It’s been 3 months since we last caught up! I didn’t even realize that much time had passed until I began writing this post. Between work, baby, and trying to be a regular human being with real life relationships, time is flying!
Let’s begin with the most important: Noelle. Our sweet girl will be 10 months on July 23rd. She’s crawling and pulling herself into the standing position. Watching her discover this world is truly amazing. She’s saying mama and dada!! Right now I think “mama” and “dada” are just noises and she doesn’t say either with intention… but maybe she does? She surprises me everyday, so who knows!
Noelle’s a little water baby– loving bath time and splashing in the baby pool. We love her little individual baby pool with the removable shade. (Super inexpensive, awesome purchase!) She claps when I say “YAY!” and waves hello + bye-bye. She loves the dogs and has the brightest smile whenever they walk into a room. She’s just the happiest baby with the biggest personality! She’s extremely vocal and always giggling. I’ll leave the room for a quick minute and she’ll be laughing by herself in her playpen area. Or she’ll wake up from a nap and begin giggling in her crib. I love our silly girl!!! She melts my heart every time she smiles or reaches her little arms out for me. She’s a great sleeper, always has been, and loves story time. If you’re in the market for baby books, these are our 3 most-loved books:
- Snuggle Puppy (fun to sing)
- Pout Pout Fish (also fun to sing)
- Giraffes Can’t Dance (such a cute story!!)
Do you know the blog Your Cup of Cake? My friend Lizzy runs it. She launched a line of handmade baby/toddler bows, both clips and headbands. She sent me a few as a gift and I love them. It’s hard to see, but Noelle’s wearing one in these photos. Not only are the bows adorable, they (1) STAY ON NOELLE’S HEAD and (2) are comfortable! All the other bows we have slide off her head or simply don’t stretch. Lizzy’s bows are super stretchy, so I can see them fitting for awhile.
I LOVE being a mom. The past 9.5 months weren’t easy, but they’ve been magic.
I’ve talked about my struggle adjusting to motherhood a few times before. I’m unsure if it was normal new mom stress or a form of postpartum depression or postpartum anxiety. There’s no need to label it, but I’m sharing my story in hopes that it will bring comfort and support to other new mothers. (This is very serious and sensitive for most, so if you are inspired to approach this subject in the comment section, I ask that you do so with an open mind and with care. I never saw a doctor and while it’s best to speak to a professional or join a support group if you feel you may be experiencing PPD, I didn’t realize what I was experiencing in the moment.) I was ashamed that I didn’t immediately connect with my baby and felt inferior to mothers around me. I didn’t know what I was doing and as I watched my incredible husband approach fatherhood so seamlessly, I felt like a terrible, selfish, and heartless mother. My baby lived inside me, I birthed and nurse her, I love her so much, but why don’t I feel a connection yet? I was overwhelmed, plagued with guilt, tired, confused, and felt isolated and scared.
The connection came with time. And while I’ll always have the mom guilt, the nervous, overwhelmed, and inadequate feelings and fear have slowly faded. 9.5 months into motherhood doesn’t make me an expert, but I’m confident in the way I mother my baby. And I couldn’t really develop this confidence unless I experienced and worked through the first few difficult months of learning how to be a mother. For me, confidence has everything to do with it. In addition to time and confidence, what really helped was spending time with other new moms and babies. Determined to rise, I joined a local mom group on Facebook, reached out to all my mom friends for advice and play dates, and joined a mommy & me class. It was really hard and I was scared to put myself out there, but I did it anyway. Getting out of the house with Noelle to meet with other new parents and babies turned out to be a breath of fresh air– for Noelle and I both! If you feel isolated, force yourself to get out. It really helps.
Now the most difficult part is juggling my career and motherhood. I want to spend every minute with Noelle but I also love my career, time with friends, exercise, etc. Is work/life balance really a thing? Because there’s no way to perfectly balance it all. But I’m doing my best and making the most of my time when I’m working and the most of my time when I’m not. That’s the best we can do!
Thank you so much for all the support with Sprinkled, my new video mini series. 3 episodes have aired!
- Episode 1: Homemade Strawberry Cake (recipe is here)
- Episode 2: Chewy Fudgy Homemade Brownies (recipe is here)
- Episode 3: Homemade Strawberry Shortcake (recipe is here)
- Episode 4: Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies and will be published in the beginning of August! Recipe is here.
These are all old recipes from my archives and I’m thrilled to breathe life back into each. Also in the episodes are interview style scenes, shots of me working, writing, editing, photographing, and recipe testing. You can find all the episodes in the Sprinkled section of my website or on my video production team’s youtube channel!
If you haven’t seen it, here is a “trailer” for Sprinkled season 1. 🙂
The website redesign also launched this spring! We’re still working out a few kinks. Still unsure if you prefer the full-width blog posts (here’s an example) or regular blog posts (like the one you’re reading). It all displays the same on mobile devices, which is how a majority of you read my blog anyway. But many of you love the full-width look. I’m always looking to improve the layout of my website, so thank you for your feedback!
July Baking Challenge
July Baking Challenge: Apple Hand Pies
Love seeing your baking challenge photos every month! Please keep me posted on your hand pie baking adventures. Not a fan of apple? There’s a few alternate filling suggestions in the blog post like blueberry and cherry. Thank you for participating in the baking challenges!
Have you read/watched my pie crust braiding tutorial? Let me know if you give this beautiful braiding technique a try.
My other babies! My pups, Jude and Franklin, are doing well. 🙂 Enjoying the dog days of summer. Franklin has fully recovered from his surgery last fall. Remember when he needed emergency surgery after finding and eating a piece of a corn cob? Poor little thing. He was back to his rambunctious self not long after surgery. He loves playing with Noelle. He lets her climb all over him. (Adult supervision of course!) Jude is my shadow, as always. Living and loving life at 10 years old. We’re so excited to bring our children– all 3 of them– on our family vacation at the end of the summer. We’re heading to Deep Creek Lake, our favorite vacay spot. Both of our families will join too!
Stephanie, one of my assistants, and I are attending a French pastry class later this month!! I’m satisfied with my croissants and macarons, but baking other classic French pastries intimidates me. Looking forward to sharpening both my skill and knowledge and hopefully I’ll gather some recipe inspiration from it all!
Are you enjoying your summers? Reading any good books? Baking anything delicious? Traveling anywhere fun? Recipes for butterscotch blondies, macadamia nut cookies, and creme brûlée coming soon!
Family photos by Megan Brodie Photography
Bow photo by Busy Bows by Lizzy
Sprinkled photos by Grateful & Co
More life posts right this way.
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With kitchen-tested quality recipes and step-by-step tutorials, my goal is to give you the confidence to bake and cook from scratch.