Wednesday, July 9, 2014

School Supplies

I have a lot of catching up to do here. In the past few months since I've bogged we've moved to a new state, bought a new house, and experienced all kinds of milestones- family milestones and sweet Caroline milestones. I would be here all night if I tried to recount everything in one blogpost and talked about how long it's been since I've blogged. Instead, I'm just going to share my heart. 

Caroline and I were in Target yesterday. Per usual, we go there far too often {I know Bennett is giving a big amen to this, what can I say, it's my happy place}. We were roaming the aisles when I realized that they were slowly but surely getting their school supplies on the shelves and ready for the school year. Now, I'm one of those weird people that always loved going back to school because I LOVED the school supplies. For my whole educational experience, loved them. When I was little it was going to the Hello Kitty store to get everything matching, pink, and have my mom write my name on it all in bubble letters- when I was in college it was getting the perfect planner, folders, pens, paper, and organizing myself for the new year. Yesterday, I {no joke} found myself a little sad that I wasn't buying school supplies. I mean really what's not to love? I found myself wanting to buy the polka dot folders and pink hi-liters and missing the days when things were easier and I could look forward to something as simple and fun as the first day of school {complete with new outfit, of course}. Then my mind started to wonder. I thought about how far I've come since those days. How much in my life has changed since I bought my last set of school supplies in Athens.... Then I realized that in just a few years I'll be buying school supplies again. I'll be getting an adorable little girl ready for her first day of school with crayons, scissors, and a monogrammed lunch box.... And I couldn't even handle the thought. I immediately realized that I need not be sad that a time in my life has passed. I realized how quickly it passed, and how much more quickly life has gone since then. I realized that in a few years, new school supplies will mean another year older for my baby girl. Another year of learning, changing, and growing into the beautiful person that I know she will become. As we creep up to her first birthday {less than a month. I can't believe it. Hold me.}, I'm realizing just how quickly life goes by now. Just how much I need to treasure every single moment in this phase of life. Lots of days with her are fun.... But some days are hard. Really hard. Harder than I ever imagined possible. Stay at home mom is supposed to be the easy life, right? {haha?} Sometimes I miss my job. So much of what I thought of myself came from my success at work and there are some days that I miss that validation. Then there are days like yesterday.... When I have this mini emotional breakdown in target all because I saw some school supplies. I look at my baby girl {who is waving and saying "bye bye" to every person who walks by}, she smiles, laughs, and points at me, and I know that this is right where I was meant to be. Right where I was made to be. And I thank God for the opportunity to have the most amazing job and title in the world as Mommy to the most beautiful girl He blessed me with. It really is the sweetest life and I know it's only going to get better.... But for now, on our next Target trip, I think I'll skip the school supply aisle ;) 

Friday, March 28, 2014

The SAHM Life

Funny how I vowed to blog more now that I live the stay at home mom life... but somehow I haven't blogged at all. I'm going to need to work on that. Speaking of the stay at home mom life... WOW. I am so incredibly thankful that Bennett and I made the best decision ever when we decided I would leave Altria and be home with Caroline full time. I knew that I would have a whole different type of "work" cut out for me, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. Over the past two months of "stay at home mommy-ness" I have had several people ask me "Are you getting bored yet?" or "Is it really all that you thought it would be?".  Let me be candid and answer those questions... first of all it is everything and more that I thought it would be. My precious girl and I have a bond and relationship closer than ever that I would not trade for anything in the world. Second of all, anyone who thinks stay at home moms have a chance to get "bored" deserve to have a pitcher of ice water poured on them during their sleep. I'm serious. This does NOT get boring. It is difficult on a whole different level {coming from someone who had quite the demanding job prior to this new SAHM life}. And here's the thing- as a SAHM {stay at home mom- this is how I will refer to it from now on.. much easier to type}, how you spend your day is all up to you! Well, and that little bundle of joy who may or may not decide to take their nap on schedule and may or may not decide to have a blow out in their pants on the way to the park. What I'm trying to say is, could I {in all reality} choose to spend my days in PJs on the couch watching soap operas while Caroline plays by herself or eats some random piece of paper? Yep, I could. Do I? HECK NO. Most days, I find that I haven't even sat down to catch a glimpse of TV until about 8:00 when she is in bed and the mister and I have eaten supper. Caroline and I stay very active, both around the house and outside the house. Our life is GREAT.
Speaking of house, all of you probably know by now that we are moving to Georgia! I am so excited that we decided to plant our roots in the lovely community of Summergrove in Newnan, Ga. Our new home is {almost finished} being built, and we close April 11! We will miss Greenville immensely. I honestly get teary eyed thinking about leaving this {what I consider to be the} greatest little city EVER. But, I know that we will have so much fun coming back to visit our friends! When I moved here three and a half years ago straight out of college- I had no idea just how much I would fall in love with this place.... Anyhow, all that to say- we are thrilled to move to Newnan and start a new life there! My family will be so close and for that we are SO thankful. I grew up with my grandparents, aunts, and uncles living near to me and am excited for Caroline {and future little Smiths} to be able to do the same! Really, Caroline has a pretty sweet grandparent set-up because my side will be close to her and Bennett's side will be in Orlando.. beach and Disney trips, yes please!!

