and likely there are some version of all three of these items that you CAN find in the camping section of the store. However, they’d probably cost a lot more and be a little more fancy than you really need. Here are the three items I’ll never leave at home while camping. (Some of the below links are affiliate links. Purchases from affiliate links help support this blog with no extra cost to you my awesome reader!)
These little work horses do wonders when camping. Every time we go camping we purchase (or refill, because, let’s be honest, I buy these puppies in bulk) baby wipes for our trip. The wipes sit out on the picnic table for any and all to use for cleaning up hands and messes with ease. I especially like these for when the guys go tinkle out in the forest (my son’s favorite new pastime) because they wouldn’t be likely to wash their hands afterwards if it weren’t made this easy. I’m usually cooking when we go camping and having the wipes there for quick clean up of my hands in between touching different meats/veggies/sauces helps keep things from cross contaminating or just being gross. They are great for wiping hands up after applying bug spray or sunscreen as well! Yep, never going camping without baby wipes again.
Seems silly to have both baby wipes and face wipes. And, before recently, I just went camping with baby wipes. However, on a recent trip a friend brought along her cucumber facial wipes and using them at night and in the morning was so refreshing that I quickly added it to my ‘must have’ list for camping. Often we camp at campsites that do not have great restrooms with showers or even sinks. We like the rustic camp sites the most for how secluded and off the beaten path they are, but can feel gross quickly without those hygiene conveniences.
While baby wipes will do the trick, the face wipes are much better for taking off the grime and leaving you feeling clean and refreshed. Last time we went camping I used as a little sponge bath to boot. I never felt gross the whole trip! (Though, better believe that shower when I got home was just as amazing as ever!)
I cannot squat and pee outdoors. It is impossible for me. I’ve tried every trick out there and somehow always end up peeing all over my pants. I’m not about to go get naked in the middle of the woods just to relieve myself, but I also hate making the trek to the restrooms in the middle of a dark, cold evening of camping.
Story Break: I’ve loved camping for a very long time. So much so that we registered for a ton of camp gear when getting married and camped while honeymooning. It was wonderful and oh-so-romantic camping with my brand new husband. That is, until the first evening, when it was FREEZING at night in the mountains of Colorado in the early Summer months, and I had to pee in the middle of the night. We were at a very rustic campsite and the restrooms were way too far away for me to get there in time. I tried squatting down in the bushes and ended up wetting my PJs so throughly that I had to wake my brand new husband to help me find new pants and find somewhere I could put my freshly wet PJs so they wouldn’t stink up everything we brought. SO embarrassing.
We’ve been camping together for nine years now and I haven’t really been able to perfect the art of peeing outdoors. About four camping trips ago I decided to try peeing in a cup instead of trying to squat. We had thrown a pack of red solo cups into our camping items because we were going with a group of people and we didn’t know if they’d be prepared with water bottles or cups of some sort. I grabbed a cup and went off into the woods. I was able to easily relieve myself with little to no effort. The cup lasted the evening and then was easily disposed of the next day. Not the most eco-friendly option, I know, but it was an easy and clean way to deal with the one aspect of camping that had really been difficult!
If you are anything like me and cannot squat and pee outdoors while camping, I recommend a red solo cup. (Doesn’t really need to be red.) 😉