Moments of Gratitude

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Do you ever have those moments of gratefulness overcome you? Moments when you think, is this really happening? Am I really this lucky? I love those moments. I get hit by them randomly, like when I grocery shop. Sometimes, I reach for something stupidly overpriced like organic kale or look at my full cart of food that I chose in the checkout line and am immediately overwhelmed at how fortunate I am. There are so many people in our world who will never get to do something as simple as grocery shop and get everything that they need.

I get lost in these moments. It hits me at all different times, when Luna laughs, when the dog fits perfectly in the nook behind my knees and sleeps with her head on my thighs, when Husband reads to Luna or makes me coffee or when I sit in a hot bath reading my Nook. All of a sudden I realize I have so much to be grateful for and I try to take a mental picture of that moment and file it under the “don’t forget this!” tab in my brain. I need these memories saved and easily accessed for those rainy days when I think life is one big pile of stink.

I had one of these moments of gratitude while riding bikes during our recent trip to Hilton Head. We were almost done with a 16 mile bike ride and I began thinking about a trip we took to Target just two weeks after having Luna. I was so weak and sick from the blood pressure issues and the drugs the doctors had me taking that I had to use one of those motorized wheelchairs to get around the store, and even that was a struggle. I remember getting tears in my eyes because I couldn’t help, but think “will this ever get any better”. Logically, I knew that I would/should, but under the influence of hormones, anxiety and feeling like crap I really wasn’t sure I’d ever be back to myself again.

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Fast forward 6 months and I’m on a beach in Hilton Head with lots of family, doing yoga in the morning, taking a 16 mile bike ride in the afternoon, swimming in between and feeling healthy and extremely happy. I realized how much has changed in 6 months and thought I cannot forget this feeling.

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Then, I look at my Dad.

He was on bicycle in front of me. He had brain surgery to remove a tumor just 4 months ago. He is not only enjoying the beach with me, but he is also on this long bike ride. The realization of where we are and the strides we have made brought tears to my eyes. We are very very fortunate.

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I hope to never forget that grateful feeling I felt on the bicycle ride. I hope I’m able to remember it next time I wonder if things will ever get any better because they do. Things get better. They won’t always be the same… the truth is I’ll never be the same I was before I had Luna. No, I’ve definitely changed, but for the better. In fact, since having Luna I have many more moments of gratitude. I’m more aware of what I have to lose and what really matters, which is just making life more pleasant. Today, I am thankful.

Thankful Luna got to spend so much quality time with her PawPaw
Thankful Luna got to spend so much quality time with her PawPaw

Cheers.

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Baby’s First Road Trip, Solid Food and Skinny Dip

We just returned from Luna’s first summer vacation, also her first annual family trip to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. It could not have been a better trip and I honestly do not even know where to begin when it comes to sharing some of our adventures. Since much of the trip seemed to center around our little nugget, I guess I’ll begin with her. Little Miss Luna had a ridiculous amount of “firsts” over the last week.

It all began with her first very long road trip. Our trip to Hilton Head typically takes 8 hours. We knew driving with an infant would definitely add some time to our trip so we decided to leave at 4am, hoping that she would sleep the majority of the trip. Most of the trip was through torrential rain, but even with the storms and the baby it only took us 10 hours. Luna was a trooper. The first pit-stop was at Chick-Fil-A where they were insanely busy. Husband was asleep in the car so I took Luna in to feed by myself. It was super clean and efficient (surprising for being so busy) and all the workers were so-so friendly. As I left (in the pouring rain) a young cashier ran out after me and walked me all the way to the car (parked in an overflow lot) with an umbrella over me and Luna. It was really nice and unexpected. Good job Chick-Fil-A staff.

Then, we stopped at McDonald’s….also clean and nice. Right as Luna finished eating, a little girl and her Mom came over to us and her Mom informed us that her 6-year-old has been learning to clean out her room and give some of her things away. She told us that she really wants to give her happy meal toy to our baby because she doesn’t need it, but our baby might. Of course, we happily accepted it and let her know that Luna would be thrilled to have it. What a sweet family! The whole ride down was pleasant (minus the rain).

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Playing with her new toy.

