Friday, December 30, 2016

Reflecting on 2016

Hey there, friends. As 2016 comes near to closing, I've felt the need to reflect on and write about all the amazing things we've gotten to experience this year. I honestly cannot believe how fast this year has gone by. Sure, everyone says that, right? No, but seriously. It's like... when you have a child, you basically age 12 times faster than normal. It must be a thing. Must be.

This year has brought SO much change to my life, it's incredible to think about. I finished out my previous job in mid January, just 11 days before little baby boy was born. January 29, 2016... what a day. Matt had left early in the morning to go to class, and the whole night before I had been having slight contractions. But what the hell did I know? I'd never been pregnant before! Soon enough, we'd be rocking and rolling to the hospital.

My contractions were pretty strong by about 9 AM, and Matt, ironically enough, got out of class early and rushed home. I brought myself to shower and look presentable, ha. That's funny. Mom FLEW over to the house in a flurry and out the door we went.

We got to the hospital about 10:30 and YES this was happening!! Got my epidural midday, and of course, my dosage wasn't high enough so the pain was extraordinary. But who even cares, at this point? By 9:27 PM, after almost 12 hours of labor and less than two hours pushing, Jackson Matthew came into the world and was the most beautiful sight I had ever seen. Just like that, I became a mother. It was a Friday, and by Sunday evening, we were on our way back home.

Motherhood brought all kinds of new challenges... learning how to take care of a sweet, tiny human, how to still manage being happily married, how to breastfeed, how to not breastfeed, figuring out a sleep schedule, the list goes on. We learned, with time. And it was absolutely the most precious time of my entire life. My maternity leave was a dream... hanging out with my sweet babe all day long and learning each other. Baby boy has grown so much this year and it has been incredible watching him become his own little person. He does new things every day and is constantly surprising me. Being his mama is one of my greatest joys. I love him more than I could ever put into words.

By May, I started a new job and met some new people. And later in the summer, Matt FINALLY got off of the dreaded night shift and started his new job... which has been an absolute blessing. Even with all of the political bull crap that came about this year, 2016 was still one of the best years of my life.

And, as if we deserve it, we found out in November that we're expecting our second little bundle of joy and love in July! I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous or scared, but I'm beyond excited and way too happy to be blessed in this way. I never thought I'd become pregnant without really trying. This next little one is certainly the next little miracle.

Happy New Year, friends! And I hope you remember all the greatness 2016 brought you. I know I always will.


Thursday, October 20, 2016

Four Years

My dearest Matthew,

Today marks four years of pure wedded bliss with you. This month marks 11 incredible years spent with you. It's so hard to put into words how much that means to me.

When I first met you, you were cute, you were shy, you were quiet. You were permitting and eager to please and I could tell you felt deeply for people. You were so young and I remember how sweet those little red cheeks were. We grew up a bit and at 14 years old, finally came together at the very best time. I could cry thinking about how sweet it all was in the beginning, how passionate we were, how nervous and confused I was, at how genuine and caring you were. I vividly remember when you first kissed me... the excitement I felt and the nervousness of your shaking hand as you held mine. If only I knew then all of the wonderful things we'd do together in life.

Do you remember the fall season in 2005? I know your memory is pretty horrible, but gosh, I hold the fondest memories of that time so deep in my heart. It was the very beginning of us. Remember getting to school SO early just to hang out together in mom's office? Man, I just wanted to LIVE at your house... to be with you as much as I could... immersing ourselves in passion and love. You saved me then from every awful, emotional, teenage drama I was in. You helped me realize my self-worth. You helped me see clearly. And you were so very patient about it.

Today, I want you to know how much you mean to me, how deeply embedded in my heart you are. I love you more and more every single day, even if it doesn't seem that way. You are selfless. You are hard-working. You are genuine. You are funny. You are lovable. You are kind. You are unfiltered. You are thoughtful. And you're still a bit shy and quiet, but never with me. You're more than I ever could have expected, and you're definitely more than I deserve.

