He’s Everything

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romance

He’s a strong shot of whiskey and an up all-nighter.

He’s the first snowfall of the season and the enchantment of Christmas morning.

He’s a bible on the nightstand and a sweet kiss goodnight.

He’s a wild, untamed stallion, and a powerful wave crashing against the soft sand.

He’s the comfort of a warm, cozy blanket on a cold, winter’s night.

He’s millions of butterflies fluttering inside of me and a pretty, date night outfit.

He’s a pair of cowboy boots and a long, hard day of work.

He’s the sound of my favorite song and the windows rolled down.

He’s a happily ever after and a sparkly wedding band.

He’s “I do” and “I love you, forever and always”.

He’s fulfilled promises and a meaningful conversation.

He’s a father teaching our son how to ride a bike and a fierce wolf protecting his pack.

He’s the light of a full moon on a summer’s night and the soothing sound of birds chirping in the early morning hours.

He’s the feeling of a hammer against a bare hand and sweat on hot, summer skin.

He’s the reason for my smile and the strong arms that keep me safe.

He’s the one who broke down my walls and ignited my heart when no one else knew how.

He’s the love song I play on repeat and the book I can’t stop reading.

He’s a reliable truck that never fails me and a dirt road to a peaceful destination.

He’s the kiss I crave and the voice that comforts me.

He’s my playful soulmate and a loyal best friend.

He’s the keeper of my desires, passions, and fears.

He’s my voice of reason and the only soul who can quiet my demons.

He’s my favorite phone call and a text message that makes my eyes light up.

He’s the most incredible father to our beautiful, little boy.

He’s mine.

He’s you.

He’s everything.

♥️

Bottles of Bubbly

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I went to New York City with my best friend for a girl’s trip, celebrating the Holiday season beneath the bright lights of the big city. We embarked on a full Gossip Girl Day and stopped at all of the famous set locations, walked through the Palace Hotel and the gorgeous courtyard Serena van der Woodsen claimed as her own, and we ended the day with a bottle of bubbly at a cherished Manhattan restaurant. I sucked up how sick I was, recovering from a bad cold to enjoy a beautiful day with one of my favorite people, and it was so worth the entire bag of cough drops I needed the following day.

I walked in the footsteps of my younger self and it felt surreal, actually, looking back at who I used to be and remembering distant moments. I used to spend so much time in New York City that it truly became a second home. I not only spent a little too much time there as a teenager, but I also spent every holiday in the city as a little girl either at my brother’s apartment in Brooklyn, or at my late grandmother’s Greenwich Village apartment. My grandmother’s apartment resembled a scene from Gossip Girl, with floor to ceiling windows, an elevator, and an actual outdoor area with a patio, seating, and plants. Stepping into that apartment was like stepping into another world, an expensive one. I remember our elaborate Thanksgiving dinner each year and the joyous Passover seders. I could write an entire novel just about my New York City experiences and the best (and worst) places to be while in the city. Trust me, I’ve seen and done it all. I’ve explored Alphabet City, a bohemian haven, late at night with an old flame, trying to remember in which parking garage I parked my car (completely buzzed and unaware). I’ve shopped the stores on Fifth Avenue and dined at the finest restaurants on The Upper East Side. There’s nothing better than a Sunday brunch in the city. I’ve sweat it out on the hot, summer streets of Manhattan and discovered the hidden waterfalls in Central Park. I’ve been inspired at Bethesda Terrace (my favorite place in the city) and I got my first tattoo in the city. I turned eighteen in The Oak Room at The Plaza Hotel and drank my weight in alcohol, feeling just like Serena did after a long night with Georgina. I enjoyed the famous performance of The Nutcracker at The New York City Ballet and admired every holiday storefront. I’ve hailed a cab, stumbling a bit in designer heels and stood beside the hustle and bustle of the city that never sleeps. I’ll always carry a piece of the city with me, wherever I am. I’ve always been half country girl and half city girl and I exist perfectly in both settings. I’ve seen the beauty that lives within New York City just like I’ve experienced the peacefulness of a country night filled with stars, fields, and a little whiskey.

The young girl that used to wander the streets of Manhattan and soak up the atmosphere was naive, heartbroken, and carefree. She drank a lot of martinis (gin never vodka) and wore eight inch heels, stumbling into the prettiest restaurants and the best boutiques. She escaped from the small town drama and teenage heartache to a world filled with chaos, beauty, and intrigue. As I walked through Manhattan with my best friend, years later, I recognized a world I used to worship, but the reflection staring back at me in the glass storefronts has changed drastically. I’m no longer naive and heartbroken. I’m strong, happy, and wise. I’m loved more than I could’ve ever imagined and although my outfits and appearance have remained the same, everything else has evolved. It was nice to take a walk down memory lane and remember who I used to be because at one point she was all I knew. She was a little inappropriate and crazy (in a good way). She wore her heart on her sleeve despite the pain she hid behind makeup and clothes. It was never easy for her but she made it look effortless and simple. She still inspires me to take a deep breath and just live. I hope she looks at the woman I’ve become and feels proud.

I like to think my younger self is still wandering around New York City, inspired by the lights and the chaos, writing in beautiful bars and just waiting to bump into me again. Sometimes, I need to escape to the concrete jungle to remind myself of a part of me I often forget about completely and to inspire new writing projects. The city has a way of inspiring you and pushing you towards your passions, fiercely. It’s a magical place and it’s where you go to experience the wildest part of yourself. I loved visiting the set locations of my favorite high school show, Gossip Girl and I realize now how much the show became a part of my real, every day life. I started wearing slip dresses around the house after watching Gossip Girl, realizing there’s nothing more beautiful than feeling good in nothing, and spending a lazy Sunday in a black, lace slip. I love a bouquet of hydrangeas (my favorite flower), just like Blair Waldorf. I’ve had countless, wild nights with people I once knew, people I once confided in, and our nights were pretty similar to a Gossip Girl adventure. The show is more than just a show for me, it’s a memoir. I’ve walked where the characters walked, ate where they ate, and made equally bad decisions alongside Serena and Blair.