Our first day in Hilton Head, Luna tried solid food (cereal) for the first time! I don’t know if she liked it or even grasped how to eat it, but she really enjoyed chewing on her new bamboo spoon and playing with her hand-painted one-of-a-kind bowl.

first solids

 

One of the cutest “firsts” was Luna’s first time to play in sand! She loved the sand! She dug, examined and tried her best to eat it, which we mostly kept her from doing.

first sand

Riding our bikes to Rita’s Italian Ice in Coligny Plaza at least a few times a week is a Hilton Head tradition that has been around for what must be ever. Luna slept through her first Rita’s experience, but that didn’t keep me from taking a photo!

first ritas

The biggest most exciting moment was Luna’s very first dip in the ocean. The whole family came down and we all walked to the water together with cameras in hand. Unfortunately, Luna did not love the ocean water. The waves were a little scary for her. However, she did get to enjoy it later in the week when the water was much calmer.

first ocean

Luna got to spend A LOT of quality time with twenty something family members, but it was her very first time to meet two of her Great Grandparents who came from Pittsburgh to spend the week with her. They couldn’t get enough of our sweet baby!

first greatgparents

Because the ocean wasn’t a hit with Luna, we spent lots of time in the pool. Luna played in her floatie for the first time and got to spend some time on the boogie board. She loves the water and figured out how to sit in her floatie, kick her legs and move through the water.

first boogie

The scariest “first”, for me anyways, was Luna’s first bike ride. We rented a carriage to attach to the back of a bike. She’s actually too small to sit in it alone, but we could attach her car seat. I only trusted myself to pull her. It was an added workout, but worth the peace of mind. We rode ALL over. She lasted through an 11 mile bike ride one day and never even whined.

first bike

She also got her very own private pool. Fancy.

first babypool

And what trip to the beach is complete with a naked dip in the ocean? Does it get any better?

first skinnydip

 

That’s a lot of adventure for a little baby, and there’s so much more!

Happy Monday everyone, we are glad to be back!

Cheers!

Vacation Mode

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Well, I meant to get a whole week of blogs in order before going on vacation, but I didn’t. Woops. We are officially on vacation for a week and I will try to update you on our latest adventures and positively panicked life, but I won’t be back to a regular schedule until next week. If you miss me, you can always check Facebook and Instagram for some adorable beach baby pictures!

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So far, Luna has gotten to see her Grandparents (my parents) whom she has not seen in 4 months, her great grandparents whom she has never met and a million other people who love and adore her. There are 20 something people here this week so Luna is getting A LOT of attention. It’s wonderful, Husband and I basically have to do nothing. Talk about a vacation.

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In one day Luna has been in the ocean, gone on a bike ride, tried solid food, played in her new pool floatie and floated on a boogie board. I can’t even imagine what the rest of the week has in store.

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She insisted on "feeding" herself. Chewing on the spoon was definitely the best part.
She insisted on “feeding” herself. Chewing on the spoon was definitely the best part.

Stay tuned for tips on beach travel with a baby, adventures in road tripping, new reviews and giveaways, postpartum updates and heck of a lot of adorable beach baby photos!

Napping on PawPaw on the balcony with a view of the beach, can life get any better?
Napping on PawPaw on the balcony with a view of the beach, can life get any better?

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Cheers!

Ready for the beach? (Giveaway!)

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In just ten days we will be headed to the beach for our annual family summer vacation! This is the best vacation every year and I am so so so excited to take Luna for the first time! I am one of those people who love making lists, it’s silly how much joy it brings me, but I made mine and Luna’s packing lists (yes, two separate lists) days ago. While I am a girl who loves adventure, I love to plan most adventures and I really like to be prepared. One item that is always on my beach list is a cute cover-up. Ladies, you get this, right?

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At the beach I am in my swimsuit 97% of the time, but much of that time I use a cover-up because a) I’m cold b) I’m riding a bike somewhere or c) I need to enter a store. Sure, I could throw on the trusty t-shirt and but why would I do that when adorable cover-ups like the ones from Lozasun exist???

the back

I have the Camille v-neck gold trim cover-up because I am sucker for all things white and gold. I’ve worn this cover-up to the city pool, a friend’s pool and a relative’s pool and I LOVE it. It is so chic, lightweight, sexy and easy. I found this handmade beautiful piece of work on where else, but Etsy. I lovely girl named Cindy out in LA makes these in many cool fabrics, but she also makes dresses, skirts and accessories!

love this gold trim!
love this gold trim!

AND, because she is not just talented, but also generous, she is hosting a giveaway here at Positively Panicked! One of you can very easily win her Valentina turquoise coral print cover-up (valued at $48) by simply following these steps:

1. Follow me on my blog or my Facebook.

2. Follow Lozasun on Facebook or her Etsy shop.

3. And comment below! Where are you planning to wear the cover-up? The beach? Your backyard? A tropical island getaway?

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*It’s a “one-size-fits-all” piece.

