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New Mexico: Family

IMG_0980New Mexico is the home of Geoff’s mother’s father’s family (make sense??).   The Aguayos are a well known family in Alto so when his Uncle Ron passed away, New Mexico is where he’d be laid to rest with many of his other family members, including Geoff’s grandfather.  I thought I had taken more pictures of his Aunt Judy’s beautiful home in the mountains, with it’s wrap around porch and family photographs from the past throughout the home, but I guess I found it more important to soak in time talking to family I’d never met, seeing all of these people who looked so much like my son!   

While we were staying in New Mexico, Geoff, Grant, Jack and myself stayed with Grandma Jeanette and John in the cutest little cabin.  It was so wonderful to spend some time with my mother in law now that she’s in Florida.  Jack absolutely loved cuddles, kisses and songs from his grandma and I enjoyed the home cooked breakfasts and hearing stories about her family…well I guess my family, too :)

Although we stayed in the cabin two nights, it went by so fast!  We arrived late afternoon on Saturday and spent Sunday with family.  It was raining hard Sunday for the memorial…kind of a beautiful back drop for the day.  The memorial for Uncle Ron was held at the church he attended with Judy.  Right when we arrived Jack started screaming so I took him in to the nursery and he and I played while I tried to listen to the songs and stories about Ron (but let’s be honest, Jack was soaking up much of my attention, crawling and screaming and teething and crying and laughing and climbing and….you get the picture!).  When I heard bagpipes playing, however, I grabbed Jack and we stood outside of the sanctuary and listened to them play.  Jack was mesmerized.  And what I loved most about the service that Jack and I both were able to see first hand was everyone gathered outside under the church’s walkway, a firetruck and possibly Ron’s uniform and boots, propped up next to flowers, were on display while the bagpiper played Amazing Grace…then Home.  While he played everyone hugged one another, Geoff took Jack and held him close, and I watched the bagpiper walk away into the rain, the pipes growing more and more faint, like Ron was walking home.  So beautiful.

After the memorial we went back to Aunt Judy’s where she told me stories of all the people in the photographs around her home.  I loved hearing stories of Ron and her.  Reminded me so much of Geoff and I.

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The next morning, Geoff’s 32nd birthday, we left Alto and on our way out, Geoff took me to a jewelry shop that his aunt worked for.  He told me to pick out something nice :)  So of course I chose turquoise earrings for my birthstone and because we were in New Mexico so why not!  I’ve been wearing them ever since.  Afterwards, we climbed back in the car with Grant and Jack and started our 8 hour drive to Phoenix!  More on our stay there soon!
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Road Trip to New Mexico: Tucson

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A couple months ago, Geoff’s Uncle Ron had passed away from his battle with cancer.  His family, the Aguayo’s, are from New Mexico and have a rich history in the area that we were traveling to, Alto and Ruidoso.  So it was only fitting that Ron’s wife, Judy, planned to have everyone out to visit and celebrate Ron’s life at their local church as well as her beautiful home in Alto.

Being that New Mexico is at 14 hour drive for us, Geoff, his brother Grant, Jack and I decided to chop up the drive a bit and stay in Tucson the first night of our road trip.  Jack’s been on drives that have been no more than 2 hours at a time, so we were all a little skeptical about how 6 hours would be for this little man.  Well, he did great!  Long naps in his carseat, one pit stop for all of us to use the restroom and for a diaper change for Jack, and some Netflix and lots of singing on my part (I sat in the back with him the entire roadtrip) made the drive bearable for him.

We stayed at the coolest Air BnB yet!  The Elysian Grove Market wasn’t our first choice.  Our previous rental had cancelled on us last minute so within 24 hours we had to find another place!  So I had no idea where we were staying until we pulled up to the market…the MARKET? Ha!  I was a bit skeptical at first, but once we walked into our digs for the night I immediately felt 100% grateful for the cancellation and fell in love with the thrifty and quirky vibe of this historical market turned loft.  Every piece of furniture and decor seemed to have some kind of story behind it, and there was so much character and funky do dads to look at and observe…Jack was in Heaven!

Once we unloaded the car (meaning Geoff and Grant while I watched Jack) we were ready to settle down and relax!  The owner also brews his own beer so there were beers to enjoy in the fridge.  Geoff and I had purchased a case full of different wines before the trip, for the trip, so we opened up a sav blanc from Justin (up in Paso Robles…mmmmm) and a French white.  Jack enjoyed a bottle of course.