As I enjoy the winter in the country, falling in love once again with the snow covered trees, and breathing in the cold wind blowing through the fields, I keep New York City close to my heart. Until next time, NYC. You know you love…Xoxo, Gossip Girl.

Enjoy some photos from my gorgeous, chaotic, and memorable NYC adventures…

Holiday Traditions ✨

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As a little girl I always loved the magic and sparkle of Christmas. The love I felt for the holiday season traveled with me into my adult life and now I get to share that same love with my little boy. I have holiday traditions I’ve kept with me, but as a young mom I’ve started new traditions. Growing up, I didn’t live in the same house as my brother. He’s much older than me and I grew up living the life of an only child, and my big brother lived in New York City, immersed in politics and the quintessential adult life. I awaited the annual Christmas visit from my brother with childlike excitement every year. He would come down from the city early Christmas Eve and we’d go to a favorite Italian restaurant with my parents and my grandma. I’d wear a pretty, Christmas dress and listen to interesting adult conversation.

Christmas Eve was always festive, bright, and merry. We’d have dinner at the restaurant, return to my house for presents, and I’d fall asleep listening to my brother and dad discussing politics over late night liquor. I’d wake up to the feeling of Christmas morning, feeling as though anything was possible beneath the sparkle of our Christmas tree. Our Christmas tree was always colorful and over the top with homemade ornaments, expensive ornaments, colored lights, and a tree top angel. Every room in the house had a smaller, table top Christmas tree with a different theme and my mom always made her famous egg nog. The whole season was magical and I never forgot the way I felt during this time of the year.

I carry all of those beautiful memories with me and this year, for the first time in many years, we’re going back to that Italian restaurant for Christmas Eve. My brother doesn’t come down for Christmas anymore, but we just saw him for Hanukkah at his apartment in the city. It was so nice celebrating the first night of Hanukkah with my brother and my family (another tradition). I’ve always celebrated both holidays, growing up Jewish and Catholic.

I’m so excited to share one of my favorite holiday traditions with Andrew and Greyson tonight. Christmas Eve dinner is one of many holiday traditions I’ve kept with me, but the new traditions are just as special. Andrew and I took Greyson on a Christmas hayride the other night and we took a photo with Santa. We looked at each other that night and realized this will be something Greyson will look forward to every year…a lit up hayride and saying hello to Santa. I’m obsessed with the glitz and the enchantment of Christmas, and I want to create the perfect experience every year for my son and my husband. I make sure all of the gifts are perfect, the wrapping paper, the Christmas tree, the moments, and the photos.

Andrew and I decided that we will wrap all of the presents tonight and we’ll stay up late, setting up all of the gifts as if Santa was just there. We’ll leave out carrots for his beloved reindeer, cookies and milk for Santa, and I even bought a card for Greyson from Santa himself. Every Christmas Eve, including tonight Greyson will get Christmas Eve pajamas and a holiday book. We’ll read him his holiday book and once he’s asleep Andrew and I will watch a Christmas movie together. I bought all of us matching plaid pajamas for Christmas Day, and we plan on staying in our pajamas all day, which is the best feeling in the world. I can’t wait for Greyson to wake up to an overload of presents and pretty wrapping paper beneath our decked out tree. That is just another reason why I love being a mom…creating breathtaking moments for my son.

You can recreate and create any traditions you want for yourself and for your family, which is the true magic of the holidays. Let each day be filled with joy, hope, and beauty. Hold onto the sparkle and the gorgeous time spent with the ones you love and never forget what it feels like to wait for Santa. I’m wishing everyone a peaceful Christmas Eve filled with laughter, great conversation, and love. I hope everyone wakes up to a perfect Christmas Day…Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy New Year! ✨♥️

The Greyson Diaries

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How to be a Happy and Healthy Stay at Home Mom

I am officially back to being a full time stay at home mama and I’ve never been happier. I still have my own business, Petsitting by Lizzie LLC, but my animal care business doesn’t take away from my daily job as a mother. Any mom who cares for another life every day can attest to the fact that becoming a parent changes your life in ways you never could’ve imagined. It’s a beautiful, sleepless, crazy ride. I wake up every morning feeling so thankful and blessed to be Greyson’s mama. I’m also very grateful for my husband, Andrew, who wakes up before the sun and comes home late in the evening in order to provide for us.

There’s a country song by Craig Campbell called “When Ends Don’t Meet” and in the song he sings, “She knows I’m out there doing the best I can, trying to keep these wolves away with my bare hands” and those lyrics remind me of Andrew and the way he protects us, fiercely. He’s the hardest worker I’ve ever known and he accomplishes so much. Without him I wouldn’t be able to stay home with Greyson, and I know that not every woman has the choice or opportunity to be a stay at home mom. If you are doing what you need to do to provide for yourself and your family, please don’t ever forget how amazing you are.

You can call me whatever you’d like, a housewife, a homemaker, or a stay at home mother. I don’t find any of those titles to be insulting or offensive. I’m happy and comfortable with my life and the choice I made to be at home rather than at work. The world we live in is overwhelmed with judgement and titles cling to us, but there’s nothing wrong with being a housewife (or a homemaker, a stay at home mom, etc.). If you’re able to stay at home and it’s something you want for yourself, do it. It isn’t a lifestyle that works for every woman and I know many who would rather be working than at home. I know many who make fun of housewives and very often people picture the cast from Bravo’s The Real Housewives franchise when they hear that word, but that’s not reality. I do dress up some days, go out to lunch with close friends, and I love a good shopping spree, but most days are spent at home, living the mommy life with my beautiful boy and getting things done. I clean, cook (use my crockpot lol), do laundry, take care of our household, and I hold everything together like a pair of bookends.

I fill our home with laughter and love and that’s my job. I have moments of relaxation and free time that I like to fill with reading, writing, projects, and outdoor adventures when the weather allows. I’d much rather be going on adventures with my son and be able to greet my husband at the door when he comes home than working. Again, I am lucky enough to be able to be home, but I did go back to work after having Greyson. I worked in the fashion retail and marketing world from age sixteen until I had Greyson last December. I’ve also had my own, successful business (pet sitting, dog walking, animal training, and animal care) since 2014.

