My Baby is ONE

Exactly one year ago at 12:11 pm, after a not-so-magical delivery, Luna was born. That little red bundle with blonde hair and a huge lump on her head from the vacuum was placed in my arms. That’s the moment that will forever change me. That’s when I became “Mom”. As I type my eyes are welling up with tears, so bear with me as I try to get through this without a ridiculous amount of sentimental cheesiness. My baby is one. ONE. How does this happen so all of a sudden?

I swear she is still this small!
I swear she is still this small!

There are several memories and moments over the last year that I could gush about, but I just want to write about two very special memories. At this big one-year milestone, these two memories seem the most significant.

baby luna

Luna was born about 3 weeks early. She was forced out because of my blood pressure, and I couldn’t help but wonder Is she ready? When I held her for the first time I looked at all her toes, fingers and features and everything seemed right and ready, except her eyelashes. Luna had no eyelashes. I thought, that’s it, that’s all she was waiting for…eyelashes. They seem so insignificant, but to me they were the one thing reminding me that she wasn’t fully ready to arrive. She needed a little more time.

Each morning, the first thing I did was check her lashes. Every single day,  they grew substantially. As we bonded in the hospital those first ten days I couldn’t help but stare at her lashes. I tried hard to memorize every little curve of her tiny red face, but her eyelashes will always be what I remember most. The rate at which they grew amazed me and comforted me. She was growing. I was sustaining her, and her eyelashes proved it. I still stare at them in awe, like, “I did that… I grew that baby, and those long lashes”.

sleep baby

The next memory is about a week later. We were home from the hospital, and like every new Mom I was exhausted and overwhelmed. One night, I was trying to lull her to sleep by singing and for some reason only “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” would come to mind. Desperate for song ideas, I grabbed my phone, opened Pandora and searched for a “lullaby” station. (BTW, this is a great station!) I walked her around the room gently patting her back and singing along with the music. Then, a popular current ballad began playing that caught me by surprise.

bath baby

The song A Thousand Years by Christian Perri played and though I’ve heard this sound a thousand times, the lyrics spoke to me for the first time. The song began…

Heart beats fast
Colors and promises
How to be brave?
How can I love when I’m afraid to fall?
But watching you stand alone,
All of my doubt suddenly goes away somehow.

Without thinking, I began singing along, but after the first few lines, I stopped in my tracks. My eyes filled with tears. I looked at that beautiful baby girl in my arms and thought, I have loved you for a thousand years. This song suddenly made so much sense. It didn’t sound like a mushy romantic love song from Twilight anymore. It was describing exactly how I felt at that very moment, holding my crying baby, exhausted, scared but so in love with that tiny little human in my arms.

Time stands still
Beauty in all she is
I will be brave
I will not let anything take away
What’s standing in front of me
Every breath
Every hour has come to this

Right there, in Luna’s nursery, I completely fell apart. I cried and cried, not because I was sad or scared, but because the lyrics were a reflection of those first couple of weeks. I have loved this beautiful baby my entire life, and always will.  (Also, I was incredibly hormonal…) Anyways I still can’t hear this song without getting teary eyed.

Recently, I was trying to think of what to do with the dozens of videos we have taken with Luna with our phones over the last year, and when this song came on the radio, I knew exactly what I wanted to do.

ny baby

So, hear it is, a year with Luna…

Happy Birthday Baby Girl! We love you more than you can ever imagine.

Cheers!

Surprise, I am 30

For the first time, I have not made a big deal about my Birthday. Every year, I announce on November 1st that “Birthday Month” has officially begun. A few weeks later I make an even bigger deal that “Birthday Week” has started. But, this year, I said nothing. Why? I’m not quite sure… 30 just didn’t excite me. Or, maybe I’ve just been too busy to think about it. Whatever it was didn’t matter, because why I failed to make a big deal about turning 30, my family and friends did not.

On my actual birthday me and a few close friends ran a Holiday themed 5k together and everyone dressed in a theme…”Hilarie’s Nerdy 30!” Even Luna was sporting suspenders and a homemade onesie. We were adorable. I ran my fastest 5k (which isn’t very fast, 27 minutes) and every one of us got 1st place in our age group! Plus, we won for “most spirited team”!

