This is my story

My photo
New mommy to my son, Elijah Ryan. Wife to my husband and best friend, Nick. New homeowner and HGTV obsessed. Wedding Planner for Two Be Wed. Avid Pinner. Lover of writing, books, movies, vampires (not the Twilight kind) and Harry Potter. Enjoys lazy days, coffee and spending time with my little family. Here to share my tales of mommyhood, marraige, love and life.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 A Year in Review

The end of another year is upon us and what a year it has been!! It still doesn't feel right that this year is coming to an end and another one will begin with tomorrow. This has been my year to the core. I've had many more ups than downs, and can't seem to find a year out of my twenty-two years that compares to it. So, let's review.

January: I turned twenty-two as I was six months pregnant with what would be the joy of my life. I anxiously awaited Elijah's arrival and what was in store for me as a mother. I also started my last semester as a college student. It was very bittersweet.

February: The hardest month of the year for me as I was as huge as a hippo and had lost the ability to do simple things such as tie my shoes, and shaving went out the window (Sorry TMI alert). Also Nick was gone the whole month and we spent our first Valentines day as a married couple, apart.

March: My whole world changed as we welcomed our beautiful baby boy, Elijah Ryan Joseph into our hearts, three weeks early. Everything in that moment changed as he became the center of our world, the joy of hearts and the love of our lives. And every moment since has truly been a blessing.

April: Is kind of a blur because we didn't get much sleep and our life was devoted to the care of little Eli. The month consisted of many precious moments shared as parents and as a family.

May: Another bittersweet moment as I ended my college career and graduated. I had feared that I wouldn't be able to graduate and have a baby all in the same year, let alone months apart from each other, but I managed to do it with the help of my professors, family and friends.

June: I was basking in my accomplishments and enjoying being a new mom. I sadly stopped breastfeeding Eli after three months, not by choice but because his hunger overcame my lack of production. I'm thankful that I got to breastfeed at all and was happy that I was able to extend that special bond between him and I, even after giving birth.

July: Eli began eating cereal. He wasn't a big fan at first but eventually got it down to a fine science. Eli also had his first beach trip! I think he shares my love for the beach, because he loved the water!  

July also marked the end to apart of my own childhood: the last Harry Potter film. This was a huge deal to me being the HP freak that I am. It was another bittersweet moment, (I had a lot of those this year) because the series was a staple in my childhood but thinking back on it, it's ending was timed appropriately as I became an adult in numerous ways this year.


August: A big month for us. Eli turned 5 months and had began to crawl. In the beginning it was more of a spider crawl but he was determined to master crawling, and with the help of Dad crawling around the house out of example, he did (and very well!). He has turned out to be very advanced for his age (like his momma ;)) but I think it's more due to the boy inside that wants to go, go and not slow down. As a result I've been a very busy mom, but a very happy one.

We also began the search for our new house. As our family grew, so did all of our belongings and it was time to expand in space. Within a week of searching, we had found what is now our new home and operation "Building Our Dream Home" began.


September: Eli's appetite grew and he began to try more solids. There wasn't anything he tried and didn't like (just like Mom & Dad.) Except for peas but they've grown on him. His favorite was sweet potatoes and still is.

October: We celebrated Eli's first Halloween! He was the most adorable lion you've ever seen.
We also watched the process of our house being built from the ground, up. It was such an experience and one I'm glad to add to this year's list. And one I'm proud to scratch off my bucket list.

November: We hosted our first Thanksgiving while in the process of preparing for our big move. It was hectic but very humbling. I'm glad we were able to provide a place for our families to come together and give thanks. 

Nick and I also celebrated one year of marriage. This was a feat for us given everything this year has brought us. But we shone through it all and we are stronger for it. One year down, forever to go!

December: We moved into our new home just in time to celebrate our first Christmas together as a family. And it was a memorable Christmas too! All three of us got sick with the cold, but we were determined not to let that get in the way of our Christmas spirit! It was our first Christmas in our new home, first Christmas as a family and Eli's first Christmas. A lot of firsts and all of them will never be forgotten.

And that's this year in a nutshell. I became a mother, a college graduate and a homeowner in one year. Like I said, 2011 has been my year -hands down. I'm actually sad to see it end but I'm more excited for what this new year holds for me and my family. So, bring it on 2012. You have your work cut out for you!!

Hope everyone has a safe and happy New Years! See you all next year!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Reason for the Season

Christmas is just days away and the Joseph family still has a long list of to-do's. Most of our gift shopping is complete, just a few people we need to check off. Plus we our hosting our first party in the new house, yay! (Nick finally caved in -what can I say, he spoils me!). We hosted a tacky sweater party last year and it was a lot of fun so we decided to do another one this year but more casual. It's a Christmas/housewarming party and I'm pretty excited to put my holiday Pinterest board to work. Don't worry there will be a party recap post full of ridiculous photos and what not.

Anywho, among our list of to-do's is Eli's first Santa visit. It's a little last minute and I'm pretty sure I'm out of mind to be going near a mall so close to Christmas but it's one of those things a new Mom has got to do. But this visit has made me think about the real reason for the season and what I want to teach my son.