I decided to go back to work as a Brand Representative in September at a pretty, bohemian store called Altar’d State. I was a loyal customer and in many ways I am the brand. I’m a young, spiritual, bohemian woman and that is the target audience. I loved the clothes, the brand, the customers, and my coworkers. I loved doing what I have done for years and doing it well, but I felt stressed, tired, and my days became pretty complicated. I piled so much on my plate that my physical and mental health were being affected. As a committed mama, my health is far too important to take lightly. I left my job right after Thanksgiving and although it was a bittersweet feeling, I immediately felt relief. My mental state improved within days and I already feel healthier and happier. I am able to work out again whenever I want, diet the way I wish, and do whatever makes me smile each day. I have time and freedom and that feels amazing. The best version of myself is who I am right now, drinking a glass of wine, playing with my baby boy on the floor of his nursery, and waiting for Andrew to get home from a busy day.

I know that sometimes being a mama can feel lonely and exhausting. I know that some days are harder, or longer than others and that parenthood is a never ending journey. I know that falling asleep at night feels a little different, because your mind never stops going, and you’re constantly making lists, worrying about your little one, and planning ahead. I know that it takes a little longer to get ready to go places and that you spend a lot more money. I know that running an errand isn’t as simple as it used to be and there will always be people in your life that simply don’t understand. If you look pretty, you’re smiling, and you’re breathing, it must’ve been an easy day…right? No, sometimes you’re just incredible at hiding how long and hard the day was. I know all of this to be true mamas, but I also know another truth…it’s the best job in the world, being a mom. Sadly, we aren’t offered promotions, paid vacations, or raises, but we are raising the next generation. What’s more important than that?

As a stay at home mama, I take my job seriously and I never take it for granted. I enjoy every second and I love teaching my angel to be the best boy he can be. Every moment is a learning experience in our household and it’s so beautiful watching him grow, learn, and laugh. I stay happy and healthy by doing what’s best for me and by smiling often. I let go of the little things and I don’t let stupid issues ruin my day. I accept the fact that I’m not perfect and no day will ever play out the way we expect it to, no matter how many lists we make. I say I love you more than anything else and sometimes I put my phone in another room…it’s not as important as the moment I’m in right now. Be present and be aware. I get dressed up, put on makeup, and do my hair, but I also love the days I stay in my pajamas and don’t wear any makeup. I don’t care about selfies or posts on social media, but I do care about taking photos of my gorgeous boy and the moments that matter. I eat as healthy as I possibly can (but I also treat myself) and I believe a glass of wine every night is good for you. I do yoga and, or workout every night and I remind myself that failure isn’t who I am as a person. It’s never an option. I try to speak as beautifully as possible in front of Greyson but I’m only human. I curse sometimes, say stupid things I don’t mean, and I get angry from time to time…duh. It’s okay to be human. Embrace your emotions and be unapologetically you.

There’s no rule book or any true guidelines to being happy at home with your child, but it’s a choice only you can make and you have control over your days and your environment. My best advice is to let go of anything that makes you feel stressed and upset when you wake up in the morning. Whatever it is, it isn’t worth the negative emotions. I allowed a job to affect my mental and physical health because we live in a world that makes us feel bad for not working, but if you have the option to walk away…walk away. If you could never imagine yourself being a stay at home mom than continue working. I still have a business of my own, many passions, and I get to do what I love most of all and that is taking care of my son. Try to find a happy medium and go from there. If you can scale back and work part time instead of full time, or maybe you also have a business of your own that allows you to make your own schedule, or you have great passions, you can explore all of your options. If you’re a single mother, or your household needs two incomes, that’s okay. Remember, you’re doing what you need to do for the ones that matter most and that’s strength.

My husband and I communicate about everything and he knew I wasn’t happy working anymore and I knew that he wanted me home. He wanted me to wake up every morning with no worries and to fall asleep at night feeling at peace. I love him so much for always considering my feelings and for supporting me. Communication is so important when you’re a stay at home mama because it ensures that you and your significant other are always on the same page. It’s important to have a monthly budget, to save money, and to stay on top of tasks and projects. Before you make the leap and decide to ditch your current routine and be home long term (or short term) communicate with your partner. Speak honestly and openly about what you want, what you need, and what you can live without. Also, allow your inner child to speak to you and with help from your childhood spirit have fun with your daily life, especially if you are at home full time. As a parent, some of the best moments are the ones where your inner child comes to visit, whether you’re playing make believe and storytelling, or you’re embarking on an adventure. You’re never too old to read a fairytale, watch an animated movie, or play with toys.

I know that if my boy ends his day with a smile that it was a good day. Little victories are big victories and small moments are much larger than they seem. I have learned so much from Greyson and although he’s only been alive for a year (he turned one on December 8th), he has so much wisdom and there’s a lot to be learned from an innocent heart. I am grateful for the life I have, my boy, my husband, and the choices I’ve made for myself. Mamas, you know what’s in your heart and no one can ever tell you you’re wrong for knowing what’s best for you. Live and love fearlessly and the rest will fall into place.

Best of luck to all of the mamas and parents out there ♥️ Keep up the good, inspiring work and never forget how strong and resilient you are.

Xo

A Farmhouse Christmas

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lifestyle

Your home should feel like your favorite place in the world and you can create any vibe you want ✨ My place is a luxury farmhouse, which combines the rustic, cozy, country-living aesthetic with comfortable and chic touches.

I’ll be home for the holidays and I am already enjoying every moment of the holiday season in my cozy space 🖤

Welcome to A Farmhouse Christmas

The K on the top of our tree is for the Killough’s

#MrandMrsKillough 😘

I’m obsessed with my table top fire pit 🔥 It’s the perfect time of the year to enjoy a good movie, a little warmth, and a glass of wine.

My place is all decked out for the Holidays thanks to my amazing husband ♥️

I wish everyone a merry little Christmas and a happy Holiday season with lots of love, laughter, and a little sparkle ✨

Packing for a Getaway

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lifestyle

Hi my favorites!