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Btw, my parents do not have wifi so all blogging and photo editing is done only with my phone this week! Bare with me.

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After the race, we had brunch with more friends and family. The food was great and the company was better. I got showered with gifts which was totally unnecessary but a nice surprise. And, of course, we topped it off with some holiday lattes from Starbucks.

My birthday ended with an overnight drive to Texas. When we arrived early the next morning I was then spoiled by my Texas family! I truly thought it couldn’t get any better, but the next day I received the biggest surprise yet.

The next day was my Mom’s birthday and she decided she wanted to celebrate that night by going to a local Mexican restaurant that I also happen to love. When we got there the waitress said my sister was already there and walked us back to a big dark room. My first thought was, “why on Earth would Natalie want to eat in this dark room”. Then, I spotted my Uncle and thought, “oh, that’s so nice that he came to celebrate my Mom’s birthday!” At that moment the lights turned on and everyone shouted “SURPRISE!”

I looked at my Mom to see if she was surprised and then thought, “why wouldn’t my sister tell me she planned a surprise party for our Mom?” I started looking for her for some answers and she began putting a sash on me and I then realized everyone was saying “Hilarie, it’s for you.” Oooohhhh

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I was seriously shocked. Not only was I surprised about the party, but I could not believe how many people were there! There must have been about 40 people. It was really the nicest surprise. I got to see so many people I love, many who were meeting Luna for the first time. I felt very special and so loved.

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I actually bought a sash for my Mom too!

Now, that it’s here, I guess 30 isn’t so bad. In fact, it has started off way better than I ever expected.

Thank you so much to everyone for making 30 such a great birthday and Happy Hilarie’s Birthday to all of you!

Cheers!

oh and P.S. the winner of the Dr. Who shoes was chosen and is in the comments of the Practically Perfect Shoes post!

Belle’s Birthday

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Yesterday was Belle’s 8th Birthday! I can’t believe I’ve had her for 8 years, or that she’s 56 in dog years. She’s still super energetic and drives us just as crazy as she did 8 years ago. We were too busy having a lazy day yesterday to celebrate so we had a “Belle Day” today instead.

First, we took her to Petsmart to have a little puppy shopping spree. Of course, she mostly barked at other dogs and begged us to hold her.

Daddy trying to help her pick out a toy
Daddy trying to help her pick out a toy

Then, we took her to Sonic to have her very own ice cream cone. We never give her table food, but we know she loves ice cream thanks to my parents. While we were living in Albania for a year, Belle lived with her Grandparents in Texas, where she was slightly spoiled…and gained a few pounds.

ordering her ice cream
ordering her ice cream
and enjoying her ice cream
and enjoying her ice cream

We ended the day at the park because her favorite thing (besides chasing sticks) is going for walks with the family.

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That’s her new bone in her mouth..I think she likes it

park baby

I think Belle had a perfect Birthday, she even got what she wanted most…to have the cat locked out of the house.

Just kidding...I let the cat in immediatly
Just kidding…I let the cat in immediately

Happy 8th Birthday Belle!

bone

Cheers!

It’s Me Day!

The card Husband got me for my Bday... he knows me so well.
The card Husband got me for my Bday… he knows me so well.

Friday, I finally got to officially celebrate the most wonderful day of the year: my Birthday. Like any other holiday, I took the day off of work, slept in somewhat late and had the BEST day ever. My day actually began with a call from my bank informing me that my account information had been stolen and someone was using it to make lots of online purchases, and they would need to close my account immediately. The thief even had the nerve to make several online Sephora purchases, how rude! Not exactly the morning wake-up call I was hoping for, but at least there was nowhere to go but up after that little surprise.

First, Husband took me to breakfast at my favorite Nashville diner, the Pied Piper. This diner is a pretty basic family owned trendy place in East Nashville, but I love their breakfast, especially their biscuits and gravy. They are probably the only place is Nashville Tennessee the South who makes their biscuits and gravy vegetarian friendly and they are SO freakin’ delicious. Of course, when we got there I saw the sign that read “Biscuits and Gravy are only served on weekends and holidays”.

