It’s been a hot minute since I cranked out a “Slice of Life” post, so I feel like this post should be split into two parts: before Jillian’s birth and after (two super different worlds, haha!)
I plan to do a post in a couple of weeks about Jillian’s first month, so this post won’t be overly focused on her. 🙂 We did more this month than meet our family caboose, so here’s a small glimpse into a little bit of our recent happenings.
Let’s kick things off with the 4th of July!
I was admittedly a total crank on the 4th of July because we had zero plans, and this is traditionally one of my favorite holidays. I didn’t want to make any hard and fast plans though in case I had Jillian or went into labor, so we decided to hang low. I was also having significant back pain for the first time in the pregnancy, so all I wanted to do was lounge at home. I pulled myself together though and went with my family to our neighborhood pool, and we had the best time. (Being in the pool actually made my back feel soooo much better, and this maternity suit – top and bottoms – made me feel very comfortable all summer long.) We stayed for close to three hours and hung with so many neighbors. It put me in a much better mood!
We went out to dinner that night just the four of us, and then came home to shoot off some small fireworks with my parents. It started raining right when we went outside to do the fireworks, but Jamie did the best he could anyway, and Hadley ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT. It turned out to be a really wonderful family day, even though it was more low-key than years past.
I wasn’t planning to do maternity pictures, but my close friend Amira offered to take them for me so that she could get a bit of photography practice. I was just about 39 weeks pregnant in the photos, and I’m grateful to have the handful she took to remember my last few days ever with a bump.
I love silly Sadie in her goggles. 🙂 She puts them on as soon as we get to the pool and is just obsessed with wearing them. She kills me!
I’ll probably always be anxious around the pool in some ways after Hadley’s accident, but seeing these girls display such strong swimming skills is super fun to watch. Sadie still gives me a bit of a heart attack with what a dare-devil she tends to be, but in general we’ve had a great summer at the pool.
“Sadie, can I have a bite of your ice cream?”
I’ll take that as a no. 😉
Our last Saturday as a family of a four was a good one. We browsed Home Goods together (Jamie actually enjoys this store) and then all ate lunch at Chick-fil-a (where I took these pictures). We then napped at home before heading out to a friend’s river house who had ordered a ton of blue crabs to serve at their barbecue.
After dinner, we went out to the water and watched the girls have a ball swimming with some of the other kids. Around 6ish, they dried off and we hit the road to head home. They snoozed during the 35ish minute drive, which was necessary because we had one more thing we wanted to do…
…which was to hang with our neighbors during our neighborhood’s spontaneous “Drinks in the Driveway” night, which we do about once a month. Basically everyone brings chairs, hangs in someone’s driveway, and spends time talking and laughing together while the kids play in the yard and street. You can see Jamie’s black truck blocking the road. There was a truck blocking the road on the other side too. This helps keep the kids safe, gives them boundaries, and prevents cars from driving near the kids.
On July 7th (four days before Jillian’s birth), we went to the early church service and then went to brunch at Grille29 with our close friends Jenna and Cody. Jenna is breaking my heart and moving to Birmingham in a few weeks, which is so hard because we’ve gotten to be such good friends. I joke with her that I’m not supposed to have my heart broken by saying goodbye to friends anymore now than we’re not in the Army, but I guess these kinds of separation aren’t just for families in the military. (Imagine that?) 😉
Here is one last picture before Jillian was born. I took this snap and sent it to a few friends and family members and put the caption “48 hours and counting” on it, and the ironic part was that I took it at 9:25 a.m. Jillian was born at 9:24 a.m. two days later, so captioning this with a 48 hour countdown was super accurate. 🙂
My mom’s best friend’s daughter made this door hanger for Jillian, and I was blown away by her attention to detail and what a beautiful job she did. She used my nursery wallpaper as her inspiration, which was so thoughtful! She doesn’t currently ship, but if you’re local to the north Alabama area, feel free to contact her to place an order! Her business is called Dibble Dabble Designs.
Here are a few “after Jillian” pictures. 🙂 This was our first picture at home as a family of five, all hanging on the couch together. Even Teddy. I was so happy. I still am!
The girls have attended VBS at two churches this summer and have had SO MUCH FUN! Bonus points when they get to attend with their sweet little friends.
My mother-in-law Tonya flew in when Jillian was seven days old and stayed for eight full days. She cooked, cleaned, tolerated me when I wasn’t feeling well from recovery-related physical junk, and generally helped wrangle our big girls all day long. She held Jillian constantly throughout the day to give my arms a break and was so helpful every second of her visit. I don’t know how we would have survived Jamie’s first week back to work without her.
She also took the big girls out one day to do some shopping, and they came home with the little bit of makeup. 😉
And this picture is so Sadie Rose. Dress-up clothes constantly, wearing socks just for fun (she loooooves socks pulled up to her knees!), just doing her thing.
