Babymoon for the Books: A Dreamy Antique Treehouse

Treehouse. Babymoon. South Carolina. Games. Simplify. Love.
Rest. Reconnect. Dance parties. Magic.

These are the words that come to mind when I recount our babymoon last year in the most enchanting treehouse in the woods. I often remember this scene: waking up to the light pouring in through the two-story windows, watching birds get to work, and feeling oh-so-cozy by the heat of the fire.

It couldn’t get better.

enjoying-the-view-of-these-two-story-windows-treehouse-south-carolina

But it did.

Right there, lying in the queen of all vintage beds, soaking in the feels of this magical place, I felt our tiny baby dance more than I ever had before.

It’s as though he was wanting to join in the dance parties we had had the previous night.

maternity-pictures-on-antique-bed-at-south-carolina-treehouse

I soaked every bit of it up.

 Even though kids technically aren’t allowed in the treehouse, I enjoyed sneaking him in. 😉

We played games like Shut the Box (which we have since added to our home game collection!),

antique-phone-at-the-south-carolina-treehouse

enjoyed all of the finishing touches and attention to detail (like chocolate),

hid away from the cold weather (myself parked right in front of the heater 90% of the time), and felt the freedom to goof off (well, that’s him 100% of the time!).

We enjoyed old records spinning tunes for us, walks through the woods with friendly dogs, recalling old memories from our past, and dreaming about the future with this new child of ours.

Then we discovered the rope swing bed below.

cozy-rope-swing-bed-at-south-carolina-treehouse

Complete with a romantic banner and fluffy blankets, it was the perfect place to hide from the chilly winter air, finishing our scheming and dreaming.

enjoying our babymoon at the treehouse

This guy. My love. The guy who made me a mother.

Forever grateful.

I’m enjoying this throwback to our time at the treehouse, remembering those sweet days with my old and new loves. It’s not even a bittersweet feeling, it’s all excitement, BECAUSE WE’RE GOING BAAAACK!!! Next month to be exact. This was my Christmas present last year, and I can’t believe the time is already upon us. It’s not easy to secure a spot at this popular getaway (as you can see why!), and I’m feeling super lucky to go back. After devoting the last year to raising our boy, I’m looking forward to the time I’ll get to spend reconnecting with my love…

this time with coffee and wine. 😉

Fruitfully,
Alyssa

I’m Saying Thanks for Anxiety in My Most Difficult Year Yet

Happy Thanksgiving: Why I'm giving thanks for anxiety

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’m recalling what I am thankful for this year: Of course, my number one reason is my child, who is growing a love and joy in me like no other. It’s been a FUN year watching him grow, celebrating his first birthday, and achieving many major milestones, like walking. I’m also thankful for a wonderful marriage with my teammate; fun trips to Wisconsin, Texas, Atlanta and Oxford; good health for all my loved ones; and enjoying pretty much everything I have asked for. But one thing I didn’t ask for, what I would have told you 4 weeks ago was the worst thing ever handed to me, that I could never dream would be a blessing, has become what I am most grateful for this Thanksgiving: my struggle with anxiety.

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2500 Calories: What This Dietitian Eats & Why Calories Matter [Example Diet]

In my professional work as a dietitian, I am constantly talking to people who are afraid of food and calories. Many are putting themselves on diets that are too low in calories, mostly because of misconceptions and bad information about weight management. When calorie needs aren’t met, the body conserves energy for essential functions – like keeping the heart beating and lungs breathing. This happens because calories, by their definition, are energy.

Not eating enough calories (energy) = the body conserves calories (energy)

It’s a miraculous process, really, but it can be frustrating for people trying to lose weight or for people demanding extra energy out of their body for things such as exercise or breastfeeding.