I tried my best to convince them that Friday is actually part of the weekend and that it is most definitely a holiday. I even gave them my sad “we had to drive an hour to get here!” story, but they insisted they had no biscuits. In the end, they made me toast and gravy, which turned out to be a very good substitute.

Soon after Birthday breakfast was a lunch time viewing of the Hunger Games: Catching Fire! Clearly, I have looked forward to this movei for a LONG time.

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Katniss or Hilarie? Who can tell?
Katniss or Hilarie? Who can tell?
I'm actually 12.
I’m actually 12.

Catching Fire was perfect. It was even better than the first one, and since it’s been a couple of years since I read the book I didn’t notice if any important details were left out. I did forget how serious and sad the series starts to get, and remembered that the 3rd and final book/movie is going to be extremely depressing. Still, I CANNOT wait until The Mockingjay comes out!

After, the movies was a special stop at Sephora, and then a final celebration at a local Mexican food joint. The best part of Birthdays with our family is always Birthday Dinner. We ate way too much salsa and guacamole and I got so many unexpected gifts.

Me and Husband at dinner
Me and Husband at dinner

ANNNDDDDDD I got the most wonderful present! LOTS of my family and friends pitched in to get me an awesome new camera! I got the Canon 70d and I am so in love.

I found the perfect subject on which to practice my skills...
I found the perfect subject on which to practice my skills…

The only thing that could have made this day better would be to have my out of town family and friend with me to celebrate.

BIG thanks to everyone for making my day so great!

Cheers and Happy Hilarie Day to each of you!

 

Birthday Eve

I have had such a busy and fun last couple of days that I have fallen waayyyy behind on my posts, so I’ll just back track a bit…back to my Birthday Eve, November 21st…

Today was the beginning of Birthday Weekend. It all began with a long doctor appointment that involved a disgusting sugar drink to test for gestational diabetes (fun!), but it was all up hill after that. I told Husband I wanted a “Hilarie Day of Fun” which means, shopping, Starbucks and cheap food, and so that’s exactly what we did.

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We hit up my favorite places; Sephora, Starbucks, Anthropologie, TJMaxx, Target and a few other places. We didn’t buy too much, but I just love shopping, especially this time of year. Every store is playing Christmas music, the decorations are all up, Sephora is stocked with gifts sets and Starbucks is brewing my favorite, the peppermint mocha.

New favorite gloss by Stila from Sephora
New favorite gloss by Stila from Sephora

Our night ended at Babies R Us because I decided to sign up for one of their free Baby Basics class. I don’t know if every Babies R Us offers free classes, but the one in Nashville has Baby Basics, Baby CPR, Breast Feeding, and Daddy Bootcamp for free every month. Neither one of us (especially Husband) were looking forward to attending, but I thought it’s free, we are new at this after all and might as well give it a shot.

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The class was held in the back of the store where the rocking chairs and gliders are on display. I wanted to sit in the back row of comfy chairs, but NO ONE was  anywhere near the back so I sat in the back-est of the people there, which ended up being the dead center…not my cup of tea. However, when we set down we were immediately given free gifts. Our swag included a bib, baby wipes, $5 off coupons, photo frames for the fridge, snacks, water bottles and other little presents…not bad.

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I thought we were going to get scolded for taking selfies during the beginning of class
I thought we were going to get scolded for taking selfies during the beginning of class

The teacher was a nurse from a local pediatrician’s office, and she was very nice and informative. She wanted us to ask lots of questions, Husband and I never asked one, but it was nice to hear other people’s questions. Some were really interesting and things I never knew or thought about; others were just ridiculous. One poor Daddy asked about “this new vaccine that causes autism”…poor guy, he’s about ten years late on this topic.

The class was much better than anticipated so I think we’ll try another in a couple of weeks. Birthday weekend has started off great… can’t wait till’ the big day!

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Cheers!

My Favorite Things

The last couple days have been a little rough. I’ve been busier than usual this week, working more and feeling more and more pregnant. I had to take the last 2 days off from working out because I just could not do it. Husband is also kind of injured so he has taken a big step back from exercising this week too. I have also been working on a big project so my writing and posting has suffered lately. Now, it’s finally Saturday, I’ve already gone on a nice long walk, cleaned the house and I am finally ready to get back to that ever-growing to-do list.