My biggest and my littlest. My heart.
I bought a few small things on Prime Day, including these sconces for our master bedroom. Jamie and I LOVE them and rarely turn our overhead light on anymore because we prefer these sconces and the nice lighting they give off. Our master bedroom will forever be a work in progress because it always falls to the bottom of the totem pole of “updating” priorities, but that’s okay with me. Little updates/changes here and there continually make it a space I love to be in.
I love Jillian’s goofy little face in this pic pressed up against her handsome daddy. <3
Friday night was awesome. We met some friends at a new family-friend outdoor venue called The Storehouse and had the best night. The kids got to run around with their friends, we enjoyed some cocktails, and generally it just felt SO GOOD to get out!
Last Sunday we ventured to church for our first time with three kiddos! Jamie and the big girls were already planning to go, and because I was feeling semi rested and good that morning, I took a shower and got myself together too. Jillian did great during the service until she about blew a hole in her diaper in the middle of the sermon, but otherwise she was a sleepy, quiet peanut. Felt so good to get out and introduce her to a chunk of her church family that we love SO much.
The big girls attended a princess birthday party on Sunday followed by a family barbecue, and it cracked me up to see the big gaggle of tiny princesses going to town on the trampoline. The girls slept gooooood that night! Haha.
Tuesday morning found me sitting in my car listening to “Symphony” by Switch on repeat just to calm my nerves because yeehaw – I was tense. I was coming down with my second round of mastitis, the doctor’s office was delayed calling in my prescription, my Walmart grocery order was taking an eternity, and Jillian was in the carseat screaming her bloody head off. (There are truly very few sounds worse than your teeny tiny baby hollering for her life while you’re rendered helpless driving a car.)
I ended up getting her out of her carseat and nursing her in the front seat while we waited the 35 minutes for our groceries while feeling my body rapidly going downhill. Mastitis is the worst. Jamie ended up offering to come home from work, picked up my prescription around 2 p.m., and then let me sleep until my fever broke around dinner time. My super sweet friend Laura brought us an amazing dinner that evening, which totally hit the spot.
What started out as a rough day left me feeling grateful by the end of it – grateful for kind, generous friends, grateful for Jamie’s ability to easily leave work to be by my side, and grateful for modern medicine.
I have three product recommendations I wanted to share with you! First, this Dynatrap bug catcher. This thing has been excellent this summer at catching pesky flies that inevitably raid our home with our back door constantly opening and closing thanks to the big girls. Last summer we were running around everyday with the fly swatter, but this summer we’ve just let this Dynatrap do it’s thing. It’s also caught a bee and fruit flies!
The second product is the haakaa manual breast pump. Every single breastfeeding mom needs one of these the very day her milk comes in. I can only imagine the difference this product would make with engorgement. I didn’t get it until Jillian was eight days old, but I so (!!!!!) badly wish I had known about it sooner. Basically you attach it to the breast that the baby isn’t feeding on and use it to self-express and catch any let-down. Absolutely fantastic product!
And finally, the best for last, this Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer Hot Air Brush. I know the majority of you have heard of this before because people have been raving about it for months, but it really, really is a fantastic product! I basically just brush it through my hair like I would if I was round brush blow-drying my hair, and it dries it while I brush at the same time. It takes the same amount of time as it would if I were blow-drying (about five minutes for my hair), but the difference is that my hair is nearly perfectly straight once I’m done, and has a bit of volume too! I’ve also been using it on the girls’ hair after they get their hair washed, and we all love it!
I would recommend this product if:
-you dislike the amount of time it takes to round brush your hair straight while blow drying
-want to cut down on the time it takes to fix your hair
-have daughters who can use it too!
Do you love this Revlon blow drying brush as much as I do? Are any of your kids swimming independently for the first time this summer, and are you loving it?! When did you start getting out and about after having a baby?
Hi! I’m Erica, and I absolutely adore sharing my life on this website with you! I come here almost daily to blab about all of the things related to being a regular wife and mother in today’s ever-evolving society. I share about our new home, what’s on our kitchen table, what we’re hanging in our closets, where we’re traveling to next, my crazy 5 a.m. work outs, how I make time for girlfriends, our faith, and much more. We always have a lot of balls in the air and somewhat thrive on the chaos. I believe in the power of story-telling as a form of inspiration and entertainment, so I’m here to do both! I was born and raised in north Alabama and recently re-planted roots here again after my husband transitioned out of the Army (he is now in the Reserve and it’s going so well!) I’m a super proud mom to two little girls (ages 5 and 2) who seem to be the stars of the show around here (for good reason – they’re pretty great!) I’m so glad you found me and are here reading! I hope we can get to know each other here on the blog as well as Facebook and/or Instagram. xoxo