The winner will be chosen on Wednesday July 23rd! Best of luck!

Cheers!

Cabrewing

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Saturday was my very first time to leave Luna ALL day and even though it was so so hard, it was good and needed. I joined a bunch of friends (our 6 house guests plus 80 others),for the 5th annual Cabrew Fest on the Harpeth River. I’ve been either out of the country, in another state or pregnant every year so it was my first one to attend. I was very close to making an excuse to stay home with Luna but thankfully Husband convinced me to take the day off.

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Cabrew Fest is just a huge group of people taking their time rowing slowly down the river, having some drinks, chillin’ and basically having a party on the river. We took a two-hour trip that took seven hours to complete. Husband and I typically do everything fast and furiously so it was kind of nice to just take our time, stop on many riverbanks, eat and hangout (minus the whole not being able to pump/engorgement problem).

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I don’t know how we could be so exhausted from barely paddling and relaxing in a boat all day, but that night we had just enough energy to eat and play a couple rounds of taboo before passing out.

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Luna ended up having a wonderful day full of naps, Starbucks and walks through the park. Separation was much harder on me than her! Luckily I get to take her with me most places.

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So far our summer has been pretty perfect! Hope you all have a great holiday weekend!

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cheers!

Baby’s First Waterfall

Ready for our first hike to Cummins Falls!
Ready for our first hike to Cummins Falls!

After Luna had her first swim last weekend we figured we might as well take the next step and take her on her first hike/visit to a waterfall. Last summer we discovered Cummins Falls, one of the US’s top ten swimming holes, when my friend Sara came to visit. Ever since that day we have been itching to go back.

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I was a little concerned about the slippery, winding, wet and rocky hike with a baby, but I carried her in the Ergo carrier for most of the hike and when she got tired of it Husband carried her. It turned out to be very doable and while I couldn’t be quite as adventurous this time around, I was happy to be sitting with friends, holding my baby and watching the beautiful waterfall. Even Belle had a good time running through the water, chasing sticks and barking at every stranger we passed.

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I still got a chance to swim and walk behind the waterfall while Luna napped with her Grand-dude, but Husband really got to explore and climb around the big rocks surrounding the falls. Most of the afternoon, I relaxed with my friend Donna on a large rock set in the side of the hill. We brought tons of snacks and had plenty to talk about as “the boys” did every dangerous thing they could think of. The swimming hole was unbelievably crowded! Apparently word has spread about the beautiful falls and excellent swimming hole. The dozens of people sitting on rocks, eating packed lunches and taking dips in the water made it seem more like a day at the beach.

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Miss Luna didn’t get to play in the waterfall, but I did let her sit in the cool water for a bit.

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I absolutely love all of the beautiful scenic places to visit in Tennessee, and I cannot wait for the many more adventures that summer holds!

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Cheers!

First Swim

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It’s summer time!!! Summer is my favorite season. I love hot weather, the beach, swimming, snocones, tans, bare-feet, tank-tops, shorts and the natural blonde streaks that appear in my hair. If it were up to me I’d live on a beach somewhere near the equator and have summer year round. Summer is also the season when we do the most traveling, hiking, rock-climbing, kayaking, swimming and whatever other crazy adventures we can plan. This summer is extra special because it’s Luna’s first summer, which means lots of other firsts too….like her first swim.

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SUCH a diva

Last weekend we took Luna to the city pool with her Grandparents and you know I had the perfect pool outfit and accessories for the occasion.

geting in

Luna loves bath time, but I didn’t know if a pool would bring the same joy. After all, her bath is warm and in a sink with only her Dad and I there. The city pool is slightly different. She didn’t look exactly thrilled in the big cold pool with a hundred other people around her, but she didn’t get upset either. I think it was a success.

first dip

After a short swim, lunch and a nap time, the baby pool was empty and calling our names. The life guard was nice enough to let us drag the large umbrella that was meant to cover him into the shallow pool to keep us shaded. Luna is too young for sunscreen so I didn’t want her in the sun for very long. The water in the baby pool was warm and the big umbrella kept us protected from the sun. It was perfect.

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straight up chillin'
straight up chillin’

Luna definitely enjoyed her time in the private baby pool. Can’t wait to take her swimming again!

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Cheers!