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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Things I Love (Spring 2016)

1- Utility vest from Gap -I will probably wear this everyday this spring. I've been searching for a vest like this for years and this one is soft and the perfect length.

2- Burt's Bees lipstick -I have never been one who wears lipstick, but I've simplified my makeup routine recently to mascara, BB cream and lipstick. I have to say, I've been very impressed with how it wears.

3- Leather cuff from Melody Joy Designs -I love wearing meaningful jewelry. Almost everything I wear has a story behind it, whether it's a ring or necklace.

4- Covered Goods nursing cover -I didn't realize just how many uses it had. Most frequently, I use it as a car seat cover to keep the sun out of Bodie's eyes, but I also use it as a nursing cover.

5- Tulip hem tee from Old Navy -this shirt is pretty flattering postpartum. It's comfy and easy to nurse in.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Farewell Massachusetts

In just a few days, we will leave the state I chose to call home. Massachusetts first became home when I was a teenager --thanks to the Air Force assigning my dad (and our family) when I was in middle school.

From those formative years, I have so many fond memories of doing the quintessential New England things. My memories are of vivid of apple picking, visits to Old North Bridge and walking the Freedom Trail in Boston with my grandparents and other relatives who visited us.

I remember those years as some of the happiest, primarily because my mom was healthy and my parents made an effort to get to know New England since it was new to all four of us. My younger brother played ice hockey and got to travel to Lake Placid and Montreal for tournaments. I was part of my high school marching band and saw a lot of MA while traveling for parades and football games. My first memories of Boston's South End came from the annual St. Patrick's Day parade. Although I'm not Irish, I learned to appreciate so much of my husband's ancestry from my time living in MA.

My family moved to back to Colorado while I was in college intending to spend the rest of their lives there. A year after they returned to CO, my mom passed away from complications related to a recurrence of cancer.

During my college and grad school years living in CO, I stayed in touch with high school friends and visited MA whenever I could. When I moved back to the east coast to begin my career in Baltimore, I found myself making weekend trips to Massachusetts.

The state was wooing me back. In a lot of ways it was the home I chose. When I moved back in 2008, I had no idea how long I'd be there, but I felt so at home with the brilliantly colored leaves each autumn and the snowy winters. Although I've never loved the beach (sand gets in everything), I felt obligated to spend at least one day there each summer.

East coast spring is what I may miss the most. The budding trees remind me of my mom; she loved to garden and had a beautiful one during my high school years. I cannot look at a crocus without hearing her say "they're the promise that spring is on its way" (she disliked the cold and snow). While Colorado has seasons, the plants and flowers that grow are not the same as the eastern US.

I chose MA and it loved me back for seven and a half glorious years-- giving me a husband, lifelong friendships, and became the birthplace of our two children. I had a fantastic day job that was the right mix of rewarding and challenging. We owned our first home and poured a lot of time and energy into fixing it up over the five years we lived in it.

My heart is torn between loving two places- Colorado and Massachusetts- and consider them both my home. It's a struggle that's plagued me since my first year of college when my parents still lived in MA. I've lived in each state at least twice; accruing 11 years in Colorado and nearly 14 years in Massachusetts.

This is my farewell to a state that has given me more than I could have asked. While I never drank Dunkin' Donuts coffee like so many natives, I'll miss the familiar pink and orange signs on nearly every street corner. I'm going to miss the accents of dropped and added "r"s to so many words. But most of all, I will miss the fiercely loyal friends I've made.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Goodbyes are Hard

Disclaimer: I haven't written about my professional life around here much, but I have a lot of feelings about this change in my life.

I've been saying goodbye to a lot of friends lately. Later this week, I'll make my ninth out-of-state move in my life (and fourth to Colorado) and I have to say it does not get easier just because I'm older and have practice.

I'm saying goodbye to a university that has been my professional home since July of 2008. Before I was married. Before I was a homeowner. Before I had kids. So many things in my personal life have changed since I started working there seven and a half years ago.

No doubt, I am not the same person I was seven and a half years ago when I relocated from Maryland. I lived with three other women in Somerville (just across the river from Boston) and took the commuter rail to work the first few months I worked at BSU.

