Monday, July 13, 2015

4th of July

We celebrated the 4th downtown this year. We were worried about the crowd and although we had to wait forever in the food line, (there were not enough food trucks), it really wasn't bad. I didn't get to photograph the fireworks simply because I couldn't carry my tripod around, but I got some pics for fun. I think we captured the "celebrating the 4th in South Carolina" vibe with our outfits. 

A little holiday cheer for our orchids

Ellie is really enjoying her sunglasses

What an amazing shirt, so glad he bought it (insert sarcasm)

I can't even

Reedy River - this was earlier in the evening because there were a lot more people around 9 pm

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Pregnancy Update - Week 32

A couple of weeks ago, Murrells Inlet, SC

I am currently 32 weeks pregnant and really, almost 33 weeks. This pregnancy has been different in so many ways but I'm not sure if it's actually different or if it's just that I now have a toddler. 

Emotional Nutbag: Yes - that is me. I have cried almost every single day for the last 2 weeks. Sometimes, for over an hour. I think part of the challenge this time is mom guilt, and it can eat at me pretty hard some days. It affects my self esteem A LOT. I can also feel super lonely but I don't really want to do anything about it. Like, I feel bad that I feel lonely but I don't feel like reaching out or socializing much. Either way, all of those emotions are just getting to me. I want to be normal again!

Fatigue: I feel bad complaining because honestly, I have had such an easy pregnancy, even easier than last time. I'm just now hitting the fatigue stage, but since I have a toddler, I can't really rest when I want. Yesterday, I was so tired, Ellie just watched tv while I laid down. Then the mom guilt kicks in and we're back to number 1. Hopefully, I won't be super tired every day for the next 7 weeks.

Discomfort: Last time, I actually had bad back pain the entire pregnancy. This time, it's just now starting and today is the first day where it's really uncomfortable. When I lay down, I sometimes feel like I can't breathe, probably because my massive boobs are smashing my chest and lungs. 

With Ellie, I was so positive the whole time, and I didn't really feel the push to have her, but right now, I'm kind of over being pregnant and am ready for him to come. I have 7.5 more weeks but maybe he'll come a week early? 

Really, I feel bad complaining because I have super easy pregnancies. I'm usually very healthy, my blood pressure always stays low, not too much pain, nausea (after the first trimester anyway), headaches, etc. It's nothing like the horror stories I've heard. I'm very grateful that I'm healthy and seem to do a good job carrying my babies :)

I am also ready for him to come because I'd just like to meet him. I haven't been able to bond with him as much but there are moments when I do and I'm excited to have another little baby to love. In the meantime, here are some photos from our family photo shoot:

Photography: Liv Collins,

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Forgiveness and Love; What are we called to do

A Path Leading Up - may we take this with humility

Ellie and I finally made it to Mass today for the first time since May. I hate that I've missed so much but between subbing for yoga, going to the beach, Mother's day, Father's day, and lots of other stuff. We've had a lot of Sunday morning activities. It felt good to be back, especially during such a difficult time. The Charleston shootings have shocked the country, but being here in SC, it's really sent a wave of despair and controversy through the state. 

I'm not one to talk about politics and current events, but there were a couple of things that I felt were important about the reactions of the victims in this attack. We all got to hear a beautiful lesson in how to follow a spiritual life. There was so much beauty in the reaction of the victims' families, and the forgiveness they were able to extend to the killer. 

Forgiveness is a path to the healing of the heart. One cannot have a whole, healthy heart when harboring a resentment. Resentment cause discourse within, and causes the heart to close. One of my favorites quotes came from The Untethered Soul; it states ""No matter what happens below you, just turn your eyes upward and relax your heart." Though life may contain many challenges and we may experience much pain, our only task is to remain open. Our task is to remain vulnerable and open to the love around us and above us. That's such an important lesson for me because I am VERY sensitive and I can easily retreat into myself when life gets rough. I tend to be a guarded person, and through lots of work, I've been on the path of opening, though I still have a long road ahead. 

What does forgiveness look like? The victims of the Charleston shooting showed us the ultimate example of forgiveness. Though they experienced some of the worst pain that one can experience in life, the loss of a loved one, they forgave the killer. They laid their hands upon the image of him, told him they forgave him, and told him they loved him. He was not remorseful. He did not come groveling and asking for grace. He stood there with a blank face and they forgave him anyway. That is what we're called to do. It's easy to forgive someone who comes to you with an apologetic heart. When we see a person in a vulnerable state, it's easy for us to remain open too. Our function, though, is to remain vulnerable and loving even if the other is not. It's through this forgiveness that one opens oneself up to the light above. Our soul is free and we remain a vessel through which God can work. Our heart remains open and our energy pure. If they can forgive after such a heinous act, who am I to not forgive?  

