Ok, I’ll go ahead and say it – it’s just easier this time. I haven’t been shy expressing the struggles I had as a first time mom to Garrett. Anxiety, guilt, shame, control (or lack there of) – you name it, I felt it. But with Charlotte, it’s as if those heavy clouds that hung over my head the first year of Garrett’s life, were never even in the forecast. I’m not sure if it’s due to my hormones not being as imbalanced – I keep saying that maybe my body rejected the boy hormones, and that’s why it’s easier having a girl. Or maybe it’s just that there really is such a thing as (and I cringe as I say this, cuz I really do hate the label), a “good baby.”
This past weekend I was so excited to celebrate our little lady’s upcoming arrival with friends and family at our baby sprinkle. My sweet neighbor and friend hosted the “desert-themed party w/ a southern twist” as I like to call it, with all my favorite tex-mex cravings (I’m still dreaming about the queso :). It was so special to be back in Texas and be surrounded with so many dear friends, both old and new, along with all their moms – who basically helped raise me. Grant’s mom, two sisters and niece all came, who I can’t imagine life without. And of course my mom and her best friend who were so kind to think of Garrett and bring him his own “Big Brother” party hat and more Hot Wheels to add to his already growing stock. Hope you enjoy the photos that my resident blog photographer and friend at Marlo Carroll Photography took of the festivities.
I have a lot of mixed feelings on maternity wear. Not because there aren’t a ton of cool brands out there – see Fashion Mamas founder Natalie’s crowdsourced list in LAmag (I may or may not have contributed to the H&M & TopShop picks). I just have a hard time spending money on clothes that will be worn for maybe six months and then disappear in a box somewhere in the back of your closet/no-woman’s land. But on the other hand, shopping for your new-found bump is one of the short-lived perks to being pregnant. So, I made a compromise with myself: I will allow myself to shop for maternity clothes, if and only if they are affordable and fit in a way that makes me feel great about myself (cuz let’s face it – come 32 weeks in, we all need a little pick me up). Plus, there’s nothing like your best friend from college getting married to kick you into hyper-shopping mode.
Now that my superstitious mind has waited long enough, I’m finally ready to announce the big news. I’m pregnant! Yep, the Murray’s will be welcoming another little tyke into our family August 1st (but I’m thinking it’s gonna be a July baby, given that Garrett came early and this one’s measuring a whole week bigger already!). Aaaand, wait for it – it’s aaaaaaa….GIRL!
By now, if you are brave enough to follow my sometimes senseless ramblings on social media, you probably saw a more serious side this week. It started off with a doctor’s visit for my son to figure out why he’s been struggling with some type of cough/wheezing situation for the past month or so. I shared how I was at my wit’s end as he fought us tooth and nail to take his steroid meds – which in the end I figured out the syringe and candy/popsicle chaser did the trick…along with the opportunity to profess to daddy afterwards “I took my medicine and it was GROSS!” He’s still scared to death of the inhaler/aero chamber contraption – oh and don’t even get me started on the nebulizer (just ask the nurse about that one, if they ever invite us back). But so far, the meds alone have gotten rid of the cough, so I’m hopeful he’ll be getting a clean bill of health at his follow-up visit, and it’s not something more serious.
I never thought I could love fall, and October in particular, more than I did when I was a kid. But then I had my own kid and it’s like fall has taken on a whole new meaning. Primarily a new found love for pumpkin patches. I mean seriously, who knew plopping a baby down on a field full of pumpkins could be so stinkin’ cute? Now that my son’s a little older, we get to enjoy more things like hayrides, petting zoos, etc. which is what we found after stumbling upon Sunset Hill Tree Farm. We literally just mentioned it in passing when visiting my father-in-law in Alvarado, TX a few weeks back – and turns out, he knows the man who owns the farm. He told us the story about how he helped fetch him and his lawn mower out of the mud last Spring. After a good laugh I imagine, they got to talking about how Duane (the husband) and his family have been running a Christmas tree farm and pumpkin patch for the past several years – and invited my father-in-law to stop by. These are the kinds of good country folk who make us so proud to be back in our home state.
Let’s just set the record straight. I’m a sucker for anything old. Vintage cameos, antique decor, old towns – you name it, I covet it. It started with weekends spent strolling the quaint streets of Old Town Spring with my parents growing up, where the shops and restaurants make you feel like you’re living in an old west town rather than in the middle of the booming city of Houston. We’d spend hours at our favorite lunch spot, the British Trading Post & Tea Room, where my father bonded with a fellow Brit, Maureen, who ran the place with her daughters and quickly became like family. After moving away, I would plea for Grant to take me back any time we visited home, just to get a glimpse of my childhood memories.
This past week I found myself turning to Pinterest more often than usual grasping for a little style inspiration. You might recall from our recent moving debacle, that somewhere in West LA a woman (or man for that matter) is walking around wearing half my wardrobe. Hence, I’m having to come up with more creative ways to make what clothes I have left work overtime. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Pinterest is your friend. I personally find it to be the best place to get a quick dose of fashion inspo, and the best part is that I can do it at night after I put the little guy down and have all my new outfit ideas ready to reference the next morning. Bazinga.
Waiting for fall to come in Texas is like waiting for cherry blossom season, and then it’s gone before you know it. I’ve never let it cramp my style though. Granted, I definitely miss my LA “seasons,” which essentially allowed me to dress like it was fall year round (le sigh). But alas, I vow to prepare for fall like a medieval knight going into battle. The easiest way, if you live in a warmer climate like we do now, is to start transitioning your wardrobe with a few key accessories.
Good grief is right. Good grief, as in, “Good grief, why has it taken me the better half of 9 months to sit down and write again?” Or, “Good grief, could more things have happened to us this year?” But in the literal sense, a “good grief” is healing through loss, which I myself and those I love have experienced more times than once this year. Even as I’m sitting here writing this, I am stricken with grief of yet another close friend who was taken from us far too soon.
I didn’t quite know where to start, so I’ll just start from the beginning. Fair warning, it’s a five-parter and a little heavy, so get settled in for a long read. Oh and don’t worry, I’ll get back to writing fluff pieces about fashion, beauty, and my crazy mama stories soon enough.