Thank you for being all of these things and more. Thank you for giving me an incredibly happy life and the greatest gift I ever could have received... a family of my own. Jackson inherited all the best parts of you and more, and I can't wait to watch him and our future children grow (hopefully they aren't as sassy as you are). There's no one else in this world I'd rather have by my side, no one else I'd rather grow old with, no one else I'd rather care for and to have care for me. There's no one else I'd rather do life with than you.

Happy 4th Anniversary, baby. I love you, I love you, I love you.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


Hey there, blog friends. Tomorrow marks the first day of the autumn season here in the midwest, and like every other basic white girl in town, I'm really stoked. FALL! PUMPKINS! BOOTS! HOORAH!

Life has been so... inspiring, lately, and eye opening. And things have been horrible in the world but there have been good things, too. While global violence seems to be at an all-time high, political nonsense here at home seems to have reached an all-time low, and folks like me, "millennials," seem to want as much involvement as we do disengagement. And I think I fit there, too... I care and I don't care. I'm ready and I'm not. Someone make it go away so I can be outraged. A woman is one of the closest candidates to become President, though, so that's really cool.

Things I'm into lately:  music, so much music, and art. And writing. And nature. And experiences. Oh, and reading. Yes, reading. I recently finished this book, Emma Cline's The Girls, and it has me feeling like a hippy... but not the kind that wants to join a cult or anything. Just the kind yearning for freedom and solidarity and happiness... and peace.

I really got to thinking about people... people I know and have known, and how as we grow up, we all spread and drift and branch off into different directions, like the branches of a large tree. And there are people I have known and am so proud of for doing exactly what their hearts tell them to do, ah. It's so refreshing. And then there are those, like me, that know what their heart wants but doesn't really listen because other things matter a little more, like bills, loans, and responsibilities. I wish I had the courage and support to do what I love, to be who I want to be. Oh, having a life can cost you, more than your money, but your passion, too.

And what is my passion? Do I really know? I'm definitely not one of those people who just know what they want in life, know what they want their careers to be like. No, I'm more of a wanderer. I do know that sitting in front of a computer all day long working magic on the internet isn't really my life's passion, but it pays the damn bills so I guess I have to keep chugging along. Because all the cool and interesting stuff is fulfilling but doesn't pay shit.

Wife and mom. Man, I tell you what... nothing makes me happier. And that sounds crazy to a lot of feminists and other women out there. But I'm a feminist. But I'm a woman! And I love being a wife and mother. Not the 1950s housewife kind of wife and mother, but the new age mother (I'm a cool mom). I love the experiences I have with my family. The giggles and inside jokes and TV binges I have with my husband. The smiles and snuggles I share with my baby boy. That's what it's all about for me. That's what life is about.

The moral? Listen. Write. Paint. Draw. Hike. Walk. Read. Do. Experience. Experience it all and love it. Life is way too damn short.


Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Offline Thoughts

I've been reflecting quite a bit lately, about the normal things one would reflect upon - life, relationships, work, issues, situations. I'm not the first one to come out and say that the world is becoming a stranger place than before. Changes occur every day. People change every day. Things will always ebb and flow as long as we exist.

Every night, I rock my baby boy to sleep, and during those moments, I seem to forget about everything that normally consumes my attention - political issues, world tragedies, my phone (for crying out loud), social media, work, other worries. It's in those moments that I actually feel like I'm soaking in life, taking my time, and not searching for the next best thing that will distract me or entertain me. In those moments, all I need to do is look at my sleeping boy, and my whole world is completely at peace.

It's strange to think that before my son was born, peace was a feeling I seldom experienced. Of course, I had those moments with my husband, and I still do. But knowing that Jackson is going to grow so incredibly fast, to one day not need me as he does now, I find myself trying harder to put the damn phone down and just be at peace with my little babe during these fleeting moments.

Sometimes, I just look at my phone and I want to throw it under a moving vehicle. WHY do these things have to be so convenient but so attention-grabbing? So incredible but so destructive? This phone has made my life easier yet has disconnected me from my surroundings. And social media doesn't make it better. These days, I find myself consciously trying NOT to pick up my phone and scroll through my social media feeds just so I can have a normal conversation with my husband who I haven't really spent time with in four days.