While I'm talking about Caroline.... how is it possible that she will be 8 months old next week? Seriously how is it possible? This little girl has completely stolen my heart. I love her more than I ever thought possible. It is funny because each month I say to Bennett "Oh man, this age is totally my favorite month"... but then the next month I'm saying the same thing! And lately even "Oh man, her little personality has REALLY developed this week".... but then the next month I'm saying the same thing! Something tells me I'll probably be saying those things for the rest of her life. I'm not kidding when I say that I gave birth to the most social butterfly of child ever. I cannot go through the grocery store without her "making friends" with every single person there. Today as we were walking through Publix, I realized she was playing Peek-a-Boo with some complete stranger lady and using my body as the "peek". She is so funny! She is like any minute away from crawling... she gets up on all fours and then just totally scoots herself backwards instead of coming forward. She eats all kinds of pureed foods {and is a fabulous eater, at that!}, and is still breastfed. This is something I happen to be extremely proud of! I had to supplement for a little bit at certain times when I was working because I was gone for 12+ hours a day on multiple occasions and just not able to pump enough. However, once I came home full time, my supply built right back up and she has had only breastmilk ever since! I'M SO HAPPY ABOUT THAT.

Before  I bore you all to tears, I'll sign off. But not before I share a few pictures- of course......

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Big Big BIG News

"You will never have this day with your children again.
Tomorrow they'll be a little older then they were today.
This day is a gift. Breathe and Notice. Smell and touch them.
Study their faces and little feet and pay attention.
Relish the charms of the present. Enjoy today Mama.
It will be over before you know it...."
-Jen Hatmaker

This is probably the most exciting post yet.... A big announcement from the Smiths. A big change for our family. A BIG change for me personally. After lots of prayer, God's perfect hand of provision on our family to continually open door after door, and the support of my most amazing husband EVER.... I have officially resigned as Unit Manager with Altria Group and after January 27, will be a full time stay at home Mommy to our sweet Caroline!!!!!!!! 

There are no words to describe the emotion. I am so beyond thrilled to be home with my precious daughter. I am so thankful to have the opportunity. I am so excited for all the fun times she and I are going to have. But I would be lying if I didn't say this has definitely been THE MOST bittersweet decision. I'm leaving a really good job with a really really great company that I worked really really REALLY hard to get to where I am. Don't get me wrong, the sweetness of being home with my girl definitely outweighs the bitterness of putting my career on hold. But I just didn't feel I could make the announcement without putting that out there too. The past 3 years with Altria have been the best that I could have asked for. I was blessed tremendously when I received a job offer from them as a senior at UGA and had absolutely no idea just what was in store for me during my time with this company. It will always have a special place in my heart. And one thing is for sure, I will NEVER walk into a C-store again with out doing a total tobacco category assessment ;)

I AM SO EXCITED!!!!!!! This has always been a desire of my heart. I need you all to know what a freaking awesome husband I have. Thank you Lord for making him for me. Thank you Lord for making this possible. Thank you Bennett for supporting our family, working as hard as you do, being as smart and talented as you are, and providing me the opportunity to be there for our Caroline. I promise to make you proud in the home just like I made you proud before. 