I just got back from the perfect cabin vacation in Bushkill Pennsylvania (The Poconos) for my birthday and I live for my wardrobe when I travel anywhere. I’m also a mom and I’m always prepared for the unknown and the inevitable. The key to successfully packing for any vacation is planning ahead and taking a breath. The worst thing you can do is stress yourself out prior to leaving, because that takes away from the feeling of relief when you’re about to embark on a peaceful adventure. My favorite vacations are the ones filled with relaxation, views, and cozy clothes. I loved the cabin environment because it allowed me to pack my favorite fall clothing and accessories. The cabin, waterfalls, and community were absolutely breathtaking. It was a much needed pause from our daily life; mamas, remember to always make time for day trips and vacations because they’re good for your health. Before you arrive at your destination be sure to ask your host, the hotel, or venue any questions you may have, which will help you pack, plan, and be prepared. If it’s a day trip be prepared for car ride must-haves, especially snacks, water, and comforts. Whether you’re going for the day (or a week) it’s important to pack according to the weather. I stalk the weather for a week prior to any vacation just in case anything changes, which always happens.

The weather for my vacation was my favorite kind of weather…cold. I packed an outfit for each day (five days) and two extra outfits (just in case). I packed two nighttime lounge/pajama outfits and a pair of slippers. I wore a pair of Uggs to the cabin and brought another pair of dressier boots that also doubled as hiking/adventure boots (adventure boots aren’t a shoe category…I just made that up lol). When you know the weather you’ll be experiencing and the adventures you’ll be embarking on you know exactly what to pack. You never want to over or under pack, but overpacking is definitely safer! I always bring a ton of underwear and a few different bra styles, because those are a must. Don’t forget your phone charger and if you bring your iPad or tablet/laptop everywhere be sure to bring that charger too (and ask about WiFi).

As a mama, my first priority is making sure Greyson has everything and anything he needs. I packed about ten outfits for him and made sure he had three coats, a couple pairs of shoes, and a bunch of socks. Babies and young children go through clothing faster than anyone else and it’s better to overpack for them! I brought a few of his favorite toys, stuffed animals, his playard, a whole box of diapers, baby wipes, two blankets, baby shampoo, etc. I was prepared for anything life threw our way, but it was actually a completely easygoing trip with zero issues. He even came home with two new toys and I came home with my gorgeous birthday gifts 🎁

I am crazy organized and having a clean home is everything to me and I know not everyone is like me, but I recommend cleaning and organizing your place before you leave on your trip so you return home to a clean, positive space. I don’t know how people leave everything a mess and that’s what they come home to…that would stress me out. I was happy to come home and my space felt inviting and cozy, which is always the goal.

If you didn’t feel like reading all of my words and advice and wanted to skip to the organized bullet points (sorry)…but, here they are (haha…I hope you actually read everything and always enjoy my words, but bullet points are the best, right?).

Packing for a Getaway 101:

  • ALWAYS check the weather prior to leaving for your vacation.
  • Pack throughout the week instead of the night before, or day of to avoid unnecessary stress.
  • If you’re a mama, be prepared for anything and everything (overpack for your kid[s]).
  • You can never pack too much underwear or socks.
  • Make sure you have any and all chargers for your devices.
  • Be sure to have the car ride must-haves if your vacation involves driving (water, snacks, coffee, cozy essentials, etc.).
  • Leave your house looking its’ best and return to a sanctuary (not a mess).
  • Look at Pinterest, a magazine, or an online source for outfit inspiration if you’re in need of any while packing.
  • Ask your host, the hotel, or venue any and all questions you may have before leaving to ensure you’ve packed everything you need.
  • Bring a tote bag or something similar for dirty laundry if wherever you’re staying doesn’t have a washer/dryer.
  • Relax and take a breath…
  • Have fun packing and planning your outfits (it doesn’t have to be an annoying task)!

I hope your next getaway is fun, therapeutic, and beautiful. Take in the views, snap a lot of photos, and use your time away wisely…getaways are a time to rejuvenate and relax your mind and body.

The Greyson Diaries

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personal

The Daily Life of a Young Mama

I have been told so many times, “You have a 10 month old? You don’t look old enough to be a mom.” I never know how to respond beyond saying, “Yes, I’m a mom and he’s my best friend.” I’m almost twenty four and I had Greyson at age twenty three (pregnant at twenty two), but I’m not sure why my age matters, or why there’s still a stigma around being a mom in your early twenties. I’m a young mama, but I’m an amazing mama. I’m creative, hands on, and passionate. Everything I do in this life is for my son and my husband and if I could go back and change when I got pregnant, I wouldn’t. I am so happy I had Greyson at a young age and I’m so excited to have another baby in the near future. People in my life are always amazed at my ability to get up every morning, tired or not, do my makeup and hair, dress up, and conquer my daily tasks with a baby by my side, and honestly…there’s no hidden secret to my life as a mama bear. I always say it’s a balancing act and being a happy and healthy mom is about balance and peace. I find peace in the people, places, and things I love. I find balance in time management and staying true to who I am.

My daily life changes day to day but there’s still a routine to maintain that balance. During the week my husband works from 7am-around 6pm and I work most weeknights from 5pm-11pm. The weekends are all about my boys and I love spending time with Andrew and Greyson. Sometimes we do day trips over the weekend and other weekends are dedicated to home projects and relaxation. During the week I wake up an hour or two after my husband leaves (around 6:30am), I feed and change Greyson, if the weather is nice we go for an early morning walk, and I always play with Greyson in his nursery in the morning. When he’s in his height chair eating and watching Word Party or Little Baby Bum I vacuum, feed my cats, make myself breakfast or tea, and I always manage to accomplish everything. I find time to shower, do my hair, my makeup, and when I do laundry and things like that he crawls around in the room with me and hangs out. He’s always been my buddy and best friend and I think it’s so important to include your child in your daily routine so it’s never an issue. I talk to him through everything I do so he knows he’s a part of my day.

