simply love : March 2016
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on breastfeeding: love is best

good morning! i had a different post planned for today, but paige of an uncomplicated life sparked some emotions in me earlier this morning with her post today, why breastfeeding moms are annoying. i have been living with societal pressures and personal guilt/emotions for two months now regarding my breastfeeding journey with parks so when i read this, i felt more at peace. i was grateful for this post. it was so relatable so i shared it on social media this morning with the note below regarding some of my opinions on this subject. 
"you will outgrow my lap, but never my heart."

my note: 

Such a great read. After almost five days in the hospital and a very hard labor and delivery, the lactation consultant came in the morning we were leaving (as my family was on their way to say goodbye) and completely belittled and disciplined me for giving my almost ten pound baby (who appeared to me to be starving) a bottle of formula the night before- she said his chances of asthma, allergies, diabetes by age 22, etc. are all increased now and blamed it on the fact that it was easier for me to fill his stomach with formula so I did (I was going on maybe three hours of sleep since Wednesday and it was Monday!!) I was emotional, in intense pain, and scared to go home. I could not even lift up my baby/move and everything was so new to me. Honestly, I had been trying my best throughout each hour of the day and night. I was exhausted. I said, "from one bottle?" and she said, "from one drop." She questioned me by saying, "how do you know he was starving?!" she yelled at me for using a shield, and kept mentioning how we don't even know what is in formula because they won't tell us and how scary is that?! she questioned. Along with several other cruel commments and when she left, I cried for the first time since my c-section- it was awful. I totally agree with this article; the groups and posts are just too much sometimes. I've tried so hard to breastfeed my two month old baby and would want nothing more than to be able to do so (but have had yeast mastitis for four weeks and it's been a major factor) so I am exclusively pumping at the moment. When women in these groups complain I feel like saying, but I would do anything to be able to! However, my baby prefers a bottle and I am accepting it. And fortunately, I found a phenomenal lactation consultant (at the other hospital in town!) Maybe (hopefully) things will be different with our future babes but staying calm, happy, and rested are so important to me as a mom. The opinions are too.much.for.me. (and it takes a lot to annoy me online!!) Thanks for sharing this!! An Uncomplicated Life Blog 💓 There are many things I could say. However, in the end, women need to lift one another up and not judge one another. I would never judge another mom for her choice of breastfeeding her baby or not?! Plus, there are so many women who would love nothing more than to hold and raise a baby. The comments I read in some of these support groups are terrible. I know it's an unbelievable bond (which again, these comments hurt because I would love nothing more) but trust me, there are other ways I will bond with my son. 
"Fed is best" in my opinion... better yet, "Love is best."
{this photo was taken last night before i read this post- how ironic that his bottle made the shot!}
let's life one another up 
it's so important. 
let's spread kindness to one another
i plan to surround myself with those who do- always. 
{and i foresee another post regarding this topic at some point but these are my thoughts today!}

and here is my birth story 

linking up with: 
Party at My Place
 
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my favorite books for baby + parks' first road trip

as a little girl- i loved books more than anything in the world. seriously. my mom and dad read to me every night before we prayed together and i remember always wanting {begging} for 'one more!',  i rode my bike to the library almost daily, and loved to explore bookstores when we traveled to the 'big city' almost an hour away. it was paradise. therefore, starting a collection of books for baby was so important to me. we have received so many generous gifts and books since last may. one of my favorites was a basket from my neighborhood book club that said 'baby monaco' on a chalkboard attached to the basket - which was full of everyone's favorite childhood book. it was so precious. here are some of my favorite books for baby. if you have a baby shower coming up, i recommend putting one on top of your instead of a card. {a personalized message inside is always a meaningful touch and will be very fun to read in the years ahead!}
the giving tree: such a classic and beautiful story 

don't let the pigeon drive the bus: super cute storyline and illustrations 

black on white: great for the first few months when babies usually thrive on black/white patterns! they make white on black and a few other versions as well 

i'd know you anywhere, my love: warning: will produce tears! a gorgeous book- i love it. 

mommy hugs: a student sent this to my doorstep on christmas eve morning- meant the world. 

if i could keep you little: absolutely adorable and something we read daily together {might be my new go-to for friends!} i could relate to the storyline so much earlier on {and now!}

where the sidewalk ends: my absolute favorite as a child~ one of my bridesmaids/a friend since elementary school gave it to us at my baby shower with the most thoughtful note inside 

on the night you were born: again, do not read too early! will definitely produce tears! i read it to him on his two week birthday and bawled. i love this book and it's beautiful storyline. rachel of little blue sailboat sent us a copy and we are very grateful! 

good night north carolina: i love to give these to my friends in charlotte who grew up in another state {charlotte is a huge transplant city} giving them a little piece of home! there are several states available 

we're going on a bear hunt: i remember singing this song at summer camps and in classrooms as a child so this book also holds a lot of meaning to me. and it's a great storyline for kids! 
my siblings and cousin sent us different versions of this interactive book by jellycat 
parks already loves these! 
a great one for dada!

+ parks' first road trip
parks and i headed to greenville, south carolina around 4pm yesterday to surprise a dear friend... i grew up with her and love her to pieces. we were texting monday evening when she mentioned going to the community tap with friends for food trucks + drinks to celebrate her birthday and i instantly thought, 'i am going to surprise her!!"  her reaction was priceless and we had a great time. over the years i have become very close with several of her friends there and love, LOVE going to that quaint and fabulous city for a visit as often as i can. she was so grateful and has the sweetest soul {in life you go above and beyond for these types of people} she has been a huge supporter of me during every stage of life and i adore her kindness and strong spirituality- we love you! 
food trucks + beautiful blooms on a spring day 
you are so loved, renee 
{please ignore the babes' scary eyes :(} 
parks loved meeting baby jaq 
she was born on 1.1.16 and is so beautiful 
... 
a pit stop for a bottle for the little boy with the baby mohawk 
and starbuck's for mom
{one of my favs: a grande half caff. {for baby} cinnamon dolce latte with skim milk}
we threw on a cardigan sweater and moccs when we got there 
he was such a good boy! {despite not really getting his normal afternoon nap}
he slept the whole way home and then eight hours straight for the second night in a row!!!
yay baby 
bird onesie + sandals: old navy 
jeans: target

a nursery scene: 
... 
 "on the night you were born, 
you brought wonder and magic to the world. 
the moon stayed up till morning. 
polar bears danced.
life will never be the same
because there had never been 
anyone like you...
ever in the world."

what's your favorite book for baby?

i am joining karli of september farm for her new link-up, 10 on tuesday! 
 
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parks james | newborn photos

the newborn phase of parks james is sadly coming to an end {only about two weeks left} so i thought i would share his newborn photos, which were taken by the super talented, patient and sweet tiffany of kinston photography. every day parks changes and grows and continues to melt my heart. i savored every single second of those early days, but have also loved seeing his little personality develop. he's become the biggest sweetheart. overall, he's a calm baby who loves to smile and coo all day. he was only nine days old when these were taken and i am so grateful to have them. there were over one hundred photos but here are some of my favorites: 
may you always be humble and kind
my mom was here helping so i asked her to jump in for a photo 
and i am so glad she agreed.
this photo is so special to me! 
in honor of my dairy farmer grandpa's 
my boo bear
his daddy loves him so much. 
 
i loved going to her studio and the photos are simply priceless
for baby #2 i hope to do some in our home
with parks and the new baby in his/her room and in our room as well
i love both studio and at home newborn photos 
thank you again tiffany of kinston photography
...
we will both cherish these forever. 

hoping to share his birth announcements soon as well! 
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