As we continue to face our adversaries through such a divisive time in our country, I am reminded of the prayer of St Francis of Assisi. 

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life.

It is not my function to judge, but only to love and be of service. If we keep that idea in mind, how would it change our daily actions and interactions with others? I'm not responsible for anyone but myself and maybe through my service, I can be a light to others. Why would I want to be anything else? 

Friday, June 26, 2015

The Downfall of Perfectionism

Brook green Gardens, Murrels Inlet, SC photo courtesy of me :)

This week has been a really hard week for me. I guess it's probably a combination of raging pregnancy hormones, managing a toddler, and the actual reality of the situation. I've always struggled with my quest for perfectionism. I set standards for myself that seem to be achievable, other people seem to achieve them, and then I fail miserably, causing an internal strife that seriously affects my self esteem. I constantly ask myself, why can't I live up to this ideal, it seems as though others are. What's wrong with me specifically, that I seem to fail at being good at something? I thought that I had reconciled that with myself but being a mother seems to exacerbate those feelings because now, you're not only failing at something yourself, you're ruining someone else's life in the process.

That's what this week has totally been about. I think I've cried every single day, and some days, it's been like, for at least an hour. THAT, I do believe, is the hormones. BUT, that being said, it's coming from a place that's very real. I am only speaking int terms of motherhood at this moment, because that's where I am. I've also been here with working out, with diet, with work, with lots of things. Part of my issue is too much information. That seems inaccurate as "knowledge is power", but in reality, knowledge is a way for me to set myself up to lots of guilt. With each article I read on how TV ruins their brain, how flashy toys cause them to have ADHD, how eating too many corn dogs causes leukemia, I realize just how much I seem to be failing as a parent. I should feel guilty because she sleeps with me, she still takes a pacifier, she isn't great at independent play, blah blah blah. It really just gets so hard. I don't know if my child is unique, or if everyone's kid is this way and I'm just not good at it, but Ellie is very attached. That translates to clingy and there are times when she just won't even let go of my hand. It's cute, but after 12 hours of it, I'm like - I NEED A FRIGGIN' BREAK, just to gather myself.

My point is not that parenthood is hard, because I've already said that, but that I have to learn to let go and accept where I am. I just suck at certain things and other people don't. I think Wednesday was a breaking point for me because I just had more than I could take, of myself. I was completely beating myself up all day long and finally, I just let go. I surrendered to the fact that I am not good at A, B and C. Once I did that, I felt so much better. The struggle had ended. I waved my white flag and everything seemed to go a lot more smoothly. I didn't lose my temper with Ellie Thursday, probably because I was more relaxed. Did she watch too much TV? Yes. Did I clean to kitchen and living room like a boss? Yes. Did we end the day, knowing that she was loved and that I'm loved and no one got crazy? Yes. That's really all I can ask for.

I feel like I have to constantly learn this lesson over and over again in my life. The more I resist and fight myself, that harder it gets and the worse I feel. If I can just surrender to the moment, allow myself to make mistakes, and just trust in life's process, everything feels better.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Summer Vacation: Murrells Inlet

We recently took a family vacation to Murrells Inlet, SC. It was grandparents, parents, and kids all in one big house. We had a great time and it was nice seeing Ellie play with all of her cousins. The marsh was absolutely beautiful and I really wish I could live there. I've always preferred the marsh, but especially as I've gotten older, I can sit out there for hours. Unless I have a toddler in which case, I do no sitting. 

I did get to take some pictures, and I've included them below. I didn't take my camera to the beach simply because I was worried it get all messed up, so these are from my mini excursions outside, around the house. 