To all of my faithful readers (who might be just my family, I'm not even really that sure): I appreciate your thoughts and prayers as we make this transition. And especially for me. I sometimes to a fault have put a lot of my self worth into my success at work. I would be lying if I didn't say I'm not a tad tad TAD bit worried that I am going to miss it. Again- I said a tad bit. I'm about to go into a breakfast meeting now to break the news to the team that I manage. Like how I say "break the news" and just assume they are going to be heartbroken? Ha. Maybe they'll be glad, who knows. I like to think they'll miss me ;)

We've already started The Little Gym. February 3rd we start swimming.... What else shall Caroline and I do????? 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

5 Month Old Caroline

Last week, Sweet Caroline turned 5 months old. Somehow we have gone from finding out we were pregnant to having a bubbly, giggly, smiley, rolling over, sitting up (almost), slowly starting to eat solids, growing like a weed little baby girl. And it all has happened SO. FAST. Seriously I feel like before I know it I'll be planning her perfect little princess bash of a 1st birthday party.... SLOW. DOWN.  We are having so much fun with her. The girl has one heck of a personality, if you've met her I am sure you have witnessed what I am talking about. Full of life!!! She and I started a mommy and me "gymnastics" class at The Little Gym this past week and all she did was literally smile and laugh at everyone the whole time we were there. She is quite the social butterfly! It was great for her to have some interaction with other babies her age. Since we have someone come to the house to watch her rather than daycare, she has zero interaction with other babies on a daily basis. It was fun to watch her discover that there are other people her size :)

It's truly amazing how much life has changed. I believe 100% that there is no way to really describe the experience of becoming a new parent. No amount of books, internet articles, message boards, classes, or even advice could ever prepare someone. There are the obvious changes such as daily routine, ability to be spontaneous, lack of sleep, etc. Then the other "obvious" things such as feel like your heart is going to explode, never knew you could love someone so much, don't care that she spit up all over me look how cute she is, etc.... But that second sentence of obvious things. Man the emotion is a level that I could try to describe but would never do it justice. Everything changes. My perspective on the craziest things has changed. Example: I'll be the first to admit, I was not always the  greatest about following the "no texting while driving" rule. I would occasionally find something sooooo pressing that I just had to reply to a text, email, etc. I know- horrible. But NOW. Oh goodness. Now that I have someone who literally depends on me for everything, the phone can wait. I'm probably the safest driver on the roads in South Carolina these days (saying a lot if you have ever ridden with me prior to this.. my bosses bosses boss once told me I was the worst driver he had ever ridden with... #yikes). If I see someone on their phone while driving I literally feel the need to blow my horn, scold them, maybe even follow them to their destination and give them a piece of my mind. I'm carrying precious cargo you buttholes!!!! Even if she isn't in the car, she is waiting for me at home and pardon my french but I'll be damned if some idiot driver is going to stand in the way of me making it to her.  Then... then there's this example. In October, Bennett had the honor of being a groomsman in the wedding of one of his lifelong dear friends, Caleb Vogt. It was a beautiful wedding. But this wedding was a new experience for me. Normally I always look at the grooms face when his lady walks toward him. But this night as his bride Emily walked down the aisle, I caught a glimpse of her Mom looking at her baby girl, beautiful as ever, dressed in white, marrying the man of her dreams. In that moment, I got SO emotional. I always get emotional at weddings but this was for much different reason than usual. As the new mom of a daughter, I could only imagine what was going through her mom's head and heart on that most special night. And then I remembered I had seen that look before, on my most special night when my mom fought back tears of joy. It's a look of love that I feel like I'm starting to understand more and more each day throughout this journey of being a new mommy.......

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Little Reflection on 2013

I figured the last day of 2013 is a great time for me to write my first post in over two months. I've been a slacker {only when it comes to the blog, believe me} I admit it. I vow to post regularly again in 2014. That said, 2013..... wow. wow. wow. WOW. I cannot believe this year is already coming to a close. I've always gotten a bit emotional when we close one year and prepare for another. It all started in the 2nd grade. I remember {just like it was yesterday} coming back to school in January after a long Christmas vacation. My teacher, Miss Christine Davis at Heritage Christian School, had a big calendar in the classroom. You know the kind where you change out the month each month? Well, this time she took the year off and threw it away {she didn't save it like she normally did the months}. I semi freaked out and asked why she threw the year away, couldn't we use it again? That's when she explained that we would not use it again because 1994 was over. After I asked "Can't we use it when it comes back again?"and she said No. I remember feeling all sad and sentimental inside as I watched her put up 1995. True story. My little 2nd grade self was legitimately sad that I would never see 1994 again.... and I have no clue why? Anyway, whatever the reason, so began my emotional attachment to years. I'm a sentimental sap to everything else so it doesn't surprise me in the least. This year though... this year I have all the more reason to be emotional. This year is the year I became a MOMMY. What a year it has been.

