Postpartum Summer Staples

Screen Shot 2014-05-28 at 10.21.39 PM

Personal style and my ability to create something that looks good and feels good have always been aspects of my identity I enjoy. I am a firm believer in the “look good, feel good” philosophy. As I’ve been adjusting to how much my identity has changed in the last year, and trying to be patient and just go with the flow, one thing that just BUGS me to no end is that I can’t seem to find my mom style. 

In my head I want it to be pulled together, functional, affordable and classic. But I also don’t want to buy a ton of clothes for every 10lbs of weight I lose so I’ve been hobbling together outfits that are some odd mix of stuff from my bin in our garage of my pre-pregnancy clothes and a few pieces I’ve purchased in the last few months. Oh, and it needs to be easy to wash, hide my pooch, and cool enough to wear in 95 degree weather in 100% humidity. 

Because clothes that fit all those requirements don’t exist, or I just haven’t found them yet, most days I am wearing some or all of what you see here. Pretty humble, but super comfy. That’s the name of the game this summer. 

1. Old Navy Chambray Shirt // 2. Old Navy Ribbed Tanks // 3. Old Navy Compression Crops // 4. Old and comfy Birkenstocks handed down from my mom


Motherhood at 7 Months

Early last month, Evan stopped sleeping through the night, classes ended, John and I were bickering frequently, I had mood swings all over the place, and was feeling exhausted while also trying to get back into a running routine. Deep down I was also pretty scared about being home with E all summer, and was facing a lot of resistance from myself in just settling into the role of “stay at home mom” despite that was my choice. Lots of talking, crying and writing later… I am heading into month seven of motherhood in a MUCH better place.

  • I’ve started to be able to recognize my (hormonal) mood swings better and have tried to be very open with John when I’m feeling a “low mood.” It has helped me feel understood and cared for, but it’s taken me being willing to be more vulnerable than I ever wanted to be to make that happen. It’s been worth it for all of us.
  • My confidence as a mama is growing every single day. Being home with him has helped me see how much I actually do for him, and how much he responds to my efforts. He’s going through separation anxiety right now and while that can be frustrating and sad at times, I try my best to never let him see that – I know he’s going through this period because he has a healthy attachment to me, and that makes me feel so good.
  • Focusing on having fun with him is so much easier now as he’s getting older. We read books, we play games, we (I) sing songs, and I try to do as my mom does and “make everything fun.” Mostly, he practices crawling and I cheer him on, catch him, etc. But I sneak everything else in there for some diversity. He is one determined baby!
  • Looking to E as my report card for how I’m doing as a mama and turning off the other noise has been a game changer. I was trying to find feedback and encouragement for a “job well done” all around me, and falling short. After his 6-month checkup it kind of clicked: big picture, I am rocking this mama thing. I mean, I’m making mistakes and am just doing the next right thing all the time, and I never really know if anything I do is “right” or “wrong” (those two words really don’t seem to exist in parenting)…but I’m rocking it. John and I have a healthy, happy, thriving, vibrant little person in our home who is meeting and exceeding milestones. That doesn’t just happen. We didn’t just get lucky. We have done that.
  • I made a summer bucket list with the best of intentions, and I’m so glad to have done it. However, I greatly underestimated how much effort a sleep schedule is and I recognize we’ll likely not get to a lot of things on that list this summer, and we’ve already done plenty I didn’t expect. As such, I’m updating it as we go, so by that end of summer it’s an accurate representation of our summer highlights. It’s a living list instead of a to-do list.
  • John and I are working on our marriage one chapter at a time, every night. We’ve been having quick and light dinners on the patio after E is in bed, chatting about our days, and reading one chapter from this book every night. His dad gave it to us for Christmas in 2012 and after a recent argument, I remembered it, and we started working through it. We’re going on a month of doing this and it has been such a bright spot during this transition period. We both recognize our marriage is the seat of the happy home we both crave and I’m thankful every day to have picked a man who is willing to do the work.

— By next month I imagine we’ll have a crawling baby and life will be so vastly different than it is right now. That “time is flying” cliche is so true in parenthood, and it’s a good reminder for me to enjoy every stage. Even when sleep deprived. 🙂

30 Days of 30 Day Shred

As with most things in life, 30 Days of 30 Day Shred didn’t go as planned…but I did learn some good lessons, and do feel physically stronger, even if I didn’t lose any weight.

Week 1

Minutes into workout one, I realized just how badly out of shape I had gotten. I literally felt like I was going to throw up! But I kept going and it did get easier as the week wore on. Unfortunately, I came down with a cold and stubbornly didn’t rest so I ended up with an even worse cold, which landed me at the doctor’s office without a voice.

Antibiotics, steroids and two days without exercise (and a big serving of PASTA later), I learned that exercise doesn’t just work to get and keep me in shape, it also motivates me to eat differently. On days when I know I’m going to work out, I eat to fuel my body. On days when I know I don’t need to push myself, it’s harder to make good choices.

Week 2

I stepped it up to level 2 on my 2nd week because the last workout on level one felt comfortable. Not easy, mind you, but difficult in a comfortable way. Level two was more fun, but that could have also been because I was feeling stronger (and decidedly not like I was going to throw up). Week two was great all around because I also managed to get a good walk in on the days I wasn’t doing 30 Day Shred.

Week 3 

I tanked. I missed a whole week of workouts. I have excuses, none of which are really valid. At the end of the day, if I really wanted to do these workouts, I would have. End of story. If I’m being honest with myself I got lazy because I couldn’t do it perfectly so I stopped doing it altogether. It’s interesting to me to be back in this headspace with exercise because a year ago I’d overcome all of this kind of thinking, and was in a place where I only had 15lbs left to lose to meet my goal. Now I feel like I’m back at the bottom of a giant mountain, looking up and kicking myself.

Getting Real

I’m caught in a cycle I swore I’d never be in: being overweight is exhausting, parenting is exhausting, eating poorly robs me of needed energy, and I need energy to workout… working out helps me make better eating choices and gives me energy…but (repeat). I’m also totally guilty of mindless eating and using food as comfort at the end of the day. All of which makes me irritated because I KNOW BETTER.

It seems clear to me now that I don’t just need to make the scale move, but I also need to rewire my mind. I gained weight and a lot of bad eating habits between getting pregnant and quitting smoking. I think this means I need to focus on making changes wherever I can at this point with my new body and my new life.


Despite the disappointment, this month has taught me…

  • It is way harder than I expected to get exercise in when it means I need uninterrupted time and a shower afterward.
  • I have nearly nothing left energy-wise after 4pm, which means if it does’t happen in the morning, it’s probably not going to happen.
  • Working out with a baby needs to be a “get it when/where you can” sport.
  • New shoes are a must.
  • I stopped counting calories a week in because we had takeout. And as a result, I ended up gaining 1 1/2 pounds this past month. Ugh. I MUST count my calories. MUST, MUST, MUST. And directly connected to that…
  • I have to make better choices with takeout. Ordering out is going to happen, but it doesn’t need to be an excuse to eat poorly. There are always good choices to be made if I am disciplined. And
  • Keeping a DVD on rotation each month so I don’t get bored with strength training  seems like a good idea as a whole. Next up: Ripped in 30.