Brookgreen Gardens:

A beautiful moth in the butterfly exhibit

All of their butterflies/moths come from hatchlings, they do no breeding on site

They had lots of pretty flowers in the garden and I might do a post on that because I have a lot of other pics

our house for the week

Ellie loved the marsh

banana time

I took a LOT of pictures of her because that's what I do

daddy time

low tide was obviously my favorite

This was a fried lobster grilled cheese and it was amazing

iphone pic on the beach :)

I'm still a Charleston/Savannah girl by heart, but it was fun to do something different. 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Self Care and Seeking Help

I'm not sure if this is specific to just women, or if it's something that plagues humanity as whole, but as a society, we seem to value the martyr, shamelessly sacrificing ourselves in the name of the cause. We ignore our pain, power through, in order to reach the hero's pedestal; a pedestal that one can only achieve through struggle and self sufficiency. One is considered weak when admitting that he/she needs help. If we admit a weakness, it makes us vulnerable, and open for attack. 

I write this because I see so many people in my life that are in pain, but refuse to ask for help. I can do that on a smaller scale, so maybe this blog post is for myself. As I gain new friends on Facebook and through my mom groups, I get very nervous revealing some of my past grievances, but I've also made a commitment to myself to continue a life of transparency and authenticity, so here I am, blogging about my past again :). The most powerful and life changing moments in my life were when I have admitted complete defeat. The first time was when I realized that I had a problem with alcohol; a time when I was terribly unhappy, living in Columbia on my own, completely isolated from society and caught in a dependence that left me at rock bottom. I reached out for help, not even knowing what that help would look like, but doing so anyway. Thank God for my mom and her willingness to help me do what I could not do for myself. I had to admit complete defeat, and admit that I wasn't strong enough to do this on my own. I needed help from my mom, from the state, and from some type of power greater than myself. Many people feel that drug and alcohol dependency is a weakness that can be overcome through a strong moral backbone and a head full of will power. Again, thank God my mom wasn't one of those people because I 100% needed something more than to depend on myself. Myself was the problem and I needed something more. 

The other time was when I had about 7 years of sobriety. I had a head full of a type of spirituality that wasn't touching my heart. I knew in my mind that God loved me, and that He was there to help through life. But in my heart, I felt as though I was alone. I told a friend that I felt as though each morning, I woke up to put on my armor and grab my sword. I was out to battle the world and I had to do so alone. It was the only time in the last 15 years that I ever considered drinking a better option than what was in front of me. It was then that I realized I needed something more, once again. I sought out therapy with a woman who has done so much for me in the remaining 8 years, Nancy Neal. I've continued to see her as well as continued in my other recovery for years, and am now in the healthiest place I've ever been. 

Why do we wish to handle this life alone? What is so scary about opening ourselves up and being vulnerable? For me, I've always carried a wall around my heart, trying to protect it from any pain. My thoughts have always been, "it's better to protect myself than to open myself up for others to hurt me". Is that really living though? I decided that it was not, and through lots of work, I've realized that it's best to have an open heart, and to live a life of authenticity. Asking for help is the strongest thing one can do and is the ultimate form of self care, even if that means breaking down the walls of protection and strength. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Pregnancy and Body Image

Pregnancy is such an interesting time for me, especially in terms of body image and dealing with weight gain. There are so many factors that go into one's mental state when it concerns weight, and if you consider all of the factors a pregnant woman endures, it's easy to see where a problem such as body image can really be difficult during this time.

Photo by Liv Collins Photography

1)  Everybody feels they have the right to tell you how big/small you are. 

When I was pregnant with Ellie, I started off weighing about 170 lbs. I actually was very healthy, but on the larger side of my BMI. In addition to that, I gained 45 lbs with her and my belly was huge. In my third trimester, I got so many comments about how HUGE I was, that I was having twins, I looked like I was going to pop, etc. In spite of it being very painful for me, it might have actually been a good thing because I finally just had to accept that I get big when pregnant and people are going to tell me that. I had to separate the fact that my value as a human isn't connected with my weight and in reality, I was actually kind of big. This time, I've already gotten a TON of comments about how big my belly is and how they can't believe I have this long to go, yada yada yada. WTF people? With Ellie, a lady was so rude about it, I cried for about an hour after our encounter. This time, I seem to not care as much. I carry my babies big. I just do. I'm 40 lbs lighter with this baby and still have a huge belly.

2) Hormones

This pregnancy has been much more emotional, but even with Ellie, I had a lot of ups and downs emotionally, most of it being triggered by weight. When I could possibly have taken comments above in stride, add in pregnancy hormones, and it really upset me. I'm sure my husband and my sponsor heard me talk about my hurt feelings over and over and over again. Poor them.

3) Hunger

Listen, I'm a hungry person anyways. I like to eat. I can eat a lot. When I'm pregnant, I am hungry ALL OF THE TIME. And when I don't eat, I actually get sick, so I eat.