I've been at BSU nearly twice as long as I was at my own alma mater. During my time there, I got to see more of the world-- leading an alternative break trip to Guatemala City and doing a tour of Irish universities with several of my colleagues from other student unions in the US. I served in various volunteer roles with my professional association, ACUI: as an ILEAD facilitator in 2010, as a member of the 2012 Boston Conference Planning Team, and member of Education Council from 2012-2014.

In 2014, I said goodbye to my time as assistant director of the Rondileau Campus Center and I became part of a new department, New Student and Family Programs (NSFP) due to a divisional realignment. As part of NSFP, I had the opportunity to work with student leaders on the Orientation Program for first year and transfer students.

Over the last thirteen years, I've held on to my name tags from each job (see photo above). I usually put them on the doorframe or another magnetic place in my office. They may spend the next five years (or however long my work hiatus lasts) in a box, but it's fun to look back on where I've been.

I am so excited for the new season (more on that soon) that lies ahead for our family, but it is an understatement to say I am going to miss the career I've spent the 12.5 years investing in.

Leaving BSU is bittersweet. I am excited for the new chapter that lies ahead as I transition to being a stay-at-home-mom for the foreseeable future. I expect it to bring a new set of challenges and it's sure to be an adventure for all of us!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Bodie's first month

February is already the shortest month, but our first month with Bodie really flew by! We all love Bodie to pieces. Every little movement he makes causes his sister to squeal with excitement, "maybe he's saying hi" or "I think he's giggling."

A few things you may not be able to tell from his photos: he has a very relaxed demeanor. He rarely seems upset by his sister's squeals or her close talking ways. He makes the sweetest cooing sounds and sometimes whimpers in his sleep (it's adorable).

Some of Bodie's firsts in the last month included: his first trip to Target as a family of four, his mom's first trip out of the house with two kids on her own, and his first restaurant outing which he slept through.

My favorite time of day is waking up in the morning. We don't have a set time or schedule yet, and I'm often groggy. Maggie usually gets up while I'm feeding Bodie (or shortly before) so she and her dad go downstairs while Bodie and I have the upstairs to ourselves. I love watching the sunlight stream into the bedroom while I'm feeding him and hearing bits of Maggie and her dad's conversations.

We have a few nicknames for our little boy:
Bodie bear, Bodie boy, sweet boy and manzie

One thing I want to remember from his first month is how not freaked out by doing stuff I was. I was reading through my first month with Maggie and remembering how anxious I'd be to leave the house with her. This time around, I have two little people to get out of the house, but it doesn't feel like as much of an undertaking.

Monday, March 7, 2016

March goals

First, let's look back at February. I knew the goals I set last month had a 50/50 chance of getting done since I was expecting Bodie. With him arriving eight days ahead of his due date, I am even more surprised anything got accomplished!

February Goals

1- Post a picture on Instagram every morning. For the last two years, I posted a picture capturing some portion of my routine or aspect of my morning with the #goadabodemornings. It is a fun way to look back on a short period of time (one month) and see what has changed and remained constant over the past two years. I'm really excited to do it this year since we expect to add another child to our family!

2- Sort, wash and put away all baby boy clothes. All the baby clothes we had prior to Bodie's birth were washed and sorted. I have rearranged where his things are stored a number of times and done a pretty decent job of keeping up with baby laundry.

3- Finish strong in the officeHonestly, I finished strong in that I wrapped up all my projects a week before I was scheduled to begin my leave. Mentally, I did not feel like things were in fact tied up because we had two snow days at what was the end of my time at work so I didn't feel much closure.

4- Read/listen to two books. I am so bad at finishing books unless they are in an audio format I can listen to. 

5- Create a labor playlist. I didn't get to this at all. 

March Goals

1- Eat 4-5 servings of fruits/veggies per day. I have been so bad about my intake of healthy foods and I really need to get back on track.

2- Send out Bodie's birth announcements. I ordered them, but have yet to address and mail them :)

3- Bake Irish soda bread. With St Patrick's Day around the corner, I love to bake something festive for the holiday. The recipe I have is real easy and I love a good morning pastry/baked good.

4- Not feel guilty for snuggling my newborn. There have been so many things pulling at my time recently and I've caught myself feeling bad for holding my son, but then I realize I'll never get these days back so I just want to soak it all in.

5- Keep up with thank you cards. I'm so grateful for all the generous friends who have given us gifts  for Bodie or brought meals after he was born and I hope people know how much I appreciate their thoughtfulness so I am trying to keep up with writing/sending thank you cards.