This place is not baby friendly, however, in terms of floors and furniture so we had our eyes on Jack at all times.  Also, there is no AC and we were there during monsoon season and it just so happened to be the hottest day of the year…but later that night we experienced a desert downpour which made the evening lovely!  We sat outside, enjoying our drinks, Jack enjoying his first desert rain, and took it all in, watching the rain fall and laughing at the pet rabbit that roamed around in the back yard :)  IMG_0933

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That night we ate at the oldest Mexican restaurant in the nation, El Charro .  The host of Elysian Grove Market told us about it and said we’d better try it out!  So we drove off in the rain to enjoy a nice meal together.  I ordered the vegan enchiladas and the boys ordered heavier options.  It was our first time trying carne seca, too!  Very good :)  I also ordered a virgin margarita because I was the driver and figured I’d have more wine at home after Jack went to sleep, and of course Jack hit the glass while I was drinking and I spilled it all over me…HA!  Not as bad as the French fry incident haha!IMG_0915IMG_0924The next morning we packed up our belongings and headed over to Cup Cafe located in the historic Hotel Congress (notice a theme here?  Every place we went to and even where we stayed was historic…so perfect for me!).  We loved the penny decor on the tables out in the waiting room as well as the floor inside the cafe!  The breakfast was really nice, especially the cajon rendition of biscuits and gravy they had on the menu.  Once we filled our bellies, we paid our bill, jumped back into the car, bought the cheapest tank of gas I’ve ever filled up…okay, maybe in the last 10 years, and made our way out to New Mexico!IMG_0968IMG_0970IMG_0972IMG_0962IMG_0937Will be sharing our time in New Mexico next :) Hope everyone’s week has been good!

Mommy and Me: How it gave me confidence

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I will be the first to admit that I go insane if I’m stuck in the house for more than 12 hours.  So the early days with Jack were definitely some of the hardest days, simply because being home 24/7, with the exception of a walk outside here and there and maybe a quick drive thru through Starbucks, was just how it goes with a newborn.  Also, the struggle was VERY real with breast feeding so on top of “failing” at that and not being around others made postpartum depression a reality for this new mama.

Although I do pride myself in getting out as much as I could to have coffee dates with my girlfriends who were also stay at home moms, or Geoff and I would take Jack out with us for a quick lunch, I realized what I needed was to see other moms in action with their little people!

The thought of mommy and me classes made me self conscious.  By the time we were ready to go to them (around 2-3 months) I was already back and forth between breast milk and formula, feeding Jack with a bottle…so the thought of being judged or being asked why I give my son a bottle gave me anxiety.  However, I finally took the plunge and signed up for bootcamp classes taught by my friend Bobbi.  She assured me that other moms would be there with their kids and if Jack cried she’d be more than happy to help him, feed him, whatever I needed!

I also signed up for mommy and me yoga classes.  This was the one I was most intimidated by because I knew more moms would be breast feeding their little ones.  Plus, yoga is such a huge part of my life, I didn’t want to look like I couldn’t do some poses like I used to!  The first class I was assured that it was ok to breast feed my baby if I needed.  At first I took it personally that it was assumed I breastfeed…and feeling like a failure crept up…and once Jack got hungry and I had to whip out the bottle…no one cared!

These classes gave me so much more confidence in my ability as a mother.  For the first 2 months of Jack’s life I felt like the biggest failure.  But being around other moms, actually NOT feeling judged for the way I feed my kid, and supporting one another and even helping each other out when our babies are fussy and mama just needs a breather, helped my bond with Jack grow even stronger.  Plus, I’ve made some really wonderful friendships through bootcamp and mommy and me yoga.  If you’re a new mom, or even a seasoned one, and feel you’re lacking in your mothering, check and see if you are involved with other moms?  Are you getting out of the house?  Are you sharing your struggles and victories with your friends?  Once I started getting out every day (bootcamp was MWF and yoga was T/Th) I noticed such a drastic change in how I treated myself and how much more I loved my son!  Confidence as a mom can be hard to come by with all the rules and opinions that are thrown at us daily.  But when you get the opportunity to be immersed with other moms, seeing that they too have their struggles and “failures” it makes motherhood that much more beautiful :)

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Our Weekend

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Our weekend was full of venturing outside of the house!  Thursday was my last day teaching summer school (bittersweet for me because I really, really enjoyed it!) so Friday I made plans to treat myself to a day at the spa with a couple of my closest girlfriends.  My mother in law gifted me two gift certificates (one for my birthday and one for Christmas) to a favorite local spa, Glen Ivy.  My mom came down to watch Jack while Geoff went to work for the day.  A quick Starbucks run and a full tank of gas and myt friend and I were off to meet my other friend!  We took up the offer they have during the week and spent the day in the mud, getting massages, hopping in and out of pools, experiencing the grotto for the first time, and sharing healthy nachos (oxymoron?) and yummy light salads.  The day definitely went by way too fast, but it was time well spent!  On the way home,  we made one more Starbucks run and back to our husbands and kids we went!

