My Maternal Mental Health Journey with Postpartum Thyroiditis

Did you know that Oct 6th -12th is Mental Health Awareness Week? I didn’t. I also didn’t know when Garrett was born 6 years ago on October 11th (ironically), that I would be 1 in 5 women affected by postpartum mental health issues. Sure I’d heard about postpartum depression before, portrayed in the media like it’s some “choice” we willingly make the moment we become a mom. But there was one thing I’d never heard of until a fellow blogger shared her struggle with postpartum thyroiditis. As I kept scrolling through her blog post, I couldn’t help but feel cheated. Cheated by an already failed postpartum maternal health system. Cheated by the doctors I trusted. But most of all, cheated by my own mind and body out of what’s supposed to be one of the most euphoric experiences of your life – becoming a mom for the first time.

Continue reading

Fixing Up Our First Home: Then And Now

Three years ago this month, we drove across town to look at a little fixer upper we’d had our eyes on. Who would have thought all those years ago, 15 to be exact, that Clear Lake (the home of NASA and where we fell in love) would be where we’d end up? Before marriage, before kids, before moving cross country twice, just to settle back down where it all started. Since this year has been a commemoration of so much (15 years together and our 10 year wedding anniversary), I just felt like we needed a special way to remember fixing up our first home three years later.

Recreating Old Photos in our First Home

Continue reading

How We Tackle Mornings as a Busy Family of Four

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Tyson Foods, Inc. The opinions and text are all mine. #JimmyDeanRollupsatHEB #CollectiveBias

This school year was kinda like the perfect storm. At the same time Garrett was starting Kindergarten, we decided to start Charlotte in preschool 3 days a week as well. My poor mama heart and mind didn’t know what to think. On one hand I was so excited and proud of both my babies, but on the other hand I just couldn’t wrap my head around how the heck they’ve grown up so fast. Not to mention, on top of managing my blog, I was given more responsibility at my freelance digital agency gig. So needless to say, we all had a pretty loud wake-up call which made me realize it was finally time to kick our morning routine into high gear. Check out this offer to save $1.50 off 1 product valid through 10/13.

Morning Routine

Continue reading

Mom Jean Confessions: To My Son On Your First Day Of Kindergarten

You know how before a big life event happens (getting married, having a baby, or in my case – your first born starting Kinder 😭), it’s like all the sudden you can’t open Facebook without a thousand articles aimed right at you with the sole intention of making you ugly cry for 10 hours straight? Yep, you know the one, it doesn’t even mess around with click bait – it goes right for the ovaries until your poor unsuspecting husband’s suddenly finds himself agreeing to another baby. Don’t worry Mark – it happens to the best of em and she’ll forget about it by morning. So you’re probably wondering what my point is with all this? Well instead of reading another mama’s words, I told myself I would try and suffer through writing an ode to my own son – cuz at the end of the day, we’re all a little glutton for punishment 😉

Back to School Mommy & Me Bracelet Set c/o Hattie Now Designs

Continue reading

Cha Cha’s Two-nicorn Birthday Party

This post contains affiliate linkswhich means I receive a commission if you make a purchase usingthe links in this post.

If you told our little Cha Cha that she just turned two, I’m pretty sure she’d look at you like you had three heads. Cuz as far as she’s concerned, she’s been ruling this roost for a hundred years at least, and we’re all just here for her entertainment 😉 But truth be told, as much as we joke about our little “boss baby,” I must tell you – she’s also the kindest and silliest soul. She loves her bubba the most, and calls out to him every morning from our bed. She adores daddy and frantically waves at him with exclamations of “HI DADA!!” barely letting him in the door every day he gets home from work. As for me, I always knew I wanted a daughter, but I never would have imagined she’d be the sheer spitting image of me and I live for her sweet mama snuggles.

Continue reading

Mom Jean Confessions: Why I’m Proud To Have A Strong Willed Child

It’s been nearly a year since I wrote about this topic, and my how things have changed. If we thought Cha Cha was strong willed before, then we absolutely, without a doubt, and whole heartedly know this to be true now. But here’s the thing. At what point did “strong-willed” become synonymous with “bad-behaved,” or “stubborn,” or even worse – “problem child?” My child is anything but a problem. My child is strong-willed, Yes. But she’s also mind-blowingly perceptive, and what if some day she wakes up and starts perceiving that this world isn’t meant for her? That her strong will is yet another thing society tells us we need to correct for her to “fit in.” Well screw fitting in (pardon my French). I honestly think we need more children like Cha Cha, and here’s why…

Continue reading

Visiting the Magnolia Silos in Waco, TX

The Murray Family Guide To The Magnolia Silos

Like half the population of 30-something year old women – I’ve been fostering my love for Joanna Gaines for some time now. It hit its peek right around the time when we moved back home to Texas and started living out our “Fixer Upper” dreams. I’d like to think if JG ever strolled past our little Murray cottage – she’d give me a wink and a thumbs up 😉 So naturally, the sweet hubs that I have has been scheming a trip to Magnolia Market at the Silos for the past couple of years. The first time we tried, it was for my bday when Cha Cha was a mere 3 months old, so that was out. The second time we were coming back from our quick trip to Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine, but unfortunately they were closed on Sunday 😕 So third time’s a charm and as luck would have it, we made it back early enough from our July 4th Virginia trip (which I’ll be blogging about soon!), and were able to swing by the Silos with the kiddos earlier this week 😊 Just for fun, I thought I’d round up a quick guide if you’re planning a visit to the Magnolia Silos in Waco – hope it helps!

Visiting the Magnolia Silos in Waco, TX

Continue reading

Mom Jean Confessions: Dear Younger Self, Be Grateful

A couple of days ago, a friend of mine shared a meme in her Facebook group & it’s stuck with me ever since.

I scrolled past it at first, until literally the next post on my feed was an article shared by my sister-in-law. All I had to do was read the title “Neuroscience Reveals How Gratitude Literally Rewires Your Brain to Be Happier.” I went right back and commented on my friend’s post – “Be Grateful.” It seems so simple, and as I read through the dozens of other comments, “Have Faith, Don’t Stress, Slow Down,” I couldn’t help but wonder – why does it take us so long to realize these simple life lessons?

Continue reading

10 Ways I Met My Goal of “10K by May” on Instagram

I don’t know about you, but when I have a goal I want to hit, I always give it a catch phrase. Maybe it’s the marketer in me, but I just can’t help myself 😋 Which is how my slogan “10k by May” was born. About 6 months ago, right around the holidays, I was looking at my Instagram and realized I was so close to hitting 5k followers and thought it would be fun to set a goal to hit it by the end of the year. I ended up hitting it before Christmas, and it gave me the boost I needed to start setting goals for myself in the new year. The one goal that I’d always felt unattainable – was hitting that magic number “10k” on Instagram. Since I’ve never been one to give up easily, I started doing the math in my head and decided based on my exponential growth up to this point – that it was totally doable to hit “10k by May.” So here’s how I did it…

10 Ways to hit 10k followers on Instagram

Continue reading