The way that I seem to overcome the obsession with body image is just trusting myself and trusting my body knows what it is doing. I made a promise a long time ago that I was going to listen to what my body needs. I may second guess myself every once in a while, but overall, I trust that whatever craving I am having means it's what I need. I am actually eating a lot better this pregnancy than the last, but I still seem to have an affinity for those damn frosted lemonades.

I'd really love, one day, to no longer struggle with the thought that I need to lose weight or that I'm somehow doing something wrong when it comes to food/exercise. I know that this is my kryptonite and something with which I'll always struggle, but wouldn't it be neat if I could just let go of the idea that I'm supposed to be eating this or doing that? What I'm really grateful for is the fact that I am very healthy, I have super easy pregnancies, my babies are very healthy, and I'm aware of the fact that I'm here to nurture and support them not only emotionally and spiritually, but also physically. I have to provide my bodies with the nutrients needed to carry them to term, give them what they need to grow, and then nurse them until they're able to feed themselves. That's what my body is for. It's really not to wear a bikini in August at Isle of Palms. And actually, because I am embarrassed by my tramp stamp, I probably wouldn't do that anyway :).

Overall, I feel that I am in a better space with my body image now as I am able to separate the physical from all of the other stuff. It'll be interesting to see what happens after I have the baby but for now, I feel pretty good.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Book Review: The Untethered Soul

 Through the recommendation of a friend here in Greenville, Liz Delaney of Greenville Yoga, I read this book, The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer. I've obviously been in the dark because upon further research, I noticed that Oprah recommended this book years ago. I started reading it in the beginning of the year, but because I have a toddler, and I go through heavy reading phases, I just finished it. 

 In summary, the book is a philosophy on how we can separate our emotions from everything that is happening around us. Maybe I shouldn't even say that. It's about learning how to recognize our own soul which is beyond our emotions, our actions, the masks we create, and how through letting all of that go, we can become enlightened beyond the happenings of the world. Not sure if I'm really doing it justice, but what I will tell you is that it's a very complicated book with ideas that can seem somewhat radical if one has never been introduced to them before. 

 In terms of how it reads, it's a little difficult to understand. The language he is using is basic, but the concepts are difficult for someone like me to internalize. I found myself, at certain points in the book, understanding the need to let go of our attachment to self but not really understanding how. At other times, I was completely clear and felt like it was something I could do. I don't think that's his writing as much as it is my inability to think in the abstract and always wanting concrete examples. He does use examples and that helps tremendously. I underlined a lot in this book, and felt like much of the message resonated with me, especially in this time in my life. Some of my favorite quotes were:

"You're ready to grow when you finally realize that the 'I' who is always talking inside will never be content" p. 15

"This technique of freeing yourself is done with the understanding that thoughts and emotions are just objects of consciousness." p. 64

"Life is surrounding you with people and situations that stimulate growth. You don't have to decide who's right or wrong. You don't have to worry about other people's issues. You only have to be willing to open your heart in the face of anything and everything, and permit the purification process to take place." p. 74

"No matter what happens below you, just turn your eyes upward and relax your heart." p. 78

"In truth, pain is the price of freedom. And the moment that you are willing to pay that price, you will no longer be afraid... you'll be able to face all of life's situations without fear." p. 106

"Your relationship with God is the same as your relationship with the sun. If you hid from the sun for years and then chose to come out of your darkness, the sun would still be shining as if you had never left. You don't need to apologize. You just pick your head up and look at the sun." p. 180

 I realize that there is a voice in my head who is constantly talking, and really, it's quite annoying. What a relief it was for me to realize that this voice isn't actually me, and that I don't have to listen. The other epiphany I had was when he said that I can objectively view that voice, my emotions, and I don't have to participate in them. Yes, I recognize them, I give them validity because they are a signal to me that I need healing in that area, but I don't have to follow the path towards saving them because I can let them go. I've found myself doing that many times and just breathing into the physical feeling of that emotion. By doing that, I can feel the release that he describes. It's actually a hard concept to process because it is so easy to believe my thoughts and emotions and to follow them down the rabbit hole. I know that my perception of life is based on my past experiences, but having him remind me that just because I think it doesn't make it true is freeing. 