I do have my own business and although I really scaled back after I had Greyson (and now that I’m back in fashion retail), occasionally I have a dog walking or pet sitting client. Usually, my mom or Andrew will babysit him while I run to my clients, but sometimes he goes with me. He’s an essential part of my life and I will never choose work (or anything else) over my child. I waited a long time before going back into a work environment after having Greyson and I don’t regret it at all. I love my job at Altar’d State (a gorgeous clothing store) and it’s so nice having something that I work hard at and that I love. It’s the perfect environment for me and I encourage every mama to do something each week for herself because it is good for the soul. If I go and get my nails done my mom or Andrew will take care of Greyson, but besides nail appointments, he usually comes with me wherever I go!

He loves going shopping with me, out to lunch, and hanging out with my friends. Mamas, don’t exclude your children from your routine or outings…include them and make every experience special and something to look forward to. We love going to Target or grocery shopping early in the morning when it’s quiet and he can look at everything in the store. Friends of mine and people in my life often mistake my bubbly personality for not being tired, but I am always tired…I’m a busy mom. I don’t drink coffee either, so I get my energy from eating and drinking healthy options (as much as I can), walks, and from pushing through. I rarely get to nap at this point and sometimes it’s best to keep moving and keeping yourself busy. Positivity is everything and if you’re a negative person you will have a negative day and a negative life. I’d rather have a lot on my plate than nothing to occupy my time, because that would be so boring. I enjoy picking out a cute outfit every day and I find a lot of inspiration and peace in my clothes. There’s something very therapeutic and fun about styling your outfit.

I’ve been asked how I deal with the bad days and we all know they exist. You know the days I’m talking about…the days that start off feeling like a bumpy, dirt road and by the end of the day you feel as though you hiked up a steep mountain with no break or assistance. Maybe you get to the top of the mountain and you admire the view, take a deep breath, and reset after the tiring day that is now behind you, or maybe you reach the top of the mountain and you break down, because the emotions are still very present and overpowering. We can pretend the bad days don’t exist and lie to ourselves but bad days are inevitable and it’s okay to have a not so amazing day. It’s okay to cry, yell, get angry, and to fall apart as long as you remember to build yourself back up and shoot for a beautiful tomorrow. Life is made up of tiny moments and not every moment is going to be beautiful and photo worthy, but each moment is so incredibly important. It’s hard to write down a guide to dealing with moments of sadness and anger because every single one of those moments differ from one another. Sometimes, I am just in a mood or stressed out and there’s nothing I can do but get through my day and start over…reset. Usually, I don’t let anything bother me for more than a few minutes and I let all of my emotions free within those few minutes. If I need to cry, laugh, or yell, I do it. There’s no reason to feel ashamed or embarrassed about not being perfect and having real emotions. I know moms feel as though a bad day makes them a bad mom and that’s so far from the truth; I try not to yell or cry in front of Greyson, but it’s important for him to see a balance in life and understand how to deal with every emotion we possess. I’ve always had anxiety and it’s hard for me to talk myself down when I’m upset or stressed but I always find a way. Greyson makes it easy to let go of what I can’t control because he’s so happy, light, and full of life, which is a reminder about what’s truly important in life.

I wish every mama a positive daily routine…Mamas, never forget to sincerely enjoy yourself. Yes, there will always be moments that will test you and cause stress but even cleaning can be therapeutic…it’s all about how you look at it. Are you going to be a glass half full or a glass half empty kind of person? It’s your choice but as I continue to say, a negative mindset will lead to a negative life. Also, we aren’t perfect and we all mess up. I can be a brat, stubborn, and crazy…but, I know that my best is pretty amazing and the good days will always outnumber the bad.

Xo

The Greyson Diaries

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romance

Dear Husband…

When you become a mama everything changes, including reality and expectations. I always knew I wanted to be a mom and that it would be the most beautiful chapter of my life…well, more than just a chapter, more like a whole new story, but what I didn’t know was that I would meet this incredible man, who would not only make me the happiest mom in the world but also the happiest wife.

Andrew, meeting you was unexpected, simple, and it changed everything in an instant. I found out I was pregnant at an urgent care after three pregnancy tests read negative (but I knew in my heart that I was pregnant), and although I was so excited and happy, I was also scared. I didn’t know what changes motherhood would bring or what our relationship would feel like after becoming parents. I remember driving to pick up food after telling you I was pregnant and you were so unbelievably sweet, supportive, and positive. Your positivity is what got me through every moment of fear and before I knew it, the fear was gone. Fear was replaced with excitement and knowing that we would be amazing together, always. Yes, I knew there would be arguments and disagreements from time to time, but we would work through any obstacle and we always do. I’m thankful that we don’t fight and that you never let me walk away without us communicating and figuring out whatever it is that’s bothering me.

You were there for me through every second of my pregnancy and you’re still by my side, no matter what. Nothing is ever awkward or uncomfortable between us. I look at you with our beautiful, smart, silly baby boy and I’m so thankful for the father that you are. I wish you could see yourself through my eyes because you’d see my endless, gorgeous love for you and how insanely proud of you I am every single day. When I was a little girl I would envision my future husband, but when you’re a little girl your future lover resembles a prince from a Disney classic, riding to your rescue on a white horse, dressed in expensive fabrics, and too good to be true. But, that image fades away as you grow up, realizing Disney characters aren’t real, just pretty fantasies. When I was in high school, my Prince Charming turned into a bad boy with a nice car, who’d fight for my honor with fists not a sword. As most girls do, I craved that guy who was good just for me. Once I graduated from high school I just wanted a nice, loyal guy who had dreams and a good job.

I always heard that your soulmate often finds you after your biggest mistake and most painful heartache. I never used to believe that was true until I met you and looked back on my painful past. I felt so grateful for the present. Now, as a mama and a wife all I want is you. I would never wish for anything different or take who you are for granted. I always say I wish I knew you earlier and met you sooner, but we were meant to find each other when we did and live out the rest of our story together. I often wonder if you would’ve liked the old, naive me…the girl who drank a little too much, wore her heart on her sleeve, and who sat up all night writing stories.