Speaking of lists…someone’s birthday is coming up in just 6 short days and I have spent a little bit of time browsing around and window shopping for some of my favorite things. I like for Husband to have a very clear idea of what I want for the big B-day, and I figure I’m just doing him a favor picking out several present ideas in advance. I decided to put together a little list of my “favorite things” at the moment.

With the holidays coming up we could all use some gift ideas right? So, here’s what I am either loving or dying to have this season!

1. I am obsessed with anything that looks even slightly Parisian. Paris is one of my all time favorite cities and I just cannot have enough of it in my life. Anything with an Eiffel tower or a French phrase just feels so romantic and whimsical.

This simple stamp tee is from Modcloth $30.
This simple stamp tee is from Modcloth $30.
Another Modcloth.com find for $60.
Another Modcloth.com find for $60.
Found these on Etsy! They're pricey (about $100!), but God they're adorable!
Found these on Etsy! They’re pricey (about $100!), but God they’re adorable!
AND, of course our little Luna needs a bit French fashion in her her life...found on Zulily.com for only $16!
AND, of course our little Luna needs a bit French fashion in her her life…found on Zulily.com for only $16!

2. We all know Sephora is like my Mother Ship, so clearly, I want the entire store wrapped up and put under my tree this year, but my favorite brand right now is Josie Maran. Her fancy organic Moroccan Argon Oil infused products seem to do wonders for my skin. Considering my skin is typically a minefield for zits and blackheads, I’m willing to pay her prices for her products.

argon oil

 

3. Sephora also carries Wen hair care products. Chaz Dean’s infomercials may be super obnoxious, but his stuff works.

wen, chaz dean

 

5. I probably don’t need any books since my Nook’s library is overflowing with books I have yet to read, but I still want to read the biography everyone is talking about: I am Malala and the new Bridget Jone’s book (did you know there’s a new one???).

i am malala new bridget jones

 

6. I always have clothes on my wish list, but now that I am 27 weeks pregnant it’s becoming very difficult to find something that looks good on my enormous belly. Mostly, I pick up cute tight-fitting dress and too-high stilettos and then pout because I can’t wear anything cool and new this season. However, I am finding leggings, big sweaters, boots, scarves and oversized jackets perfect for the bigger version of me, and for this chilly weather.

This preggo has the right idea.
This preggo has the right idea.
Found at Anthropologie!
Found at Anthropologie!
Purrfect flats from Ruche.com (
Purrfect flats from Ruche.com (
Veryjane.com has the most ridiculous leggings and all for around $10!
Veryjane.com has the most ridiculous leggings and all for around $10!

7. Now, let’s talk accessories….

AND a giant Modcloth purse ($55), which I think will make a perfect diaper bag. (I hate the way actually diaper bags look.)
AND a giant Modcloth purse ($55), which I think will make a perfect diaper bag. (I hate the way actually diaper bags look.)
Another Ruche.com find for $15
Another Ruche.com find for $15
from Zulily.com, $20
from Zulily.com, $20
And a blue Ruche purse... $95
And a blue Ruche purse… $95

8. My favorite chocolate shop in the whole wide world (Vosges Haut-Chocolate), just came out with a line of Hunger Games themed chocolates and truffles! Just in time for my Birthday, which also happens to be the premier of Catching Fire. They made themed chocolate bars for the main characters, a chocolate bar collection that consists of a bar from every district AND a Capitol truffle collection that comes with 16 hidden treasures and trinkets!

I want it ALL!
I want it ALL!

9. And last, but certainly not least, is the present I want the most. I have been begging Husband for a new SLR camera for a while now. I am not even sure which one I want exactly, but our nice camera broke and I need a new camera… especially with a new baby on the way. Any of you photogs out there have a suggestion for a great camera?

canon slr

 

Have a great time shopping this Holiday season! We have not even begun our gift buying yet…Oh well, Black Friday is just around the corner!

Cheers!