I absolutely recommend this book for anyone and everyone. I think it's life changing, although it doesn't read that way. For me, it wasn't something that I could read in a weekend or on a beach trip. I had to really process a lot of what he was saying and I felt some resistance in doing so. I don't know if that's because I didn't want to hear it or if it had to do with his writing or maybe it was a bit of both. Either way, I put this on my list of must read spiritual books. Thanks Liz for recommending it. 

Friday, May 8, 2015

Mother's Day

This Sunday will be my second Mother's Day where I actually get to celebrate being a mother. It's been an interesting ride so far, and although I've complained a lot, it's really the most rewarding job I've ever had.

I don't actually know if Ellie is really hard or I just have a lot pain tolerance, but it might be a bit of both. The thing I will say is that what makes it so hard is that I want to do a good job, I want her to know she's loved, and having a kid forces you to look at yourself and heal from past experiences. In the past, I've always just maintained a very busy life so that I wouldn't have to recognize my character defects, but now that I'm a mom, and I don't work, I'm busy but I also spend a lot of time in my head. I've been forced to slow down and learn how to live in the present moment. That's actually been a very, very difficult, but also very wonderful experience. I've had a chance to look at my idiosyncrasies and reflect on how they're serving me. I've had a chance to look at some pain and heal from that, knowing that in the long run, it'll be better for my child to do so. 

I don't know if it's been the extra pregnancy hormones or the fact that I know our time together is going to get cut short soon, but lately, my heart has been so full of love for Ellie. She's such a sweet and caring child, she's so curious, and she loves to make me laugh. I've never known love like this before and while it can be painful from all of the fear I feel of possibly losing her, it's broken down my walls of protection and helped me to open more as a human being. There is no way I would have ever been able to understand this level of empathy had I not had kids. To think I wasn't even sure if I wanted any, now I'm about to have my second. Life is funny that way. Maybe I subconsciously knew how much I would love these little beings and I wasn't sure I wanted to sign up for that. Every night, I thank God for the opportunity to have Ellie in my life. 

Being a mother has also helped me grow a level of gratitude and understanding for what my own mother did. She raised me on her own, working two jobs to make ends meet, and dealing with a child who is as strong willed as Ellie. I can only imagine how much harder it would be to not have a supportive husband and have the fear of bringing home enough money to live. I understand the will and the drive a mother has to protect and provide for a child, and only through that can I imagine that single moms are able to keep going. What a blessing to have a mother willing to go to any length to make sure my life was as comfortable as possible. 

Sometimes I think if I have to pick up one more piece of bacon off of the floor, or tell her if she puts that daggum play dough in her mouth, or whatever, I'm going to lose my mind. And sometimes I do lose my mind, then I have to apologize. But then, she lays her head on my shoulder and says mama in the sweetest voice. Or she talks about the birds. Or she likes to smell the roses in the front yard. Or she gets so excited about daddy coming home that she does a little dance. It humbles me and makes me realize that I am truly grateful, not only for m beautiful family, but for this spirited little girl and the opportunity to be with her each day, in the present moment. 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Pregnancy Number 2

Being pregnant this time around has been interesting. I actually feel pretty good and don't hurt at all. With Ellie, I had a lot of low back pain, but I was also 40 lbs heavier so that could've been part of the problem. This time, the only time I have pain is when I do yoga, so I stopped doing it and now I'm fine. I have started to get tired in the afternoons, so sometimes, I nap with Ellie. Unfortunately, if I nap with her in the afternoon, I don't sleep as well at night, so I don't always do that either. My stomach is pretty big, so I'm not sure how big I'm going to be in 14 weeks. It seems like it can't get bigger, but I know it can!

a photo of Ellie when we went to Clemson

The biggest challenge I've had this pregnancy has been hormones and emotions. I am feeling a lot of emotions and fear about going from one baby to two. At first, it was just fear about having an infant again, and what that will be like with a toddler. How will I get Ellie to nap and tend to the baby at the same time? What about bed time? How will I nurse? Will the baby easily hang while I take Ellie on playdates? Then I started to get really concerned about how Ellie would handle sharing me. She is a very attached baby, she's very shy, and she loves mama! She loves to snuggle which is awesome, but how will she handle me nursing the baby, or putting him to bed? Then, I started to really "mourn" the "loss" of our relationship. That sounds so crazy because we're not losing our relationship, but it will no longer be just Ellie and I. There will be another. I know that I will love him just the same and there will be a beautiful relationship between the two of them that I have never experienced since I'm an only child, but still, it will be different. 