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Saturday I had a coffee date with one of my favorite people, Bobbi, where we talked about our dreams and the future while passing Jack back and forth.  When Jack and I got home Geoff asked if we’d like to go out to lunch to one of our favorite restaurants in downtown Redlands.  While we were there, we thought it would be fun to let Jack try some of our food since we’ve been using the BLW method to feed Jack.  He tried French fry and really loved it (of course, who wouldn’t love a salty piece of potato?)  And like any excited parent I started taking pictures of his first encounter with a French fry…and not long after the gagging started (which can happen with BLW but it’s not dangerous…just hard to watch).  I told Geoff “he’s gagging” and I didn’t even get to finish my warning…vomit EVERYWHERE! I’ve never seen so much puke!!  And at such a lovely restaurant!  The staff promptly started cleaning up after us, we quickly paid for our lunch, and exited out the back.   In the moment, and I admit hours, after the incident I felt so embarrassed and like we were horrible parents.  It made me not want to take him out to eat.  I was mad at myself and Geoff for letting him have that damn fry!  But after talking to a friend and having some time to cool off, I realized that I shouldn’t be so hard on myself and Geoff.  Babies are babies!  And props to parents who still manage to get out and enjoy the finer things with their little families.  We are trying and will continue to do so…maybe sans fries :)

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Sunday was spent having brunch at the Olive Market (see!  it didn’t us long to go out to eat after the French fry incident!) and beginning  a mural for a friend’s bathroom.  Also, something I shared with my friend on the way home from Glen Ivy on Friday was how slowly I drink my iced drinks!  I didn’t finish my drink on our way home so I decided to stick it in the fridge to enjoy later.  And later was Sunday evening!  What are some of your quirky habits?  Hope you all have a fabulous week ahead!  We will be taking our first long road trip to a different state with Jack this weekend!  Should be interesting :)  Wish us luck!

Three IG Sources for Fashion Inspiration

If you look at my Instagram account and see who I’m following, you’ll notice a trend: Mompreneurs, food porn, yogis, and FASHION.  The bulk of people I follow are fashionistas.  You can tell a lot about a person by looking at who they follow on IG :)

I wanted to share with you all today three of my fave go-to sources for fashion inspiration!  As most of you know, I am a sucker for thrift shopping and incorporating new pieces with old or previously owned.  While some of the ladies I follow on IG have a wardrobe that’s far from my price range, I like to recreate what I see using what I have already…and maybe splurge on a new item to round out the outfit.

 Chriselle Lim 

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So, this chick.  She has to be, hands down, my personal favorite fashion inspiration on IG and, well, all other social media platforms.  For the last couple of years I’ve found so much of my own personal style through seeing her style always evolving.  Also, she hasn’t let motherhood put a damper on enjoying getting ready for the day!  Her style is chic, effortless, and a fabulous mix of feminine and masculine.  I just LOVE her!

Damsel In Dior

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Photo c/o IG

I was introduced to this lovely by a coworker, over discussing Chriselle, haha!  I absolutely love this girl’s color choice…or maybe lack thereof?  Tons of neutrals, lots of black and white, and a breathless sense of cool and casual is what I admire most of Jacey’s fashion sense.  Plus, she’s kind of a bad ass in terms of her raw and honest comments she shares on IG.  I dig it!

Babioles De Zoe

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Photo c/o IG

I’m not sure how I stumbled upon this fahsionista’s IG, but it was a happy accident.  A perfect example of Parisian beauty, Zoe exudes confidence no matter what she’s wearing!  I enjoy the variety of her outfits.  One day she’ll post an outfit inspired by boho vibes, and next rocking a black blazer or trench coat with jeans and a T.  Plus, she LIVES IN PARIS!  Love, love, love!

I notice looking at these lovelies’ accounts how much I see my style in theirs or how I am influenced (positively I might add) to their fashion sense.  Um, like me always wanting a short haircut?  Or loving the gender neutral vibes of jeans and a white button up (but lets be real, that happens if I’m leaving the house and not hanging out with Jack who will more than likely spit up all over me, haha! I did change my pants twice already, today.)

And I plan, at least once or twice a month, to use an inspirational outfit from IG and recreating it for you all with the items I already have, maybe with a new piece here and there, a thrift find, or something completely new!  This should be fun and I know soooo many of you have asked me to do this and teach you how to use what you have already or how to score the perfect thrift find.  Can’t wait to share with you all!

Happy Wednesday everyone :)