I don’t need you to have a perfect body and a six pack. I don’t need you to drive an expensive vehicle or wear designer brands. I don’t need diamonds and flowers every night when you come home from work and I don’t need five star dinners every Friday night. I need you to come home every night safely and to always be loyal and honest. I need you to be happy and to always pursue your dreams. I need you to live a long, healthy life, because I wouldn’t want to live this crazy life without you. I need your endless love, smile, and sense of humor (even when you drive me crazy). I need you to continue to teach and nurture our son and to always respect my opinion and feelings. I just need you.

Things change when you become a parent, which we know very well, but change is good. Change is a reminder that we’re continuously growing and learning and I love our life together. Sometimes women expect marriage to be quite different from what it really is, which is a permanent, dependable partnership with your best friend, whose also your lover. Yes, sex is amazing and healthy, but it isn’t everything and when you’re working, busy with the kids, or experiencing other life changes, sex may not happen every day like it used to. Money is important, but it’s also not everything. You will experience highs and lows, valleys and mountains, but if you’re with the right person every day will feel safe and secure. That feeling of comfort and security is everything. Thank you for giving me that beautiful feeling every day and for working so hard for us. You give us the best life and no matter how tired, cranky, or busy I am, please never forget how much I appreciate you and everything that you do.

I love you husband.

Love,

Your wife

The Greyson Diaries

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lifestyle

Life With an 8-Month-Old

Hey, mama bears 🐻

I’m always asked about my daily routine (there will be a separate blog post about my daily life), what it’s like with an eight-month-old, and how I keep myself balanced as busy as I am. Well, of course, I am here to share all of the details with you. Life with an eight-month-old is busy, exciting, and tiring. Greyson will be nine months on September 8…

He is so smart, sweet, and curious. He can crawl, stand, dance, sit, and he’s almost trying to walk (ahhhh). He wants to talk to me so badly, loves to laugh, go for long walks, shopping, and playing with his toys in his nursery. Having an eight-month-old baby is so different than having a newborn, or even a six-month-old at home. Things change quickly and they not only grow physically but mentally they mature incredibly fast. You watch them discover the world around them and it’s beautiful (and scary).

Eight-month-olds are a lot of fun because they’re more independent, but they’re also a lot of work. Mamas, be prepared to stay active with your baby all day and for their sleeping pattern to change. I love how active and alert he is, but he has stopped napping as much as he did (he has FOMO) and some nights he wants to stay up late with me and hangout…I love my little buddy. By the way, it doesn’t make you a bad mom to feel happy when they’re finally asleep. You need time to yourself, whether you escape by reading, binge-watching your favorite show, or spending time with your lover.

I’m able to set Greyson up in his height chair now while he drinks his milk (he loves feeding himself) and watches Little Baby Bum and I’m able to vacuum, change, do my makeup, etc. I feed him his baby food after (or before) his milk, depending on his mood and he loves all types of food from bananas and raspberries to peas and carrots. He isn’t picky! He can have teething biscuits now and we are starting to try spaghetti and foods appropriate for his age, but he’s still adjusting.

He has three (almost four) teeth on the top and two on the bottom. When your baby hits the eight-month mark they will not only be teething, but they’ll also be dealing with discomfort as their teeth push through, if they haven’t already begun going through that process. Greyson only deals with mild discomfort, but don’t be surprised if teething changes their routine. Some nights Greyson doesn’t want to sleep because he’s uncomfortable…show patience, love, and use what works best for you and your baby to soothe their gums. I’ve also started using the finger toothbrush once a day to gently scrub his existing teeth (he think it’s so funny and giggles), which is a great way to get your baby used to a toothbrush.

He wakes up every morning and falls asleep happy and positive, which is a beautiful thing. He is very rarely upset (except when he’s hungry). Eight-month-olds have a lot of energy and are full of surprises! It’s important to take care of yourself throughout the day because you’ll need the energy…trust me. I’m constantly playing on the floor with him, carrying him, running around and getting things done, but I really do love spending my days with him. They love to grab and pull, too…your hair, bracelets, and necklaces will become fixations.

Greyson loves being out and about, so I always recommend to mamas with eight-month olds (and older) to get them out of the house a few times a week, at least. Go to the park, walk around the mall, grocery shop, or drive to the beach. Even if you walk down your road and breathe some outdoor air, your baby will enjoy it. Babies love to learn and explore and the older they get the more they absorb. Greyson loves seeing people, places, and things. He loves listening to conversations, music, and looking at products when we’re shopping.

My friends always ask me how I stay awake and full of energy. “Lizzie, why aren’t you tired?” I am perpetually tired…I’m a mom, lol. But, I stay motivated and I enjoy each day with my son. The best way to keep your energy up is to eat healthily, take moments for yourself, do some yoga or a quick workout, and have fun. There are days that are stressful and I hide it well, but all mamas have bad days. I do my best to spend time with my friends, too, which keeps me balanced. My husband is amazing and very supportive of me and my feelings, which makes the long days easier #thankful. It’s also really important to have something that is all yours…for example, I write and I have my own business, Petsitting by Lizzie LLC, and both of those things are personal accomplishments. Mamas, set some goals for yourself and conquer those goals. Do your hair, put on some mascara, and be motivated each day.

When you go out for date night with your boo, or you go to get your nails done, your baby at eight months will start to understand that you’re leaving. Separation Anxiety develops around eight months; Greyson knows when I’m going out now and he doesn’t like it. He notices when Andrew leaves for work and he anticipates when he’s coming home. If I leave for an hour, or two in the evening to pet sit, even though he’s home with Andrew, he won’t go to sleep until I come home. I spend as little time as possible away from him because he misses me as much as I miss him. Their personalities shine and sparkle at eight months and they keep us entertained.

Always remember to stay true to yourself and don’t lose sight of you as your child grows. They will be able to get to know who you are as a person and that will mean so much to them. Be the rockstar you know you are and never give up, even on the days that are long, and exhausting.