I hate it. It's easy to go on Facebook and post about your "pledge" to give it up for a while, or post that you're "deleting" your account for an undetermined amount of time to just live life again. Good for the people that do that and stick with it. I find myself admiring you. But to those who say they're going to do that and then continue posting two days later, I kind of hate you.

I really don't know what my point is except that I'm tired of being consumed by social media and my phone. I'm tired of having to try to remember not to pick it up and scroll through CRAP for two minutes of instant entertainment. I'm tired of watching my husband and child watch me as I stare at this rectangular device instead of into their eyes. It's times like these that I wish we lived in the 1970s or something.

I just want to live life again, carefree of what people will "think" of me if I don't post some amazingly witty thought, or if I don't share 9,000 photos of my baby. My life is great, and I don't need to constantly show it off on social media.

I'm working on it.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Life Lately

Well, well, well. Here we are in June 2016 already. How did we get here so quickly? I swear, as soon as our little babe was born, time has been travelling at lightning speed. It's so true what they say--it all just goes by so, so quickly, and I wish I could slow it all down.

Needless to say, our lives have been turned upside down, and it's so beautiful and chaotic and amazing and crazy all at the same time! SO many changes have come along this year already. Matt and I have been blessed to be able to experience parenthood at its finest, and I was lucky enough to enjoy a longer-than-normal maternity leave. On top of it all, I started a new job last month so things have just been wonderfully and horribly overwhelming, but I really wouldn't want it any other way.... maybe.

Let's talk about this babe. Jackson is everything. It's so hard to imagine life before him. Matt and I have always been old souls, and so we really love having the responsibility of taking care of little man. Sure, it gets frustrating and overwhelming and inconvenient at times, but being this boy's mama is one of the best things that has ever happened to me, regardless of the hard times. Watching him grow is the highlight of my life. I probably sound psychotic to anyone who does not have children, and that's okay. Having babies turns you into an emotional wreck of a woman, all day, every day. And that's what parenthood really is.... a constant emotional roller coaster of ups and downs and flips and turns and it is so wonderful. One minute, you're laughing your ass off at a funny face, and the next you're crying because how is he four months old already? It is so. bitter. sweet. The most bittersweet thing of all. And I love him with my entire heart. I would go through anything for this boy. He is all of the good things about his mommy and daddy put together. I can't explain how much my heart has grown for him. I could go on forever but I think I'll spare you all. Jackson is the love of our lives.

Mama and daddy are doing well. I'd be lying if I said parenthood doesn't test the hell out of your marriage, because it does. Trying to agree on how to do things and trying to be accepting of how differently we do them is the hard part. As wife and mama, I try so very hard not to control the way Matt daddies baby boy. I give him pointers, of course. :) But through it all, we've definitely come out stronger than ever before, every day. Parenthood requires more effort from each of us and we have to try a little harder to make time for our relationship, but we do, and we manage, and I'm so very thankful to have Matt as my partner through everything. I don't say it enough to him. I love this man and I love that we have the incredible opportunity to experience this life together.

As I mentioned, I started a new job last month working downtown and in the healthcare industry, and so far it has been going pretty well. I can't talk about it without mentioning how incredibly hard it was to leave my Jackson boy and go back to work full time. There is a lot to be said for moms that stay at home with their babies. I know it's a lot of work taking care of a babe all day, but seriously, guys... it's SO hard being a working mom. First of all, THE GUILT. The guilt kills you all day long. "This is selfish of me. I should be home with my baby. What is he doing? Does he miss me? Will he know me?" one billion other mental conversations with yourself. There is nothing more difficult than being a working mom. Some days, I feel I am suffocating. I rush home at 5:30 and try to spend as much time as I can with my little bug who quickly approaches fussy time by 8:00. But, in the mornings, he's all smiles and so happy to see me. It's torture trying to leave him. I live for the weekends and try my best to stay afloat without becoming depressed. Being a working mom is both a blessing and a curse.