All my life, I wondered what I'd be like when I was a mom. I wondered what I'd look like, what my husband would looked like {hit the jackpot there for sure}, what my babies would look like {again, jackpot}, where we'd be in life, what I'd feel like, etc. Let me say that I could not have imagined that life would be any more wonderful than it is right now. Not only did this year bring us our precious Caroline Anne in August, but Bennett got a wonderful new job in the spring making the switch from pharmaceutical to technology sales. Great career move for him and our family. Then in the early summer, I was promoted to management with my company. I will say, I always knew I'd feel great when I got promoted at Altria but getting promoted while preggers made me feel pretty dang good.

Life since August has changed in more ways than I could begin to name. It is amazing how much having a baby changes your entire world. Bennett and I still joke that pretty much the whole first month is just a blur. I think we just consider it a success that all 3 of us survived that month. It was HARD. I definitely realized then that I totally underestimated how difficult being new parents would be. Happy tears were shed, but there were definitely a good amount of stressed out, emotional, don't know what the heck to do, please just make my baby stop crying tears shed as well. Then we moved into the second month. The, "Ok... I think we can do this" month. That's when she finally decided to quit being an owl and actually sleep at night. HALLELUJAH. The third month is what we like to call the "This is getting fun month". Her little personality just started blossoming and it has been beautiful to watch ever since! The smiles, the giggles, oh how they melt my heart. The fourth month was a hard one for me. That was the "I'm now a working Mommy" month. I returned to work on October 28 and am pretty sure I cried every single day for the first couple weeks. One day, I burst into tears when I got home? Why was I crying when I was home and holding her? No idea. It was a hard month. Hence why I haven't blogged much. I finally feel like we are in more of a routine, but it has been tough. On a happier note... she also began rolling over during the fourth month and just continues to GROW. At her 4 month doctor appointment she was in the 95th percentile for both weight and height! Month 5 has been by far my favorite, but I won't talk about that yet.. stay tuned for that post. {she turns 5 Months on 1/3}

I could go on forever. I'll sum everything up by saying that 2013 has been the most happy, exciting, challenging, emotionally draining, full of love year in all my 25 {almost 26!} years. Tears fill my eyes when I think of how the Lord continues to bless every aspect of my life, of our lives. So yes, I am sad to see 2013 go because of all the wonderful things it brought to me. However, I am FREAKING PUMPED to welcome 2014..... Because 2011 brought me a fiancé, 2012 brought me a husband, 2013 brought me a baby.... So what is 2014 going to bring me? Stay tuned. It's going to be an awesome year!!!!!!!!!!

And now for some pics of my girl from our NYE photo shoot earlier today. How precious are her little "Tiny and Bubbly" shirt and sparkle boots?!

Friday, October 18, 2013

2 Month Old Caroline

Well, this post is certainly a couple weeks overdue- oops! Our little sweetness turned two months old on October 3rd. WHAT?!? How is she already two months old?? Time is already going by so fast... too fast... and I know it will only get worse as she gets older {insert sad mommy face}. Caroline brings more joy into our lives than I could ever imagine. I find myself getting all teary by just sitting and looking at her. Sometimes it really feels like my heart is going to come right out of my chest, I love this baby girl so much! The other night, I was nursing her before bedtime and found myself sitting in the rocker with tears just rolling down my face as I was thinking about how lucky I am to have been given such a perfect blessing. When we found out we were expecting, to say that we were surprised puts it lightly. We were nowhere near "ready" {so we thought} to become parents and had "planned" on waiting at least 3 years before even talking about babies. Now, I am so more than happy that God had another plan for our lives. A plan for our precious little Caroline to be born to us on August 3, 2013. She has changed our world completely and we would not have it any other way.
{Our big girl's stats at her two month check up were outstanding - 13 lbs 3 oz which is the 95th percentile and 23.75 inches which is the 92nd percentile. Growing girl!!}