Greyson’s Letter

Grey,

You’re such a light and every single day you impress and inspire me with your sense of humor, positivity, and innocence. I can never be upset around you because you remind me what’s truly important. Yes, some days I am so tired and I try really hard to stay energized and happy, for you, but being your mama is worth being tired. I wish I could really explain to you what it’s like being a mom, feeling the way I feel when you smile or laugh, and how amazing the journey is as a parent (and terrifying). One day, I am sure you’ll know exactly what I mean, but as you jump into your ninth month I wish you endless happiness, giggles, and discovery.

Love,

Mama

Stay tuned for the next entry of The Greyson Diaries 💙 & follow me on Instagram: lizziemognoni

The Greyson Diaries

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personal

Let’s Talk About It: Postpartum Truth

I became a mama on December 8, 2018, and my life changed forever in a gorgeous, indescribable way. Words cannot do my love for Greyson and my role as his mama justice and although some women aren’t a fan of being pregnant, I was one of those weirdos who LOVED being pregnant. My pregnancy was beautiful and I enjoyed every second of it. I loved my bump, the excitement of it all, the unknown and learning, and going through the process with the love of my life. All mamas can attest to this fact…we have no clue what postpartum is really like until it becomes reality. We all think we give birth and then everything goes back to normal, but it’s not that simple. The first couple of weeks are exciting, tiring, and different, but there are so many aspects to postpartum that the days can feel overwhelming. Yes, you will still look pregnant a few days after giving birth (it’s the weirdest thing). Your stomach will feel super squishy and different, which is completely normal and your postpartum cramps are sometimes worse than the contractions (menstrual cramps x10). Now, if you have a C-section, opposed to a vaginal delivery, postpartum recovery will differ, but I had a vaginal birth (which is what I’ll be describing), but regardless of the type of birth, postpartum is an adventure (sometimes a difficult one).

You will leave the hospital feeling happy, dazed, and wearing the famous mommy diaper. No, it’s not a diaper, but that’s what us mamas call it. Many famous moms who are finally being more open about pregnancy and postpartum, such as Snooki have been posting photos about the mommy diaper and postpartum life, which is great. There’s no shame in recovering and at your own pace. Daphne Oz, one of my favorite famous moms is very honest about motherhood, pregnancy, and postpartum life. Anyway, the mommy diaper is actually amazing and you’ll be happy it exists. It’s mesh, loose, high-waisted panties that can be pulled up over your tummy and they allow you to wear those ridiculously huge pads postpartum. They’re actually so comfortable and I wish they were a normal, daily trend (the mommy diaper not the pads…the pads are awful). I only wore the mommy diaper for a couple of days and then I just used pads and cute granny panties. But, remember, you will be bleeding A LOT postpartum, for a few days and your number one goal is to be comfortable. I wore loose dresses, high waisted leggings, loose tanks, and cozy sweaters. The first time I wore jeans was a week postpartum and they were Levis (just a little side info).

I didn’t breastfeed (I didn’t want any added strain on my body postpartum) and using formula was incredibly successful for me, but that was my personal choice. Greyson was put on soy formula early on, which must be genetic because I was too when I was a baby. Regardless of the fact that I didn’t breastfeed, my breasts became rock hard and swollen three days postpartum (happens to everyone) and it took about five days for the milk to dry up and my breasts to return to normal. Ladies, be careful when you’re letting your milk dry up…don’t touch your boobs, stimulate milk production (no funny business guys, hehe), or let the hot water pour onto your boobs in the shower. I didn’t leak much (I did buy these adorable heart-shaped bra inserts to absorb any leakage though, which helped tremendously), but my chest felt as hard as concrete…I couldn’t sleep! I slept in Greyson’s room on the glider for a couple of days to avoid bumping my boobs. One night I actually cried for hours because they ached so badly and Andrew was constantly holding icepacks and bags of frozen peas on my boobs to alleviate the pain. He’s a doll.

The first time I got my period again I thought I was dying. I was bleeding so much and there were no cramps, so naturally, I assumed death (lol). I yelled for Andrew and he just looked at me and said, “Babe, it’s probably your period”. I made an OB appointment and they reassured me that it was my first, postpartum period and they’re always horrible. But, ever since I became a mama I no longer have menstrual cramps, which is amazing and my sex life is better than ever…thank you postpartum.

After the initial week of postpartum craziness subsides and your boobs and uterus go back to normal and you find a new routine, where does that leave you? How do you feel about your body, mind, and life? Well, that question is complicated because postpartum is different for every woman, but I hope to help other mamas by talking about what I experienced.

My Body

Postpartum puts us women through the wringer and our society, unfortunately, doesn’t celebrate new moms. We are made to feel as if we need to hide until our bodies are back to “normal” and we meet societies ridiculous standards. That’s bullshit, by the way. My generation is bombarded with social media, materialism, and celebrity influence which can make a mama feel insecure about her progress and body. Again, I loved being pregnant, I was very healthy while pregnant (which helps), and postpartum, but no matter what you do, it takes some time for your body to “bounce back”. Remember, it took nine months for your body to change and create a new life…give yourself a break and don’t rush progress. Very few people are open and honest about their failures and insecurities on social media and in front of others (remember that also). I remember slipping into my Christmas outfit and feeling different. On the outside, I looked like Lizzie, but I felt changed. I didn’t have any stretch marks on my stomach or any other issues on other parts of my body, but my stomach wasn’t as toned as it was prior to becoming pregnant. My boobs, butt, and everything else remained the same, but again, I still felt different and changed. I used to complain constantly about my stomach and the first couple of months your hormones and emotions are on a roller coaster ride, which doesn’t help.

I’m not perfect, nor will I ever be. That’s not something I strive for, but I will say, despite the fact that I will never be “perfect”, whatever perfect means to you, I am very happy with myself and my body. No, my tummy isn’t rock hard, but I’d rather be a mama than worry about my tummy. Ladies, don’t ever compare yourself to others. If you find yourself doing that on social media, remove yourself from it because as I said before, no one is posting their failures. I know many people on social media who boast about their beautiful relationships, that are actually falling apart in real life, brag about their bodies, that in all actuality look like the majority of all female bodies, and who crave attention so badly that it’s uncomfortable. You don’t need to post on social media every day to live a good life. Social media isn’t your real life…your real life is when you’re at home with your loved ones, enjoying every second of being you.