Life is hard, but oh, so good. We are lucky beyond belief. Last night in bed, I was reading this man's blog about his wife's battle with cancer and their struggle to raise their two-year-old with Down Syndrome. His wife ultimately passed, but he really does a wonderful job describing her and keeping her memory alive. She seemed like a wonderful woman. And I kept thinking how minimal our problems are in comparison. Sobbing like a baby, I realized how lucky Matt and I are. We have everything we've ever wanted.... wonderful parents and families, great jobs, a roof over our heads, food in the kitchen, and now a beautiful baby boy I never thought I'd be able to have after two miscarriages, We have our health, our sanity, and so much love around us. What more do we need?

The rest of this year, I will try to embrace this wild ride of life, really try to soak in the moments that matter most, and try to remember always all the good we have.

If anyone is still out there, thanks for reading my novel of an update! I hope to wake this blog up with more updates in the future, so we'll see. :P

Love always,

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

He's Here!

Jackson Matthew Kley
January 29, 2016, 9:27 PM
8 pounds, 13 ounces
21.25 inches long

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Baby Bump: 37 Weeks

How Far Along?:  37 weeks, 5 days!!
Size of Baby:  Baby boy could be anywhere from 6-8 pounds at birth, according to our last ultrasound!
Gender:  Baby is a BOY!!!!!
Weight Gain:  Up 29 pounds total.
Maternity Clothes:  All day, every day.
Stretch Marks:  A few on my hips, of course.
Movement:  Cherishing the last couple of weeks I get to feel him move around in my belly. It's so bittersweet. I know I'll miss it.
Symptoms:  Pelvic p-r-e-s-s-u-r-e. Holy Lord! It's getting hard to walk, and my lower pelvis is just sore and aching. I think it's the beginning of the end...
Sleep:  Definitely waking up every 1-2 hours now, pretty consistently. It's so hard to roll over in bed!
Cravings:  Apples/apple sauce/apple juice first thing in the morning. During the day, I'll take anything edible, please.
Nursery:  Finished! Just waiting for our baby boy.
Belly Button in or out?:  More out/flush with my belly.
Wedding rings on or off?:  On!
Mood:  My nerves are starting to kick in. "Are we ready for this? How is my labor going to go? When should I stop working? Holy hell, we're having a baby."
What I Miss:  Rolling over in bed with ease, and laying on my stomach.
Best Moment This Week:  Just seeing how excited Matt is really makes my heart melt. Every day he talks about how excited and ready he is for the babe, and he's just so sweet to me, taking care of me, cleaning the house, making dinner (twice this week), and so much more. I'm without a doubt the luckiest girl in the world to have this man by my side.
Looking Forward To:  Meeting our baby boy any day now!!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Baby Bump: 36 Weeks

How Far Along?:  36 weeks, 6 days!!!
Size of Baby:  According to our ultrasound today, baby boy could be anywhere from 6-8 pounds!! He's seven pounds right now! WHAT!?
Gender:  Baby is a BOY!!!!!
Weight Gain:  Up 29 pounds total.
Maternity Clothes:  All day, every day.
Stretch Marks:  Just a few on my hips, luckily.
Movement:  Little guy is still a' stretchin' and starting to lower himself down...
Symptoms:  Shortness of breath, a little pelvic pressure, and heart burn for days, plus just overall carlessness. Does this mean we're closer to the end?
Sleep:  More wake-ups and bathroom trips than ever before.
Cravings:  Still carbs. Ugh.
Nursery:  Finished! Just waiting for our baby boy.
Belly Button in or out?:  More out/flush with my belly.
Wedding rings on or off?:  On!
Mood:  I feel so happy. I'm loving the compliments and well wishes we seem to be receiving from everyone around us. Terrified of the upcoming labor and delivery, but so excited to finally meet this bouncing boy in my belly. We're going to be parents!!!!
What I Miss:  Wine. And margaritas. And rolling over in bed without losing my breath.
Best Moment This Week:  Definitely seeing our little man at the ultrasound today. He stuck his tongue out at us! But his heart and organs and everything were absolutely perfect. He's breathing and moving well and is just doing so good.
Looking Forward To:  Meeting our baby in just a few short weeks!!!