Greinke pitching for the Los Angeles Dodgers: Why Calories Matter

And new Moms are often attempting to do it all: Breastfeed while trying to lose weight postpartum and live in the busy-ness of newborn life. When I became a Mom last year, I was shocked to find myself going many hours before being able to get food in my mouth. Pre-baby life, I was eating around the clock. This girl loves her food, and skipping meals wasn’t a phrase in my vocabulary.

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1 More Reason My Son Is My Role Model

Mother and son looking at each other with admiration. He is my role model.

Most nights (meaning the nights I remember), we answer a fun question from this Q&A A Day journal. I like these cheesy kind of things and taking a moment at the end of each day to reflect. And truthfully, sometimes it’s the only conversation I get to have with my hubby outside the normal day-to-day stuff.

A few months ago, we answered the question “Who is your role model?” Like most of my answers, I quickly wrote my son’s name. He has inspired us on a daily basis to become better people, for him and because of him. Watching the world through his eyes has made me appreciate the little things and has reminded me to slow down and enjoy life. What has been one of my favorite characteristics to witness is his resilience in learning. (In fact, that’s just what I wished for him before I even knew who he was.) Once he realizes that he’s beginning to do something new, he practices it ceaselessly.

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An Open Letter to My Child: It Won’t Be Easy

Dear child,

Don’t you see how much I love you? I would do anything for you, my love. You are the most precious part of life. I created you – I suffered for you – and it was worth every bit of pain to give life to you. It is my greatest treasure to watch you grow. And when you express your love for me, oh my…I can’t even begin to explain the way my heart feels in my chest. 

Mom holding newborn child

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I Missed My Son’s First Steps. It Hurts, but I’ll be OK

I missed my son’s first steps. Its the sacrifice of a working mother, providing for your family and fulfilling your personal calling, all while knowing that you might not get to witness every “first” of your baby.

And first steps – that’s a big one. At least everyone has been making it feel that way.

It’s the question we’re constantly answering: “Is he walking yet?”. We’ve been cautious to not rush the milestones, knowing he would grow quickly and that he would eventually achieve them all. The only thing we rush is trying to pay attention, watching his developments and learning unfold, not being distracted or taking him for granted. Despite all this, we missed his first steps.

first steps date card and shoes

Honestly, it hurts a little.

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Grocery Shopping Old-School: Back to the Basics for Baby

Yesterday I went old-school grocery shopping – AKA, I shopped at the store.

Wal-Mart online grocery shopping started just about the same time that I had our little Penguin, and it was a life saver. I no longer had to walk Bryan through the grocery store throughout seven phone calls explaining where everything was and what substitutes we could accept. Pretty much since we started online ordering, we haven’t stopped. I faithfully make my weekly order without having to spend time away from Penguin or having to subject the two of us to a possibly-chaotic shopping trip.

The thought intimidates me. Bad.

Toddler eating mandarin orange purchased through old-school grocery shopping

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A Spoon, Sadie Robertson, and Spiritual Growth

Tonight I realized that my one-year-old has a new trick: eating with a spoon. He’s been practicing this for a while, but tonight I realized just how much he has mastered the act. I loaded up the spoon with yogurt, set it on his high chair tray, and seconds later he had the scoop of the spoon in his mouth. Bite after bite, he showed me that he knew exactly what to do. The bites weren’t accidental, but intentional. I filled with pride.

baby eating from spoon

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How I’m Making Boundaries for Exercise & Self-Care

I will do anything to help our little Penguin get his rest. All of our activities and errands get planned around nap time. The bark collars we bought specifically for this purpose go on the dogs, the TV is turned low, the thermostat is set, the camera is on, the sound machine is playing, and all activity is ensured to be quiet and peaceful. I even made a cute sign for the door, politely asking begging neighbors not to knock or to ring the doorbell. For a sleeping baby makes for a happy baby and for refreshed parents. This precious time is carved out twice a day, every day. No exceptions.

Can I tell you how long I’ve been planning to/wanting to do yoga regularly? Actually, I can’t. I’ve lost track. It’s been a long time.

self-care and meditation through coffee and yoga

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