Sure, we've all heard the rants about how commercialized Christmas is these days and Santa is the front man. But then I think back to my childhood and how excited I was to go to Santa's wonderland, putting together my list for Santa and looking forward to Christmas morning to see what Santa brought. That's just it though, Santa = gifts. Yes, giving gifts is apart of the season but its not the real reason. In these last few months with the craziness of the move, I've fallen short in my walk with Christ. I know the move is just an excuse but I won't get into that now. Bottom line is I don't want my shortcomings get in the way of what's best for Eli.

I guess what I'm getting at is whether to raise him believing in Santa or celebrating the birth of Christ, or both? I want to share with him the same childhood memories I have of Christmas but I also want him to know Christmas is more than just receiving/giving gifts but celebrating the birth of Christ who came to save us all. I know he's too young now to grasp all of this but you have to start somewhere. I'd like to believe that you can celebrate both but at a reasonable balance.

We will see where the years take me but for today, I'm choosing to celebrate both. I'm going to take my son to get a cheesy picture with Santa but I am also going to start the tradition of reading to him each Christmas the real story of Christmas.

What Christmas traditions do you celebrate? How do you celebrate Christmas with your children? I'd love to get some feedback.

And before I go I have to share our adorable Christmas photo because I really love it, a lot.

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!!
I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday and can't wait to share all about ours after the holidays!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Eternally Blessed

It's a beautiful Saturday morning and I happen to be the only one awake, which is very rare so I'm taking advantage to update! This past week has been such a blur with the move. Lots of packing, unpacking, moving things around and trying to make our new house into a home. It didn't take long though because I absolutely love it and it feels as if it was made for me -oh wait, it was! But all kidding aside, it's more than I could have ever hoped, dreamed, or wished for. The first morning I woke up and thought I was in a hotel, it felt so nice and new. Everything about it feels perfect and truly unique to us because we chose this layout and as of now, there is no house like it in our neighborhood. It's a pretty cool feeling.

But aside from living on cloud 9 and feeling like the luckiest girl ever, I feel eternally blessed. I look around our new house and think to myself, how unreal it is that I live here and how could I ever ask for more? I have everything I could ever want in the world -a loving husband, a healthy baby and a beautiful home! I have to admit with the new house I became very selfish and materialistic at times because all I could think about was decorating and what I had to have to make the house 100% perfect. Now that we're all moved in and everything that I've been daydreaming about for the last 4 months is real -I can't imagine wanting more. I am so, so, so blessed. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I don't know very many 23-year-olds who have it all -the house, the husband and the baby. But I do. And I take that for granted more often than I'd like to admit.

So here I am, throwing myself under the bus and hoping that I can turn over a new leaf as I start this new chapter in my life. I have to get my materialistic needs in check and start paying more attention to the things that really matter. The blessings I have are still needs to others. I need to want less and give more. And this is the perfect season for me to start my new resolution. This Christmas is about giving to my loved ones, because my heart is already full of thanks and love for my family, friends and my new home.

And none of this would have been possible without my amazing husband. You are my biggest dream come true. I know I don't always give you the thanks you deserve as often as I should, but if and when you decide to read this, I want you to know how grateful I am for you and all that you've given me. I wouldn't be a wife without you, a mother without you -I wouldn't be me without you. You've made all my dreams a reality and I am eternally grateful for that. I love you baby and thank you, thank you, thank you.

That concludes my rant/confession of the week. I'll be posting house pics soon!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Case of the Moving Blues

Today we would have closed on our new house, keywords would have -as in did not happen. You can imagine our disappointment after spending the whole week thinking we were closing today and moving this weekend, only to find out yesterday that it wasn't going to happen. As I've been told this is normal. Apparently banks enjoy getting your hopes up only to crush them at the last second. (FYI: BofA is a POS) I apologize for the undertone but we haven't been happy campers at the Joseph house today. Instead we've been mopping about wishing we were in the new house already. But can you blame us?? We've waited 3 months for the house to be completed and now that it's ready we can't move in because we're waiting on the bank! ??&%^%*

Our almost new home. Isn't it so pretty!! The hot guy in front came with it ;)
Ahem. So, here's the moving update. As of now we don't have a date scheduled for closing. It should be no later than the end of next week but they can't give us an exact date. The only plus out of all of this is now we have time to finish packing because we haven't gotten much done. The downside is Nick has a work course scheduled the following week, which means we may have to speed move-in over the weekend. I was looking forward to moving in at our own pace instead of being rushed to get in and out. I know not much about moving is really enjoyable, other than the new place, but I really wanted to enjoy this move because it's a huge staple in our lives and family. We're making the biggest purchase of our lives. Into a home that we hope to spend forever in. HUGE! All the stress of making such a huge purchase, packing and moving, and now more waiting, has caused a lot of tension in the house. I just want to close and be done with it so we can be happy & stress free again!! (Until the next huge life-altering event aka Eli's first birthday party)

But as my Dad reminded me today, good things come to those who wait. We've been patient this far, what is one more week? Right? We shall see...stay tuned for the next, hopefully happier, moving update.