I've done a lot of journaling about this and I think I'm finally coming on the other side. I'm accepting the fact that it will be hard, it will be different, but I can handle it just like many other moms do. I'm focusing on all of the positive aspects of adding another child to the mix and I realize that I am very lucky to 1) be able to have very easy pregnancies, 2) be able to have another baby, 3) be able to stay, at home with the babies and 4) be present enough to work through emotions as they arise so I can be the best mom I can be. It's definitely not perfect but I feel like I'm doing a lot of the good stuff like being present and loving them. What a blessing!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Social Media: Friend or Foe?

I've always been a fan of social media, specifically Facebook, as anyone who is my connection knows. I like to keep up with friends, their babies, graduations, etc. Facebook began around the time I was in college, and although we weren't 100% sure what to do with it, my roommates and I joined happily. It always seemed a lot more interesting than MySpace, mainly because it was exclusive to college kids. Over the years, I have used it to keep in touch with friends and family, as well as follow pages dedicated to specific interests i.e. yoga, sports, motherhood. There are a few communities that I truly appreciate, especially the ones dedicated to attachment parenting, as I know very few moms in my area that parent in that style. I don't feel like such an outcast when I read the articles and comments. It's also helped me make some decisions when the people around me were pressuring me to do something different. Lastly, I've used it to spread the message about my yoga classes, just as I am using this as an outlet for my thoughts and experiences in life. It's a useful tool and I do appreciate all of it's benefits.

Yet lately, I've been feeling the very negative effects of Facebook, in particular. Instagram and Snapchat seem to be the easy way to enjoy other peoples' posts without having the drama and hyped up information to get you to click clamoring for your attention. I have been reading yoga books recently and almost every single one of them talk about shutting out the negativity of media. Max Strom, Marianne Williamson, and Michael Singer are just a few who mention reducing the amount of stimulus we receive from those sources as they are meant to incite fear and disturb our souls. I know that this is true and I've known it for a while, but how does one ignore the temptation to be informed of everything going on in the world? I've come to a place in my life where I seriously question every single thing that I read and challenge almost every idea presented to me. That can be good, but it sends my mind into a whirlwind of thought and makes me kind of cynical. So I've decided to limit my Facebook interaction to times when I'm actually at my computer. I've deleted the app on my phone, and am trying to limit how much I go there. I don't want to ignore it completely because I do get a lot of useful information about the yoga community and of course, it's how a lot of people read this blog :). 

What are your thoughts on social media? What about following the news? How do you find a balance between the information given and reality? Here are some recent topics that have sent me into a tailspin:

*ticks - deadly tick diseases are everywhere so BEWARE and set yourself on fire at night when you come home or you'll die from a deadly tick disease
*babies die in car seats, swings, bouncy seats, and anything other than a crib. Oh yeah, and your baby can also die in the crib. 
*Nutella can kill you. All GMO's will kill you
*You're not getting enough Vitamin D... or K... 
*Vitamin supplements will kill you
*Top 10 reasons you should not ___________
*Top 10 reasons you should __________
*You're doing everything wrong in your life. Stop it and follow the advice of this blogger because this person is an expert. 

Ok, I might've exaggerated a bit but that's what I feel like my newsfeed says always. It's exhausting. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A Morning in Paris Mountain

Ellie and I took a little trip to Paris Mountain this morning for a short hike and lunch. Ellie won't let me carry her in the carrier anymore, so we usually just stick to the lake at the bottom of the mountain. Today, we actually walked around the lake which is about .8 of a mile. Actually, I walked around the lake, carrying Ellie in my arms as she pointed to things and talked. She kept tripping over the roots in the ground and she got frustrated so she wanted me to carry her. I've never hiked around the lake, so I was surprised to see the little waterfall by the dam. I'm sure I'm the last person in Greenville to know about it, but whatever, it was a pleasant surprise. We also saw a HUGE black snake, which I wasn't nervous about, but got a little nervous that we might see a copperhead. I said a little prayer of protection and went on. Other wildlife on the trail: turtles, butterflies, ducks and 2 babies ducklings, and lots of dragonflies. Overall, it was a fun outing, we played outside, I got some pictures, and Ellie wasn't sitting at home watching Sesame Street. Here are some of my favorite photos from today.

Let me add a little instagram photo :)

If your baby will sit in a carrier, there are lots of pretty trails all over Paris Mountain so it's a nice little morning trip for you!