Month two was a big month for Caroline. She stayed away from Mommy and Daddy with a "babysitter" for the first time while we went to a wedding of one of my sweet friends from college. Grandmother, Aunt Whit, and Uncle Joshy stayed with her for about about 4 or 5 hours and she did so good! In addition to that, she also had her first trip to LaGrange and then to Orlando to visit both sides of our family. Bless her poor heart, the drive to Orlando took a toll on her.. but she made it! At one point, we had to stop somewhere in south Georgia {where I almost died of the gnat overload, disgusting} so that I could just get her out of the carseat and hold her for a little while to calm her down. Of course I felt so bad that I started just balling too while I was holding her crying. We were so happy to finally get there and see our Smith side of the family, but I think next time we may divide the trip into two days ;)

I could write forever, as I have so many thoughts going through my head these days about this precious girl. But I think I will save those for coming posts... which will be soon! I'm committing to writing more.. stay tuned. Until then, here is your daily dose of Caroline. Is she cute or what?!
With her Great Grand-Paw (my grandfather)
With her Grand GrandPapa (Bennett's grandfather)
Grandmother and Great Nanny at the wonderful brunch Grandmother hosted in Caroline's honor
 Happy little girl!
 If that doesn't melt your heart... oh the sweetness!
 Our little strawberry
Bathtime is still her favorite time

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

1 Month Old Caroline

I cannot believe that one month has already passed since our sweet Caroline Anne came into the world. What a whirlwind of a month it has been! I suppose that is to be expected, especially since we spent the first two weeks walking around like complete and total zombies. I don’t think I ever could have told you what day of the week it was, everything just ran together and I am convinced that the only thing which kept us awake throughout those days of complete exhaustion is the adrenaline rush of finally holding our precious girl in our arms {even if it was at 4 am when she was screaming for no apparent reason ;) } All jokes aside, this gift of becoming a parent has far surpassed anything that myself or Bennett expected. We are in love with our baby girl. All 10 lbs 7 oz and 22 inches of her! We had her 1 month check up today and those are her current stats. Girl is growing like crazy! I will say, hearing that your baby girl is growing good and strong because of the milk that your body is producing for her little body…. It’s a really neat feeling. Go me!!! {haha}

 How precious is that little face? I think I spend a good majority of my day just staring at her… she is just so dang adorable! Throughout this past week, she has already started to develop somewhat of a little personality! She will look at us and smile while making a little bit of coo-ing noise.. melt your heart! Actually, we have had a couple of big breakthroughs this week! She has started sleeping MUCH better {hallelujah}. We have come leaps and bounds from where she was even just about 10 days ago. She is going down after her final feeding at about 9:00 and sleeping until about 3:00. She wakes then to eat, goes right back to sleep, and then wakes again around 6:00 or 7:00 to eat again. Mommy and daddy are happy happy happy with this new little routine! She also has finally decided to take a paci. Now, let me preface this by saying that I really don’t like pacifiers. I especially don’t like it when kids have them shoved in their mouths 24/7 and even more so when they are way too old to be sucking on one anyway. However, sometimes… THE PACI IS NECESSARY!!!! Holy moly, what a difference it has made. Literally this past Saturday it was like a light went off in her head and she all of a sudden decided “Oh, this is actually kind of nice. I’d much rather have this thing in my mouth than cry my eyes out”. Again, hallelujah. Speaking of cry her eyes out… big moment #3 and #4 this week- she stayed alone with Daddy for a few hours Saturday morning for the first time AND took a bottle {with pumped milk}. Thank you to Bennett taking her over while I went to the salon for some relaxation and having my hair done, I came back very refreshed! My relaxation was momentarily interrupted when he sent me the picture on the left along with the text “we just started a meltdown”….. Mommy almost had a meltdown of her own… Poor baby girl!! Luckily just minutes later, he followed up with the picture on the right and said "all better now!!"

I still plan to do a post soon on her birthdate, the delivery, etc. I think now that things have become a bit more routine, I'll have time for that. But for now, I've included just a few pictures for everyone's viewing pleasure. {Because I know you don't see enough of them on social media}
 That sweet little laugh!
 She may look just like Daddy, but she has Mommy's little dimples and they are starting to become more visible, especially here!
 Loves story time
 Loves the Momaroo
Loves riding in the car
And I included this one just because it makes me laugh... alot.