I’m always asked how I “bounced back” so quickly after having Greyson and I always smile, thank them for the compliment, and tell them I’m still bouncing back. It’s not just how you look on the outside, but how you feel on the inside. There are days when I may look amazing, but I feel bad about myself…that is not because I’m a mama…that’s because I’m a woman. It’s what we do! We worry about every little detail about us, critique ourselves in the mirror, and studies show we see a different image than what’s really there. We are the way we are because of society, immense pressure to look a certain way, and of course, social media. We grew up watching television shows with women who never had an ounce of fat on their bodies and who emphasized being a certain way, especially for men. Yes, some women are a size 0, but many women are not that small and that’s okay. I’ve always been petite, but I have curves and I wouldn’t even look like myself if I was a size 0. Also, the women we watch on television aren’t necessarily genetically that small…they have personal trainers who work with them every day and some don’t eat much of anything (that is not a normal life). I am at an age (23) where I no longer care about being the skinniest girl, who likes me, or the likes I get on social media. I love myself and I’m so happy with my life that the little things don’t matter to me anymore and I want all of the mamas out there to feel the same way…just genuinely happy. I am working on me every single day, just like everyone else.

I am a vegetarian again, eating healthy, and I’m finding a workout routine that I actually enjoy. I’m even working out with Andrew! I am NOT a girl who has ever liked working out (if you enjoy working out, no offense but I think you’re crazy), I always hated the gym, and the last thing I want to do at the end (or beginning of the day) is a workout. I’d rather write, read, or I don’t know…spend time with my husband (sex counts as a workout, right?). But, I do love yoga, being outdoors, and long walks. I am adding in a more aggressive workout routine to my daily life as a mama to push myself more, but I didn’t force myself to exercise right after having Greyson. There’s no need to rush back to the gym, or stress about working out immediately after giving birth, and actually, it’s healthier to relax and give yourself a true break. Do what makes you happy and don’t add any stress to your days. Trust me, as a mama, you’ll have enough stress in your lifetime!

My Mind

Postpartum brings on all of the emotions, different (new) issues, and floods your mind with questions. I did deal with Postpartum Depression, but luckily (and unluckily) I was no stranger to depressing thoughts. I struggled with anxiety and depression in my teenage past, so I knew how to talk myself down and I will always be an anxious person. Despite the fact that I got myself through the rough days, if you suffer from Postpartum Depression, I do suggest talking to your doctor (ASAP) because it isn’t easy to overcome the struggles on your own. If you need someone to talk to, beyond a therapist or your doctor, I’m always here.

Depression is not a joke and women suffer from Postpartum Depression in varying ways. Some experience symptoms for a year (even three) and others (like me) hop off of the roller coaster ride after a couple of months, as soon as their hormones level out. Anxiety and depression affect everyone differently, so you can not compare your story to others. The first couple of weeks postpartum I was completely fine and then out of nowhere the anxiety and tears hit me like a tsunami. Postpartum Depression usually develops between 4-6 weeks postpartum, but again that varies. I felt so bad putting Andrew through the emotions, but he understood. My friends didn’t understand fully what was happening late at night in my head, but I kept most of it to myself. I spent that time trying to find myself again. I knew the old Lizzie was in there, somewhere. Some nights I cried myself to sleep hating my body, not understanding why I felt the way I did, and getting angry and stressed out over the simplest things. I wasn’t being rational or at all fair to myself.

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I was working so hard as a mama, housewife, and fiancé keeping everything together for everyone else. Andrew was truly amazing and never left my side. He always made me feel better at the end of the day and he only saw me for me, not the person I saw staring back at me, who I didn’t know. We really are our own worst enemies and we see what we want to see, whether it’s real or not. I was never sad, angry, or depressed when I was with Greyson. My son has always made me feel so happy and full of love and light. It was when I was alone or before I went to bed that my head would start to spin. Mamas, we all go down that rabbit hole from time to time, but you need to know that you’re not alone and there’s always a way to heal and move forward. Even Alice found her way home, but she had to go through Wonderland to gain answers and happiness. I don’t suggest doing drugs and going completely bonkers in order to find yourself (yes, Alice in Wonderland is all about drugs and how they make you feel), but there’s always a path you must take to reach each destination. Motherhood is a whole new world and sometimes your mind becomes a little messy. Take a breath, do something that makes you feel good, and enjoy every second with your child. They want you to be happy and happiness is contagious. I found my balance and “bounced back” as they say and now I am literally the happiest I have ever been in my entire life.

If you’re still going through the sad days, the confusion, and the stress, I promise you will reach your perfect balance. I read a lot of spiritual books postpartum that helped me feel more zen and at peace with myself (Emma Mildon is the best) and I also removed myself from anything that made me feel unhappy or uncomfortable (I am still letting of things & people that don’t bring happiness to my life). I don’t go to places or events that cause me anxiety or put up with people’s bullshit. I am way beyond that point in my life.

Greyson’s Letter

Greyson, you bring me so much light and laughter. Last night I was watching a TV show before bed with daddy and you were fast asleep in your crib. I looked over at the baby monitor and missed you so much, even though I had just spent time with you an hour before. Daddy and I literally cannot imagine our days without you and you’ve made us stronger, happier, and sillier. You allow us to be little again when we play with you, explore places we used to love as children, and read the books that inspired us as little kids. You are everything to me and I love your smile, joy, and kindness. It’s amazing how sweet you are to everyone and everything, which makes me proud. You’re always happy, giggling, and smiling…

I know you watch mama clean, take care of everything, and sometimes stress, but just understand that you make each day easier and you fill my heart with happiness.  I will never let you stress and I’ll take care of the chaos around you. Of course, when you’re an adut you’ll have your own worries, but daddy and I will always be here to help and guide you.

We love you forever & always.

Xo

Mama

Stay tuned for the next entry of The Greyson Diaries 💙 & follow me on Instagram: lizziemognoni