 

 

 

Birthday Month Has Officially Begun

Today marks the beginning of a very important celebration. Today, the first of November, is the first day of Birthday Month. My Birthday Month to be exact. I am a big believer in celebrating, and an even bigger believer and celebrating Me. Now, I know that you are all very concerned about how to celebrate Birthday Month, but do not fear, the Birthday Girl is here.

I will be 29 this year, so I think it’s only fitting that you have 29 ways to celebrate. Feel free to mix them up, add your own, do more than one a day, dress up and celebrate!

1. Eat A LOT of Mexican food. Guacamole and Tacos should be at the top of your list.

2. Go to Disney World. Take a pic in front of Cinderella’s castle and tell Mickey I said “What’s up?”

3. Do an Insanity workout and let Shaun T scream at you. “Letsgo!!!!!!!!!!!”

4. Shop at Sephora and buy me something…anything. I love everything.

5. Do something nice for someone else…pay for their Starbucks, love their baby, make them dinner, tell them their pretty…just make someone smile, K?

6. Snuggle your pets, or someone else’s pets, or go to an animal shelter and snuggle those pets. Then adopt them all and take funny pictures and share them on Reddit.

7. Buy everything on my baby registries. Thanks. It will be fun for both of us, promise.

8. Please, call me at 7am and make sure I am awake and not lying on the couch pretending to write. Then make some coffee.

9. Speaking of coffee… let’s have a Starbuck’s date.

10. Finish reading that book you keep putting off. If you haven’t read The Other Typist yet, then read it, call me and tell me what the hell happened at the end.

11. Watch Pretty Little Liars! I started watching this show a few weeks ago because everyone was freakin’ out about it on Facebook. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about so I started from episode 1, and have now watched all 84 episodes. It is full of teen drama and a bit ridiculous, but my God it is addicting and I LOVE it. The last 2 episode were insane! So watch that, call me and we’ll talk about that too! Like, who’s your favorite? I just love Spencer.

12. Do something crafty, like help paint my nursery! Woohoo!

13. Volunteer, but do it somewhere near Nashville and invite me. I really want to find a good place to volunteer, maybe a Children’s Hospital? Anyone familiar with this?

14. Go shopping. Not sure where to go? Target, Anthroplogie, Modcloth, Sephora, Bergodor’s, Blush, Forever21, Nine West, H&M, Zulily, LuLu’s, JCrew…that should help. And, maybe you want to pick up something extra for a special Birthday girl?

15. Have a dance party. You must dance the whole time, and so must anyone in attendance…even if it’s just your dog and your Husband.

16. Listen to Broadway show tunes and like it.

17. Watch Gilmore Girls and start memorizing the lines. It’s about time you all start getting my references.

18. Be extra nice to Husband, after all, he has to put up with me ALL Birthday Month.

19. Travel somewhere exciting and have an adventure…might I suggest Tennessee?

20. Be a vegetarian for a day, or more. It’s not as hard as you think.

21. Don’t forget to go all out for those other November holidays! I expect lots of adorable Thanksgiving Day photos and some hilarious Black Friday fighting-the-crowd stories.

22. Fall cleaning! I have already put away my summer clothes and organized my winter wardrobe. I’m a little nutty when it comes to organizing my closet. And puh-leeeasse do not forget to throw out the crap you didn’t even wear last season, just get rid of it! You will NEVER wear it.

23. Spend the day outside…go hiking, find a waterfall, have a bonfire, share a picnic, eat on the balcony and play in the rain.

24. Relax, you know you need it.

25. Now, get off your lazy bum and clean something. My floors are always dirty if you need something to focus on…good exercise too.

26. Go out with your friends, have a slumber party and invite me.

27. Learn to cook something kind of simple for Thanksgiving and then send me the recipe, or the dish even. It’s okay if I get credit right? It’s my Birthday!

28. Send something to a friend, something they need! I have a friend who is teaching in the Peace Corps in Africa right now and I cannot wait to send her care package! I’ll have to sneak a Birthday Month celebration in their too… Birthday Month should be a worldwide celebration!

29. Wish me a Happy Birthday (it’s the 22nd BTW).

There you go, you have basically an entire month of  activities to keep you happy and busy. Happy Birthday Month to all of you!

Cheers!